LAST FRIDAY, Charles Krauthammer argued in his column, Sacrificing Israel, that the currency with which a Kerry administration "would pay the rest of the world in exchange for their support . . . is obvious: giving in to them on Israel." Krauthammer pointed out that Kerry has emphasized over and over again his desire to move closer to our allies and to re-engage with the "international community." The easiest way to do this would surely be to accommodate other nations' distinctively less friendly view of Israel, and their desire for the U.S. to pressure Israel into concessions for the sake of the "peace process." So, Krauthammer concluded, "If Kerry is elected, the pressure on Israel will begin on day one."
Pro-Israel Kerry supporters protested vigorously. Kerry is pro-Israel, they said. Krauthammer is making a hypothetical argument, drawing a speculative inference. Kerry will be as supportive of Israel's security as Bush has been.
Unfortunately, they forgot to tell the man who is perhaps Kerry's top foreign policy adviser and surrogate, Richard Holbrooke. Appearing on The O'Reilly Factor Friday night, Holbrooke warned of a possible "Iran-type clerical dictatorship" in Iraq: This would be "very dangerous for Israel, the U.S. and the world." Then Holbrooke segued into an account of how Kerry would improve the situation in the Middle East: "He [Kerry] has said already he would start intense talks with the allies . . . and he would reach out to the moderate Arab states. He'd put more pressure on Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia above all."
"He'd put more pressure on Israel." Holbrooke, perhaps Kerry's top foreign policy spokesman, confirms Krauthammer's prediction. So there is a real difference between Bush and Kerry on Israel. Isn't there, Sen. Kerry?
William Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard.
Previous Campaign Memos:
Kerry on Zarqawi: Wrong, The Democratic nominee is ignoring the evidence on Zarqawi's activities in Iraq. October 21, 2004
Dying for the United Nations, Why is John Kerry no Clinton-Lieberman Democrat? His obeisance to the U.N. October 20, 2004
John Kerry: Germany's Candidate, The German defense minister says that maybe there's a possibility that they might, someday, perhaps, depending on future "developments," send troops to Iraq. October 13, 2004
Not a Diversion, Was Iraq a diversion from the war on terror? Bush and McCain remind us that the answer is: No. October 6, 2004
The No-Nukes Party, The Mondale Democrats are alive and well in the U.S. Senate--does John Kerry still believe in their worldview? October 4, 2004
When Was He For It (Before He Was Against It)?, John Kerry gives a disingenuous defense of why he said he voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it. September 29, 2004
The Kerry-Kennedy Line, It's a good thing that John Kerry and Ted Kennedy lost the last time they took a stand on Saddam Hussein. September 28, 2004
Kerry's Phony Foreign Forces, Would President Kerry be able to get France and Germany to help share the burden in Iraq? Chirac says, "Non!" September 22, 2004
Nothing To Do With the Truth, John Kerry continues to insist that Saddam Hussein had "nothing to do with al Qaeda." And he continues to be wrong. September 22, 2004
Lugar's Other Comments, The media played up Richard Lugar's recent remarks about President Bush; will they do the same with his assessment of Senator Kerry? September 21, 2004
For Kerry, It's Always Vietnam, The subtext of John Kerry's Monday morning Iraq speech. September 20, 2004
Kerry's Flip-Flopping on Russia, The senator has two views on promoting democracy in Russia, too. September 16, 2004
Wrong Choices, A look at John Kerry's record. September 15, 2004
Another New Kerry Position on Iraq . . . and the same one on Vietnam. September 15, 2004
Kerry and the "Direct Link," The Kerry campaign is distorting Dick Cheney's words. September 13, 2004
Kerry's North Korea Non-policy, John Kerry calls the New York Times with complaints, but no plan. September 13, 2004
If John Kerry Were President, . . . Saddam would still be in power. September 8, 2004
Kerry vs. Kerry, What does "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" mean? September 7, 2004
The Kerry Record, What John Kerry about foreign policy and defense in 1984 and 1985. September 3, 2004
It Was This Big . . ., Does John Kerry still believe that the terror threat is an "exaggeration"? September 1, 2004
John Edwards: Disrespecting Our Allies, America isn't acting alone. September 1, 2004
No Bargain, The "grand bargain" John Kerry and John Edwards are prepared to offer Iran deserves serious scrutiny. September 1, 2004