Daily Archives: April 25, 2015
I can barely stand it anymore. The knee-jerk reaction to Obama and his supposed lack of support for Israel is fueled by either rank partisanship or blatant ignorance. Signing the agreement with Iran is part of the protection of Israel not a threat to Israel. Moreover, in terms of traditional support Obama has been strengthening the US-Israel relationship and maintaining its historical bonds.
If you don’t think so then you’re just not paying attention. Below I’m going to be simple, clear, and blunt. For additional information go to the National Jewish Democratic Council. This is a Jewish organization and they are more likely to be demanding in terms of support for Israel. If anything, they are going to be a difficult group to please so when they expressed their satisfaction with Obama’s support you know it must be substantial. On the National Jewish Democratic Council site you can follow links to more original documents and click your way to the original sources of evidence for the issues I list out below.
- In a speech in 2013 Obama stated emphatically that the United States stands with the State of Israel. He pointed out that Israel was recognized quickly by the United States 65 years ago and continues to be Israel’s closest international friend.
- Obama has provided Israel with as much and in many cases more military aid than any time in its history. This includes $275 million for the Iron Dome Missile System which is so important for Israel’s protection from Hamas missiles.
- Obama signed the US-Israel Enhanced Security Act which provides additional weaponry for Israel’s defense. This includes bunker busting bombs, F-35 fighter planes, and fast tracking arms sales.
- As much criticism as Israel receives, Obama has clearly defended Israel’s right to self-defense and has maintained support for the position that the Palestinian issue should be bilateral. The US continues to vote consistently with Israel and has defended Israel’s legitimacy on the world stage.
- Israeli leaders such as Shimon Peres, Michael Oren, Ehud Barak, and on more than one occasion even Benjamin Netanyahu have praised President Obama and noted his strong support and alliance with Israel.
- The US has continued to support Israel behind the scenes in numerous subtle ways. For example the US and Israel continue to coordinate to combat smuggling and engage in military exercises designed to protect Israel.
- Even with the Obama-Netanyahu spat the two allies remain close and it has not been Obama who has wavered in his support.
- A narrow definition of support is what primarily informs those who continually complain about insufficient support for Israel. That definition is typically limited to military aid and other financial means. Obama’s diplomacy, and his slower more deliberative approach to the issues, must be considered a serious form of support and not appeasement. The critics of Obama when it comes to Israel have a narrow definition of the management of conflict and images of peace. No true legitimate third-party can be so blatantly supportive of one side at the expense of the other. If Obama and the United States are going to be true brokers of peace they have to be somewhat more inclusive. Difficult as it is, a truly sustainable relationship between Israel and its neighbors will come when there is some sort of peace agreement. And such an agreement will include the interests of others as well as Israel. That, too, is what it means to be supportive of Israel.