As you probably know, three Republican senators just happened to be in Jerusalem while John Kerry was trying to make peace there recently, and they tromped mud all over his message. From the Washington Post:
Leading Republican senators said Friday that they share Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reservations about terms for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement proposed by Secretary of State John F. Kerry.
Netanyahu “has serious, serious concerns about the plan as it has been presented to him,” particularly about the future security of Israel and the viability of a future independent Palestinian state, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) said after meetings with Netanyahu and other officials in Israel…
“Here’s the one thing that I think dominates the thinking in Israel: that once you withdraw, then the ability to go back is almost impossible,” Graham said. “Look at Gaza. What’s the chance of going back into Gaza militarily?”
Israel can defend itself against rocket attacks from that formerly Israeli-occupied territory, but withdrawal meant giving up the “ability to chart your own destiny,” Graham said.
I’ve only seen one politician raising an eyebrow about this, actually a former pol, Jane Harman, the former California Democratic congressperson now at the Wilson Center. She had the temerity to call Graham a “mouthpiece” for Netanyahu on MSNBC. Harman is a member in good standing of the Israel lobby, but she was disturbed by the conduct.
Now compare the complete silence from the Democratic Party to another foreign policy issue. Back in ’02, two Democratic congressmen visited Iraq and raised serious questions about George W. Bush’s misrepresentations on the path to war. Jim McDermott and David Bonior were great antiwar congressmen who did their duty (and McDermott is still a leader in the House). And the Republican Party came down on them like a ton of bricks.
The reason the Democratic Party is silent is because it’s also dependent on the Israel lobby. As Jim Lobe notes in a piece titled, “47 Senators Take AIPAC’s Word Over U.S. Intel Community,” more than a dozen Democratic senators, including blue state “liberals” Booker, Blumenthal, Gillibrand, Schumer, and Casey (see MJ Rosenberg’s character judgment) have defied their president and signed on to wag-the-tail legislation saying Israel’s war on Iran must be our war. That is also the reason UN Ambassador Samantha Power can carry no water for Kerry on the Iran deal or the peace talks. She avoids both subjects because that’s a political liability; her base is northeast liberals and many of them support Israel no matter what. The same lesson is contained in the above photo, put out by the State Department. John Kerry couldn’t be angry about the renegade Republican senators’ work. No; he had to meet with them.