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The Israelis Had an Election and They Must Be Punished

President Barack Obama is determined to be the last person on earth to congratulate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on winning re-election. In addition, the administration says, there will have to be consequences for the way Netanyahu won–for raising concerns about Arab voters being bused to the polls by foreign-funded non-profits, for committing not to agree to a Palestinian state that would hurt Israel’s security. These are bizarre, self-destructive threats.

Never mind, for the moment, the obvious hypocrisy from an administration that won re-election in 2012 after warning black voters, as Stephen F. Hayes noted Wednesday, that Republicans would “put y’all back in chains”; that advised Latino voters in 2010 to “punish” their “enemies”; that, indeed, funded a targeted effort to increase Arab voter participation in Israel. Never mind the fact that Obama has rushed to congratulate new anti-American, Islamist leaders.

The idea that the U.S. would punish Israel–for example, by refusing to veto anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council–is absurd. It is in the interest of the U.S. to maintain a strong U.S.-Israel alliance. To sacrifice that alliance for the sake of political correctness–and really, for the sake of the president’s fragile ego–would make America look weak, and would make alliance with the U.S., as well as democracy itself, look much less attractive. Not exactly “smart power.”

It is also in the interest of the U.S. to defend Israel at the UN Security Council and elsewhere in that decrepit organization. The tactics that the world’s tyrannies use to isolate Israel in international bodies are also used to hurt and punish the U.S. In fact, countries like Iran often use UN actions against Israel as a way to target the United States.

Only an administration that had given up defending America would throw an ally to the wolves for the crime of holding a free and fair election.

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