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Anthony Weiner: BDS movement ‘unwise,’ Israel surrounded by ‘terrorist states’

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Anthony Weiner speaking to the Center for American Progress in 2011 (Photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund/Flickr)

Anthony Weiner sure knows how to pander to supporters of Israel. Weiner, a leading mayoral candidate in New York City, told Mondoweiss this week that the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement is “unwise” and that Israel is an “important ally” to the U.S.

Israel is “a democracy in an oasis of terrorist states and terrorist organizations,” he said shortly after answering questions on food politics in New York that reflected his progressive politics–save for Israel. I caught up with Weiner for about a minute outside the New School in Manhattan, where the mayoral forum on food took place, before he hopped into his car.

Weiner refused to comment on City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s recent statement at an Orthodox Union forum that the West Bank is a “disputed territory.” Weiner said he doesn’t “have any reaction to that,” passing up an opportunity to once again affirm his belief that the West Bank isn’t occupied by Israel. Quinn is his most formidable opponent in the mayor’s race.

I also asked the leading mayoral candidate about a 1993 rally he attended where speakers described former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as a “traitor,” “worse than Hitler” and suggested Rabin be killed for his role in brokering the Oslo Accords, as Max Blumenthal reported. Weiner didn’t want to get into it.

“I attend a lot of rallies. I’m not responsible for things that people say at every one,” said the candidate. After those comments, his handler said they were running late, and Weiner quipped, “Gotta go my brother.” Later in the evening, Weiner addressed a group of young leaders in the Jewish organizational world.

Since throwing his hat into the ring in May, Weiner has transformed the mayoral race by skyrocketing in the polls and giving Christine Quinn a run for her money. Weiner is currently polling first, with Quinn coming in a close second, despite Weiner’s high-profile scandal in 2011 involving sexually explicit photos sent over Twitter.

Weiner’s rise has been fueled by a healthy fundraising war chest. He entered the race with $4.2 million in the bank–cash that was raised before he quit Congress over the scandal. And some of the donors who gave Weiner a fundraising boost have hawkish views on Israel in line with his comments to me, as records from the New York City Campaign Finance Board reveal.

One such donor is Eli E. Hertz, who gave Weiner $1,000 in October 2007. Hertz, who attended a Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) dinner in 2006 where Weiner quipped that he’s from “the ZOA wing of the Democratic Party,” is a member of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee’s executive council. Hertz was also a trustee for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and has written numerous columns for the pro-settlement website Arutz Sheva. Hertz justified the Nakba in one column written in May 2013. “Dislodging all Arab inhabitants from sensitive areas in proximity to Jewish settlements, establishing territorial continuity between blocs under Jewish control, and ensuring control of key transportation arteries were military necessities,” he wrote.

Another AIPAC member to give Weiner money is Beth Dozoretz, who served on the Israel lobby group’s executive committee. Dozoretz gave Weiner $2,000 in 2008, and followed that up with a $3,050 contribution last month.

In March 2007, Arnold Goldstein, a pro-Israel businessman, gave Weiner $4,000. Two years later, Goldstein gave the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa $5 million to “establish the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Satellite Center” at the school, according to the Jewish Week. “Because Israel is a small country surrounded by so many enemies, to continue to exist it must be technologically more advanced than its hostile neighbors,” Goldstein said then. “The robotics program is pretty amazing, and I think it is essential for Israel’s existence.”

Weiner’s views on the BDS movement align with those of Michael Adler, another donor to his campaign. Adler, formerly a vice chairman of the Jewish Federations of North America, gave Weiner $2,000 in 2008. In January 2011, Adler gave a speech to the The Greater Miami Jewish Federation, where he was a president, and decried the BDS movement as seeking “to destroy Israel as a democratic Jewish state…The BDS movement is a very sophisticated political movement. Their goal, to destroy Israel, is as dangerous as any weapon or army. It is a movement of political and economic terrorism that we will stop.”

Yet another hawkish Weiner donor is Irwin Hochberg, who gave the candidate $1,000 in 2007. Hochberg is the vice chairman of ZOA, and sits on the executive committee of the Middle East Forum, an anti-Muslim group run by neoconservative Daniel Pipes.

