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Progressive Democrats Changing the Politics of Israel in America

The domestic third rail of U.S. politics is still Social Security. It doesn’t matter that the program has become a Ponzi scheme, headed towards insolvency. Politicians who suggest trimming benefits risk cutting their careers short.

The foreign policy equivalent of Social Security is Israel. Both major parties have embraced many of its government’s most extreme claims. Despite vigorous debate in Israel, in the United States even mild criticism of Israeli policies frequently leads to charges of weakness and even anti-Semitism.

However, rising progressive influence in the Democratic Party is changing the politics of Israel in America. During this last election campaign, the GOP continued to reflect the views of its large evangelical constituency, many of whose members hold to a so-called dispensationalist eschatology, in which Israel plays a major role in Jesus’s return (ironically after most of its Jewish population is killed). In contrast, many Democrats view Palestinians as human beings too.

For instance, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated a long-term incumbent in a heavily Democratic district, denounced Israel’s “occupation of Palestine.” Ilhan Omar, running for an open Minnesota seat, criticized Israel’s “evil doings.” She defended her stance: “Drawing attention to the Apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews.” Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib criticized military aid for Israel: “I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the U.S. when they still promote that kind of injustice.”

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The GOP attacked all these candidates. California Congressman Duncan Hunter, indicted for using campaign funds for personal use, ran ads denouncing his opponent for being the grandson of one of the terrorists who murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.

At least U.S. congressmen actually have to deal with foreign policy. Florida Representative Ron DeSantis criticized Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum during their gubernatorial race for receiving support from a group favoring boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel, and giving a speech welcoming members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to his city.

DeSantis charged that Gillum would not be a “friend” of Israel, however defined. He himself supported moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, as if that was Florida’s decision, and complained that Gillum backed the nuclear agreement with Iran, which, ironically, was supported by much of Israel’s national security establishment. DeSantis even promised to punish Israel’s critics: “If you boycott Israel, the state of Florida will boycott you.”

There is more. DeSantis pledged to visit ever-expanding Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, which act as colonial outposts promoting annexation of the West Bank. He called the settlements “Judea and Samaria,” names used by Israelis to claim Palestinian land as their own. “Florida is going to trade with all of them,” he proclaimed.

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How is any of this the Florida government’s business? Was DeSantis running for Florida’s chief executive or Israel’s Florida ombudsman?

There are other strong ethnic lobbies, of course: for Turkey, Greece, and Armenia; for Eastern European nations; for South Korea. In all these cases, Americans often act as advocates of foreign states.

Unfortunately, much of this activism runs counter to the Founders’ vision of America. In his famous Farewell Address, George Washington pointed to the danger posed by foreign connections: “Nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded, and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.” America’s future was at stake: “The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.”

Permanent antipathy creates obvious problems. But so does “passionate attachment” to other nations. Warned Washington: “Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.” For example, ties to Israel entangle America in the Middle East; the U.S. treats Iran, which doesn’t threaten America, as a permanent enemy, and coddles Saudi Arabia, which routinely undermines U.S. interests, as a permanent friend.

Foreign involvement also creates perverse incentives for American citizens. Cautioned Washington, passionate attachment “gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interest of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.”

This obviously is bad for America. Against “the insidious wiles of foreign influence,” Washington expanded, “the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.” After all, said Washington, “Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.”

He was particularly concerned about European entanglements: “Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice.” But the underlying principle is broader: “It must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.”

Today, the city named after Washington has a long history of being used and abused by its supposed friends. Shortly after the colonies won their independence, Francophiles attempted to bring the U.S. into war with revolutionary France against the United Kingdom. A century ago, friends of the UK helped drag Washington into Europe’s imperial kill-fest, known as World War I, on London’s side.

More recently, the U.S. armed Turkey while Ankara assaulted Kurds and divided Cyprus. Americans hailing from Eastern Europe successfully pressed for their distant homelands to be added to NATO, planting the seeds of potential conflict with Russia. Ukrainian Americans still push for Kiev’s membership in the transatlantic alliance. Ethnic Albanians campaigned for Washington to forcibly dismember Serbia and make Kosovo independent. Korean Americans support essentially permanent U.S. defense guarantees for South Korea. Taiwan’s advocates, especially strong in Congress, want Washington to guarantee the island state’s security and more.

Americans should be involved in the world. That includes building relationships with foreign nations and peoples.

However, U.S. foreign policy should advance American interests. This isn’t a new idea. It is time to follow Washington’s advice and set aside “passionate attachments” to other governments and nations.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics (Crossway) and Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire (Xulon).

