In early April, Vice President Biden was asked if the administration was concerned that Israel might strike at Iran's nuclear facilities. "I don't believe Prime Minister Netanyahu would do that," Mr. Biden replied. "I think he would be ill advised to do that."
A few weeks later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained the administration's solution to the threat of an Iranian bomb: "For Israel to get the kind of strong support it's looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can't stay on the sideline with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts ... they go hand in hand."
And on May 10, National Security Adviser James Jones spelled it out further: "We understand Israel's preoccupation with Iran as an existential threat. We agree with that. ... By the same token, there are a lot of things that you can do to diminish that existential threat by working hard towards achieving a two-state solution."
By what reasoning has the administration decided that pushing Israel to permit a new Palestinian state would -- in any way -- diminish the threat from Iran? Do they believe that Iran's (or I should say the Iranian leadership's) genocidal hostility toward Israel is the result of lack of progress toward an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza? Will the Iranian leadership, which has characterized Israel as a "cancerous tumor," declared that "Israel must we wiped off the map," and promised that "Israel is destined for destruction and will soon disappear" is going to change its mind if Israel enters into negotiations with the Palestinians?
"Obama will be a great friend to Israel." So said a Jewish Democrat in a pre-election debate with me. I asked her whether she had any hesitations about someone who had been steeped in academic pieties and Hyde Park leftwing intellectual fashions, and who had tamely absorbed the Rev. Wright's sermons for 20 years? Her response was to mouth some of the platitudes about support for Israel that were to be found on the Obama campaign's website. I wonder if she is having doubts now.
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