The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

If the Arab Spring is such a threat to Israel, why are so many pro-Israelis involved in promoting democracy in the Middle East?

with 5 comments

In her Keynote Address at the National Democratic Institute’s 2011 Democracy Awards Dinner, Hillary Clinton praised the contributions of a number of individuals and groups with a “passionate attachment” to Israel for their role in promoting Arab democracy:

Thank you. Well, it’s a great pleasure for me to be here this evening. And I thank my friend and my predecessor, Madeleine Albright [who claims to have only discovered her Jewish roots in 1997 — a year after she said she thought the sanctions-related deaths of 500,000 potential enemies of Israel in Iraq was a price worth paying], for not only that kind introduction, but for her extraordinary leadership, and in particular of NDI. Thanks also to Shari Bryan and Ken Wollack [the NDI president who was AIPAC’s legislative director from 1973 to 1980] for inviting me here today. And I want to begin by wishing an Eid Mubarak to Muslims here tonight and around the world.

I think it’s important to recognize that back when the streets of Arab cities were quiet, the National Democratic Institute was already on the ground, building relationships, supporting the voices that would turn a long Arab winter into a new Arab Spring. Now, we may not know where and when brave people will claim their rights next, but it’s a safe bet that NDI is there now, because freedom knows no better champion. More than a quarter-century old, NDI and its siblings in the National Endowment for Democracy [whose president since its 1984 founding, Carl Gershman, worked in the research department of the Anti-Defamation League in 1968 and served on the Governing Council of the American Jewish Committee in the early 1970s] family have become vital elements of America’s engagement with the world.

And tonight I want particularly to congratulate the winners of NDI’s 2011 Madeleine Albright Award, the women of Appropriate Communication Techniques for Development. Women risked everything to demand their rights for the Egyptian people, and they deserve those rights extended to them. And so we’re grateful for their work, and we hope to see the rights that they’ve fought for and advocated for enshrined in Egypt’s new constitution, and we’re proud to support efforts like these through our Middle East Partnership Initiative [overseen by Tamara Wittes, former director of the Middle East Democracy and Development Project at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, established by Haim Saban, whose greatest concern is “to protect Israel”]. (Applause.)

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

November 9, 2011 at 5:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  2. The Arab Spring is definitely a threat for Israel. Its only last year in June-July, when Israel shed its ambiguius rthetoric and criticised Assad’s regime. You should read about how foreign intervention is playing as a catalyst in Syrian revolution, be it the training of FSA or buying off defectors. Its realpolitik and hence, Zionist propaganda seems very cunning to me!

    Shubhda Chaudhary

    February 14, 2012 at 9:46 am

  3. So, what you’re saying is, all these Israel partisans that have supported the “Arab Spring” are cunningly doing so in order to fool everybody into not thinking that it threatens Israel?

    I’ve read (and written) plenty about foreign intervention in Syria. I’m sure you know that it was an Israel partisan, Joe Lieberman, that was the first to call for no-fly zones and weapons to support the opposition there just as he had done in Libya. Senator Lieberman also supported the “Arab Spring” protestors in Tunisia and Egypt. Was he only being cunning in the latter cases?

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    February 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

  4. Do you believe that ‘Imposition of No-Fly-Zone in Syria’ would be beneficial? For example, when No-Fly-Zone was imposed on Libya, NATO twisted the ‘Right to Protection Act.’ It targeted ‘regime change’ rather than ‘protection of civilians’. So, when Israel supports it, one must analyse the real consequence.

    The entire arming of the FSA in Syria bears close resemblance to how CIA toppled the Iranian government in the 1953 coup. Said Ferjani, the advisor of Tunisia’s Prime Minister has rightly said that ‘All those who give are not always angels.’ FSA has been killing civilians too, in Syria. They are getting trained in Lebanon and Turkey. But what is the final outcome? Its like practising ‘Divide and Rule’. If the Syrian opposition is really interested in a dialogue, I wonder why they have not initiated any with President Assad. Israel knows all of it. What they are doing right now, is nothing but playing the right cards.

    But I believe that the real aim of Israel is not just to topple Assad. If Syria grows weak, the consequence would be on Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. Its all very inter-related in the framework of ‘Realpolitik’ and indeed, there is not moralistic stand of social justice.

    Shubhda Chaudhary

    February 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

  5. “Do you believe that ‘Imposition of No-Fly-Zone in Syria’ would be beneficial?”

    Of course I don’t. And neither does Lieberman (unless you mean “beneficial” to Israel).

    Please read some of my writing on Syria, especially this latest piece:

    Joe Lieberman & Al-Qaeda, United on Syria (and other wars of ‘Muslim liberation’)

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    February 14, 2012 at 10:48 am

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