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‘New York Times’ reports that Jewish donors shape Democrats’ regressive position on Israel

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This weekend the New York Times breaks one of the biggest taboos, describing the responsibility of Jewish donors for the Democratic Party’s slavish support for Israel. Nathan Thrall’s groundbreaking piece repeats a lot of data we’ve reported here and says in essence that it really is about the Benjamins, as Rep. Ilhan Omar said so famously.

The donor class of the party is overwhelmingly Jewish, and Jews are still largely wed to Zionism– that’s the nut.

Though that party is breaking up. Thrall’s labors are minimized by the New York Times with the headline “The Battle Over B.D.S.,” but his message is that the progressive base has a highly-critical view of Israel that the leadership has refused to reflect, and that’s about to change. We’re inside the tent. The party is going to have to reflect pro-Palestinian positions. Ben Rhodes tells Thrall that the moment of overcoming the fear of the pro-Israel lobby (as the Cuba fear was overcome) is about to happen.

The article is a thorough-going rebuke of every journalist and former official (Daniel Shapiro, former ambassador under Obama, for instance, as well as the Forward and the Times opinion writers) who says that money is not at the root, or very near the root, of Democratic Party support.

So let’s follow the money, and review the money quotes. Deep into his piece, Thrall explains why progressives aren’t being heard. Megadonors.

For all the recent tumult over Israel in Washington, the policy debate remains extremely narrow… Despite pointed critiques of American support for Israel by representatives like Betty McCollum of Minnesota, [Rashida] Tlaib and Omar, there is little willingness among Democrats to argue publicly for substantially changing longstanding policy toward Israel. In part, some Hill staff members and former White House officials say, this is because of the influence of megadonors: Of the dozens of personal checks greater than $500,000 made out to the largest PAC for Democrats in 2018, the Senate Majority PAC, around three-fourths were written by Jewish donors. This provides fodder for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and for some, it is the elephant in the room. Though the number of Jewish donors known to prioritize pro-Israel policies above all other issues is small, there are few if any pushing in the opposite direction…

As we reported from Ben Rhodes’s book, Rhodes tells Thrall that donors forced Obama to hew to the Netanyahu line.

According to Ben Rhodes, a former deputy national-security adviser and one of Obama’s closest confidants, several members of the Obama administration wanted to adopt a more assertive policy toward Israel but felt that their hands were tied. “The Washington view of Israel-Palestine is still shaped by the donor class… The donor class is profoundly to the right of where the activists are, and frankly, where the majority of the Jewish community is.” Peter Joseph, an emeritus chairman of the center-left Israel Policy Forum, told me that the views of major Democratic Jewish donors could act as a check on the leftward pull by progressive voters who are strongly critical of Israel: “I can’t imagine that mainstream Democratic Jewish donors are going to be happy about any Democratic Party that is moving in that direction.”

Off the record, people go further. The Obama administration didn’t just support the occupation, it kept supporting it right up till the November 2016 election so that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t lose donors. We reported as much at the time.

Another former member of the Obama White House, who asked not to be named, fearing professional retaliation, said that concerns about donors among Democrats dominated not just “what was done but what was not done, and what was not even contemplated.” Even the timing of the administration’s policies toward Israel was dictated by domestic politics. Faced with a 2016 United Nations Security Council resolution condemning settlements, the Obama administration abstained (effectively supporting the resolution), but only after having signaled it would not consider backing any resolution before November. “There is a reason the U.N. vote did not come up before the election in November,” the former official said. “Was it because you were going to lose voters to Donald Trump? No. It was because you were going to have skittish donors. That, and the fact that we didn’t want Clinton to face pressure to condemn the resolution or be damaged by having to defend it.”

Everyone knows this math. And the Democrats fear they’ll lose all their money.

What worries establishment Democrats, the former official added, is that the partisan divide over Israel will concretize — with Republicans defined as pro-Israel, Democrats defined as anti-Israel — and that the party coffers will empty. Joel Rubin, a deputy assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs in the Obama administration, former political director at J Street and a founding board member of the centrist Jewish Democratic Council of America, agreed: “The fight over Israel used to be about voters. It’s more about donors now.”

