Israel is using a panicked US Jewish community, to plead its case in full page ads in the 'Washington Post', the 'Wall Street Journal', and the 'New York Times', among other American newspapers of note. Let's recapituale the story as to the why of the matter, before commenting on the full page ads themselves.
US president Barak Obama's [BHO] new riff on Israel has sent the Israeli lobby into a panic. As GuamDiary has observed, the intransigeance of the right wing Netenyahu Likud led government is to blame. Israel's prime minister is playing a game of chicken with BHO, and in the end, he's bound to lose. To put it rudely and crudely, Israel is an American protectorate, economically, politically, and militarily.
Netenyahu's delaying tactics on discussions indirectly with the Palestinian Authority, to kick start talks on a two state solution, is well known. More importantly, he rubbed vice president Joe Biden's nose in diplomatic pooh, during his visit to Israel, to announce the building of 1600 housing units in East Jerusalem. A move which is not recognised and condemned as illegal by the international community.
BHO had a last word of sorts after Netenyahu's stellar and insulting rebuke to the Obama administration, during his appearance at the March 2010 annual meeting of the American Israeli PAC [AIPAC]. He in private dressed down the Israeli prime minister; he kept him cooling his heels during discussions at the White House, whilst BHO ate dinner quietly with his family. After the dessert and coffee, the American president returned to the Roosevelt room to resume the very tightly argued and angry words.
To pour more salt in Netenyahu's wounds, he denied him a photo op, a joint news conference with the press, and pictures which would have made the next day's front pages.
Shamed Netenyahu at the last minute backed out of going to the 47 country nuclear confab in Washington, called by BHO. Replaying his shtick, Netenyau pleaded a bureaucratic excuse. He feared that two Muslim allies of Israel--Turkey and Egypt--might have raised Israel's nuclear arsenal and programme, to embarras him. Eyewash. The plain truth is that he was smarting still from the arctic freeze he was getting from the Obama administration, owing to his inflexiblity on the Israel Palestine talks, or more like it, the absence of more than a year of discussions.
BHO's new tack, supported by his generals who are talking of the untrustworthiness of Israel as an ally in America's objectives in the Middle East and Central and South Asia, has sent tremours up and down the spine of America's Jewish elite. Isreal has written BHO off too easily and early, as a 'wuss' and at the same time as a closeted Muslim who supports the Arab and Muslim positions. Ergo, a viper in Israel's busom and long unattenuated uspport of Israel.
AIPAC nervously reported that 333 members of the lower House of Congress and 77 senators have signed on to support Israel come what may! [Is that support unconditional? Politics has a way of hitting Achilles' heel, thereby rendering an impregnable fortress, a sand castle as the tide moves in.]
And then Steven Lauder, philanthropist, head of the World Jewish Congress, and heir to the Estee Lauder fortune, signed a full page ad that appeared in the 15 and 16 April 2010 pages of the 'Washington Post' and the 'Wall Street Journal'. The WJC threw full support behind Israel's illegal seizure of land in East Jerusalem, and by extension the land grab that Israel has been carry out of Palestinian territory in its now 43 year occupation of the West Bank. It gives the impression that the US Jewish community and with world in its proclamation of the Jewish communities in the diaspora. But the Jewish voice is not unanimous, to say the least. But let's go on.
A small paragraph in the US press and on online blogs makes mention of the fact that Benjamin Netenyahu okayed the text of Lauder's open letter 'ubi et orbi' in these two prominent US dailies.
Such political coaching of a foreign government in the internal affairs of basically an American run non governmental organisation, raises serious questions. Which alas no one is willing to challenge. So, the obvious conclusion to draw, noting the spiritual ties which bind Jewery in the diaspora to Israel, is that Israel is using such ngo's as a smokescreen to further its propaganda objectives, and challenging the Obama administration's minor variation in US policy towards Israel.
If this was not enough. In the 17 April 2010 issue of the 'Wall Street Journal' and the 18 April Sunday edition of the 'New York Times' appeared yet another full page ad. This one bearing the signature of the Nobelist Elie Wiesel. It, too, support Israel's move to ethnically cleanse and seize land in Arab East Jerusalem.
Wiesel straightway says he is above politics. But is he? Hardly. He proceeds to dive head first into the illegal seizure of land and the forced removal of Palestinians from homes in East Jerusalem.
Why? Jerusalem is dear to the heart of Judaism. It is its soul. In the 'Torah' and other books of the old Testament, it is mentioned more than 600 times. He points out that it bears not a single menetion in the Koran. He brings up King David, the founding of the Temples, so on and on, to justify Israel's illegal expansion.
He falls back on rabbinical authority, scholars, and the like, but his case is spurious.
No one disputes the spiritual value of Jerusalem for the Jews, but the illegal seizure of land there simply uses that as an excuse to justify 'manu militari' force in ethnic cleansing and the theft of property.
And so Eli Weisel has put his pen to Israel's propaganda war, to support the Netenyahu government.
Has he forgotten that on the Temple Mount looking down on the Wailing Wail, stands after the Qabbah in Mecca, the Rock of the Dome the very holy Muslim shrine? To Muslim Jerusalem or el Quds in Arabic is sacred. Has Weisel not heard of the prophet Muhammed flight on horse to Jerusalem? Metaphorical or not, this journey plays an important part in Islam, in the same way, Jerusalem does theologically for the Jews.
We have not heard the last of the ongrowing war of words and the 24 hour 7 day a week churning of Israel's propaganda mills.
They have frightened US Jewish ngos to join the battle. But the outcome is uncertain and fraught with unseen consequences. The question might arise of double loyalty of US citizens, once a strong weapon of anti Semites, which alas still has life.