Brave Ted Kennedy could be craven when he had to be

on 48 Comments

From Rob Eshman at the Jewish Journal, who says that Ted Kennedy voted AIPAC’s way 100 percent of the time.

The relationship was mutually beneficial—either a testament to Kennedy’s bedrock values or his astute political instincts.  Take the Carter race.

In the 1980 presidential race,  writes Jeffrey S. Helmreich, “polls indicated that Carter would beat Kennedy in the New York Democratic primary by a margin of 54 to 28 percent. But on March 1, Carter’s UN Ambassador, Donald F. McHenry, voted for a viciously anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlement activity in Jerusalem. Three weeks later, Kennedy beat Carter in New York by 59 percent to 41 percent.”

In a statement following Kennedy’s death, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said,  “(Senator) Kennedy has been a friend for 30 years, a great American patriot, a great champion of a better world, a great friend of Israel. He will be sorely missed.”

Note the awful values contained in Eshman’s piece. With that Helmreich link, he quotes without demurral a piece of propaganda from the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, less than 75 years after Theodor Herzl promised the Pope and the Sultan that Jerusalem and its Holy Places would be extraterritorialized. And Ted Kennedy signed off on the settlement/cleansing program.

Thereby personifying the iron law of PEP in American politics: Progressive Except on Palestine.

Wouldn’t we all be a lot better off if the Jewish community had supported Jimmy Carter in his effort to stop the colonies? Tragic. Thanks to Bob Feldman, whose take on EMK is here.

48 Responses

  1. Oscar
    August 26, 2009, 3:28 pm

    Seems as if Kennedy was a recipient of the Herzl “River of Gold” Phil had earlier referred to . . . support Zionist policies (including turning a blind-eye on ethnic cleansing of Palestinians) with US tax dollars, and huge political contributions will flow your way. Steny Hoyer’s role model.

  2. Citizen
    August 26, 2009, 3:30 pm

    Ted Kennedy was afforded every “affirmative action” legacy privilege in the book; he cheated in college, both directly, and by hiring a cheater in his behalf; after getting the boot, he joined the US Army for 4 years, which his Dad got reduced to 2 years during the Korean War; his dad also got him assigned to guard duty in Paris–where he was never even promoted to Private First Class. He was the front man for the 1965 Immigration Act
    (supported by many Jewish organizations, as you can see if you go to the legislative hisotry) and in that spot everything he said about the impact of that Act was completely false. He further compounded that by doing all he could to support open borders and the
    illegal alien amnesty, but in the 1980′s when it was given, and more recently when it was stopped temporarily by the grass roots protests.

    He tried to make up for his bootlegger and pimp dad’s crooked bundles by wallowing in
    white guilt and then dumping his fat borrowed tears onto the frail backs of average lower and lower middle class whites who’ve been caught in the tight vise of wealth transfer since Teddy
    climbed into congress.

    We won’t even mention the young upside down lady clawing at the car floor roof carpet under the water aside the bridge he drove off while in a drunken stupor, while he went off back to the party, and then to sleep, hoping Daddy once again would put the fix in by the time he awoke–well, he did get a suspended sentence for leaving the scene of the accident….

    He was a moron. But he did know how to worked over the congress to achieve his ends.
    He deserves no accolades at all; would have been a drunk in the streets except for his
    daddy’s connections and money–same as George Bush Jr.

    Both totally rubber-stamped every AIPAC style POV, which they said was in their country’s interest. These are two prominent examples of Israel’s partners mentioned
    by Margaret a day or so ago on another thread. Toss in most of congress.

    • kylebisme
      August 26, 2009, 6:11 pm

      I support loosening immigration restrictions, and not out of any sense of guilt. Rather, I support freedom of movement, and hence prefer that anyone who might choose to move here be given a reasonable means of doing so within our laws. Granted, I’m also not a bigot.