Thrall says the Democratic Party leadership is perfectly happy with AIPAC, but he leaves out what we reported here: the extent of the reliance on Jewish donors is “gigantic” and “shocking,” according to insiders JJ Goldberg and the head of Emily’s List, and AIPAC gets to script congressional campaigns on their middle east positions before the candidates can raise money from the Jewish community.

We always said Sanders could be better on Palestine because he avoided the donor class of the Democratic party. Rhodes agrees.

“If you don’t rely on a traditional fund-raising model, then you have more freedom on these types of issues,” Rhodes said. “You’re not worried about the one-hour phone call that you’re going to have to do after the presidential debate with a really angry donor.”

The key element here is, older Jewish donors are conservative about Israel. A former Clinton campaign official:

“There’s no major donor that I can think of who is looking for someone to take a Bernie-like approach.” And whereas none of the most liberal Jewish donors have threatened to withdraw support because a candidate was too pro-Israel, pro-Israel donors and PACs have a history of financing opposition to candidates deemed unfriendly. Haim Saban, one of Hillary Clinton’s top five donors in 2016, has financed opponents of Democratic candidates critical of Israel

Sadly the Jewish community is largely supportive of Israel, as Thrall shows. By and large, American Jews are Zionists. Trump’s horrors in the Middle East are OK by them.

In the same [Mellman] poll — conducted after the United States closed the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington, moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, appointed a fund-raiser for the settlements as U.S. ambassador and cut humanitarian aid to Palestinians — roughly half of American Jews said they approved of President Trump’s handling of relations with Israel. On what is considered the most divisive issue in U.S.-Israel relations, the establishment of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a November 2018 post-midterm election poll of more than 1,000 American Jews that was commissioned by J Street, the pro-Israel lobby aligned with Democrats, found that roughly half said the expansion of settlements had no impact on how they felt about Israel.

Those Jews are conservative compared to the base, which is increasingly people of color and real progressives.

Members of the Democratic Party’s progressive activist base, by contrast, find themselves light years from their representatives in Washington.

And any declension in US support is seen as alienating the donor class.

Joel Rubin said: “The problem for center-left groups that are more critical of Israel is that the Jewish donor class is comfortable with current U.S. policies. They just don’t like Trump on other issues.” In October, just weeks before the 2018 midterm election, as the Democratic leadership was working to take back the House, a Democratic staff member, who asked not to be named for fear of professional retaliation, told me that it was important to retain the support of all major donors, not just the most liberal ones. Referring to two of the largest Jewish donors to Democrats, on opposite ends of the political spectrum, the staff member said: “Our members need George Soros and Haim Saban. And they need everything in between.”

Thrall shows that fear of losing donors played a role when the University of Michigan student body passed a narrow divestment measure last fall– to divest only from companies doing business in the occupation— and still the administration said No way.

Michigan’s administration quickly issued a statement that it would not appoint a committee to investigate divestment. A month later, the board of regents released a letter backing the decision. (The two regents who didn’t sign it were the only people of color on the board.) Like many large American universities, the University of Michigan has extensive research partnerships with Israeli universities. And many of its institutes and buildings are named after alumni donors who have contributed large sums to Israel or pro-Israel groups.

Lara Friedman of Foundation for Middle East Peace and formerly of Peace Now continues to blaze a trail by honestly describing the intolerance in the Jewish community for debate of Israel. That community has pushed the anti-BDS legislation.

“The American Jewish community, which is broadly speaking liberal, has allowed itself in the name of defending Israel and fighting B.D.S. to become the leading edge of illiberalism by pushing legislation to curb free speech.”

OK now let’s get to some of the good news here. Thrall’s overall point is that the battle is breaking out, thanks to those women of color in the House and the progressive base.

As the Democratic Party is pulled toward a more progressive base and a future when a majority of the party will most likely be people of color, tensions over Israel have erupted.

