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Cory Booker says there’s no ‘greater moral vandalism’ than abandoning Israel (and he’ll cut off his hand first)

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Yesterday the Intercept published a secret recording of Senator Cory Booker meeting with a New Jersey delegation at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington last week — AIPAC is the leading Israel lobby organization — and the speech is so over the top it’s hard to fathom. It ends with Booker consecrating Israel and the U.S. as one in the name of Martin Luther King and his murder in Memphis, a sermon by the senator you will have to read to believe.

Booker also says: Donald Trump is endangering Israel’s security in Syria; there is no “greater moral vandalism” than dividing the US and Israel; Booker would cut off his right hand before abandoning Israel; he lobbied black congresspeople not to boycott Netanyahu’s 2015 speech because we need to show a “united front” with Israel; AIPAC is an “incredible… great” organization whose mission is urgent now because of rising anti-Semitism; he “text messages back and forth like teenagers” with AIPAC’s president Mort Fridman; and he swears to uphold bipartisan support in the Congress for Israel and give it even more money.

And Booker says not one word about Palestinian human rights or Israel’s persecution of Palestinians. That’s right. A  progressive senator who invokes Martin Luther King Jr. over and over again has not one word to say about the Jim Crow status of Palestinians while describing Israel as a “country that I love so deeply, that changed my life from the day I went there as a 24 year old.” I assume this really is all about the Benjamins. Booker is running for president and needs mainstream Jewish/Zionist funding.

The progressive base of the Democratic Party is going against Israel, but Booker isn’t leaving the choir.

Here’s the Jersey senator’s cut-off-my-right-hand moment. Booker lavishes praise on AIPAC and then echoes the famous psalm:

Don’t fall prey to cynical attempts to try to pit members of this great organization against the Democratic Party…

Israel is not political to me. It’s not political. I was a supporter of Israel well before I was a United State Senator. I was coming to AIPAC conferences well before I knew that one day I would be a federal officer. If I forget thee, o Israel, may I cut off my right hand. [Applause]

Here’s the long Martin Luther King sermon at the end. The setup is that Booker’s gone to Israel and the region more than any other place, and on one visit, he did a late night desert campfire with a “buddy from New York” and two “very big and intimidating” Israelis. The Israelis pointed out Mt. Nebo in Jordan and Booker says he “got chills” because that’s where Moses saw the promised land.

And Martin Luther King in his last speech, hours before he would die, spoke about Mt. Nebo, he said, I have been to the mountaintop and I have looked over and I have seen the promised land. I may not make it, but we as a people will make it to the promised land, and I literally said to the men, please pull out your Ipads and your Torah, something you could only do in modern Israel, and I played that speech. We fell silent as the words of Martin Luther King echoed into the desert. And then I said to them, that if you went across the planet now to a place called Memphis, to a spot called the Lorraine Motel, and you saw where Martin Luther King was slain, the man who just spoke that speech that we heard, if you go there right now, there would be words from the Torah on the spot where he was slain and murdered and what were those words?… They’re words from that week’s parsha, when I was there. Open up to this week’s parsha and they did…. [Joseph’s brothers] throw him in the pit to die, and I’m telling you, I’m telling you right now, this country right now, we’re in a pit. When we should be unified, we’re separated and divided. Americans all over this country feel alone, feel isolated, but we’re not, we’re one people with one cause, but that’s how people feel.

And when a King was slain who led a movement where blacks and whites, Christians and Jews found their connection so deep that they were willing to die together like Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner… That leader of that movement, where he was slain– there are words from that week’s Torah portion… It says right there, go to the Lorraine Motel… it says right there Joseph’s brother’s words. “Behold. Here cometh the dreamer, let us slay him and see what becomes of the dream.”

When we read those words from the Torah, those four men in that desert, the lines that divided us evaporated, the ties that bound us were there. We may have been black and white, Christian and Jewish, American and Israeli, but we were one. Because we believed in the dream. The dream of Israel, the dream of America, the dream of democracies. That people can be free. That though we may pray different or look different, that we are one, as King said, all caught in inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a common garment of destiny, that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere..

To all my brothers and sisters right here, what will become of the dream? In a country right now of rising hate and bigotry, what will become of our dream? Where tribalism is pitting this nation against itself, What will become of our dream?…

Our call right now is to unify again. To not let our petty differences overwhelm our common cause… We are the caretakers of the dream, the dream of Israel, the dream of America, the dream of humanity. And I believe in my heart that if we can get beyond this divisiveness, if we can overcome hate with our love… I promise you that if we can love like that and live like that, then this country’s best days will be… ahead of it, that Israel’s security will be affirmed, I promise you. If we now take care of the dream, then Israel and America will live that prophet’s ideal, that we will be nations that will be a light unto all nations.

I know that was a lot! Here are some of the other moments.

Booker says that the AIPAC “conference is coming at a deeply critical time” because of the rise of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. in recent years. He segues right from the rise of anti-Semitism to the rise of anti-Zionism. “We must take acts on a local stage against vicious acts that target Israel. That’s why I’m cosponsor of Senate Bill 720. Israel anti-Boycott Act,” he says.

Booker deplores the Republican effort in the Senate to push legislation that divided Democrats and Republicans over Israel. He says that he “worked with AIPAC on the last BDS bill… condemning the BDS movement for its threat to the state of Israel” and sought to make the legislation acceptable to everyone. But the Republican leadership insisted on a partisan bill.

This is not in the AIPAC spirit.

This incredible organization has been trying to say again and again. Partisanship stops at the water’s edge… What greater tradition has there been in America… going back to the founding of Israel… that we have common cause with the state of Israel?… God, I find myself  fighting every year to make sure that the bipartisan commitment stays.

As part of that fight, Booker consulted with AIPAC in 2015 when Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress in defiance of the Iran deal, to keep black congresspeople from boycotting the speech. They should hang in there out of respect for the office of prime minister:

I am here today because I am a fighter…. I got on the phone fighting with others in the Congressional Black Caucus, or encouraging others in the Congressional Black Caucus not to boycott the speech. Not because of Netanyahu and his policies. But because we need to continually show a unified front in our support for Israel. The same way I told people not to boycott Donald Trump’s inaugural speech…

These offices — prime minister of Israel or the presidency of the Untied States — we have to have a deep commitment to our institutions, to our alliances, to our relationships… Right now… what greater moral vandalism is there… than those who seek to divide this country, those who seek to undermine the bonds that tie us together in our common commitment.

Booker says that Donald Trump is endangering Israel by going wobbly on Syria/Iran when Israel’s neighborhood just gets more dangerous.

This administration’s seeming willingness to pull away from Syria makes it more dangerous to us, makes it more dangerous to Israel, and this is not sound policy…. When you’re tweeting about pulling out of Syria within days, when that would create a vacuum that would not only endanger the United States of America but it would endanger our ally Israel as well. We need a comprehensive strategy for that region because Israel’s neighborhood is getting more dangerous than less. Syria is becoming a highway for Iran to move more precision guided missiles to Hezbollah. There has got to be a strategy in this country to support Israel that is bipartisan that is wise and that frankly calls upon all the resources of this country, not just military.

Booker assured a questioner he’s always been for more money to Israel.

Unequivocally 100 percent absolutely [yes] to the 3.3 billion [a year]. I have been on the front lines every time an MOU is up to make sure Israel gets the funding it needs. I even pushed for more funding.

But that’s not enough.

I want our partnership to go even further than just security alliance. I am emboldened with a hope for humanity when I visit Israel and see what they’re doing in other areas beside military…. [Like water reclamation] This is the power of Israel. It’s the country that when they win a war, they turn the keys to the Temple Mount back over to people that were trying to rid them of their country.


Philip Weiss

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

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44 Responses

  1. mikeo on March 31, 2019, 2:44 pm

    Is this what’s known as “Fellating the Donkey”


    • eljay on March 31, 2019, 3:36 pm

      || mikeo: Is this what’s known as “Fellating the Donkey” … ||

      The Zionist donkey, yes. Big time.

