Thursday, August 10, 2017
Any Supporter Of Israel Cannot Be A Democrat
Visiting Israel this week, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer insisted that his party remains “overwhelmingly” pro-Israel. If only that were so.
Some Dems still are: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday that he’ll co-sponsor the Taylor Force Act, pretty much assuring passage of the bill cracking down on Palestinian Authority subsidies to terrorists and their families.
Sadly, the party’s rising stars are on the other side.
The bill, named for an Army veteran killed by Palestinian terrorists last year, would cut US funds for the Authority until it stops the subsidies, which now eat up half the money it gets in foreign aid. But four Democrats voted to kill it in committee.
Three were solid lefties: Chris Murphy (Conn.), Tom Udall (NM) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.). But the fourth was New Jersey’s own Cory Booker, a moderate liberal with a previously fine record on Israel.
One who plainly fears that being pro-Israel will doom his hopes for a 2020 White House run. (Booker says he just wants the bill amended to put US aid in escrow for a year.)
This follows the about-face by another former moderate also toying with a presidential bid, New York’s own Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.
That bill would strengthen a 1970s law that bars American businesses from participating in “economic war” boycotts. (Specifically, it would include boycott efforts led by UN agencies such as the virulently anti-Israel Human Rights Council.)
Citing free-speech concerns, Gillibrand has flipped from co-sponsoring it to outright opposition. (Of course, this is just one of many issues on which she’s shifted left in recent years.)
The White House hopefuls may be responding to the shift by the party’s base against Israel. After all, they heard all the booing at the 2012 Democratic Convention when the chair rammed through platform language recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Then again, Schumer is 66 and Hoyer 78, while Booker’s 48 and Gillibrand 50. In the Democratic Party, reliable support for Israel looks to be a thing of the past.