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Netanyahu’s disaster: speech cost ‘omnipotent’ lobby a veto proof majority for Iran sanctions

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Here’s the latest on the Netanyahu speech disaster. It never goes away, it just keeps piling up headlines. The Hill calls it likely the most controversial speech ever by a foreign leader to a joint session of Congress. It lists 15 Congresspeople and 3 Senators who are not going to attend. But Bill Kristol wants to drive Hillary Clinton there to sit in the gallery with him.

Haaretz has picked up a poll showing that by 47-30 percent, Americans don’t think Netanyahu should have been invited to speak to both house of Congress. The poll emphasizes the sharp political differences among Americans over the speech:

According to a Huffington Post/YouGov poll published Wednesday night, 47% of Americans think that Netanyahu’s invitation was inappropriate and only 30% believe it was appropriate.

The poll, conducted among 1000 Americans over a four day period from February 4-8, highlights the sharp partisan – and racial – divide in attitudes towards the speech. A clear majority of 50%-29% among Republicans think the House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu was appropriate, compared to 72% of Democrats who say it was not appropriate. Among independent voters, 41% say it was inappropriate and 31% that it was.

The poll also points to distinct differences to the speech based on race and ethnicity: among whites, disapproval of Boehner’s invitation runs at 47%-30%, but it climbs to 55%-12% among Hispanic Americans and 67%-12% among African Americans. 47% of African Americans do not want their Congressional representative to attend the speech, compared only 16% who do. And African Americans are also the only group that does not support Obama meeting with Netanyahu during his visit.

Notice that the speech is speeding the breakup in the traditional Democratic support for Israel that we’ve seen in polls in the last year, Hispanics, blacks, women checking out. This of course damages the lobby, which has counted on a somnolent accepting public.

Both Peter Beinart in Haaretz and Nathan Guttman in the Forward say the biggest casualty of the speech has been the power of the Israel lobby– the “normally omnipotent pro-Israel lobby and its allies in the Jewish community, who have seen their credibility and political power severely shaken,” per Guttman.

Major players in centrist lobby orgs (Guttman surely means the Conference of Presidents, AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Federations) are enraged by the speech but are saying nothing lest they further the carnage. This leaves open division between liberals (J Street and Americans for Peace Now), which call for the speech to be postponed, and rightwingers (Bill Kristol and Zionist Organization of America), who want to call out the politicians who don’t show up.

One great detail in Guttman’s story: Anonymous Israel lobbyist says that AIPAC had a veto-proof majority in the Senate for more Iran sanctions till this speech disaster. Then Netanyahu blindsided them. A ‘huge error.”

Speaking of the right, Bill Kristol, the head of the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel, put out a tongue-in-cheek letter to Hillary Clinton offering her to drive her to the speech. Notice Kristol’s swagger. It’s like he’s got Hillary in the rumble seat.

I understand from an article in Politico that you’ll be in Washington, D.C. on March 3rd. What good luck and great timing! For, as you may have heard, your friend and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is scheduled to speak to Congress that day. I write, as Chair of the nonpartisan Emergency Committee for Israel, to urge you to attend the speech.

I imagine that, as a longtime supporter of Israel, you’ll want to be in attendance to show support for the U.S.-Israel relationship. You’ll surely want to show that you have no sympathy for the unfortunate boycott by some politicians of the Prime Minister’s speech, a boycott that plays into the hands of the enemies of the Jewish state. You’ll certainly want to be there to show solidarity at this historic moment when Israel, and Jews, are under assault.

I’m sure that, as a former secretary of state, you’d have no problem getting a ticket to the speech — but if there’s some problem, do let me know and I’d be happy to put in a word with the Speaker. Please let me know if we can do anything to help facilitate your attendance at the speech (the Emergency Committee would, for example, be happy to provide a car and driver).

I look forward to seeing you in the House gallery on March 3rd along with other staunch friends of Israel.

Big surprise: the JTA reports that Hillary is distancing herself from Obama on the Netanyahu relationship.

[An anonymous] Democratic operative with ties in the Jewish community said Jewish voters would be able to handily distinguish Hillary Clinton from Obama.

“She has to find ways to distance herself from the Obama administration of which she was a huge part” because of Obama-Netanyahu tensions that pro-Israel groups blame on both leaders, said the operative…

Finding those avenues should not be difficult, the person said, because of Clinton’s pro-Israel record in the Senate and her association with her husband, President Bill Clinton, who is still held in high regard in the pro-Israel community.

“She’s not Obama, she’s not perceived in the community as Obama,” the operative said. “Republicans will try and paint her that way, but she’s exceptionally well liked in Israel and by American Jews.”

But Hillary’s team seems to think that the center can still hold, that Everyone in the Democratic Party can still love Israel, though polls show the base breaking up over the question. The JTA quotes longtime Clinton adviser Ann Lewis, saying she will be headlining a panel on reaching out to progressives at the AIPAC annual conference next month.

“The reason you look at polls is to figure out what to do next,” she said, and what’s next includes aggressive pro-Israel campaigning among young progressives…

But that left-right divide in the lobby is getting corrosive. J Street is confidently mining the hatred for Netanyahu that now exists in the Democratic Jewish community (I know; I talked to my mother’s boyfriend last night, he can’t stand the man). J Street is circulating a petition to condemn Netanyahu for saying that he is coming to Washington as the representative of the Jews:

Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said… he’s coming to Washington “not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representative of the entire Jewish people.”

…[H]e certainly cannot claim any mandate to speak for Jews in the United States.

Add your name. Help us let his Ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, know that–as an American, as a Jew–Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t speak for you.

The ADL slams J Street’s appeal as “inflammatory and repugnant”:

J Street’s petition campaign that attempts to distance itself and American Jews from Israel’s duly elected prime minister is inflammatory and repugnant and exacerbates an already heated and politicized moment for U.S. Israel relations at a critical juncture in the West’s negotiations with Iran.

Let’s remember what is at stake: Preventing extremist Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon that could threaten Israel’s very existence.  In that goal, Mr. Netanyahu surely does represent not only Israelis but American Jews as well.

More hubris. Netanyahu says he’s speaking in order to break up the Iran deal. And notice his swagger about Congress:

[T]he offer that has been made to Iran.. would enable Iran to threaten Israel’s survival.

This is a regime, Iran, that is openly committed to Israel’s destruction. It would be able, under this deal, to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs for the goal of our destruction.

This is not a personal disagreement between President Obama and me. I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields.  Equally, I know that the President appreciates my responsibility, my foremost responsibility, to protect and defend the security of Israel.

I am going to the United States not because I seek a confrontation with the President, but because I must fulfil my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country.

I intend to speak about this issue before the March 24th deadline and I intend to speak in the US Congress because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran.

Back to the breakup of the old Israel lobby base. As the Hill reports, politicians in districts with lots of black people are much more able, politically, to boycott the speech, because their own constituents see it as a dis to the president. Charles Rangel tweets a slightly pugnacious foto of himself and adds:

Bibi: If you have a problem with our POTUS’s foreign policy meet me at AIPAC but not on the House floor.

Rangel challenges Netanyahu

Rangel challenges Netanyahu

Jeffrey Goldberg responds to the Rangel: “This tweet captures the essence of Netanyahu’s Democratic Party disaster.”

Wait: it’s Israel’s Democratic Party disaster, not Obama’s.

Another political question is whether Netanyahu’s error will become an issue in the Israeli elections in March. The man who alienated our most important relationship. Both Gershom Gorenberg and Mikhael Manekin, Israeli experts speaking to liberal Zionist organizations in the last week, said that the news has not yet penetrated the Israeli campaign. But both suggested that with the right messaging about US media, the speech could become an issue helping the Israeli Jewish liberal-center.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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108 Responses

  1. ckg on February 12, 2015, 11:16 am

    Another political question is whether Netanyahu’s error will become an issue in the Israeli elections in March.

    Washington Post headline: Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress now dominates Israeli elections.

    The leaders of most of Israel’s political parties have pummeled the prime minister for endangering Israel’s relations not only with the Obama White House — which is furious over House Speaker John A. Boehner’s inviting Netanyahu without consulting it, as well as the prime minister’s decision to accept — but potentially undermining Israel’s bipartisan support in Congress.

    • Krauss on February 12, 2015, 1:22 pm

      Here is the latest poll from Globes(came out today):

      [Numbers in brackets] are their current seats.

      24 [18] Likud
      24 [20] Zionist Union (Labor-Livni)
      13 [11] Bayit Yehudi
      12 [11] United Arab List
      09 [20] Yesh Atid
      08 [10] Shas
      08 [02] Koolanu (Kahlon+Kadima)
      07 [07] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
      06 [13] Yisrael Beitenu
      05 [06] Meretz
      04 [02] Yachad (Yishai+Chetboun+Marzel)

      P.S. Note the last name, Yachad, which is an out-and-out Nazi party(they’re on par with the Golden Dawn and maybe even worse).

      Here are the numbers that matter:

      70 [63] Right-Religious-Kahlon (Parties that have not ruled out nominating a BB coalition)
      50 [57] Center-Left-Arab (Parties that have ruled out nominating a BB coalition)

      Remember that the Zionist left has ruled out sitting with Arabs.
      So, please tell me a credible story in how the Zionist left can exploit this?
      This clown show has been going on for over 20 days now. It’s not news. The polls don’t reflect a shift. In fact, when I look at “polls of polls”, i.e. weekly averages, I see a steady but persistent weakening of support for the Labor/Kadima faction and its allies.

      The people hyping this story as dangerous to Bibi are the same as Goldberg(of the Forward) who has been predicting the imminent demise of Bibi for many years now. It hasn’t happened. It’s delusions they tell themselves to avoid looking at reality squarely in the face.

      • W.Jones on February 13, 2015, 12:42 am


        Yes, there are liberal nationalists who are distraught that the political system has turned out to be so violent, and such “liberal” or “centrist” parties as Kadima are the ones who they believe are the way out.

      • Xpat on February 13, 2015, 6:37 am

        Thank you for this clear analysis. My reaction to this piece is that Phil is overdoing his stirring-of-the-pot writing. But he is following the liberal Zios on this. And that’s misplaced hope. So it’s great that J St is using language that 15 years ago was fresh, edgy and taboo (remember the Jewish “Not in My Name” group that picketed Ehud Barak in 1999?). But we are not here to save the Israeli liberal center.
        Netanyahu has made the calculation that having his name in the news alongside America’s political A -list sets him ahead of the Israeli political pack. So far, it’s working.
        There’s no way whatever possible fallout from the speech that lies in the future is going to hurt Netanyahu in the elections coming up next month.

    • oldgeezer on February 13, 2015, 8:38 am

      Is it an error? A jpost article this morning had 61% of israelies indicating obama is interfering in israeli elections. No link due to phone.

      They live in a bizarro world. Wrong is right. Immoral is moral. Illegal is their right. Hard to believe.

      • Ellen on February 13, 2015, 8:53 am

        Nope. That is the most recent meme of propaganda in both Israel and in placed like Breitbart, which quotes propagandist ib Chief, Krauthamer;

        “The one place he’s actively trying to change the regime is in Israel. He’s doing everything he can to outmaneuver, to humiliate, to insult, to give the back of the hand to Bibi Netanyahu knowing that for any Israeli Prime Minister jeopardizing the US-Israeli relationship could be fatal at the polls, and that’s exactly what Obama is doing” he declared….”

        You see, this is being twisted that it is Obama who is putting the “relationship” in troubled waters, not Netanyahu .

        This is how propagandist work when they start loosing. It is one of the final bottom of barrel last tactics.

  2. amigo on February 12, 2015, 11:57 am

    A question??.

    The P5 is made up of the following !. United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany.

    Will Nietanyahu be addressing the parliaments of the other members of the P5.Surely he cares about the safety of his “Subjects”, in those Nations who are about to give Iran the ability to develop the Bomb.

    • annie on February 12, 2015, 12:19 pm

      i doubt it amigo, i think the US is the only (or primary) hold out.

