Archive for the ‘AIPAC’ category

Netanyahu, Congress, AIPAC and the PLO

January 10, 2017

Netanyahu, Congress, AIPAC and the PLO, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, January 10, 2017

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Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

The whitewashing of the PLO must end.

It is not in the least surprising that the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority did not condemn the terrorist attack on Sunday. It is not surprising because the PLO-controlled PA encouraged the attack.

As Khaled Abu Toameh wrote for the Gatestone Institute, in the aftermath of last month’s US-enabled passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which criminalizes Israel, the PA went on the warpath.

Among other things, Muhammad Abu Shtayyeh, who serves as a close adviser to PLO chief and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas called for an intensification of terrorist attacks against Israelis. Shtayyeh said that now is the time to “bolster the popular resistance” against Israel.

As Abu Toameh noted, “‘Popular resistance’ is code for throwing stones and petrol bombs and carrying out stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.”

Sunday’s terrorist murderer probably was inspired by Islamic State, and its adherents’ recent truck ramming murder sprees in Nice and Berlin, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

But Sunday’s 28-year-old cold blooded killer hailed from Jerusalem, not Nice.

His brain was washed since he was five years old by the PLO-controlled PA’s steady cycle of jihadist incitement.

From the time he was in preschool, the killer was indoctrinated to aspire to commit the mass murder of Jews he carried out on Sunday.

For 23 years, Israel and the US have empowered the PLO.

During this period, the terrorist group never took any concrete steps to promote peace. At no point in the past generation has a PLO leader ever told the Palestinians or supporters abroad that the time has come to bury the hatchet and accept Israel.

Instead, for 23 years, the PLO has openly supported Israel’s annihilation. Often that support has been stated in code words like “popular resistance” which everyone understands means murder.

To make it easy for Americans and Israelis to continue funding, arming, training and of course, recognizing the PLO as a “moderate” organization despite its continued sponsorship of terrorism, PLO members are always happy to talk about a “two-state solution” with Westerners that wish to be lied to.

But they do not hesitate to threaten anyone who rejects their lies about Jews and Israel. For instance, Abbas reacted to US President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to abide by the US law requiring the State Department to move the US embassy to Jerusalem by threatening him.

Trump’s plan will have “serious implications” for the US, Abbas told a group of visiting Israeli leftists.

PLO Executive Committee chairman Saeb Erekat said that if Trump moves the US embassy to Israel’s capital, the PLO will lobby Arab states to expel the US ambassadors from their capitals.

Jebl Mukaber, the Jerusalem neighborhood where Sunday’s terrorist lived, used to be just an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem. It wasn’t particularly friendly.

But it also wasn’t particularly hostile.

But then for about five minutes in 1993, the PLO pretended it wasn’t a terrorist group. To the delight of the US, Israel responded by giving it operational bases in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. The PLO then went about indoctrinating residents of the areas under its control as well as throughout Israel that they must reject all forms of coexistence with Israel and work toward its destruction.

These acts of war on the ground have always been complemented by PLO efforts to destroy Israel in the court of world opinion through its unrelenting and ever escalating worldwide political war against the Jewish state.

In keeping with this state of affairs, following 2334’s passage, at the same time its members called for intensifying terrorist attacks against Israel, the PLO Executive Committee decided to escalate its international economic boycott campaign against Israel and ratchet up its campaign to convince the International Criminal Court to convict Israelis of imaginary war crimes.

Like Sunday’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem, it ought to go without saying that these actions are all acts of war against Israel.

The reason it is necessary to state what ought to be the self-evident fact that the PLO is a terrorist organization engaged in a total war against Israel and the Jewish People is because the people that are supposed to act on this reality insist on denying it. The Netanyahu government, the US Congress and US Jewish organizations led by AIPAC still refuse admit the truth about the PLO and draw the necessary conclusions.

Those necessary conclusions are similarly self-evident.

Israel and the US should cut all ties to the PLO.

The PLO should be re-designated as the terrorist group it never stopped being and treated accordingly.

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed non-binding Resolution 11, which condemned resolution 2334. Resolution 11 was shepherded through the House by AIPAC, with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s support.

The House resolution, which is set to be followed by a nearly identical Senate resolution in the coming days, is based on the proposition that 2334 is bad not because, as the Simon Wiesenthal Center rightly said, it was the worst antisemitic act of 2016. Rather, the congressional resolution rejects 2334 because it harms the chance of Israel and the PLO reaching a negotiated peace that will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Resolution 11 is marginally helpful because it rejects economic and political warfare against Israel. But substantively, in regard to the PLO and its legitimacy, the greatest difference between Resolution 11 and 2334 is that while 2334 embraces the PLO’s anti-Jewish rejection of all Jewish ties to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, Resolution 11 recognizes Israel’s right to the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter.

