By allowing the Republicans to play dirty anti-Obama politics with Israel’s security, Netanyahu has done about as much as anyone could to play into the paranoid delusions of the extremist Muslims, Holocaust deniers, and anti-Semites everywhere. Netanyahu and the Boehner-enabled end-run around the American commander in chief might as well be advertised like this: A Great Day For Anti-Semites Everywhere! Speaker of the House and Prime Minister of Israel Conspire to Prove Delusional Paranoid Anti-Semites Right and Make it Look as if Jews and Israel Really Are Part of a Vast Jewish Conspiracy…
Bluntly: Netanyahu has just put Israel’s future on the side of backward racist white aging Tea Party/FOX News America. Congratulations!
As Jeffrey Goldberg writes in the Atlantic, in “The Netanyahu Disaster” the Israeli prime minister has two main tasks, and he’s failing at both. He’s supposed to defend Israel’s security and defend Israel’s relationship with the USA.
Israel has been, for several decades, a bipartisan cause in Washington. Bipartisan support accounts for the ease with which Israeli prime ministers have historically been heard in Washington; it accounts for the generous aid packages Israel receives; and it also explains America’s commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge.
Netanyahu’s management of his relationship with Obama threatens the bipartisan nature of Israel’s American support. His Dermer-inspired, Boehner-enabled end-run has alienated three crucially important constituencies. First, the administration itself: Netanyahu’s estrangement from the Obama White House now appears to be permanent. It will be very difficult for Netanyahu to make the White House hear his criticisms of whatever deal may one day be reached with Iran.
Netanyahu has also alienated many elected Democrats, including Jewish Democrats on Capitol Hill. One Jewish member of Congress told me that he felt humiliated and angered by Netanyahu’s ploy to address Congress “behind the president’s back.” A non-Jewish Democratic elected official texted me over the weekend to say that the damage Netanyahu is doing to Israel’s relationship with the U.S. may be “irreparable.”
A larger group that Netanyahu risks alienating is American Jewry, or at least the strong majority of American Jews that has voted for Obama twice. Netanyahu’s decision to pit U.S. political party against U.S. political party—because that is what his end-run does—puts American Jewish supporters of Israel in a messy, uncomfortable spot, and it is not in Israel’s interest to place American Jews in a position in which they have to choose between their president and the leader of a Jewish state whose behavior is making them queasy.
Mark this day, Netanyahu is opening the door here in America to a new a new ugly antisemitism founded on reaction to the anti-Obama racist hate and lies the GOP has been spreading since our first black president was elected. American Jews and anyone else like me that supports Israel, can kiss goodbye black, Hispanic and future non-Republican support for all things Jewish.
Next time some antisemitic idiot like Prime Minister Mahatir of Malaysia says the “The Jews have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, the tiny community, have become a world power, ” you can thank the fool Netanyahu, for opening the new era here in America when many non-Republicans will start to give such statements credence. By Netanyahu playing partisan games with the GOP hate machine he’s just put Israel on the wrong side of history.