Thursday, April 26, 2018

Israel Big Winner of Congressional Debate at Brith Shalom

David Clark
Last night, most of the Lehigh Valley Congressional candidates, including a stand-in, participated before a standing-room only crowd of over 100 people in perhaps the most substantive debate to date in the quest for a successor to long-time Congressman Charlie Dent. This two-hour forum took place at Congregation Brith Shalom, located along Macada Road in Bethlehem. Participants fielded an hour of questions concerning tensions in the Middle East, followed by an hour that focused on various domestic issues. There was a clear winner in this debate - Israel. No matter who the Lehigh Valley sends to Congress, the Jewish state will have a friend.

Democrats Dave Clark, Rick Daugherty, Greg Edwards, John Morganelli and Susan Wild participated. Roger Ruggles was unable to attend because he was serving at an Easton City Council meeting. Republican Marty Nothstein, a Lehigh County Commissioner, was similarly waylaid by a meeting of his board. Pinch-hitting for him was Lehigh County's former GOP Chair, Wayne Woodman. A second Republican candidate, Dean Browning, was also unable to attend. He was at an NRA Dinner and they were handing out bazookas as door prizes. Hard to pass up.

Rick Daugherty
This forum also featured Libertarian Tim Silfies. He's a former Channel 69 reporter. As I told him, I will make an effort to find out more about him after the primary race.

Moderator Barry Goldin did an excellent job. He made clear at the onset that there would be no cheering, booing, jeering or "spitballs." But his admonition was likely unnecessary. The audience featured none of the raucous Wild and Edwards supporters who actually shouted John Morganelli down in one debate, and booed him in another.

Goldin also reminded the candidates that there are 10,000 Jews in the Lehigh Valley, and they vote. He added the event was also being covered by Hakol, the only Jewish newspaper in this area.

The Rise of Anti-Semitism. - Goldin’s first question focused on the increasing hostilities against Jews. He claimed a 60% increase in the United States, Britain and France, and said there's an 80% rise on college campuses, and it even includes professors. As a result, Jewish institutions like Brith Shalom must spend money on security that could be devoted to other needs. He asked candidates what they would do to arrest this development.

Greg Edwards
Wild said she is a former board member of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Federation, and is horrified when she reads these reports because she has two children who were raised as Jews. "Education is always the answer," she observed, adding that "hate crimes of all types must be treated very harshly and very quickly."

"I have not experienced these things," said Silfies. "The best thing I can do is listen."

He listened to Wayne Woodman, who said he experienced a lot of anti-Semitism growing up. He agreed that anti-Semitism is on the rise in a way that has not been seen since the '30s. "We're the canary in the coal mine," he warned, in what to me was one of the most memorable lines of the night. He suspects that identity politics is at least one of the root causes.

Calling this rise in hate crime a very serious problem, Morganelli said his office investigates quickly and does prosecute, pointing to an incident of racism at Saucon Valley School District in which an African American student was draped in a Confederate flag. "It really is a result of ignorance," concluded the DA. "We all of us are human beings. We want the same thing. ... We have lots of differences, but lots in common."

John Morganelli
Edwards called on schools to teach "true American history," and said those in power are "deeply afraid" to do so. He agreed that "implicit bias is trapped in all of us," and said we should "build solidarity across our differences."

Dougherty argued that "our main strength is our diversity," but also pointed out that fair housing laws enacted 50 years ago were originally opposed by realtors.

Clark used anti-Semitism as an excuse to tee off on Donald Trump, whom he would call "Bonehead Trump" as the night went along, as well as blame the Koch brothers and John Birch Society for many of the nation's woes. In previous debates, Clark could count on a Trump insult for laughter or cheering. But he was answered with silence last night.

The Iran Deal - Goldin’s second question focused on the Iran deal. He noted that Israel is a long-time US ally and might very well be our key Middle Eastern partner. But we entered into a deal with Iran that allows it to build ballistic missiles, increase its troop presence in Syria, send aid to Hezbollah and meddle in other Middle Eastern countries. Should we back out?

Wayne Woodman
Woodman would pull out. "You don't make deals with countries that want to destroy a key ally," he noted, in yet another of the more memorable lines of the evening. "This is not a deal, it's appeasement."

Morganelli agreed that "we need to be 1000% on the side of Israel." Noting that it is a parliamentary democracy, he said Israel is "the only ally we can count on in the Middle East." But he complained that the Trump administration has been making changes without consulting our key ally. He said whatever is done should be discussed with Israel first, and that a strategy should be developed moving forward.

Like Morganelli, Dougherty would renegotiate the Iran deal in conjunction with Israel.

Silfies supports staying in the Iran deal because it "keeps the peace for now." Edwards added that pulling out "will destabilize what little peace there is." He is "deathly afraid" that the Trump administration "will just make things chaotic." Wild echoed Edwards and Silfies. "I don't think we can back away from the Iran nuclear deal," she said.

Tim Silfies
Clark went off on a tangent and failed to answer the question. He said Israel is "practically a state of the US," and we should warn all countries that an "attack on Israel is an attack on us."

Is Israel is Attacked, Should US Intervene? - Only Silfies hesitated, saying it would depend  based on the circumstances. He also complained that Congress is never consulted as it should be.  "We just bombed Syria a couple of weeks ago without the permission of Congress. The other candidates supported a military response. Morganelli called Israel "our closest friend and ally. I would support military action in her defense."  Like Clark, Edwards said that "if Israel is attacked, America is attacked."

But Woodman, who has traveled to Israel, offered some context."Israelis attacked every day," he cautioned everyone, noting that missile strikes are a daily occurrence "Everyone who carries an Israeli passport in one hand has to be prepared to carry a rifle in the other."

Sue Wild
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. - All debate participants support moving the embassy to Jerusalem, but only two were incomplete agreement with Trump's decision to move the embassy there.

"Israel is a sovereign nation," observed Woodman. "We don't tell any other country where their capital should be." Dougherty agreed.

Morganelli summed up the views of other candidates. He supports the move, but only as part of the peace process. The way it was done, he said, was "sort of like sticking your finger in someone's eye."

Reconciling Rising Demand at Food Banks With Cuts to SNAP (food stamps) - There were lots of interesting, and varied answers to this problem.

Dougherty noted that the current farm bill, from which food assistance benefits comes, is proposing a 80% reduction. At the same time,"we waste a huge amount of food in this country."  He said that a few months ago, he spent the night at a Bethlehem homeless shelter,and it was filled to capacity with 75 people."We're going in the wrong direction," he observed. He also said he was surprised to have learned from an NPR broadcast the the two professions with the highest suicide rates are ranchers and dairy farmers.

Clark's view was less nuanced.he just blamed the GOP for massive cuts which go to the top five percent. He thinks this can all be solved with a graduated income tax.

Wild said it was "unfathomable" to her that anyone would go hungry.

"We are $21 trillion in debt. That is also unfathomable," retorted Silfies. "We can't be talking about spending more when we are bankrupt."

Woodman said that Nothstein is a "problem solver" who could reform a faulty system that has left us with 6 million unfilled jobs. He observed that after a 50-year war on poverty, 15% of the nation still lives in poverty.

'That $21 trillion debt is not a result of food stamps for poor people," said Morganelli. Noting that his father was an Italian immigrant had to work numerous jobs to feed his family, he knows what it is like to do without. But he blamed the problem on the unwillingness of people to work together.

Bill Clinton worked with Newt Gingrich," he observed."We've lost that in Washington. We should not be looking for a Democratic solution or a Republican solution, but the right solution."  he also would address the fraud that exists in defense contracts and with welfare. "They are taking funds away from the people who need them," he argued.

Edwards derided a federal proposal to cut SNAP. "Food insecurity is real," he cautioned, noting it affects 1 of every 8 people. "As we cut your SNAP benefits, we're going to give you a box of food," he sneered.

Food Pantries and Illegal (Undocumented) Immigrants. Will food pantries get in trouble for feeding people who are here illegally,and should those people be concerned about an arrest? - There was only one candidate who was competent to answer that question, and it was Morganelli. He is a prosecutor and enforces the law. He explained that he knows of no legal basis to support a prosecution against a food pantry that feeds noncitizens. He added that local police and immigration officials do not hang around at food banks hoping to catch someone 'because they're hungry." He explained that immigration officials do go after people like those who are in the MS-13 gang. They have been arrested in Northampton County after committing numerous violent crimes. "When they are done with their sentence, I don't want that person released back into the community," he said.

