Much is being made of the applause that Obama received at AIPAC. I think this needs to be explained, or at least put into some context.
AIPAC is generally an orgy of applause and cheering for anyone and everyone who addresses the appreciative audience. It is the one place where Jews can congregate and hear wonderful, exultant praise of Israel (outside of the constant campaign of anti-Israel propaganda). And the AIPAC rank and file love the respite from the lies and the smears. They will cheer anything. Seriously. Mention that grilled chicken will be served in the cafe downstairs and you'll get a huge round of applause. 25,000 carrots had to be brought to garnish the salads to feed 10,000 attendees. That, too, gets a hand. This is a happy group.
The response to Obama's appearance was tempered. Obama was not cheered. Yes, they applauded and they stood when he backpedaled on his Auschwitz borders comment (he said it, but "I didn't mean that"). But I will tell you that it was nothing like the response that Bush got or Bolton and Cheney received in previous years. The people never sat down during those rousing speeches. They raised the roof. Yesterday afternoon Eric Cantor spoke in the afternoon and the hall shook. Literally, the applause was thunderous, clearly reflecting what AIPAC’s members are really thinking. Here are videos of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s incredible speech to AIPAC: Part 1 and Part 2.
The hall did not shake for Obama. There was no huge outpouring of support. When he walked back some of his scary rhetoric, they appreciated it. Look, the guy next to me shushed me when he didn't like my remarks, so I shushed him every time he applauded. It was like that. It takes some people a very long time to figure out that they have been kicked in the teeth, and that they are getting kicked in the teeth. It seems impossible, but Jews simply do not comprehend what is being done to them, and what is being done to Israel. It is as though they are liberals/socialists first, Democrats second .... and Jews dead last. German Jews thought themselves Germans before Jews .....
In a world that did not perceive Jews as Jews, first, last and always, this might not be such a major intellectual failing, but in this world, it is suicidal. They simply do not comprehend what they see, when they look down and see someone sawing off their leg with a dull saw.
UPDATE: Case in point: the functionary Howard Kohr is getting a standing ovation as we speak. Need I say more? When the janitor comes in to clear the tables, he'll get a standing ovation, too.