Nothing News About the Customs Rule on West Bank Goods

Are your friends still upset about a 20-year-old customs rule requiring labeling goods made in the West Bank? Read this quick and handy guide to the labeling controversy from the Israel Policy Forum. Bottom line: "People will make up their own minds as to whether the U.S. rule on labeling is innocuous or an affront, but to throw a fit over a reminder about a twenty year old law that was enacted at Israel's behest; that in no way boycotts Israeli goods but in fact treats all goods made in the West Bank identically irrespective of who made them; that does not use the terms Palestine or occupation; and that reflects Israel's own view of the West Bank's status; is to my mind a waste of energy that should be directed elsewhere."

But what about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)? Chemi Shalev explains that aside from those Orthodox Jews who share Cruz's contempt for "New York values" and far right-wing pro-Israel Jews, the Jewish community will refuse Cruz. 

But what about Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)? The National Review reports that Rubio has a 100 percent rating from the NRA, opposes embryonic stem-cell research, and opposes gay marriage. He also supports an abortion ban, and the only exception he would make is for the life of the mother (no exceptions for rape or incest),  Rubio said in the first Republican debate, "Future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies who we never gave them a chance to live." Do you want him choosing Supreme Court justices? Also read The Myth of Marco Rubio.

Steve Benen wrote about Rubio's offensive condemnation of President Barack Obama's speech last week at a mosque, where the president said that "when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up. And we have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias, and targets people because of religion." Who could possibly take issue with this? Marco Rubio, that's who.

Benen agreed with the Boston Globe's Michael Cohen, who said, "Honestly, in a political world that was borderline sane, [Rubio's attacks] would be disqualifying." Benen also agreed with Jon Chait: "Obama and Rubio follow very different theories of the proper treatment of social minorities. One of those men is president of the United States, and the other has no business holding that position."

Will the GOP ever stop trying to kill the Iran deal? Last week, the Republican-controlled house passed  H.R. 3662, which would undermine the Iran deal and is nothing more than an exercise in unproductive partisanship.

Kate Gould and Kyle Cristofalo write that "instead of sabotaging the Iran nuclear accord, we need Congress to help ensure all sides continue to uphold the agreement. Saber-rattling and provocative sanctions threaten to set us back from the progress we've seen so far. For those lawmakers truly concerned with the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, it's time to work constructively to ensure the accord continues to be enforced." This is what pro-Israel Democrats believe, regardless of whether they opposed or supported the Iran deal, and this is the difference between Democrats and Republicans on Iran.

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