You may remember Abe Foxman's initial response to the rumor that George Mitchell would be appointed special envoy to the Middle East. He observed that Mitchell is know for being evenhanded and commented, “I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”
Foxman was roundly criticized for it (ie Yglesias: "the position he’s taking is incredibly stupid—nobody comes out against fairness"). Now that he's had a few weeks to think about I'm sure he's seen the error of his ways, right? Wrong.
Today Abe Foxman has inserted his foot in his mouth way past the ankle. Writing in The Forward, he explains in his article "Beyond ‘Evenhandedness’":
“evenhanded” approach. It is self-evident that peace between Israelis
and Palestinians will require concessions on both sides, and America’s
role should be to give incentives to the parties to move in that
direction. “Evenhandedness,” however, fails to take into account the
vast differences in the historic relationships the two sides have had
with America, in the institutional characters of the two societies, in
the meaning of democratic values in each and in their respective
approaches to peace.
He adds, "'Evenhandedness' can only lead to a distortion of what American-Israeli relations are about." Couldn't have said it better myself Abe.
Foxman also adds that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn't really all that important to the US anyway. He warns:
the key to solving all of America’s problems in the Middle East.
Adopting such a view would create unnecessary tensions between America
and Israel. It would put too much weight on this specific issue and
inevitably lead to demands that Israel be the party to make the
Imagine that. Let's recap – Foxman argues against the US taking an "honest broker"
approach to the conflict because it never has in the past, and says the US shouldn't get engaged because it will only lead to tensions with Israel. Can someone please explain to me how this guy has any credibility at all?
More than just further embarrassing himself, Foxman's plea for the 'good ole days' of one-sided Israeli advocacy from the US shows how scared the ADL and its ilk are feeling. In recent weeks we've seen the lobby fall on its face with an anti-UNWRA bill while a pro-UNWRA colleagues letter garnered unprecedented support. Dennis Ross just can't seem to land a job. And now just yesterday Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA) introduced H. Res 130 "Expressing support for the appointment of former Senator George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace" with over 30 co-sponsors and growing. Abe won't be happy. (Adam Horowitz)