Posted tagged ‘AIPAC’

Funding Terrorism to Fight Terrorism

July 18, 2017

Funding Terrorism to Fight Terrorism, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, July 18, 2017

AIPAC hasn’t gotten behind the Taylor Force Act. Instead it’s holding out for some “revised” version that would make it meaningless while attracting bipartisan support. Meaningless pro-Israel measures that pass with huge majorities are AIPAC’s bread and butter. They’re its political Potemkin villages.

The ideal Taylor Force Act, according to AIPAC, most Democrats and some Republicans, would condemn terrorism without cutting a cent in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority. It would contain a national security waiver and plenty of gimmicks that would actually increase funding for terror.


Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, the father of a newborn baby, and Kamil Shnaan, who was newly engaged, were murdered in an Islamic terrorist attack in Jerusalem. The two Israeli police officers were members of the Druze community in Israel. The terrorists who shot them were killed by other police officers.

While Israel will compensate the families of the dead police officers, the Palestinian Authority will compensate the families of the terrorists. And American taxpayers will compensate both.

This is typical of a foreign policy in which we fund both the terrorists and the terrorized.

Sooner or later, we are going to have to choose a side.

This mad policy is facing its biggest threat with the Taylor Force Act. The bill, named after a murdered Afghanistan and Iraq War veteran stabbed to death in Tel Aviv, would strip funding from the Palestinian Authority unless the terror state stops giving money to terrorists and their families for their crimes.

The Taylor Force Act has plenty of support in Congress. But the Palestinian Authority has made it abundantly clear that it will not stop paying terrorists to kill Israelis. PA terror boss Abbas is gambling that our politicians will blink first rather than stop sending him hundreds of millions of dollars.

And the tragedy of it is that he appears to be right.

Everyone condemns the Palestinian Authority’s policy of funding terrorists. Typical adjectives include “abhorrent” and “abominable”. But don’t expect them to actually cut off the cash.

Senators are scurrying to neuter the Taylor Force Act. There are dire warnings that if we stop funding the biggest Islamic terrorist group in Israel, it will collapse and make way for more terrorism.

If we don’t stop giving Islamic terrorists money to commit terrorism… the terrorists will win.

This sums up the insanity of our foreign policy in which we fund terrorism to fight terrorism, and in which the “moderate” Islamic terrorists of the Palestinian Authority and the Muslim Brotherhood are our best hope for restraining the really scary “extremist” Islamic terrorists of ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Senators have been complaining about the act’s “All or nothing” approach. All or nothing means that the Palestinian Authority would have to stop funding terror or lose funding. And since the Palestinian Authority won’t stop funding terror and they don’t want to cut its funding, they hate all or nothing.

AIPAC hasn’t gotten behind the Taylor Force Act. Instead it’s holding out for some “revised” version that would make it meaningless while attracting bipartisan support. Meaningless pro-Israel measures that pass with huge majorities are AIPAC’s bread and butter. They’re its political Potemkin villages.

The ideal Taylor Force Act, according to AIPAC, most Democrats and some Republicans, would condemn terrorism without cutting a cent in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority. It would contain a national security waiver and plenty of gimmicks that would actually increase funding for terror.

Instead of the Taylor Force Act, the call is on for a “Taylor Force like” bill that would be like it the way that a $25 Rolex being peddled from a wheelbarrow outside Central Park is like a real Rolex.

There are calls for a more “targeted” bill that would go after some, but not all of the PA’s funding.

But what would a targeted bill actually target? There are calls to exempt humanitarian aid. Never mind that much of the humanitarian aid really finds its way into the pockets of PA and Hamas leaders. Then there is the “security assistance” that enables the terrorists to pretend to fight terrorism.

And then there’s all the institutional support to maintain the corrupt authoritarian institutions of the PA while still providing all of the social services that the PA is supposed to provide, but doesn’t. We have to build roads and schools, and provide electricity and fund hospitals for our worst enemies.

If we can’t cut social services to the biggest terrorist welfare state in the world or security assistance to its terrorist armies, what can we cut?

You guessed it. Nothing.

Cut social services and we’ll just “radicalize” and “embitter” them further. Cut security assistance and they’ll have no choice but to resort to more terrorism. What can we do except give them more money?

