January 13, 2019


Tea With Assad, Hugs With Adelson: An Iraq veteran who endorsed Sanders, Gabbard is hoping to win over progressive Dems with a rare brand of isolationism that even right-wing Evangelicals like (Amir Tibon, Jan 13, 2019, Ha'aretz)

Gabbard's views and actions on this war-torn area can be described as unique and controversial. She has opposed recent American military interventions in the Middle East, often citing her own experience of serving in Iraq to explain why she is so suspicious of American attempts to spread democracy or take down autocrats in the region. This has made her a favorite of many U.S. progressives, who are angry about the "forever wars" in Afghanistan and Iraq.

At the same time, Gabbard has developed during her six years in Congress some surprising relationships with right-wing supporters of Israel, who are affiliated with the Republican Party. Her contacts with such groups took place mostly during Barack Obama's time in the Oval Office.

In 2015 she spoke at a conference of Christians United for Israel, an organization that strongly opposes Palestinian statehood and supports Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The organization had a leading role in fighting against Obama's policies in the Middle East. CUFI's leader, Pastor John Hagee, for example, is an outspoken supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump; Hagee was invited by the Trump administration to speak at the ceremony last year marking the transfer of the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In 2016, Gabbard received an award from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a New Jersey based Rabbi with close ties to casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the largest donor to the Republican Party. A year before Gabbard attended Boteach's gala dinner and received his "Champion of Freedom" Award, Boteach published full-page advertisements in leading American newspapers in which he accused Obama's National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, of being responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. (Leading Jewish groups denounced the ads, and Boteach later apologized.)

A picture from the 2016 gala dinner, which Boteach uploaded on his Twitter account, shows him and Gabbard together with Miriam Adelson, the Israeli-born wife of Sheldon Adelson and a partner to his political donations to many Republican politicians.

There's nothing odd about co-operation among those who oppose democracy in the Middle East 

Posted by at January 13, 2019 9:40 AM