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Dershowitz approves Clinton’s ‘muscular foreign policy,’ and Sen. Warren is a ‘surprising Israel hawk’

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Hillary Clinton is gaining the support of the neoconservative establishment. Alan Dershowitz is for her “muscular foreign policy.” Robert Kagan is holding a fundraiser for her. Jennifer Rubin tells other neocons to get on board now so that Clinton can end the Obama chill to the Jewish state.

Alas, even Elizabeth Warren is caught up in the orgy of testimonials to Israel Clinton has been campaigning lately with the Massachusetts Senator, and there is talk that Warren will join Clinton’s ticket. Today the Forward scans Hillary Clinton’s short list for veep nominees and finds that Warren is a “surprising Israel hawk.”

You’ll never guess who’s the Israel hawk on Hillary Clinton’s presidential shortlist: Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and liberal champion.

Warren would be the natural pick to win over supporters of another progressive Democratic icon — Vermont senator Bernie Sanders…

But on Israel they disagree. Sanders made a point of challenging the party line by criticizing Israeli policies and demanding a Democratic platform that recognizes Palestinian rights; Warren chose to challenge progressives with a strong pro-Israel stance, much closer to that of the Democratic establishment.

“She talked to us a lot about this,” said Jeremy Burton, executive director of Greater Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council. “She has made clear time and again that she believes in the specialness of America’s relationship with Israel.”

The Times of Israel finds that Warren would be more reliable than another oft-mentioned veep-nominee, Virginia senator Tim Kaine, who called Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress against the Iran deal “highly inappropriate.” But she is not so hawkish as the Forward suggests, the Times argues: because she skipped Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last year and left her name off a pro-Israel letter.

Warren does come out with pleasing talking points like this:

“America has a very special relationship with Israel. Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren’t many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world.”

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio is also a bit questionable in the eyes of Zionists because he didn’t push for more aid to Israel in the wake of the Iran deal. While NJ Senator Cory Booker is a solid Israel supporter.

Alan Dershowitz told Breitbart he’s voting for Clinton. “I think Hillary Clinton is in favor of a muscular foreign policy, slightly more than Obama was. So I’m comfortable voting for her.”

So evidently is the Washington Post’s neoconservative megaphone Jennifer Rubin, who says that neocons need to get on board with Clinton in the wake of the platform battle in which the establishment committee members ixnayed occupation and settlements as problems with Israeli policy and kept Jerusalem. Rubin:

Score one for pro-Israel Democrats: Clinton would return to the bipartisan, pro-Israel stance — albeit with a dose of unrealism about a two-state solution — in place before the Obama presidency. It behooves Republican internationalists who see Donald Trump as a malevolent, dangerous and erratic voice to praise Clinton when she gets it “right,” as on Israel, and to press her (e.g. on defense spending) where her base would drag her back into an Obama-style foreign policy of appeasement and retrenchment.

Last week, Foreign Policy reported that the neoconservative kingpin Robert Kagan will help host a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton next month. Kagan is to

speak at a Hillary for America fundraiser in Washington’s Logan Circle neighborhood on July 21. According to an invite obtained by FP, the “event will include an off-the-record conversation on America’s continued investment in NATO, key European allies and partners, and the EU.”

Donald Trump is not going to be a laggard on the Israel issue, though. Last week his adviser, David Friedman told Haaretz that Trump would allow Israel to annex the West Bank.  Friedman:

“This is an issue that Israel has to deal with on its own because it will have to deal with the consequences… The Israelis have to make the decision on whether or not to give up land to create a Palestinian state. If the Israelis don’t want to do it, so he doesn’t think they should do it.”

Trump, he stressed, did not see a Palestinian state as “an American imperative” in any way. “Trump’s position is that we have to deal with reality and not hopes and wishes.”

He also called into doubt Palestinian rights to the land, saying, “We don’t accept the idea it is only about land. Nobody really knows how many Palestinians actually live there.”

“I think there are parts of the West Bank that will stay part of Israel in any peace deal. I am sure he wouldn’t have any problem with that at all.”

As for taking in the entirety of the territory, Friedman noted that “that’s a legal issue” but then added that “I don’t think he will have a problem with that but he would expect Israel to continue seeking peace.”

Friedman walked the comments back later; speaking to the Jewish Insider, he said he hadn’t talked to Trump about this “specific” issue.

“Assuming no progress is made and Israel is unable to find a peace partner and Israel determined to unilaterally annex places like the Gush [Etzion settlement  bloc] with a commitment to continue to explore opportunities for peace, I don’t think Mr. Trump would object,” Friedman told Jewish Insider.

“My reference to the annexation of the West Bank was to those areas which all sides have agreed would be part of Israel under any circumstances,” he explained. “They are predominantly if not exclusively inhabited by Jews, most of whom work inside the Green Line. I am hard pressed to see how this would prejudice continuing peace negotiations which we would encourage.”