In the past several months, a fierce debate over American support for Israel has periodically dominated the news cycle and overshadowed the Democrats’ policymaking agenda.

BDS is gaining ground. Israel knows it.

Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry, told me, “Despite the overwhelming support for Israel in the U.S., we see that the attempt to delegitimize Israel is gaining ground, especially among extreme left-wing marginal groups.”

When have you ever seen such a fair assessment of BDS in the Times?

Instead of tying itself to a specific outcome, the B.D.S. movement insisted on these three principles, which could be fulfilled any number of ways: two states, one state with equal individual rights, a confederation with equal collective rights.

This is a simple turn by Thrall on why Zionism is racist at its core.

Following the 1948 war, which erupted after the United Nations announced its plan to partition Palestine into two states, the Jews who fled could return; Palestinians could not.

Here’s another great moment, brilliant reporting.

I asked [Zionist Organization of America’s Morton] Klein why he believed it was “utterly racist and despicable,” as he put it, for [Richard] Spencer to promote a state for only one ethnic group but not racist for Israel to do so. “Israel is a unique situation,” he said. “This is really a Jewish state given to us by God.” He added, “God did not create a state for white people or for black people.” Senator Charles Schumer, the Democratic minority leader, similarly told the Aipac conference in 2018: “Of course, we say it’s our land, the Torah says it, but they don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace.”

Thrall says Israel is Jim Crow society thru and thru.

Currently, hundreds of Israeli towns have admissions committees that can bar Palestinian citizens from living in them based on “social suitability.” (It’s illegal for people to be excluded on the basis of race, religion or nationality, but the rubric of “social suitability” permits the rejection of applicants who are not Zionist, haven’t served in the army or don’t intend to send their children to Hebrew-language schools.) More than 900 towns in Israel contain no Arab families, according to Yosef Jabareen, a professor at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. Palestinian schools can lose government funding if they commemorate the Nakba, the displacement of Palestinians in 1948. Israeli law forbids citizens to obtain citizenship or permanent residency for Palestinian spouses from the West Bank and Gaza.

And that’s why MD Rep. Donna Edwards and two white congressional colleagues locked arms and sang We Shall Overcome in apartheid Hebron:

Edwards and her colleagues looked up to see garbage-filled nets hanging above their heads, put up to catch trash thrown by Israeli settlers. “We had never seen anything like that,” she told me recently. “Hebron is the place where I think you can see in the most frightening way what the injustice is, where you have people on one side of the street who live one way and people on another side of the street living another way. And streets that some people can cross and walk on, but other people cannot. To me, it looked like the stories that my mother and my grandmother told me about living in the South.”

The great news at the end of the article. Edwards et al are taking over the party. Thrall cites Electronic Intifada’s influence, and Jewish Voice for Peace, and IfNotNow too.

Politicians speaking on Israel-Palestine used to worry primarily about attacks from pro-Israel media and activist groups; now progressives are starting to feel some heat from the pro-Palestinian side.

But it’s over. All the anti-Omar stuff of recent weeks is just the froth on the wave. Jim Zogby got slamdunked on the platform in 2016 by the Clintonites. But that wont’ happen again.

James Zogby…  says that standing for Palestinian rights is guaranteed to be a major topic in the 2020 election: “It’s a smell-test issue. If you go to young people, they know you stink if you don’t talk about it right.” A senior Democratic staff member on Capitol Hill told me: “People like Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Bernie Sanders have opened the floodgates on this issue. It may be painful for the party as we move in a more progressive direction. But we’ll come out in a better place — a more moral and evenhanded place — in the end.”

This piece is going to resonate for weeks. It’s going to come under fierce attack. Because it’s huge, and it’s calm and factual. It doesn’t say a word about Christian Zionists because they don’t have influence in the Democratic Party. And Thrall did the shrewd thing of avoiding the word “lobby.” I guess it’s been anathematized, but that’s what this article is about. That and race. People of color are driving this change. They are going to be punished. Betty McCollum doesn’t get taken to the woodshed for calling it apartheid, but one county west, Ilhan Omar is going to be primaried next year.