Don’t miss Doug Bandow in Washington on November 15 at TAC’s 5th Annual Foreign Policy Conference on Capitol Hill! Registration and full schedule here [1].  

37 Comments (Open | Close)

37 Comments To "Progressive Democrats Changing the Politics of Israel in America"

#1 Comment By Brian James On November 7, 2018 @ 10:34 pm

The Party of *NO* is back in charge. No budget worked on or passed since April 29, 2009 – The last time the Democrat-led Senate adopted a budget resolution. Also the last time the Majority brought a budget plan to the floor.

#2 Comment By America First On November 7, 2018 @ 10:53 pm

“How is any of this the Florida government’s business? Was DeSantis running for Florida’s chief executive or Israel’s Florida ombudsman?”

No. De Santis is a disgusting, corrupt politician who’s selling himself to the Israel money boys.

That’s “the Swamp”, as Trump likes to call it. But it’s a part of the Swamp that does more than rip off the American taxpayer. It gets Americans killed.

#3 Comment By cka2nd On November 8, 2018 @ 1:20 am

“The domestic third rail of U.S. politics is still Social Security. It doesn’t matter that the program has become a Ponzi scheme, headed towards insolvency.”

BS. Remove the cap on income subject to FICA taxes, and the system is solvent forever. Bandow seems to be obsessed with Social Security and entitlements, even to the exclusion of cutting the “defense” and “intelligence” budgets. Hmmmm?

#4 Comment By Eric Bergerud On November 8, 2018 @ 2:23 am

I agree that finding the “golden mean” when discussing Israel in the US is a tough job. And Mr. Bandow is quite right that if an American is critical of the Israeli government’s policy, just as the always fractious members of the Knesset routinely are, he/she will get attacked in some quarters. But it’s also all too clear that the left in Europe and the US is attempting to turn Israel into a pariah – and often show a shocking disregard for the track record of Palestinian groups like Hammas. Make no mistake – many on the left would be perfectly willing to treat Israel as today’s South Africa. And if the US tilts in that direction (as Obama did in one of his last acts) that is a poor example of the detachment from foreign sentiment favored by George Washington. And any way you cut it, Israel and the US have a deep history together. If bad things ever happened in that very dangerous part of the world it would be invaluable of have an ally that – if push came to shove – would be at our side.

#5 Comment By Matthew Etzell On November 8, 2018 @ 3:01 am

The Palestinians have had a state in Gaza since 2005; look what they did with it. In the late 1990s, Israel offered the Palestinians Gaza, 97 percent of the West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem; the Palestinians proceeded to launch a murderous rampage.

Contrary to the author’s assertion, the Democrats do not “view Palestinians as human beings too.” Humans possess moral agency, and must accept responsibility for our choices and the consequences thereof. However, those advocating on behalf of the Palestinians never seem to hold them responsible for their choices, thereby implicitly regarding them as sub-human.

Conversely, I do regard the Palestinians as human; therefore, I do hold them responsible for their choices. The Palestinians have consistently chosen war instead of peace. Until that changes, there can be no realistic peace agreement. Let us consider two hypothetical scenarios to illustrate the point. 1) The Palestinians unilaterally give up violence, even in self-defense. 2) The Israelis unilaterally give up violence, even in self-defense. In the first scenario, there would be peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians; in the second, the Palestinians would reenact the Holocaust.

#6 Comment By Oleg Gark On November 8, 2018 @ 7:51 am

I wondered why the US victory in Desert Storm morphed into a need to “finish the job” 10 years later. During the George Bush Jr. administration, people attributed it to a psychological need for him to outdo the achievements of his father’s administration.

That seemed like psychobabble to me. The real problem with Desert Storm was that it was won with the help of a carefully cultivated Arab coalition that, in addition to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, included Syria, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Morocco, and others. After the war, the US enjoyed unparalleled influence with this group, and could have maintained it at the cost of balancing the group’s interests with those of Israel.

This, of course, was absolutely unacceptable to the Israelis. They had the tough job of turning an unambiguous US victory from a gold bar into a dog turd in the public mind. Eventually they were successful and the US launched into the GWOT, which replaced cooperation with Arab countries with efforts to overthrow their governments.

So, there you go. These days the pro-Israel neocons are still trying to polish the Iraq War dog turd into something shinier. Meanwhile, the last few rays of daylight between the policies of the US and Israel have long been extinguished.

