RFK Jr.’s ‘Unconditional’ Support for Israel is Costing His Campaign for President

by | Jan 12, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s staffers keep resigning.

Many antiwar Americans were thrilled when Kennedy announced last spring that he’d be running against Joe Biden in this year’s primaries and that he’d hired former Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich to be his campaign manager. But Kucinich quit in the middle of October.

At the beginning of November, Kennedy’s field team, led by former California congressman Dana Rorabacher’s wife Rhonda, quit too.

Then in December, Kennedy’s foreign policy and veteran’s affairs adviser James R. Webb, Marine Corps veteran of Iraq War II and son of the former senator, also resigned. Webb said it was in disgust over Kennedy’s stance on Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinians of the Gaza strip, and his preposterous justification: that U.S. troops in Iraq War II fought with similar rules of engagement as the IDF is currently fighting under in Gaza, using “collective punishment” against civilians. 

Webb noted to Kennedy in his resignation letter that:

“[F]ollowing Mr. Kucinich’s departure in mid-October, the campaign’s message on core issues, particularly national security and war, has changed. …

“I felt compelled to let you know that your positions on [the Gaza war] are costing you a large amount of support from voters and mine, as 70% of voters between the ages of 18–34 disapprove of Biden’s support for the conflict.”

Regarding Kennedy’s justifying the IDF’s rules of engagement by citing Iraq, Webb wrote that this, “is a historically inaccurate moral equivalency that no one who honorably served in Iraq will agree with you on, and none of whom will support you.”

Another marine veteran and supporter close to the campaign sent a private letter to Kennedy after hearing of Webb’s resignation, and furnished a copy to me, saying:

“[L]ike James Webb, your perceived absence of empathy for Palestinian civilians has profoundly affected my enthusiasm and willingness to work on your behalf. …

“I’m begging you to see this, Bobby, you can’t win without fully harnessing the energy of passionate volunteers like James and me.” 

Bobby Jr. could have been a contender, instead of a bum, which is what he is. 

The trouble started when Kennedy praised former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters who was being canceled in Germany at the time. Informed by Israeli partisans that Waters is on their enemies list due to his support for the Palestinians, Kennedy immediately threw the singer under the bus, cravenly deleted his praise, and through a surrogate declared Waters a “vicious anti-Semite” — which is preposterous. This was bad enough.

But then someone got footage of Kennedy speculating about whether COVID-19 was “ethnically targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Asians. So to make up for this massiveself-inflicted blunder and show he was not racist against Jews, Kennedy decided to prove it by showing how much he hates Palestinians instead.

Like Winston Smith’s humiliation at the end of George Orwell’s 1984 when regime torturer O’Brien fits a rat cage to the protagonist’s face, Kennedy cried, Do it to the Palestinians! Not me! I don’t care what you do to them. Tear their faces off, strip them to the bones. Not me! The Palestinians! Not me!

He claimed, absurdly, that the Palestinian Authority will pay a bounty to Palestinians to “kill a Jew anywhere in the world.” That was bin Laden and al Qaeda, not Mahmoud Abbas, that asked people to kill Americans and Jews everywhere, and they weren’t paying per hit.

It was RFK Jr. himself who was putting innocent Jews at risk with this despicable lie he wielded in an attempt to protect himself.

Since then he has doubled down, claiming Palestinian children are all “being raised as serial killers.”

Kennedy has been reciting pollster Frank Luntz’s talking points line by line, justifying demolitions of Palestinians’ homes and claiming that in its post-October 7th war, “Israel is doing more right now to protect human life” and praising the IDF’s “unique moral approach” to war.

But the Wall Street Journal compares Gaza to Dresden and Tokyo in World War II while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invoked those massive incendiary bombing raids against the Third Reich and Imperial Japan as precedent for his current rampage.

As Arnon Soffer, the architect of Israel’s “disengagement policy” said, there are too many Palestinians, so the Israelis “will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.”

Kennedy picked the worst time to sell out to a foreign nation, as the IDF itself boasts they’ve built a “mass assassination factory,” deliberately bombing so-called “power targets,” including journalists, society leaders and their families. He dismisses all Palestinian civilian deaths — the supermajority of all deaths in the war, even according to Israeli officials — as simply being “human shields” whose lives are somehow then presumed to be forfeit.

Kennedy also ignores numerous statements by Israeli officials declaring their intent to cleanse the Gaza Strip of all or most Palestinian civilians, by killing or transferring them all to other countries. The Times of Israel says Netanyahu is negotiating to ship them all off to the Congo, presumably to toil in the cobalt mines — or maybe Rwanda or Chad will take them?

Just as more than 20,000 Gazans are being blown apart or buried alive in the ruins of their homes, as Israeli forces target highrisesschoolshospitalsmosqueschurches and refugee camps, and torture detainees, RFK Jr. even claims that “The Palestinian people are arguably the most pampered people by international aid organizations in the history of the world.” He was referring to the aid they live on, when they can get it, because they have no national economy since they live under foreign military occupation.

Despite claiming to have been there, Kennedy clearly has no idea what he’s talking about, referring to “Palestinian settlements within Israel,” when describing Palestinians living in what is left of their territory under Israeli occupation and constant settlement expansion, as though they are the ones colonizing the Israelis.

He claimed the Palestinians could have had independence in 1948 when Golda Meir actually made a secret side deal with the king of Jordan to prevent that state, and in 2001 — he meant 2000 — but that is still false as demonstrated by author Clayton Swisher and the admissions of Israeli diplomat Shlomo Ben Ami. Then we are to somehow conclude, even if Kennedy’s framing were correct, that 24 years ago was rightfully the Palestinians’ last chance and they can never again claim a right to self-determination.

Soon Kennedy is doing an event hosted by notorious Israeli partisan Rabbi Shmuley Boteach well as Miriam Adelson, widow of Sheldon Adelson, the major donor to Netanyahu and Donald Trump who bought Trump’s decisions to move the embassy to Jerusalem, recognize the seizure of the Golan Heights and hire John Bolton to be his national security adviser.

Kennedy’s most important supporters are turning away from him as he demonizes the worst-off people in the world while they’re being annihilated in a self-defeating attempt to fulfill his own ambitions.

And now he’s running as an independent, so who cares anyway?

Reprinted with permission from the Orange County Register.


  • Scott Horton

    Scott Horton hosts Antiwar Radio for Pacifica Radio's KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, as well as the podcast The Scott Horton Show. Horton has conducted over 5,000 interviews since 2003. He is also the director of the Libertarian Institute.

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