Obama and Brzezinski—Ill-Suited and Sending a Mixed Message to Jews

Brzezinski's remarks about U.S. supporters of Israel don't help Obama.

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If Sen. Barack Obama wants to make nice-nice with the Jewish community, the last person he should be allowing to make public proclamations about Jews, no matter how tenuous that person's connection to the Obama presidential campaign, is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, has long been viewed suspiciously by American Jews.

And yet the week after Obama flew to Florida to woo a Jewish audience by extolling Israel's 60th anniversary, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who has endorsed Obama and advised him on foreign policy, accused members of the American Jewish establishment of "McCarthyism" in their attitude toward critics of Israel. Why go nuclear when Brzezinski could have blazed with less destructive weapons?

Does the Obama campaign control every word that comes out of Brzezinski's mouth? Of course not. But as long as he's a prominent foreign policy consultant to the campaign, Obama's staff does at the very least wield the power to apply the occasional duct tape where necessary concerning issues of great importance to the Jewish community.

"Zbig" might as well have warned Obama not to make any appeal to Jews at all last week, as the damage caused by Brzezinski's comments was greater than the good achieved by Obama's. Brzezinski went on to say, instead, that the pro-Israel lobby in the United States is too powerful, while the slur of anti-Semitism is too readily used whenever its power is called into question.

Is Brzezinski working for Sen. Hillary Clinton on the sly?