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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

a chilling effect on discourse

An Israeli perspective on the withdrawal of the Obama selected Chas Freeman, who was appointed to chair the National Intelligence Council. From The Jewish World in Ha'aretz: The pro-Israel lobby - 'alive, well, and bipartisan?'

Tobin, speaking at a March 15 panel discussion at Queens College, said the lobby's show of force made clear that Obama will not "fall on his sword" to defend appointees perceived as anti-Israel. He said it also suggested that Obama would not spend political capital on fighting with incoming Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Walt agreed. "The worst aspect of the Freeman affair is the likelihood of a chilling effect on discourse in Washington, at precisely the time when we badly need a more open and wide-ranging discussion of our Middle East policy," he blogged at

Rosen, who is now awaiting trial on charges of communicating national security information, and at the same time is suing his former bosses at AIPAC for more than $20 million, stressed that the lobby could not have succeeded in blocking Freeman if similar attitudes did not already exist in Congress.

"I was taught that AIPAC cannot do anything against the will of its friends in Congress," Rosen said, referring to his 23-year experience with the organization.

Critics respond that through their donations to congressional campaigns, organized Jewish contributors and a network of pro-Israel political action committees do much to help shape that will.
Read more.


Also, from In Gaza, very harrowing, but necessary read, on the deliberate targeting of rescue workers amongst other things, during the war on Gaza. She mentions that if a country or an army does something enough, it becomes accepted, other countries adopt it, people are desensitised. Australian politician, Julia Irwin also talked about this side-effect of letting Israel do whatever it wants. This is the first time Israel has attacked Gaza with such force, but it is not the first time it has deployed similar methods in various wars and incursions. Targeting of the rescue workers also reported in Ha'aretz.

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this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr