There’s Nothing Wrong with Pro-Israel Groups Supporting Pro-Israel Candidates, Even If They’re Not Jewish

In last week’s Democratic primaries in Michigan, Andy Levin—a Jewish member of his party’s progressive wing who sponsored a bill that would forbid labeling goods produced in the West Bank as “made in Israel” and would threaten to withhold U.S. aid from Israel—faced off against Haley Stevens—a more mainstream, non-Jewish Democrat with a solid pro-Israel record—in the race for a seat in the House of Representatives. AIPAC naturally lent its support to Stevens, and after she won her progressive opponents blamed it for her victory. Jonathan Tobin comments:

[Since Levin’s defeat], left-wing Twitter [has been] dunking on AIPAC by resurrecting anti-Semitic canards about the Jews “buying” congressional seats. Indeed, even people like the former Clinton-administration secretary of labor Robert Reich are floating lies about the lobby now becoming the single largest political contributor in Democratic electoral politics. Others are echoing that line while also saying that this is merely the work of a few rich Zionists distorting the U.S. electoral system.

This is nonsense: . . . the two main teachers’ unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, have . . . outspent pro-Israel groups on political campaigns as they have become an extraordinarily influential Democratic donor group.

But this is more than a case of sour grapes on the left. The willingness of mainstream, liberal media outlets to treat AIPAC’s efforts as somehow illegitimate, while thinking nothing of the way other groups and causes spent far more on supporting their friends or opposing their foes, remains troubling. So are the stories even in Jewish publications, which are predicting that AIPAC will suffer future consequences for having the temerity to oppose opponents of Israel. That’s in line with the anti-Zionist talking point that there is something wrong about friends of Israel using the democratic system and exercising their right to political speech to hold members of Congress accountable.

Read more at JNS

More about: AIPAC, Anti-Semitism, Democrats, U.S. Politics, US-Israel relations

 

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security