Our new realityChallenging the 'Israel lobby' when he thinks he can win is exactly what the Obama second term is all about. Obama wants to remake the US-Israel relationship, and not in a way that is good for Israel. We have to accept that reality and figure out how we are going to fight it.
Some commentators said that Susan Rice would be bad because she was anti-Israel and they hoped that Obama would appoint someone pro-Israel. But John Kerry is no friend of Israel. And as far as I was concerned, we would have been better off with Rice on the job.Unlike Kerry, Rice is politically inept.
It's time for people to realize the game has changed. Obama won.Obama won with 70 percent of the Jewish vote despite the fact that his record in his first term was more hostile to Israel than any president since Jimmy Carter. No one can expect him now, after his victory, to feel even slightly constrained in his desire to weaken the US relationship with Israel.So far, he has made clear that he feels no constraints whatsoever. Take the Palestinians at the UN for example. Obama enabled the Palestinians to get their non-member state status at the UN by failing to threaten to cut off US funding to the UN in retaliation for such a vote....Let there be no doubt, Obama will get Hagel in at Defense. And Hagel will place Israel in his crosshairs.The only way to foil Obama's ill intentions towards Israel even slightly is to be better at politics than he is. And he's awfully good.Moreover, one of his strongest advantages is that Israel's supporters seem to have never gotten the memo. So here it is: Obama wants to fundamentally transform the US relationship with Israel.He isn't playing by the old rules. He doesn't care about the so-called Israel lobby or the Jewish vote. As he sees it, to paraphrase Jim Baker, "F#&k the Jews, they voted for us anyway."
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Caroline's right. The Hagel appointment ought to be a wake-up call for all those who still don't get it.