Security Experts Predict GOP Control of Congress Will Lead to Improved Relations With Israel
A poll of security experts by the Washington, DC-based National Journal reveals that a comfortable majority of respondents believe that the new Republican majority in both chambers of Congress will lead to improved relations between the U.S. and Israel.
58 percent of the “National Security Insiders” polled said that last week’s resounding Republican victory in the midterm elections would help to mend a bilateral relationship that has been increasingly strained in recent months, following the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and the anonymous ad hominem attacks on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from Obama Administration officials.
However, observed the National Journal:
Even though a Republican Congress will likely be more pro-Israel than a Democratic one, it’s ultimately up to President Obama to set the tone of U.S. foreign policy, said another Insider. “If the administration continues to alienate Israel, then there is little the Republican Congress can do to fix that relationship,” the Insider said.
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And one Insider who said the GOP wave will lead to better relations noted that there’s really only one direction for the alliance to go from here. “Bilateral relations can’t get any worse,” the Insider said.
Additionally, 87 percent of the Insiders argued that the GOP takeover of the Senate makes a final deal with Iran over its nuclear program by the November 24 deadline “less likely.”
“If the administration continues to take a conciliatory line with Iran over the nuclear issue, the Republican-controlled Senate will reject any treaty that comes from the current round of negotiations,” one Insider said. “The administration will try to get a deal done before the new Senate majority is sworn in.”
Some respondents were quick to blame any anticipated difficulties for the Obama Administration in selling a nuclear deal on the “Israel Lobby.”
“Since Israel will have an even tighter grip on Congress and Israel is against any nuclear deal with Iran, the odds of an agreement have gone from slim to nil,” said one Insider.