as Israel increasingly becomes an issue dividing Democrats from Republicans, I predict a reduction of the bipartisan support for Israel that has provided Israel a unique status in U.S. politics and sustained organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. I also predict that Romney and Paul Ryan, as mainstream conservatives, will head an administration that will be the warmest ever to Israel, far surpassing the administrations of both Bill Clinton or George W. Bush. Contrarily, should Obama be re-elected, the coldest treatment of Israel ever by a U.S. president will follow.
Obama’s constipated record of the past three and a half years on such topics as the Palestinians and Iran leads to this conclusion; but so does what we know about his record before he entered high electoral politics in 2004, especially his associations with radical anti-Zionists. Obama worshipfully listened to Edward Said in May 1998 and sat quietly by at a going-away party in 2003 for former PLO flunky Rashid Khalidi as Israel was accused of terrorism against Palestinians. (In contrast, Romney has been friends with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since 1976.)
Also revealing is what Ali Abunimah, a Chicago-based anti-Israel extremist, wrote about his last conversation with Obama in early 2004, as the latter was in the midst of a primary campaign for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate. Abunimah wrote that Obama warmly greeted him, and then added: “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more upfront.” Furthermore, referring to Abunimah’s attacks on Israel in the Chicago Tribune and elsewhere, Obama encouraged him with: “Keep up the good work.”
When one puts this in the context of what Obama said off-mic to then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in March (“This is my last election. And after my election, I have more flexibility”), it would be wise to assume that, if Obama wins on Nov. 6, things will “calm down” for him and he finally can “be more upfront” about so-called “Palestine.” Then Israel’s troubles will really begin.
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