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As presidential field broadens, GOP candidates race to show their love for Israel

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Carly Fiorina promises to make Israel her first phone call as president. Mike Huckabee is “just nuts” about Israel. Jeb Bush calls settlements “apartments.” Ben Carson wants to transfer the Palestinians to Egypt. Marco Rubio has taken to dining with top-donor Sheldon Adelson. Ted Cruz is making the rounds with Fire Island’s pro-Israel community. And, Lindsey Graham who has not announced his bid, said if he is president he will have the first “all-Jewish” cabinet.

As it shapes up, the Republican field is looking to be one of the most fiercely pro-Israel in memory. Yet some of the runners have little to no foreign policy experience. Many say their views are underpinned by their Christian faith, and have not offered any proposal for U.S. engagement in the Middle East—other than affection for Israel.

Candidates who have confirmed they are running thus far are: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Carson, Fiorina and Huckabee all made their announcements this week, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are expected to join the race soon.

Mike Huckabee

Tuesday morning former Arkansas Governor and Fox News personality Mike Huckabee became the latest to threw his hat in the race. Active on Israel since the 1970s, Huckabee exhibits a zeal for Israel well above of all of the candidates. By his own admission he has visited Israel on countless occasions. He travels to the holy land up to three times a year. Annually he hosts “The Israel Experience with Governor Mike Huckabee,” a bible tour for conservative Christians laced with politics. During last spring’s trip, the Washington Post’s William Booth reported 253 people joined him on the ten-day tour, with a $5,250 price tag. Booth wrote, “The man is just nuts about Israel.”

The tour kicked off with a Sushi and wine welcome bash held in his honor, hosted at a vineyard over the Green Line, in the Ramallah area settlement of Psagot. Huckabee and his faithful made stops at historic religious sites, but also met with hardliners, including Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Both Klein and Huckabee have concurred in the past that the Palestinians are an invented people.

Screen shot of Mike Huckabee's 2016 presidential campaign website.

Screen shot of Mike Huckabee’s 2016 presidential campaign website.

Moreover on his campaign website, Israel is prominently displayed as one of Huckabee’s key issues, positioned next to “healthcare” and “national security.”

“In a world of uncertainty, evil, and moral insanity, Israel is a shining light of moral clarity. The enemies of Israel are the enemies of America,” his newly minted campaign website said. Huckabee also mentioned Israel on numerous occasions on his superPAC website, and personal Facebook page.

Last year Huckabee founded a 501-c4, American Takes Action Inc. that so far has held only one major event, a “Stand with Israel Rally” last October in Washington DC. There, Huckabee explained his political passion for Israel is imbued by his religious beliefs. “It’s impossible to be a Christian and not be totally connected to the Jews,” Huckabee told supporters. “There is no Jewish state without a Christian faith, there is no Christian faith without a Jewish state,” he said. The event was announced while Huckabee was touring Area E1, a land corridor in the West Bank where Israel wants to build settlements, although President Obama has said construction is a red line as it would compromise territorial continuity for a future Palestinian state.

Although an ardent supporter of Israel and its settler movement, Huckabee has yet to articulate a focused platform on Israel beyond stating he supports a “unified Jerusalem”.

Ben Carson

Presidential candidate and neurosurgeon famous for separating conjoined twins in 1987, Ben Carson shares Huckabee’s religious concerns for Israel. Carson too is a devout Christian. Like Huckabee, he traveled to Israel in the months leading up to announcing his candidacy. The excursion was organized by the “Face of Israel,” a group with a mission to “promote Israel internationally amongst influential decision-makers and opinion leaders.” While billed as apolitical, according to Carson’s trip organizers’ website the “primary goals” of the tailor-made tours include strengthening “the global pro-Israel voice,” “creating a public task force to promote Israel online,” and “training […] about Israel and Israel advocacy.”

Speaking to the Associated Press while on his trip, Carson lauded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, yet his political naiveté on foreign affairs was a preeminent take away from the interview. AP noted his lack of savvy. Carson said of Netanyahu, “I think he’s a great leader in a difficult time.” He then went on to endorse an outlandish end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Carson advocated what is known as the “Egyptian solution,” where Israel would transfer Palestinians to the Sinai desert in Egypt, and then annex the occupied Palestinian territory.

