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Posted by on Mar 1, 2012 in At TMV | 5 comments

What Happens If You Dare Criticize Israeli Policy

WASHINGTON – It must be a general election year. With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due in Washington next week, the rhetoric is reaching a crescendo.

Yesterday, Democrats from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to Sens. McCaskill and Wyden signed on to a sense of the Senate resolution on Iran, which you can read here.

Today, Bill Kristol runs amok with a full-page ad in the New York Times (pictured above).

Politicians and cable yakkers aren’t paying attention to the polling in Israel.

Only 19 percent of Israelis support an attack against Iran without the backing of the United States, a new poll released on Wednesday found. In the poll conducted by Shibley Telhami, Brookings nonresident senior fellow and the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, 42% of respondents said they support a strike against Iran only if there is US support for the move. Nearly a third, 32%, of those polled oppose an attack regardless of US support. – ‘19% of Israelis support non-US-backed Iran strike’

As you can see, Kristol’s ad quotes Spencer Ackerman, who said this on Twitter about it: “So apparently the Emergency Committee for Israel has hijacked a quote of mine for a NYTimes ad. I didnt approve that & ECI are clowns.” It was likely due to his piece for The Tablet, which I covered during the run-up to what Kristol unloaded today.

The poll cited above is illustrative.

Israel is a strong, if small, nation that has at least 200 nuclear weapons. We are allies, but the decision to strike is Israel’s, as I wrote yesterday, though that doesn’t make it smart.

But it’s not the decision of the U.S. and the way Bill Kristol and his crew are conducting their smear campaign on Center for American Progress and Media Matters is more about hurting both groups than anything to do with Israel. Kristol and his ilk don’t appreciate M.J. Rosenberg and others being correct and gaining traction inside the U.S., where being an ally to Israel shouldn’t mean we don’t have differences, especially when it comes to hyperbole on Iran, which could lead to grave consequences for everyone.

No one has yet convinced me that anyone can stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. It’s become a national pride issue, with U.S. policy regime change penchant proving what happens to countries who don’t have weaponized nukes.

What happens if Iran gets a nuclear weapon? That is, besides Pres. Obama being blamed for it.

Bill Kristol and his group “Committee for Israel” want to diminish the power of CAP and Media Matters, as they do J Street, and Mr. Kristol is using Israel to do it.

New York Times photo at top via Adam Serwer on Twitter

Taylor Marsh is the author of the new book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss, which is now available in print on Amazon. Marsh is a veteran political analyst and commentator. She has been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.

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