Trending Topics:

Hillary’s court is the Israel lobby

Israel/Palestine
on 33 Comments

A story in the New York Times about Hillary Clinton’s appearance Thursday at the Clinton Foundation’s “convention” in Chicago reminds me of the absurdity of talking about Clinton’s political ambitions– or Barack Obama’s, or any other national Democrat’s– without talking about their supporters who also support Israel.

The ballroom was packed with hundreds of admirers, and the guest list included some big names in finance, politics, government and entertainment: Jacob J. Lew, the Treasury secretary; Gary Cohn, the president of Goldman Sachs; Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers; Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; and Eva Longoria, the actress and political activist.

Consider the first three. Jacob Lew was hired as White House chief of staff 3 years ago so as to rebuild bridges between Obama and Netanyahu. Haaretz:

Lew, whose son studied in a yeshiva in Israel, has developed a close working relationship with Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, and has met several times with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.

Gary Cohn, number two at Goldman, flew out from New York to Chicago for Hillary’s speech. From the Times in 2010:

[Cohn’s wife Lisa Pevaroff-Cohn] and Gary have enriched the lives of many in the Jewish community with their unwavering commitment to social and humanitarian causes in New York, in Israel, and around the world.

I’m sure Randi Weingarten is a big liberal. She is deeply involved in the liberal Jewish community. She almost moved to Israel and played a key role in the undermining of Debbie Almontaser, the wonderful educator whose Arabic-language academy was destroyed by the Israel lobby in New York using the fact that students at the school had t-shirts with the word “intifada” on them.

“As someone who traveled to Israel within the year, I know intifada means more than simply ‘shaking off oppression,’ as Almontaser claims,” Weingarten wrote. “[B]oth parents and teachers have every right to be concerned about children attending a school run by someone who doesn’t instinctively denounce campaigns or ideas tied to violence.”

…Though “you always look at things through the lens of who you are,” she said, “none of this had anything to do with my Jewish heritage — other than my knowing what the word ‘intifada’ meant.”

In googling Gary Cohn and Hillary Clinton, I learned they were together at this other liberal Establishment event in New York in April, at Lincoln Center, honoring Barbra Streisand.

Bill and Hillary Clinton dined with industrialist Len Blavatnik and hedge-fund manager Richard Perry. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn left his seat with Anchorage Capital Group LLC’s Kevin Ulrich to visit at their table.

Leonard Blavatnik gives a lot of money to Israel, sits on the board of Tel Aviv University.

Richard Perry and his wife are big Hillary supporters. Perry sits on the board of the rightwing Israel Project and has hosted reporters to hear from a Mossad official at his office in New York.

Barbra Streisand is surely a big liberal. She hosts fundraisers for the Friends of the Israeli army, an occupying force that killed nearly 400 Palestinian children in Gaza 4 years ago.

So again, it is impossible to speak seriously about a Democratic politician’s policy ambitions without talking about the importance of Israel to fundraisers.

Tomorrow Bill Clinton will speak in Israel and get $500,000 for his foundation.

Does that matter to Perry and Cohn and Weingarten? I think so.

Am I saying that all these potential backers are also Zionists who back Israel right or wrong? I don’t know for sure. Randi Weingarten, for instance, may be listening to our side. She is a member of the downtown synagogue CBST, which hosted an important conversation about the failures of Israeli democracy.

But I don’t know. What I do know is that the Jewish establishment is critical to any Democratic politician’s ambitions, and that the Jewish establishment is marbled with Israel support. And until our media begin discussing the centrality of the ideology of Zionism inside the Jewish community, well– rightwingers like Richard Perry will blend in with liberal Zionists, and policy will remain fixed in support of the occupation.

And true diversity, which includes anti-Zionists with a lot to say inside Jewish life, will only flower at the margins.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .


Posted In:

33 Responses

  1. Blownaway
    Blownaway
    June 16, 2013, 2:22 pm

    Any doubt now that Hillary Clinton intends to run for President?

