18 February 2009

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.


At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am beginning to construct a whole new theory of US-Israel relations. What if Walt-Mearsheimer are right in a bass-ackward way? That the alliance between Israel and the U.S. goes against Israel's best interest?

Here's my reasoning: Israel gets a disproportionate amount of the world's anger. What if only half of this is attributable to anti-Semitism? And the other half is attributable to anti-Americanism. As America's proxy, Israel becomes the world's whipping boy for all America's perceived injustices.

If Israel is no longer America's proxy, the 51st state as I've sometimes seen it called, then might the world not back off on its hyper-scrutiny and knee-jerk condemnation of everything Israel says and does?

Militarily, Israel is the 4th largest arms exporter in the world. US weapons aren't what's keeping the Zionist state afloat. Economically, Israel does just fine without American assistance.

I will be examining this theory in light of other events - Turkey's snub of Israel at Davos, for example -- to see if there's a pattern of Israel suffering for its support of America rather than the other way round. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can Obama get away with capitulating to the automatic anti-Israel majority of the UNHRC as long as there will be journalists like Joel Pollak in attendance at the conference? If Obama's entire olive branch to the Islamic and "leftoid" political universe has been contextualized by some key pundits as 'giving them an opportunity to change,' then there had better be some damn good scorekeepers witnessing the event. Because it will be the facts of Islamic and leftoid political reaction to the Obama overture and how Obama reacts to their reaction which will determine once and for all where Obama stands on these issues. The terminus quo ante for this Obama administration overture to Islam and their leftoid lap dogs will be the Iranian general election in June. Under no circumstances are journalists the calibre of Joel to boycott this story!

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diane is not wrong in her supposition, that anti-Americanism is very much one of the contributing factors to the demonization of Israel. But in the sea of international intrigue, Israel and the United States will not be able to get out of the boat they share. Bibi has already accepted the US support for developing the security forces of Abu-Mazen's PA. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. Whatever the arguments within and between the strongly democratic American and Israeli cultures, the USA is still committing forces to the Islamic civil wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, and maintains very strong popular support for Israel. The benefits derived from this relationship are by no means one way, and like many relationships it needs a lot of work, but there is no divorce on the horizon.

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see Diane develop her thesis, but when it came to Turkey at Davos, Erdogan felt personally betrayed by Olmert and Peres because an announcement of direct Syrian-Israeli negotiations having come out of the Erdogan initated mediation which was due to be made was postponed. So a lot of Davos was personal pique and vanity.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Thermblog said...

Israel could probably do without the US money it gets but it cannot do without an arms backer. It must have access to high-level weaponry that it simply cannot develop itself because of its small size.

If not the US then who? One recalls the Europeans' buckling in 1973.

At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thermblog: How about Russia? If the United States really abandons Israel and cozies up to Islam, there are a number of powers, including China and India who could have interest in collaborating more with Israel. Obviously, Israel is deeply engaged with the US military and American arms manufacturers, and wants to keep the relationship going. I believe a US abandonment of Israel to be highly unlikely, but the pressure for concessions is going to be immense.


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