Leading conservatives will launch a new pro-Israel group this week with a scathing attack on Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, the first shot in what they say will be a confrontational campaign against the Obama administration’s Mideast policy and the Democrats who support it. – New conservative group will oppose Obama Mideast policy
Anyone paying attention around here knew this was coming. I told you so, though they’re just getting started, because the ultimate target will be Pres. Obama once 2012 skirmishes begin.
The name says it all: “Emergency Committee for Israel,” implying that Israel is in dire danger from Democrats, this ad focusing on Rep. Joe Sestak who is running for Senate.
The Emergency Committee for Israel’s leadership unites two major strands of support for the Jewish state: The hawkish, neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, many of whom are Jewish; and conservative Evangelical Christians who have become increasingly outspoken in their support for Israel. The new group’s board includes Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol and Gary Bauer, the former Republican presidential candidate who leads the group American Values, as well as Rachel Abrams, a conservative writer and activist. Former McCain aide Michael Goldfarb is an adviser to the group.
“We’re the pro-Israel wing of the pro-Israel community,” said Kristol.
The new committee declined to disclose its funding — as a 501(c)4 advocacy organization, it isn’t required to — but said it had raised enough to air its first ad, starting this week, on Fox and CNN and during a Philadelphia Phillies game. The ad attacks Sestak for signing a letter criticizing Israel’s blockade of Gaza while not signing a defense of Israel circulated by the group AIPAC, and for appearing at a fundraiser for the Council on American Islamic Relations, which it describes as an “anti-Israel organization the FBI called a ‘front-group for Hamas’.”
It’s the first salvo in what will be a wide, angry and vitriolic argument over Pres. Obama’s Middle East policy.
A few years back I wrote a long essay entitled, “Who is More Pro Israel?” The premise was about the jockeying to prove who was a better friend to Israel, even as both parties have shown unyielding fealty to our Middle East friend.
None of this means the U.S. needs to approve of what the Netanyahu government has done on settlements, and certainly not on the Gaza flotilla disaster.
But now Bill Kristol has finally come out and confirmed what I’ve been writing for months. We’re now in a march into the fight over who belongs in the “pro-Israel wing of the pro-Israel community.”
Where this leaves U.S. diplomacy, the two-state push, not to mention Democrats going forward is likely nowhere but in lockstep with the right.