Jews and politics


MidEast Policy—Immigration Policy:
Is The Other Boot About To Drop?

By Kevin MacDonald
VDARE.com, 2007-01-31

Clinton and Obama Court Jewish Vote
New York Times, 2007-03-14

Talking About Israel
New York Times, 2007-03-18

Bush Met With Jewish Leaders
By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post, 2007-06-17

As he prepared for a visit this week from Israel’s prime minister,
President Bush held an unannounced meeting
with the top leadership of the United States’ Jewish community
to discuss the dramatic events in the Middle East and other foreign policy issues.

Bush meets with smaller groups of Jewish leaders from time to time,
but the gathering Thursday (2007-06-14) was the first time
he had met with the entire leadership community,
about 50 heads of Jewish advocacy, service and religious organizations
of different political orientations.

The White House did not disclose the private session on the president’s schedule,
and officials asked participants to treat Bush’s remarks as off the record.
Present for the session were the president’s most senior aides, including
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,
national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley,
White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and
political adviser Karl Rove.

Several people present provided a general outline of the session,
which included Bush giving an opening statement for 10 to 15 minutes and
answering questions for more than an hour.
The conversation touched largely on foreign policy issues,
including the situation with Iran and Syria,
the fight against Islamic extremists and -- especially --
the situation in the Gaza Strip,
where Hamas’s seizure of power this past week
has further complicated Bush’s faltering efforts
to help settle the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.


[One would think that this unprecedented meeting, on 2007-06-14,
between President Bush and 50 American Jewish leaders
was requested by the Jewish leaders to indicate their concerns
and to impress upon the American president
the need to obey the demands of Israel’s prime minister
as he presented them to AIPAC on 2007-03-13.
As the historical record,
as documented, for example, by J.J. Goldberg’s Jewish Power, shows,
the Israeli prime minister’s wish
the American Jewish community’s command.]

The Republicans, Vying to Be the Chosen People's Choice
By Libby Copeland
Washington Post, 2007-10-17 (on page C-8)

[One may wonder why this article,
reporting on talks given by GOP presidential candidates
to a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington,
appears in the Post’s Style section,
rather than in the main news section.]

Is Tom Lantos' Seat in Jeopardy?
by John Taylor
Antiwar.com, 2007-12-12


Hillary's Costly Braintrust, the New Jewish Establishment
by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss, 2008-02-22

[All emphasis is from the original.]

Did you see the Times article about
the staggering fees commanded by Hillary’s genius strategists
as the campaign lost its way?
The three are
pollster Mark Penn, whose team collected over $10 million in January,
ad maven Mandy Grunwald, who has collected $2.3 million so far, and
communications director Howard Wolfson,
who billed a mere $267,000 in January.
God knows he’s worth it:
“Fees and payments are in line with industry standards,”
Mr. Wolfson said.
“Spending priorities have been consistent with overall strategic goals.”

But some Democrats are now asking if
the money spent on a campaign that appears to be sputtering —
$106 million so far —
was worth it.

When I was a kid we used to feel Jewish shame
when three Jewish names showed up in the news
in this sort of light.
Now there’s no shame at all,
because of course the entire culture is monetized and corrupted;
but my marvel is at the new Jewish establishment.
How much of blue-state wealth-generation and power is in my people’s hands?
Yes, Clinton represents the old guard;
my meritocratic generation of Jews came inside with the Clintons 15 years ago
[i.e., with the defeat of GHW Bush, James A. Baker, and Brent Scowcroft],
and now we are long in the tooth.
But aren’t we empowered?

These gargantuan fees make my stomach turn.
Who are we? Where are we going? What do we believe in?
Those ancient Jewish questions.
And a modern one: when will journalists begin to understand that
the sociology of the Jewish rise
is a legitimate and important story about
American society and the formation of elites?

[The comments to Weiss’s post are really worth reading as well.
Here is one, from one Jonathan Ekman (emphasis is added):]

No gentile journalist in the MSM
will ever have the courage to discuss
the question of Jewish money and the influence it buys,
the few Jewish journalists who have the requisite temerity
will automatically be pilloried as “self-hating Jews”,
so we are basically left with
a Problem That Dare Not Speak Its Name.

Confronting Questions, Obama Assures Jews of His Support
New York Times, 2008-05-13

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

Faced with doubts about his support for Israel and American Jews,
Senator Barack Obama has stepped up his efforts to reach out to the Jewish community over the past month,
giving speeches and granting interviews
to confront questions about the militant Palestinian group Hamas
and his commitment to Jewish causes and values.

The efforts are part of “a very strong counteraction” against
what the Obama campaign considers misinformation about the candidate,
said Representative Robert Wexler, a Democrat from South Florida
who often speaks on Jewish issues for the Obama campaign.

“We’re going to continue to keep making this case
with initiatives to make it clear that
his support for Israel could not be more unequivocal,”
Mr. Wexler said.

[My reaction:
It’s time to make American support for Israel conditional,
conditional on Israel putting
its West Bank settlements and unified Jerusalem
on the bargaining table with the Palestinians.
More specifically,
it should support the approach advocated by Stephen Walt here.

Note that Obama, per Wexler, does not agree,
which means ongoing endless conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,
which inevitably will be to the detriment of the United States,
Israel’s unquestioning supporter.]


“I think that the idea of a secure Jewish state is a fundamentally just idea,
and a necessary idea,
given not only world history but the active existence of anti-Semitism,”
Mr. Obama said in the interview.
“That does not mean that I would agree with every action of the state of Israel.”
[U.S. presidents have made similar statements since 1967, including GWB.
But none, except Carter and Bush-41,
have taken significant actions to support their disapproving words.]

But, Mr. Obama continued,
“the fundamental premise of Israel
and the need to preserve a Jewish state that is secure is, I think,
a just idea
and one that should be supported here in the United States and around the world.”

Asked if he thought
Israel was a “drag on America’s reputation overseas,”
he said it was not.

[This is simply either ignorant or dishonest.
Survey after survey has shown that, in the Middle East at least,
a prime source of anti-Americanism is U.S. unstinting support for Israel.]

But he said:
“What I think is that this constant wound,
that this constant sore does infect all of our foreign policy.
The lack of resolution to this problem
provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists
to engage in inexcusable actions.”

