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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Truth About Congressional Pro-Israel Theater

Here is how the pro-Israel theater works.

Every other country has its American embassy in its capital. Except Israel. Every few years, Congress would bring up a bill or a resolution calling or even mandating that the embassy be moved to Jerusalem. Even politicians not known for their great love of the Jewish State would vote for it.

Some like Biden or Kerry would even sponsor them.

The bill would have a loophole allowing a president to waive it in the interests of national security, which he always did, even when he had promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem in his campaign.

The politicians were happy. The pro-Israel lobby got to justify its budget. Some Jews however were baffled why the embassy never seemed to get moved.

A similar farce would play out on other issues like cutting off aid to the PLO. There would be a bill and then a waiver and everyone would issue the appropriate press releases. And terrorists would go on killing people and then getting paid salaries with money provided by US taxpayers.

Iran's nukes are the acid test. This is the one that matters. It's the one that activists are frantically fighting for.

But Congress is not about to override the White House on Iran, no more than it wanted to on Jerusalem or the PLO. The Republicans certainly didn't want to be put in the position where their vote against Iran might actually count. And then Obama would blame them.

That's what the Iran Nuclear Review Act was for.

It sets up a grand theatrical production in which Republicans damage Democrats by splitting the Jewish vote without any of it actually mattering. Everyone gets to posture, to play their parts, not to get anything done, but to advance their own careers.

Some Democrats will 'choose' Israel over Iran and win the undying affection of Jews. Others will back Obama to the cheers of the left. The Republicans will chortle over the split in the Dems. A few who know better, like Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz, will grind their teeth at the betrayal.

AIPAC will once again nobly lose, while increasing its donations and membership. The Republican Jewish Coalition will point to this as proof that the GOP is more pro-Israel. J Street will use the number of Jewish Democrats who defected to the Iran side as evidence that they won.

Obama will do what he intended to do all along. And all this will turn out to have been the same hollow charade as the votes over recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital or defunding the PLO.

The game is rigged. It's been rigged all along.

Some Congressmen really do believe in what they're doing. There are a few "righteous men in Sodom", but for the most part Congress is a way of moving money around, of making speeches without taking responsibility, of making grand gestures that don't rock the boat.

The Republican Party is indeed more pro-Israel ideologically, but Republican ideology is hypothetical. While the Democrats turn left, the Republicans turn in circles. The left acts on its ideology, the right talks about it.

The most pro-Israel Democratic administration was LBJ's. The most anti-Israel Democratic administration was Obama's. With a certain amount of wavering, the trend between those two markers has been negative.

The most anti-Israel Republican administration was Eisenhower's. The most pro-Israel was Bush II's. The trend here has mostly been positive.

But while there's no limit to how anti-Israel the Democrats can go, there is a hard limit on how pro-Israel the Republicans can go. And Bush II was probably it.

The pro-Israel politics of Republican presidents, like the rest of their conservative ideological commitments, is more talk than reality. You can get a Republican president to say nice things about Israel, small government, the value of life, religious freedom and all that, but you can't get him to do anything about it, like moving the embassy, ending the funding of terrorism or ending the pressure on Israel to comply with assorted PLO demands. That and 5 bucks might get you a cup of coffee on Capitol Hill.

When I encourage Jews to go Republican, it's not because it will usher in a glorious pro-Israel era. It's because being associated with a Democratic Party dancing to the fiddle of the left is deeply corrosive. Being around the left is damaging. It's a destructive movement that poisons everything it touches.

Especially people.

Maybe the GOP can become what it should be. We should certainly work toward that. And the first step is to be realistic about what it is and what it does.

The Republican Party tells conservatives what they want to hear while taking its marching orders from an infrastructure of advisers, experts and consultants who urge it to implement the same old bad ideas while lying to the public.

That is how we got here in more ways than one.

Republican politicians want to win elections without changing anything. They want to do the 'sensible' thing which means keeping up the status quo and not rocking the boat. The only way to do that is by lying a lot.

