After returning from the latest of my many trips to Israel and a visit with Benjamin Netanyahu, I appeared with Laura Ingraham on her Thursday night FOX News show, THE INGRAHAM ANGLE, to talk about the growing problem of anti-Semitism within the Democratic Party.
The latest evidence of that is the eagerness of Democrat presidential candidates to refuse to attend the policy conference of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which will take place this coming week. Gosh, it seemed like a race to see who could decline their invitation first. So, who was it that communicated to the Democrat candidates, just one day earlier, that they needed to boycott this event?
Big surprise. In a series of tweets on Wednesday, MoveOn.org condemned AIPAC, in part because of its efforts to thwart the Iran nuclear deal. (If only! I thought AIPAC should have spoken up more forcefully about that terrible deal.) They also accused AIPAC of using “anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric” (as opposed to anti-Semitic rhetoric, which gets a pass these days.) That’s all it took for Democrat candidates to rush to say they would not be attending.
So far, the list of those who quickly sent their regrets includes Bernie Sanders, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg (who?) and Jay Inslee (who?). I imagine that list will grow just as fast as the ever-expanding list of Democrat candidates. It appears that if you’re a Democrat running for President in 2019 and MoveOn.org puts out a few tweets sending you a message to do something –- or, in this case, not to do it –- you better take your marching orders like a good little candidate. (Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Steny Hoyer, none of whom is running for President, are, at this writing, still scheduled to attend.)
Is this really the kind of behavior we should value in a Presidential candidate? We need a President who’s not afraid to say NO when it might seem easier and more personally beneficial to fold like a wheezy accordion. That person needs to be able to say to any interest group that assumes it can call the shots, “You are not the boss of me.” President Trump does a particularly great job of that, and that’s what we like about him.
When Laura asked me why the candidates were so quick to announce they’d skip the conference, I gave her the only answer that makes sense to me: “Because they’ve lost their minds.” Nothing about this makes sense. We have an alliance with Israel that has nothing to do with left-right politics. This is about whether we’re going to move up or down, meaning, in a positive or negative direction. AIPAC is not a partisan organization –- again, I was rather disappointed in AIPAC when they stayed largely on the sidelines concerning Obama’s horrible Iran deal. I assume it was because they didn’t want to offend the President, but they really should have spoken up.
The left clearly doesn’t like Prime Minister Netanyahu, and to be against Israel appears to be the new mantra of the left. They don’t seem to understand that Netanyahu’s job is to protect his country. (Come to think of it, they don’t understand that about President Trump’s job, either!) Even the Arab leaders who have that same responsibility for their respective nations share the view of both Netanyahu and Trump that Iran represents a terrible danger to the larger world.
Anti-Semitism can be seen broadly now in this country, encompassing left-wing politics, media, entertainment and academia. On college campuses, the disruptions caused by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS, although –- as I said on Laura’s show –- I take the “D” out and just call it “BS”) have gotten so bad that even some members of the Berkeley faculty have formally complained about the “clear and direct threat” posed to academic freedom.
BDS is supported by Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Rep. Omar, especially, has made her anti-Semitism abundantly clear and is a vocal critic of what she sees as AIPAC’s influence on American politics. She even insinuated that AIPAC was paying lawmakers to support Israel. (Recall her classically anti-Semitic remark, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”)
On Laura’s show, I brought up what BDS did to Soda Stream after it opened up a factory in the West Bank that employed 1100 people, including 600 Palestinians and 500 Jews. I toured that plant myself. Muslims and Jews, men and women, were working side-by-side and getting along well. It was quite a break for these Palestinian workers, who were getting the biggest paychecks they’d ever had in their lives, four times the money they had ever made when working in any capacity under the Palestinian Authority. When the BDS movement succeeded in getting that plant shut down, the people who suffered the most were those Palestinians. But, hey, it’s more important to make an example of a company that does business in Israel.
It seems the “closet door” has suddenly swung open on anti-Semitism within the Democratic Party. Both President Obama and Hillary Clinton have spoken at AIPAC –- and, incidentally, so have Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris, but that won't be happening this time. This new trend is bad for American politics, certainly, but, beyond that, it’s dangerous for freedom and for the very existence of the country, Israel, that most closely mirrors our own in its ideology and its value system. (Come to think of it, though, that’s exactly what today’s Democrats dislike about America.)
Keep in mind that within the “terrorist community” –- I’ll call it that because Democrats love to talk about “communities” –- a Palestinian who kills a Jew is rewarded with a lifetime pension for his family and a park or street named after him. If anything deserves a boycott, it’s a disgusting, lunatic idea like that.
At this writing (early Friday morning), the Thursday (March 21) episode of THE INGRAHAM ANGLE hasn’t been posted yet, but here’s the link at FOX News to try a little later. If you missed the show, I hope you’ll watch the whole thing, as it also has a couple of great segments on freedom of speech in academia.
In the meantime, here is a marvelous article by Alan Dershowitz, summarizing a debate held in Dallas in 2017 in which he participated. He argued AGAINST the resolution that “the boycott, divestiture and sanctions movement will help bring about the resolution of the Palestinian conflict.” The points he makes here are brilliant. And, yes, he also brings up the example of Soda Stream. Great minds think alike.
Here’s a video of the full debate:
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