One of the hottest charges in any ethnic community with substantial ties to a foreign country is that its members are exhibiting “dual loyalties,” eager to advance the interests of Armenia or Ireland over those of the United States of America. Naturally, this occurs in the context of disputes over Israel policy as well. But one curious element in the discourse around this topic is that the very same Jewish conservatives who I’m sure would react angrily if someone accused them of dual loyalties have no problem castigating liberal Jews for being unduly committed to our status as Americans.
Take Elliot Abrams’ offering in Commentary’s unhinged series of articles on Obama, Israel, and American Jews:
But my own sad prediction is that among non-Orthodox Jews, the real divide will be between activists (whether leaders of community organizations, synagogue officials, major donors, or regular synagogue goers) and the broader majority of Jews. The activists will dump Obama; the rest will not, for their commitment to Israel and, for that matter, to Judaism is simply less powerful than their secular religion — liberalism as represented in the Democratic Party. Whatever excuse they supply themselves (for example, the Republican candidate for president, or even vice president, will undermine “a woman’s right to choose”), they will be displaying their priorities. Israel is simply not near the top of their list.
For which reason, more committed Jews can only thank God for the greater commitment of so many evangelicals — whose party loyalties have not become a religious faith and who will indeed dump Obama if he abandons Israel in a time of peril.
But of course most Jews will vote for the political party that advances the policy agenda, including on abortion rights, that most Jews agree with. What on earth else are people supposed to do? The implication that evangelical Christians are more Jewish than most actual American Jews is an almost self-refuting assertion.