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Utenriksminister Hillary Clinton uttrykte lørdag bekymring for demokratiet i Israel. Bekymringen gjaldt lover som vil begrense handlingsrommet til NGO’er som mottar utenlandsk støtte, og kvinners stilling i Israel.

Det har vært tilfeller der ultraortodokse praktiserer kjønnsskille, feks. i busser, og soldater reiste seg å forlate en konsert da en kvinne sang. Israelere flest er klar over disse tendensene og liker dem ikke.

Da Clinton sa dette minnet henne om Iran, provoserte hun israelere flest. De opplevde at hun brukte disse tilfellene til å ramme Israel. Det samme gjelder lovgivningen mot NGO’ene. Israelere er klar over at det er en begrensning av demokratiet, samtidig vet de at utenlandske regjeringer som den norske, pøser penger inn for at NGO’er skal levere materiale som kritiserer Israel sønder og sammen internasjonalt. Israelerne føler det er urettferdig.

Når internasjonale røster derfor kritiserer Israel, slik Clinton gjorde, uten å vise noen forståelse for bakgrunnen, føler de seg dårlig behandlet.

Speaking to a closed forum in Washington on Saturday, Clinton criticized recent legislative attempts in Israel to restrict left-wing organizations and expressed shock over growing discrimination against Israeli women. She mentioned cases of IDF soldiers leaving during performances of female singers and the fact that females sit in the back of buses in certain places in Israel. Clinton said that some of these phenomena reminded her of Iran.

Samtidig vet israelerne at Clinton og Obama-administrasjonen inntar en forstående holdning til islamistenes inntog i den demokratiske prosessen i araberlandene. Israelerne føler at USA snakker med flere tunger, og at kritikken mot dem samtidig betyr en tilnærming til at islamistene ser ut til å vinne økt innflytelse. Det gjør israelerne bekymret.

I samme retning trekker to andre uttalelser.

USAs ambassadør i Belgia, HowardGutman, sa før helgen at antisemittismen i Midtøsten henger sammen med konflikten med palestinerne. Hvis de ble løst ville mye av fiendskapen forsvinne. Et slikt utsagn sjokkerte ikke bare israelere, men også jøder verden over.

A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Gutman said. He also argued that an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty will significantly diminish Muslim anti-Semitism.

The American envoy, a lawyer by training, is Jewish and played a major role in fundraising for the Democratic Party. He was appointed to the post by President Barack Obama.

‘The so-called Israel critic’
The conference was attended by Jewish lawyers from across Europe. The legal experts at the event were visibly stunned by Gutman’s words, and the next speaker offered a scathing rebuttal to the envoy’s remarks.

“The modern Anti-Semite formally condemns Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and expresses upmost sympathy with the Jewish people. He simply has created a new species, the “Anti-Zionist” or – even more sophisticated – the so-called ‘Israel critic,’” Germany attorney Nathan Gelbart said.

“The ‘Israel critic’ will never state ‘Jews go home’ but is questioning the legality of the incorporation of the State of Israel and therefore the right for the Jewish people to settle in their homeland. He will not say the Jews are the evil of the world but claim that the State of Israel is a major cause for instability and war in the region,” he said. “There is no other country, no other people on this planet the ‘Israel critic’ would dedicate so much time and devotion as to the case of Israel.”

“For no other country he would criticize or ask to boycott its goods or academics. And this for one simple reason: Because Israel is the state of the Jewish people, not more and not less,” Gelbart said.

‘Muslims appreciate Obama’
Conference attendants received Gelbart’s remarks with loud applause, while the American envoy apologized for having to leave the site as result of prior obligations and departed.

Earlier, Gutman also presented participants with a short video clip showing him received with warm applause at a Muslim school in Brussels. While he did not mention what prompted the warm reception, his message was that this is the kind of welcome given to a Jew who supports President Obama’s policy of openness to Islam.

Denne bortforklaringen ryster jøder som føler at USA er på full vei bort fra Israel. I begge tilfeller, Clintons og Gutmans, er det Israel som gjøres til syndebukk, det er Israels feil. Jøder flest hører her et ubehagelig dobbeltbudskap.

Den nye forsvarsministeren Leon Panetta var ute før helgen og advarte for annen gang Israel mot å angripe Iran.

Government ministers react sharply to Clinton’s criticism of Israeli democracy
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday lamented Knesset attempts to restrict left-wing groups and expressed concern over the status of Israeli women

‘Jew-hate stems from conflict’
US ambassador in Belgium provides controversial explanation for Muslim anti-Semitism