Monday, June 20, 2016

809 Netanyahu to skip AIPAC, but Trump to attend

Netanyahu to skip AIPAC, but Trump to attend

Newsletter published on 15 March 2016

(1) Israeli grip on America is weakening? But Trump to attend APIAC
(2) Trump will "fall on his sword", making way for Hillary
(3) Hillary will be a disaster for the whole world
(4) Netanyahu to skip AIPAC, to avoid meeting Obama
(5) Supporters call on Sanders not to attend AIPAC
(6) AIPAC announces that Trump will speak at its conference
(7) Reform Jews say they'll oppose Trump at AIPAC
(8) Trump’s national political director, Michael Glassner, worked for AIPAC
(9) AIPAC speech could give Trump legitimacy; but embroil Israel and
inflame American Jews

  (1) Israeli grip on America is weakening? But Trump to attend APIAC

Subject: Re: Trump rise shows Israeli grip on American policymaking is
weakening From: Alan Sabrosky <docbrosk@comcast.net> Date: Tue, 15 Mar
2016 06:32:50 -0500

 > Trump rise shows Israeli grip > on American policymaking is weakening

Is that why he & Hillary are speaking at the upcoming AIPAC annual
convention?

(2) Trump will "fall on his sword", making way for Hillary

Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 07:36:50 -0500 Subject: Re: Trump rise shows
Israeli grip on American policymaking is weakening From: Ron Corbyn
<corbynrc@gmail.com>

All of this I predicted a year ago.  Trump, no doubt a freemason, has
agreed to play the role of fascist extremist in order to smooth the way
for Hillary, who while a communist will be painted as a level-headed
moderate.  In other words Trump has been ordered to, and will, "fall on
his sword."

Like Harry Hopkins, Jewish aide to FDR, said: "Americans are too dumb to
understand what is going on."  And, like FDR, a 33rd degree freemason,
said:  "In politics nothing happens by accident, it is planned that way."

(3) Hillary will be a disaster for the whole world

From: "Sandhya Jain" <sandhya206@bol.net.in> Subject: RE: Trump wave
will become a Tsunami. Rigged Convention will lead to Revolt Date: Tue,
15 Mar 2016 20:12:12 +0530

I hope he wins, Hillary will be a disaster for the whole world. Sandhya

(4) Netanyahu to skip AIPAC, to avoid meeting Obama

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/israel-netanyahu-official-trip-cancelled-obama-aipac-us-aid.html

Why Bibi snubbed Obama and is skipping next week's AIPAC conference

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to cancel his US trip so that
he could avoid meeting with both President Barack Obama and the US
Jewish community.

Author Ben Caspit Posted March 14, 2016

Translator Sandy Bloom

To explain Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to forego a
meeting with US President Barak Obama, associates of the prime minister
noted to Al-Monitor the US primaries and Netanyahu’s desire to avoid
being dragged into the ruckus surrounding them. While there is some
truth to this excuse, given on condition of anonymity, it is not exactly
high on the list of the real reasons. What is taking place in the US
primaries has caused great consternation to Netanyahu as well as his
American political patron, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. In contrast to
the previous presidential contest, during which Adelson sunk many
millions into the candidacy of Newt Gingrich before skipping over to
Mitt Romney’s camp and investing $100 million in him, this time,
Netanyahu and Adelson are waiting to see which way the wind would turn.
The problem is that the wind has swirled in a crazy direction. No one in
Netanyahu or Adelson’s circles had dreamed of Donald Trump's rise. Now
they are beginning to get used to him, as reflected in the tone of the
articles in Israel Hayom, the pro-Netanyahu newspaper financed by Adelson.

Netanyahu had two more important reasons that induced him to skip the
meeting with Obama on March 18 and waive an appearance before American
Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) the following night. One was a
diplomatic reason, the other was political-religious.

The diplomatic reason is connected to the discussion over a memorandum
of understanding between Israel and the United States that will
determine the dimensions of the military aid package from the United
States to Israel in the decade starting in 2017. Currently, Israel
receives about $3 billion a year in security aid. Following the nuclear
agreement with Iran, Israel hoped to upgrade the package to more than $4
billion. However, Netanyahu refused to open contacts while the US
administration was willing to meet it halfway (in the middle of last
year), in order to wage his hopeless struggle against ratification of
the nuclear agreement in Congress.

Now, the prime minister finds himself in a hopeless situation.

