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The Democratic Party’s Israel Problem

The 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding was a big deal in Hartsdale, New York. On Sunday, April 15, the otherwise innocuous Westchester County hamlet hosted a celebration of Israel at a local school. The day-long event featured an appearance by celebrity chef Gil Hovav, an ensemble of the Israel Defense Forces (which sang Israeli folk songs), dozens of tables of made-in-Israel olive oils, and a long line of political officials: Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan, assorted state assembly representatives, and a gaggle of Westchester County bigwigs.

Several days later, the celebration was front-and-center [1] in the Scarsdale Inquirer, a popular must-read freebie of local events great and small. “We are all one,” the weekly newspaper headlined in bold type, and then offered an effusive description: “Hallways were transformed with cascading blue and white streamers and balloons, and classrooms hosted arts and crafts workshops and educational activities for children.” The Inquirer trumpeted the event’s popularity, with some 3,200 Israel admirers braving the “sudden cold weather and whipping winds” to attend.

The turnout was, in fact, not a surprise. One quarter of Westchester’s nearly one million citizens are Jewish and its affluent and highly educated residents (in places like Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle, and Chappaqua—where Bill and Hillary Clinton live), have always had strong ties to Israel. In many respects, Westchester is a kind of ground zero for Israeli support, a reassuring bellwether that Jewish America will not only remain in Israel’s corner, but provide votes for pro-Israel Democrats like Lowey and Hillary Clinton. That was true in 2016, when Clinton won 65 percent of all Westchester ballots, including 77 percent of votes in New Castle District 1, her home polling center [2].

But all is not well in Jewish America, or for supporters of Israel in Westchester County.

On the day that Hartsdale was celebrating Israel’s founding, IDF soldiers were shooting unarmed Palestinian protesters along the fence line that separates Gaza from southern Israel. The Palestinian protests, which began on March 30, had at that point resulted in nearly 30 dead and hundreds injured. The Israeli government shrugged off the bloodletting, with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman intoning that “there are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip.” But the killings roiled congressional Democrats, with House members issuing a statemen [3]t denouncing Lieberman’s views, while, on the Senate side, Bernie Sanders offered a circular [4] condemning Israel’s Gaza policies.

No one, of course, was predicting that Israel’s actions would mark a breaking point in U.S.-Israel relations, let alone sour the Democratic Party on its seven decade romance with Israel. But the reaction to the Gaza events symbolized the growing fissures in a party that is balancing its progressive ideals with its admiration for a nation whose policies are increasingly “excessive” (as the New York Times belatedly moaned). That view reflects the growing realization that the plucky-little-Israel narrative of an older generation is being replaced by a not-this-again narrative of a younger generation that is increasingly unwilling to serve as Israel’s defenders.

“Something has really shifted,” Bernard Avishai [5], a visiting professor of government at Dartmouth College, told me during a telephone conversation from his home in Israel. “I have been at Dartmouth for eight years and I see a lot of undergraduates. And I can tell you from personal experience that my Jewish students are simply not tied to the older Jewish intelligentsia. But we shouldn’t conclude from this that they are pro-Palestinian. They’re not. Their view is ‘a pox on both your houses.’”

change_me

Just days before our conversation, Avishai—a commentator on Israel for publications read avidly by Acela Corridor intellectuals—had penned a mini-biography [6]of Nitzan Waisberg for the New Yorker (a regular ornament, we might guess, of Westchester coffee tables), who returned to Israel after 44 years only to find that the country she admired had changed, and remarkably. “I came back to a country my grandparents founded, to raise my children,” Waisberg told Avishai. “I didn’t recognize the place.” [7] Waisberg went on to explain that while she was “raised on modern Zionism,” her children “are instead being indoctrinated into a neo-Zionist theocracy.” There is “a culture war” in Israel, Avishai concluded, and Israelis like Nitzan Waisberg fear they are losing it.