      • Todd
        August 26, 2009, 10:08 pm

        Kyle, you’d be hard-pressed to find a person who isn’t a bigot in one way or another. And supporting a different side of the immigration debate is just that: supporting a different side of the imigration debate.

        Freedom of movement! WTF does that mean? Human beings aren’t cattle! There is a limit to the amount of people any system can absorb, and the United States is obviously not in a state to absorb the masses from the poorest, least advanced and most unstable nations, any more than it is in a shape to take in wealthy and educated people with foreign loyalties.

      • kylebisme
        August 27, 2009, 12:46 am

        Todd, I don’t have to look any further than myself to find someone who isn’t a bigot in any way, and I know I am far from the only one. That said, I disagree with your arguments for denying freedom of movement based on nation of origin, as I couldn’t care less where a person is from or what their economic or educational class is. To the contrary, I contest that removing such immigration standards would is the best way we have to disempower the bigoted robber barons who exploit other nations by propping up dictators and running sweatshop operations out of them. I believe that would prove beneficial to the US along with the rest of the world in the long run, and hence support providing a reasonable path to citizenship for any individual who wants it.

        Also, by “reasonable path” I mean visas to establish residency and a productive life, with citizenship granted upon renouncing citizenship in the nation of origin, and deportation back to it if not. I have the option to do that pretty much anywhere in the world, but it that is arguably as much a matter of my circumstance as it is of my effort, and I don’t see any logical reason to deny people of harsher circumstances the right to do the same. Cattle, on the other hand, I have no problem with fencing in simply on the grounds that they are not human.

      • Citizen
        August 27, 2009, 7:44 am

        Open borders and national health care for everyone within those borders at all times?
        Anything find this laughable?

      • homingpigeon
        August 27, 2009, 8:30 am

        “Open borders and national health care for everyone within those borders at all times?
        Anything find this laughable? ”

        The national health care matter indeed complicates the immigration discussion, but the pigeon loves to get people to react by saying “yes” to unlimited immigration. I recognize that this seems extreme. But let’s imagine that a group of these immigrants were members of a religion or ethnic group (take your pick) that lived here two thousand years ago. (No not Sioux or Cherokees, but someone who predated them). They did not consider themselves to be guests but the rest of us to be interlopers in what was their own country. They openly made the case that it was their intent to take over all or a portion of the country, establish a new state for themselves, and those who didn’t like it could go somewhere else. Imagine that when we objected to this folks abroad thought we were unreasonable and demonized us. This is what the Palestinians have put up with.

        So no I don’t consider it laughable. Calling for open immigration of people who want to live among us and be a part of our society is very moderate indeed compared to what our nation demands of the Palestinians. I welcome immigrants all the time.

      • Duscany
        August 27, 2009, 8:44 pm

        Freedom of movement is great. But here in California, 40% of immigrant families are on welfare. Immigration is not a boon to us. California is is a bankrupt state in the process of becoming a third world country. Welfare and open borders just don’t mix.

  3. tree
    August 26, 2009, 3:36 pm

    I thought it would be illuminating to view the actual wording of the resolution that Helmreich called “viciously anti-Israel”. So here it is, Security Council Resolution 465.

    Its hard to see how such a resolution can legitimately called “vicious”, and yet that is how propaganda works and opinion is molded. In 1980, it was probably quite difficult for the average person to access the actual contents of the Resolution, just as it was more difficult to know the truth of what was happening in Israel and so it was much easier for Helmreich to denigrate the resolution as “viciously anti-Israel” and not be taken to task for shameless lying and propagandizing.

    • potsherd
      August 26, 2009, 4:49 pm

      Good for Carter. Too bad we didn’t have more of him then, and more of him now.

  4. DG
    August 26, 2009, 3:37 pm

    Just as they’ve steamrolled every other administration, looks like the lobby has now steamrolled Obama–
    Obama Bows to Israel Over Settlements, Iran

    Let’s see if any of our media discuss the role of “domestic politics” in this cave-in. The rest of the world seems to be able to recognize the elephant in the room–
    Pro-Israel Groups Accuse Obama of Promoting ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

  5. Gellian
    August 26, 2009, 4:39 pm

    Kennedy is not a saint, and I am stunned to watch his canonization taking place before my eyes. Anyone else in this country who lacked the connections and influence of which his family can boast would have spent his life behind bars. This is a man who allowed a woman to die because he feared punishment from the law.

