Dana Milbank, Netanyahu’s AIPAC Speech is a Knife in the Heart of US-Israel Alliance

Dana Milbank

The gods were toying with Benjamin Netanyahu and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The Israeli prime minister canceled his Tuesday appearance at the pro-Israel lobbying group’s Washington conference because of violence in Israel, but he attempted a live video address.

Netanyahu’s speech was another knife into the heart of the bipartisan U.S.-Israel alliance. He attacked Democrats, singling out one Muslim member of Congress for remarks that were seen as anti-Semitic, while ignoring the many anti-Semitic remarks by Republicans. And he leveled the scurrilous claim that anyone who opposes AIPAC is anti-Semitic.

“Take it from this Benjamin: It’s not about the Benjamins,” Netanyahu said, referring to a tweet by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

Now that’s chutzpah.

On Monday, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., literally read from Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” on the House floor and borrowed Hitler’s “big lie” allegation against Jews to use on Democrats. “Unconscionable,” said the Anti-Defamation League. But Republicans, and Netanyahu, said nothing.

Tuesday was the 40th anniversary of the signing of the historic Camp David Accords. But the Israeli leader didn’t mention this, either, instead delivering division to a group that has embraced his (and Trump’s) nationalist policies.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest branch of American Judaism, noticed that the AIPAC crowd had “beyond a doubt” become mostly pro-Trump conservatives, not the cross section of Israel supporters that AIPAC once drew. The rhetoric fit the room. “To suggest anti-Semitism is part of the Democratic Party and liberal part of the spectrum and not also part of Republican leaders’ discourse … is corrosive,” he said. “The thing that has kept Israel safe over the decades is rock-solid bipartisan support.”

The Raw Deal (10-30-18) on AIPAC’s manipulation of US public opinion: to watch, click here.

Consider the hypocrisy:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., issued (then deleted) a tweet targeting three wealthy Jews: “We cannot allow [George] Soros, [Tom] Steyer and [Michael R.] Bloomberg to BUY this election! … #MAGA.” But at AIPAC, McCarthy denounced anti-Semitic language on the “floors of Congress” and said he’d be “lying” to say Democrats are as opposed to anti-Semitism as Republicans.

President Trump, of course, said there “were very fine people” among the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, told Jews they wouldn’t support him “because I don’t want your money,” tweeted an image of a Star of David atop a pile of cash, used anti-Semitic tropes in an ad with photos of prominent Jews, and often denounces “globalists” such as Soros — among many other offenses. But he calls the Democrats “anti-Jewish.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tut-tutted: “I am troubled that leading Democrats seem reluctant to plainly call out problems within their own ranks.” But he didn’t “call out” Republicans such as Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) for spelling Steyer’s name as ”$teyer,” or Rep. Steve King (Iowa) for championing white supremacy.

Anti-Semitism is real on both the right and left. Selectively denouncing it based on party is dangerous to Jews, to Israel and to civilized society. Mindless tribalism seems already to have broken AIPAC, based on the changing audience over the two decades I’ve attended. Tuesday’s conservative crowd was cool to the vow of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that “we will never allow anyone to make Israel a wedge issue.”

As the AIPAC hard-liners condone such chutzpah, cheering the dishonest and partisan jabs of Netanyahu and the Republicans, do they not see that this destroys the American political consensus that has preserved the Jewish state for 70 years?

Dana Milbank writes for The Washington Post.

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13 thoughts on “Dana Milbank, Netanyahu’s AIPAC Speech is a Knife in the Heart of US-Israel Alliance”

  1. I agree with Dana Milbank that opposing AIPAC isn’t anti-Semitic, and I agree with Dr. Fetezer that Ilhan Omar had every right to criticize AIPAC. But almost everything else Milbank wrote is crap.

    Pointing out that Hitler was a socialist (many of his statements cannot be distinguished from things written by Marx or Lenin) is anti-Semitic? No it isn’t. Mo Brooks reading reading aloud what Hitler wrote about technique of the Big Lie is anti-Semitic? No it isn’t, and Jews weren’t mentioned in the passage Brooks quoted, so it seems in this instance it’s Dana Milbank telling the Big Lie. Criticizing three billionaires for buying elections is anti-Semitic? No it isn’t, and it was Dana Milbank, not Kevin McCarthy, who identified the villains as “three wealthy Jews.” Is Milbank anti-Semitic? Or just a duplicitous leftist?

  2. Jim I am APPALLED that this unsourced tripe made it through your vetting process. Look at the comments from your supporters like Willy.
    For this charlatan who provides NO LINKS OR SOURCES to propagate that ridiculous HOAX that Trump said there were “fine neo nazis” is ABSOLUTELY UNCONSCIONABLE! He was clearly, in context, talking about the people who thought that confederate statues should not be torn down. There are some fine people on that side, I AM ONE OF THEM.
    Oh, look here comes that slippery slope as these Maoist cultural revolutionaries try to have Thomas Jefferson statues torn down!!! Didn’t see that coming…..(actually, many of us did).
    Then this mountebank says trump tweeted a jewish star on a pile of money? Let’s see for ourselves, shall we? Oh…. that would mean this person would have to go to the trouble of providing a LINK or SOURCE. Can’t be bothered.
    Then cause someone puts a $ sign instead of an S for someones name, that makes them an anti semite? Why? Cause Stoyer is Jewish? Her premise is racist, not his.
    And when the HELL did Steve King promote “white supremacy?” How about a link or source for that.
    How about getting together with your long time supporters and giving us an email where we can send submissions. I bet Willy Or Tony could write something a hundred times more credible and well documented than this disappointing pile of propaganda. Hope I wasn’t too fervent, but I got the bit in my teeth, now that you’ve promised you aren’t moderating off comments that disagree.

    1. PS For the record, I think Netayahoo and the current apartheid government of Israel is the worst thing that could happen to real jewish people. I also think Trump is smart enough not to make truly powerful enemies… he has no choice but to work with this mob. Nevertheless, “Dana” (man or woman?) has no business polluting your excellent website with bullshit like “Trump said neo nazis are fine people.” Or “Steve King promoted white supremacy” etc. etc.

  3. Stupid oafs like Pompous Pompeo apparently do not realize Bibi said previously, “we’ll use the US up and then they’ll blow away like dust”. Pompeo thinks that was a supreme compliment from the Zios. Also, Ariel Sharon basically said the same thing years before Bibi. Obviously Christian Zios still love the Israelis even if they truly wish to fully parasitize the US.
    Is that why they call us “exceptional”?

    1. Yep…we’re exceptional alright….Probably because we have the most corrupt CONgress ever assembled and Israel knows exactly where all the skeletons and perversions are buried.
      I can only guess that blackmail rules since I can find no other answer.

      1. You are so right, Willy. There is no other answer, and the evidence that it IS the right answer has become overwhelming. I have faith in Jim, that he will take our responses and criticism in the spirit they are delivered, with love and appreciation.

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