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Obama-Romney debate Photo: Reuters
 
 

Nothing new under the sun

Op-ed: Regardless of who wins US elections, basic position vis-à-vis Israel will not change

Eitan Haber
Published: 10.22.12, 10:02 / Israel Opinion

It is pathetic how Israelis determine their support for a certain American presidential candidate according to their political beliefs: The rightists are embracing Republican candidate Romney as though he is well-versed in Jabotinsky's writings and sings "Two Banks has the Jordan" with all his heart and soul. The leftists swear by Obama, the savior, as though he had just graduated from the Labor party's course at Beit Berl. Both candidates, at least according to reports in Israel, pray each morning while facing Jerusalem and reciting "Who loves you more than I do?"

 

For both candidates, the State of Israel is a headache, but they remember very well the tale of the 300 confused Jewish grandmothers in a Miami rest home who tipped the scales in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 elections against Al Gore.

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Imagine, tens of millions of people vote in the US, and 300 elderly women who mistakenly voted for Bush rewrote history.

 

The truth is that a Democratic president, Harry S. Truman, won a place in our history when in 1948 he supported the establishment of the State of Israel. But two years later he told a Jewish confidante that Israel was problematic. And it was Republican president Richard Nixon, who was considered by some to be anti-Semitic, who agreed to transfer weapons, ammunition and 120 planes to Israel during the Yom Kippur War, thus helping the state get back on its feet. And it was Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower who in 1956 told David Ben-Gurion to withdraw IDF forces from Sinai and give up his dream of establishing a "third Israeli kingdom." It was Democrat Lyndon Johnson who in 1967 went back on the US's promise to keep the Eilat Bay and Suez Canal open to Israeli shipping.

 

There was also Republican president George Bush, who refused to give Yitzhak Shamir and his government a $10 billion loan guarantee that Israel desperately needed to absorb a million immigrants from the Soviet Union. President Ronald Reagan placed a photo of a severely injured Lebanese girl on his desk at the White House to signify the Israeli "atrocities" during the first Lebanon war. And the list goes on and on.

 

Democratic and Republican presidents have come and gone, but one thing has not changed: The US, regardless of which party is in power, has not recognized the liberated/occupied territories in the West Bank - Judea and Samaria - and has not recognized Jerusalem as Israel's united capital. Every now and again the, both the Republicans and Democrats remind us of this basic position, and Israel, like those three monkeys, sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil. We think we are duping the Americans and creating facts on the ground.

 

Maybe our "trickery" will continue successfully, as it has for the first 45 years. Maybe it won't. The Americans do not forget. And if they do, computers remind them who said what.

 

Rightists dream of Romney in the Oval Office? The leftists are in love with Obama? There have been nine different American presidents since the Six-Day War, but only one thing has remained the same: American policy toward Israel. Therefore, Romney and Obama supporters in Israel should calm down, separately of course. The two candidates will most likely continue with the same policy that no American president has dared to change.

 

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