Is There a Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations?

The editors of Commentary believe there is, and they know which parties bear the responsibility for it:

The relationship between the United States and Israel is in jeopardy because, from the moment his administration began, Barack Obama has consciously, deliberately, and with malice aforethought sought to jeopardize it. He did so in part because he is committed to the idea that Israel must retreat to its 1967 borders, dismantle its settlements, and will a Palestinian state into existence. He views Israel’s inability or unwillingness to do these things as a moral stain.

But the depth of Obama’s anger toward Israel and [Benjamin] Netanyahu suggests that there is far more to it than that. Israel stands in the way of what the president hopes might be his crowning foreign-policy achievement: a new order in the Middle East represented by a new entente with Iran. Netanyahu’s testimony on behalf of his country and his people is this: a nuclear Iran will possess the means to visit a second Holocaust on the Jews in a single day. His testimony on behalf of everyone else is this: a nuclear Iran will set off an arms race in the Middle East that will threaten world order, the world’s financial stability, and the lives of untold millions. Simply put, Obama finds the witness Israel is bearing to the threat posed by Iran unbearable. . . .

Pro-Israel Democrats, [however,] don’t simply have an “Obama problem.” The president did not create Israel’s status as a wedge issue for his party. He has only exploited it. Certainly, the supportive voting record of Democratic members of Congress acts as an important check on the rougher treatment Israel would receive from an unfiltered expression of the party’s activist base. But it also masks the anti-Zionist populism so prevalent on college campuses and among leftist political pressure groups.