    • Taxi
      Taxi
      June 16, 2013, 3:55 pm

      With Obama arming alquaida in Syria, you actually think the democrats have a chance in hell getting re-elected in 2016, Hilary or otherwise? Man, I can just see the attack ads already – and they’ll work.

      Our involvement in mideast wars and our costly aid packages to our spoiled Apartheid bff are gonna be a big-big-big deal for the concerned voter in 2016.

      The democrats under Obama are working side by side with alqaida in Syria and other hot-spots in the mideast and regular Joe and Jane have been reading about it all on the net. They are gutted by this diabolical partnership. It’s so shockingly treasonous to the average American sensibility to have the President personally authorizing aid packages to alqaida – any aid, any support. People are gonna look closer into this and find at every turn….. well, israel (thank you internet – you are a government’s worst enemy!). Joe and Jane are gonna start thinking that israel’s the wrong kinda pal to be hanging with. They’re gonna start asking questions at town halls about the meaning of this friendship and our aid to israel, especially that we’re broke.

      Obama, a democrat, in bed with alqaida – and photographers are taking pictures. Joe and Jane ain’t gonna forget THAT image at the voting booth.

      It seems that like no other political situation experienced before, the Syria situation, the information collected on it from the internet verses the msm media, the disparity between them, is being noted en mass and is turning a considerable chunk of submissive voters into fine healthy cynics.

      Expect candidates who are pushing to fire up Syria s’more to be thrown out of office.

      Expect the democrats to lose the WH.

      Expect a fiscal republican with plenty of photo ops with regular soldiers to win in 2016.

      Unless the independents can pull a big white rabbit out of their small hat….

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        June 16, 2013, 6:33 pm

        Joe and Jane are already asking if Israel is the right kind of pal. But Joe and Jane and what they think do not count.

        They are broke, do not give gazillions to the crooks running the US Enterprise — which assures that the US Enterprise continues to siphon money from Joe and Jane and into the pockets of interests that keep the likes of the Clinton and Bush dynasties in power.

        Homeland Security, Freddy and Fannie, Wars in the ME anyone?

      • Rusty Pipes
        Rusty Pipes
        June 16, 2013, 6:38 pm

        The policies for Syria were started by neocons under Bush’s administration and are being pushed hardest by Republican politicians (but with plenty of help from liberal hawk Dems). Democrats could lose from this, not because those who disagree with arming the Syrian rebels would vote Republican, but because the Democratic base is so disgusted by the war-mongering of their representatives (who have been slighting public opinion), that they just sit the next one out. Bill Clinton (who checked every move with Dick Morris’ opinion polls) had the gall to say at a fundraiser a few days ago that Obama should ignore public opinion objecting to intervention in Syria: “What the American people are saying when they tell you not to do these things, they’re not telling you not to do these things … They hire you to win … to look around the corner and see down the road.”

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        June 16, 2013, 7:03 pm

        Rusty – – Obama apparently hoped to improve US relations with Syria, when he entered WH.

        William Hague anted to improve Britain’s relations with Syria and Iran. Israel lobby of course objected strenuously.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        June 16, 2013, 7:04 pm

        Is Obama “arming al-Qaeda”? Not yet, at least. Saudis are, however.

  2. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    June 16, 2013, 3:59 pm

    She is by far, by miles, the likeliest next President, I (from my limited-vision British vantage point) would say. And we know, O mi god we know, where she stands on the ME at least to every appearance. Mind you, if I were an Israeli, I wouldn’t trust her further than I could throw a grand piano.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      June 16, 2013, 6:40 pm

      She is easy. Israel has her and the US government by the gonads. Hillary Clinton knows exactly what she is doing (she is not dumb) and will say anything at all to anyone to get what she wants. She wants power, influence and an appearance of relevancy. For that she will kneel, grovel, sell off her daughter to make sure she stays in the graces of Zionists, which in turn allow to stay in the seat of power and influence.

