On March 11, the fifth anniversary of the Muslim terror attacks on Madrid, I found in my inbox an excited email from a Palestinian group urging Americans to wake up — the “threat” of the world Zionist conspiracy is real. I very nearly deleted it until I realized it contained news of the withdrawal of Charles Freeman from his proposed appointment as director of the National Intelligence Council. His statement, published on March 10 in the Wall Street Journal, indicates he is removing himself from the nomination because he feels he has been irrevocably smeared by a “powerful lobby.”
Woo-hoo! It’s the Jooze again. Let me provide some background from my perspective over here in the United Kingdom. Right now the nation is in shock over the three murders, in rapid succession, of two British soldiers and a policeman in Northern Ireland. Two different terrorist groups have claimed responsibility. It is appropriate that the people of Great Britain, its leaders, and its media spend a great deal of time agonizing over this new state of affairs. After all, in the past year we have heard the schizophrenic media and politicians suggesting we hug a terrorist and listen to his grievances, and we have had judges in England urging the public to give former Guantanamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed a wonderful life. It is gratifying to see that Britons are expressing outrage over the murderous activities of the Real IRA.
How does this link to the Freeman story? In the past fortnight various writers, including Melanie Phillips, have been discussing the ill-advised appointment of Charles Freeman to the National Intelligence Council post. Right now there are those out there who believe the head of a security agency should have a clear understanding of Islamic and other terror networks and be, as it were, squeaky clean.
I have tried to give Freeman the benefit of the doubt: many critics in the past few weeks have despaired over his close association with Saudi Arabian officials. Well, I reply, the Bush family was not exactly in estrangement from the Saudis. When the head of Time Warner introduced Donald Rumsfeld at a major dinner bash during the heyday of the Bush administration, Prince Bandar was the guest of honor. In fact, in March 2009 a 75-year-old Saudi woman is to be flogged 40 times for meeting with two men in her flat; the world seems unconcerned and continues to do business with Saudi Arabia.
I decided to stand back and breathe deeply when Newsmax, the Weekly Standard, Fox News, and various right-wing Israeli bloggers fumed about Freeman’s connection with the Middle East Policy Council. It published “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, regarded by many as a thinly veiled anti-Semitic rant wrapped in a respectable academic screed spreading the myth of war-mongering Jews running the world.
Newsmax, which I often dismiss as scare-mongering, reported in early March:
The MEPC’s political action group publishes a book that teaches children that Muslims discovered the New World. … When explorers reached the New World, according to the sources, they met “Iroquois and Algonquin chiefs with names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik.”
[Freeman] said in an interview with the Associated Press less than a month after Sept. 11 that he was still “discussing proposals with the Binladen Group — and that won’t change.
I have read with patience and careful scrutiny commentary after commentary alerting the world to Freeman’s inclinations, including his belief that the Iraq intervention was instigated to make life better for Israel and that he had given an address in 2007 berating Israel for brutally occupying Arab lands.
When Yitzhak Rabin ordered the Israeli authorities to break the bones of the Palestinians during the First Intifada, many were repelled by what they saw as right-wing brutality. He then metamorphosed into accommodation with Arafat and won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. It had occurred to me that Freeman, once in government, would moderate his stance and give Israel a fair chance.
He has done no such thing. By issuing his statement he confirms the suspicions of those who sought to block his appointment. Here is some of his passion:
The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth.
I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.
The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process.
More on the Jewish opponents of his appointment:
… a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government — in this case, the government of Israel. … It is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.
Freeman is confirming everyone’s worst fears: he feels supporters of Israel are a threat to American national security, that Jews cannot be trusted to be 100% loyal Americans, and Zionists are a veritable fifth column. I assume Freeman means the 70-million-strong Evangelicals in the United States are also unpatriotic, Likudnik fifth columnists.
What I find so frightening about Freeman’s postulations is that he is perpetuating the myth that Israel-supporting Jews and their friends are going to bring about Armageddon. Yes, there is no doubt that in recent years Israel has had to take ruthless action, with many unfortunate casualties, against Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south. Its security barrier, called an “apartheid wall” by people who have never lived in daily fear, protects against endless suicide bombings in Tel Aviv and other major cities, but is depicted in the world’s media as a further attempt at “Zionist expansionism” when olive groves are disputed.
Those who continue to support Israel see a tiny nation, born out of the ashes of Auschwitz, suffering a daily dose of terror from drive-by shootings, bombs, rockets, and kidnappings. Freeman’s shocking accusation that no U.S. government dares discuss Israel is a calumny. He claims:
… the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for U.S. policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics.
Really? Bill Clinton and Warren Christopher tried for eight years, at great expense to the American taxpayer, to bring the Palestinians and Syrians to a peace agreement; did Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres win the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize because they were part of an obstructionist “ruling faction”?
It must also be said that the post-war generation feels Jews were threatened by a pesky little man called Eichmann who just happened to want to exterminate all 14 million of world Jewry in the “Final Solution.” The “never again” gene is embedded in my generation’s DNA. If we want Israel to be safe we have good reason to do so. Critics of the so-called Zionist Lobby should also recognize that the United States, and indeed many Western countries, shares common values with Israel, including artistic and cultural dynamism, sexual equality, and a dynamically free press and judiciary.
The Freeman world that sees Zionists and Jews as some sort of threat — whilst Saudis flog old ladies to death, Iran threatens genocide of its tiny near-neighbor, Islamic police patrol their cities, Muslim terrorists torture Jews in Mumbai and mutilate Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, and Islamic fundamentalists smash up stores and cafes in central London — needs to cure its schizophrenia.
Charles Freeman has proven he is as capable of calumnies as the Zionist lobbyists he says tormented him this year. He says he gave up everything to do the NSC work but is now jobless. My heart bleeds for him.