As President Obama struggles to find a diplomatic solution to the Iran crisis and remain a friend of Israel, he would do well to look at what another Democratic president, Harry Truman, did in 1948 while seeking reelection and dealing with the birth of Israel.
I have argued against the one state solution time and again; both in the version of the greater Land of Israel propagated by Israel's right, and in the version advocated by many Palestinian intellectuals and activists and some Jewish intellectuals on the far left.
If your Jewish family is anything like mine, a common ritual is to draw parallels between the Israelites' exodus from Egypt and Jewish current events. If an uncle brings up our 'anti-Israel' president, here's how you can respectfully correct him.
The bribery of Israel consists of guns: more weapons to add to the disgraceful arms race in the region. And what we get in return is a dubious pledge that Israel will not attack Iran for the next 12 months.
If we take President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu at their word, the U.S. and Israel are aligned, despite the best efforts of whose who want to remove Obama from office so badly that they are willing to sacrifice the U.S.-Israel relationship on the altar of political expediency.
The threat of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is real -- the goal of preventing Iran from doing so is of utmost importance and the consequences of failure are dire. But the consequences of capricious war, of giving up on diplomatic solutions when not all have been exhausted, are equally grave.
Now, President Obama assures Israel he "has their back." Well, thanks to President Obama, Israel's back is to the wall. Hamas, Hezbollah, and some new regional players are also at Israel's back. It's getting a bit crowded back there.
Barack Obama has tried and largely failed to rein in Israel's aggression against the Palestinians while he has been in office. But the president is finding that Israel's belligerence toward Iran is a far more serious problem that may require a much firmer hand.
Yes, boycott the occupation -- the settlers, the politicians who support them, and the businesses that sustain them. But not Israel itself, unless you think that it is a society beyond redemption. It isn't -- no more than we are.
It will be impossible for us to control or insulate ourselves from events in the Middle East as long as we remain dependent on oil from the region and committed to honor our military defense of Israel.
It is curious that the most powerful man in the world representing the most powerful military in the world who accepted the Nobel Peace Prize defending "just" wars has "no say" over $4 billion annual military aid to Israel.
Even putting human rights concerns aside, questioning why American taxpayers should be spending over $3 billion annually in aid to Israel at a time of massive cutbacks at home doesn't seem unreasonable.
How dare these officials say such things about Israel? Maybe the answer is this simple: they dare because they care. And because they know that caring about Israel means speaking some hard truths -- not to hurt Israel but to save it.