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Minutes after President Obama said that it’s too early to tell who detonated the Boston Marathon bombs, David Axelrod suggested that the White House thought it was a white guy because of Tax Day. Barney Frank then used the terrorist attack as an opportunity to say that the terrorist attack was proof we needed to raise taxes. This morning, Salon’s David Sirota wrote this column to say that he hopes the terrorist is a white guy:

As we now move into the official Political Aftermath period of the Boston bombing, the period that will determine the long-term legislative fallout of the atrocity, the dynamics of privilege will undoubtedly influence the nation’s collective reaction to the attacks. That’s because privilege tends to determine: 1) which groups are, and are not, collectively denigrated or targeted for the unlawful actions of individuals; and 2) how big and politically game-changing the overall reaction ends up being.

This has been most obvious in the context of recent mass shootings. In those awful episodes, a religious or ethnic minority group lacking such privilege would likely be collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse) if some of its individuals comprised most of the mass shooters. However, white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings, even though most come at the hands of white dudes.

Likewise, in the context of terrorist attacks, such privilege means white non-Islamic terrorists are typically portrayed not as representative of whole groups or ideologies, but as “lone wolf” threats to be dealt with as isolated law enforcement matters. Meanwhile, non-white or developing-world terrorism suspects are often reflexively portrayed as representative of larger conspiracies, ideologies and religions that must be dealt with as systemic threats, the kind potentially requiring everything from law enforcement action to military operations to civil liberties legislation to foreign policy shifts.

Let’s be clear about something important from the outset. The FBI’s investigation should go only where the forensic evidence takes them. If forensic scientists determine that the bombs’ markers suggest that the bombs were patterned after the Iranian-manufactured IEDs that were detonated against US troops in Iraq, then that’s where their investigation should take them.

If the bombs’ components suggest they were the work of a lone wolf domestic terrorist, that’s the direction the investigation should head in.

Next, in the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush made clear that his national security team would welcome US mosques’ help in tracking down terrorists. As the investigation into terrorist networks gathered information, he talked about specific Saudi, Pakistani and Egyptian madrassas as producing terrorists.

In other words, the accusations were based on the information that was gathered during their investigation, not because the Bush administration had it in for Muslims.

By contrast, the FBI hasn’t uncovered a system of white guy training grounds to kill abortionists and others they don’t agree with. For instance, the FBI didn’t find a string of militias started in Tim McVeigh’s honor. That means white guys who’ve committed acts of terror have acted without a network of support, thus fitting the description of acting as lone wolf terrorists.

Sirota then made this reference:

By contrast, even though America has seen a consistent barrage of attacks from domestic non-Islamic terrorists, the privilege and double standards baked into our national security ideologies means those attacks have resulted in no systemic action of the scope marshaled against foreign terrorists. In fact, it has been quite the opposite, according to Darryl Johnson, the senior domestic terrorism analyst at the Department of Homeland Security, the conservative movement backlash to merely reporting the rising threat of such domestic terrorism resulted in DHS seriously curtailing its initiatives against that particular threat. (Irony alert: When it comes specifically to fighting white non-Muslim domestic terrorists, the right seems to now support the very doctrine it criticized Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry for articulating, the doctrine that sees fighting terrorism as primarily “an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement, public-diplomacy effort” and not something more systemic.)

The Crooks and Liars post refers to Jared Loughner, the man who attacked Gabby Giffords in Tuscon. The Loughner attack on Giffords was tragic but it wasn’t the act of a terrorist. It was an attack by a crazed madman who didn’t have control of his faculties. Comparing Loughner’s attack with the Boston Marathon terrorist attack is foolish.

First, there’s no proof that Laughner pre-planned his attack. There’s tons of proof that the Boston Marathon terrorist attack was pre-planned. Loughner bought ammunition for his gun, then went out and shot a bunch of innocent people. The Boston Marathon terrorist or terrorists bought the bombs’ components, put them together, deployed them to specific locations designed to create the most bloodshed and fear possible.

