Patterico's Pontifications

3/14/2024

Just a Little Foreign Interference…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:42 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Today:

…in a formal address on the Senate floor, [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer delivered a scathing speech, calling for a new election in Israel. Schumer was highly critical of Netanyahu, saying he is an “obstacle to peace” and that he has “lost his way” as Israel bombards Gaza amid a growing humanitarian crisis there.

Schumer made a point of saying not only is he the majority leader in the Senate but also the highest ranking elected Jewish official in the U.S.

“I have known Prime Minister Netanyahu for a long time. While we have vehemently disagreed on many occasions, I will always respect his extraordinary bravery for Israel on the battlefield as a younger man. I believe in his heart his highest priority is the security of Israel,” he said. “However, I also believe Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel,” he said.

“As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed — radically — since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past,” he said.

“At this critical juncture, I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government,” he said.

“I also believe a majority of the Israeli public will recognize the need for change, and I believe that holding a new election once the war starts to wind down would give Israelis an opportunity to express their vision for the post-war future,” he added.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked Schumer for his comments:

“It is grotesque and hypocritical for Americans who hyperventilate about foreign interference in our own democracy to call for the removal of a democratically elected leader of Israel…This is unprecedented. We should not treat fellow democracies this way at all.”

“Things that upset left-wing activists are not the prime ministers policies they are Israel’s policies. Make no mistake, the Democratic party doesn’t have an anti-Bibi problem, it has an anti Israel problem,” McConnell said.

“Only Israel’s citizens should have a say in who runs their government,” McConnell continued. “This is the very definition of democracy and sovereignty. Either we respect their decisions or we disrespect their democracy.”

Schumer is trying to appease the left-wing base in his party. Complaints have been intensifying that President Biden has not done enough to help the Palestinians (during an obvious humanitarian crisis) as well as pressuring him against providing arms to Israel. After all, there is an election coming up and President Biden will need all the votes he can get. Anyway, if the Israelis want a new PM, let them go about the business of electing one. However, Netanyahu officially started his sixth term at the end of December 2022.

Asking the question:

Putting aside that Dems would go nuts if Israeli leaders were openly campaigning for Trump, the thing with the Dems current tantrum meant to appease extremists in their base is they can’t explain what happens if they catch the car?

Israel is currently governed by a coalition government that includes all the big parties. All big decisions are voted on by the war cabinet. Replacing BN as the face will change exactly 0 Israeli policies. So then what happens?

Because the problem those left-wing elements of the base have is with Israel’s existence, not who is the current PM so BN’s removal won’t appease them.

It’s as if the hostages no longer exist or matter and that their freedom is not a priority. It’s as if Hamas is viewed as little more than a pesky group of disgruntled residents, not a vile terrorist group holding a people captive while threatening anyone who opposes their ironclad occupation.

And of course, there’s this. Why is Israel always the most vexing problem?

–Dana

19 Responses to “Just a Little Foreign Interference…”

  1. I seem to remember Netanyahu not being allowed to meet one-on-one with then-President Obama after speaking to Congress because it might appear as intereference of, or an effort to influence Israel’s upcoming election. These aren’t completely analogous situations, but still…

    Dana (8e902f)

  2. He who pays the piper calls the toon. If the bottle deposit crook who is fighting to stay out of jail as hard as he is fighting hamas thinks he can demand unlimited aid and tell biden when he tells biden to jump biden better ask how high he has another think coming. Biggest threat to biden is not his age ;but third party voting by fed up democrats. (yah00 news)

    asset (650075)

  3. My late father used to say that the only just or fair rule is one you don’t mind in the hands of your enemy.

    So either it is always fine to meddle in the elections of other nations, or it is never a good idea.

    The Senator needs to choose.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  4. This is basically an act of desperation.

