Thursday, March 8, 2012

Two Takes on Israel's "Best Friend," Obama

Thomas L. Friedman, who's responsible for the "best friend" claim, thinks that when crunch time comes, Israel can depend on Obama. How does he know? It's because
in his interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and in his address to Aipac, the pro-Israel lobby, [Obama] offered the greatest support for Israel that any president could at this time: He redefined the Iran issue. He said — rightly — that it was not simply about Israel’s security, but about U.S. national security and global security.
And because of that
Every Israeli and friend of Israel should be thankful to the president for framing the Iran issue this way. It is important strategically for Israel, because it makes clear that dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat was not Israel’s problem alone. And it is important politically, because this decision about whether to attack Iran is coinciding with the U.S. election. The last thing Israel or American friends of Israel — Jewish and Christian — want is to give their enemies a chance to claim that Israel is using its political clout to embroil America in a war that is not in its interest.       
Conrad Black agrees that Obama "has recently more robustly expressed American determination to stop the Iranian nuclear program than at any previous time." Nonetheless, he thinks Israel should probably withold its thankfulness for now:
Netanyahu cannot take Obama’s word that he will act before it is too late when the life of the Jewish state (and so much else) is at stake. It’s very soon, or never. 

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