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~Serpent~
02-06-2007, 07:05 PM
Hillary the Favorite in Race for Jewish Donations
http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/hillary.jpg

Biden, Obama Expected to Make Some Inroads

E.J. Kessler | Fri. Jan 26, 2007

New York’s junior senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is expected to snare the lion’s share of the Jewish community’s substantial political donations in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.


Democratic activists and operatives said Clinton will pull in large quantities of cash among Jewish donors not only because of what they described as her strong positions on Israel and domestic matters of interest to Jews, but also because of longtime ties with these activists dating back to her husband’s administration.

http://archive.tol.cz/eximg/jew.jpg

The haul is important: Strategists say that serious candidates will need to raise at least $50 million — and probably more like $100 million — by the end of the year. They say that money from Jewish donors constitutes about half the donations given to national Democratic candidates (an extremely large pot of gelt long coveted by the GOP).

Clinton will get most of the Jewish community’s money, “first, because she’s going to receive the lion’s share of all [Democratic] political money, and second, because she and her husband are enormously popular with the Jewish community,” said Democratic strategist Steve Rabinowitz, a Clinton supporter.

Rabinowitz, who also “has been helpful” to former North Carolina senator John Edwards, said that “sexy guy” Illinois Senator Barack Obama and Delaware Senator Joseph Biden — “an extremely well-known quantity” to Jews — among others, would get “a piece” of Jewish largesse. But “it just won’t compare to what she gets.”

Clinton, he said, “has personally proved herself to the Jewish community on Israel, on which she was once questioned.”

Some see the hand of former President Clinton in his wife’s expected bonanza. “The pressure is there because of longtime involvement,” one Democratic strategist said. “People feel compelled to support ‘The Clintons’ and don’t want to be left out.”

Among the top Jewish fundraisers who political hands expect to line up with Clinton’s campaign is New Jersey lawyer Lionel Kaplan, a former president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who raised money for the former first lady’s 2006 Senate race.

Also expected to turn up in Clinton’s camp is Massachusetts businessman Steve Grossman, another former Aipac president who chaired the Democratic National Committee in the late 1990s. Grossman told the Forward that he’s “not formally committed,” but he added that “everyone knows I’m close to the Clintons.”

The Jewish backers of the other Democratic contenders, meanwhile, refuse to lie down in the face of the Clinton juggernaut.

The chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Michael Adler, is raising money for Biden’s bid. “The biggest concern the American electorate has is security,” Adler said, citing the fact that Biden has chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and that he has done “tremendous work on the crime bill.”

Adler said that since Biden hasn’t pursued the presidency since 1988, “he’s not caught fire” with the public as have some other contenders. But he maintained that Biden has shown on the campaign trail that he “understands the American public” and his public performances “create a lot of loyalty and passion.”

Linda Sher, a Chicago-area Democratic activist who founded the Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs, a pro-Israel and pro-choice body, is raising money for Obama.

Several Democratic hands said Obama would attract money from the more liberal precincts of the Jewish community. That proved true during his 2004 Senate bid, when he grabbed the support of the heavily Jewish “Lakefront liberals” in his state’s hotly contested primary.

“I’m getting a good response,” Sher said of her efforts. “The people I’m calling seem enthusiastic. They want to do more than give money. They want to be part of it.”

Former vice presidential candidate Edwards, meanwhile, has been reassuring pro-Israel activists and fundraisers after naming a consistent critic of Israel, former Michigan congressman David Bonior, as his campaign manager.

It was an ironical turn of events for Edwards, who during his 2004 bid for the presidential nomination positioned himself to the right of the ticket’s eventual leader, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, on Israel and Middle East matters.

Randall Kaplan, an Edwards supporter from North Carolina who’s active in pro-Israel causes, acknowledged in a telephone interview that Bonior’s hiring “is a concern among pro-Israel activists,” but said that “in conversations, [Edwards] has assured those [people] that his political positions relative to Israel will not change. Bonior was hired on for different reasons.”

Bonior possesses an intimate knowledge of the labor world, which Edwards hopes will become the backbone of his economic populist campaign. “He’s not there to have an impact on John’s foreign policy stances,” Kaplan said.

This week, during a speech at the Herzliya Conference, a major international gathering dedicated to Israeli security and diplomatic issues, Edwards stuck to his hawkish positions on Iran.

