Is Obama already playing hardball with Israel? *UPDATED*

Reader David Foster brought to my attention an article in the World Tribune which says Obama is refusing to give Israel helicopters that it requested:

The Obama administration has blocked Israel’s request for advanced U.S.-origin attack helicopters.

Government sources said the administration has held up Israel’s request for the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. The sources said the request was undergoing an interagency review to determine whether additional Longbow helicopters would threaten Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

“During the recent war, Israel made considerable use of the Longbow, and there were high civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip,” a source close to the administration said.

The sources said Israel has sought to purchase up to six new AH-64Ds in an effort to bolster conventional and counter-insurgency capabilities. They said Israel wants to replenish its fleet after the loss of two Apache helicopters in the 2006 war with Hizbullah.

You can read the rest of the story here.

David says he hasn’t seen this story anywhere else.  Intrigued, I fired off an email to those bloggers I know who have connections to the military and intelligence community.  I’ll keep you posted as I get information on this one.  The Confederate Yankee is taking it seriously, and is shocked by what it tells us about the Obama Administration’s short-sighted Middle Eastern policy.

Incidentally, I’ve realized that, just as Democrats have a litmus test in being pro-Choice on abortion, I have a litmus test too:  Israel.  Frame the question this way:  Who do you side with — a democratic regime that grants equal rights to minorities, all faiths, women and gays or a totalitarian regime that tortures, enslaves, kills and exiles all minorities, all but one religion, women and gays?  Put that way, you manage to cut through the crap about the “victims” in the latter regime (who are primarily victims of their own government, not of the former regime) or about imperalism or about “just wanting to live in peace.”  Obama is failing my litmus test, big time.

UPDATE:  I got some email from a good authority — but one I cannot identify — saying that people in the know don’t know about this one.