Last Sunday night Texas senator Ted Cruz went to a Zionist Organization of America gala in New York at which Pastor John Hagee directly labelled President Obama “anti-Semitic.” Even the Anti-Defamation League condemned the remarks:
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged Pastor John Hagee to reconsider his remarks calling President Obama “one of the most anti-Semitic presidents in the history of the United States of America,” saying the comments were “offensive and misplaced.”
Home Depot chairman Bernard Marcus also did some namecalling of Obama, according to Haaretz (you have to read the Israeli press to find out what’s going on in US politics):
“A Chamberlain in the White House,” as Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus opined, garnering wild applause.
The Dallas Morning News did raise an eyebrow over the vitriol at the dinner:
When [ZOA President Morton] Klein called out the president by his full name — “Barack Hussein Obama” — and said “Shame on you” to Obama for failing to stand strongly enough with Israel, Cruz nodded and sipped water.
A big honoree of the dinner was Obama supporter Alan Dershowitz. Rightwing duo Sheldon (Obama should bomb Iran) Adelson and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach were there, the ZOA says, in a release titled “Zionism unites Cruz, Dershowitz,” as well as “Fox News television host Judge Jeannine Pirro, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, along with renowned businessmen and Jewish leaders Ken Bialkin, David Brog, Martin Gross, Jack Halpern, Irwin Hochberg, Ira Rennert, Richard Stone, Jim Tisch and Rabbi Avi Weiss.”
I can find nothing in the news coverage to show that Cruz and Dershowitz or anyone else walked out of Hagee’s speech or expressed disapproval.
Ted Cruz is very busy in New York, raising money. Ken Kurson reports at the Observer, “Ted Cruz woos Jewish donors in New York,” that the Texas senator met for two hours two days ago with Sheldon Adelson at a fancy New York hotel. And there were more meetings, Kurson says, with surprising new friends:
Mort Zuckerman, the developer and owner of the New York Daily News who usually backs moderate Democrats, hosted Mr. Cruz for a lunch yesterday before the ZOA dinner.
And then a final surprise show of interest in a candidate who would perhaps have appeared outside the usual centrist spectrum of Jewish political giving. Michael Steinhardt—the investing legend and megaphilanthropist who chaired the same Democratic Leadership Council that catapulted Bill Clinton to the White House—hosted Mr. Cruz at his investment firm’s office.
You thought he was the Tea Party? Guess again. “I don’t think I’m all that conservative,” Cruz told the New Yorkers.
Jointly hosted by Mr. Boteach and Mr. Steinhardt, about a dozen heavy machers met for a private kosher lunch with the senator, including Perella Weinberg hedge fund manager Dan Arbess, NGN Capital’s Ken Abramowitz, and Edward Turen of Control Equity Group.
The Observer noted several attendees seemed to arrive with doubts similar to Mr. Adelson’s enthusiastically nodding assent as Mr. Cruz addressed questions on topics ranging from Israel to Harry Reid to his own electability in a possible 2016 presidential run.
So let’s get this clear. The Israel lobby transcends political party. Alan Dershowitz supported Obama, but he participates in a gala at which Obama is called an anti-Semite. Sheldon Adelson, who favors abortion, is flirting with rightwing anti-abortion Senator Ted Cruz. Shmuley Boteach can be friends with Adelson, who wants to bomb Iran, and also with Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN. Mort Zuckerman is a Democratic giver, sometimes, as is Michael Steinhardt– but they meet with the Tea Party senator; and no one in the Democratic Party is going to call these folks out. No, because these Israel supporters have a lot of power. Obama was cowed by them on Jerusalem. And the Israel supporters will cross party lines to find the biggest political backer of Israel. And it’s necessary that they cross party lines, to make sure the two major parties are on the same page, knit on this issue as on no other.