Spencer Ackerman flags a Shmuel Rosner article on Samantha Power in which she responds to allegations that she hates Jews, etc., etc. The article’s not terrible, but anything that refers to Noah Pollack, who’s been peddling these smears, as a “yound and talented writer,” is bound to be at least somewhat problematic. To make a long story short, though, first Obama was an anti-semite because Zbigniew Brzezinski is an anti-semite. Then Obama was an anti-semite because Robert Malley is an anti-semite. And now according to Pollack it’s Power who who’s tainted by Jew-hatred.
In part, you’re just seeing tawdry political smears against a popular and charismatic progressive politician. But in large part we’re just seeing Episode 7,000 of one of the longest-running shows in the U.S. foreign policy debate in which nobody is allowed to say that any Israeli actions have caused anyone to suffer, have been responsible for any problems for the United States, have in any way contributed to the inability to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict, etc.
It’d be nice to see the Obama campaign actually punch back on this kind of thing. To note that if Commentary‘s out to get you, it’s probably because you’re doing something right. Something like, perhaps, dissenting from the maniacal Commentary worldview that’s done so little over the past seven years to make the United States or Israel more secure. Instead, they’re kind of slinking away apologetically lest they offend the broad middle of American (and Jewish) opinion on Israel which certainly wants the U.S. to take a “pro-Israel” posture but certainly doesn’t define that posture in a Commentaryish way as involving a limitless commitment to securing West Bank settlements and avoiding diplomatic engagement with Syria and Iran. It’s a pretty a disappointing lack of vision on Obama’s part, though I’m hardly seeing a better alternative.