A correction: Congressman Mark Kirk of IL is running for the US Senate, but he has not yet achieved that position. Thus, my reference to him as Senator Kirk the other day was premature. (Thanks for catching this, Jeff.)
What sort of strength am I seeing?
Let’s start with the rally against the mosque being planned for Ground Zero. I thank the many people who wrote to me about this. Seems the mainstream media didn’t see fit to report on it in any significant way (which tells us a great deal about mainstream media). But last month there was a major rally at Ground Zero protesting the building of that mosque. It was organized by the founders of Stop the Islamization of America: Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, and other groups.
Fern Sidman, described this rally, which brought out in excess of 5,000 people, in Frontpage magazine:
There have been other sorts of protests since, and there is a movement to declare the building on the site where the mosque is slated to be erected an Historic Landmark, which would prevent its demolition. Americans in large numbers, it seems, are not prepared to sit still for the construction of that mosque, and this is an encouraging sign.
I have just learned of a group called Idahoans United for Israel. Director Allen Gorin wrote to me that, “You should know that even in states like Idaho, with very few Jews, Israelis are viewed as the guys with the white hats!”
A new right-wing, staunchly pro-Israel group, “Emergency Committee for Israel,” has been established under the leadership of Weekly Standard editor William Kristol and American Values leader Gary Bauer. Its members say they are tired of “political correctness” and polite criticism of the Obama administration.
For starters they are taking on Joe Sestak, a Democratic congressman from PA who has demonstrated something less than staunch support for Israel; he is supported by J-Street, which has contributed $75,000 to his campaign.
Additionally, Kristol has questioned whether AIPAC has been treading too softly with regard to Obama.
You can read more about this group here:
Leaders of several American Jewish groups are said to be expressing concern that this new organization might be “polarizing.” Head of ADL, Abe Foxman, is quoted as saying, “I think it will have an effect on the political debate. That’s troubling in the sense that what we’ve always striven to do is make sure that support for Israel in the US is a bipartisan effort.”
Give me a break! This group was formed because the “bi-partisan effort” has been insufficiently supportive of Israel during difficult times. Apparently Fox thinks being wishy-washy on Israel is all right as long as everyone hangs together.
Maybe (it should only be) the new group, rather than polarizing, will open dialogue that will eventually move other groups to be more forthright and dynamic in their support of Israel.
We may not always know what we’re doing, but we’re not stupid: A poll here in Israel indicates that Obama’s recent “charm offensive” (in the words of the JPost) had very little effect. Only 10% of Israelis think the administration is pro-Israel. That’s up from 1% before the offensive. Perhaps it’s Obama who is stupid for thinking that we might be so easily swayed.
Mitchell is back in town, and he has his work cut out for him. For Fatah is urging PA president Abbas to continue to refuse to enter direct talks with Israel in spite of the pressure the US is applying.
Fatah put out a statement, reported by AFP, that said:
“The lack of credibility and confidence resulting from the Israeli rejection of the indirect talks, which have achieved no progress, will become entrenched as ‘givens and facts’ if there is a transition to direct talks.
“That is something the Fatah leadership has not and will not accept.”
The next step? Undoubtedly, leaning on Netanyahu to accede to some of the PA demands in order bring it to the table.
See commentator Moshe Dann on “Why peace won’t happen”: