American public opinion and the special relationship with Israel

on 139 Comments

There is no question that the United States has a relationship with Israel that has no parallel in modern history. Washington gives Israel consistent, almost unconditional diplomatic backing and more foreign aid than any other country. In other words, Israel gets this aid even when it does things that the United States opposes, like building settlements. Furthermore, Israel is rarely criticized by American officials and certainly not by anyone who aspires to high office. Recall what happened last year to Charles Freeman, who was forced to withdraw as head of the National Intelligence Council because he had criticized certain Israeli policies and questioned the merits of the special relationship.

Steve Walt and I argue that there is no good strategic or moral rationale for this special relationship, and that it is largely due to the enormous influence of the Israel lobby. Critics of our claim maintain that the extremely tight bond between the two countries is the result of the fact that most Americans feel a special attachment to Israel. The American people, so the argument goes, are so deeply committed to supporting Israel generously and unreservedly that politicians of all persuasions have no choice but to support the special relationship. 

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has just released a major study of how the American public thinks about foreign policy. It is based on a survey of 2500 Americans, who were asked a wide variety of questions, some of which have bearing on Israel. Their answers make clear that most Americans are not deeply committed to Israel in any meaningful way. There is no love affair between the American people and Israel.

This is not to say that they are hostile to Israel, because they are not. But there is no evidence to support the claim that Americans feel a bond with Israel that is so strong that it leaves their leaders with little choice but to forge a special relationship with Israel. If anything the evidence indicates that if the American people had their way, the United States would treat Israel like a normal country, much the way it treats other democracies like Britain, Germany, India, and Japan.

Consider some of the study’s main findings:

“Contrary to the long-standing, official U.S. position, fewer than half of Americans show a readiness to defend Israel even against an unprovoked attack by a neighbor. Asked whether they would favor using U.S. troops in the event that Israel were attacked by a neighbor, only 47 percent say they would favor doing so, while 50 percent say they would oppose it …This question was also asked with a slightly different wording in surveys from 1990 to 2004 (if Arab forces invaded Israel). In none of these surveys was there majority support for an implicitly unilateral use of U.S. troops.”

Americans “also appear to be very wary of being dragged into a conflict prompted by an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. In this survey, conducted in June 2010, a clear majority of Americans (56%) say that if Israel were to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran were to retaliate against Israel, and the two were to go to war, the United States should not bring its military forces into the war on the side of Israel and against Iran”

“While Americans have strongly negative feelings toward the Palestinian Authority … a strong majority of Americans (66%) prefer to ‘not take either side’ in the conflict.”

“There is some tangible worry regarding the direction of relations with Israel. Although 44 per-cent say that relations with Israel are “staying about the same,” a very high 38 percent think relations are ‘worsening,’ and only 12 percent think they are ‘improving’.”

“Americans are not in favor of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a major sticking point in the conflict, with 62 percent saying Israel ‘should not build’ these settlements.”

Finally, only 33 percent of those surveyed feel that Israel is “very important” to the United States, while 41 percent said it was “somewhat important.” It is also worth noting that on the list of countries that were said to be “very important” to the United States, Israel ranked fifth behind China, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Of course, all of those countries have a normal relationship with the United States, not a special relationship like the one Israel has with Washington. 

The data in the Chicago Council’s study is consistent with the data that Steve and I presented in our book and in countless public talks. The story remains the same.

The bottom line is that the lobby is largely responsible for America’s special relationship with Israel, which is harmful to both countries. Alan Dershowitz was spot on when he said, “My generation of Jews … became part of what is perhaps the most effective lobbying and fund-raising effort in the history of democracy.” 

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About John J. Mearsheimer

John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982. He is the co-author with Stephen Walt of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy

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139 Responses

  1. potsherd
    September 18, 2010, 9:22 am

    So Dershowitz can say it, but if we do, it’s an antisemitic canard. Especially the “fund-raising” part. The money.

    It’s time to call this what it really is: bribery. The US Congress runs on bribery from lobbies representing special interest groups. This isn’t democracy, it’s the subversion of democracy. It’s the overthrow of democracy by oligarchy.

    Mearshimer’s piece here is a perfect example of the way US policy is set, not by the will of the people but by the bribery of the Congress by such groups as AIPAC.