Beyond Jerusalem’s Old City, Congress’s resolution accepts the pro-PLO position that it is a good idea to work toward the forcible expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria to make room for a Jew-free Palestinian state led by PLO terrorists.

To credit its position, the House resolution states that 2334’s refusal to distinguish between Jerusalem’s Old City and Judea and Samaria means it equates “these sites with outposts in the West Bank that the Israeli government has deemed illegal.”

The problem with this wording is that it ignores the fact that the Knesset is about to pass a law that would effectively cancel that delineation. Similarly, it ignores that the delineation of Israeli communities built since 2000 in Judea and Samaria as illegal was done by a radical Justice Ministry attorney who now heads the post-Zionist New Israel Fund.

In other words, Congress’s resolution reflects the view of the far-left fringes of the Israeli political spectrum.

Supported by Netanyahu, AIPAC shepherded this resolution through the House, despite harsh opposition from the House Freedom Caucus whose members wish to end US support for the PLO and for a PLO state.

Although AIPAC condemned the Obama administration’s refusal to veto 2334, it continues to fervently support the PLO and Palestinian statehood. Indeed, just days after 2334 passed, AIPAC officials and missions were meeting with Erekat and other PLO operatives in Ramallah, as if there is anything pro-Israel about meeting with people who just got the Security Council to resolve that Israel is a criminal state.

AIPAC’s continued support for the PLO no doubt stems in part from its desire to keep the Democratic Party inside the pro-Israel tent. Unfortunately, that ship seems to have sailed.

Nearly 40% of House Democrats including minority leader Nancy Pelosi and assistant leader Jim Clyburn voted against the PLO state supporting resolution.

Rep. Keith Ellison, who is the front-runner to be elected Democratic National Committee chairman later this month, also voted no. Two thirds of the 95 Democrats supported by J Street opposed the resolution.

Most of the Democrats that supported Resolution 11 may well have supported it even if it had left out the goal of giving the PLO a state. It cannot be credibly argued that Reps. Elliot Engel and Steny Hoyer would have opposed Resolution 11 if it had simply stated that 2334 was antisemitic.

Certainly it is hard to argue they would have opposed it if the vote was delayed until January 21. Indeed, it is hard to understand why it was necessary to pass the resolution while President Barack Obama – who partnered with the PLO to pass 2334 – is still in office.

Resolution 2334’s passage must be viewed as an inflection point. It is no longer possible to credibly argue that the PLO is remotely interested in peace with Israel. Sunday’s murderous terrorist attack Jerusalem was further testament of this truth.

The time has come for Israelis and Israel’s supporters in the US to demand that our leaders – from Prime Minister Netanyahu to AIPAC to members of Congress – finally recognize and act of this truth. The whitewashing of the PLO must end.

Huma Abedin Attacked Mainstream Jewish Group

October 7, 2016

Huma Abedin Attacked Mainstream Jewish Group, Power Line, Paul Mirengoff, October 7, 2016

Hillary kissing Suha Arafat, who accused Israel of genocide in her presence, and chewing out Bibi Netanyahu for 45 minutes would be cause for concern even if Huma Abedin had never met Mrs. Clinton. But with Abedin at her side, the concern must be all the more pronounced.

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Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s increasingly notorious confidante and top aide, urged Bill Clinton to reject an invitation to speak before the American Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC). In an email, she wrote: “u really want to consider sending him into that crowd?” (Emphasis added)

From her use of the phrase “that crowd,” you might think that AIPAC is a radical organization that advocates ethnic cleansing or some other draconian “solution” to the problems of the Middle East. In reality, of course, AIPAC, is as mainstream a Jewish political organization as exists.

“That crowd” consists of American Jews of all political persuasions. “That crowd” routinely gives standing ovations to speakers from the Obama administrations, whose prescriptions for the Middle East, formulated by President Obama and Clinton herself, hardly tilt against the Palestinians.

To refer to attendees of AIPAC meeting as “that crowd” confirms the depth of Abedin’s anti-Israeli bias.

That bias has long been suspected. Abedin was raised in Saudi Arabia by a family with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. As Richard Pollock reminds us, her parents ran the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.

Mr. Abdein’s benefactor was Abdullah Omar Naseef, secretary general of the Muslim World League (MWL). The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Rabita Trust, a subsidiary of the MWL, as a terrorist entity. Osama bin Laden credited MWL as a funding source after the 9/11 attacks.

When Abedin was at the State Department, I tended not to view her potential to influence U.S. policy towards Israel with as much alarm as some did. Given what I’ve since learned about Abedin’s extraordinary relationship with Hillary Clinton and what we now know about her contempt for AIPAC, I tend to view her potential to influence U.S. policy towards Israel in a Clinton administration with panic.