Ted Cruz

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has also renewed his interest in Israel since coming forward with his presidential bid in March. Within 24-hours of announcing his candidacy Cruz said, “Instead of a president who boycotts Prime Minister Netanyahu, imagine a president who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel.” For this remark, Cruz received a 30-second ovation from the Liberty University audience in Virgina, the largest Christian institution of higher learning in the country.

The next month in April, reports circulated that Cruz actively courted the Jewish ultra-orthodox vote, a Republican sector of an otherwise staunchly Democrat voting bloc. Cruz described himself as having as “passionate dedication to strengthening our friendship and alliance with the nation of Israel.” He also attended Shabbat dinners, a ZOA dinner with Morton Klein, a fundraiser hosted by a pro-Israel gay Jewish couple, and shared a stage with Elie Wiesel. Cruz’s strategy seems to have worked. After only one month of campaigning, Politico reported Cruz had already hit his $1 million fundraising goal.

“The Jewish community has always played an important role in the political process, both as swing voters in a number of swing states, and also as key donors and financial supporters,” he told Politico in April.

Marco Rubio

Republican senator from Florida Marco Rubio who appeals to the fiscal conservative branch of the GOP has also made Israel a central issue in his campaign. In March, Rubio gave a 15-minute speech to Congress after Israeli elections closed. “Democracy, free enterprise and a strong American alley, don’t we wish the entire middle east looked that way,” he said, adding, “how much better would the middle east be if more countries looked like Israel and less like Iraq and Syria.”

Shortly after Rubio announced his candidacy in April, journalist Gregg Carlstrom noted on Twitter the senator grabbed the cover page of Israel’s daily Yisrael Hayom, three days in a row. “He seems to be winning the Adelson primary.” Casino mogul and pro-Israel donor Sheldon Adelson owns the publication.

Over the past few months Politico also reported Rubio and Adelson have biweekly phone calls. And in March, the pair sat down for a steakhouse dinner in Washington DC. Face time with Adelson is a game changer in presidential elections as he tried to play the role of a kingmaker in the 2012 race. He donated $150 million in the that election. Although this time around, Adelson has yet to formally endorse any of the GOP runners.

In the meantime, Rubio is rubbing elbows with his long-time pal, billionaire and pro-Israel  GOP donor Norman Braman. The two traveled to Israel together in 2010. The next year Braman explained his interest in Israel is tied to his perception that the Jewish state has been central to Jewish success in the U.S.:

I remember all the fields in the United States that were closed to Jews… that there were a limited number of major Jewish law firms… There were very few Jews in banking, very few Jews in investment banking other than Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and a few others… and the general lack of respect that existed for Jews… Jews in general always being thought– ‘Well Jews are smart, but they don’t fight back.’.. Israel changed all that. I’m convinced Israel changed all that. All the advantages that Jews have today, that generations have since the establishment of Israel has been augmented by Israel…

In March the Miami Herald reported Braman was rumored to donate $10 million to Rubio’s campaign. Politico reported the payout will be higher, likely $25 million.

Carly Fiorina

Former Hewitt-Packard executive Carly Fiorina announced her bid on Good Morning America Monday. The tech executive has never held office. “I understand bureaucracy, and that is what our government has become a giant bloated, corrupt bureaucracy,” she said when asked about her lack of experience in public service.

After debuting her candidacy on a press call, Fiorina said her first move as president would be to phone Israel. “How we treat our friends is reassuring to our other friends,” she told Breitbart, “This administration has made the world a more dangerous place by the way they have treated Israel,” she said. Fiorina added her next call would be to Iran. “We are going to impose sanctions, specifically making it very difficult for them to move money throughout the global financial system,” she said in reference to an Iran sanctions bill that Congress is expected to vote on this week.

As with her fellow candidates Fiorina too has traveled to Israel, during her 2010 attempt to unseat senate Democrat Barbara Boxer (CA). “This was a personal trip for Carly, so it had nothing to do with the campaign,” a Fiorina spokesperson told the Daily Beast. Even so, the Republican Jewish Coalition funded the trip.

Rand Paul

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul entered the race in early April. He is a self-proclaimed strong ally of Israel, despite his libertarian ethos of limited government spending, which includes U.S. support to Israel. In 2013 he visited the holy land on a trip bankrolled by GOP funder and pharma-executive Rich Roberts. In January that year, Paul told Breitbart “I think [what] we should do is announce to the world, and I think it is well-known, that any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States.” Paul’s remarks were regarded as a change of stripes on Israel that has continued to date. However, Paul has not successfully won over mainstream GOP pro-Israel supporters.

