The U.S. is preparing to increase the amount of aid it provides to yet another wealthy client:
President Barack Obama will unveil on Wednesday a massive new military aid package for Israel, one which — at a reported $38 billion over 10 years — would be the largest such deal in U.S. history.
But is it enough to buy Obama the love of his fiercest pro-Israel critics?
Not a chance.
Obama has showered both Israel and Saudi Arabia with aid and weapons for years, and in practical terms he has been one of the most reliable supporters of both governments, but no matter how much he does for these clients neither they nor their supporters here in the U.S. are satisfied. However much Obama supports both clients, the recipient governments still believe that he is too hard on them, neglects them, and works against their interests. Since they know that Obama responds to each new complaint with another round of “reassurance,” they have every incentive to complain and feign outrage about how they are treated in the knowledge that the more they whine the more they will gain.
It is also a fact that many of Obama’s “pro-Israel” critics have never accepted and will never accept that he is actually “pro-Israel” as they are, and so they dismiss anything he does as a trick, a bribe, or an insult. Obama can try as much as he likes to demonstrate just how conventionally “pro-Israel” he is (and always has been), but there will never be any pleasing those detractors that are (absurdly) convinced that he is ideologically hostile to Israel. The same goes for hawks that take it for granted that Obama supposedly neglects and abandons “allies” elsewhere in the region. There is nothing Obama can to make them believe that he doesn’t do this, but that doesn’t seem to stop him from frittering away more resources to placate governments that do little or nothing for the U.S.