Research for this article was contributed by Emma Levine-Nevel.

Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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46 Responses

  1. irmep on July 19, 2013, 10:32 am

    “…a democracy in an oasis of terrorist states and terrorist organizations” simply doesn’t make any sense as rhetoric.

    Wiener probably meant to say, “a democratic oasis in a desert of terrorist states and organizations” or perhaps even “a rising pillar of democracy within stifling boxer-shorts of oppression.”

    • piotr on July 20, 2013, 2:49 am

      The approximate timeline: First they tortured logic. Then they tortured people. Then the grammar.

      On the other hand, one could reasonably find an association between functioning democracies in Israel and Lebanon and the activity of terrorist organizations that created fertile ground for those two democracies, after all these organizations created mass political movements contributing to democratic traditions and practices. Hence the bi-national terrorist democratic oasis.

      • RoHa on July 20, 2013, 3:07 am

        “First they tortured logic. Then they tortured people. Then the grammar.”

        The three frequently go together. Difficult to know which is worst.

      • Stephen Shenfield on July 20, 2013, 8:57 am

        Torturing people is worst. But the torture of grammar and especially logic create the conditions for torturing people.

      • piotr on July 20, 2013, 10:10 pm

        I think that there is a feedback loop, as all types of torture are detrimental to the clarity of thinking. Weiner is the case in point, he looks and behaves like a tormented individual, obsessed with power in every sense of the word — maniacal boss, sex mania, supremacist mania and fitness freak. Perhaps I am extrapolating too much from sparse data, e.g. he looks like a fitness freak, so I am guessing that he is one.

      • RoHa on July 21, 2013, 9:02 pm

        “But the torture of grammar and especially logic create the conditions for torturing people.”

        “I think that there is a feedback loop, as all types of torture are detrimental to the clarity of thinking.”


        When my students bridled at my insistence on correct grammar I would tell them that muddled grammar went with muddled thinking and bad logic.

        (I also used to offer the following maxims:

        Those who burn books will often burn people.

        Those who will sacrifice themselves for a cause will probably sacrifice you for it as well.

        Those who dedicate themselves to a cause “higher than humanity” usually do so at the expense of humanity.)

      • Darcha on July 24, 2013, 5:36 am

        This is where someone comes in and uses the word ‘Orwellian’.

  2. NickJOCW on July 19, 2013, 10:48 am

    This is ugly, of course, but look across the water at what is coming out of the EU

    It was always going to be Europeans who put their feet down on Israeli intransigence. My own theory, which I have voiced before, is that Obama whose positive actions are domestically so circumscribed would loosen the leash on European support for Israeli settlement activity; he doesn’t need to give Europe a green light, simply to turn off the red one. It is also worth bearing in mind that the EU is a sloth-like bureaucracy with 28 member states where decisions like this take forever to come about so this is one likely to have been long in the planning, maybe even since early in Obama’s second term.

  3. Mike_Konrad on July 19, 2013, 10:51 am

    Weiner, a leading mayoral candidate in New York City …

    Don’t laugh, Weiner is going to win the New York election.

    The pro-Palestine crowd will bemoan his strong Zionist stance.

    The pro-Israel crowd will bemoan his Muslim wife – who has been accused of being associated with the Muslm Brotherhood, though I do not see how such an MB wife would marry a Zionist. Besides, she does not wear a burqa.

    That charge against her is probably exaggerated.

    In the meantime, all the men of New York, the working class joes who hang out in bars, will vote for the guy who posted his schwantz in underpants on craiglist.

    The motto will be… Vote for (the) Weiner. You know he is the best man.

    He will be the next mayor. Hizzoner Weiner.

    Do not kid yourself. He has already won.

    • Chu on July 19, 2013, 11:36 am

      And for a city that claims to be an international city of the world, do you want the image of a 48 year-old mayor who gets-off flashing his schwantz to underage girls online when he wife is 5 months pregnant? no thank-a-you…

    • Cliff on July 19, 2013, 11:49 am

      The pro-Israel crowd will bemoan his Muslim wife – who has been accused of being associated with the Muslm Brotherhood, though I do not see how such an MB wife would marry a Zionist. Besides, she does not wear a burqa.

