Obama and Which Jews?

What Women Really Think
June 11 2009 4:51 PM

Obama and Which Jews?

The crazy thing though, Hanna, about the fringe obsession with Obama and Jewish conspiracy is that it's happening even as the Jews who worried that Obama wouldn't show enough allegiance to Israel are worrying more. Before the election, Obama the candidate held the hands of the little old Jewish ladies with blue hair in Florida who want a president who will put Israel first no matter what - even when the Israeli government doesn't necessarily deserve that kind of fealty - and reassured them that he wouldn't move even the teeniest step away from Bush's Israel stance. (I won't call it pro-Israel, because I don't think it actually works out that way all the time.) And in the end a lot of those Jews in Florida and other states voted for him. Now Obama as president is riling Bibi Netanyahu and talking about Palestine in his big address to Muslims in Cairo and getting stern about Israel's settlements in the West Bank. So how do we explain that Obama's relationship with Jews is being caricatured as too close even as he makes some of them nervous? Maybe James von Brunn picked up sick signals that are even less grounded in reality than usual.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

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