Palin Pick Shows, Awareness of the Israel Lobby Is Now Out There in the American Hinterland

I just heard Joe Trippi on NPR this morning admiring the Sarah Palin choice as potentially transformative. Not that he's for her. But Trippi is a populist operative, and he sees the power of Palin's appeal. Trippi emphasized that both McCain and Palin can play as outsiders who oppose government corruption.

At the risk of contradicting myself (it's never stopped me before), an argument can be made that Palin demonstrates that the Israel lobby is alive in the mind of the American polity. People know something's rotten in the state of Baghdad/Washington, and even if the MSM won't talk about the Israel lobby, apart from Joe Klein and Jeffrey Goldberg squealing out contraband thoughts, people have heard about the Israel agenda in countless ways. On the blogosphere, in the now-licit talk on Huffpo about Israel-firsters, in James Morris's impudent questions on CSPAN (he recently confronted a foreign policy panel at the LA Book Fair about the Walt and Mearsheimer book, and my friend author Zack Karabell said, "It's a bad book," without elaboration; want to elaborate, Zack? (Morris provided this link, says Karabell called it "a terrible book"), from all the murmurings by Colin Powell, Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Glenn Kessler in his bio of Condi Rice, etc. etc. People aren't stupid. They know there's a frikkin' lobby. When Obama talks about taking on the lobbyists in Washington, there's a shadow-illumination effect on the Israel lobby. Yes he kissed AIPAC's ring in June, but it was a craven moment that even Dana Milbank found squeamish-making. And Obama is officially against lobbyists. 

That's why I think there's considerable political force in the Palin choice. Who knows what she'll do? She's obviously a populist, she hates lobbyists. Took on the oil industry, at times, in Juneau. And McCain cashiered Lieberman, the voice of the lobby, in choosing her. So says the Times today. I can't wait to hear what David Brooks will say about Palin. He's the new Republican Party, the sophisticated, blue-state neoconnish pro-stem-cell Republican Party. How happy can they be with Palin? They can't be happy. She's a force let loose in our politics. Who knows what she'll be saying in 10 years?

Does McCain love Lieberman? One of the lessons about Harry Truman supporting the Jewish state in '48 is that he did so at war with himself. He made antisemitic comments, said he wished all the Jews would go there now he'd given them a state, and he complained angrily about the Zionist lobby,  even barring Chaim Weizmann from his office (Michael Beschloss reports). I am saying that an antipathy between populism and Zionist influence is now a traditional faultline in our politics, deeply aggravated lately by Israel's horrifying policies and Walt and Mearsheimer and Carter's bravery. It can't be wished away. The Palin pick suggests that the issue is half-consciously alive in the mainstream discourse, out there, and that it will break out bigtime before long, maybe even in the campaign ahead of us, and that President Obama will be able to use this populist force as a counterweight to the Is-lobs who think they own him and Jerusalem, and that he will thereby effect a just, and therefore lasting, peace. Inshallah

About Philip Weiss

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

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

  1. Ozzie Maland says:

    I'm thinking the Is-lobs do own Obama, as per your earlier observations about Mel Levine and Dennis Ross serving as his advisors. The biggest sell job of David Geffen in this entire campaign has been to convince Is-lobs that Obama is their servant 100%. I'll still vote for Obama, but not because he might oppose anything the Is-lobs want — yes, he'll attack Iran if so ordered.

    Aloha ~~~ Ozzie Maland ~~~ San Diego

  2. Ed says:

    “antipathy between populism and Zionist influence is now a traditional faultline in our politics”

    Zionism is usurious and elitist, like so much of the new-American elite. Of course there is going to be a conflict between the populists and the Zionists, just as there is going to be a conflict between the populists and the usurious, elitist Washington Establishment.

    Populism is the visceral uprising of the fed-up masses, who know they are be used, manipulated and conned, but don’t quite know where to put the blame. Every 3 ½ years, each party tries to tap into that anger and energy during a campaign, and then, once elected, goes back to being it elitist, usurious self. But eventually the populists will catch on to even that.

    http://www.Rense.com is an excellent resource to track the populist mood. It is also increasingly anti-organized Judaism, in all its manifestations.

  3. David Green says:

    "I am saying that an antipathy between populism and Zionist influence is now a traditional faultline in our politics, deeply aggravated lately by Israel's horrifying policies and Walt and Mearsheimer and Carter's bravery. It can't be wished away."

    "www.Rense.com is an excellent resource to track the populist mood. It is also increasingly anti-organized Judaism, in all its manifestations."

