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Why are no Democrats coming down on Republicans who are crossing up Kerry in Jerusalem?

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John Kerry toasts Republican Senators, before they trash his work

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.

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12 Responses

  1. seafoid
    January 6, 2014, 11:45 am

    I guess they had all that dental work done to be able to be able to pleasure the same donkey.

  2. Krauss
    January 6, 2014, 11:46 am

    her base is northeast liberals and many of them support Israel no matter what.

    C’mon, you know better than this.

    The issue is pro-Israel donors and their political/media enforcers – a very, very small but influential group, and yes, most of them are Jews – not somekind of generalized fanatical zealousness among the broader population in New Hampshire, New Jersey or Maine on need to keep Jerusalem undivided.

    What’s next, the almighty power of CUFI? Don’t make me laugh.

    • philweiss
      January 6, 2014, 11:46 am

      Krauss your analysis doesn’t differ to mine

      • Rusty Pipes
        Rusty Pipes
        January 6, 2014, 3:48 pm

        The issue for too many Democratic politicians is that they don’t want to say anything to upset their AIPAC donors — even if it is objecting to Republicans sabotaging the Democratic president.

        The issue for members of the Obama administration, like Power, is being a team player. Kerry has not complained about the Republicans’ behavior, so why should Power?

    • American
      January 6, 2014, 1:24 pm

      A few facts.

      Open secrets traced 51 pro Israel pacs.
      The Center for Responsive Politics identifies 31 separate PACs as “pro-Israel.”
      Grant Smith traced 95 pro Israel pacs in one election period.
      The difference in the numbers is some of the pro Israel pacs, like others do, will form for one election and then disolve.
      Iow, some of the pro Israel pacs come and go. AIPAC has 18 offices thru out the country—sometimes pacs will be “set up” (unofficially of course) in one of AIPAC regional office areas for a election or elections to elect or defeat a candidate depending on their Israel leanings.
      There is actually no way to get a accurate grip on how many people this involves.
      These pacs contributed 22. 5 mil to campaigns in 2008 per open secrets.
      The last I read on AIPAC is that it has 100,00- members and 61 top donors—but
      there’s no way to know if that is really accurate either since I’ve very much doubt AIPAC releases their real records.

  3. Hostage
    January 6, 2014, 12:13 pm

    Netanyahu is in desperate need of some diversion to help him shift the blame to the Palestinian side for the failure of Kerry’s initiative. Kerry isn’t talking about a final agreement, an interim agreement, or even a legally binding framework agreement.

    Nonetheless, the Jewish Home party chairman, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, will leave the government if Kerry’s paper proposal gives any of Eretz Israel to the Palestinians at all. He publicly opposes a Palestinian state. So do the powers that be in the Likud party. Danny Danon has publicly ridiculed Netanyahu’s comments about the two state solution and recently remarked that anyone in Likud who opposes the annexation of the Jordan Valley is in the wrong party, because it’s in the platform.

    So, talks with Netanyahu are mental masturbation. Like Barak and Olmert, he can’t even deliver his own cabinet. If push ever comes to shove the coalition will simply fall apart. Hence the need for someone like the Senators to suggest that it is Kerry’s proposal that is too radical and unsafe.

    *Danon: ‘Jordan Valley Annexation Part of Likud Party Platform’
    At Likud party meeting, Dep. Defense Minister says Jordan Valley belongs to Israel, calls on gov’t to oppose US pressure.

    Heat is on Bennett as Kerry Paper Draws Near
    Jewish Home leader reportedly pressuring Netanyahu not to bring ‘mediation document’ to ministers’ vote.

  4. Bumblebye
    January 6, 2014, 12:54 pm

    “[T]he General Assembly on November 26, 2013 voted to proclaim 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”

    Will this have any impact on the outcome of the endless jaw-jaw?

  5. Mike_Konrad
    January 6, 2014, 1:13 pm

    The Congress has always been very pro-Israel, since the 1920s, when Congress approved the Anglo-American Convention of 1924 which made America a party to the Palestinian Mandate.

    Why was the USA even brought into the equation in 1924?

    Answer: There were those who wanted to get the USA on the bandwagon even then.

    The treaty seemed to have go through Congress with little hitch. Hence, even by the 1920s, the Congress was pro-Zionist.

    So why should present Congressional activity stun you?

    BTW: Obama is indeed heavy handed with Israel. I am glad the Congress is shutting Obama down.

    • Hostage
      January 7, 2014, 3:44 am

      Why was the USA even brought into the equation in 1924?

      Answer: There were those who wanted to get the USA on the bandwagon even then.

      LoL! No, the Convention on Palestine was nothing unique. There were conventions just like it for all of the mandates. The USA was already fully involved as an Allied Power that participated in the war, the Versailles Peace Conference, the Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey, and as a State party to the Treaties of Sèvres and Lausanne that established all of the new states in Ottoman Asia.

      The US did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles, so it was not a member of the League of Nations and was not included in the clauses of the mandates regarding international trade: “commercial equality, freedom of transit and navigation, aerial navigation and postal, telegraphic and wireless communication or literary, artistic or industrial property.” See for example Articles 18 and 19 of the Palestine Mandate.

      The 1919 FRUS contains a long list of US conventions for the A and B mandates and a discussion of their purposes on pages 100-104. See: Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919,

      The United States eventually managed to conclude similar treaties or conventions with all the mandatory states defining the rights of its own nationals. These instruments included the full text of the particular mandate in their preamble and stipulated that the United States would receive copies of the annual reports which the mandatories were obligated to make to the League of Nations. The rights defined were equivalent to those possessed by members of the League of Nations and simply insured the US would not be discriminated against in any area touching on its international trade interests or the rights of US citizens.

  6. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    January 6, 2014, 3:27 pm

    Isn’t there a word to describe U.S. citizens who work with another country to deliberately interfere with U.S. policy, putting American soldiers’ lives at stake, for the benefit of that other country?

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