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September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘David Harris’

Roger Cohen Praises AJC’s Harris Attack on Bennett

Friday, June 21st, 2013

There’s no doubt that liberal U.S. Jews are becoming alarmed that fewer and fewer Israelis are prepared to support the delusional view that, in order to gain acceptance on paper by the Arabs, Israel must first render itself completely vulnerable by handing over its most important territorial assets.

Roger Cohen praises, in this morning’s NY Times (Why American Jews Matter), A.J.C. Executive Director David Harris, who rebuked Minister Naftali Bennett’s comment about the need to “build, build, build” in Judea and Samaria, and to accept that the Palestinian issue, like that by now notorious shrapnel in his friend’s backside, will continue to cause us the occasional, but not critical, pain.

Harris said the minister’s remarks were “stunningly shortsighted,” that they must be “repudiated by the country’s top leaders,” and that they offered “only the prospect of a dead-end strategy of endless conflict and growing isolation for Israel.”

Roger Cohen praised “Harris’s shots inside the troops carrier,” writing admiringly: “To say such language is unusual at major U.S. Jewish organizations is an understatement: Israel has had near carte blanche from them, with negative consequences.”

Did you get that part? Israel was enjoying a carte blanche, as if the Jewish State actually needs the approval of possibly three million, loosely organized but oh so vociferous American Jews in order to carry out its policies.

Some cases of Chutzpah run deeper than its mere insolent bruising. Every once in a while, you can glean from the Chutzpah an entire world view.

Roger Cohen, sitting on West 46th Street, sipping a cool lemonade, actually believes that his opinion matters. That the good people of Israel, having buried thousands of their dead after two intifadas and two Gaza wars, will actually take into account some leftist American Jew’s view about giving the Arabs a fourth chance to annihilate us. Or that we will continue to accept a policy of construction freeze in our population areas that are literally bursting with the highest birth rate in the country.

Sitting on 46th Street, a member of an economic elite in a country whose middle class is mired in poverty, in a country so panicked by the fear of terrorism, it has annulled at least five of the first amendments to its constitution, Roger Cohen is calling the views of Bennett and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, “messianic:”

“This Messianic view of the Jewish state’s destiny has grown for the past 46 years, despite undertakings from various leaders, including Netanyahu in 2009, to seek a two-state peace. If the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, outside East Jerusalem, has almost doubled in the past dozen years to over 350,000 (Bennett put the number at 400,000), it is because the notion that all the land belongs to Israel by divine decree has been ascendant and compromise increasingly seen as a deficit of faith. Construction has spelled out what official government policy could not quite say: We have no plans to leave.”

You understand that the Jewish person Roger Cohen uses “messianic” as a pejorative term. In his world, faith in the Messiah is inherently delusional. Faith in our life here, in Eretz Israel, being part of an ongoing messianic redemption – that’s as foreign a concept to him as voting Republican.

But now, that Bennett and Danon have shown their true faces—as, I’m sure, will be the case with the majority of the Likud-Beiteinu delegation, should the day come for an up or down vote on the 2-state—now, says Roger Cohen, we caught those messianic perversions in time, and we can stop them.

“It is in this sense that Bennett’s statement is a true public service. Far better to have clarity about the meaning of Israel’s actions in the West Bank than to have a fait accompli — the growing settler presence — cloaked in governmental opacity about the ultimate objective. If the aim is known then a judgment can be made, not least by American Jewish organizations.”

How marvelous. There’s a story that was told by the Holy Rizhiner, that in the end of time, Elijah will have another bout with the Baal prophets, except this time they will be able to set their alter ablaze, while Elijah will not. They will look grand and victorious, and Elijah will appear like the defeated fool.

Schumer Cites Hagel’s Tears, but Smears Jewish Conservatives

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

As evidence continues to mount about why former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel is so high on the dance card of Iranian regime supporters and so low on the dance card of most pro-Israel supporters, the politicians supporting Hagel have begun to sound desperate.

