Jewish Democrats are working hard to convince American Jews that Biden will be friendly to Israel, but his latest move once again sends a very different message.
The Biden campaign is busy putting together its transition team and Avril Haines, Obama’s deputy CIA director, will head foreign policy and national security. Putting a former deputy CIA director in charge of foreign policy would be an odd choice, but Haines was already an inappropriate pick at the CIA.
Haines was an Obama legal adviser who was brought in to replace Michael Morell who took the fall for the Benghazi talking points. Bringing in Haines to serve under Brennan was a blatant attempt at embedding an Obama loyalist near the top of the CIA. And Haines has stayed loyal to her former boss.
In May, Haines joined other Obama staffers in signing on to a letter by the J Street anti-Israel lobby which complained that previous DNC platforms had been “silent on the rights of Palestinians, on Israeli actions that undermine those rights and the prospects for a two-state solution.”
Haines’ role taking point on foreign policy for Biden signals that the DNC platform and, more importantly, his administration, will take an anti-Israel direction. And that’s not surprising.
Currently, Avril Haines heads up Columbia World Projects. A big part of the university’s internationalization effort is the Obama Foundation Scholars initiative. Being a Foundation Scholar requires “a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region or country outside the United States” and, it ought to go without saying, the right set of political agendas.
The Obama “Scholars” at Columbia World Projects include Mor Efrat, the head of the Occupied Palestinian Territories Department for PHR-I. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), despite its name, isn’t really about medicine, it’s an anti-Israel organization whose founder promotes BDS and which seeks to try Israeli soldiers for war crimes. PHR-I’s founder had urged a move to “integrate BDS in every struggle for justice and human rights by adopting wide, context-sensitive and sustainable boycotts of Israeli products, companies, academic and cultural institutions, and sports groups.”
This is the relationship that the Obama Foundation and Columbia World Projects under Haines have toward Israel.
Funding for Columbia World Projects comes from a variety of donors, including a Saudi businessman, a Lebanese billionaire who is the brother of a former prime minister, the daughter of a Turkish media tycoon, a Chilean businessman, and the billionaire head of a major Hong Kong real estate company.
Much like the Clinton Foundation, this raises serious questions about Haines’ conflicts.
An ex-CIA deputy director went to work for a Columbia project closely entwined with the Obama Foundation which received funding from foreign donors and will now head foreign policy for Biden.
Why bring in a former legal advisor to do all this? Haines isn’t qualified as a foreign policy expert, but she knows the limits of the law. Bringing her in is a way of handling dubious legal matters, whether it was the entanglement of the CIA under Brennan with Obamagate and then serving as Legal Adviser to the National Security Council, or the conflicts of interest from the Obama Foundation and Biden 2020.
But it also sends a clear message that Biden is going to build on Obama’s anti-Israel foreign policy.
Even while at Columbia, Haines continued her political work as the co-chair of Foreign Policy for Foreign Policy for America. The board of Foreign Policy for America includes Jeremy Ben Ami, the head of J Street, while the Advisory Board includes Joseph Cirincione, the head of Ploughshares, a key Iran nuclear legalization pressure group, alongside Haines, and Rob Malley, the Obama adviser initially forced out for his Hamas contacts, who now heads Soros’ International Crisis Group. Malley is also an advisor at Columbia.
Avril Haines is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings, which is heavily funded by Qatar. The wealthy tyranny is closely entangled with a variety of Muslim Brotherhood groups, including Hamas.
Haines is not a foreign policy or national security expert. Putting her in the pole position really means that the same foreign policy people who ran things under Obama are the ones who are really in charge.
And that should surprise no one.
Jewish Democrats had a choice between an anti-Israel legacy candidate and a rabidly anti-Israel candidate, but the choice between Biden and Bernie was just a game of good cop and bad cop. The differences between Rob Malley and Cornel West, or Ben Rhodes and Rep. Ilhan Omar are matters of style, not substance. Bernie’s proxies are determined to vent their hate publicly, while Obama’s people play a more careful game, shifting America away from Israel through a series of staged confrontations.
Bernie’s open antagonism toward Israel allowed Biden to appear friendly toward the Jewish State.
Haines’ appointment makes it very clear that Biden’s foreign policy will consist of the same corrupt entanglements with Islamist regimes and attacks on Israel. And pro-Israel Democrats are fooling themselves if they think otherwise. And it’s not just foreign policy where Biden is playing that game.
Biden’s transition team is being drawn from the staffs of some of the most radical Democrat elected officials, including Julie Siegel, Warren’s senior counsel, and Gautam Raghavan, Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s chief of staff. Raghavan had already become infamous for declaring, “I want to be careful that we don’t say there is a kind of balance between equality and religious freedom.”
The Biden campaign has always going to be a trojan horse for radicals. And as the titular candidate declines, it will become easier for the radicals pulling his strings to maintain control over the campaign.
And while they would like to win, their short-term goal is to bend the DNC platform further leftward.
Even as Democrats try to sell pro-Israel Jews on Biden, the campaign has already sold them out. The Biden campaign’s position on Israel will be that of J Street. Its point woman on foreign policy signed a J Street letter calling for the platform to criticize Israel and heads an organization backing an anti-Israel activist.
While Biden is happy to take anyone’s money, the only point of view he’ll be listening to on Israel will be coming from the anti-Israel lobby.