Just three weeks from now, Israel will hold elections – and select a new Prime Minister. During the closing weeks of the Bush Years, Israel unleashed an assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. After nearly eight years of constant terror, even after Israel unilaterally withdrew on 2005 – Qassam rockets, mortars, and Grad missiles rained down on innocent Israelis from Sderot and across the Negev.
In the United States, there was overwhelming support for Israel – despite the wailing of the extremist Left. Across the globe, there have been protests against Israel’s actions but they weren’t reminiscent of the WTO protests. Or the anti-War protests. They were considerably smaller demonstrations of radical Leftist ideology. The MoveOn.org, Code Pink & A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition folks even spared a few bodies for protests outside the Hay-Adams Hotel, calling on then President-elect Obama to speak out against Israel.
Funny. He did not. And as the new White House website reveals…. he won’t be attacking Israel as President Obama either:
- Ensure a Strong U.S.-Israel Partnership: Barack Obama and Joe Biden strongly support the U.S.-Israel relationship, and believe that our first and incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be to the security of Israel, America’s strongest ally in the region. They support this closeness, and have stated that the United States will never distance itself from Israel.
- Support Israel’s Right to Self Defense: During the July 2006 Lebanon war, Barack Obama stood up strongly for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hezbollah raids and rocket attacks, cosponsoring a Senate resolution against Iran and Syria’s involvement in the war, and insisting that Israel should not be pressured into a ceasefire that did not deal with the threat of Hezbollah missiles. He and Joe Biden believe strongly in Israel’s right to protect its citizens.
- Support Foreign Assistance to Israel: Barack Obama and Joe Biden have consistently supported foreign assistance to Israel. They defend and support the annual foreign aid package that involves both military and economic assistance to Israel and have advocated increased foreign aid budgets to ensure that these funding priorities are met. They have called for continuing U.S. cooperation with Israel in the development of missile defense systems.
I harbor no illusions about President Obama’s domestic agenda. In fact, I expect to disagree with him quite a bit there. But… he is my President. And so long as he governs with respect to Foreign & Defense policy with a commonsense, practical and hawkish eye — he’ll earn my support.