Remember the flack Peter Beinart took for suggesting in his book, The Crisis of Zionism, that Israel was losing American Jewish youth?
Yesterday, Beinart’s argument got unexpected backing from Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe — a conservative Republican.
Inhofe addressed a congressional tribute in the Russell Senate Office Building to the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
He described a rough week, noting (to applause) that he led the unsuccessful effort to keep Chuck Hagel from being confirmed as defense secretary.
Inhofe’s point, in his short remarks (the event attracted quite a roster), was that he would advance Iron Dome, and promote it for American use, "since our interests are exactly the same."
Then he reviewed his years, since his election to the House in 1986 and then the Senate in 1994, defending Israel, and he noticed something he clearly saw as peculiar: a shift in the interests among young American Jews who lobby him.
"It used to be that when the college kids from Jewish communities and schools, heading up Jewish causes, would come in, they would be concerned about Israel," Inhofe said."You don’t see that as much today."
His message to the room: Tell these kids what matters.
"Protecting Israel, the relationship between the United States and Israel is more important than abortion — and these kids don’t know that."