By Jonathan S. Tobin, Arutz7—
Former Ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley was preaching to the choir when she fired a shot over the bow of AIPAC at the annual conference of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas this past weekend. Along with other GOP 2024 hopefuls and political celebrities, Haley was at the RJC event to reach out to the pro-Israel community and demonstrate her pro-Israel bona fides. Like the other speakers there, she was eager to deride the Biden administration, woke leftists and warn about the dangers of the Democratic Party’s influential anti-Israel faction.
But Haley struck a nerve when she mentioned AIPAC.
“I have spoken at AIPAC events many times, and they’ve always been unbelievably supportive to me,” she said. However, she then added that “if a politician supports the disastrous Iran deal, opposes moving the American embassy to Jerusalem and is embraced by anti-Semites who support the BDS movement, then your pro-Israel group should have absolutely nothing to do with him.”
That was catnip to the RJC, many of whose activists have given up on AIPAC and what they consider its unhealthy obsession with bipartisanship. They think that the lobby’s belief in bipartisanship as the foundation for the pro-Israel community’s influence is at best outdated, and at worst, merely a cover for a slow-motion abandonment of Israel.
Jewish Republicans view most Democrats’ embrace of former President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal as an act of treachery that undermined the security of Israel and the West. They regard Jewish Democrats, who used to loudly cheer false promises by past presidential candidates from both parties about moving the embassy to Jerusalem but then dismissed former President Donald Trump’s historic tilt towards Israel on that issue and others, as hypocrites. Just as important, they are shocked by the tolerance that many liberal Democrats have demonstrated for influential members of their party who are open Israel-haters and anti-Semites, like “Squad” members Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). They say it demonstrates that not only do they care more about partisanship than the Jewish state but that their claims to sound the alarm on Jew-hatred are utterly insincere.
In its defense, AIPAC’s focus on building a broad coalition of supporters of Israel regardless of party affiliation was the foundation of its success. The conceit of AIPAC was to encourage people across the ideological spectrum to befriend politicians from both parties. With AIPAC’s help, officeholders came to understand that joining the ranks of the pro-Israel movement didn’t just help them raise money from Jewish donors, but placed them in the mainstream in a country where love of the Jewish state is baked deep into America’s political DNA. Combine Reading….