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Aftermath of Iran Deal: a divided lobby, but Biden’s camp says he has ‘Jews’

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The latest news on the Iran Deal is that: Obama is going to win the deal, the conventional wisdom has hardened on that likelihood; and so political minds are already considering the aftermath. And that aftermath is a divided Israel lobby, in which both political parties bid for pro-Israel donors. The Republicans have AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but the Democrats have J Street, the liberal Zionist group; and there will be intense competition for individuals from those platforms.

And Joe Biden’s people hint via Politico that he can hold Jews inside the Democratic Party.

First, Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Senator, concedes Obama will likely win, in an AP story on the nose-counting of the Iran Deal.

“He can win by getting one-third plus one of either house,” McConnell told a business group in his home state of Kentucky. “So he’s still got a great likelihood of success.”

Even if Obama prevails, however, the deal can be reviewed by the next president, McConnell said.

McConnell publicly conceding that Obama has the advantage reflects what Democrats and Republicans have been saying privately.

And still the neocons push for war. Here’s an important data point from the rightwing Israel lobby. They want what they’ve always wanted: change the regime and install a democracy, and everyone will love Israel. The ideologue is Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The New York Times reports what we picked up from the Israeli press yesterday: Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer is working Capitol Hill, against the president who recognized him in D.C. Writes Julie Hirschfeld Davis:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, a fierce critic of the agreement, also is leaning on lawmakers from afar. The Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, who is close to Mr. Netanyahu, has been contacting scores of lawmakers to make the case against the agreement.

“The ambassador has met with more than 60 senators and congressmen in the last month,” said an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity without authorization to publicly detail the lobbying efforts. “He’s speaking to everybody — particularly Democrats, who ultimately will decide this issue. He wants to make sure that they hear Israel’s views directly.”

It’s all about Democrats, says the Times. And all about Jews!

They also are shaping up as a proxy fight between clashing political strains of American Jews, embodied by one pro-Israel group, J Street, on one side and Aipac on the other — each trying to demonstrate that it best represents the interests and views of pro-Israel voters.

Speaking of that battle, here are three Jewish congresspeople– Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, and Sander Levin– lobbying their colleagues in favor of the deal and producing a letter from 340 rabbis:

We are writing to make sure that you saw the letter sent earlier today signed by 340 Rabbis from around the United States supporting the recently-negotiated nuclear agreement with Iran.  They, like each of us, believe that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best way to verifiably prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

The rabbis, gathered by the liberal Zionist group Ameinu, call it a historic agreement and say:

Most especially, we are deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement. We, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord.

To be clear, these Ameinu rabbis want division. So do liberal Zionists Todd Gitlin and Steve Cohen in the Washington Post. So does Daniel Levy, who has written that Netanyahu is blowing up the lobby, or breaking it apart:

Stateside, Bibi has the competing pro-Israel lobbies—AIPAC and J Street—duking it out, and Jewish community centers, federations, and synagogues are all being pulled into the fray. American Jews are being asked to ditch the Democrat president they have overwhelmingly voted for (twice) in favor of a Republican-aligned Israeli prime minister, who previously pushed for the Iraq war and is now engaged in a deeply partisan struggle, in which he wants the Israeli interest (as he interprets it) to be placed above the American interest. Many American Jews are uncomfortable with being put in this predicament. Polls suggest that a clear majority back Obama and his Iran deal….

[A] process is in motion, a growing distancing between the Jewish communities of America and Israel, born of tensions between American Jewish liberalism and Israel’s denial of basic freedoms for Palestinians and an overall drift toward greater extremism and intolerance. It is a process that has been significantly accelerated by Netanyahu’s brash and bullying foray into congressional politics.

Thus the Iran battle is foreshadowing the battle of 2016, in which Republicans are going to try and take the Israel issue, and the Israel donors, and knock down Democratic support among Jews. Will that happen?

Here is Joe Biden’s camp trying to signal to Jews that he can unite them in their traditional house of political worship, the Democratic Party. Politico’s report on his possible presidential strategy:

Meanwhile, Biden’s circle has identified what they see as their potential voting blocs: Reagan Democrats, Jews, an LGBT base that largely credits him with pushing President Barack Obama into supporting gay marriage, and Rust Belt voters.

