Senate Democrats are expected to support a resolution intended as a rebuff to President Obama’s call for basing Middle East peace talks on the 1967 Israeli-Palestinian borders.There's an understatement.
It would be a rare rebuke of the president by the upper chamber and a sign that Democrats are worried about the impact of last week’s speech on the U.S.-Israel relationship and pro-Israel constituents.
Democrats in both chambers are scrambling to fix the damage caused when Obama called for the 1967 borders and land swaps as a basis for peace.
Some Democrats have tried to downplay the rift, but Israel’s strongest supporters in Congress say there’s no denying that Obama made a tactical mistake in handling the relationship.
“I wish that the president had not made the speech on Thursday, particularly not made it — I gather — without much consultation” with Israel, said Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats. “So I think it was a tactical mistake.”
Further humiliating Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought down the house Tuesday in his speech before Congress, receiving 29 standing ovations in the process.
It speaks volumes how well received Netanyahu has been, contrasted with the amateurish performance and petulant behavior of Obama.
How worried are Democrats?
Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that Obama is "tilting toward Hamas" – a reference to the Palestinian group the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization. He emphasized that Congress would never base its approach to Israeli aid on such a position.While the media gush this morning over a Democrat winning a special election in Western New York, they may want to have a look at the larger picture and realize the guy they helped put in the White House is in dangerously over his head.
"A majority of the Congress disagrees with him,” Andrews said of Obama.
Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), for one, said the president "absolutely … made a mistake" with his 1967-borders proposal, and suggested it would harm — rather than bolster — the chances of renewed peace talks.
"With all of the political turmoil and unrest in the Middle East, I don’t understand why the president injected himself into that issue right now," he said.
Both Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the House Democratic whip, and Senate Majhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have also rejected Obama's proposal in recent days, telling the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that preconditions have no place in the negotiations.
"No one should set premature parameters about borders, about building or http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifabout anything else," Reid said Monday night to roaring applause.
He never looked smaller when compared to a giant of a man like Netanyahu. No wonder he has no idea what day it is.