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MJ Rosenberg

MJ Rosenberg

Posted March 10, 2009 | 09:29 AM (EST)

Getting Chas Freeman: Who Is Behind The Effort?


Ben Smith's blog in Politico reports that the folks trying to defeat Chas Freeman's appointment are trying hard to switch the ostensible reason for their dislike of him from Israel policy to Chinese human rights. It's not working.

It's amusing really. The whole anti-Freeman effort was engineered by the people who fear that Obama will abandon current policies toward Israel from acceptance of the occupation to forceful opposition to it(starting with settlements). Every person involved in rounds 1 and 2 of the anti-Freeman attack are associated with a hardline on Israel. (The quarterback was and is Steve Rosen who Max Blumenthal brilliantly profiles here).

They are entitled.

But now, in round 3, having failed with that line of attack, they are focusing on his views of China, which they have simplified (an ellipsis is a wonderful tool) to the point of caricature.

But here's the thing. Why is it that these people who are so concerned about China all of a sudden have never demonstrated concern about Palestinian human rights. I mean, there was just a terrible war in Gaza in which 1300 Palestinians were killed, a third of them children. Did any of the "get Freeman" crowd protest this violation of human rights? Just asking.

Of course, we all know that even the fiercest human rights activists in Washington tend to draw the line when it comes to Palestinians.

If I'm wrong, tell me. But I look at the list of those fiercely fighting Freeman and I find not one who spoke up about human rights in Gaza.

I admit that I am, in many ways, an Israel-firster. I love Israel and am dedicated to its security. That is why I work so hard for Israeli-Palestinian peace and specifically an end to the occupation that will, if left in place, destroy Israel.

So I admit that the reason I am for Freeman is because I am pleased that President Obama chose someone for the National Intelligence Council who believes that both US and Israeli interests are served when America plays the role of honest broker, not Israel's lawyer.

I admit it. For me, it's all about Israel. Why can't the other side be as honest and say that it's all about Israel for them too. Honesty is always the best policy.