Many U.S. Jewish leaders are unnerved both by the new Iran nuclear agreement and the public falling out between President Barack Obama and his Israeli counterpart, developments that are creating a rift in the durable alliance between Jews and the Democratic Party in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
Worried that Iran might still develop a nuclear weapon despite the accord announced Thursday, the Jewish leaders say they feel torn between an Obama administration that has pressed hard for a deal and an Israeli government that has repeatedly warned that Iran is a grave threat to the Jewish state and can’t be trusted to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
As soon as election returns confirmed Benjamin Netanyahu would remain Israel’s prime minister, the spin from the White House and its acolytes was that a peace deal with the Palestinians is now impossible.
How convenient for a president who loathes Netanyahu and whose support for Israel has always been suspect.
The characterization of Netanyahu as the impediment to peace is absurd. It stems from suggestions he made on the campaign trail that he no longer supports a two-state solution, a position he backed away from after the polls closed. If anyone should understand that politicians say one thing to get elected and do another once in office, it’s President Barack Obama.
Instead, consider how badly the Obama administration has handled things during the six weeks since Jan. 21, when House Speaker John Boehner invited Mr. Netanyahu to address Congress. Mr. Obama and his team pride themselves on their communications prowess, but they’ve made a hash of the situation.