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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16 Responses

  1. Donald
    Donald on March 28, 2019, 5:03 pm

    ” This piece is going to resonate for weeks. It’s going to come under fierce attack. Because it’s huge, and it’s calm and factual. It doesn’t say a word about Christian Zionists because they don’t have influence in the Democratic Party. ”

    Wrong. Read it again. He focuses mostly on the struggle within the Democratic Party so he doesn’t say much about them, but he does say that they are among the most pro-Israel groups, but are also mostly Republican voters.

    • bcg
      bcg on March 28, 2019, 6:25 pm

      I just read it again and I think your characterization of the piece as “mostly on the struggle within the Democratic Party” is flat out wrong – it covers that but a lot else as well. It’s a big sprawling piece that covers campus politics, the human rights situation is Israel, the political temperature in the American Jewish community, the whole anti-semitism debate in the U.S. and so on. I take the last paragraph as support for Phil’s assertion that the piece will have an impact:

      During his introduction of Sanders, King spoke of the Vermont senator’s family members murdered in the Holocaust, and how coming of age in these circumstances “gave Bernie a deep sense of right and wrong.” King said: “He has always rejected the status quo. He spoke out against apartheid in South Africa, when — crazily — that was an unpopular thing to do. And even today,” King added, “he speaks out against apartheidlike conditions in Palestine, even though it’s not popular.”…The crowd erupted in cheers.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso on March 29, 2019, 8:54 am

        @beg, et al

        Where it really counts, in the minds and hearts of young Americans, Palestinians have the momentum and support for “Israel” is in free fall.

        https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2019/03/08/israel-lobby-and-pro-israel-house-democrats-tried-to-excommunicate-ilhan-omar-they-failed/

        Tikun Olam, March 8/19

        “Israel Lobby and Pro-Israel House Democrats Tried to Excommunicate Ilhan Omar, They Failed”

        By Richard Silverstein

        EXCERPT:
        “For those who don’t remember their medieval history, during the Spanish Inquisition the newly triumphant Catholic monarchs adopted torture techniques to root out false converts to Christianity from the surviving remnants of the old regime. That included both Jews and Muslims who were tortured on the rack, also known as the auto-da-fe, when suspected of observing Jewish and Muslim rituals or traditions in the secret of their homes. In this modern age, it would be nice (but naïve) to think that we’d passed the stage when mental and physical torture would be used to elicit confessions of sin from victims. Apparently, the Inquisition and its machinery are still in use in the U.S. Congress.

        “The 2018 Congressional election marked a watershed, sweeping a new progressive class into office. Most prominent among them were Reps. Rashid Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, women who challenged the system, incumbents, and the Democratic machine to win sweeping victories on truly progressive platforms. Their Middle East agenda was particularly forthright, and therefore shocking: they opposed U.S. aid to Israel, supported BDS and a one state solution (AOC has not expressed herself as explicitly on these issues, but presumably shares many of her colleagues’ views).

        “Anyone who knows the Israel Lobby knew that the other shoe was bound to drop. They just didn’t know when. And it didn’t take long. Both Tlaib and especially Omar have been outspoken on Israel-Palestine since their elections. And their markedly pro-Palestine views have rapidly become grist for the anti-Semitism mill churned by the Lobby and its water-carriers in Congress.

        “First, of course there was the famous ‘Benjamins’ tweet in which Omar noted that members of Congress were obedient to the Lobby because of the hundreds of millions it raises and distributes to loyal pro-Israel candidates. But somehow, noting that the Lobby derived its power from money morphed into outright anti-Semitism. The way this happened was instructive: there is, of course, an ancient anti-Semitic trope that Jews are rich and use their wealth to control the finance, banking, entertainment, and the media sectors, etc. That of course, has nothing to do with the true statement that the Lobby raises and distributes massive lucre to its favored candidates. A reasonable person can see the difference between these two concepts.

