Now Is The Time For Obama To Visit Israel

President Obama is going to the Far East this week and on his way home he should make a long overdue stop in the Middle East to have a heart-to-heart talk with the Israeli people and their leaders about his view of the bilateral relationship and his plans for the next four years.

It's no secret Bibi Netanyahu wanted Mitt Romney to win, and his treatment of this president often seemed designed to further that goal, including during the recent campaign when the PM said and did nothing to discourage Republicans from using his words and image in their attacks on Obama.  

And it is clear that this president has lost confidence in the prime minister and shares Bill Clinton's view that Netanyahu thinks he is the superpower and the American government is expected to "do whatever he requires."

Obama got his first term off to a stumbling start with an ill-advised call for a total settlement freeze, but he recovered and even Netanyahu conceded that this administration has taken security and intelligence cooperation to record high levels, including providing technology and weapons refused by the Bush administration.  The Obama administration is almost single-handedly leading the effort to block the Palestinian bid for U.N. membership and, more important, is organizing and driving the international political and economic sanctions on Iran to thwart that country's nuclear ambitions.

It is up to the Israeli voters to decide whether Netanyahu has been a responsible steward of the American relationship and whether he should be trusted with it for another four years or new leadership is needed to protect and advance Israel's relations with it most vital ally.

Read more about it in my latest column.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.