For the past few years, Republicans have incessantly attempted to argue that Barack Obama — one of the most authentically Zionist politicians America has ever seen — is “anti-Israel”. It was always a laughable claim. But it’s more so given the three Republican candidates who finished in an essential dead-heat for first place amongst Iowa Caucus voters: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul. None of them can lay a strong claim to being “pro-Israel”, and two of them I think have to be considered actively antagonistic to Israel’s perpetuation as a Jewish, democratic state.
Start with Mitt Romney. Romney famously declared that Obama “threw Israel under the bus” because he said a peace agreement should be based on 1967 borders. I remain baffled by what other basis their might be for a two-state solution (The partition plan? Drawing straws?), and I doubt Romney has any better idea, because I doubt Romney actually knows or cares that much about Israel’s longevity.
But you know what? Spot them Romney. Let’s just look at Paul and Santorum. Paul is an easy case — his own aides admit he’s been anti-Israel, and belated efforts to describe his isolationist foreign policy as the most pro-Israel act of all notwithstanding, few in the Jewish community see him as a friend.
That leaves Santorum, who is filling the niche of this year’s Mike Huckabee. And like Huckabee, Santorum has come out as a one-stater, proclaiming that everyone currently residing between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean is an “Israeli” and thus the West Bank should be part of Israel, permanently. Since all Israelis must presumably be given equal rights of suffrage (among other things), this will render Israel’s Jewish majority precarious at best and likely lead to its demise as a Jewish state.
He joins folks like Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) as part of the Hamas wing of the Republican Party, as the radical one-state policies they espouse bear far more in common with the ambitions of the Islamist terrorist movement than they do those of any Israeli government or serious political party. And what we’ve seen is that, amongst Republican voters, this sort of outlook — one that is fundamentally apathetic, at best, towards Israel’s long-term survival as a Jewish, democratic state — is overwhelmingly popular.