The Vice Presidential nominee vowed that the U.S. will “always stand by Israel, without telling Israelis what they can and cannot do.”… Biden dismissed the prominent role played by the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, saying the group “doesn’t speak for the entire Jewish community,” and it “doesn’t speak for the state of Israel, no matter what it insists on any occasion.” The Delaware senator also attacked critics who have questioned his support of Israel saying, “I will take a back seat to no one, and again, no one in AIPAC or any other organization, in terms of questioning my support of the State of Israel.”
(1) As a matter of widely recognized reality – which I know is important to the reality-based community – of course AIPAC “speaks for the state of Israel” more than any other domestic US lobby. That’s the official position of the Israeli government and it’s the official position of AIPAC. So much is this the case that when AIPAC tried pushing back against Rabin’s peace initiatives, the PM slapped them back into line by threatening to tell DC policymakers that AIPAC no longer reflected the views of the Israeli government. That doesn’t mean that it promotes Israel’s agenda at the expense of the US – its members believe that a strong US-Israel relationship is in the interests of Americans and Westerners. That’s a debatable proposition, but let’s be clear that AIPAC is on one side of that debate.
(2) So why would a Washington veteran like Biden – who has undoubtedly been told personally by Israeli officials that AIPAC’s official position reflects Israel’s official position – unblinkingly trot out such obvious nonsense? Because he’s not actually talking about AIPAC. And – for what it’s worth – he’s not really pretending to. Calls for “reigning in AIPAC” are broader, barely-veiled assaults on a certain sinister and shadowy Lobby. This is a Lobby about which the left knows two things: it’s funded by New York money people and it keeps getting the US into wars. Care to take a guess about who Biden was attacking?
This is the exact. same. trick that Obama pulled when he sneered about how you can be pro-Israel without being a Likudnik. It’s not that there’s anything objectively offensive in their speech, although maybe their eagerness to scapegoat readily-identifiable Jewish groups flirts with unseemliness. It’s that the groups of partisans who speak and think with those labels tend to be anti-Semites. And so the natural question is the naive one: hey, where’d Biden learn to talk that way?
(3) This “give Israel more independence” argument is the standard nudge-wink that anti-Israel partisans use to justify zeroing out aid to Israel. It’s a personal favorite of Ron Paul. Joe Biden has been known to threaten to zero out aid to Israel. This, I suggest, may not be a coincidence.
(4) One VP candidate talks to AIPAC and declares herself proud to support the US-Israel alliance. The other VP candidate goes out of his way to attack AIPAC – an organization, if nothing else, that’s devoted to supporting the US-Israel alliance. All things being equal, doesn’t it seem like the first one is objectively more in favor of the US-Israel alliance than the second one? To the extent that she’s not, you know, attacking it?
* Biden: Israel’s decisions must be made in Jerusalem, not D.C. [Ha'aretz]
* Obama Surrogates Now Openly And Demonstrably Lying About Biden’s Anti-Israel Policies [MR]
* Anti-Israel Censorship Watch – Walt and Mearsheimer Redux [MR]
* More Democrats Repeat Anti-Semitic Canards, Embrace Particularly Anti-Semitic Sounding Parts Of Walt And Mearsheimer [MR]
* Obama Now Actively Channeling Rabid Anti-Israel Academics, Adopting Their Dumbest Anti-Israel Euphemisms [MR]
* ‘Palin told AIPAC she wants stronger Israel ties’ [Ha'aretz]
* Obama: We Need To Start Sucking Up To Iran Right Now So We Can Get Out Of Iraq (Plus: Liberal American Jews Torn Between Old Anti-Israel Democrat And New Anti-Israel Democrat)
* Obama Draws Line In The Sand: Invading Israel OK But Calling Hillary A Mean Name Is A Firing Offense
* Obama Really Getting The Hang Of Anti-Israel Diplomatic Code Words