Biden from ’07:

“I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.” He also revealed that his son is married to a Jewish woman, of the Berger family from Delaware, and that he had participated in a Passover Seder at their house.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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48 Responses

  1. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 18, 2015, 1:26 pm

    There is a sense of entitled that the zionists (owing to our own stupid mistakes) now feel, when it comes to the US, it’s foreign policies (that they have sometimes written) and our politics.
    They now act as if they are entitled to interfere, and manipulate, whenever their arrogance allows them too. Why would their leaders say “we control America and they know it”, and “America is a country you can move easily” ? There is an attitude that they can do whatever their devious minds want to, and no one can stop them. They can control and move American to do whatever they order us to do, and that the spineless leaders who are in their payroll will not stand up to them. This would be a perfect time to break away from these shackles that bind our Congress. This would be the perfect time to pass laws making it illegal to accept campaign contribution to lobbies with obvious ties to alien nations, and accepting junket trips from these nations, to show their gratefulness.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      August 18, 2015, 1:38 pm

      Both Trump and Sanders have now railed, each in their own way, against the US political campaign finance system. Trump speaks personally, as outsider, Sanders–in the abstract, as insider. Main media seems to think Trump & Bernie’s hair, along with Hillary’s, is more important an issue to inform Americans about.

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        August 18, 2015, 8:30 pm

        An interesting point. Might this give some MSM reporters and pundits cover to discuss the campaign donors in a more meaningful way?

        In Iowa recently Trump said some meg-donors are “highly sophisticated killers”. It didn’t sound like a metaphor. It sounded like something he had said before, presumably in private. Did it just slip out, or is he trying to rattle some cages? More on this is at the following comment –
        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/pittsburgh-holocaust-ambassador/comment-page-1#comment-791024

      • Theo
        Theo
        August 19, 2015, 9:12 am

        It would be great if a new law could limit contributions to political parties to $5,000 per person or company per year! American presidential campaining ist the longest and far most expensive, with much less funding the parties could concentrate on the most important issues and stop all those insulting ads.
        The president should be elected by popular vote and that is it! We live in the 21st century, with instant communications, so do not need that theater imported from the 18th century, when a great part of the population could not read or write and travel was difficult.
        We could stop billionairs from buying our presidents, senators and congressmen, as they do now, as none of them would sell themselves for such a low amount. The power goes back to the people, as the Constitution so designed.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 19, 2015, 2:30 pm

        The election campaigns are now dirty. They need lots of money to run those attack ads.

        Some nations do not allow attack ads, only allowing candidates to advertise themselves.
        Our system stinks.

        Time campaign donations were illegal, and candidates only allowed to accept a few thousands of dollar, that too from American citizens only. Citizens without foreign connection or influence.

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra
        August 20, 2015, 5:15 am

        Greetings Theo,
        ….Billionaires buying the elections…….

        Here in Germany, all political parties that receive 5% of the vote can enter Parlement & receive campaign funds from the taxpayers. Yes, private contributions can also be given, but the races are much shorter & a pittance of costs of what the US does which is certainly not democratic. Private contributions are under scrutiny & fines.
        ziusudra

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 18, 2015, 1:27 pm

    Yes, deceased Beiden son Beau was married to a Jewish woman. Beiden also has a daughter married to a Jewish man. My own mostly Irish family is similar, except only Jewish women are part of my intermarried family. My family also has a black male in-law. Netanyahu has no clue at all regarding contemporary American mixed marriage culture. This ethnic/racial/religious trend won’t be reversed; I’ve seen it slowly prosper for 7 decades.

    • michelle
      michelle
      August 19, 2015, 1:29 pm

      .
      might be the ‘mutts’ are the answer to a greater peace
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 19, 2015, 1:47 pm

        “might be the ‘mutts’ are the answer to a greater peace ”

        I don’t understand. How do we get peace through dogs?

      • michelle
        michelle
        August 19, 2015, 2:27 pm

        .
        hello dear RoHa
        i hope your day has been a happy one
        m
        .
        this is in case your query was serious;
        http://search.aol.com/aol/search?s_it=client96-newtab&query=obama+i%27m+a+mutt
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 19, 2015, 3:05 pm

        And why would I not be serious? “Mutt” is an American term for a dog. I see from your links that (a) Obama called himself a dog, and (b) the term is used for dogs of mixed breeds.

