Several months ago, Ha’aretz’ man in D.C., Shmuel Rosner, launched a Web feature titled “The Israel Factor.” It essentially amounts to a political beauty contest, with Rosner’s panel of experts determining which presidential hopefuls are the most pro-Israel.
Barack Obama opened at the bottom, and remains way behind after several rounds of deliberations.
Why? It’s not clear, even to Rosner, who dedicated an entire post – “Why Obama Came Last” – to the mystery. Rosner noted that pro-Israel activists in Chicago, the ones who know the Illinois senator best, are quite happy with his support for the Jewish state. As Rosner suggested, it’s just his judges who are uneasy because they don’t know much about Obama.
On Thursday, in some sort of weird Cyberspace logic loop, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago-Sun Times cited Rosner’s rankings in a blog post previewing a major policy speech on Israel that Obama is set to deliver Friday. Rosner then put up a post noting Sweet’s post.
Meanwhile, it’s still not clear why anyone should question Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides. The best thing we could come up with is that, according to Amazon, customers who purchased Jimmy Carter’s “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” also bought Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope.”