Sunday, September 18, 2011

Palestine at the UN... masks fall, all stand naked

David Seaton's News Links
The entire rest of the world is in agreement: Palestine should be admitted to the UN. This whole controversy boils down to a problem of America's domestic politics, which is taking the USA down the path of throwing away any influence it might have gained in the Muslim world with the election of Barack Obama. Here is Gideon Levy writing in Haaretz:
The riddle remains unsolved because it is difficult to comprehend how a black president, who believes in justice and equality, can bow down with such unbearable lightness to a right-wing government in Israel, to narrow election considerations in America, and to Jewish and Christian lobbies. It is difficult to comprehend how his America does not understand that it is shooting itself with a lethal bullet in the heart by supporting the Israeli refusal to make peace. After all, deep in his heart this American president knows that the Palestinians' demand is justified because they too are worthy, finally, of becoming independent - and that Israel supports occupation. Why does one have to wait for the book of memoirs that he will surely write one day in order to hear this? He knows that the Arab Spring, that erupted to a certain extent in the wake of his promising Cairo speech, will now turn its anger and hatred toward America, once more toward America, simply because of its insistent opposition to Palestinian freedom.
The pressures that Levy speaks about are both brutal and naked.
For example, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee who wants Congress to pass a bill cutting off all American funding for the United Nations if they vote freely to admit Palestine as member state.
This naked and brutal pressure, which could eventually cause severe damage to America's world influence and its economy, could end up producing a disastrous domestic blow back.
To give a clear example of what I mean, the ADL takes periodic polls to determine the ebb and flow of antisemitism in the USA. The question asked to determine if the respondent is an antisemite or not is the following: "Do you believe that Jews have too much influence in the United States?" To answer in the affirmative is to be classed as an antisemite.
Read the following by Thomas Friedman in today's NYT:
I’ve never been more worried about Israel’s future. The crumbling of key pillars of Israel’s security — the peace with Egypt, the stability of Syria and the friendship of Turkey and Jordan — coupled with the most diplomatically inept and strategically incompetent government in Israel’s history have put Israel in a very dangerous situation.

This has also left the U.S. government fed up with Israel’s leadership but a hostage to its ineptitude, because the powerful pro-Israel lobby in an election season can force the administration to defend Israel at the U.N., even when it knows Israel is pursuing policies not in its own interest or America’s. (emphasis mine)
I doubt if Thomas Friedman, of all people, is going to be accused of being a self-hating Jew, but, under a strict reading of the ADL's criteria, Thomas Friedman is an antisemite.
Now if someone as unlikely as Thomas Friedman could ever be accused of antisemitism, then imagine what serious people. but who "don't have skin in the game" as he does, may be thinking right now or will certainly be thinking if Netanyahu's policies end up damaging the US economy at precisely this moment. DS

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