(Campaign aides said later
he was clearly talking about tensions in the Middle East,
not about Israel

[Note the verbal trickery.
Practically all of the notable examples of terrorists,
when questioned about their motivations,
indicate that they are motivated by
American support for Israel
as well as its killing of Middle East people in its wars,
but not to America per se.
For concrete examples,
see the quotations collected in my post “Root causes of Islamic terrorism”,
like, say, these specific statements.
For general background, see my post “Why they hate us”,
in particular, the section ‘Is It “What We Are” or “What We Stand For”?,’
even more specifically, paragraph]


[Jeffrey] Goldberg, of The Atlantic, suggested to Mr. Obama that
“there seems to be in some quarters, in Florida and other places,
a sense that
you don’t feel Jewish worry
the way a senator from New York would feel it”


As Obama Heads to Florida, Many of Its Jews Have Doubts
New York Times, 2008-05-22

[An excerpt.]

Throughout his career,
Mr. Obama has enjoyed close ties to Jews, including
various employers,
law school buddies,
wealthy donors on the north side of Chicago who backed his early political career, and
the many Jews in the Hyde Park community where he lives.
This may account for some of Mr. Obama’s apparent incredulity
at the way some Jewish voters view him.

“I’ve been in the foxhole with my Jewish friends,
so when I find on the national level my commitment being questioned,
it’s curious,”
he said recently in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg on theatlantic.com.

Now the half-Kenyan-by-way-of-Hawaii candidate,
who only recently completed a beer-and-bowling tour to impress blue-collar Midwesterners,
has committed more fully to showing off his inner Jew.
He recently made a surprise speech at the Israeli Embassy in Washington,
and, in the interview with Mr. Goldberg,
he told stories about
a long-lost Jewish summer camp counselor who taught him about Israel
and recalled reading Leon Uris and Philip Roth,
arguably opposite poles of American-Jewish fiction.

Obama Asks Jewish Voters to Judge Him on His Policies
New York Times, 2008-05-23

In Obama's Circle, Chicago Remains The Tie That Binds
By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post, 2008-07-14

[The relevant part of this article is the following; emphasis is added.]

Obama’s core foreign policy team is an eclectic mix of 40-somethings,
such as former assistant secretary of state Susan E. Rice,
veteran diplomats such as Anthony Lake;
Senate aides Denis McDonough and Mark Lippert;
and prominent military experts such as
Clinton administration Navy secretary Richard J. Danzig
and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration....

For help on the Middle East, Obama turns to
longtime Chicago friend Lee Rosenberg,
an entrepreneur and board member of
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a Jewish lobbying force.

When Will the Press Lift the Hood on the New Jewish Aristocracy?
by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss.org, 2008-07-15

[Paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.]

Today’s WSJ has a front-page piece on casino-king Sheldon Adelson saying that
the cash-strapped Republican Party is counting on him to fund a lot of races.
I can’t get the whole piece online, I’m going to go out and buy it.
But apparently the Israel angle is prominent.
I wonder if they talk about
his relations with Douglas Feith and One Jerusalem,
and other neocon extremists.

Of course Obama’s biggest backers include members of
Chicago’s “billionaire first families,” both Jewish:
the Pritzkers and the Crowns.
Here’s a Tribune article about the “mammoth mansions” that
Penny Pritzker, Obama’s finance director, and
a member of the Crown family
are building right across the street from one another.
James Crown is said to be on Obama’s team.
He’s my age and went to Hampshire College, says Wikipedia.
His father Lester chairs the Global Affairs Council in Chicago,
which banned/censored John Mearsheimer last year,
and has his tentacles [apologies; over the line] hands in
at the Council on Foreign Relations too.
Lester is said to be hawkish on the Middle East.
The FEC reports that Lester Crown gives a lot of money to Dems
and so does son James,
who supported Obama early and often (as well as many other Dems).
father and son gave money to Joe Lieberman after Ned Lamont knocked him off in the primary in Connecticut.
Lieberman is neoconnish.
[No kidding. In fact, he’s practically the definition of neocon.]
Where are the Crowns?
In this letter of January (reported in Aspen, where the Crowns are aristocracy),
Lester supports Obama as a stalwart on Lester’s “fundamental” issue, Israel;
and calls for a two-state solution,
even as he signs up for a war on terror from Gaza to Tehran.

I see that Ryan Lizza’s piece in the New Yorker on Obama’s political rise
touches on the Pritzkers but doesn’t mention the Crowns.
Doesn’t really go near the Jewish angle.
This Washington Post piece scants the Israel angle, too.
When is someone going to open the hood on the new Jewish aristocracy
and where all the sons and daughters are
on Israel, Jerusalem, the two-state solution, etc.?

Mideast Sees More of the Same if Obama Is Elected
New York Times, 2008-07-22

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

For what feels like forever,
Israelis and their Arab neighbors have been hopelessly deadlocked
on how to resolve the Palestinian crisis.
But there is one point they may now agree on:
If elected president,
Senator Barack Obama will not fundamentally recalibrate
America’s relationship with Israel, or the Arab world.

From the religious center of Jerusalem
to the rolling hills of Amman
to the crowded streets of Cairo,
dozens of interviews revealed a similar sentiment:
the United States will ultimately support Israel over the Palestinians,
no matter who the president is.
That presumption promoted a degree of relief in Israel
and resignation here in Jordan and in Israel’s other Arab neighbors.

“What we know is American presidents all support Israel,”
said Muhammad Ibrahim, 23 ....
“It is hopeless. This one is like the other one.
They are all the same. Nothing will change. Don’t expect change.”

Across the border, in Israel, Moshe Cohen could not have agreed more.

“Jews there have influence,”
Mr. Cohen said ....
“He’ll have to be good to Israel.
If not, he won’t be re-elected to a second term.”

[Philip Weiss has also noted this article.]

Obama Working to Ensure Jewish Vote
Meticulous Planning For Visit to Israel Indicates Importance
By Jonathan Weisman and Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post, 2008-07-24

Obama Ends Mideast Swing With Vow to Back Israel, Peace Talks
By Dan Balz and Griff Witte
Washington Post, 2008-07-24

Having Paddled Joe Klein Over Dual Loyalty Charge,
ADL Invokes 'Jewish' and 'Israeli' Interest in Olympics

by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss, 2008-08-05

[Paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.]

The other day I told a Jewish journalist friend
about the Joe Klein “divided loyalties” brouhaha, and he said,
“My god, I’ve always thought that
a lot of these guys [neocons et al] have single loyalties.
But I have never said as much because I know they’ll jump all over me.”
I pointed out that Joe Klein himself has spoken, bravely,
about the “bullying” campaign against him.
Maybe that’s why it took him five years to talk about
the neocons’ divided loyalties.

Well lookie here, one of Klein’s bullies, the ADL,
invokes “Jewish” and “Israeli” interests

in urging “some” Jews who are upset by Darfur and Tibet
not to get involved in a boycott of the Olympic Games in China.
The ADL begins by invoking the American interest,
but quickly moves on to other interests.

Time was that when people invoked the “Jewish vote,”
liberal Jews would bridle and say,
We’re Americans just like everyone else.
That was in the 60s,
before the 67 War,
before the Holocaust awareness,
before- Beyond the melting pot.
Now identity politics are everything in the organized Jewish community...�
Set me free why don’t you baby?

The ADL:
Last, but not least, are the Jewish interests.
First is the matter of Iran’s nuclear program.
China has surely not been helpful enough in bringing about
strong sanctions against Iran in the United Nations Security Council.
Without the influence of Russia and China, with their veto power,
far tougher sanctions could have been secured.
Still, China has cooperated enough
for the Security Council to pass three different sets of sanctions.
An Olympic boycott with Jewish involvement
would end any hope of Chinese cooperation.

Second is the long-term interest of Israel
in maintaining and enhancing relations with China.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries are 16 years old
and trade has grown to more than $3 billion.
While China’s international votes continue to be troubling,
the bilateral relations have become a tremendous asset for Israel.
China’s importance for Israel will grow as the years pass.
The opportunities are great because
the Chinese have a certain high regard for Jews,
often referring to “these two great, ancient civilizations.”

Together with the opportunities are challenges,
particularly China’s need for oil and its relations with the oil states.
A Jewish-led boycott would do untold damage to future relations.

For all these reasons,
the last thing that we need as a Jewish community
is to be seen as leading the charge
for an inappropriate boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games.

The Israel Lobby and Sarah Palin
by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss, 2008-08-30

[An excerpt, dealing with VP Richard Cheney; emphasis is added.]

I would liken McCain to Dick Cheney,
who got on board with the ultra-Israel crowd years ago.
Bernard Lewis dandled him in his lap
and he and his wife
lapped up the bottled waters of the American Enterprise Institute.

Obama Can't Attack McCain's Neocons Because He Needs Jews
by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss, 2008-09-13

[All but the first and last paragraphs; paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.]

You’d think this [the neocon’s support for McCain]
is a clear wedge issue between Obama and McCain.
McCain is in bed with the foolish neocons who gave us Iraq.
Yet Obama has never said it.
I think I heard Biden say neocons once last week. But it’s not in ads.
You’d think that such an appeal would have more resonance out in America
than Ron Rosenbaum’s idea that Obama should run against
the hedge fund guys on Wall Street who screwed up the economy.
And it would.
Americans don’t like the Iraq War.
They’d like to guillotine the idiots who gave it to us.
The same braintrust that is now serving McCain.

The reasons that Obama is not pushing this issue are:

which came out of the Jewish intellectual community,
is seen as a code word for Jewish, and
neoconservatism is actually widely adhered to
across the Democratic party.

By neoconservativism, I mean the idea that
Arab societies must be made into democracies
in order to solve the terrorism problem in the Middle East.

That idea is widely shared, by Mel Levine Democrats,
the former Joe Lieberman Israel-first wing of the Democratic Party that has not gone over to McCain.
Robert Wexler, Howard Berman, Steven Grossman, Marty Peretz.
And yes, obviously, there is a Jewish component to this wing
(which justified the Iraq war because
Saddam paid for suicide bombers in Israel)

it is simply too important financially to the Democratic Party
to alienate in any way.

Jewish money, said Seymour Hersh.

So to repeat,
the reason that Obama is not going after the neocons,
a potential 70-30 wedge issue
among the American people who would like to know
how we got into the mess in Iraq,
is that:

Jews are mobbed-up with neoconservatism and
the Democratic Party is mobbed-up with Jews.

Simple, true answers, I’m afraid.
Are all Jews mobbed up with neoconservatism? No.
Just look at Dean Velvel’s valiant attack
on the Jewish neocon bastards who gave us the Iraq War,
whom he deems a disgrace to his religion.
Just look at Joe Klein’s valiant attack on
the Jewish neocons
who promulgated the benign domino theory
of making Israel safe by invading Iraq.
Look at Glenn Greenwald’s attacks on the neocons, and David Bromwich.
But these are all brave smart outlier Jews.
Even Jacob Heilbrunn who wrote a whole frikkin book on the Jewish neocons
didn’t have the balls to call them out as Joe Klein has.
And even Joe Klein took 6 years to tell us about
his conversations with the best and brightest of [on?] Iraq,
and did so only because he was worried they were gonna torch Iran.

continues to be embedded in the larger liberal Jewish community
for a few reasons:
We all know neocons.
It’s not like Christian anti-abortion fundamentalists we’ve never met--
no Marty Peretz gave every smart liberal Jewish journalist work. [??]
All the neocons were once liberals anyway;
they sit at our dinner tables just like the nutjob members of other families
who the rightthinking ones might raise their eyebrows over
but would never denounce publicly.
But it goes further:
the neocons are licensed, even by progressive Zionists, because
they are out there fighting for Israel.

Because even liberal Jews have come to accept
what Henry Herskovitz discovered when he saw the shocking militarism of Israel
and came back to scream angrily at his own synagogue:

violence is a vital tool of the Jewish state, and
liberal Zionists turn a blind eye to it.

Which is to say, in the U.S.,
liberal Jews out of love of Israel give a pass to the neocons.
The Democratic Party platform refers to an undivided Jerusalem,
a neocon principle.

when you ask liberal Jews why we’re in Iraq,
they almost invariably offer The Single Gunman theory:
George Bush did it.

