That Didn’t Take Long

MSNBC and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) are reporting that Gov. Palin met this afternoon with the board of directors of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Sen. Joe Lieberman to, in the words of one McCain campaign official cited by MSNBC, put “the American Jewish community at ease over her understanding of US-Middle East relations.” It’s worth noting that Palin, who has obviously been completely off-limits to reporters since she was rolled out as McCain’s running-mate in Dayton Friday, stiffed a reception in her honor sponsored by none other than Phyllis Schlafly a couple hours later. (One wonders what other lobbies have tried to arrange a meeting with Palin in the last 96 hours and with what success.)

“We had a good productive discussion on the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased that Gov. Palin expressed her deep, personal, and lifelong commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel,” AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said after the meeting. “Like Sen. McCain, the vice presidential nominee understands and believes in the special friendship between the two democracies and would work to expand and deepen the strategic partnership in a McCain/Palin Administration.”

“She was extremely well received,” McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb said, noting that Palin was interrupted by applause twice,” according to the JTA account. He added that Palin spoke about “the relationship between Israel and American national security, and the threats to Israel from Iran and others.”

Evidence of nervousness in the McCain campaign about Palin’s impact on Jewish voters and donors was made clear when the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition circulated a video of her Alaska office in which it found a small Israeli flag, in the words of Politico, “poking out from behind a drape.”

“I think it speaks volumes that she keeps an Israeli flag on the wall of her office,” RJC’s executive director, Matt Brooks, told Politico in an e-mail. “It clearly shows what’s in her heart.” Politico’s analysis is well worth reading. As I noted Friday, a Nexis search of the two years previous to her selection as McCain’s running-mate failed to find a single published article in which Palin ever mentioned Israel. I suspect it may make it into her acceptance speech Wednesday night.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. This is all to head off the fire storm regarding Palin’s Church and their view of jews.
    Some blogs have some quotes that sound similar to Rev. Wright. Let the fun begin.

  2. Great catch, Jim! Reminds of of Barack Obama rushing along to pay obeisance at their annual conference earlier this year… Except this time they brought AIPAC to her.

  3. I don’t know why Americans even bother to vote. Why don’t we just fly the Star of David over the capitol and be done with it.

    I can’t think of anything that demonstrates better the “black is white” lies of our government than it’s position on Israel. This is a government that will sell out on and even finance an illegal occupation and slow motion genocide for ‘political’ domestic advantage. Every time a politican opens his mouth on Israel I am infuriated at how stupid they think the American public is.

    One of two things is going to happen with this US Israel fetish. Either the zionist are going to push the envelope so far it blows up in their/our faces or the US will gradually sink lower and lower into the Isr’meria mode until it bankrupts and corrupts itself right out of power.

    Frankly I would rather we go out with a bang than a whimper, so go for it Israel.

  4. The Israeli-U.S. relationship has evolved into a classic case of the tail wagging the dog. Let’s face it, Palestine belonged to the Palestinians for 1300 years; displacing them was a crime, U.N. or no U.N. The Romans threw the Jews out of Palestine in the 2nd century; it’s absurd to say that the latter were an “aboriginal” people returning home in the 20th century. Any American who maintains this should immediately hand over all his property to the nearest Native Americans (who in fact have a far better case than do the Israelis).

    It’s hard to see how the stranglehold on U.S. policy by Zionists (including, let’s not forget, the Christian ones) can be broken. I tend to think “American” is right – that eventually the Israelis or their U.S. supporters will do something that blows up in all our faces, causing public opinion to turn. My fear is that this will allow latent American anti-Semitism to boil up, with terrible consequences for many innocent people.

  5. Jon,

    “My fear is that this will allow latent American anti-Semitism to boil up, with terrible consequences for many innocent people.”

    Yes, and I would think that that would be almost inevitable. The whole thing is fear driven, and, because of that, open ended. Justified Jewish fears regarding the past are displaced onto the present and, considering the dimensions of the past – planned extermination – are not likely ever to be mollified. The constant need for assurances and safety causes very real vulnerabilities to develop hence a further need for assurances and so on. Pushed far enough, resentment in the United States is triggered and a reaction comes about. The solution would seem to lie in an honest dealing with the fears, a realization that security has been achieved in as certain a fashion as it is likely to be and that little good will come from manipulative strategies aimed at controlling further outcomes.

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