The Americans are agreeing to ramp up assistance, but not to the level
that Israel wants. The gaps remain, and chances that they will be
bridged are low. Israel demands $4 billion a year, not including special
assistance for the development of its various interceptor programs,
including the Magic Wand (David’s Sling) and the Arrow missile. They are
intended to complete Israel’s aerial protection against long-range
rockets and missiles. The support needed for these projects comes to
hundreds of millions of dollars a year, meaning that what Israel really
wants is assistance close to $5 billion, all told. The Americans are
willing to enlarge the aid to about $4 billion total. This is a
significant gap.

Netanyahu is still determined to postpone the agreement to the next
president’s term of office, despite Vice President Joe Biden begging him
last week when he was in Israel to sign it during Obama’s term of
office. Netanyahu has his reasons. The prime minister is concerned about
a "diplomatic ambush" from Obama during his last few months in office.
He fears something along the lines of the Clinton Parameters that
President Bill Clinton set out in the last few days of his term of office.

Obama possesses a framework agreement formulated by Secretary of State
John Kerry. The president can deliver a speech and detail the conditions
of the framework agreement, a kind of "Obama Parameters." Or he can lend
his support to the French initiative at the Security Council regarding
the establishment of a Palestinian state by not vetoing it. Obama could
even take an American framework agreement to the Security Council for
ratification. Such acts would be viewed by Netanyahu as a real strategic
catastrophe.

Netanyahu reckons that the president would find it easier to carry out
such a move if a military aid package for the next decade is signed. A
well-publicized signing ceremony would remove the anti-Israeli image
that Netanyahu has painted on Obama in recent years. Simultaneously, it
would allow the American president to leave behind a diplomatic legacy.
Those close to Netanyahu assess that if the sides do not reach an
agreement on military aid, it will be harder for Obama to embark on a
diplomatic campaign. He will need something to show his even-handedness,
Netanyahu’s people think, because he won’t want to harm Hillary
Clinton’s chances at the presidency and he won’t want to go down in
history as an anti-Israeli president.

Netanyahu, who was a cautious and calculating leader for most of his
career, has become an out-of-control gambler in the last two years.
Success has gone to his head and his closeness to Adelson and his
unlimited financial resources have given him a false sense of security.
After he lost his wager on US presidential candidate Mitt Romney,
Netanyahu went on to fail in his Iranian policy and then gambled again
to try to avert congressional authorization of the agreement. He failed
yet again — but each time he keeps raising the bar one more notch.

An Israeli minister told Al-Monitor last week on condition of anonymity
that Netanyahu is endangering Israel’s most important strategic
interests. "It could happen that Trump will be president and he’ll
reassess the whole business of American support all over the world. We
could even find ourselves with zero support due to Netanyahu’s
shenanigans," he said.

So, to avoid finding himself being dragged into signing the memorandum,
Netanyahu decided to miss the presidential meeting. At the moment, his
coalition is more important to him than military aid. He founded a
narrow right-wing government, and a political tremor could dismantle it.

The second reason that impelled him not to travel to the United States
at this time is also connected to these political interests: In January,
the Israeli government reached a historic compromise and allotted Reform
and Conservative Jews a special, separate prayer space opposite the
Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. This compromise passed a
government vote, but also let an ancient genie out of its bottle. The
ultra-Orthodox parties, without whom Netanyahu cannot maintain his
government, are now threatening to dismantle the coalition unless he
agrees to their demand to amend this historic agreement. This is the
same agreement that is viewed by world Jewry as a reconciliatory step
taken by the Jewish state controlled by an Orthodox establishment with
most of the world’s Jews, who are Reform or Conservative.

Netanyahu knows that if he attends the AIPAC conference at the end of
this week, he would receive a warm and festive public welcome from the
Reform and Conservative Jews. But it would be a dangerous bear hug.
Netanyahu is a secular Jew, even a borderline atheist, and has no
interest in all this hullabaloo. His worldview is decidedly
non-Orthodox, but he is an experienced politician and his coalition
would fall apart without the ultra-Orthodox. He fell into this trap
against his will and at the moment, has no idea how to get through this
impasse. The last thing he needs now is a public show of support by
Reform Jewry, which will only further enrage his natural ultra-Orthodox
coalition partners.

Netanyahu understands that sometimes, the best thing to do is simply
stay home, disengage and pray for a miracle.

(5) Supporters call on Sanders not to attend AIPAC

http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/thousands-call-bernie-sanders-reject-aipacs-invitation-speak-alongside-trump-and

Thousands Call on Bernie Sanders to Reject AIPAC's Invitation to Speak
Alongside Trump and Clinton

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters is among 4,000 who have signed petition.