The following year Paul sponsored the “Stand with Israel Act of 2014,” legislation that sought to limit U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority. The bill was opposed by leading Israel advocates. Even AIPAC came out against it.

More recently, Paul lost his most well known pro-Israel donor, Roberts, to Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker. “I like Rand Paul a lot, our relationship goes back now about three or four years. I like him as a person, I think he’s very well-intended,” Roberts told the Washington Free Beacon. “But I think that Scott Walker is [a greater] likelihood of being the next president. I think Scott Walker is also a tremendous individual.”

Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has not entered the race. However, the Washington Post reported in January that he established a fundraising group, Our American Revival, as a pre-election measure. Aside from poaching Paul’s biggest pro-Israel donor into his camp, Walker has busied himself with campaign-like speaking events across America over the past few weeks, adding to rumors of his potential candidacy.

On Sunday Walker will travel to Israel on a tour funded by his group, Our American Revival. He intends to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Walker has limited foreign policy experience and this will be first visit abroad since 2013.

This week he also started an online #StandWithIsrael petition where his supporters can sign their names in agreement with: “It is important that we stand with our friends who stand against our enemies.”

Jeb Bush

Another presumed presidential candidate is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. In March Bush got into hot water with pro-Israel-Republican circles. His foreign policy adviser James Baker (who was Secretary of State under his father George H.W. Bush) gave a keynote address this year at the annual J Street policy conference where he blamed Netanyahu, in part, for stalled peace talks.

Days after Baker’s talk, Bush came out strongly in support of Israel—and its settlement project in the occupied Palestinian territory, which stands in contrast to J Street’s stated goal of ending the Israeli occupation. In an op-ed for the National Review, Bush referred to the construction with the benign label of “new apartment buildings,” and railed against Obama’s handling of Iran.

However, Baker’s appearance had already soured Bush’s relationship with Sheldon Adelson, who only one year before hosted Bush at a Las Vegas fundraiser with the Republican Jewish Coalition. The New York Times reported that Adelson was “incensed” and Klein from the ZOA told the Times, “A few months ago, people I speak to thought Jeb Bush was the guy. That’s changed.”

After the debacle Bush did not attend this year’s Republican Jewish Coalition event in April. Although his staff went. They gave out buttons with “Jeb” written in Hebrew script.

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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38 Responses

  1. just
    just
    May 7, 2015, 10:30 am

    Thanks, Allison, for this handy reference of the slavering lickers of the Israeli jackboot.

    I have even less respect for the Republicans now, and that’s rather amazing in itself. All Americans should be made aware of who they’re voting for and to what country they first pledge their allegiance. Ask every candidate to tell you why they call Israel our ally, what they do for us, what ideals they aspire to wrt peace and justice, and make sure they explain Israel’s “democracy” in full.

    (P.S. I don’t have a lot of respect for the Democrats in that department, either)

  2. Froggy
    Froggy
    May 7, 2015, 10:33 am

    And the Brits have a ‘Special Relationship’ with this country?

    Time for Britain to think again.

  3. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    May 7, 2015, 10:33 am

    “Mike Huckabee is “just nuts” about Israel..”

    Can’t argue with that.

  4. annie
    annie
    May 7, 2015, 11:10 am

    how depressing. i’m trying to find the silver lining in all this. hopefully it will wake up america and instigate a nationwide argument about the criminal state. i’m imagining israel getting dragged into the hague during the months leading up to the election.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      May 7, 2015, 8:44 pm

      I agree, and “criminal” is the problem in a nutshell.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 10, 2015, 6:37 pm

      ” i’m trying to find the silver lining in all this.”

      It’s early in the election process. That’s about it for silver linings.

  5. Kay24
    Kay24
    May 7, 2015, 12:24 pm

    I warn everyone to have some barf bags ready for the rest of the election season….all political candidates will try to outdo each other in the “I am a fervent devotee of Israel, and I will defend it with my life” department. No other nation (even our true allies) will get that show of devotion.
    It will make you sick.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      May 7, 2015, 7:29 pm

      “No other nation (even our true allies) will get that show of devotion. ”

      No $3 billion per annum for Australia, Britain, Canada, NZ?

