Democratic and Republican congressional leaders are rushing to offer unalloyed support for Israel's offensive against Hezbollah fighters, reflecting a bipartisan desire to not only defend a key U.S. ally but also solidify long-term backing of Jewish voters and political donors in the United States, according to officials and strategists in both parties.
Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman punctuated the day with a speech to Christians United for Israel last night, declaring that "today, we are all Israelis."
Many Democrats, who are among the largest recipients of Jewish votes and money in federal elections, are working with Republicans to pressure President Bush to reject calls to strike a more measured tone and prod Israel to show greater restraint.
Based on a study by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Republicans are also getting a larger percentage of money from Jewish political committees and self-identified Jewish donors. So far this election cycle, Republicans have received about 42 percent of money from Jewish groups and individuals. If that number holds, it would be the highest percentage since the center started tracking these donations in 1990.
Without massive pressure, which will take years to organize: no chance that anything good will come out of Congress with regard to Israel, Palestine, Lebanon...
[Addendum: BUT that work should be done, and here are some suggestions from United for Peace & Justice about actions to take.)