Representative Joe Walsh (Photo: Flickr)
Representative Joe Walsh’s (R-IL) Op-Ed in the Washington Times May 3 turned heads. He argued that the only real solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “one contiguous Israeli state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” Palestinians who wanted to stay would have “limited voting power.” Walsh also suggests Jordan as a destination for Palestinians. Robert Wright of The Atlantic commented that the Op-Ed should be interpreted as a call for apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
There’s more to this story, thanks to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Ron Kampeas. Kampeas reports that an Israel-oriented political action committee called Allies for Israel gave Walsh $2,500 this year. According to Open Secrets, this donation was given before or on April 30, 2012, a few days before the Op-Ed was published.
The $2,500 is small beans when compared to other donors to Walsh, who was elected in 2010 with Tea Party support and is now facing a tough re-election battle. But you have to wonder if this PAC, or another right-wing Zionist PAC, will pour more money into Walsh’s coffers due to his prominent call for Israeli apartheid. We’ll find out, perhaps, when the next Federal Election Commission numbers come out.
Still, it’s important to look at who the donors to Allies for Israel are. Walsh’s ideas are very much in line with contributors to the Allies for Israel PAC, which donates to both Republicans and Democrats.
The biggest donor to Allies for Israel is Cherna Moskowitz, who gave $5,000 to the group in December 2011. Cherna is the wife of Irving Moskowitz, the wealthy Florida businessman who is known for funding illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem that evict Palestinians living there. The Irving Moskowitz Foundation, which is run by Cherna and Irving, funds a yeshiva in the settlement of Beit El; the Central Fund for Israel, a US-based group that channels donations to settlements; the Hebron Fund; and more. In sum, the Moskowitzes believe in Greater Israel and a Jerusalem where Jews have more rights than Palestinians–a view quite similar to Walsh’s.
Other donors include Cheryl Halpern, a former chairwoman of the Republican Jewish Coalition known for blasting National Public Radio’s coverage of Israel; Michael Sodrel, a former Congressional representative from Indiana and prominent Christian Zionist; and Richard Schifter, a former US official.
Walsh, it seems, was not just supporting apartheid in Israel for kicks. With Tammy Duckworth, his Democratic opponent, giving him a run for his money, expect to see more cash to Walsh from Greater Israel backers.