However, it's clear that Israel can no longer count on U.S. support no matter what it does, because the political atmosphere here is changing so fast. There are countless thousands of Donell Weinkopfs throughout the United States, Jews who would not have dreamed of criticizing Israel a few years ago, but are now thinking for themselves rather than offering knee-jerk praise.
That does not sound like a community ready to use its political clout to "stand with Israel" no matter what the Jewish state does. It sounds like a community that identifies as American more that as Jewish, is split by internal conflict on the question of Israel (when it bothers to think about that question at all), and may well be open to supporting Obama and his Middle East policies, even when they involve pressure on Israel.
So AIPAC knows that its old fear-based tactics may still work, but not nearly as well as they once did. Netanyahu knows it too. So does Obama. That's why the rules of U.S. - Israel relations are changing, even if only slightly thus far.
But Obama has his own fears. He and his party face an uphill political fight this year. He cannot know for sure how far he can push the Israelis without triggering a backlash -- not only among Jewish voters but among the many Christians who support Israel for their own reasons, and among a general public long conditioned by the media to see Israel as an underdog oppressed by Muslim "evildoers." Already Republican ... >>>
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