        Are you using the term to mean people of mixed race? It sounds insulting to call them dogs.

        (Calling someone a “mongrel” is a very strong insult in Australia, but I don’t expect you to mean that.)

      • annie
        annie
        August 19, 2015, 3:11 pm

        i’ve referenced myself as an american mutt for decades. it means to me, nothing really, or too many breedings to keep track. i think i’m some (maybe mostly) english french irish german scottish and who knows what else. 9 generations american (white) and too long ago to trace when they came over on the boat. no other national or ethnic identity other than just american caucasian.

        both sides of my family all the cousins, there’s no other country we identify with in particular that i have ever heard of.

      • michelle
        michelle
        August 19, 2015, 4:42 pm

        .
        dear RoHa
        i am such a mutt (friendly family tree from way back)
        would that people/humans were as good toward each other toward others and toward the world as dogs are
        one wonders if a dog were to be called a person if the afore said dog would bite
        .
        many mutts know;
        a slight whether intended or not offers no cause to take offense
        if unintended it’s pointless if intended it’s senseless
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • michelle
        michelle
        August 19, 2015, 4:54 pm

        .
        btw
        “Calling someone a “mongrel” is a very strong insult in Australia, but I don’t expect you to mean that”
        that sounds racist
        though i fully hope not
        .
        i’m a bit ‘proud’ that the bloodline of many peoples made me the whole human race is/are truly my people
        no rules just right(s)
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 20, 2015, 4:25 am

        “english french irish german scottish”

        Annie, even with capital letters that would hardly count as mixed race. Probably half the population of Western Europe is that sort of mixture.

      • annie
        annie
        August 20, 2015, 7:13 am

        Probably half the population of Western Europe is that sort of mixture.

        exactly. we’re probably the majority. and i didn’t call it mixed race.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 20, 2015, 4:33 am

        If I call someone a “mongrel”, I am saying, “You are not a human being. You are a low animal, and the least valued of that type of animal.”

        I don’t think race has anything to do with it. There are lots of mixed race people in Australia. They are our sons and daughters, our friends and neighbours. We do not call them dogs.

        However, I now understand your original post.

        Dogs might be insulted at being called humans. Cats certainly would be, but cats are very easily offended.

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra
        August 20, 2015, 5:29 am

        Greetings michelle,
        … mutts….
        They’re de best, have a look:
        My Mother is Greek & my Father Italo,.
        I, Italo Greco married a Hungarian German,
        Our two daughters:
        Italo Greco Hungarian German,
        My Grandchildren in Italy are.
        Italian, Italo Greco, Hungarian German,
        My Grandchild in the US is:
        Italian Scot, Italo Greco,Hungarian German,
        Wait till the next Generation then we’ll really
        bring in a little color. My 16 yr old Granddaughter
        in italy is hooked up with an Italo Brasilian!
        Long live the human spiecies as Mutts!
        ziusudra

      • eljay
        eljay
        August 20, 2015, 8:29 am

        Dunno about mutts, but my wife sometimes tells me I’m nuts. :-)

        (And I don’t think it has anything to do with being a first-generation Canadian of Croatian and Italian descent.)

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        August 20, 2015, 9:22 am

        From my childhood,
        a mutt was a non-purebred dog.
        It was a judgemental term.
        There were also people in my childhood that felt mutts were superior in some ways to the purebreds. Perhaps smarter, more heart and less prone to health issues…particularly due to inbreeding.

        Mutt was also defined/applied to humans in the same ways, and for the same reasons.

        In my experience in western life, I have met some legendary dogs, horses and livestock…almost all very carefully bred. I have also met some highbred humans, who stood head and shoulders above the crowd. At the same time, I have recruited or worked with people of limited origins and probable mutt origins, who became Olympians, great humanitarians or captains of industry and politics.

        In my daily life, I take people as they present themselves.

        I guess I’m just sharing a life of observation.

        Oh…I’m first generation usa citizen…by way of canada, then austria, slovenia, poland on one side…but with connections to more exotic locals south and east. Scotland, Wales on the other.

