18 February 2009 - Are American Jewish leaders being duped?
American Jewish leaders were told by the Obama administration Monday "that Washington's decision to participate in the [Durban II] conference was being coordinated with the Israeli government."
On the same day, Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni was telling American Jewish leaders exactly the opposite:
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Monday appealed to the U.S. not to participate in the UN-sponsored conference. Speaking before a delegation of visiting American Jewish leaders, Livni said that "Israel expects the free world not to participate in Durban II."
It's clear that American Jewish leaders are being asked to believe--and some seem rather eager to believe--that Israel actually supports America's involvement. The Obama administration may have notified Israel of its participation in Durban II, but to call that "coordination" is to stretch the truth.
Unless American Jewish leaders call this bluff, and start applying real pressure on this issue, Durban II may mark the first rift in U.S.-Israel relations under the Obama administration, as well as an acceleration in the decline of American leadership on human rights issues worldwide. (There are even hints that the U.S. is about to ease sanctions on Burma.) It's time to protest America's involvement in Durban II. In a few weeks, it will be too late.