      Pity. As an Australia/British citizen, with a son who has US citizenship as well, I would feel it to be my duty to take care of such funds (for the good of the country, of course), were they forthcoming.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 8, 2015, 1:39 am

        And, I should point out, Australia is also a world-leader in some fields. Here’s one of the latest innovations.

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-08/cadbury-chocolate-vegemite-combine-social-media-food-mash-up/6454050

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        May 8, 2015, 7:02 am

        Strange, but the Cadbury you buy abroad, from the UK or other nations, tastes different and better than the ones you get here. Australia indeed is quite advanced in in the field of innovations and medical discoveries. I am not sure of that combination though!

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 8, 2015, 7:49 am

        || RoHa: And, I should point out, Australia is also a world-leader in some fields. Here’s one of the latest innovations.

        link to abc.net.au ||

        Almost, but not quite: It’s not deep-fried.

        Going that extra mile is why America rules the world. :-)

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 8, 2015, 8:33 am

        “Strange, but the Cadbury you buy abroad, from the UK or other nations, tastes different and better than the ones you get here.”

        What do you mean? The Cadbury I buy here in Australia tastes the same as the Cadbury I buy in the UK.

        Or, when you say “here”, do you mean some other country that is not here at all, but somewhere else? If so, you must tell us where you mean.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 8, 2015, 8:35 am

        Eljay, deep-fried Mars bars are supposed to be a Glasgow speciality. Do Americans deep-fry chocolate as well?

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 8, 2015, 10:37 am

        || RoHa: Eljay, deep-fried Mars bars are supposed to be a Glasgow speciality. Do Americans deep-fry chocolate as well? ||

        I believe there’s nothing American’s won’t deep-fry – otherwise, what’s the point of freedom? :-)

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw
        May 8, 2015, 11:05 am

        A Scots ‘Mars Bar’ is a Scar, usually found on the facial features. Franko got chibbed by the Tongs and noo has a big mars bar across his face. “It’s a braw, bricht, moolicht nicht tonicht” and “Hoots mon there’s a moose loose aboot this hoose”. It’s the only foreign language I know.

      • just
        just
        May 8, 2015, 11:18 am

        Sounds good, RoHa.

        Sweet and salty~ savory! Down Under’s tip o’ the hat to sea salt caramels and sea salt chocolate.

        (stay away from Israeli Dead Sea salt, though!)

        lol, HarryLaw.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        May 8, 2015, 2:30 pm

        I find the Cadbury chocs I buy in the UK tastes better than the ones you get over here.
        Perhaps the choc is always creamier on the other side. Heh.

        Even the Coke you buy abroad, the ones without corn syrup (but with regular sugar) is better tasting. I think you can buy the sugar ones from Mexico here in the US.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 9, 2015, 4:56 am

        @eljay.

        I looked at those pages.

        Let us never speak of them again.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 9, 2015, 5:02 am

        Kay, you seem to be very confused.

        The UK is the UK. Australia is Australia. Neither of them are abroad. “Abroad” is the rest of the world, full of dubious people with strange and, usually, disgusting habits.

        “Here” is Australia. If you are not in Australia, you are not here.

        Please work out where you are (I suspect abroad) and post accordingly.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 9, 2015, 9:20 am

        || RoHa: @eljay.

        I looked at those pages.

        Let us never speak of them again. ||

        Understood. Freedom is not for the faint-of-heart. ;-)

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        May 9, 2015, 3:17 pm

        RoHa I live in the US, by abroad I mean other nations, and you are over there in Australia.

        We are all human beings existing in various lands, but like chocolates.
        I still think Cadbury and Vegemite is weird, but willing to give it a try. :))

        Hope that has sorted out the confusion.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        May 9, 2015, 3:17 pm

        Forgot to mention I like Marmite very much though.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 9, 2015, 9:20 pm

        If you like Marmite,,you might be able to handle Vegemite.

        I’ll probably be stripped of my citizenship and sent to a re-education camp for saying this, but I won’t touch Vegemite. I tried it once in 1954. Never again.

        My son is of the same opinion. When he was about six he saw some bread with Vegemite at a children’s party. And he thought it was Nutella. The universe betrayed him.

