Opinion of the day, by Roger B. Jacobs

Posted: June 10, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Israeli Palestinians, Politics, US

ROBERT JACOBS WROTE an excellent op-ed in today’s New Jersey Jewish News, expressing his concern for apparent vilification of Israel in American press. Jacobs presents several examples, and then his opinion on the matter:

Several newspapers have focused all at once on the plight of the Palestinians. Recently, there was an op-ed in the Financial Times by an Arab journalist expressing his indignation at Israel’s intransigence. (The same paper recently carried a “news” article calling the growth of settlements “one of the main obstacles to a two-state solution and a lasting peace.”) Last week The New York Times published a few articles in the arts section about young Palestinian musicians hampered by the Israeli occupation. More articles in several other leading papers discussed the administration’s “messages” to the Israeli government regarding a modification of American support for Israel, with speculation that the United States could signal its displeasure with Israel through its voice in the United Nations or by other means.

During one trip to Egypt I was reading in the government-sponsored English-language newspaper a vilification of Israel and America — this despite a cold peace with Israel and enormous foreign aid funding to Egypt by the United States over many decades at this point. And this is a moderate and friendly Arab government?

It is too easy and convenient to continue to blame Israel and Jews, in general, as the impediment to Arab progress. Perhaps a real dialogue is necessary to understand why Israel has flourished out of the desert and brought life and growth to many areas that were inhospitable and impenetrable.

Instead of vilification, cooperation could make the desert bloom in those Palestinian communities for its citizens as well. As far as the notion of a “state” goes, I am reminded of my visit with Yasser Arafat a few years ago at his Palestinian Authority headquarters, where he maintained the fiction of his interest in a “state” from his “capital” in Ramallah.

Sadly, it is doubtful these words would change anyone’s mind. Barack Obama’s agenda is to make peace with the Arab world, attempting to gain support for his operation in Afghanistan. The American press mostly supports the endeavor by the Messiah.

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