By David Israel, JEWISH PRESS NOV 19/23
Politico reported on Saturday that “Democrats’ unequivocal support for Israel’s military has been eroding in recent weeks,” beyond the familiar anti-Israeli position of the progressives in the House. Citing one Democratic Senator and one Congress Member, Politico revealed that “Democrats in the House and Senate are discussing how to create conditions for future military aid to Israel.”
Politico reported in a separate story (Biden orders top aides to prepare reprimands for violent Israeli settlers in West Bank) that “President Joe Biden directed top officials to prepare visa bans and sanctions for extremist Israeli settlers attacking and displacing Palestinians in the West Bank.”
The Cabinet memo circulated on Friday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday, ordered them “to develop policy options for expeditious action against those responsible for the conduct of violence in the West Bank.”
Shortly after the Hamas attack, the Israeli government imposed a closure on the Palestinian Authority and barred entry for its residents, which included more than 100,000 Arab day workers. The decision also affected tens of thousands of PA Arabs with US citizenship. There’s no telling how many of them are Hamas sympathizers, nor does anyone in Israel have the time and resources to find out. It’s war, and you don’t take chances.
For that, Biden wants Israel to be punished.
According to Politico (Democrats in Senate, House discuss conditioning military aid to Israel), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hosted a lunch on Wednesday for Senate Democrats where Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of Maryland, shared with them his take on the war in Gaza. Tom Friedman and Dennis Ross were in the meeting as well.
BERNIE ON THE WARPATH
On Sunday morning, Sanders tweeted: “The Netanyahu government, or hopefully a new Israeli government, must understand that not one penny will be coming to Israel from the US unless there is a fundamental change in their military and political positions.”
Sanders released a memo titled, “Sanders Calls for Conditioning Aid to Israel Amidst the Growing Crisis in Gaza and the West Bank.” He acknowledged that “Hamas has made clear, before and after October 7, that its goal is to destroy Israel. Under those circumstances, Israel absolutely has the right to defend itself.”
And then launched into the following tirade:
“While Israel has the right to go after Hamas, Netanyahu’s right-wing extremist government does not have the right to wage almost total warfare against the Palestinian people. That is morally unacceptable and in violation of international law. Displacing 1.6 million people from their homes, cutting off food, water, medical supplies, and fuel, and killing some 12,000 Palestinians – nearly half of whom are children – is in violation of every code of human decency. It must stop.”
The good Senator did not offer a solution to how exactly should Israel go after Hamas while not harming civilians in Gaza when Hamas surrounds itself with civilian human shields. He doesn’t offer a solution because he couldn’t care less.
In the past, we tended to belittle the influence Senator Sanders had on the more grownup Democrats who stood firmly in Israel’s corner, except, of course, when it came to the Iranian atomic program and the 2-state solution. But these days, the Sanders virus is spreading.
$14.3 HERE, $14.3 THERE ADDS UP TO SERIOUS MONEY
The Republican Jewish Coalition last week released this statement: “Democrat Senators – including Jacky Rosen (NV), Bob Casey (PA), Jon Tester (MT), Tammy Baldwin (WI), and Sherrod Brown (OH) – denied Israel the support it desperately needs at this perilous time. The Jewish community and pro-Israel supporters across the country expect moral clarity and righteous leadership from their elected officials – today, Senate Democrats failed.”
Clarification: the Democrats in the Senate blocked a rather haphazard move of House Speaker Mike Johnson to take $14.3 out of the IRS budget and award it to Israel. The calculated cost of this move was around $28 billion in uncollected IRS debt. It wasn’t a good bill, it was mostly for show, and it was dead on arrival. But the swift readiness of the Democrats to kill it, instead of negotiating an alternative extra-budgetary support to Israel, is telling.
HELPING HAMAS REEMERGE FROM HELL
The Sanders memo continued: “The US provides $3.8 billion a year in aid to Israel and the Biden administration wants $14.3 billion more (it doesn’t – DI). The Netanyahu government, or hopefully a new Israeli government, must understand that not one penny will be coming to Israel from the US unless there is a fundamental change in their military and political positions.”
Sanders repeats at every opportunity his wish that the Netanyahu government be toppled. One can only hope that the Biden government comes down first.
In any event, here are Sanders’s conditions, and, remember, this time around these anti-Israel ideas are shared by a growing number of Democrats in both houses:
- An end to the indiscriminate bombing which has taken thousands of civilian lives and a significant pause in military operations so that massive humanitarian assistance can come into the region. This, in reality, means that Israel must lose the war on Hamas to qualify for continued US aid through 2028 (and who knows what happens then).
- The right of displaced Gazans to return to their homes. What homes? There are very few upright-standing buildings in Gaza City. For the displaced Gazans to return home would require a massive investment of tens of billions of dollars, which is not currently forthcoming.
- No long-term Israeli re-occupation or blockade of Gaza. Or, more simply put, an opportunity for Hamas to recuperate and resume its holy war to annihilate every living Jew (including Bernie Sanders).
- An end to settler violence in the West Bank and a freeze on settlement expansion. Without, of course, an end to the repeated attempts by Arab terrorists to murder Jews in Judea and Samaria – the count stands at 38 since January 2023.
- A commitment to broad peace talks for a two-state solution in the wake of the war. Or, let’s apply once more the plan that has been drowned in blood by Jew-hating Arabs since 1936. And it’s such a sensible plan, too. Let the two nations live in two separate countries. The only part not considered is the Arabs’ unrepressed need to kill Jews. Such a pity.
I don’t envy Bibi Netanyahu this week (or any other week). He is facing a well-financed, well-organized “free the hostages at any cost” movement at home aimed at jeopardizing the war on evil; and another unyielding coalition of Democrats, starting with President Biden and going who knows how deep into the ranks of Democrats on the Hill, also aimed at jeopardizing the war on evil.
Please, God, don’t let evil win.