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Clinton and Cruz both betrayed Obama’s foreign policy yesterday

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The Obama administration is doing its utmost to sign a deal with Iran right now, and Israel is upset about it. And today there is an article on page A13 of the New York Times headlined “Clinton Wants to Improve Ties With Israel,” that reports that Clinton called Malcolm Hoenlein, the president of a leading American pro-Israel organization, yesterday to say that she wants the relations between the countries to get back on a positive track after the mess Obama has made.

“Secretary Clinton thinks we need to all work together to return the special U.S.-Israel relationship to constructive footing, to get back to basic shared concerns and interests, including a two-state solution pursued through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians,” Mr. Hoenlein said in a statement issued by his organization on Sunday evening. “We must ensure that Israel never becomes a partisan issue,” he quoted her as saying. Mrs. Clinton knows Mr. Hoenlein from her time in the Senate.

The Times notes that Clinton’s comments “contrasted in tone from recent remarks by members of the Obama administration, who have publicly criticized [the] Prime Minister.”

Of course, the leading anticipated Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s comments have also contrasted in tone to Obama’s; he pledged “unwavering” support for Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu. Senator Ted Cruz, who announced for the Republican nomination a week ago, also contrasts in tone. He told CNN yesterday:

I think the United States should stand unshakeably with Israel. I think one of the most disgraceful aspects of the Obama presidency is how it has treated Prime Minister Netanyahu… They [Obama administration officials] have demonstrated an arrogance that America is going to dictate the terms of security in Israel.

(Not to mention all the Republican legislators who are running over to hold the Prime Minister’s hand and allay his concerns about the Obama administration.)

What’s going on here? Why are the leading contenders to take Obama’s place in the White House climbing over one another to throw our president’s foreign policy under the bus? It can’t be because American Jewish voters want them to; American Jews support Obama’s foreign policy. No, it’s about money. Jim Lobe says the Republicans are in the Sheldon Adelson primary, trying to raise money from rich pro-Israel Jews. Hillary Clinton also needs to raise money from the Israel lobby, Haim Saban for instance.

But The New York Times article says not a word about Hillary Clinton’s fundraising efforts. With foreign policy shaping up as a major issue in the presidential sweepstakes, it’s about time the media spoke frankly about these financial factors. Right now, the approved euphemism is, “domestic political concerns.” The Times has no problem finding analysts whenever it needs one; can’t they find an analyst who will explain the link between financial contributions and the unanimous sellout of our president’s foreign policy?

P.S. Hoenlein played an important role in Clinton and Obama’s political relationship before. From the New York Times just three months ago:

Once elected [in 2008], Obama seemed to understand that he needed someone to lend him credibility with the Israeli government and its American defenders, a tough friend of Israel who could muscle the country away from settlements and toward a peace agreement. An aide to Obama called Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, and asked him to call Hillary Clinton to see if she would be “agreeable” to being named secretary of state.

 

 

37 Responses

  1. just
    March 30, 2015, 11:05 am

    “It can’t be because American Jewish voters want them to; American Jews support Obama’s foreign policy.”

    You really think so? That’s a pretty sweeping declaration.

    • Krauss
      March 30, 2015, 2:24 pm

      I’m with just on this one. And even if we look at the middle east, when people say settlements are the problem, what exact 2SS are they looking for? If we’re talking about the Israeli version, which would essentially cement the status quo with a thin promise of not building further, that would give the Palestinians a series of disconnected bantustans.

      This is what people like Eric Alterman support, or people like Goldberg. And these are card-carrying democrats who would never vote GOP. They are not isolated.

      On the Iranian deal, I think the sentence carries more weight but if anything I’d expect Jews to be more hawkish on the issue precisely because Bibi speaks for the nation when he talks in dark terms about Iran. Herzog would basically be the same as Bibi just less strident (rhetorically). And if Israel is deeply concerned about something, that tends to give off ripple effects to the American Jewish community(even if I don’t think most Jews support military action).

