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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When the shoe was on the other foot

The fact that the overwhelming majority of those members of Congress coming out to support Israel are Republicans is not a good sign. Once upon a time, Israel was a bi-partisan issue. Jennifer Rubin takes us back to the good old days.
[I]n 1991, three founders of the Republican Jewish Coalition — Max Fisher, George Klein, and Dick Fox — penned a letter to then President George H.W. Bush strongly protesting the cutoff of loan guarantees as a lever to get (yes, nearly two decades and not much has changed) Israel to knuckle under at the bargaining table (then it was Madrid). It is the bipartisan support for Israel in Congress and in the United States at large which has been critical to the maintainence of a robust and warm alliance between the two countries. That it is fraying now, when the most critical national-security threat to both (Iran’s nuclear ambitions) looms large, is especially troubling. And that, in the statements from pro-Israel Republicans, AIPAC, the ADL, and others, is what the administration is being asked to focus on. But then, they have no solution or game plan — it seems — on Iran. So beating up on Israel passes the time and excuses, in their own mind, the inactivity on that most critical issue.

A bipartisan coalition in support of Israel, in which stated principles trump partisan loyalty and political convenience, has been the cornerstone of the U.S.-Israel relationship. We are reminded now that for a president to enthusiastically lead, rather than decimate, that coalition is essential. What’s indispensible is a U.S.president who does more than mouth platitudes about our enduring relationship with the Jewish state. What is needed is a president who does not adopt the rhetoric and the bargaining posture of intransigent Palestinians waiting for the U.S. to deliver Israel on a platter. Can our relationship survive without such a president? We are regrettably going to find out.

I guess this isn't so different from health care after all, is it? (For those of you in Israel who are not following what's going on in the US, the so-called Obamacare bill socializing American health care has not managed to attract a single Republican vote in either house).

America's first post-partisan President anyone? Maybe it was George H.W. Bush. He managed to unite everyone against him, at least on Israel. Unfortunately, most of the Democrats are putting party over principle in this dispute - at least so far.


At 4:50 PM, Blogger Kae Gregory said...

IMIO - the almost anti-Israel attitude of the left is backlash from the religious support from the right that opposes virtually everything that the left stands for. Ergo if the religious right is for it, the left is reflexively against it. This, again imo, is more subtly dangerous for Israel in that now, the left is adopting the attitude of the Palestinians toward Israel. They are acting as if Israel is in reality, or at least will eventually be, Palestine and all of it, especially that not now in direct possession of Jews, belongs to Palestinians and there can be no compromise on this. Israelis (Jews in general) need to push back hard against those who try to legitimize this attitude.


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