Also published at Alternet:
Rudy Giuliani, potential future Republican candidate for governor of New York, keynoted the Stand for Freedom in Iran rally earlier today at the UN. Like a similar rally last year during the presidential campaign, when the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations invited Sarah Palin to keynote an anti-Iran UN rally, Giuliani confirms that tomorrow’s event, sponsored by the New York Jewish community, represents a hardline neocon agenda. By announcing Giuliani’s participation less than 24 hours before the event, the rally organizers avoid the cries of political partisanship that would build (which is precisely what happened in Palin’s case) if his invovlement had been announced earlier.
The Stand for Freedom website doesn’t acknowledge that this coalition of New York ethnic, religious and labor groups was organized by the Jewish community (it’s website is registered by the Jewish Community Relations Council). I wonder whether the non-Jewish groups know that it has been hijacked by a partisan political agenda? The website doesn’t mention Israel, in whose interests all these events are being planned. It doesn’t mention that the sole Iranian-American sponsoring group has ties to the Mujahadeen al Khalq, listed as a terror group by the U.S. government. The People’s Mujahadeen also favors the violent overthrow of the Iranian regime.
Instead, the rally’s stated political agenda appears relatively innocuous, indicating its support for the Iranian reform movement. The truth is, involvement of hawks like Rudy Giuliani and the Progressive American Iranian Committee will damage the reputation of the reform movement and drive Iranians into the arms of hardliners like Ahmadinejad.
So why would the Jewish community do such a thing? I believe they not only don’t really care about Iranian reformers, they in fact seek a hardening of U.S. policy toward Iran, leading up to a possible Israeli attack. So what the Netanyahu government, American neocons, and the Israel lobby ultimately want is regime change by any means necessary.
Yes, sanctions are what they say they want. But just as with Iraqi sanctions under the Bush administration, they are a means to get to the next level, which is a military solution. I am sorry to say that the leadership of American Jewry has been co-opted by the Israeli diplomatic corps in this country. It is carrying water for Israel and doing so in league with the Republican right represented by Giuliani.
American Jews do not share these views. Our so-called leaders are out of step with their followers. But the former somehow is given carte-blanche. That is why we progressive Jewish bloggers do what we do. We say, No. You don’t represent us. You don’t even represent Israel’s real interests. You represent your own wealthy class interests. You represent the interests of a right wing Israeli government. You represent a rush to military action. We reject this. We reject you.
Instead we embrace the pragmatists among the Israeli intelligence & political community that endorse diplomatic engagement. Even Ehud Barak, for what it’s worth, said last week Iran was no existential threat to Israel. We will make common cause with those in Israel who refuse to drive their nation off the rails by getting into a military adventure that will lead to the same disasters that befell Israel in Lebanon and Gaza. The difference with Iran though is that it is a country that has means not only to defend itself, but to exact retribution if Israeli bombs should fall on Iranian soil.
In that case, there will be blood: Jewish, Iranian and possibly even American. Blood that needn’t have been spilled. I find it hard to believe that Pres. Obama and the international community couldn’t organize to stop this train wreck in the making. The jury is still out on whether they are prepared to act.