Daily Briefing: DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES TURN THEIR BACKS ON AIPAC (March 2,2020)

Israel Election Updates: Voter Turnout Highest Since 1999:  Haaretz, Mar. 2, 2020 Voting has begun in Israel’s unprecedented third election in one year after the last two rounds failed to break the country’s political deadlock. Polling places will close at 10 P.M. local time, at which point the exit polls will be published.
 
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivers remarks at the AIPAC Policy Conference, in Washington, D.C. on March 25, 2019. [State Department Photo (Source: Wikipedia)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Sorry, But Bernie Sanders is No Zionist:  Eric R. Mandel, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 19, 2020

Why are Democrats Skipping Out on AIPAC?:  Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Feb. 11, 2020

Ilhan Omar’s Appalling ‘Collusion’ With Turkey’s Tyrant Benjamin Weingarten, NY Post, Feb. 25, 2020
Sorry, But Bernie Sanders is No Zionist
Eric R. Mandel
Jerusalem Post, Feb. 19, 2020Now that the Democratic Party nomination is completely up in the air, one must contemplate the real possibility that socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who may have the most delegates going into this summer’s convention, could be the Democratic nominee and profoundly influence the Democratic Party’s platform. When I walked the halls of the Senate before 2016, Bernie was considered at most a marginal figure by both Democrats and Republicans. Today, he is close to being the standard-bearer of the party.In response, some mainstream pro-Israel Democrats have formed the Democratic Majority for Israel to support the US-Israel alliance. They are concerned because Sanders wants to make military aid to Israel contingent on Israel acquiescing to Palestinian demands, while diverting aid from Israel to Gaza. They worry because weakening Israel hurts American national security interests. As liberals, they are concerned that Bernie remains silent while some of the people he supports, and who support him, traffic in antisemitic and anti-Zionist proposals and falsehoods.To insulate Bernie from detractors who charge his associates dabble in anti-Israel rhetoric and use antisemites as advisers and surrogates to speak on his behalf, his PR people have been busily spinning his image and Jewish ancestry.So let’s look at his record, associates and endorsements.
Let’s start with his unapologetic endorsement of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. In 2019, 85% of British Jewry thought Corbyn was clearly antisemitic and spoke in support of terrorists.Today the bar is awfully low to be considered pro-Israel or a Zionist. An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Ted Rall spoke about Sanders’s “pro-Israel sentiments” that may be too much to bear for his anti-Israel progressive supporters because he supports Israel’s right to exist. According to a 2019 Gallup poll, only 3% of liberals support Israel over the Palestinians. Rall claims “by the most stringent progressive standards, Sanders has been a steadfast supporter of the Jewish state.”Yet, Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, and foreign policy adviser, Matt Duss, were accused of antisemitism while working for the progressive think-tank Center for American Progress, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee.

His fervent supporters like Rep. Ilhan Omar, whom he allows to speak on his behalf, have long ago crossed the line into antisemitism with their views of the Jewish state. Omar’s antisemitism reaches beyond Israel into old time antisemitic tropes on Jewish power and money. Bernie is silent because nobody in his base would want him to call out a woman of color. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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Why are Democrats Skipping Out on AIPAC?
Jonathan S. Tobin
JNS, Feb. 11, 2020

Who’s going to #SkipAIPAC? The hashtag campaign created by the anti-Zionist IfNotNow group is winning even when their demands that Democrats, and especially their presidential candidates, stay away from the annual AIPAC policy conference next month are opposed.

The radical group scored an unexpected triumph when one of its members ambushed Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a New Hampshire campaign event. Warren was asked if she would avoid “legitimizing” AIPAC by skipping the annual conference because it was forming an alliance with “Islamophobes and anti-Semites and white nationalists.” When Warren answered this falsified and loaded question with a simple: “yeah,” it was heralded as a victory for a marginal organization dedicated to torpedoing the U.S.-Israel alliance.

But in some ways, they also won when former Vice President Joe Biden answered a similar question by saying that he would go to the AIPAC event, but only to “convince them to change their position.”

Left unsaid by Biden was what position(s) he was referencing.

Is it AIPAC’s continued support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict despite the fact that the formula is looking more obsolete than ever? Or is it their uphill fight to preserve bipartisan support for the Jewish state despite the fact that Democrats are deeply divided about the issue, while Republicans are marching in lockstep behind President Donald Trump’s efforts to closely align American foreign policy with that of the Jewish state?

While neither Biden nor Warren is likely to win their party’s nomination, the fact that even the former felt that the only way he could justify his presence at AIPAC was to confront its supporters was telling.

The excuse for the hostility towards AIPAC was a controversial ad that AIPAC purchased on Facebook. It said: “Radicals in Congress are threatening the U.S.-Israel relationship by reducing or cutting aid and military assistance, encouraging the boycott of Israeli companies, and using plainly anti-Semitic language.” The ad then went on to say: “It’s critical that we protect our Israeli allies especially as they face threats from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah ISIS and—maybe more sinister—right here in the U.S. Congress.” … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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Victor Davis Hanson: Trump and 2020 — 5 Reasons Why Reelection is Looking Better and Better
Victor Davis Hanson
Fox News, Feb. 27, 2020

Donald Trump has at least five strong historical arguments for his reelection.

One, he is an incumbent. Incumbent presidents have won 14 of 19 reelection bids since 1900.

The few who lost did not enjoy positive approval ratings. In a Gallup poll from earlier this month, Trump enjoyed his highest approval rating since his inauguration, squeezing out a 49 percent favorable rating vs. 50 percent unfavorable.