    We lionize this man?

    • potsherd
      August 26, 2009, 4:50 pm

      It’s a sign of the depths to which US politicians have descended, that this man became a lion among them.

      • Citizen
        August 26, 2009, 5:45 pm

        Well he’s a Liberal lion…
        He spread the wealth at every opportunity, so long as it was not his own

  6. Judy
    August 26, 2009, 5:27 pm

    I guess the conscience of America has no problem sleeping when the men and women of Palestine are dying…

    • Citizen
      August 26, 2009, 5:47 pm

      Judy, most Americans don’t even know about it–but they all know Israel feels itself always threatened by the Arabs surrounding it, those Arabs who be-head people and
      give no civil rights to their women.

      • Judy
        August 26, 2009, 5:55 pm

        I’m paraphrasing Kenney’s famous quote about Northern Ireland.

        Please keep your nasty remarks about Arabs to yourself.

    • Citizen
      August 27, 2009, 7:47 am

      Judy, I was being facetious.

  7. Julian
    August 26, 2009, 6:01 pm

    Carter was a horrible president. He allowed our Ally Iran to fall to the Mullahs. 19 %inflation. The man was an utter 1 term failure.

    • America First
      August 26, 2009, 6:20 pm

      Bad president, good ex-president. If he had stood up to Zionist-Jewish power while in power we wouldn’t be in this mess now.

  8. potsherd
    August 26, 2009, 6:19 pm

    Carter would have done better to depose the puppet Shah himself, instead of allowing his despotic rule to continue.

    Julian’s remarks make it clear that he is no case of PEP – he is a fullblown neocon.

  9. Richard Witty
    August 26, 2009, 7:44 pm

    How did he actually vote, specifically?

    One definition of reactionary is one who forms his/her own opinions solely in reaction to an opponent.

    “You say hello, I say goodbye.”

    Not exactly thought.

  10. Richard Witty
    August 26, 2009, 7:48 pm

    He deserves praise. He did great good in the world.

    Expressed great ideals, worked VERY hard for working people.

    • JoelBitar
      August 27, 2009, 1:30 am

      Richard,

      Here is a hypothetical situation for you. You do good deeds your entire life (I do admit Ted Kennedy did good things for the common man) and randomly decide to commit a heinous crime; are you remembered for your good deeds or your heinous crime? I think Ted Kennedy needs to be sharply criticized for his unconditional support for criminal activity in the Middle East before he his praised for the good things he did in America.

      Criminals are criminals.

      • Richard Witty
        August 27, 2009, 3:32 am

        Well,
        That was true for Johnson, who only spearheaded Medicare, Voting Rights Act, War on Poverty. And, that enormous contribution to social welfare is too frequently forgotten.

        Part of the reason that Reaganist conservatism occurred at all, was that with the Vietnam War, the left renounced support for the democratic party, baby and bathwater. So, with the renunciation (“tweedle-dum, tweedle-dee”), we got deregulation, tax cuts on ownership income as religion, dismantling of safety net, globalization of capital, and socialization of risk (but privatization of reward).

        It scares me frankly that you propose the same. “Criminals are criminals”.

      • JoelBitar
        August 27, 2009, 4:54 am

        Criminals aren’t criminals?

      • Richard Witty
        August 27, 2009, 6:09 am

        Yes, and there are a lot of them in many places, many places of power, and of dissent.

        Terror for example is rather criminal in my book.

        Ted Kennedy was NOT one.

        As I noted, but you neglected to acknowledge, Ted Kennedy voted in the minority against the Iraq War Power resolution. To imply either opportunism or puppet is really a libel (a crime).

