By Larry Gordon
Which Democrats will have the courage to separate themselves from the distasteful and distracting fusillade directed at President Trump? It became clearer on Tuesday at the senatorial hearings featuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the objective here is to attempt to paralyze the otherwise aggressive Trump agenda.
The Democratic dream is that the 2018 midterm election cycle and campaign arrive and that all these hearings at least cast doubt on the trustworthiness of the current Republican majority in Congress with the result that the Democrats win back the House of Representatives—which I hope won’t happen.
The flip-flopping and waffling on the part of Democratic leaders like our own Chuck Schumer came to the fore recently on the issue of whether or not to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. The Trump foreign-policy apparatus, while still committed to following through on the campaign promise that is important to many, decided to waive the requirement to move the embassy for yet another six months so as to give the players in the region a chance to demonstrate overtures to regional peace without throwing a wrench into the process by moving the embassy and creating a new hostile environment.
We can all rest assured that had Mr. Trump not signed the waiver and had he committed to moving the embassy, Democratic leaders like Senator Schumer would have led the charge with a blistering critique of the president for jeopardizing the peace process. Instead, Schumer did the exact opposite—criticizing Mr. Trump for not moving the embassy as federal law requires without the waiver.
After all these years, Senator Schumer is just a disappointment for the disrespectful way he treats President Trump and the disparaging and condescending attitude toward the presidency. Sure, he was deeply stung by the Clinton loss in November that also dashed his hopes of becoming the majority leader in the Senate. But that is no excuse for the abysmal way he has been conducting himself these last few months.
Our hope is that this pervasive talking down to Mr. Trump and his associates will result in continued Democratic losses in every corner of the country. Donald Trump has an important agenda that we need to get to, but the Democratic Party is committed to doing its best to make sure that there are barricades in the way of potential success. It is only a few months, but unfortunately the ridiculous Democratic way of thinking has, so far, been assigned credibility amid the real collusion that is taking place in this country between the Democrats and the mainstream media. The combination has crossed all red lines and they seem so addicted to this uncooperative and aberrant behavior to the point where it’s just too late to go back.
And in an odd way, the collusion-with-Russia events and investigations have been a good thing for Israel. In the aftermath of the successful Trump trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, we were all being set up for some kind of grand peace gesture that would somehow change 100 years of backward thinking and revolutionize the Middle East.
But that has not happened, essentially because to the peace-process-loving Democrats in Congress, everything takes a back seat to the nonstop attempt to bring down Donald Trump. The Democrat fantasy today, it’s been said, is to win a majority in the House in 2018 so that they can vote on articles of impeachment just as Congress did 20 years ago with Bill Clinton.
So the nationally televised hearings continue with Democrats using their wily prosecutorial skills to try to trap people like AG Sessions in a lie. For example, when he said that he could not answer a question posed by Senator Mark Warner, the senator tried to get him to say that he was invoking executive privilege. The attorney general responded that invoking executive privilege was the exclusive right of the president and not something that members of the cabinet can do.
So where is all this going? It is going, as you can see, absolutely nowhere—and that is exactly the goal. The point here is to obfuscate and cast doubt so that, going forward, voters harbor some uncertainty about whom to vote for and collectively decide to return the majority in Congress to the Democrats for another chance. What a mistake that would be.
Also testifying before a congressional committee the other day was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. One of the things the secretary commented upon was that according to his information, the Palestinian Authority has stopped funding families of terrorists, which has been a point of contention for many years. The pronouncement by Mr. Tillerson was almost immediately refuted by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office.
It had been previously reported that in two meetings between President Trump and PA President Mahmoud Abbas, one at the White House and the other when the two leaders met in Bethlehem three weeks ago, the focus was the effort to see to it that this type of funding, which is seen as an incentive for Palestinians to target Jews and commit violence, has to stop. To that end, on Tuesday Mr. Tillerson said that reward money/funding had ceased. Israeli officials, however, have refuted that assertion.
The PA currently pays 26,000 families of people arrested for murder and other terror offenses over $500 million annually. The PLO Prisoners’ Affairs’ Commission director, in response to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statements about stopping the allowances, “emphasized that the Palestinian leadership will not submit to any pressure, and that the aid to the families of the prisoners and martyrs is a national, moral, and human responsibility.” He also reportedly “rejected all the terms and concepts that define the prisoners and martyrs as ‘terrorists.’”
It is entirely possible that neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Tillerson understands or grasps the fashion in which Mr. Abbas functions. If the PA president said that he will stop the funding, that in no way means that it has been stopped. At best, it means that someday or sometime in the future, he will consider putting an end to rewarding terrorists and their families with a cash prize for their violent efforts.
Palestinian policies have resulted in the death and injury of thousands of Israelis. The violence is encouraged by Mr. Abbas as well as his media outlets that are funded by him and his mostly dysfunctional and crippled government. So while the Trump meetings with Abbas dealt with the funding of terror attacks, another focus was the inflammatory and incendiary propaganda that calls for murder of Jews on PA TV.
Words inflame passions and are not without consequences. That is true in the Middle East, and we may find out that language that vilifies and excoriates others can lead to violence like that of the shooting of a Republican congressman in Virginia on Wednesday morning. Let’s hope that both here and there—in Ramallah and Washington—this will signal a return to civility. Right now we need that more than anything else.
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