We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Friday, 9 November 2012

The BBC's Washington Correspondent On "The Power & Money Of The Jewish Lobby"

The current Jewish Chronicle reports that the BBC's Washington correspondent Katty Kay recently tweeted that the United States
"sees Israel as a key ally in Middle East – but no one running for president wants to alienate the power and money of the Jewish lobby"
Asked for a reaction, the BBC predictably glossed over the remark.

The ADL said that the tweet
"reveals a surprising lack of understanding of the broad support of the American people for a strong US-Israel relationship, which is the underpinning of US foreign policy toward Israel.
 And, at worst, the remark suggests she accepts the mythic notion of a powerful Jewish cabal able to control how US foreign policy toward Israel is determined."
And the chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews observed of the tweet
"loose use of language really has to be seen in a context where support for America’s key ally in the Middle East is cynically questioned — and the motives of Israel’s supporters are seen as suspect"
and added that successive American administrations
"have recognised the value of this strategic relationship to the national interest, and it is unfortunate that a BBC journalist falls into the trap laid by Israel’s enemies and conspiracy theorists of reducing support for Israel to parlance of Jewish money and power"
But what of that strategic relationship?

In a Times of Israel article published towards the end of the campaign for the White House, Mike Lumish (who blogs at Israel Thrives) argued, with statistics to back his case, that support for Israel among Democrats is eroding.

"This has been a presidency without a spine on the world stage," replied British foreign affairs analyst Nile Gardiner (author of this highly critical article a year ago of Barack Obama's attitude to Israel) on Wednesday morning in succinct reiteration of all he'd said when pressed by BBC interviewer Bill Turnbull to "say something nice" about the victorious incumbent.

Professor Barry Rubin put it succinctly when, at the end of an article here detailing how disastrous Obama's Middle East policy has been, he summarised:
"There are many reasons why I’m thoroughly disgusted with all the phony Obama-loves-Israel or Obama-has-done-a-good-job-on-foreign-policy nonsense, and the foolish things many American Jews and many Americans say about him on this topic. But let me reduce all of these points to one central — and indisputable by anyone who is being honest — issue:
Obama has helped put into power in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s leading anti-American, anti-Semitic movement; has backed its coming to power in Syria (though he backed the equally anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Bashar al-Assad dictatorship before the revolt); and has helped maintain in power another Brotherhood branch by pressing Israel to reduce sanctions and opposing Israel’s self-defense against it in the Gaza Strip. This group openly embraces genocide against Israel and Jews generally.
Obama has also backed a Turkish regime that loathes Israel, employs anti-Semitism, supports Hamas and Hizballah, and wants to kick U.S. influence out of the region. The leader of that regime is, according to Obama, his hero. The Obama administration has not lifted a finger to press Turkey toward rebuilding relations with Israel. On the contrary, it has rewarded a Turkish regime that is doing the opposite. Only on the issue of continued aid and intelligence cooperation with Israel has Obama kept up the traditional relationship.
Obama has fought al-Qaeda, but he has helped or at least not actively opposed other revolutionary Islamist movements. As a result of Obama’s policies, even more extremist Salafist movements have been unleashed in several countries. The Muslim Brotherhood is quite tolerant of these terrorist forces and uses them as part of its overall strategy.
How can one lionize an American president who has given major backing to and has been an apologist for such a movement?
One can talk about Iran, the Jerusalem issue, and lots of other things. But whitewashing and helping five regimes or movements that openly and daily call for wiping Israel off the map, slander Jews, and call for their mass murder qualifies as sufficient in my book to laugh at any assertion that such a president is “good” for Israel.
And whitewashing and helping five regimes or movements that call for hating America, murdering its citizens, destroying its interests, and even — albeit more fancifully — destroying the United States qualifies as sufficient in my book to laugh at any assertion that such a president is “good” for America.
Obama’s policies have placed the lives of Americans and Israelis in jeopardy, as well as the citizens of many other countries, and made war more likely. For the first time in many decades, Israel cannot depend on the U.S. government. Neither can a dozen Arabic-speaking states that have relied on U.S. support. Neither can Middle Eastern pro-democracy advocates, moderates, secularists, women, and Christians. Neither can Americans."

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