Line in the Foreign Policy sand.
There have been concerns raised in Israel by left wing pot stirrers to cast the Tea Party as policy isolationists in the Ron Paul mold. It’s a tactic picked up from liberals in the US aligned with the progressive movement, people who naturally fear the Tea Party which poses a significant political threat.
While limited government, fiscal responsibility and accountability have been mainstays of Tea Party domestic politics, the foreign policy side has been more muddled and less cohesive. Alternating between a smaller isolationist fringe and a more traditional GOP idealistic view of America’s role on the world stage.
Palin Vs Paul
Sarah Palin is unabashedly pro-Israel. Ron Paul considered a hostile entity here, is most certainly not. As such, the wing that best defines the Tea Party on foreign policy is of direct interest to Israelis, we rely on our American brethren for support which is crucial to the State of Israel. The Tea Party is a bold new force in American politics, the uncertainty has kept Israelis guessing.
The brand new Tea Party caucus in Washington however, has quickly moved to draw a line in the sand delineating where large portions of the Tea Party stands on critical foreign policy issues. One of their 1st resolutions has half the caucus sending a message loud and clear..
Expressing support for the State of Israel’s right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time to protect against such an immediate and existential threat to the State of Israel. [...]
It’s a signal that the Tea Party may not only choose to be more bold than the GOP on domestic issues, but may show similar rousing boldness and passion in the foreign policy realm as well.
The Resolution is largely symbolic. None of that symbolism will be lost here in the State of Israel.
Republicans out in force
I have of course been rigorously following events at the 2009 AIPAC conference, having viewed almost all the video thus far one thing is clear. Some of the speakers have stood head & shoulders above the general crowd with stirring words, and even more sound ideas.
Whip it good..
The minority whip, Eric Cantor gave a heartfelt speech referencing his Jewish roots and lessons learned with stark warnings to American supporters of Israel and Jewish Americans in general, he eloquently chastised American Jewry for being asleep regarding the mounting threats from Iran, the mounting anti semitism in American media, and the virulent anti Israel & anti American sentiments boiling over on American university campuses.
The theme was ‘when is it too late to act’, and the message was clear. American Jewry enamored with itself and others are waiting too long, averting their eyes to painful realities. It is a theme most reminiscent of the late 1930s.
New America? – Gingrich steals the show..
Without question thus far, the most inspired speech and the one which really drew my attention was from Newt. It is no secret that with his new America foundation & concepts Gingrich is big on solutions, a rarity today. It is one thing to speak with emotion or clarity, another even to be able to parse through realities and highlight issues and threats succinctly, but to actually propose well thought out plans and solutions that is a rarity indeed.
Gingrich had the crowd on their feet over & over again and with good reason. Lookout, when a room packed with liberals applauds vigorously for themes & concepts flowing from a top notch conservative thinker it means there is something very valid in the message. Newt liberally tossed in a few plugs for his own projects which felt a bit canned, but his grasp of history, his ability to outline the challenges and solutions so succinctly, his no nonsense approach stewed in reality was refreshing and inspiring. He was without question a star at AIPAC 2009.
Here are some short highlights, the full speech roughly 20 minutes long is worth viewing at AIPAC.
Thus far, Obama’s own administration, and the Democrats speaking have been long on platitude, short on meat and potatoes. Biden & Kerry spent a lot of time calling for concessions from Israel and offering few solutions. One wonders when exactly American Jewry will indeed wake up as Cantor implores, if ever..
American & Symbolic Israeli Flag of Friendship Grace Governor’s Office
Shimon Peres our own symbolic President has been busy lately for a sprite 82 year old, Gd bless him.
He delivered an address at the UN General Assembly rebuking Assmad from Iran, presided over deliberations with Knesset factions over forming a new Government, gave a speech at the Clinton Initiative, and met with both McCain & his running mate Sarah Palin. This is in the past three days alone! Thankfully for international relations purposes, Peres didn’t try to french kiss Palin like our last President Katsav might have (unceremoniously dumped from office over sexual assault allegations).
On the contrary, Ynet reports the meeting between allied leaders was great, friendly & warm. Further putting the Palin question on Israel (which was only in doubt in Obama advisors’ minds) squarely away for good.
Upon meeting the Israeli president, Palin told him she has wanted to meet him and get to know him for years. She added that the only flag in her office, aside from the American flag, is the Israeli flag, stressing that she wants Israelis to know that she’s been a longtime friend of the Jewish state, and will remain such. Peres also took the opportunity to briefly speak to Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, who referred to the Israeli president as a longtime friend. [...]
Indeed, we already knew. I’d like to let the Governor know that Israelis having lived and wrestled our own wild Middle Eastern frontier are big fans too, other than the fact Israelis consider 15 degrees celcius near freezing, Alaska seems pretty darn super.
- We have Ibex, you have Caribou
- We have sand, you have snow
- You are running against a Hussein, We make the Husseins run from us
- You hunt Moose, we hunt Terrorists
- You border Russia, We room & board millions of Russians!
- You have indigenous peoples, heck we are indigenous peoples!!
Clearly, there are strong parallels. But seriously, let’s hope this is the 1st of many great friendship meetings between Israelis & Alaskans.