Ask Haaretz: What drives ‘secret’ US policymaking?

Israel/Palestine
on 96 Comments

From Haaretz, on the Israel lobby, its sociological roots. Why doesn’t this stuff ever get exhumed here? Note the reference to money. The Washington Post has said 60 percent of Democratic giving. I guess that’s not a story; and Jews and money is an antisemitic, pogrom-producing canard.

Until the midterm elections in November, U.S. President Barack Obama cannot permit himself a rift with Israel. Eighty percent of Jews vote for Democrats. The Jews of New York, California and Florida alone contribute 40 percent of campaign expenses. A clandestine battle is now being waged between Bibi and Obama as to when American Jews will tell Obama, who is putting on the pressure: "We’ve had it." But for all the covert contempt of our leftists, the Pentagon has no interest in weakening Israel.

The absurdity is that Israel’s most inflated cabinet ever is dominated by two people. And the two of them are now secretly concocting a formula with the U.S. administration that will enable a renewal of negotiations with the Palestinian leadership.

Guess what, Jews are good at capitalism. Jerry Muller says this in his great new book. We are actually valued for this in the U.S. And this is from J Weekly in the Bay Area, about some high-tech awards being made this week.

At least four of the six CEO of the Year nom[inee]s are Jewish – an interesting achievement.

96 Responses

  1. annie
    April 30, 2010, 9:43 am
  2. Richard Witty
    April 30, 2010, 10:04 am

    Your choice of points to pick are odd, Phil.

    The invocation that is a canard is in the generalizations and in the extent. If Jews contribute 40% of the funding for elections that is not a bad statement about Jews (as their concerns and support of the political process is wonderful), but a bad statement about the rest of the country that doesn’t participate in politics.

    • Chaos4700
      April 30, 2010, 10:37 am

      So it’s the fault of the rest of us for not having disposable income or friends in high places for getting high-paying, high-profile jobs in finance, corporate media, political campaigns, etc.? Basically, it’s our fault for not having the same country club membership that you do?

      • Psychopathic god
        April 30, 2010, 11:28 am

        Chaos, that is exactly the same argument Dennis Ross made on a Diane Rehm show in about 2007: It’s the Palestinians’ fault that they do not mount the same level of PR and influence-peddling as does Israel.

        Barbara Slavin made a similar statement wrt Iran in a C-Span Wash Journ session earlier this year: “Israel is a friend to the US, Iran is not. ” so na na na na na na.

        Robin Wright talks about this irrational and dishonest approach to policy-making here

    • annie
      April 30, 2010, 10:37 am

      i don’t think phil’s point was contributing 40% of the funding was ‘bad’. what’s bad is saying it out loud or acknowledging it or the power it holds over american policy. obviously the ‘jewish vote’ doesn’t make or break american elections due to the relative percentage of jewish voters. it is the sway the donors have on (israel) policy wrt campaign finance. that goes unspoken for fear of being accused of anti semitism. it also elevates the importance of israel’s security or other issues important to those jewish donors.

      are constituents what matters to a candidate or their donors? in poor areas can a candidate fairly compete on local issues when their opponent has 10 times the amount of advertising time due to his/her position on israel? like israel matters to rural counties in georgia or kansas? can those people really afford to match some rich contributors from ny or calif? we need campaign finance reform instead we get the opposite. corporate donations.. let’s just say it out loud please, our candidates can’t afford to go into an election cycle w/out pandering to israel’s concerns via you know who.

    • Queue
      April 30, 2010, 12:06 pm

      Giving to politicians and politically oriented lobbies is entirely different than giving to charity. The former is an example of self-serving investment: what is given is presumed to be less valuable than than the benefit – and the cost of the benefits is largely borne by others; the latter is presumed to redound no personal benefit other than the satisfaction of being altruistic.

    • Citizen
      April 30, 2010, 6:57 pm

      No lobbying funding of elections is ipso facto good for the nation as a whole. Was the German American Bund funding good for all back in the day? Or simply a bad statement about the rest of the country that were isolationists, or simply more concentrated on getting a decent job? Or was the Bund bad for those who wanted to fight Japan and Germany? Wasn’t Charlie Lindberg’s funding wonderful? Or do you think Phil Roth
      would’ve made a better leader, flying out there in space? Your choice of points to pick are mendacious, Dick.

    • Citizen
      April 30, 2010, 7:05 pm

      Yeah Witty, you’re a regular Dennis Hopper. We’re all in awe of your insight and chosen role in this world. Come on over, I got just the guy for you to meet at the club–name’s Bernie, Bernie Madoff… You’ll love him; he’s got the WASPs number–it will be fun!