      • amigo on February 12, 2015, 12:51 pm

        “i doubt it amigo, i think the US is the only (or primary) hold out. “Annie

        My question is a rhetorical one Annie.I doubt that he would be given the platform to insult those leaders and their constituents.Also , the Israeli lobby is far weaker in those nations, if indeed present, than in the US.Just imagine this jerk lecturing Hollande , (especially after turning up in Paris uninvited and pushing a French official around) or the Chinese or Putin.

        What do you mean by the US being the only holdout.That suggests the others are less demanding , in which case Netanyahu should be demanding the right to address their Leaders and Pols if he cares about the safety of all his subjects .

        This whole charade is all about the Republicans dissing Obama and Zionist money and Internal Israeli politics.

        Imho , that is.

      • Daniel Rich on February 12, 2015, 8:19 pm

        @ Amigo,

        Q: Also , the Israeli lobby is far weaker in those nations,

        R: What makes you believe that? Aren’t there currently people jailed in Europe for asking where 6,000,000 individuals were murdered? Or would you argue that’s merely a ‘guilt’ thing?

    • talknic on February 12, 2015, 5:35 pm

      Israel only needs one veto vote at the UNSC to maintain the status quo and escape the consequences of breaking International law, sending the Jewish state into bankruptcy as it tried to cope with at last adhering to its legal obligations after 67 years.

      It only needs one veto vote at the UNSC to keep the pressure up on the Palestinians to forgo ever more of their rights in negotiations, the only legal way out of its illegal ‘facts on the ground’ quagmire. Not that Israel appears willing to actually negotiate anything other than making more and more ridiculous demands that actuallyhave no legal basis.

      It only needs one veto vote at the UNSC to escape the responsibility of allowing non-Jewish Israeli citizens refugees, their right of return.

      Israel only needs one veto vote at the UN to prevent Israel from being booted out of the UN!

      With the UNSC veto gone, there would be a tide of resolutions never before possible

      • talknic on February 12, 2015, 5:48 pm

        I do believe it might be time for another Netanyahu cartoonie competition.

      • just on February 12, 2015, 6:02 pm

        And the world will be a much better place when that eternal veto is gone. Impunity gone, accountability in its place.

      • Taxi on February 13, 2015, 2:36 am

        How do you force the israeli government to pay up? Simple: through international legal instruments, you re-direct their German reparations to a Palestine Reparations Fund.

      • ziusudra on February 13, 2015, 4:27 am

        Greetings taxi,
        …Re-direct their German reparations to the Palestinians…

        They already received it in full with the arsenal that
        Zionistan rained down upon them!
        PS You don’t get shekels from Zionistan, you give.

      • talknic on February 13, 2015, 12:03 pm

        @ Taxi
        “… through international legal instruments, you re-direct their German repa …”

        Why should Germany monies pay the Palestinians for Israel’s crimes?

      • Taxi on February 13, 2015, 12:51 pm

        When a defendant loses a case and a money judgement is issued against them yet they refuse to pay, the courts can garnish a portion of their wages and hand it over to the plaintiff.

        Nothing outrageous about that, especially considering that holocaust reparations have long been a wage, a business, nay an industry owned by the defendant.

        It’s just food for thought, folks – that’s all my comment was meant to be.

  3. HarryLaw on February 12, 2015, 11:58 am

    Natanyahu’s ploy to stymie the 5 plus one talks are not so much about nuclear weapons because all US Intellegence Agencies say Iran does not have the capabilities nor the will to acquire them. Rather Israel sees Irans conventional missile capabilities as the main threat, some analysts reckon there are 100.000 missiles aimed at Israeli cities and vital infrastructure from both Iran and Hezbollah. That is why the US are trying to include these missiles in the nuclear deal. It won’t happen of course, I suspect the US will be so reluctant to do a final deal with Iran that the negotiations will fail and go the same way the North Korean ones did, then “In 1994, faced with North Korea’s announced intent to withdraw from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which requires non-nuclear weapon states to forswear the development and acquisition of nuclear weapons, the United States and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework. Under this agreement, Pyongyang committed to freezing its illicit plutonium weapons program in exchange for aid.
    Following the collapse of this agreement in 2002, North Korea claimed that it had withdrawn from the NPT in January 2003 and once again began operating its nuclear facilities”.
    Back then the Bush administration only had to supply 500,000 tons of oil and some light water reactors in order to do the deal. Unfortunately under pressure from hardliners he scuppered it. The difference today is that the US were probably aware North Korea might go for the bomb, but still took the gamble, how much harder is it going to be today to do a deal, when they know Iran does not aspire to nuclear weapons? There probably will not be a deal, and I suspect the sanctions will just fall away, the rest of the World finally exasperated by US incompetence.

    • Mooser on February 12, 2015, 3:44 pm

      ” Rather Israel sees Irans conventional missile capabilities as the main threat, some analysts reckon there are 100.000 missiles aimed at Israeli cities and vital infrastructure from both Iran and Hezbollah”

      I’m not saying they will necessarily fire those missiles, but it does make me wonder; don’t they know Israel is where we are safe?

      • eljay on February 12, 2015, 4:52 pm

        || Mooser: I’m not saying they will necessarily fire those missiles, but it does make me wonder; don’t they know Israel is where we are safe? ||

        It’s funny how Zio-supremacists sell Israel as both:
        – the one and only place in the entire world where Jews can truly be safe; and
        – a tiny dot of a country perpetually on the verge of being annihilated / holocausted / genocided / wiped off the map and pushed into the sea.

      • Philemon on February 12, 2015, 9:27 pm

        And Hezbollah is where?

    • Kathleen on February 12, 2015, 4:40 pm

      Do you know how many missiles Israel has pointed at Iran? Would really take all of this a step in the right direction if a group of Reps had the balls to ask Netanyahu to a meeting where they demanded Israel sign the NPT and Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty. Oh my Israel being summoned to play by the same rules as Iran. Can one imagine?

      • Philemon on February 12, 2015, 9:38 pm

        Those poor Israelis, with all those nukes they never tested, and you know how those nukes degrade over time.

        But you never know if there might not be a live one nestling in there. You’d think Israel would be grateful.

  4. seafoid on February 12, 2015, 12:28 pm

    Netanyahu has gone too far with this. It happens to all ideologies.
    It’s such a bitch that life doesn’t work like messianism.