That Israel is increasingly divided between a population of aging secularists (many of whom trace their roots to the nation’s founders) and an increasing number of religiously motivated nationalists (or even “ultra-nationalists”—the “theocrats” of Waisberg’s Israel), might be news to the Westchester denizens, but it’s not in Israel. The division is, in truth, a chasm. During a recent trip to Washington, Israeli newspaper columnist Akiva Eldar recalled a memorable dinner we had in Jerusalem that turned into a spontaneous celebration marking the sale of his home in Jerusalem—where one third of the Jewish population describe themselves as “ultra-orthodox.” [8] During our meal, and after a long discussion (“I wanted to put my roots down among secularists,” he pointedly explained), Eldar proposed a toast: “There are really two Israels,” he said, raising his glass, “and here’s to mine.”

Ironically, the demographic shifts that have shaken Israel are now trembling through America. A startling United Jewish Appeal-Federation survey in 2011 provided the good-news-bad-news demographics for Democrats: the good news is that New York’s Jewish population had increased; the bad news is that most of the increase came in orthodox communities, which are conservative, nationalist, and less inclined to support the Democratic Party. While an overwhelming number of American Jews voted for Clinton in 2016, 54 percent of Orthodox Jews did not (Orthodox Borough Park in Brooklyn gave Trump 67 percent of its votes). Then, too, as the survey reported, the birthrate among Haredi Jewish households (those who reject secular culture) is three times as high as non-Orthodox birth rates. Borough Park is getting younger, Hartsdale is getting older. Put another way, the American Jewish community is as divided as Israel: “It’s almost two Jewish universes living within the boundaries of the United States with two different worldviews,” David Harris, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee, told one reporter. [9]

The demographic shifts—the chasms, as it were—are noticeable to Democrats, and particularly to those who have long argued that the party needs to distance itself from its no-questions-asked view of Israel. The most prominent among them is James Zogby, the head of the Arab American Institute and veteran of the serial platform fights over Israel that have embroiled the party since its 1988 convention. During that convention, Zogby, a delegate for Jesse Jackson, argued for the inclusion of language in the platform that would recognize the Palestinians as a people with basic rights. While Zogby didn’t win that fight, its outcome was much closer than anyone predicted. The same was true in 2016, when Zogby, Matt Duss (then the head of a major D.C. Middle East-focused think tank and now a foreign policy advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders), and political activist Cornel West scaled the party’s Israel battlements by proposing a plank that explicitly described Israel as an occupier while stripping out platform language condemning the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. While the Zogby-Duss-West triumvirate did not succeed, [10] the three (hardly hair-on-fire radicals) set down a marker for future confrontations—and likely victories.

“It’s true that there have been major policy shifts in the Jewish population, and the impact of that on the Democratic Party is crucial,” Zogby says. “But so much of this depends on leadership. During the last convention, the Clinton forces were dominant, and Mrs. Clinton was the party’s presumptive nominee. That counted for a lot. I won’t make a prediction, but it could be far different next time. We’ll just have to see.” Lara Friedman, a prominent expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, emphasizes the importance of what appears to be growing supporting among Democrats for genuinely progressive positions on Israel-Palestine.

Friedman is outspoken over legislation that, in the name of defending Israel against the BDS movement, defines settlements as a part of Israel, and punishes activism, including a bill, “The Anti-Israel Boycott Act,” that was introduced by Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin. Friedman’s condemnation of the effort is visceral. The Cardin bill, she argues, not only legislates U.S. support for settlements that are illegal under international law, but violates the right of free speech. “This isn’t about Israel, this is about values,” she explains. “Either you defend free speech and fundamental human freedoms or you don’t. You can’t say you care about these things and then insist on carving out an exception for Israel. You can’t claim to have principles and then demand that Israel be held to a different and lower standard.”

Cardin’s hardline stance on BDS is not a surprise, but it has embarrassed a number of progressive Democrats, who are chagrined by his anti-free speech efforts and have steered clear of them. The effect has been notable: faced with mounting criticism of his legislation, Cardin says he went to extraordinary efforts to dampen it, a claim that Friedman rejects. “The changes made so far are cosmetic,” she says. “The bill violates the First Amendment right to free speech, as it is explicitly intended to do.” In fact, Cardin is a kind of pro-Israel throwback, an “aging and out-of-touch political figure” (as one Senate foreign policy staffer put it) who defends an Israel that no longer exists—“a Jewish Narnia” (as Nitzan Waisberg dubbed it), a mythic land of noble origin surrounded by evil. The fantasy is a touchstone for aging pro-Israel Democrats like Cardin.

