Biden meets major Israel lobby group at White House

US Politics
on 21 Comments

Move along now. Nothin goin on here. From Zeke Miller at Buzzfeed Politics, yesterday:

WH: Biden met today at the White House with representatives of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

And here is MJ Rosenberg saying that the three black politicians who lately broke with Obama, notably Cory Booker, all have goldplated Israel lobby connections. His analysis:

“[Alabama Rep. Artur] Davis… received 76 percent of his 2002 contributions from outside Alabama and largely from New York City… ‘I have never accepted money from AIPAC,’ Davis said, ‘My relationship has been with donors who are members of AIPAC.’”

[Harold] Ford is not a creature of AIPAC but of right-wing Democrats in general. See this story on how he tried to depose Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi in 2009 for being too liberal. However, his ties to the AIPAC crowd were demonstrated after he lost his bid for a senate seat and chose, as his next career move, the chairmanship of the Democratic Leadership Council — the now defunct group whose raison d’etre can be summed up in the banner: pro-Likud, pro-big business. It’s marquee figure was Joe Lieberman. And its marquee issue was supporting the Iraq war.

The bottom line is that Booker, [Artur] Davis and Ford are Democrats with an asterisk. And the asterisk is AIPAC. That is why it is those three who are attacking Obama while every member of the House Black Caucus  are out there backing Obama with all they have.

So what does their defection mean? Only that these are three ambitious guys who have sized up the political landscape and decided to stick with the guys who brought them to the party.

This is the sort of reporting I’ve always wanted, someone pushing the idea that the lobby is a central force in our politics, a ridgeline, and making that case. That is my belief, that George H.W. Bush lost his job in part because of the lobby and Bill Clinton got his in part through the lobby and George W. Bush learned the lesson and Obama is now learning it. But no one’s really connected the dots, let alone established the facts.

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21 Responses

  1. seafoid
    May 22, 2012, 10:15 am

    MAJO appear to be losing their mojo

    The video is very interesting. Norm from Coney Island really grinds the borg into the dust.

    • Dan Crowther
      May 22, 2012, 11:48 am

      Finkelstein and Rabbani made a good tag team on that clown….I saw F&R speak this past winter and found Rabbani to be a real force – sort of like Hever, in my opinion. his arguments are dispassionate and sober, he just tells it like it is……

      Im not buying these “defections” are a result of “The Lobby” – Ford and Booker are the whoriest[sic] of the whores, they have gold plated connections with all the nefarious actors among the ruling classes.

      • seafoid
        May 22, 2012, 3:16 pm

        “Israel is now a dirty word”

        Delivered so coolly.
        Rabbani is from al Shabaka and they are very impressive.

      • seafoid
        May 22, 2012, 4:16 pm

        At one point the borg says Israel and the US have common enemies.
        I never hear Norway talking about enemies.

  2. lysias
    May 22, 2012, 10:23 am

    A bigger reason Bush père lost his job was that the plutocrats saw that he could not get the Democratic Congress to accept NAFTA but believed Bill Clinton could. And events proved them right in that belief.

    Similarly, the Republicans lost the White House in 2008 after W. proved unable to privatize Social Security. And I think that is the task the plutocrats thought Obama would be able to achieve and that that is a big reason why they donated so much money to his 2008 campaign. Although another, possible even bigger reason was that they wanted someone on whom they could rely in the White House after the 2008-9 financial collapse, which a lot of them presumably saw coming, and not another FDR who would launch a new New Deal.

    Of course, a lot of the plutocrats are also supporters of Zionism.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 22, 2012, 10:32 am

      bigger reason was that they wanted someone on whom they could rely in the White House after the 2008-9 financial collapse, which a lot of them presumably saw coming, and not another FDR who would launch a new New Deal.

      my theory is they wanted a dem to take the fall for the financial crisis. they didn’t announce it ittil right before the election even tho it was in dire straights for over a year. so, they figured it would be a one term prez, come in ,take the fall and then the country would be poised to usher in another 8 years (at least) for the gop.

      • seafoid
        May 22, 2012, 12:08 pm

        I think it’s stretching credulity to believe the plutocrats engineered the collapse of Lehman Bros..
        The financial system is too volatile .
        Even Goldman nearly went to the wall

    • seafoid
      May 22, 2012, 11:46 am

      I just got a copy of “Juarez- a laboratory of the future”
      It was written about 10 years ago and it goes into NAFTA and plutocrat capitalism- things were already bad then – but that was before the nihilism of the drug gangs .

