New round of questions over whether Israel is liability to U.S.
James D. Besser
A relationship built on the notion that Israel is a critical U.S. strategic asset may be weakening as more and more analysts in both countries argue that the Jewish state is becoming more of a foreign policy liability.
So far that view has not penetrated Israel’s overwhelming support in Congress, and all but the most partisan Jewish leaders say it hasn’t affected Obama administration policy. On the contrary, there was evidence strategic cooperation was deepening even before President Barack Obama’s recent Jewish charm offensive.
With Avigdor Lieberman poised to play the role of coalition kingmaker after Tuesday’s Israeli electoral tangle, some Jewish groups here are readying a hasbara campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader is not the racist and political extremist portrayed in the Israeli and international media.
The Obama administration’s willingness to expand its involvement in the United Nations has not attracted strong criticism from pro-Israel groups, despite the longstanding belief that the international body is decidedly anti-Israel.
In recent days, Washington has signaled a new effort to try to effect change from within the UN and its agencies, and Jewish leaders here, though somewhat skeptical, seem prepared to give the administration some latitude.
Netanyahu speech could be dry run for meeting with Obama
In a speech that could be a dry run for his upcoming meetings with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said his government is ready to “resume peace negotiations” with the Palestinians “without any delay, without any preconditions, the sooner the better” and called for a “triple-track” approach that includes political as well as economic and security negotiations.
Tamped-down rhetoric on Iran seen as “accommodation” with Obama’s new policy shift on Iran.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dialed down his intense rhetoric about the threat posed by a nuclear Iran in his long-awaited public response to a tightening squeeze from the Obama administration on Sunday.
Tel Aviv — Judging from the views of Israeli academics at a panel Thursday afternoon, Israel has much to worry about if Barack Obama is elected president this fall.
Barry Rubin, a well-known and respected Mideast expert and academic, told an audience today at a conference at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) at Bar-Ilan University here that an Obama victory would precipitate “the most dangerous crisis facing the world.”