Can Israel Survive This Presidency?
When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boarded a plane home in late May, the cheers of an adoring United States Congress were still echoing in his ears. The speech he delivered before a wildly applauding assembly of the House and Senate capped a week in which Netanyahu successfully evaded the diplomatic trap set for him by the Obama administration, and from which he emerged more certain of Congressional support for Israel no matter what new policy might yet emanate from the White House or State Department.
President Obama made a conscious decision to blindside Netanyahu with a shift in policy in a major address on the day before the Israeli premier’s arrival in Washington. But as he had done twice before during his presidency, Obama underestimated Netanyahu and the level of support that Israel could muster in Congress. Even the leaders of the president’s own party in the House and Senate deserted Obama and spoke up specifically and harshly against his proposal for using Israel’s 1967 borders as a starting point for final negotiations on the creation of a Palestinian state.
About the Author
Jonathan S. Tobin is the senior online editor of COMMENTARY.