        But here’s the song again.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0yA98MujNeM

        (And if you could write “US” instead of “here” or “this country”, it would clarify things.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        May 10, 2015, 7:12 am

        RoHa, I did try Vegemite but it is no where as good as Marmite. My Aussie sister and family seem to love Vegemite though – her son carried it to the US so that he can continue to have it daily!!!!

        As for that confusion about where I am, it must be because I keep forgetting we have many commenters from around the globe too.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 10, 2015, 1:57 pm

        “Hoots mon there’s a moose loose aboot this hoose”.

        Yes, yes, but I want to make one thing very clear, the only man’s sister I have ever bitten is my brother-in-law’s. And she bites back.

  6. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    May 7, 2015, 7:14 pm

    RE: “Face time with Adelson is a game changer in presidential elections as he tried to play the role of a kingmaker in the 2012 race. He donated $150 million in the that election. Although this time around, Adelson has yet to formally endorse any of the GOP runners.” ~ Deger

    FROM JTA.ORG (By Ron Kampeas ~ Apr. 28, 2015):

    . . . Adelson won’t announce yet whom he will support, according to insiders here, because he regrets how his influx of funds into Newt Gingrich’s ultimately quixotic run helped hobble Mitt Romney, who failed in his 2012 bid to oust Obama.

    “Sheldon is all about Israel, but also all about winning,” one confidant says.

    According to the confidant, Adelson wants to give the candidates room to compete.

    “Sheldon knows that once he announces, his $100 million will end the race,” the confidant says.

    You can’t avoid Adelson, even if he is not present, because the Venetian is his imagined world: the gondoliers, the canal, the oppressive perpetual muted sunset over “St. Mark’s Square,” where you can be serenaded. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.jta.org/2015/04/28/news-opinion/politics/at-jewish-republican-confab-sheldon-adelson-looms-large

    P.S. In other words, Sheldon Adelson (and his $100 million) will decide who is going to be the Republican nominee for U.S. President. How’s that for “despotic control”* of the GOP?!?!

    * DESPOTIC CONTROL – http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/shields-adelson-foreign#comment-763336

  7. just
    just
    May 8, 2015, 7:55 am

    Chemi Shalev:

    “The Republican Party and Netanyahu’s new coalition: Separated at birth?

    We have ultra-Orthodox, national religious and messianic Jews while the GOP fields Evangelicals, born- again Christians and End-Times enthusiasts.

    ………….It’s true that the White House announced on Thursday that Obama was “looking forward to working with Netanyahu and his new government” but given the perception in Washington that Netanyahu has put together a narrow right wing coalition that would be even more unmanageable than the outgoing government, Obama’s “looking forward” was probably meant in the same sense that one anticipates root canal.

    On the Republican side, on the other hand, Netanyahu’s new government can truly look forward to a genuinely welcoming embrace that might actually be warmer than ever, now that it has shorn its centrist-liberal element of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, because in addition to the constantly skyrocketing support for Netanyahu and Israel on the American right one can now add their uncanny resemblance. If Israel had a two-party system, Netanyahu’s 61-weak coalition would be first in line to sign a “sister party” accord with the Republicans: in many ways, albeit Jewish instead of Christian, they are now like twins separated at birth.

    We’re not talking about your historic GOP and presidents such as Richard Nixon or George Bush Senior, who probably wouldn’t make it past Sheldon Adelson’s threshold, as Tuesday’s statement by Jeb Bush makes clear. After distancing himself from former Secretary of State James Baker who was censured by party loyalists for daring to criticize Netanyahu at the recent J Street Conference, Bush took a step further by presenting his brother George W. as character witness and Israel adviser par excellence. Bush is one of a multitude of Republicans vying to serve as the party’s candidate in 2016, but all of them, with the possible exception of Rand Paul, are trying to outdo each other by vowing unquestioning support for Israel, unending hostility towards Barack Obama and unyielding devotion to traditional national, cultural and religious values.

    Most Republicans, after all, share the Israeli view of the international arena as pitting black and white, good vs evil, if you’re not with us you’re against us. Like most Israelis – especially those who voted for the incoming government – they extol their people’s “exceptionalism” and its underpinning “Judeo-Christian” ethos. They tend to belittle diplomacy and to put their trust in the use of force. They share and foster the Israeli disdain for Obama’s “naiveté”, for his “weakness” against dictators far and wide, for his “appeasement” of the Muslim world in general and of Iran in particular. They deride decadent and anti-Semitic Europe and detest international forums, especially the hostile UN and its Third World mentality. They stand solidly behind each and every objection that Netanyahu has raised to the Iran nuclear accord as well as the two-state solution: sometimes they might try to outflank him.

