Debate Summary: Israel, Israel, Israel, Israel - And, oh yeah, America (Justin Raimondo)Submitted by Alliance With None on Thu, 10/25/2012 - 23:23
October 24, 2012
One striking impression of this debate was that out of some 17,000 words uttered by both candidates and the moderator, about half of them were about domestic policy. Neither candidate wanted to talk about foreign policy — because the differences between them are negligible. Out of this half, about 1500 words were devoted to the subject of Israel — around 20 percent. And it’s not as if the candidates disagreed: indeed, they competed for the role of Israel’s Best Friend. Obama was first to pledge allegiance to Tel Aviv, less than ten minutes after the starting bell. Outlining the foundations of his foreign policy, he averred:
“What I’ve done throughout my presidency and will continue to do, is, number one, make sure that these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts; number two, make sure that they are standing by our interests in Israel’s security, because it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region.”
According to the President, Israel’s security is our number two priority not only in the region, but also in a much broader sense, second only to going after our own enemies. That’s an odd way to define our hierarchy of foreign policy values: what about the security and prosperity of the region as a whole? The Israel-pandering was obsessive and I’m not the only one who noticed it.
No aspect of our Middle Eastern policy was discussed without reference to how it might play in Israel. When Syria came up, Obama made a point of saying that although “Syrians are going to have to determine their own future,” our efforts to aid the rebels are being carried out “in consultation with our partners in the region, including Israel, which obviously has a huge interest in seeing what happens in Syria.” Romney chimed in:
“Secondly, Syria’s an opportunity for us because Syria plays an important role in the Middle East, particularly right now. Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea. It’s the route for them to arm Hezbollah in Lebanon, which threatens, of course, our ally Israel… We need to make sure as well that we coordinate this effort with our allies and particularly with — with — with Israel.”