The Left Would be Wise to Worry About its Anti-Semitic Wing: John Podhoretz, New York Post, Jan. 30, 2019— Jewish conservatives get asked this question more than any other: “Why are Jews liberals?”
American Jewish leaders: Where are you?: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 31, 2019— Israel is once again facing major new international military and political challenges.
America’s Resurgence is Reshaping the World: Conrad Black, National Post, Jan. 11, 2019— Almost indiscernible in the endless tumult about President Donald Trump is the objective return of American might, right on our doorstep.
Revisiting Walter Eytan’s “The First Ten Years”: Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen, BESA, Jan. 25, 2019— A forgotten book by one of the most prominent of all Israeli diplomats deserves a renewed look, notwithstanding the passage of time.
On Topic Links
Trump’s Mideast ‘Deal of the Century’ May Be a Raw One for Israel: Daniel Pipes, Breaking Israel News, Jan. 28, 2019
Get Over It — Trump’s Probably Not Going Anywhere: Rich Lowry, National Review, Jan. 18, 2019
Democrats are Battling to See Who is the Most Radically Left: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Jan. 12, 2019
Rocked by Historic Chaos, the U.S. Swoons in Search of Stability: David Shribman, Globe and Mail, Dec. 21, 2018
THE LEFT WOULD BE WISE TO WORRY ABOUT ITS ANTI-SEMITIC WING John Podhoretz New York Post, Jan. 30, 2019
Jewish conservatives get asked this question more than any other: “Why are Jews liberals?” The question eventually got so tiresome that my father, himself a prominent Jewish conservative, wrote an entire book about tracing the history back to Biblical times. You can still buy it on Amazon. So I’m not going to answer it here.
What we know is this basic fact: In national elections, Jews vote for Democratic candidates by a margin of 3 to 1. That number has been fairly consistent through four elections now. It suggests Democrats should have no concerns about keeping Jews in their coalition for another generation. And yet they do have such concerns. And they should.
This week, prominent Democrats announced a new group called Democratic Majority for Israel, led by the pollster Mark Mellman. He told The New York Times: “Most Democrats are strongly pro-Israel, and we want to keep it that way. There are a few discordant voices, but we want to make sure that what’s a very small problem doesn’t metastasize into a bigger problem.”
The “very small problem” Mellman has in mind is a trio of newly elected Democrats: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar. They seem to have very few foreign policy views aside from a caricature of Israel as an occupying colonial force that sits up at night thinking of new ways to torment Palestinians.
Such ideas haven’t arisen from nowhere. They are the full flowering of decades of leftist propaganda and fashionable campus blatherskite. From such repellent acorns mighty trees grow, as we have seen in Europe. Britain’s Labour party did little to head off the virulent Israel hatred in its ranks, and it is now headed by an out-and-out anti-Semite. In Britain, once-overwhelming Jewish support for Labour has cratered. A poll before the 2017 election found that only 13 percent of Jews supported Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour because of its horrid record on anti-Semitism.
That is why Mellman and his fellow Democrats are smart to be doing this now, before the conflict actually begins to bite. The problem is “very small” at this moment, but the party’s trend line to the left suggests it will grow in force absent some major intervention or ideological change of heart. Nor are the views of the new, leftist members of Congress completely alien to the kinds of Democrats who take official roles in the party. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, delegates removed language supporting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
When the Obama White House, fearful of losing campaign dollars, intervened to have the language restored, there was a vocal fight on the convention floor. It sounded very much like those who didn’t want the pro-Jerusalem language restored won a voice vote — and when the chair announced otherwise, the hall erupted in boos.
Bernie Sanders came very close to espousing anti-Zionist opinions openly in 2016, and he won 22 states. His path was softened by the hostile posture of President Barack Obama’s administration. Obama claimed to be a friend of Israel, but there was no country or government he criticized more over his eight years — and he concluded his term allowing a UN resolution hostile to the Jewish state to pass without an American veto.
The activist base’s growing antipathy to Israel is less worrisome to friends of the Jewish state than it would have been at any other time in the country’s history, because Israel finds itself in a surprisingly strong position internationally and at home. It has held the line against Palestinian terrorism, and it is working in concord with Arab and Muslim nations in a manner that would have seemed science-fictional at the turn of the century.
What should be concerning is the subject that goes unaddressed in Mellman’s fight: the potential mainstreaming of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party as represented by the renewed public importance of Louis Farrakhan and the refusal of vanguard figures on the left, like the leaders of the Women’s March, to repudiate his noxious filth.