I wonder, though, how much influencing would be required of Abedin. Hillary Clinton is no friend of Israel, in my view.

Arguably, U.S. policy has never been more hostile towards Israel than during President Obama’s first term, when Clinton was Secretary of State. And I’ve never been able to forgetHillary’s get together with Suha Arafat in the late 1990s. It included a shopping trip, a kiss, and the refusal of Clinton to counter Mrs. Arafat’s claim, made in Hillary’s presence, that Israel was using poison gas to pollute the West Bank’s water and land.

Hillary kissing Suha Arafat, who accused Israel of genocide in her presence, and chewing out Bibi Netanyahu for 45 minutes would be cause for concern even if Huma Abedin had never met Mrs. Clinton. But with Abedin at her side, the concern must be all the more pronounced.

Wrong and rude on Iran and Israel

July 24, 2016

Wrong and rude on Iran and Israel, Israel Hayom Richard Baehr, July 24, 2016

(Please see also, Clinton VP Pick Tim Kaine’s Islamist Ties. — DM)

The Democrats are out selling Tim Kaine as a solid citizen, experienced politician, and a great choice for vice president on the Hillary Clinton ticket — someone who could step in quickly as president if needed. The traditional pro-Israel community, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, are undoubtedly preparing to signal their comfort with him as a Clinton running mate, much as they did with the supposedly pro-Israel Barack Obama, twice. Kaine has voted in favor of foreign aid; he has traveled to Israel; he voted in favor of funding some weapons systems for Israel; he has raised a lot of money from liberal Jews (running for governor, senator, and head of the Democratic National Committee). Therefore, he must be a great supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship. So great in fact, that he was happy to take money from the J Street political action committee and accept its endorsement when he ran for Senate. AIPAC, J Street, Kaine, all one big happy family in the pro-Israel club.

Of course, on the Iran nuclear deal, the single most important foreign policy decision since the vote on the Iraq war in 2002, Kaine was not only wrong, but extraordinarily disrespectful to Israel’s prime minister. He chose to boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress on the issue in early 2015, saying that he thought Netanyahu’s aim was mainly to help himself with his own domestic politics in the Israeli elections, held two weeks later.

“There is no reason to schedule this speech [on March 3] before Israeli voters go to the polls on March 17 and choose their own leadership,” Kaine said in a statement, after describing how he’d worked to delay the event. “I am disappointed that, as of now, the speech has not been postponed. For this reason, I will not attend the speech.”

Let us assume for a moment that Netanyahu had two goals in mind for his speech — to make the case for healthy skepticism and opposition within Congress toward the Iran nuclear deal, which was near completion at the time, and help himself politically. This must have come as a shock to Kaine. Imagine a leader concerned both about the security of his country and his own political future. Good thing such considerations never entered the mind of any American president. Certainly Obama must never have allowed domestic political considerations to influence his policymaking or the timing of his decisions. The attempt to bury the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, presenting it as an event caused by some anti-Muslim message by some obscure American filmmaker was quickly adopted by all the administration spinners — from Susan Rice to then-Secretary of State Clinton. This spin was necessary for Obama to continue running for re-election on the campaign theme he had developed — the fact that he killed Osama bin Laden and saved General Motors. Blaming the filmmaker was of course complete and total nonsense.

And of course, Obama’s recent warning that Britain would be at “the back of the queue” to negotiate a trade agreement with the U.S. if it voted to leave the European Union, was not in any way an act of interference in another country’s politics — the kind of interference that might have drawn Kaine’s ire.

Kaine was one of only eight senators who boycotted Netanyahu’s speech. The others included both Vermont senators, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, two of the least supportive members of Congress when it comes to Israel. Sanders of course pushed for a new policy on Israel during his campaign for the Democratic nomination this year, and brought up the need for balance in terms of support for Israel and the Palestinians in the Brooklyn debate with Clinton, where his enthusiastic supporters went wild when he chastised Israel and its prime minister. At the moment, this sentiment is where the heart of the Democratic Party lies — on the hard left and hostile toward Israel. Two others who boycotted were Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — two of the most passionate leftists in Congress.

One would not expect to find Kaine siding with Vermont’s two near Marxist senators and the most left-wing members of the House in boycotting Netanyahu. But then again, two Democratic senators who happen to be Jewish — Al Franken and Brian Schatz — also boycotted.

There must have been conversations between the administration and Democratic congressional leaders to ensure a decent sized boycott (in total about 20% of congressional Democrats boycotted the speech), and to provide enough names on the boycott list to protect possible future Democratic national figures, meaning, of course, Kaine.

Kaine is the very definition of a career politician. He served on the city council, then as mayor of Richmond, then as governor of Virginia, then as head of the Democratic National Committee and finally as senator. In 2008, he was on Obama’s short list for vice president. If he were to move up to the only positions he has not yet held — vice president and ultimately president, then his actions on Iran in 2015 might well be seen as a signal to movement Democrats — party activists — that he is not a predictable centrist but is capable of turning leftward on Israel.

