[Editor’s note: I thought this article was very interesting, but it didn’t have any hyperlinks (or images) in it, so I have taken the liberty, here, of inserting the links (and images) I believe are appropriate into the article, and have included links below the article as well.]
Translating U.S. pro-Israel advocacy for Jewish communities abroad—and taking care about context
By Ron Kampeas · March 25, 2012
Nearly a decade after an effort by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to replicate its model overseas collapsed in acrimony, a range of Jewish organizations are helping smaller Diaspora Jewish communities enhance their advocacy. They have found receptive audiences.
In recent years, pro-Israel initiatives in a number of countries have taken on a higher profile.
In Canada, much of the Jewish communal advocacy apparatus was consolidated last year into the new Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. In Britain, a commitment to sustain the pro-Israel message across party lines has reinvigorated “friends of Israel” groups in the three major parties. In France, the Jewish communal umbrella body, the CRIF, has an arm researching legal ways to push back against anti-Israel boycott efforts. In Germany, U.S. groups like the American Jewish Committee and the Israel Project have helped local communities set up information events with Israeli speakers.
In their efforts to assist Jewish communities upgrade their Israel advocacy, U.S. organizations are building on relationships and on infrastructures that have existed for decades; in others they are starting anew.
In either case, pro-Israel activists say, the key lesson they have learned is that the American model cannot be imposed overseas wholesale. They note that the landscape facing pro-Israel activists in the U.S. is quite different from the one confronting Israel’s supporters in many foreign countries.
For starters, the U.S. has an almost uniquely adversarial relationship between the executive and legislative branches, something that makes lobbying legislators an effective means of influencing foreign policy.
Many foreign countries have histories of troubled relationships between the Jewish and general populations that still resonate — a contrast to America’s relative philo-Semitism. Finally, the political cultures of some foreign countries do not place the same value on the right to petition government.
Steve Rosen, the former AIPAC foreign policy director who now consults with a number of Jewish communities in Europe, said the structural differences between the U.S. government and other democracies are paramount.
“Most of these countries have parliamentary systems of government, and in parliamentary systems it is rare for the legislature to second-guess the executive,” he said. “The party leader pretty much controls what the lawmakers do, especially on foreign policy.”
That clashes with the classic AIPAC credo outlined by its founder, Si Kenan, which leverages the tensions between the legislative and executive branches.
Rosen described the strategy by quoting Kenan: “Our job is to get the Senate to tell the president to order the State Department to stop beating up on Israel.”
Rosen was involved in an attempt by AIPAC in the early 2000s to encourage Jewish communities in Europe to organize and lobby on behalf of Israel.
Two days later, a closed meeting with AIPAC officials and the Europeans ended in an emotional shouting match. Insiders who attended the meeting said the AIPAC officials accused the Europeans of exercising excessive caution in advancing lobbying in their countries, and the Europeans countered that AIPAC was pushing too hard.
“To train them as if American democracy was their model, it was so bizarre,” said one top American Jewish community official who had been involved in the program and witnessed its breakdown.
AIPAC in recent years has revived its outreach to foster pro-Israel lobbying abroad.
AIPAC officials did not return multiple requests for comment.
Officials with numerous American Jewish groups that assist counterparts overseas say that adapting programs to local realities is a key takeaway of their experience over the years.
“The goal has to be to understand what in the American model is exportable, where are you seeking to export to, what are the local conditions and how much adaptation is required for the local model to take root and not fail,” he said.
Dermot Kehoe, a spokesman for Bicom, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, which was founded in 2001, said that one element of the American model that he hoped British Jews could emulate is how the Americans have made support for Israel a bipartisan value.
“They have a gold standard of how you get the best for Israel by not aligning yourself with a party,” he said. “The basic tenets of Israel’s right to exist are accepted across the spectrum in the United States.”
On the other hand, the practices of day-to-day American lobbying would seem out of place and unseemly in Britain, he said.
“The parties are much more centralized, the executive is much more in control here,” Kehoe said. “The whipping goes down to the local level. The room for maneuver is very small.”
Americans, he said, “do relationships with the individuals,” whereas decisions in Britain “are taken much more at the top level,” so it makes more sense to cultivate the leadership.
In that context, Kehoe added, pro-Israel fundraising for individual candidates, commonplace in the United States, is unthinkable in Britain.
Even as they are mindful of their differing circumstances, pro-Israel activists abroad look to AIPAC for inspiration.
