Charlie Rose Breaks a Taboo, Allowing Open Discussion of ‘Jewish Lobby’

on 16 Comments

Walt and Mearsheimer have had a dramatic effect on the American discourse, in a silent way. No, the powers that be don’t want to give the authors credit, but things are changing. Robert Siegel’s Do-they-hate-us-because-of-Israel question in the Dem debate (in my previous post) was enabled by Walt and Mearsheimer’s broadside. Again, no credit given. That is because the media are embarrassed. They know this is a story they should have done over and over again; but they were scooped by two scholars in their 50s. The media will be playing catchup on this for a long time. And slowly W&M’s assertions will become the conventional wisdom.

But let me get to the point. Great news. The other night on Charlie Rose (12/31/), the talk-show host allowed Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar to go on about the sinister power of the Israel lobby in American politics:

ROSE: What`s the power of the settlers today?
AKIVA ELDAR: The power of the setters is here in the United States, more than in Israel. Here, in Washington, yes. Because of the strong evangelical and Jewish lobby that will not allow the administration to touch them. Because in Israel–
CHARLIE ROSE: So the administration has no leverage — the administration in Washington has no leverage against whatever Israeli prime minister there is?
AKIVA ELDAR: Because the administration doesn`t want to use its leverage, because the administration doesn`t want to confront the political lobby. You know, Kissinger used to say that Israel doesn`t have foreign policy, only domestic policy. You can say this about this administration, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It`s purely domestic. Israel is not part of American foreign policy. Israel is a domestic policy. You know, I`m sure you heard this joke that somebody was asking if they would like Israel to be the 51st state of the United States. And he said no, no, in this case, we will have only two senators.

And you wonder why those evil settlements exist in the West Bank? The cause is here. From Charlie Wilson to Charlie Rose, Americans are finally listening…

16 Responses

  1. Jim Haygood
    January 8, 2008, 12:35 pm

    It's fitting that an Israeli journalist would breach the unwritten taboo against openly discussing the Lobby in America. After all, in Israel the Jewish lobby (as it's called there) is matter-of-factly observed in the press.

    Of course, it does no harm on the receiving end to remark upon the bounteous flow of American funds, and how it is generated. It's on the sending end that too much publicity, of the Mearsheimer and Walt sort, could kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Ultimately, U.S. democracy can't continue when important policies are off-limits for debate. So obviously, democracy may have to be sacrificed. The preceding post "Yes, Virginia, there is no Israel lobby" outlines the superb job of self-censorship which U.S. candidates perform like obedient puppies. Home of the brave? More like home of the pusillanimous and peculatory.

  2. MM
    January 8, 2008, 1:41 pm

    Perhaps off-topic, but another instance of an American Jewish journalist confronting Jewish supremacist attitudes, and worth sharing I thought, is this excerpt from Myra MacPherson's book on Izzy Stone, "All Governments Lie!", quoting Stone in 1988:

    "I just can't understand why one is allowed to be sympathetic toward one's own fellow refugees but not to open your heart to another people's refugees. The Palestinian Arabs are a wonderful part of the Arab world. They supply intellectuals, professionals, engineers, scientists…It would be so wonderful if we could feel about them as brothers. I don't know how it is possible to uphold the right of a Jewish state in Palestine and deny the same right to Palestinians to determine what they want to do with the occupied territories. It runs against everything that's best in the Bible and in the Jewish tradition…There is a saying in Yiddish" 'If you don't have rachimones—that is, compassion—how can you call yourself a Jew? I think the test of that in the Middle East is the Jewish attitude toward the Arabs. If we harden our hearts and shut our minds to injusice, we will become a very different people; whatever the reaction of the Arabs is, the Jewish people themselves would be changed. Everything that [comes from] the Diaspora–toleration, separation of church and state, brotherhood of peoples of all different beliefs and backgrounds–these things are being trampled on in Israel, I am sorry to say. If something isn't done pretty soon, the lines may harden, each side will destroy its own moderates, and then will move on to destroy each other."

    link to

  3. me
    January 8, 2008, 1:53 pm

    we're still nibbling around the edges not one major politician has spoken out and lived, politically. there has never been a debate …only sheepish mentions like this…because once you discuss the lobby you discuss the Jewish elite – and frankly that discussion is not going to take place in main stream media.

