Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin, Lieberman, and the Israel Lobby

Sarah Palin is very busy. Tuesday she cancelled all her appointments to get prepped by the McCain staff, and to prepare for her big speech Wednesday night. Well, almost all her appoinments. She found time to meet with the most powerful lobby in America, apparently .

I am referring to AIPAC, of course.

This item caught my eye from Bloomberg:

"Palin, who has been criticized by Democrats for her lack of foreign policy experience, yesterday skipped a scheduled appearance with an anti-abortion group, meeting instead with leaders of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee at her Minneapolis hotel."

So that is where she starts her foreign policy tutelage? With the Israel Lobby? What does meeting with AIPAC, a domestic lobby, have to do with foreign policy experience?

You know the answer. It has everything to do with domestic politics. I could just hear Joe Lieberman saying to her, "Sarah, you have the anti-abortion vote sewn up; it's more important for you to go for the Jews."

Amazing. So many people working so hard to love Israel…to death

The way things stand now – and I am writing this before her speech – the Palin choice has damaged McCain. Sure, it has "energized the base" but their energy can't match the Democratic energy. The true believers are not what McCain needs; he needs the moderates and the independents. And they are not wowed – yet – by Palin. Trudy Rubin last week in Commentary wrote a piece entitled, "Where's the Obama Bounce." Well, the last three polls have been giving him a nice bounce – as much as 8 points lead, in the daily Gallup poll, the first time he hit 50. OK, that will probably change after the convention. But the short-term Palin effect has been negative. We will see how things play out in the days and weeks ahead.

And speaking of speeches, Lieberman's convention speech was horrible – a disconnected, rambling affair delivered without much enthusiasm. After all, who is Joe Lieberman? The consummate Washington insider who had his moment of glory when he criticized Bill Clinton, then was tapped by Gore in order to add balance to the ticket. If Obama wins, he is a toasted bagel. But even if he loses, it's hard to see what Lieberman can do in a McCain administration. Secretary of Defence? Leon Wieselthier noted drily that this may not be such a good idea if we are going to get involved in the Middle East. Secretary of State? Somewhat of a demotion for a powerful senator. Even if Obama loses, the Democrats are going to win big in Congress. So that makes him a toasted bagel again.

Having said that, it's hard not to like Joe Lieberman. I can't forgive him for betraying his party, and for letting a unsophisticated view of the world cloud his judgment. But on a personal level, he is a likeable guy.

As for Sarah Palin, I will let you know when she shows up in shul with Lieberman and Mukasey.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure she'll say how important it is to have a crafty Jewish lawyer when she is indicted. After all, she hasn't met enough Jews in her life to say some of her best friends are Jewish (of course Jesus is one of her best friends --but that really doesn't count, does it)....

Anonymous said...

I actually agree with you about AIPAC and the Israeli lobby pushing themselves front and center on the candidates. But of course Obama is surrounded by Jews and he plays up to AIPAC as well.

The New York Times wrote some time ago about Obama's background in Chicago and it said he was originally close to a Palestinian-American who lived there who ran a web site called "Electronic Intifada". He said Obama was VERY supportive of the Palestinian cause. However this Palestinian then said that Obama noticed that in order to get ahead in Chicago-Illinois politics there were a lot of Jews who it was worth getting close to (e.g. Abner Mikva) so he started distancing him from Mr Electronic Intifada and the other Arabs. He said he now views Obama as a simple opportunist.

I have stated it before, but I will repeat it...all Presidents follow pretty much the same policy on Israel...they want a withdrawal to the pre-67 lines, a Palestinian state and to keep the Arab oil states happy. Since there is no possibility of peace, they then have to accomodate themselves to "conflict management".
McCain said his closest foreign policy influences are Kissinger and James Baker...from your point of view that should be encouraging...neither of them likes Israel very much, so you should not close your eyes to the possibilities a McCain presidency offers in forcing Israel out of Judea/Samaria as you are hoping for. "Super-pro-Israel" Bush managed to get Israel out of Gush Katif, so don't write of supposedly "right-wing-Likudnik" politicians, in the end they may force Israel to give up more territory than supposedly "even-handed" types like Obama on whom the "progressive Jews" are hanging such high hopes to force Israel to do what they want.

Jerry Haber said...

I wrote about Obama and Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada in my first post on Obama last year. I repeat now what I said then. Obama will probably not be different from all American presidents since Truman (Eisenhower, excepted) on Israel. So we are in agreement.

But there is some hope for Obama, if he takes Dan Kurtzer as a foreign policy expert, and if Kurtzer stays true to his Jim Baker roots.

What Israel needs is the team of Carter and Baker. That, unfortunately, is the best that the Palestinians could hope to get out of America.

By the way, Giuliani wowed the crowd with religous bigotry (Islamophobia) and bias against Palestinian self-determination. It is one thing to say that there is no moral equivalency between Israel and Palestinian terrorists. It is quite another to say, or to imply, that there is no moral equivalency between the the Israeli right of self-determination and the Palestinian right of self-determination. Giuliani's criticism of Obama for trying to achieve balance is not just a political move. He, like most Americans, certainly most New Yorkers, have been brainwashed by the Zionists.

Anonymous said...

""Sarah, you have the anti-abortion vote sewn up; it's more important for you to go for the Jews.""

Well, now, let's be clear, AIPAC is not a *Jewish* organization. They are a right wing U.S. lobbying group on behalf of Israel.

In fact, they have no shame in saying that they recruit anyone and everyone to their cause.