Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post’s "Right Turn" takes on the American Jewish Committee’s refusal to join in friend of the court briefs in the matter of Zivotofsky vs. Clinton.
That’s the case pitting parents of an American born in Jerusalem who want the U.S. president to follow the law and list his birth country as "Israel."
Rubin is very, very mad that the American Jewish Committee won’t join one of the amicus briefs, which otherwise have wall-to-wall mainstream Jewish organizational support.
There’s much of substance to deal with here: The natural reluctance, for one, to resolve matters of foreign policy in the courts for reasons having as much to do with a legislative philosophy that would seek to keep unelected judges as far away from lawmaking as one can, as with pro-Israel self-interest. If the highest court sets the precedent of deciding that Jerusalem is in Israel, why should another court not one day decide that it is in Palestine?
There are counter-arguments to the above arguments, but Rubin chooses not to make them. Who needs ’em when we got fuming?
And what magnificent fuming it is! It has a rhythm, a majesty of its own. Here are some choice bits:
That decision was greeted with a mixture of bewilderment and outrage by mainstream Jewish organization and Jewish Democrats. A leader in a prominent national Jewish organization was so incensed he e-mailed me from Israel.*
An irate source close to AIPAC e-mailed me…
Nathan Diament, executive director of the Orthodox Union, was polite, but firm in his rebuke to the AJC…
Not every prominent Jewish leader was so retrained. A longtime Jewish Community activist and senior organizational official was incensed. He dashed off this message to me…
Running through all of these comments was unmistakable anger.
As opposed to the mistakable kind (I’m thinking "I Love Lucy" with the sound off? Wait — Desi’s not mad, he’s singing!).
I’m not sure this portrait of our communal leadership, stumbling around in a dark, stuttering rage is altogether flattering, but it sure as sugar is entertaining. I wish Nathan wouldn’t be such a killjoy with all his politesse — but then, he’s been "retrained." (Don’t tell me it’s a typo. I don’t want to know. "Retrained" is too good. I’m gonna start using it.)
*Because e-mail from Israel is such a challenge, what with the e-trunk charges, and you have to write in all caps so the e-operator understands.