Why I am proud to be an ‘Israel Firster’ (JERUSALEM POST OP-ED) By DOVID EFUNE 03/19/12)
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Among others, liberal poster child and at times valiant Israel
defender Alan Dershowitz recently strongly objected to the use of the
term “Israel Firster,” applied notably by M.J. Rosenberg, an employee
of President-Obama-affiliated watchdog Media Matters.
Fox News pointed out that the term “Israel Firster” is an “epithet
that implies somebody’s loyalties are to Israel before America.” As
Dershowitz explained in an interview with the news station, “When you
accuse Jews of dual loyalty, you invoke a canard that goes back
hundreds of years and falls into the category of anti-Semitism.” The
inherent problem with the objection to the use of the term is that in
order to accept its “negative connotation,” one first has to accept
the false premise that American and Israeli interests are
fundamentally at odds.
Yes, of course Israel and the United States won’t agree on all the
details, but these are only policy differences, in the same way as
Americans among themselves will disagree. As a whole, Americans
overwhelmingly agree that support for Israel is in America’s
interests, and Israel’s and America’s global objectives are about as
perfectly aligned as possible with any other sovereign nation.
A March 2nd 2012 Gallup poll showed that 71 percent of Americans view
Israel favorably, as opposed to 19% for the Palestinian Authority.
For the sake of reference, this figure is higher than the
favorability rating of both the president and congress combined. In
2010 another Gallup poll showed Israel to be the fifth favorite
foreign country for Americans, following Canada, Germany, Great
Britain and Japan.
Ratings like this are not the result of some collective charitable
complex that has been sweeping the nation since the birth of polling
on this subject, nor could they possibly be the result of some
sophisticated marketing campaign. Quite simply, public opinion is
formed by a collective perception of interests and allegiances, and
America recognizes that Israel essentially serves as its Middle East
beachhead. If Israel were to fall, the United States and the free
world would be significantly weakened, and its interests in the
region would be in dire jeopardy.
CONSIDER FOR a moment a world without Israel. Once the “small satan”
is gone, the enemies of freedom in the Middle East would increasingly
shift focus towards the “big satan” and its interests, starting with
Saudi Arabia. Producing almost 10 million barrels of oil daily, more
than double Iran’s output, the impact of instability in Saudi Arabia
on oil prices and Western economies would be unimaginable.
On the rare occasion that American administrations have taken
significant anti-Israel positions, it has been against the will of
the American people.
An Associated Press article published last week indicated that
President Obama himself had acknowledged as much.
The article cites the Palestinian foreign minister Riad Malki saying
that “Obama has told the Palestinians to sit tight during a US
election year, while holding out the promise of a serious push for
Palestinian statehood if he wins a second term,” Adding that the
reason is “because the president will be focusing on how to be re-
Now, if the kind of “serious pushing” that the Obama administration
has been engaged in before the “re-election” concern came to the fore
was in accordance with the will, interests and priorities of the
American people, he would be upping the tempo during election year,
and not sitting out the round.
M.J Rosenberg wrote, “There is no need here to describe who the
Israel Firsters are. They are those people (of whatever ethnic
background) who invariably support Israel’s policies over those of
the United States.” His premise is false. Those who support Israel’s
policies believe that they conform to the interests of the United
States, and in America they are the vast majority.
In truth, the term “Israel Firster” is almost tantamount to accusing
a supporter of America’s military as being a “Troops Firster.” It is
Rosenberg and his academic cohorts like Walt and Mearsheimer that
have been working so diligently to undermine the dovetailing of the
United States and Israel’s foreign interests by injecting
their “Liberal Firster” agenda. As such the “Israel Firster” term
should be proclaimed as a badge of honor by those who refuse to
accept their dishonest narrative.
The writer is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and
can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit www.algemeiner.com
for more information. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/19/12)
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