Did Bibi win the midterms?

James Traub writes:

It is widely believed in Israel that Netanyahu’s close aides have been demeaning Obama to the Israeli public through an orchestrated whispering campaign and that this accounts in part for Obama’s dismal poll ratings there. And he and his Likud party have longstanding ties to the Republican Party, which shares Likud’s faith in free markets, its deep suspicion toward most Arab regimes, and its low regard for the Palestinian sense of grievance. Conservative evangelicals, an important GOP constituency, also tend to be passionately pro-Israel. Thus after the new settlement flare-up, Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, told the New York Times that with the Republicans now in the ascendant, Netanyahu “feels that he’s got a freer hand here.”

I called the office of Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican whip and the leading GOP voice on Israel, to ask whether he felt this was so. Cantor has, among other things, suggested that aid to Israel be removed from the foreign-assistance budget so that his party could zero out funding to unfriendly countries while sparing Israel. Cantor was unavailable to talk, but I was sent remarks he had just made on talk radio-host Don Imus’s Imus in the Morning: “I don’t understand how the president wants to push our best ally in the Middle East into a posture of thinking that we’re not going to back their security.” Cantor said that “it is very controversial” to “slam our ally, Israel,” adding that “most Americans understand that Israel’s security is synonymous with America’s security.”

Actually, it’s extraordinary to think that any country’s security can be “synonymous” with that of the United States, though of course even this assumes that Netanyahu’s definition of Israel’s security is right, while that of, say, former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon, or aspiring prime minister Tzipi Livni, is wrong. Or is Cantor saying that Americans should automatically accept Israel’s own definition of its security? The United States doesn’t automatically accept even Britain’s definition of its own security. Whichever it is, the Israel-is-always-right wing of the Republican Party is in a much more powerful position today than it was two weeks ago, and Netanyahu would have every reason to believe that the GOP has his back. So much for those who say that the election had no effect on the conduct of foreign affairs.

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5 thoughts on “Did Bibi win the midterms?

  1. BillVZ

    In Eric Cantor’s chat with Israeli PM Netanyahu his commitment both to serve as a check on the present Administration to Israels wishes and the Republican special understanding of the special relationship of the Israel and U.S. it appears he is clearly doing a bit of ‘apple polishing’ and free propaganda for he and his party.
    He seems to forget that, as commentator Paul C. Roberts asserted some years ago, “everyone already knows that the Israel lobby is able to guarantee Congressional obedience because it controls both the GOP and Democratic parties”.
    And it is also common knowledge that Israel has shown that it can control not only U.S. foreign policy but also U.S.intelligence policy as well.
    Along with another $400 million supplimental arms equipment funding;that the GOP has its back on both issues however,are just what Bibi likes to hear.

  2. Renfro

    The zionist Israeli control of the US will end, it’s just a question of how.
    Can anyone envision a minority of 11 million Jews world wide, or 6 million US Jews or whatever small portion of them are the die hard loyalist to Israel controlling the US forever?
    It will never last , mainly because of the self destructive mentality of the zionist and Israel government themselves.
    But unless the US political system is upended they will drag the US down with them.

  3. Christopher Hoare

    I really cannot see what everyone is so concerned about. How else can Israel control Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, and the UAE except though its US proxy? If there were no US, the Israelis would have to invent one.
    And, of course, if there were no Israel there could be no second coming of Christ … or whatever drivel millions of Republicans believe. Someone has to orchestrate Armageddon, before America becomes bankrupt and everyone gets their just desserts.

  4. Galol

    Renfro has a point. US is reaching a point of no return to wards demise of its super power status and more it aligns with Israel the deeper it gets into mire. Ordinary US Americans are very naive, they believe everything they see on TV and press – there is so many times the pro-Israeli lobby can cry wolf and when US finally hits the dump, like other super powers before, house of terrorist Israel will collapse. New Israel based on self respect and respect for Palestinian would arise. Let us not be in any doubt at all : “.. Conservative evangelicals, an important GOP constituency..” also want to see the second coming of Christ and see destruction of Israel – am I missing something ? Question is when inferno lights up.

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