- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Susan Abulhawa’s Thursday Op-Ed column, “Obama’s VP pick right for Israel?” recycles anti-Jewish conspiracy theories about the pro-Israel lobby.

Mrs. Abulhawa claims Sen. Barack Obama chose Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. as his vice presidential running mate to assuage “Israeli and Jewish American fears” that a President Obama “might not be so accommodating to Israel.”

How then to explain press reports that Israeli leaders listened to Mr. Biden in disbelief when he stated that Israel and the United States might have to live with a nuclear-armed Iran? How does Mrs. Abulhawa explain polls showing a majority of American Jews are likely to support Mr. Obama regardless of his vice-presidential pick’s views about the Middle East?

The writer describes the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as “undeniably the most powerful foreign interest group in Washington, and arguably the most powerful lobby in general.”

AIPAC is not a “foreign interest group.” It’s the registered U.S. pro-Israel lobby, made up of American Jews and non-Jews who advocate close U.S.-Israel ties. It doesn’t represent the Israeli government.

It might be the most influential group of Americans lobbying on foreign policy - but that’s partly because other such groups are relatively few, newer and smaller.

When it’s compared to AARP; the National Education Association; and the oil, dairy and other big lobbies, calling AIPAC “arguably the most powerful lobby in general” is ludicrous.

The writer charges that Israel “killed and maimed thousands of civilians” and “decimated civilian infrastructure” merely “in response to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.” Israel attacked Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 after several murderous cross-border assaults by the Iranian-backed terrorist group, after Hezbollah killed three Israeli soldiers, abducted two others and killed five more sent to rescue, while firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian targets.

Between 1,100 and 1,200 Lebanese were killed - of whom up to 700 were members of Hezbollah and other armed groups. Israel bombed bridges, power plants and other infrastructure in parts of Lebanon where Hezbollah based itself among noncombatants, contrary to international law.

The writer attacks “scores” of American politicians, “genuflecting as they always do to extol the virtues of the Jewish State… that is currently in violation of at least 200 U.N. Resolutions” and criticized by human rights organizations.

Most of those U.N. resolutions are bogus, often instigated and supported by the 22-member Arab League, the 56-country Organization of the Islamic Conference and other frequent and often large-scale human-rights violators such as China, North Korea and Cuba.

Charges by self-described “human rights organizations” that employ double standards against Israel and other Western-style democracies and dictatorships and theocracies likewise are bogus. The Middle Eastern country in which Arabs and Muslims are freest and their individual rights are most respected is Israel.

CAROL GREENWALD

Chevy Chase

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