The Cardin fantasy was on full display back in 2007, when I was asked to brief a group of Democratic senators on the Second Intifada, the Palestinian uprising that followed the failure of Bill Clinton’s Camp David peace process. In the course of the briefing, Cardin pointedly castigated the Palestinians for receiving arms shipments from Iran “through their airports.” When I pointed out that the Palestinians didn’t have any airports, he corrected himself. “Well, through their ports,” he said. When I pointed out that the Palestinians didn’t have any ports, either, he waved me off: “That’s not what the Israeli ambassador claims,” he told me, “and he wouldn’t lie.” The handful of other senators present at the briefing (all Democrats) shifted uncomfortably in their seats. They are still shifting uncomfortably.

Which is not to suggest that those Westchester County residents who trooped off to celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday last April 15 are unsophisticated Israel-can-do-no-wrong Democrats (or as guileless as Ben Cardin). They’re not. Rather, and ironically, secular Jewish Americans find themselves in the same kind of culture war currently being fought out in Israel, where a secular, progressive, affluent and educated community finds itself swamped by a burgeoning Jewish population that is Orthodox, traditional, conservative, politically powerful – and increasingly intolerant.

That Israel’s culture war has come to America is one of the Democratic Party’s worst kept secrets. It is not lost on Jewish Americans, for instance, that philanthropist Haim Saban (a high profile Israel defender and an influential Democratic Party funder), went out of his way to praise Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner at a Brookings Institute event—an incident [11]that sent shock waves through the upper reaches of the party. Or that Donald Trump’s most loyal international supporter just happens to be the prime minister of Israel. That is all good news for the Republican Party (“the Republicans are now the party of Israel,” Zogby says, “and they’re also the party of born again Christians, Israel’s primary American ally”) and bad news for Democrats who, since the days of Harry Truman, have depended on Jewish Americans for votes—and funding. That is ending. “Yeah, this is a huge problem,” a ranking Democratic Party activist told me, in describing the shift. “Massive.”

Perhaps. But it seems unlikely that Westchester County’s Jewish congregants will somehow, in the name of Israel, renounce their progressive beliefs, suddenly become Republicans – or blithely defend the shooting of unarmed Palestinians. And they will also not abandon Israel even if, as it now seems obvious, Israel is in the process of abandoning them.

Mark Perry is a contributing editor at The American Conservative. He is the author of The Pentagon’s Wars and Talking To Terrorists. Follow him on Twitter @markperrydc. [12]

40 Comments (Open | Close)

40 Comments To "The Democratic Party’s Israel Problem"

#1 Comment By Bucks Co On May 7, 2018 @ 1:07 am

“That is all good news for the Republican Party (“the Republicans are now the party of Israel,” “

Good news? “Good” for whom, exactly? Not for Americans who think of themselves as Republicans, surely? We never put the interests of Israel before those of America. Never.

It’s really the opposite. An American political party that identifies with Israel and puts Israel’s interests ahead of America’s has no future, certainly not as an American political party. The Republicans will either purge themselves of this unwholesome foreign taint, or voters will reduce them to marginal party status, a party serving and bankrolled by alien interests, like the Communist Party (USA) or the German American Bund.

If you want to see what happens to an American political party that doesn’t understand that, watch what gets underway this fall. I voted Republican in 6 of the last 7 presidential elections. And I voted for Trump. I was disappointed almost from day one, and latterly I have been disgusted. Instead of focusing on “America First”, halting immigration, bringing our troops home, getting us out of the Middle East, Trump has focused on serving Israel and Wall Street. There’s no money for the Wall, immigration is up, no infrastructure work, the bad trade deals remain bad, and we’re still fighting the Bush/Obama wars in the Middle East. It’s obvious: we got nothing Trump promised us, but he gives Israel everything it asks for. Including more wars and more American money and blood, paid for with shocking, record-breaking deficit spending.

I’ll never vote for him again, and I’ll vote against all the Republicans in my reach who enabled or encouraged him to put Israel first.

