Retract, Boehner

Pete Wehner, formerly at the Bush White House and now writing for Commentary, among other things, draws a line:

It’s perfectly acceptable if people want to criticize Obama for his comments. One could, for example, dispute Obama’s assertion that the Israeli-Palestinian issue “infect[s] all of our foreign policy.” There is a widespread view among many foreign policy elites that all the problems of the Middle East can be traced to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I believe that proposition is false and belied by history (see the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and Syria’s subjugation of Lebanon for starters). In addition, jihadists don’t need the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an excuse to kill Americans. Osama bin Laden’s fatwas, issued in the late 1990’s, were at least as concerned with our presence in Mecca and Medina and our policies toward Iraq as our policies toward Israel.

Jihadists will certainly use our support for Israel as an excuse to attack us, but our mere existence will also do. That said, there are more than enough legitimate grounds on which to criticize Obama. It’s not necessary, and it’s wrong and dishonest, to tether him to claims he simply did not make. John Boehner should correct the record.