Fearmongering about U.S. -Israeli Relations
Polls in the U.S. show that not only does the American public overwhelmingly support Israel, but that its opinions are more aligned with Benjamin Netanyahu's stand on Iran and radical Islam than with those of President Obama.
However, the center-left political camp and the leftist media in Israel and abroad seem demonically possessed with fearmongering Israeli voters into thinking that Netanyahu's upcoming congressional speech and policy disagreement with Obama will endanger and undermine the Israel- U.S. alliance. Daily they write another opinion piece or quote another so-called U.S.-Israel expert that describes another probable hypothetical doomsday scenario of what will happen to Israel and its relationship with the U.S. if Netanyahu speaks out against a bad nuclear deal with the Ayatollah's Iran and in favor of additional sanctions.
They warn Israelis of an Obama administration backlash such as cutting the $3 billion in military aid to Israel and refraining from using the American veto power against anti-Israel UN Security council resolutions. They tell us that if Netanyahu is re-elected this disagreement will develop to an irreversible crisis and to a collapse of American support that will affect Israel’s economy and security.
Listening to these “experts” would be funny were it was not for the possibility that some Israeli voters will actually mistake these baseless worst-case scenarios for the truth.
First, Obama is not the American public. Obama is the head of only one of the branches of the American government and has less than two years to govern, Obama cannot do anything to Israel and to the alliance while the American public overwhelmingly supports Israel and agrees with Netanyahu. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are big supporters of Israel in large part because of their constituents’ support of the Jewish state. For the last six years President Obama has been trying to undermine that public support by manufacturing public spats and artificial crises with Netanyahu to create “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel. But polls reveal that he has failed miserably in achieving his aim.
As it does every year, in 2014 Gallup, in its World Affairs Survey, asked Americans whether they view various countries favorably or unfavorably. Fully 72 percent of Americans have a “very favorable” or “mostly favorable” view of Israel. Now compare that to the number who told Gallup that they have a favorable view of the other countries or entities in Israel's neighborhood: Egypt: 45%; Saudi Arabia: 35%; Libya: 19%; Palestinian Authority: 19%; Iraq: 16%; Syria: 13%; Iran: 12%.
Moreover, Gallup polls shows that when asked about American sympathy to Israel and to the Arab nations, the average support for Israel for the last six years while Netanyahu has been Prime Minister has been 62% higher than at any previous time.
Moreover, a Fox News poll of American registered voters from January 25-27, 2015 conducted under the joint direction of Democratic and Republican Research companies revealed that 70 percent of voters say Obama has not been tough enough on Iran. That number has remained roughly the same since 2009. That tally includes 57 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of Independents and 87 percent of Republicans. In addition, a 62 percent majority thinks military force will be necessary to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while 28 percent say that goal can be reached through diplomacy and existing sanctions alone. Here again, there's agreement across political party lines.
Second, anybody who is familiar with the U.S. Constitution knows about the concept of separation of powers. Obama may be president but the Republican Congress is the only body that determines the aid package to Israel and Obama cannot touch it.
Moreover, the Congress could decide to cut U.S. aid to the UN for adopting anti-Israel resolutions and to the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for joining the ICC and seeking another UN Security Council bid for statehood. The Republican majority could also use its leverage against any anti-Israel actions the president would wish to take by threatening to withhold the purse strings to finance his political agenda.
Third, the real reason Obama does not want Netanyahu to speak is that he fears that Netanyahu will reveal to the public the truth of how Obama has been begging the Iranians to make a nuclear deal and has already given in to 80% of Iranian demands and has received nothing in return. To override Obama's veto, the Senate needs the votes of 67 members. Ten Senate Democrats on January 27 sent a letter to Obama warning that after March 24 th, they will be joining 54 Republican senators on the Senate floor in support of imposing additional sanctions if Iran fails to reach a comprehensive agreement for a political framework.
Obama is aware of Netanyahu’s star power and his effect on Congress. In fact, when Netanyahu previously addressed a joint session of Congress on May 24, 2011, the New York Times reported that “Mr. Netanyahu received so many standing ovations that at times it appeared that the lawmakers were listening to his speech standing up.” Even worse, from Obama’s perspective, The Times reported that Netanyahu’s “speech had many of the trappings of a presidential State of the Union address.”
Now we know why the center-left political camp in Israel, the leftist media, and Obama are panicked at the prospect of again having to witness the respect and adoration that America has for one of the best prime ministers that Israel ever had, who is considered by many Americans to be the Churchill of our time.
Shoula Romano Horing is an attorney. Her blog; www.shoularomanohoring.com