      That charge against her is probably exaggerated.

      The pro-Israel crowd does not care about his wife. They may rant and rave about her being Muslim, but it’s hardly an issue since her politics are not an issue.

      But what is it, Konrad? Is she a MB member or not?

      • Mike_Konrad on July 19, 2013, 3:46 pm

        But what is it, Konrad? Is she a MB member or not?

        Probably not! Frum Muslim women do not marry Jews, not even for taqqiya.

      • Cliff on July 20, 2013, 6:54 am

        What is taqqiya?

      • gamal on July 20, 2013, 10:44 am

        it is every racists wet dream, apparently, though when i was accused of it by one Northern Irish evangelical at Take Heed Ministries, for saying quite correctly that the Quran does not recomend revenge or the bearing grudges, i was surprised that they also had no idea what it was, assuming that it could rendered as “lying for the cause Islam”, which is meaningless, it is accepted by some Alim, not all, and is a constant source of fun for belligerent Sunnis since it is generally only accepted among the Shia in relation to state or other authorities, it is similar to the 5th amendment, if that is about not incriminating one self, and is of mainly historical interest.

        Konrads construction above, “not even for taqiyya” assumes a perennial state of war between Islam and the world and taqiyya is a “by way of deception shall you wage war” thingy as Islam continues on it quest for global dominion, its a bit insane, but as you know the war against “them” is eternal and saying that “Islam is a religion of peace” is the best commonly available form of taqiyya, for those looking for such things.

        Link is to a shia site where taqiyya is defended.

      • Darcha on July 24, 2013, 5:38 am

        Ziospeak for miscegenation?

    • Ellen on July 19, 2013, 12:10 pm

      Sadly you are probably right. As for his wife, Huma Abedin: The Muslim Brotherhood fantasies did not fly. New Zio word on the street is that she is also sleeper planted by the Saudis and a national security threat. Talk about paranoid projection!

      But she IS part of the Clinton political machine, receiving 135K/pa as a special employee of Hillary’s State Department, and simultaneously worked for Tenco (which was founded by “friends of Bill”) without disclosing it, says a lot. Namely, that she has arrived in a club that has different rules from you and me. Weiner’s wife now works for Hillary’s transition office.

      Weiner is a tool and will be a good soldier for the Clintons. They will make sure he is planted in a strategic position. He could be mayor for a long time.

      • Walid on July 20, 2013, 12:13 pm

        “New Zio word on the street is that she is also sleeper planted by the Saudis and a national security threat. Talk about paranoid projection!”

        Ellen, you’re right about the paranoid projection about Huma but some facts about her mother “Selma” may have something to do with those bogus rumours. Selma is a founding member of the Muslim Sisterhood, the women’s division of the MB. The Abedin mother and daughter have deep roots in Saudia.

    • ToivoS on July 19, 2013, 8:40 pm

      Weiner’s bigger problem was not just exposing himself, but thinking that a dick that small would be impressive. Shows terrible judgement.

      I suspect New Yorkers after more is revealed will reject him.

      • piotr on July 20, 2013, 3:05 am

        ToivoS, I had no idea what properly impresses young women. It is not every day that I learn something new.

  4. Woody Tanaka on July 19, 2013, 11:15 am

    “Israel is ‘a democracy in an oasis of terrorist states and terrorist organizations,'”

    But yet the perv excuses the terrorism committed daily BY israel, yet seems unwilling to excuse the terrorism he believes is committed AGAINST israel. I’m SURE that it has nothing to do with the demographic makeup of the disputants…

  5. justicewillprevail on July 19, 2013, 11:18 am

    I wonder what he thinks democracy actually is. Given that he has taken large amounts of money from people whose views he then promotes. Are they even voters in NY? How will he represent the people who vote for him, when his views are already conditioned by the people who buy his candidacy? Democracy? I don’t think so. Or maybe the same kind of limited and circumscribed ‘democracy’ that he claims to admire in Israel – one in name only and not in practice. And one which practices its own brand of state terrorism, without any remorse. No wonder it suits him. And his handlers.