#2 Comment By Realist On May 7, 2018 @ 4:14 am

The Republican party has an Israel problem too…..they are controlled by Zionists.

#3 Comment By mrscracker On May 7, 2018 @ 6:59 am

Even without plummeting birthrates, assimilation has taken a huge toll on American Jews. Historically, that’s probably been a more important factor.
Thank goodness the ultra orthodox have rejected that model.

#4 Comment By louisville slugger On May 7, 2018 @ 8:12 am

The Democrats’ “Israel problem”? Seriously?

What about America’s “Israel problem”?

#5 Comment By PAX On May 7, 2018 @ 9:19 am

We must respect minority views. The Jewish community has been an engine driving our national values, political thought, scientific, cultural, social and numerous other developments. It is a nearly endless litany of achievements. Those of us who criticize Israel’s foreign policies never lose sight of these facts. Acknowledging these success does not mean we must be quiet about a country that allows “Jews only” highways and encourages the U.S. to fight wars, not in our national interest. Imagine the furor here if I80 was restricted “Christians only?” Plunging the tried and trusted sword of antisemitism into the backs of Israeli foreign policy dissidents is often unfair and amounts to vile character assassination. Let us all keep balance and perspective.

#6 Comment By Wilfred On May 7, 2018 @ 9:23 am

Confusing. Israel was founded by secular Jews; many religious Jews opposed it. But now that Israel exists, religious Jews vigorously defend it, while secular Jews favor limp-wristed policies which guarantee Israel’s doom.

Unclear who will ultimately prevail: religious Jews or Palestinians. But it won’t be secular Jews, who have stopped making babies.

#7 Comment By Ready for the Apocalypse On May 7, 2018 @ 9:59 am

Also, as the Democratic Party turns less white in its rank-and-file, it becomes more hostile to Israel. This is also a trend among young people in general.

Symbolic of this is a statement by NYU’s Palestinian solidarity campaign. The list of signatories is dominated by the Black, Latino, Asian and Muslim student groups. I think it’s safe to assume they’re not Republicans:

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#8 Comment By Jon On May 7, 2018 @ 10:10 am

Another well put together article. As an artist I will add a very small footnote. I once met the Israeli painter Nahum Gilboa when he visited New York to sell his work. He settled in Palestine in 1938 leaving behind his native Sofia, Bulgaria which was under fascist rule becoming a professor of architecture in Haifa’s Technion University.

At the time I met him, he was retired and devoted his full time to painting. His media was acrylics and one of his themes was a New Jerusalem with the architectural backdrop of the old city but populated with happy people from all walks of life Israelis and Palestinians living in peace under deep blue skies. This was his hope for the future people celebrating lives of peace and ease.

I sometimes ponder what he would think of his adopted country today with all of its disputes. And yet his depictions of a fabled Jerusalem remain relevant in the shadows of despair.

#9 Comment By TTT On May 7, 2018 @ 10:52 am

There are no “Jews only” highways either in Israel or in the Palestinian Territories. There are “Israeli only” highways, which Arabs with Israeli citizenship can and do traverse freely. There are also roads in the PA Territories that are off-limits to Israelis.

About 80% of the Palestinians shot at the Gaza border were trying to physically breach it and turned out to have been trained recruits from Hamas or the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade. America should only aspire to the day when 80% of people shot by our police are actually guilty.

#10 Comment By Slugger On May 7, 2018 @ 11:02 am

I am an American Jew. I do not think that I am failing to support Israel by not supporting Mohammed bin Salman’s policies vis-a-vis Iran.

#11 Comment By mrscracker On May 7, 2018 @ 12:22 pm

TTT ,
The Palestinians’ leaders are their own worst enemies. It’s very sad. They are smart, resourceful people & deserve much better.

#12 Comment By mrscracker On May 7, 2018 @ 12:24 pm

Wilfred says:

Confusing. Israel was founded by secular Jews; many religious Jews opposed it. But now that Israel exists, religious Jews vigorously defend it, while secular Jews favor limp-wristed policies which guarantee Israel’s doom.

Unclear who will ultimately prevail: religious Jews or Palestinians. But it won’t be secular Jews, who have stopped making babies.”
***********
Good points, thank you.

