Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Iowa Reveals the GOP's Anti-Israel Slant

For the past few years, Republicans have incessantly attempted to argue that Barack Obama -- one of the most authentically Zionist politicians America has ever seen -- is "anti-Israel". It was always a laughable claim. But it's more so given the three Republican candidates who finished in an essential dead-heat for first place amongst Iowa Caucus voters: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul. None of them can lay a strong claim to being "pro-Israel", and two of them I think have to be considered actively antagonistic to Israel's perpetuation as a Jewish, democratic state.

Start with Mitt Romney. Romney famously declared that Obama "threw Israel under the bus" because he said a peace agreement should be based on 1967 borders. I remain baffled by what other basis there might be for a two-state solution (The partition plan? Drawing straws?), and I doubt Romney has any better idea, because I doubt Romney actually knows or cares that much about Israel's longevity.

But you know what? Spot them Romney. Let's just look at Paul and Santorum. Paul is an easy case -- his own aides admit he's been anti-Israel, and belated efforts to describe his isolationist foreign policy as the most pro-Israel act of all notwithstanding, few in the Jewish community see him as a friend.

That leaves Santorum, who is filling the niche of this year's Mike Huckabee. And like Huckabee, Santorum has come out as a one-stater, proclaiming that everyone currently residing between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean is an "Israeli" and thus the West Bank should be part of Israel, permanently. Since all Israelis must presumably be given equal rights of suffrage (among other things), this will render Israel's Jewish majority precarious at best and likely lead to its demise as a Jewish state.

He joins folks like Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) as part of the Hamas wing of the Republican Party, as the radical one-state policies they espouse bear far more in common with the ambitions of the Islamist terrorist movement than they do those of any Israeli government or serious political party. And what we've seen is that, amongst Republican voters, this sort of outlook -- one that is fundamentally apathetic, at best, towards Israel's long-term survival as a Jewish, democratic state -- is overwhelmingly popular.


Joel Keller said...

Oh, boy! The GOP is strongly supportive of Israel while Obama, in both attitude, remarks and behavior, has been at best slightly negative and at worst very anti-Israel.

How anyone could claim otherwise is pretty much unbelievable, unless, of course, that person was an apologist for the Obama administration, a progressive, or a rabid left-winger.

troll_dc2 said...

David, I think that you are not showing enough perspective. What you say about the candidates is true, but do you really believe that the Iowa caucus voters based their choices on what the candidates think about Israel? That is not what I have observed; the voters had other issues on their agenda. Without an important contender with a different perspective on Israel running for the nomination, you cannot say anything about what Iowans (or at least the GOP portion of the electorate) actually think about Israel. I think that you wrote what you did because you believe what you do; it is the equivalent of a hammer thinking that everything else is a nail.

David Schraub said...

Troll -- I'm sure you're right, at least in part. While some Paulites definitely are motivated in part by his stance on Israel, and some evangelicals who went for Santorum likewise have indicated that Israel is a voting issue for them, I don't think Iowa voters were voting because they think Israel sucks. But the point is more that there is this concerted effort to paint the GOP as this hyper pro-Israel party, and then we see who gets the votes and it turns out ... not so much.

PG said...

I am amused that it's the commenter who actually backed his criticism of the post with reasoned argument whose name is "troll."

troll_dc2 said...

PG, I was given that nickname by a buddy who gave negative-type names to all of his friends who went to hockey games with him. When I first went on the Internet, it was to join a Washington Capitals message board. I had to adopt a screen name, and guess what came into my head? At this point, I totally own the name.