        “But the Lobby plays a game of smoke and mirrors. It sees a clear statement attacking it and manages through a bit of hocus-pocus to transform it into a classic anti-Semitic charge, when in actuality there is absolutely no connection.

        “Now, the Lobby has done it again after Omar gave a talk at a Washington DC bookstore in which she criticized those in Congress and the Lobby who had a foreign allegiance: ‘I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is O.K. for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.’

        “By this, of course she meant that groups like Aipac and their Congressional sponsors who take their marching orders either from Israel directly, or who conceive their agenda totally with Israel and its interests in mind. They may believe that the interests of the U.S. and Israel are the same; and that therefore they are not betraying U.S. interests. But anyone who believes that the interests of one of the greatest powers on earth is the same as that of a small Middle Eastern theocratic state is either terribly naïve or worse.

        “After Omar’s statement, the Lobby went into Defcon mode. The attack was launched by Eliot Engel, a veteran of the New York Democratic machine, who attacked the Somali-American Congresswoman:

        “Pro-Israel Jews like Engel are particularly exercised by the implication of dual loyalty. That is, that pro-Israel Jews are more loyal to Israel than America. An especially apt historical phrase connoting dual loyalty is the term ‘Israel Firster.’ It was not invented by an anti-Semite or white supremacist. But rather by the dean of American Jewish historians, Abe Sachar, the first president of Brandeis University. And he used the term to deride precisely the figures Omar is now attacking: a powerful Lobby and its apologists who put Israel before all else. This is a passage from the 1961 American Jewish Yearbook:

        “American Jews continued to object to Israel’s claim that a genuine Jewish life was possible only in Israel. Abram L. Sachar, president of Brandeis University, at the biennial convention of JWB [Jewish Welfare Board], declared on April 2, 1960 that among Jews there is no room ‘for Israel Firsters whose chauvinism and arrogance find nothing relevant or viable in any area outside of Israel.'”

        “The NY Times headline about the speech said Sachar derided the ‘dogma of Israel.’ If American Jews can quarrel over the meaning and primacy of Israel in Jewish life, why would we deny Arab American the same right, considering that their Palestinian sisters and brothers are under the boot heel of Israeli Occupation?

        “It would not be so bad if Israel was a democratic, secular nation like the U.S. and most western democracies. Then at least there would be a confluence of interests and values. But Israel is no longer a democracy. Instead it has become a theocracy, run by fundamentalist extremists bent on holy war with the Muslim world. Israel’s interests are diverging from those of the democratic west more than ever. And this fissure can only continue to widen as Israel sinks ever deeper into mass murder, Occupation and oppression. Israel’s interests and America’s are no longer the same. Not even close. That little sliver of daylight which presidents used to boast about not existing when it came to Israel and U.S. interests: it’s now a wide-open expanse of sky.

        “Apparently, Congress has not yet read the memo. It is sunk in old ways and habits. The smell of greenbacks remains too enticing to resist. But the old ways are dying. The election victories I referenced above testify to that more strongly than a $100-million Sheldon Adelson donation.

        “That’s why the anti-Semitism fire-drill convened by the Democratic Congressional leadership was initially so infuriating. It decided to take Omar to the woodshed and whip her by passing a resolution denouncing anti-Semitism by its members. This represented the Democratic Party eating its young. Nancy Pelosi, at the goading of Engel, Nita Lowey and other pro-Israel members, tabled a pointless resolution. It would have forced members to swear allegiance on pain of getting a public spanking like Omar. The final wording never ended up referring directly to Omar. But the message was clear: shut up on the subject or the Party caucus will exact a toll.”

        .

      • Mooser
        Mooser on March 29, 2019, 12:00 pm

        “The smell of greenbacks remains too enticing to resist…”

        First the Benjamin’s (and their daughter Judy joined the US Army, too!) and now the Greenbacks. Where does it end?

