Over at Open Zion this week, I ask why American Jews care about Obama’s kishkes:
So Obama is going to Israel. Like any number of my secular Jewish friends in their early twenties, our president has been persuaded that he needs to visit. On Monday, the Obama campaign announced, “We can expect him to visit Israel in a second term.”
Though conservatives have long attacked Obama for not travelling to Israel as president, that didn’t stop them from attacking him for his proposed trip. Over at Commentary, the contradiction was particularly sharp. This month’s Jonathan Tobin, saying Obama’s vow of a second-term Israel visit “merely worsened his difficulties with Jewish and pro-Israel voters” debated last month’s Jonathan Tobin, who chided Obama for not visiting Israel. I guess we should cheer any ideological diversity at Commentary. Still, the real moral of this partisan hackwork is that the “Why won’t Obama visit Israel?” complaint, and the broader genre of “But does Obama love Israel in his kishkes?” questions, just cannot be answered by anything Obama says or does. These aren’t political argument; they’re not even really about Obama. They’re internal American Jewish anxieties, projected into politics.
To find out which anxieties, read the rest.