  6. Chu on July 19, 2013, 11:27 am

    To even believe this guy rocketed to the top so quickly. Reminds me of when Bloomberg ran a third term. The days before the mayoral elections the spread between the top contenders was predicted at 18%. A lot of people didn’t vote because we were told the race was a run-away. When the final result was 5%.

    Weiner is a well known name because he has been Chuck Schumer’s lackey at every
    television opportunity in the past decade (almost like Quinn to Bloomberg). Politics is certainly rotten in the big apple, and Weiner may be the next worm to crawl out from it.

    • Citizen on July 20, 2013, 10:09 am

      @ Chu
      Look how quickly Rahm Immanual took Chicago.

      • Chu on July 23, 2013, 9:44 am

        Or Eric Cantor as house leader. What kind of back room deal was that?

  7. LanceThruster on July 19, 2013, 12:52 pm

    It would be interesting to see the press Weiner would be getting were he not such a staunch supporter of Israel.

  8. American on July 19, 2013, 3:23 pm

    ‘Weiner’s rise has been fueled by a healthy fundraising war chest. He entered the race with $4.2 million in the bank–cash that was raised before he quit Congress over the scandal. ‘>>>>

    Got to keep the benefit of his 4.2 m campaign chest after he was drummed out of congress.

    Jimmy Carter gave a speech the other day and said…..quote…..”THE US NO LONGER HAS A FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY ‘

    And that is why we have all the Weiners.

  9. Kate on July 19, 2013, 3:58 pm

    Of course she isn’t MB. For one thing, according to Islamic law, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, though a Muslim man can marry a Jew or a Christian.

    • Citizen on July 20, 2013, 10:12 am

      @ Kate, I guess that’s true, but do you have a source? Is there any dissent in the Muslim community anywhere on this matter?

    • Walid on July 20, 2013, 12:24 pm

      “… though a Muslim man can marry a Jew or a Christian.”

      Can a Jewish man marry a Muslim or Christian woman that doesn’t convert to Judaism? As a Muslim, Huma could not have married Weiner, unless she converted or it was as a civil marriage.

      • piotr on July 22, 2013, 3:19 pm

        I bet both are secular and the marriage is a civil marriage, while in Israel such a marriage would blacklist him from any position of importance, but the current mayor is a Jew with a Christian girlfriend, and the former is a Catholic with a Jewish girlfriend. It totally boggles my mind why these people have such hot feelings for a Middle Eastern theocracy obsessed with religious purity (racial purity? hard to label it other than Jewish purity).

      • Xpat on July 22, 2013, 6:13 pm

        Increasingly, Jewish religious wedding ceremonies are available to couples of mixed faith. For years, most mainstream rabbis held out against the inevitable trend of religious openness in US society that, as we know, did not leave out the Jewish community. That has changed rapidly in the last 5 or so years and those Reform rabbis who still will not officiate at mixed faith weddings are rapidly shrinking in numbers. This trend has made inroads even into the traditional branch of Judaism, the Conservative movement. Religious interfaith weddings, which were once taboo, are now openly discussed.

        I would like to believe that the growing willingness of mainstream Jewish religious figure to offer any public criticism of Israel (limited as it is) is connected to this trend.

      • just on July 22, 2013, 6:33 pm

        I’ve been to plenty of Jewish/Catholic and Jewish/Protestant marriages where both Rabbis and Priests/Ministers officiate………

        Mostly in Southern CT and NY.

      • piotr on July 22, 2013, 7:15 pm

        I was making a comparison with Israel. Israel, being a “liberal theocracy” has Rabbinate which decides what is a marriage valid for Jews and what is not. Reform marriage is not. (I actually have seen a marriage officiated by Reform rabbi between a Jew and non-Jew, but in my observations most Reform Jews are actually secular. The difference between Conservative and Reform movements is rather faint.) To be married, both bride and groom must be from the same “religious” community, and if they are in none, no marriage. But they recognize marriages performed abroad.