      The Clintons maybe smart, but they are totally corrupt. And corrupt people can be controlled. It is not about trust.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      June 16, 2013, 7:02 pm

      MHughes976 – – Do we know where Hillary Clinton stands, on the issue of growth of illegal colonies in West Bank? She tried to stop their growth, but the White House failed to back her.

      Taki has some choice comments (on subject of illegal Jewish colonies in WB). Takimag June 7th.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        June 17, 2013, 9:51 am

        Is there – genuine question – a record of any protest by Clinton against Obama’s weakness over settlements?
        Ellen may be right about the results of corruption but I’m not sure that the paymaster can be sure that the twisty eel he has by the tail will never turn the wrong way.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        June 18, 2013, 6:18 pm

        @MHughes – – Hillary Clinton said privately the White House “wrong-footed” her, re: her attempt to force Israel to stop growing illegal settlements.

        But Obama himself came under heavy fire, after first meeting in WH with Bibi Netanyahu. For not giving Bibi advance warning O would tell him to stop growing the illegal colonies in WB.

  3. James Canning
    James Canning
    June 16, 2013, 7:00 pm

    Bravo. Big money and power, behind Hillary Clinton, intends to make sure she does little to stop the growth of illegal Jewish colonies in the West Bank, should she get into the White House. Fair statement?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 17, 2013, 6:52 am

      Yes, Dick and Jane are broke. But they are not giving a thought to Israel. They are better equated with the picked jury in a highly-publicized case. The ticket to sit on the jury is their own proud ignorance of important news.

      You can be sure Dick and Jane’s browser has never found itself here: http://www.ifamericansknew.org

      If you mention Mondoweiss to them it won’t conjure up anything, except maybe a vague thought about a ferret, weasel, or other such furry creature. I’ve never been asked a single question about my t-shirt with its Mondoweiss lettering and logo lettering on it. Have you?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 17, 2013, 6:54 am

      Here’s Hillary speaking in the accepted code about the I-P conflict last December:
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9716339/Hillary-Clinton-condemns-Israeli-settlement-plans.html

    • just
      just
      June 17, 2013, 9:24 am

      And here is Naftali Bennett today:

      “The idea that a Palestinian state will arise inside the land of Israel has reached a dead end,” Bennett said Monday at a meeting of the Yesha settlement group. “Never in the history of Israel have so many people dealt with so much energy with something so pointless,” he said.
      ————–
      “Bennett said that the policy of Israeli land concessions and withdrawals has failed. “Terrorists entered everywhere that Israel withdrew from.”

      “The most important thing in the land of Israel is to build and build and build,” he added. “Israel’s biggest problem regarding Judea and Samaria was and remains the lack of willingness by Israeli leaders to say in a simple way that the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel,” Bennett said, referring to the West Bank territory by its biblical names.”

      more here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israeli-official-speaks-out-against-palestinian-state-says-idea-has-reached-a-dead-end/2013/06/17/5d4ec3e0-d730-11e2-b418-9dfa095e125d_story.html

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        June 18, 2013, 6:05 am

        “Terrorists entered everywhere that Israel withdrew from.”

        Well to be fair to him, that is true; as far as it goes. To a Zionist Jew ALL Palestinians and ALL Muslims are terrorists with everybody else (particularly Europeans) a second away from being another Hitler.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        June 18, 2013, 6:39 pm

        Bennett is going to be proven quite wrong.

  4. Blank State
    Blank State
    June 16, 2013, 7:30 pm

    “The democrats under Obama are working side by side with alqaida in Syria and other hot-spots in the mideast and regular Joe and Jane have been reading about it all on the net”

    Oh horseshit. “Regular Joe and Jane” are not informed, nor are they informing themselves. Most of us here, and on sites such as this, are anomalies. “Regular Joe and Jane”s are getting their world view from the mainstream media.

