The ADL Takes Sides against Benjamin Netanyahu

Sept. 16 2016

In an English-language video posted last week, the Israeli prime minister pointed out that the Palestinian demand for sovereignty over a territory from which Jews would be excluded amounts to advocacy of ethnic cleansing. Responding in Foreign Affairs, Jonathan Greenblatt, the new head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a former staffer for both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, roundly condemned Netanyahu’s statement (as, not coincidentally, did the White House). Jonathan Tobin remarks:

[Even] leaving aside the merits of Netanyahu’s assertion, . . . for Greenblatt to re-position the ADL from its former centrist position as a mainstream address for pro-Israel activism to one that is now in open opposition to the democratically elected government of Israel is a sea change of enormous importance. From now on, the ADL must be viewed as an ally of J Street and others on the left who make no secret of their partisanship in the context of both Israeli politics and the tense relations between Israel and the United States. This is a betrayal of the ADL’s long and honorable legacy as a group that sought to speak for the interests of the Jewish community as a whole and respected the right of Israel’s people and their leaders to make their own decisions about security.

It is equally outrageous for Greenblatt to use his newly inherited mantle, as the man who can pose as the arbiter of what is or is not anti-Semitism, to attack Israel’s government. . . . Enough Jewish blood has been shed by Palestinians driven by hate to understand the stakes in that conflict. Whatever one’s opinions about settlements, the ADL has no business weighing in on this subject in a manner that effectively gives the Palestinian culture of hate a pass. Doing so also undermines the ADL’s credibility in the fight against the forces threaten both Israel and world Jewry.

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More about: ADL, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton, Israel & Zionism

 

To Israel’s Leading Strategist, Strength, Not Concessions, Has Brought a Measure of Calm

Aug. 14 2018

Following a long and distinguished career in the IDF, Yaakov Amidror served as Israel’s national-security adviser from 2011 to 2013. He speaks with Armin Rosen about the threats from Gaza, Hizballah, and Iran:

For Israel’s entire existence, would-be peacemakers have argued that the key to regional harmony is the reduction of the Jewish state’s hard power through territorial withdrawals and/or the legitimization of the country’s non-state enemies. In Amidror’s view, reality has thoroughly debunked this line of reasoning.

Amidror believes peace—or calm, at least—came as a result of Israeli muscle. Israel proved to its former enemies in the Sunni Arab world that it’s powerful enough to fill the vacuum left by America’s exit from the region and to stand up to Iran on the rest of the Middle East’s behalf. “The stronger Israel is, the more the ability of Arab countries to cooperate [with it] grows,” Amidror explained. On the whole, Amidror said he’s “very optimistic. I remember the threat that we faced when we were young. We fought the Six-Day War and I remember the Yom Kippur War, and I see what we are facing today. We have only one-and-a-half problems. One problem is Iran, and the half-problem is Hizballah.” . . .

In all likelihood the next Israeli-Iranian confrontation will be a clash with Amidror’s half-threat: the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hizballah, Iran’s most effective proxy in the Middle East and perhaps the best armed non-state military force on earth. . . . “We should neutralize the military capability of Hizballah,” [in the event of war], he said. “We should not destroy the organization as a political tool. If the Shiites want these people to represent them, it’s their problem.” . . .

“It will be a very nasty war,” Amidror said. “A very, very nasty war.” Hizballah will fire “thousands and thousands” of long-range missiles of improved precision, speed, and range at Israeli population centers, a bombardment larger than Israel’s various layers of missile defense will be able to neutralize in full. . . . This will, [however], be a blow Israel can withstand. “Israelis will be killed, no question,” Amidror said. “But it’s not going to be catastrophic.”

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More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Lebanon