Obama Czar Criticizes Israel’s Ambassador

Wednesday, 13 Jan 2010 11:04 AM

By Jim Meyers

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President Barack Obama’s anti-Semitism “czar” Hannah Rosenthal has been castigated by Jewish leaders for publicly criticizing Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren.

The flap began when the Israeli embassy said Oren would not attend a conference hosted by J Street, an advocacy group based in the U.S. that promotes American leadership to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The embassy asserted that Oren would not attend because J Street supports positions that may “impair Israel’s interest.” In fact, the American Israeli Action Coalition (AIAC) has stated that J Street is “a radical, far left, anti-Israel, American organization funded by Arab and radical sources" which "has been almost universally condemned by mainstream Jewish organizations."

Rosenthal, a member of J Street’s advisory panel before being appointed by Obama to head the Office To Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, called Oren’s decision “most unfortunate.” She also said he would have “learned a lot” at the conference, and criticized him for pointing out to an assembly of Jewish leaders that J Street was “fooling around with the lives of 7 million people.”

The AIAC has responded to her criticism by calling for Rosenthal’s ouster.
Harvey Schwartz, AIAC’s chairman, stated: “As a high ranking member of the Obama administration, Rosenthal’s criticism of the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. is beyond bizarre, and highly offensive in the extreme. It is a virulent anti-Israel attack which AIAC interprets to be anti-Semitic.

"That the State Department took the highly unusual step of announcing its 'complete support' for Rosenthal confirms that she was expressing the views of the Obama administration. Contrary to her duty to fight anti-Semitism, Rosenthal used her bully pulpit to advance it. This is deplorable.

“Even more deplorable is the Obama administration’s public slap at Israel, utilizing Rosenthal as its mouthpiece,” Schwartz continued in remarks reported by IsraelNationalNews.com.

“When coupled with the Obama administration’s numerous other slaps at Israel, including its almost hysterical non-recognition of Israel’s inalienable right to build civilian homes in its Jerusalem capital and [U.S. peace envoy and former Senator George] Mitchell’s recent public threat to withdraw U.S. loan guarantees from Israel, while at the same time saying and doing nothing to the Palestinians to ‘encourage’ them to return to the peace talks, the Obama administration has laid bare its anti-Israel focus and has proven itself to no longer be an honest broker for peace.”

Aaron Tirschwell, AIAC’s Executive Director, declared that “Rosenthal has committed an unpardonable sin. She must go promptly. AIAC calls upon all American Jewish organizations, as well as all Americans of good will, to demand that the Obama administration dismiss Rosenthal forthwith.”

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