by David Safier
David Gregory appears to be confused about the nature of Jews and "Leaders." According to Talking Points memo, on today's Meet the Press, Gregory called Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu “Leader of the Jews,” talked about his role as "leader of the Jewish People” and asked him his opinion about Obama by saying to Netanyahu, “You are the leader of the Jewish people.”
Wrong, wrong and wrong. Netanyahu is the leader of Israel in kind of (though not exactly) the same way Obama is leader of the U.S. Neither speaks for everyone in their respective countries, but each was elected to his position at the top of their respective governments. Though Israel is officially a Jewish state, there are many non-Jews in Israel. So the most accurate thing you can say is, Netanyahu is the elected leader [i.e., Prime Minister] of Israel.
Netanyahu doesn't "lead" this Jew. Never has, never will. David Ben Gurion didn't lead me either. Likewise Golda Meir and all the other Israeli leaders. To the extent I am "led," it is by the President of the United States, in the only country where I am a citizen. And for the record, there is no Pope-like figure in the Jewish faith, no one who deserves anything like the title, "leader of the Jewish people."
David Gregory tweeted a non-apology apology, saying it would have been “better to say he’s leader of jewish state.” David, if you didn't self correct after three misstatements during your on-air interview with Netanyahu, you're clearly not up to speed on the allegiance Jews feel to the country they live in and the affinity -- but not allegiance -- some (but by no means all) Jews feel toward the state of Israel.