Poetic justice is the term employed for the rewarding of virtue and the punishment of vice, often in an especially appropriate or ironic manner. "What comes around goes around." In its purest form, poetic justice is when one character plots to undermine another and then ends up caught in his own trap.
Last week, the Editor-at-Large of the New York Jewish Week Larry Cohler-Esses reported that “Contrary to recent claims by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a top official of the pro-Israel lobby knew of the use of classified government information in its work. Thomas Dine, a former executive director of AIPAC, confirmed that during his tenure Steven Rosen, the lobby’s foreign policy director until April, informed him of his success in gaining access to a highly classified document.” Now AIPAC is dealing with a spy case that has rattled the cage of the Jewish establishment in America and its interaction with the government of Israel.
This past May, AIPAC held it’s largest-ever Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. The Conference brought together more than 4,000 pro-Israel activists from all 50 States. Featured speakers included Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), and dozens more. AIPAC unabashedly promoted the conference as being “To support the Disengagement”.
It is apparent to me that with the help of AIPAC’s influence within the Washington beltway, the 9,000 Jews of Gush Katif were banished from their beautiful and thriving communities. AIPAC, together with many more American Jewish organizations, betrayed innocent Jews whose only crime was that they were living in Gaza on land they stole from nobody. Evacuating them sent the direct message to Palestinians to continue murdering Jews in Israel, in order to liberate the rest of the land. Now AIPAC is contending with salvaging its own credibility and prestige that has been sullied due to the spying fiasco of its high placed executives. Indeed poetic justice, if there ever was one.
The Captive Voice of American Jewry
The NY Forward on March 11, ran a very revealing story by reporter Ori Nir. In the lengthy article he reported on the massive campaign launched by the Sharon government to neutralize Jewish and evangelical opposition to the Gaza disengagement plan.
Nir reported that Israeli diplomats said their main goal was to counteract the efforts of politically conservative Jews who oppose Israel's plan to withdraw from Gaza, and dismantle four West Bank settlements. "This is the number-one priority on the agenda of the consulates at the moment, and it's the task that is keeping me the busiest," said Arye Mekel, Israel's consul general in New York.
Generally, Mekel said, his "don't second-guess us" message is well received among American Jews, including most of the Orthodox Jews with whom he meets. "But that is not always the case," he said. "I recently spoke to the board of the [Zionist Organization of America] and I must admit it was an unsettled meeting." At least the ZOA have not been hijacked by the propaganda that leaving Gaza will be good for the future of Israel and Arabs.
From my extensive research it seems that Abe Foxman and the ADL, too, have acted on more than one occasion behind the scenes at the behest of the Sharon government to promote support for the disengagement amongst American Jews. The ADL went beyond its mandate to fight prejudice and hatred as it inserted itself into the domestic policies of the Jewish state. Who gave them the right to act as the agents of the Israeli government and to speak in our name to further the dangerous policy of disengagement and the uprooting of the Jewish communities of Gush Katif?
Two more names keep popping up. They are Americans for Peace Now and the Israel Policy Forum. Here are brief excerpts from Nirs’s article that make the case rather succinctly. “The historic point in time that the Middle East is passing through right now is also being reflected in the public diplomacy efforts of Israel and American Jewish organizations," said Lewis Roth, assistant executive director of Americans for Peace Now. "There is now a broader center on issues dealing with the peace process, and organizations such as APN are a part of that center."
The Israel Policy Forum and its president, Seymour Reich, is also portraying itself as a member of a widening political center in Israel and America that supports the disengagement plan. Some on Capitol Hill are trying to slow down the peace process "because they think that they are reflective of the Jewish community," Reich said. "But we think it isn't so anymore. The community supports disengagement and supports a two-state solution."
With the above in mind, those of us who think differently need to start working at challenging the leadership we now have. What American Jewry is in need of is a real house-cleaning and even a unilateral disengagement from these very organizations that have betrayed our trust and that of Israel’s true heroes, the residents of Gush Katif.
With you in Heart and Soul
To the uprooted residents of Gush Katif we say: We are with you in spirit and heart. Many, many tears were shed by your brethren in America as we witnessed with anger and shock the expulsion of entire communities. Not one independent expert in security matters, not marred by political considerations, agrees with the political gamble of Sharon as being a solution or the beginning of one for the terrorist acts of our enemies. As such, the injustice done to you and your children is an injustice forced upon all of Israel. Your sacrifice and your Kiddush Hashem for the entire world to witness --in the face of such grave injustice will not be forgotten. The author of “poetic justice" will take up your cause.
August 25, 2005.