Here, too, Democrats need not worry today about this electorally or when it comes to votes and donations. Instinctively liberal, Jews are bound to be more alarmed by some of the white-nationalist encroachments into President Trump’s GOP. But the Corbyn example looms large and is arguably far more dangerous to the American Jewish future than anti-Israel sentiment in the Democratic Party is to Israel’s future.
AMERICAN JEWISH LEADERS: WHERE ARE YOU?
Jerusalem Post, Jan. 31, 2019
Israel is once again facing major new international military and political challenges. Yet despite our dysfunctional political system and the chaos associated with the impending elections, we have never been as militarily secure as we are today. We share a broad consensus across the nation and, allowing for minor nuances, any government elected will almost certainly maintain the broad outlines of the current security policy. These can be summed up as a desire to separate from our neighbors but an inability to do so until we have a partner for peace and can ensure our security. Alas, as of now that is not even on the horizon.
However, we need to brace ourselves, because our international position is becoming increasingly fragile. The Europeans are intensifying their biased policies against us and Britain may soon elect an outright antisemitic leader. The continued support of the US government at this time is thus immensely important. But there are perturbing developments.
US President Donald Trump has thus far been a very good friend to Israel, but displays erratic tendencies and at times ignores his own advisers – as exemplified recently when he announced the withdrawal of American forces from Syria. There are also unsubstantiated but disturbing hints that the American peace plan may have some unpleasant surprises that Israel may find unacceptable. At the same time, the Democratic Party’s radical and anti-Israel wing is growing and is already threatening the favorable congressional bipartisan consensus toward Israel that has prevailed for many
Israel’s principal supporters in the United States today are the evangelical Christians, whereas the Jewish community is utterly disunited and betraying its loyalty and obligations to the Jewish state. This did not happen overnight. Its origins go back to the Obama administration. Prior to that, Jewish leaders never hesitated to speak out against government policies considered inimical to the interests of Israel or the Jewish people.
When Barack Obama was elected president, this mood changed. He began to treat Israel as a rogue state, grovel to the Iranians, describe Israeli defenders and Arab terrorists as moral equivalents, and finally declined to veto the most biased and despicable resolution ever passed against Israel by the UN Security Council. The response by the majority of the American Jewish establishment, who were previously never reticent about raising their voices, was a deafening silence. Apart from the Zionist Organization of America and a number of smaller groups, the vast array of religious, political and social Jewish groups failed to react. Some tried to justify their inaction by arguing that criticizing Obama would only increase his hostility. Veteran Jewish leaders who did understand the situation were fearful that criticism of Obama would jeopardize their funding.
Another major factor contributing to the silence was the emergence of increasing numbers of “non-Jewish Jews,” so ignorant of their heritage that they regarded social justice and their Democratic political affiliation as the foremost factors in their Jewish identity. Prior to Trump’s election, Jewish organizations were meticulous in seeking to maintain a bipartisan stance. But once he was elected, hysteria swept through the Jewish community. Many progressive rabbis and lay leaders regarded him as Satan incarnate and decided it was their duty as Jews to oppose him, even on issues that had no direct bearing on Jewish interests. Speaking as Jews, some went so far as to accuse Trump of being a racist, an antisemite and even a Nazi sympathizer.
This, despite the fact that to date, Trump has unquestionably been the most positive president toward Israel and has a converted Jewish daughter who is religiously observant. He introduced significant beneficial policies, such as ceasing financial aid to Palestinian terrorists, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and promoting the case for Israel at the UN and international forums…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
AMERICA’S RESURGENCE IS RESHAPING THE WORLD Conrad Black
National Post, Jan. 11, 2019
Almost indiscernible in the endless tumult about President Donald Trump is the objective return of American might, right on our doorstep. A casual sampler of the Canadian, and even the American, media, might think that the United States was so far along in its decline that the entire process of government and normal public discourse had broken down in that country, and that the much-discussed process of national decline was accelerating in a climate of virtual chaos.
In fact, the economy of the United States is astoundingly strong: full employment, an expanding work force, negligible inflation and about three per cent economic growth. And it is a broad economic recovery, not based on service industries as in the United Kingdom (where London handles most of Europe’s financial industry, while most of British industry has fled), and not based largely on the fluctuating resources markets as has often been Canada’s experience. In the eight years of president Obama, the United States lost 219,000 manufacturing jobs; in the two years of Trump, the country has added 477,000 manufacturing jobs. This was not supposed to be possible, and this time, unlike in the great Reagan boom, it cannot be dismissed by the left (and it was false in the eighties) as a profusion of “hamburger flippers, dry cleaners and people delivering pizza,” (all necessary occupations).
