President Touched A Raw American Nerve
Surrounded by high profile liberal Jewish advisers, Obama promised the world and some regarding his Israeli bonafides while campaigning. The American Jewish community extended the benefit of the doubt despite what were clear warning flags.
- Obama’s hard progressive political views, most often associated with unfriendly parts of the US democratic party.
- Strong ties to African American Black Liberation Theology in the form of a 20 year stint under viciously anti-Israel pastor Jeremiah Wright.
- A consistent pronounced sympathy to Palestinian and Arab narratives
- His primary foreign policy focus, a loudly stated intention to engage with rogue & terror supporting regimes.
We all know the results.
While American public support of Israel was peaking, the White House pursued a highly visible policy of creating daylight between America & Israel. Undermining Israel’s elected government, ratcheting up pressure, and for the 1st time ever turning the Israeli public itself against a sitting US President. All of it simply unheard of.
Obama was gambling, senior administration figures even warned him such policies could cost him dearly..
Gibbs is also a regular at foreign policy meetings. He volunteered that he attended all 33 hours of the Afghanistan briefings, though he noted that he never said a word. He did chime in during last month’s escalating tensions with Israel, if only to make sure the president understood the “conventional wisdom” promoted in the media, that Obama’s toughness with Likud hard-liners would potentially erode his domestic Jewish support. “For a lot of reasons, he would discount that,” Gibbs said, referring to the president.
Obama was wrong..
The American Jewish community, both houses of Congress, the American public have all voiced their anger. The GOP buttressed by poll after poll showing massive pro-Israel support among Republicans (often over 80%), in conjunction with alarming diminishing support among Obama democratic faithful; has seized Israel as a key issue and is running with it politically for the 2010 Mid-Terms. All in the hopes of luring soft democratic Jewish & independent voters to GOP candidates, based on the mounting anger with White House Israel policy and the very public blowout.
As the Obama administration tries to mend its strained ties with Israel, strategists say U.S. policy on the Jewish state could influence several battleground House and Senate races this fall.
Jewish leaders from both parties are watching Senate campaigns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Florida, and a pair of House races in President Barack Obama’s home state where they say Israel policy could loom large. [...]
There is also the matter of funding. Rumors that Jewish funding for democratic candidates, once a torrent has dwindled into a dry wadi. In reaction, a massive WH PR blitz this past month to repair the messaging as Rahm Emmanuel calls it, patch up the dyke so to speak.
Concern mounts. An unfriendly administration, the GOP push politically which seeks to wedge American voters on the issue. All of it threatens what was once a green pasture of strong bi-partisan Israel support in America. The only consolation, many candidates will be yelling loud & proud over each other on both ends of the aisle to establish their own Pro-Israel bonafides with the American public.
Israel - So often already through no fault of its own, has become an all new battleground once again in 2010.