ME, GENERAL PETRAEUS & THE ISRAEL LOBBY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ME, GENERAL PETRAEUS & THE ISRAEL LOBBY

MJ Rosenberg

Some readers think I exaggerate the influence of the lobby. I don’t — I used to work at AIPAC and on its favorite stomping ground, Capitol Hill. The latest evidence of the fear and trembling produced by the Israel lobby was evidenced last week when it was revealed that General David Petraeus was upset and worried by a column I wrote in March.

The old adage “politics stops at the water’s edge” does not apply to the Middle East.

When it comes to all matters relating to Israel, foreign policy is politics. It is absolutely impossible to imagine US policy toward Israel not being intertwined with politics and political fund-raising.

That is how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s meetings with President Obama and other administration officials this week should be viewed.

As David Makovsky of the AIPAC-created Washington Institute for Near East Policy told the Washington Post: “As we get closer to the midterm elections, if there was a gap, it’s narrowing…. I think the blowup in March between Obama and Netanyahu has led each side to realize that they’ve gone too far, and they’ve got to dial it down.”

Makovsky’s opening reference to the “midterm elections” is the key. The United States has to make things right with Israel or the Democratic Party will pay a price, quite literally.

Israel’s loquacious ambassador, Michael Oren, confidently predicted that, unlike the last White House meeting between Netanyahu and Obama, there will be photographers on hand to record the two leaders making nice.

“We are going to have a lot of photographers,” Oren said. Laughing, he added: “There are going to be more photographers there than at the Academy Awards.”

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