Also in the Edwards column is the enthusiastic, voluble Florida lawyer Mitchell Berger, who in 2004 served as finance chairman of Senator Joseph Lieberman’s presidential campaign.

“It’s definitely going to be a horse race,” Berger said, dismissing the notion that Mrs. Clinton had in any way locked up the nomination.

*

The leadership of the Republican Jewish Coalition — a key group of fundraisers who have raised millions for GOP causes — is splitting its support in the 2008 presidential race.

RJC board member Fred Zeidman, a Houston venture capitalist and lobbyist who’s close to Bush, will be raising money for Senator John McCain.

“I think [McCain’s] an outstanding patriot and American and will make an excellent president,” Zeidman told the Forward on Sunday. “He has a 20-year demonstrated record of support for Israel. Our community couldn’t be in better hands.”

Also helping McCain is RJC board member Ned Siegel, who was tapped to head McCain’s finance team in Florida.

The nascent campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, for its part, has gained the support of Mel Sembler, a big Bush donor and RJC board member from Florida who served as ambassador to Italy, and the support of RJC’s national chairman, Sam Fox, a businessman from St. Louis who was recently nominated to be ambassador to Belgium. (If Fox is confirmed to the post, his son will run the fundraising effort.)

Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, who announced his bid for the GOP presidential nomination Saturday, is staking a claim to the most conservative element of the Jewish community — the Orthodox.

Jeff Ballabon, an Orthodox activist and GOP fundraiser from Long Island, N.Y., who signed on to Brownback’s exploratory committee, said that Brownback is well known to the Washington representatives of the Orthodox community “because he’s been one of the top go-to guys on a range of issues,” including Israel, Jerusalem, religious liberties and faith-based initiatives.

Ballabon dismissed the notion that Brownback’s opposition to Bush’s Iraq troop surge might hurt Brownback among this most hawkish element of American Jewry. When Brownback explains his opposition in context, “the pro-Israel community will be pleased,” Ballabon said.

There is an element of the Jewish community “that believed Oslo was a fool’s errand all along,” Ballabon said. When Brownback was on the Near East subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was one of the “leaders who pointed out the weakness of that approach. Many agreed with him then, and many more agreed with him now. His instincts are outstanding.”

http://www.forward.com/articles/hillary-the-favorite-in-race-for-jewish-donations

~Serpent~
02-06-2007, 07:07 PM
Hillary Clinton And The Pro-Israel Lobby

http://www.jtf.org/israel/ggg.05262005.israel.plo.hillary.clinton.ariel.shar on.jpg


By Joshua Frank

23 January, 2007
Countercurrents.org

George W. Bush's position on Iran is "disturbing" and "dangerous", reads a position paper written in late 2005 by American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). One year ago the Bush administration accepted a Russian proposal to allow Iran to continue to develop nuclear energy under Russian supervision. Needless to say, AIPAC wasn’t the least bit happy about the compromise.

In a letter to congressional allies, mostly Democrats, the pro-Israel organization admitted is was "concerned that the decision not to go to the Security Council, combined with the U.S. decision to support the 'Russian proposal,' indicates a disturbing shift in the Administration's policy on Iran and poses a danger to the U.S. and our allies."

Israel, however, continues to develop a substantial nuclear arsenal. In 2000 the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that Israel has likely produced enough plutonium to make up to 200 nuclear weapons. So, it is safe to say that Israel's bomb building technologies are light years ahead of Iran's budding nuclear program. Yet Israel still won't admit they have capacity to produce such deadly weapons.

Meanwhile, as AIPAC and Israel pressure the U.S. government to force the Iran issue to the U.N. Security Council, Israel itself stands in violation of numerous U.N. Resolutions dealing with the occupied territories of Palestine, including U.N. Resolution 1402, which in part calls on Israel to withdraw its military from all Palestinian cities at once.

AIPAC's hypocrisy is nauseating. The goliath lobbying organization wants Iran to cease to procure nukes while the crimes of Israel continue to be ignored. So who is propping up AIPAC's hypocritical position? None other than Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.

As one of the top Democratic recipient of pro-Israel funds for the 2006 election cycle, pocketing over $83,000, Senator Clinton now has Iran in her cross hairs.