It’s right to say that the Boston Marathon terrorist attack was pre-planned while the Loughner attack, though tragic, didn’t require any planning.

Second, as to the point about then-Candidate Kerry being right, that’s laughable. Reading terrorists their rights isn’t being right. Passing a global test isn’t being right. Pretending that killing the Taliban in Afghanistan was all that was needed to end the war isn’t being right.

When a domestic terrorist is captured, like the Lackawanna Six, the Bush administration used law enforcement. They applied for and got search warrants through the FISA Courts. When the NSA picked up chatter about a terrorist network while they surveiled terrorists in Pakistan or Afghanistan, the Bush administration used the CIA or other special forces to roll up entire networks of terrorists.

In other words, the Bush administration policy towards terrorists was complex and multi-faceted whereas the Kerry plan wasn’t multi-faceted. It relied on reading all terrorists their Miranda rights, then hoping they could find out about the terrorists’ networks by having a conversation with the terrorists.

Treating Jared Loughner and Tim McVeigh differently than foreign terrorists makes sense because the specifics are dramatically different. Loughner didn’t pre-plan his attack. McVeigh pre-planned his attack but he wasn’t assisted by a vast network of like-minded terrorists. Only time will tell whether the Boston Marathon terrorist attack was supported by a network of like-minded terrorists.

Simply put, let’s hope the FBI captures the terrorist or terrorists before they can strike again.

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Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison haven’t been accused recently of being national security hawks. After reading this statement, I’m pretty certain they’ll never be considered serious about national security:

Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced the “Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act,” which would create a high level Special Envoy to Iran. The act pushes diplomacy as a vital route to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and directs the President to appoint a Special Envoy to pursue direct, sustained, bilateral and multilateral negotiations with the Government of Iran in order to prevent war, and support human rights.

“The darkening clouds surrounding Iran’s nuclear program are troubling. We must use all diplomatic tools available, including engaging in direct bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. To do that, we must lift the ‘no contact policy and begin negotiations,” Congresswoman Lee said.

The bill calls for eliminating the State Department’s ‘no contact’ policy that prevents State Department officers and employees from making any direct contact with Iranian counterparts. The bill outlines measures to pursue opportunities to build mutual trust and to foster sustained negotiations in good faith with Iran.

Original cosponsors include Representatives Earl Blumenauer, John Conyers, John Dingell, Keith Ellison, Rush Holt, Hank Johnson, James McGovern, Jim Moran, Betty McCollum, and Bobby Rush.

That’s quite a list of doves. Barbara Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against going to war with Afghanistan after 9/11. (It takes divine intervention to get to the left of Dennis Kucinich on national security.)

Hank Johnson is famous for saying that he thought Guam would capsize if troops then stationed in Iraq were redeployed to Guam:

Rather than focus on the goofy people that signed onto this legislation as co-sponsors, though, it’s important to notice that the policy that’s being espoused sends a terrible signal of weakness to the terrorists. What’s more is this policy is most likely to embolden terrorists. If the terrorists think that they can threaten the West, why wouldn’t they think that they can get away with much more than threats?

Follow this link for more on this topic.

When I watched Fox News Sunday yesterday, I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. This video of Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham was stunning for reasons that will become clear to everyone who watches it:

Here’s a partial transcript of the jawdropping parts:

SEN. DURBIN: What I find hard to accept — I have to disagree with my friend Sen. Graham — is this notion about the president’s foreign policy. The president has been a strong and steady leader. We have responsibly ended the war in Iraq. We are going to end the war in Afghanistan. Al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self. Osama bin Laden is moldering in some watery grave somewhere. And we’ve now put enough pressure on Iran with the sanctions regime that they won’t develop a nuclear weapon that they now want to sit down and talk. These are all positive things.