  11. Richard Witty
    August 26, 2009, 8:15 pm

    Kennedy voted against the Iraq war powers resolution.

    Don’t be gullible, Phil or others.

    • Citizen
      August 27, 2009, 8:01 am

      Yep. He did that.

      • Citizen
        August 27, 2009, 8:32 am

        OTH, he is directly responsible as a chief spokesman and arm-bender for the immigration policy/trend that will turn this nation into an ununited
        chaotic land, a tower of babbling , squabbling tribes. His legacy will come to full fruition in a few more decades. No other nation in history has ever done this to itself.

  12. DG
    August 26, 2009, 9:49 pm

    Off topic: Since the Israeli organ trafficking story is heating up, here is a good one-page summary of what is known on the subject–

    Butchers

    The recent Swedish newspaper article which is being condemned as “antisemitic” and a “blood libel” can be read in a good translation here–
    Israel’s Organ Grinders
    You can see that it makes no claims that have not already been known for a number of years. What is shocking about it is that it lets Palestinain accounts speak for themselves, without being filtered by Marc Regev or Ethan Bronner.

  13. javs
    August 26, 2009, 10:01 pm

    This is an example of the sympathizers of the problems /..or maybe he relized what his two brothers went through and was intimedated?

  14. syvanen
    August 26, 2009, 11:42 pm

    I will miss Ted. He stood for too many issues important to me to not support him. But he was much better than just standing for the right issues. He was a great orator and his sense of humor always made him entertaining. I have been around many politicians for a long time and he was one of a kind.

    The fact that he voted 100% AIPAC is simply a reflection of the fact that he was a successful politician that did what he had to do to win elections. That is no more than a measure of where our politics were at for the past 40 years. Ted was good but he was not strong enough to overcome that barrier.

    I believe it is our job to change the political landscape so that good progressive democrats that come along in the future will not have to humble themselves before the powerful zionists forces in this country. In fact, if I read Mondoweiss correctly, that is exactly what he is trying to accomplish.

    Anyway farewell to a good man . I am afraid that many of the people posting above that I often agree with are driven by too much hate. These nasty comments against Ted are highly offensive.

    • JoelBitar
      August 27, 2009, 1:24 am

      With all due respect. I don’t think Ted Kennedy humbled himself before powerful Zionist forces. I believe he either consciously, or unconsciously, made poor moral decisions for the sake of getting elected. Either way, he did something bad that was politically advantageous for the sake of power. Regardless of the good things he did in his liberal stint as a congressman, I don’t know how you can praise the man.

      Obviously, politicians are victim to their environments. They have to do morally barren things to maintain power. But Ted Kennedy was responsible for his actions, you can’t completely blame the system. He decided to support illegal activity in the Middle East. Bottom line. If I do good deeds my whole life and then suddenly commit a heinous crime, do people look back at me as a hero or a criminal? Regardless of the good things he did in his life he participated in law breaking. There is nothing to commend here.

    • Richard Witty
      August 27, 2009, 3:34 am

      You think that opposing the Iraq War resolution was voting with AIPAC, 100%.

      That contradicts Phil’s entire thesis that the Iraq War was a key agenda, if not conspiratorially controlled, by AIPAC.

      You should be embarrassed at such either negligence or hypocrisy in argument.

      • JoelBitar
        August 27, 2009, 4:55 am

        “You think that opposing the Iraq War resolution was voting with AIPAC, 100%.”

        When did I ever say that I think the Iraq War was a key agenda of AIPAC? Like a cheesy pundit, you put words in my mouth. Regardless of whether I think it was or not (the documentary record is quite clear on this actually), Ted Kennedy consistently voted contrary to international law on the issue of Israel/Palestine. That makes him an accomplice to criminal activity.

        Can you possibly dispute this fact?.

      • Richard Witty
        August 27, 2009, 6:10 am

        I can’t possibly dispute a generalization.

        Name specifics.

