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December 4, 2006
Israel in danger?
Despite the apologists, nay-sayers, and Polyannas, it does appear the forthcoming recommendations of the Baker "Iraq Study Group" may have serious and deadly implications for Israel.
Nobody understands this better or describes it with more clarity and wit than the internationally-syndicated Mark Steyn. Within his witty but ominous discussion in an op-ed column in this morning's NY Sun, Steyn reminds us of Baker's infamous attitude toward Jews when he was in office as Secretary of State:
According to The New York Sun, "An expert adviser to the Baker-Hamilton commission expects the 10-person panel to recommend that the Bush administration pressure Israel to make concessions in a gambit to entice Syria and Iran to a regional conference ... " This infamous slur was widely repeated at the time, and readers are more recently being reminded of it once again by myriad online sources, including this account by Anne Kornblut, now a New York Times staff reporter, writing in Slate in 2002:
On the face of it, this sounds an admirably hard-headed confirmation of James Baker's most celebrated soundbite on the Middle East "peace process": "F-k the Jews. They didn't vote for us anyway." His recommendations seem intended to f-k the Jews well and truly by making them the designated fall guys for Iraq. But hang on: if Israel could be forced into giving up the Golan Heights and other land (as some fantasists suggest) in order to persuade the Syrians and Iranians to ease up on killing coalition forces in Iraq, our enemies would have learned an important lesson: the best way to weaken Israel is to kill Americans. I'm all for Bakerite cynicism, but this would seem to f-k not just the Jews but the Americans, too.
And then there was Secretary of State James Baker's infamous "f--k the Jews" remark. In a private conversation with a colleague about Israel, Baker reportedly uttered the vulgarity, noting that Jews "didn't vote for us anyway." Steyn's broad and sensible analysis of the situation in the Middle East and Asia, and the possible harmful effects on both American and Israeli interests should the Baker group's expected recommendations be followed are well worth reading in their entirety and are accessible via the link in the second paragraph above.
Ending with a note of wishful hope -- but not a very strong one, Steyn concludes:
Perhaps the Baker Commission's proposals will prove not to be as empty and risible as those leaked. But, if they are, the President should pay them no heed. A bipartisan sellout - the Republicans cut and the Democrats run - would be an awesome self-humiliation of the US. And once the rest of the world figures it out it'll be America that's the Green Zone. We should all be aware of the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic person Baker is, and the disastrously incompetent and one-sided make-up of his commission -- and hope -- even demand through our political process and organized presence in US society -- that his recommendations will be thoroughly ignored by the American administration for the sake of our long-term interests and those of Israel.