‘Commentary’ says some elected Democrats ‘pledged’ to protect Israel

on 19 Comments

In recent days Commentary has published two pieces rallying opposition to Chuck Hagel by Jonathan Tobin. First this one, “Jewish Groups Must End Silence on Hagel.” Then this one, urging pro-Israel Democrats to end their support. Reading them, I was struck by Tobin’s implicit commandment for Jews to support Israel– and he includes Jewish donors and Jews in elected office. Tobin ends with a summons to pro-Israel Democrats to live up to “the cause they have pledged to protect.” And the only Democrat Tobin names is Chuck Schumer, who is Jewish and claims to be Israel’s guardian.

It seems to me that Tobin is directing his appeals to a Jewish lobby, not just an Israel lobby– but Chuck Hagel himself has been called an anti-Semite for speaking of a Jewish lobby. And Tobin’s pledged-to-a-pro-Israel cause wording raises the age-old criticism of Zionists by anti-Zionists: they foster dual loyalty. 

Tobin’s first editorial:   

the reluctance of most major Jewish organizations, including the influential Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and AIPAC to take a stand on Hagel was rooted in their unwillingness to step into what had become a partisan fight….

But with this latest proof of Hagel’s hateful mindset about Israel and the fact that the nomination no longer seems quite so inevitable ought to cause the organized Jewish world to reassess their silence. This is especially true since some pro-Israel Democrats have used this failure of the Jewish groups to speak out as cover for their own decision to go along with the president’s poor choice.

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that had a Republican president nominated a man to lead the Pentagon who had been quoted saying the things that Hagel has said and who had such a poor record on Israel and Iran, the Democratic donors to major Jewish groups would be screaming for the organizations to pull out the stops to prevent that person from taking office. But Hagel’s crack about the Israeli foreign ministry should convince even the most partisan liberal Democrats that they can’t give their party a pass on this issue.

If Jewish groups speak out now in the aftermath of the cloture vote the Hagel nomination will collapse.  The president may not like it but the longer this goes on the less defensible his choice for the Pentagon has proved to be. The time is now for Jewish Democrats to end this farce and send Hagel back into retirement where he can say as many hateful things about Jews and Israel either on or off the record as he likes.

Editorial 2:

Some of the pro-Israel senators like Chuck Schumer who have been using the silence of mainstream Jewish groups about his nomination as cover for their decision to go along with what they knew was a questionable choice are now on the spot. As John [Podhoretz] wrote in the New York Post on Friday, it’s time for Schumer to live up to his boast that he was the “guardian” of Israel in the Senate…..

In the coming days, the calls for Hagel to withdraw will grow. So, too, will the pressure on pro-Israel Democrats to stop acting as the nominee’s guardian rather than [guardians of] the cause they have pledged to protect.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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19 Responses

  1. doug
    February 18, 2013, 11:07 am

    What irritates me is Tobin’s casual statement that Hagel hates Jews. It’s just insane.

    • American
      February 18, 2013, 2:08 pm

      LOL you’ll really love this. Poor zios, so little time so many enemies….


      Contender for papacy accused of anti-Semitism
      Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras has compared ‘Jewish controlled media’ to Hitler

      February 17, 2013, 7:54 pm

      – In a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that one of the leading candidates to replace Pope Benedict XVI is an anti-Semite.

      Responding to a list published last week after the resignation of Benedict, which identified Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras as a possible successor to the current pope, Dershowitz wrote: “He has blamed the Jews for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! He has argued that the Jews got even with the Catholic Church for its anti-Israel positions by arranging for the media — which they, of course, control, he said — to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal. He then compared the Jewish controlled media with Hitler, because they are ‘protagonists of what I do not hesitate to define as a persecution against the church.’’

    • Carowhat
      February 18, 2013, 4:45 pm

      Tobin will say anything, true or not, if it helps Israel. Years ago when I told him in an email that Israel’s West Bank settlements were an obstacle to peace he answered that Israel hasn’t built any such settlements in over 10 years. When I replied that the US reconnaissance satellites that monitored illegal settlements in the West Bank proved otherwise, he answered that it was a “scandal” for the U.S. to waste its valuable satellite resources spying on an ally. He then announced that our correspondence was closed.

      Well, it was closed but not so much as his own mind.

      • MK_Ultra
        February 19, 2013, 11:58 am

        LOL! I guess you didn’t recognize the fact that he was using his Hasbara Manual on you.

  2. John Douglas
    February 18, 2013, 11:08 am

    The Lobby, whether it’s the Israel, Jewish, Zionist or Likud lobby is way out of the closet now. It will be interesting to see if and how it tries to hustle back in. I think the door’s clanked shut and locked behind it.

