Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.
So there it was, “perfect proof” of what John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were saying about the Israeli lobby: the pressure mounted and Charles Freeman, the designated chairman of the National Intelligence Council, decided to withdraw his name from consideration.
Of course, the incident really has nothing to do with the kind of allegations against the Jewish community that Mearsheimer and Walt and others have been propagating. Their contention is that the Jews control the discussion and making of Middle East foreign policy in this country and won’t allow for alternative viewpoints to be explored and flourish.
That charge is absurd on its face, particularly when they cite as examples institutions such as the media and campuses. In both places, there are multitudes of examples of expressions of views critical of Israel. The notion that there is no diversity of viewpoints is simply false.
How then to view the Freeman saga? It is undoubtedly true that many in the organized Jewish community were distressed about the pending appointment. The more his record was revealed – his blaming U.S. support for Israel for the 9/11 attacks; his demonizing of Israel as the responsible party for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – the more concern there was about the central role he might play in intelligence affairs. Some on the Right who were predicting the Obama Administration would be no friend of Israel saw this as evidence of their fears.
For most, however, the Freeman appointment was disturbing on its own terms without generalizing about where U.S.-Israel relations were heading.
It must be said that to suggest there was anything illegitimate about American Jewish concern about Freeman or that it indicated in any way Jewish control of policy is pure fantasy. Freeman’s views do not fall into the category of alternative perspectives on the conflict; those kinds of things surface all the time whether in criticism of Israeli settlements or judgments on how to deal with Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran.
Rather, his views fall far away from mainstream opinion in America vis-à-vis Israel and the region and enter into that area of demonizing Israel and its supporters in the U.S.
Nothing better illustrates where Freeman is coming from than in his statement explaining his withdrawal. He articulates, in the guise of a victim, the essential conspiracy view of the Israel-supporting community which made his appointment so troubling in the first place. He sees the exposure of his troubling attitudes toward Israel as proof “that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired.”
“The aim of this lobby,” he says, “is control of the policy process…and the exclusion of any and all options for decisions.” And Freeman blames it all on “the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider any option for U.S. policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling factor in Israel politics.”
These statements are part of a pattern, most notable being a 2006 comment by Freeman blaming the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America’s close relationship with Israel: “We have paid heavily and often in treasure in the past for our unflinching support unstinting subsidies of Israel’s approach to managing relations with the Arabs,” he said, adding that as of September 11, 2001, “we began to pay with the blood of our citizens here at home.”
So it turns out that Freeman is just another version of Mearsheimer and Walt, conjuring up demonic images of Israeli policymaking and creating fantasy views of an America where no criticism of Israel is allowed, where American policy is controlled by Israel and its Jewish allies, where U.S. administration policy never differs from Israeli policy.
The real story here is not one of evidence of Jewish control, but rather that when extremist views surface in mainstream government circles, there still are ways to make sure they don’t become government policy.
As the U.S. enters a critical period with regard to Middle East issues, and as intelligence community findings on a range of issues from Iran to Hamas to Pakistan will become more critical than ever, we should be thankful that good sense has prevailed in the withdrawal of the Freeman appointment at the National Intelligence Center.
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The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.
Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof
What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.
Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.
The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.
Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US
No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?
For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.
It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.
For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.
Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation
Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.
Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers
In today’s democratic Europe, there’s no risk of a Holocaust. Comparisons to Kristallnacht are apt.
The trial was a shock to American Jews, as was Frank’s lynching two years later.
Worried about a nuclear Iran? Do you think such a development would not only threaten Israel’s existence but would intimidate the Arab countries of the Gulf, put the radical Islamist regime in position to threaten the West, and lead to unmanageable nuclear proliferation? Have no fear! Kenneth N. Waltz, the highly respected professor of international relations at Columbia University, argues in a recent article of Foreign Affairs magazine that “Iran Should Get the Bomb.”
There was a time when no one living in Israel needed a reminder of what was at stake when the Jewish state was created in 1948 in the aftermath of World War II and the Nazi Holocaust.
The threat of the infiltration of Sharia, or Islamic law, into the American court system is one of the more pernicious conspiracy theories to gain traction in our country in recent years.
On the evening of December 11, 1995, businessman Aaron Feuerstein was with family and friends at a restaurant in Boston. It was his seventieth birthday, and a group of well-wishers had gathered to throw him a surprise party.
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