      • Boo
        Boo
        August 20, 2015, 3:19 pm

        I’m a Hawaiian-English-Chinese-French-Pilipino-Swedish mutt from Hawaii. And, yes, we do intend to rule the world. Hopefully do a better job than the purebreds, too.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 21, 2015, 5:05 am

        I don’t know why my posts are getting cut. I’m just trying to get to grips with this word “mutt”.

        Prior to this thread I only saw the word in American comics, and from them I learned that “mutt” meant “dog”. Nothing more.
        Hence I was baffled by Michelle’s comment.
        From a glance (admittedly brief) at her links I saw that the term was applied to humans, and it seemed to mean “mixed race”.
        But then Annie called herself a “mutt”. From what she and Ziusudra said, it seemed to mean “a person with an ancestor from another country”. An Englishman with a Welsh ancestor would be a mutt.
        My guess is that a large minority, if not a majority, of people in the world would fit that definition. Not much significance in being a mutt, then.

        Also, terms used for dogs are often insults when applied to people. “Bitch” and “poodle” are not compliments. Thus, I thought that calling someone a “mutt” was insulting. But it seems it isn’t.

        Have I now understood the word correctly?

      • michelle
        michelle
        August 21, 2015, 1:21 pm

        .
        sure sure make me put real thought into a flip comment
        if i have to define the word mutt (for myself only)
        i would say mutts include mutts don’t exclude
        it isn’t about bloodline as much as state of mind
        in this timeless universe we are all as children
        and as children we should share and get along
        admit it we’re all of us abit mixed up that’s life
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • michelle
        michelle
        August 21, 2015, 2:52 pm

        .
        hello ziusudra
        you are de best
        may you and all you care for be thrice Blessed
        m
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

  3. ritzl
    ritzl
    August 18, 2015, 1:44 pm

    If Biden wanted an election strategy it seems to me he would be happy-dancing to anyone within eye/earshot about the fact that gasoline prices have come down 30-50 cents per gallon since the Iran deal was hammered out.

    This whole discussion is so bizarrely narrow. There’s just ZERO thought being given to pitching to even the glaringly obvious collective interests of hundreds of millions of US citizens. I mean a politician passing up the change to crow about an extremely positive “pocketbook” issue that happened on their watch AND within current/recent political memory? Since when?

    • just
      just
      August 18, 2015, 1:57 pm

      +1, ritzl!

      Phil, you wrote something so accurate and memorable the other day:

      “As we’ve pointed out before, the politics of the Iran Deal have unfolded as a largely Jewish affair. Not a very democratic process! ”

      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/pittsburgh-holocaust-ambassador

      This piece resonates of more of the same.

      (I wonder if Biden remains a staunch Roman Catholic Zionist Democrat…)

      • annie
        annie
        August 18, 2015, 2:16 pm

        a largely Jewish affair

        anti semitic i’m sure. speaking of elephants.

      • just
        just
        August 18, 2015, 2:22 pm

        Yep.

        It’s remarkable. I thought of Phil’s quote when I linked to the article about the letter from 340 Rabbis to Congress yesterday…

  4. Krauss
    Krauss
    August 18, 2015, 2:08 pm

    It’s only a question of time until AIPAC becomes seen as something that is only a slightly more sophisticated of ZOA. J Street will probably continue to push to the right, growing with their new-found power and legitimacy within the communal fold.

    Ben-Ami has always stated that he doesn’t want to debate Palestinians. He always wanted to exclude them, like a good Zionist. That will endear him to the so-called “moderates” who hung by AIPAC’s coattails when there was no alternative in town.

    Still, the biggest victory of all of this is that you see open debate on the role of money and the Israel lobby. When I look at Marc Armbuster’s Twitter feed I saw him retweeting John Hudson, a senior editor at Foreign Policy magazine, ironically talking about Menendez’s quotes of him voting on Iran out of “principle”. Hudson had highlighted an article about Menendez getting more cash from the Israel lobby than everyone else.

    That kind of casual stuff would be verboten just a few years ago.

    Even if the lobby reconstitutes itself, it has lost the power of Omertà among non-Jews, perhaps its greatest weapon thus far.

