Friday, February 15, 2008

Obama and the Middle East

Philip Weiss and Justin Raimondo have posted interesting stuff on the topic. I think that among members of the "organized" American-Jewish community there is a lot of concern about him, much more than has been exprssed publicly. It's not that he is regarded as a "Moslem." He is just someone whom they cannot take for granted and who could turn out to be another Carter (he'll to be make peace and be a "honest broker") or --God forbid! -- could become a "Jesse-Jackson Lite." (There has been a lot of tensions between Jews and blacks over Israel and other issues). But I don't think that AIPAC and by extension, the Israeli government want to be depicted as the force that has tried to sabotage chance of the first African-American figure in getting into the White House, especially since he is backed also by so many Democrats, including young voters. Hence the opposition to him among "Jewish leaders" tends to be low-key (reflected perhaps in the funds that Hillary is getting in recent days). The "Jewish vote" could still play a marginal role in the Democratic primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania. But I don't think that it's going to make a difference. And based on anecdotal evidence, many young American-Jews like Obama. It's the Hispanics in Texas and the blue-collar types that are going to determine the outcome of the next primaries. But if Obama runs against McCain, expect a fierce competition over Jewish voters, although my prediction is that the majority of American-Jewish voters are going to vote for the Democratic candidate.