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It was a bad week for the Israel lobby

US Politics

It’s been a bad week for the Israel lobby, and we’re not even talking about Netanyahu’s spectacle on Capitol Hill.

First, talks with Iran have adjourned, but reports are that the two sides are close to a deal. The New York Times says that Obama suggests a deal is “imminent.”

Asked if an agreement was imminent, Mr. Obama seemed to suggest it may be. “I think it is fair to say that there is an urgency because we now have been negotiating for well over a year,” he said.


Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said a deal was “very close”, telling NBC that he and his team were prepared to carry on working through the Persian New Year celebration of Nowruz starting on March 21.

Second, a leftleaning student of the conflict, Rob Malley, is getting a leading White House policy position seven years after Obama was forced to distance himself from Malley. “White House names Israel critic to top Mideast post,” The Times of Israel laments. Malley will be the National Security Council’s Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region. For the last year he has served at the NSC as a senior director for Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Gulf States.

Malley has said that only international pressure will make Israel do anything about the occupation:

If it is delegitimization Israelis fear, then it must be delegitimization that will make them budge. Faced with the prospect of isolation, Israel might be persuaded to end its occupation…

US involvement has fed Palestinian delusions and shielded Israel.

Susan Rice says:  “There could be no better successor to Phil [Gordon] than Rob Malley, who is already one of my most trusted advisers and ideally placed to provide a seamless transition.”

Back in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama threw Malley under the bus because he had met with Hamas when he was a staffer at the International Crisis Group. ABC reported then: “Malley has been criticized in the past as insufficiently supportive of Israel — the New Republic’s Marty Peretz has defended Obama as pro-Israel but assailed Malley.”

And seven years later, Marty Peretz is marginalized and Malley is in.

Third, just a few weeks after he ripped the President’s State of the Union message as “talking points from Tehran,” N.J. Senator Robert Menendez is going to be indicted by the Justice Department on corruption charges, various media are predicting. The NYT says charges will come within a month. CNN:

The Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, alleging he used his Senate office to push the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts.

People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on prosecutors’ request to proceed with charges, CNN first reported. An announcement could come within weeks. Prosecutors are under pressure in part because of the statute of limitation on some of the allegations.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said in Iowa that the charges are politically motivated.

“The announcement this week by the Justice Department that they were bringing charges against Bob Menendez — I will point out that the timing seems awfully coincidental that … in the very week that Bob Menendez showed incredible courage to speak out and call out President Obama for the damage that his policy is doing to our national security … the Justice Department announces they’re moving forward with the criminal prosecution,” Cruz said.
“It raises the suggestion to other Democrats that if you dare part from the Obama White House, that criminal prosecutions will be used potentially as a political weapon against you as well,” he added…
“The timing is curious,” Cruz continued. “This investigation has been going on for over a year and yet the very week they announce a pending indictment comes within hours after Sen. Menendez showing courage to speak out against President Obama’s dangerous foreign policy that is risking the national security of this country.”
JTA reports that Menendez will push forward on his Congressional sanctions efforts.
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25 Responses

  1. jewishgoyim
    March 8, 2015, 11:32 am

    It shows how Obama is in the two years where he can act as real President of the United States. No midterm, no reelection. Now let’s hope he can get a few things done on the Middle East. That is if he is not “Lewinskynised” or “Kennedysed”. I really doubt it but we can always hope…

    Or maybe he can leave the White House warning everybody about the Israel lobby like Eisenhower did with the militaro industrial complex.

    • Kay24
      March 8, 2015, 12:01 pm

      All we need are a few top American leaders to speak the truth, and explain to the American people exactly how the Congress, media, and some institutions, are under Israeli occupation.
      The US is under occupation in the most devious ways, and most Americans do not understand the gravity of it.

      • pabelmont
        March 8, 2015, 12:24 pm

        jg and Kay: How can Obama explain to the American people how he and Congress are/have been subservient to The Lobby (aka by me Big-Zion) without acknowledging (or at least suggesting) the subservience of all the above to other members of the American Oligarchy: Big-Banks, Big-Oil, Big-Pharma, BIG-DEFENSE, Big-Agri — that is, subservience to all the folks who so kindly gave of their time to negotiate (in secret and thus outside scrutiny by labor, environmentalists, scientists, and general public) the so-called free-trade agreements already made (NAFTA, etc.) and presently proposed (TPP, TTIP), agreements which always include provisions to undo national sovereignty in favor of international globalized commercial enterprises which can sue governments for lost profits if said governments make laws or regulations //e.g. for labor or environmental// which reduce the profits of said commercial enterprises?

        Was that sentence too long? I got a bit out of breath while writing it. Gasp.

    • Misterioso
      March 9, 2015, 5:50 pm

      The US/Israel “special relationship” is a mile wide, but an eighth of an inch thick and very brittle.
      The handwriting is on the wall, but Israel refuses to read.

      Zionists: short term smart, long term stupid, real stupid.

  2. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    March 8, 2015, 11:36 am

    “Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said in Iowa that the charges are politically motivated.”

    From what I have read cruising the inter tubes Menendez is considered stupid, arrogant and has burnt too many bridges. He doesn’t have enough powerful friends to help him out.

    Just look at the differing treatments of Petraus vs Snowden.

    • Kay24
      March 8, 2015, 10:52 pm

      Menendez is a big disappointment in NJ. He has stabbed his own President in the back, by aligning himself with a foreign lobby, and working against the President’s policies.
      Menendez, from the beginning, has been accused of corruption and bad conduct. Suddenly those accusations vanished, and he was voted Senator (not with my vote). It would be interesting to see exactly who supported him, and helped him get out of his troubles then.

      Menendez does not deserve to hold his present post in the Senate. Anyone who back stabs their own party/President, to SUPPORT a foreign leader and his lobby here, and openly go against him for a policy that if not successful, could end up in war, and the US losing American lives and resources, is being a traitor, no doubt about it.

  3. Kay24
    March 8, 2015, 11:46 am

    It seems Obama is serving just desserts to AIPAC. These are his final years in office, and it seems, after Blundering Bibi made the Boehner and the GOP behave like traitors, Obama must have had it, and does not care anymore to keep pleasing the zionists.
    I hope there is more to come.

  4. Chu
    March 8, 2015, 12:04 pm

    The Israel story is such a tired tale, everyone is fatigued. It’s probably time that the usurpers surprise us all and talk about a 1967 return and even more. You can’t come in and take valuable archaeological sites and call them your own – it’s an obvious and boring display of charlatanism.

    The idea of ‘Israel’ could have been a good one, but they royally botched it and chose the wrong site for the ‘promised land’ in the heart of the Arab world which they seem to despise. Cant they see their plan is backfiring? I dunno… Give them 20 more years and the ruling party in Israel will be called Brothers of Masada.

    • Misterioso
      March 9, 2015, 5:53 pm

      With respect, “[t] idea of ‘Israel’ could have been a good one,…”
      Au contraire. It was a bad idea from the very beginning, regardless of its location.

  5. Krauss
    March 8, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Cruz is actually probably correct in his conspiracy theorizing.

    Menendez has always been a corrupt politician. That’s not new. Obama had to keep him floating before the midterms because he is AIPAC’s #1 whore in Congress. That used to be Mark Kirk but no longer.

    It’s delightful that Obama is finally casting off the chains of the Israel lobby.

    Bibi’s speech in a parodoxical way has opened up a lot of leeway for Obama and his friends(like Rice) to appoint people like Malley to senior positions. Nobody can now claim Obama has any serious responsibility to uphold relations with Israel after that clown show.

    • ivri
      March 8, 2015, 3:20 pm

      But things have changed since the initial period of his presidency: then he had 8 years to go and majority in both houses of the Congress and Syria and Libya were still stable. . Now he is a year away from the “lame duck” period and BOTH houses have moved to the hands of an assertive Republican party that is apparently determined “to run the show” (hence the invitation of Netanyahu) and his hands are full with highly problematic and violent other Mid-East arenas. Now add it all up and draw conclusions.

  6. JLewisDickerson
    March 8, 2015, 5:14 pm

    RE: “Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said in Iowa that the charges [against Robert Menendez] are politically motivated.” ~ Weiss & Horowitz


    P.S. Imagine the U.S. on “Cruz control”! ! !

  7. hophmi
    March 8, 2015, 9:36 pm

    And I’ll bet Robert Malley speaks at AIPAC next year, of he still has the job.

