It’s the reason for their existence.
The UN has since the Cold War, been a bastion of anti-Israel (and anti-US as well) sentiment. That continual onslaught against the Jewish state on the international level, led to the necessity of U.S. Jews and Christians in creating a pro-Israel lobby meant to counter that negative image. The very need for the pro-Israel lobby is what should be talked about, not the lobby itself, that’s a point missed on people like Chuck Hagel, Obama’s nominee for the position of Secretary of Defense.
NOTE: It’s also lost on types like Finland’s Pertti Salolainen as well.
What the ‘Lobby’ Knows About Animus for Israel
By RUTH R. WISSE
The confirmation process for those slated to guide American foreign policy can profitably be used to clear up at least one point of confusion. What’s at issue is not the degree of their affection for Jews or for Israel—despite the consternation caused by the nomination for defense secretary of Chuck Hagel, who said in 2006: “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here, but I’m a United States senator. I’m not an Israeli senator.”
The Nebraskan’s imputation of excessive Jewish influence in Washington is less worrisome than his failure to recognize why the “lobby” exists. Never mind the Jews: Opposition to Israel camouflages a much more virulent hostility to America. How does an American statesman assess the anti-Jews who attack Israel as a proxy for this country?
Let’s start with basics: The cause of the long-running Arab war against the Jewish homeland is not Israel, it is Arab leaders’ need for war against a “foreign intruder.” Seven Middle East countries rallied their citizens by forming the Arab League in 1945 to prevent the creation of Israel. Failing in that effort, the Arab League eventually expanded to 21 members, which organized their domestic and foreign politics against the Jewish state. When Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, Egypt was suspended from the league, expelled from the Islamic Conference and ousted from other regional and financial institutions. Re-admission for Egypt came only after the assassination of Sadat and his successor’s abrogation of almost every term of the treaty.
Opposition to Israel is the only glue of pan-Arabism and the strongest common bond of otherwise warring Muslim constituencies. Even those inclined to end the war are afraid of the consequences (including assassination) of giving up hostilities.
Like the anti-Semitism from which it derives, anti-Zionism is less about the Jews than about the larger aims of those aggressing against the Jews. When the League of Anti-Semites formed in Germany in the 1870s, its primary goal was to prevent the spread of liberal democracy. Rather than denounce a freer, more open society, the league called democracy the ruse that allowed Jews to conquer Germany from within.
In the same way, anti-Zionism today unites conservatives and radicals in the Middle East against all that Israel represents—religious pluralism, individual rights and freedoms, liberal democracy, and Western ideas of progress. Jews and Israel are merely a convenient face or emblem for the huger bastions of those same ideals. Israel, “little Satan,” is a handier target than the “big Satan.”