One of the best emails produced by the State Department is a note that Hillary Clinton megadonor Haim Saban wrote in 2010 to the secretary of state’s assistant and Bill Clinton’s too, with the subject line “Mort Zuckerman” (or as Saban typed in haste, “Mo9rt Zuckerman”):
This is a must read„„and your bosses too.
WOW!!!! What a hatchet job,„this is the very strong “Coffeee party”„„forget the tea party„„ they’re chicken sh,„, compared to this. Just the tilte [title]„„
The comma-happy toymaker attached a hatchet job on President Obama written by Mort Zuckerman in US News & World Report in June 2010: “World Sees Obama as Incompetent and Amateur.” Zuckerman had voted for Obama, but his piece argues that the president is not “strong” enough to support his friends in the world, and Arabs don’t trust him.
The Arabs believe you do not deal with Iran with the open hand of a handshake but with the clenched fist of power. Arab leaders … did not see Obama or his administration as understanding the region, where naiveté is interpreted as a weakness of character, as amateurism, and as proof of the absence of the tough stuff of which leaders are made
The piece is full-on neoconservative. It includes only one reference to Israelis and Palestinians — they don’t trust Obama either — but you can be sure that supporting Israel is at the heart of Mort Zuckerman’s political engagement.
It’s my guess that when Haim Saban talks about the Coffee Party, he means neoconservatives: the right wing of the Israel lobby. And that’s from a billionaire who is pouring $5 million into the Clinton campaign now in great measure out of love for Israel– Saban to whom Hillary Clinton promised last summer she would work with Republicans to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel; to whom she promised last December that she would invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in the first month on the job; Saban who has said, “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.”
The point of the Coffee Party email is not just that Haim Saban has a wicked sense of humor; but that there’s a right wing to the Israel lobby, which promotes the use of force in the Middle East and opposes the Iran deal, and a left wing too: big Zionist Jews like Saban who didn’t really like the Iran deal but went along with it in the end. The two groups may differ on some Israeli policy, like settlements and Likud, but in the end both wings are determined to preserve the US lockstep with Israel, and their party identification isn’t all that important (Zuckerman voting for Obama). Which is why Hillary Clinton has maintained that lockstep, and baited Bernie Sanders for wanting to put Iranian troops on Israel’s “doorstep.” And maybe too why Bernie Sanders is a weenie on these issues. And why Marco Rubio has made the very smooth transition from the Tea Party to the Coffee Party.
Last week, the Forward’s Josh Nathan-Kazis boldly reported that 8 of 12 backers of that big superpac that Hillary Clinton is using to go after Sanders in South Carolina are Jews, and a ninth is married to a Jew. Several of those Jews are big supporters of Israel: Saban, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, S. Daniel Abraham, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. (Though Soros has said that he is not a Zionist, he has backed liberal Zionist organizations out of concern for Israel’s future.)
You hear the press talk about evangelical Christians constantly on television. Right now only the Forward and Alternet, Lobelog, and I are talking about these Jewish political forces, though they are clearly going to shape the election. Journalists should take a hint from Haim Saban. If you’re worried about the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party, you should also worry about the Coffee Party, and its Democratic counterpart.