      • Donald
        Donald on March 29, 2019, 2:53 pm

        “think your characterization of the piece as “mostly on the struggle within the Democratic Party” is flat out wrong – it covers that but a lot else as well. “

        That’s true. It is one of the best pieces I have ever seen in this subject. I am not knocking the piece— I am correcting Phil. Thrall doesn’t write much about why Republicans support Israel, where Christian Zionists are a major factor. Phil claimed he didn’t say anything about Christian Zionists when he actually did. Phil didn’t notice that because to the extent the piece was about political parties in the US, it focused on the Democrats where Christian Zionists are not very important. Also, Phil likes to downplay the role of Christian Zionists, while others who feel uncomfortable talking about Jewish donors ( fearing the antisemitism charge) like to emphasize them. The truth is that they are both important in why the US supports Israel.

        Liberal Christian guilt about antisemitism also plays a role.

        If Thrall were writing about the political right he would have to say a lot about how many on the Christian Right see Israel as a central element in their belief on how the world was going to end. He would be writing about Hal Lindsay’s books and later the “Left Behind” series and how on the secular level American rightwingers sometimes see Israel as a bastion of “Western civilization” surrounded by the heathens. Of course some of that last part overlaps with what Israel supporters in the Democratic Party think.

      • Kratoklastes
        Kratoklastes on March 30, 2019, 8:19 pm

        That included both Jews and Muslims who were tortured on the rack, also known as the auto-da-fe

        I realise this is a bit of a nitpick, but the auto-da-fé was the final public confession prior to execution – it had nothing whatsoever to do with any specific instrument of torture.

        The fact that nobody in the entire editorial process noticed this obvious screwup, speaks volumes about the lack of standards (and the lack of knowledge of European history) in the modern print media.

        Given that the author was using the Inquisition as a rhetorical device, it would have been nice if he didn’t come away from the attempt looking like an ignoramus.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on March 31, 2019, 12:40 pm

        “The fact that nobody in the entire editorial process noticed this…”

        They were probably distracted by an old Doors song on the radio. But you would have to ask the editorial staff at Mr. Silverstein’s blog.

  2. TerryHeaton
    TerryHeaton on March 29, 2019, 10:56 am

    The truth is the GOP’s courting of the donor class comes from the same motivation – the counting of the donor Benjamins. The difference is they can better hide their support (of Zionism) under banners of defense, business, and righteousness. My one beef with Mondoweiss is that you regularly downplay the role of American Evangelical Christianity in the oppression of the Palestinians. I think it’s at the very top of the list, for Jewish Zionists simply don’t have the numbers to win what is essentially a public relations war for control of the Middle East. Right-wing Christianity – especially those who espouse Dominionist beliefs – will tolerate ANY form of behavior that fits their views of Biblical prophecy. Absent these believers, who honestly don’t give a crap about Israel’s behavior, the hue and cry of anti-semitism is the only weapon the Zionists have. Trump plays to this crowd with his actions in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Finally, this “donor class” could hardly match the daily U.S. gift of $10 million, so the pitch they make is to American taxpayers, although nobody ever talks about that.

    • Keith
      Keith on March 29, 2019, 6:21 pm

      TERRYHEATON- “. I think it’s at the very top of the list, for Jewish Zionists simply don’t have the numbers to win what is essentially a public relations war for control of the Middle East.”

      Well, you would say that wouldn’t you? Miss the 700 club do you? The reality is that Evangelical Christian support for Israel and Zionism didn’t really take off until the late 1970s as a consequence of Israeli PM Menachem Begin’s recruitment of their support. This was well after Israel and Zionism had firmly established itself following the 1967 six day war. Zionism and Israel is an overwhelmingly Jewish project, Christian Zionists little more than opportunistic camp followers. The Christian Zionist leadership has taken advantage of the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon of Jewish Zionist power. While these Christian Zionists may be numerous, they lack the access to the corridors of power comparable to the Jewish Zionists, although their alliance with Jewish Zionism has improved their status.

      Phil is correct to downplay the power of the Christian Zionists. They have negligible effect upon the policies of either Israel or the American Jewish Zionists, pats on the head notwithstanding. Their power lies more in supporting the rightward drift in American politics.

