Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time For Kentucky Senate Candidates to Talk About Israel

Kentucky's GOP Senate primary includes an issue that Trey Grayson has thus far failed to exploit: U.S. support for Israel or rather, the Obama administration's lack thereof.

Grayson's support for Israel is unequivocal. Rand Paul, in contrast, attracts supporters who believe in the old blood libels, conspiracies, cabals and other anti-Semitic nonsense. And Rand Paul, like his career politician father, is isolationist to the point where he would abandon our allies even at America's own peril.

Politico has recognized that Israel is becoming a primary issue. The Obama administration's failure to have Israel's back concerns more than Jewish voters:

For many Republicans — particularly conservative Christians who are strongly pro-Israel — President Barack Obama’s nuanced approach, and its results so far, represent a betrayal of a key ally. Many also view the ongoing debate as a proxy for the debate over the muscularity of American foreign policy.

“Support for Israel is one of those issues, like anti-communism used to be, that holds together a number of pieces of the conservative movement, including evangelicals but also neocons, economic conservatives and foreign policy hawks,” said Tevi Troy, a visiting senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who served as Jewish liaison in the George W. Bush White House.

.A February Gallup survey found Democratic voters evenly split on whether they sympathized more with the Israelis or the Palestinians. Republicans are far more united in their support for Israel, the poll found, with 85 percent saying they sympathized more with the Israelis

America's interests are inextricably tied with Israel's. It is the only true democracy in the region, and in a post 9/11 world, it is our most important ally and source of intelligence. It is surrounded by countries that deny its very right to exist -- one of which, Iran -- is aggressively developing nuclear weapons to "wipe Israel off the map."

It is time for Trey Grayson to force Rand Paul to say how he would vote for aid to Israel if elected.

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