Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – I find this disturbing, that members of the United States Senate seem to be in collusion with a foreign state to the degree that they are with the State of Israel. Where did this idea come from that we, in the United States, must bow down before the altar of any foreign land when we are choosing whether or not to appoint a secretary of defense, state, energy, education? Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Scott McConnell, American Conservative Magazine:
As Dave Weigel reported, here is the damning Hagel utterance: [Mike: This was allegedly said at Rutgers University in 2010.]
“As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic. If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”
Mike: It is attributed to Hagel. Jennifer Rubin reported it, Jonathan Tobin reported it, but as McConnell writes:
Except, aha!—these viciously anti-Israel words don’t come from Hagel, they come from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who voiced them in his capacity as Israel’s defense minister in 2010. Hagel’s alleged comment came a few months later. Of course, in the real world the Barak-Hagel analysis is altogether reasonable.
Nor is Barak the only Israeli prime minister to reach such a conclusion. In 2008, Israel’s prime minister Ehud Olmert told Haaretz that “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African style struggle for equal voting rights, then as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.”
Here then is the problem for the Hagel haters. It is not simply that Hagel is being accused of saying things like “the State Department sometimes acts like an adjunct of the Israeli foreign ministry”—which State Department officials actually do complain about, albeit off the record. He is being accused of saying things which Israeli prime ministers say on the record. And much as Commentary, Jennifer Rubin, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Free Beacon try to bend these remarks into supposedly damning evidence of a viciously anti-Israel mindset, they can’t make their argument without quoting the alleged quotes. And almost any journalist must at least note that the “damning” quotes are extremely similar to what Israeli leaders say in public themselves. So by damning Hagel, they call attention to the Israeli occupation, which is in fact turning Israel into an apartheid state.
The Hagel fight has already turned into an own-goal situation for the Israel lobby. [Mike: This is what I find disturbing about this entire episode, Andrew. McConnell frames the argument very well, I think. I’m going to let Scott McConnell have the floor and read this piece.] The idea that Israel controls the U.S. government—the kind of thing which 20 years ago would be said by no one who wanted to hold a mainstream job—has now become a fairly widely circulated popular culture meme, openly joked about in a justly famous (if unaired) “Saturday Night Live” skit and riffed on by Bill Maher. Look at the Maher segment and note where the audience applause comes in.
Now the Hagel foes, having succeeded in illustrating before a mass public the concept of the Israel lobby are starting to focus Capitol Hill media on Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Could one ask for anything more?
Mike: I find this disturbing, that members of the United States Senate seem to be in collusion with a foreign state to the degree that they are with the State of Israel. Where did this idea come from that we, in the United States, must bow down before the altar of any foreign land when we are choosing whether or not to appoint a secretary of defense, state, energy, education?
Do you remember when the Tea Party was first formed and one of the grand acts of betrayal that President Obama had committed was that he bowed before a Saudi? He bowed before the Saudi king or some king. That picture is still out there, probably repeated 60 million times, [mocking] “No American president bows down before a foreign head of state.” Oh, but we’re all supposed to bow down before the state of Israel? How did this happen? How is this possible?
In days gone by, we might have people taking the opposite approach to Senator Hagel’s nomination. They may be saying: Sir, there is a disturbing record of you being vehemently pro-Israel. What if I changed the name Israel to pro-Qatar? Why are you so pro-Qatar? Why do you keep talking about the need to ensure the survivability of Qatar? Why do you keep talking about funding Qatar with foreign aid? Why do you keep talking about emissaries to Qatar? Why do you keep talking about pledging that our military will somehow be called into service to defend Qatar? This is disturbing.
So we’re all worried, all you alleged conservatives out there, about the United Nations and Agenda 21 and an international coup being rained upon your head and you have nothing to say about your own United States senators en masse in one particular party bowing down in front of the State of Israel as if they are part of the United States and have some sort of power and control over our government and the distribution of our resources. You can count me out. You can count me out. That’s the tragedy of all this. It’s tragic, absolutely tragic.
All you little Agenda 21ers out there, why aren’t you worried about Israel? Why do they get a free pass? It’s collusion, isn’t it? Aren’t we being influenced by, aren’t our own politicians being goaded, bribed by a foreign state to do its dirty work? Of course, if you bring this up, [mocking] “You’re an anti-Semite.” Yeah, sure I am. That’s the charge they level. That’s the charge they leveled and are still leveling at Patrick J. Buchanan when he brought up and brings up exactly what I just said. It’s sad, folks, that the great magisterial United States Senate, the most august body in the world, is now performing at least part of its function on behest and on behalf of a foreign country. Really? Seriously? Say what you will, that’s the fact, Jack.
End Mike Church Show Transcript