    • JWalters on April 2, 2019, 1:58 am

      Cory: “I’d cut off my right hand for Israel!”

      Nancy: “I’d cut off my right breast for Israel!”

      Chuck: “I’d cut off my left nut for Israel!”

      Donald: “I already have. That Sheldon drives a hard bargain.”

  2. annie on March 31, 2019, 3:44 pm

    i only got about 5 minutes into that recording yesterday, i couldn’t take it. just could not sit there and listen any longer. grotesque.

    thank you for doing it for us. what a loser. and he wants to be president. this should end his political career once and for all.

    • Keith on March 31, 2019, 5:20 pm

      ANNIE- “i only got about 5 minutes into that recording yesterday, i couldn’t take it.”

      Talk about depressing, below I link to a video of a Chris hedges interview of Vandana Shiva on the assault on global agriculture by Monsanto-Bayer, along with the IT and financial types. Unfortunately, it is essential viewing. No joke.

      • annie on March 31, 2019, 5:51 pm

        thanks keith, i will check it out!

    • Misterioso on April 1, 2019, 9:47 am

      @annie, et al

      Senator Cory Booker’s rant provides more evidence that a major shift is steadily taking place regarding relations between “Israel” and the United States, its unquestioning bought and paid for supporter and benefactor since 1948. The Zionists are panicking, circling the wagons and trotting out lie after lie. It is no longer possible to hide and rationalize their monstrous crimes against the indigenous Christian and Muslim Palestinian Arabs, which include mass murder, brutal occupation, dispossession, collective punishments, ethnic cleansing and in general, escalating violations of hard won international humanitarian law.

      As is screamingly obvious, the entity known as “Israel” is descending ever faster into the pit of fascism. People around the world, including Americans, especially youth, are waking up and finally comprehending the hideous truth. It’s only going to get worse for the Zionists, much worse.

      • annie on April 1, 2019, 1:02 pm

        Misterioso, everytime i think of cory booker i remember that freak rabbi shmuley going completely crazy when booker backed the iran deal. there were dozens of articles and references about it from the jerusalem post to nyt to algemiener (or whatever it’s called). here’s one

        cory bounced the rabbis children on his knee! he cooked with his wife! the rabbi took him all over and introduced him to everyone. they studied the torah together for “thousands” of hours. cory said he would ALWAYS be loyal! and …

        The Jewish community responded by making Cory Booker the single largest recipient of Jewish political contributions of any candidate in the nation.

        Then came the Iran deal.

        Cory Booker shocked the Jewish community to its core by coming out in favor of a regime that promised the Jews a second holocaust…..

        this was 3 years ago. what did booker do to get back in the good graces of the rabbi? he must have gotten on his knees.

    • Lillian Rosengarten on April 1, 2019, 9:54 am

      I never really trusted Booker. Now I know he is despicable. So are most of the others. I am
      rooting for Stacy Abrams and Pete Buttigieg.

      • annie on April 1, 2019, 1:15 pm

        lillian, i listen to an interview with buttigieg by a jewish audio show about his trip to israel and it was nauseating. he was fawning all over the place about how innovating israel was and security bla bla bla. that was all i needed to hear. and this was after i’d already spent awhile (wasting time!) checking him out on youtube including a mark zuckerberg ride along in a car and several speeches.

        anyway, he lost any possibility of my vote.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on April 1, 2019, 2:02 pm

        Did he disclose who paid for that trip to Israel, Annie?

        Oh silly me! Given that he loves Israel so much, obviously he paid for it himself. Obviously.

      • Bumblebye on April 1, 2019, 3:47 pm

        Buttigieg is just a momentary media darling. Nothing to write home about.

      • Tuyzentfloot on April 2, 2019, 4:58 am

        Glenn Greenwald points to some excellent comments form Buttigieg, and I appreciate Greenwald. He is too nice to mainstream journalists and doesn’t hold people to high enough standards , and so do I.

      • Eric on April 2, 2019, 10:58 pm

        Lillian: Pete Buttigieg is a Zionist shill and lackey, totally at odds with the progressive base and a clone of Pelosi/Hoyer/Shumer. Have you lost your marbles?

    • Mooser on April 1, 2019, 12:52 pm

      You would think they could include a couple of caveats (‘Israel must continue in a democratic path’.. or something, anything ) just for their own protection, just to leave themselves a way back. But they go for the groveling submission.

      • annie on April 1, 2019, 1:30 pm

        i’m just wondering where he can go from here mooser, if he keeps upping the ante. i guess we’ll all find out soon enough.

      • Mooser on April 1, 2019, 2:06 pm

        “I’m just wondering where he can go from here mooser”

        Hopefully, from here to obscurity.

      • Lillian Rosengarten on April 1, 2019, 2:11 pm

        Annie, Im sorry I don’t agree with you about Buttigieg. I knew his father a professor from Croatia, a wonderful family. Buttigeig is for Palestinian rights completely.

      • annie on April 1, 2019, 2:30 pm

        oh that’s interesting Lillian.

    • genesto on April 1, 2019, 1:30 pm

      Certainly hope that’s so, Annie. But the lobby still has all the Benjamins, so Booker may be around for a while. The progressive wing of the Party (including the Congressional Black Caucus), the one that Cheri Bustos and Nancy Pelosi want so desperately to destroy, will have their say in denouncing this charlatan of a ‘progressive’. But the Benjamins, at least for now, may win out.

      This will certainly add to the drama building between the two wings of the Party. There figures to be a battle royal over this and other issues as the 2020 campaign draws closer and closer. Should be great theater, at least.

      • echinococcus on April 1, 2019, 7:29 pm

        “The progressive wing of the Party (including the Congressional Black Caucus), the one that Cheri Bustos and Nancy Pelosi want so desperately to destroy, will have their say in denouncing this charlatan of a ‘progressive’.”

        Denounce? Your “progressive wing of the Party (including the Congressional Black Caucus)” is just as much of a warmongering snakepit of charlatans as any, and Zionist to boot. And as much on the take from Zionists as any Pelosis and Bamas.

        Sometimes, friend, there is no hope under the existing conditions and you gotta tell the patient it’s curtains. False hope gives horrendous results like this country.

  3. Keith on March 31, 2019, 5:09 pm

    Is it possible that Cory Booker is one of Terry Heaton’s Christian Zionists simply doing his best to motivate these Jewish Zionists into supporting Israel?

    • Philip Munger on April 2, 2019, 1:11 pm

      There is a long tradition of African Americans invoking part of or even all of Psalm 137. Sen. Booker’s statement, ” If I forget thee, O Israel, may I cut off my right hand,” paraphrases Verse 5: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.”

      Psalm 137, although important to Christian Zionists, has its roots within not just the African American community, dating back at least to Frederic Douglass, but from other Western and Eastern Hemisphere African traditions, from Jamaica to Ethiopia.

      Perhaps Sen. Booker seeks to unite the Black and the Jewish traditions of using Jerusalem and the yearning to return there as both metaphor and real wish. However, we need to remember, especially as so many young Palestinians are killed in their yearning to return, that Psalm 137 ends with a line that reminds me of that IDF-related t-shirt with the crosshairs on a pregnant Palestinian, which reads “One Shot – Two Kills,” Verse 9, the final Verse of the Psalm Sen. Booker paraphrases, reads “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.”

      • eljay on April 2, 2019, 3:00 pm

        || Philip Munger: … that IDF-related t-shirt with the crosshairs on a pregnant Palestinian, which reads “One Shot – Two Kills” … ||

        A “most moral” t-shirt.

      • Talkback on April 2, 2019, 3:12 pm
      • John O on April 3, 2019, 12:19 pm

        Interesting. I happen to have my Bible on my desk right now, as – believe it or not – some loonies out there are quoting the Bible to prove that Brexit was prophesied in the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of St Luke (trust me – I’m not making this up).

        As a Catholic, I’m using the Douay version (the version that is nearly identical to the King James Bible). So, in my version its Psalm 136, and the verse is “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten.” A bit less bloodthirsty than the version quoted above. However, having read the whole Psalm and the footnote trying to explain the weird final verse, I have to conclude that it’s nonsense.

