With the tension between Washington and Jerusalem showing few signs of abating, is President Obama alienating the Jews? The Associated Press reports:
Barack Obama reached out to skeptical Jewish political activists immediately after nailing down his presidential nomination in 2008, promising he would "never compromise" in his support for Israel. Now president, he risks alienating a core Democratic constituency by ratcheting up a public feud with Israel’s prime minister.
Obama’s demands that Israel cancel new housing construction in Palestinian areas of east Jerusalem may be backfiring. The hardball tactic clearly failed to advance prospects for restarting Middle East peace talks, and it may be undermining Obama’s standing among Jewish groups in the United States.
It also enabled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to strike a defiant stance while in Washington, to bask in warm bipartisan praise from congressional leaders and to visit the White House without having to apologize or give in to Obama’s demands.
Yet Israel badly needs the United States as a strong ally. The two leaders are now caught in a high-stakes diplomatic standoff as both sides work to defuse rising tensions.
Full story here.