Opinion: Half-blind but fine

By James Sobotka

Allow me to recap the Israeli spy fiasco: A mid-level Pentagon analyst gave a policy paper about Iran to a Jewish political action committee more than a year ago – a draft that according to David Frum at National Review magazine was leaked to the Washington Post in 2003.

The Washington Post has yet to be indicted. The analyst who passed along this information is now under investigation.

Now that we’re up to speed on the facts, let’s deal with the allegations:

Lawrence Franklin has been accused of being an Israeli spy. If true, hang him, but the charges are ambiguous at best. Government officials said he only might be charged with mishandling classified documents. Former Kerry advisor Sandy Berger is being accused of breaking similar laws with his handling of documents at the National Archives.

I could continue using this story to answer the question, “What if this could hurt a Democrat?” but why bother. The more insidious side of this story lies in the reaction of talking heads. After learning about Franklin’s alleged crimes, liberal pundits quickly conjured up an Israeli intelligence network filled with the U.S. Defense Department’s highest Jews – pardon, neo-conservatives. These “infiltrators” allegedly steered us toward war with Iraq.

Alas it’s true! Part of our motivation in the Middle East is to help Israel.

Most of the Middle East is ruled by tyrants who test chemical weapons on their populations (Iraq); who hang 16-year-old girls for premarital sex (Iran); and whose bigotry towards infidels makes the West Bank look like Club Med (Sudan). Israel alone shares our values, including liberty, tolerance, decency, equality and justice. Moreover, Israel is at war with our barbaric enemies, Islamic fascists.

While Israel is not perfect, their soldiers do not smile while they shoot children in the back, as demonstrated this weekend in Beslan, Russia. And so, as long as we live in a world with imperfect situations, we will need imperfect allies.

Yet why are U.S. motivations, when dealing with Israel, always suspect? I’ve never read an article where British-Americans were accused of having undue influence over U.S. foreign policy. Why, when “British” is replaced with “Jewish,” do conspiracies, espionage networks and cabals suddenly appear in the media?

I’m begging a question here and so to be fair, I’ll answer it. The media is strongly sympathetic, for one reason or another, to Palestinians. Now, when you’re writing your hate mail, please answer the following question: If the media accurately portrayed Yasser Arafat, would he have won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994? After starting the first Intifada, all Arafat deserved was a bullet in his temple and a shallow grave.

Rooting for Palestinians leads directly to unfounded accusations when dealing with all things Israeli. While the 24-hour news cycle might have given birth to reckless speculation, the direction was set by their prejudices.

Perhaps I’m half-blind, as a supporter of Israel, to its “nefarious” activities. If so, at least I’m honest about my blindness.

But in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

James Sobotka is a graduate student. His forum runs Mondays. He can be reached at [email protected]