THE BLOG

Surprise!!!! American Jewish "Leaders" Leap to Defend Israel

Jun 01, 2010 | Updated May 25, 2011

Here's what I wrote yesterday afternoon in this space:

Beware, Americans. By tomorrow morning you will be hearing the "official" Jewish community parroting the IDF line, complaining about the nerve of those activists defending themselves in international waters from heavily armed soldiers enforcing an illegal blockade. Oh yes, and they will be mourning the soldier's deaths and not the deaths and maiming of those who set out to break an illegal blockade on humanitarian grounds.

Well, it turns out that predicting the future--when it's destined to run in well-worn grooves--isn't so difficult.

Here's what the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations had to say:

"As information emerges regarding what really occurred, it is apparent that members of the so-called humanitarian mission planned and executed attacks on soldiers and sailors from the IDF who repeatedly requested calm and gave multiple warnings urging boats to go to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where the aid would be unloaded and shipped through legal means to Gaza. . . . Video footage shows that the Israeli soldiers repeatedly asked for calm, but the activists were trained and prepared to attack and inflict injuries." (Emphasis added.)

Or feast on this from AIPAC:

"The Israeli Navy boarded five of the six ships without incident. However, on one ship, radicals-some with ties to terrorist organizations-attacked the Israeli soldiers with metal rods and knives. The Israeli soldiers were then forced to use live ammunition to defend themselves." (Emphasis added.)

In other words, the attacking Israeli commandos "asked for calm," and when they didn't get it, they "were forced to defend themselves."

So if intruders charge into your house at night, asking you to stay calm while they steal your possessions, you may not fight back, because that could "force" the intruders to defend themselves. The PR arm of the intruders insists they had the right to invade your house, and that you were responsible for all of the mayhem that followed when you resisted. In what court in the world would that argument hold water?

It's not a perfect analogy, admittedly The Palestinians were trying to break the inhumane and illegal blockade, opposed throughout the world--not simply sitting at home. We'd have to go back to Israel's invasion of Gaza a year and a half ago to make the analogy better. Then too, AIPAC and the Conference explained that the disproportionate loss of Palestinian life was the fault of the victims of IDF violence--after all, they'd voted for Hamas. When has your vote for the worst politician you've ever voted for resulted in tanks running down your street and your house being bombed?

Do you sense a pattern? This brings me back to my question of yesterday, in slightly different form: What would Israel have to do for either of these organizations NOT to support it?

Spy on the United States? Oops! Jonathan Pollard, serving a life sentence for espionage for Israel, is something of a hero to the Israeli right, which has granted him citizenship; Israel's current Prime Minister visited Pollard in prison!

Attack an American ship killing dozens of U.S. military personnel, and wounding more than one hundred? Oops! The bombing of the USS Liberty, during the 1967 war.

Standing guard and shooting flares to help right-wing Lebanese militias to massacre hundreds of Palestinian residents of Lebanese refugee camps? Oops! Sabra and Shatila, 1982, for which massacre the Israeli Kahan commission found then Defense Minister and future Prime Minister Ariel Sharon personally responsible.

What would it take?