One of the self-deceptions of Jewish life is the belief that “two Jews, three opinions” — the idea that Jews are especially likely to disagree with one another. But on critical issues like Israel, immigration, multiculturalism and Christianity in the public square, the Jewish community speaks with one (very powerful) voice. A Bloomberg article illustrates the broad-based support among Jews for a strike on Syria (“Adelson New Obama Ally as Jewish Groups Back Syria Strike). The broad-based Jewish support for a military strike on Syria is breath-taking, especially considering that Congress is finding “record opposition” to an airstrike in the rest of America.
Recent polls already show little appetite among the American people for military intervention in Syria. A Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday found just 29 percent of Americans supported air strikes “in response to reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons,” while a Washington Post/ABC poll out the same day had 36 percent of Americans in favor of air strikes. … Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), a vocal opponent of military strikes against the Syrian government, told reporters after Thursday’s briefing that a vote to use military force in Syria would fail. “The House doesn’t want it, the American people don’t want it. People here listen to their constituents,” Grayson said. “First of all, public opinion is entirely against it. Secondly, public opinion is vehemently against it.” (“U.S. Lawmakers Say Constituents Opposed To Syria Intervention, Cite Record Opposition“)
Morris Amitay, former head of AIPAC and who now heads of the Washington Political Action Committee (whose motto is “A strong and secure Israel is America’s best interest”) favors a military strike. Both the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Jewish Democratic Council advocate a military strike. The Bloomberg article also notes that the ADL and the and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations are also on board.
One tactic is to point out that Jews were gassed in WWII. The Simon Wiesenthal Center began its letter to all U.S. Senators and Representatives: “It was seventy-one years ago in August 1942, just a few weeks before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, that Gerhard Riegner, the World Jewish Congress representative in Switzerland informed the US and British governments of the diabolical plan to exterminate Europe’s Jews using gas.” A group of 17 rabbis, “descendants of Holocaust survivors and refugees, whose ancestors were gassed to death in concentration camps” and spanning the Jewish religious spectrum endorsed a military strike.
Most importantly, the 800-lb. gorilla (AIPAC) not only released a statement supporting a military strike but now says it is mounting a full-scale campaign to get Congress to approve. 250 activists will descend on Washington to lobby every last senator and representative.
The amount of money the Israel Lobby is able to muster for an effort like this is staggering. The Bloomberg article notes:
The pro-Israel community contributed $14.5 million to federal campaigns for the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s more than the $11.1 million in donations by the defense aerospace industry, one of the biggest and most consistent political contributors.
It bears mentioning that the American aerospace industry is massively intertwined with Israel’s and that they both have a shared interest in getting Congress to cough up money for defense contractors. For example, the Arrow 3 missile is a joint venture between Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries. David’s Sling, a short-range anti-missile system, was jointly developed by Raytheon and Rafael, another Israeli aerospace company. The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (“Securing America, Strengthening Israel”) advocates shared American-Israeli ownership of Iron Dome, which is already deployed in Israel.
Sheldon Adelson’s financial commitment is truly staggering:
While most of the Jewish groups’ donations lean Democratic, Adelson alone transformed the 2012 Republican primary when he and his wife used $15 million in private funds to sustain the unsuccessful candidacy of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and then poured $53 million into groups advancing Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In all, Adelson and his wife donated $93 million to Republican causes in the 2012 campaign, center data shows.
Imagine if White advocacy had people like Adelson willing to commit $93 million to the cause.
Instead, Adelson, a board member of the RJC, will now be gearing up his millions for a military strike — no matter what the great majority of Americans want.