They accuse anyone who criticizes Israel of being antiSemitic.
These people are not Israelis. They are not Jews. They are hard right ideologues who are using American Jews' loyalty and caring about Israel as bait to get them to get their attention so they can try to change those Jews minds and voting. After all, Jews vote 80-85% Democratic.
Take the case of right winger Kiley Anne-Shiver who uses the recent humanitarian flotilla as an excuse to attack Israel critics. In an article originally published in right wing website AmericanThinker dot com (I'm not going to give it an extra link to help its search engine ranking) she characterizes the people in the humanitarian flotilla murdered by Israeli Defense Forces as "savages" and "throwbacks to the 7th century."
Ms. Anne-Shiver writes,
We have clearly elected an anti-Semitic president. I say this with due trepidation; I take the charge as seriously as any I know. Barack Obama's anti-Semitism is so transparent that I tremble to consider that it may not even be merely an intellectual Israel-vs.-Arab-nation prejudice, but may actually be racist, or even a soul-disordered hate for all things deigned by God.
The thing is, this right wing shill can't help throwing in the right wing kitchen sink, showing her true colors and interests are not in caring about Israel, but rather, selling neocon, right wing talking points like:
-Obama is pro-Muslim
-the UN is evil
-Obama and Eric Holder are racists
The fact is, the recent Gaza Flotilla was very effective at showing the world the cowardly violence of the Israeli leadership. Today's Wall Street Journal includes an article by WSJ Israel bureau chief Charles Levinson titled, Israel's Foes Embrace New Resistance Tactics. THe article basically says that Hamas and others have figured out that more peaceful, "non-violence, in the tradition of the American civil rights movement would be far more effective... there is more to gain by getting Israel to draw international condemnation through itrs own use of force, rather than by attacking the country." It's bizarre, but using what reminds one of Orwellian double-speak, the WSJ quotes Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev, "People who are provoking violence are using peaceful protest as a cover." Googling the article author, thinking the article was a bit pro-Israel point of view, I found that he is villified by one Israel supporting website that celebrated with joy, the murder of the nine on board the Mavi Marmara aid ship. This shows how aggressive the right wing is in coming down on any commentary on Israel that does not support the right wing, violent Israeli agenda.
The good news is that the mainstream media is finally coming around, calling out the outrageous and just plain stupid behavior of the right wingers running Israel. Even the Israeli media castigated Netanyahu and his subordinates for the idiocy of the attack on the flotilla. Nicholas Kristof describes the Israeli occupation as "morally repugnant" in his June 30th article, observing,
...the ugly truth that our ally, Israel, is using American military support to maintain an occupation that is both oppressive and unjust. Israel has eased checkpoints this year -- a real improvement in quality of life -- but the system is intrinsically malignant.
And today's Wall Street Journal also includes, in it's news section A, an article titled, "Diverse Views on Israel Emerge in Jewish Enclave." The article actually broaches the idea that American Jews are divided on Israel, and reports that even a Rabbi participated in protests against the Israeli murders that took place when Israel attacked the humanitarian flotilla. The article also mentions Jews who are allied with J-street, the Israel AND peace supporting alternative to right wing AIPAC. I don't know a single person in my synagogue who supports the way Israel treats Palestinians-- not one, including the Rabbi.
We can expect to see more of both. If media giants like the NY Times and Wall Street Journal can raise the criticism of Israel, then the geni is out of the bottle and can't be put back. Right wing attacks will certainly get stronger and there's a good chance that they will have some success-- maybe even pull five or ten percent of Jews into the world of Christian Zionists like John Hagee, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and even Glen Beck.
My bet is that Israel will not fare well with friends like them. If Obama and the Democrats are smart, they will blow the whistle on this right wing politicizing of loyalty to Israel. They'll encourage more open discussion of the politics in Israel and do what they can to cause the right wingers in Israel to lose their power. Is this interference in another nation's politics? Of course it is. That's what Kyle Anne-Shiver is up to, along with a whole slew of other Christian Zionists and actually Jewish right wingers-- the kinds who write for COMMENTARY are doing as well.- Advertisement -
It's time to bring the truth out in the open, like Nichola Kristof has had the courage to do. Ron Paul and others have spoken the truth when they've said that US policy, unquestioiningly supporting Israel has led to the US being hated by the Arab world. The US can still be a strong Israeli ally while demanding moral behavior from Israel. The US could massively improve its relations with the Arab world and probably save hundreds of billions in military costs if it just stood up to Israel and insisted that it start acting in a humane way toward Palestinians and Gazans.
I'll wrap with the final words of Kristof's column: "...we must not lose sight of the most basic fact about the occupation: It's wrong."