March 20, 2017

Democrats Turn Against Israel - WSJ

Democrats Turn Against Israel - WSJ



Democrats Turn Against Israel

In 1972 ours was the first party to back moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Rep. Keith Ellison on Capitol Hill, Feb. 1.
Rep. Keith Ellison on Capitol Hill, Feb. 1. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Rep. Keith Ellison’s selection as deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee is the latest ratification of our party’s turn away from Israel. Mr. Ellison, who complained in 2010 that “United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of seven million people,” narrowly lost a bid for DNC chairman, then was chosen by acclamation as deputy.
The Democrats used to be the pro-Israel party. President Truman recognized the Jewish state within minutes of its independence in 1948. In 1972 the convention that nominated George McGovern ratified the first major-party platform to support moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The Republicans didn’t follow until 1996.
A lot has changed for the Democrats in 45 years. President Obama created an atmosphere of outright hostility between the U.S. and Israel. He made a nuclear deal with Iran and refused to veto the United Nations Security Council resolution in December that condemned settlements in the disputed West Bank.
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Hillary Clinton might have been an improvement, but her commitment to Israel has long been questioned. As secretary of state, she referred to Israeli settlements as “illegitimate.” In 2015 she had to reassure donors to her presidential campaign that she still supported Israel. Even during Bill Clinton’s administration, pro-Israel Democrats worried that Mrs. Clinton would influence her husband in the wrong direction.
Then there’s Sen. Bernie Sanders, who as a presidential candidate in April 2016 accused Israel of being “indiscriminate” in “attacks against civilian areas” when defending itself against rockets fired by terrorists from Gaza. Mr. Sanders received 43% of Democratic primary votes.
How did this happen? There was once an inexorable link between support for Israel and for the civil-rights movement. Both were responses to invidious discrimination—anti-Semitism and racism. Starting in the mid-1960s, however, an anti-Israel minority emerged in the form of the New Left. These groups—such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Panthers—saw Israelis as oppressors and Palestinians as engaged in a “just struggle for liberation” as Panthers founder Huey P. Newton put it.
In the 1970s elements of the left became steadily more hostile to Israel. A turning point came in 1975, when the U.N. passed a resolution equating Zionism with racism. That provided an intellectual and political opening for those who wanted to drive a wedge between supporters of Israel and of civil rights.
An organization called Basic—Black Americans to Support Israel Committee—was formed to condemn the resolution. “We seek to defend democracy in the Mideast, and therefore we support Israel,” the civil-rights leader Bayard Rustin declared. Unfortunately, that was the last time the organized Jewish and black communities worked together.
In 1979 President Carter fired U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, the first African-American to hold that position, for violating U.S. policy by meeting with a representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Mr. Young’s dismissal led several black leaders to break with their Jewish allies on Israel.
In 1984 Jesse Jackson, who’d publicly embraced PLO head Yasser Arafat five years earlier, ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. A Washington Post story about his difficult relationship with Jews quoted him as using the slur “Hymie” and calling New York City “Hymietown.” Mr. Jackson won 3.3 million votes in the primaries. He ran again in 1988 and more than doubled the total, to 6.9 million—another sign of the party’s slow shift.
There are still pro-Israel Democrats, but they are beleaguered and equivocal. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, now the minority leader, described himself in 2010 as the Senate’s protector of Israel: “My name . . . comes from a Hebrew word. It comes from the word shomer, which mean guardian.” But how effectively has he played that role?
In 2015 Mr. Schumer was one of four Senate Democrats to vote against Mr. Obama’s Iran deal. But killing it would have taken 13 Democrats, and Politico reported Mr. Schumer phoned Democratic colleagues to “assure them he would not be whipping opposition to the deal.” Mr. Schumer—whose Brooklyn apartment building has been protested by leftist opponents of President Trump—was also an early backer of Mr. Ellison for the party chairmanship.
One reason Democrats have continued the move away from Israel is that Jewish voters haven’t exacted a price for it. Exit polls in 2016 found they supported Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump, 71% to 23%, in line with their historic levels of Democratic support.
There’s still an opportunity here for the GOP. Especially if Mr. Trump delivers on his promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the Jewish vote could start trending Republican. Unless Democrats reaffirm their support for Israel, many lifelong party members—ourselves included—may decide that the time has come to find new political affiliations.
Mr. Stein, who held elective office in New York between 1969 and 1994, is now a business consultant. Mr. Schoen served as a political adviser and pollster for President Clinton, 1994-2000.

March 14, 2017

David Friedman Right Man for US Ambassador to Israel

David Friedman Right Man for US Ambassador to Israel: If most Democrats are not more sympathetic to a nation that shares American values than one that does not, what exactly is the Democratic Party about?

On Hating the Jews | commentary

On Hating the Jews | commentary

February 12, 2017

The Ninth Circuit Ignores Precedent and Threatens National Security - WSJ

The Ninth Circuit Ignores Precedent and Threatens National Security - WSJ





The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals violated both judicial precedent and the Constitution’s separation of powers in its ruling against President Trump’s executive order on immigration. If the ruling stands, it will pose a danger to national security.
Under normal rules of standing, the states of Washington and Minnesota should never have been allowed to bring this suit. All litigants, including states, must meet fundamental standing requirements: an injury to a legally protected interest, caused by the challenged action, that can be remedied by a federal court acting within its constitutional power. This suit fails on every count.
The plaintiff states assert that their public universities are injured because the order affects travel by certain foreign students and faculty. But that claim involved no legally protected interest. The granting of visas and the decision to admit aliens into the country are discretionary powers of the federal government. Unadmitted aliens have no constitutional right to enter the U.S. In hiring or admitting foreigners, universities were essentially gambling that these noncitizens could make it to America and be admitted. Under the theory of standing applied in this case, universities would be able to sponsor any alien, anywhere in the world, then go to court to challenge a decision to exclude him.

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U.C. Berkeley Law School Professor John Yoo on the Ninth Circuit’s ruling. Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images.
It is also settled law that a state can seek to vindicate only its own rights, not those of third parties, against the national government. The U.S. Supreme Court held in Massachusetts v. Mellon (1923) that it is not within a state’s duty or power to protect its citizens’ “rights in respect of their relations with the Federal Government.” Thus the plaintiffs’ claims that the executive order violates various constitutional rights, such as equal protection, due process and religious freedom, are insufficient because these are individual and not states’ rights.
Even if states could articulate a concrete injury, this is not a case in which the courts ultimately can offer redress. The Constitution grants Congress plenary power over immigration, and Congress has vested the president by statute with broad, nonreviewable discretionary authority to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens . . . he may deem to be appropriate” to protect “the interest of the United States.” Numerous presidents have used this authority to suspend entry of aliens from specific countries.
Further, as the Supreme Court explained in Knauff v. Shaughnessy (1950), the authority to exclude aliens “stems not alone from the legislative power but is inherent in the executive power to control the foreign affairs of the nation.” In issuing the order, the president was acting at the apex of his authority. As Justice Robert Jackson noted in Youngstown v. Sawyer (1952): “When the President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its maximum, for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate.” That point the Ninth Circuit ignored entirely.
The order, frequently mischaracterized as a “Muslim ban,” is actually directed at seven countries that the president believes present a particular threat to U.S. security—a view with which Congress agreed in 2015. All are beset by terrorists and so uncertain and chaotic that proper vetting of potential refugees and immigrants is virtually impossible.
President Obama chose to toughen vetting standards for these countries’ nationals rather than bar their entry completely. But if Mr. Trump has a different view of the threat, it is not up to the courts to decide who is right. This is a classic example of a nonjusticiable “political question,” involving matters constitutionally vested in the president and Congress.
Judges—were they adjudicating a suit brought by a party with standing—could overturn the president’s order if it entailed clear violations of due process or equal protection. But attempting to discern Mr. Trump’s motivation in selecting these countries exceeds the judiciary’s proper constitutional role. Judges scrutinize government motives in the domestic context, if presented with allegations that facially neutral governmental action is motivated by invidious discrimination. That inquiry is inappropriate in the foreign-policy sphere.
Under the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s precedent, the judiciary is institutionally incapable of analyzing the complicated matrix for foreign-policy determinations that support such actions. Judges lack access—or any right to demand access—to the full range of information, classified and otherwise, available to the president. They also lack the political accountability that would support taking risks with the security of the American people.
The Ninth Circuit’s decision represents an unprecedented judicial intrusion into the foreign-affairs authority of Congress and the president. The stakes transcend this particular executive order and even immigration issues generally. By removing restrictions on standing and other limitations on the exercise of judicial power, the Ninth Circuit would make the courts the ultimate arbiters of American foreign policy. The ruling risks creating both a constitutional and a security crisis. It must be reversed.
Messrs. Rivkin and Casey practice constitutional and appellate law in Washington and served in the White House Counsel’s Office and U.S. Justice Department during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

December 30, 2016

You are the racist, actually, not me | Rachel Moore | The Blogs | The Times of Israel

You are the racist, actually, not me | Rachel Moore | The Blogs | The Times of Israel

You are the racist, actually, not me DECEMBER 30, 2016, 12:13 AM 26
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BLOGGERRachel Moore
Rachel Moore
Rachel Moore is the Owner of Hub Etzion, the first coworking space in Judea and Samaria, and Moore Connected Communications, … [More]
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I am an Orthodox Jewish settler raising seven children in the West Bank. I’m also an American citizen and I voted for Donald Trump. Yeah, I’m that lady. I opened a local business here, and I did so on purpose — to respond to BDS anti-settler activities by encouraging Jewish West Bank residents to work in the West Bank and keep their own businesses local in the West Bank. I believe in annexation and I do not support a two-state solution.

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And that makes me a peace-loving, Palestinian-respecting individual. I’m not the racist. You are.


You, my liberal, anti-settler, anti-Trump friends who hate my views — if not me (yet) — are the racists. I have spent a lot of time particularly in the past three months being told by US Democratic voters and UN supporters what a monstrous racist group of people we are, those people “like me.”

I’ve finally had enough. I’ve invited so many of you to engage and hear from real people instead of judging, and you show no interest. Apparently, it’s preferable to let television and the New York Times inform your views on my little corner of the world.

I want to start with the US elections. I have read post after blog after article telling me why Trump voters voted for him. What we think, how we feel, what matters to us (and what doesn’t, like women and/or minorities), and who we are. With some serious name calling. But you didn’t ask me. And you don’t actually know what I think or feel or want or why I voted. So you are pre-judging me. Based on a whole lot of stuff. But it’s prejudice, no matter how you slice it. And I have tolerated — just barely — eight years of a president who not only told me what to think and feel, but told the world assumptions about me as a white person who grew up with “privilege” that just aren’t true. I watched as my life choices and values as a person living in the West Bank of Israel were summarized, judged and assumed by the leader of the free world in a way that is just false, and offensive to my sense of fairness, justice and humanity. I have been misjudged and mischaracterized, in fact penalized, without a proper understanding of what reality looks like over here.

I have watched a president grab executive power while Congress screamed and the citizens ignored it. I watched a president on the political left, who was democratically elected and is entitled to his views, create a culture of demonization of the Right in a way that is unprecedented in my lifetime. I saw policies that moved the US towards socialism. And I voted against any more years of that. Not that you asked. But when you — or he, or Hilary — call me a misogynist or a racist or a pig or “deplorable” for voting the way I did, you are judging a whole band of “them” that isn’t you. And I know how much you hate it when other people do that.

As for being an Israeli settler? I live and work with and among Palestinians. They are my neighbors, my colleagues, my friends, and yes, my threat. They, their dignity, pain, reality and families are in my face and consciousness daily. I don’t presume to claim to know what all Palestinians as a group think or believe. What I do know is that there is a very wide spectrum and a whole lot of shades of gray without much black and white. Let me start by asking you: do YOU know that?

While the world watches Aleppo burn and Syrian children slaughtered in the thousands every year without so much as single protest or call to action, the same world is out to show that Israeli occupation of another people is the true evil in the world.

And that same prejudiced world has been living with democracy for so long that I think maybe you have all forgotten what it really means not to have it. Here is the problem I need you to grapple with for a moment: there is no Palestinian leadership option that will give people a voice, empower and educate women, create and build freedom for the individual. Palestinian citizens of Israel today (many of whom call themselves proudly Arab Israelis and not Palestinians, but not all, it’s part of the shades of gray and a different blog post) have access to subsidized education, universal health care, can open a business, sit on the Supreme Court, and be members of Israel’s Parliament. They can fight the system lawfully and from within and stand up in our parliament, the only democracy in the Middle East, and explain why Israelis need to improve the situation today for Palestinians.

