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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘American Israel Public Affairs Committee’

Rumor: AIPAC Meddling in GOP Platform to Tone-Down Pro-Israel Language

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Alan Clemmons, a member of the GOP Platform committee, who on Monday wrote on his Facebook page that he was “honored to propose a strong Israel Plank of the GOP Platform” (See Lori Lowenthal Marcus’s report in today’s Jewish Press), also mentioned that “unfortunately, the saga is not over. The rumor is that AIPAC is trying to recruit surrogates on the Committee to oppose and weaken our strong Israel Plank language tomorrow when it comes before the full committee for approval.”

Last week, the Washington Free Beacon revealed that “AIPAC pursued a quiet campaign to weaken pro-Israel language in the Republican Party’s 2012 platform.” According to the WFB, “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 US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,” ostensibly to insure a balance on Israel between the Democratic and the Republican platforms.

AIPAC’s success in weakening the 2012 pro-Israel language left some Republicans angry, according to sources who told the Free Beacon that the fight over the platform’s Israel language is likely to renew next week in Cleveland.

AIPAC denied working to cool down the pro-Israel language in the 2012 GOP platform.

But Jeff Dunetz, writing for The Lid, reported Monday that he “was able to contact another person involved with the committee who [confirmed] that they too heard that AIPAC is working on a full court press to roll back the 2016 GOP language.”

Jeff Ballabon, chairman of Iron Dome Alliance, who told the Jewish Press‘ Lori Lowenthal Marcus on Monday evening that AIPAC “is amongst the most firmly pro-Two States,” and that “Republican pro-Israel legislators have grown increasingly less enthusiastic about AIPAC,” also told Jeff Dunetz that he is “personally familiar with a number of instances where AIPAC lobbied against Israel’s clear interests and stated policies in pursuit of their own agenda.”

Clemmons, who posted a link to the Dunetz story on his Facebook page, called on his fellow registered Republican Jews: “If you know any Platform Delegates please send them a note to STAND STRONG FOR ISRAEL!!!”

At this point, these are only rumors based on last week’s story about AIPAC and the 2012 GOP platform language. It should be said that, even if AIPAC denies the new rumor, which they probably will, their involvement in preventing a war between the GOP and DNC over who is more pro-Israel is understandable. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have attempted to make Israel the battlefield where the two sides in this election would fight each other, and no one in their right mind would want this — especially not a political PAC investing in ongoing, day in and day out pro-Israel lobbying.

David Israel

Netanyahu: No Cuts in US Support for Missile Defense

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office issued the following statement regarding the dispute between the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Obama Administration over US support for Israel’s anti-missile program:

“In the wake of numerous misleading reports, the Prime Minister’s bureau would like to clarify there has been no cut in American assistance. There is an internal debate between Congress and the White House on the size of the annual supplement to the missile defense program.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is working to anchor this supplement as part of the discussions on the assistance agreement for the next ten years.

“Not only will security assistance for missile defense not be cut, it will be increased.

“The attempt to turn the dialogue with the US into a domestic Israeli political tool is improper; expressions of panic are not warranted,” the PM’s statement concluded.

David Israel

AIPAC ‘Deeply Disappointed’ Obama Won’t Up Israel’s Missile Defense by $445 Million

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) issued a statement criticizing the White House Office of Management and Budget’s “Statement of Administration Policy” which threatened to veto the Senates $576 billion defense spending bill, among other reasons because the statement of policy “opposes the addition of $455 million above the FY 2017 Budget request for Israeli missile defense procurement and cooperative development programs.”

Last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $600 million in funding for 2017, which represents an increase of $455 million over the president’s original request.

The statement of administration policy released Tuesday by the Office of Management and Budget reads: “The bill is inconsistent with the [Bipartisan Budget Act], and the administration strongly objects to the inclusion of problematic ideological provisions that are beyond the scope of funding legislation. … If the president were presented with H.R. 5293, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

One of those “problematic ideological provisions” is the increased allocation for Israel’s missile defense research and development.

The White House used the same tactic against the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which the president also threatened to veto.

