Robert Wexler, a former Representative from Florida and the current President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, wrote an extensive defense of President Barack Obama’s track record as a pro-Israel leader in Wednesday’s Jerusalem Post. Wexler targeted Republican presidential candidates for their unwarranted and baseless smears against the President, and countered arguments by Obama’s opponents to disprove rumors and false accusations. He also included direct quotes from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, and other Israeli security leaders who have praised Obama for his pro-Israel efforts.
Wexler pointed out that while Republican presidential candidates were slinging inaccurate claims against the President, Obama worked to save the Israelis trapped in the Cairo embassy:
It is ironic that Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, as well as numerous other Republican groups and individuals, have chosen this month to escalate their smear campaign against President Obama’s pro- Israel record. While President Obama has consistently acted to protect Israel’s safety and interests over his entire time in office, the events of this month in particular - both in the US and in the Middle East - serve as a sharp rebuttal to these partisan efforts to spread misrepresentations and falsities.
While the president’s detractors spent the past two weeks falsely claiming he has called to divide Jerusalem, that he demanded Israel return to its pre-1967 borders, or that he snubbed Prime Minister Netanyahu during Netanyahu’s first visit to the White House (a myth vociferously debunked by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren), the president was busy helping to save the lives of six Israelis trapped inside the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
‘The President of the United States, Barack Obama… used all of the considerable means and influence of the United States to help us,’ Netanyahu said earlier this week. ‘We owe him a special measure of gratitude.’
Obama’s most recent testament to his pro-Israel stance came on Wednesday during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly:
This week, the Palestinian Authority is preparing to submit a resolution to the United Nations asking it to unilaterally recognize a state of Palestine. For months, the president has been publicly condemning this move in no uncertain terms, saying at his May speech at the State Department, ‘Efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure [and] symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state.’ He has explicitly threatened to veto the Palestinian resolution if it is brought to the Security Council.
But the Obama administration has not stopped at impressive rhetoric - they have followed up their statements with relentless efforts at the highest levels to block the resolution. The administration has directly expressed to the Palestinians its strong opposition to their campaign and stressed grave consequences if they proceed. It has also communicated to over 150 capitals around the world the urgency to vote against or abstain from a vote if there should be one. Oren, the Israeli ambassador, reports that the US and Israel have been coordinating in a ‘daily and intensive manner’ and ‘very much see eye to eye’ about the gravity of the threat. President Obama has personally been directing these efforts.
Click here for Wexler’s full op-ed.
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