The longstanding relationship between America and Israel is very different between the alliance between America and countries like England, France, and Germany. Ostensibly our connection to the European powers are equal to equal. Despite our superpower status, these nations are looking us directly in the eye.
Israel is not. Israel relies on us to be their big brother, protector and benefactor. America sides with Israel as a bulwark of representative democracy in the monarchy-dominated Middle East, but we also write the checks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, as of late, been acting as if Israel is not America’s junior partner but rather a co-equal partner. I suspect the main reason he has done this without any major push back is because American politicians on either side of the aisle have a fear of upsetting the apple cart on American-Israeli relations.
In 2008 then – Senator Obama dutifully addressed AIPAC, like everybody else who runs for President does. He did not shake up the relationship once he became President, though he has been less likely to respond “how high?” to Netanyahu demands/requests. It certainly doesn’t help that in 2012 Netanyahu all but campaigned for his friend Mitt Romney in a disgraceful display I doubt we would have tolerated from other world leaders.
A few Democrats are boycotting the Netanyahu show, unfortunately my congressman Chris Van Hollen isn’t, but our other progressive Maryland representative, Donna Edwards, is not going. Shame on Rep. Van Hollen.He and others in attendance are serving in the role of backdrops in a campaign event for Netanyahu’s Likud Party.
As others have documented, the reason for the Netanyahu show is attempting to scuttle the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.Israel’s government has a long record of being a Chicken Little on this issue, but most importantly the current government is overstepping its role. This is about our negotiations – particularly Secretary Kerry – with Iran. Not the Likud’s re-election ambitions. This is, no doubt, about Israel’s safety but also of the region. It’s too important for Netanyahu’s ego to mess it up.
The junior partner needs to be reminded of its role and to have its current chaos-minded Prime Minister shut his mouth.