Dan Brotman, the media and diplomatic liaison at the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, attended the AIPAC policy conference in Washington earlier this month and described his impressions in an Op-Ed for the Forward.
He said that one of his key takeaways was AIPAC’s outreach to diverse constituencies — from African Americans and Latinos to Christians and gays and lesbians.
“As only 8 percent of South Africans speak English as a first language, we must build relationships with pro-Israel activists who can speak to their communities in one of the country’s other 10 official languages,” he said.
But long-established outfits like AIPAC and the AJC are not the only American pro-Israel groups working to foster activism abroad.
The Israel Project, for instance, which was founded in 2002, conducts polling overseas and flies in speakers in partnership with local Jewish communities.
Christoph Heil, the project’s European director, said that bringing German-speaking experts to Germany helped galvanize pro-Israel activism in that country.
“Media tours was something new to our partners in Germany,” he said.
Americans venturing into pro-Israel work abroad should be mindful of how the soil here has nurtured pro-Israelism, the AJC’s Harris said.
“You have a community of 6 million American Jews and a culture deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian and Christian-Zionist roots,” he said. “You have the U.S. Constitution that invites petitioning the government and a system that accepts, if not invites, interest groups on a gazillion issues. Contrast that with nations where Jews are still, to a degree, defined as outsiders.
“The Jewish community will be smaller, both in real numbers and as a percentage, and will not feel as confident in its place or in its ability to be public, will not find in that country as much free disposition to Jewish aspirations as here in the United States,” he said.
One way to assist Jewish communities overseas is to leverage the impression of U.S. Jewish influence, said Michael Salberg, the Anti-Defamation League’s international affairs director — but only if the community makes the request.
“We don’t parachute in and say, ‘We’re going to fight your battles for you,’ ” he said. “But we can be an effective backup for them.”
Salberg cited as an example the recent publication in a Portuguese newspaper of a cartoon depicting an Israeli soldier morphing into a Nazi SS officer. At the request of the tiny Portuguese Jewish population, the ADL wrote a letter explaining the cartoon’s offensiveness, he noted.
“It lets the opinion leaders know there are other people looking at this, it’s not just a local event,” he said.
My additional links:
VIDEO – Onward Christian Zionists
VIDEO – US Congress controlled by AIPAC
Col. Alan Sobrosky PhD USMC (Ret.) – Israel’s hidden faces: a long days night for us all
Alan Sabrosky – Zionism Unmasked: The Dark Face Of Jewish Nationalism
Fake Democracy Revolutions – CANVAS, USIP/ICNC, Washington, Egypt, and OWS – Plus: Israel did 9/11
Atlanta Jewish Times – Editor of Jewish paper calls for Obama’s assassination
USG DOCUMENT – US Department of State: Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism:A Report Provided to the United States Congress
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL) – Information Archive Page
Washington Post SpyTalk: AIPAC wins court battle with former top official Rosen
VIDEO – PC2012 – Sunday Opening Plenary – Speech: Israeli President Shimon Peres
See, too: USA = ISRAEL’S BITCH
“And I have a final message here for those sworn elected and appointed officials of the US Government who have betrayed their oaths in order to serve Israel, for those around the government who have facilitated this effort, and for Israel itself. You all have been discovered. Your treason, treachery and crimes are known. You may not believe it yet, but your political and strategic Judgment Day is finally appearing on the horizon, as surely as it came for Nineveh and Tyre in ancient times, for the infamous Third Reich in 1945, and for the Soviet Union two decades ago. Beware. We are coming for you.” ~ Col. Alan Sobrosky PhD USMC (Ret.) (see: here and here).
The Ugly Truth Podcast March 15, 2010 – Dr. Alan Sabrosky, comes on board along with co-host Phil Tourney to discuss Dr. Sabrosky’s most recent article The Dark Face Of Jewish Nationalism
About the Writer: Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a writer and consultant specializing in national and international security affairs. In December 1988, he received the Superior Civilian Service Award after more than five years of service at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, and holder of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He is listed in WHO’S WHO IN THE EAST (23rd ed.). A Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Sabrosky’s teaching and research appointments have included the United States Military Academy, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Middlebury College and Catholic University; while in government service, he held concurrent adjunct professorships at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Dr. Sabrosky has lectured widely on defense and foreign affairs in the United States and abroad. You can email Dr. Alan Sabrosky at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See my theology regarding Jews and Gentiles, here: The Old Covenant and the New Covenant
See Father Feeney’s theology regarding Jews and Gentiles here : The Point Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
“Essential to the understanding of our chaotic times is the knowledge that the Jewish race constitutes a united anti-Christian bloc within Christian society, and is working for the overthrow of that society by every means at its disposal.” — April 1958.