This is incredible. For the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate to say that “al-Qa’ida is shadow of its former self” is heaping dirt on Christopher Stevens’ grave. Do the pictures from Benghazi look like al-Qa’ida is “a shadow of its former self”? Does Sen. Durbin think that the al-Qa’ida flag flying at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is proof of his insulting statement?

This is what’s known as Sen. Durbin taking one for the team.

It’s jawdropping that Sen. Durbin could say that this administration had “responsibly ended the war in Iraq” when al-Qa’ida is rebuilding in western Iraq:

Iraqi and U.S. officials say al Qaeda is rebuilding in Iraq.

The officials say the extremist group has set up training camps for insurgents in the nation’s western deserts, seizing on regional instability and government security failures.

Iraq has seen a jump in al Qaeda attacks over the last 10 weeks, and officials believe most of the fighters are former prisoners who have either escaped from jail or were released by Iraqi authorities for lack of evidence after the U.S. military withdrawal last December. Many are said to be Saudi or from Sunni-dominated Gulf states.

During the war and its aftermath, U.S. forces, joined by allied Sunni groups and later by Iraqi counterterror forces, managed to beat back al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch.

But now, Iraqi and U.S. officials say, the insurgent group has more than doubled in numbers from a year ago to about 2,500 fighters. And Pentagon data shows it is carrying out an average of 140 attacks a week.

As a direct result of the Obama administration’s failure to put in place an agreement with the Iraqi government to keep troops strategically positioned in Iraq, al-Qa’ida is now rebuilding, training and carrying out attacks inside Iraq.

That isn’t the only place where al-Qa’ida and their affiliates are regrouping, as Sen. Graham points out in this last word:

Iraq is falling apart. Bin Laden may be dead. Al-Qa’ida is on the rise. If you don’t believe me, visit the training camps that have sprung up after we left. Syria is a contagion affecting the region. Thirty-two thousand people have been killed while we’ve been doing nothing. Islamic extremists are beginning to infiltrate Syria.

Sen. Graham effectively dismantled Sen. Durbin’s statements that al-Qa’ida “is a shadow of its former self” with a blistering recitation of indisputable facts. What part of building new training camps in western Iraq and carrying out 140 terrorist attacks a week sounds like “al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self”?

It isn’t a secret that Sen. Graham isn’t my picture of a conservative. That said, he’s done a great job of laying out the facts about al-Qa’ida’s resurgence since President Obama discontinued the Bush Doctrine. Thanks to that foolish decision, al-Qa’ida is building new bases throughout north Africa, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq.

If that’s Sen. Durbin’s picture of “responsibly ending the war in Iraq”, then he’s a too irresponsible to trust foreign policy and national security to.

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In 1979, Islamic extremists raided the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. They held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. In 1983, U.S. Marines were ordered out of Beirut after a massive attack killed 241 Marines. In 1993, the Clinton administration ordered U.S. troops out of Somalia after al-Qa’ida terrorists shot down a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter in Mogadishu.

UBL summarized the lesson al-Qa’ida learned from those experiences during an interview with ABC News’ John Miller:

Miller: You have said, “If the Americans are so brave they will come and arrest me.” Do you think that is something my country will try?

Bin Ladin: We have seen in the last decade the decline of the American government and the weakness of the American soldier. He is ready to wage cold wars but unprepared to fight hot wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions, showing they can run in less than twenty-four hours. This was then repeated in Somalia.

It’s easy to understand why UBL reached that conclusion. His mistake isn’t that Americans haven’t fled hotspots. It isn’t just that Americans have looked impotent. It’s that American presidents have contributed to U.S. soldiers looking impotent by having them flee after terrorist attacks.

The lesson that President Bush learned from these lessons is that terrorists are terrified when U.S. soldiers don’t hide from adversity. Terrorists are most worried when U.S. soldiers run towards hotspots. Unfortunately, President Obama didn’t learn that lesson. He ‘learned’ that it’s best to be timid, to talk in civil tones to barbarians. That’s what he did here:

The president said the disputed election would not change his belief in greater diplomatic efforts with Iran.

