The Democratic Party started to shift away from supporting Israel during the 2012 Democratic Convention, when Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa faced fierce resistance from the floor in attempting to reinsert the longstanding recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel into the official Party Platform.
Israel’s Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu has recognized what American Jewry is still in denial about: The Democratic Party of today is no longer the Democratic Party of old. Like Europe’s Social-Democrats have overwhelmingly turned their back on Israel and its security, so have many Democrats in this country. Contrary to pronouncements by administration and party, Israel’s security concerns are by many no longer considered a priority.
In accepting John Boehner’s invitation Netanyahu, therefore, did not play party politics, as the media and Obama himself claimed. He was playing realpolitik.
The Israeli government must know whom they can trust for support within the U.S. political system. They will find out based on who will and will not show up to listen to the existential security needs of Israel when the Prime Minister appears before Congress.
It will be telling, and will determine future Israeli strategy not only in her relationship with the U.S. but also in military strategy toward Iran. The less Israel can rely on the backing of the U.S., the fewer risks can this small country take. Paradoxically, the more the Obama administration, therefore, disregards Israel’s security needs in a potential deal with Iran, the higher the probability that Israel will strike Iran’s nuclear program in a preventive military strike.