• In Memory Of William Thomas Walsh — Who Tried To Warn Us (About The Jews) Before It Was Too Late (March)
• Some Summaries After Seven Years — Jews, Masons, Communists Etc. (February)
• Should Hate Be Outlawed? (January)
• The Protection Of Christmas (December)
• The Jews And The Saints — What Our Canonized Catholics Are Lately Suffering (November)
• Catholics, The Bible, And The Jews (October)
• How The Jews Invaded The Holy Land (September)
• He Fought Our Enemies And Kept The Faith — (Belloc) (August)
• The Problem Of Monsignor Ronald Knox (July)
• Anti-Christians In Capital Letters — (Jewish Organizations) (June)
• Monsignor Ellis In Wonderland (May)
• Newspapers And The New York Times — (Jewish Media Control) (April)
• On Making The United States Catholic — Reasons For Our Failure (March)
• Soldiers Of The Church Militant — Our Canonized Saints At War (With The Jews) (January-February)
• The Price Of Christmas In Mexico — Freemasons (December)
• Six Pointers On The Jews (November)
• The Jewish Lie About Brotherhood — The Catholic Answer — Israeli Brotherhood (October)
• An Unholy People In The Holy Land — The Actions Of The Jews (September)
• A Sure Defence Against The Jews — What Our Catholic Bishops Can Do For Us (August)
• The Judaising Of Christians By Jews — Tactics Of The Church’s Leading Enemies (July)
• The Rejected People Of Holy Scripture — Why The Jews Fear The Bible (June)
• The Fight For The Holy City — Efforts Of The Jews To Control Jerusalem (April)
• When Everyone Was Catholic — The Courage Of The Faith (Regarding The Jews) In The Thirteenth Century (February)
• Jewish Invasion Of Our Country — Our Culture Under Siege (January)
• The Enemies Of Christ At Christmas (December)
• The Jewish Plan To Destroy Christianity — The Real Purpose Of Interfaith (November)
• The Church Militant And The Jews — Some Front-Line Reports (Through The Centuries) (October)
• Another Challenge To Jews And Masons (September)
• Some Jews In Gentile Clothing (August)
• Foreign Allegiance Of American Jews (March)
• Profiles Of Two White Jews (Jews All The Same) (February)
• The Jewish Gangs Of Boston (Jewish Domination) (January)
• Pointers; American Power And Catholic Freedom, Etc. (November)
• Recent Protest In The Streets Of Boston — Christian Defense Of The Blessed Sacrament (Against The Jews) (October)
• Catholic Power And The Plots Of The Jews (September)
• Should Hate Be Outlawed? (July)
• More News About Jews And Others — Some Current Threats To Our Faith And Country (March)
• The Catholic Church And The Jews — Traditional Policy Toward The Haters Of Christ (February)
• World Government By The Jews (UN) (January)
• The Secret (Jewish) Strength Of Communism (November)
• The Hammer Of Freemasons, Etc. (February)
• Glory To God In The Manger; Pointers; Virgin Mother; The Native — A Tract In One Act, Etc. (December)
• The Masons And The Jews; The Newman Clubs, Etc. (October)
• What Happened In Chicago (SBC Brothers Jailed) (September)
• The Apostle Of Invincible Ignorance, Etc. (October)
• The Threat Of A National Church; The Christophers — Change The World To What? Etc. (March)
US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (OR; FILL IN THE ___________), TO Benjamin Netanyahu: “YES BOSS MAN, WE HAVE A ROCK-SOLID COMMITMENT TO THE SECURITY OF ISRAEL” “IS IT OKAY IF I TAKE A LEAK, NOW, TOO?” . . . “I’M SHAKIN IT HERE BOSS, SHAKING IT HERE! I’M SHAKIN IT BOSS!” LET’S HELP OUR PRESIDENT ESCAPE!, LIKE COOL HAND LUKE!!
See: “Cool Hand Luke”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7QwTTn3FIk
See: Jewish call for US president’s assassination: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/20/andrew-adler-atlanta-jewish-times-obama-assassination_n_1219720.html