A Taylor Force like bill will just move money around. And nothing will change. Senators will pat themselves on the back. And the State Department will see to it that the terror funding continues.

Just to make a madly irrational policy even more absurdly insane, critics of the Taylor Force Act claim that ending funding for terror will undermine Israeli security. The basis for this claim comes from what is usually described in umpteen news stories as a coalition of retired Israeli military officers.

But Caroline Glick has already exposed Commanders for Israel’s Security as a left-wing group with links to Obama and Soros. CIS holds positions that undermine Israeli security. And it’s part of a pattern of recruiting retired Israeli security personnel and military people as fronts for anti-Israel agendas.

Prime Minister Netanyahu supports the Taylor Force Act. As do top former military officials. The first name on the list belonged to former Defense Minister Ya’alon; no friend of Netanyahu. The letter concludes by noting that, “The Knesset is considering passage of a law calling for deducting the amount the PA pays terrorists from the money Israel transfers to the PA. It is legislation sponsored by members of all parties, except the far-left Meretz and the Joint Arab List.”

And yet we have politicians and pundits who insist that “we should listen to the Israelis” and keep on funding the PLO. The “Israelis” they want us to listen to are not the country’s elected government and its voters, but a fake organization with an agenda and links to Israel’s opponents.

And so here we are funding terrorism to fight terrorism and listening to Israelis by ignoring them.

Sarah Yerkes of the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace argues that threatening to defund the PA unless it stops funding terrorism could lead to it refusing to change its policy of funding terrorism. If the PA doesn’t stop financing terror out of the goodness of its heart, we’re utterly helpless to do anything except keep shoving more money into its dirty and bloody hands.

The consequences of not funding terrorism are too terrifying to contemplate. What else can we possibly do except nothing?

Cutting off money to the terrorists would just lead to more terrorism. That’s the sum of all the arguments. And there’s a word for it. Blackmail.

We can’t figure out how to stop paying blackmail money to Islamic terrorists. The most powerful nation on earth can’t stop writing big checks to one of the oldest active Islamic terror groups on the planet.

But it’s easy. You just stop sending the checks.

You stop worrying about stability, further radicalization and an imaginary peace process. You can’t buy stability by paying the biggest terrorist group to keep the smaller ones down. If you’re going to do that, you might as well start subsidizing the mafia to keep other criminals in line.

The PA, Fatah and the PLO constantly promote and celebrate Islamic terrorism. They’re not as bad as ISIS, but does that mean we should be funding every Islamic terrorist group less terrible than ISIS?

Finally, if the PA won’t stop funding Islamic terrorists who kill Israelis decades after signing what was supposed to be a peace accord with Israel, talk of a peace process is hollow nonsense.

The United States shouldn’t need a special bill to defund an Islamic terrorist group that has murdered many Americans over the years. We can’t end terrorism tomorrow. But we can at least stop funding it.

If only we can figure out how to stop writing the checks.

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.


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.

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.”

AIPAC Rebukes Trump’s Obama Truth telling, Ignores Hillary’s Insult to AIPAC

March 24, 2016

AIPAC president admonishes Trump and AIPAC audience for “attacks” on Obama, but Hillary love for Iran Deal was no problem.

By: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Published: March 24th, 2016

Source: The Jewish Press » » AIPAC Rebukes Trump’s Obama Truth telling, Ignores Hillary’s Insult to AIPAC

Lillian Pinkus, president of AIPAC speaks at the Policy Conference. March 21, 2016.
Photo Credit: YouTube screen capture

On Monday, Mar. 21, four Americans who are competing to be the next President of the United States spoke to the thousands gathered in Washington, D.C. at the policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

In what should be considered a shocking breach of etiquette, the morning after those speeches, the president of AIPAC gave a verbal spanking to one of the speakers.

The four speakers on Monday were the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, and the three remaining Republican candidates in the race, Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) and Gov. John Kasich (OH).

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders chose not to attend the AIPAC conference.

It’s hard to come up with a more familiar face at AIPAC than Clinton. Her speech was warmly applauded by the crowd and she threw out lots of the standard tropes: “defending our ally in the Middle East” and the “unbreakable bond between Israel and the U.S.”