AIPAC said in a statement that it was “deeply disappointed” with the White House’s choosing to include the increase in defense spending on Israel’s missile programs in the components of the budget to which it objected. “On a bipartisan basis, Congress has increased funding above administration requests this year, as it has done for well over a decade,” AIPAC said. “These cooperative programs—including the Arrow, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome—are critical for Israel’s defense against a growing array of missile threats and make an important contribution to US missile defense programs. We applaud Congress for consistently supporting these key programs, and urge their full funding in both the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization and Appropriations Acts.”

Incidentally, on the same day the White House announced it would not increase the funding for Iron Dome, among other programs, DefenseNews reported that after five years of a stellar performance in which Iron Dome has been credited with more than 1,500 operational intercepts—a 90% success rate, and despite a reported widespread global interest, government and industry sources say Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket intercepting system, developed by state-owned Rafael Ltd., has not yet been sold to a single customer.

“Who else in the world is constantly threatened by rockets?” former head of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization Uzi Rubin asked DN, noting: “It’s essentially only us and perhaps sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf, where for obvious reasons, we do not yet export.”

Rubin did not mention that in other, saner parts of the world, persistent rocket attacks from, say, Mexico, against, say, the US, would result in a one-time search and destroy response, rather than with a technological solution such as Iron Dome that contains those unceasing rocket attacks. You don’t have to be Donald Trump to figure that one out.

David Israel

Hillary Emails: How to Demote AIPAC to its Proper Place

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

The previously secret emails of former U.S. secretary of state and current favorite to be the Democratic contender for the U.S. president Hillary Rodham Clinton are a bonanza for those seeking to discern her non-public face and those of her closest advisers with respect to Israel.

With more than 30,000 emails released, drip, drip, drip since December, 2014, there’s a lot to plow through.

But one omnipresent correspondent of Clinton’s, her former advisor Sidney Blumenthal, stands out as he harps away at two issues close to his heart: one, Israel, the object of deep hostility, and the other, his son Max, a source of immense pride. That one’s son is a source of pride to a father is neither surprising nor shameful. But most of what Blumenthal promotes about his son Max is the never-ending fusillade of hate screeds written by the son in frequently obscure outlets which are directed at the other Blumenthal obsession: Israel.

In the batch released over the weekend, several Blumenthal emails attacks on Israel stand out in particular.  One offers advice to Clinton on how to make both the Jewish State and the largest American pro-Israel organization, AIPAC, bend to her will.

In an email dated March 21, 2010, Blumenthal tells Clinton how she should optimize the speech she was about to give to the American Israel Public Action Committee. It is all about bringing the dog to heel.

First, Blumenthal admonishes Clinton to “[h]old Bibi’s feet to the fire.” He suggests that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must be reminded that “Israel has no oil,” all it has it values, and by failing to pursue peace with the Palestinian Arabs, Blumenthal urges Hillary to tell the Jews, Israel is squandering that.

Blumenthal also has his needle stuck on the Wye Plantation Agreement, and he  is convinced that only one person is responsible for the breakdown in the peace process:  Bibi Netanyahu. Blumenthal cannot find a single fault on the Arab side worth identifying as even one cause among many for the lack of a resolution to the decades-long conflict.

He sees the U.S. as the creator of peace between Israel and Jordan, and Israel and Egypt, and he actually believes and writes Wye was a success. He urges Hillary to build on it so the U.S. can make peace really happen this time with “Palestine.”  But, he insists, that means overcoming one obstacle:  Bibi.

Blumenthal’s emails reveal a conviction of Zionists (he thinks they are all Likudniks) in control of American policy-making organs that would shame Lindbergh, while at the same time he instructs Hillary to fight back against this monster by threatening it with recognition for a more pliable competitor:  J Street.

He urges Clinton:

remind [AIPAC] in as subtle but also a direct way as you can that it does not have a monopoly over American Jewish opinion.  Bibi is stage managing USJewish organizations (and neocons, and the religious right, and whomever else he can muster) against the administration.  AIPAC itself has become an organ of the Israeli right, specifically Likud.  By acknowledging J Street you give them legitimacy, credibility [one wonders why they didn’t have these things before being given a bracha by the U.S. Secretary of State’s advisor] and create room within the American Jewish community for debate supportive of the administration’s pursuit of the peace process. Just by mentioning J Street in passing, AIPAC becomes a point on the spectrum, not the controller of the spectrum.

