“Pro-Israel Billionaires From Both Parties Aid Menendez’s Defense Fund,” is the headline of an article in today’s New York Times that might have been reported by Lobelog or us. The piece by Alexander Burns says that embattled NJ Senator Robert Menendez is getting support from Republican Sheldon Adelson, who wants to nuke Iran, and Democrat Haim Saban, who wants to bomb the living daylights out of Iran, along with assorted other billionaires. (What do you think Menendez’s position is on Iran?).
This explains why Hillary Clinton vowed to her benefactor Saban that she will work “across party lines” to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
Here are the first 4 paragraphs of the Times report:
Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who was indicted in April on corruption charges, raised nearly $1.6 million for his legal defense fund in the second quarter of the year, including from some of the country’s most prominent pro-Israel billionaires, according to a disclosure report filed this week.
Though Mr. Menendez is a Democrat, his legal fund has attracted support from political donors in both parties who take a hawkish view of Israel’s security. The New Jersey senator has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, and its often-troubled relationship with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to the filing prepared for the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, the Robert Menendez Legal Expense Trust also received contributions from the entertainment magnate Haim Saban, a pro-Israel Democratic donor, and his wife, Cheryl, as well as from the real estate billionaire Mortimer B. Zuckerman. Seth Klarman, a hedge fund billionaire who has donated heavily to Republicans, gave $5,000.
The Times is finding it has no choice but to report on pro-Israel billionaires because they are such a prominent force in US politics on both sides, are the leaders of the opposition to the Iran deal; and because Eli Clifton and Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer and our site too have been pounding the issue so much in recent years. Along with presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham:
“If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing…I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding.”
Young officials in the Obama administration all read the Walt-Mearsheimer paper and book “The Israel Lobby” (2006, 2007) and vowed to shape American foreign policy on that basis, reports Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the U.S., in his new memoir. And though Oren contends that the book advanced an anti-semitic “conspiracy thesis of undue Jewish influence on Congress and the media” he acknowledges its enormous traction:
Nevertheless, the assertion that U.S. support for Israel had precipitated 9/11 and other jihadist attacks against Americans, and that, far from an asset, Israel represented a strategic liability for the United States, tapped into strong campus currents. Graduates of those universities naturally gravitated toward the press and government service. So “The Israel Lobby,” refined into a bestselling book, penetrated the Beltway.
This did not mean that Obama had internalized the views contained in either [Edward Said’s book] Orientalism or “the Israel Lobby.” Still, there was no gainsaying the books’ impact on the academic and policy-making worlds from which his administration’s attitudes sprung. The notion of the need to revise America’s global role, to palliate Islam, and achieve diplomatic distance from Israel had become conventional by the time I arrived in Washington. Even the term “Israel Lobby,” once confined to racists such as Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, entered the mainstream media. Israel’s own policies no doubt accelerated these trends and endowed them with a moral pretext.
“Palliate Islam”– that’s an Islamophobic statement. Palliate, Webster’s:
to reduce the violence of (a disease)
to cover by excuses and apologies
to moderate the intensity of
Imagine someone saying that a writer was trying to excuse Judaism.