• War and Peace, Israel and Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Delegation

    December 21, 2023
    Netanyahu and Biden, Public Domain.

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    The views of Connecticut’s all-Democrat U.S. Congressional Delegation on war and peace in Israel are remarkably similar, as if they had all flowed from the same mind and pen. Very likely they did. Democrats are famous for producing campaign scripts and assuring that all the players, both nationally and in-state, rigidly adhere to them. This saves politicians the trouble of thinking independently.

    We owe to the Harford Courant’s Chris Keating an unobstructed view of the delegation’s scripted mindset. And the mind of the delegation is set in concrete political narratives.

    U.S. Representative John Larson of Connecticut’s 1st District, which has lain sleeping in Democrat hands for 64 years, may serve as an example. To the politically unlettered observer, the district appears to be horseshoe shaped gerrymander. The principal cities in Larson’s district are Bristol, Hartford, and Torrington. The district has been represented by Larson since 1999. The last Republican to hold the seat was Edwin May, who left office in 1959.

    Congressman Larson says Netanyahu ‘failing his country’ as Israel-Hamas warthe Courant proclaimed in a top of the fold, front page story on December 20th.

    Larson wanted the paper’s readers to understand that Israel “’has the unequivocal right to defend itself’ following an invasion by the Hamas terrorist group on Oct. 7.”

    But there is a “but.” Larson told the Courant that “Israel needs to take further steps to bring peace in a war-torn land.” And, he continued, “Continued failure to heed President Biden’s warnings about prioritizing the protection of civilians, developing a plan for Palestinian governance of Gaza post-war, and putting an end to settler violence in the West Bank are eroding support for Israel among the international community and here at home in the United States. I am calling for a new pause in fighting until Netanyahu and his government are able to lay out a strategy that would protect civilians, provide for sustainable delivery of humanitarian aid, remove Hamas from power, and begin immediate multilateral talks on securing a two-state solution. As with the previous humanitarian pause, it must also include the release of hostages from Hamas.”

    Several questions arise, none of them answered in the Courant story.

    Israel, in the person of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declared war on Hamas – both a terrorist organization and the government of Gaza -- shortly after Hamas had murdered 1,200 unarmed and defenseless Israelis on October 7, a declaration of war heartily backed at the time by President Joe Biden. Larson also has Israel’s back, but he has reservations (see above), and Israel’s back has of late been conditionally protected by Democrat politicians who had vowed immediately after the Hamas assault on Israel – not to worry – we’ve got your back.

    It simply is not true that Israel has renounced reasonable measures to protect Gazan citizens unconnected with Hamas. Indeed, extraordinary measures to protect Gazans had been put in place before Biden and Larson’s remonstrances.

    What precisely are Larson’s demands at this juncture?

    Larson wants a new pause in fighting “until Netanyahu and his government are able to lay out a strategy that would protect civilians, provide for sustainable delivery of humanitarian aid, remove Hamas from power, and begin immediate multilateral talks on securing a two-state solution.”

    It would be simpler, and more honest, had Larson demanded an immediate end to hostilities – that is to say, an end to Israel’s declared war against Hamas – because his own declared ends are incompatible with his approved destruction of Hamas by Netanyahu’s military.

    Israel has left Gaza to its own devices for 18 years. In 2005, Israel unilaterally dismantled Israeli citizen settlements in Gaza. So much for recent claims of Israeli colonization. At the same time, the Israeli army evacuated from inside the Gaza Strip. Rather than using money pouring into Gaza to uplift its population, the government of Gaza – Hamas mass murderers – used the funding to lay its made-in-Iran military plans, built miles of tunnels leading from the sea into Israel proper to help Islamic extremists financed by Iran to “drive Israel into the sea,” with the bloody results we now see plainly before us.

    Larson knows all this, and so do other long serving Democrat members of Connecticut’s all-Democrat U.S. Congressional Delegation such as U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, and foreign policy wunderkind U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. They all know that the war against Hamas—and also a hearty opposition to a menacing Iran – must be won decisively before Hamas oppressed Gazans can enjoy a prolonged much deserved peace.

    Wars are not peaceful affairs. Sustainable peace arrives only after one of the contesting parties is victorious. Who wins the war shapes the peace, and it has become plain, even in the midst of war, that Gazans who have for 18 years suffered fear and want at the hands of their governing oppressors, may be rooting for the Israelis – not Hamas or Iran.  Indeed, a sustained Western backed Israeli protectorate in Gaza at war’s end, may bring a sustainable peace and prosperity to long suffering Gazans and Israelis.  The protectorate should be spearheaded by Israel and supported by the United States, its allies, and reliable Arab states such as Saudi Arabia with a view to thwarting the malign influence of Iran.  

    President Barack Obama’s highly romanticized vision of Israeli lambs lying down peacefully with Hamas/Iranian lions was always a pipe dream. There can be no “two state solution” if one of the states is either Hamas or some updated version of the former Palestinian Authority.

    Blumenthal’s realpolitik is a more just and workable solution. The Courant’s Keating tells us that “U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is offering bipartisan legislation with U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican, to clamp down on Iran for providing funding for Hamas, which attacked Israel on Oct. 7, prompting an ongoing war.

    “‘They are equipped, supplied, trained by Iran,’ Blumenthal said recently. ‘They are fueled by the financial wherewithal that comes from Iran’s sales of oil. The United States has said it is imposing sanctions to prevent Iran from selling that oil. But all too often, these sanctions have been unenforced. The result has been a deluge of dollars going to Iran’s proxies. That’s the stark, undisputed truth. Hamas would not exist without Iran.’”

    Someone in Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Delegation – Larson, DeLauro, Murphy, Blumenthal – should put a bug in Biden’s ear. So far, President Biden has advanced Iran’s cause by relieving the once and future caliphate of its crippling sanctions.

    “Without Iran’s support, Hamas could not operate and would have run out of supplies long ago,” Blumenthal said.

    Nail, meet hammer. Likewise, without Biden’s end to sanctions, Iran long ago would have run out of money with which it has purchased the murderous activities of Iran’s terrorist proxy armies in Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen.

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    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

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    F D

    Larson is down ticket from Biden 2024.Good luck with that.Every e billboard and mobile billboard truck should be deployed 1st district with tactful, scripted clips:is John Larson on the same page as Biden?Have you looked in your scant wallet lately?Larson should also be e billboarded for the delusional 3.2% increase in Social Security 2024.That’s his committee. When he calculated COLA, did he leave out the cost increase of groceries,gas,real estate tax increases,interest on credit card debt?

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