Thursday, April 5, 2007
Dr. Marcy Newman, Electronic Lebanon, 5 April 2007
(Dr. Marcy Newman is a Visiting Professor at the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut and a Fellow at the Initiative for Middle East Policy Dialogue)
"......Twice in the last month Pelosi delivered a speech -- of more or less the same message -- before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conference and before the Israeli Knesset. In these speeches, she unequivocally stated: "When Israel is threatened, America's interests in the region are threatened. America's commitment to Israel's security needs is unshakable." Statements such as this have made Pelosi, along with her traveling companion Congressman Tom Lantos, one of the top ten recipients of AIPAC donations. She received a standing ovation for these sentiments in the Knesset where she linked the U.S. and Israel's "common cause": " a safe and secure Israel living in peace with her neighbors."
Perhaps Pelosi genuinely wants to secure peace in the region. If this were the case, however, we would have seen some indication of balance in her fact-finding mission. While in Israel, Pelosi discussed her visits with the families of Israeli soldiers taken last summer in Gaza and Lebanon, naming them and relaying stories about them. Not once was a Palestinian or Lebanese killed or wounded in Israel's wars dignified with any such humanizing gesture. Instead Pelosi focused entirely on Hezbollah's violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 for failing to disarm. Not once did she mention Israel's almost daily violation of that same resolution with military jets invading Lebanese airspace or recent military incursions into the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Moreover, she failed to mention Israel's continued occupation of Shaaba Farms and Ghajar, which are also violations of 1701; nor did she engage with serious discussions of the occupation of the Golan Heights or the Palestinian Territories with leaders in the region......."