Here’s how crazy this election has become: Republican Jews are beginning to take Ralph Nader at his word.
A Republican Jewish Coalition email titled “Nader Calls Out Obama’s ‘Pro-Palestinian’ Past” quotes the Pinto-phobic election spoiler from Sunday’s “Meet the Press” appearance. Here’s what Nader told Tim Russert, referring to Obama:
He’s run a brilliant tactical campaign. But his better instincts and his knowledge have been censored by himself. And I give you the example, the Palestinian-Israeli issue, which is a real off the table issue for the candidates. So don’t touch that, even though it’s central to our security and to, to the situation in the Middle East. He was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate, during he ran–during the state Senate. Now he’s, he’s supporting the Israeli destruction of the tiny section called Gaza with a million and a half people. He doesn’t have any sympathy for a civilian death ratio of about 300-to-1; 300 Palestinians to one Israeli.
Here’s how RJC executive director Matt Brooks spins Nader’s (unsubstantiated) assertion that Obama “was pro-Palestinian” before he ran for the state Senate:
“Ralph Nader added to the debate on Senator Obama’s views on Israel and the Middle East and raised serious doubts and questions about the true leanings of Senator Obama on these important issues….
People should be very skeptical of Barack Obama’s shaky Middle East policies. When a long-time political activist like Ralph Nader, with a well-documented, anti-Israel bias, claims that Senator Obama shares this anti-Israel bias, that is alarming,” said Matt Brooks. “If Senator Obama supports Ralph Nader’s policies, which consistently condemn Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism, and if Sen. Obama has only reversed his positions to run for president, it once again raises serious questions about his grasp of the geo-political realities of the Middle East and puts into doubt his commitment to the safety and security of Israel. These are important questions we in the community will be asking.”
Here’s another question: Since when did the ”pro-Israel” community start relying on Ralph Nader to vet presidential candidates?Nader, whom the RJC reminds us has a “well-documented, anti-Israel bias,” is disappointed in Obama because Obama has not been anti-Israel. In fact, according to Nader, Obama has apparently supported the destruction of Gaza and doesn’t care how many Palestinans the Israelis have killed. The average listener might think, “So if someone with an anti-Israel bias disagrees with Obama, wouldn’t that mean Obama is pro-Israel?”
But wait. Nader may be unreliable in his Israel politics, suggests the RJC, but when it comes to characterizing Obama’s “true leanings,” he is suddenly unimpeachable.
(Does the RJC also take Nader at his word when he says Israel is complicit in the “destruction of the tiny section called Gaza with a million and a half people”?)
Then there is this rhetorical gem from Brooks: “…if Sen. Obama has only reversed his positions to run for president…” Why “if”? Obama has been in elected office since 1997, and public figure for a number of years before that. Can the RJC confirm Nader’s characterization of Obama’s ”pro-Palestinian” former life in word or deed?
The RJC is about winning votes for Republicans — it’s not an American Jewish policy-making body on Israel or anything elese. But there is this weird trend afoot that the words and actions of politicians are no longer enough to count them as pro-Israel — somewhow, they need to convince us of their “true leanings,” that their blood runs blue and white. It’s a bizarre new standard — and an earlier generation of Jewish Republicans would blanch to think that their offspring would risk alienating pro-Israel politicians of either party with innuendo and shifting goal lines.