One of the most irritating memes in conservative commentary these days is the idea that Obama subverts allies and aids rivals. They have been pushing this one right from the beginning. This is a pretty blatant accusation of treachery and/or naivete, and it isn’t true. Naturally, this latest quarrel with Israel has become another entry on the indictment against Obama for the supposed “squeeze” he puts on allies. The only trouble with this argument is that there is no real squeeze. There is a lot of talk that I assume everyone involved knows will lead to nothing. It’s as if all of the parties know that the entire quarrel is a charade, but now that it has started it has to be played out.
Incredibly, despite the absence of any meaningful consequences for Netanyahu’s government from Washington, the administration is supposedly being very “hard” on Israel while it is being equally “soft” on Iran. There is an Iran gasoline embargo bill pending in Congress, where it has overwhelming support, and it seems unlikely that Obama would veto it if the bill came to his desk. On the other hand, the administration is throwing a public fit over the treatment of the Vice President during his visit to Israel and not doing much more than that. No honest person could conclude from this that it is Israel that has been getting the squeeze.