web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


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 Three months later, the measure was repealed by a vote of 111 to 25.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. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


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.

Current Top Story
investing-in-gold_4548807_lrg
What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa
Latest Indepth Stories

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

Donald Trump

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer

Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas

No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.

Increasingly, Sweden is becoming a country where anti-Semitism & supporting terrorism is acceptable.

Rabbi Pfeffer points out that at his site, there are no one-line answers. “We want to show the people we’re interested in their questions,” he says.

The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State

The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.

Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Zechariah Schwarzberg, z”l

Though intimately acquainted with mankind’s darkest side, he never lost his faith&love in God or man

Front-Page-051515

Some of the president’s defenders took to arguing that the overwhelming majority of German military personnel interred in Bitburg were regular Wehrmacht soldiers who died on the battlefield and likely were not involved in atrocities against civilians.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

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.

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

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: