A freshman House Republican on Wednesday singled out "most" liberal American Jews for not being sufficiently pro-Israel.
Rep. Joe Walsh (Ill.) questioned why U.S. Jews have not expressed more outrage over President Obama's demand that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process be based around the 1967 borders, with mutually agreeable land swaps.
"The short answer is that most American Jews are liberal, and most American liberals side with the Palestinians and vague notions of 'peace' instead of with Israel’s well-being and security," Walsh wrote in an op-ed for the conservative Daily Caller.
Walsh, who is Catholic, added that the American Jewish community should be more pro-Israel.
"Like the president, the U.N. and most of Europe, too many American Jews aren’t as pro-Israel as they should be and too many share his belief that the Palestinians are victims of Israeli occupation," he wrote. "Nothing could be further from the truth."
While members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have broken with Obama over his statements about the Israeli-Palestinian border, few if any have publicly questioned the response from the Jewish community.
Several major Jewish groups have defended the president's position. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said that Obama understands the "nuances" involved in the conflict.
"This administration has come a long way in two years in terms of understanding of the nuances involved in bringing about Israeli-Palestinian peace and a better understanding of the realities and challenges confronting Israel," the group said in a statement last week following Obama's White House speech on the Middle East, in which he laid out his vision for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) released a statement after Obama's speech at its annual conference, noting that the president's position is not that Israel should withdraw to the 1967 border — a border Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called "indefensible."
But Walsh accused the president of sympathizing with the Palestinians and putting their interests ahead of Israel's, citing Obama's 2007 remark that "nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people."
"Most U.S. presidents have followed the old paradigm and tried to be an honest broker between the two sides," he wrote. "President Obama seems only to pay lip service to even that role, and clearly his sympathies lie with the Palestinians. He is not capable of achieving peace in the Middle East because he is not pro-Israel."