It’s hard to sign on to social media these days without seeing a right-wing news article decrying President Obama’s relationship with Israel. Despite a plethora of stories of how the president is abandoning Israel, “the current status of the U.S.-Israel relationship is very strong,” Dr. Ben Chouake, Norpac’s president, said.
“You have a gazillion rumors going around, and rumors are rumors,” he said. “Maybe some of them are true, but most of them are fabricated. The support that the United States has shown Israel has been tremendous.”
One recent Internet rumor has the president refusing to use the United States’ U.N. Security Council veto if the Palestinian Authority asks for a vote on a Palestinian state, while another has the president considering sanctions against Israel for settlement activity. The State Department denied that it might impose those sanctions, calling the rumor “completely unfounded and without merit.”
Dr. Chouake said that he “would be surprised” if the United States doesn’t veto a Palestinian state, adding that the Obama administration “has been among the most supportive administrations of Israel at the United Nations level.”
Partisanship is at the core of many of the rumors surrounding the president’s relationship with Israel, according to Dr. Chouake, who served on the finance committee for Republican Senator John McCain’s failed 2008 presidential bid. While there are many partisan opinions to the contrary, and he may disagree on other issues, Dr. Chouake credited the Obama administration’s stance toward Israel.
“It’s harder because people view the administration in much more partisan terms than they do Congress,” which has large support for Israel on both sides of the aisle, he said. “I would say this president has a pretty good record as well. If you do compare it to other administrations, it compares favorably.”