The New York Times always finds new ways to attack President Trump and to attack Israel. We’re talking about the paper that buried stories about Palestinian terror attacks but Israeli retaliations ran on page one.
In a report by Jennifer Medina about the J Street conference, the Times has decided, because Trump has supported Israel in recognizing Jerusalem and Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and because (in their minds) Trump is too pro-Israel and Trump and Netanyahu are racist, therefore the Democratic candidates for President who spoke at the event want to put the screws to Israel.
Ms. Medina forgets that just by going to a J Street conference, those same Democrats are showing they are not big fans of the Jewish State. But putting that aside, she does have an interesting interpretation. Well, it would be interesting for anyone who’s been locked in a basement with no access to the news in any form for at least the past dozen years.
While J Street claims to be a pro-Israel organization, that claim is as valid as mine contending I have a full head of hair and a body like Duane Johnson (The Rock)And as a party, the Democrats had moved away from supporting Israel long before Trump became president of the US and before Netanyahu began his second stint as Prime Minister of Israel in March of 2009.
Let’s start with J Street. It was founded with seed money from the anti-Israel George Soros. While J-Street was considered illegitimate by most Israel supporters, Obama insisted on giving the group credence because of its anti-Israel stances. To provide j with Street “cred” one of President Obama’s initial actions was when meeting with “ American Jewish leaders” he kicked the Zionist Organization to the curb and replaced it with J Street.
J Street claims to be pro-Israel and pro-peace, but according to liberal Israel supporter Alan Dershowitz, it is neither.
“I think J Street has been the most damaging organization in American history against Israel. It has been the most damaging, more damaging than Students for Justice in Palestine [and] more damaging than the early anti-Zionist Council for Judaism. J Street has done more to turn young people against Israel than any organization in the whole of history. It will go down in history as one of the most virulent, anti-Israel organizations in the history of Zionism and Judaism. It has given cover to anti-Israel attitudes on campus and particularly its approach to Israel’s self-defense.”
Dershowitz is correct. While it claims to be against BDS, J Street supports organizations that support BDS. Objected to Congress ramping up the sanctions on Iran, tried to get congress to force Israel to negotiate with Hamas, which wants her destruction, and tried to push Congress to use the discredited Goldstone report to condemn Israel. Most recently it’s student organization J Street U, is working with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which has been one of the main drivers of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on American college campuses. The purpose of the combined effort is to attack Hillel Organizations that take money from pro-Israel groups.
Now on to the Democratic Party. Anyone who claims that the Democratic Party first started moving away from Israel when Trump became president is either ill-informed or lying.
In late 2008 after being attacked by 50,000+ Hamas rockets, Israel attacked Hamas locations in Gaza. At the time, the U.S. President was Bush #41, and the Israeli Prime Minister was Ehud Olmert. During the war, David Frum reported,
“A Rasmussen poll conducted in the last week of 2008 found that while 62 percent of Republicans backed Israel’s action in Gaza, only 31 percent of Democrats did. Almost three-quarters of Republicans blamed Hamas for starting this war; only a minority of Democrats agreed. Republicans are 20 points friendlier toward Israel than Democrats. And while extreme hostility to Israel does not exist among Republicans, almost one in 10 Democrats describes Israel as an “enemy of the United States.”
But how could that be? Neither Trump nor Netanyahu was involved.
As explained by former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, “Mr. Obama posed an even more fundamental challenge by abandoning the two core principles of Israel’s alliance with America.” Those two principles Oren says are no daylight between the countries, “the U.S. and Israel always could disagree but never openly. Doing so would encourage common enemies and render Israel vulnerable;” the second was “no surprises.”
Obama broke the first principle in 2009, by voiding a commitment made by Bush #43, “to include the major settlement blocs and Jewish Jerusalem within Israel’s borders in any peace agreement.” As part of that commitment, Israel was free to add housing units to existing settlement communities in Judea and Samaria as long as they didn’t expand the land of those communities, and they were free to add communities in agreed to areas in Jerusalem.
