An important addition to the comments earlier about Huckabee from TPM Reader PD …
As one Landsman to another, may I disagree strongly with Huckabee’s comments?
The American Jewish community is divided about lots of things, it’s our nature. One thing we tend NOT to be divided about is support for Israel. But support doesn’t mean merely blind acceptance, which is something Republicans never seem to understand in general. We can support Israel while disagreeing—loudly and forcefully at times—about specific behaviors of its government. As an American Jewish liberal Democrat, I can support a 2-state solution (which, to my knowledge, remains official Israeli government policy), oppose the expansion of settlements, rail about Bibi’s government or at least his governing style, and still wholly, fundamentally support the state of Israel. And, you know what? I resent Huckabee and his ilk for implying that my support of Israel is anything less than total just because it doesn’t fit into his narrow prism of what he perceives that support should be.
Let me add a few points to this.
First, this is somewhat similar to the attitudes of many Republicans stateside who believe that you’re only for America if you agree with all the policies of its present government.
But I think it also gets at one of the points I was making before, which is not just intensity of support for Israel but the nature of support. Like I said, ‘supporting’ Israel to hasten the day when God condemns the Jews to perdition does have some real world consequences.
Specifically, the religious right’s support for Israel is highly utilitarian — a means to an end. I think it would be wrong to imagine that evangelical support for Israel is so ‘thin’ that for some it does not contain real affection for Israelis and belief in the broader Zionist project. But fundamentally the support is about eschatology, which happens to coincide with the territorial maximalism of the Israeli (Revisionist) right and in other ways with the Religious Zionists.
Jews’ support for Israel, which is by no means monolithic or universal, is fundamentally more durable (and I would say infinitely more profound) since it is tied to identification as a people much more than to this or that policy. You can see this at the margins sometimes when you have folks like Pat Robertson who are simultaneously rabidly pro-Israel and also trafficking in various anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
In a different set of circumstances I doubt you’d have many evangelicals saying their version of what PD does.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.