Ron Weiser, former President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, is an irregular writer for the Australian Jewish News.
His latest column is a real gem, issuing predictably pro-settler sentiments, bashing Barack Obama and urging a hardline against anything even vaguely pro-Palestinian:
Returning from Israel, it is interesting to note just how different the situation looks from over there.
US President Barack Obama has succeeded in doing something that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was not able to do alone — unite the Jewish people.
But not quite the way Obama had intended.
There seems to be wall-to-wall support in Israel in favour of “natural growth of the settlements” especially within the established blocks, notwithstanding whatever legal gymnastics or linguistic devices may be found to eventually resolve this issue with the US on a temporary basis.
There is no serious feeling anywhere in Israel against Jews having the right to continue to live in and develop and grow the consensus settlements. The only disagreement is on how to achieve this tactically.
In Israel there is a growing belief that while Obama may have the best of intentions, he is rather naÃ¯ve.
At the same time there is also the belief that he is setting out on a rebalancing of affinities, if not loyalties, between Israel and the Arab or Muslim world, to a greater or lesser extent.
Another clear trend is that the blame — and it is looked upon in Israel as blame — is not being sheeted home solely to Obama himself as much as to sections of American Jewry as typified by J Street and the very high profile Jewish advisers that surround Obama…
The minute we import J Street type ideology and make it “kosher” here, we sow the seeds of the destruction of the current policy situation in Australia.
It behoves our leadership to be on the alert for just such a move and to meet it head on when it happens.
It’s sad that such people claim to speak for Australian Jewry. In fact, the vast majority of American Jews support Obama’s policy towards the Middle East. They are opposed to settlements. They support a more even-handed approach to the conflict. And I suspect many Australian Jews would agree.
I have major disagreements with Jewish lobby J Street and Obama, but to suggest they’re extremist or unrepresentative is false. People like Weiser can feel the winds of change; they hate that Israel may have give up any land (even though much of it is stolen). They despise that America’s unconditional backing is being challenged.
Why can’t Israel just do whatever it wants with US foreign aid?
It’s called acting responsibly, something Israel has never understood.