Obama's Election Year Conversion On Israel

Posted by Brian

How the Obama Administration Has Changed Its Tune on Israel 
by Eli Lake Mar 6, 2012 4:45 AM EST

It wasn’t long ago that the White House was angering Israeli leaders with statements seen as critical. But 2012 is an election year, and that makes all the difference.

It was one of those moments you could experience only at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference. At the lectern was Susan Rice, President Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations. In the audience were 300 rabbis, Jewish-community leaders, and AIPAC delegates who were allowed to attend Rice’s speech, an event left off the public agenda for the conference.

Rice, an African-American, began her remarks by quoting in stilted Hebrew from a traditional Jewish hymn, “Hiney ma tov u’ma-mayim. Shevet akh-im gam ya-chad,” which translates: “Behold how good and pleasing it is for brothers to sit together.” When she finished her speech—about how she and her staff work every day to defend Israel at Turtle Bay—the audience broke into the same song the ambassador had quoted at the start: “Hiney ma tov u’ma-nayim,” everyone sang. “Shevet akh-im gam ya-chad.”
Listening to the speech, it would be hard to discern that Rice had caused a stir with the Israeli government little more than a year ago. At that time, Israeli officials didn’t like her remarks at all. Following an American veto of a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, Rice had explained the vote like this: “While we agree with our fellow council members—and indeed, with the wider world—about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians. We therefore regrettably have opposed this draft resolution.”
Read More at The Daily Beast
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