Antidote To Hysteria


The Jewish Week’s paired front-page articles, Gary Rosenblatt’s column and James Besser’s report on “’67 Border Flap” (May 27) were together a much-needed antidote to the hysteria sweeping the Jewish community about Obama and Israel. 

Even in my own congregation, the avatar of liberalism on the Upper West Side, there was a widespread conviction, flying in face of the facts, that Obama somehow was anti-Israel. Never mind that MSNBC repeatedly showed a film clip of George W. Bush saying in Jerusalem in 2006 what Obama said in his speech — that the ‘67 borders would be the basis for negotiations, with agreed-upon swaps.

It’s silly season this year because of positioning for next year’s elections. Besser’s piece in particular highlighted what no one else seemed to notice: that Obama in part cast his speech in the hopes that the U.S. could garner enough support in Europe to derail, or at least limit, the legitimacy of the United Nations General Assembly proposal to recognize Palestine.

Too bad those trying to score political points — most Republicans and some Democrats in this country, and also Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, playing to the rejectionists in his own electorate — failed to notice how they were undercutting the only nation, the U.S., that might have the capability to weaken the UN resolution.