web analytics
December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Back to the Future: A Political Excursion

George Herbert Walker Bush

George Herbert Walker Bush

It was Quayle who acted as an unofficial liaison between Jewish leaders and President Bush, particularly in times of trouble. So wholeheartedly did Quayle identify with the cause of Israel that he often spoke on the subject in the first person, as when he counseled Jews concerned with Bush’s stance on loan guarantees for Israel, “Let’s back off for now, we’re going to get [them] eventually.”

At the 1992 annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Quayle, despite a dis­tinctly anti-Bush mood among the attendees, was treated like a member of the family and drew a rousing ovation when he greeted AIPAC delegates as “fellow Zion­ists.”

It was Quayle who first suggested that Bush use his post-Gulf War prestige to push for the repeal of the United Nations’ 1975 Zionism-is-racism resolution, an idea the president found to his liking. In a speech at the UN on September 23, 1991, Bush told the General Assembly that “[t]o equate Zionism with the intolerable sin of racism is to twist history. Zionism is not a policy; it was an idea that led to the home of the Jewish people in the state of Israel.” Three months later, the measure was repealed by a vote of 111 to 25.

* * * * *

The low point for the Bush presidency in its relation­ship with Israel – arguably the low point in U.S.-Israel relations for any presidency up to that point – came on September 12, 1991 (ironically, less than two weeks before Bush’s impas­sioned pro-Zionist UN speech), when Bush held a national­ly televised press conference and blasted Jewish organiza­tions and lobbyists who were trying to win Congressional support for U.S. loan guarantees requested by Israel.

The administration, still at loggerheads with the Shamir government over the issue of Jewish settlements, had been urging Congress to delay consideration of the Israeli request. Polls showed strong public support for the White House position, but Jewish organizations dis­patched hundreds of activists to Washington in a large-scale effort to sway lawmakers.

To Bush, still riding high six months after the Gulf War (though his approval ratings had already begun a downward slide that would only accelerate in the months ahead), this was nothing less than an attempt to take American foreign policy out of his hands, and he lashed out in language for which he would later apologize.

Pounding his fists on the lectern and wearing a look of barely controlled anger, Bush declared that he was “up against some powerful political forces…. I heard today there were something like a thousand lobbyists on the Hill work­ing on the other side of the question. We’ve got one lonely little guy down here doing it.”

Bush also made it sound as though he had gone to war with Saddam Hussein for the sake of Israel: “Just months ago,” he declared, “American men and women in uniform risked their lives to defend Israelis in the face of Iraqi Scud missiles.”

Of course, Bush left out the fact that the war was fought for Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the unre­stricted flow of oil to the West, and that when Iraq rained Scud missiles down on Israel, Yitzhak Shamir honored Bush’s desperate plea not to retaliate, despite enormous pressure to do so from his own military advisers and at considerable political risk to himself.

And, knowing full well how unpopular foreign aid is to large numbers of Americans, Bush exploited that issue as well. “During the current fiscal year alone, and despite our own economic problems,” is how he put it, “the United States provided Israel with more than $4 billion in econom­ic and military aid, nearly $1,000 for every Israeli man, woman and child” – never bothering to explain how and why that aid grew over the course of nine administra­tions, including his own.

Though Bush did add that the U.S. had been Israel’s closest friend for more than 40 years and that “this remains the case and will as long as I am president,” no­body paid any attention to that part of his outburst. Bush had, in just a few minutes’ time, ensured that he would be remembered as the first president ever to publicly question the motives and cast doubts on the legitimacy of pro-Israel lobbying by American Jews.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Back to the Future: A Political Excursion”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Prosecutor in Ferguson Case: ‘Witnesses Lied Under Oath’
Latest Indepth Stories
The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/back-to-the-future-a-political-excursion/2012/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: