09/12/20

The November Congressional Elections are Critical for Israel

By: Yoram Ettinger | CCNS

The outcome of the November 2020 election to the US House of Representatives and Senate will greatly impact US national security policy, in general, and US-Israel relations, in particular.

This impact will be intensified by more “Progressive Democrats” in the House of Representatives – currently, 95 out of 233 Democrats – who share the following worldview (which is a prime-challenge for Israel’s public diplomacy):

*A drastic cut in the defense budget;
*Multinational – rather than unilateral – military actions;
*Embracing the UN and disavowing peace-through-strength in favor of pliability;
*Cosmopolitan, rather than national, worldview, dismissing Biblical roots of the US Constitution, civil rights, governance, and culture.
*Embracing Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood, and devaluing pro-US Arab regimes, which are threatened by the Ayatollahs and the Brotherhood;
*Islamic terrorism is driven by despair, not by anti-US Islamic fanaticism, and should be addressed diplomatically and legally, rather than militarily;
*Underestimating Iran’s threat to the Middle East and the world-at-large; *Ignoring Israel’s unique role as a force-multiplier in face of mutual threats;
*Overlooking the fact that the US-Israel mutual threats and challenges transcend disagreements over the Palestinian issue;
*Disregarding the intra-Arab Palestinian track record and its impact on the US;
*Considering Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines as a prerequisite to peace;
*Ignoring the benefits to regional stability and US interest derived from Israel’s control of the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria;
*Subordinating harsh Middle East reality to well-intentioned oversimplification.

Thus, the moderate Democrat and steadfast pro-Israel Congresswoman Nita Lowey, the powerful chairwoman of the House Full Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, who opposed the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, is retiring from Congress. She will be succeeded in Congress by Mondaire Jones who is supported by the leadership of “Progressive Democrats.” The three leading candidates to chair the most powerful Appropriations Committee (Marci Kaptur, Rosa DeLauro, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz) – assuming that the Democrats will retain the House majority – are closer to the “Progressive Democrats” than to Nita Lowey, when it comes to Israel. Two of the leading candidates to chair the Foreign Operations Subcommittee are Congresswoman Betty McCullum (who may chair the Defense Subcommittee, which appropriates much of the US-Israel defense cooperation) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who are among the fiercest critics of Israel in the House of Representatives.

The moderate Democrat and staunchly pro-Israel Congressman Eliot Engel, the veteran chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who opposed the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Jamaal Bowman, a Progressive Democrat, supported by anti-Israel individuals and organizations. Should the next Chairman be pro-Israel (e.g., Congressman Brad Sherman, who opposed the Iran agreement), his – and the Committee’s – position on Iran, the Middle East, and Israel will be heavily impacted by the growing weight of the “Progressive Democrats.”

Similar – but more moderate – changes may take place in the Senate, should the Democrats become the majority party, replacing the slate of pro-Israel Republican Committee and Subcommittee Chairmen (Republicans and Democrats defend 23 and 12 seats respectively, with 8 vulnerable Republican seats and only  2 vulnerable Democratic seats).

Hence, the most veteran, effective, liberal Democratic Senator, Pat Leahy, a supporter of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, opponent of the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and a consistent (low key) critic of Israel, would be the next President Pro-Tempore and a leading candidate to be the next Chairman of the most powerful Appropriations Committee (unless he prefers the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee), and certainly the next Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, which oversees foreign aid and various cooperation initiatives with Israel.

The veteran, moderate Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, a supporter of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, and a moderate supporter/critic of Israel, opposing the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, would be the leading candidate to the chairmanship of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

The long-serving, moderate, Democratic Senator Jack Reed, a supporter of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, opponent of the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and – like most Democrats in both Chambers – calling for Israel’s withdrawal from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, would be a leading candidate to become the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, which is involved in all US-Israel military aspects.

Senator Bob Menendez, the veteran, moderate and systematic supporter of Israel (in defiance of President Obama, opposing the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement!) would become the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, but would be subjected to heavy pressure by the “Progressive Democrats.”

The co-equal and co-determining Legislature

Contrary to conventional wisdom, both Chambers of Congress – which constitute the most powerful Legislature in the world and the most authentic representative of the constituents – are not a second-class branch of government.  They are co-equal to the Executive, possessing the muscle to check, defy, oversee, overrule, direct, investigate, suspend, fund, and defund the Executive on domestic, foreign, and national security issues.

