Roy Moore: enemy of children, friend of Israel

Roy Moore, running for the US Senate in Alabama, opposes UN convention on children’s rights, backs Israel unconditionally. (via Facebook)

What can we expect from Roy Moore on foreign policy if he’s elected to be the next US senator from Alabama?

It won’t be good.

Moore, a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is a bigot stirring misplaced fears about Sharia law in the US. He also opposes internationally recognized human rights.

On his campaign website for the December special election in Alabama, Moore asserts about foreign affairs: “We should not be subject to UN control and direction.” The UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child would “only undermine our sovereignty as a nation, as does the very presence of the United Nations on our soil,” he argues.

His opposition to the UN-backed rights of the child is telling in light of the allegations he faces, including initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl.

Article 34 of the convention requires that its signatories “undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.”

Moore’s policy statement on foreign affairs also notes: “We must remember that Israel is the United States’ most important ally and partner in the Middle East and should reject agreements or policies that undermine Israel’s security. We should pass the Taylor Force Act and move the US embassy to Jerusalem.”

The Taylor Force Act is a bill promoted by Israel lobby groups to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority for its alleged financial support to families of those Israel calls “terrorists.”

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump also took up the cause of moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

As president, though, he has already signed one waiver delaying the move.

House Republicans strongly pushed a move earlier this month in a hearing before the subcommittee on national security.

Moore does say in his policy section on the US military that “We should not be entangled in foreign wars merely at the whim and caprice of a president.” That comes immediately after endorsement of bigotry in a statement asserting, “Homosexuality should be against military policy as was the law prior to Bill Clinton.”

Allies, both apoplectic and apocalyptic

In this expression of bigotry, he was backed at a recent press conference featuring right-wing extremists, including Noson Leiter, a rabbi who claims to be a campaigner against child molestation.

Leiter inveighed against what he termed “homosexualist gay terrorism” and argued Moore has a “proven record of facing off against the gay terrorists.” Leiter deplored “the agendas of sodomy and transgender insanity.”

Standing behind him, and leading in prayer passionate apologists for Roy Moore, was former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes.

Some may remember Keyes 15 years ago as a right-wing propagandist for Israel on MSNBC. Keyes downplayed Israeli war crimes in Jenin and lied repeatedly about the history of Israel’s military occupation.

Presiding over the press conference was Janet Porter, head of Faith2Action, who in 2010 became so enraged about what she regarded as the poor relationship between then US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that she attempted to send Netanyahu thousands of flowers, each bouquet costing a symbolic $19.48.

She wrote at the time, “I never heard whether Prime Minister Netanyahu was at least offered table scraps from Obama’s table.” She then added, “No, those, I’m sure, went to the dog, who was treated far better than the leader of Israel.”

(Months before leaving office, Obama signed an agreement boosting US military aid to Israel to record levels.)

Also speaking at the event was Gordon James Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain, who in a petition on his website prays that leading US politicians “help protect Israel’s original borders as given by God to Moses and Joshua in the days of the Bible circa 1500 BC.”

In other words, he wants an Israel including not just the 78 percent of historic Palestine on which it was established in 1948, but all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Lebanon, as well as parts of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran – and some would say encompassing even a small portion of Turkey and Kuwait.

Klingenschmitt, not content with implicitly backing war in the Middle East, seems to think that sexual assault is all just a big joke and only Democrats are capable of it. He recently retweeted this fake Steve Bannon tweet:

Channeling segregationists

Moore, prior to the allegations against him, put out a statement regarding his views on Israel. It was promoted by Alabama, Florida and Mississippi Daughters for Zion, a pro-Israel pressure group.

Unlike Klingenschmitt’s call for Biblical boundaries, Moore merely called for a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Even there he was flawed, channeling the language of Southern segregationists opposed to “outside agitators” when he declared such negotiations should reject “the imposition of outside solutions upon Israel” and “allow Israel to control decisions about its borders and safety.”

Little does Moore appear to realize that one of the few things uniting most elected Republicans and Democrats is Israel. The US does not apply significant influence where Israel’s borders and self-declared national security concerns are involved.

Moore buys into the usual propaganda about the connections between Israel and the US. He writes: “The United States and Israel share not only a common Biblical heritage but also institutions of representative government and respect for religious freedom. Twenty per cent of Israeli citizens, for example, are Arab and have the right to vote and hold office.”

He says not a word about the dozens of laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and the separate and unequal reality confronting Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Unsurprisingly, Moore voices opposition to the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in his statement.

Moore – notorious for displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, resulting in his removal from the bench in 2003 – has argued that the US should be a theocracy, with the Bible taking precedence over federal law. It’s no wonder that he identifies so strongly with Israel, a self-declared “Jewish state.”

Listening to his defenders’ press conference and reading Moore’s statement, it is logical to conclude that in many ways Moore would be more comfortable in the Alabama of the 1950s than the US confronting him in 2017 that largely finds his views and alleged actions unacceptable.

Whether the voters of Alabama reach similar conclusions remains to be seen.

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Michael F. Brown

Michael F. Brown is an independent journalist. His work and views have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, TheNation.com, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The News & Observer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and elsewhere.