Jon Podhoretz doesn’t appear to like the idea of having to choose between America and Israel:
Today, the president of the United States told the prime minister of Israel he was reassessing America’s “options” with regard to Israel in light of remarks Benjamin Netanyahu made about potential Palestinian statehood and an election-day Facebook post urging Israeli right-wingers to go to the polls on Monday to counter a surge in Israeli Arab voters.
The crisis in the relationship we discuss in our new editorial statement has entered a new and potentially unprecedented phase.
It may well be that the president is going to present American Jews with a choice over the coming months no American president should ask us to make—to become parties to and participants in his effort to create what, in 2009, he called “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel.
The question, of course, is to what Podhoretz is truly objecting. Does he, a U.S. citizen, genuinely find it difficult to choose between the U.S.A. and Israel? Or is he more truly concerned that, as the Spanish Inquisition did with the false conversos, the president intends to expose where the true loyalties of the Jews in America lie?
There should be an amount of “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel. They are two separate and very different countries, and while they share some interests, they also have other interests that are distinct, and in some cases, even divergent. An alliance between the two countries makes sense. Attempting to force the two countries to march in lockstep does not.
The mere fact that Podhoretz would appear to oppose recognition of this basic reality is sufficient to raise some questions where his true and singular allegiance lies. It is telling that the name of his piece is “The Crisis Has Exploded” when the vast majority of Americans have no idea that there is any such crisis at all.
It’s not anti-Semitic to observe that no man can serve two masters. But it is literally anti-American for a U.S. citizen to call for the sacrifice of U.S. interests on Israel’s behalf. There is nothing wrong with being pro-Israel. I am pro-Israel. But there is definitely something wrong with selling out what is supposed to be your own country, regardless of what reason you give to justify it.