Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Israel and the Nutbar Factor -- Justin Raimondo

As Israel defies the U.S. on settlement policies and its continuing mistreatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, a recent poll shows the American public is undergoing a significant shift in its historically pro-Israel views:

"According to the survey of 800 registered voters, which was conducted June 9-11 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, those who believe Israel is committed to peace has dropped to 46 percent this month from 66 percent last December. The poll found that some 49 percent of American voters call themselves supporters of Israel, down from 69 percent last September, and only about 44 percent of voters believe the United States should support Israel – down from 71 percent a year ago."

What is the reason for this dramatic drop in support for the Jewish state? After all, the Israeli government and its American amen corner spend a lot of money – a lot of it our own tax dollars coming back to haunt us – in pursuit of the good will of the American people. They do this because they know the U.S. is Israel’s lifeline and that what is essentially a settler colony could not exist for very long if taken off U.S. life support, i.e., if the billions in aid given each year were ended or even significantly reduced. Yet, in spite of this, Israel’s approval ratings are plummeting, fast – and the reason is an exponential expansion of what I call the nutbar factor in Israeli society.

Here’s a good and quite recent example, reported in the excellent Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz:

"The Pope and the cardinals of the Vatican help organize tours of Auschwitz for Hezbollah members to teach them how to wipe out Jews, according to a booklet being distributed to Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

"Officials encouraging the booklet’s distribution include senior officers, such as Lt. Col. Tamir Shalom, the commander of the Nahshon Battalion of the Kfir Brigade.

"The booklet was published by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, in cooperation with the chief rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, and has been distributed for the past few months."

No, the booklet is not entitled "The Protocols of the Elders of the Vatican," but it could be: “On Either Side of the Border” purports to be the testimony of “a Hezbollah officer who spied for Israel.” Inside is a greeting from an extremist rabbi "in the name of the Nahshon Brigade." Thousands of copies were distributed to IDF soldiers, until the pamphlet was spotlighted by Ha’aretz.

This "spy," who formerly went by the name Ibrahim and now calls himself Avi, claims Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah was part of a delegation that journeyed to Italy, France, and Poland, alongside representatives of the Vatican. Apparently the pope was otherwise engaged, or he would no doubt have joined the Hezbollah chief, but, in any case, according to Ibrahim/Avi, "We knew [the pope] identified with Hezbollah’s struggle." Yes, those Hezbollah fighters who drove the Israelis out of Lebanon were really altar boys wearing keffiyehs.

Oh, but I’ve saved the best part for last, because, you see, the endpoint of Hezbollah’s hegira was none other than Auschwitz. Ibrahim/Avi avers:

“We came to the camps. We saw the trains, the platforms, the piles of eyeglasses and clothes. … We came to learn. … Our escort spoke as he was taught. We quickly explained to him: Every real Arab, deep inside, is kind of a fan of the Nazis.”

What a fiendishly clever public relations strategy on the part of Hezbollah: telling the world they’re Nazis. That’s the ticket! No wonder Israel’s poll numbers are going down!

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