Obama Hasn't Turned on Israel...Yet

Tougher settlement stance doesn't hurt the security of Jewish state
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2009 8:09 AM CDT
Israelis should feel free to expand up, but not out.   (AP Photo/ Tara Todras-Whitehill)
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(Newser) – Jewish Americans voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, convinced he was a supporter of Israel. Now, they “suspect they may have been victims of a bait and switch,” writes Alan Dershowitz of the Wall Street Journal. Obama’s rhetoric has certainly been harsher than it was during the campaign, but his only policy move has been to demand a halt to West Bank settlement expansion. That doesn’t affect Israeli security, and it's something the majority of American-Jewish Israel supporters also favor, as do a majority of Israelis.

But Rahm Emanuel’s statement linking the issue to Iranian nuclear efforts was dangerous; "if the Obama administration were to shift toward learning to live with a nuclear Iran and attempt to deny Israel the painful option of attacking its nuclear targets as a last resort, that would be troubling indeed." But the administration doesn’t actually appear to be letting up on its stance, or on Israel’s right to defend itself from Hezbollah and Hamas. Until it does, it’s not undercutting Israel’s security.