Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sanders Does AIPAC

The circus clowning of a Clinton or a Trump is not the nadir of a US presidential campaign. Kissing Israel's ring at the court of King AIPAC is.

This was Obama in 2008:

"I first became familiar with the story of Israel when I was 11 years old. I learned of the long journey and steady determination of the Jewish people to preserve their identity through faith, family and culture. Year after year, century after century, Jews carried on their traditions, and their dream of a homeland in the face of impossible odds... Our alliance is based on shared interests and shared values. Those who threaten Israel, threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security."

This is Bernie Sanders now:

"I was invited along with other presidential candidates to be at the AIPAC conference in Washington, but obviously I could not make it because we are here. The issues that AIPAC are dealing with are very important issues and I wanted to give the same speech here as I would have given if I were at that conference. Let me begin by saying that I am probably the only candidate for president who has personal ties with Israel. I spent a number of months there when I was a young man on a kibbutz, so I know a little bit about Israel. Clearly the United States and Israel are united by historical ties. We are united by culture. We are united by our values, including a deep commitment to democratic principles, civil rights, and the rule of law." (Sanders outlines Middle East policy,, 21/3/16)

No need, as you can see, to bother with the rest of his speech. Same old, same old.

As Mearsheimer & Walt noted almost ten years ago:

"America is about to enter a presidential election year. Although the outcome is of course impossible to predict at this stage, certain features of the campaign are easy to foresee. The candidates will inevitably differ on various domestic issues - health care, abortion, gay marriage, taxes, education, immigration - and spirited debates are certain to erupt on a host of foreign policy questions as well... Yet on one subject, we can be equally confident that the candidates will speak with one voice. In 2008, as in previous election years, serious candidates for the highest office in the land will go to considerable lengths to express their deep personal commitment to one foreign country - Israel - as well as their determination to maintain unyielding US support for the Jewish state. Each candidate will emphasize that he or she fully appreciates the multitude of threats facing Israel and make it clear that, if elected, the United States will remain firmly committed to defending Israel's interests under any and all circumstances." (The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy, 2007)


Anonymous said...

Give the Bern a break... the rest of his speech had some positive points that we don't usual hear!

MERC said...

Such as?