Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, has largely escaped scrutiny in the US presidential election now drawing to a close.
But as Americans make their ways to the polls, one of the final issues worth considering is what Kaine’s inclusion at the bottom of Clinton’s ticket tells us about the likely trajectory of US foreign policy under a Clinton administration.
There are two things that are important to know about Kaine. First, he is President Barack Obama’s man. In 2007, as governor of Virginia, Kaine was the first state-wide office holder outside of Illinois to endorse the then first-term senator for president.
In 2008, Obama reportedly wanted very much to select Kaine as his running mate but opted instead for then senator Joseph Biden due to Kaine’s inexperience in foreign policy.
Shortly after Clinton selected Kaine as her running mate, multiple reporters speculated that Obama forced Clinton to accept him as her running mate by conditioning his active support for her campaign on Clinton’s selection of Kaine.
The second thing that it is important to know about Kaine is that he is a J Street senator. According to opensecrets.org, which reports political donations to US political races, J Street’s PAC is the largest donor to Kaine’s campaign committee.
J Street is a subversive organization.
Its goal is to undermine the US alliance with Israel while proclaiming its commitment to Israel. Prof. Alan Dershowitz, who supports Clinton, told The Washington Free Beacon
in July that J Street is “the most damaging organization in American history against Israel.”
While endlessly proclaiming its devotion to Israel, J Street has campaigned against Israel at every turn. It opposed sanctions against Iran. It supported Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. It condemns Israel and blames it for the absence of peace in the Middle East.
As Dershowitz noted, “J Street has done more to turn young people against Israel than any organization in the whole of history. It will go down in history as one of the most virulent, anti-Israel organizations in the history of Zionism and Judaism. It has given cover to anti-Israel attitudes on campus and particularly its approach to Israel’s self-defense.”
And Kaine is J Street’s guy.
In March 2015, Kaine was one of nine Democratic senators who boycotted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on the nuclear deal with Iran before the joint session of Congress.
Clinton’s running-mate was one of 12 senators that refused to sign a bipartisan letter to Obama in June 2014 warning him against funding the Palestinian Authority after it signed a unity government deal with Hamas, which is listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department.
J Street, along with its ideological and political fellow travelers like Kaine, deliberately misleads the American public about the nature of reality in the Middle East. According to J Street’s propaganda line, at best, there is no moral or strategic distinction between Israel and its neighbors.
At worst, Israel is to blame for the problems of the region because it refuses to surrender Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the PLO, and because it rejects Obama’s appeasement of Iran. In other words, at worst, Israel is undermining and endangering America.
The success of J Street and its comrades – including Kaine – in selling this misleading and disastrous tale is reflected in the American Jewish community’s view of the Palestinian conflict with Israel.
That the Palestinian conflict with Israel is rooted not in territory but in the PLO’s antisemitism, its denial of Jewish history and nationhood and its rejection of the Jewish nation’s right to national self-determination in the Jewish homeland is exposed every single day.
This week, for instance, fresh from its success in getting UNESCO to deny the Jewish people’s ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, the PLO is pushing UNESCO to agree that the Dead Sea Scrolls, among the earliest biblical scripts, belong to the Palestinians.
Last week, the PLO-controlled PA named a school in Tulkarm after Salah Khalaf. Khalaf was one of the masterminds of the massacre of Israel’s Olympic team at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
The PLO also praised Salah’s co-mastermind Abu Daoud on its Facebook page last week.
And yet, according to a comparative survey of Israeli and American Jews conducted by Pew Research Center in September, American Jews just don’t get it.
61 percent of American Jews still believe that “a way can be found for Israel and a Palestinian state to coexist peacefully with each other.”
In Israel a mere 43% of Israelis agree with them. It’s not that Israelis don’t want peace. It’s just that unlike their American Jewish cousins, Israelis have paid, and continue to pay the price for the empowerment and legitimization of the PLO terrorist organization.
Israelis have paid, and continue to pay the price for the Western view, embraced and advanced by Obama, Kaine and their J Street funders and champions, that Israel is to blame for the absence of peace in the region.
This deliberately cultivated lie is not only damaging and dangerous for Israel. It is also damaging and dangerous for the US.
Case in point is the murder of three US army special forces in Jordan last Friday.
Hundreds of US special forces are deployed today in Jordan. Their responsibilities include training anti-Islamic State (ISIS) forces and, more importantly, securing the Hashemite Kingdom.
The situation in Jordan, which is widely viewed as the US’s most stable Arab ally, is inherently – and, as Friday’s assault made clear, murderously – unstable.
With more than a million and a half Syrian and Iraqi refugees living in the country, which had a pre-Arab crack-up population of five million, the long-term outlook for the minority Hashemite monarchy is very much an open question.
The White House is playing down the significance of the November 4 attack, and with good reason.
The US cannot abandon Jordan. If it does, the kingdom will likely fall. Jordan will become another former state along the lines of Iraq and Syria. Facing this abysmal choice, the US shrugs its shoulders and accepts the murder of its forces by its supposed allies. Dead American servicemen is the price of doing business with Jordan.
The same logic pertains to the US alliance with Saudi Arabia. The House of Saud is a Petri dish of jihadism. The Saudis were inextricably linked to al-Qaida and to the September 11 hijackers, as the 9/11 Commission’s findings exposed.
But as is the case in Jordan, the US has no better option going forward than maintaining its alliance with the Saudis, for as long as they survive.
The Palestinians exhibit the same chronic instability and hostility toward the US and its values and interests as the Jordanians and Saudis. At best, a future Palestinian state will be no better an ally to the US than Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
In all likelihood, a future Palestinian state would look exactly like Iraq from the moment it declares independence.
This then brings us to Israel and the real price that the J Streets and Kaines impose on America with their hostility to the Jewish state.
The adversarial nature and chronic instability and weakness of America’s key Arab allies demonstrates the basic fact that a strong and independent Israel is the key American interest in the Middle East.
Israel is the US’s only stable ally in the entire Middle East.
Kaine along with his ideological and political sponsors in J Street and the Obama White House is committed to a foreign policy that is based on obscuring this basic truth. The foreign policies that Kaine has supported and advanced from his seat in the Senate, and those he will champion as vice president are all based on misleading the public in order to weaken the US and its only stable Middle Eastern ally in the name of a fictional “peace.”
In October, Edward Klein, the best-selling Clinton biographer, alleged that when Hillary Clinton informed former president Bill Clinton that Obama told her to choose Kaine as her running mate, the former president recoiled, recognizing that Kaine will serve as Obama’s proxy in her administration.
But both understood that accepting Kaine in exchange for Obama on the campaign trail was a necessary bargain.
The Clintons were of course right, as far as the campaign was concerned.
But the presidency begins after the campaigning is over. And the fact is that if she is elected, with Kaine as vice president, Clinton – who has already placed herself snugly in Obama’s shadow – will face a powerful obstacle if she ever wishes to put daylight between her foreign policy and that of her predecessor.