Rubio on Israel

There are three central and related themes to the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. First is a persistent refusal to draw distinctions between U.S. allies and U.S. enemies. Second, which follows logically from the first, is something akin to an allergy to pursuing American victories that result in the defeat of our enemies. And third is the striking contrast this approach presents to President Obama’s Manichean rhetoric and hardball negotiating tactics directed at his domestic political opposition.

Those unappealing features were all on display in the Administration’s petulant response to the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who – unlike the Iranian mullahs – is a man Obama approaches with the enmity he approaches Republicans, and whose re-election Obama seems to take as a personal rebuke (and which many Israelis seemed to regard as one) after staging a nasty public, partisan fight over Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and after Obama’s own campaign staffers decamped to Israel to help Netanyahu’s opponents. That response’s public face may have reached its apex today with a Politico piece in which Administration sources more or less openly mused about rethinking the U.S. alliance with Israel. Although Israelies have cause to be even more deeply worried about the Administration’s actions than its words.

Enter [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ], the most gifted and electrifying speaker among the new generation of Republicans, and – along with Senator [mc_name name=’Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001095′ ] – a rising leader of the foreign policy hawks on Capitol Hill. Even though the delivery is rushed, Rubio’s speech gives a taste of why many people, even skeptics of Rubio’s record, think he should not be underestimated as a national candidate. But more importantly, he methodically peels the bark off of this Administration’s efforts to unravel the U.S. special relationship with Israel, and pander fruitlessly to an un-appeasable Palestinian Authority. I recommend taking the 15 minutes to watch.

One note on timing: Rubio’s speech, which blasted Obama’s failure to place a timely congratulatory phone call to Netanyahu, was given a little before 2 p.m., a little more than an hour after Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed that no call had been made and was refusing to answer when the President would make such a call. Around 5:15 Washington time, it was reported that the President had called Netanyahu, although it’s unclear what time the call was placed. 5 p.m. Washington time is around 11 p.m. in Israel.