Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hard-Line Anti-Israel Conservatism

Here's one excerpt:-

...key Democrats and Republicans are maneuvering for applause lines in Herzliya as much as in Iowa. There remains a policy-expert consensus that attacking Iran would be very foolish, but it is hardly loud and far from powerful. It has no political force behind it.

That’s why the truth defense floated on behalf of Wes Clark was important, and that’s why the mockery that has greeted the AJC’s claim that Jews who criticize Israel are “anti-Semites” are such hopeful signs: they offer the possibility of a movement rising that could save the United States from compounding the errors it has already made.

Here's another:-

Both Jews and gentiles have been raising the volume of discussion about the American-Israeli relationship and Israeli policies. On the Jewish side, there is a profusion of important peace-oriented websites. The explosion of interest in the Walt-Mearsheimer essay and Jimmy Carter’s book evince a Christian awakening of the Mideast’s critical importance. The perilous present geopolitical context explains this: a great many people wouldn’t risk the opprobrium of the lobby for the sake of the Palestinians, who often wage their struggle far less impressively than one might wish. But letting the lobby influence American foreign policy toward Iraq raises the stakes mightily. Allowing Bibi Netanyahu and his American allies to call the tune of U.S. policy toward Iran is far too much to bear.

And a third:-

But what of Edwards, what of Hillary Clinton—both eager to be on the record for keeping all options on the table? It’s a question that cannot be truthfully answered without reference to the neuralgic subject of the Israel lobby.

It is a tough issue to address, as Gen. Wesley Clark, a middle-of-the-pack Democratic presidential contender in 2004, recently discovered. Upon reading an Arnaud de Borchgrave column that discussed a then incipient Israeli campaign to pressure Hillary Clinton and other Democrats to “publicly support immediate action by Bush against Iran,” he lost his cool, saying to Arianna Huffington, “How can you talk about bombing a country when you won’t even talk to them? It’s outrageous. We’re the United States of America; we don’t do that.” Pressed by Huffington to explain why he was sure Bush would attack Iran, he answered, “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”

This was an awkward way to put it; the euphemism surely sounded more contentious than anything Clark might have said straightforwardly. And of course some people chose to ignore Clark’s correct assertion that the Jewish community was very divided on the Iran issue. Within days, the general was in caught in a familiar crossfire, smeared as an instigator of anti-Semitism by some Republican Jewish organizations, his remarks headlined as “Protocols of the New York Money People” by a Wall Street Journal columnist. Soon he was engaged in a humiliating apology and repentance ritual with Abe Foxman of the ADL.

The whole piece is here.

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