Monday, February 04, 2008
Much of the discussion in the MSM and online has focused on the role of the so-called Israel Lobby and the American neocons have played in influencing U.S. elite and public opinion to back their interventionist policy in the Middle East, including the support for Israel. But a recent post by Jim Lobe on Wall Street Journal Votes for Netanyahu should draw our attention to the way that Israeli-American-Likudnik-Necons (or for short: Isramericanli Likudnecons) – American neocons who relocated to Israel but seem to be spending more time publishing and commenting in the U.S. -- like historian Michael Oren are trying to exploit the influence of their political allies in the U.S. to affect political and electoral outcomes inside Israel. Many years ago, I published an article in Foreign Policy magazine America And Israel: Reforming Israel-Before It's Too Late in which I argued, among other things, that the President Bush I’s pressure on Israel to end its settlement policy could help weaken the power of then governing Likud party (which it did). I was criticized by the neocons of that time for --- God forbid! – backing the idea that Americans could and should “interfere” in Israeli democratic politics and criticize the democratically elected government there – and who then did one of their infamous Double Standards by urging American-Jewish voters not to vote for the “anti-Israeli” Bush I… (sorry, but this was in the pre-internet and I can't find links). So…as far as the neocons are concerned, it’s kosher for Americans to establish front-organizations and media outlets that promote support for a radical Israeli agenda – not to mention AIPAC, etc. – and for the Israelis and their supporters here to “interfere” in democratic American politics (as philip Weiss has been documenting on his blog). Heence, the chutzpah of a neoconservative Washington correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, grading American presidential candidates based on their support or lack of for Israel and by extension recommending the one candidate that American-Jews should vote for(imagine a similar project being run by the New York Times’ correspondent in Israel during an Israeli election) and the American-Israeli Oren publishing an article in a leading American newspaper which calls for the ousting of a democratically-elected Israeli government. BTW, Americans would probably be surprised to learn that most educated Israelis haven’t heard about Oren who is a very marginal figure inside that country's intellectual circles.