Posts Tagged ‘Ackerman’

Democrats United In Support of Flotilla Raid

June 15, 2010

MJ Rosenberg reprints dozens of Democrats’ statements on the Gaza flotilla fiasco today in his Media Matters piece.

He doesn’t bother with the Republicans, which are worse, but also to be expected. And the Democrats he quotes include some supported by J Street. This points to a pretty wide consensus of opinion.

I found MJ’s closing line interesting. He writes, pithily, that “Our United States Congress hard at work, doing what it’s told.”

But I’ll say I have no doubt they heard from AIPAC and other, similar advocacy groups. And some, I’m sure, did indeed parrot the party line, wanting to curry favor during this election year.

But I also think that many of them didn’t need to be told what to say and didn’t say what they did because they heard it from AIPAC.

Then-Senator Obama addressing AIPAC on the campaign trail

Let’s face it, there’s more than just political pressure behind the fact that ostensible liberals turn into hawks when it comes to Israel.

Israel’s general approach to terrorism is not much different from our own American version—it’s just the context that makes the biggest difference. We are not anxious to indict Israeli behavior when it comes to real security given the methods we employ in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They’re not exactly the same, but they all fall under the new rubric of fighting terror.

There’s also the fact that I do not believe many of our elected officials really know that much about the Israel-Palestine conflict and give little real thought to what Israel’s best interests are. They also can’t really understand what America’s interests in the region are, beyond political expediency.

Members of Congress track many issues, even those who focus more on foreign policy. When I’ve listened to Gary Ackerman or Howard Berman speak, I perceive a big gulf between their knowledge of the Middle East and that of their staffers. That’s a reflection, too, of the fact that Israel is a domestic political issue for them. (more…)

Advertisements

We Now Hate Turkey, So the Armenian Genocide DID Happen

June 9, 2010

Spencer Ackerman has an excellent and succinct post on the hypocrisy abounding now that the American Jewish leadership has decided Turkey is an enemy, so they have stopped lobbying against recognition of the Armenian genocide.

He’s nicer about it than I am.

This has long been something I’ve found truly disgusting, and an example of how when it comes to a choice between being a Jew and marching lock-step with Israel, the so-called “pro-Israel” Jewish forces don’t even blink and abandon Judaism, our community and our heritage without a second thought.

WE ARE JEWS!!! HOW CAN WE DENY A GENOCIDE FOR CYNICAL POLITICAL PURPOSES???

And can anyone seriously doubt that such is exactly what happened?

This hypocrisy is not merely academic, now that AIPAC’s dissembling on behalf of Turkey has come to an end. It is that same trait that is on display on a daily basis in the denial of suffering in Gaza. (more…)

Saving Peace from the Peace Activists

December 18, 2009

In my latest piece in Zeek Magazine, I take to task activists who take actions blindly without a sound political strategy. While I use as my foil left-wing, pro-Palestinian activists, it’s true for so many involved on all sides of the issue.

Freeze Means Ruse in Hebrew

December 1, 2009

My latest piece in Zeek can be read here. Wish I could take credit for the title, but that would have to go to my editor, Joel Schalit.

I want to add a bit to the piece here. I made a great effort to debunk the settlement freeze, and I stand by it. I may, though, have given the impression that the freeze is absolutely false, and that’s not the case. There is certainly some real impact on the ground, and, more importantly, it is drawing much clearer lines between the settlers and the forces of even the most duplicitous of diplomacy. These are good developments.

But they still fall well short of a step that can realistically bring progress. And, while it seems that the Obama Administration understands this, leading members of Congress, as usual, apparently do not.

The Change is Becoming Visible in the Obama Era

February 18, 2009

My latest piece at Zeek magazine. You can see it by clicking here. In it, I describe the first visible steps the Obama administration is taking toward breaking with past policies.

The change is visible on many levels, and perhaps most importantly in Congress, where a major pro-Israel figure is stepping up and sharply criticizing settlements and other Israeli practices.

My view counterpoints the cycnicism of much of the hardcore left, which seems determined to believe that Obama will change nothing of substance in his dealings with Israel.