Once again, as he and his representatives have done for three years, the president gave lip service to the idea that "all options are on the table" regarding Iran's nuclear program. All empty cliches are on the table, obviously. But just a couple of weeks ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made it very clear that the U.S. has no intention of using anything other than "diplomatic" pressure to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Panetta went further and emphasized that the U.S. would be heartily displeased if Israel were to attack Iran's nuclear sites.
From the start of his presidency, Obama has attempted to distance the U.S. from Israel. It began with a unilateral demand that Israel halt all settlement activity before talks with the Palestinians could resume. It escalated with a U.N. speech in which the president drew an equivalence between the Holocaust and the statelessness of the Palestinian people. It continued with the president's enraged response to the decision by the Israeli government to build homes for Jews in the Jewish capital city. And it reached a new point of crisis when the president suggested that Israel should withdraw to the pre-1967 borders.
Under this administration, in a departure from decades of settled diplomacy, the U.S. has demanded that Israel sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. With the exception of a perfunctory condemnation of a gruesome Palestinian terror attack on a Jewish family, this administration has reserved all of its anger for Israel.
Above all, the Obama administration has failed to provide the kind of moral support that Israel needs now more than ever. Behind the scenes, military-to-military cooperation is fine. But the greatest threats to Israel are strategic (Iran's nuclear ambitions) and political. From the U.N., to an increasingly anti-Israel Europe, to the university campuses in this country, Israel's very legitimacy is under relentless attack. The U.S. has traditionally been the bulwark against such delegitimization. Under Obama, the U.S. has, in Jeane Kirkpatrick's phrase, "joined the jackals."