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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Emergency Committee for Israel

Shmuel Rosner interviews Noah Pollak about Noah's baby - the Emergency Committee for Israel.
2. What is the difference between the Committee and other pro-Israeli groups - like J Street?

Well, for starters, ECI is pro-Israel. Our purpose is to address three major threats to the U.S.-Israel alliance in the context of the American political debate: the Iranian nuclear program and Iran's sponsorship of terrorist groups; the campaign to delegitimize and isolate Israel; and the hostility of the Obama administration to the traditional closeness of the two nations. At bottom, we believe that the turn against Israel is a rejection of America's special role in the world as a defender of liberal democracies. We will do great damage to our own national soul if we allow ourselves to become cynical participants in the international lynching of the Jewish state.


5. Will your group not help those claiming that there's some confusion among pro-Israel advocates, mixing American interests with Israeli ones?

At the Obama-Netanyahu meeting this month, President Obama said that the "unbreakable bond" between the U.S. and Israel "encompasses our national security interests, our strategic interests, but most importantly, the bond of two democracies who share a common set of values." We wholeheartedly endorse these ideas, despite the dubious commitment to them of the current administration.

More importantly, I would like to know the following from those who view American and Israeli strategic interests as divergent: what interests do you advocate? Is it allowing Iran to go nuclear, or granting legitimacy to Hamas, or letting Hezbollah become stronger? Is it the desire for America to turn away from its democratic allies in order to placate dictatorships and terrorist groups? Is it the belief that we share common values with societies that sentence homosexuals to death, allow honor killings for women, and viciously discriminate against religious and racial minorities? Is it the campaign to delegitimize the only liberal democracy in the Middle East while ignoring the authoritarianism of nearly every other country in the region? What interests are these people talking about, exactly?

6. And what about the fear - shared by Israeli officials - that Israel will become a partisan issue in american politics rather than bi-partisan? Are you not hurting Israel by making it seem so much a cause of the right?

Support for Israel remains bipartisan in Congress and among the public, and we would be the first to cheer the formation of a new liberal pro-Israel group. That said, it is not support for Israel that has become a partisan issue -- it is hostility to Israel that is partisan. We support Israel and a large majority of Americans support Israel. It can only be a good thing if candidates get that message from voters this November.
Read the whole thing.

Noah, you even got your picture in the print edition of Thursday's JPost.


At 6:08 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

I have signed up to it!


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