    You talk to your neighborhood “Regular Joe and Jane”s at any length? If you do, I doubt you would offer such a naive rant as you do in your comment. One of the most honest foreign policy sites I read is Moonofalabama. You think that site is widely recognized by your “Regular Joe and Jane”s???? Ask someone who Sybil Edmonds is. Are they going to say “Oh yeah, she has that “Boiling Frogs” website”??? Of course not.

    We are years away from the kind of social enlightenment you so optimistically apply to this coming election cycle. Nothing is going to change as long as a very few informed members of our society unrealistically assume the general public shares their desire to find the truth. Such unfounded optimism inspires complacency in those of us, the informed, that should be screaming from the rooftops. Sites such as these merely provide the fodder that we must bring to the dinner table, the gym, the boardroom, the pews, and the office. We have a long way to go, and we aren’t even close to getting there.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      June 17, 2013, 12:02 am

      “Regular Joe and Jane”s are getting their world view from the mainstream media.

      That includes entertainers, like John Stewart, who have ridiculed the politicians who have been backing intervention in Syria. See for example: John McCain’s Syrian Photo Op: John McCain meets with Syrian rebels and shows the Obama administration how to differentiate between the good guys and the bad. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-3-2013/john-mccain-s-syrian-photo-op

    • Taxi
      Taxi
      June 17, 2013, 12:03 am

      Keep your socks on Blanky! I didn’t say Joe and Jane are mondoweiss-informed or “enlightened”. I said they’ve been reading all about Syria on the net and they don’t like it one bit. You don’t believe me? Try reading the comment section on Syria articles in any popular internet dive-site like yahoonews/googlenews etc. that they frequent. It’s eyebrow-raising to see thousands of comments hating on the Obama-alqaida link AND in categorical praise of what Bashar is doing: his killing of thousands of alqaida members from saudi/kuwait/qatar/pakistan/afghanistan/chechneya/egypt/palestine/syria/jordan/tunisia/algeria etc, who constitute the military arm of the so-called ‘Free Syria Army”. They’re giving Bashar the thumbs up for killing, by far, more alquaida members than Obama is. This might not be a politically sophisticated block to you, Blanky, but it’s wrong to dismiss Joe and Jane. Don’t throw dirt at their newly opened eyes just because they still gotta long way to go. Joe and Jane might not understand history and nuance like you do, but their ears sure prick-up when you say ‘alquaida’. Yeah they take note of that and they’ll be working it. Let’s just wait and see, shall we?

      And you accuse me of “optimism”? Me? LOL! You gotta be kidding me! I’m in a self-imposed political exile at the moment, deary. Almost two years now living overseas just to get away from the relentless outpouring of daily political “BS” you’re so rightly livid over. Sorry to say but you’re projecting your anger at the system on the wrong person here.

      Last election cycle Hilary stated that she would “obliterate” Iran. “Obliterate”?!!! That surely means the murder of millions of Iranian people – how diabolical and disgusting is that?! Over-compensating much for her femininity in a man’s world? You betcha! The mideast is worse now than it was back then when Hilary made her criminal statement, not unlike the statement of “wiping off the map”. You honestly think the Empire gatekeepers are gonna give the reins of our country, in such critical times of economic distress and war, to a woman? A lipstick-wearing woman?

      No way in hell!!!

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        June 17, 2013, 1:42 am

        Here’s an example or two for you, Blank State:
        From ‘John’, commenting on this yahoo article:
        http://news.yahoo.com/u-puts-jets-jordan-fuels-russian-fear-syria-133442086.html
        “I AM AN AMERICAN AND I SUPPORT ASSAD AND THE SYRIAN REGIME over Obama’s decision and I support Putin giving Assad any weapons needed to kill the al Qaeda rebels once and for all in Syria……I would support Putin over Obama any day, any time, and any where…..the guy knows more about Syria than anyone else…..Russia and Syria have deep ties and Putin will hopefully stand up and let the usa and others know that supplying known terrorist rebels is wrong and doesn’t make sense….let assad kill the rebels….heck most of those rebels are from other countries and over 80% are known al Qaeda…..Obama, Kerry, McCain and any other usa politician can lick my left nut before sending American tax payer money to al Qaeda……..hey Putin….put the hammer down on this and get those defense weapons into Assad’s hands by the end of the week !”

