Bibi Buckles Before the Cuba Lobby

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Goldblog reader Max Socol writes, in reference to the Cuba Lobby's smothering of a nascent Cuba-Israel dialogue:

I sense a trend coming.  First the Emergency Committee for Israel backs Pat Toomey, who voted multiple times against economic aid to Israel, because his rival is bad for Israel.  Then Eric Cantor, champion of the land, tries to make it easier to vote against aid to Israel.  Then pro-Israel (Congresswoman) Ros-Lehtinen smothers in its cradle a potentially fruitful diplomatic opening for Israelis.  

I'm already trying to figure out how and when the so-pro-Israel-they're-anti-Israel crowd will get even more pro-Israel, such that they circle all the way back around to actually being pro-Israel again.  What will that brave new world even look like?

More on this later, but Socol is on to something interesting: Ostensibly pro-Israel Republicans who, in their desire to defeat the Democrats on every front, actually wind up hurting Israel. The Netanyahu government understood very well that Fidel Castro's condemnation of Iranian anti-Semitism, and his forceful statement endorsing Israel's right-to-exist, were of great strategic value, especially as the global left lines up in support of a boycott-Israel movement. But Israel's great friend, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the incoming chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, knew better.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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