Once again, the Israeli press is more candid and interesting than the neutered US MSM which fears being tarnished as anti-Semites if they dare question aspects of the current US-Israel relationship and how it impacts the US' broad global and regional interests. From Haaretz:
Every appointee to the American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community... The latest round of heated debate has been over the nomination of Hannah Rosenthal to head the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in the Obama administration. Rosenthal, who is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, served as a Health Department regional director under the Clinton administration, and held positions in different left-leaning Jewish organizations.
Between 2000 and 2005, Rosenthal was the head of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; she was also the executive director of the Chicago Foundation for Women. In recent years, she has served on the advisory board of the J Street lobby.
Many Jewish groups are fine with her, even the ADL. But she has actually criticized some neocons for erecting an absurdly Manichean, Seth Lipsky-style "pro-Israel" or "anti-Israel" dynamic. And so true hardliners are trying to derail her too:
Shortly after the announcement of Rosenthal's nomination, conservative Jewish web sites began to attack her, some of them declaring that Obama appointed an anti-Israeli to fight anti-Semitism.
Rumors brewed that she had accused Israel of systemically strengthening anti-Semitism. Bloggers argued that her appointment would cause Jews and Israelis to cast doubt on Obama and his relationship with Israel. In one of her articles, Rosenthal criticized conservative voices in the Jewish community who she accused of taking over the discourse regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"It's a scary time, with people losing the ability to differentiate between a Jew, any Jew, and what's going on in Israel," Rosenthal said.
What she means is that there is immense neoconservative resistance to the idea that the interests of Israel and the interest of the United States may not always be identical. And an immense conviction that anyone who even utters this truism is a closet anti-Semite.
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