IS­RAEL

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - THE VIEW FROM

MOST IS­RAELIS are happy to see the back of Pres­i­dent Obama. His re­fusal to veto the an­ti­set­tle­ment UN res­o­lu­tion 2334 and John Kerry’s speech crit­i­cis­ing Is­raeli pol­icy in the West Bank are viewed as symp­to­matic of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s fail­ure. Half-a-mil­lion peo­ple die in Syria, but Kerry fo­cuses on a few ex­tra houses in the West Bank. More gen­er­ally, both Is­rael and Amer­ica’s Arab al­lies thought Obama’s poli­cies were naïve and dan­ger­ous.

With Obama gone, most Is­raelis as­sume that the re­la­tion­ship with the US can return to the ca­ma­raderie of yes­ter­year. In the short term, they might be right. How­ever, in the longer term, Kerry and Obama’s part­ing shots are symp­to­matic of a much deeper chal­lenge to the spe­cial re­la­tion­ship.

Since 1948, the Amer­i­can pub­lic has been over­whelm­ingly more sym­pa­thetic to Is­rael than to the Pales­tini­ans. This has been the case for ev­ery ma­jor re­li­gious, eth­nic, ide­o­log­i­cal and po­lit­i­cal group. But in the last year things have changed. For the first time, lib­eral Democrats pre­fer the Pales­tini­ans to Is­rael, while Democrats as a whole are al­most evenly di­vided in their sym­pa­thies.

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