Relations between Washington and Jerusalem reel from bad to worse. In his latest speech to the Knesset, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "slammed" President Obama. Ridiculing Obama as "naive," Netanyahu yearned for the bad old days of Arab dictatorships friendly to Israel before the Arab Spring.
At the same time, DCCC Chair, Congressman Steve Israel, (D-NY) demands an audit of US aid provided to the Palestinian Authority because of recent developments at the UN and negotiations between political factions, Fatah and Hamas.
A couple of weeks ago, US Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, visited Israel to secure their assurances that they would inform the USA before they launched any attack against Iran. Panetta's Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak, flatly refused the request.
In the Republican presidential debates, Mitt Romney backs unbridled Israeli policy against Iran and throughout the Middle East. So do most other Republicans from Bachmann to Perry to Santorum who support Israel unequivocally. Ron Paul is the lone Republican outrider who says Israel is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and can take care of herself.
In the latest CBS poll on foreign policy, there were some surprising results. Americans are less supportive of Israel, and there is a stark partisan divide. One thing is crystal clear, Republicans support Israel much more strongly than Democrats. For example, 58% of Republicans believe Israel is an ally of the USA, against only 29% of Democrats who concur, a two-to-one margin. At the same time, 26% of Republicans believe that Israel is "friendly but not an ally," while 40% of Democrats say the same thing - that Israel is "not an ally." In the CBS poll, 4% of Republicans and 8% of Democrats say Israel is, "unfriendly," while 3% of Republicans and 9% of Democrats say that Israel is an "enemy." Thus, while 58% of Republicans think Israel is an ally, 59% of Democrats say that Israel is "not an ally" or "unfriendly" or an "enemy."
Given the current lack of trust between the US and Israel set against the political hostility between the Prime Minister and the President along with the dramatically changing American attitudes to the US-Israel relationship, the question is: Why is Steve Israel jumping through Netanyahu's hoops while the Prime Minister is dissing the President while coddling his Republican opponents and refusing to cooperate with US national security policy?