[Marxism] A good reason to vote for the Greens
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 19 07:39:57 MDT 2006
Israels Buddies Are Reunited By Lebanon Lobs
New York Diaspora Comes Home as Politicians Unite in Support Like Old Days
After Attacks: Everybody Says Israel Has Right, Says Rangel
By: Anna Schneider-Mayerson, John Koblin
We will stand for Israel because Israel stands for American values as well
as Israeli ones, Senator Hillary Clinton thundered into the microphone at
a demonstration outside the United Nations building on Monday.
To some, like our feckless friends in Europe said Representative Anthony
Weiner shortly afterwards, this is a complicated issue, a nuanced issue.
But this is not a time for ambiguity. This is a time to be loud and clear
that we stand with Israel.
With rockets falling on Haifa and warplanes over Beirut, the officials in
New Yorkhome to more Jews than anyplace outside of Israelseemed united in
their support for the Jewish state.
Indeed, the members of the heavily Democratic contingent of Senators and
Representatives who have been struggling to offer relevant opposition in
Washington in the debate over Iraq have snapped to attention, mobilizing
themselves to express support for Israel and, for the most part, for the
Bush administrations affirmation of Israels actions over the past week.
This is the biggest thing thats happened since 9/11
in terms of the
juncture between politics and Israel, said Jennifer Duffy, editor of The
Cook Political Report.
Like any political tremor, though, this one has exposed fault lines in the
delegation, prompting subtle shifts in ideological alliances, in the
long-term outlook on the national political picture, and on what the United
States ought to do about what suddenly looks to be a potentially disastrous
Just below the surface unity in support of Israels right to self-defense,
reactions to the eruption of open warfare have shown a delegation split
into several imprecisely defined camps, with Republicans and moderate
Democrats roughly lumped together as unconditional Israel hawks, and
liberal Democratsunited in their dovishness on Iraqdivided on their
degree of support for Israels muscular response to the cross-border
kidnapping of two soldiers stationed near the Lebanon border.
Its not an exact science.
Take Representative Jerrold Nadler, a social liberal and staunch opponent
of the war in Iraq. He said in an interview that the eruption of
hostilities in Israel and Lebanon was a moment of clarity that
highlighted that Israels withdrawal from Gaza and Lebanon would never be
enough to satisfy critics. And he equated support for Israel at this moment
with support for the countrys right to exist at all.
But, he said, the fact is I think that were spending much too little on
protecting the United States; I think that we have to be very strong in
support of Israel; and I think the Iraq war was a stupid mistake. Does that
make me a hawk or a dove?
It depends who you ask, apparently.
In the context of the delegations generally strong support for Israel,
Representative Charles Rangelthe dean of the delegationsounded downright
conflicted about Israels aggressive actions.
I think you know that everybody, everybody, says that Israel has a right
to defend herself, to defend her kidnapped soldiersand that they should
exercise restraint in terms of civilian deaths, he said.
Mr. Rangel emphasized that diplomatic efforts should be undertaken to bring
about what he called face-saving conditions for either side.
Of course, if we put pressure and stop the missiles from going and get a
release of the soldiers, Israel has no choice except to stop the aggressive
movements in southern Lebanon, he said.
Support for Israel is important, but its got to be done and carried out
in the right way, said Representative Maurice Hinchey, a liberal whose
district is upstate. We dont want to have a situation where everything is
being done on the basis of fear and violence. We need to continue to
support Israel, but that doesnt mean you have to continue to support
everything that the Israeli government does.
Almost uniformly, the Democrats in the delegation predicted that there
would be no partisan gain for either side on the issue.
I think its a wash, said Representative Joseph Crowley, whose district
includes parts of Queens and the Bronx. I think both Democrats and
Republicans consistently support the state of Israel.
Perhaps not surprisingly, New Yorks relatively few Republicans seemed less
reticent to talk about the issue in partisan terms. Representative Peter
King, a tough-talking conservative from Long Island, said he thought that
Democrats who opposed the war would have a tough time defending strong
support for Israel.
The fact is that Israels foreign policy and ours are very similar, he
said. Theyre not looking for psychobabble here. Theyre being attacked
and theyre attacking back.
Mr. King continued: Israel is always going to have strong support among
Republicans and Democrats, but I think some of the loud voices in the
Democratic Partysome of the shrill anti-war voices in the Democratic
Partyare just going to create problems for themselves and Democrats.
Of course, the political ramifications of the conflict will depend on how
quicklyand at what costthe situation is resolved. As The Observer was
going to press, Israeli leaders were still talking about completing a
weeks-long operation to rout Hezbollah, while the rocket attacks from
Lebanon that have sent residents of northern Israel to bomb shelters show
no signs of letting up.
It is still a very real possibility that the conflict will spread to
neighboring states, with Iran and Syria being implicated by Israel and the
United States as the parties responsible for arming Hezbollah in the first
This reminds me very much of the first week of June 1967, and Im very
worried about it. That was the week before the Six Day War broke out, said
Mr. Nadler. This could lead to a regional war. It has all the elements
that could lead to a regional war, which is not a good idea.
And with sectarian violence reaching horrific levels in Iraq, its not
clear that members of the Republican Party will actually be able to claim
any aspect of current events as a vindication of their international
security policiesor that Democrats will plausibly be able to claim that
they have an alternative.
Intransigence in North Korea, intransigence in Iran, absolute catastrophe
in Iraq, disaster in Palestine, major war in Lebanonseldom has the country
had so many disasters internationally all at once, said pollster John
Zogby. And seldom has the United States seemed so unsuccessful. So
Democrats have a real opening here, with one exception: What would they do
For now, as the terrible events play out on the ground thousands of miles
away, their arguments are irrelevant, leaving them to offer what they
cangestures of moral support.
On Sunday, outside the empty Diplomat Centre at the United Nations, more
than 100 pro-Israeli demonstrators gathered for a protest ostensibly aimed
at the Syrian Permanent Mission on the 15th floor.
With people hoisting signs, waving Israeli flags and spilling over toward a
nearby H&R Block and Hallmark gift shop, their message was clear: Let
Israel defend itself.
Mr. Weiner began an impassioned speech by connecting the missiles that
struck Israeli soil to Damascus.
Congressman Eliot Engel followed his lead.
Syrian missiles are being used, said Mr. Engel. We must isolate Syria.
If they want to partner with terrorist states, then theyre going to get it
from us tenfold, because were not going to stand by and let them do it.
This is the front line of terror, and Israel is fighting to win the war on
terror, he added. The fight against terrorism is Americas fight, and it
starts this week in the Middle East and Israel. We must succeed.
This, he said, drives home the point that the fight on terrorism is
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