At the opening of AIPAC’s annual foreign policy conference its new president, Lee Rosenberg, was not a happy man. As he put it, “In recent days we have witnessed something (the Obama administration’s initial public anger with Netanyahu and his government) very unfortunate.”
The Biden “incident”, Rosenberg said, was “regrettable”, but Netanyahu had apologized “four separate times” and said “the announcement” (of more Jewish construction in occupied Arab East Jerusalem) was “hurtful and should not have been made.” Quite so, Mr. Rosenberg. It would have been much better from Zionism’s point of view if the announcement had not been made and Israel had just got on with the business of de-Arabizing East Jerusalem.
In any relationship even the best of friends were going to disagree, Rosenberg said, but it was “how friends disagree, how they react when missteps occur, that can determine the nature of the relationship.”
Then he made his three key points:
“Number one, the people of Israel and the democratically elected government of Israel passionately believe in peace. And Israel is committed to its alliance with America.
“Number two, the United States and Israel both have a responsibility to work with one another and achieve that peace. That is what allies do.
“And three, allies should work out their differences privately.”
That brought AIPAC’s new president one of three standing ovations.
Why should disagreements between American administrations and Israeli governments be kept from the public?
Rosenberg’s answer was: “History shows that when America pressures Israel publicly, it provides an opportunity for those who wish to derail the peace process to have their way.”
Ah, so it’s not Israel that is making peace impossible?
Rosenberg could not have been more explicit with AIPAC’s take on that aspect of the matter.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let us be clear, the reluctant partner in this peace process is not Israel’s elected leader Prime Minister Netanyahu. (Another standing ovation).
“The recalcitrant partner is the Palestinians and their leader – President Mahmoud Abbas.
“The Palestinians are bitterly divided between Hamas and Fatah – that is a problem. The failure of President Abbas to end his nay-saying and come to the table for direct talks which Prime Minister Netanyahu has been committed to from the start – that is a problem. The failure of the Arab world to begin normalizing its relationships with Israel – that is a problem.
“Israel is not the problem. Israel is America’s partner. (The third standing ovation).
When I was a child my father often said to me, “Boy, there are none so blind as those who don’t want to see.”
But blind though AIPAC is for that reason, it’s not completely out of touch with reality. It knows that the more Zionism’s on-going colonisation is exposed to the light, the more the world understands that Israel is the obstacle to peace. (The world now includes some of the U.S.’s top military men who are going on the public record with their view that support for Israel right or wrong is not in the best interests of America).
If you are a Zionist, the case for keeping the lights off is a very strong one.
At the time of writing, I’m waiting, as no doubt many others are, to see if President Obama returns to his surrender mode when he meets with Netanyahu tomorrow.