Talking about "Israelis" in a general or negative way sometimes makes it harder for the Israelis who are willing to deal with the Arabs to make a deal, because it feeds into the paranoia of the rightists, which they can then export to the Israeli wavering middle, by saying, "look, they're all against us."
That middle has sometimes demonstrated that they are willing sacrifice the settlements to make peace, but they won't do if they feel like they're in a corner. It's better to attack the crazies, and point out how it is they who are the fringe in Israeli opinion. And the growing far right in Israel is nuts!
With that in mind check out this story about Obama-hating Israelis from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz "Rightists prepare banner denouncing Obama as 'PLO agent" (By Chaim Levinson, Correspondent).
A group of far-right activists on Tuesday announced their plan to hang hundreds of posters across the country depicting U.S. President Barack Obama under the headline "agent of the PLO." The banner is already on display in the office of National Union MK Michael Ben Ari.
"The poster is within the limits of the country's freedom of speech act," said Ben Ari's aide, Itamar Ben Gvir.
"I pity those who clapped during [U.S. Vice President] Joe Biden's speech," said Ben Gvir, referring to Biden's address to the Israeli people at Tel Aviv University last week.
"By the end of Ben Arie's term we will teach those Leftists what democracy is," he added. "Obama is anti-Semitic, pro-Arab, an agent of the PLO and we stand behind what the poster says."
Shortly after taking office last year, Obama made a key address to the Muslim world during a visit to Cairo, Egypt. The much anticipated 55-minute address touched on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S.-Arab ties and confronting terrorism.
The "Cairo speech" stirred tension in Israel and the U.S. regarding the president's new policy towards the Middle East, and created the impression that he was biased towards Arab countries, as he began with the Arab saying "salaam alaykum."
Following the speech, Obama made a personal phone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, guaranteeing that the U.S. would always support Israel.
Interesting that the "line" on Obama by the powerful Israeli far right, our very own Teabaggers and Fox News all seems to come from the same script.
Why should Obama, let alone America, put up with this sort of nonsense any longer?
Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism)
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