#7 Comment By Maria On November 8, 2018 @ 10:01 am

The “progressive leftist movement” to side with the Palestinians against Israel is founded on anti-Semitism. Many affluent in the West who don’t have any authentic Christian values engage in this armchair sideline to avoid helping Christians in the Middle East who are systematically being exterminated by Arabs/Syrian/Israel or forced conversions taking place in other nations of the Middle East. It is phony, and doesn’t represent authentic caring about any persons in the Middle East including Arabs, Christians, or Jews. It is disguised anti-Semitism on the left.

#8 Comment By Heymrguda On November 8, 2018 @ 10:22 am

In the English 1960 movie “Saturday night and Sunday Morning,” Albert Finney’s character says “I’d vote for the bloody communists if it would get rid of blokes like him” after dealing with an abusive boss.
Well I’d almost vote for the likes of Ocasio-Cortez if it would get rid of our government’s obsession with Israel. Almost, As I dislike many of her other policies. But as they say, even the darkest cloud has a silver lining, and her opposition to Israel in this case is it.
Question: how long will this “opposition” last when she and other progressive democrats take office?

#9 Comment By EliteCommInc. On November 8, 2018 @ 11:03 am

I agree that our Israeli policy is overwrought and leans to heavily in Israel’s favor given what we know. I don’t approve of the carte blanche pro Israel dealings. And the claims by christians making Israel key to a life with Christ — unsupported by scripture. Israel needs Christ as much as anyone else.

And all the apostles make it abundantly clear that political relations, even past religious links and the real spiritual nature of one’s faith to Israel is not contingent on agreeing to everything and anything Israel demands. I support Israel’s right to exist, not that the US is bound to give Israel everything she wants.

despite the consequences, there are some issues that polity that objectionable on their face.

Carte blanche support for Israel and being a US citizen requires white skin. I make no apologies for rejecting them outright, despite the conniption fits and teeth gnashing by those who embrace both.

As for democrats criticizing israel — Uhhh, wait til they hit Washington, and are out of their particular supportive bubbles — we’ll see. Democrats are highly supportive of Israel and compete with evangelicals as to what groups v=can out due the other in support.

#10 Comment By EliteCommInc. On November 8, 2018 @ 11:06 am

I agree that our Israeli policy is overwrought and leans to heavily in Israel’s favor given what we know. I don’t approve of the carte blanche pro Israel dealings. And the claims by christians making Israel key to a life with Christ — unsupported by scripture. Israel needs Christ as much as anyone else.

And all the apostles make it abundantly clear that political relations, even past religious links and the real spiritual nature of one’s faith to Israel is not contingent on agreeing to everything and anything Israel demands. I support Israel’s right to exist, not that the US is bound to give Israel everything she wants.

despite the consequences, there are some issues that polity that objectionable on their face.

Carte blanche support for Israel and being a US citizen requires white skin. I make no apologies for rejecting them outright, despite the conniption fits and teeth gnashing by those who embrace both.

As for democrats criticizing israel — Uhhh, wait til they hit Washington, and are out of their particular supportive bubbles — we’ll see. Democrats are highly supportive of Israel and compete with evangelicals as to what groups can out due the other in support.

#11 Comment By b. On November 8, 2018 @ 12:58 pm

Neither the Democratic dissenters nor any of the biparty leadership appear to have paid attention to an illegal and unconstitutional gag order upheld by several Presidents of both parties starting with Clinton.

On September 6, 2012 Obama’s Department of Energy, in consultation with the Department of State, issued a secret directive called “Guidance on Release of Information Relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability,” or WNP-136 making it a crime for any US government employee or contractor to publicly communicate any information – even from the public domain – about Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

This is done to hide from the American public the fact that any aid to Israel – whether approved by Congress or initiated by the executive – is in violation of the 1976 Symington and Glenn Amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act now embedded in the US Arms Export Control Act.

Congress and successive administrations have been in clear breach for decades now, and courts have been defending a blank check to avoid accountability on the twin dodges of “lack of standing” and “executive privilege”.

I am not going to take seriously token opposition to Israeli influence, and support for Israeli apartheid, if the Representatives involved cannot clearly and loudly address the issue of Israels nuclear arsenal and the consequences under domestic law.

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#12 Comment By Citoyen On November 8, 2018 @ 1:18 pm

Best article I’ve read in a long, long time.

Thank you.

The GOP needs to wake up. Most Americans couldn’t care less about Israel. We are just sick of wars. The GOP is now the war party thanks to its ties to Israel.

