FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Obama Lied, AIPAC Died
At the AIPAC conference on Sunday, Obama continued to propagate his lies and ignorance regarding the history of U.S. foreign policy towards Israel. Undaunted by recent criticism, Obama doubled down on his demand that Israel return to indefensible borders by creating a contiguous Palestinian state. As such, he continued to display his ignorance of the geographical reality that a contiguous Hamas-Fatah state bordering Jordan and Egypt, as stipulated in both speeches, means a noncontiguous Israel. I guess he can see a Palestinian state (and unicorns) from the White House.
He also regurgitated his cloddish platitude that Hamas must “accept the basic responsibilities of peace.” I could only imagine FDR declaring that the Nazis must change their ways and accept responsibility for peace. Moreover, Obama’s teleprompter continued to lie about the dangers of the “Arab Spring”, especially in Egypt, to Israel’s (and America’s) security. He even castigated them by saying, “If there is a controversy, then, it’s not based in substance.” Concurrently, he made sure to mention the names of his token liberal Jews like Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz so that everything would appear kosher. It was also helpful that Imam Magid, an unindicted co-conspirator with Hamas, wasn’t in attendance this time, as he was last Thursday.
As vacuous as Obama’s intellect really is, he is not that ignorant of geography, nor is he credulous enough to believe that Hamas will put away its jihadi toys some day and accept Israel. He knows exactly what his Palestinian fantasy will bring forth; he knows precisely how Israel will appear on a map with a contiguous terror state that borders Egypt and Jordan. Nonetheless, his speech was warmly received (at least from AIPAC’s leaders, if not some grassroots activists). After all, AIPAC’s leader, former Obama adviser and prolific fundraiser Lee Rosenberg, admonished them to behave.
Unfortunately, AIPAC has been run by hard-core Democrats for years. Recently, as support for Israel among Democrats has taken a nosedive, AIPAC leaders have taken it upon themselves to ensconce this inconvenient truth by providing cover for Democrats. It’s time for AIPAC to confront the inconvenience and reveal that it is the moral and intellectual clarity of conservatism-the very ideology that they reject-that will save Israel. Republicans should also blow the cover off the notion of bi-partisan support for Israel and expose the duplicity of AIPAC and the Democrats by proposing tough anti-PLO/Hamas legislation.
Israel has enjoyed bi-partisan support from Congress since the incipient days of its founding. While most other nations, and all too often, our own State Department, treated Israel as a pariah state, Congress served as the defender of the tiny beacon of freedom amidst Islamic despotism.
However, as the Republican Party became distinctly conservative, and as the Democrat Party became decisively and vociferously liberal, Israel became a wedge issue between the parties. Conservatives, with their intrepid moral clarity, intuitively support our allies in the war on terror and reject the notion that you can negotiate with terrorists to create a new Islamic state. Liberals, with their inherent moral relativism, have bought into the notion of Israel as an “occupier” and strongly support the 18-year old failed “peace” process. Hence, the ideological bifurcation between the parties has become glaring to everyone except for the “pro-Israel” Democrat apologists at AIPAC.
In recent years, Republican support for Israel has hovered around 80%-85%, while Democrat support dipped as low as 48% in 2010, according to Gallup. Furthermore, as the Democrat leaders seek to make our foreign policy obsequious to the anti-Israel “international community”, conservative leaders are seeking to punish the U.N. for their mistreatment of Israel. Unvarnished support for Israel is so universal among Republican presidential candidates that the liberal media is mocking them with the pejorative of “Israel primary”.
Ahead of Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress today, it is important to note that this is his first such speech, even though he has been here seven times since becoming Prime Minister of Israel. Is the 7th time a charm? Nope! It is just the first time he is visiting since Republicans assumed control of Congress. In fact, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) made a personal appeal to Nancy Pelosi in the well of the House to invite Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress last June. Amidst the backdrop of the Turkish terror flotilla incident, Congressman Gohmert felt that it was important for the world to see a united front from the U.S. Congress in defense of Israel. At that time, Pelosi told Gohmert that the House was too busy for such a session. Or, maybe she didn’t want to undercut Obama?
Needless to say, once Republicans took over the House, it didn’t take much coaxing for Speaker Boehner to take Gohmert’s advice and invite Netanyahu on his next trip to D.C. Hence, he will be speaking on the House floor at 11AM today.
