I’ve been inundated with right wing outrage that Obama finally made it to Israel. You’d think from this attitude that going to Israel is a given, something all other presidents have done – certainly Republicans — and President Obama is “leading from behind”. Shivers. But if you assume that, you are making the mistake of presuming logic behind right wing criticism.
In fact, former Republican presidents George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Dwight Eisenhower never went to Israel. George W. Bush only went in the last year of his second term. In other words, Obama beat Bush timing wise, as this is the first year of his second term (I realize math is not a Republican forte, but this one is pretty simple). Bush was the first Republican president to go since Nixon in 1974, and since Nixon was re-elected in 1972, you can do the math.
Republicans also claim that Obama has slighted Israel, when in fact Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement that President Obama showed Israel unprecedented support, “Once again it’s been proven to all the doubters, President Obama is an ally and friend of Israel. The Obama administration gives backing to Israel’s security in a wide, all-encompassing and unprecedented manner.”
Additionally, President Obama has provided Israel with record-high levels of security assistance funding, including $275 million for a missile defense system.
And Israeli President Shimon Peres said Obama is a great friend to Israel, adding that Israel and the United States have “the best relationship on the issue of security… this is a fact.”
So while Obama had to school Netanyahu on just who is actually the President of the United States, he did it while offering Israel unprecedented support. We note that his relationships with the other leaders of Israel appear much better than with the right wing extremist and war hawk Netanyahu. Go figure.
This got Obama everything he wanted, and Netanhayu fell in line like a scolded puppy. Apparently Republicans expect this President to give all of his power away to Prime Ministers of other countries, and let them dictate U.S. policy like Romney allowed Netanyahu to dictate to him.
Not only has Obama has already instituted far more strict sanctions on Iran than did Bush, causing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to admit the sanctions are “the strongest yet”, but as I explained when Netanyahu congratulated President Obama on his win:
Netanyahu is not Israel. The relationship between the two allies is stronger than the difficult relationship Obama has with the right wing war hawk. Netanyahu made the mistake of thinking he could push Barack Obama around, and he quickly met with the brick wall that is Obama’s steel core of convictions about how we will conduct our foreign policy.
This criticism is even more embarrassing for the right than the skeet shooting conspiracy. It seems some people just started paying attention to their government recently, and only tuned in so they could amp up their umbrage whilst displaying a stunning failure to grasp facts. It also lends the appearance that they wish their government to be dictated to by a Prime Minister of another country. “USA! USA! USA!”
If Republicans had gotten their way, we’d have wimp Mitt Kick the Middle East Ball Down the Field Romney in office.