Jewish GOP/conservative praise for Obama’s Israel performance

Don’t expect Jewish hawks, conservatives and Republicans to start developing a strong case of Obama love. But several voices in these camps are praising the president’s recent trip to Israel. [[READMORE]]

Jonathan Tobin, senior online editor at Commentary, says Obama did/said enough to silence any talk of his being anti-Israel:

But one thing has undoubtedly changed in the aftermath of the presidential visit to Israel: Barack Obama’s image as an antagonist of the Jewish state. In terms of his attitude toward Israel, in the past three days Obama has altered his status in that regard from being the second coming of Jimmy Carter to that of another Bill Clinton. That won’t exempt him from criticism, nor does it mean that he will have even a remote chance of succeeding in moving the region toward peace. But it does mean that many of his Jewish and Democratic defenders have been to some extent vindicated and his critics chastened, if not silenced.

Kenneth Bialkin, a veteran lay leader of Jewish organizations and GOP donor/Republican Jewish Coalition board member, issued a statement praising Obama’s performance. To be fair, he offered praise from his perch as chairman of the board of the nonpartisan Israel American Friendship League, not as a private individual. But, still.

The President’s aspiration for peace, the building of trust and the development of modernity and prosperity set a target for future agreement. His good will and inspirational tone is a basis for hope and optimism for which he should be thanked."

And then there was the Zionist Organization of America and its president, Mort Klein. The group, a frequent critic of Obama and U.S. efforts to press for a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority, did indeed put out a statement criticizing the president’s speech to Israeli univeristy students. But, within minutes, it also issued a statement praising Obama’s overall trip.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) today praised several important, positive statements made by President Barack Obama’s during his visit to Israel. In speeches delivered in Israel, President Obama testified to the millennia-old Jewish religious and historical bond with the land of Israel; the success of Zionism in transforming the Jewish people into a genuinely free people in their own land; called for Hizballah to be labeled by all as a terrorist organization; called for the Palestinians to accept Israel as a Jewish state and for Arab nations to normalize relations with Israel; and affirmed America as Israel’s strongest ally and greatest friend.

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