327 members of the U.S. House of Representatives — three quarters of that body — have signed a letter expressing concern about “the highly publicized tensions” in US-Israeli relations. The letter leaves unsaid that President Obama has contributed mightily to both the tensions and their publicity, but that fact is almost too obvious to require recitation. The letter was addressed to Secretary of State Clinton, another major contributor to the problems it cites.
The 327 signatures reportedly were collected in just three days, so perhaps there were even more to be had. The important thing, though, was to send the letter quickly and thus to convey to the Israeli government and people that Congress overwhelmingly rejects Obama’s strident approach to relations with Israel and expects the administration’s differences with Israel to be smoothed over “quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies.”
The letter quotes Vice President Biden’s statement while in Israel earlier this month, that “progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the US and Israel when it comes to security, none.” It also states that “a strong Israel is an asset to the national security of the United States and brings stability to the Middle East.”
The American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) issued a statement applauding “this enormous outpouring of support.” It singled out for praise the two principal signatories, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Republican Whip Eric Cantor, along with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), Mideast subcommittee Chairman Gary Ackerman, and Ranking Member Dan Burton.
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