      • MRW
        March 31, 2015, 12:14 am

        I’m with just and Krauss based on my standard unofficial poll: the local deli. I was there for lunch last week, and the place was electric with Obama hatred and Netanyahu love. Granted the majority were older, but there were working age people as well. Bitching and moaning, Carrying on and on. Even the waiters chimed in. I felt like I was in a war zone.

  2. pabelmont
    March 30, 2015, 11:24 am

    They are all throwing Obama and the Palestinians under the bus. But they are also throwing us Americans under the same bus. Our government is supposed to be run (in some vague sense) in the public interest. Whatever that means. And of course, today, no-one really supposes that any more. The government is supposed to be run on behalf of the very, very rich — the Oligarchs.

    The question, then, is this: Is big-Zion up there with big-banks, big-defense, big-oil, big-pharma, big-agri (Monsanto), etc., in terms of power to run USA’s foreign policy? The answer may be a hard one: since all the other “bigs” probably don’t care whether Dems or Reps run the government (they don’t care about gun control, abortion, gay-rights, civil rights generally), they are “hands off” on all Israel-questions. They just don’t care. And therefore “big-Zion” although not as wealthy (I’m supposing) as the other “bigs”, runs all Israel matters and the other “bigs” don’t interfere. (And, of course, the CEO of a big-bank just might be a Zionist. Why not?)

    The need for getting money as far out of politics as it will go is never more apparent. “Political action” MUST BE defined and denied to any but human beings, presumably American citizens, and the total annual expenditure for “political action” per person must be defined and relatively small, $1000 better than $1M per person per year.

    • pabelmont
      March 30, 2015, 11:26 am

      OTOH, if Obama finds himself under the bus, feels those treads, it gives him a free hand (IMO) to act independently of Clinton, Congress, the American people, etc. He can vote at the UNSC as he wishes w/o concern that he is weakening himself or the Dems. (The bums that are kissing up to Bibi should think of that before they weaken him too much!)

      • MRW
        March 31, 2015, 12:16 am

        That’s a good point, pabelmont.

    • Pixel
      March 30, 2015, 7:34 pm

      “Is big-Zion up there with big-banks, big-defense, big-oil, big-pharma, big-agri (Monsanto), etc., in terms of power to run USA’s foreign policy?”

      Your question assumes they’re all separate.

  3. Kay24
    March 30, 2015, 11:32 am

    It is sad that today, you will find MORE American leaders betraying their own President, or openly supporting an interfering foreign leader, than less or a hand few. It is disappointing that due to the manipulative actions of said foreign leader, it is becoming the norm. Clinton has called for a 2SS, let’s give her that. but she will be no different to the other shameless American Presidential hopefuls, who will embarrass themselves in front of the world, trying to overdo each other in the “let’s kiss Netanyahu’s assets” longer, better, and quicker, competition.

    No wonder the bottle queen Sara thinks her husband should be President of the US!

  4. amigo
    March 30, 2015, 11:41 am

    ” An aide to Obama called Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, and asked him to call Hillary Clinton to see if she would be “agreeable” to being named secretary of state. ”

    Wtf , who is running the USA.

    Major Jewish orgs or the officials elected by , “AMERICANS.

    • Pixel
      March 30, 2015, 7:41 pm

      By asking the question you’ve already answered it.

  5. amigo
    March 30, 2015, 11:56 am

    Question for our more knowledgeable contributors??.

    Hypothetically speaking–If Obama abstained on a UN resolution recognising Palestine as a full member State or even supported such a UNSCR, could the Republicans , assuming they won the next election , (heaven forbid) put forward a resolution negating said UNSCR.I understand Russia, China , France or Britain could veto it.Just thinking out loud.

    Meantime Israel would keep building illegal squats and push forward with their decades long goal of a greater Israel thereby leaving zero to negotiate about and proving they are not a partner in peace.Seems to me , Israel is screwed either way as there will still be 4 to 5 million Palestinians to deal with.They are not going anywhere.

    • pabelmont
      March 30, 2015, 12:15 pm
    • pabelmont
      March 30, 2015, 12:16 pm

      amigo: agreed. More is needed than merely recognizing Palestine (even if a territory were firmly associated with that recognition). What’s needed has always been clear: a sanctions-enforced UNSC resolution (with terms like UNSC-465/1980) requiring Israel to remove all settlers permanently (during the life of the occupation), dismantle the wall and all settlements, and end the siege on Gaza.

      IOW, enforce international law as set forth (for instance) in UNSC-465 and ICJ 7/2004. See: http://123pab.com/blog/2015/03/after-the-netanyahu-reelection-what-is-to-be-done.php

  6. eljay
    March 30, 2015, 12:21 pm

    Of course, the leading anticipated Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s comments have also contrasted in tone to Obama’s; he pledged “unwavering” support for Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu. Senator Ted Cruz … told CNN yesterday:

    I think the United States should stand unshakeably with Israel. I think one of the most disgraceful aspects of the Obama presidency is how it has treated Prime Minister Netanyahu…

    Jeb and Ted (‘s Excellent Adventure – “Most triumphant, dude!”) appear to be vying for the title of “Chief Donkey-fellator”.

    But the fact is that no country should offer or provide “unwavering” or “unshakeable” support to any other country. Such relationships must remain open to re-evaluation.

  7. amigo
    March 30, 2015, 2:37 pm

    The lion and the Chihuahua .

    Funny ain,t it.We have the most powerful animal on earth taking orders from the smallest animal who constantly snaps at his /her feet.Snarling and sometimes taking a nip and then yelping and screaming victim when the lion strips his / her teeth.

    Would that the lion would just once take a chunk out of this petulant nuisance and put us all (especially the Palestinians ) out of misery.

    Perhaps “fritz” , with Mooser,s kind permission , could earn his keep and put “Pooky ” in it,s place.Failing success with that , then send in Leo.

  8. Interested Bystander
    March 30, 2015, 2:37 pm

    The NYT article does not say that Clinton called Hoenlein. Both Al Monitor and The Algemeiner report that Hoenlein called Clinton. I don’t put too much stock in hearsay allegations from Hoenlein of what Clinton supposedly said to him in a telephone call. But I certainly would expect that Clinton will continue to toe the AIPAC line. I’d like to see Kerry challenge Clinton for the candidacy.

    • just
      March 30, 2015, 2:53 pm

      “I’d like to see Kerry challenge Clinton for the candidacy.”

      So would I.

  9. JLewisDickerson
    March 30, 2015, 4:25 pm

    RE: “[T]oday there is an article on page A13 of the New York Times headlined “Clinton Wants to Improve Ties With Israel,” that reports that Clinton called Malcolm Hoenlein, the president of a leading American pro-Israel organization, yesterday to say that she wants the relations between the countries to get back on a positive track after the mess Obama has made.” ~ Weiss

    SEE: “American Jewish leader calls Iranians manipulative ‘bazaaris’” ~ Philip Weiss,

    , January 31, 2014

    [EXCERPT] From Haaretz’s Chemi Shalev, who interviewed Malcolm Hoenlein, head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:

    When Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Zarif was his country’s envoy to the United Nations, he invited Malcolm Hoenlein to have dinner at his New York home. “I keep kosher, so I didn’t eat,” Hoenlein recalls, “but we had plenty to talk about.”

    “He’s a charming guy,” Hoenlein says, “I don’t dispute it. He’s intelligent and clever. Iranian President Hassan Rohani is also clever.” He pauses for a few seconds before delivering his punch line: “But we forget: These guys have been ‘bazaaris’ [bazaar merchants] for 2,000 years, while we come in as novices. They can run circles around us. They know how to negotiate and how to manipulate every situation.”

    Heard any good stories about shifty-eyed Jews lately? [Dare I mention Benjamin Netanyahu? – J.L.D.] . . .

    SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/american-iranians-manipulated.html

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 30, 2015, 4:31 pm

      P.S. Malcolm Hoenlein’s* racist characterization of Iranians very much reminds me of the time recently when a couple of Republican county chairmen in the great state of South Carolina wrote in a newspaper op-ed:

      “There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves.”**

      * Hoenlein’s salary as CEO of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (PMJO) is in excess of $400,000/year.

      ** SEE: 2 South Carolina Republicans Apologize for Reference to Jewshttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/us/21carolina.html?_r=0

      • Giles
        March 30, 2015, 5:12 pm

        That statement about how Jews got wealthy is of course ridiculous but I would hardly characterize it as anywhere near as racist as the words that come from Hoenlein.

        In fact, I would call it an overly generous explanation.

        The vast majority of people who have accumulated real wealth (Jews and non Jews alike) have done some pretty sleazy/evil things to their fellow citizens in order to get that wealth (the exceptions arguably being highly paid entertainers and athletes and maybe lottery winners).

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 30, 2015, 4:42 pm

      P.P.S. RE: “Hoenlein’s salary as CEO of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (PMJO) is in excess of $400,000/year.” – me (from above)

      SEE: “The ‘Israel First’ Industry and CEO Profiteering”, by James Petras, dissidentvoice.org, 1/16/14

      [EXCERPTS] During the first half of the 20th century, socially conscious Jews in the United States organized a large network of solidarity and charity associations financed mostly through small donations, raffles, and dues by working and lower middle class supporters. Many of these associations dealt with the everyday needs of Jewish workers, immigrants, and families in need. . .
      . . . Over the past fifty years a far-reaching transformation has taken place within Jewish organizations, among its leaders and their practices and policies. Currently, Jewish leaders have converted charities, social aid-societies and overseas programs for working class Jews into money machines for self-enrichment; converted charities funding health programs for Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism into the funding of colonial settlements for armed Zionist zealots intent on uprooting Palestinians; and organized a powerful political machine which buys US Congress people and penetrates the Executive in order to serve Israeli military aims. From defending human rights and fighting fascism, the leaders of the principle Jewish organizations defend each and every Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights – from arbitrary arrests of non-violent dissidents to the detention of children in ‘cages.’ Israel’s Kafkaesque prolonged administration detention without trial is approved by contemporary leaders. In the past Jewish leaders, especially labor and socially-engaged activists had joined forces with Leftists in opposition to political bigots, McCarthyite purges and blacklists. Today’s leaders practice the very same bully, blackmail and blacklist politics against critics of Israel and its Zionist appendages.
      In the past Jewish leaders of social aid organizations received modest salaries . . .
      . . . The moderately social liberal Jewish weekly, The Forward, recently completed a survey of the salaries of Jewish “not-for profits” leaders, with the aid of a professor from the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania). Among the leading profiteers was Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) earning $688,280, Howard Kohr of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — $556,232, David Harris of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — $504,445, Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) — $435,050, Janice Weinman of Hadassah — $410,000, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (PMJO) — $400,815, Mark Helfield of the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society — $268,834 and Ann Toback of the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring — $185,712. These salaries and perks put the Jewish leaders of non-profits in the upper 10% of US incomes — a far cry from the not-too-distant past. According to the analysis by the Forward and the Wharton team, ‘most leaders (CEOs) are vastly overpaid – earning more than twice what the head of an organization of their size would be expected to make”.
      While the membership has declined in many organizations, especially among working and lower middle class Jews, the funding has increased and most important the plutocratic leaders have embraced a virulent militarist foreign policy and repressive domestic policies. Forward describes Abraham Foxman as “diverting the ADL from its self-described mission of fighting all forms of bigotry in the US and abroad to putting the ADL firmly on the side of bigotry and intolerance.” . . .
      . . . The overwhelming response of the Jewish readers to the Forward’s survey was one of indignation, disgust, and anger. As one reader commented, “The economic disconnect between their (CEOs) salaries and the average incomes of those who contribute to their charities is unacceptable”. Another indignant reader remarked succinctly: “Gonifs! (Thieves!)”. Many announced they could cut off future donations. One formerly orthodox reader stated, “I would rather give to a street beggar than to any of these”.
      The drop-off of donations from lower-middle class Jews, however, will have little effect in reducing the salaries of the ‘non-profit’ CEO’s or changing the politics of their ‘non-profits; because they increasingly depend on six and seven digit contributions from Jewish millionaires and billionaires. Moreover, the contributions by big donors are linked to the politics of repression at home and securing multi-billion dollar military aid and trade programs for Israel from the US Treasury. The billionaire donors have no objection to funding the millionaire leaders – as long as they concentrate their efforts on buying the votes of US Congress members and aligning their politics with Israel’s war aims. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/01/the-israel-first-industry-and-ceo-profiteering/

  10. Keith
    March 30, 2015, 4:26 pm

    JAMES/PHIL- “The Obama administration is doing its utmost to sign a deal with Iran right now, and Israel is upset about it.”

    The US “doing its utmost?” Perhaps you could share with us your reliable intelligence sources? No, not BS public statements by selected officials. Personally, I always felt that the nuclear issue was a pretext for the sanctions which, in turn, were a form of economic warfare to either destabilize Iran or force them back into the US sphere of influence. And Netanyahu’s warmongering is primarily designed to make Obama’s warmongering seem reasonable by comparison. From December of 2014, here is Gareth Porter’s take on the administration’s efforts:

    “But an even more important, the evidence indicates that the administration feels that it has no incentives to reach an agreement with Iran, because it is getting most of what it wants already under the status quo.” (Gareth Porter)
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/26/why-obama-wont-reach-a-deal-with-iran/

    • Keith
      March 31, 2015, 3:50 pm

      Let us pursue this Obama as seeker of peace misinformation which you guys are trying to sell. You guys are supposed to be journalists, not propagandists. As such, do you not think that an analysis of the US negotiating team might be appropriate? Care to explain how having militant Jewish Zionist Wendy Sherman as head of the negotiating group indicates a President seeking peace and justice? Seriously. Simply asserting something doesn’t make it true. I have decided to help you two journalists out by providing some background information courtesy of James Petras.

      “Israel knows that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program (as does Washington). The US government uses this as a pretext to secure political concessions from Iran, to degrade its regional influence, and to secure their support in policing the Middle East.”

      Sherman, as head of the US negotiating group, has access to all the details of daily discussions, proposals and concessions by the US and Iranian negotiators. Moreover, Sherman is in a position to translate Netanyahu’s demands on Iran into key agenda items and proposals. Sherman is a lifelong zealous Zionist and according to one sympathetic writer, is ‘widely considered one of Israel’s most supportive high level friends’.

      Sherman shares Netanyahu’s visceral racist ideological contempt for the Iranians. She publicly told a US Senate Committee that, “we know deception is part of their (Iranians) DNA.” This was clearly a crude remark designed to provoke the Iranian government and undermine the negotiations before they began!” (James Petras)
      http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/03/who-spies-for-israel-in-washingtons-nuclear-negotiations/#more-57836

  11. JLewisDickerson
    March 30, 2015, 5:10 pm

    RE: “[T]oday there is an article on page A13 of the New York Times headlined ‘Clinton Wants to Improve Ties With Israel’, that reports that Clinton called Malcolm Hoenlein, the president of a leading American pro-Israel organization, yesterday to say that she wants the relations between the countries to get back on a positive track after the mess Obama has made.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Hillary Clinton is the quintessential ‘ rank opportunist’ – much like her hubby!

    • lysias
      March 30, 2015, 5:15 pm

      That’s the sort of statement that must infuriate Obama. Hillary must be very confident that nothing can stop her now.

      But, if she is so confident, why does she have such need of money from the donors?

      • JLewisDickerson
        March 30, 2015, 5:41 pm

        RE: “That’s the sort of statement that must infuriate Obama.” ~ lysias

        MY REPLY: I recall an article (can’t find it just now) about the Obama people considering the potential impact of their I-P “reassessment” (i.e., taking a harder line with Netanyahu) on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and they decided that it wouldn’t hurt her campaign because she could distance herself from Obama’s “reassessment”. To the contrary, they concluded that it might even help her raise money from pro-Israel Democrats who wanted the next president to be willing to return the special U.S.-Israel relationship to a constructive footing (i.e. the good, old, pre-Obama days)!

