Scores of Tea Party-backed candidates are entering Congress, many of whom favor isolationist policies and are determined to cut American foreign aid, regardless of its destination. Rand Paul, the newly elected Tea Party-backed senator from Kentucky, bluntly told the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobbying group, that they were going to disagree about the need for foreign aid and suggested that they move on to other topics,
Mr. Schumer and others worry that support for Israel in Congress, long a bipartisan article of faith, could become politicized in a way that will end up harming Israel’s interests. In the recent election, the administration’s Middle East policy became a partisan issue, seized on by several Republicans who pointed out that President Obama had tended to take a tougher line against Israel.
“That was the first time I had seen Israel used in a partisan political way,” said Representative Gary L. Ackerman,
If Mr. Obama achieves a Middle East peace deal, veterans of Capitol Hill say, it would be such a momentous achievement that it would transcend politics. But first Mr. Obama has to get there, and even his allies worry that by getting bogged down in squabbles with Mr. Netanyahu, the president is risking his credibility and opening himself to partisan attacks.