    P.S. I was never of the view that this was a winnable battle. Even if Obama’s vetos would have been overrun, the rest of the world would have got on with it anyway. I think this, rather than Obama’s lobbying, is what swayed people. The U.S. would have been made a laughing stock. AIPAC’s reputation as an undefeatable machine plummets faster than ever.

    • italian ex-pat
      italian ex-pat
      August 18, 2015, 6:49 pm

      @ Krauss

      Your last paragraph – with which I agree completely – raises an interesting question that I don’t see addressed in the US media:

      Given the fact that 5 other countries besides the US are committed to the nuclear deal with Iran, how is it that we are not hearing what the public opinion in those countries is? I’m sure it’s discussed in their own media, but I find no reporting of it here. Like, are the majority of their politicians and citizens for or against the deal? Is there such an intense debate – a war, you might say – going on there as there is here? And are their governments being lobbied by pro-Israel organizations to oppose the deal as our goverment body is? I mean, countries like France, Germany and the UK have large Jewish communities; are they also being targeted by Netanyahu and urged to oppose the deal as it’s harmful to Israel’s security, and if so, what is their reaction?
      If anybody has information on this subject, please share.

      • annie
        annie
        August 18, 2015, 7:06 pm

        italian, had the other countries previously passed legislation in their parliaments to approve or reject the diplomatic efforts of their government this sort of lobbying effort might be going on there currently. but i think the US congress is unique in passing this (earlier) sort of legislation to thwart the diplomatic process of the executive branch.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        August 18, 2015, 7:28 pm

        A YouGov poll puts our support for the deal at 66:9. Mind you, it’s even more true in Britain than in America that not many people are reLly aware of the matter. But the ability of Israel to influence the constitutional process has no parallel outside the United States.

      • italian ex-pat
        italian ex-pat
        August 18, 2015, 10:00 pm

        Thanks for the replies.

        If I understand it correctly then, in the other 5 countries the Iran deal, negotiated and approved by their representatives in Vienna, is legally a ‘fait accomplit’ that cannot be challenged, whereas in the US, due to a different set of laws, it is subject to further scrutiny by Congress who ultimately decides its fate (possibly, regardless of Presidential veto).
        This would be all good and well if Congress did its job honestly and with the US’ best interests at heart, but with so many of its members in the pocket of special interests groups the process is reduced to a farce.
        It must be maddening for Netanyahu to be unable to prevent the other countries from approving the deal, the US Congress is his only hope to kill it, and he’s moving heaven and earth to make it happen. It would be to this country’s everlasting shame if he succeded.

  5. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    August 18, 2015, 3:33 pm

    Two words out of a thousand in a politico article is worth a headline on mondoweiss.

  6. just
    just
    August 18, 2015, 4:52 pm

    Great opinion piece by Noa Osterreicher:

    “In Bennett’s Eyes, Diaspora Jewry Serves Israel and Only Israel …

    This just in: Not all the Jews in the world want to live in Israel. I’m sorry if I’ve caused Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett to choke on his omelet this morning or get some coffee up his nose.

    About eight million Jews live today in countries that are not Israel. There is no way of knowing how many of them would jump at the chance to move to the Jewish state – but Minister Bennett does not care. From his point of view, every Jew is a treasure, an asset that can be placed at any time on the local demographic scale, or at least used to promote the goals of the government of Israel.

    What are the government’s goals? Let’s not quibble. We’re here, you’re there – if you don’t come here, at least say good things about us there. As Jews, it is your obligation to speak in one voice. We’re not in the shtetl; the days of “two Jews, three opinions” are over. Don’t split hairs or ponder things over. If, at the age of eight days, you ran into a mohel, you’re ours – if you want to be, and especially if you don’t. With all due respect to your independent lives, for the Diaspora minister (and for the prime minister, as well) you’re just sleeper cells waiting for that phone call at 3 A.M., for the code word that will put you into operation. Red Sheet!, or Color Red, or Red Meat, the computer will decide.

    Take an example from Pollard – a man who didn’t forget what it is to be Jewish. His hairstyle might be outmoded, but his heart, his warm Jewish heart, continued to beat strongly, even behind bars. What have you done for the state? Did you give Benjamin Netanyahu a standing ovation at AIPAC? Did you donate a television room to an air force base? Nu, really, that’s what you call sacrifice? Where’s the sweat? Where’s the knife between your teeth?

