Coulter’s point is that Republicans pander on Israel to win donors, not voters

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Everyone is talking about one thing today, anti-immigrant activist Ann Coulter’s outburst on twitter during the Republican debate last night about the Israel pandering by the candidates. Salon characterizes it as anti-Semitic, and John Podhoretz is also worked up about it– “Holy shit, Ann. Shame on you.” They refer to a hate-tweet about “fucking Jews,” though Coulter was raising a legitimate issue.

Her tweets began like this.

That’s a fair point, right. It happened again and again during the Iran debate. Politicians were asked about the U.S. and they talked about Israel. Then came this tweet, which is getting all the headlines. Salon calls it “gratuitously anti-semitic.”  

Leaving aside the invective, this is a fair question. The answer is 2.2 percent overall and even in states where Jewish voters are said to be crucial, New Jersey and Florida, the numbers are actually fairly low, at 5.9 percent and 3.3 percent. New Hampshire, .8 percent, Iowa .2 percent. The point is, The candidates are bending over backwards for Sheldon Adelson’s money, not for primary voters. That’s why Jeb Bush has tacked right on foreign policy and hired Paul Wolfowitz and thrown Jim Baker under the bus, to get money from the Republican Jewish Coalition. If they were doing this for the Koch Brothers, the media would be all over it. Remember that Adelson called for the U.S. to nuke Iran, and this man has power over the candidates!

Coulter’s next tweet:

Maybe she was being intellectually honest; there are a bunch of evangelical Christian Zionists out there. Then she said: 

Right, donors are pushing a warmongering neocon agenda in the Republican Party.

Coulter’s big offense was exclaiming about “fucking Jews” on twitter– in between anti-immigrant invective. The issue here is that the power of the Israel lobby derives from conservative Jewish wealth. There are many ways to counter this influence, including other Jews who are critical of Israel giving money; but sunlight is the best disinfectant. When an issue is suppressed, people are going to explode.

You’ll see on twitter that Coulter is tapping into a deep well of anti-Israel comments. Something like all the sharp comments on anodyne New York Times articles: people remarking on the Gaza slaughter and U.S. military support for Israel. This is what democratic discourse is all about: an informed public engaging on important questions, some of which have been suppressed. Former radical Bernie Sanders can’t even address Palestinian persecution. And just as the Israel lobby transcends party, the hate-on-Israel movement transcends party and will go wherever it can get oxygen.

One good result of this conversation will be more Jews condemning Sheldon Adelson and Norman Braman and the Republican Jewish Coalition moneybags for trying to have a war with Iran, more Jews declaring that they aren’t Zionists.

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I am almost certain I recognized Dr. Miriam Adelson in attendance for the debate.

Yes. I’m not a big fan of hers, but clearly the comment wasn’t anti-semitic by any definition of the word I’d endorse. She was going after pandering politicians. The language used in public for emphasis today is different from what was considered acceptable years ago, but the more noteworthy change… Read more »

“The issue here is that the power of the Israel lobby derives from conservative Jewish wealth. ”

That’s nonsense, Phil. The power of the Lobby has always derived just as much from “liberal wealth.”

It isn’t about the number of the Judahs, it is about the Benjamins

Go Ann! She’s the most popular right-winger since Buchanan to raise this issue (though less prominent than he once was). There will be a big effort to marginalize her too, but I think–in age of social media and blogs–it will be more difficult. I doubt she cares whether or not… Read more »