Ilhan Omar Can't Break the U.S.-Israel Bond

(Wall Street Journal) Walter Russell Mead - Rep. Ilhan Omar is a gifted and ambitious politician who thinks Jew-baiting will help her career. Will the new wave of anti-Israel activists succeed in breaking up the U.S.-Israel alliance? The answer is almost certainly no, less because of the Benjamins than the weakness of the conspiratorial anti-Israel case. The argument that the American Jewish community - animated by slavish loyalty to the Jewish state, armed with unlimited financial resources, and abetted by fundamentalist Christians hoping for Armageddon - has imposed a pro-Israel policy on the gentile majority strikes most Americans as implausible and lame. Americans who follow politics at all know that American Jews are anything but monolithic on the subject of Israel. Americans also know that Christian support for Israel is not confined to Bible-thumping fundamentalists. It has been widespread among Christians of many theological views who admire Israel's economic success and military strength, and who abhor the venomous Jew-hatred that is so regrettably prevalent among some Muslims today. The theory that "the Jews" control American foreign policy by distributing Benjamins to elected officials reflects not just anti-Semitism but contempt for the American people as a whole. Omar, like many other anti-Israel activists, seems to believe that mixing crackpot theories about U.S. politics with insults to voters' intelligence will change the way Americans see the Middle East conflict. When this strategy fails, as it invariably does, anti-Israel activists attribute the failure not to the weakness of their arguments but once more to the Benjamins of those oh-so-clever Jews, and to the stupidity of the hypnotized non-Jewish voters. The writer is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College, and a fellow at the Hudson Institute.

2019-03-12 00:00:00

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