  3. marc b.
    April 30, 2010, 10:32 am

    An intriguing topic. One problem, of course, is that the idenfication of a unique Jewish contribution to the development of capitalism (even if one considers the development of ‘capitalism’ a positive development) offers an opening to discuss the negative characteristics of that unique contribution. (The largest swindle in the history of capitalism has just occurred here in the US. Should Phil be discussing whether there was a unique ‘Jewish’ contribution to that theft?) So we have a predominantly Jewish slate of top CEOs (with no mention of any potential for bias in the selection process, of course, because unlike the Protestant elite of the past who were insular and discriminating, the Jewish elite functions as an unalloyed meritocracy). Swell. But do those nominees have uniquely ‘Jewish’ characteristics? For example, those Google guys run quite a profitable business, but their apparent corporate philosophy and conduct in a variety of areas is pretty obscene. And ‘Jewish’ contributions to social gaming sites and other indicia of a general descent into mass delusion: should there be a discussion of the value of such endeavors in the midst of all this shoulder-wrenching self-congratulation?

    If Jews contribute 40% of the funding for elections that is not a bad statement about Jews (as their concerns and support of the political process is wonderful), but a bad statement about the rest of the country that doesn’t participate in politics.

    It is a statement that is evidence that a true participatory democracy does not exist in the US. To conflate campaign contributions with democratic participation is silly, and completely perverts the values of equality before the law and representative government.

    • Citizen
      April 30, 2010, 10:41 am

      Last I read, the democrat funding was 60% jewish; the republican, 30%.
      When you consider that jews make up a bit less than 3% of the total US population, don’t you have to consider that result may be due to something more than simply the notion that jews are good at capitalism?
      On a similar note, does Obama rely more on the aggregate of his $1-5$ donors, or on Goldman Sachs & ilk? There’s something to be said for efficiency, no?

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:00 am

        Citizen,
        Don’t leave us in the dark. Please tell us the true reason Jews contribute so much to US political parties.

      • Chaos4700
        April 30, 2010, 11:01 am

        I’m curious, eee, are you challenging the facts Citizen is citing?

      • marc b.
        April 30, 2010, 11:03 am

        you have to grasp something, Chaos, before you are capable of challenging it. facts are to eee, as oil is to ______. anyone?

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:10 pm

        Eee, you’re not in the dark, so why pretend you are? I don’t have the flashlight, Chuckie does; you know him, Chuckie Schumer? Or just trot up to Joe Lieberman; you can recognize him by the one thing he is always consistent about. Lots of others, you know who they are.

    • lareineblanche
      April 30, 2010, 10:51 am

      It is a statement that is evidence that a true participatory democracy does not exist in the US. To conflate campaign contributions with democratic participation is silly, and completely perverts the values of equality before the law and representative government.

      bullseye

      • marc b.
        April 30, 2010, 10:52 am

        well, if you shoot enough arrows, you’re bound to hit something.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:12 pm

        Yep, it’s a bulls eye; too bad SCOTUS missed it.

  4. Mooser
    April 30, 2010, 10:35 am

    “Guess what, Jews are good at capitalism.”

    Darn it, I never get anything right! I thought we were good at mysticism, obscurantism, religious ecstasy, Kabbalah and klezmer music.

    And, of course, those CEO awards are always given by dispassionate, disinterested committees, and mean so much.

    It must be a torturous problem for Phil: How on earth to ameliorate Israel’s intransigence, without losing any of the benefits of philo-semitism based on it. I feel for him, tho. I know how it is. Once you can’t impress the Gentiles with the pretenses of Jewishness (as defined and developed by Zionism, these days) what do you have left? It’s like one of those dreams where you are stuck, naked on a crowded street.

    • marc b.
      April 30, 2010, 10:40 am

      You have to wonder whether Phil will ever write a post about the unique ‘Jewish’ contribution to the development of internet pornography and ecstasy production. He could probably convince his wife that he is going to Vegas on assignment for the next Adult Video Awards to interview Seymour Butts.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 10:46 am

        Well, he coud downplay it, and say he is going to inteview that aged, hairy-backed Hedgehog porn actor, notorius for being the ugliest porn star ever?

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2010, 11:08 am

        “that aged, hairy-backed Hedgehog porn actor, notorius for being the ugliest porn star ever?”

        That gonif! I knew I should have patented my act!

      • marc b.
        April 30, 2010, 11:13 am

        you can still copyright that bit with the golden silk cape you wear during performances.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2010, 11:53 am

        ” that bit with the golden silk cape”

        That schmattas? It turned out to be low-grade polyester.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:15 pm

        Well, actually The Hedgehog was not a thief or dishonest person or scoundrel. He may be now, but he didn’t gain his celebrity by being so.

    • Citizen
      April 30, 2010, 10:44 am

      And what, you are the only one without a tin cup and scraggly rag clothing? Then comes Streicher to clothe you in a thick coat with fur collar and a top hat?

