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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Will Jones show up?

Writing in the New York Post, Gabriel Schoenfeld raises the possibility that White House National Security Adviser James Jones will cancel his speaking engagement at J Street next week in light of all the controversy regarding the organization. Schoenfeld argues that Jones' appearance or non-appearance at the J Street conference is a test of the Obama administration's pro-Israel bona fides (Hat Tip: Power Line).
The "if" is an important question, for there is a chance, if the White House pays attention to the controversy it would be stepping into, that Jones won't show. Among the growing list of notables who've already dropped off the program's "honorary host committee" are New York's two senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. The reason for such distancing isn't difficult to fathom. J-Street has been engaged in a bit of pretense. It bills itself as "pro-peace" yet is anything but -- except, perhaps, if its policy recommendations were ever followed, the peace of the grave.


It is difficult to see how the term "pro-Israel" applies. A better term might be "pro-squeezing Israel." J-Street favors a US policy that would force Israel to take steps long favored by the American and Israeli left that Israel's democratically elected government has considered time and again and deemed severely wanting.

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama spoke of how the US alliance with Israel is based on shared interests and shared values. "Those who threaten Israel," he said, "threaten us." Israel, he continued, "has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security."

Yet as president, Obama has been sending more than a few mixed signals and creating doubts about where he really stands. Jones has thus far kept a low profile as Obama's national-security adviser. Giving a keynote address to the phony "pro-peace" and "pro-Israel" J-Street convocation, if it proceeds, will be a revealing test of the administration's true intentions.
Obama is going to fail the test; in fact he has already failed it by virtue of Jones' speech to the American Task Force on 'Palestine' last week and many other actions taken (or not taken) by his administration. Schoenfeld makes the case that J Street is not 'pro-Israel, pro-peace' quite well. But as far as a test goes, Obama's failure is a foregone conclusion.


At 10:13 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Not to mention Obama's demand Israel cleanse Yesha of Jews and agree to a Palestinian state without the Palestinians having to compromise. That's another litmus test the Administration has failed!

What could go wrong indeed


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