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Friday, January 20, 2012

Israeli diplomat walks out on Jewish Leftist group

Israel's Deputy Consul General in New York City, Shlomi Kofman, walked out of a speech by Jewish Labor Committee Chairman Stuart Applebaum after Applebaum launched a vicious attack on the Netanyahu government.
Speaking before more than 350 guests, most of them from various trade unions, Appelbaum condemned what he called “new expressions of contempt for Israel within the Arab world,” a reference to the movement to delegitimize Israel. That contempt, he said, is at least partly rooted “in the conviction that Israel will never accept the right of the Palestinians to an independent state.”

But Appelbaum added that Israel was “cursed with a right-wing coalition government that’s regularly giving credence” to that point of view. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “talks a good game about a two-state solution,” he said, his administration “shamelessly” promotes “the construction of illegal settlements on the West Bank” — a policy that “severely impedes negotiations.” It’s a situation that Appelbaum likened to the employer “who comes to the bargaining table, telling us he wants a contract that’s a win-win for both sides, while, at the same time,” instructing his lawyers to work on petitions that would decertify the union.

As a result, he said, Hamas, which he branded a “terrorist” organization, is winning new support, while moderates who were once ready to negotiate peace are now backing away from that stance.

As Appelbaum concluded his remarks, calling on guests “to send a message” to the Israeli government in favor of “good-faith negotiations,” Shlomi Kofman, Israel’s deputy consul general in New York, rose from his table and walked out of the event. Meanwhile, the remarks seemed to elicit a lukewarm response, failing to win the robust applause that followed other speeches.
Joel Pollak writes that Kofman should not have been surprised by Applebaum's attack. And Pollak fills in some more details of what Applebaum said, so let's go to that first.
We all know Benjamin Netanyahu talks a good game about a two-state solution, but, at the very same time, his administration continues to shamelessly promote the construction of illegal settlements on the West Bank – a policy that no severely impedes negotiations…

Netanyahu’s right-wing supporters in this country have pulled out the stops to slander the president as some kind of enemy of Israel.
They hope that if they repeat that lie long and loud enough that some Jews might actually fall for it … enough, maybe, to flip Florida against President Obama this fall.

Who would they replace him with? Maybe a guy like Rick Santorum – a man who said that allowing Palestinians to have their own country on the West Bank would be like the U.S. giving Texas back to Mexico.

[Which, come to think of it, may not be that bad of an idea.]
Here's why Pollak says Kaufman should not have been surprised.
But Israel’s envoy should not have expected anything different from an event honoring AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka as an authority on “human rights.”

Trumka has a history of thuggish tactics that promote the interests of union bosses at the expense of workers. Most recently, Trumka supported the Occupy Wall Street movement, which embraced anti-Israel and antisemitic radicals. The Jewish Labor Committee seemed not to have noticed.

Nor has it noticed the anti-Israel fervor of union leaders such as the SEIU’s Joe Iosbaker in Chicago, or the anti-Israel activism of the California Faculty Association, among others, even though Appelbaum claims that American unions have not fallen prey to anti-Israel prejudice.

Moreover, though the Jewish Labor Committee is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, Appelbaum delivered an explicitly political message, following the dubious example recently set by White House adviser Valerie Jarrett at a church on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The controversy stirred by Appelbaum’s remarks reflects a crisis within the Jewish community, particularly among leaders and organizations that have invested in the political success of President Barack Obama. Obama’s failure to grapple with the country’s economic and fiscal challenges, as well as his determined but hapless attempts to force Israel to accept peace on dangerous terms, has supporters considering their options.

Pretending that Obama support Israel is a useless charade that will come back to bite us if God forbid he wins reelection. It's time to stop pretending and to let people draw their own conclusions from our lack of pretense.

The American Left is anti-Israel and it's time for all of us to stop pretending otherwise.

Read the whole thing.

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At 2:36 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

With friends like those who needs enemies??? Wait...http://weaselzippers.us/2012/01/19/awesome-netanyahu-tells-journalist-the-new-york-times-is-one-of-israels-main-enemies/


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