#13 Comment By Mark B. On November 8, 2018 @ 1:32 pm

I guess it would be fair if the US foreign policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict was less one-sided in favor of Israel. But I somehow doubt that it would be more constructive in archieving a solution to the conflict. It propably would encourage the Pals to dig deeper in in their victimized reality and keep dreaming about a Palestine from the Mediterranean to the Jordan till smithereens.

That said, the US should pressure Israel to stop inflicting collective economic damages on Pal society and societal developement.

#14 Comment By Whine Merchant On November 8, 2018 @ 4:28 pm

As long as Congress continues to vote $$ for Israel [Likud Party] in the form of weapons and other goodies, Israeli-funded AIPAC will return much of that cash to pliable members of Congress to keep the political cover and high tech weapons flowing. Good for the US economy and good for those elected officials on the gravy train.

Nice work if you can get it.

#15 Comment By Anthony M On November 8, 2018 @ 4:34 pm

Really neat seeing commenters even here on TAC doing the “If you don’t support Israel you’re anti-Semitic” dance. Well done, puppet!

Back in reality, plenty of Americans (indcluding Jews) find Israel pretty disgusting because of its treatment of the Palestinians… it’s really simple – Israel didn’t allow Muslim refugees to return to their homes after the ’48 war. Israel is obsessed with maintaining their ethno-state and expanding its borders as much as possible.

To this day, Israel blockades the Gazan quasi-state, which Israel controls completely but refuses to take any real responsibility for. It’s clear that Israel’s preferred solution is for all the Palestinians there to starve to death and just go away. Gazans can’t have any interaction with the outside world without Israel’s permission, and yet they somehow have a “border” with Israel that Israeli soldiers can fire across with impunity. Barbaric.

Oh, but the Palestinians commit acts of violence! Of course they do. They’ve been trapped without statehood for 70 years now. In the modern world there are no human rights for the stateless. So Palestinians are living without human rights… why would they behave civilly? The violence won’t stop until there is a solution.

It’s clear that the only solution is a 1-state solution. Israel clearly doesn’t want to give up the land it has annexed, and so they should take the responsibility for that extra land and incorporate the people they have conquered.

There are good people on both the left and the right who see through this sham and reject Israel’s abuses. Certain people will always ignore the arguments and go straight for “anti-Semitic”, but we should continue to ignore them and stand up for human rights for all people.

#16 Comment By GregR On November 8, 2018 @ 4:36 pm

Maria says:
November 8, 2018 at 10:01 am
The “progressive leftist movement” to side with the Palestinians against Israel is founded on anti-Semitism. Many affluent in the West who don’t have any authentic Christian values engage in this armchair sideline to avoid helping Christians in the Middle East who are systematically being exterminated by Arabs/Syrian/Israel or forced conversions taking place in other nations of the Middle East. It is phony, and doesn’t represent authentic caring about any persons in the Middle East including Arabs, Christians, or Jews. It is disguised anti-Semitism on the left.

Wow, who knew the synagog I go to is anti-Semitic. My entire Jewish family, and my wife’s (also Jewish) are apparently also anti-Semitic… Does this mean I have to hate my new born kid because when born he (or she) will be Jewish.

I mean we are all Jews, had family killed in Nazi concentration camps and everything. My Grandfather was tattooed… And I am a member of the BDS movement and have given strict orders to my investment manager to honor that. Because while I am jewish I think what the Israeli state is doing is perpetuating exactly the type of apartheid the Nazi’s started with in Germany.

With members of the Knesset calling for a Palestinian genocide, though couching it as a ‘final solution’ how can you still support the evil that Israel is committing. You can never know the shame we bear, that our brothers and sisters who moved to Israel to escape persecution have chosen to inflict it on others.

#17 Comment By EliteComminc. On November 8, 2018 @ 6:17 pm

” Symington and Glenn Amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act”

appreciate this reference.

#18 Comment By DrivingBy On November 8, 2018 @ 6:49 pm

Palestine is a Latin word, a term used by the Romans to punish the Isrealites for revolting against them. It was never the name of an hour of state, and Arab people, or an Arab culture. The whole notion was invented by a KGB/Arab League collaboration in the 60s, Intended to undermine the west.
No wonder it is such a pet cause among the leftists and America haters in general.

#19 Comment By bye bye On November 8, 2018 @ 10:24 pm

America has no dog in this fight. They can make peace or kill each other off as far as most Americans are concerned.

Just get us out. In view of the forty years of failure and colossal ripoffs jokingly called “the peace process”, we obviously have no role to play.