  5. annie
    April 30, 2010, 10:53 am

    here is a discussion i would like to have. remember the article by brooks about how successful jews are ?

    Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists, 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction.

    why didn’t brooks mention what percentage jews represent in media ownership? or say..the banking industry? what impact might that representation have have on legislation (and the perception or lack thereof/coverage) on something like the deregulation of the banking industry? i’m just curious. i don’t think this influence is limited to aipac. lots of lobbies out there, lots of legislation.

    • eee
      April 30, 2010, 11:05 am

      All this beating around the bush is nauseating.
      Is there any affirmative action towards Jews in the Ivy league?
      Are the Pulitzer prize givers biased?

      Are the Jews in the US successful because they are doing something unfair, or illegal or morally reprehensible?

      Is any irrational hater willing to take a clear stand?

      • marc b.
        April 30, 2010, 11:09 am

        jesus, but you are f*cking dense. the perfect counterexample to undermine the case for jewish exceptionalism. you can’t be sincere.

        Is any irrational hater willing to take a clear stand?

        yes, eee, and when did you stop beating your wife? who would answer such a question, you moron?

      • marc b.
        April 30, 2010, 11:11 am

        shite. broke my resolution. write ‘i will not directly respond to eee’ fifty times.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:12 am

        marc,

        Ok, is any rational hater or even occasional rational hater or lover willing to take a clear stand?

      • Chaos4700
        April 30, 2010, 11:16 am

        What’s your interpretation for the disproportionate representation of Jews in those venues versus their actual constituent minority, eee? Kind of unfair for you to go around demanding opinions and labeling us before we actually say anything if you aren’t brave enough to give us your interpretation of the statistics.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:20 am

        Chaos,
        You are Americans, I am not. You know better than me about this issue, no?

        I have no idea why. There is no reason I can think of why a Jew would be more successful than any other American.

        So, why are American Jews so successful in the US?

      • Chaos4700
        April 30, 2010, 11:25 am

        There is no reason I can think of why a Jew would be more successful than any other American.

        So… are you denying the statistical facts? You’re not even willing to speculate from an Israeli perspective? How did it happen in Israel, Jews rising from a mostly migrant minority to the dominant (and domineering) political force?

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:31 am

        Chaos,

        There you go lying again. Where am I denying any statistical fact? All I am saying is that I have no explanation for the fact. I am an Israeli, not an American. You are an American, you should know.

        As for Israel, the answer is pretty simple. The Jews organized based on institutions they copied from Europe and this helped them create a strong civic society and win the civil war against the Palestinians and the war against the Arab states. I do not see how this explanation is applicable to the US in any shape or form.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2010, 11:11 am

        “Is any irrational hater willing to take a clear stand?”

        It’s hopeless. How could anyone hope to compete with the transparency and clarity of “atheist Jew”. Compared to that, all the rest is obfuscation, and about that, I am adamant! And when I say adamant…

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:13 am

        Mooser,

        Why are the Jews in the US successful?
        Can you answer this simple question?

      • Chaos4700
        April 30, 2010, 11:16 am

        You haven’t answered it, eee.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:21 am

        I am an Israeli. I have no idea. It is something Americans need to answer.

      • Chaos4700
        April 30, 2010, 11:23 am

        I love it how you always come back to that refrain.

        “Give us our money. Now fuck off!”

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:25 am

        Chaos,

        You are a liar, where did I ever say “Give us our money. Now fuck off!”. I never did and I never will.

        You are an American, please enlighten us:
        Why are the Jews in the US so successful?

      • Chaos4700
        April 30, 2010, 11:27 am

        You can falsely accuse me of being an anti-Semite from where we’re both standing, as it is. There’s really no need for me to indulge this charade whereby you divert attention from the statistics that have been correctly quoted.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:34 am

        Chaos,

        Why are you lying again?
        Jews are in fact very successful in the US. I ACCEPT the statistics. I do not deny them. They are true.

        All I am asking is that you explain them. Why is that so difficult? Why are Jews so successful in the US?

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:52 am

        Chaos,

        Well, where is your answer?
        Why are the Jews so successful in the US? If you don’t know, you can just say so.

      • Keith
        April 30, 2010, 10:53 pm

        EEE- The question you raise is, in my opinion, a profoundly important one. While I doubt your sincerity, I suspect that you are primarily attempting to provoke an anti-Semitic response, nonetheless, this is an important topic regarding the U.S. poltical economy. It should be obvious that Jewish success must be something other than random chance. Something is going on here, but what? Regrettably, most questions concerning power and control are not addressed in either scholarly literature or public debate. Power thrives best in the shadows and mythology trumps honesty, hence, this very question has not been dealt with and likely will not be dealt with. In other words, there is no scholarly answer to your question, just informed individual speculation.