    For those who are old enough to have read Richard Hofstadter's famous essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," these two comments play right into the hands of those who will equate populism (right-wing, McCarthyite) with anti-Semitism. If populism is to be a constructive and progressive term, it must be taken out of that context (into which primarily liberals put it, because they are so threatened by it), and into the context of class and anti-war issues. I'm sorry, my fellow Jews, but it's not all about us.

    Again, the emphasis on the Lobby leads us astray. This is about American politics, not Jewish/Israeli politics. It's about the U.S. and oil and Russia and China and geopolitics, not about rich Jews calling the shots, however much they throw their weight around. It's about neoliberals being little different from neoconservatives on major foreign policy and economic issues.

    rense is an anti-semitic, conspiracy-theorizing website. This is not helpful to enlightened Jews, populist anyone, or Palestinians. Unless populism is defined in terms of cross-racial class interests, it just contributes to an exaggeration of the Lobby's power, playing right into the hands of those who identify criticism of Israel with anti-semitism.

  4. American says:

    " playing right into the hands of those who identify criticism of Israel with anti-semitism."

    Dear David,
    Unless you have been living under a rock you must have noticed that the larger public no longer pays any attention to those who identify criticism of Israel with anti-semitism.
    Even the slur anti semite has become a joke.
    I would say the zionist played right into the hands of real anti-semites.

    And those of us who want AIPAC shut down or registered as a foreign lobby and Israel out of our government and politics.

  5. American says:

    " playing right into the hands of those who identify criticism of Israel with anti-semitism."

    Dear David,
    Unless you have been living under a rock you must have noticed that the larger public no longer pays any attention to those who identify criticism of Israel with anti-semitism.
    Even the slur anti semite has become a joke.
    I would say the zionist played right into the hands of real anti-semites.

    And those of us who want AIPAC shut down or registered as a foreign lobby and Israel out of our government and politics.

  6. samuel burke says:

    palin is the choice of the lobby….to corral the divided christian lobby more than any other reason….

    she was Bill christols top choice.
    link to rlc.org

    women voters who switch to the repubs because they have a woman on the ticket are not dyed in the blue democrats.

    link to rlc.org

  7. Ed says:

    @ David Green,

    Modern organized Judaism, particularly in its Talmudic diaspora incarnation, seems to produce inherently racist, elitist, exclusive, exploitive and usurious sub-groups. This has nothing to do with individual Jews, who would likely be more than welcome in any populist movement so long as they weren’t there as operatives of elitist organized Jewry or one of those sub groups. But there is no way that a true populist movement could ever make common cause with organized Judaism in any manifestation; it would be akin to Communists making common cause with Nazis. Each is mutually incompatible.

    Historically, many elites used to play parlor games wherein they attempted to trace their own lineage back to biblical lines, hence the racialist obsession and elitist clannishness characteristic of many moneyed Western elites. Over time, they adopted, indeed, incorporated the organized Jewish mentality into their world view. This is manifest in America today.

    Based on Green’s statements, he does not wan to accept that the (for lack of a more diplomatic phrase) the parasitic, elitist organized Jewish mentality is the root of the problem. Nor that its institutionalized parasitism is the model for other groups of similar orientation, like the Neocons and Neolibs. Nor that institutionalized parasitism is virulent, and has completely taken control of Capitalism.

    How, David Green, could that elitist mentality ever be incorporated into a genuine populist movement without destroying its populist nature, and putting it to work on behalf of elitist goals?

    I’m no Communist, but one (of several) of the major reasons it failed in Russia was because with so many Jews who were unable to abandon their elitist tribalist mentality decisive in its application, they changed its nature to something other than its original intent, and easily more parasitic and usurious than the Czarist system it replaced.

  8. Richard Witty says:

    The KKK originated from populist roots.

    The antipathy between racist populism and anti-semitism is long-term. There is NO antipathy between progressive humanist populism and anti-semitism.

    To the extent suggests self-determination for Americans (combined with suppression for Indians) but seeks to reject it for Jews in Israel, then it is just hypocritical.

    Populism by definition is faddish, appealing to outrage, rather than thought of which outrage is just a suggestion.

  9. Richard Witty says:

    Phil,
    Sometimes it really pisses me off how you switch your theses on the "Israel Lobby". One minute your thesis is that Israel caused the war in Iraq, then shift to advocates of Israel expressed concern for Israel.

    Two VERY different theses.

    Similarly, earlier you summarized the Walt/Mearsheimer thesis as the "Israel lobby's vice grip on Washington", and now you speak in far far more limited scope of "an Israel lobby exists".

