Friday, August 19, 2016

Changes In the USA's Politics Affecting Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                   

In 2012, something most unworthy of the Democratic Party happened. President Obama said in 2008 that he was for change.  I cringed at those words and immediately thought of Israel.

 "Several pro-Israel sections of the 2008 Democratic Party platform have been removed from the 2012 platform—on Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, and Hamas. The new platform represents another shift by the Obama Democrats toward the Palestinian position on key issues in the peace process."

"“Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel” is  in a section that describes Mr. Obama’s policy toward the country. That sentence was in the 2008 platform, but the Democrats removed it in 2012, saying that they wanted to spotlight other elements of Mr. Obama’s policy and that the platform should reflect a sitting president rather than a candidate for office."  Sure.  The USA still has not accepted Jerusalem as Israel's capital.  Since 1967, Jerusalem was freed from the Jordanians who had attacked Israel with the Syrians and Egyptians, and they lost the gamble.  Israel withstood the affront and won the battle.  

" Obama administration’s policy of not recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and supporting its division" goes against everything our history tells us about ancient Israel and Judah. "Jerusalem is unmentioned in the 2012 document, whereas the 2008 and 2004 Democratic Party platforms declared “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel…It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.” " Jerusalem was the capital after being captured by David in about 1010 BCE.  It's also called the City of David and Zion.  It was David who made it the capital of an empire reaching from the Red Sea to the Euphrates River.  For 2,000 years, since it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, Jews have been praying to return to Jerusalem.  

It was Harry Truman, a Democrat, who recognized Israel as a state in 1948, and now, the Democrats can't even accept Jerusalem as their capital.  

In May of this year of 2016, 3 outspoken critics of Israel were named to the party's platform-drafting committee who most likely never will, either.
Cornel West, b: June 2, 1953 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
1. Cornel West:  Philosopher and professor emeritus at Princeton University.  He backs the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.  Not only is he  "an American philosopher, academic, social activist, author, public intellectual, and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America",  but was "was Professor of African American Studies at Princeton."  He's known for his work on " the role of racegender, and class in American society and the means by which people act and react to their "radical conditionedness."    West draws intellectual contributions from multiple traditions, including Christianitythe black churchMarxismneopragmatism, and transcendentalism." In his youth, he admired "the sincere black militancy of Malcolm X, the defiant rage of the Black Panther Party [...] and the livid black theology of James Cone.  "  "He worked with such public figures as Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton, whose 2004 presidential campaign West advised." "West has described himself as a "non-Marxist socialist" (partly because he cannot reconcile Marxism with Christianity) ]and serves as honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America,"  He supported Bernie Sanders, another Socialist who ran on the Democratic ticket.  
James Joseph Zogby b: 1945 in Utica, New York
2. James Zogby:  President of the Arab American Institute:    He backs the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.  His credentials are that he  is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a Washington, D.C.–based organization which serves as a political and policy research arm of the Arab-American community. He is a Lebanese Arab who is a Christian Catholic.  "Zogby is a lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues and a Visiting Professor of Social Research and Public Policy at New York University Abu Dhabi." He's also a  "member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee. His father was an illegal Lebanese Catholic immigrant who was able to get on Obama's amnesty program.  "In a March 2008 e-mail to a television station which had aired an interview with Zogby,  Patrick Syring, a man who  was a career Foreign Service Officer of the U.S. State Department, accused Zogby and the Arab American Institute of "promoting the interests of HezbollahHamas and Arab terror.  Syring was sentenced July 11, 2008, to one year in prison for civil rights violations. He was released early on January 30, 2009.