Some Democrats, perversely the ones who actually have retained some sense of right and wrong, are the same way.

So are most organizations. At the end of day everyone just wants to collect their paycheck, put in the same hours they did yesterday following a familiar work routine, and go home.

It's human nature.

Our enemies have taken advantage of that. They have taken over the system step by step, by exploiting the apathy of the system in the traditional manner of the left, be the first to show up, be the last to leave, organize, lie, aid your comrades and drive out any form of opposition.

We have been lulled to sleep by the promises and lies of those we thought were on our side.

If we're going to change anything, let's deal with these realities. There are no easy solutions. Our friends have no appetite for a fight and our enemies control the high ground. The cavalry isn't coming. We can change things as long as we are determined to really shake things up.

And that means realizing that much of what we've been investing our energy in has been theater, not truth. We can't change things until we stop letting ourselves be fooled.

None of this means that we should stop fighting the Iran nuke deal.

The harder we fight it, the more significant it will be when the deal comes apart. We don't want this to be another North Korea in which the opposition goes down the memory hole. We need to be able to say that we fought this disaster ever step of the way and called it out for what it was.

Because this is the beginning, not the end.

The deal is not impossible to stop. It's just impossible to stop playing by the rules of the GOP and Democrats. It's impossible to stop by playing out a game whose outcome was predetermined by Obama, the GOP and the Democrats. That game was over before it started.

It is important for people to understand that. It's not just the Iran deal where the outcome was known ahead of time. It's true for most pro-Israel efforts in Congress that bump up against the two-state solution. It's true for most conservative political efforts for that matter.

Playing that game makes lobbyists, consultants and politicians look good. And we pay them and lose. Nothing will change until we make it clear that we understand the game and that we want real change, not more theater. The left didn't get its change by playing by the same old rules.

Neither will we.

Change happens when politicians recognize that they will be held accountable and that their lies and games have been exposed. It happens when they are forced to realize that the people not only see through them, but that they're angry and their anger will impact their support and their opposition.

Everything else is business as usual. And business as usual is what got us here.

It's time for the lies to end and for the truth to be heard. It's time to end the fake votes, the fake resolutions, the theater whose weekly productions change, but whose theme is the same.

There are politicians who want to fight and politicians who want to appear to be fighting. The latter have done more damage than any enemy by draining time and energy, providing false reassurances and empty hopes. It's time to bring the curtain down on their latest production in which a big chunk of Congress walks away hiding a smirk after having pulled off its latest scam.


  1. Anonymous2/9/15

    sign me up!

  2. Not naming the politicians who "appear" to fight allows them to remain in obscurity. You are just as bad as they are and support that cowardly agenda by allowing them to remain hidden.

  3. Theater is all about drama and there is very little here. The Iran Deal would fold on Broadway in a week. This we know because as you must surmise, Daniel, it doesn't matter if the deal goes through. If it passes, Iran will cheat, and Israel will have to attack. If it fails, Iran will continue nuclear development as it is doing now... and Israel will have to attack. We all know the Butler did it.

  4. So what do you suggest Daniel? How do we end the fake votes and lies?

  5. Simon, don't make nice comments supporting Trump, or the other phonies where they say pretty things. Stop cheering them, do not value a word they say and demand only action. Disrupt their daily routine, or they won't.

    If Iran nukes something, Obammy gets his third term.

  6. Thank you for the article.

    "Some Congressmen really do believe in what they're doing. There are a few "righteous men in Sodom", but for the most part Congress is a way of moving money around, of making speeches without taking responsibility, of making grand gestures that don't rock the boat."

    Exactly. There is no courage among just about everyone in Washington. They are a bunch of cheap cowards who would rather (In the case of the Iran deal) put the whole country at risk than stand up for anything.