“I have always felt that, as odious as I feel some of President Ahmadinejad ‘s statements (are), as deep as the differences that exist between the United States and Iran on core issues, the use of tough hard headed diplomacy, diplomacy without illusions, is critical when it comes to pursuing a core set of national security interests,” the president said. “We will continue to pursue a tough direct dialogue between our two countries.”

That’s what ABC’s Kristina Wong wrote on June 15, 2009 during the Green Revolution. What the Iranian mullahs heard was that President Obama was giving them carte blanche to do whatever they wanted. They essentially heard President Obama say he was ambivalent to the protests.

A short 39 months later, North Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia have erupted in anti-American violence. The people serving in the U.S. embassy in Pakistan are only safe because the embassy compound is surrounded with a wall of tear gas. The consulate and annex, aka the safehouse, in Benghazi, Libya are decimated, the ruins the product of a well-planned, coordinated terrorist attack.

This is a great political opportunity for Mitt Romney because it’s a great opportunity for him to explain his vision and strategy for the Middle East, Southwest Asia and North Africa. Simply saying that a Romney administration would a) have an open door relationship with Israel, b) use covert assets to prevent terrorist attacks and c) condition foreign aid on nations’ willingness to partner with the U.S. in preventing the security nightmares currently erupting around the Mediterranean.

That would dramatically differentiate Mitt’s foreign policy from President Obama’s failed foreign policy.

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During his speech at the Democrats’ convention, Vice President Biden asked whether Osama bin Laden was better off now than he was 4 years ago. Since he set that benchmark, it’s only fair to use that criteria across North Africa and the Middle East. Charles Krauthammer’s column provides proof that life’s pretty good for some disgusting people:

Iran repeatedly defies U.S. demands on nuclear enrichment, then, as a measure of its contempt for what America thinks, openly admits that its Revolutionary Guards are deployed in Syria. Russia, after arming Assad, warns America to stay out, while the secretary of state delivers vapid lectures about Assad “meeting” his international “obligations.” The Gulf states beg America to act on Iran; Obama strains mightily to restrain…Israel. Sovereign U.S. territory is breached and U.S. interests are burned.

Life couldn’t get much better for state sponsors of terrorism and traditional American enemies. They know that they’re on easy street. They know President Obama’s foreign policy of appeasement is good for bad guy business.

In a very real sense, Iran, Russia and Syria are much better off today than they were 4 years ago. In fact, it won’t take long before Iran’s mullahs will be insufferable and unstoppable. Just a little more enrichment and they’ll have a nuclear weapon. By any sane administration’s measure, that means Iran is the biggest winner in President Obama’s high-stakes gamble.

Meanwhile, trusted allies like Israel and Poland were thrown under the bus. President Obama sent the final unmistakable message to Israel when he accepted a meeting with Egyptian President Morsi while refusing to meet with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu or Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

President Obama’s message to the Israelis was simple: Drop dead. We don’t care.

Another unmistakable message this administration sent was during the protests of the rigged Iranian elections of 2009. This administration’s message to the protesters was equally clear: Drop dead. We’re siding with the mullahs, not with Iran’s freedom-loving people.

Things are badly wrong when the people that should fear the US are smiling and the people that trust the US are worried and fidgeting. That’s where we’re at right now.

To adapt a phrase from a legendary story, there’s no joy in Worldville tonight. The One just made the world a nastier neighborhood.

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Liberals were outraged when Mitt Romney said that the Palestinians aren’t interested in peace. Thanks to this article, we now know that Mitt had it right:

Palestinian Authority head, Mahmoud Abbas, proposed cancelling the Oslo Accords with Israel at a weekend meeting of the PA leadership, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) told AFP on Tuesday.

PLO Executive Committee member Wassel Abu Yusef said Abbas raised the idea of “cancelling the Oslo agreement as well as the associated economic and security arrangements,” at the meeting on Saturday and Sunday.

