Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Soro's initiative

David Seaton's News Links
In today's climate of geopolitical disaster, which if American history is any guide, is soon to turn to a hysterical, "who lost the Middle East?", witch-hunt it is very, very important for the "man in the street" to be able to distinguish between a "Jewish conspiracy" and a "conspiracy in which a lot of Jewish people just happen to have been involved, which in no way represents the greater Jewish community's views". George Soro's initiative is intelligent, sensitive, useful and long, long overdue. DS
The other Israel lobby - Salon
Abstract: Eighty-seven percent of (American Jews) voted Democratic in the recent midterms -- the highest number since 1994 -- belying the oft-repeated claim that the Bush administration's staunch support for Israel would move the traditionally Democratic Jewish vote toward the Republicans. The fact is that most American Jews, and many other American supporters of Israel, do not see eye-to-eye on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the most hawkish, knee-jerk Israel supporters in the U.S. government -- even if their presumed leadership, represented by AIPAC, often appears to do so. Moreover, AIPAC's influence in Washington may soon begin to decline, as a powerful new alliance of left-leaning friends of Israel has begun to emerge, with the express aim of reshaping U.S. strategy on the region's most intractable problem. If the Bush administration decides to seriously reevaluate its strategy in the Middle East in the wake of the Iraq Study Group's recent report -- and among its recommendations is prioritizing a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- it will have to deal with a minefield of interest groups. That will surely include AIPAC, a juggernaut that the New York Times has called the "most important organization affecting America's relationship with Israel."(...) The AIPAC insider said that he believes the "Soros Initiative" is little more than a fundraising drive to raise money for some impoverished organizations that "have to define themselves in opposition to something." In fact, say those involved, a contentious issue in the discussions is exactly how much the new organization would allow itself to be seen as being in direct opposition to AIPAC. At least four of the players involved have told me that they intend to be an "alternative," but not an "opposition." Still, one of those present at the early meetings said that he sees his organization as "the anti-AIPAC." Levy, meanwhile, said simply that if "there are differences in policy, those will be expressed in one group advocating one thing and another advocating another thing." This would at least be an improvement, he said, over the past, when Israeli leaders who honestly sought to make peace "pulled their hair out because of the lack of support from the Jewish community in the United States." READ IT ALL

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