There’s more pressure on Obama over the Iran deal. The Hill reports that Israel’s Channel One interviewed Haim Saban about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for the presidency and that he hinted that she is against the Iran deal.
Then came the big question: What is her position on the Iran deal?
Saban responded carefully, “She will have to, at some stage, express her opinion. But we know that in essence and in every important matter, she is committed to the security of Israel. She is a friend of the State of Israel. And we’ve seen this over the past 25 to 30 years. So, there won’t be any problems with relations between the United States and Israel when Hillary Clinton is president. No problem. On the contrary.”
But Ya’akov Ayalon, the host of the nightly Channel One news pressed on: And where does Hillary Clinton stand on this issue?
“I know where she stands but I can’t talk about it,” Saban admitted.
“Give me a hint,” Ayalon had to ask.
“I hinted to you – that I know,” Saban couldn’t repress a laugh. “But I can’t reveal to you things that were said behind closed doors. She has an opinion, a very well-defined opinion. And in any case, everything that she thinks and everything she has done and will do will always be for the good of Israel. We don’t need to worry about this.”
Haim Saban is an ardent supporter of Israel and a huge supporter of Democratic candidates.
And this just shows why the Republicans are lining up so squarely on Israel’s side– indeed, why the party is becoming Israel’s strongest supporter in the U.S., in opposition to the Democratic Party. The Republicans are right now conducting a campaign for pro-Israel money, against Hillary Clinton. They are convinced that the Democratic Party is at last in play on Israel, and that by positioning themselves for Israel, they will be able to free up large chunks of cash that had been part of the Democratic warchest, and thereby make it difficult for Hillary to raise her $2 billion, so that she is a weaker candidate in a general election in 2016.
Republicans are joined in this desire by grassroots anti-Zionists and non-Zionists. We also want the issue politicized, we want Democratic candidates to run against U.S. support for Israel, we want Hillary Clinton under huge pressure from her base to have a more progressive position on Palestine. Remember that we almost succeeded in politicizing the matter at the 2012 Democratic convention, when the rank and file demonstrated against a platform position naming Jerusalem the capital of Israel. President Obama suppressed that uprising, and the ultra-Zionist position went through, surely because Obama was counting on Haim Saban’s money for the election campaign.
The last thing Hillary Clinton wants is warfare inside the Democratic Party over Israel, of course.
But the Republicans believe that if the Democratic grassroots grow and Chris Matthews and Chris Hayes are hosting Democratic candidates who speak out against Israel’s human rights record or U.S. support, the Zionist moneybags will cross the aisle to the Republicans. That’s what this is all about.
They’ve had this dream before. Reagan famously got 40 percent of the Jewish vote after Jews abandoned Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election– a lesson that Bill Clinton absorbed in 1992 when he ran in favor of the settlements and knocked off a president (Bush 1) who had opposed settlement construction. Hillary Clinton surely believes she can maintain the same ancien regime. But… it’s crumbling. Lincoln Chafee is thinking of running as an antiwar candidate. He knows all about the Israel lobby. Maybe this is his issue. Maybe it’s Jim Webb’s. But it’s out in our politics now, and someone’s gonna ride it.