New York’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, may have just relocated this debate from the staid halls of congress and plopped it directly onto the high school dramatics level of bathos.

Schumer, who initially attracted attention when he publicly stated he was not sure about the Hagel nomination, then had an intimate tête á tête (multiply the last digit by many orders of magnitude) with Hagel in the White House.

It was during that bull session that the former Nebraska senator – perhaps with some assistance from others present – apparently convinced Schumer that Hagel was the right man to head the department of defense.

In the weeks since Hagel received Schumer’s hecksher, instead of soaring, Hagel’s star faltered as it grew ever more tarnished, with multiple revelations of anti-Israel and anti-American slurs.

But Hagel’s poor performance at his confirmation hearing was sufficient to convince enough congressional members to block the nomination’s movement to the full senate for a vote there.

There was concern in particular about documents that had not been turned over addressing compensation from potential worrisome sources.  In addition, some were uncomfortable with Hagel’s inability to field questions put to him during the vetting process. And then there were the questions of where the former senator stood with respect to various players in the Middle East, based on earlier comments and votes.

Now, while the senate is on a brief hiatus, revelations continue.

And just to show how low Hagel’s star has fallen, we learned that Wednesday morning, while Schumer was giving a talk to some business groups in Manhattan, he shared with them some of the details about the famous conversation he had with Hagel, the one that moved him onto the pro-Hagel for secretary of defense team.  Those details were not discussed previously, as they had been described as confidential.

What did Schumer learn? He learned that deep down, Hagel is an uber sensitive guy.  All Schumer had to do was explain why it was so hateful to Jews for Hagel to refer to them as the “Jewish lobby,” to share the pain of the double standard Jews have had to endure, and Hagel was cured!

According to Schumer, the scales fell from Hagel’s eyes.  And Hagel repented.  He felt their pain.  How do we know that?

We know that because Schumer brought his Wednesday morning audience into that intimate space with him, and told those listening what he felt.  “And he really, you know, he almost had tears in his eyes when he understood. So I believe he will be good.”

Schumer provided inaccurate information about other matters Wednesday morning.  He said that “there is not a major Jewish organization against Hagel.”

That’s not true.

The Zionist Organization of America and the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) have been on record opposing the nomination of Chuck Hagel since President Obama first named him as his choice for secretary of Defense.

The centrist American Jewish Committee has been at least softly opposed to Hagel’s nomination even before the nod was officially given by the president.  Back in December, the AJC’s president, David Harris said, “what message would it send to have a Pentagon chief who has very different views on strategies for dealing with Iran, the central foreign policy challenge of our time, than the White House has had to date? Or questions the designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist group at the same time the Administration is urging the European Union to add the group to its terrorism list?”

And the politically centrist, Democratic Party-leaning Anti-Defamation League joined the AJC in strongly questioning the nomination after information about some of Hagel’s comments, in particular that he was recorded as saying that the “U.S. State Department is an adjunct of the Israeli Foreign Ministry,” at a speech at Rutgers University in 2007.

AIPAC NOT TAKE POSITIONS ON NOMINATIONS
Much has been made of the lack of opposition by the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but AIPAC never takes a position on a political nomination.  The absence of one in this situation should give no comfort to Hagel supporters, or signal anything else to those who have questions and are looking to organizational leadership for direction.

Dershowitz: NJDC’s David Harris Must Go

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz told Breitbart News that David Harris, head of the National Jewish Democratic Council, must step down.

“David Harris and the National Jewish Democratic Council are a bunch of liars. I, Alan Dershowitz, a Democrat, am calling for David Harris to step down in the interests of the Democratic Party. He’s going to turn Jewish voters away from the Democratic Party. They’re going to vote for the Republicans because of what David Harris and the National Jewish Democratic Council are doing.”