The audience also responded appreciatively when Clinton repeatedly attacked Republican frontrunner Trump. Nor did they boo when she spoke positively about perhaps the most important – and detested – foreign policy issue of the past year, the Nuclear Iran Deal.

AIPAC spent an unprecedented nearly $30 million in advertising and lobbying efforts to kill the Iran Deal. That was because AIPAC leadership decided the deal was far too dangerous for Israel and for the United States for them to sit on the sidelines. There are many who believe AIPAC badly – perhaps permanently – damaged its reputation by pouring so much money and other resources into fighting the terrible deal, and losing.

And yet, Hillary Clinton praised the deal during her talk to the AIPAC policy conference on Monday. Of that Iran Deal, Clinton said,: “I really believe the United States, Israel and the world are safer as a result.”

Lillian Pinkus, AIPAC’s president, did not chide Clinton for, essentially, rubbing AIPAC’s nose in its loss on the Iran Deal. Nope, that would be bad form.

But what Pinkus did go after was criticism of President Barack Obama, who was, of course, the architect and chief cheerleader of the disastrous Nuclear Iran Deal. It was also Obama who said in words and later in deeds that he wished to put daylight between the U.S. and Israel.

According to reports, Pinkus was tearful when she gave a statement, flanked by her top officers, apologizing for one of the speakers who dared to actually call Obama on his misdeeds towards Israel.

In the context of rumored threats that the President was going to impose a “solution” on Israel in a U.N. Security Council Resolution, Donald Trump said to the AIPAC policy conference that Obama was “in his last year in office.” He then extemporaneously added “yay.” The audience responded with a roaring cheer and thunderous applause. Trump continued with: “Obama may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel,” which was met with more, albeit subdued, applause.

Near the end of his talk, Trump said what so many pro-Israel Americans fervently believe, which is that “Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have treated Israel very, very badly.”

That so many in the audience applauded those statements by Trump – though he is not generally a favorite in the American Jewish community – should have lifted the blinders from the eyes of the firmly-cemented-in-the-Democratic-party AIPAC leadership. It didn’t.

Instead, Pinkus and her team decided to attack Trump for making his statements, thereby injecting their own political orientation to the mix.

No harsh words for Clinton who praised the Nuclear Iran Deal, AIPAC’s sworn nemesis, but a “tearful condemnation” of Trump for daring to speak from his heart about the current president, and an admonishment for those in the crowd who dared to applaud Trump’s temerity.

This was the statement made by Lillian Pinkus, president of AIPAC:

Standing before you are the lay and professional leadership of this organization.We speak on behalf of the Board of Directors and professional staff.

From the moment this conference began, until this moment, we have preached a message of unity.

We’ve said, in every way we can think of, “Come Together.”

But last evening, something occurred which has the potential to drive us apart. To divide us.

We say unequivocally that we do not countenance ad hominem attacks, and we take great offense to those that are levied at the President of the United States of America from our stage.

While we may have policy differences, we deeply respect the office of the President of the United States and our President, Barack Obama.

We are disappointed that so many people applauded a sentiment that we neither agree with nor condone.

Let us close this conference in recognition that when we say we must “Come Together,” we still have a lot to learn from each other. And we still have much work to do—because broadening the base of the American pro-Israel movement is essential and our unity is our strength.

Let us pledge to each other that in this divisive and tension-filled political season that we will not allow those that wish to divide our movement—from the left or the right—to succeed in doing so.

Thank you.

There are many in the pro-Israel and Israeli community who believe that the Nuclear Iran Deal is opening the door to another Holocaust. But at AIPAC, “Come Together” was the priority, rather than “Never Again.”

Inside Account of Anti-Israel Assault at AIPAC

March 23, 2016

Inside Account of Anti-Israel Assault at AIPAC, PJ Media – Bill Whittle via You Tube, March 23, 2016

Cruz Hits Trump on NATO ‘Surrender’ in Wake of Brussels Attacks

March 22, 2016

Cruz Hits Trump on NATO ‘Surrender’ in Wake of Brussels Attacks, Newsmax, Sandy Fitzgerald, March 22, 2016

(At least he didn’t blame the Trump rallies for the violence in Brussels. — DM)

Cruz vs Trump(AP)

GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz said Tuesday that Donald Trump was engaging in a “pre-emptive surrender” to Islamic terror by calling for a “withdrawal” from NATO on the eve of the Brussels terror attacks.