    Its insulting to intelligence to switch so frivolously. When you do that, you remind of opportunistic politicians seeking deniability.

  10. Here is a tiny URL for the youtube which includes Zack Karabell mentioning that the Mearsheimer & Walt book (www.israellobbybook.com) is a terrible book at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA this past April (2008)!:

    link to tinyurl.com

  11. The Transparent Cabal by Stephen J. Sniegoski

    link to itszone.co.uk

    Be sure to read the UPI article which is at the beginning of the following message thread and scroll down to the link for the Dutch AIPAC documentary (it includes interview with John Mearsheimer, Lawrence Wilkerson and Tony Judt in English):

    link to itszone.co.uk

  12. morris says:

    For a long time, the US hasn't had the influence over Israel that it has been billed to have. Now its influence appears to be waning everywhere. It does have the power of veto at the UN. But america is beholden to its lobbies (as we all know)……………..A spin and various statements can be conjured. But whatever any individual or group of politicians think, including the President, will not alter Israel's policies. Israel for its own reasons might seek to compromise if it sees American public opinion going against it. But that will simply be economic geostrategic concerns……… .I read on the net: Palin, was suggested as a running mate for Ron Paul when he was a candidate…….. .@David Green says: "rense is an anti-semitic, conspiracy-theorizing website." An enourmess amount (maybe the majority) of prosecutions in the legal system are "conspiracies". People are charged with them constantly. Conspiracies have become a fundamental part of Western culture, and they are ruling the day, and going on all around us. As for "Rense" being anti semitic (even though he is jew). The term is becoming so cheap, and so useless, as to be pathetic and possibly self fulfilling. Rense's site is simply publicising the inhuman treatment of fellow human beings. That should not be anti-semetic. Or is it? Are the Jews now only involved the sordid? Has organised Judaism become a big conspiracy. Anyone will know their power to harrass the opposition. Crying anti semitism isn't doing anyone a favour. Rense and similar sites (only about 3 others) are collectively receiving about 20 million hits a day! Ignore at your peril! And save the anti semitism for the weak, the friars and the robots. those with no ability to reason, or ability to fight back.

  13. morris says:

    Organised Judaism will shower any opponent with so many sexual deviants, one will realize the extent of their contacts. It will also corrupt anyone any opponent tries to befriend. Dying empires are vicious. Was that anti semitic? Where's the light onto the nations? In targeted assassinations?

  14. Richard Witty says:

    There is one good point that Phil has made that is important.

    That is that many movements in Judaism has in many ways adopted Zionism as a critical part of its theology.

    And, there are odd ironies in that.

    For example, the Conservative branch is not authorized to perform marriages in Israel (only orthodox), but includes prayers for the state in its liturgy. At the same, the tzeddek fair employment kosher mark has been initiated by a coalition from conservative Jews.

    One emphasis that is valid is that there are competing new movements within Judaism that emphasize different elements of Jewish law and teaching, including whether Israel is more holy than here (whereever there are communities of Jews to support a minion – ten adults).

    Lieberman is likely reconsidering his support for McCain based on this selection. Not just for being passed over, but I'm sure that hurts. She is off the reservation.

    McCain is no longer characterizable as a "neo-con" as beholden to anyone. His positions (stupid and ignorant as they are in too many fundamental cases), must stand on their own.

  15. Richard Witty says:

    But, because Phil has not publicly undertaken and described himself as a Jew fully and confidently, his views would not be taken seriously in the eyes, ears, and minds of religious.

    Mine either. I get laughed at (privately), dismissed in practise, when I suggest that I regard certain quotes and obligations as primary, and others as secondary or irrelevant entirely.

    If I had the opinion of a rabbi or talmudic dialog to support my views, they'd have more weight. But, unstudied except in English translation and little study of Talmud or other traditional literature, I'm ignored, as is Phil literally.

  16. Ed says:

    Witty?: "Populism by definition is faddish, appealing to outrage, rather than thought of which outrage is just a suggestion."
    —–
    Populism is a natural, organic reaction to abuse of power, and exploitation of their positions of authority by elites. True, there is an emotional element to it, which can be anti-intellectual, but this is out of frustration of lack of democratic representation from elites, who, rather than fulfilling their mandates as set fourth by the masses, instead join those exploiting and abusing the masses once elected. The betrayal by the Democrats after being elected on a mandate to get the U.S. out of Iraq in the 2006 elections is a perfect example of this.

    Sometimes it takes an emotional, angry uprising in order to accomplish healthy, societal equilibrium. Once any system has been corrupted to the extent that America has and is as far out of balance as America is, that’s the only means of self-correction.

