For the fundamentalist rabbis who run Israel’s working-class, ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Shas Party, the new houses represent earmarks. But it’s one thing to put earmarks in the budget and another to foment a crisis between Israel and its benefactor over them.
“It’s not entirely clear to me that the Shas Party knows who Joe Biden is or cares,” Jeffrey Goldberg told me.
“They have very narrow theological interests that don’t conform to the theological interests of American Jews,” he continued. “The high-tech entrepreneurs of Tel Aviv relate to the Shas Party about as well as the Jews of the Upper West Side relate to the Tea Party. The Shas Party is not overly attuned to the American-Israel relationship or the peace process.”
Goldberg also points out that “what most right-wing Israelis don’t understand is that even American Jews — especially the nearly 80 percent who voted for Obama — disaggregate what is in the best interest of Israel from what is in the best interest of the settlers.”
Fair. Balanced. American.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
MoDo goes to Israel
And delivers a rare, albeit unoriginal, contribution to (American) discourse: