MJ Rosenberg on the power, or lack thereof, of the Zionist lobby:
The campaign to defeat Chas Freeman’s appointment as chair of the National Intelligence Council succeeded. He withdrew his name yesterday.
But it may come at a cost. The perception, almost universally held, that he was brought down because he is a strong and vocal opponent of Israel’s West Bank and settlement policies is not good for the Jewish community and the pro-Israel community in particular.
As one leading blogger put it to me last night, “so it’s okay to be a strong critic of US policies and still get a government job, but if you stray from the pro-Israel line, you are a dead duck.”
True or not, that is the perception and the Freeman critics know it which is why, following his withdrawal, some major Jewish organizations applauded his downfall but only in blind quotes.
What does it all mean? That is hard to say although an insider I spoke to last night said: “This was a real pyrrhhic victory. One, the administration is pissed off. And, two, Obama is going to be more determined than ever to take a strong stand on settlements, Gaza relief, and negotiations. They shot their wad on Freeman. They will not think that was so smart a few months from now.”