    Just as Israel’s new coalition has ultra-Orthodox, national religious and downright messianic Jews who often set the tone, so the Republicans are sometimes under the sway of ardent Evangelicals, born against Christians and End-Times enthusiasts. Many of their opinions on social and cultural matters are strikingly the same: 70% of Republicans object to Common Core, 66% are skeptical about climate change, 60% oppose same-sex marriage, 49% don’t believe in evolution and 57%, according to a recent poll, would me more than happy to have Christianity declared America’s “national religion”. We have a science-denying member of United Torah Judaism as the head of the Knesset’s Science and Technology Committee just as the Republicans have placed Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe to run the Senate’s Environment Committee: he wrote the book on global warming as “the greatest hoax of all.”

    Although they now control both Houses of Congress as well as 31 of 50 states, Republicans still feel shunned and disadvantaged, just like Israeli right wingers who have been in power for most of the past 38 years. They share a common paranoia of sinister conspiracies by alien forces teaming up with internal saboteurs to impose a foreign, secular, degenerate lifestyle on them. They are wary of academia, disdainful towards intellectuals and don’t believe a word in the media, unless it strengthens their preconceptions. They are repelled by concepts such as “human rights” and the NGO’s that advocate them; they view leftists and liberals as knee-jerk do-gooders at best, disloyal fifth columnists at worst. 62% of Republicans said in a recent poll that Obama “doesn’t love America”, a close echo to Netanyahu’s depiction of the Zionist Camp as anti-Zionist. And when Netanyahu cried “the Arabs are coming, the Arabs are coming” on election day, most Republicans kept silent, though they were possibly jealous, given their own, arduous efforts to hamper minority votes.

    The problem, of course, is that the closer Republicans get – 67% said recently what America should back Israel even when it diverges from US interests – the more the Democrats seemed to be drifting away, even before the formation of a government that many liberals are already describing as extremist, rejectionist and addicted to settlements. The longer the new and narrow coalition survives, the more it carries out its openly stated goals and policies – blocking a two-state solution, combatting human rights groups and foreign-funded NGO’s, reversing the recent modest gains of religious pluralism, curtailing the constitutional sway of Israel’s Supreme Court – the greater the gap will grow between Israel and liberal America, including a large chunk of its Jews, until the differences turn irreconcilable.

    This emerging set of circumstances only highlights the potentially critical importance for Netanyahu of the upcoming 2016 presidential elections. Hillary Clinton seems ready to stand a bit to the right of Obama on Israel and Iran and to position herself as a moderate security hawk, but it clear that in the longer run the difference between Democrats and Republicans for such a radically-right Israeli coalition, should it survive, could be like night and day.

    The Democrats won’t abandon Israel, but their relations with a narrow coalition in its current contours will inevitably grow tense, cantankerous, and perhaps even unnatural. The Republicans, on the other hand, could easily stay just as infatuated as they are today. Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Bush himself – if they are to be believed – will not only buttress Israel and identify with it, they might adopt Netanyahu him as a kind of Big Brother and diplomatic mentor, even when the entire world will really be against us, as the Jews like to say. For someone like Sheldon Adelson, 2016 seems to be emerging as a once in a lifetime, all or nothing, now or never kind of challenge.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/west-of-eden/.premium-1.655539

    ‘Depressing’ only begins to describe this phenomenon, Annie @ May 7, 2015, 11:10 am.

  8. Boo
    Boo
    May 8, 2015, 8:59 am

    “Jeb Bush calls settlements ‘apartments.'”

    That’s just his shorthand way of saying “apartheidments”.

  9. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    May 8, 2015, 11:43 am

    In plain English I call this ‘ass kissing’.

  10. Boo
    Boo
    May 8, 2015, 9:07 pm

    Yes, and Bibi certainly has a plenty big enough ass for the entire clown bus of GOP wanna-be-presidents. But even so, it will be covered with two coats of lipstick by the time they’re done.