Thanks to Adam Horowitz, Annie Robbins, and Yakov Hirsch.

Philip Weiss

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

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13 Responses

  1. Scott on June 28, 2016, 4:18 pm

    Well Trump obviously doesn’t know or care too much, so I’ll take his “let them annex the West Bank” as 1) contempt for the corrupt PA and 2) an anti-Zionist strategy designed to stop sparing Israel the costs of occupation and 3) further delegitimizing Israel.

    • Rusty Pipes on June 28, 2016, 5:39 pm

      Oh no, he’s gonna broker a deal, a huge deal. More beautiful than any deal you could imagine. He’d love to tell you all of the details he has in store for the deal. But then he’d give away his negotiating position. But it’s gonna be beautiful. All sides will love it — especially his friends, the Israelis.

  2. Parity on June 28, 2016, 5:37 pm

    What a depressing article! I’m totally disillusioned with Warren, and Tom Friedman is even more tribal than I had realized. Add to that Barbara Lee’s No vote on the pro-Palestinian amendments as a member of the Democratic Platform Committee. The Green Party is the only party we can rely on.

    Note to Elizabeth Warren: Why doesn’t your concern about big money’s influence on our economy extend to big money’s influence on our foreign policy?

  3. annie on June 28, 2016, 7:24 pm

    Warren would be the natural pick to win over supporters of another progressive Democratic icon — Vermont senator Bernie Sanders…

    i doubt warren is going to help “win over” any sanders supporters who wouldn’t have voted for clinton anyway. all this “israel hawk” messaging is going to further distance sanders supporters from warren tho.

    • Rusty Pipes on June 29, 2016, 2:05 pm

      Warren could woo back the “Run, Warren, Run” progressives who pushed her to be a candidate for over a year and only reluctantly jumped on the Bernie bandwagon when they finally accepted that her “no” meant “no.” A Warren pick could also help some other progressive Democrats feel less depressed about the Clinton ticket. But for those progressives who were attracted to Bernie primarily for his economic message, a Warren pick would have to be more than symbolic: Hillary would have to do more to make them feel hopeful — like taking Bill off the economic team (if she had to pick out china, so can he), and accepting Bernie’s economic proposals in the DNC platform.

      But some progressive Democrats feel so angry and betrayed by the DNC and the Clinton people that they will not vote for her, no matter who her running mate is (Warren’s sounding like a typical fundraising Senator at AIPAC won’t help Hillary win these folks over). Most Independent Bernie supporters I have met would rather vote for Jill Stein.

  4. ckg on June 28, 2016, 8:56 pm

    “Alan Dershowitz told Breitbart …”

    Breitbart seems to be Dershowitz’s biggest fan.

  5. DaBakr on June 28, 2016, 11:40 pm

    i am pretty certain i remember an elizabeth warren press conference from a couple years ago where she brushed off criticism of the hyper-hysteria surrounding the zionist and israel hating left in dumping as much criticism on israel during the 2014 campaign in gaza-especially in the case of the if targeting a hospital where missiles where stored (with the knowledge of surge, ken roth) and children were shielded by the hamas. warren simply stated the rules of war on the bombing of hospitals which is almost absolute -except when a belligerent party uses the hospital to store and launch weapons. warren understood why there aren’t absolute rules on this whereas pro-palestinian groups went ballistic and scoured rules and regs for the tiniest of infinitesimal clauses to make a case against the if and as usual, in the end no case was made but a lot of press noise generated and new israel-haters found. mission accomplished?

    to be accepted by the hard left zionist-haters warren would have to ignore the actual regulations and rules for warfare and go along with the zionist-hating fantasy version that MW supports.

  6. Elizabeth Block on June 29, 2016, 10:35 am

    I expect Hillary to suffer (if that is the word) from the Maggie Thatcher Syndrome, i.e. a woman in power needing to show that she has bigger balls than any man, and to do so by making war.

    • Rusty Pipes on June 29, 2016, 2:08 pm

      She has already shown that proclivity as Secretary of State in Honduras, Ukraine, Libya and Syria.

    • Mooser on June 29, 2016, 3:36 pm

      “I expect Hillary to suffer (if that is the word) from the Maggie Thatcher Syndrome, i.e. a woman in power needing to show that she has bigger balls than any man, and to do so by making war.”

      That’s funny, I expect her to exhibit the Hilary Clinton syndrome and show she’s one of the guys by making war when the right men tell her to.

      • Citizen on July 2, 2016, 11:19 pm

        @ Mooser

        Yes, Hillary will consult with Haim Saban continuously, and as she told us all last November, she will meet with Netanyahu “in my first month in office.”

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