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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 11, 2003

The next battle

Delegitimizing pro-Israel voices is priority for Arab lobby after Iraq.

Yesterday I posted The Next Fight by John Podhoretz. This piece by Jonathan Tobin can be considered as its worthy complement. Obviously, the next critical moment in history is well upon us already.
[...]But whatever satisfaction we can take in deflating the "blame-America first" crowd, the next battles in the political wars over how America should deal with the Middle East are just beginning.

The conflict will center on two fronts. One will be over the struggle to create a democracy in postwar Iraq. The other will be whether or not the victorious coalition simultaneously attempts to weaken the region's only existing democracy in order to empower one of Saddam Hussein's few remaining allies.

The first to feel the brunt of this effort is retired Army Gen. Jay M. Garner, the head of the Pentagon's Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, which will oversee Iraq after the fighting is over. Garner's main credential for this post is that he was the man in charge of supervision of relief work in the Kurdish sectors of Northern Iraq in the aftermath of the first Gulf war.

[...]Two years later, Garner joined more than 40 other retired American officers and government officials in a statement placing the blame for the violence in the Middle East squarely on the Palestinians, as well as praising the Israeli army's "remarkable restraint" in dealing with the bloody assaults of Yasser Arafat's terrorists and their Islamic fundamentalist allies.

[...]If we are asked to accept the notion that Garner will be rejected by the Arab world because they will perceive him as a "Jew-lover," then Israel-bashers have crossed the line to what can only be termed as anti-Semitism by association.

Closer to home, another appointment is creating similar waves of dismay among Islamists and their far-left allies.

Last week, it was announced that JWR's Daniel Pipes, the head of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, was appointed by the president to a seat on the U.S. Institute of Peace, a federal body charged with promoting education and training projects to further the cause of peace worldwide.

But his willingness to tell the truth about the Islamists and their connection to terrorism has earned Pipes the animosity of the extremist organizations that claim to speak for Arabs and Muslims in the United States.

[...]There is no escaping the fact that the campaigns against Garner and Pipes reflect a determination by the anti-Israel lobby to enforce a McCarthy-like ban on friends of Israel in key government positions. .