Has Obama completely changed his mind on Israel?
That was what I wondered when I read President Obama had told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. would not hesitate to attack Iran to keep Iran from developing atomic weapons.
“I have Israel’s back,” Obama said.
It must be an election year.
In the past, Obama has been more a critic of Israel than an ally, at least in terms of what he has said.
Brett Stephens, who writes on world affairs for the Wall Street Journal, reminds us that Obama’s own allies are largely critics of Israel.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, for example, has “repeatedly cast doubt on the efficacy of a U.S. military option against Iran,” Stephens writes.
He also reminds us that in 2004, Obama criticized the barrier built to separate Israel and its major settlements from the rest of the West Bank — meaning the security fence “that all but eliminated the wave of suicide bombings that took 1,000 lives in Israel.”
Of course, these are just a couple of examples of how Obama has never missed a chance to criticize Israel.
One wonders, if Israel did attack Iran, would the United States be prepared to back Israel up with help besides words?
Or would he heed his leftwing supporters who since the mid-1990s have been telling him how evil Israel is? Nothing would make them happier than to see Iran wound Israel seriously.
Obama’s remarks came after he had met with Netanyahu, who no doubt told him Israel’s patience was stretched as far as it would go, and that it would be in charge of its own destiny.
Obama’s threats toward Iran may have been his way of getting Israel to back off. Would he actually order such an attack? He no doubt hopes he doesn’t have to.