|Israel rolls out the red carpet for President Obama|
|Palestinians spraypaint swastikas on a poster of US President Barack Obama in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Monday, March 18, 2013|
A New Reality in U.S.-Israeli Relations -George Friedman
U.S. President Barack Obama is making his first visit to Israel as president.
In private I expect a sullen courtesy and in public an enthusiastic friendship, much as an old, bored married couple, not near a divorce, but far from where they were when they were young. Neither party is what it once was; each suspects that it is the other's fault.
In the end, each has its own fate, linked by history to each other but no longer united.
[Jewish World Review]
77 Senators Call on Obama to Stand by Israel - Julian Pecquet
More than 3/4 of the U.S. Senate have signed on to a letter urging President Obama to stand by Israel ahead of his visit. The letter, led by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and spearheaded by AIPAC, asks the president to warn the Palestinians against using their new status as a UN observer state to take action against Israel, and that their relationship with the U.S. would be jeopardized if they seek action against Israel at the International Criminal Court. "It is important to re-emphasize that the United States will not tolerate efforts to isolate or delegitimize Israel," the letter states.
Obama in Israel: It's Not about the Lobby - Walter Russell Mead
- The world continues to marvel at American support for the frequently isolated Jewish state.
- Recent Pew polls found that Americans sympathize more with the Israeli cause than with the Palestinian one by a margin of 49% to 12%, and they have consistently favored a "pro-Israel" foreign policy. When the House and the Senate overwhelming endorse pro-Israel resolutions, and when they tell presidents that they can't cut Israel's aid, those politicians are responding to the will of their constituents.
- Especially since 9/11, American public opinion has become significantly more pro-Israel. Most see Israel as an important strategic ally in a dangerous part of the world. Most think Israel isn't doing so badly considering its unique and difficult circumstances, and that Israel has every right to defend itself from terror attacks by any means necessary.
- The American public tunes out the "blame Israel" narrative. The public likes Israel, thinks it is a good thing, and rejoices when it does well.
- When President Obama lands in Israel, he will be representing a nation that has long seen the existence and security of a Jewish state as an important international achievement, as a step forward on humanity's long march to a better world.
- When he speaks to Israelis about America's commitment to their security, he will be speaking for one of the strongest and most durable points of consensus in all of American foreign policy. When he tells Israel that America stands with it, a solid majority of the American people are ready to back that up.
The writer, Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, was until 2010 a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
For an LATimes Slideshow of the beginning of Obama's trip to Israel click HERE
For a short video summary of the day's events click HERE