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Contentions

Elvis at the White House

Elvis Costello last week announced he was joining a boycott of Israel. This week he came to the White House to perform for Paul McCartney. Hmm. No doubt the invitation for McCartney was extended before Costello’s boycott, but why should the White House entertain and be entertained by musicians who have joined in the boycott along with other Israel-bashers? Shouldn’t there be a rule — no invite if you boycott the Jewish state? Given Hollywood stars’ craving for a White House invite, I bet that’d put an end to their anti-Israel boycotts real fast. And hey — it’s their choice. They can be in the pool with despotic Arab states that seek Israel’s annihilation or in the pool with those who could rub elbows with the president.

Beyond that, AIPAC’s executive director, Howard Kohr, earlier this year had a fine suggestion: make it a condition for desirable benefits — entry into the WTO, free-trade agreements — that a country cannot participate in the Arab boycott of Israel. Come to think of it, why do we allow any UN body to let in Israel boycotters?

This would, of course, be the opposite of what Obama is doing — which is to put distance between the U.S. and Israel and let the Israel-haters run amok in international institutions. You see, by embracing Israel and making clear that there is no daylight between Israel and the U.S., we might actually change the incentives for other nations and encourage them to treat Israel as a legitimate, sovereign nation on the world stage.



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