For the months leading up to the election, it was fairly common to hear Sheldon Adelson and other critics of President Obama predict that the White House has already abandoned Israel, and would be even more aggressive on this front if given a second term. Whether Republicans actually believed this or not is unclear, but it was part of a concerted effort to drive a wedge between the president and Jewish voters.
The test came fast, when Israeli reacted to a drumbeat of missile strikes by turning its firepower on the Gaza Strip within days of the election. And the American reaction has, so far, surprised those who expected a post-election pivot. And with the region hoping Hillary Clinton’s visit will bring a ceasefire, Israelis have so far had few complaints.
“If funding iron dome is Obama’s way of throwing Israel under the bus, I am praying he will throw us under a train,” tweeted Israeli reporter Barak Ravid, who writes for the center-left newspaper Haaretz, referring to the American-backed missile defense system.
An Israeli official close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Obama administration’s response to the conflict “has been everything we could ever hope for.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition has been reduced to arguing that Obama will eventually abandon Israel, even if reality shows it hasn’t happened yet, and isn’t happening now. The group’s executive director, Matt Brooks, said we’ll have to wait “until the second term is over.”
Yes, and the NRA is equally confident that Obama really will be coming for our guns any day now.
Update: I’d hoped this was obvious, but in case there’s any confusion, this item was about the inaccuracies of far-right rhetoric, not the relative merits of competing policies. Every day for months, conservatives aggressively pushed bold predictions about U.S. foreign policy after the election, and my point here is to highlight the fact that those predictions were completely wrong. There’s obviously room for a spirited debate over the merits of U.S. policy in Israel, and there is no hidden subtext in this post suggesting anything to the contrary.