By Sarah Lazare / AlterNet

March 14, 2016

Thousands are urging 2016 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders to refuse
an invitation from the right-wing American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC) to speak at its upcoming policy conference in
Washington, DC.

"As the main arm of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, AIPAC has
sworn to promote the racist, militaristic, and anti-democratic policies
of the most right-wing government in Israel's history," states a
petition, which was created by AlterNet senior editor Max Blumenthal and
has garnered 4,000 signatures in just four days. "Its conference this
year will feature Islamophobes, anti-immigrant activists, and religious
extremists."

"With his promise to seek a 'level playing field' on Israel-Palestine,
Bernie does not belong on the same stage as these figures," continues
the petition, whose prominent signatories include Roger Waters,
well-known musician and co-founder of Pink Floyd. Israeli activist and
author Miko Peled, Palestinian-American civil rights campaigner and
commentator Linda Sarsour and scores of other leading campaigners for
Palestinian human rights have lent their names to the initiative.

AIPAC invited every presidential candidate to speak at the conference,
slated to take place March 20 through 22. Hillary Clinton was the first
to confirm, with Donald Trump following closely behind her. Clinton has
made her ardent support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a
cornerstone of her campaign – and vowed in a letter to mega-donor media
mogul Haim Saban to crush the grassroots BDS movement calling for the
boycott, divestment and sanctioning of Israel.

A growing number of advocates for Palestinian rights are among Sanders’
supporters, including Waters, Sarsour, and writer Kumars Salehi, who
recently registered his concern with Clinton, "who grinned from ear to
ear in photo-ops with Netanyahu and claimed Palestinians in Gaza are not
trapped by Israel’s blockade so much as they are "trapped by their
leadership."

Mondoweiss reporter Philip Weiss described the petition as "an effort to
politicize Israel support inside the Democratic Party," noting that
Clinton’s presence alongside Benjamin Netanyahu "demonstrates the
intersectionality (we used to say overlap) of Clintonism and
neoconservatism."

The initiative has earned coverage from media in Israel, including a
Jerusalem Post article highlighting Waters' support for Sanders.

The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(6) AIPAC announces that Trump will speak at its conference

http://www.jewishjournal.com/robeshman/item/trump_and_aipac

Trump and AIPAC

by Rob Eshman

March 15, 2016

This year was the hardest yet to come up with ideas for our Purim joke
cover.

How do you spoof Donald Trump better than John Oliver? How do you poke
fun at Bernie Sanders when Larry David roams the earth? How do you mock
Trump Steaks when there is such a thing as "Trump Steaks?"

Finally, and most distressingly, how do you crack jokes when one of the
most important Jewish organizations in the world invites Donald Trump to
speak at its annual policy conference?

Because that’s just not funny.

Last week, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
announced that Trump will speak at its conference, which takes place
March 20-22.

The conference isn’t some closed-door, meet-the-candidates policy
confab. It is the largest gathering of pro-Israel activists in the
world. Some 15,000 people converge on Washington, D.C., to meet with
elected officials, attend panels with scholars and foreign affairs
analysts, and to hear keynote addresses from presidents, prime ministers
and, yes, leading presidential candidates.

AIPAC has confronted the immediate and expected backlash to its Trump
invite by explaining that it is a nonpartisan organization with a long
tradition of inviting whomever looks to be the likely Republican and
Democratic nominees to speak. It stresses that the invitation is not an
endorsement.

This is true. AIPAC’s goal is to make deep and lasting connections with
policymakers across the political spectrum. I know many of its board and
rank-and-file members, and they are hardly right-wing or left-wing.

And from AIPAC’s perspective, I get it: If there is a chance the man
might be the next president, or even the Republican nominee, why not
engage now in order to exert a positive influence on him and his policy
team?

That would seem to be the reasonable, pragmatic and bipartisan approach.
And agree or disagree with some of AIPAC’s positions or tactics, the
group has been extremely effective because it has always operated from
the pragmatic center.

But in this instance, AIPAC misjudged. By extending an invite to Trump
with no additional comment, no caveats, no reproach, AIPAC is helping
Trump erase the many lines he has crossed.

Just last week, Trump declared, "I think Islam hates us."  Earlier in
his campaign, he called for a temporary travel ban on all Muslims — all
— from entering the United States. His campaign’s exact words are, "a
total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until
our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on."