This meant diverging from AIPAC, which at this point is a low-risk move since the organization seems never to lose the love regardless of members’ behavior or votes. Has AIPAC punished any Democrat for leading the charge, or applying pressure on other Democrats in the House or Senate, on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action?

In fact, for someone who started his political career as something of a social conservative on abortion and gay marriage, Kaine seems to have understood that he needed move leftward on these issues to have a chance at a national future. Republicans are attacked for their disunity, which is real. Democrats enforce their orthodoxy. Kaine’s voting record is 100% liberal on most scorecards, and despite this, some progressives consider him too moderate.

When the JCPOA came up for a vote in Congress, Kaine made up his mind quickly — in the first two weeks . One would have to be pretty gullible to think the senator had carefully weighed the pros and cons of the agreement before deciding.

Kaine’s announced support for the JCPOA likely made it easier for others to also buck AIPAC and support the president. Most remarkably, Kaine voted twice to support a filibuster in the Senate, so that a vote could not even be recorded on the JCPOA. It turns out that 58 senators opposed the agreement (all 54 Republicans, and 4 Democrats), but 60 votes were needed to force a vote in the Senate.

Obama did not want a vote, since he then would have been forced to veto the formal congressional opposition to the agreement since the House had already passed its opposition resolution. Kaine had been a co-sponsor of the Corker bill, therefore it is remarkable cynicism that he was not even willing to allow fellow senators to vote to formally express their opposition to the bill he co-sponsored.

If Kaine becomes vice president, he can be expected to do what is necessary to ensure he has a shot at the final step up the political ladder. Being pro-Israel won’t have much to do with it.

GOP Strengthens Israel Platform Following Free Beacon Expose

July 12, 2016

GOP Strengthens Israel Platform Following Free Beacon Expose, Washington Free Beacon, July 11, 2016

(Please see also, Glick: AIPAC’s Moment of Decision. — DM)

Republican Party leaders reinserted key pro-Israel language into its 2016 platform on Monday following an exclusive Free Beacon report late last week describing efforts by certain elements of the GOP in 2012 to weaken language pertaining to the Jewish state.

The GOP decided to reinsert language describing Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital and remove language advocating in favor of Palestine, according to reports on the final 2016 platform language.

The Free Beacon revealed last week that some party leaders affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the nation’s top pro-Israel lobbying shop, quietly pursued efforts in 2012 to remove references to an “undivided” Jerusalem and add language supporting Palestine.

These changes, viewed by many as an effort to water down the pro-Israel language, were opposed by a separate delegation of Republican leaders, who told the Free Beacon that AIPAC allies strong-armed platform committee members in order to force through the 2012 language.

AIPAC’s goal, the sources claimed, was to bring the GOP platform more in line with its Democratic counterpart. The lobby also opposed efforts from some Republicans to include alternative language viewed by many as more pro-Israel than what was ultimately included in the 2012 platform.

AIPAC has denied the charges.

Glick: AIPAC’s Moment of Decision

July 9, 2016

Glick: AIPAC’s Moment of Decision, Truth RevoltCaroline Glick, July 8, 2016

(Please see also, Video : AIPAC Allies Weakened Pro-Israel Language in 2012 GOP Platform. — DM)

Does AIPAC intend to remain a pro-Israel organization? Or will it opt to become a softer version of J Street and work to hollow out Republican support for Israel?

Later this month the Republicans and Democrats will hold their respective conventions. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will officially become the presidential nominees.

Ahead of the conventions, both parties selected delegates to draft their platforms. The Democratic platform committee convened late last month.

As soon as the delegates to the Democratic platform committee were named, it was clear that the party’s support for Israel would come under assault.

After Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination with her primary victories, she decided to allow her defeated opponent, socialist senator Bernie Sanders, to appoint a third of the committee’s membership.

Three of Sanders’s representatives are outspoken opponents of the US alliance with Israel. Rep. Keith Ellison, Prof. Cornell West and James Zogby have all distinguished themselves as rabid critics of Israel and apologists for Palestinian terrorism.

Although commentators downplayed the significance of their appointments, noting that Clinton’s representatives were, by and large, supportive of Israel, the fact is that Clinton was under no obligation to give Sanders’s supporters a seat at the table. That she did so shows that she wanted to showcase growing Democratic opposition to Israel and tip her hat to the growing power of anti-Israel forces in the party.

In the end, the committee reached a compromise.

While the Zogby/West/Ellison wording was rejected, the draft platform makes explicit mention of Palestinian grievances for the first time calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state that will ensure “the independence, sovereignty and dignity” of the Palestinians.

Watching the drama unfold, the Republicans, reasonably, sought to play up the growing disparity between the GOP’s support for Israel and the Democrats’ growing hostility. After Ellison, West and Zogby were appointed – again, with Clinton’s consent – the Republican Party released an ad attacking the Democrats for abandoning their traditional support for the Jewish state.

The numbers speak for themselves. According to a Pew Research Center survey released in May, since 2014, support for Palestinians among liberal Democrats – that is, hard-line Obama supporters – has skyrocketed from 21 percent to 40%. Support for Israel among the group during the same period decreased from 39% to 33%.

The result marks the first time that support for Palestinians exceeded support for Israel among any major US political demographic. On the other hand, among conservative Republicans, support for Israel stands at 79% while support for Palestinians is almost negligible – 4%. The situation among moderate to liberal Republicans is not much different.

Sixty-five percent support Israel, 13% support the Palestinians. On the other hand, support for Israel versus Palestinians among moderate Democrats stands at 53% to 19%.

To date, the Republicans’ efforts to capitalize on their support for Israel have been stymied by the American Jewish leadership. The desire of Jewish leaders to sweep the growing partisan distinctions under the rug is understandable. They fear that noting the disparity will anger the anti-Israel forces in the Democratic Party, who are led by the president.

Such an event, they fear, will further diminish their capacity to influence Obama’s policy on Israel.

Moreover, it could endanger their support among American Jews.

Since most American Jews are Democrats – and indeed, most American Jewish leaders are Democrats – there is little appetite for a fight with the Democratic Party. Admitting that Republican support for Israel is far stronger than Democratic support would require them to act. Either they will have to switch parties, or they will have to wage an ugly fight with the increasingly powerful – and White House-backed – anti-Israel voices in the party. Not only would such a fight risk losing the party, it would risk losing the Jews who, if forced to choose between their Jewish and liberal sympathies, would, without hesitation, opt to remain in the liberal camp.

The desire to pretend away the problem was on full display late last month. Following the Democrats’ platform meeting, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement calling for the Republicans to effectively replicate the Democrats’ Israel section in the GOP’s platform. ADL’s national chairman Marvin Nathan said, “The platform committee rightfully affirmed the Democrats’ and America’s longstanding commitment to Israel’s security and to Israel’s fundamental rights and enshrined key principles of its quest for peace with the Palestinians through a directly negotiated two-state solution.”

The ADL called on the GOP to approve “similarly strong and unifying language” in its platform “so that both platforms reflect America’s strong bipartisan support for Israel.”

J Street was a central force in the Democratic committee’s deliberation. The far-left Jewish group, which claims to be pro-Israel and pro-peace but has not supported any pro-Israel initiative since it was founded in 2008, supported all the members of Congress who were delegates on the committee.

The rise of J Street as a major force among Democrats is emblematic of the Obama administration’s hostility to Israel and its Jewish American supporters.

The main casualty of J Street’s rise has been AIPAC. J Street was founded to challenge AIPAC’s claim to represent the Jewish community as a whole by claiming that it doesn’t speak for Jews on the Left.

In so has served as a means for enabling Democrats from far-left districts to effectively abandon Israel while using J Street to hide the fact that they have done so. In this way, J Street’s very presence on the political scene has diminished AIPA C’s influence over the party.

J Street supports all manner of anti-Israel measures in the interests of “peace” with the Palestinians.

Indeed, it supported the Sanders delegates’ platform proposal. And throughout Obama’s long courtship of Iran at Israel’s expense, J Street has been an ardent opponent of anti-Iran sanctions and an advocate for whatever deal Obama came up with.

Obama’s use of J Street is just one of the ways has worked to emasculate AIPAC. He has also deliberately hung AIPAC out to dry, repeatedly, in order to humiliate it and weaken its influence over lawmakers.

The most glaring example of that practice was Obama’s insistence that AIPAC lobby Congress in favor of his plan to bomb regime targets in Syria in 2013. Israel had no particular stake in the issue, so AIPAC had no particular reason to get involved.

Moreover, Obama’s plan was unpopular among Democrats and Republicans alike. Democrats opposed his proposed missile strikes because they oppose all US involvement in Middle Eastern wars.

Republicans opposed it, because his plan made no strategic sense. And yet, in the hopes of winning sympathy, and through it, perhaps, influence over its Israel policies, AIPAC dutifully sent its lobbyists to the Hill to push Obama’s plan.

In the end, of course, AIPAC was humiliated, when at the last moment, Obama decided to scrap the strikes.

Then of course, there was Obama’s extraordinary assault of AIPAC over its opposition to his nuclear appeasement of Iran. Throughout the years leading up to his nuclear capitulation to the mullahs last summer, Republicans and pro-Israel Democrats worked together to pass Iran sanctions laws. To appease the administration, AIPAC went out of its way to water down the bills. But the administration was unimpressed.

