Readers may recall that Stephen Rosen is the former AIPAC expert on foreign affairs who was unceremoniously dumped when he and another AIPAC staffer were accused by the FBI of giving classified information to the Jewish State on Iranian threats to Israeli personnel. The pair had met with a Defense Department official who allegedly had supplied them with the information at the instigation of the official himself. Since then, Rosen has been exonerated, though the witch hunt here has not. He now is a policy expert on Middle East affairs with the distinguished Middle East Forum started and run by Middle East Scholar Daniel Pipes.
All this is by way of introduction that while others may seem to write and talk about the Middle East with a broad brush or with speculation, Rosen seems inordinately canny about what is happening and why. If you were an enemy of Israel or the Jews, you would want to destroy Rosen. Certain governmental forces tried. Fortunately, the creme rises to the top and he is too talented to keep down. I hope you get the meaning here: consider him seriously.
In the piece linked below he counsels President Obama on the alternatives for American foreign policy with regard to Israel. He lays things out nicely, but some opinion has been much more harsh toward the Obama “insiders.”
Some writers have said, for instance, that Obama has a secret plan to force Israel to create a Palestinian State within the next two years. There is some reason to believe this because the Palestinians have been saying this themselves. Some reason is not necessarily enough reason however. And then there is this, Secretary of State Clinton has recently journeyed to the Middle East and has apparently both backed off pressure on Israel regarding Settlements and re-instituted pressure on the Palestinians to curb incitement. On the third hand, Clinton is still as adamant as ever that Israel must stop all Settlement growth, including internal growth. So the Obama Administration may see the Clinton about face as a mere tactical retreat from pressure on Israel instead of a policy change.
If people haven’t figured it out yet, international geopolitics is a game of doors leading nowhere, walls with hidden chambers behind them and enticing leads with no payoffs. And that is just the government to government layer of the game, including the international structures such as the UN. You still have to add in the experts and then the media and then the public. By that succession of understanding, the public is really lost. Then comes the final arbiter, the actual events that play out after everyone has had their say. What governments want they don’t necessarily get. Even secret plans go awry.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
— Joseph Goebbels
So my point here is something about Israel, but also something about the methodology of inquiry.
The idea is to maintain a modicum of skepticism and read all points of view and trust those most who build credibility the old fashion way, one piece at a time. The foundation for any fact must be cited and clear. And, if it seems that someone is trying to avoid answering your questions, they probably are. But keep in mind that in politics especially, public faces are not the same as private faces. Always try to understand the story behind the story, even if it turns out the story we see is indeed the story we really have.
So below I have linked to three recent articles with this idea in mind, each dealing with President Obama and the future of his relationship to Israel.
— Stan Kreis
by Steven J. Rosen, ForeignPolicy.com, November 9, 2009. Steven J. Rosen served for 23 years as foreign-policy director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and was a defendant in the recently dismissed AIPAC case. He is now director of the Washington Project at the Middle East Forum and a consultant to the Council for World Jewry.
Secret Obama deal for Palestinian state? Israeli officials fear White House’s ‘very dangerous move’
From WorldNetDaily’s Jerusalem Bureau, WorldNetDaily Exclusive
By Aaron Klein, posted: November 08, 2009, 7:39 pm Eastern
The New York Times
By Ethan Bonner, Published: November 9, 2009