Why Americans Support Israel

(Ha'aretz) Evan Gottesman - Rep. Ilhan Omar's comments about lobby money being behind support for Israel in American politics betray a serious misunderstanding about what makes support for Israel such a potent political current in the U.S. Much of Israel's political cachet in American domestic politics comes from the Evangelical Christian community. Their ideological conviction is real and requires no buyout. Moreover, much of American Jewry feels a genuine bond with Israel, independent of any lobby. Then there are other aspects of the relationship that are more broadly appealing to Americans. There is the idea that Israel is a democratic outpost of Western civilization on the edge of an untamed wilderness. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Israel's enemies were recast in the same mold as the Islamic fundamentalist hijackers who brought down the Twin Towers. Israel is also a key American strategic and intelligence partner in the Middle East. The truth is that elected leaders don't simply boost Israel to cash in. They do so because it is appealing to constituents of many political stripes. The writer is associate director of policy and communications at the Israel Policy Forum.

2019-02-12 00:00:00

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