  3. Cliff
    February 18, 2013, 11:43 am

    What a lunatic. He sounds like a mad wizard or something. There’s always an undercurrent of religious fanaticism in American Zionist gatekeepers.

  4. Les
    February 18, 2013, 12:03 pm

    JM Rosenberg is not shocked that the vast majority of the Israel Lobby are Jews.

    As for elected politicians in Washington who have pledged to protect Israel, how many have observed the law that requires them regisiter as lobbyists of a foreign power?

  5. sardelapasti
    February 18, 2013, 1:17 pm

    “…age-old criticism of Zionists by anti-Zionists: they foster dual loyalty. ”
    Dual loyalty? Not at all, this is blatantly a single-sided one. In my time it was called traitorous loyalty. As a concession to nationalists everywhere, that is the term to be used.

  6. American
    February 18, 2013, 2:33 pm

    Oh, this is funny! Obama is gonna get a medal from the Crackers Jack box.

    Obama to receive special award in Israel
    USA TODAY-1 hour ago
    President Obama will be getting a special award when he visits Israel next month. Obama will receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction, the

  7. Tom Callaghan
    February 18, 2013, 4:40 pm

    Tobin, along with Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post and Bill Krystal at Weekly Standard constitute a three person echo chamber with a consistent message that the nomination of Hagel is on life support. It isn’t. Intrade has his odds at 95%. I would say closer to 70% is more realistic for the simple reason that you should never underestimate a man with $25 billion in his wallet…Sheldon Adelson…and a willingness to spend it. If Mr Adelson put his wallet back in his pocket, the opposition to Hagel would evaporate in a heartbeat.


  8. piotr
    February 18, 2013, 8:28 pm

    “If Jewish groups speak out now in the aftermath of the cloture vote the Hagel nomination will collapse.”

    Some people have strong belief in the power of Jewish lobby.

    Clearly, the crime of Hagel was not that he thought that DoS was an adjunct of Israeli foreign ministry, AS IT SHOULD BE, but that he was unhappy about it.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 19, 2013, 12:43 am

      this has nothing to do with “the crime of hagel”, this is more about the adelsons’ and kristols’, burnt after the election trying to take their angst out on obama via hagel. they just want a scalp (bigger the better) and they’ve set their sites on hagel.

      • CloakAndDagger
        February 19, 2013, 2:24 am

        Not so sure about that annie. This smells more like a battle for self-preservation than one of vengeance.

      • Tom Callaghan
        February 19, 2013, 8:34 am

        I would narrow it down even further. To Sheldon Adelson. Those who have been in his presence say he “loathes” President Obama. He’s having more fun than he ever had in his life. He’s got US Senators hoping to get a call from him. You can tell there is something wrong with the anti-Hagel “movement” when Ted Cruz has a lead role in it.

      • piotr
        February 19, 2013, 12:01 pm

        There were scalps collected in the past in similar circumstances, but I think that this time the head hunters will return empty handed.

        One thing is that the antics of “adelsons and kristols” provoked a reaction from Democrats, including the Zionists. If “adelsons and kristols” complain now, this is just a delicious sound to Democrats. And to the public at large, the talking points are a good laugh.

  9. Sin Nombre
    February 19, 2013, 7:28 am

    The recurring question I have about folks like Tobin and Co. is where they come to their beliefs such that they think that they can wage a vicious fight against a decorated and clearly patriotic U.S. veteran, solely and expressly for the sake of serving a foreign power—so as to have the U.S. military serve the interests of a foreign power—and that nobody can validly get mad at them for doing so. That … nobody can consider them acting unpatriotically or subversively.

    And the only conclusion I can draw, especially when it touches on such fundamental issues, is that there’s just an incredibly deep and possibly even unconscious contempt for gentile a and ideas and values and interests amongst such people. That, except perhaps for how they may be used to advance jewish interests, gentiles just simply have no valid, independent right to any worth of their own.

  10. MK_Ultra
    February 19, 2013, 11:54 am

    All those who don’t know that the so-called Democrats are as prostituted as their Republican brethren, please raise your hands.

  11. doug
    February 19, 2013, 8:23 pm

    Man, every day I get an new Commentary email with the latest Hagel “discoveries”

    Secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel said Israel is on its way to becoming an apartheid state during an April 9, 2010, appearance at Rutgers University, according to a contemporaneous account by an attendee.

    Wow!. The horror! Hagel must really hate Jews.

    OTOH, if he really did hate Jews wouldn’t he be encouraging Israel to do just that!

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