The lobby isn’t just rotten politically, it’s rotten intellectually. It demands one-sided stances by western leaders, against Arabs and for Israelis.
The double standard is in full sunlight in this NYT piece on the lobbying against the Iran deal. As you read this excerpt, compare the praise lately lavished on Ariel Sharon, who had a hand in several civilian massacres and was known throughout the Arab world as a butcher– but George Bush called him a “man of peace,” and Joe Biden compared him to James Joyce— with the contempt heaped on Iranian foreign minister Zarif for praising a Hezbollah leader. Rick Gladstone, in the Times:
Escalating an effort to portray Iran’s leaders as duplicitous, supporters of the Kirk-Menendez bill… have taken aim at Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, an American-educated diplomat who led the successful negotiations on the temporary pact…
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based group that supports tough sanctions, criticized Mr. Zarif on Tuesday for paying respects on Monday in Beirut, Lebanon, at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh, an assassinated commander in the military wing of Hezbollah, the Shiite political organization allied with Iran. The United States and Israel consider Hezbollah a terrorist group, and the European Union has classified its military wing as a terrorist operation.
Mr. Mughniyeh, killed in a 2008 car bombing that Hezbollah said was carried out by Israel, was regarded by the United States as having planned numerous attacks, including the 1983 truck bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 American service members.
“Celebrating a mass-murdering terrorist is a bad choice for any foreign minister, but the decision by Tehran’s top diplomat to so brazenly honor a terrorist like Mughniyeh, who killed hundreds of Americans, within hours of inking an agreement with the U.S. and members of the P5-plus-1 sends a very negative and unmistakable signal about Iran’s true intentions,” Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said in an email. He said Mr. Zarif’s gesture should be “met with a firm Obama administration response such as new terrorism sanctions against Iran.”
Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council, also condemned Mr. Zarif’s visit. “The decision to commemorate an individual who has participated in such vicious acts, and whose organization continues to actively support terrorism worldwide, sends the wrong message and will only exacerbate tensions in the region,” Ms. Hayden said in a statement.
Yes and how many hundreds died in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps? Even the Israeli government found that Sharon bore responsibility for those crimes.
Or consider Sharon’s first big murder raid, leading Unit 101 in the massacre of 69 Palestinians in Qibya in the West Bank in 1953. In an amazing new work of scholarship on Israel’s foundations, Citizen Strangers, Shira Robinson says that Sharon burst into fame with the raid, because his unit was part of Israel’s “War on Return”–the country’s absolute determination to maintain an ethnically cleansed homeland against a demographic threat, by the most violent means. And this has no connection to terrorism?