Thursday, February 18, 2010

Congressman Delahunt blows the whistle on graceless Ayalon

Danny Ayalon, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, has once again demonstrated his diplomatic grace. Ayalon honed his skills as the Israeli Ambassador in Washington. In January, he was forced to apologize twice (the first apology was rejected) for his attempt to demean the Turkish Ambassador to Israel. Ayalon's charm offensive continues. He blocked efforts by U.S. Representative Bill Delahunt to hold meetings with Israeli officials. Ayalon, who channels Jabotinsky, was miffed that Delahunt was visiting under the auspices of J Street, the sensible alternative to AIPAC. Ayalon, it should be recalled, spurns the notion that Israel is occupying the West Bank, which he glosses as "disputed territory". He views J Street as "anti-Israel", a perspective shared by the Prime Minister of Israel.

[A bit more on the Delahunt mission here.

["(J-Street) has sparked questions over whether American Jews, who voted overwhelmingly for Obama, should push Israel to accept risks as they bargain with Palestinian leaders.

"“If you are not living in Israel, if you are not serving in the army . . . is that a morally tenable posture to take?’’ said Robert Leikind, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Boston office."

Mr. Leikind thinks U.S. citizens who "really" support Israel have no moral right to a view on what U.S. policy should be vis-a-vis the the Arab-Israeli conflict unless they become Israelis. This is an absurd stance that would disqualify almost any opinion on how the U.S. spends its resources and protects its resources in the world. J-Street argues that the U.S. has a keen interest in a settlement of the core conflict, and if the U.S. needs to use some muscle to implement a solution, then so be it. Mr. Leikind doesn't like that stance.]

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