It’s not just those on the right in the Jewish community who are concerned about the increasingly acrimonious spat between the administration and pro-Israel groups.
“My biggest concern here is that the more we frame this debate with vitriol, the more likely we inflict severe damage for the Jewish community,” said Greg Rosenbaum, chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, which supports Obama’s Iran deal.
He said the growing ugliness between Obama and Jewish groups — paired with remarks like that of Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee, who claimed with the Iran deal that Obama “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven” — could be harmful.
“I’ve used the word ‘fratricide’ to describe the terms of the debate,” he continued, arguing that Obama — faced with tens of millions of dollars in opposition ads — “can’t sit there with his hands tied and not use the arguments at his disposal because the people on the other side think that hurts them.”
An official at a second progressive Jewish organization, who spoke anonymously to protect his group’s relationship with the White House, described Obama as having punched “below the belt” in his rhetoric opposing the deal.
But he indicated that Jewish groups using hardball tactics to oppose the deal have to some extent invited the harsh criticism, because “when you play rough, that’s what happens.”
He also predicted that Obama’s anti-war approach could be effective in garnering the support of “rank-and-file” American Jews, most of whom opposed the Iraq War and voted for him as president. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»