Just wanted to write a quick blurb on the current “flap” between America and Israel.
The article “Democrats criticize Obama, highlight seriousness of U.S.-Israel flap” was amazing to me. At first, I was pretty surprised but as I thought about it more, I wonder if it doesn’t have to do with calming a very important voting block (The Jewish Population) which may be voting Democrat? It seems very weird (for lack of a better word) that Obama is being criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for sticking it to Prime Minister Bibi after his government completely embarrassed Joe Biden and the hopes of resurrecting the peace process. This just doesn’t make any sense.
Sarah Palin has also been making headlines with this issue by criticizing Obama and saying America shouldn’t “disagree with Israeli policies.” Aside from the fact that she reflexively disagrees with everything Obama does, I saw a parallel between her statement about nukes: “It’s kinda like getting out there on a playground, a bunch of kids, getting ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, ‘Go ahead, punch me in the face and I’m not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me.'” It would seem it is ok if the current Israeli government does exactly that to the US Administration in her opinion.
I understand the Republican criticism because that is just what they do but I’m not sure if the Democrats are criticizing to appease the voters or if we should give credit to the main Jewish Lobby and their immense power! It seems that this lobby really does run America!
On a positive note, I’m really rooting for the new Jewish lobby called J-Street. I think they are a great counterbalance to the conservative “pro-Israel no matter what it is doing group.” What J-Street is saying is always just spot on in my opinion but they are going to have to get much bigger to have any impact on their rival.
In the USA I think the media and politicians have been too scared frankly to stick up to the main Jewish lobby due to their incredible power. I love that J-Street speaks to reason and that if the USA disagrees with the conservative Israeli government then that is OK! I hope this group continues to gain influence and that the Kadima party wins back power in Israel. The way the Likud party and current coalition is going about things is never going to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
I also take issue with the media in the USA and how their bias in reporting about Israel. It always seems too one sided. I have not been to Israel but have enough experience abroad that one should definitely form their views from media in the USA. I had the opportunity to talk to a few female Israeli soldiers in the Pham Ngu Lao district in Saigon. From that discussion I probably learned more then from all the news articles I have ever read about Israel in the USA. I was shocked to hear them saying that what Israel is doing in taking over Palestinian lands is wrong in their opinion!! I had been trained by the media in the USA to think that taking over land is what the majority of Israelis wanted! It just goes to show how much one can learn simply by setting foot outside of the USA and actually speaking with citizens of whatever country.
On a side blurb, I would also like to point out the similarity between “lobbying” and “corruption.” The USA often gets on other nations for “corruption,” but perhaps it would behoove these other nations to simply change the name of the practice to “lobbying?”
UPDATE 5.10.2010: When writing the above post I had to be extremely careful because in the past when one disagreed with Israel all hell would break loose. But now, J-street is a younger, hipper lobby that often breaks ranks with their older peers. I just read the article “Jon Stewart vs. Israel” and love his thinking that “any and all ideology, a belief that racial and ethnic boundaries between people are just plain dumb, and, above all, that true believers in anything are downright funny.” This is good for Israel, good for peace and ultimately good for the world.