Here's a little insight into Jewish priorities these days that probably won't surprise you.
Last week I received at least 25 statements and press releases from Jewish groups and assorted Jewish politicians urging a U.S. veto of the UN General Assembly resolution condemning Israel's settlements. (The U.S. DID veto the resolution on Friday, and there's no evidence pressure from Jewish groups was the reason).
Does it matter much that the Obama administration vetoed a UN Security Council resolution labeling Israel's settlement activity illegal? Naturally, it depends on who you ask, but my answer is: probably not.
Mostly, it strikes me as an action by an administration that has concluded – rightly or wrongly – that the current status quo is the best it can hope for in the Middle East.
It used to be that a primary goal of Israel's friends in this country was to ensure strong U.S.-Israel relations and to create a genuinely bipartisan wall of support for the Jewish state in U.S. politics.
Now, the goal seems more to take advantage of today's bitter partisanship to advance a specific vision of U.S.-Israeli relations or support a particular political viewpoint in Israel. Or to use Israel as just another wedge issue in the U.S. partisan wars.
J Street's spat with Rep. Gary Ackerman took another turn today when it apologized for its strong reaction to the New York Democrat's statement last repudiating the pro-peace process group.
But J Street isn't backing away from the statement that touched off the fracas in the first place – its request that the Obama administration consider not vetoing a pending UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.