    If it ever did, the other shoe would drop – open borders –

  4. David
    January 8, 2008, 2:36 pm

    I think Charlie laughed a little too loudly at the "only two senators" joke. First, because he must have heard it many times before, and second because from an American viewpoint it is not really all that funny.

    And it was odd that he found Eldar's claim that the power of the settlement movement was centered in Washington so uninteresting that he immediately dropped the subject.

    Here's the link to the interview–
    link to

  5. doug
    January 8, 2008, 2:45 pm

    Chuckle. I ran across a guest interview by Rosner a while back. The interviewee, KC Johnson, best known for his takedown of the Duke LaCrosse "rape," was not at all reluctant to discuss the Lobby:

    "Johnson had worked closely with American Jewish leaders in raising money for Democratic Senate candidates. As President, he respected the power of the Israel lobby and was loath to cross it."

    link to

  6. Charles Keating
    January 8, 2008, 3:43 pm

    Michael Medved is busy as hell today smearing Ron Paul as anti-semitic on his radio station apropos the NH primary.

  7. LeaNder
    January 8, 2008, 6:38 pm

    Thanks for the link David, interesting [6.30 ff]

    To me it felt Eldar helps Rose with the joke over a slightly awkward situation. But let's take a closer look.

    Rose: So what's the power of the settlers today?

    Eldar: The power of the settlers

    Rose: Or the settlements

    Eldar: is here in the United States, here in Washington, yes. Because the strong Evangelicals and the Jewish lobby that will not allow the administration to touch them. Because in Israel …

    Rose: So the administration, the administration in Washington has no leverage against whatever Israeli Prime Minister there is?

    Eldar: Because the administration doesn't want to *use* it's leverage. Because the administration does not want to *confront* the political lobby. You know Kissinger used to say Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic policy. You can say this about this administration when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It's purely domestic. Israel is not part of foreign policy, Israel is a domestic policy. I'm sure you heard this joke …

    Actually Eldar's argument reminds me of Leslie Gelb's argument against the Walt/Mearsheimer book in the NYT.

  8. Anonymous
    January 8, 2008, 8:42 pm

    Pollard Squared

    link to

  9. Mark
    January 8, 2008, 8:56 pm

    Jewish filth

    link to

  10. Reasonator
    January 9, 2008, 12:33 am

    Hey Charlie – What's up with your main man Paul?

    link to

  11. Charles Keating
    January 9, 2008, 8:00 am

    Mark: Yes I watched RP struggling for the lower tier with Guliania
    all night for the 9%. I admit I'm depressed, but will still vote for his message (and so, him)–even Beck said last light that only RP has been telling all voters the big hidden shoe about to fall is the (unconstitutional) monetary and fiscal policy behind our bankrupt nation. The rest of the candidates most in the news promise war and\or robbing peter to pay paul, with "paul" being not RP, but their selfish selves: The entitlement nation. China must be happy as it likes that compound interest, as must be Bin Laden.

  12. LeaNder
    January 9, 2008, 10:32 am

    link to

    As for the American government, the record clearly shows that when Israel crosses certain important lines, as when it expanded Jewish settlements into Palestinian areas like the West Bank and Gaza, Washington usually expresses its displeasure in public and, even more so, in private. Mearsheimer and Walt just don’t mention that.

  13. Charles Keating
    January 9, 2008, 12:28 pm

    Ha. Have you been reading this blog? Expansion of Israeli settlements? Both our gentile and jewish establishment have supported them in full, in fact. The establishment (jew and gentile) learned from American history. The principles are just lipstick.

  14. Spinoza's Ghost
    January 10, 2008, 8:02 pm

    Here's Israeli journalist Gershom Gorenberg discussing the issue with Bob Wright:

    link to

  15. lloyd
    April 22, 2009, 1:56 am

    Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif) and her cohorts should be be exposed in an intense public hearing. We are, indeed, just nibbling around the edges of this never-ending story. Everybody knows the truth to some extent and it needs the bright light of a public tribunal to begin the process with Rep. Jane Harman, the latest of these traitors.

  16. donone
    December 18, 2014, 2:16 pm

    Charlie Rose’s show was the first to open talk about Israeli nukes, the first national show where I heard a Palestinian interviewed. He’s been very even handed over the years.

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