    Meanwhile Purim is coming up

    Purim is an ancient Jewish holiday and there is a tradition of sending gifts (mishloach manot) as a way of celebrating hidden miracles, past and present

    Lin’s farm have a taste of the holy land gift box

    which features

    500 g of Jewish bile
    400g of dried Palestinian blood
    5 liters of Palestinian tears
    A year’s supply of made in Israel antidepressants for Jewish mothers
    Plus anti ADHD tabs for all your Jewish kids !

    Pray for a miracle in Israel NOW. Pray that gd strikes down Netanyahu and replaces him with a real Jew, someone with temper and vision

    Hammond organ intro for the Moosiah :

    • Mooser on February 12, 2015, 3:46 pm

      Can’t go wrong with Booker T! A distinguished and talented individual. Still around, still playing.

      • seafoid on February 12, 2015, 3:56 pm

        A musical genius, I think
        And such a nice smile as well.
        Very much at ease with himself by the looks of things
        Would make a very poor Zionist.

      • nettee on February 13, 2015, 4:26 am

        Also LOVE Booker T,especially Green Onions!
        This Mondo sure does have good taste in music-feel good here!


  5. annie on February 12, 2015, 12:38 pm

    phil, really fantastic round up.

    as an aside, something that has occurred to me from the beginning that i’ve yet to mention. the timing of this whole speech affair reminds me so much of the good fortune of the whole sodastream-scarlett fiasco in that it allowed for a long long time frame which guaranteed the fiasco would – not only not die down – but ensured an escalation and perfect opportunity to inform and let people’s real sympathies come to the fore. (as phil alluded to in his extremely popular post “Dear Mr. Netanyahu, please don’t cancel your speech” – See more at: ).

    in a situation where previously a congressperson might not have felt they had the ability to part ways with the lobby over israel, now they have a way, an out. but more importantly it’s the people, the masses. so like the scarlett affair, where it broke jan 12 but the superbowl kickoff wasn’t until Feb 2nd , we’ve got this looonnng window.

    so often alarming events occur and then the news just dies down when it’s all over. but in a tense situation that is guaranteed to not go away for a defined limited period, that’s when you can see the unraveling before your eyes. it’s just so satisfying.

    one more thing, everyone already knows what netanyahu is going to say and what he thinks because him and the lobby have saturated the discourse over iran for years and years. there’s literally no surprises, nothing conceivably revealing that he could add at this time. nothing. it’s all for show, and everyone knows it.

    i really doubt at this point there’s more than one direction that this could go wrt congressional support for the sanctions which has only weakened. so how much more can it weaken is the question. let’s hope, a LOT more.

    • on February 12, 2015, 1:17 pm

      At first, I thought Oxfam had blown it by not firing Johanssen, letting her quit. Then I realized having her quit Oxfam — for sodastream!! — was much, much better.

      • annie on February 12, 2015, 1:34 pm

        broadside, i always held out hope she was uninformed, misinformed or didn’t know what she was getting herself into. no, it had to be her decision, in a timely way of course, the 2 paths couldn’t coincide for long. but that was part of the pressure, since she had already filmed the commercial backing out of her endorsement before it aired would have been a pr nightmare for sodastream and probably set her up for a huge lawsuit. so either way it went, whichever way she chose it guaranteed a huge pr opportunity for bds to exploit. she walked into a minefield probably having no idea whatsoever the territory already mapped out (years ahead of time) by activist organizers regarding sodastream (and a huge shout out to code pink, Nancy Kricorian, and end the occupation).

        as an aside, i called her management to get a response to the potential minefield on jan 13, the day after our first story broke. i think they were literally blindsided. nope, it had to come from their side. had oxfam just dumped her we would not have ever been certain it was scarlett’s decision or her choice.

      • on February 12, 2015, 4:22 pm


        “she walked into a minefield probably having no idea whatsoever the territory already mapped out”

        Walked into, probably yes. Walking out, I don’t think she had to think about it much either: if you think I am going to take on the Zionists and watch my career, even with this face and figure, go kaput, you are nuts. (See Elizabeth Warren, minus the….)

        And can you imagine the conversation George Clooney had with his new bride when she was picked to investigate Israeli war crimes? (Especially after Gravity bombed?)

        I take it back. Probably wasn’t even a conversation. She looked at him, he looked at her, she went and picked up the phone.

      • ziusudra on February 13, 2015, 4:41 am

        Greetings Annie,
        Even non Zionist Jews are sacrificed for the good of Aipac.
        PS There’s no one she can turn to. Her career depends on
        her stoic demeaner to tolerate this jolt giving her absolution
        in Judaism. Not a bad deal, after all there’s no heaven in Judaism
        & one must pay de rent. There’s only here & now & de rent comes monthly.

      • annie on February 13, 2015, 5:11 pm

        there’s no heaven in Judaism & one must pay de rent. There’s only here & now & de rent comes monthly.

        that’s very helpful ziusudra, thanks

        broadside, Walking out, I don’t think she had to think about it much either

        had she been a moral giant it wouldn’t have been an issue. once she stepped in it, like quicksand, it was all or nothing.

  6. Citizen on February 12, 2015, 12:45 pm

    I hope he gives the speech to Congress and Hillary is sitting in his gallery. Then I hope CSPAN does a call in show on the matter.

  7. Nevada Ned on February 12, 2015, 1:22 pm

    Some things are clear:

    Netanyahu thinks this will help him in the upcoming Israeli election.

    Boehner welcomes yet another opportunity to bash Obama.

    If this speech ends up weakening the power of the Israeli Lobby, and getting Israel’s supporters fighting among themselves, that’s good! Good for the Palestinians, and actually also good for Israeli Jews – who are unfortunately so blinded by their own racism that they can’t realize it.

  8. Pixel on February 12, 2015, 1:27 pm

    Foxman @ ADL affirms Bibi’s assertion that
    Netanyahu DOES speak for all Israeli and American Jews.

    “Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement: …

    Preventing extremist Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon that could threaten Israel’s very existence. In that goal, Mr. Netanyahu surely does represent not only Israelis but American Jews as well.