[For an example of this grotesque and dishonest exaggeration of Bush’s power,
see this excerpt from Bob Woodward’s The War Within.]

Let's Don't Be Naive (About Obama and the Jewish Establishment)
by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss, 2008-11-07

[Its conclusion (emphasis is added).]

Jewish money is a necessary engine of the economy, and
we’re all over the Establishment.
It’s the water Obama’s swimming in
in a way that Bill Clinton wasn’t,
and that even George W. Bush held himself back from, somewhat.

On the stage with Obama,
I think there were 4 or 5 Jews right now, his economic-policy braintrust.
Pritzker, Emanuel, Summers, Rubin...
And two of them are on the President’s page of the Council on Foreign Relations,
which has nothing to do with the economy.

The point is,
Jews compose a huge segment of the power structure,
and for some confounded reason these people have decided

they are joined at the hip with Israel

which is why I have a Jewish identity clinic on this blog,
to show them they don’t have to stand up for apartheid.
But when everyone is expecting Obama to tell Summers and Emanuel to get lost,
he can’t.
He needed the Jewish establishment,
it got behind him early or late,
because they thought he was a winner,
and they funded him, and they’re all over him,

the moreso because they worry about his associations with Palestinians.
And so

it is simply impossible to speak about Middle East policy
without speaking about Jewish power.

Avraham Burg, in his new book:
“Jews hold stunningly powerful positions and clout in the United States.
The combination of
the American state’s power and
the Jewish power in the areas of
legislation, administration, media, law, business, culture, and entertainment

have made the Jews a defining factor of contemporary America.
Israel is inseparable from the identity of American Jews,
Israel is inseparable from the American experience.”


The tribal angle in the Freeman drama
by Philip Weiss
MondoWeiss, 2009-03-13

[Emphasis is added.]

Jack Ross takes exception to
my framing the Chas Freeman drama as a story about Jews and WASPs contending for place in the establishment,
and to me using Ned Lamont,
who first beat Joe Lieberman then lost to him in the general election in ‘06,
as an important case along the same lines:
I don’t like you invoking Ned Lamont the way you have repeatedly -
he ran a lousy campaign
and has few to blame but himself for losing the way he did.
I don’t know what to think of
what happened with Freeman and what it represents
except that there are clearly those who are doing all they can
to desperately try to keep the option of attacking Iran on the table.
Yes, it’s a distinctly Jewish phenomenon,
but to reduce it to Jew/WASP tribal warfare greatly misses the point.
The motivation of the Jews is completely and deeply irrational,
and it is impossible to try to understand rationally.
The problem is not so much Jewish power as it is Jewish delusion.
My response:
Jack’s right that I overdid the tribal angle in the Freeman story.
In fact, one of the great things about the Freeman narrative
is that many Jews came to his defense.
Jews who don’t suffer that “delusion,” as Jack puts it so well.

As for the delusion, OK fine;
but I don’t think you can take the power struggle out of this.
The Israel lobby uses political contributions, always has.
I insist that Lieberman/Lamont became a crisis for the Democratic party
because as the JTA reported,
big Jewish donors wanted to stay with Lieberman.
This is always

the fear surrounding Obama’s Israel policy:
If he puts pressure on Israel,
there goes the donor base.

Of course Jews are deluded about Israel;
but the delusion matters
because we are so crucial to political giving.

Scott Horton Interviews Philip Weiss
by Scott Horton and Philip Weiss
Antiwar.com Radio, 2009-04-30

[Note: This is double posted, at
Jews and politics and
Jews and national security.]

Investigative journalist Philip Weiss discusses
all the implications of the Jane Harman wiretap story
the MSM hasn’t run with yet,
the evidence of
Israeli attempts to dominate U.S. policy decisions on Iran to start a war,
the J Street lobby’s moderating influence, and
how Israeli leaders are oblivious of
the political re-evaluation of Israel by American Jews.

[From the interview, between 18:10 and 18:27.
The emphasis is added.]

Philip Weiss:
He [Obama]’s not going to do a thing [about pressuring Israel]
without political cover, and political cover means:

He can’t alienate the Jewish community.
It’s just too crucial to the Democratic Party,
too crucial to the sort of establishment,
leadership of the movement that he represents.
He can’t alienate the Jews.


‘Commentary’ warns Obama that
taking on Netanyahu again is ‘political suicide’

by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss.net, 2011-03-29

But the real question is not
whether the Israeli will ably put forward a coherent and reasonable position
affirming his nation’s desire for a two-state solution
based on security and respect for the rights of both peoples.
The question is whether, in the coming months,

Jewish Democrats will make it clear to their party’s leader that
a betrayal of Israel is not only wrong but political suicide.

Five questions on the debt-ceiling debate
By Alec MacGillis
Washington Post Outlook, 2011-07-18

[This article has exactly what its title promises.
Here is the fourth question and the first paragraph of its answer.
The emphasis is added.]

Who is calling
the shots on
the Republican side?

Republicans’ lock-step unity against Obama
on issues like the economic stimulus package and health-care reform
has given way to disarray.
Boehner, the chain-smoking House veteran from the Cincinnati suburbs,
seemed genuinely interested in striking a historic deal.
But standing in the way has been the House’s No. 2 Republican, Eric Cantor,
the telegenic and ambitious Virginian who has turned himself into
the tribune for the House’s conservative freshman class.
Cantor also has strong ties with some of the industry sectors
that could end up paying more in a big deal, such as
hedge funds, private-equity firms and pharmaceutical companies.

[I do not know if the assertion that Mr. MacGillis just made is true.
But if it is, it is certainly an interesting observation.
Of these industry sectors,
surely hedge funds and private-equity firms have little to none presence
in the district which Mr. Cantor represents.
As to pharmaceutical companies, perhaps the district may contain a plant for such,
but most of that industry is elsewhere,
especially New Jersey and perhaps Connecticut.

The question that is both legitimate and necessary is:
“How and why did Mr. Cantor come to have ‘strong ties’ to those industries?”
Although I am neither an expert on Mr. Cantor, politics, nor those industries,
the answer seems inescapable:
“Because he is a Jew, and those industries are dominated, if not controlled, by Jews,
and Jews cooperate to advance each other’s interests”

If you do not like that answer, can you propose a more plausible alternative?

