As unusual as it is for the ADL to weigh in on a controversial foreign-policy matter and blast an American administration, it is nearly unprecedented for AIPAC to do so. (Well, come to think of it, AIPAC blasted the Obami when they bestowed the Medal of Freedom on Mary Robinson, so perhaps we’ve reached a watershed with this administration, which seems bent on thumbing its nose at allies both domestic and international.) In a remarkable statement, AIPAC declared:
The Obama Administration’s recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel are a matter of serious concern. AIPAC calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State. Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East. The foundation of the U.S-Israel relationship is rooted in America’s fundamental strategic interest, shared democratic values, and a long-time commitment to peace in the region. Those strategic interests, which we share with Israel, extend to every facet of American life and our relationship with the Jewish State, which enjoys vast bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.
The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests. The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors.
We strongly urge the Administration to work closely and privately with our partner Israel, in a manner befitting strategic allies, to address any issues between the two governments.
As Vice President Biden said last week in Israel, “Progress in the Middle East occurs when there is no daylight between the United States and Israel.”
(A subsequent version of the statement, emphasizing that the Obami’s current temper tantrum is not consistent with the administration’s stated objectives, recited back Biden’s words, including his admonition during his visit: “Bibi, you heard me say before, progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the United States and Israel. There is no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security.”)
Translation: What are you people up to? To its credit, AIPAC took this unusual step because the administration seems blinded by its own peevishness and is no longer, frankly, acting in a rational matter. (To have remained silent would have signaled agreement by American pro-Israel voices with the administration’s gambit.) What is to be gained by the anti-Israel hectoring? Do the Obami think there’s domestic support for its war of words against Israel? The administration seems indifferent to these concerns and oblivious to the real damage it’s doing to both its relationship with Israel and with the American Jewish community, which seems finally to have reached its tolerance limit with the Obami. The latter largely have gotten a free pass from the American Jewish community for over a year and despite the administration’s unseriousness with regard to the looming Iranian nuclear threat and its declared effort to put daylight between the U.S. and Israel, in no small part because Jews have been the most loyal Obama supporters (and can therefore be taken for granted, one supposes). Let’s hope that this is a reminder that relationships cannot be taken for granted — either here or abroad.