Well, he didn’t exactly say it in those words but the meaning was the same.
At a meeting of J Street, an allegedly pro-Israel group devoted to the eradication of Israel, Jeb Bush foreign policy adviser, Jim Baker, warned really, really bad stuff would happen if Israel did not pursue a two state solution:
Jeb Bush foreign policy adviser James Baker warned that Israel could lose its “democratic character” if it continues to “occupy Arab lands” in a carefully worded keynote address at the J Street conference on Monday evening.
“It seems to me Israel’s future absent a two-state solution could be very difficult at best,” said Baker at the J Street gala. “I fear Israel risks losing either its Jewish character or its democratic character as long as it occupies those Arab lands.”
The comments echoed a speech by President Obama’s chief of staff Denis McDonough (ed note and shameless plug for pageviews: RedState commentary on that speech is here) at the conference earlier in the day. He said the Israeli “occupation that has lasted more than 50 years” could lead to “further isolation” of the Jewish state.
Several things make this announcement troubling. First, that the J Street conclave was chosen as a venue for Bush’s foreign policy adviser to make this announcement. Let’s not fool ourselves here, Jeb Bush and Jim Baker are wise enough in the ways of Washington to know exactly what message was being sent. Though Bush has disavowed those statements one really has to view them as a trial balloon to test reaction from the GOP. Second, Baker toed the Obama party line not only on what Israel must do — capitulate — but on the Iran negotiations:
Baker said it was unreasonable to expect Iran to agree to cease all of its enrichment, something that Israel has said is necessary for a deal.
Third, the message being sent by Bush in having a) Jim Baker on his foreign policy team and b) having Baker speak about Israel at that venue is unmistakable. Israel, under a Jeb Bush administration, will be treated no better than it is being treated by Obama.
Jms Baker gets his biggest applause of the nite when he talks about Bush’s withholding of loan guarantees b/c of settlm’t building #JSt2015
— Rebecca ShimoniStoil (@RebeccaStoil) March 24, 2015
I don’t know what is in Baker’s heart so I won’t call him anti-Semitic. But he has always been anti-Israel to his very core.
Secretary of State James A. Baker is surely one of the most reviled public figures both in Israel and among American Jews. In 1991 he became the first American official to negotiate directly and officially with Palestinians and the first senior U.S. official to leverage American aid to Israel in an attempt to halt Israeli settlements. He played a leading role in forcing Israel to attend the Madrid Peace Conference (October 1991), which ultimately failed to yield results, and he sought to launch a second Mideast peace initiative, the “Madrid 2 Conference,” while excluding Israel from participating.
He demanded that Israel negotiate with a Palestinian delegation consisting of Palestinians deported from East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and he publicly supported the Palestinian “right of return,” which would effectively end the Jewish state. Throughout his tenure, he did whatever possible to create distance between the Bush administration and Israel when it came to the Palestinians and the Israeli “occupation” of the territories.
Moreover, Baker made little secret of his contempt for Israel. According to the late former editor of the Jerusalem Post, David Bar-Illan, Baker once stated, “Don’t worry, Jews remember the Holocaust, but they forget insults as soon as they smell cash” ( New York Post, March 6, 1992). While testifying before the House in June 1990, a frustrated Baker, complaining about the “hawkishness” of Israel’s new government, sent a public message to Prime Minister Shamir: “Here’s the White House phone number; when you’re serious about peace, give us a call.” He referred to pro-Israel supporters in Congress as “the little Knesset.”
US foreign policy shouldn’t be slavishly linked to that of Israel. For all our common interests there are huge differences. We are a superpower with worldwide interests. Israel is a regional player struggling for survival. But, as the only government in the Middle East that changes government by any means other than inheritance or coup d’etat we need to hear what Israel thinks and we need to stop forcing them to make concessions to the Palestinians who have only one objective: the destruction of Israel.
That Jeb Bush would recycle not only the foreign policy advisors of his father, and it was obvious Jim Baker was obsolete and irrelevant once the Soviet Union melted away, and parrot Obama’s Israel policy should disqualify Bush from seeking the GOP nomination to be president.