Further, whatever his motivation,
the fact that he is advancing the interests of those industries,
rather than those of his district, not to mention the general American public,
to me is a most distasteful fact
(if it is a fact; we should remember the possibility that
Mr. MacGillis might be incorrect or misleading in his sentence above).]

In Cantor, hedge funds and private equity firms have voice
at debt ceiling negotiations

By Alec MacGillis
Washington Post, 2011-07-26


Jennifer Thompson, a political science professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and former Republican campaign operative,
said Cantor’s longtime opposition to the investment tax provisions
is a sincere reflection of his conservatively inclined district.

“Eric Cantor is a Virginian and you can’t separate too much from that fact,”
she said.
“His constituents are very much aligned with the no taxes
and being back in the black
and that’s what Eric Cantor represents.”

[As to the first sentence,
of course Mr. Cantor is a resident of Virginia.
But he also is, and identifies as, a Jew
(see, in particular, his support for the policies of Israel
as opposed to those of his president).
Does the fact that he is a Virginian,
in the context of his support for policies which, as a matter of fact,
are going to disproportionately benefit the Jewish community,
as opposed to Virginians,
nullify the fact that he is a Jew?

As to the second sentence, it seems lacking in both grammar and sense.
Again, how do his constituents feel about hedge fund managers,
racking in over one billion dollars in a single year,
being taxed at a fifteen percent rate?
What does that have to do with "being in the black"?

Finally, a general comment on Mr. Cantor's policies.
He has staked out positions in two areas
that seem to benefit the Jewish community
far more than the general American one:
First, his support for Wall Street interests as noted in the article above.
Second, his support for the foreign policy of Israel.]


Bill Kristol celebrates Republican Party purge of ‘oldfashioned Arabists’ Scowcroft, Baker and Bush I
by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss, 2012-05-21


When Kristol gave the self-congratulatory riff from which I’ve gotten my headline—
about how all the elements hostile to Israel inside the Republican Party were purged over the last 30 years –
no one dared to question the power of the Israel lobby.

Or when Kristol lectured [Jeremy] Ben-Ami [of J Street] for being outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party,
no one pointed out that Kristol is a Republican,
and who is he to enforce a pro-Israel line inside the Democratic Party?
Well because he has power in the Jewish community,
[Excuse me, but we constantly read about how most Jews have liberal values.
So what gives the neocon William Kristol "power in the Jewish community"?
My thought: Because he's their man in the Republican Party.]

and support for Israel in our community transcends party, that’s why.

There was a sense that we are all on the same side because we are communal Jews and everyone in that community is a Zionist.
“We’ve won the war, we won the war” Jeremy Ben-Ami proclaimed;
99 percent of Congress now has “deep” support for the special relationship between Israel and the U.S.


And at Bnai Jeshurun, Kristol admitted playing a role in
expelling members of the Republican Party he doesn’t agree with.
There were some Republicans you had to “repudiate,” people
of whom I disapprove so much that I wont appear with them.
That I’ve encouraged that they be expelled or not welcomed into the Republican Party.
I’d be happy if Ron Paul left and ran as a third party candidate.
I was very happy when Pat Buchanan was allowed–
really encouraged I would say by George Bush
[Buchanan denies this]
and others [unintelligible name, possibly Tony Martin] in 1998 or 1999
to go off and run as a third party candidate.
And he simply left the Republican Party.
I’m happier to have a Republican Party without Pat Buchanan than with Pat Buchanan.
But everyone’s got to make up their own mind about where they draw that line.


Mitt Romney: ‘Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace’
By Scott Wilson and Ed O’Keefe
Washington Post, 2012-09-18


New videos released Tuesday by Mother Jones magazine
show Romney responding to a question
about how “the Palestinian problem” can be solved.
He replied by suggesting that
“the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace
and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”


In the videos, he is shown addressing a group
at a May 17 fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla.,
at the home of Marc J. Leder, a private-equity manager,
according to Mother Jones.
Leder, a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team,
has given nearly $300,000 to Romney and other Republicans
for the 2012 election.


[This article has no explicit mention of this fund-raiser
being oriented towards Jewish-Americans.
Nonetheless, I find it hard to believe
that Romney would take such harsh anti-Palestinian positions
if he were not trying to curry support, financial and otherwise,
from Jewish-Americans.
According to Wikipedia (as of 2012-09-23),
“There is a substantial Jewish population in Boca Raton”.

Jews certainly have every right to influence politics any way they want to.
But I think, correspondingly,
gentiles have the right to point out how they are influencing it.]


Eric Cantor’s Defeat Is Also Netanyahu’s
By Scott McConnell
The American Conservative Blog, 2014-06-12

Of course it isn’t yet clear what Eric Cantor’s stunning and decisive defeat at the hands of an unknown challenger with one twentieth the campaign funds means for direction the House GOP. On domestic issues, including immigration, Cantor has been a chameleon—an establishment figure, a reformer, a “young gun,” a Tea Party insurgent with legislative tactician skills, a supporter of immigration reform (aka amnesty), and then a professed opponent of the same immigration reform. (I should note there was a time, in the 1990s, when immigration “reform” meant tightening the borders and tinkering with the legal immigration system so it was more skills-based, less based on “your brother’s wife got in a few years ago, so you are now eligible for a visa.”) The only ads I’ve seen from David Brat, the surprising victor, attacked Cantor’s readiness to hang out with big-money immigration boosters (Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg) while ignoring the labor market and wage impact large-scale immigration has for voters in his district.

One issue wasn’t talked about, though I wonder if it subliminally registered with some anti-Cantor voters. Cantor in 2010 more or less presented himself as Bibi Netanyahu’s congressman. Newly Elevated by the GOP House takeover as the incoming majority leader, he held a private meeting with the Likud leader at the New York Regency. No other Americans were present; Netanyahu was joined by Israel’s ambassador and national security advisor.

