In turbulent times Americans know who their friends are. “The convulsions of the Arab Spring may be driving the American public’s support for Israel to new highs, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Washington-based group The Israel Project. Americans who say the United States should support the Jewish state in the conflict with the Palestinians increased from 60 percent a year ago to 68% today. . . . Fifty-five percent of respondents agreed with the statement that new governments ‘in Middle Eastern countries like Egypt threaten US security interests because they are run by religious extremists.’ ”
And they know that friends stick together. “The poll found an increase of 10 points in support for American military assistance to Israel in the event of war with Iran.. . . In November 2011, 61% supported, while 33% opposed. In November 2012, the figures were 71% supporting and just 22% opposed.”
The president seems confused about who our friends are. “[Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi is a Muslim Brotherhood honcho. His election following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak was the manifestation of what the so-called Arab Spring is all about — the radical Islamization of the entire Middle East. As for Morsi’s additional power grab following the cease-fire: Well, what can you expect? The United States of America gave him a major stamp of approval, in addition to a commitment to provide him with massive amounts of money. That his response to this was to clamp down on the Egyptian judiciary, to make it impossible for the legal system to overrule his decisions, makes perfect sense in the radical-Muslim mind-frame.” Read the whole thing.
A friendly reminder that the Gray Lady does not find that all the truth is fit to print. “The New York Times just cannot bring itself to credit the Bush administration for its successes. Last week, it skipped giving John Bolton credit for his unprecedented action on Burma at the United Nations in November 2005 despite hailing President Obama’s first-ever trip by a U.S. president to Burma. Tuesday, the New York Times not only skipped giving Bolton credit for his work on North Korea, it actually credits someone else for Bolton’s work.”
Not a friendship, but a matter of convenience. “[W]hile the White House may not admit it in public, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu appears to have done everything in his power to ensure that Israeli military operations did not get in the way of Obama’s bid for reelection. If anything, Netanyahu may have put off striking the Fajr-5s until well after the election, even if it put his own population at risk. Of course, Obama and Netanyahu may yet come to loggerheads over when and whether to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. . . . But, for now, Pillar of Defense has resulted in a surprising new understanding between two leaders who have struggled to find common ground. And that’s a victory for the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
The economy is the GOP’s friend in the fiscal cliff negotiations. “President Obama’s veto threat decision is not just about fiscal policy, and it’s not just about who gets blamed for a legislative failure. It’s about whether the President wants to cause a recession in 2013 and hamstring his second term. No matter what he or his advisors say, he cannot afford to take that risk.”No wonder then that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is doing the heavy lifting with Congress.
Mahmoud Abbas is no friend of the Palestinian people. Elliott Abrams on another vote at the United Nations on statehood for the Palestinians. “Nothing so dramatizes the fact that ‘Palestine’ is not a state than this UN vote. It is a tragedy for Palestinians that instead of actually building a decent, prosperous, democratic state, their leaders and their self-proclaimed well-wishers abroad seek this melodrama in Turtle Bay.”