      Mexico seems to be on the way to a countrywide version of inner city Detroit

  3. lysias
    May 22, 2012, 10:25 am

    And on the White House Web site: Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:

    Vice President Biden met today at the White House with representatives of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The Vice President addressed the Obama Administration’s unprecedented support for Israel’s security; our steadfast opposition to any attempts to delegitimize Israel; and our commitment to a lasting, secure peace that is in the interest of Israelis, Palestinians and the United States. The Vice President also discussed a range of regional issues, including Iran. The Vice President praised attendees for their support of a strong relationship between the United States and Israel and the broad range of policy, charitable and intellectual pursuits in which they are engaged.

  4. Kathleen
    May 22, 2012, 10:56 am

    “. That is my belief, that George H.W. Bush lost his job in part because of the lobby” have heard this said many times.

    I think many have connected the dots

  5. Kathleen
    May 22, 2012, 11:00 am

    So amazing to think how powerful Aipac still continues to be after their two top officials were caught red handed accessing highly classified US intelligence and passing that classified intelligence over to Israeli officials…but of course the case was dismissed. Undermine US national security again and nothing happens again

    • Citizen
      May 22, 2012, 11:59 am

      Lee Whitnum (US Senate candidate, Connecticut) says Israel Lobby is more powerful than AARP or The Gun Lobby, and is actually the most powerful lobby ever in existence as it is international in character.

      Why else could any Jew born in Brooklyn move to Israel and take over the home and land of any Arab family who lived there for a thousand years?

  6. hophmi
    May 22, 2012, 12:41 pm

    “the now defunct group whose raison d’etre can be summed up in the banner: pro-Likud, pro-big business. ”

    Oh, shut up, MJ. Clinton was the most the famous thing to come out of the DLC, and he was not pro-Likud.

    And what’s Booker’s big connection? And how does it relate to his comments over the weekend?

    • Philip Weiss
      May 22, 2012, 2:07 pm

      booker is friends of shmully boteach, mj reports

      • seanmcbride
        May 22, 2012, 4:00 pm

        This is interesting: I copied these paragraphs on Shmuley Boteach from Wikipedia a few months ago:

        Boteach received his rabbinic ordination in 1988 from the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement in New York City, as a disciple of its leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson…. Boteach is strongly supportive of Israel, and critical of American policy towards the country. Boteach has argued that the Obama administration is “bullying” Israel, arguing that US Middle Eastern policy is “scandalous” and “disgusting”.

        He is also supportive of Israeli settlements, including the controversial Hebron settlement, the residents of which he characterizes as marked by a particular “warmth, friendliness and hospitality” and views as being “liberated from hatred”. The settlements are viewed as illegal by the UN, and most of the world barring Israel. His support for the Hebron settlement caused Israeli journalist Bradley Burston, writing in Ha’aretz, to characterize Boteach as a “pro-occupation flack”.
        END QUOTE

        I rechecked the page today and the paragraphs seem to have disappeared. As far as I know they contained nothing but accurate and factual statements. Orwellian goings-on at Wikipedia? The Hasbara Squad in action?

      • radii
        May 22, 2012, 4:35 pm

        do a search of Boteach’s family … this huckster is as noxious as the Dersh when you do some digging

  7. DICKERSON3870
    May 22, 2012, 2:43 pm

    RE: “[Alabama Rep. Artur] Davis… received 76 percent of his 2002 contributions from outside Alabama and largely from New York City…” ~ M.J. Rosenberg

    SEE: “AIPAC’s bid to defeat Hilliard is neo-McCarthyism”, by Hassan A. El-Najjar, Al Jazeera Editorial, 6/01/02

    Congressman Earl Hilliard, a member of the US House of Representative, from the 7th district of Alabama, is under attack. The America-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) is after him, to defeat him in his district, and to make him a lesson to future dissidents. Being the first African American to represent Alabama in the US Congress and a civil rights figure could not shield him from the wrath of supporters of Israel. So, What did Hilliard do? He exercised his right not to sign the embarrassing House resolution that was a tantamount of pledging allegiance to Israel, at the time the Israeli occupation forces were committing war crimes against the Palestinian people. He was one of the 21 brave representatives who said no to AIPAC’s tyranny, when the rest of the members of the US House of Representative signed the resolution on May 2, 2002. Not only that, in December 2001, Hilliard also dared to challenge the pro-Israel lobby when he was one of the eleven members of Congress who voted against a Congressional resolution expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against Palestinian resistance that Israel calls “terrorism.”
    Pro-Israel groups have decided to defeat him, so he does not come back to the House of Representatives. Through a national campaign, they raised substantial funds for his challenger, Artur Davis. By doing so, AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups are bringing back to the United States the notorious days of McCarthyism, with an additional component, that is zero tolerance to dissent, even in Congress. This is neo-McCarthyism big time. Americans should be alerted to the danger this incident represents for their freedoms, rights, and liberties. Alabama voters should know that unseating their representative would only serve Israel, not the 7th district of their state. More important, Americans should be alerted to the tactics used by pro-Israel groups in their nationwide efforts to pressure members of Congress to vote for resolutions that serve Israel, not the US interests.