#13 Comment By Interguru On May 7, 2018 @ 1:07 pm

The majority of the Israeli electorate are from Russian or Middle Eastern background. Both of these cultures are authoritarian with no democratic tradition.

We can expect Israel to head in that direction.

#14 Comment By Tom Cullem On May 7, 2018 @ 1:26 pm

@TTT Indeed – the willingness of the media to turn a blind eye to the endless PR rock-hard place siutations that Hamas and its ilk orchestrate with these “peaceful demonstrations” is astonishing. They know, and Israel knows, that the slightest bowing to international PR concerns indicates that next time will be sooner and more violent. It isn’t good will from around the globe that has kept Israel alive over the last 70 years: it is a skin tough enough to ignore the saccharine pleas for “restraint” – always from people who are not on the firing line, piously wringing their hands and shedding crocodile tears for people whose end goal is quite plain.

No other country in the world would be expected to commit slow suicide in the name of “humanitarian values”. The Israelis have a choice between losing the PR battle and discouraging the next set piece from Hamas and its brethren. I think they are making the right choice.

#15 Comment By PAX On May 7, 2018 @ 1:27 pm

OK TTT So all the Jewish enclaves in Palestine that these roads have been specially built for are made up both Jewish and non-Jewish settlers? I do not think so, nor do you. The roads in Palestine that are off limits to Israeli citizens are probably military. Then the question why does Israel continue to occupy and subjugate Palestine? 1967 to now? Snipers shooting unarmed people that you allege are terrorists? This type propaganda is wearing very thin after all these years. Maybe you can justify the assault on the USS Liberty? You are defending the indefensible.

#16 Comment By Mccormick47 On May 7, 2018 @ 1:47 pm

According to Pew Research, 10% of the US Jewish population is orthodox. So fewer than a million people, clustered almost totally in very liberal communities on both coasts. They may have an impact on suburban governments in places where they’re well represented, but on a national level, their votes won’t change anything. Furthermore, the Orthodox live in the same communities with far larger populations of less strictly observant Jews, whose votes skews well to the left of the overall population.

#17 Comment By b. On May 7, 2018 @ 2:11 pm

The problem the Democratic party faces is that it has opted to replace persuasion and voters with money and donors. Clinton thought “philanthropist Haim Saban” could buy her the presidency, Trump opted to get bought by Mercer not Koch, but Sanders took the Obama gambit of depriving his party from donor funds and took his case to the people.

I fail to see how it is good news that the Republican Party might now become dependent on the same forces of inbred wealth that have corrupted the Democratic Party “since the days of Harry Truman”. That will serve neither Israel nor the US, nor the GOP.

#18 Comment By b. On May 7, 2018 @ 2:16 pm

The day the manufactured “Russia!” hysteria is replaced with a genuine “Israel? Saudi Arabia?” is mark the moment The People finally started questioning all that put “the Con” in “Congress”.

#19 Comment By TTT On May 7, 2018 @ 2:31 pm

No, PAX, the roads that are off-limits to Israelis are within the solely Palestinian-governed Area A, and they feature lovely trilingual signs warning that any Israeli who enters is responsible for their own death. Area C is under Israeli control and any Israeli may enter, including the hundreds of Israeli Arabs who go to school in Ariel or Bir Zeit.

And are you ever going to stop crying over the USS Liberty in these threads? Israel was on normal terms with Germany by 1953. Get over it.

#20 Comment By Ready for the Apocalypse On May 7, 2018 @ 2:49 pm

Tom Cullem says: ‘No other country in the world would be expected to commit slow suicide in the name of “humanitarian values”’

In fact a number of European countries appear to be doing precisely that (not that I’m recommending it).

#21 Comment By jk On May 7, 2018 @ 3:31 pm

ADL/other unregistered foreign agents are using the victim card to shut down anything critical of Israel under the guise of anti-Semitism such as universities stopping Boycott,Divest, Sanction (BDS) movements.

Most Hillarist-Corporate-Centrist Democrats are neocons anyways but will stack their committees with minorities as long as they say the right things.

So I doubt Israel militancy is a net minus since the Democrat power base is still wealthier, more influential Boomer Democrats as opposed to younger generations that might tilt more to the Sanders left.

