It’s pretty ironic: just as Bibi Netanyahu seems ready to get over the recent unpleasantness with the Obama administration and get back to the status quo ante of unfriendly cooperation, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives is packing for a trip to Israel that is inevitably being called a “victory tour.” According to Josh Marshall, the trip is expected to last ten days. I’m not 100% sure John Boehner has spent ten straight days in Ohio in recent memory.
But since Boehner accommodated Bibi’s wish for a pre-election campaign rally on the floor of the House, the Israeli leader is hardly in a position to say no, though he may feel like a husband who’s tried to make his wife jealous by consorting with her deadliest enemy, only to discover the intended catspaw on his doorstep with a suitcase.
In any event, Boehner’s trip is a vivid reminder of something I’ve been saying off and on since 2012: the current Israeli government has become the linchpin of Republican foreign policy, as central to the GOP’s calculations on how it views the world as the USSR was (in a negative rather than positive sense, of course) before Gorbachev. So of course Bibi’s victory is Boehner’s victory, and he’d want to share in the celebration. He may claim he’s just another Catholic tourist going to the Holy Land for Holy Week. But I suspect it’s Netanyahu’s resurrection rather than Jesus Christ’s we’ll eventually hear him talking about.