ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | Anti – Bush Sentiment

Anti – Bush Sentiment

01 July 2002

By Yisrael Ne’eman

In the wake of the Bush speech Sec. of State Colin Powell has called on the Palestinians to find a new leadership and jettison Yasir Arafat & Co.  Even many of the Europeans are fed up (but not all).  Should Arafat run in the 2003 elections, Powell advises the Palestinians not to vote for him.  It is doubtful whether the Palestinians will adhere to the Secretary’s advice.

In Israel the journalists of the hard line left are going through convulsions and contortions, accusing Israelis of being dragged behind whatever the Americans want.  Some have decided that Israelis are becoming ‘American patriots’ and caving in on Israeli interests.  Such journalistic opinion is a minority but expresses itself in tones much greater than its proportions in the Israeli public spectrum.  Their support for an immediate peace and attacks against the Bush speech are far from general public opinion as are their stances in favor of the Oslo Accords and demands for dialogue with the Palestinian Authority.  They ‘condemn’ PM Sharon of having convinced the American president to take a pro-Israel, anti-Arafat stance.

Due to the lack of public support for their position, they accuse everyone, including the press of trying to stifle their opinions, yet their position is well known and shows up daily.  Their patrons, including former Justice Minister Yossi Beilin and certain members of the left wing Meretz party are interviewed daily in the media.  Simply put their complaints are chutzpa since their voices are heard, and well out of proportion to their numbers.  Far from being stifled, they bite the institutions of democracy upon which they feed. 

A bit less than 50% of the public opposed the Oslo Accords during the mid – 1990’s, yet such percentages did not show up in journalistic and opinion pieces in the media.  Their was no cry from the self appointed ‘vanguard of democracy’ concerning the rights of the Oslo opposition minority.

Could these journalists be self – interested hypocrites?