In a debate two weeks ago on U.S.-Israel policy with J Street president Jeremy Ben Ami, neoconservative don Bill Kristol surprised the audience when he said, “I’ve been mostly supportive of the Obama administration in the last couple of years” on Israel, and that he was “happy to agree with Obama to a considerable degree.” Kristol continued that, “The difference” between Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney on issues relating to Iran and Israel “is not that great.”
To say the least, this was a startling admission from a guy who heads up an organization, the Emergency Committee for Israel, that exists solely to scare people about President Obama’s approach to Israel. It was also reminiscent of a previous episode in which ECI’s executive director, Noah Pollak, praised President Obama’s May 2011 speech on the Middle East, but then reversed himself when it became clear that the president’s reference to “the ’67 lines” provided an opportunity for attack.
Well, as before, it looks like Kristol is back on message. In a blog post at the website for his magazine the Weekly Standard, he asks, “Have pro-Israel liberals — at least some of the intelligent ones — finally had enough of President Obama’s incompetence and dithering with respect to Israel and the Middle East?”