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Israel and American political battle lines

The House of Representatives passed an Israel aid bill – in a climate of deep division among Democrats, and American Jews.

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The Fourth Arab-Israeli War has caused many to draw battle lines and decide on their priorities. More than that, people must now reveal certain priorities that some of them would have preferred to keep hidden. Dirty Laundry Day has definitely arrived in America – not only in official Washington but also in the American Jewish community.

The Israel bill

In the latest event in the Fourth Arab-Israeli War and the reaction to it, the House of Representatives passed an Israel aid bill. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Speaker of the House, started working on this bill two days ago. It would provide $14.3 billion in aid to the Jewish State – and take that money from the Internal Revenue Service. Specifically it would reduce by $14.3 billion an appropriation to hire 87,000 IRS agents. Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News, in the middle of his vituperation against Johnson’s gamesmanship, provided a link to the bill.

The House Budget Committee laid it on the line with this post:

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader (who could have been Majority Leader after last Midterms, only he didn’t want to be), complained that this bill would make his job more difficult. Tough luck, Johnson seems to have told him. He stood by his approach:

  1. Separate aid to Israel from aid to Ukraine,
  2. Pay for the aid to Israel up-front by taking it away from the most hated law-enforcement agency in America,
  3. Spare at least some effort to secure the U.S.-Mexican border, and
  4. Cut overall spending.

Wayne Dupree addressed those issues today in his show.

Revenue shortfall? Excuse us?

Casey Harper at The Center Square also addressed the “battle lines” Johnson was clearly drawing. Among other attempts to countervail Johnson’s program, the Congressional Budget Office projected revenue losses of $26.7 billion over ten years because those IRS agents wouldn’t be on duty. One must ask two things:

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  1. Whom does the CBO think it’s working for? The administration, perhaps? And:
  2. Does the CBO think Americans would cheat on their taxes to the tune of $26.7 billion? Or did they just admit that the mission of those IRS agents was to squeeze $26.7 billion out of Americans who didn’t actually owe that much tax?

And, of course, President Joe Biden threatens to veto the measure if it gets past House and Senate. Of course, he wants those IRS agents – and to continue to fund Ukraine. Everybody knows that Ukraine is a big money laundry for the Democrats, so this should surprise no one. But maybe Biden extends his fanatical devotion to gun control even to American response to the present conflict. Separately he threatened to halt small-arms deliveries to Israel if that country were to distribute weapons to civilians. The Jewish State’s Ministry of Security has been repenting of its gun-control regime of late – in light of the atrocities that residents of the Negev suffered at enemy hands.

Sen. Charles M. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Majority Leader, vowed not even to bring the measure to a vote if it comes to the Senate.

The bill passes

Nevertheless Speaker Johnson brought his measure to a vote today at 4:30 p.m. EDT. About an hour and a quarter before that, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) vowed to vote against it.

Less than an hour before, White House officials started working the phones to drum up opposition.

Several more Democrats vowed to oppose the bill, including Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.),

Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.),

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Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Wiley Nickel (D-N.C.),

Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), and Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.). But Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) said she would vote yes.

Sherman then reported that Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were “huddling together,” first by themselves, then with two potential supporters of the bill. They were Reps. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.).

Nevertheless, the bill passed, 226-196.

Sherman had this list of twelve Democrats who voted with the Republicans to pass the bill.

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Sherman called the bill “symbolic” and insisted it would never pass the Senate.

Jared Moskowitz already had told Jake Sherman he would support the bill, however grudgingly. So his vote should surprise no one. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’ (D-Fla.) support does surprise CNAV, given her vituperative refusal to support any Republican initiative. But again, the Fourth Arab-Israeli War is bringing remarkable clarity to many people’s thinking.

After that, Speaker Johnson and several of his colleagues announced the bill’s passage.

Israel divides more than Congress

The divide among Democrats in Congress actually runs deep, as some Democrats actually sympathize with Israel’s enemies. Many of their pronouncements are absurd. For example:

To say nothing of her fellow Squad member, Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who narrowly escaped censure after leading an angry mob into a House office building.

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President Biden’s support for Israel always has struct CNAV as ambiguous. Lately he has drifted further away. Mike LaChance at The Gateway Pundit reports that Biden actually expresses worry about Islamophobia. So does his Vice-President:

Mme. Vice-President, the only way that “Islamophobia,” as you define it, is going away, is through willful forgetfulness of history. And not history only, but the express ultimatum of the enemy that its targets must die. Several X influencers said much the same:

But an even more stunning display took place at a fundraiser President Biden attended in Minneapolis. Cullen Linebarger, also of The Gateway Pundit, has the details. A female rabbi (no, that is not entirely a contradiction in terms; CNAV will explain below), who affects a shallow beard, heckled the President and shouted for a ceasefire now. This did not go over very well, and the Secret Service removed her.

The Daily Mail identifies her as Jessica Rosenberg. Her Alphabet Soup affiliation is irrelevant here. What’s relevant is her membership in an organization calling itself Jewish Voice for Peace.

This thirty-five-second video shows what happened:

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JVP posted their own video:

Who are those people?

Jewish Voice for Peace has existed since 1996, and its leaders have never, ever, had any sympathy for Israel. Jessica Rosenberg in particular belongs to the Jewish sect called Reconstruction Judaism. On the left-right spectrum they lie between Reform (the extreme left) and Conservative (a deceptive title). Recall that Reform Judaism had a significant moment with the Pittsburgh Platform of 1885, which read in relevant part:

We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.

In that day, everyone understood “Palestine” to mean what became of the ancient Roman province of Judea. Emperor Hadrian renamed it Palestine when he dispersed the Jews throughout his Empire.

The Reconstructionists say that Judaism is “an evolving civilization.” Unlike Reform Judaism, Reconstruction Judaism is strictly an American Jewish movement. This movement has fully embraced Alphabet Soup-ism and leftist politics.

JVP takes Reconstructionism further: from their beginnings they have been unalterably opposed to the State of Israel. They consider Israel’s very presence a monumental injustice to Arabs in the region. So they don’t merely call for a ceasefire. They would call for unconditional surrender and evacuation. In fact they take credit for the Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions movement against Israel.

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The Anti-defamation League has always been at odds with JVP, calling them a radical anti-Israel movement that comes “close to repeating anti-Semitic slurs.”

Biden loses his resolve, focus, or both

When “Rabbi” Jessica Rosenberg started her outburst, the crowd around her shouted her down. Presumably the Secret Service removed her. But Biden mumbled something about “a pause” to “get the prisoners out.”

Vivek Saxena of BizPac Review collected several posts in reaction to Biden’s latest lapse.

https://twitter.com/40CAQ/status/1719997968059682900

From all this, one can conclude that the Jewish community, in America especially, is as divided as the Democratic Party. More than that, the old hatreds are making themselves obvious, even within that community. Perhaps any community has its malcontent members who reject the very idea of their community, but will not leave.

In sum, this war has brought out the worst in many people. (CNAV hasn’t forgotten those on the right who seize on weak rationales for excusing atrocity.) Today Speaker Johnson took a giant step toward a necessary American political reckoning. But some debates, like those to which he is not a party, he cannot resolve. The parties must resolve them – and that process will be interesting to watch.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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