The filmmaker went to major lengths to use what he called distancing devices—shots at odd angles and no melody—to keep the audience from identifying with the murderer.
Bernie Sanders announced Sunday that he will not attend AIPAC’s annual policy conference next week. “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference,” Sanders wrote, promising that as president, he will “support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and do everything possible to bring peace and security to the region.”
In terms of the Jewish community, a Sander vs. Bloomberg match would be a moment of pride mixed with a fair amount of communal oy vey. The pride part is obvious. The oy vey relates to the not unreasonable concern over the rise of anti-Semitic stereotypes relating to either candidate. Clearly, pride overpowers concerns about haters just using this as another reason to hate, but the ride would be a tough one.
And yet, AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, should have been able to navigate this minefield a little more gracefully. The lobby, known for its political savviness, has demonstrated its mastery of political nuance in the past, knowing exactly how far it can go in stepping on the toes of one side (usually the Democrats) without alienating it altogether. AIPAC has shown its ability to remain a welcome guest and a trusted adviser regardless of the party occupying the White House or holding the majority in Congress.
This week, however, was different.
The atmosphere in the White House East Room seemed at times more like a raucous campaign event than a launch of a diplomatic initiative three years in the making. Invitees broke out in cheers as Trump praised the Israeli prime minister standing next to him, just as they did when Netanyahu gushed over Trump.
When my daughter Bracha decided to sell her apartment in Modi’in, a small city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and move to a spacious corner house in Elkana, one of the first settlements over the so-called Green Line, no ideology or nefarious government scheme played any part in her decision.
Yossi Shain is a Professor of Political Science at Tel Aviv University and a Professor of Comparative Government and Diaspora Politics at Georgetown University. His most recent book, The Israeli Century and the Israelization of Judaism, is currently a bestseller in Israel and will come out in English in 2020. Moment senior editor Laurence Wolff interviewed Shain in Tel Aviv.
The Israeli ex-pat community makes up anywhere from 300,000 to 800,000 members. Most are concentrated in New York and Los Angeles, rendering them useless in terms of electoral strategy. So why bother with this tiny sliver of a constituency?