GOP Ups Ante on Clinton’s Israel Pander

By inserting Israel-first promises in the Republican platform, GOP regulars challenge Donald Trump’s America-first policies and open a possible bidding war with Hillary Clinton over pandering to Israel, as Chuck Spinney explains.

By Chuck Spinney

The so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in my opinion, has always been a distraction to buy time for the Israelis to formally annex most of the West Bank to Israel. Much like Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, annexation of this territory will be tangled up in the unexamined question of controlling access to scarce water resources.

This posting builds on my posting of last April, “The Palestinian Question: Why the Two-State Solution is Kaput.” My aim was to explain how the central and generally ignored goal of controlling access to the West Bank’s water resources water is shaping Israel’s long-term settlement policies. That posting described how issues relating to control of these water resources go a long way toward explaining the “facts-on-the-ground” pattern of accelerating settlement growth in Area C of the now defunct Oslo Accord, which comprises about 60 percent or the West Bank.

A section of the barrier -- erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians -- with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy's famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, "Ich bin ein Berliner." (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

A section of the barrier — erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians — with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

Ensuring fair and equitable access to the water resources of the West Bank and the River Jordan’s watershed is a necessary although not a sufficient condition for an equitable solution to the complex Palestinian Question. That is true regardless of whether that solution takes the form of a two-state solution or a single-state bi-national solution.

However, the momentum of developments, in terms of the interaction between weak and vacillating U.S. policies and the accelerating rate of Israel’s settlement growth in Area C, is leading inexorably to an Israeli annexation of Area C. Annexation will necessarily be accompanied by a Gazification of the Palestinian enclaves making up Areas A and B, and a perpetually unfair access to the West Bank’s water resources.

Haaretz, Israel’s leading left-of-center newspaper, recently carried a report entitled, “About Face on U.S. Foreign Policy: GOP Platform to Drop Support for Two State Solution,” This report was first published in the Jewish Insider, and it informs the reader that the draft Republican platform rejects the “false notion” that Israel is occupying the West Bank. The draft language also includes:

“Support for Israel is an expression of Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our government to advance policies that reflect Americans’ strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel.”

And the language goes on to recognize that “the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (‘BDS’) is anti-Semitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel.”  It calls for federal legislation “to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories, in a discriminatory manner.”

Whether Donald Trump will buy into such a blatant subordination of American interests to those of Israel is as yet an unanswered question. But the language puts Israel into political play in the 2016 presidential election. This creates a potential for a bidding war that could land Ms. Clinton in an awkward position.

To date, a cynical political strength of Ms. Clinton’s campaign is that a large number of pro-Israeli Republican neocons in the national security establishment are flocking to her campaign. This crossover creates an appearance if not the reality of bestowing on Ms. Clinton an enhanced national security gravitas, at least among the Beltway establishment and mainstream media.

Her control of the Democratic platform committee has already enabled Ms. Clinton to defeat platform language criticizing Israel’s occupation policies. Watch this video; note particularly the reference to the BDS by a Clinton stalwart.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Despite the Democratic platform committee’s stuffing of the Palestinian Question, the draft Democratic platform says nothing comparable to the Republican language. That silence may not go far enough to placate Hillary’s neocon crossovers. So, Ms. Clinton may come under pressure to strengthen her already strong pro-Israel stance in an effort to outbid the Republicans in the war to win the anti-Trump Republican voters.

But in so doing, Clinton may drive Sanders’s supporters into throwing up their hands in disgust and staying home in November or voting for the Green or Libertarian candidates. How this supposed “lesser of two evils” triangulates her way out of this cul de sac will be a fascinating spectacle in the Roman circus passing for a presidential election.

[For more on this topic, see’s “Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon.“]

Chuck Spinney is a former military analyst for the Pentagon who was famous for the “Spinney Report,” which criticized the Pentagon’s wasteful pursuit of costly and complex weapons systems. [This article appeared previously at]

19 comments for “GOP Ups Ante on Clinton’s Israel Pander

  1. Bill Bodden
    July 16, 2016 at 11:47

    “Support for Israel is an expression of Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our government to advance policies that reflect Americans’ strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel.”

