President Barack Obama's right wing critics in the Jewish community need to take a chill pill. Jewish Republicans continue to look for any sign that the President is somehow anti-Israel. This week is no exception, as Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) called on Obama "to disclose the role that Jimmy Carter has in his administration as an advisor on Middle East policy." Rumor has it that the President is busy in Europe, so I'll take this opportunity to answer RJC's question: Carter is not an advisor on Middle East policy to this administration.
This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, including Matt Brooks. In fact, last August Carter's views on Israel kept him from addressing the DNC convention in Denver. The Forward reported, "Former president Jimmy Carter's controversial views on Israel cost him a place on the podium at the Democratic Party convention in late August, senior Democratic operatives acknowledged to the Forward." Furthermore, Obama's steadfast support for Israel throughout the campaign and during the first months of his presidency shows that our nation's Middle East policy differs greatly from what Carter advocates.
The continually hysterical critics of the president from within the Jewish community are out of touch with the views of the vast majority of American Jews. Brooks's statement, "The Jewish community is rightly concerned about how the Obama administration will relate to Israel," is clearly not true. According to the latest poll of the Jewish community, 76% "believe that the President supports Israel."
It is sad that former President Jimmy Carter has become so hostile towards Israel, but the fact that Obama would meet with a former president who brokered peace between Israel and Egypt should be no surprise. I'd be shocked if he refused to meet with Carter or any other previous U.S. president for that matter.
Some Jewish Republicans will never be happy with anything this president does regarding Israel. Every action will be seen as another mystical sign of this administration's desertion of Israel. Ira N. Forman, Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, calls these types of people, "nattering nabobs of negativism."
These nattering nabobs of negativism injure the long standing bi-partisan consensus on Israel for pure political gain. You would think that these fear mongerers would feel some degree of shame over their ridiculous charges ... Even if the Democrats nominated Golda Meir for the Presidential ticket they would charge that she was insufficiently pro-Israel.
One day, I hope that these nattering nabobs stop their inane political agenda and acknowledge the reality that this administration is strongly pro-Israel. Seriously, do Republican Jews think it benefits Israel to constantly challenge the President's clear indications of his supportive feelings towards Israel? They should take a chill pill, give the President a break and give him a chance to prove the sincerity of his views.