      • TerryHeaton
        TerryHeaton on March 30, 2019, 10:01 am

        Keith, thanks for the input. If you’ve read my book, then you already know my feelings about The 700 Club and Pat Robertson. Sadly, Christian Zionists are not at all merely clinging to right-wing beliefs. They started many of them. In fact, that’s what we did at The 700 Club. Rather, they’re waiting and hoping for the return of Jesus Christ, who will then, the thinking goes, elevate them and bring peace for 1,000 years. So their support of Israel is from their interpretation of scripture, and that’s a powerful force that permits them to look the other way whenever Israel’s behavior is questioned. They don’t care, because they have their eyes on what they view as a bigger prize. Pro-Israel forces in the U.S. would never get their way without the blind support of this massive group of citizens.

  3. genesto
    genesto on March 29, 2019, 12:28 pm

    ‘Senator Charles Schumer, the Democratic minority leader, similarly told the Aipac conference in 2018: “Of course, we say it’s our land, the Torah says it, but they don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace.”’

    Damn, and I thought that the reason there was no peace was because of the oppressive, prison-like conditions of the Palestinian people under Occupation.

    Thanks, Chuck, for the enlightenment! Boy, do I feel dumb now!!

    • eljay
      eljay on March 29, 2019, 1:22 pm

      || genesto: ‘Senator Charles Schumer, the Democratic minority leader, similarly told the Aipac conference in 2018: “Of course, we say it’s our land, the Torah says it, but they don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace.”’ … ||

      So…according to Mr. Schumer’s “logic” any lack of peace with Muslims isn’t the fault of Muslims – it’s the fault of non-Muslims (including Jews) who do not believe in the Qur’an.

      • genesto
        genesto on March 29, 2019, 5:17 pm

        Very good! Unfortunately, logic was never a strong point among the Zionists.

        Schumer, the self-proclaimed shomer (guardian) of the state of Israel in the Congress (Did someone say dual loyalty???), somehow manages to be both humorous and frightening at the same time. Nice trick, if you can do it.

      • eljay
        eljay on March 29, 2019, 5:41 pm

        || genesto: Very good! Unfortunately, logic was never a strong point among the Zionists. … ||

        I agree. They are, however, very good at redefining perfectly good English words.

        || … Schumer, the self-proclaimed shomer (guardian) of the state of Israel in the Congress (Did someone say dual loyalty???) … ||

        Ms. Omar didn’t; nevertheless, he seems to be doing his best to earn the accusation.

  4. James Canning
    James Canning on March 29, 2019, 5:24 pm

    Of course it is “all about the Benjamins”. Contending to the contrary is simply silly. One might well add that BDS can be viewed as a good thing for Israel, and in that country’s true best interests.

    • Kratoklastes
      Kratoklastes on March 30, 2019, 8:53 pm

      There’s little point analysing this nonsense in terms of what is or isn’t silly.

      After all, the entire shebang is predicated on an idea that is breathtaking in its silliness: in a nutshell it’s this –

      A collection of primitive Bronze Age fictional gibberish can confer land titles over bits of the Middle East, to its adherents – even to adherents with absolutely no ancestral connection to the land.

      It’s absolutely no coincidence that Herzl and his mob could not get any rabbi west of Lviv to endorse their nonsense: the rabbis of all genuine centres of scholarship repudiated the Zionist project as an abomination.

      So Herzl etc just kept going further East until they found someone theologically illiterate enough to give a rabbinical imprimatur, and hence a veneer of intellectual respectability, to their project.

      It’s an indictment on the Polish rabbinate that they signed off on such an obvious apostasy… it would have been nice if Herzl etc had really had to go full retard and end up relying on a Chinaman (a Kaifeng) – but if that’s what it would have taken at the time, they would have done so.

      (I’m an atheist, so I reject the idea that a project is validated if some religio-dipshit whackball waves some magic words at it… but Herzl’s project wanted a religious imprimatur).

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