Thursday, October 31, 2019

Bernie’s Gaza aid farce certainly exposes J Street’s false front - by Jonathan S. Tobin

In a competition to see which Democratic candidate can pander more to the far left by undermining Israel, the Vermont Socialist wins by a landslide.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
30 October '19..

The still-crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field proved to be a godsend for the left-wing J Street lobby. It gained attention for its annual conference this week due to the presence of five presidential candidates. But the dynamic of the event didn’t give a boost to its supposed “pro-Israel, pro-peace” agenda. To the contrary, the tenor of the coverage of the event showed that the group had achieved a very different goal. That was to be a magnet for opponents of the Jewish state, as it became clear that the main objective of the vote seekers was to avoid being outflanked on the left and to therefore outdo each other in vowing support for measures designed not merely to pressure Israel, but to cripple it and help its foes.

The winner of this competition to be tough on Israel was Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Vermont Socialist has always used his Jewish identity and his stay on a kibbutz more than half a century ago as a license to attack Israel with impunity. While continuing to express support for Israel’s right to exist, he also holds a position that its leaders must be brought to heel in such a manner as to force not just the creation of a Palestinian state alongside it, but to hamstring its right to self-defense.

Even more damaging is his consistent support for the idea that the independent Palestinian state in all but name that already exists in Gaza should be the beneficiary of a new “even-handed” U.S. stand on the Middle East. In the past, that has meant doing his best to organize support in Congress for opposition to the international isolation of the Hamas-run enclave and to undermine Israel’s efforts to defend its people against the terrorists who govern the Strip.

But the main headline that came out of the J Street conference concerned Sanders’s latest proposal, in which he went one step beyond his previous threats to cut U.S. aid to Israel.

(Continue to Full Column)

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