Ever wonder why the White House has so much trouble saying a critical word about Israel? Well last night, President Obama spoke at a private Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraising dinner in North Dallas– minimum contribution $10,000 a head. The president began:
Well, to the whole Stanley family, because we’ve got a whole crew here, I want to say thank you. Marc and Wendy have just been great friends for such a long time and great supporters not just to me but of good causes here in Texas and all across the country, and we couldn’t ask for better friends. And we’re really thankful to all of them.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama are truly on the same page.
Stanley is the immediate past chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC). He’s important to the Democratic Party. He was lately at the annual Congressional baseball game, raising money at $2500 a home run.
The NJDC is a strong supporter of Israel doing whatever it wants to do, with missiles. Marc Stanley has blamed the Palestinians for the breakdown of peace talks and said that the Israel lobby must stay monolithic so that everyone gets the message that support for Israel is “rock solid.”
And he loves giving military aid to Israel. He writes:
President Obama has ensured that Israel’s annual aid of $3 billion per year is allocated to provide Israel the latest and most efficient technologies and weapons available. Over the past four years, the U.S. has provided $11.4 billion in foreign aid to ensure Israel maintains its Qualitative Military Edge (QME) — which President Obama promptly restored after the Bush Administration let it lapse
And the White House press secretary goes out every day and takes the Israeli side in the conflict and blames the Palestinians for the violence that has now killed scores of Palestinians.
[W]e strongly condemn the continuing rocket fire into Israel and the deliberate targeting of civilians by terrorist organizations in Gaza. No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians, and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks…
We’re concerned about the safety and security of civilians on both sides. This means both the residents of southern Israel who are forced to live under rocket fire in their homes and the civilians in Gaza who are subjected to the conflict because of Hamas’s violence.
Writing in Haaretz about how liberal Zionists like himself are marginalized in Washington, Peter Beinart describes the corruption of Congress by money, and the effect on the President:
Members of Congress generally feel that when it comes to winning American Jewish votes and acquiring American Jewish money, they can never back the Israeli government – or bash the Palestinians – enough. Although J Street has given liberal Zionists more visibility, many Washington politicians still consider us a marginal breed. That view extends all the way to the top. Several years ago, a friend active in Democratic circles recounted a conversation with President Barack Obama. My friend told the president that many American Jews were unhappy with Israel’s direction and open to American pressure aimed at changing it. “I can’t hear you,” Obama replied. My friend began repeating himself, but Obama cut him off. “You don’t understand,” the president repeated, more slowly and with emphasis: “I … can’t … hear … you.”
P.S. Marc Stanley has opposed Islamophobia in a forceful way here.