On Monday, Trump told CNN that the U.S. should greatly reduce its support of NATO.

“It’s too much and frankly it’s a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea,” Trump said of the US-European security alliance.

Cruz said he found it “striking” that the terror attacks occurred on the day after his rival candidate Donald Trump called for reducing the U.S. role NATO.

“We see Brussels where NATO is headquartered as the subject of a radical Islamic terrorist attack,” Cruz said in a press conference from Washington D.C.

“Donald Trump is wrong that America should withdraw from the world and abandon our allies. Donald Trump is wrong that America should retreat from Europe, retreat from NATO, hand Vladimir Putin a major victory, and while’s he’s at it, hand ISIS a major victory.”

Instead, said the Texas senator, NATO would be crucial in any United States effort in “utterly destroying ISIS.”

“And I would note that NATO  is ready to act in a way our president is not,” said Cruz.

“Donald Trump’s proposal to withdraw from the world, to withdraw from NATO and Europe is sadly consistent with his statement that he intends to be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Cruz also said Trump’s approach was similar to Obama’s.

“We have seen for 7 years a president that cannot distinguish between our friends and enemies. A president that cannot distinguish between the nation of Israel and Islamic terrorists who seek to murder us, and it would be a mistake to elect another president who buys into the same left-wing moral relativism that equates the terrorist blowing himself you have and murdering innocent civilians to the brave soldiers and law enforcement officers risking everything to keep us safe.”

Cruz was not alone for criticizing Trump on his stand on NATO.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, appearing on Fox News Tuesday morning, said Trump’s plan for downsizing the U.S. role in NATO was dangerous as we confront the grave threat of Islamic terrorism.

Donald Trump’s AIPAC Speech

March 22, 2016

Donald Trump’s AIPAC Speech, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, March 21, 2016

(Power Line’s authors have generally opposed Trump. — DM)

Donald Trump delivered his much-anticipated address to AIPAC this afternoon. You can read the speech here.

I thought it was a good speech. Apparently, the audience did too. Trump received applause that at times was raucous. He even brought many to their feet multiple times.

Trump’s focus was right where it should be — on the Iranian threat. “My number one priority,” he said, “is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”

Trump then outlined his three-part strategy for dealing with Iran. First, “stand up to Iran’s aggressive push to destabilize and dominate the region.” Second, “totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network.” Third, “at the very least. . .hold Iran accountable by restructuring the terms of the previous deal.” I liked it better when he said “dismantle the disastrous deal.”

Next, Trump attacked the United Nations. He described it as “a complete and total disaster” and insisted that the U.S. must never let the UN impose a deal between “Israel and Palestine.” As president he would use his veto to block such a deal, he promised.

After that, Trump lambasted the Palestinian government for its non-stop incitement of hatred against Israel, especially among children. He said:

When you live in a society where athletes and movie stars are heroes, little kids want to be athletes and movie stars. In Palestinian society, the heroes are those who murder Jews – we can’t let this continue. You cannot achieve peace if terrorists are treated as martyrs. Glorifying terrorists is a tremendous barrier to peace.

One Fox News, one commentator, I think it was Charles Krauthammer, noted that Trump didn’t really describe what he would do about this situation. It’s unrealistic to suppose that the U.S. president can change the way Palestinian society educates children.

But Trump did make clear what he will not do, if elected president. He will not attempt to impose a settlement on Israel. He will not treat Israel’s elected leader like dirt. He will turn a blind eye to Iranian aggression and non-compliance with the nuclear.

In short, a Trump administration would completely reverse President Obama’s approach to Israel and the region in general. That’s good enough for me.

Speaking of Obama, Trump’s best moment was improvised. Reading from his speech, he said, “With President Obama in his final year. . .” Then, with perfect timing, he added “yea.”

The crowd went wild. Jewish activists of the kind who attend AIPAC’s meeting have treated Obama with respect for years. Judging by the reaction to Trump’s line, however, it looks like, deep down, many of them can’t stand the guy.

In this sense, Trump’s speech was liberating. I applaud him for it.