Democrats afraid of Jewish donor ‘revenge’ in midterms

on 22 Comments

The niceties of America’s often straightlaced political discourse generally preclude the use of a phrase as provocative as this: Jewish revenge. One of the virtues of the Israeli press, however, is that it can be refreshingly blunt.

“Officials in the Democratic Party are afraid that the Jews will take revenge in the midterm elections, which is the reason for the vigorous courting of Israel,” reports Yedioth Ahronoth today. Some of the courting the paper refers to just came from White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, whose recent trip to Israel was ostensibly a family affair — he was there to attend his son’s Bar Mitzvah — but it turned out that he also had important and very public business to take care of: a kiss-and-make-up session with Benjamin Netanyahu.

Didi Remez provides an English translation of the Hebrew report:

According to reports that reached Jerusalem, it is no coincidence that Obama and his staff have suddenly begun to speak warmly about Israel, to compliment it for the good will gestures it extended to the Palestinians and mainly to admit that they had erred by treating Israel unfairly in Obama’s first year. It appears that the Obama administration’s attack on Netanyahu after the publication of the tender to build 1,6000 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo backfired.

Information that was received by Israeli sources would seem to indicate that the principal reason for the change in approach to Israel is pressure from Democrat lawmakers who are running for election and are finding themselves hard put to enlist Jewish donors to their campaigns. There is a great deal of anger at Obama within the Jewish community and disappointment over his policy toward Israel. Officials in the Democratic Party are afraid that the Jews will take revenge in the midterm elections, which is the reason for the vigorous courting of Israel. In other words, the fear is that the Jewish vote will gravitate away from Democratic candidates to Republicans.

The report concludes by saying that the Obama administration is afraid of another clash with Netanyahu when the settlement “freeze” expires in September. “The hope is that Obama will be able to persuade Netanyahu to extend the construction freeze by means of a friendly request and thereby avoid a damaging confrontation.” Right!

The brief lull in West Bank colonization construction operations was surely timed to expire exactly when Obama could effectively be bound and gagged by the Israel lobby, right before the elections.

When ministers in the Israeli government triumphantly break ground on new settlement projects this fall, we shouldn’t expect to hear even a squeak of disapproval come out of Washington.

This is cross-posted at Woodward’s site, War in Context.

22 Responses

  1. MHughes976
    May 27, 2010, 3:13 pm

    This report is an antidote to the ‘things are changing!’ optimism sometimes expressed round here. We who believe in Palestinian rights seem to have climbed the first 1,000 feet of Mount Everest but the towering cliffs and treacherous icefields are highly unconquered.

  2. Colin Murray
    May 27, 2010, 3:27 pm

    The glass is half full. It is progress that Pres. Obama had to send someone to kiss ass at all. Previous administrations didn’t need to because they always toed the AIPAC line. At least Pres. Obama has annoyed them and made them sweat a little. Most readers of this blog know that the Israel Lobby funds roughly half the Democratic Party. Seriously, what else is he going to do?

  3. Oscar
    May 27, 2010, 3:27 pm

    And if true, that is the capitulation we’ve all been waiting for. Obama caves.

    • Taxi
      May 27, 2010, 4:00 pm

      So long as every day more Americans are waking up to the great zionist swindle, there IS progress.

      At the end of the day, no sane person is expecting the fucking politicians to change the status quo.

      No. This revolution in the name of the ‘liberation of Palestine’ is a very, very different and unusual flower that will eventually bloom sudden and splendid in the suburbs and backwaters of America.

      For sure, the people of the mideast, aren’t ‘waiting’ on Obama to deliver them justice either!

      Through ‘negotiations’ or through war, things WILL change.

      I get moody with the daily bad news from Palestine, yes. But I sleep with a smile on my face every night to remember the realism of: “The Status Quo IS unsustainable”.

      This is mint offered to the tired and the heartbroken.

    • potsherd
      May 27, 2010, 4:20 pm

      Obama is a spelunk.

  4. Frances
    May 27, 2010, 3:48 pm

    Is it uncharitable to point out that Rahm Emanuel looks like his own melting waxwork?

    • Taxi
      May 27, 2010, 4:16 pm

      Rahm and Bibi look creepily like sweaty brothers.

      • Chu
        May 27, 2010, 5:48 pm

        Bibi looks like he knows Rahmbo will be targeted by the crowd.
        They look beyond the picture to gauge the crowd.

      • Sumud
        May 28, 2010, 7:11 am

        I’ve always thought Rahm E. looks more arab than European.

    • Richard Parker
      May 27, 2010, 4:45 pm

      No, and it’s not uncharitable to suggest that Netanyahoo’s recent visit to LA for a facelift and toupee adjustment didn’t quite work.
      We English have to put up with our own smirker: link to

      It’s not too easy to assess politicians’ body language from still photographs, but there are still clues:
      – Rahm Emanuel wears a very well-adopted old-fashioned Bostonian WASP button-down collar; Netanyahoo a wide open one.
      – Both have ‘anonymous’ ties, but Netanyahoo’s stripes suggest a connection with a classic British institution that is wholly spurious
      – Emanuel wears a perfectly-fitting suit, while Netanyahoo’s one doesn’t even fit on the back of his neck, let alone the wrinkles on the arms. It came in a cheap deal from Uzbekistan.

  5. Avi
    May 27, 2010, 4:06 pm

    When I look at that photo, the following imagery appears in my head:

    An underground tunnel connects the White House with the Prime Minister’s office. You never know from which end of that tunnel an Israeli will suddenly pop out.

    • lysias
      May 27, 2010, 5:44 pm

      I believe an underground tunnel does connect the White House with Blair House across Pennsylvania Ave.

  6. potsherd
    May 27, 2010, 4:21 pm

    But never let it be said that Jewish money controls Congress! That would be antiSemitic!

  7. Debonnaire
    May 27, 2010, 5:10 pm

    Netanyahu’s mouth is devoid of anything except a snigger, or a huff. It’s the face of a businessmen who orders a whore for the night in his electric Houston hotel suite, and then instead of paying her – strangles her with a purple tie, later having a phalanx of Rahms take the cut-up body out in a succession of dirty gym bags.

    • lysias
      May 27, 2010, 5:46 pm

      Like Benny Morris kept smirking during that debate on RT television with Norman Finkelstein.

  8. Bravo
    May 27, 2010, 5:21 pm

    my dear winston, there is no israeli lobby.

  9. kapok
    May 27, 2010, 5:49 pm

    Capo and consiglieri

  10. lysias
    May 27, 2010, 5:50 pm

    One can’t escape the thought that, if Obama addressed the public on this matter, explained what is going on, and appealed for campaign contributions at the same time, the Democrats would more than make up for whatever Jewish donors are refusing to give the Democrats.

    • Mooser
      May 27, 2010, 6:38 pm

      Oh, it may make up for what American Jews would contribute. But could it substitute for what American-Israelis would contribute?

  11. eGuard
    May 27, 2010, 6:10 pm


  12. AM
    May 27, 2010, 6:45 pm

    So this is how I understand the whole article:

    Unless American support, from the Jewish religious community, for Israel fundamentally changes, then nothing will change.

    …or pro Palestinian supporters all become bajillionaires and then we could change things by controlling politicians through money.

  13. Chaos4700
    May 27, 2010, 8:19 pm

    And this would effectively mean the end of functional democracy in the United States. Obama fiddles… Rome burns.

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