      • Mooser on April 3, 2019, 1:29 pm

        ” I have to conclude that it’s nonsense.”

        Well, you never know about all this right-hand stuff. Many ancient warriors say abstaining from self abuse increases their military ardor.

      • RoHa on April 3, 2019, 10:45 pm

        Starring Theresa May as the Whore of Babylon?

  4. peterfeld on March 31, 2019, 5:28 pm

    Cory Booker is so cancelled.

  5. Steve Macklevore on March 31, 2019, 5:32 pm

    A disgusting speech.

    He’s either sincere, in which case he should convert to Judaism and make aliyah as soon as possible.


    He’s a pathological liar and unfit for any role in government in any democracy.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on April 1, 2019, 3:19 pm

      Sincere? If the political winds of change were to blow, these guys would dump Israel faster than you could say ‘campaign donations’. Same in Westminster and everywhere else the well funded ‘friends of Israel’ hold court.

      • eljay on April 1, 2019, 3:32 pm

        Non-Jewish Zionists may outnumber Jewish Zionists, but it’s the latter who are:
        – doing all the dirty work / “necessary evil” / (war) crimes; and
        – anti-Semitically conflating all Jews with Zionism and the “Jewish State” project.

        If (when?) the blowback hits, non-Jewish Zionists likely won’t have anything to worry about but – thanks to efforts of Jewish Zionists – non-Zionist Jews likely will.

        I don’t understand why Zionists hate Jews so much.

      • Mooser on April 1, 2019, 3:56 pm

        Is there anything else, any other issue, any political principle to which Booker has given such a completely unqualified endorsement?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on April 2, 2019, 10:53 am


        Funny, isn’t it? On almost all other issues politicians will stress the often very slight policy differences they have with their opponents, but when it comes to a minor non-alligned minor Asian state, they’re all in complete unison.

        Most odd.

  6. JWalters on March 31, 2019, 7:45 pm

    Some time in the future –

    Cory: “I’m shocked, shocked to find ethnic cleansing going on in Palestine.”

    Advisor: “That’s pretty good, but put more punch into it.”

    Cory: “I’m shocked!! shocked!! to find ethnic cleansing going on in Palestine!!!

    Advisor: “Much better. But don’t over-act, pull it back just a bit.”

    Cory: “I’m shocked! shocked! to find ethnic cleansing going on in Palestine!!”

    Advisor: “That’s perfect! Do it just like that.”

  7. CigarGod on April 1, 2019, 12:26 am

    I wonder what they’ve got on him?

  8. YoniFalic on April 1, 2019, 12:45 pm

    I have written this assertion before, but it bears repeating.

    Abolishing the abolition of SOI today is as evil as opposing the abolition of US slavery before the US Civil War.

    Having made the primary point, I direct attention to the below Forward article. People tell me that Nathan Guttman is a genuine reporter even if I probably don’t agree with him on many issues.

    The Bromance Ends: What Split Cory Booker and Shmuley Boteach?

    • YoniFalic on April 1, 2019, 3:02 pm

      I meant the following.

      “Opposing the abolition of SOI today is as evil as opposing the abolition of US slavery before the US Civil War.”

  9. Ossinev on April 1, 2019, 2:38 pm

    “I wonder what they’ve got on him?”

    More likely perhaps I wonder how much they are giving him ?

  10. amigo on April 1, 2019, 4:09 pm

    Dressed in IDF Olive green . Booker would pass for one of the most moral army.s finest.

  11. HarryLaw on April 2, 2019, 11:30 am

    Please Mr Booker, don’t run away from the orderlies, they are only trying to help you.

  12. Mooser on April 7, 2019, 12:14 pm

    Gee, I feel just like the prettiest girl at the dance. Everybody wants to dance with me.

    • Keith on April 7, 2019, 4:33 pm

      MOOSER- “Everybody wants to dance with me.”

      That’s because you look so adorable in your pink pussyhat! It really highlights your antlers.

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