    Yet another blatant display of moral bankruptcy in American politics. Israel has been and is still despised by many nations around the world for its violations of international law and crimes against humanity and our politicians (Republican and Democrat) at the national level cravenly lick the boots of the Israeli oppressors.

    UN Official: Israel Guilty of ‘Inhuman’ and ‘Degrading’ Apartheid: Richard Falk blasts open-ended occupation, ‘systematic oppression,’ displacement, and murder of Palestinians by Sarah Lazare –

    • Gregory Herr
      July 17, 2016 at 00:39

      “Can anyone explain why the collective punishment of children is allowed to continue?”

      The Falk report details a dire situation.
      Where are the humanitarian interventionists when you need them?

  2. Vesuvius
    July 15, 2016 at 04:00

    In 1776, British colonies on the North American coast revolted against the British Crown, and became the independent and free United States of America.

    After WWII, U.S.A. got very mighty, a real Superpower.

    How strange, just a few years later, U.S.A. itself turned into a colony, and voluntarily too. The new Master being of course Israel. Politicians of both parties pandering to the Master.

    So, what American voters will decide on November 8 is not who will be “President” for the next term, it’s all about who will be Viceroy under the Zionist state.

    Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?

    A choice between plague and cholera. The outcome does not matter.
    The American people will be the losers.

    • Rob Roy
      July 15, 2016 at 22:03

      There’s another choice: Jill Stein. ALL Bernie supporters KNOW she’s the one to vote for. The “lesser of two evils” (Clinton and Trump) is still a choice of evil. Jill Stein will be the best president we’ve every had. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we grabbed this rare opportunity to set the world on a road to peace and equally for all? One of her best qualities is that she can’t be bought. VOTE JILL STEIN.

      • Cal
        July 16, 2016 at 23:05

        I could go for Jill on her foreign policy;

        Jill Stein on Foreign Policy
        •Work towards neutral Ukraine; don’t arm them against Russia. (Jul 2015)
        •China provides less heavy-handed foreign aid than does US. (Jul 2015)
        •Lifting the Cuban embargo was long overdue. (Jul 2015)
        •Expanding NATO threatens Russia and breaks our promise. (Jul 2015)
        •Focus on human rights, international law, and diplomacy. (Jul 2015)
        •Re-establish foreign policy on basis of international law. (Jun 2015)
        •End Israeli apartheid occupations and illegal settlements. (Oct 2012)
        •Get tough policy has opposite effect of what was intended. (Oct 2012)
        •End trade embargo and travel ban on Cuba. (May 2012)
        •Start holding all parties accountable in Israel/Palestine. (Jan 2012)
        •US should behave as member of world community, no world cop. (Dec 2011)

        I could also go for her on a few other issues like health care and clamping down on Wall Street.

        But she’s touch too ‘nanny state’ on some stuff for me…….I’d be happiest with someone who just swears to ”level the playing field” for Americans.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      July 17, 2016 at 17:01

      A colony of Israel, instead of being an enabler to Netanyahu and indeed when the opposite is true – Israel is used by the West to fight to Islamists for Western security interests, which only makes things worse due to support for Hamas because of Israeli policy? You are, like “Cal”, anti-Semitic. I have seen your vile comments on Consortium News before.

  3. Abbybwood
    July 14, 2016 at 13:52

    Let’s not forget that Donald Trump, if elected, wants to serve a term (or two?) and go down in history as the “greatest” president in history.

    Fighting for a just peace in Palestine would be a major feather in his cap.

    We all know there is ZERO chance of any peace deal with Hillary Clinton as President.

    And speaking of Jill Stein, I am voting for her because I support her policies and that will be one less “Democrat” vote (former Sanders supporter) she can count on.

  4. Cheryl Taylor
    July 14, 2016 at 13:37

    Why don’t we talk about Jill Stein

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 14, 2016 at 16:23

      You got a good point Cheryl Taylor. Jill Stein hardly ever gets mentioned. I mean even in the progressive press, do we ever talk about Jill. Instead, like the rest of the nation, we all go on and on about Trump or Hillary. Get over it, talk about Jill.

