The Press Turns a Blind Eye to Bernie Sanders’s Jeremy Corbyn Problem

Dec. 16 2019

On Thursday—the day of the national election in the United Kingdom—the Bernie Sanders campaign announced its support for the British Labor party. Setting aside the question of whether it is prudent for an American presidential candidate to endorse a foreign politician, especially one with a fondness for terrorists and dictators and who has unleashed a torrent of anti-Semitism in his own party, Noah Rothman notes that the Sanders campaign has some problems of its own that are not unlike Labor’s:

Bernie Sanders has thus far evaded scrutiny over the values he and his campaign share with the Labor party’s discredited leader, but that lack of curiosity is indefensible

Don’t take my word for it; take that of Sanders’s own surrogates. Representative Ilhan Omar, one of Sanders’s most visible endorsers with whom the senator frequently shares the stage, has apologized for some of what she’s admitted were anti-Semitic remarks. . . . Amid the failed Democratic effort to condemn Omar, Sanders’s foreign-policy adviser, Matt Duss [a veteran Israel-hater], attacked the maneuver as one purely designed to “police criticism of Israel.” It is worth recalling that the remark Duss considers scrutiny of Israel was Omar’s claim that pro-Israel lawmakers exhibit an “allegiance to a foreign country.”

Duss joins Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, as two of the more prominent members of the Sanders team who have been implicated in the propagation of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Sanders, [because he is Jewish,] may be insulated from the charge that he shares these suspicious sentiments . . . , but this clear pattern raises some disturbing questions. It is incumbent on the press to ask them. To at least a degree, Sanders clearly evinces some of Corbyn’s instincts on policy, [and] his affiliations suggest a similar tolerance for the radical left’s occasionally anti-Semitic indulgences.

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK), U.S. Politics

Europe-Israel Relations Have Been Transformed

On Monday, Israel and the EU held their first “association council” meeting since 2012, resuming what was once an annual event, equivalent to the meetings Brussels conducts with many other countries. Although the summit didn’t produce any major agreements or diplomatic breakthroughs, writes Shany Mor, it is a sign of a dramatic change that has occurred over the past decade. The very fact that the discussion focused on energy, counterterrorism, military technology, and the situation in Ukraine—rather than on the Israel-Palestinian conflict—is evidence of this change:

Israel is no longer the isolated and boycotted outpost in the Middle East that it was for most of its history. It has peace treaties with six Arab states now, four of which were signed since the last association council meeting. There are direct flights from Tel Aviv to major cities in the region and a burgeoning trade between Israel and Gulf monarchies, including those without official relations.

It is a player in the regional alliance systems of both the Gulf and the eastern Mediterranean, just as it has also become a net energy exporter due to the discovery of large gas deposits of its shoreline. None of this was the case at the last council meeting in 2012. [Moreover], Israel has cultivated deep ties with a number of new member states in the EU from Central and Eastern Europe, whose presence in Brussels bridges cultural ideological gaps that were once much wider.

Beyond the diplomatic shifts, however, is an even larger change that has happened in European-Israeli relations. The tiny Israel defined by its conflict with the Arabs that Europeans once knew is no more. When the first Cooperation Agreement [between Israel and the EU’s precursor] was signed in 1975, Israel, with its three million people, was smaller than all the European member states save Luxembourg. Sometime in the next two years, the Israeli population will cross the 10 million mark, making it significantly larger than Ireland, Denmark, Finland, and Austria (among others), and roughly equal in population to Greece, Portugal, and Sweden.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Abraham Accords, Europe and Israel, European Union, Israeli gas