There’s a good deal more in this treasure trove that the Jewish American public should know about, and the JewishPress.com will continue publishing on this important topic. Our grandmothers warned us (or was it that famous TV commercial for an insurance company?) that people are known by the company they keep.  Hillary kept company with Sidney for a very long time, and paid him for years to send her emails just like this one. His views tells us a lot about hers.

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Obama Now Ready to Meet with Netanyahu

Friday, September 11th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s victory in the battle with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Republicans over the nuclear deal with Iran has given him his security blanket for a face-to-face meeting.

President Obama told rabbis in his annual pre-Rosh HaShanah phone call that he plans to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu next month, when the U.N. General Assembly convenes after a summer recess.

Obama said:

Our consultations have already begun with Israeli military and intelligence officials.

My hope is to have a long discussion with Mr. Netanyahu about these issues when he comes to the United Nations during the General Assembly of the United Nations, or immediately after that.

Obama avoided the Prime Minister earlier this year when he addressed Congress, two weeks before Israel’s general elections, which he said precluded a meeting that could be exploited for political purposes.

Now that Netanyahu, if not the United States itself, appears to be the loser in the fight over the nuclear agreement, Obama has not problem meeting him, if no other reason than to gloat.

However, Arab American leader James Zogby wrote an interesting analysis last week in The Huffington Post that shows that although Prime Minister Netanyahu lost the fight to reject the Ian deal, he actually was the winner in the long-term, particularly concerning the Palestinian Authority.

President Obama told the rabbis:

Israel’s long-term security does depend on somehow resolving the Palestinian issue. We’re going to have to work on these issues, and they’re going to be messy and challenging in the years to come.” There’s going to have to be some soul searching in Israel and the American Jewish community because they’re tough questions.

Zogby explained that President Obama will be careful before he pushes his luck with Jewish Democratic Congressmen who supported the P5+1 agreement with Iran.

He wrote:

By throwing what amounted to a political and diplomatic tantrum, the Israeli side succeeded in making itself the center of attention for the Administration and Congress. In the last few months, there were more meetings held, more hours spent, and more effort expended on reassuring Israel and its supporters of America’s ‘unbreakable, unshakable’ commitment, than in any period in our history….

Senators and members of Congress will also now be inclined to make clear their support for Israel. Many Democrats who announced their intention to support the president made sure that their statements declared undying support for Israel. The myth that ‘AIPAC will beat you if you don’t toe the line’ continues to hold strong, and so it can be expected that many members, despite their resentment of AIPAC and Netanyahu’s pressure, will spend excessive time and energy between now and next November playing “make up” by proving their support for Israel.

However, Zogby said that in the longer-term, “The emergence and rapid growth of liberal pro-Israel Jewish groups like J Street and Americans for Peace Now, or non-Zionist Jewish groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, or the expansion of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement on college campuses are all evidence “of a shift in American policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

He can credit President Obama with having successful weakened the influence of AIPAC by bolstering the prestige of the left-wing groups, but he doesn’t realize that they have gone so far out in left field that they are leaving “mainstream Jewish” support out of the ball park.

Even if they nevertheless one day are viewed as representing American Jews, probably by including 3-4 million people who simply call themselves Jews, it will be too late because the Palestinian Authority by then will have succeeded in making demands that prove that a new Arab country within Israel’s present borders would mean the end of Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

A Tale of Two Prayers: Muslims and Clinton vs. Jews and Psalms [video]

Friday, September 4th, 2015

I am [at] peace, but when I speak, they [come] to war – Psalms 120:7).

A new video of an Arab event in the Old City that was in celebration of a new groom shows the overwhelming presence of political aspirations, with flags of both the Hamas terrorist organization and the Palestinian Authority.

If foreign media were to take off their blinders, they could understand better, if they wanted to, the essential differences between the intentions of Jews and Muslims at the Old City and on the Temple Mount.

We have no idea of what the Arabs were chanting in their flag-waving celebrations, but it is a safe assumption they were not reciting Psalms.

Up to several thousand Jews march in the same place every month, except when the police decide it might offend Arabs. They also wave flags, those depicting the Holy Temple. Two of them were destroyed centuries ago, but the Palestinian Authority likes to claim they never existed.