    • W.Jones on February 12, 2015, 2:39 pm

      AS I UNDERSTAND IT, Obama’s position is that Iran must be stopped from getting nukes, but we can make an agreement and detente so that they won’t. Bibi’s position is that there is no way to trust Iran, Iran=Isis, so we can only put sanction on them unless they do some unexpected things like support Israel’s national-political system.

    • amigo on February 12, 2015, 4:09 pm

      “Preventing extremist Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon that could threaten Israel’s very existence. ” foxman

      Israel,s existence is already under threat from it,s leaders and a large part of it,s citizens.I guess they know this but just want someone else to blame when it all goes south.

      Yup , it was those I-rainians who forced us to destroy Israel with the backing of the world,s antisemites–especially those Euro antisemites.

      We told you the world was out to destroy the only Jewish state–ever.

  9. W.Jones on February 12, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Rangel is retiring, so he feels he has more freedom.

    Maybe he is saying what some left wing congresscritters think but don’t say it themselves.

  10. Taxi on February 12, 2015, 2:09 pm
    • HarryLaw on February 12, 2015, 2:56 pm

      First comment on that link from E Burke…Let all the Demcrats skip the event. It will demonstrate conclusively to the people of Israel and Jews in the U.S. that Democrats favor Hezbollah and Hamas over the U.S. ally Israel. Would not go that far, but would be a nice thought if they did.

  11. MRW on February 12, 2015, 2:16 pm

    Bill Kristol:

    I’m sure that, as a former secretary of state, you’d have no problem getting a ticket to the speech — but if there’s some problem, do let me know and I’d be happy to put in a word with the Speaker.

    A former Secretary of State AND a former First Lady needs a Fox announcer, a self-proclaimed Israeli fanboy, to swing the Speaker of the House?

    Even in levity, Kristol is as tone deaf as Netanyahu. The Jews control Congress meme? Seriously? The Protocols of the Elders of Zion line?

    • MRW on February 12, 2015, 2:22 pm

      It would be able, under this deal, to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs for the goal of our destruction.

      Hey, Dirtbag, you can’t make a nuclear weapon out of a fuel; you need metal. The output of gas centrifuges is a GAS (fuel).

      Maybe if you’d actually made your own nuclear weapons instead of stealing them, you’d know that.

  12. a blah chick on February 12, 2015, 2:18 pm

    This kind of thing is not going to resonate with the Jewish Israeli public because they like their (male) politicos to be thugs.

    Right now I am praying to every sky god I can think of for the United Arab List to get more seats than Lieberman’s thugs and/or the middle class thugs from Vapid Lapid’s party. If that happens I might dance in the street and pass out candy.

    And the Schadenfreude will be excellent. (Say that line in your best Montgomery Burns voice.)

  13. Kay24 on February 12, 2015, 2:19 pm

    Bibi’s arrogant and shameful behavior, is backfiring on him, and Boehner should be tarred and feathered for going along with this disgraceful act of defiance by Bibi, and showing disrespect for the President. Bibi has used Boehner for selfish reasons, and it is not acceptable that a majority leader act like a traitor, because the war criminal from TelAviv wants to sabotage Obama’s efforts at an agreement with Iran. They want war and Iran to be bombed into smithereens, just like Iraq.

    Bibi cannot stand the thought of having an Islamic nation standing intact, and able to defend themselves against his war mongering nation. I wish the people of Israel would do us all a favor and kick Bibi out of office, he is out of control and behaving like a lunatic out of control.

  14. Marshall on February 12, 2015, 2:26 pm

    Ohhhhhh, the Israeli Jewish Liberal-Center. How will we be able to tell they’ve been helped if they change from a decomposing corpse into a mere skeleton?

  15. seafoid on February 12, 2015, 2:54 pm

    I think the GOP are losing their touch and that Israel is wasting its time hooking up with them.
    They couldn’t harness the Latino vote in 2012, they can’t make headway on the economy, there is this vaccination thing, they have to use islamophobia to get people interested.

    and Netanyahu is way out of touch. When Americans are not getting pay rises in a supposedly booming economy why should they give a shit about Israel? Is Israel going to give them money ?

    • lysias on February 12, 2015, 3:14 pm

      The demise of the GOP has been predicted many times, even just during my lifetime. They always bounce back. Consider what their competition is.

    • MRW on February 12, 2015, 3:40 pm

      You’re right, seafood, but we won’t see the net effect of that until 2018. That’s going to be a big wake-up call. Oddly enough, I believe it will be because the PDO and AMO are going negative. (That’s the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, respectively.) The two of them will be completely negative by 2020. Chinese, Japanese, and Russian scientists–who are not under the western spell–have published significant papers (unreported here) describing the cold spell that will last until 2036 (some Chinese scientists are saying 2068.) Nothing concentrates the mind like cold that is killing citizens, and wreaking havoc.

      As for the economy, it was the abdication of its congressional duty when the Republicans controlled both houses from 1995 to 2007 that caused the financial mess coupled with the Bill Clinton admin’s utter failure to understand the federal monetary system. (When the US government is in surplus, the people are in deficit.) God save us from a Hillary presidency; she’s taking advice from Larry Summers, an arrogant idiot. The only person on the Hill who knows what s/he is doing is Stephanie Kelton, the Chief Economist for the Democratic Senate budget committee.

      • seafoid on February 12, 2015, 4:36 pm

        Summers has been warning about stagnation for a while.
        I think the US is going to get deflation.

        There has been a massive transfer of wealth from Labor to Capital since the Reagan regime.

        Profits as a share of gross domestic product developed from less than four per cent in the mid-1980s to a post-war peak of 11 per cent recently , a statistic out of the realms of the late 19th century. Since 2007 US corporates have enjoyed a profit boost of over $350 bn due to rock bottom interest rates, at the expense of the deposit accounts of main street savers.

        This is crucifying ordinary Americans.

        The GOP and the Zionists are on the side of capital and they are going to get their asses on a plate when deflation hits. The Fed can’t do anything.

    • piotr on February 12, 2015, 10:19 pm

      I think that this is much more of a problem for Israel than GOP. GOP always “looses its touch”, they thrive on reactionary wedge issues, and when an issue does not work anymore, they boldly abandon it and pick another. Islamophobia and “support for Israel is in my blood” are hot, but they may find the fate of Social Security Reform, defense of torture and opposition to gay marriage (still going strong in Alabama, but nation-wide, there is just to zazz in either of those three issues).

      Just see how masterfully GOP played Obama care. Which seems to be working and slowly growing in popularity, but GOP knows how to exploit a pseudo-issue for a few years. So becoming a favorite issue for GOP is like becoming a bride of Ron Perelman.

    • benjoya on February 14, 2015, 9:54 pm

      Is Israel going to give them money ?

      No; the opposite, actually.

  16. irishmoses on February 12, 2015, 3:05 pm

    Reading the waffly Hill comments by those not attending or on the fence has convinced me that Netanyahu is going to end up with a huge win in this affair. I suspect the screws are really beginning to turn behind the scenes and the pressure will only increase as the speech gets closer.

    I’m betting on 30 standing ovations. Say it ain’t so Joe.

    • MRW on February 12, 2015, 3:23 pm

      Irishmoses, the Lobby only has to convince 535 congressmen for a PR win in its estimation.

      The Lobby has no control over the long-tail effect on the greater population.

    • Shingo on February 12, 2015, 4:06 pm

      Reading the waffly Hill comments by those not attending or on the fence has convinced me that Netanyahu is going to end up with a huge win in this affair

      Not sure how you come to that conclusion. The idea was to break the veto and this has only secured it.

      • irishmoses on February 12, 2015, 5:38 pm

        If I’m correct and Netenyahu has a triumphant speech with lots of standing applause, he may also end up with enough veto override votes when that time comes.

        It takes guts (and perhaps suicidal tendencies) to buck the lobby. I foresee a lot of backtracking on this issue by those annoyed by Boner’s boner of an invite. Hopefully I’m wrong.

      • MRW on February 13, 2015, 2:04 am

        Not in the Senate. Netanyahu has killed that.

  17. just on February 12, 2015, 3:44 pm

    Please do keep that list, Kristol~ it’s the list of the people that I will probably go out of my way to support. They can skip your lousy, grasping AIPAC festival and get extra credit.

    As for Hillary~ I did not support her last time, and will not in the future. It’s purely because of her promised foreign policy and dear relationship with the Zionists.

    I never thought that they would have a “veto proof majority” on more stupid sanctions, but I do think that it exposes AIPAC’s grip on Congress. I hope that this continues, and that AIPAC is fully exposed for the American people to see.

    • Kathleen on February 12, 2015, 9:47 pm

      Spotlight on the I lobbies and Israel and the iron grip they have had on the U.S. congress when it comes to what they want

  18. Kathleen on February 12, 2015, 4:43 pm

    What an ass Kristol is. An absolute arrogant ass. Taunting, challenging. Hillary Clinton does not have the integrity or the chutzpah to stand up to the I lobby. Wall Street and the I lobby own her. She will go dragging her tail behind her. I would put money on it that if Hillary gets in next stop will be Iran

    • JWalters on February 12, 2015, 5:37 pm

      A fantasy –

      Hillary: Elizabeth, can I talk to you?
      Elizabeth: Sure, what’s on your mind?
      Hill: I’m scared, very scared.
      Liz: Scared? Scared of what?
      Hill: What they might do.
      Liz: What who might do? What might they do?
      Hill: My family, my daughter, my granddaughter…
      Liz: Who might?
      Hill: I’ve already said too much. If they find out…
      Liz: Who are they?
      Hill: We’ve taken so much money from them. But we were broke. And it started with just a little.
      Liz: There there, it’ll be alright.
      Hill: They expect me to become president and then do whatever they tell me.
      Liz: What might they want you to do?
      Hill: I don’t want to talk about … obliterating an entire country, all the children, all the mothers …
      Liz: Oh, my dear.
      Hill: I need your help. If you win the nomination, they can’t really blame me.
      Liz: You mean you’ll throw the election to me?
      Hill: I could hire Penn again.

  19. JLewisDickerson on February 12, 2015, 9:53 pm

    RE: “Finding those avenues should not be difficult, the person said, because of Clinton’s pro-Israel record in the Senate and her association with her husband, President Bill Clinton, who is still held in high regard in the pro-Israel community.” ~ [An anonymous] Democratic operative with ties in the Jewish community (quoted by JTA)

    MY COMMENT: It should come as no surprise that Bill Clinton is held in high regard in the pro-Israel community.
    While he was a student at Georgetown University, he sent a postcard* to his grandmother (whom he addressed as “Mammaw”) in a nursing home in Hope, Arkansas. To say the least, it was a ‘racially insensitive’ postcard (showing a barefoot black man “polishing” a watermelon).

    * Bill Clinton’s Racist Postcard –

    • JLewisDickerson on February 12, 2015, 10:24 pm

      P.S. Here is a CLOSER LOOK at the front of Bill Clinton’s ‘racially insensitive’ postcard (showing a barefoot black person “polishing” a watermelon).

  20. JLewisDickerson on February 12, 2015, 10:14 pm
  21. JLewisDickerson on February 12, 2015, 10:46 pm

    RE: “Another political question is whether Netanyahu’s error will become an issue in the Israeli elections in March. . . Both Gershom Gorenberg and Mikhael Manekhin . . . suggested that with the right messaging about US media, the speech could become an issue helping the Israeli Jewish liberal-center.” ~ Weiss

    THAT SAID, SEE: “The death of the Israeli left”, By Gideon Levy,, Wednesday 4 February 2015 16:52 GMT
    Life is too good here and the people are too brainwashed. The left is clinically dead, and Israelis have no incentive to end the occupation
    LINK –

  22. Kay24 on February 12, 2015, 11:34 pm

    Since the WMD’s and other menacing stories will not work anymore, who can trust a Bush mouthpiece who pushed for the Iraq war, to be honest? They are now trying a different tactic, keep insisting the US is in danger from Iran. This seems to be the talking points among the zionists now, and even Elie Wiesel has joined the chorus. It would be disastrous for the US to once again be swept up with the lies and propaganda and attack yet another Islamic nation.
    I mean, how many Muslims do the zionists and the neocons want to kill? When will they stop these damn wars, that always results in Americans paying the price? I am sick of these bloody games these zionists keep playing at our expense, and that causes the slaughter of innocent civilians. Can you even blame the Muslim world for hating the zionist government of Israel?

