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Cory Booker got AIPAC seal of approval from same friend-of-Adelson Samantha Power cultivated

Israel/Palestine
on 17 Comments

MJ Rosenberg says that Cory Booker is worse than a Republican. He supplies this link to the Guardian, “Booker the neoliberal egomaniac”:

Booker’s whole career has been a testament to a poisonous financial-corporatist consensus, which dresses up the interests of big money in post-ideological garb.

And Rosenberg links to videos of “Booker himself groveling for dollars at AIPAC.” At that link, Booker fawns over Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Max Blumenthal reported on his 2008 performance earlier this year:

Booker waxed nostalgic about his first trip to Israel, arranged by Boteach when he was 22-years old. “Only when I saw Israel did it really become a part of my being and did I understand that the nation’s security really is about land,” Booker told the AIPAC crowd. After visiting the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and hearing from his guide about the danger of Syrian missiles raining down on Israeli cities, he concluded, “We cannot allow the valley to be saturated with the blood of Jews.”

Note that Boteach, a failed Republican candidate for the House, also is Samantha Power’s powerful advocate. He has likened Palestinians to Nazis and denied that there’s an occupation.

I am a regular visitor to, and champion of, the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, where I visited just last week, even as President Obama’s administration has voiced opposition to Israeli settlement.

You’d think that going against the Obama administration on such a key policy provision would make you political roadkill. Especially if you are a failed Republican congressional candidate in New Jersey who is friends of Sheldon Adelson, who spent millions to take Obama down. But the lobby is above party; and Power needed Boteach to get the U.N. ambassadorship. When Obama was suffering in the Jewish community in 2011, Power sought Boteach out and later cried in front of Jewish leaders at his behest as they went on about Israel. After she had her cakewalk Senate hearing, she did a pubcrawl with Boteach. Well… Cory Booker got there first. And that’s how the lobby works: it summons rising politicians and gets them in the fold.

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

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17 Responses

  1. Obsidian
    Obsidian
    August 15, 2013, 11:03 am

    @Phil

    If I had to be in a foxhole, it would be with Cory Booker, and not you.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/14/nyregion/mayor-cory-booker-says-he-felt-terror-in-fire-rescue.html?_r=0

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      August 15, 2013, 12:01 pm

      “If I had to be in a foxhole, it would be with Cory Booker, and not you.”

      And if I had to be in a foxhole with you, Obsidian, I would be the only one getting out.

  2. hophmi
    hophmi
    August 15, 2013, 11:14 am

    Booker and Boteach have been friends for a long time, since Booker became President of the L’Chaim society at Oxford. The idea that their relationship is about “the Lobby” summoning rising politicians into the fold is quite simply an ignorant lie.

    • Donald
      Donald
      August 15, 2013, 12:02 pm

      Your second sentence does not follow logically from the first. There’s no reason why people can’t make use of contacts made in their youth–I hear it happens from time to time.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 15, 2013, 12:30 pm

        ” There’s no reason why people can’t make use of contacts made in their youth–I hear it happens from time to time.”

        It’s a lie to suggest Boteach “pulled Booker in” to gain the support of a major politician for Israel. Booker was in his early 20s then. He was not a rising politician.

        You guys hate this story, because it goes against every bigoted assumption you make about “tribal” networking. A young rabbi and a young black student reached out to one another, purely out of a shared sense of curiosity. The relationship has sustained, despite the fact that one is a conservative and the other a liberal.

        So now you’ll slander both to make it about Jews “summoning rising politicians.” Sorry. It’s nonsense this time. I know people close to both guys.

        As usual, it doesn’t matter. Cory Booker will be the next Senator from New Jersey, regardless of what the miscreants here say about him.

  3. hophmi
    hophmi
    August 15, 2013, 11:25 am

    You’re really just like the Arab League. You’ll keep the whole world from getting anything done just to shriek on about the I-P conflict.

    The rest of world pretty much credits Booker with turning Newark around after years of corruption and mismanagement. You apparently believe that the only thing that New Jerseyians should care about is Shmuley Boteach.

    Once again, you’re irrelevant, and this time, you’re simply lying.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      August 15, 2013, 1:08 pm

      “You’re really just like the Arab League. You’ll keep the whole world from getting anything done just to shriek on about the I-P conflict.”

      Oh, darn it, if that pesky Arab League would just stop pointing out how the Palestinians are being oppressed by the zionists, we might be able to make the trains run on time…

      “You apparently believe that the only thing that New Jerseyians should care about is Shmuley Boteach.”

      Not the only thing, but when a supposed Democrat is so friendly with a Republican who acts like an agent for an alien government, it should be noted.

