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Imitating a candidate, Ryan goes to Israel and calls BDS an anti-Semitic ‘shenanigan’

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The media are all talking about a brokered Republican convention in Cleveland in July to stop Donald Trump; and House Speaker Paul Ryan has emerged as the establishment favorite to get such a nomination.

So what does Paul Ryan do? He goes to Israel and attacks Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions! Just like Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz are vowing to fight BDS. The New York Times reports on the Wisconsin congressman’s “mirage” candidacy.

He visited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, where he also met with local reporters and made several statements affirming the United States’ commitment there, before heading to other Middle Eastern nations and Germany to discuss security and intelligence issues

Politico points out that the trip was long-planned. Yes, but Ryan has issued a slew of reports and videos on his trip. Here he says that Israel is fighting Islamic terrorism just like us:

“I’m here to show our support. I’m here to talk with our allies, and to see how we can better cooperate to win this war against radical Islamic terrorism.”

Here’s Ryan’s report and video on his meeting with Yuli Edelstein, speaker of the Knesset. Note the vow to fight Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

Prior to the start of the meeting at the Knesset, Speaker Ryan told his Israeli counterpart, “The first head of state I met with since becoming speaker was President Rivlin. This is also the first trip I took as speaker and it’s not by coincidence, it was by design…

“These are very difficult times: the rise of ISIS, terrorism, Syrian civil war, Iran. We believe that our alliance, and our partnership, and our friendship is more important now than ever before… You’re an island of freedom in a very difficult, chaotic region. And so that is why our partnership is all the more important. It’s more important for us to renew and extend our bilateral security agreement, to work together to improve missile defense – David’s Sling, the Arrow program. We’ve worked very hard in Congress on opposing any BDS efforts – boycott, divestment, and sanctions. That is something we take great pride in advancing, the kind of legislation we’ve already advanced this year in the House. And we pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, and that is why we’re here today. And so it’s just an honor and privilege to be here with you.”

On a radio show while he was there, Ryan linked BDS with anti-Semitism:

“We’ve discussed the UN quite a bit and Israel, and UN resolutions, and any problems they propose. We discussed one called BDS, which is boycott, divest and sanction, which is in Europe, and the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. So yes, we have, we haven’t discussed the Brexit specifically, but there is a rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. Europe has been engaging in this ridiculous and counterproductive BDS shenanigan. We in the Congress have been very forceful about that. By the way, when you try to boycott, divest or sanction Israel, you’re hurting Palestinians as well. So we have discussed that.”

Here’s one Ryan video from the visit.

First stop, our greatest ally in the region. With Israel, we have shared values and also face mutual security threats. I’m proud that my first foreign visit as speaker was to Israel. Our historic alliance is more important now than ever before.

Ryan traveled with seven other congresspeople, including Greg Meeks of NY, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton. What’s that old line about a dime’s worth of difference? In Ryan’s volley of posts, here’s one about going to Iron Dome with Israeli officers.

Paul Ryan in Israel at Iron Dome battery with IDF officers

Paul Ryan in Israel at Iron Dome battery with IDF officers

And here’s another video. In which the Israeli speaker Edelstein says that Israel absolutely depends on U.S. aid and support. “For us it’s really the guarantor of our existence here in this area.” (Isn’t that a definition of colonialism?)

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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20 Responses

  1. ahadhaadam on April 12, 2016, 12:11 pm

    Yes, that is part of the definition of colonialism. A colony exists by sheer force in a foreign and “hostile” environment through support from the metropole, which in this case is loosely defined as “The West”, with America currently being its backbone. The reason the environment is hostile is that the colony is in fact an invasion by foreign settlers who dispossess the native population.

  2. a blah chick on April 12, 2016, 12:16 pm

    “By the way, when you try to boycott, divest or sanction Israel, you’re hurting Palestinians as well”

    Like he cares.

  3. eljay on April 12, 2016, 1:58 pm

    There’s something incredibly wrong with a country – with a world – in which giving donkey-fellating support to an unapologetically colonialist, supremacist and (war) criminal nation is:
    – considered to be a just and moral thing to do; and
    – a source of pride to the people who do it.

