Hoenlein says US elite being 'poisoned' against Israel

"What has been marginally acceptable on the fringes is becoming acceptable in the mainstream."

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
May 16, 2007 22:16
2 minute read.
Hoenlein says US elite being 'poisoned' against Israel

hoenlein 248.88 AJ. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
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The American intellectual elite is being poisoned against Israel in the way the British elite already has been, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Tuesday. "This cancer, which attacks the intellectual elites of society, has been developing in the US and becoming more commonplace," said Hoenlein. "What has been marginally acceptable on the fringes is becoming acceptable in the mainstream," he added. Hoenlein conceded that American support for Israel is presently at an historic high but said that one cannot take such support for granted over the long-term given the delegitimization of Israel, along the blueprints of the infamous UN conference in Durban and the concomitant attempts to silence Israel supporters which are becoming increasingly commonplace. "If you disagree with these false charges, they say you are a Zionist or lobbyist trying to squash criticism," he said, citing last year's publication in The London Review of Books of "The Israel Lobby," a bitterly controversial article written by the political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt which asserted that Israel had neither a strategic nor a moral claim on American sympathies. He noted that the University of Chicago and Harvard University professors who originally found no takers for their essay in the US publishing world are currently working on a book on the subject due to to be published in the US in September. The American publishing company, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, has reportedly paid the two authors a $750,000 advance, and plans to print one million copies. "Today it is no longer PC to say they hate Jews, so they say they hate Israel and Zionism, but we know what they mean," he said. He noted a recent poll taken by the Foreign Policy Association which found that over 60 percent thought the "Jewish lobby" had too much influence. Hoenlein proposed educating American youth about Israel before they enter university, either at the high-school or pre-high school level, saying: "We have to develop approaches that attract younger kids." He also stressed the need to master the mass media of the 21st century as well as honing in, in a "much more intelligent but humble manner," on issues which are of the most critical importance and that unite the Jewish people around the world - and beyond - such as the Iranian nuclear program. Hoenlein said he was open to working with the largely supportive Evangelical Christians in the US, who have emerged as a major source of pro-Israel sentiment across the world, so long as they were no "ulterior motives" in the relationship.

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