During a Hanukkah dinner speech delivered in December of 2005 hosted by Yeshiva University, Clinton prattled, "I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials [last summer], including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israeli Defense Force] to discuss such challenges we confront. In each of these meetings, we talked at length about the dire threat posed by the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to Israel, but also to Europe and Russia. Just this week, the new president of Iran made further outrageous comments that attacked Israel's right to exist that are simply beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptability. During my meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, I was reminded vividly of the threats that Israel faces every hour of every day ... It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel...”

As Sen. Clinton embraces Israel's violence, as well as AIPAC's fraudulent posture on Iran, she simultaneously ignores the hostilities inflicted upon Palestine, as numerous Palestinians have been killed during the continued shelling of the Gaza Strip over the past year.

Clinton’s silence toward Israel's brutality implies the senator will continue to support AIPAC's mission to occupy the whole of the occupied territories, as well as a war on Iran. AIPAC is correct -- even President Bush appears to be a little sheepish when up against the warmongering of Hillary Clinton.

***

Hillary along with her husband Bill paid a visit to Israel in the fall of 2005. The former president was a featured speaker at a mass rally that marked the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was Hillary's second visit to Israel since she was elected to office in 2000.

The senator did manage to take time out of her tour to meet with the then semi-conscious Ariel Sharon to discuss "security matters." Hillary also made her way to the great apartheid wall, which separates Palestine from Israel. As the barrier is nearing completion, as the monstrosity to a completion it will ultimately stretch to over 400 miles in length.

Palestinians rightly criticize the obtrusive wall on the grounds that it cuts them off from occupied land in the West Bank. Thousands more will be cut off from their jobs, schools, and essential farmland.

Hillary and her pro-Israel buds don't get it. When you put powerless Palestinians behind a jail-like wall where life in any real economic sense is unattainable, you wreak pain and anguish, which in turn leads to more anger and resentment toward the Israeli government’s brutal policies. Indeed, the wall will not prove to be a deterrent to resistance, but an incitement to defiance.

"This is not against the Palestinian people," Clinton said as she gazed over the massive wall. "This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism."

The senator's comments seem as if they were taken word-for-word from an AIPAC position paper. They may well have been as the lobby packs her coffers full of cash. In May of 2005 Sen. Clinton spoke at an AIPAC conference where she praised the bonds between Israel and the United States:

"[O]ur future here in this country is intertwined with the future of Israel and the Middle East. Now there is a lot that we could talk about, and obviously much has been discussed. But in the short period that I have been given the honor of addressing you, I want to start by focusing on our deep and lasting bonds between the United States and Israel."

Clinton went on to address about the importance of disarming Iran and Syria as well as keeping troops in Iraq for as long as "it" takes. It was textbook warmongering and surprise, surprise -- Hillary got a standing ovation for her repertoire.

It is no matter that Iraq will never see true democracy. The U.S. won't allow that. Our government will never allow a free Iraq to form that embodied even the slightest disgust toward Israel or America. Democracy in Iraq, like democracy in Israel, has clear limitations.

Similar to her husband and the current president, Hillary Clinton will never alter the U.S.' Middle East policy that so blatantly favors Israeli interests.


Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out! How Liberals How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005) and edits BrickBurner.org, the official news blog of DissidentVoice.org.

http://www.countercurrents.org/us-frank230107.htm

Guardian
02-06-2007, 07:08 PM
There goes my vote for her...

Come 2008 the most important issue to vote on isnt dem or rep or conservative or liberal, its voting for someone whos sole interest is for america and not a foreign government.

SYRIANKID
02-06-2007, 08:09 PM
It's disappointing when, in a democracy, there are so many hidden criteria to being a successful candidate.

~Serpent~
02-06-2007, 08:16 PM
There goes my vote for her...

Come 2008 the most important issue to vote on isnt dem or rep or conservative or liberal, its voting for someone whos sole interest is for america and not a foreign government.


True...that would be nice, unfortunately there will never be any candidates like that who will ever be given the chance to run for office.

~Serpent~
02-06-2007, 08:20 PM
It's disappointing when, in a democracy, there are so many hidden criteria to being a successful candidate.

The stars and stripes is a flag that contradicts, since it doesn't represent a true democracy.

That aside, all parties involved are pro Israel. The question is, what is the fundamental underlying MOTIVE for this undying support on behalf of US and British governments.