Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Another Likud Republican: Jeb Bush Pledges “Unwavering” Support for Bibi

Jeb Bush, presumptive 2016 Republican presidential candidate, says that his “support for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu is unwavering,” thereby helping confirm that multi-billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has effectively gained control of the Republican Party leadership.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LobeLog

More evidence that multi-billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has effectively gained control of the Republican Party leadership came today with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s assertion that his “support for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu is unwavering…” (Emphasis added)

This truly remarkable affirmation, which came through a spokeswoman, was part of a longer written statement in which he denounced remarks delivered Monday night by former Secretary of State (and Republican hero Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff) James Baker to the concluding dinner of the annual J Street conference.

As noted in the neocon Weekly Standard, Baker had criticized Bibi for “diplomatic missteps and political gamesmanship.” He also expressed support for a nuclear deal with Iran—a framework agreement for which could be announced this weekend, according to well-informed sources—as well as a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a baseline position for both J Street and the Obama administration.

“Governor Bush consults a wide range of advisors on foreign policy,” Bush spokeswoman Kristi Campbell said. “While he respects Secretary Baker, he disagrees with the sentiments he expressed last night and opposes J Street’s advocacy.” The statement then went on to pledge the putative candidate’s “unwavering” support for both Israel and Bibi as if, presumably, Bibi somehow represents the very embodiment of Israel.

So does this mean that Bush will support Bibi no matter what the Israeli leader says or does? (This is reminiscent of Lindsey Graham’s vow to Netanyahu in Jerusalem last December: “I’m here to tell you, Mr. Prime Minister, that the Congress will follow your lead [on Iran].”)

Does it mean that Bush does not support a two-state solution despite his own right-wing brother’s endorsement of it? Is Jeb actually to the right of Dubya on Israel??? Is he renouncing nearly five decades of bipartisan opposition to Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory? Would Jeb as president defer to Bibi on all matters that might affect Israel or Bibi’s political fortunes? Would he join with Israel in a military attack on Iran? And if Bibi (or Adelson) now demands that Baker be dropped from the list of Bush’s foreign policy advisers, will Jeb comply?

“Unwavering” is a hell of a word to apply to support for a mere mortal, especially when you consider that this statement wasn’t made off the cuff (like Romney’s “47%”). It came in a prepared statement, presumably vetted by his top campaign staff.

Now, it may be that Bush feels he has to say such things in order to appeal to the Republican base constituencies, including ardent Christian Zionists who are most likely to vote in the party’s presidential primaries. But I sense that this is more about campaign finance and wooing Adelson and very wealthy colleagues, such as Paul Singer, in the Republican Jewish Coalition. Readers of this blog, of course, remember last year’s so-called “Sheldon Primary” at Adelson’s Venetian casino resort in Las Vegas where a sizable number of presidential hopefuls “kissed the ring” of a man who probably contributed more money to defeating Obama in 2012 than any other. It was also where Chris Christie, that tough guy from New Jersey, felt obliged to personally apologize to Adelson for referring to the West Bank as “occupied territories.” It was at that same event that Jeb Bush himself was the featured speaker at an exclusive dinner at his company’s private airplane hangar at the Las Vegas airport.

Of course, Adelson and his Israeli wife, Miriam, have also long supported Netanyahu. At the Israeli leader’s speech before Congress earlier this month, the couple was seated as House Speaker Boehner’s guests of honor in the front row of the House gallery. Later that night, Adelson co-hosted a fund-raiser for Graham, who, as noted above, had already vowed to follow Bibi wherever he may lead. Indeed, Graham, whose hawkishness on Iran has never flagged, could well emerge as the Newt Gingrich of the 2016 presidential race. Gingrich, whose 2012 presidential campaign was virtually singlehandedly kept afloat by some $15 million contributed to it by the Adelsons, made it clear that, for Adelson, Israel was priority number one.

Jeb’s latest statement of devotion, of course, comes on the eve of Boehner’s trip to Israel, a gracious “thank you” from Bibi for the speaker’s cooperation (possibly lubricated by Adelson’s promises for more campaign funding for Republicans?) in arranging Netanyahu’s address to Congress. It’s yet another rather dramatic illustration of Republican fealty to Bibi. It also reveals that the GOP leadership and its presidential hopefuls— even so-called moderates whose family history with right-wing Israeli leaders has not been particularly smooth—have effectively become fused with Likud.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


RightWeb
share