      What the American political class has done by endorsing Israel to such a high degree of reverence is to me un-American. For the life of me what other country has America backed so solidly? Okay possibly England during WWII, but other than that, who? The only thing that America and Israel have in common is they both mistreat the indigenous people who they chased off the land. Besides having that in common, what else is there. So the Palestinian must go the way of the Native-American Indian and be forced onto a reservation. How inhumane, and we call ourselves civilized!

    • Rob Roy
      July 15, 2016 at 21:54

      I’m certainly voting for Jill Stein. After looking objectively at all candidates, why would a thinking person vote for anyone else?

  5. TruthTime
    July 14, 2016 at 10:13

    And in the end the equivalent of Native Americans in Israel will suffer. “Never Again” was the greatest lie ever to have been uttered after WW2. Zionism is the Nazi Cancer of Israel using America’s example of eradicating Natives for its own policies.

  6. dahoit
    July 14, 2016 at 10:05

    I guarantee Trump will end this nonsense of Israeli uber alles and at least start a viable peace process,because the world knows the Zionists won’t.
    The republican party is d-e-a-d as the democrat one and all bets are off regarding party loyalty.
    Trumps support is a prism;) coalition.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      July 14, 2016 at 11:52

      I think you are correct. The party platforms don’t mean much if the candidate is opposed to them, opponents can be allowed to write what they want, with some exceptions, like clear opposition to the TPP, which is why Trump is not as odious as Clinton, who cynically says she opposes the treaties and their elimination of the rule of law on consumer issues through corrupt corporate tribunals, but who secretly continues to support them.

      • Yonatan
        July 14, 2016 at 14:03

        He has appointed Israel-firsters as Middle East experts so I am not raising my hopes.

        • Cal
          July 16, 2016 at 22:01

          And selected a VP who pledges allegiance to Israel.

          “Israel’s enemies are our enemies, Israel’s cause is our cause,” Pence said. “If the world knows nothing else, let it know this: America stands with Israel.”>>>>>

          If Americans know nothing else let them know this: these politicians who sell out America for 30 pieces of Jewish silver are traitors to this country. They pledge allegiance to Israel for the campaign money, plain and simple.

          • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
            July 17, 2016 at 16:57

            They are allies of Israel, but they haven’t pledged allegiance to Israel. And “Jewish silver”? That is not technically anti-Semitic, but the above is. I am pro-Palestine.

    • Cal
      July 16, 2016 at 22:30

      Maybe The Donald needs to re read his own Art of the Deal, looks like he’s already ‘lost’ on his own choice of VP.

      ”Sources told NBC News Friday that Donald Trump was stressed over the circumstances surrounding his choice for running mate even after news of the pick leaked. While in California, separated from family and most aides, Trump worked the phones late into the evening Thursday soliciting advice and sharing his concerns. Sources familiar with the calls said Trump conveyed that he felt “backed into a corner.” Another description suggested that Trump was talking it out, but knew that he could not and would not choose a different running mate.

      Trump is described as torn because he felt former House speaker Newt Gingrich would be “too volatile” to manage. Trump told others that he had favored New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, but could not choose him because of his own family loyalty.
      Christie, as U.S. Attorney, prosecuted Charles Kushner, the father of Trump’s son-in-law and close advisor Jared Kushner. Multiple sources said Kushner strongly opposed Christie as the running mate. Working with Christie behind the scenes on the transition team and strategy is one thing, but Kushner could not accept Christie as the running mate. ”

      Lots of resentment of Christie on Jared Kushers part over Christie prosecuting his father.
      ”In 2005, following an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey,[16] Kushner was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering by attempting to silence his sister and brother-in-law by creating a sex tape of his brother-in-law with a prostitute.[17] Chris Christie, then the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, negotiated a plea agreement with him and he was sentenced to two years in prison.[1][18][19]

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