Russell: ‘on the verge of a major shift in thinking re Zionism’

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 9 Comments

Earlier today we mentioned another landmark piece, this time at Daily Beast, Thaddeus Russell’s assertion that it isn’t Arab anti-semitism, it’s Israel’s status as a "perpetual wartime state" that is creating problems in the Middle East. Russell even mentioned the killing of Bobby Kennedy as one effect of American support for Israel, an assertion I have made myself. This piece has been the most popular on the Beast website today; and it is a landmark because the gates are falling and we are finally seeing renegade journalists in an outspoken American tradition crash a party where only the pious have been allowed to foxtrot. Russell is author of A Renegade History of the United States. We asked him how the response has been to his piece. He writes:

After reading scores of hostile reader comments and blog posts, receiving dozens of emails accusing me of anti-semitism (which my Jewish mother and son find amusing), ignorance, and cowardice, and debating with the head of The Israel Project, I still have not seen or heard any piece of information that challenges my basic thesis: that the very existence of Israel in the Middle East, not just its policies, endangers Jews and those who support it.

However, I have been pleasantly surprised to see that a solid majority of the responses to the piece — which would never have seen the light of day just a few years ago — have been positive. As you say, we do indeed seem to be on the verge of a major shift in thinking on the Zionist project.

9 Responses

  1. potsherd
    July 6, 2010, 4:46 pm

    Of course there is no piece of information that challenges the basic thesis! The facts are indisputable. This is why the Zionist response to the truth is always an adhominem attack on the bearer of the facts.

  2. wondering jew
    July 6, 2010, 5:00 pm

    One question raised by those who regret the fact of Israel’s existence is what would be the effect if the United States did a U turn tomorrow and disavowed Israel instead of supporting it. Indeed this possibility is almost as impossible as going back in time, but it is as worthy as thought as the regret for the birth of Israel. Turning around a ship of state is a complicated feat and those who oppose the general direction of US foreign policy might not be the ones who would give a valuable answer regarding US’s policy towards Israel. But those who wish to project US power in the Persian Gulf for example- what would be the effect of suddenly abandoning Israel?

    • Donald
      July 6, 2010, 5:11 pm

      I can’t imagine the US doing this, but if it did, I’m not sure how much it would matter in the Persian Gulf. I tend to think Chomsky was right about Israel’s role during the Cold War–the US supported Israel, the Shah of Iran (while he was in power), the Saudi monarchy, and the Hussein monarchy in Jordan because it saw everything in Cold War terms and Israel and the other countries were allies in fighting what the US perceived as radical Soviet-supported Arab nationalism. Nowadays I’m not sure how the US foreign policy elite perceives Israel. (In private, I mean–in public it’s all about our great democratic ally and so on.)

    • potsherd
      July 6, 2010, 6:36 pm

      Look at Turkey for your answer.

    • Chaos4700
      July 6, 2010, 7:52 pm

      Nonsense. All it takes is one President with a backbone. That’s what’s saved this country from its own stupidity in the past.

    • MarkF
      July 6, 2010, 8:12 pm

      That’s a good thought experiment, but what about not doing a complete 180 turnaround and just have relations with Israel like we have with other countries such as France, Canada, Germany(but without the troops), Switzerland, etc.

      Dan Senor pointed out how strong and robust Israel’s economy is, and Israel can afford universal health care so I assume defense could be budgeted as well.

      I would think this would enhance the U.S.’s ability to project power in the region by treating the other Persion Gulf countries on the same diplomatic level as Israel.

  3. Les
    July 7, 2010, 7:46 pm


    8 Jul 2010, 1:04AM

    “Off all the settlers from US who build on their claimed ancestral land in the west bank, I don’t know of a single one that gave their empty former US residence to a native American.”

    link to

    • Leper Colonialist
      July 9, 2010, 2:00 pm

      Not only that, but how many of these frauds have renounced their US citizenships and surrendered their USA passports?

      Yeah, it’s easy being an Israeli ‘settler’ as long as you haven’t burned your bridges behind you and still have the USA [or whatever country of origin] to scurry back too if things with the dispossed Palestinians take an unexpected turn to your detriment.

  4. Khawja
    July 7, 2010, 8:07 pm

    Maybe, Russell did not know that in 2006, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu paid special tribute to Irgun, the Jewish terrorist organization. He dedicated a plaque at the rebuilt King David hotel, which Irgun had bombed in 1946, killing 91, primarily British. In 1948 Irgun slaughtered more than 100 innocent Palestinian men, women, and children. Zionists then drove 800,000 panic-stricken Arabs out of Israel to eventually inhabit concentration camps in Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank. Netanyahu made it clear the terrorists’ blood flowed in his veins. Irgun made the Jewish state possible and he was profoundly grateful. By authorizing Israel’s recent terrorist attack on the Free Gaza flotilla, Netanyahu showed his likeness of spirit……

    link to

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