        Israel (pro-Israeli organizations) advertise benefits of immigration to Israel, and one of the touted benefits was not being forced to be married to non-Jews, a misfortune that all to often happens in Exile. There were some complaints (I assume that His Honor Mayor of NYC was personally offended) and these ads stopped. But the point remains that Zionists like Weiner are viewed by Israelis as lesser creatures.

      • Xpat on July 22, 2013, 9:47 pm

        I think you are right about Israel’s “liberal theocracy”. It distrusts the officially secular democracy of the US and all religious practice therein. Israel views all American Jewish religion with suspicion – including the Orthodox. The State of Israel, through its religious arm, the Chief Rabbinate, famously refused to recognize the conversions to Judaism done by American Orthodox rabbis.

        Also agree that most Reform and Conservative Jews are similarly observant (or non-observant) Jews and similarly “secular.” Bu they are no the ones officiating a weddings. I think the distinctions between movements and trends I sketched are valid a this level

        Regarding Weiner, I am no Zionist, yet on the point you made, I agree with the Zionists.

    • just on July 22, 2013, 6:07 pm

      Actually I know more than a few Muslim women married to men of other faiths………

      It’s becoming more common, believe it or not. None of these women married without the blessings of their parents, nor were the men made to convert. Anything is possible. I know lots of Muslim men married to women of all faiths as well, and the women they married were not made to convert to Islam….

      Evolution and globalization contribute to this… as well as the recognition that we have far more in common than many would believe; instead we would rather point to our ‘differences’.

  10. MRW on July 19, 2013, 4:02 pm

    People outside of NYC don’t know the inside story. Wiener is considered a joke, and the details unknown: “you mean the weaner who showed his weaner?” I heard it.

  11. W.Jones on July 19, 2013, 8:51 pm

    I am confused. This is the guy whom national news reported as photographing his genitals and sending it to his female staffperson.

    Right now there are people struggling to find jobs due to black marks on their records. How come the kibosh hasn’t been put on this?

    • Citizen on July 20, 2013, 10:13 am

      @ W.Jones
      I think it’s called “The Bill Clinton Affect.”

  12. piotr on July 20, 2013, 11:18 pm

    Weiner may well win, I regret to conclude. The main opponent, Chritine Quinn, is gay and very moderate politically, allegedly she was very supportive of Michael Bloomberg. This combination hurts her among Black voters.

    Weiner also benefits from a suspiciously well funded PAC “New Yorkcity is not for sale”. It seems to be an oxymoron of epic proportion, but no, I will not send any checks to Quinn.

  13. weindeb on July 22, 2013, 3:15 am

    The creep was (is?) also a strong supporter of the infamous David Project, a Zionist organization designed to make sure that colleges and universities hewed to a pro-Israel line or suffer political and other pressures, including intimidation of academics who might be critical of Israeli policy and actions.

  14. American on July 23, 2013, 5:03 pm

    Weiner still ‘revealing’ himself? Why do so many with sex, lying and cheating problems end up in politics?

    Weiner’s sextcapades: Admits even more lewd photos sent after he quit Congress

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner admits he sent additional explicit photos and texts to a woman online.

    The new lewd correspondence was posted Monday by the gossip website The Dirty. The woman involved was not identified.

    Weiner resigned from Congress in June 2011 after acknowledging having sexual conversations with at least a half-dozen women.

    The woman says her online relationship with Weiner lasted for six months and continued into last summer.

    In his statement, Weiner does not address when the newly revealed exchange happened. He does say his behavior created “challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation.”

    When he announced his mayoral run two months ago, Weiner said “other texts and photos were likely to come out.” He is near the top of most mayoral polls.”

  15. piotr on July 23, 2013, 9:47 pm

    Weiner Admits Web Dalliance After Resigning

    Mr. Weiner, appearing solemn and a bit worn as he faced more than 100 journalists amid the cubicles in a vacant Chelsea office, acknowledged that his habit of sending sexual images and texts to female fans had continued for more than a year after he left Congress vowing to seek treatment and change his behavior.

    Will he pledge to spend less that 50% of his office time on surfing through smutty sites and chat groups? I wonder if he send the images of his face to women from “on-line daliances”, but apparently something makes him recognizable in spite of handles like Carlos Danger.

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