    You met some shikse in college and decided that love was more important than any conversion? Big mistake. That’s why we expedited the establishment of an anonymous government corporation that will take care of people like you. Don’t worry, everything will be done pleasantly. But let’s be clear. Your Jewish foundation is being undermined and you’re reciting poetry at a Reform synagogue with a female cantor who used to be a man. What did you expect, for us to sit idly by? Forget it. We’ve all been drafted for life, and only death will release us from the ranks. You’re here for us, not the other way around.

    We don’t want to hear your opinion about a place where an ultra-Orthodox man comes to a Gay Pride parade, stabs marchers, and a month after he gets out of prison goes back to the same parade and stabs again – this time fatally. We don’t care what you think about Jews who burn a Palestinian baby and father to death.

    What are you mumbling there? You’re in pain? No problem, a little pure oil and everything will go smoothly.

    Get this into your heads: Israel needs Jews who are ready to go all the way …

    There’s no point in whining or telling us how nicely you have been able to fit in. We know everything. How your kids are doing in Silicon Valley, and how your great-grandfather came from Odessa in 1889 and worked his fingers to the bone to make a living in a sweatshop. Get real. Your beautiful life with the garage and the basement is just a temporary safe haven. You won’t be able to run from us, Jews. As the poet said: With the tears of mothers, bereft of their children/And the blood of pure babies/With mortar we will join the bodies with the bricks/And raise up the building of our birthright.”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.671591

  7. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 18, 2015, 8:22 pm

    Melendez finally shows who he is devoted to:

    “WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Tuesday formally announced his opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran, claiming that the Obama administration could renegotiate a better deal and wrest more concessions from Iran if Congress rejects the current accord.

    “I have looked into my own soul and my devotion to principle may once again lead me to an unpopular course, but if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it,” Menendez told an audience of approximately 400 students, faculty, and constituents at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. “It is for these reasons that I will vote to disapprove the agreement and, if called upon, would vote to override a veto.”

    An ideal agreement, the senator said, would be one that required Iran to completely surrender its nuclear program, rather than simply downsizing it and opening it up to inspections. Secretary of State John Kerry has called this an unrealistic goal.”

    He says he looked into his own soul – can’t be, he sold it to the devil long time ago. As for devotion to principle, isn’t he under investigation for ugly stuff? I am ashamed he represents me in Congress.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      August 18, 2015, 11:56 pm

      “Finally shows”?

      I thought we all understood who this slimebag was really for all along. The only thing I am surprised by is what took him so long. Probably optics. He wants to make it look as if he really considered the issue while everyone knew from the start that he would do whatever his Israel lobby paymasters wanted him to.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 19, 2015, 7:23 am

        Oh yes we did, I mean he formally announced what we already knew. I wrote to him requesting him not to, and I got the usual “Israel is our friend” blah blah. I am sick of this idiot, and I hope the investigation into his dishonest dealings will end up with his resignation. Or will his dear friends in AIPAC help him out of this?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      August 20, 2015, 6:14 am

      Menendez would have Iran give up its own sovereignty and right to a nuclear program for energy purposes, not to mention its right to acquire more powerful conventional missiles in self defense. What country allows outsiders to invade it with inspectors 24/7? Reminds me of the expectation the Palestinian leadership should just roll over and accept a rump state, sovereign in name only, defenseless from outside attack on its own land, and in its own sea and air.

    • Boo
      Boo
      August 20, 2015, 4:02 pm

      “If Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it,” said Menendez.

      Well, of course. You already have an Israeli nuke with your name on it. Wouldn’t be fair to merchandise yourself to the competition as well — and you’d be liable to get sued.

  8. Rodneywatts
    Rodneywatts
    August 19, 2015, 6:09 am

    An interesting piece, Phil, and spot on comments which I should have picked up on yesterday, mainly from @italian’s question under @Krauss about what other countries’ people think of THE deal and political intereference. @MHughes and Annie have partly answered this.

