by Daniel Greenfield
The swamp strikes back against Israel and Trump
Kris Bauman, the National Security Council’s new point man on Israel, believes that the “Israel Lobby” is a threat, that Israel should be pressured into making concessions to Islamic terrorists and that “the Obama Administration must find creative (but legal) ways to include Hamas in a solution.”
Yael Lempert, Bauman’s predecessor, had been one of the Obama holdovers that conservatives had fought to pry out of the swamp. Lempert had been described as "Obama’s point person in the White House orchestrating his war against Israel.”
Lee Smith wrote that, “Lempert, one former Clinton official told me, ‘is considered one of the harshest critics of Israel on the foreign policy far left. From her position on the Obama NSC, she helped manufacture crisis after crisis in a relentless effort to portray Israel negatively.’”
Lempert’s mother, Lesly Lempert, had been an anti-Israel activist with the misleadingly named American Israeli Civil Liberties Coalition. Yael had carried on her mother’s work. Her departure should have been a victory for conservatives. Instead the swamp was replaced with more swamp.
Kris Bauman had been part of the failed “peace” efforts in the Obama years working for Hillary ally, General Allen. His views on Israel, the PLO and Hamas were those of the Obama-Kerry team. Bauman believes that Israel is at fault for the failure of previous peace efforts and that peace can only be achieved when the United States applies enough pressure on Israel.
It’s like Yael Lempert never left.
Once McMaster took over as National Security Adviser, the swamp was back. McMaster has warned Trump against talking about Islamic terrorism. He had tried to force out Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who played a crucial role in exposing the Obama eavesdropping, and replace him with Linda Weissgold, the director of the CIA's Office of Terrorism Analysis, who had helped draft the Benghazi talking points which blamed the Islamic terror attack on "protests".
President Trump overruled McMaster. Just as he had overruled Mattis’ plot to bring in Michele Flournoy, Hillary Clinton's likely Secretary of Defense, and move Anne Patterson, the Muslim Brotherhood’s favorite State Department hack, in as undersecretary for policy at the Pentagon.
But not every tidal flow of the swamp can be stopped.
Kris Bauman is exactly whom the swamp and the Deep State want to be there “explaining” the wrong things to the right people. Bauman raised eyebrows when he appeared as the highest ranking administration official at a PA-PLO reception shortly after his appointment.
It won’t be hard to guess what Bauman’s views on the peace process are. He laid them out in great detail in "The Middle East Quartet of Mediators: Understanding Multiparty Mediation in the Middle East Peace Process". In the hundreds of pages, Bauman makes occasional efforts to pretend that he’s delving into the narratives of both sides, but his conclusion makes it painfully clear whose side he’s on.
Kris Bauman is eager to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists of Hamas. He insists that Hamas had “signaled moderation was a real possibility” and bemoans the “failure” of the Quartet,” to capitalize on this event by recognizing Hamas’s signals of willingness to moderate.”
Bauman complains that America’s failure to deal with Hamas played into Israeli hands. “Once Hamas came to power, the US and the EU refused to deal with it. This strengthened Israel’s ‘no partner’ argument as more ‘facts were created on the ground’ daily in the settlements.”
He even defends Hamas against accusations that its takeover of Gaza was a coup.
Bauman accuses, “Israel and the Quartet refused to engage with Hamas and instead turned Gaza into an open-air prison.” This isn’t even an anti-Israel position. It’s Hamas propaganda.
Kris Bauman insists that “given the widespread popularity of Hamas... some kind of inclusion of Hamas is absolutely necessary if a peace agreement is event to be reached, much less implemented and sustained.” He whispers that, “the Obama Administration must find creative (but legal) ways to include Hamas in a solution” and “the Quartet must find a way to meaningfully engage Hamas”.
In Kris Bauman’s twisted mind, the obstacle to peace isn’t PLO and Hamas terrorism, but supporters of Israel in America. He favorably quotes Walt and Mearsheimer’s anti-Semitic tract, The Israel Lobby. Bauman urges overcoming the “Israel Lobby” which he claims “is a force that must be reckoned with, but it is a force that can be reckoned with.”
