I can’t say that I agree with Chuck Schumer’s criticism of Obama’s Mideast policy, in tone or substance, but this sort of criticism of Schumer is just grotesque: Philip Weiss giddily embraces the allegation that Schumer is guilty of “dual loyalty.”
I love that journalists are finally beginning to sound like journalists on obvious questions. And I like the dual-loyalty issue, because… it’s real; and voters deserve to be informed on the question. Oh and something else. A lot of liberals like to blame the Christian Zionists for our policy in the Middle East. Does Christian Zionism have anything to do with Schumer’s advocacy? Or that of his protege Anthony Weiner? Or the abandonment of Obama by a significant portion of his own political base on this question? Does it explain Dennis Ross running the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute and then running Iran policy under Obama?
Where do you start with this? Of course, you’d have to prove that given an irrefutable choice between a policy that helps Israel and harms the United States, Schumer and the other “dual loyalists” will always side with Israel. But when is that ever irrefutable? And just because a president declares a policy good for America, does that make it so? That would sort of subvert democracy, no?
Weiss’ definition of loyalty is accepting a policy that HE and folks who think like him think is best for the United States (or, better yet, worse for Israel, I suspect). Disagree with Weiss on Israel, ergo, you must be a double agent.
At worst, Schumer is guilty of pandering to a Jewish constituency that happens to hold hawkish views on Israel, as is their right. That doesn’t make him disloyal, it makes him a politician.
As for Weiss’ other questions — not one holds up to scrutiny. Obama hasn’t lost a “significant portion” of the Jewish community based on the latest Israel dust-up (to the chagrin of the pro-Israel right). Anthony Weiner is chasing the same voters as Schumer. And that someone has worked for a wonky ethnic think-tank (one devoted less to Mideast affairs than Jewish affiliation and identity issues) is no proof of “disloyalty.” It’s only proof that Weiss is happy to traffic in McCarthyism under the guise of patriotism. Yucch.
The Forward has a piece this week on the re-emergence of the dual loyalty libel.