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson has filed a $60 million libel suit against the National Jewish Democratic Council, Chairman Marc R. Stanley, and CEO David Harris. According to the suit, an article posted on the NJDC website and circulated via e-mail repeated allegations that Adelson condoned prostitution in his Chinese casinos. Dershowitz in the confirmed in the Breitbart News interview that Harris knew the allegations against Adelson were untrue when he wrote his article and email:

“I personally told Harris that the man who made the charges wrote in a contemporaneous e-mail that he didn’t believe them himself. Then the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also dropped the allegations against Adelson. In the face of these two pieces of hard evidence that these charges were a lie, Harris went ahead and knowingly published the lie. He knows it’s a lie.”

Dershowitz’s criticisms included NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley’s challenge to debate Sheldon Adelson, about which Dershowitz said: “It’s absurd. You don’t debate liars.”

Cantor’s Foreign-Aid Idea Would Hurt Israel

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

This election season in the United States was not a great one for the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Republicans and the tainted Emergency Committee for Israel launched mendacious ads and campaigns against pro-Israel Democrats across the country threatening the historic bipartisan support for Israel that has existed in Washington. The lies in these campaigns have been called out by an array of independent journalists from The New York Times to Salon, and politicizing support for Israel in this way has been condemned by key figures such as Israel’s U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren.

But now Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia – the Republican whip and a key member of the GOP leadership team – has shared with us a disturbing policy planned for the future.

Cantor signaled to JTA recently that if Republicans took control of the House, he and the GOP leadership would sever aid to Israel from the larger foreign aid budget. Such a policy is terribly wrong – and there are good reasons why it has been opposed strongly by the organized pro-Israel community in Washington for so long.

Let me pause here to say something that I unfortunately never hear from the other side of the aisle: I am discussing a deeply unfortunate and misguided policy, not a person. I’m confident Eric Cantor is pro-Israel and that he is trying to do the right thing. But there’s a reason that AIPAC, our friends in Israel, and the pro-Israel world in general have vociferously opposed de-linking aid to Israel from the larger foreign operations budget for all these years.

Assistance to Israel is unavoidably intertwined with aid to other countries around the world. Paring assistance to other countries and moving America closer to isolationism – exactly what Cantor is afraid of, and what this strategy in essence is forecasting in a coming GOP Congress – ultimately will doom aid to Israel. Israelis clearly will see such a change as making them more reliant on and subservient to American foreign policy. This is especially true if, as some on the right have suggested, aid to Israel falls within the Pentagon’s budget.

As Israeli media such as Ynet already have noted, “Such a separation in the foreign aid budget might not be good for Israel, and may tie her down more when it comes to American interest and hurt her independence.”

Politically, it’s always been beneficial to make the argument that as a relatively tiny investment that pays great dividends, foreign aid helps countries around the world – not just Israel, of course. That argument goes out the window when Israel becomes the only country to get such separate, special treatment, with other countries (and ethnic groups in America) suddenly clamoring to be treated like our close ally Israel.

Jews historically have worked with the Congressional Black Caucus, for example, and other communities to jointly advance foreign aid for a range of countries; such coalitions to advance global assistance would become a thing of the past.

Cantor is not the only Republican in this election cycle advocating this change. Former Rep. Pat Toomey, running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, has similarly urged this separation of aid to Israel from the foreign aid budget on the campaign trail. Toomey and Cantor perhaps are just taking note of the obvious – that passing a foreign operations bill in a future GOP Congress will be exceedingly difficult, thus threatening aid to Israel.

Indeed, in June 2009, in a Congress sans Tea Party members, more than half the House GOP caucus voted against the foreign aid budget – including aid to Israel. In a more conservative Congress, the number of votes for foreign aid only would diminish.

A far-right Congress will be problematic for the policy concerns and values of the vast majority of American Jews on so many fronts. Dramatic cuts to social service programs would be on the table, repeals of key health care reforms would be attempted and a woman’s right to choose would be challenged at every turn.

Yet this seemingly esoteric but actually far-reaching policy change – historically opposed by the spectrum of pro-Israel activists – has the power to threaten the very existence of aid to Israel, even though it has historically been the central item on the pro-Israel community’s agenda.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/cantors-foreign-aid-idea-would-hurt-israel/2010/11/03/

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