Israel lobby claims election victory

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat meeting Rep. Eric Cantor, the presumptive Republican leader following the midterm elections. They are shown meeting in Washington DC last year.

Whatever the outcome of yesterday’s election had been, the Israel lobby had good reason to claim victory. Josh Rogin writes:

One prominent pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington is already praising the GOP takeover of the House of Representatives as a net benefit for Israel.

“While Democrats are likely to keep control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans will take over the U.S. House of Representatives following Tuesday’s elections. This is likely to have implications for Israel-related issues such as Israel’s relationship with the United States and the push for sanctions against Iran,” said an e-mail blasted out by The Israel Project only minutes after news stations called the turnover of House control a certainty.

“The takeover of the House by Republicans is great news for Israel and her supporters,” the email quotes Ari Fleischer, White House spokesman under President George W. Bush, as saying. “The House leadership and almost every single GOP member is rock-solid behind Israel. At times like this, Israel needs friends everywhere.”

But the Israel Project’s e-mail then quickly turns on its head and praises Congressional Democrats in the House and Senate for their staunch support of Israel.

“The House Democratic leadership has been powerfully supportive of Israel, and Speaker Pelosi has been nothing short of passionate in her successful pursuit of biting sanctions against Iran – a key interest of the pro-Israel community,” The Israel Project quotes David Harris, president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council, as saying.

So which is it? Is The Israel Project saying that Republicans or Democrats are better for Israel?

“American voters on both sides of the aisle support Israel,” Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project, says in the e-mail.

See also: 10 Republicans who are about to become the new foreign-policy power brokers.

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