Abu Yusef said that “members of the Palestinian leadership had mixed opinions on the issue, and it was decided to postpone any decision until their next meeting,” due to be held after Abbas’s return from the UN General Assembly later this month. “It was the first time the Palestinian leadership put the issue of the Oslo agreement on the table since it was signed in 1993,” Abu Yusef added.

Cancelling the Oslo Accords means Hamas/Fatah/the PA is free to resume their terrorist attacks. The Accords were political cover for their terrorist attacks. Nobody really thought that they’d lost their love of pushing the Jewish state into the Mediterranean.

Liberals touted the agreements as proof of the PLO’s seriousness about peace. We have an agreement, they said at the time.

Conservatives laughed at the notion that that leopard had changed its spots.

The most telling thing about the media’s going ballistic over Mitt Romney’s statement is that they think it’s wrong to state what’s painfully obvious. If the media thinks it’s wrong to state what’s painfully obvious, what other principles do they are important?

I know this administration won’t agree with this but it’s time to call terrorists terrorists. Mahmoud Abbas is the leader of a government of terrorists.

Rather than sticking the nation’s head in the sand and pretending like the Middle East isn’t one lit match away from erupting in violence, perhaps it’s time for the US to push aside this administration’s fantasies that Iran can be held in check by sanctions.

Perhaps, it’s time that the US government took a harder line stance with the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Obama’s belief that we should coddle state sponsors of terrorism while turning our backs on our greatest allies is repulsive.

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Michele Bachmann said what’s been on everyone’s mind recently when she urged President Obama to cancel his appearance on Letterman so he could meet with Israeli PM Netanyahu:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking at the Values Voter Summit last week in Washington, D.C., said that President Barack Obama needs to cancel his upcoming interview with David Letterman and instead meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“And President Obama needs to get his priorities straight. What he needs to do is cancel his planned interview with David Letterman, cancel his meeting with Beyonce, cancel his meeting with Jay Z, and instead agree to meet with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, because you see, America and Israel have a commonality of interests,” Bachmann said.

The images being transmitted by this administration are that they can’t be distracted by crises in the Middle East and in North Africa. They’re in full campaign mode and nothing, not even terrorist attacks in Benghazi or Iran getting nuclear weapons, will prevent them from showing up on cheesy talk shows or attending glitzy fundraisers.

While the economy stumbled, allies got ignored and threats developed, President Obama stuck with a schedule filled with golf outings (100 and counting), fundraisers (200 and counting) and appearances on late night talk shows (too numerous to count).

Given his disinterest in his official responsibilities, it isn’t surprising that most of the Middle East is ablaze, the economy is in shambles and Israel thinks that this administration is jerking them around.

Rest assured that Jewish voters in Florida will notice the disdain this administration has for Israel. Don’t be surprised if you hear from Mayor Koch about that in the very near future.

President Obama won’t get away with simply saying his administration is tight with the Israeli government, either. He’ll have to prove that his administration is willing to fight Iran to protect Israel.

Anything short of that will be seen as the actions of a weak-in-the-knees politician who isn’t interested in Israel.

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Much of the media’s attention has focused on Mitt Romney’s criticism of the United States’ Egyptian Embassy. While that’s predictable considering the media’s bias, that doesn’t excuse them from covering this terrorist-created crisis.

If the biased liberal media has time to criticize Mitt Romney’s criticism of the Embassy’s statement, if they have time to coordinate questions for Mitt Romney’s press conference, then they’d better make time to question President Obama’s ‘lead-from-behind’ policies.

First, the only violence we’ve seen around embassies happened during the Carter, Clinton and Obama administrations. That didn’t happen during President George W. Bush’s term in office. President Bush’s speech on Sept. 20, 2001 sent the unmistakable signal that the world’s only superpower wouldn’t sit idly by if terrorists attacked again.

To his credit, President Bush didn’t care about how the ‘world community’ would react. President Bush’s commitment, which was the right commitment, was to protect Americans throughout the world.

