Zev Chafets

Still, the resolution's timing and language were stark reminders that Jewish unity on the subject of Israel's interests, if it ever existed, no longer does. The URJ not only demanded an immediate process of "phased withdrawal of our troops from Iraq," but also noted that, in its opinion, this would be good for Israel.

This put the largest U.S. Jewish denomination in direct conflict with Israel's leaders over what is best for the Jewish state. There have been disagreements before, but never in a time of war.

This split in the Jewish community opens the way for the growing connection between Lieberman Jews and Christian Zionists. Among the featured speakers at the AIPAC conference was Pastor John Hagee, a Pentecostal minister from San Antonio who has recently formed his own lobby group, Christians United for Israel.

Hagee, like Olmert, supports the Bush surge in Iraq and sees it as one battle in the wider war against Islamic radicalism — a war American Jewish liberals prefer to ignore.

"There will never be another Holocaust," Hagee thundered. "Not on our watch and never again!" The AIPAC crowd cheered.

There's nothing like fighting words from a new wartime ally. Especially when old ones are slipping away.

Zev Chafets

Zev Chafets is a former columnist for the New York Daily News, as well as the author of nine books of fiction, media criticism, and social and political commentary, including "A Match Made in Heaven: American Jews, Christian Zionists, and One Man's Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance," published by HarperCollins in January 2007.

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