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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Some of you may have been surprised by this post, which puts Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg in cahoots with Samantha Power in attempting to undermine Israel's existence. After all, if, like me, you grew up in America in the '60's and '70's, you undoubtedly lapped up the notion that Democrats were pro-Israel with your mother's milk. Until Jimmy Carter at least.

But in fact, Caroline's anti-Israel activities just prove the old salt that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree (Hat Tip: NY Nana). After all, it's no secret that Caroline's grandfather, Joseph Kennedy, was one of the biggest anti-Semites ever to grace the US diplomatic corps. It turns out that her 'pro-Israel' father did just what he needed to do to get elected.
Fortunately for Kennedy, the Middle East at the time was going through a rare period of calm; even the Israeli front was quiet as Egypt and Syria were distracted by internal matters and inter-Arab politics. Unaffected by the placid state of affairs, however, was the American fascination with Gamal Abdel Nasser: Like their predecessors in the Eisenhower administration, Kennedy's chief foreign policy aides were obsessed with befriending the Egyptian president.

Where Kennedy differed from Eisenhower in courting Nasser was in the assumption that Arab nationalism, far from being a breeding ground for Soviet influence and infiltration, might actually constitute a bulwark against Russian advances in the region.

"Only a few years ago," said Undersecretary of State Chester Bowles in 1961, "all thoughtful observers were clearly concerned about Soviet penetration into the Middle East. Many thought that Egypt...was on the road to Soviet control. Yet today Nasser's nationalism fiercely combats internal Communism and his relations with the U.S.S.R. grow increasingly cool."

As part of his all-out effort to win Nasser's affection, Kennedy pushed hard for large increases in aid to Egypt, and in early 1962, following an Israeli retaliatory strike in Syria, instructed his UN ambassador to vote to condemn Israel in the Security Council.

Nasser rewarded Kennedy a few months later by publicizing the contents of an extraordinarily craven letter he had received from the American president. The letter's disclosure was a humiliation for Kennedy, not only for its tone of abject supplication, but also for its suggestion that Kennedy supported the tough measures Eisenhower had employed against Israel during the Suez crisis six years earlier.

"I am...proud of the real encouragement which my government and the American people have in the past given to your aspirations and those of your countrymen, especially in the critical days of 1956," Kennedy wrote Nasser, directly contradicting his previous public statements on the matter, particularly those made during his campaign for the White House.
Fortunately for Israel, one of the things Kennedy needed to do to get elected was to choose Lyndon Johnson as his running mate.

Read the whole thing.

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At 10:59 AM, Blogger Your Correspondent said...

JFK's brother, Robert Kennedy, was a supporter of Israel and that's the reason he was murdered by the Palestinian Arab, Sirhan Sirhan.


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