  4. Kay24 on April 12, 2016, 2:07 pm

    Any US politician who goes to apartheid land, and slobbers over the zionists, is simply embarrassing, and his actions are cringe worthy.

  5. amigo on April 12, 2016, 2:32 pm

    Just to let MW staff know , my book order arrived in Ireland today.No extra potage /freight costs so it looks as if your charges are good .

    On topic, , I thought Israel viewed BDS as background noise.That,s if you buy the Hoppy and chorus, line.Seems to me they are all hands on deck to meet the threat.It sure is bringing out all the 5th column Israel firsters.

    • eljay on April 12, 2016, 2:47 pm

      || amigo: … On topic, , I thought Israel viewed BDS as background noise.That,s if you buy the Hoppy and chorus, line.Seems to me they are all hands on deck to meet the threat. … ||

      Zio-supremacists flip-flop all the time:
      – one moment, Israel is eternal and the only truly safe place in the world for all Jews; and
      – a moment later, Israel is perpetually on the verge of being wiped off the map and pushed into the sea, its population of Jews genocided and, for good measure, Holocausted.

      And then the Matrix resets and the cycle repeats.

      • JWalters on April 12, 2016, 7:21 pm

        The many glaring internal contradictions could only be covered up by a completely controlled Establishment Media. Even the corrupt banks get some coverage. Israel is the one topic that is completely blacked out. The inner secret of secrets must reside there.

  6. Talkback on April 12, 2016, 4:18 pm

    The land of the submissive and the sicophants, where politicians need to lick Israeli boots.

    • JWalters on April 12, 2016, 6:59 pm

      Ryan has been groomed his entire career as an obedient oligarchy sickophant*. Americans need to discover the entire Establishment Media is controlled by criminals.

      * Alt – psychophant; a psychotic elephant

  7. David Doppler on April 12, 2016, 4:44 pm

    As Speaker, and a major fundraiser for Republican Congressmen, Ryan is shaking the Anti-BDS tree (pretty efficiently, too). His testing-presidential-waters actions should be read in that light, and should be viewed as a possible but unlikely long-shot. His statements now are more likely to serve his more likely continued role as Speaker, & not necessarily indicative of how he would govern as President.

    I think he’s running Congress, raising money, getting himself enhanced standing in any convention brokering process. I don’t think he’s anyone’s sicophant.

    • JWalters on April 12, 2016, 7:14 pm

      It looks to me like the oligarchy is moving him into position, just like they moved him into position to take over the speakership when their main personnel options fell apart there. A similar scenario is unfolding here. He’s dutifully shallow and sufficiently photogenic.

  8. chris o on April 12, 2016, 11:37 pm

    This really makes the US look like it is in the pocket of Israel. It makes us look really weak, enfeebled. We may be the Superpower but Israel has the Kryptonite.

    At least one branch of Government, the Supreme Court, doesn’t go to Israel and grovel.

  9. JLewisDickerson on April 13, 2016, 3:40 am

    RE: “Imitating a candidate, Ryan goes to Israel and calls BDS an anti-Semitic ‘shenanigan’”

    MY SNARKCASM: That photo of Paul Ryan meeting Netanyahu really makes me nauseous!

  10. Citizen on April 13, 2016, 4:48 am

    Ryan is bad news for anyone wanting to end the occupation. OTOH, look at this great young lady Bernie picked to help him on the Israel question:

    Meet the outspoken critic of #Israel who is #BernieSanders’ new Jewish outreach director from Jpost

  11. Hussein Hammami on April 13, 2016, 9:23 am

    Paul Ryan takes a shot at BDS at no political cost to himself. This is called a cheap shot aimed at the Palestinians as they exercise their right to resistance against the illegal occupation.

  12. RockyMissouri on April 13, 2016, 12:06 pm

    Ryan is a disgusting sycophant. BDS matters more than ever.

  13. James Canning on April 16, 2016, 1:20 pm

    Will Paul Ryan offer a plan for ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank?

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