The monthly rallies are centered on the recital of several Psalms, which brings to mind the obvious one when comparing the Muslim and Jewish marches.

Psalms 120:67 states:

I am [at] peace, but when I speak, they [come] to [wage] war.

The literal translation is “I am peace, but when I speak, they are war,” and the words “at or “for” are necessarily inserted in the first part of the verse and “come” in the second part.

Every translation of any text is prone to interpretation, and when it comes to Israel, the interpretations come with a mindset.

The international community does not consider Israel for peace, and it likes to believe that the Arab world wants peace.

The most recent evidence comes from the newest batch of “pro-Israel” Hillary Clinton’s private e-mails.

She and her close confidantes pre-judge Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a man against peace. The Palestinian Authority is assumed to be a friend of peace, despite Psalms 120:7, Palestinian Authority incitement and terror, and Mahmoud Abbas’ spitting in the face of the Obama administration by openly destroying the basis of the Oslo Accords and rejecting a diplomatic solution.

The e-mails to Clinton’s private e-mail server, even though some of the information was classified, are chock full of anti-Netanyahu observations from people such as Martin Indyk, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel. He wrote Clinton about Netanyahu:

At heart, he seems to lack a generosity of spirit. This combines with his legendary fear of being seen as a ‘freier’ [sucker] in front of his people to create a real problem in the negotiations, especially because he holds most of the cards.

Another source of the e-mails is Sid Blumenthal, whom Clinton seems to have made a de facto adviser when she was Secretary of State even though the White House rejected her attempt to bring him on board in an official capacity.

Clinton insists his e-mails were “unsolicited” but one of her e-mails to him states, “Keep ’em coming,” and another beseeches him to advise her before she was to speak to AIPAC.

She liked what she read because it was nasty towards Netanyahu, and keep in mind that if Clinton is the next president of the United States, Blumenthal will be on her team.

For example:

[Netanyahu’s] father, Benzion Netanyahu; 100 years old, secretary to Jabotinsky, and denounced as too radical by Begin, adored his son Yoni, heroically killed at Entebbe. Benyamin has never measured up. Benzion has constantly criticized him in public for his deviations from the doctrine of Greater Israel.

Bibi desperately seeks his father’s approbation and can never equal his dead brother. See Benzion’s most recent scathing undermining of his son Bibi and Bibi’s tearful tribute to his brother just last month.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama and Biden Running after the Jews to Back ‘ObamaDeal’

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

President Barack Obama is beginning to sweat over diminishing Jewish support for the deal with Iran, especially among Congressmen.

He and Vice-president Joe Biden are shifting into high gear to convince Jews to persuade their Representatives and Senators to vote for “ObamaDeal.”

Several Jewish senators already are in the “no” camp and key Jewish Sen. Ben Cardin on the fence, and a continuing drop of support for the deal in the polls is turning the Jews into the best friends Obama ever had.

Biden is scheduled to meet with American Jewish leaders in Florida next week in an event whose organizers include Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who heads the Democratic National Committee. She has not yet announced whether she will vote for or against the deal.

President Obama is scheduled to connect with Jews with a webcast Friday. Although it is long-shot that the Senate or the House of Representatives can come up with a veto-proof majority against the deal, the  president is not taking any chances.

The webcast will be viewed through the site of the Jewish Federations of North America..More than a dozen local Federations have come out against the agreement with Iran, and approximately 100 or more have been non-committal.

The webcast is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. tomorrow, and pre-registration is available here.

The organization, in a carefully worded and neutral statement, wrote on its website:

We are hopeful that diplomatic efforts will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and we appreciate the hard work President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and Under Secretary of State Sherman have put into crafting this agreement.

At the same time, we are concerned. Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries—including Israel—make the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable.

President Barack Obama and his administration have repeatedly said that any deal with Iran must shut down Iran’s uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon, cut off all four of Iran’s potential pathways to a bomb, and track Iran’s nuclear activities with unprecedented transparency and robust inspections throughout its nuclear supply chain. We agree.

We urge Congress to give this accord its utmost scrutiny.

The Federations earlier this month provided Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a platform to speak out against the deal.

The  Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which is a co-sponsor of Friday’s webcast, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have announced their opposition to ObamaDeal.

J Street supports it.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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