To thunderous applause last night, Newt Gingrich attacked President Barack Obama's policies in the Middle East, promoted military action against Iran, and assailed diplomatic engagement as weakness at AIPAC's conference. J Street's Isaac Luria has emailed israelity bites his analysis:
Obama campaigning last year
Just before he went on stage, Gingrich told The Jerusalem Post that the President's policy with Israel and Iran was a "fantasy" and that Obama was "endangering Israel" by trying to work toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Is this some kind of bad horror movie? Just when we thought the 2008 election had finally discredited the disastrous foreign policy of George Bush and Dick Cheney, Gingrich spouts the same old failed ideas in primetime and thinks it's good politics.
Congress may consider supporting Gingrich's recycled Bush-Cheney views, which would be a disaster for Israel and the United States.
We've got to make it crystal clear that the majority of our community stands with President Obama on Israel and Iran - so Congress and the media see how politically toxic and substantively wrong Gingrich's views really are. How out of the mainstream Gingrich and his views are.
On the politics, Newt's got it wrong.
78% of American Jews voted for Barack Obama and over 70% of American Jews support President Obama's policies toward Israel and the Middle East. Gingrich's views represent a small, though politically outspoken, minority of the Jewish community.
On substance, Newt's also dead wrong.
Pursuing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the single most pro-Israel thing President Obama could do right now. It's the only way to secure Israel as a Jewish, democratic homeland, as well as a building block of regional peace efforts that would normalize relations between all Arab countries and Israel.
On Iran, the President is promoting tough, direct diplomacy to address concerns over their nuclear program, support for Hamas and Hezbollah, and threats against Israel. The President has made clear that the diplomatic road ahead will be tough and that we will not be bound by any illusions. This is the right approach for the time being - and a welcome change after the last President's Axis-of-Evil approach that got us nowhere.