Wednesday, June 22, 2011

TOMORROW11 BLOG - Obama and Israel - Where's the love y'all?

(Via jpost).A high-profile panel discussing the state of Israeli-US ties at the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, a discussion that was essentially boiled down to one question: does Obama, in his kishkas, love Israel.

Elliott Abrams:
"There is no great love in his heart for Israel, Despite the 'propaganda' being disseminated by the White House, Obama does not share the same sympathetic view toward Israel as did Bush or even Bill Clinton".
Abrams said that while the Republican candidates in 2012 can be expected to compete with themselves over who will articulate more support for Israel, by contrast the Democratic party -- according to what he said was poll data and votes in Congress-- is “no longer as solid a base of support for Israel."

Abrams contrasted positively, however, Israel's overall standing in the US with its position in Europe, saying that while the campaign to delegitimize Israel is having headway on the Continent, it is not making an impact in the US.
“The reason, is because America has one thing that Europe doesn't have: Christians. Europe has former Christians. The European continent is full of gorgeous, empty churches filled with tourists from China, Japan and the US. America is very different – the seminal energy behind the pro-Israel lobby in the US is tens of millions of Christians, and they care enough to vote for candidates sometimes on the basis of whether they are pro- or anti-Israel.”
Abrams words triggered a spirited reply from former Florida Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler, one of Obama’s first high profile supporters in the Jewish world:
"I don't know what love Obama had in his heart for Israel or what love he had on any topic, and for that matter i didn't know the level of love Clinton or Bush had in their heart for Israel either".

"I can only judge statements, deeds, and actions".
He then went through a checklist of actions Obama has taken for Israel: "unprecedented" security cooperation; dropping out of a Turkish military maneuver in 2009 when Israel was "disinvited; approving an additional $200 million for the Iron Dome; quashing the French idea of peace summit in Paris after Israel made clear to the US it wasn't interested, His lobbying European leaders against recognizing a Palestinian state, came after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's' recent trip to Washington
"That is a lot of love, The notion that Obama does not have the requisite love, or cares in his kishkas, defies the facts".
Former IDF spokesman Ruth Yaron countered that even with all that, Israelis want to feel the love, not just hear that the President has done a great deal for security cooperation.
"I'm not questioning his love, I would say please make sure this love is not only felt, but also seen by countries around us. Without feeling secure in this love and a feeling that Israel will never be left to walk alone, the country would be less willing to take risks".
 Martin Indyk:
"Obama is not a 'warm and cuddly guy'. He is a no drama Obama, it’s time to grow up. We should get over the question of whether he loves me or he loves me not, and focus on question of finding a solution to conflict with the Palestinians. When Israel decides by itself to solve that problem, it will have the overwhelmingly cuddly support of the US President."