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      August 15, 2013, 3:07 pm

      RE: “The rest of world pretty much credits Booker with turning Newark around after years of corruption and mismanagement.” ~ hophmi

      SEE – “Cory Booker: The Second Coming of Obama”, By Glen Ford, BlackAgendaReport.com, 11/21/12

      [EXCERPTS] Now that Barack Obama is a lame duck who can’t run for the top office anymore, it’s as good a time as any to speculate on who will take his place as the Black politician that rich white folks feel they can truly trust. One name stands out: Cory Booker, the 43 year-old Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, whose right-wing background and connections are far deeper and more intensely ideological than Obama’s. . .
      . . .The Lords of Capital love “Cory,” and call him by his first name. That’s how he raised $7 million to win Newark’s City Hall for the second time, in 2010. He has since amassed more than $250 million from wealthy capitalists, including the founder of Facebook, mainly for the Newark public schools. They’re willing to pile all this cash on Booker’s plate because he is ideologically committed to the privatization of public education and to government that serves the rich.
      Booker’s national career began in September of 2000, as the key speaker at a Manhattan Institute power luncheon, a launching platform for new stars on the Right. The rookie Newark city councilman had already been vetted by the far-right Bradley Foundation for his efforts on behalf of vouchers for private schools. Railing against wealth redistribution, Booker won the hearts of the rich reactionaries, who bankrolled his first run for mayor, in 2002. Booker lost, barely, but won with even more corporate support in 2006. . .
      . . . We had Cory Booker’s number when he first ran for mayor in 2002, his pockets crammed with cash. Back then, we wrote that Booker’s “impressive education served only to teach him the quickest route to the houses of the wealthy. The Young Frankenstein is now plugged in to power, lacking only the national profile that Newark’s City Hall would provide.”
      Ten years later, Booker has both the national profile and access to hundreds of millions of Wall Street dollars. And he fully intends to become Obama the Second. You can’t say he hasn’t earned it. By the age of 30, Cory Booker had put together a rich white ruling class fan club of his own. This guy is a world class opportunist, and a right-wing ideologue, too: just the kind of Black man that Wall Street loves and needs.

      SOURCE – http://blackagendareport.com/content/cory-booker-second-coming-obama-only-worse

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      August 15, 2013, 3:45 pm

      P.S. ALSO RE: “The rest of world pretty much credits Booker with turning Newark around after years of corruption and mismanagement.” ~ hophmi

      SEE: “Mayor Favorite Cory Booker Bombs in Home Town of Newark”, By Linn Washington, CounterPunch.org, 2/08/13

      [EXCERPTS] Cory Booker, the charismatic Democratic mayor of Newark, NJ currently considering a campaign for the U.S. Senate, enjoys extraordinary media exposure — exposure that exceeds that of many top-tier entertainers and professional athletes. However, that fawning media coverage from CNN to Vogue Magazine of this mayor rarely reports facts like the increasing ire among Newark residents over Booker’s practices and the right-wing political roots of this politician who is generally portrayed as possessing solid center-left credentials.
      Those right-wing roots, for example, provide an under-examined explanation for Booker’s lashing out at President Obama last May after a campaigning Obama criticized economic deprivations caused by hedge fund manipulations when he took Mitt Romney to task for the then GOP candidate’s tenure as head of venture capital firm Bain Capital. . .
      . . . Favorable media coverage of Booker explains why most people across New Jersey and nationwide view him as progressive. That coverage portrays a mayor who saved a neighbor from a burning building, sustaining second-degree burns during that rescue. It focuses on him for raising more than $250-million in donations for projects in his beleaguered city.
      “Most people in Trenton and South Jersey look at Booker as a great mayor because they see him on CNN and other television shows all the time,” Trenton, NJ community activist Daryl Brooks said. “But in inner-city areas of Newark, residents don’t view Booker as a great leader. There is a feeling that he is more interested in his national and international image than in doing something for poor people.”
      A December 2012 New York Times article contained rare mainstream media criticism of Booker, citing growing complaints in Newark that Booker is “a better marketer than mayor.”
      The telegenic Booker,43, a Yale Law graduate and Rhodes Scholar, counters criticisms like that from Trenton activist Brooks by citing polls showing 60 percent support for him in Newark.
      But Bessie White, a 50-year resident of Newark who lives in the city’s South Ward, said, there is a great deal of disappointment regarding Booker, particularly around his leadership in the delivery of city services.
      “We expected changes when [Booker] became mayor,” White said (Booker became Newark’s mayor in July 2006). “He is the first mayor to lay off police. We don’t have a sense of security anymore.” . . .

      . . . Ras Baraka, the City Councilman for Newark’s South Ward, said he feels Booker’s “personal ambitions” have always exceeded his commitment to solving problems in Newark.
      “The Mayor’s basically been a media darling and that has prevented him from tackling issues,” Baraka said. “The lack of jobs drives crime and other issues. Things can be done without millions or the need for rocket science. But we need leadership.”
      Newark’s unemployment rate, hovering around 15 percent, is dramatically higher than the NJ rate, a statewide rate that is the fourth highest in the nation. The current unemployment rate in NJ’s largest city is also five points higher than when Booker took office in 2006.
      Foreclosures in Essex County, which contains Newark, are the highest in NJ, the state with the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate.
      New corporate business, construction projects and jobs are flourishing in Booker’s Newark. An October 2012 Bloomberg News article applauded Booker for bringing $700-million in new investments into his city, including the relocation of corporate headquarters, opening new factories and erecting affordable housing.
      But benefits from all that economic development centered mainly in Newark’s downtown are not effectively trickling down into neighborhoods around Newark…at least that’s the perception that is driving rising disenchantment with Booker among increasing numbers of Newark residents.
      Mayor Booker’s office did not respond to requests for comments and information despite promises to do so. . .

