One of the most disturbing side effects of the five-year-old Palestinian terror war against Israel is the wave of global anti-Semitism that arose in its wake. The fact that the new anti-Semitic wave is rooted in the Left rather than the Right is shocking for the majority of Western Jewry, which for generations has been politically aligned with the Left.
The main manifestation to date of the institutionalization of leftist anti-Semitism has been on the international legalistic front at the UN and its protean chorus of international human rights organizations. But on January 2, the trial of Zionism and World Jewry will be enacted not in an international legal forum of questionable credibility but in a Federal District Court in Virginia. There, two former senior staffers from the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, will be tried on charges of "conspiracy to communicate national defense information to people not entitled to receive it," which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The two are suspected of having received classified information from former Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin and of having passed this information to Naor Gillon of the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
As Eli Lake points out in the current issue of The New Republic, "prosecution of this kind is unprecedented." And yet, given the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic build-up it received since word of Franklin's investigation was leaked in August 2004, it would seem that this unprecedented case, which ascribes criminality to lobbyists engaged in work that Washington lobbyists and journalists engage in on a daily basis, is simply a step forward in the five-year assault on Israel and its advocates among World Jewry.
Almost as disturbing as the decision to prosecute Rosen and Weissman is the meek reaction that their indictment has elicited in the American Jewish community. Rather than launching a concerted and indignant public defense of these men, the organized Jewish leadership has remained mainly silent.
For its part, AIPAC fired both men and has disassociated itself from them. Pathetically, the pro-Israel lobby has sought to deal with the prosecution of its now former employees by symbolically separating itself from Israel. At its annual conference last April, for the first time since its founding, the group refrained from singing Hatikva at its dinner.
Sadly, no attempt to disassociate themselves from Rosen and Weissman will mitigate the damage that their prosecution has and will continue to cause for American Jews. Very simply, if these men are found guilty next winter then all Americans who seek to lobby the US government on behalf of Israel will be placed under scrutiny.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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