On Friday Pat Lang’s national security site published an essay that a lot of folks are passing around. I don’t know who wrote it–the byline was the pseudonym J.P. Benjamin (at left)–but the familiarity with a lot of inside baseball suggests someone in the know.
The chronology could not really be clearer. In the immediate aftermath of the Knesset passage of the bill restricting funding for human rights organizations within Israel, followed by Secretary of State Clinton’s criticism that was extended to condemnation of the treatment of women in Israel, and the unprecedented official protest against the Israeli policy lodged by the US ambassador, there has been a strong and harsh backlash, obviously whipped up, assailing organizations and people in the US that have been critical of the Occupation, the Netanyahu government’s destruction of the peace process, and the right-wing within Israel. From the Ben Smith article in Politico on December 8 on the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for publishing critical material of current Israeli policy and its ideologues (“vitriol”), to Jennifer Rubin (who has openly called for the mass murder of Palestinians and has been protected by Washington Post editors and its publisher), to Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic (a former Israeli prison guard who has proclaimed himself the oracle on all matters pertaining to Israel and that criticism of him is ipso facto rejection of the Jewish State and ipso facto objectively anti-Semitic, encompassing perhaps his service in the Bush administration choir on links of Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein, etc.), et al (the usual suspects), there is a broad and systematic effort to limit discussion and debate about Israel and the Middle East that reflects the campaign inside Israel, including on the following subjects: the collapsed peace process and who is responsible; the complexities of the Arab Spring; the diplomatic rather than ultimate military path towards Iran; the emergence of Turkey and its chastising of Israeli policy on Gaza, especially after the killings on the Mavi Marmara; the influence of Likud through AIPAC and other organizations on the US political process, the US media and the US Congress; the rise of the new right around Islamophobia; the influence and role of Israel on US detainee policy and the militarization of domestic policing policy; the assault on Secretary of State Clinton for her remarks on the threats to democracy within Israel, as well as the nearly complete silence in the US from the Democratic Party, liberal intellectuals and pundits, defending her and the administration, as well as freedom for human rights groups within Israel; and the effort to discredit anyone operating outside the limits set by those that insist on the narrow spectrum of discussion, far different from within Israel itself.
Please read the articles below: Clinton criticism sparks Israeli anger, etc.
The articles can be found at the post.