Progress in the peace process requires that the United States apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel. And indeed, Bauman’s recommendations mirrored the policy of Obama, Hillary and Kerry.
Kris Bauman urges that the United States move further away from Israel and adopt “a new US policy on Middle East peace that is closer to the policies of the other members of the Quartet.” In Bauman's formula that would include not only the UN, the EU, the US and Russia, but also the Arab League.
Kris Bauman not only equates Islamic terrorism and Israeli self-defense against terrorism, but at one point he actually equates Jews living in territory claimed by the terrorists with Islamic terrorism.
And he insists that the latter is worse than the former. “It is true that one could make an analogous argument regarding Palestinian terrorism, but there is one major difference between the two. Israeli government control over settlement expansion is far greater than Palestinian Authority control over terrorism.”
This was the man who had played a key role in defining what security will look like for Israel. And who will likely be doing so once again.
It goes without saying that Bauman doesn’t like Israel and especially dislikes Israeli conservatives. He accuses Netanyahu of "inciting Palestinian violence" and winning because he "played on the public's security fears". He accuses Netanyahu of having "derailed the peace process almost completely".
President Trump had promised to repair relations with Israel. The NSC’s Israel advisor shares Obama’s loathing for Netanyahu. And blames him, instead of the Islamic terrorists, for the violence.
Bauman blames the Second Intifada on Sharon’s visit to the holiest place in Judaism which had been occupied and colonized by Muslim settlers. “Ariel Sharon’s September 28 visit to the Temple Mount / Haram alSharif was a spark on dry tinder,” he writes. “His visit set off a series of demonstrations, suicide bombings, and IDF reprisals that became the Second Intifada.”
Bauman’s statement is a lie. The Second Intifada had been planned by the PLO before Sharon’s visit. But Kris Bauman doubles down, “The Al-Aqsa Intifada spontaneously erupted in the fall of 2000 because of the anger and disillusionment among Palestinians after the failure of Oslo, their ongoing, daily affliction, and the visit of Ariel Sharon to the Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount area.”
The Intifada was as “spontaneous” as Benghazi. But Bauman is too busy sympathizing with the “affliction” of the terrorists to tell the truth.
Kris Bauman consistently blames Israel for Islamic terror. He suggests that the Muslim violence following the opening of the Hasmonean Tunnel was a “needless provocation of the Palestinians.”
Even Arafat’s rejection of the 2000 Camp David offer under Barak and Clinton was Israel’s fault. “Permanent cantonization, permanent settlements, and essentially, permanent occupation,” he huffs. “Of course they rejected it.”
And of course Kris Bauman stands with the PLO’s rejectionism and makes excuses for it.
Every peace deal in the past, Bauman suggests, “overwhelmingly favored Israeli interests.” The terrorists couldn’t be blamed for rejecting every single peace deal. The United States must turn on Israel and threaten it with the loss of “diplomatic support”.
This should sound familiar. It’s what Obama did. And what Trump blasted him for doing.
But it’s just another day in the swamplands of foreign policy mired in the muck of the Deep State.
Kris Bauman extensively quotes Robert Malley, who was briefly fired by Obama when his Hamas contacts for Soros’ International Crisis Group came to light. Obama later brought Malley in and moved him all the way up. Bauman also quotes and praises the Soros organization’s attempts to push engagement with Hamas. And the swamp doesn’t get any deeper than George Soros and Hamas.
Bauman’s policy prescriptions are relics of the Obama era. He should have become history just like John Kerry, Yael Lempert and his former boss, General Allen who bellowed at the Democratic National Convention that, “Hillary Clinton will be exactly, exactly the kind of commander-in-chief America needs” and warned that Trump’s fight against Islamic terrorism would kill “innocent families”.
Trump had blasted Allen. Why is his former chief of staff now occupying a major position in the NSC?
Draining the swamp is hard work. Because the swamp is bigger than you are. It’s a powerful and influential establishment. And if you look away, the swamp will swiftly come flowing back.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
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