That's because, in general, all the rules change -- are completely reversed -- when it comes to Israel. As Cantor's behavior demonstrates, the rules that apply to "foreign countries" are inapplicable to Israel because in mainstream American politics, Israel is not considered and therefore is not treated as a "foreign country" at all. Many Israel devotees actually tried to expand the "no-criticizing-the U.S.-on-foreign-soil" rule by suggesting there was something wrong with Obama's criticism of Israel while in Indonesia; apparently, it's fine for American officials to criticize the U.S. while in Israel, but not for the U.S. President to criticize Israel while on foreign soil. And for the past two years, leading Democrats who would never dare publicly criticize Obama for anything have bitterly and publicly denounced him for the crime of opposing Israeli policy. And, of course, there is far greater unity in the U.S. Congress for Israeli wars than for America's own wars; that's just a fact.
Last night on Twitter, I wrote: "Imagine if a leading Democratic Congressman told a leader of a foreign country he'd side with them against the GOP US President" and "Imagine John Kerry, 2006, to French President Jacques Chirac: 'I'll safeguard French interests against President Bush'." In reply, The Washington Examiner's David Freddoso wrote: "No need to imagine. It happened in 02." He's presumably referring to Rep. Jim McDermott's trip to Iraq to oppose America's imminent attack on that country. That's hardly comparable -- McDermott wasn't in the leadership of his party and he was opposing that war out of allegiance to the U.S., not to Iraq -- but even so, it created a major media backlash in which McDermott was routinely denounced as a traitor and to this day is mocked as "Baghdad Jim." Needless to say, Cantor's actions will spawn nothing comparable. That's the point.
What makes Cantor's behavior all the more remarkable is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which the Obama administration is ostensibly attempting to resolve is, as Gen. David Petraeus himself pointed out, a direct threat to U.S. interests and security. But no matter; those concerns are plainly not Cantor's priority.
One other revealing and fascinating aspect to all of this. The two co-Chairmen of Obama's Deficit Commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, last week unveiled a plan that would entail drastic cuts in most areas of American life, including Social Security and Medicare. Whatever else is true, American citizens are going to experience severe cut-backs in all sorts of benefits and economic security. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to shovel billions of dollars every year to Israel
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