Second, President Bush wasn’t worried if terrorists liked us. At times, his actions even sent the message that he didn’t care if they respected us. At times, President Bush’s goal was to have the terrorists second-guessing themselves or fearing us.

Third, we’ve seen repeated terrorist attacks during this administration. To this day, this administration still won’t call Major Nidal Hassan’s murder spree/terrorist attack a terrorist attack.

Fourth, when there’s an Islamist uprising out the US embassy in Cairo, the embassy’s statement is to apologize for a film that many people have heard of but few people have seen. It wasn’t to criticize the Islamists who tore down the United States flag. It wasn’t to tell the Islamists to back off or face retaliation.

The Agenda Media can’t be bothered highlighting those things. They’re only worried about attacking President Obama’s opponent. If the media won’t do their jobs, then they need to be criticized.

Finally, Mitt Romney’s statement was purposeful and spot on in its analysis. Mitt absolutely shouldn’t apologize for criticizing this administration’s timid behavior in a time of crisis.

Peace through strength is always better policy than lead-from-behind.

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This morning, President Obama made the type of mistake his campaign accused Mitt Romney of making when he said that Egypt wasn’t an ally or an enemy. Now they’re walking President Obama’s statement back:

In an interview with Telemundo Wednesday night, Obama said that the U.S. relationship with the new Egyptian government was a “work in progress,” and emphasized that the United States is counting on the government of Egypt to better protect the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which was attacked by protesters on Sept. 11.

“I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy,” Obama said. “They’re a new government that is trying to find its way. They were democratically elected. I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident.”

It didn’t take long before the administration ‘clarified’ President Obama’s statement:

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told The Cable Thursday that the administration is not signaling a change in that status.

“I think folks are reading way too much into this,” Vietor said. “‘Ally’ is a legal term of art. We don’t have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do with our NATO allies. But as the president has said, Egypt is longstanding and close partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by supporting Egypt’s transition to democracy and working with the new government.”

During a crisis, communications must be clear. There’s no room for creativity. What’s needed is surefootedness based on a strong grasp of the situation.

Clearly, President Obama isn’t surefooted. Clearly, he didn’t grasp the gravity of the situation. Clearly, his reckless statements happened because he didn’t discipline himself to be in crisis mode.

Four years into his administration, President Obama hasn’t proven that he’ll respond properly to crises. When riots broke out after the rigged elections in Iran, President Obama sided with Ahmedinejad, not the protesters.

This time, when violence erupted in Cairo, President Obama couldn’t figure out what the official position of his administration was towards a major nation in the Middle East. That’s proof that he didn’t think things through on Middle East policy. That’s inexcusable.

President Obama’s crisis management has been woefully inadequate. That’s what the media should be focused on, not on the things Mitt Romney said. If the media wants to critique Mitt Romney’s statements, that’s appropriate after the crisis is over.

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President Obama’s words are meaningless, especially when it comes to Israel. Last week, President Obama said that he’d “stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel.” This week, when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asked to meet with President Obama, President Obama chose to appear on David Letterman’s show instead:

The president will chat with the “Late Show” host during a trip to New York City next week, according to the National Journal. Letterman’s nightly monologues mostly spare the president from satirical ribbing, saving his most cutting remarks for the Romneys…or even former President George W. Bush.

The news comes on the same day Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he couldn’t meet with him due to a scheduling conflict.

Nothing says standing with Israel like sitting down with David Letterman for a chat.

The fact that President Obama hasn’t announced that he’s rescheduling his Letterman interview to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks louder than 100 of President Obama’s speeches.

President Obama hasn’t been faithful in dealing with America’s best ally in the Middle East. Instead, he’s tried re-establishing a diplomatic relationship with Iran and Syria while throwing Israel under the proverbial bus.

After the Democrats’ platform difficulties with regards to Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Right of Return, don’t be surprised if Jewish voters don’t reward him this November.

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