Here’s a thought experiment the leaders of AIPAC might want to try for a
second. Substitute the word "Jew" and "Judaism" for "Muslim" and
"Islam." If Trump had said those words instead, would he still have been
invited? Of course not.

Bigotry is bigotry. Racism is racism. A demagogue willing to defame or
threaten an entire religion or nationality just to rile up voters could
easily redirect his venom to some other group when the time is ripe.
That’s the line Trump crossed. He is creating an atmosphere and a
precedent for winning votes by fanning hate and discord. The near-riots
last weekend at Trump rallies in Chicago and St. Louis show what will
happen in a Trump America — and what might happen at the AIPAC conference.

By giving Trump a platform without taking a stand on outright hate
speech, AIPAC is helping to fuel this discord. That’s the core moral
mistake AIPAC is making.

But there is another oversight that is even more surprising, considering
how pragmatic AIPAC leadership normally is. Inviting Trump is a slap in
the face to two ethnic groups whose goodwill and understanding are
critical to the survival of the State of Israel.

Twenty percent of Israeli citizens are Muslim. They are integral to the
economy, culture and politics of the nation. As a Middle Eastern
country, Israel’s future peace and prosperity will depend on its
relations with Muslims, from Palestinians to Jordanians, from the
Emirates to India to Indonesia.

That’s why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to meet with Trump
on the candidate’s planned visit to Israel last year, prompting Trump to
scuttle his trip. And it’s why this week, the American Jewish Committee
(AJC) in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hosted
the principal Muslim religious leaders of Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Rwanda, South Sudan and Zambia on a five-day visit to Israel with civic
and religious leaders from the spectrum of faith communities in Israel.

For AIPAC to lend its imprimatur to a man who defames Islam is an
affront to Islamic leaders courageous enough to reach out to Israel.

The second group is the Latino community. By calling Mexicans "rapists"
and insisting on mass deportation and a penitentiary-like wall, Trump is
alienating the largest and fastest-growing minority group in America — a
group whose support and understanding Israel and the American Jewish
community has assiduously cultivated over the past decade. Inviting
Trump is not an endorsement, but it is an affront to these groups.

Should AIPAC retract? Not necessarily. But the organization needs to
state clearly and publicly that it does not condone Trump’s incendiary
statements regarding Mexicans, Muslims and others. It must denounce his
clear incitement to physical violence at his rallies. It must make clear
that those who foment hate and violence have no place in American
politics, or on an AIPAC dais.

Or it can continue to pretend that Donald Trump is just like every other
candidate — and allow his stain to spread over AIPAC’s good name.

(7) Reform Jews say they'll oppose Trump at AIPAC

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/.premium-1.708882

Reform Judaism’s Chiefs Say They'll Oppose Trump at AIPAC Conference,
but Don’t Explain How

'Mr. Trump's extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric reminds us that our own
ancestors' access to American shores of freedom and promise were once
blocked, with deadly consequences,' say Jewish leaders.

Allison Kaplan Sommer Mar 14, 2016 11:44 PM

Will members of the Reform movement hold up protest signs or walk out
when Donald Trump addresses the AIPAC conference in a week?

An unusual and rather cryptic joint statement released by leaders of the
Union for Reform Judaism and their rabbinical organization, the Central
Conference of American Rabbis, does not make that clear, but hints at
some form of action, saying that "the Reform Movement and our leaders
will engage with Mr. Trump at the AIPAC Policy Conference in a way that
affirms our nation's democracy and our most cherished Jewish values. We
will find an appropriate and powerful way to make our voices heard."

The press release was issued as a "response" to the announcement made
over the weekend that leading GOP presidential hopeful Trump had
accepted his invitation to the Policy Conference scheduled from March
20-22. Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton has also confirmed that
she will address the gathering.

The statement said that while the Reform movement has always worked
closely with AIPAC and "understands" and "respects" its decision to
invite all of the viable presidential hopefuls to its major gathering
including Trump, they "cannot ignore" the troubling turn of Trump’s
presidential bid has taken. It was signed by URJ President Rabbi Rick
Jacobs and board chair Daryl Messinger, as well as the CCAR President
Denise L. Eger and CEO Rabbi Steven A. Fox.

Trump’s campaign, the statement said, "has been replete with naked
appeals to bigotry, especially against Hispanics and Muslims. Previous
comments he has made – and not disavowed – have been offensive to women,
people of color, and other groups. In recent days, increasingly, he
appears to have gone out of his way to encourage violence at his
campaign events. At every turn, Mr. Trump has chosen to take the low
road, sowing seeds of hatred and division in our body politic. Mr.
Trump's extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric reminds us that our own
ancestors' access to American shores of freedom and promise were once
blocked, with deadly consequences."

