Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Joe Lieberman and the Defense of the West

The primary between Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman is about a lot of things. Iraq. President Bush. Health care. Democracy. Loyalty. Partisanship. But over the past two weeks, another, more volatile element has arisen: Israel.
Pro-Israel political action committees have donated to his campaign and have urged their national membership to give generously now and later, if Lieberman is forced to run as an unaffiliated candidate.

"Joe Lieberman, without exception, no conditions ... is the No. 1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in Congress," said Mark Vogel, chairman of the National Action Committee, a pro-Israel political action committee. "There is nobody who does more on behalf of Israel than Joe Lieberman. That is why he is incredibly important to the pro-Israel community."(AP)

Right now, there's a war raging between the militant group Hezbollah, which is currently using southern Lebanon as a base, and Israel's IDF. Israeli planes have been bombing Beirut. Hezbollah rockets are slamming into Haifa. It's been a long time coming. This round was started when two Israeli soldiers were captured. Where it wil end is anyone's guess, although the fears of World War III breaking out are retreating, for now.

Right now, Israel needs friends, and they have relatively few. Europe, which is traditionally in their corner, has found the Israeli reaction too extreme for its liking. Only in America do we hear pundits talking about the war as a defense of the West against barbarism. Only here is pro-Israeli sentiment strong enough to weather actions that resemble shooting ducks with artillery. And in America, Joe Lieberman has been consistent in his support for Israel and Israeli causes.
Vogel said opinion within the pro-Israel community is mixed about whether the United States should have launched the Iraq war. Some prefer Lamont because they argue Iraq is more important than Israel, but Vogel said there is more agreement about staying in Iraq and getting the job done.

"We need to complete the war on terror, which does not include leaving because it sends the terrorists a very bad message: that terrorism pays," he said. "Joe is part of that line of reasoning, which I think the pro-Israel community is pretty unified on." (AP)

How will this war, if it escalates, affect our little primary here in Connecticut? Will Israel vs. Syria or Iran overshadow the divide over Iraq?
Lieberman's campaign has been reaching out to pro-Israel supporters. Michael Kassen, a Westport, Conn., businessman who contributes to pro-Israel causes and various candidates, said the campaign has been in touch.

"This is a group that he can turn to," said Kassen, who gave Lieberman $1,000 in 2005, according to campaign finance records. (AP)

Ned Lamont may be able to compete with Lieberman on Iraq, but what about Israel or Iran? If a real crisis erupts and America is dragged into it, the entire dynamic of the race, of all races in 2006, changes. And, at least for now, Joe Lieberman is in better position to take advantage of it than Ned Lamont.


"Pro-Israel Groups Rally Support For Lieberman." Associated Press 19 July, 2006.


Anonymous said...

Joe should be able to play the statesman card, although the surfer he hired to run his campaign wont know how to do it.

Actually, if there's a card to be played perhaps "Alan Gold" can play it

MikeCT said...

Interesting to see that Lamont leads among Connecticut Jews:

But an internal Democratic poll of Connecticut Jews sees Lamont leading by 50 percent to 41 percent, JTA has learned. The sample was small, but the results were a dramatic departure from the 90-plus approval rating Lieberman scored among Jews after Al Gore named him as his running mate in 2000.

Regardless, I don't see this becoming a prominent campaign issue.

CC said...

Joe's support for Israel will definitely give him a slight bump among the Jewish vote. But, keep in mind that the last I heard he was LOSING the Jewish vote among Dems 51-40 or so. (Jewish Dems are much more liberal than their Republican counterparts, which is no doubt reflected in those numbers.)

GC: Europe is traditionally NOT in Israel's corner. Sadly, much of the continent -- which for the most part stood by idly while the Germans attempted to eliminate the Jews from Europe -- is firmly against Israel and acts that way at the UN. Need I remind your readers that Arafat was treated as a dignitary in France and kept most of his ill-gotten gains in French banks? All of that is to say nothing of the rampant anti-semitism currently running through Europe and display much too often.

ctkeith said...


Joe Lieberman got exactly the Foreign policy he wanted and cheerleaded for over the last 6 years.

Will anyone argue that Israel is safer and closer to living in peace with it's neighbors because of that policy?

PS-Lamont will win over 60% of the Jewish vote if there is a primary for Senate.

Don Pesci said...

Riddle me this: Does anyone think Israel would be safer if they followed a policy with respect to the terrorist groups assailing it comparable to the policy that some on the left suggest the United States should follow with respect to the terrorist in Iraq?

Anonymous said...

CTK, One analyst ,Daniel Pipes, attributes Israel's current problems to adopting a peace process in 1993. It was well intentioned, but futile. The more concessions Israel made, the more it looked weak and unwilling to fight. Obviously the Arabs don;t want peace as long as there is an Israel. Is that Joe Lieberman's fault?

MikeCT said...

Breaking news: Lamont pulls ahead of Lieberman!!

Genghis Conn said...

Just posted it, Mike. Going to be an interesting day. Wish QU would put the poll on their site.

GMR said...

Ctkeith: with various groups in the mideast calling for Israel's complete destruction, I don't think there's a lot of foreign policy that can be made with said groups. This includes Iran, Syria, Hizbollah, etc.

Anonymous said...

Fear of World War III? There seemed to be a certain amount of glee at the prospect of WW3 in certain circles.

bluecoat said...

Huh, Syria and Iran are feeling their oats because they know we are overextended in Iraq, so they went after Israel via Hezbollah from Lebanon. Joe wanted BushI to go downtown to Baghdad when we liberated Kuwait - he was wrong then and he is wrong now. It is going to take years to sort this out.

bluecoat said...

OH, and I forgot to mention that Ariel Sharon is in a coma and the current leadership of Israel has no military experience - sound familiar?

hartford_for_lamont said...

genghis, israel's current troubles will NOT impact our own CT dem senate primary -

it would only theoretically matter with jews, but most CT jews have walked away from joe a long time ago, and I don't expect them to suddenly discover a new-found love for joe -

and ned has had a robust, consistent, pro-israel message from the start, so he is untouchable.

it is a shame that stories are coming out about these pro-israel lobbies for joe, and it gets incorrectly assumed that these pro-israel lobbies for joe somehow speak for all jews -

the truth is that many jews here in CT are at the vanguard of the anti-joe movement here in CT -

finally, I hope this point comes out more, that joe has supported a huge expenditure of american lives and american treasure in iraq in the middle east, and yet what kind of middle east situation do we have today?

certainly not one where israel is any better off -

in other words, the current situation in israel & lebanon could actually HURT joe!

ProgCT said...

9:12 said: "There seemed to be a certain amount of glee at the prospect of WW3 in certain circles."

Only the people who think the Rapture is comming any day now... =)

john.endwar said...

I find the very opening of this section contains an obvious bit of propaganda - so silly as to rank right up there with the various Bushisms.
That is, Hizbollah is described as a militant group now using southern Lebanon as a base. In fact Hizbollah is made up of Lebanese and they are defending their country Lebanon. Lebanon is their home. Hizbollah did not even exist before the Israeli's 1982 invasion of Lebanon when it was formed to drive out the Israelis who terrorized the Muslim population, caused the Sabra and Shatila massacres and civil war. Hizbollah in fact succeeded eventually in driving out the Israelis. That was just.
It is the right of every country to defend itself and the Lebanese organized into Hizbollah are doing just that. Why is this never said in our media?
And do not tell me that the capture and killing of a few IDF soldiers justifies a massive war. By that logic, the US would have leveled many countries by now.
Israel is a brand name that is no longer trusted.