Obama has been presenting his credentials as a pro-Israel president ever since he decided to run for president. Alas, the traditional (read: right-wing) pro-Israel groupies are unamused. Obama checks off all the boxes, they do not dispute that and how could they?: billions in aid, veto support at the UN, additional military defense goodies, strengthening defense relations, and all the right words of unequivocal praise for Israel with abject indifference to Israelis crimes and wars against the Palestinians and Arabs (never once condemning or even noticing Israeli killing of Arab civilians and working to sabotage the Goldstone report at the United Nations).
Obama has done it all and no different from his predecessors in being 100% pro-Israel and even then some, since Obama has set the precedent of America now openly accepting the principle of Israel alone being allowed to maintain nuclear weapons in the Mideast (in the past, the US just ignored the issues to avoid the discomfort to acknowledging Israeli nukes and then either having to condemn them or hypocritically endorse them while waging wars to prevent Arab nations from acquiring similar WMDs, Obama has not decided on the latter.) And Obama has gone so much out of his way in pandering to Israel that he even humiliated himself by dropping his initial demand for a “settlement freeze” and while in the past he raised words of object over just 40 settlements, recently Israel announced over 2,500 without even a reticent prose from the White House but simple silence.
So Obama is pro-Israel in deed and in tone. But the pro-Israel lobby is still unimpressed, because it still believes that while Obama does everything he is lacking in passion in doing so. As if Obama’s heart is not in it, but is simply formulaic in his approach. That he knows what must be done solely for electoral reasons, but does not do it with any genuine feeling or care. Just checking off the list as opposed to caring about the task.
That is why Obama has been finding it hard to get credit from the Israel lobby. But with the election approach he’ll need a lot of pro-Israel funds and next week will attend the annual pro-Israel AIPAC gathering which will feature Obama as this pandering best and Zionist glory.
Obama will impress the crowd by praising Israel at every turn, highlight his recent bin Laden hit by saying (falsely) that Israel and America share the same terror war, and then get his biggest applause by declaring that the United States will oppose the Palestinian statehood declaration at the United Nations later this September. It will be a glorious vomit fest.
But in the end the crowd will still doubt him and ask, Does Obama really support Israel? It will be seen as transparent pandering and fund raising and many of the donors may well conclude that in a second term Obama will be unrestrained by the calculation of reelection and can then really bring down the hammer on Israel.
Better go with the safe Republican bet.
So in the end, Obama’s sell out to the pro-Israel groupies will win no tangible benefit but only tarnish his reputation and legacy.