#20 Comment By B Topp On November 9, 2018 @ 2:06 am

Question: why isn’t AIPAC, which is part Israeli funded, registered as a Foreign Agent? It certainly fits the criteria. I’m for Israel having a right to exist as well as other countries in that region including Palestine. Don’t think Israel agrees other than itself.

#21 Comment By shop class On November 9, 2018 @ 3:50 am

“Google is your friend.” heh.

enter: israel created hamas

citations: Wall Street Journal, Haaretz, other conspirators, etc, etc.

Cue up the lectures to ungrateful US taxpayers and all the accompanying accusations.

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You may be familiar with this 1936 work by designer Franz Kraus:

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We live in an ironic age and, yeah, I’ve seen this allegedly Zionist print hanging in bars in Beirut.

If we’re busy erasing things, once upon a time there was nowhere called the United States of America.

#22 Comment By EliteCommInc. On November 9, 2018 @ 6:03 am

“The whole notion was invented by a KGB/Arab League collaboration in the 60s, Intended to undermine the west.
No wonder it is such a pet cause among the leftists and America haters in general.”

Oy Veh. Hardly a KGB cabal if it was named Palestine by the Romans. I am not a leftist. And while I certainly have issues with my country, a healthy sign, in my view, criticism is not be definition hate speech. In fact, it’s my love of Israel and appreciation for her place in history that she gets my attention at all.

But anyone referring to our relations with Israel on the matter of Palestine as a “pet project” doesn’t get what’s at stake best on past, present or future implications.

#23 Comment By EliteCommInc. On November 9, 2018 @ 6:06 am

meant to add this reference.

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#24 Comment By TTT On November 9, 2018 @ 8:46 am

Israel is obsessed with expanding its borders as much as possible…. It’s clear the Israeli goal is for the Palestinians to starve to death

Israel has not expanded by 1 inch since 1967. They gave back the Sinai, abandoned Gaza, and offered three different 2-state plans that the Palestinians rejected. The Palestinians btw are the 8th fattest population on the planet.

When people hysterically exaggerate and lie about Israel, it casts doubt on their thesis that innocent criticism just gets reflexively called antisemitic. More likely, people are actually being antisemitic and think that a word swap of “Israel” instead of “Jew” is their no-backsies card.

#25 Comment By Anne (the other one) On November 9, 2018 @ 9:35 am

@DrivingBy at 6:49 pm. “It was never the name of an hour of state, and Arab people, or an Arab culture.”

I love gardening so my daughter brought me a bag of old stamps featuring plants/flowers. Some stamps were as old as 1890/1900 and some of those old stamps were from State of Palestine.

#26 Comment By Sisera On November 9, 2018 @ 10:53 am

@TTT
What are the settlements?
Are those an antisemitic conspiracy theory?

I get the reasons why the occupation has continued as long long as it has. However, you don’t settle on occupied land in that way. The US never gave M16s to civilians to evict natives and set up Neau Aspen in the German Alps. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

International law exists this way to deincentivize invasions.

#27 Comment By Tom S. On November 9, 2018 @ 10:55 am

One could also argue that Israel touched a third rail of its own with American Jews, when Netanyahu–at the Republicans’ invitation–personally and as Israel’s premier attempted to influence US foreign policy toward Iran.

#28 Comment By mrscracker On November 9, 2018 @ 11:03 am

GregR,
I very much support Israel but don’t condone their every action.
I understand that one can be Jewish & still criticize Israel’s policies.
I don’t believe that attitude automatically translates into anti-Semitism but on the other hand, it often can.
It’s sort of like immigration: you can be against open borders & illegal immigration & not be a racist. But you can except all the racists to jump on the same wagon with you.

Some of the articles & comments I see on TAC about these issues make me very uncomfortable. Just have to be truthful about that. I can’t read anyone’s heart but the overlying atmosphere isn’t one I always want to be a part of.

#29 Comment By mrscracker On November 9, 2018 @ 2:40 pm

Sorry, typo, it should be:”you can *expect* all the racists to jump on the same wagon with you.”

#30 Comment By Donald On November 9, 2018 @ 6:29 pm

Mrscracker, that cuts both ways. Most of the pro- Israel arguments are based on dehumanizing racist falsehoods about Palestinians. I don’t think the Palestinians are all innocent— there have been disgraceful atrocities on both sides. But the tacit assumption many people make is that Palestinians have no right to live in their own homeland.

