The lobby has battles on many fronts

Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery writes about the controversy over Charles Freeman and the Zionist lobby’s successful attempt to stop him becoming Chairman of the National Intelligence Council.

His main point? “It may be too early to call this episode the Rape of Washington”, he writes, but argues it’s clear that the Obama administration has thus far shown little sign of challenging the Jewish state’s most militant supporters.

Then Avnery writes this:

By the way, or not by the way, a word about my trip to London. I went there to lend support to a group of Jewish personalities, well-known in academic and other circles, who have set up an organization called “Independent Jewish Voices”. Recently they published a book called “A Time To Speak Out”, in which several of them contributed to the debate about Israel, human rights and Jewish ethics. The views expressed are very close to those current in the Israeli peace camp. But when they offered their book for presentation in the Jewish Book Week, they were rudely rejected. In protest, they convened an event of their own, and that’s where I spoke. I believe that it is of utmost importance that such Jewish voices be heard. In several countries, including the US, groups of brave Jews are trying to stand up to the Jewish establishment that unconditionally supports the Israeli Right. In the US, several such groups have sprung up, some quite recently. One of them, called “J Street”, is trying to compete with the formidable and notorious AIPAC. It is important for governments and peoples to know that the unconditional support for the Israeli Right does not represent the majority of Jews in the US, the UK and other countries. The Jewish public is far from monolithic. The majority is liberal and believes in peace and human rights. Until now this was a silent majority, out of fear of a repressive establishment. It is indeed “a time to speak out”. I believe that it is in the interest of Israel to support these groups…

I’m proud to say I’m a contributor to “A Time to Speak Out”. The lobby will continue to try and ignore the growing agitation against Israel’s blatant human rights abusers, call themselves victims and still kill innocent Palestinians, but they’re on the wrong side of history.

And our voices are growing in strength and number.

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