The lies of Zionist overtures

How much longer will we have to listen to lies about Israel’s desperate search for peace? The Guardian reports:

The Israeli army has ordered the seizure of Palestinian land surrounding four West Bank villages apparently in order to hugely expand settlements around Jerusalem, it emerged yesterday.

The confiscation happened as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met to prepare the ground for a meeting hosted by President George Bush in the United States aimed at reviving a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

However, critics said the confiscation of land suggested that Israel was imposing its own solution on the Palestinians through building roads, barriers and settlements that would render a Palestinian state unviable.

The land seized forms a corridor from East Jerusalem to Jericho and is intended to be used for a road that would be for Palestinians only. Analysts said the road would run on one side of the Israeli security barrier, while the existing Jerusalem-Jericho road would be reserved for Israelis.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said it was necessary to build a road to link Bethlehem and the Judea region with Jericho and the Jordan valley area in order to “improve the quality of life” for Palestinians.

As if the ever-expanding settlements weren’t bad enough, now we have a group of rich Jews in America pushing for war against Iran (and much of the media is too afraid to highlight this not minor fact.) Memo to the mainstream: if Jewish money is advocating military strikes against Iran, say it. It’s true. The American Conservative explains:

Late this summer, just as American political armies were squaring off over the next, and likely last, act of President Bush’s Iraq War policy, a new pro-war group called Freedom’s Watch announced a $15-million ad buy over several months in key states. The first ads featured soldiers who had been maimed in Iraq but stood by the cause of a global war on terror. Political observers said they were targeted at the districts of Republican congressmen who were going wobbly on the war.

The rollout was not auspicious. Ari Fleischer, a board member of Freedom’s Watch and the former White House spokesman, stumbled on MSNBC’s “Hardball” when Mike Barnicle screened one of the ads and asked, “What’s that soldier’s name?” “I don’t have that soldier’s name in front of me,” Fleischer said. (His name is John Kriesel, and he lost both legs in Fallujah last year). The fact that Fleischer and another member of the group’s board had worked in the Bush White House seemed to support the view that that the group was an administration front. Says Moira Mack of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (which has its own smaller ad campaign): “This is a desperate attempt to counter the strong and growing movement to end the war. We have the public backing of millions of members. They have money and ads, but they don’t have public support.”

The Jewish press offered a different take. “Pro-Surge Group Is Almost All Jewish,” reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the lead wire service for Jewish news. Four out of five members of the Freedom’s Watch board are Jews, and half of its donors are Jewish. The JTA quoted one of its directors, Matthew Brooks, saying this was strictly a “coincidence.”

As a progressive Jew, I don’t think it is that simple. Right-wing Jewish support has always been a crucial prop for the Iraq War. The neoconservatives, who pushed for the war for years and then got their way after 9/11, originated as a largely Jewish movement that formed in the 1970s in good part out of concern for Israel’s security. Many of the neocons cited Saddam’s attacks on Israel as a reason for the U.S. to invade Iraq, and similar pro-war arguments spread to liberal Jews. The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman pointed at Saddam’s payments to suicide bombers in Tel Aviv as justification for the invasion, and I remember being shocked when my own brother said he didn’t know what to think about the Iraq War. He had demonstrated against the Vietnam War, but his Jewish newspaper said this one would be “good for Israel.”

What the Zionist groups hope for is the silence of other Jews, leaving them to speak “for Jews.” This is starting to change, and they know it.