    The longer the denial or suppression of that correction goes on, the worse the backlash will be. Hence, those who apologize or make excuses for the elites and their abuses (enablers), and those who do everything they can to put off the reckoning, are actually a guilty party in holocaust-like corrections.

  17. Richard Witty trying to smoke screen yet again as PNAC Neocon wrote McCain's foreign policy speech when he delivered it in Los Angeles:

    Warnings to Russia from Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham

    link to salon.com

    Additional at the following URL:

    And None Dare Call It Treason—McCain Advisor's Georgia Connection

    link to itszone.co.uk

  18. Jimmy Carter Conspicuously Absent From Podium (Paul Findley and Mearsheimer/Walt validated yet again):

    link to forward.com

  19. Richard Witty trying to smoke screen yet again as PNAC Neocon Robert Kagan wrote McCain's foreign policy speech when he delivered it in Los Angeles:

    Warnings to Russia from Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham

    link to salon.com

    Additional at the following URL:

    And None Dare Call It Treason—McCain Advisor's Georgia Connection

    link to itszone.co.uk

    http://NEOCONZIONISTTHREAT.COM

  20. Click on the pic (at the following URL) of Lieberman putting the Yarmulke on McCain's head during their recent trip to Israel together as Lieberman could still be in the running for Secretary of State:

    link to neoconzionistthreat.blogspot.com

    On Joe Klein and the Jewish Neoconservatives:

    link to warwithoutend.co.uk

    —————————

  21. WhatReallyHappened.com has a lot of informative posts as well..

  22. Ken says:

    I think Palin's popularity represents more the fact that she is a true conservative. Most people simply aren't cognizant of the jewish issue because the media helpfully refuses to talk about it (anti-semitism don't y'know).

    What I *DO* think will bring awareness of the jewish problem to middle American, and maybe even evangelical Christians, is the tremendous hatred the jews are evincing toward Palin. She is a wedge, and we should be taking advantage of it.

    Ken
    http://www.LaserGuidedLoogie.com

  23. Jews did 911 and all world wars and depressions. AIPAC is a traitor cell of perverted criminals and spies.
    http://www.Jews-Did-911.com
    Jews hate freedom of speech.

  24. A. Magnus says:

    There are way too many contradictory comments here. Let's start with "it would be akin to Communists making common cause with Nazis. Each is mutually incompatible."

    Not true – in the words of the master Nazi himself:

    "Nazism is based upon the principles of socialism as defined by Karl Marx." – Adolph Hitler

    One thing many posters here fail to take into account is that the WASP aristocracy allowed Jews into positions of power in order to have a ready-made scapegoat in case their plans for world domination fail.

    And since radical zionists are known for their willingness to have Jews die in order to further their political goals (Lavon Affair, Kind David Hotel, Ben Gurion in WWII choosing to save only half of Europe's Jews if they are sent to Palestine but refusing to save them all if they aren't sent there), they truly have played right into the hands of the anti-Jews.

    Lastly, since Arabs are also a semitic people closely related to the Jews, calling them anti-semitic is as idiotic as calling a prostitute 'pro-virginity.' They are either anti-Jew, or they are not.

  25. bonanzaman says:

    She has an Israeli flag in her office. Maybe she's no friend of Jews but a friend of Zionists.

  26. Additional at the following URL:

    The Israel Lobby and Sarah Palin:

    link to itszone.co.uk

  27. You will find that a characteristic of the US anti-Semitic Right is that it continually confuses neturei karta types – who just happen to be anti-zionist, but are ultra-orthodox enough that when they say "torah true" they actually mean "talmud true" – with Karaites, who reject the Talmud in favour of a supposedly Biblical understanding of Judaism. This confusion is deliberate, in that it allows ordinary US Christians to imagine that were it not for the evil talmud, 'the Jews' would be convertible to christianity. I doubt whether the coffe table crowd around this blog would want to address such arid issues, though.

  28. Bobby says:

    What's the big deal here. It is about time. ANY lobby that is powerful and connected to foreign interets should be a concern to Americans. Duh.

  29. Palin's evangelical faith drives pro-Israel view

    link to washingtontimes.com

  30. Othelma_Jr says:

    The character assassination against Gov. Palin by media jewry may wake up more Whites then the actual assassination of RACHEL CORRIE by jews.

    Also if Obama loses then blacks may blame jews along with Whites, there is a very real possibililty of a black pogrom in places like Crown Heights or whatever it is called in jew york city.