      • MRW
        March 31, 2015, 12:19 am

        Four Seasons reservations for a year or so.

  12. jsinton
    March 30, 2015, 5:18 pm

    It’s simply that we here in America are blessed to have the finest government money can buy.

  13. Pixel
    March 30, 2015, 8:05 pm

    I’ve learned that we underestimate women at our own peril.

    I have no gut feeling but a part of me seriously wonders whether Hillary isn’t playing the long game — the only game she can, right now.

    Once in power, she’ll slam down the hammer.

    If so, it won’t be just Whac-A-Mole. She’ll demolish the entire game with a fury that will be breath-taking.

    • Pixel
      March 30, 2015, 9:07 pm

      I remain unconvinced that women are, in general, motivated by the same things that men are. Nor do they communicate in the same way.

      As far as I’m aware, despite marrying a Jewish man, Chelsea Clinton didn’t convert to Judaism. I have never thought that was a small thing.

      I’ve looked everywhere for a 1-second clip I once saw of Hillary talking about it, adding with a smile that she thought it was a good choice for many couples.

      Good choice? For MANY couples?

      The minute those words came out of her mouth, I shook my head in disbelief, “She’s not a Zionist. ”

      Did I misunderstand her? Did I misread what she say? No. It was only a nanosecond but, if you caught it and were watching her, the clarity was unmistakable. There isn’t a single word that comes out of Hillary’s mouth – ever – that isn’t 100% designed and controlled.

      If she becomes President will she just be another pawn in a game of men or will she become an older raging lioness protecting her newest cub (her grand-daughter). …and by extension, all of us.

      Add that to the “vast right-wing conspiracy” and how she’s been treated in Washington, and we may well see the perfect storm:

      “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

      • Pixel
        March 30, 2015, 9:20 pm

        “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.”

      • Walid
        March 30, 2015, 9:49 pm

        “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.”

        She only did so because of Fred Astair as without him, Rogers would’t have accomplished so much. I wouldn’t discount the influence of Bill Clinton. But she had great stamina to have visted 112 countries.

      • MRW
        March 31, 2015, 12:22 am

        But she had great stamina to have visted 112 countries.

        You would too if you had your own 767 and assistants to ferry you to the plane and carry your stuff onboard. ;-) She didn’t have anything to keep her at home, did she? ;-)

        It give a whole new meaning to, “I want to eat Chinese tonight.”

      • Citizen
        April 1, 2015, 8:11 am

        Maybe there’s a clue in the old Hillary, the one who once hung with Michael Lerner? Zionists seem to think so: http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/03/31/hillary-clinton-and-michael-lerner-a-historical-footnote/

    • RoHa
      March 31, 2015, 3:19 am

      I don’t think I ever underestimated women. Didn’t save me from the peril, though.

      “I remain unconvinced that women are, in general, motivated by the same things that men are.”

      So far, RoHa2 has not raised the question of girls with me. When he does, I will be able to tell him that, when I was his age, I didn’t undersand girls at all, and now that I am much older, more experienced, and married, I still can’t figure them out.

      “Nor do they communicate in the same way.”

      After a while, most men learn that what women say usually has several hidden meanings, but they can’t detect what those meanings are. Women, on the other hand, seem to find it difficult to understand that men are either lying or mean exactly what they say, and nothing more.

  14. Lillian Rosengarten
    March 31, 2015, 10:38 am

    I cringe with profound anxiety at the thought of either Clinton or Cruz as president. We have a corrupt system and while big money special interest donors manipulate the outcome, we are doomed to less then mediocrity and forget progressive. Remember Paul Wellstone? That hope is finished.

    • just
      March 31, 2015, 10:42 am

      ditto.

      (How well I remember and miss Paul Wellstone, RIP.)

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