Roger L. Simon

The Waterboy

Rahm Emanuel’s idolatrous and predictable oped in the Washington PostObama’s commitment to Israel — would not be worth commenting on were it not that the perpetual love affair between Americans Jews and the Democratic Party… for the first time ever… perhaps, maybe, perhaps… is approaching a break up.

As Alana Goodman aptly put it at Commentary’s Contentions blog: “You know Democrats are getting panicky about President Obama’s alienating the pro-Israel community when they drag out Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to defend the president’s statements.”

Goodman goes on to eviscerate the mayor’s argument:

Emanuel, unsurprisingly, misses the major point here. The problem with Obama’s speech was that he called for the 1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations, without reaffirming that Israel would absorb the Israeli-majority settlement blocs across the green line. He also didn’t reject the Palestinian right of return. In other words, he implied that the U.S. would take the Palestinian negotiating position on the issue, putting our ally Israel at a significant disadvantage.

I would say deliberately misses the point, rather than “unsurprisingly,” but no matter. Goodman then correctly wonders whether anyone is listening now that the Chicago mayor is no longer in the White House. Let’s hope not. They would be fools.

But, regardless of the answer, a larger question emerges, one with more ramifications. Who actually is Rahm Emanuel and why is he saying these things? More precisely, why is a putative Zionist, someone with deep family and personal ties to Israel, carrying water for Barack Obama on this matter?

The short answer is — that’s what he does. Emanuel is a Chicago politician to the core and they carry water for the next up the ladder. Forget who you are and what your real feelings may be, the important thing is who is in charge, who is the capo-di-tutti-capi. In the world of Rahm Emanuel, that is Obama right now — even if the president is destroying the US economy, what’s left of our international relations and the state of Israel, if he can, subconsciously or consciously, into the bargain.

I say subconsciously or consciously because Emanuel is a slave to the confused mind of Barack Obama, trapped, as Obama is, between the shopworn leftwing ideologies of his youth (from Ayers to Khalidi) that still flutter around in his brain and the brutal real world realities that are closing on the president as unemployment increases, the dollar sinks and bankruptcy looms. There is no way to reconcile these things. The welfare state — the linchpin of liberalism — is dead. The situation is untenable inside and outside Obama’s mind. And we are all living the nightmare results.

Nevertheless, Emanuel, ever the loyal subaltern, helps his overlord circle the wagons, even if somewhere deep in his unconscious, he can imagine Obama at the infamous Rashid Khalidi farewell party, nodding and smiling at the worst anti-Semitic excrescences. Emanuel probably tells himself that Obama does not really believe all that — he just had to be there. And possibly he doesn’t. Some of the time anyway…. But some of the time he does. Because Obama is a confused man.

So when we are reading Emanuel’s piece, we are doing more than running our eyes rapidly down another dull oped. We are taking a time trip back into the 1930s when Jews made all kinds of rationalizations for all kinds of behavior. We all know the results of that.

Now that the situation for Israel is grave again, the Emanuels of the world are not to be excused. Their ritual cries of “working from within” ring hollow in the extreme, all the more so as the likes of Alan Dershowitz and Ed Koch are finally edging away from Obama. It’s time for a change — and a real one for a change.

Returning to the “perhaps, maybe, perhaps” of my opening, whenever I post on here that Jewish voters are finally starting to move away from the Democratic Party, I get a chorus of “It’ll never happen… they all come back for the election… self-destructive… etc., etc.” Well, as I said, “perhaps, maybe, perhaps.” But I would remind the naysayers of one thing — their reaction is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nothing happens unless you do it. Or as the zen monks would say, “You can’t get there by trying. But you won’t get there if you don’t try.”