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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Tea Party is great for the US - Israel relationship

You will recall a post I did two weeks ago, in which I attacked a New York Times piece that set Rand Paul up as a boogeyman for an argument that the Tea Party was going to turn the Republican party into a bunch of anti-Israel isolationists. That article is one of several of the same genre, coming mostly from the Leftists in the media, in which they argue that the Tea Party is bad for the US - Israel relationship. Jennifer Rubin takes on the latest one.
In conversations with multiple Republican leaders and their advisors, I've detected not a whiff of neo-isolationism, nor, frankly, anything but robust support for Israel (coupled with criticism of the Obama administration's sometimes harsh public rhetoric about the Jewish state). A senior Senate aide tells me: "This is a freshmen class of Republicans whose pro-Israel credentials are beyond dispute by anyone except fierce partisan Democrats and liberal journalists with anti-GOP blinders. In fact, these new Republicans would make the Maccabees proud."

But that hasn't stopped some reporters and some left-leaning columnists from spinning the notion that the election of Republicans is a mixed blessing, or even a bad omen, for Israel. The New York Times tried it, with little evidence.

The latest is a shoddy piece of propaganda in The New Republic by Barry Gewen. In a piece headlined, "How the Tea Party is wrecking Republican foreign policy," Gewen accuses the Tea Party of championing neo-isolationism and anti-Israel views, setting up a clash within the GOP.


If you look at some of the Tea Party favorites, you'll find stirring defenses of Israel. Marco Rubio (whose speech on Israel was one of the strongest by an candidate in recent memory) and Scott Brown both distinguished themselves on this front. This was also true in the 2010 primaries. In California, Carly Fiorina gained the support of Tea Partyers in a race against Tom Campbell in which Campbell's shaky record on Israel and association with CAIR became an issue. Likewise, in Indiana, Dan Coats, who voiced his strong support for Israel and criticism of Obama's response to the threat posed by Iran, crushed conservative John Hostettler, whose anti-Israel rhetoric has been roundly criticized. Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, tells me, "As the polling shows, Tea Partyers are among the most pro-Israel voters in America, and the Tea Party vote helped ensure that the incoming Congress will be even more pro-Israel than the previous one. As for Ron Paul -- on foreign policy, he is to the Tea Party what J Street is to the pro-Israel community: a pretender who speaks for a few disaffected cranks. The Tea Party is great for the U.S.-Israel relationship."
Sounds to me like the American Left and its media fan club are doing some wishful thinking in the hope of preventing a hemorrhage of Jewish votes to the Republicans in 2012. But their effort is an exercise in futility. Pro-Israel Jews recognize that there's only one thing on the American political scene that's hurting the US - Israel relationship: Barack Obama's presence in the White House.

Read the whole thing.

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