  23. just on February 13, 2015, 12:12 am

    via Max B

    “Jewish Republicans want Jews officially designated as a minority group threatened by ISIS”

    ooh, the irony!

    • annie on February 13, 2015, 12:18 am

      it will never stop.

      • seafoid on February 13, 2015, 12:33 am

        It will fall over. This is the way of the world.

        Here’s something interesting

        Misirlou was a big hit for Dick Dale and featured in Pulp fiction

        It’s actually a Greek song about Egypt

        From 1927 to 1997. The power of memes and culture.

        Imagine what the meme of justice for Palestinians is going to turn into.
        It is a goal that cannot be endlessly subordinated to Israel’s rules.

      • just on February 13, 2015, 12:45 am

        I like the original better! Thank you seafoid.


        I’m imagining now…

    • American on February 13, 2015, 10:18 am

      I want the 99% declared a majority group.

      Full Definition of DEMOCRACY:

      a: government by the people; especially: rule of the majority

      b : the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges


      * Minoritarianism which is a neologism for a political structure or process in which a minority segment of a population has a certain degree of primacy in that entity’s decision making.

      Tyranny of the Minority: The Subconstituency Politics Theory of Representation– January 18, 2010

      Our current tyranny of minorities style government will end …….,the pendulum always swings. And I have absolutely no doubt I-Firstdom and the Elite minority will make it swing.

  24. W.Jones on February 13, 2015, 12:43 am

    Nobelist Elie Wiesel to Attend Netanyahu Speech
    New York Observer

    • just on February 13, 2015, 5:16 pm

      No surprise there. Wanna bet that the Shmuley will be at his side?

      The only question is whether the Dershowitz will also be there.

  25. Taxi on February 13, 2015, 12:49 am

    Little begging cells:

    Trio of Jewish House Dems ask Boehner to end ‘political firestorm’ over Netanyahu:

  26. Ellen on February 13, 2015, 5:32 am

    It’s happening. The breakdown and disconnect of the lobby hold over the interest of the United States, that is.

    The honorable Congressman Yarmouth has just come out with a statement as to why he will not grace Netanyahu with his presence and forced ovations to be monitored and counted by outside groups to measure his loyalty to a foreign government . Of course his language is even and eloquent, but that is what he means.

    Read this statement and read it again:

    Is Pelosi really still on the fence? Maybe not for much longer.

    The cracks can now be heard.

    • Kay24 on February 13, 2015, 6:33 am

      “Netanyahu will specifically be arguing against the foreign policy of the administration. Speaker Boehner invited the Prime Minister to address Congress specifically to refute President Obama’s position. I will not contribute to the impression that this body does not support the President of the United States in foreign affairs.”

      That paragraph alone is good reason enough to NOT attend this joke of a speech. The part about the standing ovations being counted is an excellent point.

      Good for Congressman Yarmuth.

      • Ellen on February 13, 2015, 7:42 am

        Yarmouth is clearly not a stooge. His obvious clear-headed expression and honesty to his constituents is putting his Congressional colleagues to shame.

        Every word in his letter is rich with meaning.

        “The speech is scheduled less than two weeks before Israeli elections and there is a demonstrable risk that Netanyahu will use the perception of congressional support in his campaign. He did it before. A television ad for his 2013 campaign begins with a shot of the U.S. Capitol, and has footage of rousing applause from members. (House ethics rules prohibit members of Congress from using such footage in political ads.)”

        In this paragraph alone he points out not only the wrong appearance for Congress enabling tactics that would be a major ethical breach for these members themselves, but that Netanyahu has no problem with using the US Congress for his own unethical and slimy campaigning .

        Ok, he did not say exactly that, but this is what he means.

      • Kay24 on February 13, 2015, 7:49 am

        You are right. It does take some courage, at this stage, to openly give what I call valid reasons for not attending, and taking the risk of incurring the wrath of those menacing zionists. If only there were more congresspeople with a spine, like Congressman Yarmuth.

      • American on February 13, 2015, 8:24 am

        Yarmuth says….

        ”As a Jewish member of Congress, and as someone who proudly supports the State of Israel, I am saddened by the breakdown of the traditionally bipartisan cooperation on issues affecting that nation,”


        ”Congress has a broader responsibility than the security interests of Israel.”

        Yarmuth cant have it both ways.
        No country should support an outlaw criminal state.
        Israel’s ‘entitlement’ to support just because it is jewish must end.
        Jewish entitlement must end.
        The Holocaust Industry must end.
        Otherwise this huge ‘abnormality’ surrounding the Jews will end in further disaster.
        Cutting off all support for it is the only way to force it to ‘normality.’

      • just on February 13, 2015, 5:15 pm

        Agreed, American.

      • Kay24 on February 13, 2015, 9:49 pm

        American, He is trying show that although he is against Bibi’s speech, and will not attend, he still has unwavering support for Israel. I am sure the other congresspeople who have decided to not attend, will also make similar statements. Any leader who even mildly criticizes Israel always follows it up with regarding Israel as our ally and has our support, immediately.

    • seafoid on February 14, 2015, 1:12 am

      Thanks for the link.
      Yarmuth nails it. The bots want Congress as a backdrop to their election kabuki. A bit like bollywood filming scenes in Switzerland.
      It is as if they are making real their collective zionist delusion about being permanently hated and under attack. Trauma nation takes it to the next level.

      By the way I had to laugh at Yarmuth’s addresses in Louisville KY. His office is in martin luther king plaza and aanother one listed is in Dixie avenue !!!!!

      Lifecan be so funny, sometimes.

  27. phacepalm on February 13, 2015, 5:54 am

    “I write, as Chair of the nonpartisan Emergency Committee for Israel”

    The fact that Bill Kristol can write this with a straight face is simply astounding

  28. just on February 13, 2015, 9:54 am

    O/T, for a bit of cheer:

    “US supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg admitted that her traditional State of the Union nap may have been induced by a glass or two of wine.

