Monday, July 10, 2006
Well, if you're Eleanor Clift, contributing editor to Newsweek start by taking a trip sponsored by American Israeli Education Foundation (AIEF), a "charity," whose mission statement reads in part:
"AIEF grants funds to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), America's pro-Israel lobbying organization, to be used in supporting educational programs such as policy conferences, internships and campus newsletters. AIEF works to fund publications by both AIPAC and Near East Research, Inc. which focuses on events affecting the U.S.-Israel relationship, Legislative Updates, and Action Alerts." In addition AIEF grants a lot of funds for politicians and journalists travel to Israel
In hopes of "exclusive web commentary" for Newsweek like this, "Slow, Painful Change": http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13757050/site/newsweek/
"I came away with some of my assumptions challenged, chief among them my ideas about the fence (or the wall or the security barrier, depending on your perspective). I expected to be horrified. I grew up loathing the Berlin Wall and all it stood for, and I’m no fan of the rapidly expanding fence along the U.S.-Mexican border."
She throws a sop Sa'eb Erekat's way: “'It’s turning us into big prisons,' says PLO negotiator Dr. Saeb Erakat, who we met for coffee."
Then. our contributing editor, whom we discover from the Newsweek bio was once upon a time a secretary, blithely continues her ode to the "fence":
"Maybe I’ve been desensitized to security because it’s omnipresent. Washington has ugly barriers everywhere around official buildings. The Israeli barrier is a sensory fence with barbed wire on either side. If you cut through it, an alarm goes off in an Israeli control room. In populated areas, it’s a wall that looks like the sound barriers on the Beltway around Washington. It’s an eyesore in Jerusalem. But it works. Since it was built along the Gaza strip, no suicide bomber has gotten through."
Maybe our Eleanor has been desensitized to the humanity of anyone other than her AIPAC loving sponsors as she effuses about Israel' "shops," "cafes," and "beaches full of people," while glossing over the International Court of Justice's ruling that the international community "enforce the IV Geneva convention" and "not to render any aid or assistance to the Wall and the associated regime."
But then international law is of little concern for one who laments over Kim Cattrall, "the saucy actress from 'Sex and the City,'" cancelling "her trip to Israel because of the dicey news out of Gaza."