Was Senator Menendez set up in some way by the Turkish, Azeri, and possibly Israeli Intelligence Services? IMHO, this has to be carefully investigated.
–https://t.co/hcflWVkVzu | https://t.co/6RNDrLHCin… South Caucasus News | #SouthCaucasus #News #Times |… pic.twitter.com/08lRC8Mnst
— Michael Novakhov (@mikenov) September 25, 2023
When one of Israel’s best friends in Congress warns that a far-right government will harm bipartisan support for the country, a responsible leader should listen. Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t fit the description
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Oct 3, 2022
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez is a staunch and true friend of Israel. Always has been. While this depiction has been conferred in recent years too loosely and too liberally on too many people, few have earned the accolade and deserve the suffix as much as he has.
Sen. Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who is a stalwart of the mainstream pro-Israel lobby in the Senate, told Benjamin Netanyahu that his partnership with an extremist leader could shatter support for Israel in the United States.
Menendez raised what he said were “concerns” about Itamar Ben-Gvir with the former — and hopeful — Israeli prime minister during a visit to Israel in early September, Axios reported on Sunday. At the time, Netanyahu had just hosted Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, another right-wing party leader, at his Caesarea home.
The visit was part of Netanyahu’s effort to work with Ben-Gvir, an adherent of the racist beliefs of the late rabbi and politician, Meir Kahane, to unite far-right parties into a single bloc so they can maximize their clout in Israel’s Nov. 1 election. Ben-Gvir, who has also lionized Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish extremist who massacred 29 Palestinians at worship in 1994, would likely secure a cabinet position in a Netanyahu-led government.
According to the Axios report, Netanyahu was peeved at Menendez’s statement, but the senator pressed the matter further, saying Ben-Gvir’s inclusion would seriously erode bipartisan support for Israel.
Otzma Yehudit head MK Itamar Ben-Gvir is seen on the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day, on May 29, 2022. (credit: TEMPLE MOUNT ADMINISTRATION)
Major pro-Israel groups made a similar warning three years ago when Netanyahu, then the prime minister, was contemplating a similar arrangement. In the end, Netanyahu did not need the extremists to form a government.
Menendez is one of Israel’s most outspoken supporters in the Senate, earning huge cheers when he attends pro-Israel events. He is also influential, chairing the Foreign Relations Committee. Earlier this year he warned the Biden administration that he would oppose reentry into the Iran nuclear deal — a key Biden priority and a move Israel opposes — if the terms turned out to be as they were reported at the time.
Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a press conference after announcing that U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was indicted on corruption charges charges at the SDNY office on September 22, 2023 in New York City.
Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images
Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, is facing federal bribery charges. Federal agents found hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gold at his home.
Menendez is remaining defiant and says he will not resign. The senator has faced previous corruption charges — the case ended in a hung jury. We discuss why these types of cases can be so challenging for prosecutors to win.
The podcast is was produced by Casey Morell and Elena Moore. Our editor is Eric McDaniel. Our executive producer is Muthoni Muturi.
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