    SOURCE –'s%20bid%20to%20defeat%20Hilliard.htm

    • lysias
      May 22, 2012, 2:54 pm

      They did the same thing to Cynthia McKinney (also in the 2002 primaries).

    • DICKERSON3870
      May 22, 2012, 3:00 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: A Congressional Election to Watch: The Middle East Conflict in Alabama’s Seventh, by James Zogby, Arab American Institute, 5/27/02

      (excerpts) The lead sentence in a national Jewish newspaper said it all:
      “The Democratic primary in Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District, is being closely watched by Israel’s supporters, who view it as a chance to unseat an incumbent with ties to Arab countries and a spotty record of support for the Jewish state.” . . .

      . . . While Hilliard has sometimes voted for pro-Israel positions–for example, he did support a 1996 resolution to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem–in recent years, he has consistently supported a more balanced position.
      In December of 2001, he was only one of eleven members of Congress to vote against a congressional resolution “expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism.” Once again, on May 2, 2002, he was one of 21 members of Congress to vote against the notorious and one-sided pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian resolution that passed in the House of Representatives.
      All of this, of course, has encouraged some Jewish leaders to try to target Hilliard for defeat. In 2000 the Congressman was challenged by a young Birmingham lawyer, Artur Davis.
      On June 4th, 2002, voters in the Seventh Congressional District of Alabama’s Democratic primary elections will do more than determine the political future of Democratic congressman Earl Hilliard. They will also determine whether, once again, pro-Israeli groups around the U.S. will be able to claim that they defeated a supporter of Palestinian rights. . .
      . . . In a fundraising appeal to supporters of Israel, two of Davis’ Birmingham’s supporters, David Kahn and Jeffrey Snyder, wrote: “We have a very important opportunity in Alabama to help challenger Artur Davis (D) defeat an incumbent five term congressman, Earl Hilliard (D-AL-7) who has not been a friend of the U.S./Israel relationship…Hilliard has been extremely dangerous to not only our community but the U.S./Israel relationship. As Chairman of the Black Caucus he has lobbied members of the Black Caucus to oppose initiatives supporting Israel…”
      . . . Having so far reportedly raised $300,000 to purchase TV ads attacking Hilliard’s record, Davis stopped by the AIPAC convention a few weeks back to say:
      “I have received support from the Jewish community in Birmingham and the rest of the country, and I wanted to thank them personally.” . . .


      • DICKERSON3870
        May 22, 2012, 3:16 pm


        FROM WIKIPEDIA [Artur Davis]:

        . . . Davis ran again in 2002. During the campaign, Hilliard questioned whether Davis was “black enough” to represent the district. Despite these attempts to divide the African-American vote, Davis narrowly won the primary requiring a runoff in June. He won the runoff easily, assuring him victory in November in the heavily Democratic district, and he began his term in January 2003. . .
        . . . On February 6, 2009, Davis announced his candidacy for Governor of Alabama in 2010. His opponent in the Democratic primary was Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.[14]
        During the primary campaign, Davis downplayed matters of race and emphasized his independence from Democratic party orthodoxy. He caused controversy, including within his heavily minority congressional district, by voting against President Barack Obama’s new health-care law—the only black Democrat in Congress to do so. He also refused to sit for the endorsement screenings of Alabama’s black political groups, drawing criticism from some that he was an opportunist in search of white votes.[15] As a result, he became described as “the first African-American candidate in a statewide Alabama race to lose the black vote.”[16] Birmingham News columnist John Archibald said “He ran his whole race as it if were a general election and he wanted to claim some conservative street cred. Alabama Democrats—blue dots in this big red state—have very little patience for that.” State Representative Roderick Scott said Black Democrats “can no longer take for granted they will receive the African-American vote.”[17] . . .
        On June 1, 2010, Davis lost the Democratic primary to Sparks, ending his gubernatorial bid. Afterwards, he announced he was retiring from politics and would return to private practice at the conclusion of his 2009-2011 term.[18] Davis was succeeded in Congress by fellow Democrat Terri Sewell, the first African-American woman elected to the United House of Representatives from Alabama. . .

        SOURCE –

        P.P.P.S. Did Artur Davis get his “just deserts” ? ? ?

  8. Blake
    May 22, 2012, 3:53 pm

    The money given to Israel should be given to the politicians instead. Cut out the middleman.

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