Obama, Israel, and the Left

Over at the Commentary blog, Peter Wehner writes about President Obama’s hostility toward Israel and its Prime Minister:

Has it struck you, as it has struck me, that with every other nation, including the most repressive and anti-American on earth, Mr. Obama is careful never to give offense, to always extend the olive branch, and to treat their leaders with unusual deference and respect? Except for the Jewish State of Israel. It always seems to be in the Obama crosshair.

Because this attitude is so detached from objective circumstances and the actions of Israel and the actions of the adversaries of Israel, something else–and something rather disquieting–is going on here. Mr. Obama wouldn’t be the first world leader to have an irrational animus against Israel. He’s not even the first American president to have an irrational animus against Israel. (See: Jimmy Carter.) But it is fair to say, I think, that no American president has been this consistently hostile to Israel while in office or shown such palpable anger and scorn for it and for Israel’s leader.

Perhaps given President Obama’s history–including his intimate, 20-year relationship with the anti-Semitic minister Jeremiah Wright–this shouldn’t come as a surprise. But that doesn’t make it any less disturbing.

Wehner’s speculation about Obama’s motivations could be correct.  We simply don’t know if Obama has any anti-Semitism in him.

But I don’t think we need to assume such motivations to explain his behavior.  Obama is a man of the left and the left is hostile to Israel.  In fact, it would be quite surprising if Obama were not hostile to Israel given his other views.  It would be as surprising as if he favored free markets or low taxes.