Citing an unnamed Obama administration official, Israel Radio reported Thursday that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry blame the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for encouraging American Jews to criticize the White House for its foreign policy, particularly regarding Israel.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the official said that the Obama administration “has informed Israeli government figures that the president and secretary of state are disappointed over repeated attacks made against them by leading members of the Jewish community in the US,” as if Israel controls such criticism.
If true, the Obama administration’s outlook is one of complete ignorance, tinged with prejudice and more than a hint of “Israel lobby” paranoia. It is the Obama administration’s own failures in the Middle East that have encouraged criticism, from Jews and others alike. There are also plenty of American Jews defending Obama.
Furthermore, some American Jews are among Israel’s most forthright critics, as well. The idea that Israel has any influence over American Jews’ criticism of the U.S. government is worse than absurd, but conjures up antisemitic conspiracy theories that previous administrations would have been embarrassed to endorse.