    At a talk in Washington DC with her friend and fellow justice Antonin Scalia on Thursday night, Ginsburg said she had not been “100% sober” during President Obama’s address in January.

    “The audience for the most part is awake, because they are bobbing up and down all the time and we sit there, stone-faced, sober justices, “ said Ginsburg. “But we’re not – at least I wasn’t – 100% sober.”

    She said the culprit was a fine wine Justice Anthony Kennedy brought to dinner before the speech.

    “I vowed this year just sparkling water, stay away from the wine, but the dinner was so delicious it needed wine,” said Ginsburg, who had a front row seat for Obama’s speech.

    This year, the justices sitting on either side of her – Kennedy and Stephen Breyer – were seen nudging their colleague in an attempt to keep her awake. Breyer, who is on the lefter side of the bench with Ginsburg, nudged her at least eight times during the ceremony, according to the Washington Post.

    Kennedy and Breyer reportedly tried to keep her awake during the 2013 State of the Union. Ginsburg has said the two justices are “not as effective” at keeping her awake as former justice David Souter – ”at the first sign, he’d give me a solid pinch”, she said in 2010.”

    (Scalia, Alito, and Thomas did not attend)

  29. Doom Pony on February 13, 2015, 10:17 am

    I wrote two stories about Netanyahu after Israel collapsed…

    In one for a while he gave speeches for ultra-right Jews and became an writer of erotic Lesbian fiction and eventual admitted the ego had led to his fall..

    In the other he gave a Nero like speech before committing suicide in which he blamed everyone else for what happened!

  30. SonofDaffyDuck on February 13, 2015, 11:47 am

    I say “50 Shades of Grey Last night:
    Treat it as an allegory with the US legislators as Anastasia and Christian (sorry about that) as Isreal.
    Go through the film and find the metaphors in the relationship between them.
    You get one point for each metaphor.
    Like start with the “play room” as AIPAC

  31. concernedhuman on February 13, 2015, 1:59 pm

    Will it be a repeat of this when Netnyahu comes again?

  32. steven l on February 13, 2015, 2:24 pm

    In his objective book on western terrorism, N. Chomsky and colleague ACCUSE the West of committing political and economic crimes against the third world. What they did not mention is the fact that more often than not the governments in the West were controlled by the SOCIALISTS. In the US, the democrats are the SOCIALISTS.
    The left has the right to shut-up. But they do the opposite. They keep hiding their crimes now against “black America”. And the “Blacks” are apparently happy to be the useful idiots.

    • annie on February 13, 2015, 3:05 pm

      lol, seriously folks, we don’t make this stuff up.

      • RoHa on February 13, 2015, 8:10 pm

        Thanks for the reassurance, Annie. When you see “In the US, the democrats are the SOCIALISTS”, it’s hard not to take it as a parody.

        If the Democrats are socialists, the Australian Liberals are Maoists, and the British Conservatives are a bunch of anarcho-syndicalists.

      • straightline on February 14, 2015, 5:57 am

        @RoHa: Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

      • annie on February 14, 2015, 1:05 pm

        Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords

        that went right over my head.

      • just on February 14, 2015, 1:20 pm

        LOLOL, straightline.

      • gamal on February 14, 2015, 4:44 pm

        ” In the US, the democrats are the SOCIALISTS.”

        How can you tell?

        and as to ladies and lakes I think it could be this.

      • RoHa on February 14, 2015, 7:53 pm


        Tee Hee.


      • straightline on February 14, 2015, 8:33 pm

        @Annie: A response to RoHa’s “anarcho-syndicalist”.

      • annie on February 14, 2015, 8:46 pm

        that’s hysterical!!!

        i see taking a few hours off from moderation …and you were all on top of it! well now we know who the mote python aficionados are. ;)

    • just on February 13, 2015, 3:59 pm

      nanu- nanu!



    • seafoid on February 14, 2015, 12:47 am

      Wtf is wrong with the word socialist? Laudation of wealth concentrates it, democracy spreads it around.
      The US needs democracy now because wealth concentration has soiled itself and can’t get the economy moving again.

  33. spokelse on February 13, 2015, 2:40 pm

    I really hope Netenyahu does give the speech to congress, best thing that could happen in the US for breaking up the power of the Israel lobby. At present, as I repeat to a fault, there is no negative for US politicians to be as right wing on Israel as is possible. Even Barbara Lee is hardly a strong voice for Palestinian justice.

  34. radii on February 13, 2015, 4:16 pm

    two things re; black disapproval of Netanyahu’s proposed speech

    1. Netanyahu has clearly disrespected President Obama (again and again)

    2. Many black people over the decades have lived in apartments owned by Jewish slumlords (there, I said it)

  35. Nevada Ned on February 13, 2015, 6:28 pm

    i believe that one consequence of Netanyahu’s speech has already happened:
    Yahoo news carries a story about Israeli war crimes against Gaza in 2014.


    The civilian victims of Israel’s war crimes range from a 92-year-old man to a 4-day-old infant.

    The article compares Hamas’ alleged war crimes (5 Israeli civilians) with Israeli war crimes (1,483 dead Palestinian civilians.

    So Israel isn’t responsible for 100% of the dead civilians: Israel is responsible for “only” 99.7% of the dead civilians, while Hamas is responsible for 0.3%.

  36. flyod on February 14, 2015, 10:16 am

    50 + standing ovations…..

  37. jayn0t on February 14, 2015, 11:22 am

    “The Zionist Organization of America compared Foxman and Jacobs to Jewish leaders who tried to play down Hitler’s rise in the 1930s.” Wow. Foxman isn’t Zionist enough for the ZOA!

  38. Kathleen on February 14, 2015, 4:50 pm

    Phil, Annie, Alex etc

    Was able to get another much needed discussion going on over at the USA today of websites Huffington Post about the situation with Iran. Hope some of the heavy hitters over here at this site come on over and chime in. important to have real discussions about this issue over at Huff Po

    Lots of comments about Israel to respond to. Come on over would sure help

    Others great way to guide people over this way too

    Iran Nuclear Negotiator Told Off By Supreme Leader: Control Your Temper With Kerry

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