Common Values, Con’t

Are American interests aligned with Israeli interests?

[tweetmeme] After the infamous Fox News entertainer Glenn Beck condemned MJ Rosenberg for shaking his finger at Israel over the handling of the Flotilla, Rosenberg shot back in a post that underlines the diverging interests of the US and Israel.  The entire post is a good read and well worth the time, but here is a snippet:

But I can’t help but feel a little sad that the Israeli government’s most vocal supporters are now on the extreme right. (My discomfort on that score was only heightened today when Beck endorsed a book by a notoriously anti-Semitic author.)

It’s no surprise that liberals are not too enamored with Israel these days — not with the Netanyahu government firmly choosing occupation and blockade over negotiations with the Palestinians.

Does that mean that the extreme right is more pro-Israel than progressives?

Actually, it means the opposite.

Progressives oppose Israeli policies that would almost inevitably lead to Israel’s dissolution. There is hardly a mainstream political figure in Israel, dead or living, (including current Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert) who hasn’t evinced the belief that Israel cannot survive if it maintains the occupation of the lands taken in 1967. Netanyahu’s choice of confrontation over negotiating the end of the occupation appears suicidal.

But that is the policy supported by right-wingers like Beck. They don’t admire Israel because of its intrinsic qualities but because they view it as fighting the good fight against the people they most despise: Arabs and Muslims. They will happily fight to the last Israeli in a struggle they view as part of the “War on Terror.”  If Israel is sacrificed in the name of that goal, so what? There are more important things to the right than the survival of one little Jewish country — like fighting Islam.

My favorite part is when Rosenberg uses George Washington to take down Beck:

This is from Washington’s Farewell Address of 1796, a speech so significant that it is read aloud in Congress each year on the anniversary of Washington’s birthday (italics mine).

“A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification….And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.”

So, Glenn, next time you want to make the case that every good American should support every Israeli policy, don’t take it up with me.  Take it up with our first president.

Didi Remez at Coteret agrees.  In response to a vulgar video made by Caroline Glick – of the Jerusalem Post (yeah the same one that ‘discovered’ WMDs in Iraq while embedded with an American unit) – satirizing the Flotilla, Remez looks at the support for Israeli policies among the right of the right in America.

The video is a repulsive attempt to use satire to make Israel’s case on Flotilla Devbacle. I recommend suffering through its entirety to grasp just how much. This is not really surprising to anyone who has ever read Glick’s columns or makes a cursory inquiry into her background. She is, for example, the recipient of the Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) Outstanding Journalism in the Mideast award, which was presented to her in a ceremony featuring the esteemed John Bolton. Memorably, Glick was also quick toreport (Hebrew), while embedded with a US unit in Iraq that she had “discovered” the first stash of WMDs.

The kind of US audience Glick appeals to is illustrated by the fact that Latma is fully funded by Center for Security Policy’s Middle East Media program, headed by Frank Gaffney, and that Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI) was quick to post the video on its website.

The growing importance of the Israeli nodes of American neo and theo conservative networks is not new and regulars readers of Coteret know that we have followed it closely. But the reception this clip has received in Israel was surprising.

Telling, perhaps, is that the video – says Remez – was welcomed by a number of left-of-center Israeli intellectuals and praised by the (right-wing) Israeli paper Yediot (English translation by Remez here).

Photo from Jagonews

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