Are Pro-Israel American Jews Warming to Obama?

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Ben Smith (still writing in Politico, as if he's not busy enough with his new job), takes notice of a softening in opinion among hawkish Jews about President Obama:

"Most of the pro-Israel community is now convinced that when President Obama says he will prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability, he means it," said Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.). He cited a litany of muscular actions, including SEAL raids on Osama bin Laden and Somali kidnappers, drone strikes around the world, and a shift of American military assets toward Iran, which he said have "for the moment given pause to those who wondered about the president's mettle in using force against America's and Israel's enemies."
The shift has had consequences through Democratic politics. Rothman, redistricted into a tough primary with Rep. Bill Pascrell, is seeking to draw a contrast based on Rothman's hawkishly pro-Israel record.
That's no longer a position that would put him in conflict with the popular Democratic president.
"Constituents and relatives who were otherwise regularly calling to inquire whether the president really felt the need to protect Israel in his guts are not now calling me so much with those kinds of questions," he said.
Indeed, the targeted actions against Iran - and in particular the assassinations of civilian scientists, for which the U.S. has not taken credit - have made it difficult to make the case that Obama is being insufficiently ruthless in his approach. (Difficult, but not impossible: Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton recently described assassinations as "half-measures.")

By the way, a Boltonesque "full-measure" re: Iran would be shooting an Iranian nuclear scientist, burying him, then digging him up and shooting him again.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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