    I think Benny Gantz is lying to his American interlocutors. He took a trip to the United States against the wishes of Benjamin Netanyahu.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/6/subdued-revenge-why-bidens-top-officials-hosted-israels-gantz

    Benny Gantz, an Israeli minister without a portfolio, was granted an audience with officials at the highest level of the United States government in Washington, DC, this week: the vice president, secretary of state and Pentagon chief…

    But analysts say the real message was in having the meetings at all: The administration of President Joe Biden was signalling frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by hosting a figure seen as Netanyahu’s main domestic rival

    The aljazeera (Qatar) link was the first one that came up/

    (possibly Gantz may be indicating more amenability to a Palestinian state than the Biden Administration thinks Netanyahu would go – as if this were more than the remotest possibility- but he’s more war hungry.
    He’s also probably telling them that Netanyahu is close to falling – it may happen but over the issue of the draft – they earlier were against the judicial changes and also are complaining in all directions about not getting the hostages out – and that would paralyze Israel’s government for months because a replacement without elections requires a supermajority of the Knesset.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  5. H/t to Yair Rosenberg:

    The idea that another Israeli government would have the same policies as Netanyahu is one of those fashionable takes that falls apart upon analysis. Polls show that if elections were held today, there’d be a new coalition without Netanyahu *or* the far-right parties. That’s huge.

    A government without the anti-Arab settler right, without Bibi constantly publicly fighting with the American administration, and without the toxic far-right adjacent members of Likud would govern very differently, including in post-war Gaza.

    Netanyahu’s supporters know all this. That’s why they really really don’t want new elections. If they’d be getting the same results no matter who was in power, they would not be so concerned about facing the voters. Not rocket science here.

    It’s not that Israel would be suddenly run by peaceniks. It’s that it would be run by pragmatists who refuse to sit with the far-right and want a constructive rather than toxic relationship with the U.S. and its allies. That leads to different choices and different possibilities.

    The Biden admin has said repeatedly that it’s not opposed to a Rafah operation, but rather one without a plan for safeguarding civilians. Netanyahu hasn’t provided one bc letting Gazans move north involves post-war planning his far-right coalition rejects.

    Sam G (74da99)

  6. Netanyahu is no David Ben-Gurion and far from an Ariel Sharon, but I think he understands Israel’s need for a “blooded” military. This live fire exercise in Gaza will continue for as long as Hamas provides him with a pretext.

    The Palestinians, on the other hand, should be cursing their international terrorist forebears who declared war on the world. This counter-pogrom should be gaining them a lot more sympathy than it has.

    nk (d183d2)

  7. https://www.wsj.com/articles/bidens-middle-east-is-a-fantasy-world-israelis-and-palestinians-arent-as-he-thinks-198003a8

    Biden’s Middle East Is a Fantasy World

    He imagines Palestinians are eager for peace and Israel’s government is at odds with its people.

    ….Yes, there is a significant disparity between Israel’s leadership and its citizens—but it’s the opposite of what people in Washington assume. The Israeli public is far more “right-wing” than the policies of its government. While Mr. Netanyahu has previously voiced support for a Palestinian state, a February survey conducted by Midgam for Channel 12 News found that 63% of the Israeli public strongly opposes such a state under any circumstances. While the cabinet implicitly agreed that a renewed Palestinian Authority would control Gaza, 73% of those who expressed an opinion in the survey opposed it.

    Minister Benny Gantz has hosted Mr. Abbas [this is the Palestinian Authority Abbas] in his home, yet Israelis haven’t forgotten Mr. Abbas’s brazen lies about the Holocaust. The Israeli government has been providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, but a January survey found that 72% of the public opposes such aid until all hostages are released. Mr. Netanyahu has officially repudiated the ideas of renewing Jewish settlement in Gaza and direct Israeli control over the strip, but two-thirds of his voters [Likud voters] support such moves, according to the Midgam/Channel 12 survey….

    …Israeli leftists have since furled [folded up] the flag of the two-state solution and raised other banners, ones related more to domestic policy issues, including the role of ultra-Orthodox Jews and proposals to reform the legal system. When Mr. Biden claims that Mr. Netanyahu “is hurting Israel more than helping it,” he is referring to the single issue on which most Israelis support the prime minister. For Mr. Netanyahu, the Palestinian issue is almost the only comfortable subject after Oct. 7.