#22 Comment By jk On May 7, 2018 @ 3:36 pm

And TTT: too bad Iran, Iraq, or Russia didn’t sink the USS Liberty.

But alas, billions of free US taxpayer dollars for defense of Israel (so Israel can fund their socialized healthcare), and lead poising for Detroit kids and third rate, expensive, confusing healthcare for the rest of the US.

#23 Comment By PAX On May 7, 2018 @ 3:50 pm

TTT
Israel in actuality controls everything in the Westbank. There would be no roads off limit to Israelis without their affirmation. There are roads off limit to Palestinians within their own national borders. These roads service Jewish settlements. Do you deny that? I will stop “crying” about the USS Liberty (1967) when Israel and the US officially acknowledge this cowardly attack that left 34 some US sailors dead and over 130 wounded. What gives Israel – other than the force of arms (much paid for by the US and repatriations from Germany)- the right to militarily subjugate these people? BTW and you don’t do any crying about historical wrongs? I support 100 percent revisiting such crimes against humanity. Historical wrongs such as human-atrocities and military mistakes should be remembered and avoided. “Crying” (your choice of a word) helps keep these events from being happening again. I am sure we agree, conceptually at least.

#24 Comment By TTT On May 7, 2018 @ 4:40 pm

Israel admitted responsibility for the Liberty, apologized repeatedly, and paid reparations of over $60 million (adjusted for inflation). This is an extremely basic historical fact.

Let me guess – you think the Allied bombing of Dresden was the REAL crime of WW2?

#25 Comment By A liberal who supports Israel – as all liberals do On May 7, 2018 @ 6:32 pm

It is time for so called “conservatives” to stop dividing the Jewish people, to stop politicizing support for Israel and to STOP TELLING LIES about Democrats. Enough!

#26 Comment By polistra On May 7, 2018 @ 6:52 pm

The BIG story of this century is simple.

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Secular people have money. Believers have babies.

Money is power, but when you don’t reproduce, the power is gone. Believers move in.

God wins. YAY!

#27 Comment By Blackhorse On May 7, 2018 @ 7:22 pm

In other woords, the GOP should prey on more fanaticlelements within the Jewish community for political advntge. Swell. Tht’s one prt wishful thinking and 4 parts disregrding ntionl interest. WWLS=wht would Larison say?

#28 Comment By Donald On May 7, 2018 @ 7:25 pm

The worst enemies of the Palestinians are their Israeli oppressors. Their second worst enemies are the Americans who excuse and help fund their oppression. At a distant third are the Palestinian leaders, who are the sort of self serving bozos you find in most places, like Washington and Tel Aviv.

The most damning critics of Israel are the people who try to justify their behavior.

#29 Comment By Exit 9 NJ On May 8, 2018 @ 7:23 am

@Tom Cullem : “‘No other country in the world would be expected to commit slow suicide in the name of “humanitarian values”’”

The danger isn’t that America expects Israel to commit suicide for “humanitarian values”, it’s that Israel expects America to commit suicide for Israel.

The countries that are expected to commit suicide for “humanitarian values” are the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Spain, Greece, etc. Nobody expects Israel to do anything different from what it has always done, which is look out for number one and f*** everybody else, especially those countries stupid enough to befriend Israel.

#30 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 8, 2018 @ 8:53 am

“They may have an impact on suburban governments in places where they’re well represented, but on a national level, their votes won’t change anything.”

It’s not one’s size, it’s on’s level of influence.

Crying over unrequited/non redressed wrongs — until righted and even then maybe not. Surely, you know the story of the unjust judge.
_______________

As for reparations — UUUhhh, not on a bet.

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The reason the incident remains in play is because it’s a marker for how Israel treats out generous support. I think Israel has a right to exist and to self defense. But our political leadership that is ignorant of scripture – beyond,

“I will bless those who bless thee.”

muchless the right of free speech, should not be engaged in subjecting the US to the interests of Israel or anyone else for that matter including Mexico, who also treats the US with disdain for all of our financial support.

If Israel wants the land adjacent her borders because she thinks right now at this moment God intends her to have it. She should make an offer.