        And from another reader, ‘What Profit’, commenting on the same article:
        “I really resent working hard all week and then having a third of the pay go in taxes to support cannibal alquaidas.”

        The above POV’s are not “anomalies” on popular yahoonews talkbacks anymore – there are so very many similar comments made that it’s now the new information norm for Joe and Jane. What I would call the ‘Syria Shift’, it’s out there, Blank – you’d better believe it’s out there. What will become of it by next election? Will this added collective awareness, small measure that it may be to you, will it be loud enough, forceful enough to swing an election against the democrats? Well I personally think so.

    • Rusty Pipes
      Rusty Pipes
      June 17, 2013, 12:49 pm

      Regular Jane and Joe Democrats may not have the time to seek out more details about foreign policy on sites like Mondoweiss and Moon of Alabama, but enough of them opposed the war in Iraq and are disturbed to see Obama continuing (and even upgrading) Bush Administration policies even into the second term. They may be confused by the onslaught of propaganda they are getting about Syria and Iran from the MSM, but they prefer to err on the side of caution (and economy) and will resist being drawn into another Middle East war. The Democratic Party may suffer big time in 2016 (or even 2014) if the base gets so disgusted by Mr Hopey-Changey’s betrayal of their trust that they just sit the next elections out. Obama needs to pay attention to the consequences of over-riding the voice vote opposing the change in the party platform at the 2012 convention.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 18, 2013, 6:59 am

        “Obama needs to pay attention to the consequences of over-riding the voice vote opposing the change in the party platform at the 2012 convention.”

        I’ve never seen this incident brought up by an Obama Democrat Dick/Jane commenter, have you?

  5. Blank State
    Blank State
    June 16, 2013, 7:39 pm

    Democrats…Republicans…Democrats…Republicans….blahblahblah…..

    Gads, after seeing what happened to Ron Paul, and before him, Dennis Kucinich, and before him, Conyers……

    How the heck can such optimism survive? It blows my mind. Do you really think, after these last three election cycles, that the results are not planned, pre-ordained, manipulated, and choreographed? Are you all really unable to recognize the charade that is being played out by this so called “partisan divide” that our politicians have so slickly created to keep us bickering amongst ourselves while they pursue global power and obscene wealth? Egads, if Obama’s duplicity and insincere posturing hasn’t opened your eyes, what will?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 17, 2013, 7:14 am

      I share your reaction.

    • DissedStance
      DissedStance
      June 17, 2013, 1:32 pm

      @Blank State: I totally agree. And don’t forget Green party candidate Jill Stein
      and her running mate Cheri Honkala handcuffed to chairs in a warehouse for
      8 hours to prevent them from participating in the Democratic debates at Hofstra
      university in 2012. Along with the NSA spying revelations, I’d say the water might be close to full boil.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 18, 2013, 7:02 am

        I boiled it down to Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. Voted for Johnson.

  6. Krauss
    Krauss
    June 17, 2013, 6:43 am

    Good reporting.

    I keep thinking of Orwell’s quip:

    To notice what is in front of your nose requires a constant struggle

    This should really be in our every day discussion regarding the Middle East, but it isn’t.

  7. DissedStance
    DissedStance
    June 17, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Oops– I meant Presidential debates, not Democratic….

  8. LanceThruster
    LanceThruster
    June 18, 2013, 5:25 pm

    It’s info such as this that even makes the choice of the lesser of two evils difficult.

    You do not want to reward a politician with such fealty to Israel above all else.

Leave a Reply