    Like MHughes I can only speak fairly confidently about the UK, but the clash between our FS Philip Hammond and Netanyahu on ca July 16 was widely reported here and undoubtedly set the tone of the UIK wide general welcome for a deal. In other words in the UK it was an absolute no brainer. What is sad is that it should also be a no brainer for the US. -Except for the oligarchy and not democracy that exists in the US. Thank God there are an increasing number of Jews standing up and showing that they are not stupid and following certain leaders like lemmings. Yes, we must admit that in this case it is not anti-semitic to blame a group who are Jews, but not a majority. There are zionist Christians who also fall in the same camp, and I hold them culpable wrt I/P/Iran as much as any zionist.

    Now wrt Biden, I think it fair to say most people in Britain would say Joe Who? But Kerry, almost everyone knows and respects- and he is not standing (at least as I understand). @Citizen made a sub comment to @Kay24 ‘s very pertinent comment concerning Trump and Sanders – both of whom are known here, and I recently learnt that Bernie has an older brother Larry who has been an independent/green politician in UK:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33254500

    I am pleased to say that the petion to parliament to have Netanyahu arrested and charged with war crimes has reached 70k signatures and still climbing.
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105446
    Whilst this cannot be enacted because of DI, the message is clear. I have not been able to find any concerted Jewish community complaint about this, but Jews for justice for palestinians (JFJFP) http://jfjfp.com/ has not picked up on this. (I have emailed them)

    Off topic,but relevant to economic welfare of of ordinary folk and the standing of the US, the UK campaign group 38degrees is holding a nationwide protest against TTIP this sat.

    • mikeo
      mikeo
      August 20, 2015, 4:55 am

      I can concur that in the UK the idea of rescinding the deal is not even up for discussion.
      There is no political lobbying effort to speak of – maybe a few opinion pieces in the press.

      What is happening in the US as regards the deal is reported as “Foreign” news – and with some bemusement…

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 20, 2015, 8:12 am

      “Now wrt Biden, I think it fair to say most people in Britain would say Joe Who?”

      And the rest remember him as the guy who plagiarized one of Kinnock’s speeches.

  9. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    August 19, 2015, 10:21 am

    reply to Theo, 8/19, 9:12.

    Limiting individual contributions to any fixed amount is a way to look at influence-buying, but in my view it is better to limit individual cumulative annual purchases of political action (campaign contributions, gifts to PACs, gifts to advocacy orgs, contributions to purchase of political “ads”, etc.).

    Proposed constitutional amendment:

    No entity other than a human American citizens may spend money in America for political purposes, and no individual American citizen may spend more, annually and cumulatively for political purposes, than $1000 or any other amount later set by statute.

    I don’t want the billionaires to spend (say) $5000 on EVERY Congressional Primary candidate that they favor. And i don’t want the CEOs of corporations to spend a dime of company money on politics. Not a dime.

  10. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    August 19, 2015, 10:33 am

    Love the headline.
    – Some of my best friends are…

  11. niass2
    niass2
    August 19, 2015, 5:21 pm

    I’ll say it again all the Jews I know are not sitting around discussing whether this deal has any implications on what party they vote for. maybe some big money people are, but this all sounds very silly. It’s great Biden has Jews, like my Mom and Wife like him a lot more than Hilary, and Sanders won’t be allowed to get the nomination even if he wins it. Whatever this conversation is going nowhere. Biden is a warmonger who appears to love war. When he means he has Jews does he mean he still has some maniacs who want to anhhhilate the human race and have Isreal nuke their neighbors…/…yes he sure he does, but so what, most Jews are not debating who they will vote for at the next election, it is not occurring, at all, in any way, in my house or any of the people I know, at my temple, or anywhere. Most people don’t actually pay attention to this stuff, so go back to sleep. The fact Isreal is primarily full of fascist creeps is sinking in, that I can tell you. That part is obvious to everyone, even those who refuse to admit that it has sunk in…deep. Maybe that’s why no Lebanon war this summer. Whatever, where’s my tour book?????????? Biden seems again to think he can say how tough he is and that ill make Jews think he is good for Isreal…he won’t be, but he would support almost any war they launch while he pretends that the Gaza war last summer upset him…………….not. Some insane Grateful Jews like me are still hoping Bob will run for President, until then….stay tuned.

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