There's something distasteful about this whole need for Barack Obama to assure us that he is, indeed, the best friend Israel could ever have. Jeffrey Goldberg has been beaten up some, but I've enjoyed much of his work. Indeed if you want to see how great reporting can be prescient read this piece, pay close attention to the section of Missouri Dems, Claire McCaskill and Hillary Clinton. But it's amazing how much of Goldberg's Q&A is dedicated to Obama proving that he does believe in Israel's right to exist--as opposed to, I guess, believing Israel deserves to be destroyed in a downpour of hellfire.
But Obama, labors under the burden of being a presumed Hamas agent, and thus twice he has to weigh in on whether "justice is on Israel's side." Given the nature of people, I don't even know what that means. Hell, I bleed red, black and green, but I'd never presume that justice was on black folks' side--at least not as a post-25-year-old. Indeed, these days, I'm much more concerned with getting black folks on justice's side, as the saying goes.
Which leads me to my biggest pet peeve--Obama has repeatedly mourned the loss of a natural affinity between blacks and Jews in this country. As some of you know, I think this idea is mostly hokum. More than any statement on how blacks and Jews have ever existed, the ongoing funeral for the great black-Jewish union shows how New York, the civil rights movement, and the academy can combine to distort reality. I know plenty of lefty black intellectuals who've formed great friendships with lefty Jewish intellectuals, much of it based on the commonalities in historical narrative. That would be a pretty apt description of me and one of my best friends. In other cases those friendships have bloomed into romantic partnerships, and indeed, at times--especially here in New York--it feels like most of the biracial cats you know are black and Jewish.