Last summer, during the fight over Senate Democratic support for the deal, the administration painted AIPAC as a treacherous organization that was working against the US interest for Israel’s benefit.

Anti-Semitic language was deftly deployed by administration surrogates against AIPAC to rally support.

While AIPAC had no choice but to oppose Obama’s embrace of Iran, it has given the administration no fight over its support for the Palestinians against Israel. Indeed, not only has it gone along with the administration’s hostile positions against Israel on the Palestinian issue, it works out that AIPAC has lobbied Republicans to support the Palestinians.

Last week, Republican activists sent me a video recording of the 2012 Republican platform committee’s deliberations regarding the party’s position on Israel. In 2008, the Republican platform included an unequivocal endorsement of unified Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In its words, “We support Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and moving the American embassy to that undivided capital of Israel.”

In the video recordings, Sue Lynch, a delegate from Wisconsin, is seen introducing an amendment calling for the GOP to strike mention of “unified Jerusalem” from its platform. According to the activists, Lynch was acting as a surrogate for AIPAC in submitting the amendment. And in the event, the 2012 Republican platform sufficed with a mention of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Later in the same recording, a committee member submitted an amendment that would have deleted all mention of a Palestinian state from the platform.

She argued that there was no reason for the US to take a position on the matter, since it has to be determined by Israel. From the response the amendment received, it was difficult to discern any controversy over the effort.

That is, until Brad Gordon, AIPAC director of policy and government relations, took the floor. Gordon repeatedly argued that by not committing the GOP to supporting a Palestinian state, the Republicans risked harming Israel.

“We do not want to do anything that would embarrass the Israeli government,” he said.

And since Obama coerced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into endorsing a Palestinian state, Gordon argued that it would be embarrass Netanyahu to leave it out of the platform. In testament to its power, AIPAC got what it wanted. The amendment deleting mention of the Palestinians was defeated.

In other words, acting through a surrogate and directly, AIPAC weakened Republican support for Israel.

Next week, Republican delegates will convene to write their platform, ahead of their convention, which will begin on July 18. Donald Trump has already expressed reservations about supporting Palestinians statehood and supports moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Moreover, the Israeli government’s guidelines make no mention of Palestinians statehood.

As understandable as the US Jewish leadership’s attempts to hide the growing disparity between Republican and Democratic support have been, the fact is they have failed to bring any positive result.

Now, as the anti-Israel voices among the Democrats have grown so powerful that Clinton has enabled them to influence the party’s position on Israel, AIPAC’s moment of decision has arrived.

Does AIPAC intend to remain a pro-Israel organization? Or will it opt to become a softer version of J Street and work to hollow out Republican support for Israel just as J Street has hollowed out Democratic support for the Jewish state?

In a statement in response to this column, AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittmann rejected the veracity of the story’s veracity.

“This column makes a completely false accusation about AIPAC’s position,” Wittmann said. “AIPAC’s position has consistently been that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, should remain undivided and we have supported moving the US embassy there – and that remains our position. AIPAC actually worked to strengthen the 2012 Republican platform on Jerusalem. When it was noticed that Jerusalem was omitted from the original draft, we urged that language be included reflecting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

Video: AIPAC Allies Weakened Pro-Israel Language in 2012 GOP Platform

July 8, 2016

Video: AIPAC Allies Weakened Pro-Israel Language in 2012 GOP Platform, Washington Free Beacon: , July 8, 2016

(There seems to be no suggestion the GOP  pro-Israel platform for 2016 has yet been weakened, although there appear to be efforts to that end that AIPAC may make. — DM)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the nation’s foremost pro-Israel lobby, pursued a quiet campaign to weaken pro-Israel language in the Republican Party’s 2012 platform, according to video obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and sources who attended the 2012 platform committee deliberations.

The sources described AIPAC’s bid to weaken the GOP’s language on Israel as an attempt to bring it more in line with the Democratic Party’s platform, in order to reinforce the perception long promoted by AIPAC that both parties are equally pro-Israel.

The lobby’s ultimately successful effort to weaken the 2012 pro-Israel language left some Republicans angered, according to sources who told the Free Beacon that the fight over the platform’s Israel language is likely to revive next week in Cleveland, when AIPAC will again face Republicans who advocate language that is more pro-Israel than that of the Democratic Party. AIPAC denies working to water down pro-Israel language in the 2012 GOP platform.

AIPAC-backed changes to the 2012 platform included the removal of support for an “undivided” Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as the removal of language calling for the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The 2008 Republican platform stated: “We support Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and moving the American embassy to that undivided capital of Israel.”

That language was not included in the 2012 version, which states: “[W]e envision two democratic states—Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine—living in peace and security.”

