Israel has been the one country in the area willing from the start to negotiate away land in return for recognition of its right to exist and a promise of peaceful coexistence from its neighbors. But instead of encouraging that precedent, Obama wants unilateral territorial concessions from Israel in return for empty promises.
The good news is that the Obama plan will go nowhere. There is no chance that Congress will support the administration's heavy-handed pressure on Israel. And the Israelis will never agree to such conditions as a prerequisite to peace negotiations.
And Obama has hurt himself domestically as well. Jewish donors and voters were an important part of Obama's winning coalition in 2008. But many in the pro-Israel community are deeply disturbed at what they see as the president's lukewarm support for Israel and will not likely give him the same level of support in 2012.
On Sunday, the president is set to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the most influential lobbying groups in the country. I expect he'll say all the right things about how important an ally Israel is to the United States and that our two countries share common values and principles. The audience will applaud politely -- and some die-hard Democrats in the group may even tell themselves that Obama is a good friend to Israel.
But the president can't have it both ways. He can't give a speech Thursday that makes dangerous demands on Israel and pretend a few days later that his words have not damaged the important U.S.-Israeli relationship.
Obama has abandoned Israel. Now its time that Israel's supporters in the U.S. abandon him.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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