In fact, there’s been a lot of Israel news in the primary process lately and I’m going to play catch-up on it here.
First, this just in. Hillary Clinton is going to have a fundraiser in Tel Aviv. Her Jewish outreach director will hold it. Remember that Clinton has pledged Haim Saban to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at Israel, so she’s putting her money raising where her mouth is.
Clinton has also been raising a ton of pro-Israel money in L.A. Haim and Cheryl Saban have just kicked in another $2 million on top of $5 million they gave last year to her SuperPac, Priorities USA Action. Yahoo:
Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg have each given $1 million to Priorities, and Katzenberg has been lining up donors to the group….
Saban, Katzenberg and Spielberg were all co-hosts of a fundraiser featuring Hillary Clinton at the home of George Clooney on Saturday.
All these men (Clooney excepted) are ardent Zionists. Katzenberg has said that Israel “is a jewel. It’s this amazing beautiful gem that exists in a place where there are not a lot of gems.”
The big giving is a reminder that Zionist “weight” in our politics, as the Forward’s JJ Goldberg said last weekend, is chiefly through the checkbook and not at the polls, and that Bernie Sanders may reduce that weight through his populist model of raising money from individuals at $27 a pop on average.
On that note, Bernie Sanders did far better in upstate New York than he did in New York City on Tuesday during his loss of the NY primary. He won an overwhelming majority of New York counties, just not the big urban ones around Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, NYC. His overall loss in the state was 58-42; in NYC he fell to 63-36.
It would seem that Sanders paid a price among Jews, though not a huge one, for saying that U.S. policy should be evenhanded and that Israeli attacks on Gaza have been “disproportionate.”
JTA has a piece by Uriel Heilman analyzing the numbers in the New York city vote and saying that Jews helped Clinton, but not all that much. Her overall margin in the city was 63-36, and in Orthodox neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Clinton beat Sanders by about that ratio.
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