Sheffey: The U.S.-Israel Relationship Remains Strong

Last week provided solid evidence that the White House and members of Congress in both parties continue to support Israel.

The Obama administration once again rose to Israel's defense. On October 20, the Obama administration condemned a draft resolution before the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that claimed the Western Wall as part of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Secretary of State John Kerry rejected calls for an international presence on the Temple Mount.

The Obama administration is planning to increase aid to Israel by as much as $1 billion and sent a message to the Palestinian Authority with an $80 million aid cut.

Every Jewish member of Congress condemned the anti-Israel UNESCO resolution. Eighteen Democrats and one Republican signed a joint statement commending "the Administration for opposing the resolution, and for demonstrating once again the need for the U.S. to maintain a strong presence in international institutions." 

Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) delivered a powerful statement in support of Israel on the House floor.

Many members of Congress from both parties have issued statements in support of Israel. If your member of Congress hasn't issued a statement, call and ask why. The House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously condemned Palestinian incitement.

The State Department refused to criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's widely condemned remarks about the Holocaust. Last week, Bibi claimed that it was not Adolf Hitler, but rather the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who came up with the idea of murdering the Jews (according to Bibi, until his meeting with the mufti, Hitler only wanted to deport the Jews).

Deborah Lipstadt said that Bibi's revision of the Holocaust for political gain was inexcusable. Yad Vashem's chief historian said that Bibi's claim was "completely erroneous, on all counts." (Bibi later toned down his comments.)

Yet despite repeated goading and questioning, State Department Spokesperson James Kirby refused to condemn Netanyahu's remarks, saying "we're not going to get into a characterization of each and every incident and each and every word spoken."

Israel's Atomic Energy Commission endorsed the Iran Deal. The commission said that the 24-day notice period is effectively of no importance and that it is convinced that the deal will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But every Republican presidential candidate (and every Republican member of Congress, for that matter) opposed the deal.

I'm feeling better about my decision to renew my membership in AIPAC after reading that early signs indicate that AIPAC recognizes that many members of Congress who backed the Iran deal remain strong friends of Israel.

Benghazi! Rolling Stone sums up Thursday's hearing perfectly:

What's downright hilarious is the entire hearing's premise: that Hillary Clinton is simultaneously a conniving political manipulator who has bedeviled the American people and the Republican Party for nearly 25 years, and someone so stupid and incompetent that exhausting her with hours of parroted questions she's heard a dozen times would make her fall apart...

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, the Republican members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi are certifiable. But you knew that already. What was uniquely stupid is that they just gave Hillary Clinton an 11-hour advertisement for her presidency on live TV...The Republicans wanted Hillary Clinton's head mounted on a wall, and they'll get it. At this rate, barring something truly remarkable by Bernie Sanders, it will probably come in the form of her official presidential photo.

And as Kalli Joy Gray reminds us

It would be irresponsible not to point out that after the 9/11 that happened on George W. Bush's watch - you know, the one that either didn't happen at all, or was actually Bill Clinton's fault, according to Republican legend - George Bush testified for all of one hour, with a long list of demands and restrictions and his big daddy Dick Cheney by his side, to make sure Dubya didn't [mess] it up. One hour. Three thousand dead Americans.

 

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