It was a tense time in American-Israeli relations: the Obama administration was pushing hard for progress on peace talks and trying to get Israel to stop expanding settlements on the West Bank during the negotiations, an idea vigorously resisted by Israel’s government. During the meeting, Cantor gave Netanyahu assurances that the House would have his back in any showdown with the Obama administration. The Republicans, he told Bibi, “understand the special relationship” and would obstruct American initiatives which made Israel uncomfortable. Ron Kampeas, a veteran and centrist observer of U.S.-Israeli relations, said he could not “remember an opposition leader telling a foreign leader, in a personal meeting, that he would side, as a policy, with that leader against the president.” So Cantor was, in his way, making history.

The ties to Israel made Cantor popular in the GOP caucus. Cantor could raise money more easily than other southern congressmen—from pro-Israel billionaires, for example—and spread it around. Sheldon Adelson poured millions into his PAC. Cantor knew his way around the Regency.

More recently, Cantor has spearheaded House opposition to Obama’s negotiations with Iran, speaking frequently of Iran in terms that echo Netanyahu. His Mideast positions track completely with Likud’s, whether it be aid to the Syrian rebels or aid to Egypt after the Sisi coup. He may be hard to pin down domestic issues, one day a moderate, another a hard rightist, but he is always a hawk—whether it be Ukraine or Syria or Iran, he will be a force pushing the most belligerent policies.

I wonder if this registered in the district in some ways. Pat Lang, of the interesting Sic Semper Tyrannis blog, meditated on Cantor (his congressmen) several years ago, wondering whether this sophisticated Richmond lawyer was a natural fit for a district that trends barbecue. Some have pointed to an ethnic angle, which could well be a factor. But it may be simply that conservative southern Republicans are beginning to get tired of neocons telling them they have to prepare to fight another war. Antiwar Republican Walter Jones won his North Carolina primary earlier this spring, standing strong against a major media assault by Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel. Now, in an election result that stunned political observers more than anything than happened in their lifetime, Cantor goes down before an underfunded Tea Party candidate.

We’ll see what happens with David Brat, but he’s already made history.

How Eric Cantor’s Defeat Could Hurt Republican Fund-Raising
by Derek Willis
New York Times "The Upshot", 2014-06-12

Eric Cantor’s primary defeat against David Brat on Tuesday means that House Republicans will lose one of their best fund-raisers, and a crucial link to some major donors the party is otherwise not close to.

Mr. Cantor’s leadership PAC, which he uses to dole out campaign money to his House colleagues and to Republican candidates, has raised more money since the beginning of 2013 than any other run by a member of Congress. It brought in more than $3.5 million from last year until April 30. (Figures for May will be available by June 20). Even as he raised millions for his own race, Mr. Cantor pushed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his colleagues and to his local party.

Part of his fund-raising success is due to his position as majority leader,
and his successor will have similar sway.

But Mr. Cantor has also shown
an ability to raise money
from donors some Republicans struggle to attract

and that will be harder for the party to replace.

The lone Jewish Republican in the House,
Mr. Cantor had strong ties with Jewish donors,
such as Ira Rennert, a billionaire investor from New York.
Mr. Rennert has given at least $168,100 to Cantor-related committees since 2009.
While generally a Republican donor,
Mr. Rennert has not given nearly as much to other House Republicans
as he has given to Mr. Cantor.

Similarly, Bruce and Suzanne Kovner, a New York hedge fund founder and his wife, gave more than $100,000 to Mr. Cantor’s joint committee in 2013 but do not appear to have given to other House Republicans recently. Itzhak Fisher, an executive at the Nielsen Company, has given to a Cantor committee in the past three years, but not to any other politician or political committee. The Cantor committee then dispersed that money to Mr. Cantor’s campaign, to affiliated committees and to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the fund-raising arm of House Republicans. George Karfunkel, a Brooklyn businessman, has given at least $50,000 to Mr. Cantor’s committee since 2011. During the same period, he gave to only one other Republican, a modest $2,500 donation to Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.

It’s possible that these donors will immediately switch their allegiances to other Republicans, but their relationship with Mr. Cantor and his team seems on a different level than their relationship with any other Republican.

More broadly, Mr. Cantor displayed an unusually strong ability to raise money from a wide range of donors. Much has been made of his spending at Washington-area steakhouses — his campaign spent at least $168,637 at two restaurants alone — but such events were the backbone of his fund-raising efforts. They brought him into contact with wealthy donors who provided the money that has helped sustain Republican majorities. There are other House Republicans, starting with House Speaker John Boehner, who are proven fund-raisers. But Mr. Cantor has been a key cog in the financing of Republican lawmakers.

“Cantor’s loss means some real headaches for the G.O.P. in terms of fund-raising,” said Chad Murphy, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., and a resident of Mr. Cantor’s congressional district. “He’s especially important for state-level offices, even more so because he’s the only real marquee name in Virginia Republican politics right now. There’s a real vacuum right now, and I’m not sure who will be able to step up to fill it.”

Through the end of April, Mr. Cantor’s leadership committee — the Every Republican Is Crucial PAC — had contributed $1,945,000 to a wide range of Republican candidates and committees, from lawmakers loyal to Mr. Boehner to libertarian-leaning Republicans who would like to see Mr. Boehner replaced. In April, Mr. Cantor’s PAC gave $5,000 each to Greg Walden of Oregon, Devin Nunes of California, Mac Thornberry of Texas and Tom Cole of Oklahoma, all allies of Mr. Boehner. It has also contributed $10,000 to Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the leader of the Republican Study Committee, the main organization for House conservatives.

In all, Mr. Cantor’s PAC has given to 166 of the 233 incumbent House Republicans, the most of any Republican leadership PAC this cycle. He also has given at least $140,000 to the PACs of fellow Republicans so that they can turn around and give that money to others as well.


Trump irks Jewish donors with comments on Mideast peace
By Julie Bykowicz and Steve Peoples | AP
AP, via Washington Post, 2015-12-03


The Jewish donors gathered Thursday
had two demands of the Republican presidential candidates who’d come to speak to them:
unambiguous support for Israel and respect.

Donald Trump seemed to fail at both.

The party’s 2016 front-runner openly questioned Israel’s commitment to the Mideast peace process
in his remarks to the Republican Jewish Coalition,
echoing comments he made the night before in an interview with The Associated Press.
He drew boos after refusing to endorse Jerusalem as the nation’s undivided capital.
And he suggested to the influential group simply wanted to install a puppet in the White House.