  7. Y. Ben-David2/9/15

    (1) You are quite right that there was no chance Congress would block the agreement. However, Netanyahu is quite right in opposing it to the end, and even after it is passed, because what will happen in the future, even with the agreement, is unknown and increased Iranian support for terrorism in the Middle East, which Obama is giving the green light to, can have unpredictable consequences.
    (2) One main reason there was no chance that Congress, particularly the Democrats would oppose Obama was because Obama using the "bare-knuckle politics" he learned in Chicago, no doubt invited wavering Demos into the Oval Office, showed the a file on his desk containing information obtained by private investigators regarding various indiscretions the Congressman or Senator was involved in and was told that it would be a shame if the information was leaked to the media and so the only way that could be prevented would be to vote the way Obama wants.
    (3) I don't see Bush II as being particularly more 'pro-Israel" than Clinton or Obama . The massive terror attacks of 2001-2003 occurred during his Presidency when THOUSANDS of Israelis were killed or wounded and he, and his Secretary of State Powell, who is now in Obama's camp were constantly hectoring Israel to "show restraint" or not go beyond "proportionate" responses. Secretary of State Condi Rice claimed that the "Palestinians were suffering just like Blacks in the South did before the 1960's civil rights movements". Bush's late Annapolis talks were based on the same terms that Obama is pushing...total withdrawal by Israel in return for nothing. All Presidents end up supporting more or less the same policies in the Arab/Israeli conflict...pushing for meaningless talks that go nowhere and which actually encourage violence by the Palestinians.

  8. Many politicians aim to maximize their stay in office, their net worth, and their power to control others, and speak of higher goals only to achieve these three. Voters have difficulty removing these types from office when the opponents are as bad or worse. Normal good people tend to shy away from running because of the slime barrage that running invites and the great need for money from special interests. My college dorm (recently demolished) chose its house chairmen by picking names out of a hat. Nationally, this could work better to fill public offices than our current method.

  9. Anonymous2/9/15

    Join the crowd.
    It's not just Israel.
    Israel is small potatoes.
    It's every nation-state, because the forces at work are GLOBALIST forces.
    The Globalists will crush any nation-state that gets in their way toward the one world government or the New World Order.
    In particular, in the case of Israel, it's partly about the oil pipelines running from Saudi Arabia through Syria to Europe.
    Run oil through Syria instead of from Russia and the Globalists can shut Russia down, then they can take over all of Russia, and the Muslims can choke off Europe if they want.
    The Globalists are not going to jeopardize their grand plan for the benefit of a few million Israelis.
    If worse comes to worst Israel is just collateral damage, just a bump in the road on the way to world domination.

    By the way, "Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people" has a ring to it.
    If Israel was smart it would promote the vision of a world founded upon the principal of the sanctity of the nation-state and it would support other countries that wish to preserve the racial integrity of nation-states around the world, instead of doing what the Communist Globalist EU is doing, destroying the racial basis of the nation-states of Europe.

  10. Agent J3/9/15

    Well, I see the Dear Leader has, as expected, the votes to win on the Iran deal. The only mystery left is if there will be a recorded vote that will be vetoed or if McConnell will just fold and not even bother. But at least the Failure Theater is almost over.

  11. You write that "the Iran deal is not impossible to stop".
    I fail to see how that sentence makes any sense.

  12. "We can't do anything, we only control a third of the government" passes the smirk test, just barely. Two thirds? Not so much.

  13. Anonymous3/9/15

    Who built Jerusalem over two millenia ago? Romans? Greeks? Amish? Hindus? A flying donkey called a buraq? Djinn?

  14. No No No No. Neither of them. The time has come for Israel and anyone with an interest in Israel's survival to simply call their bluff and walk away from the US. Seek alliances or what goes for alliances elsewhere. There is no long term upside to being the vassal state whipping boy of craven lobbyists and hollow men who stand for nothing but themselves. The hell with them. The Democrats own the Iran debacle and the rest, as they say is history. Let them own it, defend it excuse it. Let the GOP stare at its shoes and mumble.

    The future for Israel is elsewhere. It's Asia, Africa and South America. It's Canada. Even Mexico. But America is a dead end and Europe is a graveyard. The Hell with them all.



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