Bibi Buckles Before the Cuba Lobby

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/11/bibi-buckles-before-the-cuba-lobby/66961/