        My personal opinion is that Jewish success can primarily be accounted for by Jewish solidarity and organization. Both of these factors are to a significant degree dependent upon Zionism which has come to replace Judaism as the unifier of the Jews. It is a unique form of “blood and soil” transnational nationalism. The driving force is the cultivated Jewish fear of lethal anti-Semitism as exemplified by the Holocaust. Throughout history, the unorganized majority has always been controlled by the organized minority. Jews have climbed the ladder of success propelled by the power of Zionist fundamentalism.

        Of course, I would be most interested in your opinion. As an objective outsider, untainted by American bias, an amateur anthropologist as it were, what insight can you offer us on this most important question?

      • Keith
        April 30, 2010, 11:17 pm

        I posted this before I read the Jacqueline Rose thread which I feel is pertinent. To wit:

        “I start on the basis that Zionism is one of the most potent collective movements of the twentieth century, whose potency needs urgently to be understood. It has the capacity to foster
        identifications that are as immutable as, indeed, the ineffable Name. As a movement, Zionism has the power, that is, to sacralize itself.”

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 11:43 pm

        impressive post keith, thanks.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2010, 11:56 am

        “Are the Jews in the US successful because they are doing something unfair, or illegal or morally reprehensible?”

        Well, maybe not, but what about taste? I mean, is it right to throw the Gentiles inadequacies in their faces like this?

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:25 pm

        Yeah, quit throwing the Gentiles’ inadequacies in their faces; especially that guy Kant. What a bad example for the Gentiles he was!
        And I won’t even mention that Jew the Gentiles have worshiped.

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 1:40 pm

        sorry eee i am not following you. what beating around the bush were you referencing in my comment? i thought i was being very forthcoming wrt my meaning. brooks makes excellent points w/his statistics i just wondered why he limited statistics to those areas when he didn’t shy away from mentioning economic issues in the article (in the least only sans statistics). i’m just curious what percentage of the banking industry is run by jews. do you think it is less relevant than bragging about film directors and nobel prize winners? why not brag about it? isn’t it a newsworthy accomplishment in your book?

        he mentions 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors. nuthin wrong w/that but why not go all the way and brag about what percentage of jews make up the bulk of directors or studio heads? or maybe they just represent 2% of the industry and take home 37% of awards (haha). might it be impacted by the fact jews invest heavily in the industry therefore it might be easier for a jew to get hired in the industry thereby representing more award winning candidates? or maybe jews are just naturally better directors, what talent! also what about the content of those movies and tv shows? casting decisions? villans? heroes? why mention any of it when you can simply focus on the success of one ethnic group and how many academy awards they receive?

        face it, it is ok to brag but anti semitic to look closer and ask why? my own personal hunch is certain groups have cultural tendencies towards sticking together both socially and in their investments/interests more than others. maybe we are just not supposed to notice because it isn’t polite (eee will call us ‘haters’) except it is ok for brooks to have bragging rights wrt specific areas deemed pro semitic.

        Are the Jews in the US successful because they are doing something unfair, or illegal or morally reprehensible?

        it is likely jews are successful because they stick together and are more exclusive possibly directing advances hirings and profits within their own group. nothing unfair, or illegal or morally reprehensible about that (and other groups do it too) but there is also nothing unfair, illegal, morally reprehensible or hateful about stating that. it also might occur to some people to who come from social groups who are more inclusive and ‘colorblind’ to consider a ‘balancing effect’ by discriminating against hiring jews thereby leading to an escalation in anti semitism. it might also cause resentment by people who think they aren’t getting hired in a certain industry because they are not jewish. i think one thing is certain tho, it will not have no effect and silencing people (by calling them hateful) from questioning effects that are becoming quite obvious in certain fields is not a sustianable MO.

        another newsflash. i was actually surprised during the madoff scandal to discover most of his victims were jewish. it didn’t occurred to me an investment company in america as large as maddoff’s would have such a pronounced ethnic quality about their clientele. color me clueless and naive. i’m probably not the only one who noticed that little factoid. i guess there is a downside to clanish or tribal investments.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 1:55 pm

        “it is likely jews are successful because they stick together and are more exclusive possibly directing advances hirings and profits within their own group. nothing unfair, or illegal or morally reprehensible about that (and other groups do it too) but there is also nothing unfair, illegal, morally reprehensible or hateful about stating that.”

        If other groups do it too, then it doesn’t explain why Jews are successful. The fact that all groups do it, would result in a wash or even hurt a small minority like Jews.

        Furthermore, does it seem reasonable to you that one of most liberal groups in the US is really that tribal and racist? In addition, how does one get a Pulitzer or a Nobel or a Fields medal via this mechanism? These are not Jews handing them out.

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 2:32 pm

        i never said all groups do it. it certainly wasn’t the way i was raised.

        does it seem reasonable to you that one of most liberal groups in the US is really that tribal and racist?

        is that what you call it? racism? interesting.

        please answer my question wrt banking? why not brag about it? isn’t it a newsworthy accomplishment in your book?

        if a certain ethnic group got a footing in a particular industry (for the hell of it lets pretend it is an important industry) and that ethnic group had exclusive tendencies (you called it racist not me) after several generations don’t you think that ethnic group might naturally dominate that industry just by sheer exclusionary practices (as opposed to say… brilliance).

        depending on the importance of that industry to society it might give the members of that society certain advantages. not that banking is important or anything. just a thought.

        i appreciate how you’ld like to focus on prizes and i perhaps i will address this after you address the point of my original post which you insultingly responded to by implying i was a hater and beating around the bush.

        why is it you think brooks skipped percentages in such important industries? maybe you don’t put much value in silly things like credit cards, money, banking, peoples investments, retirements. regulations in that industry don’t have much impact? maybe you don’t think this stuff influence society much.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 2:41 pm

        You are hilarious. You can barely disguise the “Jews take advantage of innocent Aryans” canard.

        If the Jews are over represented in the Ivy League and that is where most Wall Street firms recruited, there is a good explanation why they are over represented in Wall Street. That is so obvious that Brooks does not have to say anything about it.

        But why are Jews over represented in the Ivies? I don’t know. Please tell me though.

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 3:07 pm

        don’t try strawmaning yourself out of this. if you care to assert i have implied jews are taking advantage of ‘aryans’ use blockquotes or stfu.

        If the Jews are over represented in the Ivy League

        that wasn’t one of the percentages brooks referenced so i wouldn’t know about that.

        that is where most Wall Street firms recruited

        why? i’m a west coast girl we don’t fixate on the ivies here. there are plenty of great universities in the US. wall street hasn’t been performing so spectacularly lately maybe they should try diving into another talent pool besides the ivies.

        there is a good explanation why they are over represented in Wall Street. That is so obvious that Brooks does not have to say anything about it.

        why are you evading my question? are you saying it is just so obvious jews are successful bankers it isn’t worth mentioning? why?

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 3:27 pm

        oh, brooks does mention the 21% of the ivies. i’m noticing how you keep bringing up what brooks does mention vs what he doesn’t.

        he states No single explanation can account for the record of Jewish achievement.

        i would agree with this because i think one can’t account for all of their successes thru one explanation.

        ok, let’s look at your theory wrt what is so obvious about the banking industry it is not worth brooks mentioning. if jews represent 21% of the ivies would it be fair to say the jewish recruits from wall street probably represent around 21%? or their success rate (in terms of climbing the ladder) is around 21%? or is it more and if it is why do you think that might be? because they are so good at it?

        are they good at it?

      • edwin
        April 30, 2010, 3:42 pm

        Jews are not unique in being overrepresented. The Ismael (Islam – hope I got that right) and the Religious Society of Friends (Christian) would be other groups worth studying when looking at over representation. Undoubtedly there would be others.

        Also, when looking at Jewish over-representation, it is important not to exclude left wing politics as this was a very important reason for anti-semitism in the US & Canada and probably a number of other countries. There were (and still are if the numbers I remember while growing up still hold true) a rather large number of Jewish anarchists, for example. Even today most Jews are on the leftish end of the spectrum – with most Jews voting Democrat in the US.

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 4:06 pm

        edwin, in my little social circle jews are definitely well represented and i’m certainly not complaining about that in the least. when i traveled to gaza our delegation was majority jewish, no problem there same w/ our local activist community.

        i guess my point was in relation to phil’s post re politics and money. it reminded me of brooks article and how in certain areas it is not anti semitic to state jewish influence yet in other areas we are supposed to just shut up about it and pretend it makes no difference. imho, we (americans as a society) have a debt of gratitude for the positive influences of progressive jews within our political system wrt human rights thru out our history. but that shouldn’t prevent us from calling out areas of influence that we might feel have been detrimental. i don’t like being silenced. the influence of money wrt our policies towards israel is blatant. i don’t think the money we shovel at israel really reflects the will of the american public or goes towards extending our american values. the occupation stinks and we support it because of powerful lobbying. on the frontlines of the movement to change that is progressive jews, i’m not forgetting that for one minute, they are my friends and allies.

      • Todd
        April 30, 2010, 4:48 pm

        “imho, we (americans as a society) have a debt of gratitude for the positive influences of progressive jews within our political system wrt human rights thru out our history. but that shouldn’t prevent us from calling out areas of influence that we might feel have been detrimental.”

        I’m not sure I agree about the debt owed by America to progressive Jews as a group, Annie. Many of the progressive Jews you mention supported what was happening in Palestine while championing human rights in the U.S. It just looks like a cynical group strategy to me. I seriously doubt that many progressive Jews who supported the founding of Israel didn’t realize that far worse was being done to Palestinians that to those Americans they were protesting for at home.

