My Mideast Punchlines: beware of bonkers Bernie…

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said Monday that part of the $3.8 billion in annual US military assistance to Israel should instead go toward humanitarian relief in Gaza.

The Vermont senator, speaking at the annual J Street national conference, vowed to use American military aid as leverage to get Israel to roll back its settlement enterprise and enter peace negotiations with the Palestinians, an idea that has gained ground among some Democrats.

“I would use the leverage of $3.8 billion,” he told the confab, referring to the US-Israel memorandum of understanding brokered under the Obama administration. “It is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government, or for that matter to any government at all. We have a right to demand respect for human rights and democracy.”

biffThat’s right, bonkers Bernie, but firstly we have a right to demand respect for human rights and democracy — from Hamas. But that just ain’t gonna happen in a month of Sundays. And where do you think all that moolah you want to give them will end up? Answers on a postcard. As my Israeli father-in-law of blessed memory always used to say, beware of Diaspora Jews in high places. In his time, Austrian chancellor Bruno Kreisky was his  bête noire. “They’ll always try to prove that they’re “good Jews” by aligning themselves with those who would do us harm .”  For Shmuel, the astonishingly naive Bernie Sanders would no doubt have slipped easily into that category.

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