Birds of a feather

January 15, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
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The company a person keeps is more often than not indicative of how they feel about certain things…writes Michael Kuttner.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

The saying, “birds of a feather flock together” came to mind in recent times. The noxious friends and advisers that many politicians seem to gravitate towards and the toxic company that some countries enjoy, featured in the news over the past week. This phenomenon is nothing new but in recent times it has become much more noticeable thanks to media scrutiny and exposure.

Naturally, when it comes to Israel there are the usual suspects who can be guaranteed to pop out of the woodwork at regular intervals. Amazingly some of them have been around for quite some time but this does not prevent them from continuing to spread their venom at each and every opportunity.

Five examples from this past week illustrate how individuals and countries alike, by the company they choose, can easily be influenced to ignore reality and instead embark on paths leading to double standards and hypocritical dead ends.

First of all we have our old friend, Martin Indyk, who these days works for the Brookings Institute, a major funder of which is Qatar. This shining example of a liberal, democratic and human rights supporting country bankrolls Hamas and the terrorist entity of Gaza. I don’t know how many ex ambassadors feel comfortable being indirectly employed by terror supporting countries but obviously there are some. We could perhaps overlook this slight aberration but then how does one explain Indyk’s obsessive focus on rubbishing Israel’s Prime Minister at every given opportunity? His latest outburst in which he claimed that sitting next to the PM at Rabin’s funeral (twenty years ago!) he heard the PM make derogatory remarks about the deceased. Apart from the fact that photos show Indyk sitting nowhere near Netanyahu and that the alleged incident is vigorously denied by the PM, the question must be asked as to why, so long after, it was deemed necessary to burble this rubbish.

The answer is not hard to find. Have a look at his close friendship with Barak Obama and others at the State Department and the reason for endless eruptions of anti “Bibi” revelations becomes crystal clear.

Next we have the case of Hillary Clinton and the mysterious emails. In the latest revelations it is disclosed that during her tenure as Secretary of State she received an email from a former US Ambassador to Israel in which he gave her some eye-opening advice. What better way to force Israel to cave in to the terror supporting Palestinian Authority, he suggested, than to organize a concerted campaign of action initiated and carried out by women. Presumably the theory behind this hare brained piece of American diplomacy was that the sight of Israeli authorities suppressing female jihadists and women stabbers and shooters would cause such outrage amongst all the freedom loving countries of the UN that Israel would be forced to accede to each and every demand made by Ramallah. Now, if Hillary would have dismissed this idea as nonsense she would have at least shown some common sense. However apparently according to the now revealed evidence she asked for more details which at the very least shows that she thought the suggestion might have some merit.

This combined with some other very dubious advisers of hers and Bill, who hold questionable views on Israel, merely confirms a growing suspicion that should she win the forthcoming Presidential elections, we can expect more of the same “love.”

The third example of birds flocking together is the spectacle of the UK Labour Party leader and his hard left friends. Here we have the leader of a major UK political party who associates with and praises individuals whose records of anti Israel and conspiracy theories are well known. Despite denials and strange lapses of memory the plain fact is that as far as Jeremy Corbyn and his close associates are concerned, Israel is born in original sin and the only way that this sin can be absolved is by full confession and collective national suicide. Ultimately it will be up to the British electorate to decide whether he and those that flock together with him are worthy to become the Government. It is rather amazing however that there are still starry-eyed socialists who enthusiastically march to the drum beat of Israel bashing and its associated close relative of Judeophobia.

Then we have all those NGO’s and foreign funded groups which lose no opportunity to rubbish, defame and denounce Israel in any and every international forum and media outlet. Sustained by donations from the European Union and Scandinavia, but also other sources, hardly a day passes without a campaign of denigration and delegitimization of the Jewish State. Imagine the uproar in Australia and New Zealand if foreign money was systematically used to support groups subverting Government policies. I suspect it wouldn’t be tolerated but when it comes to Israel any attempt to thwart this gross interference in the domestic policies of a democratically Government is condemned. Scratch the surface and you will find all sorts of foreign interests engaged in anti-Israel activity.

Finally we have the close buddy relationship between Iran and North Korea. The former has been given a free pass by the White House and State Department while the latter demonstrates just how impotent the USA has become. Brilliant American diplomacy enabled North Korea to develop the nuclear bomb and likewise Iran together with their friends march fearlessly towards the same goal. Despite blatant flouting of every agreement concerning missiles, Obama and friends are determined that absolutely nothing must prevent the lifting of sanctions which in turn will fuel further terror and conflagration. In this case the birds of a feather will turn into birds of prey and the consequences will be dire.

These are only a few examples of the many dubious associations polluting the political and international arena. Wherever there are individuals or groups engaged in Israel bashing you can guarantee that there will be friends and hangers-on who are fueling the hate.

I came across a saying which sums up the situation admirably:

“Choose your friends wisely. You reveal your character not only by the company you keep but also by the company you avoid”

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


6 Responses to “Birds of a feather”
  1. Dorothy Finlay says:

    Michael,true statement that with friends like these who needs enemies. I pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem and for the security of PM Netanyahu and all Israel

  2. Irving Wallach says:

    You have misquoted Martin Indyk who said the conversation was “at the time of” the funeral. He did not claim to have sat next to Netanyahu at Rabin’s funeral. In any event this is unlikely as Martin Indyk was US Ambassador and Netanyahu was opposition leader.

    Your comment only reveals your own unhealthy obsession with trying to smear the name of someone who has devoted much time and effort to bring a peace settlement between Israeli and Palestinians.

    • Michael Kuttner says:

      Shalom Irving

      Have a good look at this link from Ha’aretz, Israel’s extreme left wing newspaper and certainly an avid fan of Martin. You will note that it mirrors your assertion that I misquoted him. In actual fact if you read the news report itself which follows you will see that my comment was entirely correct which only proves that you cannot rely on headlines only.

      Contrary to your further claim of my unhealthy obsession with “peacemakers” let me clarify that I support anyone who strives for genuine peace based on reality and real acknowledgement of Israel’s legal, historical and moral rights. I’m afraid that those who live in their own virtual bubble whether in the USA or Australia and advocate policies which will produce suicidal consequences for those Jews who have returned to their homeland, must be held accountable. If this is obsessive then it is no more so than those who continually promote courses of action which are dangerous and life threatening to those of us who live in the Jewish State.

    • Ron Jontof-Hutter says:

      I heard Indyk on ABC giving “expert insight” on Netanyahu shortly before the last Israeli elections.
      The half hour interview was not a balanced analysis but a one eyed propaganda piece. Indyk’s past referral to Israel as a possible “apartheid state” is further evidence that historical distortion and mendacity are acceptable in promoting his pseudo liberal views, even if it means insulting the victims the Nuremberg Laws and their Apartheid laws cousins. Indyk is not an honest broker.

  3. Henry Herzog says:

    If I choose my friends by your criteria, I’d have no friends.

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