Thursday, 22 April 2010

Israel Matzav: Obama administration slams Wiesel, Lauder ads

Obama administration slams Wiesel, Lauder ads

Unnamed Obama administration officials have made known their displeasure with ads placed in American media last week containing letters of support for Israel from Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder. The administration was also angered by some of the comments made by Israeli officials at Independence Day celebrations (Hat Tip: My Right Word).

United States administration officials have voiced harsh criticism over advertisements in favor of Israel's position on Jerusalem that appeared in the U.S. press with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's encouragement. The authors of the most recent such advertisements were president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel. "All these advertisements are not a wise move," one senior American official told Haaretz.


The ongoing confrontation with the U.S. administration over construction in East Jerusalem was present in many of the comments made by senior Israeli officials during Independence Day.

Netanyahu himself said in an interview to ABC that freezing construction in the east of the city was an impossible demand, and refused to answer questions on the Israeli response to demands from Washington. Instead, he called on Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table without preconditions.

Foreign Minister Lieberman, meanwhile, made Jerusalem the focal point of his speech in a festive reception for the diplomatic corps at the President's Residence in Jerusalem. President Shimon Peres spoke first, calling for progress in the diplomatic process. Lieberman, who took the podium immediately after Peres, made diametrically opposed statements in his speech, stressing that the Palestinian Authority is no partner for peace.

"Jerusalem is our eternal capital and will not be divided," Lieberman said. Many of the ambassadors in the audience left feeling stunned and confused, some of them told Haaretz. "The gap between Peres and Lieberman is inconceivable," one of them said. "We couldn't comprehend how Lieberman can say all that in front of all the international community delegates."

Speaking at the torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl on Monday, Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin said that there was "an attack on Jerusalem" and that Israel "will not apologize for the building of Jerusalem, our capital."

Now some of that may have been Haaretz's peculiar spin on the story - it goes on to tell us for the umpteenth time that other Labor ministers are pushing Ehud Barak to leave the government. But Arutz Sheva - which cannot be accused of having Haaretz's ideological bent - is carrying the Wiesel and Lauder part of the story.

This should be real fun when Jerusalem Day (the day that marks the liberation of the eastern half of Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation in 1967) rolls around three weeks from today.

But if Obama thinks that he can silence Israel and its friends as he throws Israel under the bus, I sure hope we will continue to prove him wrong.

Israel Matzav: Obama administration slams Wiesel, Lauder ads

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