It's open season on the Israel lobby. Thank Palestinian statehood initiative, thank Bob Turner in Brooklyn. Tom Friedman sounded the bugle this morning and the hounds are in the hedges. John Farmer in the Star-Ledger:
Palestinians look to America, Israeli’s can’t-do-without ally, to squeeze concessions out of Netanyahu. But they’ll look in vain. Why? The Tip O’Neill rule again.
Facing a tough re-election fight next year in which U.S. Jewish votes and money will be critical, Obama’s in no position to make demands of Netanyahu. He’s already in trouble with American Jews who think he’s insufficiently sympathetic to Israel, as witness the loss of a House seat last week in a New York congressional district heavy with angry Orthodox Jewish voters.
Obama has promised Israel he’d veto any Palestinian statehood bill that reaches the U.N. Security Council, even though it further damages U.S. standing in the Arab Muslim world. What he’s hoping for is a deal that diverts the issue to the General Assembly, where no veto is involved and the PLO is given the fig leaf of non-member status.
Another kick-the-can-down-the-road solution.