      • kylebisme
        August 27, 2009, 6:16 am

        The phrase “voted AIPAC’s way 100 percent of the time” obviously refers to positions AIPAC officially endorsed, the Iraq War not being one of those positions, though it was endorsed by a faction of Zionists, many affiliated with AIPAC. Regardless, I don’t recall Kennedy making any notable effort to sway others to vote against it, do you?

      • Richard Witty
        August 27, 2009, 7:52 am

        Thats not a specific, Kyle.

        Phil’s primary thesis here is that AIPAC pushed the Iraq War. If you don’t believe that that is the case, then you fundamentally disagree with Phil.

        On the significance of a key senator voting in the minority to oppose a War Powers Resolution, that itself is incredibly significant.

      • Citizen
        August 27, 2009, 8:11 am

        As the Washington Post’s Glenn Frankel reported, AIPAC “took no official position on the merits of going to war in Iraq . But, like the Israeli government, once it was clear that the Bush administration was determined to go to war, AIPAC cheered from the sidelines, bestowing sustained ovations on an array of administration officials at its April 2003 annual conference and on Bush himself when he attended the following year” (Washington Post, July 16, 2006).

      • Donald
        August 27, 2009, 9:32 am

        Richard, you are being a “cite troll”. One could just as easily turn around and ask you to name a time when Kennedy ever criticized the Israeli settlement policy. In fact I’ll do so.

        The claim that Kennedy was 100 percent with AIPAC and supported the settlements came from the article that Phil cited, so if you have a problem it’s with the writer who claimed that to be the case and maybe you should be the one who should go find evidence that Kennedy opposed the settlement policy if you think the claim is wrong. I don’t know if it’s true, but it is plausible, because a fair number of people who were and are otherwise pretty liberal marched in lockstep with Israel even when they were at their worst.

      • Richard Witty
        August 27, 2009, 10:18 am

        The point stands.

      • Richard Witty
        August 27, 2009, 10:20 am

        A simpler response would be “you’re right, the two concepts do sound incongruous”.

  15. JoelBitar
    August 27, 2009, 4:52 am

    “You think that opposing the Iraq War resolution was voting with AIPAC, 100%.”

    When did I ever say that I think the Iraq War was a key agenda of AIPAC? Like a cheesy pundit, you put words in my mouth. Regardless of whether I think it was or not (the documentary record is quite clear on this actually), Ted Kennedy consistently voted contrary to international law on the issue of Israel/Palestine. That makes him an accomplice to criminal activity.

    Can you possibly dispute this fact?.

  16. Todd
    August 27, 2009, 10:11 am

    “homingpigeon August 27, 2009 at 8:30 am

    So no I don’t consider it laughable. Calling for open immigration of people who want to live among us and be a part of our society is very moderate indeed compared to what our nation demands of the Palestinians. I welcome immigrants all the time.”

    Pigeon, this type of logic is exactly why I believe that America should distance itself from Israel, and marginalize her supporters at home. While I understand that the Palestinians are the victims, and that Israel is a brutal regime that is a burden rather than an ally to the U.S., those facts in no way obligate Americans to go against our own interests, which is exactly what many supporters of Israel demand we do if Israel is criticized or threatened with a loss of support. Are supporters of the Palestinians now wishing to tear the U.S. apart, also? At least they have a reason to do so! For this we can thank the people who support Israel and have fought to make Israel’s conflicts America’s conflicts.

  17. Todd
    August 27, 2009, 10:34 am

    ” 5 kylebisme August 27, 2009 at 12:46 am
    Todd, I don’t have to look any further than myself to find someone who isn’t a bigot in any way, and I know I am far from the only one. That said, I disagree with your arguments for denying freedom of movement based on nation of origin, as I couldn’t care less where a person is from or what their economic or educational class is. To the contrary, I contest that removing such immigration standards would is the best way we have to disempower the bigoted robber barons who exploit other nations by propping up dictators and running sweatshop operations out of them. I believe that would prove beneficial to the US along with the rest of the world in the long run, and hence support providing a reasonable path to citizenship for any individual who wants it.

