For those who are committed to Israel’s safety and prosperity, Cantor’s bold defense of the Jewish state contrasts with the not-so-hidden opposition of the president to its best interests. As our PJM colleague Barry Rubin so well exposed the president in his own report, many AIPAC delegates must have asked themselves this question: Who best represents Israel’s and America’s best interests: the Republicans or the Democrats?
I suspect that many Democratic AIPAC delegates, especially in swing states, will for the first time consider voting the Republican line for president in 2012, parting with their longstanding traditional way of voting. In a critical state like Florida, where the shift in a substantial portion of Jewish votes in Dade County alone could give the state to the Republicans, this is no small matter. And were Cantor himself to campaign there and in other states where there are many Jewish voters, as Ed Koch did for George W. Bush in Florida in 2004 (where it did not have much effect), this time it could make a difference.
When it comes to defending Israel and supporting the Jewish state as America’s key ally in the Middle East, it clearly is the Republican Party (with the exception of the neo-isolationists of the Rand and Ron Paul variety) and not the Democratic Party that is carrying on the tradition of Harry S. Truman and the Democratic Party of the Cold War years back in 1948.
Eric Cantor’s important speech makes this conclusion very clear, and it is my impression that a great many AIPAC delegates now have come to understand this.