Arabs who were upset by US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's recent strong statements of support for Israel need to understand that he had no choice, said a leading Arab media figure this week.
Writing in the London-based Arabic daily newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, Abdul Rahman Al Rashed, who is general manager of the Al Arabiya Arabic news network, noted that even if Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh were running for US president, he too would voice support for the Jewish state.
According to Rashed, "No one who aspires to the US presidency can ignore the important Jewish voters or reject the campaign funds necessary for victory" that the Jewish constituency can provide.
But Rashed said Arabs should not be too concerned, since few of the promises US presidential candidates make to Israel are ever fulfilled. As an example, Rashed noted that the US embassy remains in Tel Aviv, despite promises by presidential candidates for decades to move the embassy to Jerusalem.