Last week, when Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) sought to examine whether U.S. funds flowing to Palestinian refugees gave Palestinians an advantage over Israelis, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was quick to complain that Republicans were putting the interests of Israel above the interests of the U.S.
Leahy said, “I always look at what is in the United States’ interest first and foremost, and this would hurt the United States’ interests.” In Leahy’s mind, it is not in our interest because it’s choosing sides.
Of course the problem for Leahy, and many of his liberal colleagues, is that they’ve somehow missed the fact that we’ve already chosen sides. Moreover, they somehow fail to grasp the fact that Israel’s interests are our interests, just as our interests are theirs. We are allies, and we are two of the few nations willing and able to defend Western Civilization.
The dirty little secret within Leahy’s complaint was the implication that Kirk might be an “Israel Firster,” a pejorative Democrats apply to defenders of Israel. But even Leahy’s fellow Democrats knew the Vermont Senator had pulled a Joe Biden and put his foot his mouth. Thus, when a spokesperson for Leahy was asked about the comments a few days later, he tried to cover the Senator’s tracks by claiming Leahy was “talking about what the goal always is in [the Democrat controlled] Senate,” namely, a “pro-U.S. policy.”
But the bottom line is that Leahy got caught opposing Israel in an election year, and with Obama’s negative polling numbers among Jewish voters, any negativity about Israel is a no-no.