The delicate touch-me-nots of US Zionism are hurting, apparently:
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration is reaping a whirlwind of criticism in the wake of pointed remarks about Israel by several U.S. officials over three days.
The U.S. ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, caused an uproar when he suggested on Dec. 1 that hostility among European Arabs and Muslims toward Jews was rooted in anger over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and should be distinguished from traditional forms of anti-Semitism. Jewish groups condemned his remarks, which drew calls for his dismissal from Republican presidential front-runners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
The following day, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stirred controversy when he told an audience at the Saban Forum, an annual Washington conclave for American and Israeli policymakers, that Israel needs to “get to the damn table” to negotiate with the Palestinians and “mend fences” with its neighbors. The Anti-Defamation League expressed “surprise and dismay” at a speech that it said “disproportionately put the onus on Israel to overcome its isolation.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made waves a day later at the Saban Forum when she reportedly expressed some concerns about the state of Israeli democracy.
The confluence of controversies has added up to a headache for the Obama administration’s Jewish supporters and given fodder to its critics.
“This is the worst weekend we’ve had in a while,” said a Jewish Democratic activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, referring to the outcry over the remarks.
See, I wish wholeheartedly that I could call it the ‘worst weekend’, in fact I wish I could simply call it a ‘bad weekend’ but perhaps for a lobby that’s used to having an American administration reply to requests to jump for the Zionist Entity with ‘how high?’, all this must feel like a catastrophic loss of traction. If only it was…