Republicans and right-wing Israel lobbying groups have mounted a concerted campaign to paint President Obama as being anti-Israel. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Obama has “thrown Israel under the bus” and that the Israel should dictate U.S. policy. Michele Bachmann bizarrely alleged that Obama prefers American 99 Percent protesters over Israel. The Bill Kristol-led Emergency Committee for Israel said Obama was “not pro-Israel.”
But Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak once again pushed back on the meme on CNN Sunday:
ZAKARIA: You know that there are people in the United States who’ve criticized President Obama for not supporting Israel strongly enough. Do you believe that President Obama is a very strong supporter of Israel?
BARAK: He is extremely strong supporter of Israel in regard to its security. I don’t — traditionally, the presidents were support in Israel in keeping its qualitative military edge and taking care of its security needs. But this administration is excelling in this. And it could not have happened without the immediate direct support of the president. So I don’t think that anyone can raise any question mark about the devotion of this president to the security of Israel.
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Barak noted that the American president will not always agree with every little thing that a foreign country’s government wants. But by funding missile defense systems, giving diplomatic support and cover in international fora, and supplying Israel with sophisticated weapons, among other things, even a staunch hawk like Barak seems more than satisfied, perhaps even pleased, with Obama’s level of support for Israel.