I Support Israel, but I Don’t Serve Israel

If tension between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu imply that Obama hates Israel, doesn’t logic dictate that it also implies Netanyahu hates America? In fact, neither implication is true.

I’ve been getting dire phone calls from the Emergency Committee for Israel lately telling me I shouldn’t vote for Obama because Obama hasn’t complied with all of Netanyahu’s wishes. I’m probably one of very few people in Suffolk, Virginia to receive these phone calls.

I support Israel’s existence, I support Israel’s right to self defense, and I support America’s commitment to stand behind Israel. And despite personal tensions with Netanyahu, so does Obama. As UCLA professor Steven Spiegel states:

he established the closest working military and intelligence relationship with Israel in the country’s history: joint exercises and training, increased security assistance every year, unprecedented advanced technology transfers, doubling of funding for Israel’s missile defense system, and assistance in funding for the Iron Dome system that today intercepts rockets headed for Israel. Indeed, in the debate he was emphatic that Israel “is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region,” and went on to say later, “I will stand with Israel if they are attacked. And this is the reason why, working with Israel, we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history.”

I blame tensions between Obama and Netanyahu on the prime minister. From the very beginning of Obama’s presidency, Netanyahu has created difficulty in U.S. Israeli relations. He has been obstinate, difficult to deal with, and has spoken to the president as one would speak while lecturing a child. But Mitt Romney and his supporters feel Obama should have responded by showing Netanyahu more respect. I don’t feel that way.

A friend isn’t a servant. I support Israel, but just like many Israelis, I disagree with Netanyahu’s policies and I don’t want a president who campaigns on promises to please the Prime Minister.

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