    Sometimes I wonder if Messrs. Biden and Netanyahu conspired to stage the escalating confrontation between them to save themselves from the defeat the polls predict: The president confronts the prime minister to buck up his disillusioned base; Mr. Netanyahu recovers from the failure to foresee and prevent the attack by proving that he’s strong against Washington. If Mr. Biden really aims to pacify Israel by toppling Mr. Netanyahu, his strategy is a bad one. The next prime minister will inherit Israeli public opinion.

    It’s time the administration recognizes reality: The Palestinians overwhelmingly support the murder of Jews, [about 75-25 – some don’t support the murder of women and children and this support has been expressed in general terms] and the Israelis don’t think the Palestinians deserve a state. [they don’t think it is safe, or would keep the peace. They, in any case, reject Fatah, which is also rejected by Boden and the EU although more on the grounds of corruption than tolerance and support of murder. Netanyahu is the most moderate He believes they can be deradicalized, the way Germany and Japan were after World War II]

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  8. The trouble is that Israel wants to abide by international law but not by any underlying principles.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  9. Weak tea.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  10. I don’t know that public statements like Schumer’s qualify as election interference. I tend to think of election interference as surreptitious and/or illegal. That could be wrong. I have to think about it.

    Either way, Schumer is only giving voice to what everyone knows: Bibi has lost the confidence of most Israelis, as well as Israel’s American supporters. Obviously the Israel haters will keep hating Israel, whoever’s in charge. But it will be much easier for Israel to get what it needs from its friends, and to do what it has to do in Gaza, without the albatross of high government ministers like Ben-Gvir and Smotrich, who lend a veneer of credence to the false accusations of genocidal purpose.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  11. You can read the reaction to Schumer’s comments by Jewish officials (both in Israel and the U.S.) here.

    Dana (8e902f)

  12. I was listening to Dan Senor on Jonah’s Remnant podcast, and it sounds like the Israelis are not interested in switching prime ministers while this war is in midstream. It’s especially relevant that Gantz is on the war cabinet.

    That said…
    1. I do believe Netanyahu needs to go, given the massive intelligence failure on his watch, and his game-playing with Hamas before 10/7, at the appropriate time.

    2. Israel has been too indiscriminate with their missile attacks.

    3. But, Hamas’ claims about civilian casualties are a joke.

    4. Hamas needs to be destroyed, shredded into M&M sized bits.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  13. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that Israel has made its point: “Don’t tread on us!”

    How close are they to killing all of Hamas? One year? Three?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  14. @13 depends: Gallant and Gantz signed on to requiring the Haredim to be conscripted into the IDF, which would likely result in the coalition breaking and forcing elections. So there’s some interest.

    SamG (4e6c22)

  15. @10 “Either way, Schumer is only giving voice to what everyone knows: Bibi has lost the confidence of most Israelis, as well as Israel’s American supporters.”

    Bibi has a higher approval rating than Biden.

    Also “giving voice to what everyone knows” is Mitch, who unnecessarily showed deference that Schumer would never offer in return. Democrats don’t have an anti Israel problem, they have an anti Semitism problem, and no amount of Chuck playing the J card will conceal it.

    lloyd (ad01e8)

  16. Bibi has a higher approval rating than Biden.

    Talk about a low bar. Anyway, I guess it’s lucky for Biden he isn’t running against Bibi. On the other hand, it’s lucky for Bibi he isn’t running against Biden, since in Israel, Biden’s the more popular.

    So maybe Bibi’s the answer to Trump’s Veep problem. Two crooks on one ticket? MAGA will love it. And don’t worry about the constitutional incapacity. Just keep a straight face and insist it’s not self-executing.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  17. Democrats don’t have an anti Israel problem, they have an anti Semitism problem, and no amount of Chuck playing the J card will conceal it.

    Ha, ha, ha! That must be why Jews are sweeping the Republican primaries.
    Jews in the U.S. Senate: 9 Democrats, 1 Bernie Sanders, 0 Republicans.
    Jews in the U.S. House of Representatives: 25 Democrats, 2 Republicans.

    nk (be69b0)

  18. And Trump is a Christian, because he says so.

    lloyd (ad01e8)


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