We have witnessed overwhelming criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“Trump’s poodle,” “weakness,” “long-term damage to bipartisan support,” “undemocratic,” “alienate American Jewry,” “PR victory for Omar, Tlaib”…) for keeping out Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib after President Trump’s public pressure (“Bibi’s Blunder,” Aug. 23). The most damaging criticisms have come from friendly Democratic congressional leaders such as Steny Hoyer and from AIPAC.
But what has not been discussed was the downside of Netanyahu’s ignoring and angering America’s friendliest president ever, who does not take well to being thwarted and could easily turn his favors into attacks.
So the question came down to damage control — likely losing the strong friendship of the U.S. president vs. the considerable damage that we are witnessing. Even with the hatred of Trump and allegiance to the Democratic Party by most American Jews, keeping the unprecedented support for the Jewish state by the most powerful man in the world had to be the less damaging choice.
And now, the damage control.