Reports on Rubio and Cruz’s big Jewish donors forget to mention Israel

Politico has an article up about Republican candidates trying to win the support of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington this week, and the article never mentions Israel. Jewish conservatives are just another flavor of conservatives. But the fact is that the RJC and just about everyone named in the article cares primarily about Israel. So who’s fooling who?

Reporter Eli Stokols says the word is that the big Jewish rightwing money is going to Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Yes; and Israel is clearly important to these donors. Rubio’s political godfather Norman Braman went with Rubio to Israel right after he got into the Senate five years ago; Braman loves Israel because he says its creation changed the image of Jews all around the world, to show that we can fight back; and he funds a West Bank settlement. As for Ted Cruz, he has said “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”

Cruz and Rubio and Chris Christie and Jeb Bush too are engaged in the Sheldon Adelson primary: trying to win the endorsement of a man who can sustain a campaign, and who wants to nuke Iran and has said that he wished he’d have served in the Israeli army not the US one. The conventional wisdom is that Adelson is going to support Rubio.

In his one indirect reference to the conflict, Stokols does say that Chris Christie made a gaffe last year by referring to the West Bank as “occupied,” but that’s it. He does not tell you a big reason Jeb Bush has lost the support of the rightwing Jewish donors. Because he had James Baker as a foreign policy adviser and Baker spoke to the liberal Zionist group J Street. And because he doubted the wisdom of the Iraq war for a time.

Politico also refers to Paul Singer’s support for Rubio:

Although billionaire Paul Singer has already thrown his support behind Rubio, and Sheldon Adelson is reportedly likely to follow suit, Bush’s super PAC believes it can make a compelling argument to RJC members in town for meetings that the war chest the group amassed in the first half of the year will be able to engineer a comeback“I’ve been getting exhortations from Paul Singer to support Rubio,” one RJC member said.

Not a word about Singer’s primary concern. As Lobelog has documented, Singer is a liberal on gay rights but a neoconservative when it comes to Israel:

Singer, who sits on the board of the hawkish Republican Jewish Coalition, turns out to be a generous funder of not only FDD [Foundation for Defense of Democracies], but AIPAC and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), as well as a number of other right-wing groups and politicians that have stoked hostility toward Iran. In 2010, for example, his personal and family foundations contributed a combined $1 million to the American Israel Education Foundation, the fundraising wing of AIPAC and the sponsor of its congressional junkets to Israel. The $3.6 million he gave to FDD between 2008 and 2011, meanwhile, makes him the group’s second largest donor during those three years.

The same self-censorship Politico exercises was evident last week in the New York Times. It did a big piece on the new co-ceo of Paul Singer’s hedge fund; and it talked a lot about Singer’s political interests. Never mentioned Israel.

Mr. Singer has become a fixture in the political world as one of the wealthiest and most powerful political donors in the country — last year he gave more money to Republican candidates and causes than any other donor, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. When he publicly threw his support behind Senator Marco Rubio of Florida last month, pundits predicted the move would shift the political race among the Republican candidates.

Even as a staunch Republican with passionate views on fiscal conservatism, Mr. Singer has also been a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, donating millions of dollars to the cause. He has talked publicly about how his gay son, Andrew, helped to change his views.

American readers deserve better.


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