The Obama administration is doing its utmost to sign a deal with Iran right now, and Israel is upset about it. And today there is an article on page A13 of the New York Times headlined “Clinton Wants to Improve Ties With Israel,” that reports that Clinton called Malcolm Hoenlein, the president of a leading American pro-Israel organization, yesterday to say that she wants the relations between the countries to get back on a positive track after the mess Obama has made.
“Secretary Clinton thinks we need to all work together to return the special U.S.-Israel relationship to constructive footing, to get back to basic shared concerns and interests, including a two-state solution pursued through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians,” Mr. Hoenlein said in a statement issued by his organization on Sunday evening. “We must ensure that Israel never becomes a partisan issue,” he quoted her as saying. Mrs. Clinton knows Mr. Hoenlein from her time in the Senate.
The Times notes that Clinton’s comments “contrasted in tone from recent remarks by members of the Obama administration, who have publicly criticized [the] Prime Minister.”
Of course, the leading anticipated Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s comments have also contrasted in tone to Obama’s; he pledged “unwavering” support for Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu. Senator Ted Cruz, who announced for the Republican nomination a week ago, also contrasts in tone. He told CNN yesterday:
I think the United States should stand unshakeably with Israel. I think one of the most disgraceful aspects of the Obama presidency is how it has treated Prime Minister Netanyahu… They [Obama administration officials] have demonstrated an arrogance that America is going to dictate the terms of security in Israel.
(Not to mention all the Republican legislators who are running over to hold the Prime Minister’s hand and allay his concerns about the Obama administration.)
What’s going on here? Why are the leading contenders to take Obama’s place in the White House climbing over one another to throw our president’s foreign policy under the bus? It can’t be because American Jewish voters want them to; American Jews support Obama’s foreign policy. No, it’s about money. Jim Lobe says the Republicans are in the Sheldon Adelson primary, trying to raise money from rich pro-Israel Jews. Hillary Clinton also needs to raise money from the Israel lobby, Haim Saban for instance.
But The New York Times article says not a word about Hillary Clinton’s fundraising efforts. With foreign policy shaping up as a major issue in the presidential sweepstakes, it’s about time the media spoke frankly about these financial factors. Right now, the approved euphemism is, “domestic political concerns.” The Times has no problem finding analysts whenever it needs one; can’t they find an analyst who will explain the link between financial contributions and the unanimous sellout of our president’s foreign policy?
P.S. Hoenlein played an important role in Clinton and Obama’s political relationship before. From the New York Times just three months ago:
Once elected [in 2008], Obama seemed to understand that he needed someone to lend him credibility with the Israeli government and its American defenders, a tough friend of Israel who could muscle the country away from settlements and toward a peace agreement. An aide to Obama called Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, and asked him to call Hillary Clinton to see if she would be “agreeable” to being named secretary of state.