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Friday, May 11, 2007

Soros and Clinton setting up leftist Daily Alert

One of the sources for stories for this blog - and before that for my email list - that I have used for many years now is The Daily Alert. The Alert is a roundup of news and opinion articles about Israel that usually arrives here around 2:00 - 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. It is published by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Now, leftist mogul George Soros wants to fund a leftist alternative to The Daily Alert. Soros, who is also trying to sponsor a 'liberal alternative' to AIPAC, the main lobbying group for Israel in the United States, is one of the main forces behind the leftist, anti-Semitic web site MoveOn.org.

But here is where things get curiouser. The organization that Soros is using to challenge The Daily Alert is a think tank called The Center for American Progress. The Center, whose web page has a feature called Middle East Progress, promotes a leftist agenda. And according to Richard Baehr at The American Thinker, the leading force behind it is none other than Hillary Clinton.
The Center for American Progress is an interesting organization. Some have referred to it as the shadow Clinton White House, a place keeper for Clinton acolytes to wait until their power is restored after the 2008 Presidential election and the ascension of Hillary Clinton. The Center has been run since its creation in 2003 by John Podesta, former Chief of Staff in the Clinton White House, and other former Clinton administration figures are also working for or are affiliated with the Center. David Horowitz has identified some of the Clinton linkages:
"'Persistent press leaks confirm that Hillary Clinton, and not Podesta, is ultimately in charge of CAP. It's the official Hillary Clinton think tank,' an inside source confided to Christian Bourge of United Press International. Robert Dreyfuss notes in The Nation, 'In looking at Podesta's center, there's no escaping the imprint of the Clintons. It's not completely wrong to see it as a shadow government, a kind of Clinton White-House-in-exile -- or a White House staff in readiness for President Hillary Clinton.' Dreyfuss notes the abundance of Clintonites on the Center's staff, among them Clinton's national security speechwriter Robert Boorstin; Democratic Leadership Council staffer and former head of Clinton's National Economic Council Gene Sperling; former senior advisor to Clinton's Office of Management and Budget Matt Miller; and others.

"In addition to the aforementioned individuals, CAP's key personnel also includes Director of Media Strategy Debbie Berger, daughter of Clinton national security chief Sandy Berger; Sarah Rosen Wartell, who serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and General Counsel; Mark David Agrast, Senior Vice President for Domestic Policy; and Robert O. Boorstin, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy."
The Center was ostensibly created to develop ideas and strategies for the Democratic Party and to promote a progressive think tank alternative to the papers and books prepared by the collection of prestige thinks tanks on the right: The Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, The American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, and the Manhattan Institute, among others.

Since its founding, the Center has been far more involved in day to day partisan politics than in the activities normally associated with the think tank world. One of its units, a group called Media Matters, run by former conservative and serial fabricator David Brock, has become little more than a daily attempt to attack the credibility of anybody who appears on the Fox News Channel, conservative talk radio, or offers conservative commentary in other media venues.

So the question arises: If the Center for American Progress is in fact a Clintonian organization, why is it associating itself with a very soft dovish, and utterly unrealistic position on the Israeli Palestinian conflict? In her campaign to date for the White House, Mrs. Clinton has tried to position herself as a champion of Israel and a more reliable protector of Israel's interests than the untested Barack Obama, her principal opponent at the moment, whose political leanings may lie further to the left. When Obama told a small group in Iowa that nobody had suffered more than the Palestinians (tell that to those in Darfur, or Zaire, or Rwanda, or the Kurds, or Tibetans), that suggested a tendency to reflexively sympathize with the weaker party, or the perceived victim in a conflict, whatever the contribution that party may have made to its own suffering.

To the extent the Center for American Progress is seen as a Soros front, it is not at all surprising that it is looking for new ways to influence the debate on Israel in this country in a direction inimical to recent US policy. But to the extent it is also seen as tied to the Clintons, it may be a way for Mrs. Clinton, to signal to some on the left that she is not a captive of the right wing pro-Israel community, and will be more open minded on the subject should she be elected.

Mrs. Clinton was not viewed as very pro-Israel when she ran for the Senate in 2000 (barely winning half of the Jewish vote in a race against a political unknown, Congressman Rick Lazio), and spent much of her first term building up her bona fides with the pro-Israel community in a state where 10% of the population is Jewish. But in the current political climate surrounding the Democratic nomination fight, Mrs. Clinton is viewed by the agitated and aggressive anti-Iraq war left as having been an enthusiastic advocate for that war in 2002 and 2003.

One of the new litmus tests for anti-war advocates is to also be unsympathetic to Israel (to put it in the most delicate terms You need to see the signs at rallies or read the posts at moveon.org or dailykos.com to gauge the real hatred for Israel on the left). Many on the left would be happy if Israel disappeared. Could Mrs. Clinton, through the Center for American Progress, be signaling to the anti-war left that while she can not reverse her vote on the original Iraq war resolution, that she can create a new policy towards Israel and the Palestinians if elected?

It is hard to see how a very calculating woman, as Mrs. Clinton surely is, could put herself in a position of seeming to endorse the most naive aspirations and worldviews of the left wing Israeli and American peace camp. There are many reasons why this community has been marginalized in Israeli politics, but the biggest is that they have been consistently wrong in believing a partner for peace existed among the Palestinians. Like a subway rider who becomes a law and order enthusiast after getting mugged, many Israelis saw the second Palestinian intifada as bursting the euphoric balloon about the potential for ending the conflict in short order through negotiations. Of course, there are many in academia, and the media already fighting hard to shift American policy on the conflict despite strong support for Israel in this country.

Someone should ask Mrs. Clinton if she believes the Daily Alert is a right wing broadside, and whether there is need for a new information source to get other ideas heard on the conflict. We already know what George Soros thinks on the matter.
Read the whole thing.

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At 4:12 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Not necessarily surprising. At the end of Bill Clinton's term in office he was honored by Peace Now at their annual dinner.

This is how Clinton could honor Arafat and claim to be pro-Israel. He had a "pro-Israel" group to support him. But he is/was strictly Peace Now, as one may assume his wife is too.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Actually, from what I recall, she was the real 'Peace Now' supporter and he just followed along.


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