I've read a lot of ominous words about the chaos in Egypt and the anti-Mubarak demonstrations that now look like they will end the 30-year reign of this democrat-in-name-only. But nothing comes close in grimness to Richard Cohen's column in today's Washington Post.
J Street's spat with Rep. Gary Ackerman took another turn today when it apologized for its strong reaction to the New York Democrat's statement last repudiating the pro-peace process group.
But J Street isn't backing away from the statement that touched off the fracas in the first place – its request that the Obama administration consider not vetoing a pending UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.
Every U.S. administration since 1967 has opposed the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Israeli building in eastern Jerusalem, but a likely GOP presidential contender in 2012 this week sent another strong signal that could change if he gets into the White House.
I have some sympathy for an Obama administration that seems paralyzed by indecision as Egyptians rise up in the streets against their corrupt, repressive regime; President Obama is paying the long-deferred price for decades of hypocritical policy.
But this administration is no more innocent than its predecessors; it, too, chose to proclaim the authoritarian Hosni Mubarak a critical ally in the Middle East, and mostly swallow concerns about his anti-democratic nature and his sorry human rights record in the interests of foreign policy realism.
What ticked off Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) so much about J Street's position on a pending UN resolution slamming Israel's settlements policies that he decided to break ties with the pro-peace process group?
According to sources in the group, J Street “reluctantly” called on the Obama administration not to veto a pending UN resolution labeling Israel's settlements in both the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem “illegal” and condemning activities “aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the territory.”