[36. Dual loyalty?

Sidney Zion quotes Alan Dershowitz in his review of Chutzpah (New York Times Book Review of June 2): "We must no longer accept as inevitable that American presidents must all be Christians." The problem is that if a Jew becomes president one wonders if he will be looking after the interests of this country and its citizens or those of Israel and its Jewish citizens. The reason I am saying this is that right after last November elections, the New York Jewish Week published an article by David Friedman entitled "Israel loses a friend". It is not the homeless or those without medical insurance who lost a friend but Israel. And who is this friend? Sen. Boschwitz who "played a crucial role in behind-the-scenes arm-twisting of those wavering in support" of Israel, not of the unemployed.

In another issue, the Jewish Week reported that Rep. Larry Smith resigned his posts on the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees. Why? Because he wanted to "get closer to the levers controlling foreign aid to Israel," the interests of his constituency being far less important. The interesting point here is that he resigned before his appointment to the Foreign Operations Subcommittee. Commenting on this "gamble", the Jewish Week said that "Smith could have found himself stranded on the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government Subcommittees instead of Foreign Operations." Thank God for Israel his gamble paid off and he was not "stranded" on one of those minor Subcommittees that might be helping Americans.

If this is the attitude of Jewish Congressmen, what are we to except from a Jewish president? And what advice Messrs. Zion and Dershowitz can give to the Christians and Muslims of Israel? Or should they resign themselves to the fact that being one day prime ministers of a Jewish state is an eventuality that should not even cross their minds?

June 7, 1991]