President Obama is on hand for today’s G-20 meeting, giving him a chance to connect with world leaders he’s gotten to know in recent years. This includes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom Obama hugged, along with several other heads of state.
Turkey, however, has been at odds with Israel recently, which according to the Weekly Standard, makes Obama’s hug of Erdogan a problem. Daniel Halper believes the hug is part of some kind of nefarious campaign scheme — don’t ask; I don’t understand it either — while Michael Goldfarb sees the embrace as an example of Obama “hugging enemies, abandoning allies.”
To be blunt about it, is Israel now America’s ally uber alles? If other countries disagree with Israel, does that mean, in Goldfarb’s eyes, that they no longer qualify as either friend or ally? Are there any other of America’s friends that fall into this super-special status? I really want to know.
For many on the right, I don’t think there’s much doubt that Israel is, in fact, America’s ally uber alles.
Consider a recent anecdote that flew largely under the radar. In September, Mitt Romney appeared on a right-wing radio show to discuss the Palestinian bid for United Nations statehood recognition. The Republican candidate said the United States should “reconsider our relationship” with any country that voted with Palestinians at the U.N.
In practical terms, that means Romney, who stands a reasonably good chance of getting elected president next year, would “reconsider” the United States’ relationship with a variety of longstanding U.S. allies — France, India, South Africa — because of their vote on a U.N. resolution recognizing Palestinians.
This did not cause a controversy — but Obama’s hug for the prime minister of Turkey generates complaints from conservatives.
America’s ally uber alles? Apparently so.