During the 2012 discussions, the removal of the 2008 language was carried out at the behest of members of the platform committee who were allied with AIPAC, according to video of the session obtained by the Free Beacon.

The video shows amended language being proposed on behalf of Sue Lynch, a past president of the National Federation of Republican Women, a staunch pro-Israel advocate, and a close ally of AIPAC who has spoken at AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference. Free Beacon sources involved in the platform fight said that the language changes proposed by Lynch were encouraged by AIPAC.

When reached for comment, Lynch told the Free Beacon that during the 2012 platform meetings she “worked with AIPAC to insure strong language supporting” Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. When asked about the video footage showing an amendment bearing her name removing the “undivided” language and the endorsement of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, she said, “that doesn’t seem correct” and added that “my memory recalls supporting Jerusalem as the capital.”

Yet when delegates who opposed the AIPAC-supported changes presented alternative language that reaffirmed the GOP’s 2008 position, Lynch and others succeeded in defeating it according to subsequent video footage obtained by the Free Beacon.

The alternate language stated, “We desire Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its undivided and eternal capital, and call for the American embassy to be moved there in fulfillment of U.S. law,” according to a copy obtained by the Free Beacon.

Lynch told the Free Beacon that “I did not support their efforts” to revive the 2008 language.

The initial platform-drafting meeting ended without resolution and the dispute was taken up at a meeting the next day.

In the hours between the two meetings, AIPAC allies are said to have privately persuaded delegates to oppose the alternative resolution.

A live broadcast of the platform committee’s final meeting hints at the internal discord that had erupted behind-the-scenes over the Israel language.

Randy Page, a delegate from South Carolina, led the failed effort to replace the AIPAC-approved platform with the alternate language supported by a significant number of Republican leaders.

“With all due respect, I believe that our present plank on Israel is way off base,” Page said during a live CSPAN broadcast of the platform committee’s meeting.

“Our present Israel platform is a nearly identical copy of the Democrat’s Israel platform,” Page said. “Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me. Now let me ask: How many of you here today agree with President Obama’s policy of pressuring Israel? Because our platform sure seems to. That is not what’s in the heart of everyday Republicans who stand with Israel.”

The platform committee again ended its session without resolving the Israel issue.

Top Republican leaders aligned with AIPAC completed the final language behind closed doors, sources said. Excluded from that meeting were delegates who had backed the alternative pro-Israel language.

When the final platform was unveiled at the 2012 convention, all of AIPAC’s recommended changes were included, sources claimed. References to an “undivided” Jerusalem and the relocation of the U.S. embassy were omitted.

AIPAC denies that it worked to strip language advocating an undivided Jerusalem and moving the U.S. embassy there.

The charges are “not true,” an AIPAC spokesman told the Free Beacon. “AIPAC’s position has consistently been that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, should remain undivided, and we have supported moving the U.S. embassy there—and that remains our position.”

“AIPAC actually worked to strengthen the 2012 Republican platform on Jerusalem,” the spokesman said. “When it was noticed that Jerusalem was omitted from the original draft, we urged that language be included reflecting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

A source close to AIPAC told the Free Beacon that the only discussion AIPAC was involved in surrounded the issue of a two-state solution, which AIPAC supports.

The source further maintained that the original GOP platform proposal did not include any language mentioning an undivided Jerusalem. AIPAC staffers noticed this omission and recommended that such language be included, according to the source, who added that there was never any effort from AIPAC to weaken the platform language, but instead strengthen it.

While language on Jerusalem was ultimately added to the platform, the term “undivided” was rejected.

One source involved in drafting the 2012 platforms told the Free Beacon that AIPAC sought to ensure that the Republican and Democratic platforms used similar language with regards to Israel—despite objections from leaders in both parties.

GOP delegate Alan Clemmons, a South Carolina state representative, maintained AIPAC was behind efforts to suppress the alternate language and drag the GOP closer in line with the Democratic Party.

“The Obama years have proven a disastrous misery for anyone who cares about Israel,” Clemmons said. “AIPAC’s only responding tactic has been to pull the Republicans leftward in order to manufacture the appearance of bipartisanship. This has significantly lowered the bar in the process of making policy, so much so that we may now have to live with a nuclear Iran for example.”

Another source involved in the fight to strengthen the platform’s language told the Free Beacon that AIPAC is working to undermine its own agenda. The lobby played a key role in pushing 1995 legislation requiring the U.S. embassy in Israel be moved to Jerusalem.

“It’s strange that AIPAC, which led on this issue in 1995 with the Jerusalem Embassy Act that requires the U.S. government to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move our embassy there, has now gutted support for the same policy in both parties’ platforms,” the source said. “Major leaders in the Democratic Party today like Harry Reid, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Patty Murray, Diane Feinstein, Charles Rangel, Charles Schumer, and Dick Durbin, were all co-sponsors of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act.”

