Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A question of perception - Adi Mintz



by Adi Mintz

The Obama administration, however, has endorsed the Palestinian narrative in full. As far as Obama is concerned, the Palestinian demand for a comprehensive moratorium on settlement construction includes the entire area beyond the Green Line.

Every so often, information about how U.S. President Barack Obama's administration seeks to undermine Israel and its government finds its way to the public. Most recently, this was inadvertently evidenced in a report by Haaretz journalist Barak Ravid, which stated that a review of the list of officials regularly invited to the White House revealed that Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer was not among them.

The visitors' registry further revealed that while official Israeli delegates were essentially snubbed by the White House, the American president's aides regularly meet with individuals representing the radical Israeli Left.

Ravid reported that, at the end of October 2014, "There was a visit by the head of the Geneva Initiative group, Gadi Baltiansky, followed the next day by a visit by the head of Friends of the Earth Middle East, Gidon Bromberg. They met separately with Maher Bitar, director of Israeli-Palestinian affairs at the White House." 

Ravid continued that on Dec. 2, "left-wing activist Danny Zeidman, whose main interest is problems related to Jerusalem, met with adviser Gordon. On Dec. 9, attorney Michael Sfard from the Yesh Din human rights group met NSC Mideast adviser Lempert."

When former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was still a Likud MK, he once referred to Zeidman as "an agent of the Palestinian Authority," whose association was funded by European governments. Michael Sfard had worked with the Al-Haq organization, an independent Palestinian human-rights group, which is also funded by European governments, and conducts lawfare against Israel.

The nuclear deal negotiated between world powers and Iran has once again raised questions over Obama's motives. It is unlikely his actions are rooted in anti-Semitism, as some would argue, but rather stem from a radical viewpoint. 

The U.S. has never sanctioned Israeli settlement activity in Judea and Samaria, and throughout the years, it seems Israel has failed to properly assert the narrative of the Jewish people's exclusive right to its land and its sovereignty over it, and has failed to debunk the myth of the "occupation."

Nevertheless, both Bill Clinton's and George W. Bush's administrations accepted the fact that Israel has a tangible hold on east Jerusalem and the settlement blocs. Bush, who endorsed the so-called "Road Map" and "vision" of Palestinian statehood, even entrusted former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior adviser Dov Weisglass with a letter acknowledging Israel's sovereignty over those areas, while still debating the true meaning of "natural growth" in the settlements.

The Obama administration, however, has endorsed the Palestinian narrative in full. As far as Obama is concerned, the Palestinian demand for a comprehensive moratorium on settlement construction includes the entire area beyond the Green Line.

Unfortunately, Jerusalem has yielded to Washington's pressure in this matter, even curbing construction projects in east Jerusalem. Obama shares the views of the anti-Zionist Left in Israel, which is why he is fighting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over every home built in the Gilo and Ramot neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

Obama's worldview, it seems, does not recognize the Jewish people's national and historic rights. As far as Obama is concerned, Israel is a nation of immigrants, whose establishment -- as he said in his 2009 Cairo speech -- was the price the world had to pay following the murder of 6 million Jews in Europe, but it cannot come at the expense of the Palestinians.

Given this perception, Israel must strive to shift the focus of the conversation back to the issue of rights, and offer a moral alternative. The strong ties that bind the U.S. and Israel are not solely rooted in the administration, but also derive their strength from American public opinion, and the hundreds of lawmakers on Capitol Hill who do not share the White House's radical views.

Adi Mintz is the former CEO of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.


Adi Mintz

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=12321

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

No comments:

Post a Comment