  11. ckg
    ckg
    May 8, 2015, 9:40 pm

    Gov. Huckabee is a Christian Zionist end-timer, a true beluever who thinks that Genesis 13 proves that the Palestinians have no right to the land. Netanyahu, not Huckabee, is the real opportunist in this handshake. But many of the other clowns on the bus are merely cynical yet canny ass-kissers, who know that the party base is just as crazy as Huckabee and that you can’take raise funds without appealing to the well-identified donor demographics .

  12. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    May 9, 2015, 7:20 am

    Let’s get down to it…these candidates do not stand a snowball’s chance in hell against Hillary, Now we have Bernie announcing which will at least make for some good debates. Now granted Hillary and Bernie fall into line with the I lobby most of the time however not on the Iran negotiations. And bet they have noticed that there is a serious shift in the populace towards Israel.

    Of course there could be a catastrophic event of some kind that takes Hillary down or somehow she falls totally prey to all of the dark swords being thrown at her, but don’t you think she has it? If the election were tomorrow she sure would. And don’t get me wrong I certainly do not support her foreign policy warmongering. But she shifted a bit during the Iran negotiations.

    Allison you referenced that Rand Paul had been subsidized by someone for a trip to Israel. Thought all of this buying our Reps trips to foreign countries was supposed to stop after the Ney/Abramoff scandal? Thought there was legislation passed to stop this kind of hanky panky..

    To think that one of the principle architects for the invasion of Iraq Paul Wolowitz is now the head foreign policy adviser for Jeb Bush. The chicken hawk war criminals want to attack Iran so bad

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      May 9, 2015, 4:32 pm

      I would not be so sure. She may be smarter, but Hillary fits into that clown car.

      Every one of them, including HRC (maybe with the exception of Bernie) badly want the money and support of the I-love-Israel crowd and the conflict industry. They will say and do anything to get it, and Hillary is absolutely no different.

      Most voters do not care about Israel and do not understand what Israel has cost the US in $$, loss of influence, credibility and even lives. The clown car wants to keep it that way.

      Jeb Bush is saying all the right stuff, and like his brother will be the perfect puppet for some very powerful interests. Hillary will remain an easy target as she does not have broad support among those in her own party, which has been under the control of the Clinton machine for too long now, and weakened the Democratic Party .

      A Bush or a Clinton as President, doesn’t really make a difference. They dance to the same masters .

      Would love to see all parties disappear, but that will never happen.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        May 9, 2015, 10:35 pm

        Look I am not wild about Hillary her vote for the 2002 Iraq war resolution was a political move and it ended up back firing. I don’t believe she gives any more of a rats ass about the hundreds of thousands dead, injured in Iraq or the millions displaced any more than bloody Bill Kristol (who pushed the kill Hillary’s health care bill back during the Clinton administration). However she is different on domestic issues and now finally on Iran. She has been on of the warmongers repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran for a solid 10 years. Here lately she has been supporting the P5+1 negotiations.

        Jeb Bush’s foreign policy adviser is Paul (psychopath) Wolfowitz. He and his blood curdling war team want a war with Iran they can taste the blood. Big difference at this time between Hillary and Jeb.

        Senator Sanders voting record against the Palestinians and for Israel no matter what they do falls into line with almost other so called liberals. Bernie is a PEP and so is HIllary.

        With a Bush administration we get a war with Iran. With HIllary maybe not. Her numbers are looking really good and have for quite some time. We do have to face reality here. Sanders does not have a snow balls chance in hell. But he will make the debate far more interesting

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        May 9, 2015, 11:31 pm

        The only reason Hillary supports the ongoing negotiations with Iran is because she knows where the wind is blowing. The majority of US citizens support this. Normalized relations will happen. Only Zealots are blind to this.

        If she thought for a second it would cost her politically, she would be against it, She will do and say anything to position herself . That is what drives her, and comes with the territory of a life in politics.

        Yes, Bernie will make the debate interesting and that might be his purpose here.

        But remember, Hillary is a puppet of opinion and interests. Nothing more.

        Sadly the Dems have no one of credibility to put forth.

  13. Pretext
    Pretext
    May 9, 2015, 7:50 am

    Pretty sickening stuff, and I’m a registered Republican. I expect that on the left it really isn’t going to be all that different when you get right down to it – jockeying for position relative to hawkish Hillary.

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