For example, Congress initiates most sanctions against foreign countries, and on many occasions in defiance of the President. In 2017, Congress legislated sanctions on Russia despite President Trump. In 2015, the Senate refused to ratify the nuclear agreement with Iran, thus enabling Trump to withdraw from the agreement in 2018. In 2014, Congress foiled President Obama’s attempts to delay the funding of additional Iron Dome missile defense systems during Israel’s war (“Protective Edge”) against Hamas terrorists. In 2012, despite Obama’s opposition, Congress cut foreign aid to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government by $450MN and imposed additional sanctions on Iran. In 2002, Congress forced President Bush to transform the Office of Homeland Security into a Department of Homeland Security. Since 1999, the Senate has refrained from ratifying President Clinton’s Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. In 1990-1992, Congress substantially expanded US-Israel strategic cooperation in defiance of President Bush and Secretary Baker. In 1986, Congress overruled President Reagan’s veto and imposed sanctions, which led to the downfall of South Africa’s Apartheid regime. In 1984, 1976, and 1973, in spite of opposition by Reagan, Ford, and Nixon, congressional legislation led to the end of US military involvement in Nicaragua (the Boland Amendment), Angola (the Clark Amendment), and Southeast Asia (the Church-Case Amendment) respectively. In 1973, Congress overrode President Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Act, limiting presidential powers to commit US forces abroad without congressional approval. In 1974, Congress passed the Jackson-Vanik Amendment – over President Nixon’s opposition – which led to over a million Jewish immigrants to Israel.

The power of Congress is stipulated by the US Constitution, which aims at securing civil liberties by highlighting the centrality of the constituents while precluding excessive Executive power. Thus, US presidents are constrained by checks and balances, limited government, and a strict separation of powers among the Legislature (which is accorded the first article in the Constitution), Executive and Judiciary. Therefore, unlike European and Israeli leaders, US presidents are not super-legislators, nor do they determine the congressional agenda or congressional leadership.

Moreover, Congress possesses the Power of the Purse, the authority to impeach, establish and abolish Executive departments, confirm Supreme Court Justices and ambassadors, etc.

The President proposes, but Congress disposes.

The President is the commander-in-chief, but only as authorized and appropriated by Congress, which has been a systematic supporter of the mutually-beneficial US-Israel cooperation.

The 2020 annual Gallup poll of country-favorability documents a 74% favorability for Israel, compared to a 23% favorability for the Palestinian Authority. This fact highlights the significant potential/challenge of enhanced ties between the American people and their representatives on Capitol Hill and Israel.

Will Israel’s public diplomacy rise to the challenge posed by the current ideological trends in the US?

This column was originally published at MIDA.

09/12/20

Democrats’ Destroy-Trump Efforts Almost Comical

By: Joan Swirsky | Canada Free Press

For the past 50 or more years, the Democrat Party––always leftwing but today both viciously anti-American and virulently anti-Semitic––has worked tirelessly to inflict its worldview on everyone in America.

By stealthily infiltrating our media, our schools (from pre-school to universities), and since Obama our Intelligence Services and Military, it has sought to convince our electorate that high taxes, open borders, sanctuary cities, shipping manufacturing jobs to foreign countries, post-birth infanticide, and total government control from cradle to grave are good––and that the U.S. Constitution, capitalism, high employment, law and order, indeed patriotism are bad.

No one has spelled out the devolution of the Democrat Party and the key players responsible for its demise more comprehensively than writer Shari Goodman––read her entire article here!

WORSE THAN COVID-19

Since the election of 2016, when business mogul Donald J. Trump outsmarted 20 Republican opponents, all career politicians, and trounced Hillary in the Electoral College to win the presidency, Democrats seem to have contracted a mutating virus a thousand times worse than Covid-19.

The anti-Trump symptoms are identical in all of those “tolerant” Regressives:

  • Shout down opposing views.
  • Spew insults and epithets.
  • Create falsehoods and pretend they’re true.
  • Support the domestic anarchists and terrorists of Black Lives Matter and Antifa and the vast destruction they’ve sown for the last four months.
  • Vow to vote for a seriously cognitively compromised candidate and a running mate who accused him of both racism and sexism.

Almost comical!

GETTING SERIOUS

Of course the real reason for this systemic derangement is that President Trump convincingly exposed the deep criminality of Big Government and the cozy arrangements that cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars each year:

  • The Obama-Biden regime’s weaponizing of the FBI, CIA, and the FISA Court, et al, resulting in ongoing investigations which could and should land the principals of those organizations in Gitmo.
  • The crooked money “arrangements” enjoyed by higher-ups like former VP Joe Biden in securing multimillion-and-billion-dollar windfalls for himself, his son Hunter and his brother James. Ukraine, anyone? China, anyone? There is this damning piece about the Biden Crime Family Inc. 
  • But worse is Debra Heine’s article about the explosive new documentary, “Red Dragon: Uncovering the Bidens’ Chinese Secrets” that “tells the hidden story of the secret financial relationship between Joe Biden’s family and the Chinese government, exposing how the Bidens’ business dealings even served the strategic interests of the Chinese military while Joe Biden was VP of the United States.”
  • The horrible treaties, including the Iran deal, NAFTA, NATO, et al, that benefitted foreign countries significantly more than the U.S.
  • The interest of the “anti-war” Democrats in keeping wars going endlessly (always follow the money).
  • The degree to which lobbyists and the members of Congress they hire determine legislation that is good for their pocketbooks but not for We the People who they purport to represent.
  • The utter impoverishment of Democrat philosophy and policy.

