Little Support in Washington for Kerry’s Mideast Efforts

While John Kerry was putting on a show in the Mideast, Congress was showing where the US really stands. I elaborate at Lobelog

Lieberman Condemns Durban II, US Maintains Boycott

One would like to say that this is a bad joke, but sadly for Israel, it is reality. None other than Avigdor Lieberman has issued Israel’s statement regarding the Durban II conference.

Obviously, this is part of the job of Foreign Minister, and it’s why Lieberman is such an absurd choice for the job. But to see Lieberman, who has risen to a position of power based on a campaign of racism and xenophobia, makes these

Avigdor Lieberman, Israels Foreign Minister

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's "Foreign Minister"

statements…I just don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Lieberman’s statement only increases the negative effect on Israel. The fact that anti-Israel hysteria, which featured a good deal of anti-Jewish hate, derailed Durban I has caused a backlash. It is fair now to ask whether full global participation in the conference is being conditioned not on the absence of unfair singling out of Israel but rather on the absence of any criticism of Israel at all. I don’t know whether that is the case, but I do know that having Lieberman make a statement supporting a boycott of Durban II is just as distasteful as having a hatemonger like Mahmoud Ahmedenijad speak at the conference.

Lieberman making these statements is not just Orwellian–it is another example of Israel’s regression and moves away from its preferred identity as a Western-style democracy in the Middle East. One wonders how long the apologists will continue to harm Israel by defending an avowed racist, xenophobe and demagogue, a corrupt man who was convicted of physically assaulting a 12-year old. Continue reading