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 8:34 pm

        we stand on the shoulders of giants. i don’t think real human rights activists are operating w/a ‘cynical group strategy’. also i didn’t mention any specific progressive jews. i think perhaps my concept of progressive might differ from mainstream usage.

        only when the shoe fits todd.

      • Todd
        April 30, 2010, 9:44 pm

        Annie, the issue is always the same, and that is how heavy was/is the support for Israel among Jews in general. It’s not uncommon for Leftist/progressive Jews to support Israel, and I see no reason to believe that support for the state of Israel among progressive Jews has ever been low–especially during the civil rights era. I also see few examples of Jews who do not support Zionism calling out Jews who do support Zionism.

        If Jews are largely very tribal and strong in their support of Israel, doesn’t it make sense to take talk of Jewish humanism and support of human and civil rights with a grain of salt? At the very least, there was never much room to criticize WASP ethnic solidarity or sins.

        For those Jews who talk human rights while supporting Israel, it is fair to question their motives and integrity, and the shoe does fit.

        I often come across Jews who support Israel and talk up Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement at the same time, and I don’t think it is uncommon, either. I can’t reconcile the two stances.

      • annie
        May 1, 2010, 12:43 am

        speaking of “Jews take advantage of innocent Aryans” canard which i never stated or implied, i thought you might be interested in Predatory Lending: New Cop on the Beat from The Nation.

        “What we witness today, however, is reverse redlining–a mortgage brokerage or bank’s practice of systematically singling out minority borrowers and neighborhoods for loans with inferior terms like high up-front fees, high interest rates, and lax underwriting practices,” said the Congressman. “It seems that everything old is new again. Here we are again looking at the impact of discriminatory lending practices on families and communities…. And what is most disgraceful is that it didn’t have to happen. Many could easily have qualified for conventional mortgages.”

        nuthin particularly Aryan bout that!

        Perez clearly gets it. He cited a New York Times investigative report that showed African-Americans in New York City earning over $68,000 annually were “almost five times more likely to have a subprime loan than whites with similar or lower incomes.” He also noted a Center for Responsible Lending study which “concluded that African-Americans and Latinos received higher-priced subprime loans than white borrowers, even after controlling for creditworthiness and other factors.”

        let’s give a high five round of applause for the bottom feeders in the banking industry!

        In 2007, before he came to the DOJ, Perez was Secretary of the agency that oversees financial regulation in Maryland. He said they passed reforms–recognized as the toughest anti-predatory lending laws in the country–to extend the foreclosure process, crack down on fraud, require lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay, and require brokers to offer the best product a borrower is eligible for rather than the one that pays the highest broker fees.

        But Perez said “our reach was limited, because large, national players are not subject to state regulation….The Federal government was decidedly absent.”

        oh my. deregulation of the banking industry..all those brilliant ivy leaguers couldn’t hold back the tide of wall street. but that’s not even the worst of it..the bankers made out like bandits placing bets against those subprime loans (betting on their failures) while selling them in bundles to teachers pension funds and the like. plus cleaning up on commissions for those bets and reselling them again and again.

        hell no nothin aryan about those rip offs, it was an equal opportunity economic transition screw over. a toxic valentine from the ivy league wall street banking industry to the american public utilizing our minorities for the foot in the door, the royal kickoff for the all star fuck off game pardon my french.

        so let’s not notice..or acknowledge..let’s just forgive brooks for evading mentioning a very relevant industry in his percentages ..ok? it would after all seem rather unsavory/anti semitic to say the least. it is (not really) ok to ponder whether jews succeed because they are just smarter than the average bear (ie, it is so NOT OK to ponder over ethnic genetic traits re positive/negative attributes) and let’s not ask ourselves or question whether this utter failure in ethics has any ethnic genetic association ( it doesn’t). let’s all do a rethink on brooks. no, jews are not smarter. being smart requires an abundance of common sense. i think it may be culturally acceptable (perhaps even admirable) within segments of our society to be ethically challenged as long as the profits roll in. is this smart? i don’t think so.

        You can barely disguise the “Jews take advantage of innocent Aryans” canard.

        what is not a canard is the banking industry took advantage of the american public by way of initially systematically targeting minorities. no wonder brooks didn’t want to mention the ethnic percentages , pulitzers and academy awards are so much more psychologically rewarding.

      • annie
        May 1, 2010, 12:48 am

        i screwed up on the blockquotes/italics, you will have to fend for yourself. very sorry.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:19 pm

        Seems you have made a clear stand, eee.
        nepotist nep’o·tist n.
        nepotistic nep’o·tis’tic or nep’o·tis’ti·cal adj.

  6. sherbrsi
    April 30, 2010, 11:09 am

    All this beating around the bush is nauseating.

