TNR Issues Fatwa Against McPeak for Criticizing Israel Lobby

The New Republic is calling for Obama to throw ret. Air Force General Merrill McPeak under the bus because of comments in ’03 about the Israel lobby. TNR’s Noam Scheiber, who describes McPeak as a loose cannon on two earlier occasions, says: 

I don’t really trust people
who complain about Jews in New York City and Miami controlling U.S.
foreign policy, so in my book that’s a third strike.

Take a look at the entire transcript of that 2003 interview from which McPeak’s Miami/New York City comments were lifted. McPeak comes off as a smart, seasoned, worldly guy. Here’s the passage that refers to the Israel lobby:

We
don’t have a playbook for the Middle East. You know, for instance,
obviously, a part of that long-term strategy would be getting the
Israelis and the Palestinians together at . . . something other than a
peace process. Process is not a substitute for achievement or
settlement. And even so the process has gone off the tracks, but the
process isn’t enough. . . . We need to get it fixed and only we have the
authority with both sides to move them towards that. Everybody knows
that.

So where’s the problem? State? White House?

New York City. Miami. We have a large vote – vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.

Actually
I was thinking of the larger lack of a Middle East strategy. Does that
emanate out of the State Department or out of the White House,
combination of both, is it a personality struggle, what’s – what’s
going on?

I
think that everybody understands that a settlement of the Arab-Israeli
problem would require the Israelis to stop settling the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip, and maybe even withdraw some of the settlements that’ve
already been put there. And nobody wants to take on that problem. It’s
just too tough politically. So that means we can’t . . . you can’t
develop a Middle East strategy. It’s impossible.

As Richard Silverstein has pointed out, McPeak’s language was a little imprecise, but he is talking about crucial ideas involving the Israel lobby’s role in obstructing the creation of a Palestinian state and barring political discussion of the Israeli colonization of the West Bank. Why, even Obama’s Jewish surrogate won’t condemn the settlements! Our politics are broken.

The New Republic’s fatwa against McPeak is Jewish Establishment orthodoxy, an atmosphere of censorship so thick that even Wise Men must be tossed out if they mention the Israel lobby. It reminds me that per John Mearsheimer, many have privately endorsed Walt and Mearsheimer’s work and not done so publicly–and that Steve Walt, who has the absolute pedigree of a high State Department or Defense official, knew he was kissing goodbye to any job in Washington when he wrote the book. This rope line won’t last.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 13 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Jim Haygood says:

    Funny, every candidate has made the rounds of New York, Palm Beach, and the third apex of the Jewish Triangle, Hollywood, to collect campaign funds. But nobody's allowed to publicly discuss their monetary clout? I guess it's hush money that gets collected at them swanky dinners. Sheesh.

  2. "ret. Air Force General Merrill McPeak"

    Why are these guys always retired, yet spry and collecting retirement benefits on the backs of taxpayers?

    No wonder the country's broke.

  3. Half the nation collects benefits via the military/welfare complex!

  4. americangoy says:

    "Funny, every candidate has made the rounds of New York, Palm Beach, and the third apex of the Jewish Triangle, Hollywood, to collect campaign funds. But nobody's allowed to publicly discuss their monetary clout?"

    Absolutely.

    Take the money and be quiet… or else.

  5. patrick says:

    After McPeak's over 30 years of service and over 200 combat missions, the man deserves a retirement and pension. At least he put his balls on the line unlike military experts Max Boot and Fred Kagan.

  6. Yes, we all owe McPeak a debt of gratitude (and cash) for the following:

    "From December 1966 to December 1968 McPeak was assigned as a solo and lead solo pilot with the Thunderbirds, the Air Force's acrobatic flying team. While with the Thunderbirds he performed in nearly 200 air shows in the U.S. and overseas."

  7. scorpio says:

    McPeak bailed Obama out last week on national security credentials, experience etc. this will be a good test for Barack after the Samantha Power episode: if he keeps throwing folks overboard for telling the truth he's going to lose an awful lot of support from folks who are looking for some fresh air.

  8. American says:

    The Noam Scheiber's need to be taken down a dark alley by some good'ole boys and have every bone in their body broken.
    A tough guy once told me if you want to teach a man a lesson that sticks with him forever that's the way to do it.

  9. samuel burke says:

    I think the israel lobby should basically just keeps itself out of the news effortlessly. OH it does.

    The journalist and the editors of americas news media, along with their bosses, fail to effectively do any reporting on the politics of the jews within the good ole u.s.a.
    shhh its a secret.
    whats the bigg friggin deal just express yourselves openly so americans can see that you do care about israel as much or maybe more than you do about the united states.

    why is it so difficult to do a report on the politics of israel and or zionism in the 21st century and be able to dialogue openly without a moderator?

    moderators are great, aren't they?
    Lets just celebrate diversity.

  10. "The Noam Scheiber's need to be taken down a dark alley by some good'ole boys and have every bone in their body broken."

    Oh, sure, 'American.' That's a great idea. Our country will be back in shape in no time that way!

  11. Montag says:

    I wouldn't have called it a fatwa, it's more like a defenestration.

  12. American says:

    Oh, sure, 'American.' That's a great idea. Our country will be back in shape in no time that way!

    Posted by: Michael Blaine >>>>>>>>

    Works for me. Some people are too obtuse to be communicated with any other way. Especially after repeated offences.

    BTW, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Chuck Yeager, McPeak and the Thunderbirds at SJAFB back in '68.

  13. MM says:

    "I don't really trust people who complain about Jews in New York City and Miami controlling U.S. foreign policy, so in my book that's a third strike."

    Then again, the Marty Peretz puppet show doesn't trust eminent foreign policy scholars who say much the same thing;

    It doesn't trust any of the American politicians who have come out and testified, almost always after their political careers, that the Lobby is a dominant force;

    It doesn't trust that zionist billionaires Sheldon Adelson, Haim Sabin, etc, mean what they say when they talk about being one-issue guys;

    It doesn't trust that Palestinian Arabs are sufficiently physiologically humanoid to merit permanent and protected human rights;

    It doesn't trust even young Jewish-American journalists on its own staff to get the line right on Israel–apparently anyone can fall victim to the "Palestinian propaganda" (ie truth) these days;

    Whom to trust? It's more than anything a question of good judgment.

    Hasn't Marty himself said he checks his good judgment at the deli doorstep?

    It shows.