Think Progress powns the RNC’s Steele


I don’t usually resort to such schoolyard terminology (is it powns? pawns? Anyhow.)

But Think Progress does it to the Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele.

Steele, making the case against U.S. pressure on Israel at a pro-settler united Jerusalem** rally in New York this weekend, not only overreached — perhaps the prerogative of political pit bulls, which party chairmen are — he overreached with exquisitely bad timing.

That’s not to say that Israel has been abandoned, however, by the American people. But there is no denying that the current administration and its Congressional collaborators have left Israel to fend for herself.

As Matt Duss, a blogger for the Center for American Progress website points out, Steele charged President Obama and Democrats in Congress with leaving Israel "to fend for itself" just days after Obama initiated and the Democratic-led House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved $205 million for an Israeli missile defense program above and beyond the $3 billion Israel receives in annual defense assistance.

There’s much fodder for critical analysis of how the Obama administration has handled the relationship with Israel.

"Fending for oneself" naturally evokes defense assistance, though — and considering how increasing numbers of congressional Republicans have in recent years voted against the foreign assistance package (which includes the $3 billion for Israel), it might be an attack posture Republicans should be wary of assuming.

The Steele video is below.

*The commenter below is right; it was not a pro-settler rally. My bad.

**Hoo boy. Correcting a correction is never fun, but this is more of a clarification. Matt (again, below) is right that the poster (pdf) for the rally advertised "no concessions" in the West Bank, although its thrust was Jerusalem. Additionally, the sponsors include an array of explicitly pro-settlement groups.

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