Last week New Yorker editor David Remnick said that Hillary was running for president, based on her appearance at an Israel lobby group, the Saban Forum, in Washington. So on Saturday National Public Radio interviewed Remnick about his observation (and put particular emphasis on this disturbing video of Hillary Clinton, which was shown at the event, and is chockful of Israelis, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, Benjamin Netanyahu– and also includes John McCain, Madeleine Albright, Salam Fayyad, a Jordanian official, and a foreign minister from the United Arab Emirates). Remnick said Israeli and American officials are married:
[Y]ou couldn’t help thinking that there was this kind of almost international or at least at a minimum Israeli-American establishment endorsement of her or encouragement for her to run for president.
And the combination of the film, the way she gave her speech, which was extremely uncritical of the Israelis, even at a moment when the Israeli-American relationship is, I would say, very troubled gave one the indication that she is being hyper careful and looking forward to a career that still got politics in it. And where is there left for her to go other than a presidential race?
Then there’s this:
REMNICK: I’m not sure how many votes in Iowa you get from the endorsement from Salam Fayyad or from Bibi Netanyahu.
RAZ: Who knows?
REMNICK: Well, it’s a very small neighborhood in Iowa.
This dialogue is a good first step but it’s pretty coy. Since when is there an Israeli-American establishment, and when did the two governments get married? In what ways does that establishment require that a politician must be “extremely uncritical of Israel”? How different is Remnick’s premise from the Mearsheimer and Walt thesis that the Israel lobby is a “loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to steer U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction”? Or from Roger Waters’s statement that Israel’s staggering record of impunity is due to the role of the Israel lobby, the “elephant in the room”? Remnick and Raz both know about this question; and Remnick has been critical of Israel’s outsize role in our politics. They should treat this subject more forthrightly.