Rubio’s ‘Poison Pill’ May Force Democrats to Get Off the Fence on Israel

How many Democrats, especially the Jewish ones, would vote against the idea that Iran recognizes Israel?

By:Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, JP

Sen. Marco Rubio’s insistence on amending the proposed Senate bill for review of a deal with Iran by requiring the Islamic Republic to recognize Israel is beginning to make Democrats squirm.

Iran has repeatedly stated that Israel should be wiped off the map. It is building Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and by all accounts, except Tehran’s, is not far from being able to obtain a nuclear warhead.

It doesn’t take an evangelist Republican to connect the dots despite Iran’s position that it would never never even dream of obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Iran never would accept Rubio’s proposal that it recognize Israel, at least not in Ayatollah Khamenei’s lifetime, and Rubio knows it.

So does President Barack Obama, who warned on Wednesday he would veto a Congressional bill if it makes negotiations with Iran impossible.

Democrats, especially the Jewish ones, also know that supporting the president and voting against the suggestion that a Muslim country recognize the Jewish state will be recorded in the history book on warped thinking, with the notion the way to peace is to allow an enemy to scheme to destroy an enemy instead of dismantling the scheme, admitting defeat and recognizing that the enemy is its own hallucinations.

Where is Shimon Peres when we need him? Peres has said dozens of times that “one makes peace with enemies, not with friends.” The cliché is more ridiculous than it is trite, but if that is his philosophy, why isn’t he out there backing Rubio?

The Senate began on Tuesday to debate the proposed law that any deal with Iran on its nuclear development must be submitted to Congress for review.

President Obama originally said he would veto such a law, but after Republic Sen. Bob Corker toned down its original language so that the legislation would have a veto-proof majority, he changed his mind.

That was until Rubio, who has announced he is running to be the GOP’s presidential nominee next year, came up with seven amendments, known as the “poison pills” because there is no chance Obama and Iran would accept them.

Besides demanding that Iran recognize Israel, the Florida Republican wants Iran to release American it is holding. He also demands that sanctions having nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear development be retained on Tehran.

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, Jewish and strongly identified with Israel, blocked Rubio’s effort on Wednesday to bring the “recognize Israel” amendment to a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“I appreciate the senator from Maryland’s passion,” Rubio said, “but I want a vote on the amendment,” and he intends to do so when the bill comes to the floor of the Senate.

Rubio has managed to scare Republicans as well as Democrats.

Several GOP Leaders are angry with Rubio because his “poison pill” amendments would destroy the bi-partisan support for a watered-down bill for Congressional review of a deal with Iran.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a strong backer of Israel, said he would vote against Rubio’s amendments.

Graham explained:
I don’t think anybody is going to accuse Lindsey Graham of being anti-Israel. I’ve been working for a year … to put this coalition together. And failure is not an option.\
Politico reported that “GOP leaders appear to siding with Rubio [and] so far, they have not moved to orchestrate Republicans to vote against problematic amendments.”

Rubio has the Democrats in a tight corner. He said, “Do Democrats not support Israel?”

The oddity is that Democrats are holding their collective breath for Corker, a Republican, to convince Rubio to back off or convince his colleagues to vote against the amendments.
“You’d better ask Sen. Corker; he’s said he’s going to block all killer amendments. Go talk to him,” Politico quoted New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer as saying when asked how he’d like to see Rubio’s proposal handled.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has given the Democrats cover by opposing Rubio’s proposals, but Democrats hiding under the AIPAC umbrella would have to pay a political debt to the pro-Israel lobby.

Cardin’s line of reason gin follows the Obama and Kerry mindset that a deal with Iran is good for Israel and, therefore, sticking in the Congressional bill a condition that Iran recognize Israel actually is anti-Israel because it would destroy all chances for a final arrangement.

That, of course, is exactly what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, thinks is best for Israel.

Netanyahu is not alone.

Democrats who vote against Rubio’s amendments run the risk of voting against Israel twice in one go – against Iran’s reorganizing Israel and for a deal that every day appears to be even worse than a “bad deal.”

April 30, 2015 | Comments »

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