Two, the public perception of the economy usually determines any presidential election — as incumbents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Herbert Hoover learned the hard way. Currently, the U.S. is enjoying low inflation, low-interest rates, positive economic growth, near-record low-unemployment, rising workers’ wages, and record gas and oil production.

Three, unpopular optional wars derail incumbent presidencies.

The quagmire in Vietnam convinced Lyndon Johnson not to run for reelection in 1968. Jimmy Carter was tarnished by the seemingly never-ending Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-1981. The Iraq War drove down George W. Bush’s second-term approval ratings and helped derail his would-be Republican successor, John McCain.

Four, scandals also can destroy a presidency, as when Watergate forced the resignation of Richard Nixon.

Five, the opponent matters. Barry Goldwater was caricatured as an out-of-touch extremist and made incumbent Lyndon Johnson’s election a sure thing in 1964. George McGovern’s radicalism ensured that Richard Nixon would be re-elected in 1972. Ronald Reagan was assured of a second term by Walter Mondale’s anemic candidacy.

How does Trump stack up on all such criteria?

His poll numbers have climbed steadily since Democrats began impeachment proceedings against him in September 2019. His Gallup approval rating is now four points higher than when he was inaugurated in January 2017.

Unlike his 2016 bid, Trump now has far more campaign money, the full backing of the Republican Party, a mostly positive record of economic achievement, a lot more campaigning and governing experience, and presidential incumbency. True, the U.S. continues to borrow about $1 trillion per year. Trump has followed the profligate spending habits of his predecessors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who both dramatically increased the national debt during their eight-year tenures.

China is reeling from the Hong Kong protests, the coronavirus, the trade war with the U.S. and the global outcry over its forced imprisonment of minority groups. If the Chinese economy crashes, it could take down global commerce a notch. Both the stock and housing markets here in America are overheating. At some point, they will be due for a reset. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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Ilhan Omar’s Appalling ‘Collusion’ With Turkey’s Tyrant
Benjamin Weingarten
NY Post, Feb. 25, 2020

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s mandate defined “collusion” as “links and/or coordination” with foreign powers. Democrats and their media allies tried and failed to hang the charge around President Trump’s neck. But one of their own darlings, Rep. Ilhan Omar, has inarguably colluded with an unsavory Islamist regime: Turkey’s.

In fall 2017, Omar, then a state representative, attended a closed meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. According to a report since deleted from a Somali-language periodical, Omar and the Islamist strongman discussed “issues involving Omar’s native Somalia and issues for Somalis in Minnesota. … The meeting ended with Erdogan asking Omar to voice her support for Turkey.”

A month later, Omar would take to Twitter to praise Turkey for providing airlifts for Somalis injured in a Mogadishu truck bombing.

Given recent concerns over foreign influence, one might ask: Why was this state representative meeting with the leader of an increasingly anti-American regime? With what authority was she negotiating Turkish-Somali relations or any foreign-relations matters?

Several months prior to the Erdogan sit-down, Omar and her then-husband, Ahmed Hirsi, met with Umat Acar, then the Turkish consul general in Chicago. Hirsi memorialized the meeting on Facebook, writing: “Turkey has been a friend to Somalis everywhere, and I look forward helping [sic] expanding our friendship for decades to come.” Acar would host Omar again in September 2018, according to social media, after she won the Democratic nomination to run for the House in her district.

Months before ever meeting Acar, Omar traveled to Istanbul with Hirsi for a “Human Rights Defenders” conference reportedly organized by Istanbul’s Sisli municipality, where she attacked the Trump administration’s travel ban against terror-producing nations.

The rapport deepened after she took her congressional seat. In January 2019, the US-based, Turkish-state-funded ­Islamic Diyanet Center of America reported that several of its senior members had met with Reps. Omar and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, congratulating the two new Muslim members of Congress and adding that it looked forward to “fostering a relationship between our institutions.” … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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For Further Reference:

Bernie Rewrites Cuban History:  Mary Anastasia O’Grady, WSJ, Mar. 1, 2020 — Many Americans were offended by Sen. Bernie Sanders’s recent praise of Fidel Castro. Perhaps gratitude is in order instead. By candidly sharing his opinion of Cuba, Mr. Sanders exposes the depth of his socialist views.

Bernie Articulates Nightmare Middle East Vision: US Must Support Hamas, Tehran David Israel, Jewish Press, Feb. 19, 2020 — Below, I’ve enclosed a transcript of Senator Bernie Sanders’ February 18 appearance on CNN’s Presidential Town Hall. It is a fine example of leftist thinking about reality in the Middle East that is so mired in the 1970s it would take a force as big as Yoko Ono, perhaps, to break it up.

Why Many Muslims Treat Bernie Sanders Like a Rock Star:  Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 22, 2019 An Egyptian American woman in a black hijab kicked off the volunteer meeting, invoking God in Arabic as she stood in front of a handwritten poster that read, “Muslims and Arabs for Bernie.”

Netanyahu Slams Bernie Sanders’ AIPAC ‘Bigots’ Jab as ‘Libelous’:  Eric Cortellessa, Times of Israel, Mar. 2, 2020 — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu castigated Democratic presidential frontrunner Bernie Sanders on Sunday for saying the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) offered a platform for bigotry, calling the charge “libelous” and “outrageous.”

WATCH:  AG Bill Barr: Progressives Want To “Convert Us Into 25-Year-Olds Living in The Government’s Basement: RealClearPolitics, YouTube, Feb. 27, 2020 Attorney General Bill Barr said some self-proclaimed “progressives” have become increasingly militant and totalitarian in their collectivist and revolutionary policies. In a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention on Wednesday, Barr said the goal of the progressive movement is to create a permanent coalition of able-bodied citizens dependent on government.