Since Unemployment Has Dropped, should We Reform Immigration Laws? -  Wild said she supports a clean DREAM Act, opposes a travel ban based on country of origin and worked to bring a family from Syria to the US. She called immigrants a net benefit to the country, but failed to say how she would reform the system.

Edwards said that the Gang of Eight had come up with comprehensive immigration reform, but it was killed in the House."Most of our members of Congress are bought and paid for," he said  He also failed to state how he would reform the system.

Clark said he would impose "clear" punishments on businesses that hire illegals.The law already provides for that, so he failed to answer the question.

I missed Woodman's answer for some reason.

Silfies, Dougherty and Morganelli had answers. Silfies thinks we should leave illegals alone so long as they are "peaceful."  Dougherty said he would fine them because they broke the law. But after they pay the fine, they should have a legal status of some sort.

Morganelli explained what first prompted him to go after illegals.In the '80s, the unemployment rate was much higher. Union workers going to job sites found that contractors were using illegals and paying them $4-5 an hour, and under the table. these people were using false IDs and were,in fact, taking jobs away from citizens. He prosecuted illegals and the businesses who hired them. He had earlier pointed out that some illegals also come here specifically to commit crime

But he explained that he supports DACA, an expansion of asylum and refugee status and does consider the United States a "very welcoming country."  He agreed that immigrants are a net benefit to this country.

Wayne Woodman is not going to like this because he's a bridesmaid and not the bride, but his performance was so good that Morganelli asked if he could use him, too.

In addition to Israel, I'd have to declare Brith Shalom a co-winner of this debate. Excellent questions from a moderator who managed to get the best out of the candidates. I particularly like that the candidates gave no opening statements. Instead, an introduction was read for each.

כל הכבוד.

Blogger's Note: As most of my readers know, I support John Morganelli. But I tried to be as honest and as fair as I can in this account. I photographed each candidate during the debate. I am a lousy photographer, but have no desire to use a candidate's picture to make him or her look bad. If you are a candidate and think think my pic of you is bad, drop me a line (BOHare5948@aol.com) and I will remove it. Except Wayne Woodman. I can only do so much, Wayne.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

When the victorious D gets to Washington, he or she will vote the party line. That party line is decisively anti-Israel. It didn't use to be. I understand the history of why Catholics and Jews vote D - or rather, why they vote anti-R. Their repulsion was well-earned by Rs. It's puzzling why these allegiances remain, however, given Ds' support for unrestricted abortion, limiting religious freedom (just ask the Little Sisters of The Poor), and harsh criticism of anything Israel does.

Anonymous said...

The increase in anti-semitism can be directly connected to the increase in immigration from the middle east and the increased influence of the the outreach of money from Saudi-Arabia and others into American universities. The left would like to blame any conservative they can, but they have intentionally overlooked the new roots of the increase in anti-semitism to not diminish their support both in votes and money from the Muslim world. The democratic party has made a pact with the devil for political advantage. While this may not be the problem of local candidates, it is a problem in the democratic leaders in Washington.

Anonymous said...

All parties involved suggested the Iran deal woukd not be possible today. France want to work towards amendments. For not keeping up on current issues and knowinh what possible and what is not ...Daugherty....I out.

Anonymous said...

Do you not proof your work prior to publishing? I think you mean capital when you say embassy the second time...good job...shows what a credible “reporter” you are!



Sue Wild
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. - All debate participants support moving the embassy to Jerusalem, but only two were incomplete agreement with Trump's decision to move the embassy there.”

Anonymous said...

The ultimate leftist, Susan Ellis Wild, became a friend of Israel today. Tomorrow, Hamas and Hezbollah! She supports an Iranian deal which was settled with a midnight drop of cash. She also tacitly supports a country who's main mission is to destroy the country of Israel. A typical political windbag!

John Morganelli was the only true supporter of the state and the Jewish voters will note this in their selection of a candidate.

Wayne Woodman, the standby speaker for Nothstein, made the most sense with his comment on appeasement. You can only appease people so long, therefore, other means [war] is on the horizon with Iran. It will be in the U.S. best interest to standby their only true ally in the region.

Anonymous said...

Let's get to the bottom line, what's the bottom line, "i support John" that's the bottom line, we all know what happens when Bernie support someone.

Anonymous said...

Dean Browning, was also unable to attend. He was at an NRA Dinner and they were handing out bazookas as door prizes. Hard to pass up.

Best quote of this article.

Anonymous said...

I think we've spent enough time entertaining candidate Clark. Every single one of these forums I feel like I've been taken hostage while being forced to listen to Clark spew forth nonsense about the Koch Brothers and Birch. It's insulting to the other candidates and a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of sending someone to Congress that hands out bazookas. As we need to blast out all of the politicians that aren't representing the citizens of this country, figuratively speaking of course. # DeanBrowning

I also, find it interesting that Woodman is representing Nothstein. As we all know, Woodman has destroyed the LRCC in the past and he will continue to do so in the future. Woodman isn't a team player and will not, work well with other people. So, a vote for Nothstein will actually be a vote for Woodman. #notmycongressmanwoodman

Anonymous said...

While Marty is pushing at Lehigh Council to get Wayne's wife Lisa a board position with the Velodrome, Wayne is standing in for Marty? Will Lisa and Wayne live with Marty in D.C. or just control him remotely from home?

Marty Nothstein, best politician money can buy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

At least Nothstein had someone at the debate. Browning told me he would debate anyone, anytime, anywhere, but thought the NRA was more important.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:10, I meant exactly what I said. Maybe you should spend a little less time hating on me and a little more time getting the money together to pay your fine to West Easton.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I think we've spent enough time entertaining candidate Clark. Every single one of these forums I feel like I've been taken hostage while being forced to listen to Clark spew forth nonsense about the Koch Brothers and Birch. It's insulting to the other candidates and a waste of time. "

He clearly is the weakest candidate, and his pandering before a more informed audience than has been seen thus far was an abject failure.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that Ruggles and Browning where even offered to have someone there as a proxy. Quite a few people in the audience felt that Nothstein was getting special treatment.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I also, find it interesting that Woodman is representing Nothstein. As we all know, Woodman has destroyed the LRCC in the past and he will continue to do so in the future. Woodman isn't a team player and will not, work well with other people. So, a vote for Nothstein will actually be a vote for Woodman."

Give it a rest. I, for one, was delighted to hear from someone who actually understands the Middle East as well as the plight of Jews. I learned a few things. Browning has made a big point of calling Nothstein a debate dodger but failed to show or send anyone as a stand in.

Anonymous said...

Doughterty is a Pawlowski toad piece of shit.
He’s the personification of corrupt one-party rule urban decay.

I’m a life long Dem.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Are you sure that Ruggles and Browning where even offered to have someone there as a proxy. Quite a few people in the audience felt that Nothstein was getting special treatment."

I did not ask debate organizers that question. My view is that either one could have asked. I suspect that is what Woodman did.

I don't think anyone had the sense that Nothstein was getting special treatment, especially since he was not there.

Anonymous said...

What i found concerning was that most of the candidates couldn't answer a simple, question about adding a charitable contribution deduction. Something that was a simple Yes or No answer most of them bent over backwards to evade or simply didn't understand, the question.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Doughterty is a Pawlowski toad piece of shit.
He’s the personification of corrupt one-party rule urban decay.

I’m a life long Dem."


His candidacy is an exercise in ego. He has said multiple times that he does not want the job, yet is running for it. Also, I will never forget him standing at fed Ed's side when he resigned.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What i found concerning was that most of the candidates couldn't answer a simple, question about adding a charitable contribution deduction. Something that was a simple Yes or No answer most of them bent over backwards to evade or simply didn't understand, the question."

there was nothing simple about the question.It was posed unclearly and without explanation. If you are the person who drafted the question, you should have done a better job.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"John Morganelli was the only true supporter of the state and the Jewish voters will note this in their selection of a candidate."

I support John, and he was the strongest of the candidates there on the support of Israel. But even John would agree that Wayne Woodman was by far the most knowledgeable about Israel. I'm glad he's not running.

Anonymous said...

Nope, I wasn't but i could have answered it without hemming and hawing like that. It was a simple yes or no question. Should, We add a charitable deduction for everyone on top of the standard detection.

Bernie O'Hare said...

it was not a simple question bc it was not clearly stated. That was the consensus. That was my view as well. If you wanted a better answer, you should have written the question more clearly. As stated, it was actually a stupid question. That is why I did not include it in my report. The only person who thought it was clear is you and the person who wrote it out.

michael molovinsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As, to the Nothstein getting special treatment. There was group of people standing there discussing it after the debate

Bernie O'Hare said...

When you have 9 candidates, you are never going to find a date on which all agree, so i see nothing amiss in just scheduling a date. Organizers allowed a Libertarian to participate, and he has filed no nomination papers. there is noway that Nothstein could miss a Comm'r meeting, but Browning could have skipped a NRA dinner. This is on him. Nothstein the debate dodger sent a substitute. Dean, who said he would debate anyone and anywhere, failed to keep his own word. You claim Woodman volunteered and i speculated that is what happened. Browning could have done that as well. I think organizers made an effort to be fair. i also find it absurd that you would comment on the fairness of a debate that you never bothered to attend, but you know everything.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"As, to the Nothstein getting special treatment. There was group of people standing there discussing it after the debate"

Must have been a small group. I stood around after the debate to speak to a few people, and heard no such claim. I also did not sense it. I was concerned that it might be slanted to favor Wild,who was a trustee on the Jewish Federation. But it was not. I don't know how you slant a debate to favor someone who is not there.

Anonymous said...

Ruggles was not given the same chance to send a proxy either. That was the point

michael molovinsky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I’m a lifetime, senior citizen, Union, Dem., who is, among many other things, a law abiding citizen who collects firearms, shoots and hunts.
I was all ready to support John but now I read he supports an “AR15/Assault Gun” ban, but “nobody want to take away your guns”?
Sounds like double talk.
Without a clarification i’ll just stay home on Election Day.
Peace.

Anonymous said...

Fuck Ruggles, he’s a clown.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Molovinsky, you do not get to come on this blog to insult debate organizers or me or pontificate on the behind-the-scenes machination of a debate that you yourself were too important to attend. You can bray away on your own blog, and then post links to every Facebook page you can think of to promote yourself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:31, John supports a ban on assault-style rifles, which you don’t need for hunting or even self defense.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:19, Ruggles wants to represent us in DC, BUT IT DIDN’t dawn on him to open his mouth and ask to send a substitute..? That is my point.

Anonymous said...

Clark should be wearing a tin foil hat. Ruggles is a clown that answers every question with a story. And Dougherty speaks repeatedly about how he doesn't want the job. These 3 need to stop wasting everyone's time and let actual viable candidates showcase themselves.

Anonymous said...

“John supports a ban on assault rifles.”
Thank you.
I’ll stay home on electing day.

Anonymous said...

What union jobs were were being saved when Morganelli was raiding the pallet companies and other businesses? Union labor was not being hurt by those workers. Those incidents were also much more recent than the 80's. All of the sudden he is compassionate for illegals. It's funny how he changes his opinion all of the sudden.

Anonymous said...

It was absolutely outrageous and unfair that Nothstein had a proxy at the debate. This was supposed to be a candidate forum where voters could evaluate the CANDIDATES and take a measure of each one.

It was unfair to every other candidate that he was up there.

Total bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I heard Nothstein started to answer a debate question at the county meeting.

Woodman must have forgot to turn off his ear piece.

Anonymous said...

When did the Second Amendment have anything to do with “hunting, or even self defense”?
So thousands of good law abiding tax paying citizens, including hundreds of vets, become outlaws in an election pandering bidding battle.
How pathetic and unAmerican is that?
When does the rest of the Bill of Rights go to the most craven political whore?
What transparent pandering comes next?

Anonymous said...

If the event had not been a clear fix to accommodate one candidate then a proxy would not have been an issue.
Not everyone is a blind partisan.

Anonymous said...

I do not need any candidate to tell me what I can own or not own period. Keep your communist manifesto democratic party Thank you very much. I read some comments about the drinking "some" candidates engage in. Bad enough we have an orange president but the bar tan on some of these candidates is beyond reason. Lay off the booze at the club will you as its apparent of alcohol abuse for sure. Some candidates need rehab-

Anonymous said...

Bill Cosby used an AR15.

Anonymous said...

When the victorious D gets to Washington, he or she will vote the party line. That party line is decisively anti-Israel. It didn't use to be. I understand the history of why Catholics and Jews vote D - or rather, why they vote anti-R. Their repulsion was well-earned by Rs. It's puzzling why these allegiances remain, however, given Ds' support for unrestricted abortion, limiting religious freedom (just ask the Little Sisters of The Poor), and harsh criticism of anything Israel does.

First post and its a crock of shit. Why do Repubs now have undying devotion to Israel? Because evangelicals believe Israel needs to exist to allow the second coming of Jesus Christ. What happens to the Jewish people once Christ arrives? IT's not good.

Anonymous said...

The increase in anti-semitism can be directly connected to the increase in immigration from the middle east and the increased influence of the the outreach of money from Saudi-Arabia and others into American universities.

Wrong. The global reach of media is now showing the actual conflict in Israel and how the Palestinians are kept in an Apartheid situation.

Anonymous said...

She supports an Iranian deal which was settled with a midnight drop of cash..

The ignorance of Trump/Fox voters is unfathomable. Everyone with any sense, even hawks, believe the deal is the best way to keep Iran nuclear free for the next decade. But you know that. Also, the "cash" was Iran's frozen assets which were returned in a peaceful gesture during the deal. It was THEIR money, You should read.

Anonymous said...

"“John supports a ban on assault rifles.”
Thank you.
I’ll stay home on electing day."

Good.

Anonymous said...

When did the Second Amendment have anything to do with “hunting, or even self defense”?
So thousands of good law abiding tax paying citizens, including hundreds of vets, become outlaws in an election pandering bidding battle.
How pathetic and unAmerican is that?
When does the rest of the Bill of Rights go to the most craven political whore?
What transparent pandering comes next?


The 2nd does NOT protect the right for you to own an AR15.

"The Supreme Court has never ruled the Second Amendment protects AR-15s or any
individual right to weapons of war. And it`s not like the NRA crowd has
not tried. The Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected even hearing cases
trying to get Second Amendment protections for those kind of guns. In
fact, it did so three times in the past three years."

Antonin Scalia: "It will have to be decided in future cases, what limitations upon
the right to keep and bear arms are permissible, some undoubtedly are."

So, file a lawsuit to keep that AR15, tough guy.

Anonymous said...

Ban the Bill of Rights.
It’s the socially responsible thing to do.
VOTE BLUE

Anonymous said...

"Why do Repubs now have undying devotion to Israel? Because evangelicals believe Israel needs to exist to allow the second coming of Jesus Christ."

Well, that's the shallow depth of the left's view after watching The 700 Club while waking and baking. It might be the fact that Israel is the closest thing to a Middle East democracy, amid a neighborhood that wants it and us dead. It could also be that every conflict in the Middle East is to some degree a proxy war between the US and Russia. Israel is a key strategic ally. Democrats used to think this. They don't any longer. They hate Israel and are far more supportive of the bad characters in that neighborhood. Don't believe me. Believe those who flew pallets of billions of dollars in cash and gold to the mullahs in Iran. I hear what Ds say about Israel. I watch what they do, however. Not a single one of them should be trusted.

Anonymous said...

@3:52 PM
“..... tough guy.”
Quick with the insults, eh?
Which combat zone did you do your tour of duty in?

Anonymous said...

Bernie lacks the intelligence to realize that Woodman standing in for Nothstein is just plain wrong. HE is not the candidate!!!!!! Nothstein should never have allowed it, but wait..... Woody calls all the shots!

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

"we need to be 1000% on the side of Israel."

1,000%, is a they-can-do-no-wrong level of support, never ever to be questioned, regardless of any potential change in variables on the ground. All GOP, and most Dem, candidates faithfully go before AIPAC pledging unquestioned loyalty. All GOP candidates participated in the "Adelson primary" in the past. I used to hold those same strong support for Israel views, but anymore I ask, why (the usual platitudes)? Can't we be supportive friends without such parades of obligatory displays of affection?


"If Israel is Attacked, Should US Intervene? - Only Silfies hesitated, saying it would depend based on the circumstances." "The other candidates supported a military response." "if Israel is attacked, America is attacked."

Such blanket statements. We didn't send troops in the 6 day war, nor the Yom Kippur War, and when we sent Marines into Lebanon after Israel moved in in 1982, we regretted it and withdrew. It just seems like if your stated policy is we will automatically have a military response no matter, that invites the risk of taking the moral hazard out of Israel's decision making, and sucking the US into another mid-East conflict someday. I liked a headline I saw once (National Review?), "the Middle East, where American idealism goes to die", or something like that.

Morganelli "supports the move, but only as part of the peace process. The way it was done, he said, was "sort of like sticking your finger in someone's eye." ... Agree.

Silfies "also complained that Congress is never consulted as it should be. "We just bombed Syria a couple of weeks ago without the permission of Congress.'"

Congress has long abdicated responsibility in foreign policy... politicians don't want to have any ownership when things go south, as they always do in that part of the world. They saw how the AUMF for Iraq came back to bite a lot, and made it hard to criticize policy later. Case in point, just a few years ago, they were pushing Obama to do something in Syria, "arm the rebels" "get rid of Assad" etc. After the Ghouta chemical attack, and so called "red line" crossed, Obama asked for a AUMF, and the tough talk of Congress proved to be just that, all talk no action. Even Trump back then said Obama should go to Congress. But when presidents act alone, Congress can play both sides of the fence: things go well, hurray for our side; things go bad, its all (fingers pointing) the president's fault. That's an abdication of intended checks and balances, and puts all decision-making in one person.

Israel gets $3 billion a year from us, and is a good friend when we have mutual self-interests, as is right. I am not questioning that. I just question why politicians of both parties always fall all over themselves to prove some never-to-be-questioned loyalty to Israel.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It may or may not have been wrong. It may or may not have been unfair to the candidates who did come. But this is a minor issue and I have nothing but respect for the debate organizers who actually conducted what by far was the fairest and most substantive debate in this race. Too many of you allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

Anonymous said...

More subtle than your average fix, yes.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see you go lowest common denominator on the “Assault Gun” hysteria, BO’H. Long time readers know you know better.
Sad.

Anonymous said...

Hey alt-right shit for brains. The democrats believe in a strong Israel and always have, Truman first world leader to recognize Israel. You do realize the "good people" the trump man praised were the alt-right republicans chanting "no Jews will replace us". Didn't hear your concerns there.

Stop pretending to give a shit about people you all condemned in Church a few short years ago.

The candidates are running for the US government not the government of Israel. Stop your bullshit pandering.

Anonymous said...

Try and buy a tank? You can claim the second amendment.

Anonymous said...

If it saves just one life.....
Ban pandering bullshit.

Anonymous said...

NRA is actually losing membership. Long time members are leaving because they are disenchanted with the craziness.

Bernie O'Hare said...

These comments are OT and i am deleting them now.

Anonymous said...

It might be the fact that Israel is the closest thing to a Middle East democracy

Sure, thats what rational people believe and the reason they support Israel. There's a reason evangelicals and other MAGA-apologists have Israeli flags on their Twitter accounts, most of whom never met a Jewish person in their life.

Anonymous said...

Believe those who flew pallets of billions of dollars in cash and gold to the mullahs in Iran.

You see, it's stuff like this where MAGA cretins lose all credibility. It was $150 million and it was Iran's assets that the US froze and was given back as part of the deal. But no, Obama gave Iran the money because he hated Israel. People are not that stupid.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie ,heads up . Apparently both Republican Congressional candidates will make appearance at out Legion Post in Palmer Township shortly . I was unable to obtain date ,but the hall was apparently rented for this type of event.

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

I'm sure no one will read this by now, but in today's news, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/04/30/netanyahu-playing-to-trumps-abject-ignorance-and-it-might-work/?utm_term=.eb6bd2cfc786 is a case in point that Israel is a close friend, but "1,000 percent" support is not always in the US interest. Its an old expression, used by both the left in right in Israel/Europe/US, does the dog wag the tail, or the tail wag the dog? As true allies, no one should be wagging anyone, but has not always been the case in US-Israeli relations.