Most observers, right or left, pro-Israel or anti-Israel, would agree that Israeli-American relations are the worst they have been in memory. Among the many indications is that only 9 percent of Jewish Israelis think President Barack Obama's administration is more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian, according to a Smith Research poll taken during the last week of March on behalf of The Jerusalem Post. Given how much Israelis love and admire (and emigrate to) America, this level of mistrust is all the more remarkable.
Commentators on the left, of course, blame Israel. For them, this is a no-brainer; blaming Israel is as natural as breathing. One just does it. Furthermore, Israel is headed by a conservative prime minister, and America is presided over by the most pro-left president in its history.
Meanwhile, commentators on the right are virtually unanimous in supporting Israel. This is not simply an anti-Obama, pro-conservative-Netanyahu reflex, however. It stems from a variety of reasons:
First, Israel is our staunchest ally. Among other things, Israel votes with us in the United Nations more often than any other country, and it provides us with uniquely important technological know-how and intelligence.
Second, conservatives' values are closer to Israel's values than perhaps those of any other nation. As President Harry Truman said, "Israel is the embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization."
Third, while a rift with Israel hurts Israel, it hurts America at least as much (as we shall see) and does not make Palestinians any more likely to make peace with the Jewish state. Recall, the Palestinians unleashed mass terror against Israel after a left-leaning Israeli prime minister agreed to give the Palestinians 97 percent of the territory conquered in 1967 and 3 percent more from Israel itself. Why, then, would the Palestinians make peace with Israel now, when half of the Palestinians are governed by Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's destruction? Because Obama humiliated the Israeli prime minister during the latter's visit to Washington -- over Israeli plans to build 1,600 apartments in Jerusalem?
Fourth, the greatest international threat today emanates from Iran, a threat that will be exponentially increased if Iran is not prevented from developing nuclear weapons. A weakened Israel means an emboldened Iran. And this frightens conservatives more than it does the world's left and Obama.