“So not only has AIPAC walked the Democrats back from an undivided Jerusalem, they’ve succeeded in steering the Republican party away from an undivided Jerusalem as well. And they did it by tricking people,” the source said.

The 2012 controversy is viewed by some members of the platform drafting committee as a prelude to a similar dispute that will play out in the 2016 drafting meetings. Clemmons says he will lead the charge to change the 2016 platform.

“Public polling has consistently proved that the GOP base does not support many of the positions being promoted by AIPAC,” he said. “The new language I will propose in Cleveland will accurately reflect the views of the base, and put support for Israel back into the hands of those everyday Americans whose support for Israel is the most honest and sincere.”

“Having been at the 2012 GOP Convention to personally witness AIPAC’s staff and operatives shamelessly kill the party’s support for an undivided Jerusalem, I can say that it was easily the most tragic and dishonest political episode I have ever witnessed,” Clemmons said.

AIPAC’S pathetic apology to Obama

March 24, 2016

AIPAC’S pathetic apology to Obama, New York Post, Seth Lipsky March 23, 2016

Trump at AIPACDonald Trump Photo: AP

‘Unprecedented” is the word the Washington Post is using for the apology issued by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for the applause given to Donald Trump at its conference this week.

AIPAC is shocked — shocked — that The Donald criticized President Obama from the lobby’s stage. And that Trump’s jibe was greeted with a gleeful ovation from thousands of pro-Israel activists.

It happened when Trump was marking the betrayals by the United Nations, which, he said, is “not a friend of democracy, it’s not a friend to freedom.” It’s not even, he added, a friend to America or Israel.

“With President Obama in his final year — yay!” The Donald exclaimed. “He may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me, believe me. And you know it, and you know it better than anybody.”

That’s what prompted AIPAC’s president, Lillian Pinkus, to apologize. “We are deeply disappointed,” she said, “that so many people applauded a sentiment that we neither agree with or condone.”

Forgive me, but the right word for AIPAC’s apology is “chickens – – -.” And it’s not just because Hillary Clinton’s address, with her jibes at Trump and other Republicans, was the most partisan speech at AIPAC.

It’s also because AIPAC has always been a stage for putting things into sharp relief. Of course President Obama isn’t literally the worst thing that’s ever happened to Israel (we Jews have had more than our portion of woe).

It’s hard, though, to think of a presidency as disappointing to Israel as Obama’s has been. Who, after all, was that “senior Obama administration official” who used “chickensh – – -” to describe Benjamin Netanyahu?

The insult was reported by The Atlantic not long before Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress. The magazine reckoned it marked the moment when, as its headline put it, “the crisis in US-Israel relations is officially here.”

No one is placing bets on this driving Jewish voters out of the Democratic Party and into the arms of the GOP.

The landscape is littered with erroneous predictions that Jews are going to start voting Republican, a fact that I’ve learned from personal experience in the newspaper line.

It’s not too soon, though, to say that we’re at a remarkable moment. Before Trump made his appearance at AIPAC, after all, there were warnings of all sorts of protests and walkouts.

In the event, the man who’s been endorsed by David Duke (and belatedly repudiated it) received a warm reception, marked by standing ovations. It prompted the editor of one Jewish newspaper, Jane Eisner of the Forward, to write that she was “ashamed.”

“The applause,” she wrote, “began after he uttered his very first sentence.” Soon some in the crowd were standing and clapping. “And, when he threw the red meat that he brilliantly feeds his other crowds, there were cheers as they gobbled it up.”

And no wonder. Trump railed against the articles of appeasement on which the Obama administration agreed with Iran. And this is not a Likud-versus-Labor thing. Both Netanyahu and the opposition’s Isaac Herzog opposed the pact with the ayatollahs.

As does every GOP candidate who addressed AIPAC this year, including Ted Cruz most forcefully. John Kasich declared that in the wake of Iran’s latest missile tests he would suspend the agreement.

The only candidate at AIPAC who actually supports the Iran appeasement is Hillary Clinton. Her chutzpah is so thick that it could be carved up with a chain saw and used to make bomb shelters — a point well-marked in The Post’s editorial Wednesday.

At AIPAC, she warned against the Republicans. She said the GOP would give them a “glimpse of a potential US foreign policy that would insult our allies, not engage them, and embolden our adversaries, not defeat them.”

If AIPAC’s delegates seemed momentarily confused, it’s no doubt because they thought she was talking about herself again. Or the reset with Russia, the war she plumped for in Libya or her victories in Afghanistan.

No wonder Trump, Cruz and Kasich got so much applause. AIPAC knows deep down that the Democrats have been a disaster in foreign policy. If any apologies are owed, they’re by the Democrats — even if that would be “unprecedented.”