Had Barack Obama gone to Israel last year, he would have been accused of election-year pandering. That he did not go to Israel since becoming president was “proof” to many that he was secretly anti-Israel and would come out in the open if re-elected.
Now, he is out in the open. He has no further need for Jewish votes, or for Jewish contributors to a re-election campaign. Yet he went to Israel and made very clear to everyone throughout the Middle East and the world at large that the United States’ commitment to Israel remains as strong as ever. He re-emphasized the position held by every president since June 1967 – Republican and Democrat – that a two-state solution is the goal of the United States, but that Israel’s security needs could not be dismissed in negotiations. He helped in the process of trying to restore the Israel-Turkey relationship.
And he angered a large chunk of the Arab world.
We have heard a great deal over the first four years about the “real” Obama. Now we have seen him and we have heard him at the very time the doomsayers said he would turn on the Jewish state. They were wrong.
The time for the demonization of Barack Obama is over. The fears were groundless and the accusations absurd. True, the United States and Israel have different agendas and these will create conflict from time to time. Abandoning Israel, however, is not on the U.S. agenda.