“You’re not going to support me even though you know I’m the best thing that could happen to Israel,” Trump said.
“I know why you’re not going to support me — because I don’t want your money.
You want to control your own politician.”

It was an extraordinary speech to a group used to deferential treatment.
And Trump’s comments on Israel —
particularly the billionaire businessman’s repeated questioning of
its commitment to making a peace deal with the Palestinians —
sparked an aggressive backlash from his Republican rivals.

“Some in our own party — in the news today — have actually questioned Israel’s commitment to peace,”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told the crowd.
“Some in our own party actually call for more sacrifice from the Israeli people. They are dead wrong, and they don’t understand the enduring bond between Israel and America.”

The primary benefactor of the Republican Jewish Coalition is casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who spent more on the 2012 federal elections than any other donor. Adelson’s willingness to make a huge political investment helps explain why his signature group attracted all of the major GOP presidential candidates to its forum in Washington — even though the man himself wasn’t among the hundreds in attendance.

On the eve of the event, Trump weighed in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an interview with The Associated Press. He questioned for the first time both sides’ commitment to peace, adding that he would know within six months of being elected president whether he could broker an elusive peace accord.

He doubled down on those comments Thursday in an auditorium packed with Israel’s most loyal supporters.

“I don’t know that Israel has the commitment to make it,
and I don’t know the other side has the commitment to make it,”
Trump said.

The comment drew murmurs of disapproval. Later, a smattering of boos broke out after he refused to say whether Jerusalem should serve as the undivided capital of Israel, a priority for many in America’s pro-Israel lobby.

Trump shrugged off the criticism. “Do me a favor, just relax,” he told one of the people booing. Perhaps more than any other candidate, he can afford to.

The billionaire frequently calls himself a “self-funded” candidate. Compared to his rivals, he has raised — and spent — dramatically less, depending largely on free publicity to drive his campaign. He began his candidacy by loaning his campaign almost $2 million and has suggested a willingness to spend much more of his own money.

Yet he hasn’t ignored donors altogether. Fundraising records show that supporters have handed over $4 million, enough to cover his presidential efforts in recent months.

Regardless of his relationship with donors, Trump’s comments mark a sharp contrast from his Republican rivals who pledged unconditional allegiance to Israel. Several candidates blasted him from the stage.

“This is not a real estate deal with two sides arguing over money” Rubio said. “It’s a struggle to safeguard the future of Israel.”

Said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, “We need a president who will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee seemed to target Trump when he mentioned that some in his party support the “head-scratching” proposal that Mideast peace is possible only if Israel and the Palestinians both come to the table.

“I want to say where have you been for the last 70 years?” Huckabee charged.

Trump’s comments also fell flat among many Thursday’s crowd.

Michael Leventoff, a New York businessman and member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said Trump questioning Israel’s commitment to the peace process is another example of him “just getting it wrong.”

“There’s plenty of evidence of Israel’s repeated attempts at peace,” he said. “This is exactly why Trump is what I like to call a brilliant idiot. He should know better, and probably does.”

Trump told RJC members that while he doesn’t want their money, he does want their support. He noted he has won several awards from Jewish groups and recently said he has “a very good relationship” with Adelson.

The casino magnate has yet to make up his mind how who he’ll support in the GOP primary, said Adelson’s political adviser, Andy Abboud.

Each of the candidates is strong on the issues that concern Adelson the most,
chief among them protection of Israel, he said.
“The Adelsons are generally pleased with all of the Republican candidates
and feel that the primary process will work its way out.”


Associated Press writers Scott Bauer and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

Donald Trump struggles with Israel question at Republican Jewish summit
By David Weigel
Washington Post, 2015-12-03

[This is the Washington Post's story on Trump's appearance before the RJC.]


Trump drew loud applause when criticizing Secretary of State John Kerry ("the worst negotiator") or the Obama administration in general ("the worst thing that's happened to Israel"). But even a specific follow-up question about what Israel might need to give up at the negotiating table was met with a cannonade of non-answers.

"It’s perhaps the hardest deal in history to put together," said Trump, asked specifically whether Israel should return to pre-1967 borders. "I don’t know that Israel has the commitment to make it. I don’t know that the other side has the commitment to make it. With that being said, I have a good chance."

The meandering answer seemed to loosen Trump's grip on the room, and it contrasted with his patter about the weak negotiating skills of the Obama administration. After spending several minutes saying Americans should have demanded the release of prisoners before even sitting down with Iran, Trump was chastising anyone who thought Israel and Palestine could negotiate with terms like the state of Jerusalem already decided.

"You can't go in with that attitude," he said. "If you're going to make a deal — and you can make a great deal — you can't go in with the attitude that you're going to shut it down. You've got to go in and do it nicely so everyone's happy."


After the speech, conservative activist Gary Bauer said that Trump had lost momentum by refusing to give a clear answer on Jerusalem.

"When it started, they were skeptical, and you could feel the room warming to him," Bauer said. "I think he turned a lot of people. And then he lost them, because he couldn't just say, 'Of course, Jerusalem is the capital, we won't negotiate on that.' "

Rabbis organize boycott of Trump’s speech to pro-Israel group
By Rosalind S. Helderman
Washington Post, 2016-03-18

A group of rabbis is planning to boycott Donald Trump’s speech next week before a leading pro-Israel advocacy group, a sign of growing unease among many Jewish leaders about the populist campaign being waged by the Republican presidential front-runner.

About 40 rabbis have said that they plan to participate in the protest of Trump’s appearance Monday at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, according to an organizer. The planned demonstration comes as members of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group of major GOP donors, is expected to debate how to deal with Trump during its annual meeting next month in Las Vegas.

The concerns being expressed by many Jewish leaders go beyond Trump’s controversial pledge to be “neutral” during peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians — and extend to fears of Trump’s style and approach to power.

Some say they hear echoes of a painful past under fascism in Trump’s recent comments appearing to praise authoritarian figures such as Russian President Vladi­mir Putin and in the way that Trump stokes economic anger among his supporters. And they point to Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and his harsh rhetoric on illegal Mexican migrants as reminiscent of the anti-immigrant sentiment that greeted European Jews in generations past.

