The lurching of some traditionally viewed belonging to the conservative side, towards anti-Israel hostile voices, needs to be called out, and hard.
There can be no main-streaming of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment within the ranks of the republicans, let alone the conservative and Libertarian movements. Noticeable cracks appearing at Breitbart as well. Bad.
Koch Brothers Give a Megaphone to the Anti-Israel Fringe
On Wednesday, the Charles Koch Institute, a think tank funded by one of the conservative movement’s most generous donors, will host a conference featuring some of the academy’s most virulent foes of Israel.
Charles and David Koch, scions of the Koch Industries fortune, have always leaned libertarian in their political giving and nonprofit work. The two brothers have supported criminal-justice reform and other free-market initiatives in education and labor. In foreign policy, the Kochs have stayed away from the uglier fringes that blame Israel and its supporters for hijacking U.S. foreign policy. That is, until now.
The institute’s conference scheduled for Wednesday will feature separate panels with Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, co-authors of the 2006 book “The Israel Lobby.”
While Walt and Mearsheimer are hardly household names, they are known in U.S. policy circles. Their book prompted Abe Foxman, who was then national director of the Anti-Defamation League, to write a response, “The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control.”
The institute’s decision to host a conference that features Walt, Mearsheimer and a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas Freeman, is in keeping with a general realignment of U.S. politics in 2016. Under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, conservatives have embraced Israel and accused their partisan foes of not supporting the Jewish State, but this year has brought a shift. This week for example, the conservative website Breitbart featured a story that accused Weekly Standard editor William Kristol of being a “renegade Jew.”
The shift is also important for what it says about the Kochs. This week, the National Review reported how the Koch brothers were shutting down many of their political operations to focus more on policy. The institute’s conference is one indication of the kind of policy that will receive greater Koch investment.