ISRAEL NIXES OBAMA PICK
Pressure of Jewish lobby results in withdrawal of nominee considered
too ‘pro-Muslim’ by Zionist coalitions
By Michael Collins Piper
It had to happen: The Obama administration is under fire from the Jewish lobby. The first shot came from Abe Foxman, chief of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, a key cog in the Jewish lobby. Foxman expressed dismay that Obama appointed former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine)—who is of Arab extraction—as his Middle East negotiator.
Foxman was angry that Mitchell was perceived to be too neutral, that in the past Mitchell had not adhered to an all-out pro-Israel stance during a previous stint working to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinian refugees. Foxman expressed outrage at the idea that the United States should demonstrate any “evenhandedness” in conducting Middle East Policy.
Now the Jewish lobby is shrieking at the appointment of Charles Freeman, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, the influential body that, last fall, outraged Israel by asserting that Iran’s nuclear arms program was not so far advanced and threatening as Israel’s supporters insisted.
Israel National News describes Freeman as “a sharp critic of Israel.” Freeman upset Israel by asserting the United States should confer with Hamas, which he called “the only democratically elected government in the Arab world.”
Elsewhere, the former ambassador declared:
We destroyed the Iraqi state and catalyzed anarchy, sectarian violence, terrorism, and civil war in that country. . . .Meanwhile, we embraced Israel’s enemies as our own; they responded by equating Americans with Israelis as their enemies. We abandoned the role of Middle East peacemaker to back Israel’s efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoized Arab populations. We wring our hands while sitting on them as the Jewish state continues to seize ever more Arab lands for its colonists. This has convinced most Palestinians that Israel cannot be appeased and is persuading increasing numbers of them that a two-state solution is unfeasible. . . . Now the United States has brought the Palestinian experience—of humiliation, dislocation and death—to millions more in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now, three leading congressional supporters of Israel, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Republicans Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Eric Cantor (Va.)—an Orthodox Jew who serves as the minority whip in the House—are demanding an inquiry by the inspector general for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence into ties between the Middle East Policy Council, a private group—which has been critical of the U.S.-Israel “special relationship—that has been chaired by Freeman and which has received funding from Saudi Arabia.
One critic of Freeman’s group charged it had published “anti-Semitic canards” about “a powerful Jewish cabal” in the U.S. Kirk proclaimed: “Given his close ties to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we request a comprehensive review of Ambassador Freeman’s past and current commercial, financial and contractual ties to the kingdom to ensure no conflict of interest exists in his new position.”
And his GOP colleague, Cantor, added: “Charles Freeman’s past associations and positions on foreign policy are deeply alarming. His statements about the U.S.- Israel relationship raise serious concerns about his ability to support the administration’s attempts to bring security, stability and peace to the Middle East.”
(Apparently Kirk and Cantor believe it is entirely appropriate for Americans with close ties to Israel and foreign Jewish interests to be appointed to high office.)
Mark S. Devenow, writing on the website of the Jewish Telegraph Agency, said, “The fact that Obama would even think of appointing such a rabid anti-Israel partisan . . . ought to be alarming to every Jew who voted for this callow and insouciant person in whom the leadership of the free world is now vested.”
Noting that 76 percent of American Jews had claimed to have voted for Obama, Devenow added, “Shame on us for bringing, or helping to bring, this [president] on ourselves.” [Note: As AFP went to press. Freeman withdrew his name from consideration.—Ed.]
A journalist specializing in media critique, Michael Collins Piper is the author of The High Priests of War, The New Jerusalem, Dirty Secrets, The Judas Goats, The Golem, Target Traficant and My First Days in the White House All are available from AFP.
(Issue # 12, March 23, 2009)