Speaking for the Administration, Hillary Clinton publicly denied the Bush commitment, but Elliot Abrams, who negotiated the agreement for the United States and Bush #43, backed up the Israeli account in a 2009 WSJ op-ed.
Oren explains that the Obama/Clinton denial of the previous commitment had severe consequences for peace:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas boycotted negotiations, reconciled with Hamas and sought statehood in the U.N.—all in violation of his commitments to the U.S.—but he never paid a price. By contrast, the White House routinely condemned Mr. Netanyahu for building in areas that even Palestinian negotiators had agreed would remain part of Israel.
Oren said that Obama’s first meeting with his reconstituted group of American Jewish “leaders in 2009 he was going to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Israel:
“When there is no daylight,” the president said, “Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs.” The explanation ignored Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza and its two previous offers of Palestinian statehood in Gaza, almost the entire West Bank and half of Jerusalem—both offers rejected by the Palestinians.
Oren presents a list of examples of Obama purposely creating daylight and surprising his Israeli allies, including his 2011 speech calling for Israel/Palestinian negotiations to begin with Israel moving to the 1949 armistice lines, or his agreement to sponsor an investigation of Israeli settlements by the UN, or the administration leaks of Israeli secrets “intended to deter Israel from striking Iran pre-preemptively.” But the real kick in the gut was the announcement in 2014 that Israel’s primary ally had been secretly negotiating what looks to be a lousy deal with Israel’s most deadly enemy.
At the 2012 Democratic Convention that nominated President Obama for a second term, and four years before Donald Trump received the Republican nomination, the DNC ripped four pro-Israel planks from its platform. The four planks removed were:
- The United States should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism.
- Should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle in a future Palestinian state rather than in Israel.
- Understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.
- Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.
While the Jerusalem plank was added back (to the boos of the convention attendees), the Hamas line was never put back. The “refugee plank” remains outside the platform, meaning that original refugees their decedents, cousins, etc. can flood Israel and democratically, vote it out of existence. The adjustments to the armistice lines also remain out.
The Democrats made this giant step away from supporting Israel while Barack Obama was president, and Mitt Romney was the GOP candidate.
In one of the final acts of the Obama administration, Barack Obama & John Kerry directed UN Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain rather than veto an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council. Since the abstention allowed the resolution to pass, the Obama action had the same effect as an anti-Israel UN Vote.
Not only did the Obama directed action in the anti-Israel UN vote give the Palestinians a free pass to continue to avoid negotiations, but it locked Israel into the 1948 Armistice line and declares Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem occupied Palestinian land. As Security Council resolutions create international law, this means that the Jewish State’s presence in East Jerusalem, commonly known as the “Jewish Quarter” is illegal. This absurd action ignores the fact Jews have been living in the “Jewish Quarter” since the time of King David, except for the period of 1948-1967 when Jordan kicked out the Jews and destroyed many of the Jewish holy sites in the “Jewish Quarter.”
The resolution that passed thanks to Obama’s anti-Israel UN Vote also asks UN member states not to use Israeli products that were created in the disputed territories.
Three examples of the Democrats moving away from their support of Israel. All before Trump became President. If there was space available. Dozens of other cases could be added between those three. Many of them have been reported on these pages, proving that the problem is not with Netanyahu or Trump, but with the party itself (with some help the New York Times).
According to Pew research, in 1978, support for Israel was about the same for each of the two political parties (GOP 49% and Democrats 45%). Around 2005 the opinions of the people in each party began to divide, and by 2018 Democratic support fell to 27% and GOP support grew to 79%,
Per the research, the Democratic party has been inching away from support of Israel for the past four decades. The creation of J Street by the far-left Soros and given legitimacy by Barack Obama, combined with the eight years of Obama’s anti-Israel policies, corroborate those numbers.