Retired Generals of the Israeli Defense Forces and high-ranking Mossad officials praise Barack Obama…
Thanks to Jeremy Ben Ami for recommending a new Jewish Council for Education and Research video featuring IDF generals endorsing Obama. This project is a bit of a delicate one since many Americans don’t take too kindly to foreigners intervening in their domestic affairs. On the other hand, given that the Republican Jewish Coalition is specifically charging Obama with being anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian, which has an impact on the decisions of Jewish voters–it’s critical to hear the voice of Israeli soldiers whose highest duty has been to protect the state of Israel from its enemies.
When you listen to these high ranking IDF and Shin Bet officers–including Ephraim Levy, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Uzi Dayan, Shlomo Brom, Yossi Alpher, Amram Mitzna and Shaul Arieli–you come away with the strong sense that not only will Obama NOT endanger Israel, but that he will act in Israel’s long-term interests in a far better way than McCain.
Several of the generals pointedly praise Obama because they beleive that the U.S. policy of intransignece and isolation regarding Iran is an abject failure. They specifically endorse a stance of unconditional negotiations and engagement. This is precisely the opposite of John McCain’s view and that of the Israel lobby groups. The views expressed here should make it that much harder for the right-wing pro-Israel organizations to advance their hardened positions regarding Iran.
If I thought it would make any difference I’d be hand-delivering copies of this DVD to the leaders of every Israel lobby organization and every member of Congress. Unfortunately, Howard Kohr, Malcolm Hoenlein, Abe Foxman and David Harris will not be influenced by such a video. Their minds are made up.
I bit of disclosure is in order. JCER’s director is Mik Moore, who is on loan from the Jewish Fund for Justice. Moore runs the Fund’s Jspot blog. I used to feature links to it and JFJ at this blog and even raised funds for the group as part of my wedding–until I asked Mik if he would return the favor and link to Tikun Olam. After all, Jspot does list approximately 30-40 “Jewish blogs” in its blogroll. I was flabbergasted when he told me it would violate JFJ’s policy which is to avoid contact with blogs dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Can you imagine that the Jewish left is so broad and deep that we can divide it up into the domestic left and the Israel left and say one is somehow kosher in terms of affiliation and the other isn’t? Maybe I can persuade Mik to create a new blogroll category called “Not Jewish Enough.”
I raise this rather disturbing issue because JFJ is not the only Jewish blog that refuses to associate with Tikun Olam. Gershom Gorenberg and Haim Watzman at South Jerusalem, a blog I admire and used to write posts about, also somehow find Tikun Olam not kosher enough to be included in its blogroll. At least that’s what I glean from several e mails sent to Gershom, only the first one of which was answered in a vague, non-commital fashion.
Reminds me of the story about the Jew shipwrecked on a deserted island. When rescused he brings his rescuer to the highest hill on the island from which they spy two buildings in the distance. When asked about them, the Jew points to one building and says: “That’s my shul.” When asked about the other building, the Jew replies: “Oh, that’s the shul I won’t step foot in.”
It’s a tad ironic that Mik is violating JFJ’s own precepts in this project. I guess this involvement with the I-P conflict is kosher in JFJ’s eyes.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.