Two Rising Stars of the Democratic Party Are Courting the Anti-Israel Left

Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, both of whom are expected to seek the presidential nomination in 2020, have just seized opportunities to shore up their anti-Israel bona fides, according to Jonathan Tobin. Booker, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voted against the Taylor Force Act—which would condition U.S. aid for the Palestinian Authority on its cessation of payments to terrorists and their families—while Gillibrand made clear her opposition to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. Tobin writes:

Both [senators] were once rock-solid supporters of Israel. But both have other priorities these days—they are thinking about running for president in 2020. Their problem is that no one who plans to compete in future Democratic primaries can ignore the growing power of their party’s left wing, which has grown increasingly hostile to Israel. The influence of the far left is the only thing that might explain why Booker and Gillibrand are presenting themselves to their party’s base as less than fully supportive of Israel. . . .

Booker—considered very close to the Jewish community [while serving as mayor of Newark], before he was elevated to the Senate—was one of four committee Democrats (out of ten) to oppose the Taylor Force Act. His explanation was that he wanted the aid money to be held in escrow for more than a year. A more likely reason is that he is signaling to the left that he wants to be considered sympathetic to the Palestinians. Gillibrand’s abandonment of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act was just as telling. . . .

In 2020, no Democrat will have the advantages Hillary Clinton possessed heading into 2016. The balance of power among Democrats is almost certainly going to be further to the left. That’s why both Booker and Gillibrand are acting as if they know their long-shot hopes depend on being acceptable to anti-Israel radicals. Both have demonstrated their ability to be chameleons in the past—Gillibrand’s transformation from a centrist pro-gun “Blue Dog” member in the House to a left-wing senator is an especially egregious example of how one gets ahead in today’s Democratic party. The message Booker and Gillibrand are sending out is clear: if abandoning Israel is part of the price of victory in 2020, they are very willing to pay it.

Read more at National Review

More about: Cory Booker, Democrats, Israel & Zionism, U.S. Politics, US-Israel relations

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security