    Also, by “reasonable path” I mean visas to establish residency and a productive life, with citizenship granted upon renouncing citizenship in the nation of origin, and deportation back to it if not. I have the option to do that pretty much anywhere in the world, but it that is arguably as much a matter of my circumstance as it is of my effort, and I don’t see any logical reason to deny people of harsher circumstances the right to do the same. Cattle, on the other hand, I have no problem with fencing in simply on the grounds that they are not human. ”

    Kyle, you may be the one person on the planet who has no preferences. I guess it’s possible that there is one person on the planet completely without bigotries. My point is that it is impossbile to be without personal prejudice of some kind, and having prejudices does not make a person bad. Instead it’s what a person does that makes him good or bad, and flooding a nation with unwanted immigrants for cheap labor, or to break down traditional demographics in order to triangulate politically along racial and ethnic lines for the benefit of ones own group is a bad thing.

    It isn’t America’s duty to ensure that the rest of the world is free of bigotry or exploitation. If Balkanizing the United States is the best way to solve the problem of bigotry on a global scale, then I have no problem with bigotry on a global scale. The power of the American government needs to be curtailed so that it can’t meddle needlessly at home and abroad. There are better ways to rein in government than causing social chaos or destroying the nation.

    How are you able to go pretty much anywhere in the world to establish residency and a productive life? I’ve lived and worked in different countries while traveling, and it was never the case that citizenship or residency status was offered. I would never considered it appropriate to ask. As a matter of fact, I was denied work permits, even when friends offered to employ me officially.

  18. munro
    August 27, 2009, 2:16 pm

    Ted Kennedy’s wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, is Lebanese-American, all four of her grandparents were Maronite Christians from Beirut, but Ted always took a long view for the best possible results and probably felt that, for now, speaking out for the Palestinians to a deeply brainwashed public would only have undermined his other work. Where was Phil on I/P in 1980?

  19. DICKERSON3870
    August 30, 2009, 11:30 pm

    RE: ” …Ted Kennedy voted AIPAC’s way 100 percent of the time.”

    SEE: Sen. Edward Kennedy – ‘A great friend of Israel’, by E.B. Solomont, “Jerusalem Post”, 08/27/09

    Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the US Senate, a son of one of America’s best-known political families and a vociferous advocate for issues ranging from social justice to health care to Israel, will be remembered as “a great friend of Israel,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday…

    ….Kennedy was also a major force in fighting the Arab League boycott and criticized the UN’s anti-Israel tone. He was a strong advocate for recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

    “During his more than four decades in the US Senate, Kennedy consistently supported American assistance to Israel, particularly during the Jewish state’s most trying times,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said in a statement. His leadership in the Soviet Jewry movement, among other things, “are hallmarks of his historic career devoted to serving the best interests of the American people and our values.”

    Longtime associates recalled that Kennedy embraced a pro-Israel stance during his failed 1980 presidential run against Jimmy Carter. Though he ultimately dropped out of the race, the Jewish community came out solidly for Kennedy during the Democratic primary, said Morris Amitay, who served as president of AIPAC from 1974 to 1980. “By then they realized that Carter was becoming increasingly negative [toward] Israel,” said Amitay.

    That year, Kennedy also spoke to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, calling Israel a “tried, trusted, and true” friend.

    “Our alliance with Israel is an alliance based on common democratic ideals and mutual benefit. In the critical region of the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, Israel is a rock of strength, stability, and friendship,” he said, according to a copy of his 1980 speech. “We must never barter the freedom and future of Israel for a barrel of oil – or foolishly try to align the Arab world with us, no matter what cost.”

    Amitay, who briefed Kennedy several times throughout the years on Israel, said the Massachusetts senator was sympathetic and eager to learn. “Although today a lot of people on the American left tend not to be as friendly toward Israel, he maintained a very strong friendship,” he said….

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to jpost.com

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