    Right eee.

    Tell us why you are willing to accept US money and then demonizing the country?

    • eee
      April 30, 2010, 11:15 am

      I love the US and I greatly appreciate all the help it has given Israel.
      What you think of as “demonizing” is just showing you how inconsistent your views are with the US majority view.

      • sherbrsi
        April 30, 2010, 11:15 am

        I love the US and I greatly appreciate all the help it has given Israel.

        Is that why you only accept their money and then tell them to back off?

      • sherbrsi
        April 30, 2010, 11:18 am

        Do you love them enough to accept their offerings, besides their money?

        If so why don’t you accept their call of settlement freeze?

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:23 am

        Do you always agree with the people you love or give you money? That would be a unhealthy relationship.

      • Chaos4700
        April 30, 2010, 11:28 am

        Sounds like an utterly damning indictment of the US government’s relationship with AIPAC, eee. :)

      • sherbrsi
        April 30, 2010, 11:39 am

        Do you always agree with the people you love or give you money?

        Really eee? When did Israel “always agree” to listening to the US call for settlement freeze?

        That would be a unhealthy relationship.

        Isn’t it more commonly known as the “special relationship”? But I am glad that you are at least accepting that it is unhealthy for the US to keep giving Israel money and for Israel to then tell the US to back off.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:47 am

        There are many things Israel and the US agree upon and some things they disagree upon. You can have that in any loving relationship.

        The US should give Israel aid, only as long as it is comfortable doing so. Nobody can force the US, the world’s superpower, to do anything against its will.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2010, 11:57 am

        Am I mistaken, or was eee condemning the US as a mass murderer in Iraq and Afghanistan and Viet Nam, oh, just a couple of threads ago? Why, yes he was, over and over.

      • sherbrsi
        April 30, 2010, 12:00 pm

        The US should give Israel aid, only as long as it is comfortable doing so.

        Yes, and Israelis have no problem taking the aid and then telling the US to back off, and categorically denying the call of settlement freeze and stopping settlements advocated by several US administrations, including Obama.

        That’s the “love” that Israel has for the US. We saw that in the recent demonstration in NYC, when Obama the “Nazi” was called on to stop pressuring Israel, but “keep the money coming.”

        Thanks for proving to everyone how unhealthy the “special relationship” is.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 12:02 pm

        You see, it is the US Congress that represents the will of the American people, not you. You can’t even convince your fellow countrymen that you are right.

      • sherbrsi
        April 30, 2010, 12:05 pm

        You can’t even convince your fellow countrymen that you are right.

        Just as you can’t convince anyone here how much you really “love” the US?

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 12:32 pm

        Would the US congress support Israel so much unless they genuinely felt that Israelis love the US? You know, a lot of Congress people visit Israel and can feel the love themselves from the common people. There are few countries in the world where the US is so loved and appreciated as in Israel.

      • sherbrsi
        April 30, 2010, 12:41 pm

        There are few countries in the world where the US is so loved and appreciated as in Israel.

        That explains why the Israelis consistently reject the calls of US administrations on settlement construction.

        Is that what makes the “love” they have for the US special?

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 2:03 pm

        Do you always agree with the people you love or give you money? That would be a unhealthy relationship.

        speaking of unhealthy relationships you comment reminded me of Prominent Bay Area Jews say NO to SF Jewish Federation guidelines. seems the Jewish Federation’s new restrictive funding guidelines (which we have called McCarthyite here) indicate JF very much thinks their money means their way or the highway, and this is in the arts!

        something tells me over 100 billion dollars of american taxpayer dollars might indicate something of an ‘ economic transaction’ where the giving party might be expecting something in return. as i recall you were waxing on recently about repercussions/lessons learned wrt ‘a Jew … gets the better of you in an economic transaction?’ when the reference was actually nothing more than a blatant rip off. an unhealthy relationship is making economic transactions with people who rip you off. we are getting ripped off by israel right now. are you going to start crying victim again when some of us wake up and decide not to take it anymore?

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 2:05 pm

        There are few countries in the world where the US is so loved and appreciated as in Israel.

        this is definitely not apparent by the israeli responses in comment sections in the israeli press. spare us. we are loved when we hand over the money and shut the fuck up.

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 2:08 pm

        it is the US Congress that represents the will of the American people

        the US congress represent those who butter their bread.

        The Jews of New York, California and Florida alone contribute 40 percent of campaign expenses.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 2:21 pm

        Yes, it is the Jews that corrupt the US congress. The genie is coming out of the bottle.

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 3:33 pm

        ‘the jews’?? i seriously doubt that! don’t try the canard of lumping all of them in together. they absolutely do not speak in one voice although i’m sure aipac wished they did.