It is clear that China is feeling the heat of American tariffs. Their magnificent hypocrisy of gamboling in a $360-billion trade surplus with the United States while extorting technology from American companies and reducing American high-tech giants like Apple and Google to snivelling on China’s behalf when their sales in that country are reduced, and all the while leading G-77 in cupped-hands requests for relief from the economically most advanced countries for their pollution of the world environment (although China is the world’s greatest polluter), all of it is ending. The United States will not be the world’s premier chump anymore. The most enthusiastic support the United States is receiving in its trade stance with China is from China’s neighbours, from India to Japan. Of course China is the world’s second-greatest power and must be treated with respect, but that does not mean the shameless grovelling of Trump’s predecessors, paying court to Beijing like lackeys kowtowing to the emperors of the Middle Kingdom.
Every U.S. president starting with Dwight Eisenhower has bewailed American dependence on foreign oil. Foreigners then supplied 10 per cent of America’s oil, a figure that rose to 60 per cent under president Obama, and no one has done anything about it, until the past two years, when oil production has been sharply increased and reliance on oil imports has been sharply cut, on its inexorable way to zero. For decades, whenever the U.S. made purposeful noises about doing the necessary to reduce oil imports, the Saudis engineered a cut in the international price and American will collapsed backwards into the contemptible torpor of declining powers. All that has changed. What were for centuries the Great Powers, and for nearly 50 years after the Second World War, the principal Western Allies and the Soviet Union, have been reconfigured. The Soviet Union has been sliced down to Russia with about 40 per cent of the former Soviet population, offering a pallid replication of Gaullist efforts to make France great again by being an annoying gadfly irritating the Americans around the world. Charles de Gaulle was a great statesman, who personified the historic cultural and political attainments of France in its most difficult and dishonoured times; Vladimir Putin is just another chief thug residing in the Kremlin.
China has replaced the U.S.S.R. as principal rival to the U.S., but now has no ideological distinction, as well as, in replication of the Soviets, no institutions that function except the army. It is trying to beat the United States at its own game of capitalism, but the Chinese version is a hodge-podge of state capitalism and a command economy, and the recoil of the Chinese from the pressure that has been applied by this U.S. administration demonstrates more clearly what the real balance of power is between the two economies. China is the greatest economic development story in the history of the world, but as a challenge to the paramount status the United States has occupied for over a century among the world’s nations, it won’t fly. Washington has seen it all, and seen it off, before.
And there is Europe. Canadians were rightly offended, as Australians and New Zealanders were, when British prime minister Edward Heath tried to plunge headlong into Europe in 1972, having failed to make it as the Common Market negotiator for Harold MacMillan in 1963. We were put over the side for Britain to take a total immersion bath in Europe. Nine years later, Margaret Thatcher did a 240-degree turn, brushed Europe back and plunged into a splendid renewal of the Special Relationship with the United States. She and Ronald Reagan did a credible job of filling the shoes of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and they did as efficient a job of leading the West to victory in the Cold War as their revered antecedents did in leading the West to victory in the Second World War. But before long, the special relationship gave way under British leaders more attracted by Europe and American leaders who had little interest in Britain. Then came a half-hearted British effort to go back head-first into Europe. It faltered and the Albion is faltering and befuddled…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
REVISITING WALTER EYTAN’S “THE FIRST TEN YEARS”
Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen
BESA, Jan. 25, 2019
A forgotten book by one of the most prominent of all Israeli diplomats deserves a renewed look, notwithstanding the passage of time. The First Ten Years: A Diplomatic History of Israel is the personal testimony of Dr. Walter Eytan, the first director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry (from 1948 to 1959). Eytan, who headed the ministry during the tough days of the War of Independence, is considered the founding father of the Israeli diplomatic service. The book was published in 1958 by Simon and Schuster in New York, and was never translated into Hebrew. It is a historical treasure in that it gives the reader a unique, behind-the-scenes look at diplomatic decision-making from the inside.
Walter Eytan’s reputation derives primarily from his pivotal role as head of the Israeli delegation to Rhodes in January 1949, where he helped pave the way for armistice agreements with the Arab states. This was followed by the Lausanne Conference (April 1949), sponsored by the UN PCC (Palestine Conciliation Commission), which aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict. His professional authority was manifested on several occasions during those negotiations, as well as during interactions with Israeli PM David Ben-Gurion and FM Moshe Sharett.
