Just fifteen days ago we were awash in warnings about President Obama, whose alleged animus toward Israel was going to make itself painfully known just as soon as he was re-elected. Obama will throw Israel under the bus…Obama will reveal himself in his second term….
“Think about Obama’s anti-Israel friends and mentors—radicals like Rashid Khalidi, Frank Marshall Davis, Jeremiah Wright, or the late Edward Said, the virulently anti-Israel professor under whom Obama studied,” we were warned by Sheldon Adelson. “Has he made anti-Israel promises to them? Is Obama’s campaign rhetoric in support of Israel only creating ‘space’ till after the election?”
Well, here we are, post-election. Doomsday!
Just mere weeks after the election, no one expected that Obama’s first real test on Israel would come quite so quickly and under such frightening circumstances. But it did. And throughout Operation Pillar of Defense, President Obama acted like a pro-Israel president would. He affirmed and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself and blocked efforts by the United Nations to howl their condemnations. He insisted first that Hamas stop firing rockets. He warned against, but did not outright oppose, what would have likely been a disastrous ground invasion campaign for Israel. He dispatched his most able and highest ranking diplomat to mediate the ceasefire. And perhaps most importantly of all, the Iron Dome system that he (along with bipartisan support) underwrote was instrumental in not only saving Israeli lives, but altering the shape of what could have been a much bloodier conflict.
Israel remains popular across the aisle and American efforts to defend it are led by a president who has (for now) proven that his words and deeds match. This week especially, I’m thankful for that.
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.