In a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Speaking truth to our ally Israel," 91-year-old Brent Scowcroft and Thomas Pickering appear to take issue with last week's WaPo editorial entitled "On Israel, we’re right back where Obama started," which excoriated America's lame duck president and John Kerry (see my prior blog item, "Rashid Khalidi, John Kerry and Israel: 'Too Little and Too Late': More Israel Bashing From The New York Times"). Scowcroft and Pickering write in their op-ed:
"In recent days, the Obama administration has undertaken two significant actions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian issue. It refrained from vetoing a resolution at the U.N. Security Council that, among other things, detailed the devastating impact that Israeli settlement expansion is having on the prospects for a two-state peace agreement. And in a landmark speech, Secretary of State John F. Kerry warned that the trend toward a one-state reality is becoming increasingly entrenched, and he set out principles for a lasting peace based on a two-state solution."
"Devastating impact"? Needless to say, no mention by Scowcroft and Pickering of the fact acknowledged by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that Israeli settlements have been built on only some 1.1% of the West Bank. However, there is something else missing from Scowcroft and Pickering's opinion piece, and I have just dashed off the following email to Fred Hiatt, WaPo's editorial page editor:
Dear Mr. Hiatt,
At the bottom of The Washington Post opinion piece by Brent Scowcroft and Thomas R. Pickering, entitled "Speaking truth to our ally Israel," The Washington Post describes Pickering as follows:
"Thomas R. Pickering is a retired United States ambassador. Among his many diplomatic appointments, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1989 to 1992."
The Washington Post's description fails to mention that Pickering today is prominently listed ("top billing") by the National Iranian American Council, which is anything but friendly to Israel, as a member of its Advisory Board.
I kindly ask that The Washington Post's description of Pickering be corrected to reflect his membership on the Advisory Board of the National Iranian American Council, which is highly relevant to the substance of this opinion piece.
It is also worth noting that both Scowcroft and Pickering actively urged approval of the P5+1's nuclear deal with Iran.
It's worth reading The Daily Beast article entitled "Boeing’s Man Pushed for the Iran Nuclear Deal—and Now the Company Is Selling $25 Billion Worth of Planes to Tehran," which informs us (my emphasis in red:
"Boeing is grabbing headlines for its first-of-its-kind, $25 billion deal with Iran Air, Tehran’s state-owned airline.
But the American aerospace giant isn’t exactly publicizing the fact that it paid a lobbying firm to “monitor” the nuclear agreement that made its $25 billion sale to Tehran possible. Or that Boeing has on its payroll a former top Clinton administration official who used his clout to garner support in the corridors of powers for the Iran deal.
Thomas Pickering, one of the country’s most respected diplomats and a and former ambassador to Israel and the United Nations, has been quietly taking money from Boeing while vocally supporting the Iran nuclear deal—testifying before Congress, writing letters to high-level officials, and penning op-eds for outlets like The Washington Post."
Let's see if Mr. Hiatt gets back to me.