It further noted that AIPAC has "a singular focus: the U.S./Israel
relationship. AIPAC's intent – and its responsibility – is to better
understand the candidates' views on issues that impact the U.S./Israel
relationship." Since "Mr. Trump is the unarguable front runner for the
Republican nomination, and he has not yet spoken clearly about his views
on U.S./Israel issues," the reasoning behind the invitation was clear –
to give Trump an opportunity to do so.

"At the same time," it added, "we cannot ignore the many issues on which
Mr. Trump has spoken clearly. When he speaks hatefully of Mexicans or
Muslims, for example, we recall a time when anti-Semitism put Jews at
deathly danger, even in the United States."

The core values of Reform Jews, "justice, mercy, compassion, peace," the
movement leaders noted, "are altogether absent from Mr. Trump's
statements" and because Jews identify with minorities such as those
Trump has "demonized" – Muslims, Hispanics, and African-Americans, the
movement must speak up against "hate speech."

Although the Reform movement typically does not endorse or reject
candidates, they said, "Mr. Trump is not simply another candidate. In
his words and actions, he makes clear that he is engaging in a new form
of political discourse, and so the response to his candidacy demands a
new approach, as well."

What that approach will be, however, the statement did not say.

(8) Trump’s national political director, Michael Glassner, worked for AIPAC

http://www.jewishjournal.com/nation/article/trump_to_address_aipac

Trump to Address AIPAC

by Jacob Kornbluh, Jewish Insider

Posted on Mar. 11, 2016 at 11:07 am

Republican presidential front-runner has confirmed his attendance at
AIPAC’s Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., later this month, AIPAC
announced on Friday.

The 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference is scheduled for March 20-22. Plenary
sessions will take place at the Verizon Center.

AIPAC extended invitations to all of the current presidential
candidates. So far, only Hillary Clinton and Trump were confirmed as
speakers at the gathering.

"Our Policy Conference is likely to be one of the few venues that these
candidates will have to speak to a bipartisan audience between now and
Election Day," AIPAC said in an email. "We are delighted for AIPAC to
serve as the venue for presidential candidates to share their
perspectives, and we look forward to welcoming them."

Trump recently came under heavy criticism for suggesting that he would
take a "neutral" approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On
Thursday, during the CNN presidential debate in Miami, Florida, Trump
maintained, "There’s nobody on this stage that’s more pro-Israel than I
am. I have [a] tremendous love for Israel.

A poll released on Friday shows a plurality of Israelis viewed Trump as
the presidential candidate who will best serve Israel’s interests as
president.

It should be noted that Trump’s national political director, Michael
Glassner, served as AIPAC’s Southwest Regional Political Director before
joining the Trump campaign last July. Read our profile of Glassner here.

(9) AIPAC speech could give Trump legitimacy; but embroil Israel and
inflame American Jews


http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.709073

Trump/AIPAC Conference Could Embroil Israel and Inflame American Jews

Speech by controversial GOP candidate could give him legitimacy he
lacks, which is precisely what enrages his opponents.

Chemi Shalev Mar 15, 2016 7:56 PM

Donald Trump is an international brand. He makes more money from
licensing the use of his trademark name than he does from the real
estate, golf courses and other properties that he owns. He has made
hundreds of millions of dollars by allowing his name to be used on a
wide range of products, from residential towers and exotic resorts to
home furniture, men’s clothing and energy drinks. Next week’s annual
AIPAC Conference is also likely to be remembered as the Trump
Conference, or perhaps the Trump/AIPAC Conference, though this certainly
isn’t what its organizers had in mind.

The focus on Trump at AIPAC, which is already stirring debate inside the
Jewish community, is sure to intensify once the dust settles on
Tuesday’s crucial primaries. All the elements of a blockbuster
television spectacle are already in place: the appearance of one of the
most divisive presidential candidates in modern American history, before
the annual convention of one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington,
on a topic with both internal and external ramifications, Israel and the
Jews, which sparks substantial media interest even when times are normal.

Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton have
already accepted AIPAC’s invitation to address the conference, and other
candidates might join them. The question of Bernie Sanders’ appearance
is also sparking considerable debate among his supporters, between those
who are urging him to speak his stark, even-handed truth to the powerful
lobby and those who claim he shouldn’t legitimize a group that the
radical left views as reactionary war mongers. But this mini-brouhaha
doesn’t come close to the potential earthquake-level reverberations of
the much-anticipated Trump speech: perhaps AIPAC will try to avoid the
controversy by making it hard to fit the speech in Trump’s campaign
schedule.

In the meantime, his very invitation is being challenged. Rob Eshman,
editor of the Los Angeles based Jewish Journal wrote this week that
Trump should never have been invited, but once he was, AIPAC is duty
bound to condemn his racism and bigotry, otherwise it would "allow his
stain to spread over AIPAC’s good name." An AIPAC official said in
response that it is long-standing policy to invite all the "active
Democratic and Republican presidential candidates." The event "provides
our community with an extraordinary opportunity to hear, directly and
on-the-record, the positions of the presidential candidates on the
U.S.-Israel relationship." But Jewish figures close to AIPAC concede
that it is caught between a rock and a hard place: it could not avoid
inviting Trump, but is well aware of the potential damage involved.

Trump won’t be making money from this appearance, but he could
nonetheless emerge with a handsome profit. The sharp-tongued,
shoot-from-the-hip billionaire certainly isn’t lacking for publicity,
but at AIPAC he could deviate from his image as a divisive brawler and
gain a measure of the respectability that he sorely needs. Since the
start of his astonishing campaign, Trump hasn’t appeared before a
bipartisan forum that enjoys such prestige in Washington's corridors of
power. AIPAC could very well fortify the presidential image that Trump
would need in order to win the general elections: this, of course, is
exactly what infuriates his critics.

A lot depends on the tone of the speech Trump will choose to deliver,
but no less on the kind of reception he will get from the AIPAC
audience, which will reach close to 20,000 this year. Although AIPAC is
seen as leaning decidedly right on matters concerning Israel and the
Middle East, many of its members are still card-carrying Democrats with
liberal views on domestic affairs. Many of them are uncomfortable with
Trump’s appearance, including the leaders and rabbis of the Reform
Movement, who have already promised to protest, though they haven’t
specified how. Trump might encounter the same kind of sporadic
interruptions to his speeches that he has met on the campaign trail, but
he probably won’t repeat his encouragement to fans to make sure the
protestors are smacked or carried out on a stretcher. That might not go
over very well at AIPAC.

The irony is that Trump’s problematic statements on Israel and the
Middle East won’t be the main source of tension in the auditorium at the
Washington Conference Center next week, despite the fact that AIPAC is a
pro-Israeli lobby that claims to distance itself from internal politics.
Trump’s declarations that he would remain "neutral" in order to mediate
an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, his hints that Israel is responsible
for the breakdown of peace talks, his refusal to acknowledge the unity
of Jerusalem or to promise to abrogate the Iran nuclear deal and even
his anti-Semitic sounding comments at a recent Republican Jewish
Coalition forum about Jews wanting to buy candidates for money - all of
these might have generated intense interest at AIPAC were it not for the
far more incendiary controversy surrounding Trump for other reasons. His
denigration of Mexicans and Muslims, his exhortations to violence and
strife, his image as a candidate who thrives on incitement and
confrontation and racial enmity - all of these will fuel the
hypertension surrounding his speech.

Uncharacteristically, the opposition to Trump unites right and left in
the Jewish community. It encompasses liberals who either are or aren’t
engaged with Israel as well as die-hard hawks and conservatives who have
been the bedrock of support for Israel, in general, and for Benjamin
Netanyahu, in particular. But not everyone shares the negative view of
Trump: interviews in recent days with Florida Jews, both American and
expat Israelis, indicate that Trump will pick up support among Jews who
either agree with him on Muslims and illegal immigration or view him as
the lesser evil on Israel than Sanders or Clinton, who would only
continue what they perceive as Obama’s awful legacy.

 From that point of view, the friction caused by Trump at AIPAC is
merely a harbinger of the potential internal strife in the Jewish
community that would be generated if Trump were the GOP candidate. In
recent years Israel is said to be splitting the Jewish community but
Trump would amplify the problem many times over. His opponents, who will
outnumber his supporters by far, will reject any attempt to whitewash a
vote for Trump on the basis of his stand on Israel. They view Trump as a
candidate who is morally repugnant and a danger to American democracy.
When these are the perceived stakes, the clash is inevitable, as is the
price that will likely be paid by both Israel and AIPAC. Perhaps this is
the reason, rather than his tense relations with Obama, that Netanyahu
preferred to stay home.



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