Will this finally help our Republican friends see the light?

— by Steve Sheffey

President Obama proved himself yet again to be a strong friend of Israel, demonstrating in words and deeds that the shrill partisan rhetoric used against him during the campaign was unjustified.

“There was no daylight between Prime Minister’s Israel and President Obama’s United States, not even a sliver,”

wrote Chemi Shalev.

Adam Chandler reported that

Just mere weeks after the election, no one expected that Obama’s first real test on Israel would come quite so quickly and under such frightening circumstances. But it did. And throughout Operation Pillar of Defense, President Obama acted like a pro-Israel president would. He affirmed and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself and blocked efforts by the United Nations to howl their condemnations. He insisted first that Hamas stop firing rockets. He warned against, but did not outright oppose, what would have likely been a disastrous ground invasion campaign for Israel. He dispatched his most able and highest ranking diplomat to mediate the ceasefire. And perhaps most importantly of all, the Iron Dome system that he (along with bipartisan support) underwrote was instrumental in not only saving Israeli lives, but altering the shape of what could have been a much bloodier conflict.

Truman Security Partner Andrew Lachman wrote that “President Obama’s conduct in support of Israel’s right to defend itself from Gaza rocket attacks has gone far beyond what any predecessor has ever done in supporting Israel.”

Four years ago, when Operation Cast Lead was initiated, President Bush issued a statement that the United States backed Israel’s right to self defense and asked that the Israelis do all they could to avoid civilian casualties. President Obama has done far more for Israel during this crisis:

First, the Iron Dome anti-rocket system that has intercepted nearly 88% of the rockets coming out of Gaza was underwritten by American military aid under President Obama, who tripled funding to take the Israeli system from a single battery to multiple batteries protecting cities such as Ashkelon, Tel Aviv, Sderot and Jerusalem (President Bush funded the David’s Sling Program, but U.S. funding of Iron Dome did not begin until 2009).  While U.S funding of Israeli purchase of American weapons systems may be common, funding Israeli-designed systems such as Iron Dome is not and few Presidents have chosen to expand budget expenditures like this.

Second, the Obama Administration has joined with Britain, France and Germany to block any attempts to use the United Nations to condemn Israel’s acts of self defense and insisting that the reign of rocket terror from Gaza must stop. Secretary of State Clinton did not follow the lead of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had pushed Israel to leave Gaza in 2005 and had filed a complaint in the United Nations against Israel’s treatment of civilians in Gaza and was a major force in pushing Israel to adopt the ceasefire with Hamas in 2008.

Third, President Obama has stated clearly and unequivocally that Hamas alone must stand down from its use of rockets against Israel in order for there to be a ceasefire. Not only did he tell Israel this, he told Egypt this as well, insisting that President Morsi play a role in reigning in Hamas and reiterating Israel’s right to self-defense from Hamas’ unwarranted and unprovoked attacks. The President and Vice President have been in touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu every day receiving briefings from Netanyahu directly and coordinating efforts to reach a ceasefire.

Read all of Andy’s post here.

Will this finally help our Republican friends see the light?

Probably not.

Like Japanese soldiers who continued to fight World War II on deserted Pacific islands for decades after the war ended, some of our Republican friends will continue to tell us that President Obama is waiting until the moment is just right to “throw Israel under the bus.”

But as Israeli reporter Barak Ravid tweeted, “if funding Iron Dome is Obama’s way of throwing us under the bus, I am praying he will throw us under a train.” One Israeli official close to Bibi said that Obama’s response was “everything we could ever hope for.” More here.

But the rest of the right-wing nonsense about President Obama is true. All of it. Gloriously true.


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