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Hillary Clinton’s Defeat Could Signal Her Party’s Decisive Turn against Israel

Nov. 16 2016

As the Democratic party undergoes a post-election reshuffle, writes Seth Mandel, it seems poised to elevate its anti-Israel wing:

Israel’s supporters were hoping Hillary Clinton could forestall the Democratic party’s seemingly inevitable turn against the Jewish state. . . . [Instead, this] could have been the last U.S. presidential election that Israelis don’t have to watch with existential dread.

At least, the first signs of a post-Clinton Democratic party aren’t good. Minnesota’s Congressman Keith Ellison, a fiery critic of Israel, is the frontrunner to be the next Democratic National Committee chairman. . . . [Before] his congressional career, Ellison had worked with Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam and even defended Farrakhan against accusations of anti-Semitism.

Ellison has left Farrakhan far behind, but his Israel criticism remains scathing. . . . On a trip to Israel last summer, Ellison posted a photo of a sign in Hebron declaring Israel to be an apartheid state and land thief. He has also called for Israel to end the blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip—despite the fact that Gaza-based terrorists have launched over 11,000 rocket attacks on Israeli civilians since Israel withdrew from the strip in 2005. . . . Yet Ellison is far from a lone voice among Democrats; indeed, he’s co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

In his quest for the party chairmanship, Ellison has the backing of the soon-to-be Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer—who prides himself on his pro-Israel bona fides and is now using his credibility on the issue to elevate Ellison. . . . Schumer might just be bowing to the new reality.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Israel & Zionism, U.S. Politics, US-Israel relations

 

How the U.S. Can Strike at Iran without Risking War

In his testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Michael Doran urged the U.S. to pursue a policy of rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East, and explained how this can be accomplished. (Video of the testimony, along with the full text, are available at the link below.)

The United States . . . has indirect ways of striking at Iran—ways that do not risk drawing the United States into a quagmire. The easiest of these is to support allies who are already in the fight. . . . In contrast to the United States, Israel is already engaged in military operations whose stated goal is to drive Iran from Syria. We should therefore ask ourselves what actions we might take to strengthen Israel’s hand. Militarily, these might include, on the passive end of the spectrum, positioning our forces so as to deter Russian counterattacks against Israel. On the [more active] end, they might include arming and training Syrian forces to engage in operations against Iran and its proxies—much as we armed the mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Diplomatically, the United States might associate itself much more directly with the red lines that Israel has announced regarding the Iranian presence in Syria. Israel has, for example, called for pushing Iran and its proxies away from its border on the Golan Heights. Who is prepared to say that Washington has done all in its power to demonstrate to Moscow that it fully supports this goal? In short, a policy of greater coordination with Jerusalem is both possible and desirable.

In Yemen, too, greater coordination with Saudi Arabia is worth pursuing. . . . In Lebanon and Iraq, conditions will not support a hard rollback policy. In these countries the goal should be to shift the policy away from a modus vivendi [with Iran] and in the direction of containment. In Iraq, the priority, of course, is the dismantling of the militia infrastructure that the Iranians have built. In Lebanon, [it should be] using sanctions to force the Lebanese banking sector to choose between doing business with Hizballah and Iran and doing business with the United States and its financial institutions. . . .

Iran will not take a coercive American policy sitting down. It will strike back—and it will do so cleverly. . . . It almost goes without saying that the United States should begin working with its allies now to develop contingency plans for countering the tactics [Tehran is likely to use]. I say “almost” because I know from experience in the White House that contingency planning is something we extol much more than we conduct. As obvious as these tactics [against us] are, they have often taken Western decision makers by surprise, and they have proved effective in wearing down Western resolve.

Read more at Hudson

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, U.S. Foreign policy, Yemen