September 21, 2011

Thank you, President Obama...?

If Jewish Democrats were smart, they would circulate a petition across cyber-space, gathering signatures to thank President Obama -- loud and clear -- for his forceful pro-Israel advocacy this week at the United Nations. They might also take out "Thank you, President Obama" ads in Jewish community papers -- at least in time for next week's big New Year's editions. And they would include positive quotes from Prime Minister Netanyahu about Obama's promise to veto membership for a new Palestinian state, as well as Netanyahu's latest statement that Obama deserves a "badge of honor". But only if.

Meanwhile, Jewish organizations are busy collecting signatures addressed to the United Nations itself, which is good for raising awareness in the community even though it's unlikely to have any impact on the eventual votes in the UN Security Council and General Assembly. The Republican-oriented Emergency Committee for Israel took out ads this week condemning the Palestinians and the President in the same breath.

The Jewish Democrats could try to regain (or better, gain) the initiative on Obama and Israel by calling on their Republican counterparts to stand with President Obama at this watershed moment for the Jewish state, etc. But instead, despite apparently vigorous conversations on how to improve their messaging to American Jewish voters, they seem to be reacting to the Republican broadsides and highlighting exemplary but very discrete actions, such as the President's recent efforts on behalf of Israeli personnel trapped inside the Cairo embassy.

I look forward.

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