“In Defense of Christians” — Or Israel?
By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
September 11, 2014
The shady new non-profit “In Defense of Christians” (IDC), whose D.C. summit is making headlines thanks to reliable Israeli asset Sen. Ted Cruz, would appear to have been created to induce Christians to back further American intervention in the Middle East with the ultimate goal of advancing the Yinon Plan, i.e. the Israeli strategy of breaking up the entire region into ethnic or sectarian mini-states. As IDC executive director Andrew Doran recently wrote in the neocon National Review Online:
As I argued here last year, the intervention in the former Yugoslavia may serve as a compelling model today for Syria and now perhaps Iraq, but this would call for a willingness to see Iraq and Syria dissolved. For the moment, America clings, as it did at the outset of war in Yugoslavia, to nations that no longer exist.
Update: Neocon interventionist Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the pro-Israel Hudson Institute, was one of the main speakers [.pdf] at the IDC summit.
Update II: Yesterday, the neocon Washington Post noted that the IDC summit’s Middle Eastern Christian attendees didn’t necessarily share Doran and Shea’s enthusiasm for interventionism:
Doran said the cooperative spirit of the conference has been heartening, but that it does not mean that all are agreed on how the threat to Christians in the Middle East should be countered. One Orthodox leader on Tuesday (Sept. 9) declared his opposition to military action to stop the Islamic State militants, a view that is not likely widely shared at the conference, Doran noted. The next day, another called the Arab-Israel conflict the root of Middle Eastern chaos. He doesn’t speak for the IDC nor his brother patriarchs, said Doran, adding: “But I don’t think we would be inclined to censor that sort of comment. We welcome a diversity of thought.”
As the IDC statement in response to the booing of Sen. Cruz’s pro-Israel speech subsequently revealed, however, there is a limit to how much diversity of thought is really welcome “In Defense of Christians.”
Update III: In an Aug. 19 New York Times op-ed, Ronald Lauder asks “Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?” Unless one is to believe that the president of the World Jewish Congress is disinterestedly concerned about Christian suffering, there clearly is a concerted effort by pro-Israelis to exploit the persecution of minorities in the Middle East to induce “the strongest military power on earth” to intervene further in the region in order to advance Israeli hegemony.
Update IV: Kristina Olney, IDC’s Director of Government Relations and Outreach, previously served for two years as the Government Relations Associate at The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). Dubbed “PNAC 2.0,” the FPI, like its neocon predecessor, was also co-founded by Israel partisans William Kristol and Robert Kagan.
Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer and political analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the US-Israeli relationship.
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