Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday launched a 15-minute rebuke of President Barack Obama's repeated decisions to give Israel the cold shoulder, and said Obama is making an "historic mistake" by turning his back on the United States' strongest ally in the Middle East.
Rubio started his blistering attack on the Senate floor by chastising Obama for failing to offer his congratulations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his election victory this week. Rubio spoke soon after reports surfaced that Obama has now spoken with Netanyahu to offer his congratulations, but still, Rubio said the delay stands out given that Obama has immediately called the leaders of nations that aren't seen as stable allies.
"As far as I know … after this election, the president has yet to call the prime minister," Rubio said. "That is unlike … the fact that in March 2012, he was among the first to call and congratulate [Vladimir] Putin in Moscow. Or that in June of 2012, he was among the first to call [Mohamed] Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood when they won the Egyptian presidency."
"Or that in November of 2012, they called to congratulate the top Chinese communists on their new position, which by the way is not elected in the way you and I would consider there to be an election," he added.
Rubio then recounted the several years of Obama's attempts to slight Israel, which started from the day Obama took office until today. He also noted that while the Obama administration was quick to criticize the strident tone Netanyahu took while running this time, officials have said previously that the didn't want to comment on Iran's elections.
"So they will comment on the elections of an ally, calling the rhetoric of the election divisive, but when an enemy, which is what Iran is, has a fraudulent election and kills people that protest against it, we can't comment," Rubio said. "We can't comment because that would be infringing on their sovereignty."
Rubio said he agrees with Netanyahu's take that the conditions are not ripe at all for a two-state solution to the Middle East peace process, given the Palestinian Authority's ongoing hostile stance toward Israel. That issue has created a new problem, and has prompted Obama administration officials to hint that they might try support a vote for a Palestinian state over Israel's objection.
Rubio slammed those public statements as a critical betrayal that could have national security implications for Israel.
"Allies have differences, but when allies like Israel, when you have a difference with them and it is public, in emboldens their enemies to launch more rockets out of southern Lebanon and Gaza," he said. "To launch more terrorist attacks, to go to international forums and delegitimize Israel's right to exist."
"This is outrageous, it is irresponsible, it is dangerous, and it betrays the commitment this nation has made to the right of a Jewish state to exist in peace," he concluded. "If America doesn't stand with Israel, who would we stand with?"