Do you actually know what “racist” reality exists today? Israelis are bound by law, including in the “West Bank” to obey and uphold the laws. That makes us culpable legally and financially if we cause harm to anyone or anything. But a resident in a territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority, just a few miles from my home can smash into the side of my car, laugh and walk away. A Palestinian can buy land and build on it. A Jew cannot. In fact, a Jew cannot travel into Palestinian controlled areas at all, without fear of lynching, beatings and murder. Which will not only go unpunished, but when they happen are celebrated in the streets. That makes ME the victim of racism and apartheid over here in the West Bank. Arabs living in Israel have more freedom, more education, more democracy, more of a voice and more opportunity than in the thousands and thousands of miles of stretches of the many Arab countries in the Middle East. Jews no longer exist in those countries because of the racism/apartheid against them that is so rampant, so commonplace and yet, has not warranted a single speech in the UN or from the White House condemning it.

When I am castigated for supporting the annexation of land that some of you wrongfully identify as “occupied” (it’s disputed, not occupied, based on International Law; look it up.), you are telling me that Palestinians, whose current situation is far far less than ideal and is causing anger and sadness and needs improvement, all want to live under an oppressive, dictatorial, thug-like regime that embezzles, doesn’t provide girls with proper education, trains in hate, and has no democracy, because it is comprised of Palestinians. (Picking leaders by ethnicity? How racist of you!)

You are telling me that “they” desire this over living in 100% freedom and democracy in a “Jewish” state that has Arab/Muslim religious rights, education, healthcare, and the ability to make change legally and effectively through serving in the government. And if you aren’t telling me what they want, you are telling me that you know that this is what is best for them. That this is the best alternative of those that are out there waiting for them. It is most definitely the alternative that John Kerry just laid out.

You are telling me what they want, what they prefer…. Or at least that you know, sitting over there in Massachusetts and California (and Herzliya) what they SHOULD want. What’s best for them. You are taking your Western ideals and assumptions and choices and imposing them on people here without a true understanding of peoplehood, of the history. You are swallowing political rhetoric about a group of people – about them, and about me. And that is your prejudice — your racism.

Annexation would end the dispute over disputed territories. It would give full rights to those living in the areas known as “post 1967” lines. It would allow Jews and Arabs to buy land and build where they live. And to argue and disagree and VOTE. And make the system better over time. With a real democracy. It would allow women to become doctors and lawyers and famous news anchors, just like the Arab female role models Israel already has! It would allow Israel to throw out and deport all terrorists. Freeing the Palestinian people of the terrorists in their midst just as much as it would free Jews. Equal opportunity banishing of bad guys. Because I believe that non-terrorist Palestinians don’t want to live among terrorists, or be ruled by terrorists, or have to shelter terrorists. Or be labeled by the world because of those terrorists. I think better of them than that. Do you?

Annexation would yes, “water down” my Jewish demographic. But that doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t scare me. You have just assumed that it would because of your racist prejudices against me. I would rather see people of all faiths live on the one island of democracy, freedom and hope that exists in the middle of an insanely mad world of violence, death, clitorectomies, child brides and much worse that is the Middle East today, than hand Palestinians over to the hands of thug leaders they don’t like or respect, they only fear and have to obey. Which is what those not blessed to be in Israel proper today have to suffer from.

The Palestinians living in Gaza are raised on hate. They have missiles in their kindergartens and children’s bedrooms. Girls and women can be beaten, as in most of the Middle East, because of prevailing culture and the leadership. While you seem quite ready to create an official state in a “Two State Solution,” where that is where the bar is set, I don’t have such little regard for Palestinian lives. For little Palestinian girls. I want better for them. Israel can give them better — because Israel already does, for many.

I think they deserve as rich and wonderful life as I am blessed to have. And Israel is the only place in the Middle East that can give it to them. You want to give them Gaza? How about Aleppo? Or Saudia Arabia, where women can’t drive and there are tutorials on televison on how to use makeup to cover up their beatings? That’s all you think that they are worth?

If you are fighting so hard for a reality where that is the best they can get, then take a look in the mirror because the racist sure isn’t me, it’s you.

December 13, 2016