September 23, 2011

Claiming credit for Obama's Israel "turnaround"

One of the more ridiculous assertions to come out of the impressive win by newly elected Republican Congressman Bob Turner is that Turner's victory influenced the pro-Israel speech President Obama delivered this week at the United Nations.

As I've blogged before, and should be widely known, President Obama has consistently been very pro-Israel in his actual policies and in every speech he's delivered before the United Nations and the U.S. Congress. The fact that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has felt the need to complain about President Obama -- both publicly and indirectly, whether with or without justification -- does not mean Obama hasn't been following the pro-Israel checklist. And even his pro-Likud checklist is more than half-filled, though that has not stopped U.S. Republicans from accusing the Democratic President of "throwing Israel under the bus."

It is true, Democrat and former New York Mayor Ed Koch threw down the gauntlet, declaring the Ninth District Congressional race to be a referendum on the President's Israel policies. It's also true that some percentage of Orthodox Jewish voters turned out for Turner on that specific issue. But the margin of victory was wide enough that Israel was not the single decisive factor, and there is ZERO evidence that President Obama changed his UN message in any way -- Turner victory or no Turner victory.

And besides, the Democrats have never been shown to be that strategic.

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