Response to “Why Bibi Snubbed Obama”

I am responding to my good friend, Ron Cantor, who recently wrote the article, “Why Bibi Snubbed Obama”. I have another take. I cannot comment on the reasoning the Prime Minister refused to meet with the US President. However, once again, our Prime Minister, who prides himself on understanding US politics, made a juvenile mistake.

Contrary to what Ron wrote in his article, President Obama has been amazingly generous with US support for Israel, despite being continuously mistreated by Netanyahu. Again, I stress as in other articles I have written, that I did not vote for Obama and believe his foreign policy has made the world a far more dangerous place. On the other hand, his position on Israel is consistent with most past US presidents, and he has provided more financial aid to the IDF than any previous president.

The damage to Israel/US relations that the Prime Minister is causing likely will have far reaching implications. Support for Israel in the US has been bi-partisan since the presidency of Harry Truman in the 1940’s. For some unknown reason, Netanyahu has aligned himself with the Republican Party. He openly supported Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign against Obama in the 2012 election. He embraced an invitation by the Republican leadership to speak to the US Congress, seeking to undermine the President’s peace process with Iran. He’s recently refused to negotiate with the President over continuing financial support for Israel. Regardless of whether the President is misguided in his policies, continuously snubbing the US President will undermine support for Israel in the Democratic Party. The Prime Minister should know better. Politicians have long memories.

Lobbying 101 instructs those seeking to influence political decisions relate to and support both parties. With respect to Israel, there are two constituencies in the US who consistently support Israel – Jews and Evangelical Christians. Jews are aligned with the Democratic Party; Evangelical Christians with the Republicans. However, surveys have shown the millennial generation in both constituencies is reconsidering their traditional unqualified support of Israel. This fact alone portends problems in Israel/US relations. When coupled with an Israeli Prime Minister who dismisses a popular Democratic US President, this is a disaster.

It’s highly likely Hilary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for President, will win the fall elections. If the Republicans nominate Trump as their candidate, Republican control of the Senate will be in jeopardy. More than ever, Israel must maintain friendships with leaders in both parties. If US support for Israel begins to wane in the near future, we will have Netanyahu to thank.