      SOURCE – http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/08/mayor-favorite-cory-booker-bombs-in-home-town-of-newark/

    • Donald
      Donald
      August 15, 2013, 4:26 pm

      “The rest of world pretty much credits Booker with turning Newark around after years of corruption and mismanagement. You apparently believe that the only thing that New Jerseyians should care about is Shmuley Boteach.”

      I personally think the I/P thing shouldn’t be very high on the priorities of NJ voters–it’s not likely the Republican would be better on that issue anyway–, but Booker is also the guy who attacked the Obama campaign last year for being mean to Bain Capital. He’s seen by many liberals as in Wall Street’s pocket. There’ve been too many Democrats like that, including to some degree Obama himself.

    • William Burns
      William Burns
      August 15, 2013, 7:51 pm

      Wow, Phil actually discusses the Israel-Palestine conflict in a blog devoted to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Who could have seen that coming?

  4. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    August 15, 2013, 11:54 am

    The dominant political ideology in America is now neither traditional conservatism nor traditional liberalism but Zionism (both Likud Zionism and liberal Zionism). The neoconservative wing of the Israel lobby (RJC) controls the Republican Party and the neoliberal wing of the Israel lobby (NJDC) controls the Democratic Party.

    The key policies being promoted by this new trans-party regime: endless trillion-dollar wars on behalf of the Israeli interest (and Israeli messianic objectives), the total surveillance state, torture, radical wealth inequality, Wall Street corruption, the Clash of Civilizations, ethnic and religious nationalism (at least for one group), etc.

    Democrats like Cory Booker, Samantha Power, Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi are key elements of this political machine, along with Republicans like Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus, Eric Cantor and John McCain.

    This is a historical development of extraordinary importance in American politics and culture — and no one has yet fully connected all the dots and understood the implications.

    • David Doppler
      David Doppler
      August 15, 2013, 2:34 pm

      Sean, by your assessment, asking political candidates or appointees whether they are Zionists and if so what Zionism means to them would be appropriate journalism, voter due diligence, appropriate nomination-review subject by Congressional committees?

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      August 16, 2013, 9:55 am

      “The dominant political ideology in America . . . is Zionism.”

      You have to laugh at paranoid formulations like these. Most Americans probably have no clue what Zionism is, and most members of Congress do not spend their day worrying about Israel. This is a cardinal example of how obsessions here overwhelm all reason.

      “The key policies being promoted by this new trans-party regime: endless trillion-dollar wars on behalf of the Israeli interest (and Israeli messianic objectives)”

      Right. Because there is no American interest in the Gulf at all. Because no American ally outside of Israel cares about Iran.

  5. American
    American
    August 15, 2013, 12:34 pm

    Cory Booker———-Self Serving Opportunist
    Sheldon Adelson—-Ellis Island Opportunist

    op·por·tun·ist
    /ˌäpərˈt(y)o͞onist/

    Noun
    A person who exploits people and circumstances to gain advantage rather than being guided by principles.

    No further explaination needed.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    August 15, 2013, 2:13 pm

    RE: “Well… Cory Booker got there first. And that’s how the lobby works: it summons rising politicians and gets them in the fold.” ~ Weiss

    FOR EXAMPLE, FROM THE AIPAC WEBSITE (undated):

    African American Political Leaders and Activists Visit Israel

    A group of African American politicians, consultants and activists arrived in Israel this week to participate in an American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) Seminar. The group of 18 includes eight state and local elected officials and three appointed government officials, including the presidents of the city councils of Atlanta and Detroit. The other participants are all deeply involved in political and civic life in their communities, including five who are co-chairs for the DNC’s Generation44 fundraising initiative in their cities. A number of the seminar participants have already attended pro-Israel events in their communities and have shown interest in strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship. Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell and DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May passed Iranian divestment resolutions in their jurisdictions in 2009.

    SOURCE – http://www.aipac.org/en/in-the-news?newsid=%7BF4379DFB-D32D-49C8-965B-37E03013BEE3%7D

  7. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    August 15, 2013, 3:54 pm

    By the way, speaking of the good Rabbi, no one ever explained how his 21-year old nephew Efraim Diveroli and his stoner buddy got that $300M defense contract to supply US allies in Afghanistan with [with what turned out to be illegally repackaged outdated Chinese] ammunition, and for which he went to federal prison. Not that it’s more than randomly likely to have had anything to do with political power. Oh yeah, it must have been bureaucratic incompetence.

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