It is time to put an end to the propaganda being spread by the Republican Jewish Coalition concerning President Obama’s commitment to Israel.
Ehud Barak, Israel’s minister of defense, speaking to Wolf Blitzer of CNN, said, “I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing, in regard to our security, more then anything I can remember in the past — in terms of support for our security, the cooperation of our intelligence, the sharing of sorts in a very open way, even when there are differences.”
Shimon Peres, president of Israel, speaking to Blitzer, said, “When I look at the record of President Obama concerning the major issues, security, I think it is a highly satisfactory record, from an Israeli point of view.”
There are differences. President Obama, like every other president with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan, opposes the expansion of settlements on the West Bank and is committed to the two-state solution, which Prime Minister Netanyahu seems to be backing away from. The Obama administration is pushing for patience concerning Iran. Almost every country, including those friendly to Israel, is advocating the same policy. Even some retired Mossad and Shin Bet officials are urging caution because they believe that Iran is a long way from developing a deliverable nuclear bomb.
As for not visiting Israel and the question of moving our embassy to Jerusalem, I would like to remind my Republican friends that George W. Bush did not visit Israel as president until the seventh year of his presidency, and that when he ran for president, he too made a campaign promise to move our embassy to Jerusalem.
President Obama has vetoed every attempt by the Palestinian Authority to gain recognition at the UN, persuaded Congress to authorize $300 million more to Israel, and continues to emphasize our support. It is no secret that Netanyahu and Obama do not get along, but there is no question of Obama’s commitment to Israel.