#31 Comment By jk On May 8, 2018 @ 9:06 am

TTT: I wonder if that $60M was actually US taxpayer money that was given to Israel and then subsequently given back to the US?

#32 Comment By TTT On May 8, 2018 @ 9:54 am

Thanks for the David Duke quote, EliteComminc! LOL

#33 Comment By PAX On May 8, 2018 @ 10:40 am

TTT Israel said it was a mistake. Not one survivor of the USS Liberty attack agrees. It was no mistake. It was deliberate. Dresden? Not comparable. Many of the key allied leaders were aghast at the firebombing of major civilian centers in WW2 (Bomber Harris and Curtis Lemay). It was wrong. Many believe that these bombings prolonged the war? I am not going to get on your kick of defending the indefensible. Dresden and many other cities did not need to be bombed as they were (if at all). Probably not even the A-bombs? This is a separate subject and unrelated to unmarked Israeli planes (and then PT boats) bombing and napalming a US ship (basically unarmed) of the line flying a large US flag. They knew from the get-go it was an American ship. Germany declared war on the U.S. as did Japan. The U.S. was and remain Israel’s best and unbending ally. The concern of many is that Israel takes advantage of this relationship. This type mistake must never happen again. That is what the crew and their supporters are about and that Israel must be held fully accountable for this egregious act of unprovoked warmongering against the U.S.

#34 Comment By TTT On May 8, 2018 @ 12:24 pm

“Dresden is a separate subject and unrelated to the Liberty”

The Liberty is a separate subject unrelated to anything in this actual thread.

There are people who think 9/11 hasn’t been conclusively explained either.

#35 Comment By PAX On May 8, 2018 @ 1:04 pm

TTT The Liberty is seriously related to this thread. Do you need a roadmap as to why Johnson did not splash the Israeli war machines attacking the USS Liberty in 1967? Why was the captain of the USS Liberty secretly given the Medal of Honor is a shipyard, not the Rose Garden as was the custom at that time? It was purely domestic politics. He feared a kickback from Israeli supporters in the U.S electorate. You dragged Dresen into the argument. Not me. I never mentioned 9/11. Goodbye!!!! My electrons on you are clearly wasted. Debate with the USS Liberty survivors. [17]

#36 Comment By martin ingall On May 8, 2018 @ 1:59 pm

No credibility here. Perry’s source of wisdom is the marginal and discredited Avishai. And see how Perry chose to characterize the recent border incidents in Gaza. With clueless doinks like Perry being published by The American Conservative…..

#37 Comment By ell On May 8, 2018 @ 2:20 pm

Bucks Co: “Instead of focusing on “America First”, halting immigration, bringing our troops home, getting us out of the Middle East, Trump has focused on serving Israel and Wall Street” He’s serving no one but himself. He’s about to get Israel bombed by Iran, that’s how much he takes its welfare to heart. And who knows how his actions will affect whether we in the US will soon have another war on our hands – if he rips up a nuclear pact with Iran, why would North Korea even bother negotiating?

#38 Comment By Philly guy On May 9, 2018 @ 6:55 am

As long as Likud and it’s coalition partners maintain control, Israel will have a Democratic Party problem.

#39 Comment By SC forager On May 10, 2018 @ 6:08 am

@ell — “He’s [Trump is] serving no one but himself. He’s about to get Israel bombed by Iran, that’s how much he takes its welfare to heart. “

Sorry, but Netanyahu’s been whining for the US to attack Iran for literally decades and to pull out of “the deal” from day one. Trump’s only following Netanyahu’s orders. Maybe Israel’s leader isn’t acting in Israel’s best interest, but there’s no denying that Netanyahu has been begging for this, and he’s Israel’s elected leader.

If Israel gets bombed by Iran, that’s on Netanyahu’s head, not Trump’s.

#40 Comment By Where is Democracy On May 14, 2018 @ 10:09 am

I guess strategic politicking has its place, but its proper place is secondary to what’s morally right and truly democratic. Our lack of campaign finance reform enables dominance by a few special interests. One is Israel, others are near-monopoly vertically integrated corporate monsters: Amazon, Walmart, and weapons makers. They have more loyalty to tax havens, Israel, the Saudi royals and war itself than to real American interests, needs and ideals.