      • Shingo
        April 30, 2010, 4:57 pm

        “You know, a lot of Congress people visit Israel and can feel the love themselves from the common people.”

        You mean, a lot of Congress people take trips to Israel, often spending more time thre than they do in their own constituency. If they don’t, they get elected out of office.

        “There are few countries in the world where the US is so loved and appreciated as in Israel.”

        Actually there are few countries in the world where the US is held is such contempt as in Israel.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:35 pm

        Those little junkets to Israel, the fav among US Congress people, are all paid for by US taxpayers.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:36 pm

        Right, eee, it’s a shame! Tell Mooser he needs to quit kissing up to AIPAC. Help us Americans out.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:39 pm

        Eee, you really need to bone up on how the US campaign finance system works. It’s not the Valentine you make it, and you need to grow up if you want to post here and be respected.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:41 pm

        Well, actually, eee, Truman explained the genie a long time ago.
        It was out of the bottle and rapping on his desk in 1948. Been the same ever since.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:45 pm

        Eee, are you equating love and money?

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:46 pm

        Feel the love–Max B

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:53 pm

        Yep, Mooser, and eee was also condeming the US for its native genocide and Mexican killer attributes. Those plus the Iraq, Aftgani, and Vietnam murders. I don’t recall anyone on this blog disagreeing with him, so I really don’t get why he thinks people here will support Israel’s criminal profile or why he might think we should murder Iran. It’s like eee thinks we don’t think the Nuremberg Trials were a watershed in human moral values. He wants us to agree with Goering, but we don’t. I guess that’s because eee is an Israeli?

      • annie
        April 30, 2010, 10:36 pm

        speaking of feeling the love eeenie meanie.

        people who cloak themselves in the garb of the pious — have decided to marry their furious loathing of Barack Obama to the custom of their faith, and to do what some in America have been doing for more than a year now: Hating Barack Obama as a new form of religious observance.

        Once, on the holiday of Lag B’Omer, which falls this Saturday night, children cast into bonfires images of Adolf Hitler and others who have preached and in some cases practiced the mass killing of Jews.

        This year, ahead of the Saturday night observance, professed followers of Meir Kahane have openly boasted of preparing effigies of the American president for distribution and incineration in bonfires across the country.

        “There is no doubt that now the enemy of the Jewish people is Barack Hussein Obama,” said pro-Kahane activist Noam Federman, a leader of the campaign.

        Bradley Burston Senior Editor, Haaretz

        how loverly.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:33 pm

        Eee, so you’ve lived in the USA for 60 or so years, amongst average Americans? That’s why you can speak of the US majority view?

  7. Richard Parker
    April 30, 2010, 5:14 pm

    Unfortunately, Mondoweiss’ direct report of Chas Freeman’s comments on Israel’s relevance to US security interests has been taken down, while I was writing this response:

    Phew! No wonder Chas Freeman was blocked as chair of the National Intelligence Council.

    His succinct and devastating list of the real facts about Israel’s utility to US security interests in the Middle East (or elsewhere) is just the sort of Intelligence that I would wish to be presented with if I was a real POTUS (which Obama isn’t).

    I have vaguely heard of many of these facts before, but not all combined into one hard-hitting list. For all the money the US pours into Israel, the US gets zilch.

    – the US has no bases or troop presence in Israel and stores only minimal military supplies in the country (and these under terms that allow these supplies to be used essentially at will by the IDF).

    –Israeli bases are not available for US use.. So that was why, when Turkey cut off the use of Incirlik to help the invasion of Iraq, Israel didn’t pipe up and offer its own forward bases.

    . — none of Israel’s neighbors will facilitate overflight for military aircraft transiting Israeli territory, let alone taking off from there. Israel is useless for purposes of strategic logistics or power projection.

    – Israel is worse than irrelevant to the defense of Middle Eastern energy supplies; the US relationship with Israel has jeopardized these supplies (as in 1973), not contributed to securing them. So they have to zigzag through the Red Sea to hit a so-called arms smuggling convoy in Sudan.

    – US relations with Israel do not bolster US prestige in Middle Eastern oil-producing countries or assist the US to “dominate” them, they complicate and weaken US influence; they have at times resulted in the suspension of US relations with such countries. Er…Libya, Syria…

    – Israel does not have the diplomatic prestige or capacity to marshal support for US interests or policies globally or in its own region and does not do so; on the contrary, it requires constant American defense against political condemnation and sanctions by the international community.

    – Israel does not fund aid programs in third countries to complement and support US foreign or military policy as other allies and strategic partners do. Israel is mean, self-centred, and a pariah. But it does provide offensive programmes to help oppressive governments when the money is paid up front (see Uganda, Colombia).

    • Chaos4700
      April 30, 2010, 9:29 pm

      As usual, Mr. Parker, a very incisive and direct assessment of the circumstances at play. Thanks :)

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