Sunday, May 27, 2018

Democrats Against Israel

For reasons that do not need too much explaining, Israel has become a partisan political issue in America. Caroline Glick outlines the problem, a problem made especially acute as most Democratic politicians turn away from Israel.

They do so for two reasons, Glick argues. First, they despise Trump and will oppose anything he does. Second, they love Obama and want to follow his anti-Israeli policies. Anything that Trump does that makes Obama look bad makes them look bad. Ergo…

Glick begins with the Trump aspect:

Never in US history has a president been demonized and delegitimized by his political opponents as Trump has been by Democrats. Since the day he was elected, Democrats have sought to overturn the election results.

Every policy Trump enacts is subjected to immediate delegitimization. Democrats attack every position Trump adopts as morally defective, somehow treacherous and utterly illegitimate.

In the past, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been bipartisan American policy:

Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem and move the US Embassy to Israel’s capital is case in point. In 1995, Democrats and Republicans joined together to overwhelmingly pass the Jerusalem Embassy Act mandating the transfer of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It passed the Senate 93-5.

Every year since lopsided majorities in both houses have voted in favor of resolutions enjoining successive administrations to follow the law and move the embassy. In the past four presidential elections, the Democrats’ party platform has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and supported moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

Given that most American Jews are Democrats, this is hardly surprising. And yet, there has been a sea change. Glick saw it first in the way that Democrats boycotted the Jerusalem embassy opening:

Given this background, dozens of Democratic lawmakers could have been expected to come to Jerusalem for the embassy opening last week and still more could have been expected to put in an appearance at the Israeli Embassy’s bash in Washington.

Instead, with some notable if constrained exceptions, Trump’s move was met with stony silence by the vast majority of Democrats. And several powerful lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and prominent senators Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin, Chris Murphy and Bernie Sanders condemned the move.

The only possible explanation for their abrupt abandonment of a policy they had dutifully followed for 23 years is Trump. They revile him and reject him to such a degree that they prefer to abandon long-held positions than admit that he did exactly what they have wanted the president to do for the past 23 years.

Glick also blames it on identity politics. After all, why should Democrats go to the mat for Jewish voters when there are so few? And why should they alienate their primary voting blocks, especially minority communities that are notably anti-Semitic.

Of course, Barack Obama led the Democratic Party to this impasse: 

Obama’s hostility towards Israel, his repeated intimations that Israel is a colonialist outpost while the Palestinians are the indigenous people of the land of Israel were part and parcel of his across-the-board effort to enable the radical Left to take over the party. Obama’s efforts laid the groundwork for socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly strong challenge to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the party’s presidential primaries. It also set the stage for the rise of radical leaders like Congressman Keith Ellison and Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the post-Obama Democratic party. Feinstein, who supported a bipartisan Senate resolution just last year calling for the implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, is now facing a far-Left primary challenger.

Now, Democrats are threatening Israel. They do not want that nation to praise Donald Trump and do not want to see the American/Israeli alliance improved. They want Israel to join the Resistance. They tell Israelis that as soon as Democrats regain control over of American foreign policy, Israel will face a reckoning:

Democrats advise Israel to do two things. First, they say, the government, and the public more generally, should keep Trump at arm’s length. We should stop supporting him and applauding and thanking him for his support for Israel.

Second, they say, the government should maintain faith with Obama’s pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel policies. Among other things, this means that Israel should permanently deny Jews the right to exercise their property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Israel should also prop up Hamas and the PLO.

Glick advises her nation to turn away from the Democrats and to pursue its own self-interest:

The second problem with the advice that Democrats are providing is that if Israel listens to them, it will be at even greater risk of being harmed by a hostile administration in the future. Given the ascendancy of the radical Left in the party, and its intractable, impermeable hatred of Israel, Israel needs to secure as many of its long-term strategic interests as it can with the friendly Trump administration lest those interests are imperiled by a hostile Democratic White House in the future.

She concludes:

The Democrats who are saying that by supporting Trump, Israel is turning itself into a partisan issue, are themselves responsible for turning support for the Jewish state into a partisan issue. By denying that Israel has a right and a legitimate interest in standing with a president that is supportive of and takes concerted steps to advance the US-Israel alliance, they are saying Israel has no right to be supported by its supporters.

The Democrats are right that Israel has a vested interest in preserving and expanding bipartisan support. But contrary to their position, there is only one way for Israel to achieve this goal, and happily, the government’s policies indicate that this is the path that Israel is following today.


Sam L. said...

Dems HATE Trump SO MUCH. "Hoist on their own petard" is a phrase that comes to mind, somehow. "Delegitimazation" what the Dems are doing to themselves, and "how we'll Get More Trump". Such a BUMMER for them.

Malcolm said...

The Left hates Trump more than they love the truth

sestamibi said...

Repeat again: if Hitler were non-white, Jews would be fighting for first place in line for the ovens.

Ares Olympus said...

It was the GOP bringing Netanyahu to speak before congress in 2015 that made Israel partisan.

It does look like Israel is now permanently a partisan issue no matter how many billions in military aid Obama offered before leaving office. “Prime Minister Netanyahu and I are confident that the new MOU will make a significant contribution to Israel’s security in what remains a dangerous neighborhood,” Obama said in a written statement.

And Trump added a little icing on the cake, to make sure Israel knows it is loved. “The administration is committed to ensuring that Israel receives the assistance that has been appropriated by Congress,” the official said, confirming that Trump will work to ensure the $75 million in additional aid is delivered.

Sam L. said...

I don't believe/trust the Grauniad.