Republicans who say Obama disses Israel ignore Reagan’s far worse record

  Michele Bachmann said the other day that she can’t understand why so many American Jews have supported Barack Obama in light of  his record of working “against Israel’s best interest.” Bachmann’s principal bugaboo is that Obama favors a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, which she thinks would be disastrous for Israel. “What has been shocking has been seeing and observing Jewish organizations who it appears have made it their priority to support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president over the best interests of Israel,” said Bachmann. “They sold out Israel.” Bachmann cloaks all this Obamaphobia in her Christian belief in End Times theory, which envisions a massive battle in Israel leading to the so-called Last Days. All of this brings to mind widespread Republican amnesia about (or complete ignorance of) Ronald Reagan’s record vis a vis Israel. Consider, for example, THIS COLUMN of a few years ago 15 months ago by Israeli journalist Chemi Shalev: Imagine if Israel would launch a successful preemptive strike against a country that is building a nuclear bomb that threatens its very existence, and the American president would describe it as “a tragedy”. And then, not only would the U.S. administration fail to “stand by its ally”, as Republicans pledged this week, but it would actually lend its hand to a UN Security Council decision that condemns Israel, calls on it to place its nuclear facilities under international supervision and demands that it pay reparations (!) for the damage it had wrought. And then, to add insult to injury, the U.S. president would impose an embargo on further sales of F-16 aircraft because Israel had “violated its commitment to use the planes only in self-defense”. Can you imagine the uproar? Can you contemplate the brouhaha? I mean, if Mitt Romney believes that President Obama “threw Israel under the bus” just for suggesting that a peace settlement with Israel be based on the 1967 borders – what would he say about a president who actually turns his back on Israel in its greatest time of need? That he hurled Israel over the cliff with a live grenade in its pocket and into a burning volcano? And what if that very same president, only a few months later, would decide to sell truly game-changing sophisticated weaponry to Saudi Arabia, an Arab country that is a sworn enemy of Israel? And not only would this president dismiss Israeli objections that these weapons endanger its security, but he would actually warn, in a manner that sent shivers down the spines of American Jews, that “it is not the business of other nations to make American foreign policy”. And his Secretary of State would mince no words, just in case Walt or Mearsheimer hadn’t heard the first time, saying ominously that if the deal would be blocked by Israeli influence, there would be “serious implications on all American policies in the Middle East… I’ll just leave it there.” And then the two of them would extend the abovementioned arms embargo, just to twist Israel’s arm a little bit more. I mean, what words would be left to describe such behavior, after the entire thesaurus’ arsenal of synonyms for “insult” “perfidy” and “knife in the back” have been exhausted to describe the official White...

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Right-wingers in Congress mostly silent about Israel’s liberal new abortion law

It seems that certain politicians in Washington are facing a POLITICAL QUANDARY of sorts: Israel adopted this week one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, and will now provide government funding for non-medical abortions for Israeli women aged 20 to 33. But Washington’s most anti-abortion lawmakers are largely silent on the new policy. These same members of Congress are also some of Israel’s loudest defenders, highlighting a peculiar aspect of the relationship between many of Israel’s ardent U.S. supporters and Israel’s domestic political landscape. Last month, a health ministry panel in Israel recommended the state pay for the abortions of women aged 20 to 33, including non-medical abortions. The measure was adopted this week, and will cost the state annually about $4.6 million. Unlike in the United States, abortion is relatively non-controversial in the country. “They are sovereign nation they can do as they wish,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said of the policy. “That won’t happen in America.” Sens. Marco Rubio and Ron Johnson, among others, declined to weigh in on the law citing unfamiliarity, while Sen. Ted Cruz referred BuzzFeed to his press office. A Cruz spokeswoman did not return a request for comment. “I don’t really feel qualified to talk about what Israel should be doing on abortion,” said Sen. John McCain. The office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor did not respond to a request for comment. And Rep. Chris Smith, who heads up the congressional anti-abortion caucus and has called Israel America’s “closest ally,” did not respond to several requests for comment to his office. Smith has weighed in on international abortion law before, primarily regarding a change to Kenya’s constitution allowing for abortion in cases in which the mother’s health is at risk. He charged in 2010 that the Obama administration had used taxpayer funds to lobby for the change. Smith has called abortion “a serious, lethal violation of fundamental human...

