Poor Bibi is looking to gain a "Sympathetic Ear" in support of his "Ethnic Cleansing and Settlement" policies in America. Instead, what he got was a "Sympathetic Ear" minus the "Sym" part, thus making it a "Pathetic Ear" in the form of John Hagee and his terrorist supporting wingnuts. This is a really good piece written by M.J. Rosenberg who is the director of policy analysis for the Israel Policy Forum in Washington. As always, I could not resist a few measly comments as well ;-)
Playing the Jesus cardPigs won't be flying anytime soon.........
Benjamin Netanyahu has a problem. The Obama administration is insisting on a settlements freeze, and the Israeli prime minister, who is resisting such demands, is not getting the support he might have expected from the U.S. pro-Israel community. Usually, when an American President makes any sort of demand on Jerusalem, pro-Israel (primarily Jewish) organizations compel Congress to pressure the president to cease and desist. It usually works. But not this time.
So what's an Israeli leader to do? Netanyahu is resurrecting a tried and true strategy: Call on Christian fundamentalists -- who see maintaining Israel's occupation as paramount -- to galvanize popular pressure against Obama.
At the president's meeting with Jewish leaders at the White House on July 13, Obama heard virtually no criticism of his policy on settlements. Even the more conservative Jewish groups held their tongues. The only exception came when one participant urged the president not to change his policy but to keep his differences with Israel private, such that there would be "no daylight" visible between Israeli and American positions. Obama responded that past administrations did not have much success with that approach. "For eight years, there was no light between the United States and Israel, and nothing got accomplished," he said.
The up-and-coming pro-Israel, pro-peace organizations like J Street and my employer, the Israel Policy Forum, oppose settlements and fully support the president's position.
Netanyahu has never been a popular figure in the American Jewish community. His last tenure as prime minister was a failure; he was turned out of office in near-record time. Yet even in this brief stint, he managed to antagonize the United States. Remember, he came to office less than a year after the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and moved quickly to undo the peace process. that led to a swift deterioration in relations between Netanyahu and then President Bill Clinton
Sensing the frost, and knowing that getting in Clinton's good graces would require endorsing Oslo, Netanyahu turned to the Republicans and to the Christian Zionists for support.
At about the same time that Netanyahu started cozying up to right-wing Republicans (Like minds attract), the Israeli government intensified its efforts to court so-called Christian Zionists. These are (Mental, I mean FUNDA-Mental)Christians whose(brainwashing) theology dictates unwavering support for the state of Israel.
Christian Zionists emphatically support Israeli settlements and oppose the two-state solution. By no means liberal, they do not raise questions about Israel's treatment of Palestinians. They are, quite simply, Netanyahu's natural constituency
So, sure enough, Netanyahu was the man of the hour at this week's Christians United For Israel (CUFI) conference in Washington. The organization's founder, Pastor John Hagee, addressed Netanyahu -- who was in Israel -- by satellite, telling him that 50 million (Mental, I mean FUNDA-mental Christians) support "Israel's sovereign right to (Kill, murder, maim, steal, rape, pillage and annihilate) grow and develop the settlements of Israel as you see fit and not yield to the pressure of the United States government."
The (Evil Axis of Three) triumvirate of Netanyahu, Hagee, and Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov now plan to cement their alliance by conference call every three months."
It has all the makings of a zero sum game: Netanyahu and other right-wing Israelis hope that the support they gain from the Christian right can help make up for what they have lost among (normal sane people) American liberals over the past several years.
It won't. Christian (funda-MENTAL) Zionists of the CUFI variety are hardcore Republicans. Their votes are never up for grabs in elections because they are owned by the GOP -- and not because of Israel. Right-wing Christians, including Christian Zionists, support Republicans for the party's stance on abortion (Bomb and kill Abortion workers and clinics), gays (hate all gays), taxes (don't help fund programs for the poor) and a host of other conservative issues. Neither the Democrats, who will never get their votes or their campaign contributions, nor the Republicans, who will always get both, have any need to court them. So, loud and organized as they are, this subset of the American right is not a major political player.
the only domestic constituency that matters is the Jewish community and, thus far, it is supporting Obama -- not Netanyahu -- on the settlements issue and the peace process.