Thursday, April 01, 2010

Faux amis

This op-ed, unfortunately, makes sense. My main disagreement is with Gary Bass's argument that De Gaulle's notorious remark about Jews being domineering was "not a sentimental stance." Not only a sentimental stance, fine. And perhaps not sentimental at all, because who knows what's in anyone's heart of hearts, but it was any rate, as I understand it, about more than Middle East policy. De Gaulle, the good guy from World War II, was breaking from France's own Jewish population. He called Jews, not Israelis, domineering. International alliances shift, but what matters at least as much is how things play out domestically. (Best summed up in this documentary.)

I'd imagine that many American Jews don't care much either way about US support - rhetorical or financial - to Israel. Some don't give it much thought, and others might even see advantages to less 'special friendship' between the two countries. But many American Jews would nevertheless feel less secure in the US if a real break were made. Particularly if it came in the form of a "domineering"-style pronouncement (which would, agreed, be unlikely, at least coming from the top), or any remarks that conflated Israelis with American Jews.

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