I thought this was pretty bold... a foreign Parliament member reminds one of our current administration's most influential members where his priorities should lie, and it's not with the citizens of the country he represents:
National Union chairman Ya'acov "Ketzele" Katz sent a letter to White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel last week admonishing him not to forget his Jewish and Israeli origins.
Katz's missive came in response to a reported verbal exchange between Emanuel and an unidentified American Jewish leader.
Katz claims that in a private meeting with the unnamed leader, Emanuel said, "In the next four years, there will be a peace agreement with the Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples, and it does not matter to us who is the prime minister."
In the letter, a Hebrew version of which was provided to The Jerusalem Post by Katz's parliamentary aide, Katz wrote: "For many Israelis, this report is a cause for worry because it reveals a condescending attitude toward our prime minister and Israeli public opinion. This is an attitude that Israel does not expect from a real friend such as the US, and all the more so from an Israeli Jew who has succeeded in being appointed White House chief-of-staff."
Katz went on to compare Emanuel to the biblical Esther, who ended up at using her influence with Persian King Ahashverosh to intervene on behalf of the Jews of the Persian Empire.
"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" Katz wrote, quoting from the Book of Esther (4:14).
Katz was hinting that Emanuel should use his influence to protect Israeli interests, which, he believes, are best served by preventing the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
To me, this is a direct attempt to try to influence our political system. Katz is almost telling Emanuel that even though he is an American citizen serving the interests of fellow Americans, his jewish faith trumps all and therefore his true allegiance should be with the citizens of Israel and not us.
The current situation with Jane Harman is just one example of how AIPAC can potentially alter the politics of this country, but I wonder how many other of our jewish leaders are also being targeted by Israel and AIPAC because of their jewish faith. Were any of our jewish congressmen targeted by AIPAC and/or the State of Israel in the run up to the Iraq War? After all, when Dubya came into office, Iraq was the biggest threat to Israel and we all saw how eager many of our representatives were to jump into that hot bed (hello Joe Lieberman?).
When JFK was running for Presidency, many in this country were concerned about a Catholic presiding over this country because there was a belief that a Catholic would be more beholden to the Vatican than to the citizens of the country he was elected to represent. As important as our faith is and should be, it's probably difficult to remain 100 percent objective when it comes to policymaking, but to have foreign influences directly target this faith is directly against the principles that this country was founded upon.