Friends like these

President Barack Obama staked his candidacy on an oath to dismantle the old broken political apparatuses and assemble new functioning policies. It goes without saying that a new foreign policy is in the queue, and retooling AmericaâÄôs alliance with Israel would be a good start. For decades, Israel has been AmericaâÄôs pointman in the Middle East, serving as a democratic bulwark in a tempestuous region. But the political climate in the region has undergone significant shifts during the tenure of President George W. Bush, and it seems appropriate that America shift its policy toward Israel accordingly. For instance, while it is important America recognize IsraelâÄôs right to defend itself from attack âÄî as the Senate did, in response to the recent violence âÄî it should condemn its subsequent censorship of the press, question the necessity of its asymmetric military response and demand an investigation into the killing of U.N. aid workers by Israeli gunfire. Furthermore, in considering the nature of the alliance, America should question whether Israel has our best interests at heart. A recent report in The New York Times indicates that the Israeli government sought the White HouseâÄôs approval to carry out a military strike against Iran. The repercussions of such an act would have been borne largely by the United States and its armed forces in the region. This is absolutely unacceptable. For the past eight years, AmericaâÄôs behavior has earned the ire of its allies, but the anticipated changes in policy that accompany our new leadership presents the opportunity to reclaim the goodwill we have long been without. Although its recent actions have been incongruous with the conduct expected of an ally, Israel has a similar opportunity to turn over a new leaf. The job is simple: fight unilateral aggression and political repression from friends, as well as foes.