Anti-Defamation League National Pledge for Unity on Israel – by Stephen Lendman
ADL’s audacity gives chutzpah new meaning. Whether it’s latest scheme works isn’t known. However, early indications express displeasure. More on that below.
Along with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), ADL’s web site calls for a “National Pledge for Unity on Israel,” saying:
America supported Israel since its 1948 founding. Its friendship transcends politics. It’s never been just a party platform plank. It’s “a core American policy that serves our nation’s most fundamental national interests.”
For the past six decades, American presidents and congressional leaders “championed the shared values and outlook that bind the two nations.”
“This broad bipartisan backing has been vital to America’s interests and to Israel’s security throughout decades of war and a constant struggle for survival.”
For decades, Washington’s been Israel’s paymaster/partner. Together they waged aggressive wars and state terror against nonbelligerent countries, organizations and individuals.
Both are unrivaled global menaces. They’re scourges on humanity. Annually, Washington grants Israel billions of taxpayer dollars, low or no-interest loans (some never repaid), the latest weapons and technologies, and other benefits afforded no other nation.
Israel, in fact, gets more US aid than all other countries combined. In return, they partner in crimes of war and against humanity. Neither respects democratic values, human and civil rights, or rule of law principles. Both are unprincipled rogue states.
ADL and other Israel Lobby members pressure administrations and congressional members to provide uncompromising support. Few decline. Now ADL wants more, saying:
“Now is the time to reaffirm that Israel’s well-being is best served, as it has always been, by American voices raised together in unshakeable support for our friend and ally.”
ADL’s October 19 press release headlined, “ADL and AJC Co-Sponsor National Pledge Calling for Bipartisan Consensus on Israel, saying:
Both organizations want “elected officials, religious leaders, community groups and individuals to join them in signing the ‘National Pledge for Unity on Israel.’ “
According to AJC executive director David Harris:
“If there is one thing candidates for high office and people of all political stripes can agree on, it is the importance of the long tradition of bipartisan support for our friend and ally, Israel.”
ADL national director Foxman said:
“The last thing America and Israel need right now is the distractions of having Israel bandied about as a tool for waging political attacks.”
Foxman sounds worried about what rarely happens. He underscored his appeal by saying individual and organizational signatories will be published. The implication, of course, indicates names omitted fall short of total support.
“(W)e want the discourse on US support for Israel to avoid the sometimes polarizing debates and political attacks that have emerged in recent weeks, as candidates have challenged their opponents’ pro-Israel bona fides or questioned the current administration’s foreign policy approach vis-a-vis Israel.”
Imagine one nation asking others to pledge loyalty as an expression of support. The notion’s foreign, unheard of, and arrogant. Few at best would go along, doing so only under heavy pressure or threats.
On October 25, Haaretz writer Natasha Mozgovaya addressed the issue in an article headlined, “ADL bid for US bipartisan support for Israel faces staunch resistance,” saying:
In times of political granstanding ahead of America’s 2012 elections, demanding “bipartisan support seems to be a naive pledge,” stopping short of calling it unheard of, arrogant, abusive and outrageous.
“But it didn’t prevent (ADL and AJC) from (wanting) Jewish organizations and individuals to join them in” pledging loyalty to Israel while “preventing the Jewish state from becoming a wedge issue in the upcoming campaign season.”
In fact, it never did before so why now? Few congressional members do less. Critics are targeted for removal. Israeli Lobby power is ruthless. Few officeholders and aspirants oppose it. What Israel wants, it gets.
Political support for Israel isn’t overwhelming. It’s nearly unanimous. The tradition goes back decades, especially since the 1960s.
In days, Jewish activists, organizations, and congressional members will receive ADL’s pledge by mail. Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) executive director Matt Brooks expressed ire, saying:
“This effort to stifle debate on US policy toward Israel runs counter to this American tradition. Accordingly, the RJC will not be silenced on this or any issue.”
He stopped short of admitting strong Republican support for Israel, no matter his strong rhetoric.
At the same time, he added:
“An open and vigorous debate on the questions confronting our country is the cornerstone of the American electoral process….For this reason, the RJC will not be a signer to this pledge.”
The Emergency Committee for Israel also was blunt, saying:
“You must be kidding.” It promised that “this attempt to silence those of us who have questioned the current administration’s foreign policy approach vis-a-vis Israel will reenergize us.”
“Directors Harris and Foxman need a refresher course on the virtues of free speech and robust debate in a democracy. Their effort to stifle discussion and debate is unworthy of the best traditions of America, and of Israel.”
At issue, of course, is proving who’s Israel’s staunchest ally, even though both parties have little disagreement on matters concerning Israel. But they want voters to think one side is more loyal than the other, using rhetoric only to convince them.
Nonetheless, Foxman responded, saying:
The pledge wants to encourage “measured and thoughtful expressions of different points of view regarding US policy toward Israel. What prompted ADL and AJC to launch this initiative was a desire to ask participants in the political discourse to avoid harsh and personal rhetoric or tactics in the form of attacks on political opponents’ positions on Israel.”
In fact, what ADL, AJL, AIPAC, and other Israel Lobby members demand is assurance that whatever Israel wants it gets. Hasn’t it nearly always been that way?
Haven’t targets of both countries suffered enough from it? Isn’t it high political Washington acted responsibly?
One day perhaps if America’s corrupted duopoly is replaced by officials representing popular, not imperial and corporate, interests. It can’t happen a moment too soon.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.