Eytan’s assertions remain valid today, bearing in mind the never-ending conflict with the Palestinian Arabs. He clearly identified the refugee issue as the core obstacle to any Israeli-Arab breakthrough, emphasizing that “the Arabs insisted throughout that no general peace negotiations could be undertaken until the refugee question was settled. Israel was willing to discuss the refugee question but felt it could be solved only within the framework of a general settlement.” On this matter he was unequivocal: The Arab states not only had no interest in the repatriation or resettlement of the refugees; their interest required that the refugees should not be repatriated or resettled at all, or at any rate not for a long time, certainly not until they had ceased to be of political use. They pressed for the refugees’ repatriation to Israel only because they knew this was not feasible in any case, at least not on any considerable scale.
Israel carried into effect a “reunion of families” scheme, undertook to pay compensation for abandoned Arab lands, agreed to the return of 100,000 refugees, released “frozen” Arab bank accounts, resettled some 35,000 refugees inside Israeli territory, and offered Jordan a free zone in Haifa Port. Not a single conciliatory move came from the Arab side. Eytan observed that the Arab states enjoyed a remarkable political achievement by managing to quickly harness the world’s sympathy for the refugees to their own political ends. The Arab national cause as a whole became the beneficiary of sympathy that had been intended for the refugees alone. The Arab states succeeded at this by making the world believe it was Israel that was responsible for the refugees’ status as such, and for their remaining refugees ever since. Eytan called the refugees “a gift to Arab propaganda,” which turned them into Israel’s gravest political liability during the first decade of its existence…
Regrettably, for all its efforts, Israel has never been able to free itself from the reproach leveled at it by the Arab propaganda machine. It remains tarnished by the charge that it drove the refugees out and has since cruelly denied them the elementary human right of “returning home,” and in doing so “defied” the UN.
Eytan was deeply critical of the world’s standpoint vis-à-vis the Arabs’ hostility towards Israel. In his words: The Arab campaign against Israel has been conducted on every front for the past ten years with a vigor and fixity of purpose that might have been devoted to a better cause. The very intransigence of Arab policy has daunted the world. Little effort has been made to curb it. …Their [the Arabs’] whole attitude is based on the thesis that Israel has no right to exist and that to negotiate with her is out of the question because it would mean conceding her this right.
He brilliantly observed the Arab world’s manipulative policy, both externally and internally, while maintaining a state of near-war and tension versus Israel. In his assessment,
[The Arab world] provided itself with a grievance it could nurse to its heart’s content and in politics there are few assets more valuable than a grievance. It focused international attention on itself by becoming a power for mischief; and it reckoned that, like any group which made enough of a nuisance of itself, it might hope for the prizes of appeasement. … [T]his hope would not be disappointed, and it felt encouraged to persist. Domestically, hostility to Israel promised rich rewards. There was nothing like a bitter harangue against Israel to rouse the masses and divert their minds from less appealing topics. The Arab League, as such, has been held together to this day largely by the boycott and other common actions against Israel. With the growing clash of interests between the Arab states themselves, the Arab League clings to Israel as its main raison d’être. It is not cynicism to say that if Israel did not exist, the Arabs would have to invent her…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
On Topic Links
Trump’s Mideast ‘Deal of the Century’ May Be a Raw One for Israel: Daniel Pipes, Breaking Israel News, Jan. 28, 2019—President Trump has spoken repeatedly about his desire to find the “deal of the century” to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While the president’s specific plan remains a tightly held secret, he and several aides occasionally drop hints about it. From what one can tell, it doesn’t sound good.
Get Over It — Trump’s Probably Not Going Anywhere: Rich Lowry, National Review, Jan. 18, 2019—The walls supposedly are always closing in on Donald Trump. The end is always beginning. He’s going to quit. He’s going to be impeached and removed. He’s going to decide not to run again. Somehow or other, he’s going to relieve everyone of the responsibility of ever thinking of him again, and especially of the responsibility of defeating him in an election.
Democrats are Battling to See Who is the Most Radically Left: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Jan. 12, 2019—Another week, another feverish contest among Democrats to see who can drag the party faster and farther to the left. The new year is beginning with a blistering pace, with wild and crazy ideas popping up across the country.
Rocked by Historic Chaos, the U.S. Swoons in Search of Stability: David Shribman, Globe and Mail, Dec. 21, 2018—In a 10-day period in the Watergate-stained year of 1973, the vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned amid corruption charges and the President, Richard Nixon, dismissed special prosecutor Archibald Cox in an episode immortalized as the Saturday Night Massacre.