All of this has placed the ever diminutive breed of pro-Israel liberals in an awkward situation. This confused constituency, including many Jewish members of Congress and activists from AIPAC, is confronted with the paradox of supporting those who espouse a liberal multilateral foreign policy, opposition to the Iraq war, and tepidness towards Iran, along with support for Israel. At the 2007 AIPAC convention, Vice President Dick Cheney had blunt words for the duplicity of such a political alignment: “My friends, it is simply not consistent for anyone to demand aggressive action against the menace that is posed by the Iranian regime while at the same time acquiescing in a retreat from Iraq that would leave Israel’s best friend, the United States, dangerously weakened.”
The ascendancy of the pro-Palestinian Barack Obama as the leader of the Democrat Party has exacerbated the predicament for these Democrats. Some of the Jewish Democrats in Congress, especially the ones from New York, have responded to the new reality by offering mild criticism of Obama’s policies toward Israel. Other radical Democrat water carriers, like Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, have toed the administration line lock, stock, and barrel.
While Democrats continue to straddle the fence on popular public sentiment toward Israel, while simultaneously refusing to do anything meaningful for Israel’s security, Republicans have been supportive of Israel with more than empty rhetoric. Over the past few years, Republicans have introduced numerous bills and resolutions to cut funding to the PLO, place meaningful and consequential sanctions on Iran and those who do business with them (China and Russia), demand that a unilaterally declared Palestinian state not be recognized, and force the State Department to move the embassy to Israel’s real capitol, Jerusalem.
Caroline Glick, senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, reported last year on how AIPAC is seeking to water down or scuttle consequential Republican pro-Israel initiatives by favoring vapid Democrat resolutions which offer nothing but platitudes for Israel’s security. Here was one example of AIPAC covering for the Democrats:
According to Congressional sources, AIPAC’s desire to hide the partisan divide has caused it to preemptively water down Republican initiatives to gain Democratic support or torpedo Republican proposals that the Democrats would oppose. For instance, an AIPAC lobbyist demanded that [GOP Rep. Louie] Gohmert abandon his efforts to advance his resolution on Iran. Sources close to the story say the AIPAC lobbyist told Gohmert that AIPAC opposes all Iran initiatives that go beyond support for sanctions.
AIPAC’s website is full of articles promoting bi-partisan bills and resolutions that are lacking teeth. At the same time, they refuse to disseminate or advocate for any of the strong worded resolutions introduced by members of the Republican Study Committee. They made no mention of the RSC letter demanding that Obama not recognize a Palestinian State. When Joe Biden excoriated and insulted PM Netanyahu for building homes in his own capital (while we face record home foreclosures at home) while visiting Jerusalem, the lead article on AIPAC’s website was titled, “Biden: The U.S. has no Better Friend than Israel.” Moreover, AIPAC still has nothing to say about Obama’s Neville Chamberlain speech last Thursday. I guess we can’t blame them.
Undoubtedly, it is in AIPAC’s best interest to conceal Democrats’ tepid and hypocritical views on Israel, the broader Middle East, and the GWOT. Any lobbying organization will be more effective if they project a faux aura of bi-partisan support, even at the expense of their underlying agenda and ideology. Just ask the NRA. However, it is not in our best interests for an organization that is perceived to be a leader on anti-terror policies, to use their political clout to vitiate meaningful anti-terror initiatives. It is certainly not in our best interests for AIPAC to lobby Republicans to support the very disastrous policies that have triggered the current security peril in the Middle East, as they have done with the Oslo Accords and the 2005 Gaza pullout.
AIPAC’s quest for bi-partisan support might be good for AIPAC, but it is not in Israel’s best interest, and more importantly, not in our best interest.
It’s time for AIPAC to confront the new reality and support consequential pro-Israel, anti-terror initiatives-even if they come from those hated Republicans. It’s time for pro-Israel liberals to confront their own ideological dissonance and be intellectually honest about the perils of their political alignment to the security of America and Israel. It is a waste of time to placate the Obama administration.
AIPAC and likeminded organizations will have the opportunity to demonstrate their true support for national and international security when Senator Orin Hatch introduces a resolution which defends Israel’s territorial integrity. On the House side, Congressman Louie Gohmert will be reintroducing his resolution expressing the sense of the House to support an Israeli preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear sites. The vapid sanctions have not worked and it’s time for AIPAC to realize it.
It’s a time for choosing for many of the old Scoop Jackson Democrats. They are either with America and Israel, or they are with Obama and Hamas.
Regarding AIPAC and pro-Israel liberals, this verse from Kings comes to mind: “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him.”