“These are the darkest days for Republican Jews like myself,”
former George W. Bush speechwriter Noam Neusner wrote in a column this month in the Forward, a Jewish newspaper.
He wrote that Trump

“has built within our party
the nearest thing America has ever seen to
a European nativist working-class political movement.

Such movements, to put it mildly,
have never been good for the Jews or allies of free thought and the free market.”

[Disclosure: I see nothing wrong with what, I believe, is called "nativism".
Nor with the goals and aspirations of the working class.]


Pro-Israel Group May Be a Tough Crowd for Donald Trump
New York Times, 2016-03-21

On paper, Donald J. Trump is the last candidate one would expect to raise eyebrows within the Jewish community.

He is from the city with the country’s largest Jewish population, and he made his fortune working among the Jewish machers in New York’s real estate industry. His Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, was effectively marketed as a Jewish alternative to the town’s private clubs that had historically excluded Jews. His daughter Ivanka married an Orthodox Jew [Jared Kushner] and converted. He endorsed Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister of Israel. (“Terrific guy, terrific leader.”)

And yet when he takes the stage on Monday at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the influential lobbying group known as Aipac, he will be facing a wary crowd.

Mr. Trump’s ostentatious disregard for the sensitivities of various religious and ethnic groups has hit a nerve among Jewish organizations, inspiring a barrage of denunciations from across the ideological spectrum. They cringed at his trafficking in Jewish stereotypes and recoiled when he hesitated before denouncing David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan figure.

Many Jews have said Mr. Trump’s comments about Muslims reminded them of when they had been singled out, and a group of rabbis said last week that it would walk out in protest from his Aipac speech. “What we’ve learned from our history is that we can’t stand idly by when a leader says those things,” said Rabbi Jesse M. Olitzky of South Orange, N.J., one of those who plan to eject themselves.

Mr. Trump also stumbled when he waded into one of America’s most charged foreign policy issues, promising to remain a “neutral” broker between Israelis and Palestinians.

For the many Jews who side with Israel in its dealings with Palestinians — a number of whom are Aipac members — “that was like fingernails across the chalkboard,” said Ari Fleischer, the former spokesman for President George W. Bush. Mr. Trump later modified his position to be more pro-Israel, but his wavering left many unconvinced.


Now, Mr. Trump is the one who has come under attack, after rolling out a familiar anti-Semitic trope in a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition late last year.

“I’m a negotiator, like you folks,” he told the crowd. He then criticized President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, a deal opposed by many American Jews and Mr. Netanyahu. “Is there anybody that doesn’t renegotiate deals in this room?” Trump asked. “Perhaps more than any other room I’ve ever spoken in.”

Mr. Trump was widely criticized for the remark, but inside the room he was met mostly with laughs. “I thought it was kind of lightly phrased,” said Kenneth Bialkin, who was in the audience. “He knew he was in a Jewish environment.”

The jeers came from the group when Mr. Trump declined to commit to Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. That, coupled with comments he has made about remaining neutral, worried some pro-Israel Jews, who were not necessarily mollified by Mr. Trump’s subsequent claims that he is “Israel’s biggest friend.”


Virtually no one thinks Mr. Trump is anti-Semitic, and the invitation from Aipac is a sign that the group is open to hearing what he has to say. Three of the other four major presidential candidates are also addressing the conference, being held in Washington; only Mr. Sanders declined to attend, saying he was going to spend the day campaigning in the West.

Notably, Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate and a major donor to Republican and Israeli causes, said recently that he would back Mr. Trump if he were the nominee, and a newspaper that he owns, Israel Hayom, has written favorably about Mr. Trump.

But there is still concern about Mr. Trump’s behavior, which if not anti-Semitic is at least seen by many Jews as overly accommodating of bigotry. “The way he dillydallied with David Duke basically sent a message that was perceived by many in the Jewish community as he’s looking for any votes he can get from the hard right,” said Alan M. Dershowitz, the defense lawyer.

To Mr. Dershowitz, the problem is not simply Mr. Trump; it is the white supremacists who have rallied around his candidacy. “It’s quite frightening to see who supports him,” he said.


And for all of his critics in the Jewish world, Mr. Trump also has his supporters, including Sid Dinerstein, the former chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party in Florida.

“Donald Trump’s relationship with Israel and the Jews is beyond fabulous,” Mr. Dinerstein said, noting that his wife displayed a Trump bumper sticker on the dashboard of her Mercedes-Benz.

Mr. Dinerstein said he trusted Mr. Trump to negotiate good deals for Israel — “he only negotiates from strength, he doesn’t know anything else” — and to make sure that America “doesn’t get pushed around.”

He and his wife are hardly the lone Trump supporters in their predominantly Jewish community, he said, though not everyone is outspoken about it.

“Sometimes people come over to me and quietly say, ‘Sid, I never thought I would say this, but I’m voting for Trump,’” Mr. Dinerstein said. “And I say, ‘Everybody says that.’”

Sheldon Adelson and top GOP donors retreat to the sidelines
By Alex Isenstadt and Katie Glueck
Politico, 2016-04-11


Cruz: Trump triggers general election 'bloodbath'

By Katie Glueck
Politico, 2016-04-11

[I want to emphasize not so much Senator Cruz's remarks about Donald Trump, etc.,
but what the reporter says about the Republican Jewish Coalition, to wit:]

Cruz’s appearance Saturday came as part of a bigger push from the Texan during the weekend to court RJC leadership,
a group that includes
some of the party’s most influential fundraisers and operatives,
many of whom harbor doubts about Cruz’s viability in a general election.
Cruz’s hard-line position on illegal immigration,
his pugnacious style in the Senate
and his stringent, ideological views on many social issues
put him out of step with many of the more centrist RJC board members
and other leading figures within the organization,
though they do share his strongly pro-Israel views and
support for a muscular foreign policy.


“Tone matters a great deal,” [Cruz] said,
when one attendee noted that many in the room were liberal on social issues.
“Nobody wants to elect a hectoring scold.
I am not here running to be pastor in chief,
I’m running to be commander in chief, which is a very, very different job.”


And the Texas senator, who was the only presidential candidate to attend the RJC,
received a warm reception from the crowd,
earning a standing ovation near the top of his speech
when he promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem —
and said that while “Donald even read that promise off the teleprompters"
at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s recent conference,
it was Cruz who really meant it.


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