“Financial support has been very negatively affected both by the deterioration in the atmosphere [and] the sense on the part of many of our Arab donors that nothing can be done to fix the negative image of the Arabs in the United States at present.”
The interview was publicized last week on the blog of a former foreign policy director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Steven J. Rosen.
In 2006, MEPC republished a paper by scholars Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer that argued that the U.S.-Israel lobby had conspired to launch the Iraq war on behalf of the interest of Israel, but not America.
Noting the reaction to the appointment on many blogs, Ms. Joyce said Thursday, “It’s ironic there was a great deal of publicity generated by our publication of the paper by Mearsheimer and Walt on the Israel lobby, and yet the reaction to the Freeman appointment has been by people who are acting like a lobby.”
Paul Pillar, former Middle East chief on the National Intelligence Council, praised the choice of Mr. Freeman.
“I have considerable respect for him,” Mr. Pillar said. “He has exactly the kind of breadth and ability to cut right to the core on a range of issues needed in that job.”
Mr. Pillar dismissed concerns that Mr. Freeman might have become too close to Saudi Arabia, China or other governments because of business connections after leaving the Foreign Service.
“It is perhaps hard for some people who have not been professionals in the foreign service, military or intelligence to understand the concept of serving the government of the day without having a policy agenda,” Mr. Pillar said.
“I have confidence that someone of Ambassador Freeman’s experience will bring objectivity and a professional approach to the performance of his duties.”
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