How Obama Lost on Israel

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JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - SEPTEMBER 18: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C), talks during the weekly cabinet meeting on September 18, 2011 in Jerusalem, Israel. Netanyahu says the Palestinians' statehood bid at the United Nations this week will fail because it bypasses the Jewish state. Also seen in the picture are cabinet secretary Zvi Houser (R) and Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom (L).

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may not exactly get along, but Obama has time and time again had Israel’s back—and will again this week, as the U.S. is expected to veto the Palestinians’ U.N. Security Council bid for statehood. “How, exactly, did Obama come to be portrayed, and perceived by many American Jews, as the most ardently anti-Israel president since Jimmy Carter?” John Heilmann asks in New York. Much of the blame, Heilmann argues, lies with Netanyahu, who has undercut his American counterpart. In the worst instance, Netanyahu lectured Obama for seven and a half minutes on camera after Obama called for 1967 borders with “mutually agreed land swaps.” This has always been an agreed-upon solution to any peace deal, but Netanyahu tore into Obama because he “knew he could get away with it—so staunch and absolute is the bipartisan support he commands in the U.S.”