Huge news in the Israeli media, but not ours, though it’s about our politics. Einat Wilf is a former member of the Israeli Knesset who was present at an international leaders’ roundtable in London last week and reported on her Facebook page:
I nearly fell off my rickety British chair today when former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw spoke at the Round Table Global Diplomatic Forum in the British House of Commons. Listing the greatest obstacles to peace, he said “unlimited” funds available to Jewish organizations and AIPAC in the US are used to control and divert American policy in the region and that Germany’s “obsession” with defending Israel were the problem. I guess he neglected to mention Jewish control of the media….
Haaretz headlines its report: ‘Ex-U.K. FM: Jewish money biggest obstacle to Mideast peace’ ‘Unlimited’ funds available to U.S. Jewish groups are controlling American Mideast policy, Jack Straw reportedly states in British parliament debate.” Ynet has cast the same report in darker terms:
Former British Foreign Secretary and Labor MP Jack Straw made harsh anti-Semitic statements during a British parliament debate last week, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
More from Einat Wilf’s Facebook page:
“It was appalling to listen to Britain’s former foreign secretary…His remarks reflect prejudice of the worst kind. We’re used to hearing groundless accusations from Palestinian envoys but I thought British diplomats, including former ones, were still capable of a measure of rational thought.”
“Throughout the debate I reiterated that the origin of the conflict was the Arab and Palestinian unwillingness to accept the Jewish people’s legitimate right to a state of their own, and that as long as that willingness is absent there will be no true solution.”
It is amazing that ideas that were once blacklisted as being anti-Semitic are coming more and more into the mainstream, as people seek to explain the power of the Israel lobby. It is a necessary discussion, and should entail such information as the fact that two potential Republican presidential candidates were in Israel last week, surely in an effort to win Sheldon Adelson’s millions.
Or Eric Alterman’s statement that conservative Jewish organizations
“have the money and power to interfere with my career and undermine my ability to earn my living as a writer and a scholar.”
Or this donor-braggartry from rightwing rabbi Shmuley Boteach about his dear friend, liberal New Jersey Senator-elect Cory Booker.
And, as a friend, he has so often agreed to participate in our organization’s public events – obviously not earning a penny…. If he met wealthy donors at these events, he was always speaking to them about projects they could fund in Newark for the benefit of residents…
Or indeed Norman Finkelstein’s statement on our site that when it comes to policymaking in Israel and Palestine, “on this particular issue [American Jews] constitute a—perhaps, the—decisive voice.” What does that power derive from? As Straw says, the shadow of the Holocaust and the debt the world owes Jews has played a large role in Israeli immunity. I’m sure such ideas are important for Chris Matthews. But the lobby is also a huge factor, and money is the mother’s milk of politics.
Update: This piece stated originally that Wilf is still a member of the Knesset.