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Why is Ronald Reagan remembered as especially pro-Israel?

President Obama’s current visit to Israel reminds me of THIS COLUMN of 15 months ago by Chemi Shalev: Imagine if Israel would launch a successful preemptive strike against a country that is building a nuclear bomb that threatens its very existence, and the American president would describe it as “a tragedy”. And then, not only would the U.S. administration fail to “stand by its ally”, as Republicans pledged this week, but it would actually lend its hand to a UN Security Council decision that condemns Israel, calls on it to place its nuclear facilities under international supervision and demands that it pay reparations (!) for the damage it had wrought. And then, to add insult to injury, the U.S. president would impose an embargo on further sales of F-16 aircraft because Israel had “violated its commitment to use the planes only in self-defense”. Can you imagine the uproar? Can you contemplate the brouhaha? I mean, if Mitt Romney believes that President Obama “threw Israel under the bus” just for suggesting that a peace settlement with Israel be based on the 1967 borders – what would he say about a president who actually turns his back on Israel in its greatest time of need? That he hurled Israel over the cliff with a live grenade in its pocket and into a burning volcano? And what if that very same president, only a few months later, would decide to sell truly game-changing sophisticated weaponry to Saudi Arabia, an Arab country that is a sworn enemy of Israel? And not only would this president dismiss Israeli objections that these weapons endanger its security, but he would actually warn, in a manner that sent shivers down the spines of American Jews, that “it is not the business of other nations to make American foreign policy”. And his Secretary of State would mince no words, just in case Walt or Mearsheimer hadn’t heard the first time, saying ominously that if the deal would be blocked by Israeli influence, there would be “serious implications on all American policies in the Middle East… I’ll just leave it there.” And then the two of them would extend the abovementioned arms embargo, just to twist Israel’s arm a little bit more. I mean, what words would be left to describe such behavior, after the entire thesaurus’ arsenal of synonyms for “insult” “perfidy” and “knife in the back” have been exhausted to describe the official White House photo of President Obama talking to Prime Minister Netanyahu with his shoes on the table? And what if this same president – you know who I’m talking about by now, but let’s keep up the charade – what if this same president, time after time after time, not only failed to exercise the U.S. veto in the UN Security Council to block anti-Israeli resolutions, but actually joined Muslim and Communist and other heathen countries in supporting Security Council decisions that condemned Israel for assassinating well-known terrorists; for annexing territories that Michele Bachman has clearly stated belong only to Israel; for killing violent jihadist students at Bir Zeit University; for waging war against the enemies of Western civilization in Lebanon; and even for “Israel’s policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians.” Denying the human rights of Palestinians? Who wrote that? Judge...

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Video hails Obama’s visit to Israel

This clever little video was sponsored by the Israeli Embassy in Washington. [youtube]http://youtu.be/5l-4ja-cTpc[/youtube]

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If Barack Obama dealt with Israel as Ronald Reagan did, there would be pure hell to pay

As I’ve argued here on numerous occasions, the worship of Ronald Reagan among Republicans these days is ridiculous in the extreme and is based largely on fictional accounts of the Gipper’s presidency. This curious phenomenon comes to mind with all the overblown GOP rhetoric of late about how badly President Obama treats the state of Israel. In reality, Obama’s record regarding U.S-Israeli relations makes Reagan’s look downright shameful. The comparison was made in the most blistering of terms in THIS COLUMN by Israeli journalist Chemi Shalev. Excerpts from the piece can’t do it justice. Read the whole thing. It’s an eye-opener....

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