#31 Comment By JimDandy On November 10, 2018 @ 2:53 am

“Question: why isn’t AIPAC, which is part Israeli funded, registered as a Foreign Agent?”

Answer: “Details of the JFK-RFK duo’s effort to register the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) parent organization, the American Zionist Council (AZC) as an Israeli foreign agent were shrouded in mystery until declassified in mid-2008…. But the law enforcement effort ended in tragedy. JFK’s assassination on November 12, 1963 in Dallas meant RFK’s political cover for the prosecution was gone and his days at the DOJ were numbered.”

#32 Comment By where there’s hope On November 10, 2018 @ 10:10 am

@Matthew Etzell said The Palestinians have had a state in Gaza since 2005; look what they did with it. In the late 1990s, Israel offered the Palestinians Gaza, 97 percent of the West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem; the Palestinians proceeded to launch a murderous rampage.

You know what? I don’t really care who’s right and who’s wrong in the Israel-Palestine mess anymore, and I don’t know any real Americans who care about it. I just don’t want to waste any more of our money or blood on it.

Forty years! Forty years of rip-offs and getting dragged into bloody messes over there. And we got nothing out of it. Nothing. The Israelis didn’t even bother to fight in the wars they dragged us into. They sat by and watched as Americans and a handful of America’s traditional allies did all the fighting and dying. Disgusting.

America ought to get out of there and stay out. Trump should consider it. A complete US pullout is one of the very few things Trump can still do, one of the unkept campaign promises for which future generations of Americans might honor and praise him.

#33 Comment By GregR On November 10, 2018 @ 3:02 pm

Mrs.Cracker,

I also support Israel’s existence. But it is a far cry from supporting the countries right to exist and therefore assuming every action they take is acceptable. Sadly I think for may people in the US any criticism of Israel is seen as somehow being anti-Semitic, that was certainly my take of Maria’s post.

If anything the US’s reflexive support of Israel has allowed it to engage in more and more violent atrocities, because no international pressure can be brought to bear on Israel. Without US support of the siege on Gaza for instance multiple countries would be shipping in humanitarian relief, food, water, and medicine that Israel won’t let thru.

Just like the US is supporting the crisis in Yemen, we are supporting a crisis in Gaza. And I think it is perfectly acceptable to criticize both our and Israel’s government for this.

I leave you with this quote from Ayelet Shaked a member of the Knesset and the Minister of Justice where she overseas the justice and court system. She is also seen as a leading contender to replace Netanyahu in the near future.

“They (ed. Palestinians) have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists. They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists.”

and this little lovely gem

“They (ed. Palastinians) are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

#34 Comment By time for straight talk On November 10, 2018 @ 5:35 pm

Whether it’s “progressive Democrats” or somebody else, it’s past time that a national dialogue about our Israel problem got underway.

We have and continue to pay a heavy price for the Israel relationship. We need to understand why and how it came about and to tally up the costs, which cumulatively are staggering and unprecedented. You can’t really blame Israeli citizens, who are like people anywhere else living their lives and trying to raise their families, and you can’t really blame the American people, who are mostly ignorant of what is done in their name overseas, but some really smelly things have been going on between elites in Israel and in America, leading to 9/11, wars, needless death, and trillions in American wealth gone forever. It’s long overdue for a good airing and hosing out.

Until that happens, not one more American soldier should be sent to the Middle East. And not one more American taxpayer dollar.

#35 Comment By Stepping Stone On November 10, 2018 @ 6:22 pm

It makes you uneasy to see how casually we let our elites and foreign interests involve us in hatreds and wars that are none of our business.

We need to pay more attention. It would probably help to require FARA registration, heavier enforcement of espionage laws, toss more Israel Lobby types in prison for spying and other treachery. We were about to lock up the leadership about 10 years ago but got sidetracked, and now the chance of the GOP prosecuting what has become one of its biggest cash cows is nil.

Let the sun shine in!

#36 Comment By Fran Macadam On November 11, 2018 @ 10:44 am

“However, U.S. foreign policy should advance American interests.”

It all depends on who gets to define what “American interests” are, doesn’t it?

#37 Comment By mrscracker On November 12, 2018 @ 10:16 am

GregR says:

I also support Israel’s existence. But it is a far cry from supporting the countries right to exist and therefore assuming every action they take is acceptable”

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I agree. And you can find terrible examples of animosity on both sides-Israeli & Palestinian. I guess a problem also is that few Palestinians support Israel’s existence & a great many would like to see the Israelis driven into the sea. It’s a very sad situation all around.