The other day in this space, we lamented that, in the wake of yet another mass shooting, neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney showed the least interest in reviewing the sad state of U.S. gun laws.
There is another issue, though, on which neither the president nor his challenger wishes to be silent. Neither candidate, apparently, feels that he can afford to come in second in the race to be seen as the most determined defender of the state of Israel. Like the candidates' stereophonic silence on gun issues, their bidding war over the American Jewish vote is an embarrassing display that may win votes but does not serve the public interest. Or Israel's.
In just the last few days, Romney has traveled to Israel, met top government officials, visited the Wailing Wall, insulted the Palestinians, threatened Iran and generally tried to make himself beloved of the Israeli people. No matter that much of what he was saying from suggesting that Israel's wealth is a sign of a culture superior to that of the Palestinians, to declaring that no option would be excluded from the effort to make sure Iran never becomes a nuclear power can only undermine any chance of turning the weak Arab Spring into a long-term move toward modernity.