    • Mooser
      March 9, 2015, 1:33 pm

      “And I’ll bet Robert Malley speaks at AIPAC next year, of he still has the job.”

      You don’t think he will “fall away”? There’s so much of that going around.

    • Kay24
      March 9, 2015, 12:02 am

      Unbelievable. This is once again, stabbing the President, making his efforts unworthy, and THREATENING, that whatever is agreed upon, can be made moot. I have never seen such a useless lot of politicians, who is easily willing to openly defy their President, and acting like members of the Likud party. Shame on them. They are making themselves look like bloody fools in the eyes of the world, like Americans without principles, and no loyalty to their own.

      • Kay24
        March 9, 2015, 6:34 am

        Here is an article in Bloomberg about the GOP warning Iran/Obama that deal won’t last:

        Republicans Warn Iran — and Obama — That Deal Won’t Last
        713 MAR 8, 2015 10:07 PM EDT
        By Josh Rogin
        A group of 47 Republican senators has written an open letter to Iran’s leaders warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with President Barack Obama’s administration won’t last after Obama leaves office.

        Organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton and signed by the chamber’s entire party leadership as well as potential 2016 presidential contenders Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, the letter is meant not just to discourage the Iranian regime from signing a deal but also to pressure the White House into giving Congress some authority over the process.

        “It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system … Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement,” the senators wrote. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

        Traitors to their own country, by threatening to sabotage their own President’s efforts, and doing the bidding of evil alien force. How much lower can they go?

  8. W.Jones
    March 9, 2015, 12:52 am

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the DOJ hadn’t pursued the charges before as much because Menendez is a Democrat, or because corruption is widespread in DC. The latest unconstitutional invitation of Netanyahu to humiliate the Executive might have changed the balance of factors.

  9. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    March 9, 2015, 3:04 am

    The appointment of Rob Malley undoubtedly reflects the changing line toward Israel at the White House. I’m not so sure, though, that it’s any kind of victory for the cause of justice.

    First of all, while Malley appears to be a little more honest than most others of his ilk, is just another of the cast of peace processors who have rotating in and out of prominent positions in the US government for more than 20 years. Is there any evidence that he has broken with the policies that have served only to strengthen Israel and weaken the Palestinian position over that time span?

    Second, the guy he’s replacing, Philip Gordon, delivered a speech last July that was astonishingly lacking in the usual fawning toward Israel – to the point that Phil Weiss posted it in full here, with this introduction: “The press is expressing marvel/shock at a speech by Philip Gordon, a White House adviser, saying that Israel’s ongoing “occupations” and settlements are driving its international isolation and the boycott movement..”

    I remember thinking at the time that Gordon wouldn’t last six months in his job. I was wrong, but not by much – eight months later. he’s off to “spend some well-deserved time with his family and pursue other professional endeavors,” according to the spokesperson for the National Security Council.

  10. Kay24
    March 9, 2015, 8:54 am

    It sounds like Chris Matthews wife, is considering running for Congress.

    Maybe that was why Matthews did that pilgrimage to the mothership.
    Transparent coverage, yeah right.

  11. Pixel
    March 9, 2015, 10:42 am

    Letter to Iran:
    The 47 Republican SignatoriesTraitors By Name

    Karoli’s best effort at source, above:

    Tom Cotton
    David Perdue
    Joni Ernst
    James Inhofe
    John Cornyn
    Mitch McConnell
    Marco Rubio
    Roger Wicker
    John Hoeven
    Richard Shelby
    Thom Tillis
    Richard Burr
    Steve Daines
    Jeff Sessions
    John Boozman
    Cory Gardner
    Shelley Moore Capito
    Ron Johnson
    Mark Kirk
    James Lankford
    Chuck Grassley
    Roy Blunt
    John Thune
    Mike Enzi
    Pat Toomey
    Bill Cassidy
    John Barrasso
    Ted Cruz
    Jim Risch
    Mike Crapo
    Deb Fischer
    Ben Sasse
    Orrin Hatch
    Dean Heller
    Pat Roberts
    John McCain
    Rand Paul
    Rob Portman
    Lindsey Graham
    Mike Rounds

    • lysias
      March 9, 2015, 10:57 am

      Those names are not in alphabetical order. Is it the order in which they signed?

      Menendez’s name is conspicuous by its absence from that list. Is it missing because only Republicans were supposed to sign?

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