Foxman and others on the Israeli Right don’t want fairness.

I’m not even joking.  That’s essentially their criticism. From Walt at ForeignPolicy:

The New York Times reports that President Obama will appoint former Senator George Mitchell as his chief envoy on Israel-Palestine. According to Jewish Week, ADL national director Abraham Foxman thinks Mitchell is an inappropriate choice because he is “fair,” and has been “meticulously even-handed.” As Matt Yglesias points out, fairness is a quality that we normally prize in an envoy.

But because the US hasn’t been fair in the past, Foxman is “concerned.  I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”

WOW.  Do most Americans think we shouldn’t use envoys and negotiators who are fair?  Does anyone else think that our one-sided support of Israel isn’t helping the situation (and possibly isn’t helping the US end extremism in the region)?  The last paragraph from JW about sums it up:

Major pro-Israel groups “tend to favor the kind of mediator with the least prospects of success,” said MJ Rosenberg, a longtime pro-Israel activist and policy director for the Israel Policy Forum (IPF). “George Mitchell worries them because he was so successful in Northern Ireland, a success that was built on his persistence and his utterly impartiality … and a deal means Israeli concessions which they have never favored.  The stronger the candidate for envoy or mediator — the more of an honest broker he or she would be — the more uncomfortable they are.”

Yglesias adds another point that I agree with:

For one thing, I’m not thrilled to see Foxman talking about this issue at all which seems far afield from the ADL’s mandate.

It raises an important question…Is the Anti-Defamation League geared more toward stopping defamation or more toward applying pressure to secure right-wing policies toward Israel?

Why are some allegedly progressive institutions suddenly so right wing when it comes to Israel?

Here is a great progressive institution committed to peaceful resolution of the Israel/Palestine conflict who I have given support (and $) to:



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One Response to “Foxman and others on the Israeli Right don’t want fairness.”

  1. Sara Says:

    WOW is right. Why wouldn’t we want to employ ‘fair’ people in our government. Isn’t that something we all hope for and agree on?

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