His article reveals a deep misunderstanding about the nature of Israel and what it means to most American Jews.
There is something fundamentally wrong when I care more about Israel than the American Jewish community.Mr. Davis appears to be unaware that the Democratic Party has, historically, been just as supportive of Israel as the Republican Party. President Harry Truman recognized the state of Israel minutes after its founding in 1948. It was President Dwight Eisenhower (Republican) who in 1956 told the Israelis that they had to leave the Sinai Peninsula (after they seized it in collusion with the British and the French). Richard Nixon, who seems to have been an anti-semite, airlifted arms to Israel after the Yom Kippur War broke out. President George H.W. Bush threatened to withhold loan guarantees from Israel in order to get Prime Minister Shamir to the negotiating table. President Bill Clinton tried to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians at the end of his term in 2000. President George W. Bush supported almost everything the Israeli government wanted, but refused Israel permission to fly over Iraq on the way to bomb the Iranian nuclear installations. But all of these presidents, and the U.S. Congress, have for many decades supported Israel, regardless of their party affiliations.
As a Christian, I have the most fundamental of differences with my Jewish brothers and sisters. I believe Jesus is the Son of God, and they don't. But when it comes to the precious value of Israel as an ally that needs protection and support, we have another disagreement. I am passionate about it, and they are not.
I mean that collectively. To the Jewish readers who truly care about their faith homeland: I know you exist. And I ask you: Why aren't you in the majority?
The basis for my observation is the whopping 77 percent of the Jewish vote garnered by Barack Obama in 2008. This is roughly the same percentage won by Democratic presidential nominees John Kerry and Al Gore
I have no problem absorbing the apparent fact that America's Jewish population leans sharply liberal. Fine. So do America's black community and its Hispanic community. But in siding with Democrats– and this president in particular – Jewish voters placed a leftist agenda above the interests of the nation that is their faith homeland.
Barack Obama may be more liberal than the current crop of hard-right Republicans, but that doesn't make him any less supportive of Israel. And unlike them, he recognizes that the settlements are an obstacle to peace negotiations with the Palestinians. (On their side, the Palestinians also have many obstacles to peace negotiations with Israel, including the fact that they are split into Hamas and Fatah).
The second problem with his essay is his reference to Israel as the "faith homeland" of American Jews. I must admit this is the first time I have heard this curious phrase. In all of my reading about Zionism, Israel is referred to as, among other things, the national homeland of the Jewish people, or as the state of the Jewish people. That is, all the Jewish people, regardless of whether they are religious or not. Being Jewish does not mean that one belongs to a particular "faith." There are Jewish atheists and agnostics who are Zionists. Being Jewish may mean that one practices the Jewish religion - but unlike Christianity, Judaism as a religion is not centered around faith. From the Protestant standpoint, in fact, Judaism is centered around works, which classic Protestant theology has a lot of problems with.
By calling Israel the "faith homeland" of the American Jewish community, Mr. Davis is denying the way that many Jews define themselves - as members of a worldwide people, as members of the Jewish nation. He is trying to force Jewish identity into a Protestant model. There are some Jews who probably would agree with him - this was certainly the model of the classic Reform movement in the United States - but I suspect that most Jews would find this term as strange as I do.