"[The Yom Kippur War] was a kind of defining moment for me in terms of my search for identity. I sat up at night listening on my radio to the BBC reports of Henry Kissinger flying in to get the ceasefire and from that moment on I became absolutely obsessed about the idea that I too should play some role in trying to make Israel safe, because that would make me safe." (Leadel Interview, 'Martin Indyk', cited in Powerbase's profile of Indyk, powerbase.info)
The Australian's Cameron Stewart (rambammed: 2005) always gives good pro-Israel spin, but yesterday's effort, Indyk to lead new Mid-East effort, just blew me away.
First we got this revelation:
"[Indyk] is expected to play a pivotal role in efforts to kick-start the stalled Middle East peace process and broker a settlement between Israel and Palestine. Mr Indyk, 62, is tipped to head the US delegation to the new round of talks between the two states..."
So we already have a Palestinian state?! The fabled two-state solution's been there all this time and nobody noticed?!
But back to Indyk.
Keep in mind that this particular gent was:
*a former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) staffer
*a founding director of the pro-Israel think tank the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP)
*a director of the pro-Israel Saban Center for Middle East Policy
*a two-time US ambassador to Israel (1995-97; 2000-01)
*a key Clinton adviser (along with Dennis Ross) at the 2000 Camp David summit at which "Palestinian negotiators complained that they were 'negotiating with two Israeli teams - one displaying an Israeli flag, and one an American flag'." (quoted in The Israel Lobby, Mearsheimer & Walt, lrb.co.uk, 23/3/06)
Yet all Stewart could manage was fluff like this:
"Martin Indyk once taught Middle Eastern politics at Sydney's Macquarie University... The son of a Sydney surgeon John Indyk was raised in the Sydney suburb of Castlecrag and educated at the University of Sydney and the Australian National University before moving to the US in 1982."
But the bit that really had the coffee all over the page was this:
"Although he has a reputation for even-handedness, reports of his likely appointment have received a mixed response, with Israelis and Palestinians fearing he may be too close to the other side. Mr Indyk is considered to be close to Israel and has long been a passionate advocate of the US's strong support for Israel. However, he has also made clear that he understands and is not opposed to Palestinian aspirations and interests."
So despite this bloke having been the director of more US Israel lobby shops than you can poke a stick at, lo and behold, he's now the proverbial riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma!
Quality journalism strikes again... but only in the Australian.
[For more QJ by Cameron Stewart see my posts Quality Journalism Alert (28/2/10); The Eyes Have It (16/8/11).]