Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Window On Israel

America has largely been bound by its relationship with Israel.  While the Jewish electorate is fairly small and remarkably concentrated, they have a disproportionate pull on the electorate, in sort of the same way Cuban-Americans do.  Their importance to the Democratic party is unquestioned and their alliance with evangelical Christians, who want a unified Jerusalem to hasten the Second Coming, helps cement them with the GOP on neoconservative foreign policies.

But Netanyahu's brazen decision to inject himself into an American political debate has led him to be allied with the GOP at a moment of extreme partisanship and polarization.  The closer he gets to the Republicans, the more - by definition - he pushed the Democrats away.  And if he loses support from US Jewish groups, that could give Democrats a chance to distance themselves from Netanyahu's government while still plausibly supporting Israel.

I'm really fond of my UN sanctions idea, but it is dependent on the lack of a Jewish Democratic revolt.  Has Netanyahu gone far enough to allow that space to develop between himself and American Jews?

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