It’s truly a strange moment in Israeli and Jewish politics.
The Israeli Prime Minister comes to town for a speech a Baruch, and there’s not a single prominent New York politician in the audience or up on stage, angling to share a photograph with Sharon. Instead, disengagement in Gaza means that both sets of people who dominate the Middle East debate here — the hard-liners on right and left — dislike Sharon.
“Obviously absent were any elected officials on any level,” notes a Jewish blogger who has a long account of the event.
Malcolm Hoenlein, the event’s host, didn’t deny that a couple of major politicial figures had the option of coming, but he told us the main reason for their absence was that the Israelis wanted to make this a community event, not a political one. He also told us Sharon had a private meeting with Mike yesterday.
Meanwhile, in further evidence that there’s little political downside to the hardest of hard-line stances on Israel, particularly — oddly enough — for non-Jewish politicians, we’re told that State Senator John Sampson, who’s running for Brooklyn District Attorney, will accompany Assemblyman Dov Hikind on an anti-disengagement trip to Gaza next month.