Cantor says Obama must not ‘speak contrary to what our ally thinks is in its best interest’!

US Politics
on 9 Comments

I keep saying the Israel lobby has jumped the shark this week. Not that it has changed that much, but its scandalous conduct in pushing for a war Americans don’t want has afforded the opportunity to people who once supported the lobby (say when Walt and Mearsheimer were attacking it) to say, I can’t believe they’re doing this, this is outrageous. Like the New Yorker. And good for them. Here is Daniel W. Drezner at Foreign Policy:

Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, said the [Sunday Obama AIPAC] speech was “a step in the right direction,” but that “we need to make sure that this president is also going to stand by Israel and not allow his administration to somehow speak contrary to what our ally thinks is in its best interest.” (emphasis added)

Now, this bolded part of the quote is quite extraordinary, if you think about it.  Apparently, Cantor’s standard with respect to American policy towards Israel is that the U.S. government cannot and should not contradict anything that Israel’s government says.  What’s good for Israel’s national interests — as defined solely by Israel — serves American interests as well. 

Step back for a second and ask yourself if this is true of any other U.S. ally.  A NATO member?  Nah, we disagree with them all the time.  Japan?

Good man, Drezner. But remember what Democratic Party boss Ann Lewis said in 2008:

“The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties.”

As reported by Dana Milbank. What’s the difference?

Thanks to Scott McConnell.

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9 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    March 7, 2012, 10:15 am

    romney said it too remember. that if elected president he would defer to israel about what is best for israel. paraphrasing.

  2. eljay
    March 7, 2012, 10:30 am

    Bibi: President of the United Freedom Republic of Democratic IsrAmericael
    Barry O.: Lackey (if he behaves)

  3. DICKERSON3870
    March 7, 2012, 1:59 pm

    RE: “Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, said…that ‘we need to make sure that this president is also going to stand by Israel and not allow his administration to somehow speak contrary to what our ally thinks is in its best interest’.”

    GOING “THE FULL CANTOR” ONE BETTER: Would God want Israel to attack Iran? ~ By (Rabbi) Michael Knopf, Haaretz, 3/04/12

    (excerpt). . . With the American war in Iraq still fresh in our collective memory, Judaism’s standards for just wars become especially poignant. A decade ago, Bush Administration officials began calling for military action against Saddam Hussein. They contended that Hussein had secret weapons stockpiles, was producing weapons of mass destruction, and was supplying weapons to terrorists. Given Hussein’s belligerent attitude toward the West, his defiance of the international community, and his track record of brutality at home and abroad, these pieces of evidence were, at the time, offered to prove a clear and imminent threat to the U.S.
    So the U.S. invaded, igniting a nearly ten-year war that reportedly resulted in more than 150,000 deaths. Only amid the rubble and corpses did we discover that most, if not all, of the arguments in favor of the war were false. We let fears, not facts, govern our decisions. Our goal was to save innocent lives; we took many, instead.
    The Talmud teaches that, in 586 BCE, Judea was destroyed not because its defenses were too weak, but because the Jews were indifferent about shedding blood (Shabbat 33a). Let us pray that history does not repeat itself.


  4. Charon
    March 7, 2012, 3:15 pm

    There is enough concrete evidence floating out there to convict Cantor of treason if anybody wants to pursue it.

    Australia is an ally of the USA. If Australia somehow it was in their best interest to deport aborigines to Malaysia or something, the administration of the POTUS is allowed to speak contrary to it. Australia is not part of the USA. Israel is not the 51st state of the USA.

    IMO, Cantor is just using persuasive and manipulative language to convince his audience that what he says is in fact rational. It is hardly rational. Israel is a foreign nation. Foreign nation. They are not the USA. What is good or bad for Israel is not necessarily good or bad for the USA. Saudi Arabia is a valued ally of the USA for obvious reasons. Saudi Arabia has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

    Israel /= (does not equal) the USA and vice versa. Religious opinions are irrelevant and biased.

    • Pixel
      March 7, 2012, 7:51 pm

      There’s enough concrete evidence floating out there to convict most people in Congress of treason.

  5. RoHa
    March 7, 2012, 8:57 pm

    Australia is an ally with an actual treaty of alliance (ANZUS) and which actually send Australian troops ti fight alongside US troops.

    So how about a bit of grovelling and several billion dollars of aid for us?

  6. yourstruly
    March 8, 2012, 7:23 am

    so, according to representative Kanter, if pm netanyahu declares that it’s in israel’s best interest to make war upon iran, president obama has to stand by him? stand by him as in “good evening, my fellow americans, i regret to inform you that at this moment i have assigned warplanes of our armed forces to join those of israel in blasting iran back to the stone age. please remember, though, that since this matter has to do with the tail wagging the dog, i was left with no other option.”

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