Iseael and the Tea Party Congress

NY Times:

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel came to the United States recently for another round of tense talks with the Obama administration, he got a decidedly warmer welcome from one of the rising Republican stars on Capitol Hill, Representative Eric Cantor, the incoming majority leader of the House.

But while Mr. Cantor and other newly empowered Republicans are eager to promote themselves as Israel’s staunchest defenders in Washington, the reconfigured American political landscape is a more complex and unpredictable backdrop for Middle East peacemaking.

Scores of Tea Party-backed candidates are entering Congress, many of whom favor isolationist policies and are determined to cut American foreign aid, regardless of its destination. Rand Paul, the newly elected Tea Party-backed senator from Kentucky, bluntly told the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobbying group, that they were going to disagree about the need for foreign aid and suggested that they move on to other topics, according to a person briefed on the meeting.

There is more.

If you read the story all the way through you find that Senator elect Paul is the only person named who remotely suggest a problem with aid to Israel. The rest of it is an implication that you don't know what those scary Tea Party members might be up to. It seems to be an attempt to keep the liberal Jewish base from going Republican, when in fact Republicans are easily Israel's staunches backers.

Israel has more to fear from Obama and his State Department than it does from the Tea Party. For one thing the administration's concern about the settlements is illogical. The Palestinians need to negotiate with the Israelis on that issue and not get a free ride using it as a condition precedent for talks. If they are not willing to talk because the Israelis are building houses in Jerusalem they are only hurting themselves because more will be built before there is an agreement. The same is true in the settlements.


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