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‘Progressive influence taught Israel it needs more independence’

CM 27/09/2021


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NEW YORK – The lesson Prime Minister Naftali Bennett learned from progressive Democrats’ attempt to block American funding for Iron Dome missile defense batteries is that Israel needs to make sure it is not dependent on others, a diplomatic source told reporters traveling with Bennett to New York on Monday.
“We have to make our economic abilities even better so that we are never dependent,” the source said. “But America was and remains our greatest partner.”
The comments came after the Democratic leadership gave in to demands from the progressive “squad” in the House of Representatives that the $1bn. in Iron Dome funding be removed from a bill that was meant to stop a US government shutdown, because otherwise the bill would have been voted down. Two days later, a bill that was only meant to fund the Iron Dome passed with 420 in favor, nine opposed and two present.

Israeli Ambassador to the US and UN Gilad Erdan said “the squad’s behavior proves…that they are either ignorant or antisemitic.”
“Iron Dome saves Israeli and Palestinian lives,” Erdan said at an event with Bennett and leaders of Jewish organizations. “If Israel didn’t have iron dome…we may have had to respond with a ground operation, that may have ended with many more lives lost.”
“It’s one thing to criticize Israel – that is legitimate – and it is a completely different thing to oppose protection for Israel from thousands of rockets fired by a terrorist organization. That verges on antisemitism,” he added.
Contrary to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Bennett does not blame Netanyahu for the situation, though Netanyahu’s “partisan approach was unhelpful,” the source said.

 PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett and US President Joe Biden chat in the Oval Office last week. (credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS) PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett and US President Joe Biden chat in the Oval Office last week. (credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)

Bennett realizes that there are ongoing trends on the American Left that are problematic for Israel, and even read the recent Economist cover article on “The threat from the illiberal Left.” 
“If you’re in college and you hate Israel, you feel like you’re woke and you’re cool – and that’s pathetic,” the source said. “[Bennett] came out against it, because it’s the easiest thing to do to try to clean your conscience by attacking Israel.” 
Bennett does not underestimate the influence of the “squad” even though they’re a small group, the source said, comparing them to the influence of former MK Moshe Feiglin on the Likud.
Bennett’s “approach is bipartisan, to strengthen ties with Republicans, where they are already strong, but also with Democrats, in zoom meetings for now, and when corona calms down, in person, as well,” the source stated.
The idea that Israel needs to strive for greater economic independence is one that was held by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose first term included the end of economic aid from the US to Israel, though military aid has continued. More recently, Israel under Netanyahu and the US under former president Barack Obama signed a 10-year $38bn. MOU on such aid in 2016.
But in the context of the growing progressive influence in the US, former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren recently wrote an article for Tablet arguing that “the IDF is addicted to credits for shiny new American weapons. But the strategic price may be too high.”
“Why should Israel, still a vulnerable country in the world’s toughest region, allow itself to be seen as open to progressive arm-twisting?” Oren asked. 

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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