Saturday, March 10, 2007

Muddle East pleas of king, lawyers, and pols

King Abdullah II of Jordan, an eloquent moderate Arab who flattered US lawmakers without lapsing into unctuousness, wowed most Americans when he addressed a joint session of Congress this week. His message about the need for the US to back peace in the Middle East was not particularly new, but the king's words were passionate, urgent, and from the heart. He demands a peaceful solution by the end of this year.
A neighbor in West Jerusalem who watched the speech live on CNN swore it brought tears to his eyes. But there was very little comment from the Israeli press, mostly yawns and shrugs for the region's arguably weakest monarch. Indeed, the lead story about Jordan in the English-language papers headlined the trial of a pair of thugs who allegedly had plotted to assassinate George Bush on his last visit.

But there is a reaction of sorts to this royal plea in Jerusalem. A right-wing NGO of combative lawyers, called Shrat HaDin (the Israel Law Center), has resolved to redouble efforts for their "Ultimate Mission" and is actively promoting an 8-day tour for American movers and shakers. The aim is to offer foreigners with deep pockets a chance to "experience firsthand Israel's struggle for survival and security."

The itinerary obviously aims to present a Fox News-style fair and balanced view of the Jewish State. These paying guests will meet with intelligence agents, assassins, generals, politicians, settlers, judges, collaborators, and heroes, and of course bond with one another.
It's quite a Grand Zionist circuit, with night cruises and luxurious private plane flights to distinguish it from those free Taglit Birthright tours that tempt younger American Jews to visit Israel en masse. A similar Christian Zionist mission tour is underway right now.
The chosen people on this Ultimate Mission can take up-close snapshots of the security barrier and even go inside one rather atypical Arab-Israeli village to meet "Israel's Minority Community." This place, Ilabun, is where the government stores tactical nuclear artillery shells, nuclear landmines and other weapons. I guess the security won't need beefing up. When not acting as tour guides, the Israel Law Center also runs a defense fund for Arab collaborators. Izzy is tempted to come along, but is rather put off by the price tag. It is not just the hefty US $1896 for tour costs, which works out to $237 a day plus tips, but the hidden extras. Every participant must make a tax-deductible donation of between $500- $5000 to Shurat HaDin. Sure, we all become charter members of Shurat HaDin’s Global Advisory Network. The money goes towards funding terror victims' litigation against the PA, various Palestinian leaders and their financial patrons. Suing Hamas for property damage in Sderot, for instance,say, in a New York courtroom. One wonders if a "sue the bastards" approach is the best way to engage global sympathy for Israel's terror victims. Legal advisories issued by the World Court at the Hague haven't had much sway over the construction of Israel's separation barrier.


isidore said...

This Jordanian king inspired tears of
exasperation. He did not once mention Hamas by name, was coy about Hizb, and spoke outta both sides of his mouth. Natch.

He sang quite a different tune a couple of days before when he heaped all the blame on Israelis:

"The main responsibility (for achieving peace) lies with Israel, which must choose either to remain a prisoner of the mentality of 'Israel the fortress' or to live in peace and stability with its neighbors."
Plus, he butted into the Maghrabi Gate row and stirred Muslims up about digging undermining al Aqsa mosque. He may look tame, but beneath his skin he is a pissed-off Muslim who would prefer to drive Israelis into the sea, just like the rest of them. And why didn't he mention his kingdom's occupation of the West Bank? All so predictable. WOn't make any difference. He is a sideshow, not even close to performing in the center ring of the Mid East circus.
He talks the talk, that's all

Grand Exalted Druid said...

Israel should recognize that it has no friends in the world. . .not even the US. The American government views Israel as a chess piece in the ongoing game of Middle-East conflict. It always has and it always will, no matter who is in the White House.

I am support no Pol' Party.

I am not Jewish.

I am a realist.

It is far past the time for Israel to take the gloves off and deal with its enemies. So it should be with all nations.

Weapons Free. . .last man standing wins.