AND THE WINNERS ARE!

Candidates Biden and Kalamity are telling the American public that it is they––and not President Trump––who will bring America to its best days yet. Yet they admit they will:

  • Raise taxes to unprecedented levels.
  • Reinstall the strangulating regulations that President Trump did away with in order to allow Free Enterprise to flourish.

And, according to Sundance, Joe Biden opposes:

  • Energy independence.
  • Pipelines.
  • Fracking.
  • Stable energy development for our economy, which is the backbone of manufacturing revitalization.
  • Earth-mineral exploration and development.
  • And he “promises to reattach our economy to the Paris Climate Treaty which will forever restrict the growth of American industry.”

Given all these economy-killing policies, the delusional Biden-Kalamity ticket continues to assure us every day that we should trust them to invigorate the economy and boost employment.

Almost comical!

Cui Bono––Who Benefits Under Biden-Kalamity

Cui Bono––Who Benefits Under Biden-Kalamity?

Certainly not the Black community which has enjoyed the highest employment in American history under President Trump!

Certainly not the Blacks who have been imprisoned with disproportionately harsh sentences, but thanks to President Trump’s “First Step” program have been freed to enjoy gainful employment and their cherished freedom. By the way, where was the Obama-Biden tag team for eight years in bringing such life-enhancing legislation about?

Certainly not the Hispanic community which has also enjoyed record employment under President Trump’s policies.

Certainly not women who have enjoyed record employment under President Trump’s policies.

Certainly not the youth of our country who have enjoyed record employment under President Trump’s policies.

PLAN X

Think about it. Since Donald Trump and his gorgeous wife Melania came down the escalator in Trump Tower in June of 2015, every leftist pundit, commentator, TV anchor, sophisticated scribe, and Hollywood ditzoid predicted––with amazing confidence and self-important arrogance––that “Donald Trump will not be President of the United States.” Here is my favorite clip of those always-wrong know-nothings.

Today, about six weeks from the election, all those brilliant Democrats––you know, the ones with the fancy college degrees, the impressive credentials, the high IQs, the decades in government service at the highest levels––are the same leftists who:

  • Failed at the Russian hoax.
  • Failed at the Ukraine hoax.
  • Failed at the Impeachment hoax.

That’s a lot of failure. But it hasn’t stopped the Democrats from continuing to fail.

While President Trump is busy bringing about unprecedented breakthroughs in forging alliances between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Serbia and Kosovo, and now Israel and Bahrain––for which he has rightfully earned not one but two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize––Democrats once again prove their idiocy by admitting that they loved when the arch-terrorist Yasir Arafat received the prize and when Barack Obama received it for….um…what???––but all of a sudden, they hate the Nobel Prize.

Almost comical!

PLAN Y

Now desperate, the Democrats trot out an article in the far-left Atlantic magazine that alleges that the president called American World War I veterans who died in France “suckers” and “losers.” This canard was an accusation not one person in America believes, given the president’s unequalled respect for and largesse to our military, including the massive build-up of the U.S. Military that the Obama-Biden regime eviscerated, emasculated, and tore down at every opportunity.

Where did this poison dart go? Another failure.

The next day, the same now-panicked leftists trotted out the “breaking,” “explosive,” and also go-nowhere revelation that Bob Woodward, the reporter for the fanatically anti-Trump Washington Post, revealed in his new book, Rage, that President Trump, gasp, didn’t want to panic the public and so played down the potentially dire information he was receiving about the China virus, Covid-19.

Imagine going to a doctor or bringing your child to a doctor, only to have that medical professional enter the room and tell you, “This is bad, very bad.” A sane person would call this doctor an alarmist and walk out of the room, outraged by his or her lack of empathy, lack of optimism, and failure to suggest a plan of action.

President Trump, on the other hand, demonstrated tremendous empathy for a scared public, the indomitable optimism that characterizes the American character, and an extensive plan of action that was implemented with seamless efficiency––all things that Doomsday Democrats hate!

Unfortunately for Woodward and his boss Jeff Bezos, this poison dart also failed because the American public that leftists hold in such contempt have eyes and ears and see for themselves what the president did to protect them, including immediately shutting down travel to the U.S. from China, and then from Europe, and then employing his vast executive experience in obtaining more personal-protective equipment and medically-outfitted ships and masks and respirators and testing than any country on earth––and in typically Trump record-breaking time.

PLAN Z

No doubt, these frantic, Democrats will keep up the anti-Trump drumbeat until Election Day on November 3rd––fabricating explosive headlines, leveling damning accusations, and working overtime to rig the election.

But this effort will earn them a Z for zero success. That is because I suspect that most Democrats are not that dumb, that when they get into the voting booth and draw the curtain, and even when they fill out the mail-in voter forms, they will pull the lever or check the box for the man who promises––and has already delivered––peace and prosperity.