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U-turn if you want to

November 24, 2016 22:57

Over at Talking Points Memo M.J. Rosenberg takes a look at the confusing world of Aipac, the ADL and the American Jewish Committee, especially when it comes to Israeli foreign policy challenges.
Basically, people who change their policies like underpants, have policies that smell like underpants.

It must be fun being the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, or the American Jewish Committee. You can switch policies on a dime and everybody understands.

For decades, these three have been unabashedly pro-Turkish. If Turkey was for it, they were for it. No matter what the issue -- even one as emotional as the Armenian genocide -- the big three Jewish organizations backed Turkey to the hilt as did their Congressional cutouts. (Not long ago, ADL fired an official in Boston for saying that there was an Armenian genocide).

The reason. Turkey was (and, in my opinion, is) Israel's most powerful friend in the Muslim world. Going back to its first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, Israel worked hard at maintaining a strategic friendship with the Turks.

And so did Israel's lobby in America.

By extension, the lobby did not like Greece, Greek Cyprus, or anything the Greeks liked. The organizations loved sending delegations to Turkey, encouraging Jewish tourism there, and celebrated Turkey as utterly free of anti-semitism. (The Greeks were dismissed as incorrigibly left-wing).

No more. Ever since the Turks opposed the Gaza invasion and blockade, the lobby has been furious at Turks for their temerity. Its prime minister even publicly admonished Shimon Peres about Gaza in Davos. And then there was the flotilla incident (about which Turkey has infinitely more reason to be angry about than Israel), Within the period of a few months, Israel and its lobby turned on Turkey with a vengeance. Even the 1915 genocide that previously wasn't a genocide became one overnight.

Now Turkey is the country the lobby loves to hate. Assuming that the best way to stick it to Turkey is to suck up to Greece, that it what AIPAC, AJC, and ADL are doing. In lockstep. These guys remind me of American communists back in the 1930's, with their sheer dexterity at shifting policies in about an hour! How silly can you get?

Jonathan Broder writes all about it in Congressional Quarterly (I don't have the link because I can't afford a subscription) but here is a small excerpt. It is about the new lobby position on Cyprus, a subject about which it previously showed no interest. But the new anti-Turkish position applies across the board. (The American Jewish Committee should be calling for renaming Istanbul any day now. Why not Constantinople?).

Here's Broder.

Pro-Israel powerhouses such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, all of which had advocated effectively for Turkey before relations between Jerusalem and Ankara began to fray, were among the organizations that joined forces with several Greek-American groups to lobby for passage of the Cyprus resolution. Bilirakis said Jewish lawmakers and members of the pro-Greece caucus teamed up to get the resolution passed.
"Greece determined that closer relations with Israel could diminish the strength of the Turkish-American lobby," said Ekavi Athanassopoulou,a political scientist at the University of Athens.

And the word is getting down to the community too. "The Greek Islands are prettier than the Turkish islands. And Greece is Israel's friend."

Hilarious. The islands are all beautiful. But Greece has never been very friendly to Israel, while Turkey always has. Besides, even if it wanted to, Greece cannot offer Israel what Turkey can: a key friend in the Muslim word.

Previous Israeli prime ministers would understand the necessity of maintaining good solid ties with Turkey. After all, they worked for decades to build them. But not Netanyahu and his sidekick, Avigdor Lieberman. Their foreign policy is all about self-pity, resentment, and spite. In this case, they are spiting themselves and hurting Israel.

And their pet lemmings -- the "pro-Israel" lobby that is anything but -- are running off the cliff with them.

For Israel's sake, these people need to grow up. Israel should be friendly with Greece. But it needs to be friendly to Turkey. Is that too hard to grasp?

November 24, 2016 22:57

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