Ambassadors to Israel tend to be hostile to Israel because they either come out of the State Department’s Middle Eastern professional class or worse, Democrat donors and apparatchiks who are “interested” in Israel.
Outgoing Ambassador Thomas Nides was an odious example of this, but the Biden administration is looking for someone even worse. Possible candidates supposedly include Obama’s ex Dan Shapiro, and former Rep. Robert Wexler, an anti-Israel leftist, but there’s buzz about “selecting a woman”.
This isn’t about selecting a woman, obviously, it’s about promoting an anti-Israel leftist who happens to be female while painting her selection as historic.
Who’s the woman in question?
Reportedly, Susie Gelman, the chairwoman of the Israel Policy Forum.
While IPF is a more obscure anti-Israel activist group than Soros’ J Street, it is quite vehemently anti-Israel. Here’s the Discover the Networks profile.
As Kenneth Levin notes in The Oslo Syndrome, the group’s first executive director was Jonathan Jacoby, “who had earlier in his career signed a New York Times ad accusing Israel of ‘state terrorism.’”
In 2008, IPF lauded the newly formed J Street as a group whose objectives represented a refreshing alternative to the “Arab and/or Palestinian-bashing” of “their pro-status quo, pro-occupation counterparts.”
IPF has received funding from such sources as George Soros‘s Open Society Institute and the Tides Foundation.
The Israel Policy Forum, much like J Street, conducts lobbying and pressure campaigns against Israel, rallying Democrats to oppose Israeli and pro-Israel moves, and aiding some of the worst anti-Israel Dems like Rep. Betty McCollum.
Susie Gelman, a Levi Strauss heiress, has spent the past year or so relentlessly attacking the Israeli government: itself normally disqualifying for an ambassador to that government.
Gelman attacked the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem as “the highest level of brazen partisanship in U.S.-Israel relations since Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress in 2015 in which he expressed his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.”
And Gelman shockingly described Israel’s Independence Day as “Nakba Day”, writing that, “the decision to open the embassy on the eve of Nakba Day [marking the founding of the State of Israel as a “catastrophe” to the Palestinians who fled or were displaced from their homes] was a needless provocation.”
She complained that opening the embassy had not been packaged with “acknowledging Palestinian aspirations for a capital in east Jerusalem”
The Gelmans have their own group, the Morningstar Foundation, which funds a variety of leftist causes, but also anti-Israel leftist groups, including Ir Amim and the New Israel Fund, but that’s mixed with funding for things like Birthright Israel.
Unlike a lot of J Street people, Gelman not only has a lot of money as a Levi Strauss heiress, but she also used that money to dig her way into the rotten federation system putting her well on the inside of the unelected communal establishment. Her husband, Michael Gelman, chairs the executive committee of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and is a life member of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and sits on the board of the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
So he’s perfectly positioned to promote his wife into a position where she could wage her war on the Jewish State.