Everything still looks solid for the Israel lobby at the top of the Democratic Party this year. But if we view the party as a pyramid, with its apex being the presidential ticket, its middle layer being its elected officials, and its bottom layer being its base, then the foundations of the Israel lobby’s hold on the party is quite evidently crumbling.
Kamala Harris is so pro-Israel she helps Biden remove the issue from his race with Trump. But progressives who want it to be an issue are winning House races. The Democratic street wants boycott and sanctions.
Our top 10 stories in 2019 focused on BDS, the Democratic Party primary, Trump’s thus far secret Deal Of The Century peace plan, and the ongoing daily oppression of the Palestinian people. Hopefully 2020 will see justice for the Palestinian people. Let’s make it happen.
In an interview with the Ames Tribune, Democratic Majority for Israel’s Kat Wellmann praised Harris’ response. “I was very impressed with her. I thought she gave an excellent speech, she gave a very detailed, responsive answer to my question,” she told the paper, “I’m pro-Israel, so I was I was very concerned and all about making sure we limit nuclear missiles in any country that could possibly destroy us all. I thought her answer was very good.”
The NYT’s initial strategy was to starve Tulsi Gabbard out – no coverage, no candidacy. Now, because she’s still in and lately told a truth that weakened the Times choice Kamala Harris, they are giving her the Bernie 2016 treatment: i.e. this candidate is outlandish, absurd, unaccountably heartless, mystical, a tool of the wicked (she points out that Syria never went to war against the US) – and possibly a Russian agent.
Democrats voted 209-16 for a resolution that characterizes the nonviolent BDS campaign that targets Israel as bigoted. The Dems made the Israel lobby group AIPAC grateful for bipartisan support, and fought off Trump’s efforts to characterize Dems as “anti-Israel.” The vote demonstrates the importance of the Israel lobby for the 2020 presidential race, but if you call out the lobby the NYT will say you’re anti-semitic.
Joe Biden has praised racist Israeli leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Golda Meir on many occasions, but don’t expect Kamala Harris to score points off him for it, as she did over his fondness for southern racists. She has had a warm meeting with Netanyahu, refused to criticize Israel’s human rights record, and told the rightwing pro-Israel group AIPAC that she raised money for Israel as a girl and Israel’s story reminds her of the civil rights struggle in the U.S.
Senate Republicans were able to stop an amendment that would have required President Trump to seek congressional approval for an attack on Iran, despite the fact that the majority of votes were cast in support of the measure. Then Republicans passed a measure assuring that Trump’s hands would not be tied, as Sen. Mitt Romney put it, in taking on Iran.
Pete Buttigieg is the most critical of Israel in a NYT forum, saying, “Israel’s human rights record is problematic and moving in the wrong direction under the current right-wing government.” Most Dems bend over backwards not to criticize Israel. Elizabeth Warren is surprisingly supportive: “Israel is in a really tough neighborhood.”