Tensions in the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination are mirrored in the American Jewish community. As the gap between the front-runners narrowed in the primaries, the clash between the two Jewish camps has become more heated.
Official Israel is making an effort to maintain a respectable neutrality. Has-beens are being called into the ring, like a former ambassador to Washington, Dan Ayalon, who jabbed Obama in a sensitive spot – the volume of his support for Israel. Ayalon is not alone. Jewish advisers and non-Jewish supporters are almost obsessively occupied with searching for skeletons in the black candidate’s past.
The Republican Party’s neoconservative clique is trawling archives for “anti-Israeli” essays by advisers who had been seen in Obama’s staff. Robert Malley, who was President Bill Clinton’s special assistant during the Camp David talks, joined Obama. The neoconservatives reached Malley’s father, a Jew of Egyptian descent, who, alas, kept childhood ties with Yasser Arafat. Malley junior is accused of publishing a joint article with an Oslo-supporting Palestinian, in which they dared to argue that Ehud Barak played a major role in the Camp David summit’s failure in July 2000. [complete article]