As a Jew who can recall older relatives’ skepticism about the GOP because they feared of the party’s supposed indifference to Israel, it’s heartening to see how many Republicans today have come to embrace the Jewish State. To be sure, my family members did not have grounds for concern. Up through the early 1990s, though in ever-dwindling numbers as the years passed, there were a number of Republicans, usually from the Northeast, but occasionally from the Midwest, who seemed to harbor an animus against Jews while promoting anti-Israel policies.
Today, few, if any, leading Republicans support such policies, with most party leaders strong supporters of the Jewish State. Indeed, many presidential candidates go out of the way to show their pro-Israel bona fides. At a time of tension and uncertainty in the Middle East, one potential contender for the GOP presidential nomination, Misssissippi Governor Haley Barbour is headed to Israel:
According to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Barbour will meet with senior level Israeli officials. Those include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been meeting with all of the prospective Republican contenders as they tour his country. Netanyahu met with Romney last month and Huckabee earlier this week.
Those meetings are particularly notable because they come as Netanyahu’s relationship with the Obama administration appears to be straining.
Kudos to the Magnolia State governor. This is a smart move. It seems the Republican understands the importance of the American alliance with the Jewish State.