Correcting Menendez: Israel Must Fight the Palestinians

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) took the floor at the closing of AIPAC’s 2019 conference on March 26, 2019. While he spoke forcefully for the US-Israel alliance and the need to fight antisemitism in all of its manifestations from the right and the left, he softened his tone when it came to Palestinian Arabs. At 4:20 of his remarks, he said the following about Israel responding to rocket attacks from Gaza:

“Israel has every right to defend herself, to hold her perpetrators accountable, and to defend the safety and security of her people.”

Israel does not defend itself as a right, but an OBLIGATION. A government is meaningless if its primary purpose is not to actively and forcefully defend its citizens and borders from attacks. Menendez calling the response of Israel a “right” softens the role of the Israeli government. The government has a “right” to engage in trade policy with another country. It has a “right” to decide who to let into the country. But defense is not a “right” which may or may not be acted upon; defense is an obligation – and the primary one – for every government in the world.

Menendez similarly made another comment softening the lines in the Arab-Israeli Conflict. At 5:20, Menendez said the following:

“Hamas has hoodwinked the people of Gaza who remain oppressed by terrible economic hardship and increasing political crackdowns.”

Why did Menendez strip the Gazans of responsibility for their situation and paint them as suffering victims? Hamas isn’t simply a terrorist group like ISIS – it’s an official political party of the Palestinians, no different than the Republican and Democratic parties. The Palestinian Arabs elected Hamas to 58% of the parliament, a whopping majority, even though the Hamas Charter is the most vile antisemitic charter on the planet, calling for the death of Jews and destruction of Israel. Further, if presidential elections were held, Hamas would have beaten Fatah in every single poll, except for the most recent one in March 2019, and the only reasons for Hamas’s drop in the polls was Palestinians loving Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to soften his stance on paying the families of terrorists who murder Israelis, and Arab anger over Hamas’s crackdown on protests. But make no mistake: between one-third and one-half of all Palestinians still want an “armed struggle” against Israel.

Israel is not in an optional battle against a rogue terrorist entity; it is in an ongoing war against a people at its borders who want to destroy it. If a proud defender of Israel like Bob Menendez cannot articulate that clearly, how can we expect more from the ill-informed members of Congress?


Related First.One.Through articles:

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

It’s the Democracy, Stupid

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

The Highbrow Anti-Semite

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

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Anti-Israel Lobbyists Dwarf Pro-Israel Lobbyists

As AIPAC kicks off its 2019 conference in Washington, D.C., it is worth reviewing some basic statistics about this pro-Israel lobbying group.

Biden_at_AIPAC, once upon a time

According to Open Secrets, AIPAC spent $3.5 million on lobbying in 2018, slightly more than the $3.4 million it spent in 2017. This is a relatively small number compared to the anti-Israel Open Society Foundation (OSF) which spent $31.5 million in 2018 – NINE TIMES what AIPAC spent. That figure is also almost four times the $16 million that OSF spent on US lobbying in 2017. This huge jump in lobbying dollars may coincide with George Soros’s transfer of $18 BILLION into OSF, making it the second largest “charity”/ largest lobbying group in the United States. (By calling itself a charity instead of a lobbying group, Soros was able to avoid paying any capital gains on the billions of investment dollars in his hedge fund.)

In addition to its work lobbying the US government, the OSF directly funds many anti-Israel organizations according to NGO Monitor, including Adalah, Breaking the Silence, Ir Amim and Al-Haq.

That’s just one giant far left-wing lobbying group countering most of AIPAC’s agenda.

The left-wing J Street has likewise repeatedly fought the current Israeli administration and lobbied aggressively against it, and spent more money lobbying Congress in 2018 than AIPAC, a total of $4 million. Not one dollar of J Street went to Republican candidates, which is not surprising as it is really an alternative to the Republic Jewish Coalition, not a broad-based bipartisan group like AIPAC.

When it comes to foreign countries lobbying the US government, the number one country was South Korea, spending $82.5 million in 2018. I do not recall hearing any of the Democratic candidates for president who ran to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks about AIPAC talking about South Korea.

Perhaps that is because foreign governments and their companies are mostly lobbying about trade deals which are critical for their economies. The top governments lobbying the US are:

South Korea
Bermuda
Japan
Ireland
Israel
Marshall Islands
Bahamas
Saudi Arabia
Qatar
China

That’s Israel at number five- behind Bermuda and Ireland.

But the liberal media will print articles about the pro-Israel lobby as if it’s a right-wing money machine – even though AIPAC doesn’t give money to candidates while J Street and the OSF do. It will try to defend Ilhan Omar’s AIPAC lobbying comments, while refusing to actually point out that it’s the left-wing groups like OSF and J Street that are really powerful and spending the money to trash Israel.

Perhaps the New York Times is getting money from J Street and George Soros too?


The bipartisan group AIPAC spends less on lobbying than the far left-wing J Street, and a small fraction of what George Soros’s Open Society spends on US lobbyists. The Democratic machine has taken notice what the money spigot is demanding and is taking their anti-Israel talking points to line their pockets. Not that the media will tell you what’s actually going on. #AlternativeFacts


Related First.One.Through articles:

J Street is a Partisan Left-Wing Group, NOT an Alternative to AIPAC

Ilhan Omar Isn’t Debating Israeli Policy, She is Attacking Americans

J Street’s Select Appreciation of Transparency

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

Enduring Peace versus Peace Now

The Anger from the Zionist Center

The Democratic Party is Tacking to the Far Left-Wing Anti-Semitic Fringe

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

A Basic Lesson of How to be Supportive

The Impossible Liberal Standard

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

The Illogic of Land Swaps

The Real “Symbol of the Conflict” is Neta Sorek

When Power Talks the Truth

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J Street is a Partisan Left-Wing Group, NOT an Alternative to AIPAC

J Street touts itself as an alternative to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It is not. It is the liberal alternative to the Republican Jewish Coalition, the RJC.

The difference is important.

By not using a clear delineator that the group is a left-wing partisan organization by using a name like Progressive Jewish Coalition, J Street misleads the public that it is a mainstream group. It uses a benign tagline “The Political Home for Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace Americans,” as opposed to the more clear tagline as used by the RJC, “Fostering & enhancing ties between the American Jewish Community & Republican Lawmakers.” By doing so, J Street has attempted to displace the actual bipartisan mainstream group AIPAC. It is completely misleading.

As evidence of its partisanship, consider that the people JStreetPAC supported in the 2016 election were all Democrats.

There is no crime in being a partisan group.  Indeed, the RJC points out that it views J Street as the competition as it supports Republican candidates for office. The RJC does not pretend to be anything but biased.

20161218_155153
Marketing materials produced by the Republican Jewish Coalition
comparing its performance in the 2016 elections to J Street

However, when the media quotes J Street, it appears that it is quoting a balanced pro-Israel group, rather than a part of the Democratic machine.  Articles by the Times quote AIPAC and J Street, as if the two are balanced with one being hawkish and the latter dovish. That absurdity gives a false message to readers. The media should either only quote AIPAC, or use quotes from both J Street and the RJC.

As the Republicans take control of the White House and both the Senate and House of Representatives, one can envision that J Street will be attacking appointments, bills and positions over the next few years. The media and readers must keep in mind that the views of J Street are simply those of the opposition, and do not represent the Jewish community’s independent views on Israel.


Related First.One.Through articles:

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

J Street’s Select Appreciation of Transparency

Liberal Hypocrisy on Foreign Government Intervention

Is Hillary Clinton as Pro-Israel as George W Bush?

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