Thursday, July 20, 2023

Unholy Alliance

If the following tweet from a former US Representative from Illinois weren't so vague, we'd have an idea if his point is justified or even legitimate. Presumably, he's referring to this, a motion whose merit is more nuanced than it seems.

This tweeter confronts Walsh because of Kennedy having been on a Joe Rogan podcast and profiled in The Washington Post and The New York Times. However, none of them qualifies as a "Democrat" and Walsh therefore presumably is more concerned about someone like Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


Kennedy's remark comparing Anne Frank to SARSCov-2 vaccination was insensitive, offensive, and misleading. It also was made a few months ago and about a policy- vaccination- less relevant now. Not so, this:

"Unconditional?" So if Israel were to invade Ukraine or, more realistically, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were to order bombing of Iran completely without cause, the USA would back Tel Aviv? Really?

The pseudo-Democrat running for President implies that Biden's remarks to a New York Times columnist were confrontational or a radical departure from American policy toward Israel. This is highly misleading (an RFK specialty) because, as the article in The Times of Israel to which he links explains

US President Joe Biden said that Israel’s leaders need to slow down their divisive overhaul of the judiciary and instead strive to achieve a broad consensus with opposition parties on the issue, reportedly warning that the “special relationship” between the two countries could sustain irreparable damage.

Biden made the comments to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, whom he sat down with in the White House Tuesday after meeting earlier in the day with President Isaac Herzog, who is visiting Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and its allied far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties have been barreling ahead with their overhaul plan, which has been met with months of mass protests from critics who say it will radically weaken the court’s power to act as a check and balance against the Knesset, and dangerously erode Israel’s democratic foundations.

In addition to protesters blocking roads and disrupting public transportation, pushback against the overhaul has seen groups of military reservists threaten to stop volunteering for special key duties — including piloting fighter jets — if the legislation process continues. Likewise, business leaders and medical staff have called strikes to protest the overhaul.

Military reservists, business leaders, and medical staff are appalled by Israel's Trump, the authoritarian Netanyahu, but Kennedy believes Washington must support Tel Aviv no matter what.  The Times of Israel continues

Speaking to Friedman, Biden expressed public support for the protest movement

“This is obviously an area about which Israelis have strong views, including in an enduring protest movement that is demonstrating the vibrancy of Israel’s democracy, which must remain the core of our bilateral relationship,” he said.

“Finding consensus on controversial areas of policy means taking the time you need,” said Biden. “For significant changes, that’s essential. So my recommendation to Israeli leaders is not to rush. I believe the best outcome is to continue to seek the broadest possible consensus here.”

President Biden is not calling for support of the BDS movement, withdrawal of aid to Israel, or regime change, however little the current Likud government is interested in a just and lasting arrangement with Arab Palestinians. Biden merely is asking Tel Aviv to slow down and seek broad consensus so that the special arrangement between it and the USA can continue. He is asking for the bare minimum, for Israel to resist the most extreme elements in its governing coalition.

It no longer is sensible for partisanship to "stop at the water's edge" and if Democrats had been more critical of President George W. Bush's forays into Iraq and Afghanistan, the USA might have been spared a couple of disasters. Still, if there were a place and time for both parties to agree on a broad approach to a foreign policy matter, it would be to apply skepticism toward the Netanyahu government. 

Republicans have rejected this approach in favor of one enthusiastically supporting Benjamin Netanyahu, probably because he is not only uncompromising and unyielding to Palestinian Arabs and Iran but appears to rival in corruption the GOP's favorite living ex-President.   Now, the same presidential candidate who a few months ago suggested that vaccination against a coronavirus was as stifling to individual freedom as was the Third Reich criticizes President Biden for not showing blind allegiance to the right-wing government in Israel. That mirrors the GOP perspective which, considering the effort of Robert F. Kennedy to wound Joe Biden politically, makes sense in a dangerous and perverse way.

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