Keith Ellison b: August 4, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan
3. Keith Ellison:  Minnesota Congressman since 2007. Ellison has been openly critical of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, but never vice versa, for it is the Palestinians who are bombing Israel!   "Ellison was the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress.   He is also the first African American elected to the House from Minnesota. He had been born a Catholic but has converted to Islam. " In late March and early April 2007, Ellison was a member of a congressional delegation on a "fact-finding trip to the Middle East." The group he was in was led by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The delegation visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall.   Ellison called his visit to Islam's third-holiest site, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as "personally moving".  The group met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and discussed the peace plan devised by the Saudis in 2002.  The delegation also met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

 During the 2006 election Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and James Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, spoke at an August 25 fundraiser for Ellison.  Awad and Ellison knew each other as they attended the University of Minnesota Law School at the same time.   According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ellison accepted individual contributions from Nihad Awad and another leader of CAIR[not specific enough to verify]; Ellison responded that he had fully disclosed all contributions and asserted that he had "nothing to hide.".  Ellison stressed that he was supported by individuals, and that the non-profit organization itself did not endorse his candidacy. It is thought that "CAIR was "a group that Democrats say has deep ties to terrorism."  So the Republican, Alan Fine, criticized him for accepting the contribution.  "As a law student in 1989 and 1990, Ellison wrote several columns under the name "Keith E. Hakim" in the student newspaper, the Minnesota Daily. Washington Post Staff Writer Alan Cooperman said that Ellison's articles "defended Farrakhan against accusations of anti-semitism," and that Ellison "called affirmative action a 'sneaky' form of compensation for slavery, suggesting instead that white Americans pay reparations to blacks."
Bernie Sanders b: September 8, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York

Who named these 3 men to be on such a committee?  It was none other than the US Senator, Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist running on the Democratic ticket who lost out recently to Hillary Clinton.  Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is an American Independent politician, serving as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007.   Sanders is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history.  His connection to Israel was "in 1963, when Sanders and Deborah Shiling, whom he met in college, volunteered for several months on the Israeli kibbutz Sha'ar HaAmakim near Haifa in Northern IsraelThey married in 1964 and bought a summer home in Vermont; they had no children and divorced in 1966."  He's remained in Vermont ever since. 

 He's not a religious Jew and wasn't brought up as such, but did go through a bar mitzva.   I'm afraid he's like many other American Jews, "Sanders does not regularly attend any synagogue, and he works on Rosh Hashanah, a day when Jews typically take a holiday from work."  He's an assimilated Jew.    After living in Israel for over 5 years, I can honestly say that a 2 month stay on a kibbutz is not enough time to know much about Israel at all.  Bernie's actions show me that he is not one to support Israel.  After picking this threesome, one sees the affects of his assimilation.  The sad thing is that you don't have to be Jewish to support Israel, but you'd expect Jews, who are only 2% of the American population, to support her, in varying degrees, but to support her.  When one goes out of his way, like Noam Chomsky and Norman  Finkelstein to support the Palestinians instead, one has to wonder.  Then, Norman Finkelstein has said that he's through bashing Israel, but did for years.  

This is similar to the period after King Solomon died in 920 BCE, and Judah, the southern portion,  split off from Israel, becoming the more religious group of Israelites.  Israel itself had given up Jerusalem as their capital which the Judeans kept.  Today, the 6 million Jews of Israel are far more serious about their history and religious beliefs than the American Jews, who tend to have left orthodoxy to adhere to reform or conservative Judaism.  One cannot help but be serious about establishing a Jewish state and needing it for their religious freedom after 2,000 years of being boxed around by others.  Judah was made up mainly of the tribe of Judeans who today are called Jews.  

  In my opinion, American Jews are being mesmerized by a group called J Street, started by the infamous George Soros,  It is in competition with AIPAC, an American Jewish group who are strong advocates of Israel.  With all the tremendous slanderous accusation that have been coming from the Middle Easterners about Israel, who most have been trying to drive out since 1948, we need one factual group of defenders at least.  

Coming from the Labor Party's newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, (Until 1989, the paper supported the forerunners of the Labor Party who were originally more on the left, and who have swung to the right and now to the center, even they say that J Street is not a pro-Israel group.  "J Street's approach is arrogant and paternalistic. Its leaders have the chutzpah to claim that they know better than Israelis what is good for Israel ..."  Believe me, after really living in Israel, people in the USA have no idea at all about what Israelis know what's best for them.   It's the difference between  a couch potato and an active football player.  

The Jerusalem Report-magazine from Israel, August 22nd issue 2016, A troubling patisan gap viewpoint by Robert Horenstein, Portland, Oregon Community Relations Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Oregon

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