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Oct 24, 2012

Are Republican presidents Better For Israel Than Democrat Presidents?

I have already voted, absentee, in the 2013 US elections. I celebrate the freedoms this world offers to me, and voting in the US elections is one of those freedoms. it is a responsibility, a freedom and an honor to be able to participate in the democratic process, to influence, even in just a small way, one of the greatest and most powerful countries in the world. No, I won't tell you which candidate I voted for.

That being the case, I truly don't believe there is much of a difference between Republican and Democrat presidents in regards to Israel. They both try to make it appear as if they are great friends of Israel, but, I think and understand from many things I have read, that when the media is not present presidents from both parties put the screws to the Israelis in order to promote American interests. I really don't believe a Republican president is more friendly to Israel, despite the public image that this is the case, and more flexible for Israel's needs than a Democrat president. I really think it makes no difference, from Israel's perspective, which candidate will win.

Support for this position can be found in Efraim Halevy's op-ed article today in the New York Times. Efraim Halevy is a former head of the Mossad. According to Efraim Halevy, the more serious and intense pressure on israel always came from the Republican presidents, and not from the Democrat presidents. And he notes that George W Bush was the most notable of presidents to pressure Israel to support policy that was counter to its own interests. Halevy says that despite statements indicating otherwise, Democrat presidents never strong-armed Israel.

Indeed, whenever the United States has put serious, sustained pressure on Israel’s leaders — from the 1950s on — it has come from Republican presidents, not Democratic ones. This was particularly true under Mr. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.
[...]
Despite the Republican Party’s shrill campaign rhetoric on Israel, no Democratic president has ever strong-armed Israel on any key national security issue. In the 1956 Suez Crisis, it was a Republican, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who joined the Soviet Union in forcing Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula after a joint Israeli-British-French attack on Egypt.
[...]
In all of these instances, a Republican White House acted in a cold and determined manner, with no regard for Israel’s national pride, strategic interests or sensitivities. That’s food for thought in October 2012.

Perhaps Halevy has an agenda. Perhaps Halevy is working to counter the image of Netanyahu seemingly supportive of Mitt Romney so that Israel does not "lose" no matter who wins. Or maybe he is telling it like it is.



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7 comments:

  1. Well, he's right about Eisenhower - I don't think any President ever pushed Israel so hard, or unreasonably, as Eisenhower after the '56 war. And then, there's George Bush Sr., the "one lonely guy" standing up to the forces of the Zionist lobby. And even George W. Bush - I know most of us think of him as a great friend, but I haven't forgotten how adamant he was about Israel getting out of Jenin at the height of the second Intifada. Fortunately, Sharon ignored him until the army did what it had to do.

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  2. The article ignores Jimmy Carter's pressuring Israel in the Camp David accords. Israel did not want to give the whole Sinai back, though they were willing to give a part of it. Carter insisted that the entire region - including air bases, Israeli-developed oil fields, and thriving settlements - be returned to Egypt.

    We need to look at the individual running, and not only the party, in deciding whom to vote for.

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  3. it probably ignores that because the given is that democrat presidents are pressuring israel. his position is that really the repubs pressure worse.

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    1. I didn't read his article that way. My take is that he's saying that Republicans pressure Israel, not Democrats - and I was pointing out that that is not the case.

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    2. And let's not forget the Clinton administration.

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  4. I read Halevy's op-ed piece in the Times. Unfortunately, the Times did not allow for reader comments. I just want to know what relevance all this past history has to the current campaign. Is there anything in Mitt Romney's history to suggest that he has ties to the oil industry and the Saudis like George H. W. Bush? Is there anything to suggest that he is anything other than what he says he is - a staunch supporter of the State of Israel? Are we to ignore the last 4 years of the Obama administration behavior and attitude because he is a Democrat? Halevy's history lesson has no relevance to what the American voter is confronted with today.

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  5. Nixon in 1973 was far more supportive of Israel than Johnson in 1967.

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