    • annie
      September 18, 2010, 10:11 am

      It’s time to call this what it really is: bribery.

      more likely it’s blackmail.

      • annie
        September 18, 2010, 10:13 am

        blackmail w/benefit$

      • marc b.
        September 18, 2010, 10:31 am

        tis the four b’s of politics: bullets, beds, bribes, and blackmail.

      • Bumblebye
        September 18, 2010, 11:29 am

        marc b.

        You forgot the fifth b:


      • Taxi
        September 18, 2010, 4:20 pm

        Got room there for ‘bastards’?

      • Dan Crowther
        September 18, 2010, 8:40 pm


      • Kathleen
        September 18, 2010, 11:54 am

        And Aipac, Jinsa and other Israeli lobbying groups needs to be required to register under FARA. 50 years ago but tomorrow would work
        link to

        “My generation of Jews … became part of what is perhaps the most effective lobbying and fund-raising effort in the history of democracy.”

      • Taxi
        September 18, 2010, 4:25 pm

        We don’t talk enough about Jinsa. Aipac keeps getting the spotlight and taking all the punches in daylight while Jinsa goes about it’s insidious work after hours.

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 6:40 am

        And in becoming such an effective lobby, drew a big lesson on the fatal
        flaw of democracy, the financial oligarchy the founding fathers warned us about.

      • Les
        September 19, 2010, 3:22 pm

        The part of the Israel Lobby that is nested in our print and broadcast media deserves special attention. It is that part of the Lobby that the Congress pays most attention to.

      • Psychopathic god
        September 20, 2010, 9:36 am

        what will happen when the full impact starts to unravel of that “generation of Jews” who so “effective[ly] lobbied Congress and raised fund” — FROM US Congress and American taxpayers FOR Israel and for the benefit of many Jewish people in the US?

        First, some numbers will be totted up; that’s starting to happen: billions of dollars to Israel;

        Second, the extent of the propaganda wars will become more apparent: it will become more apparent that Dershowitzian elements are behind campaigns to demonize Iraqis, demonize Arabs, demonize Iran, in order to sway the broad swathe of American voters and taxpayers to support war on those people, wars that do NOT bring benefits to the US nor do they support the interests of the people of the US.

      • chet
        September 18, 2010, 1:46 pm

        It’s more “improper political coercion” than it is blackmail – each candidate for Congress is vetted by an AIPAC operative and if that candidate’s views are not found to be sufficiently pro-Israel, AIPAC money is poured in to that candidate’s opponent’s campaign.

        Thus we have the abject lapdog attitudes of members of Congress in respect of matters that pertain to Israel.

      • annie
        September 18, 2010, 9:56 pm

        i was being flippant. perhaps it’s emotional blackmail. look what happened to that guy running in pennsylvania who didn’t sign the ‘support letter’ aipac put out for congresscritters. he got inundated w/scary commercials about not supporting israel or supporting terrorists or something. or being tagged as anti semitic. all that is what i call emotional blackmail. having to declare your support for israel to run from congress is bs.

      • Taxi
        September 18, 2010, 4:33 pm

        I really blame our corrupt politicians before I blame aipac.

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 6:43 am

        There’s a good reason why Wilson said his approval of the central banking system (in conjunction with Wall St) was the biggest mistake of his life. (Right up there with sending the doughboys over there?)

      • potsherd
        September 19, 2010, 8:15 am

        Very rightly. If Congress were incorruptible, AIPAC could not do its work.

      • LanceThruster
        September 19, 2010, 5:54 pm

        My friend Bernie the Attorney puts it this way –

        “The power of Zionism ends where people of character and integrity begin…. ”

  2. traintosiberia
    September 18, 2010, 9:56 am

    This is the reason of “Teaching” and of “Teacher”. If that does not work we are provided with “noble liar”.

    How manytimes have we heard the ready refrain from the neocons ” If only Americans knew”.
    I think that this invisible and unacknowledeged awareness ( 100%) from the internet. It is not surprising to hear that Liberman wants to impose a Chinese model on censoring the information.

    • Citizen
      September 18, 2010, 2:02 pm

      Why Zionist Joe is the overseer of our Homeland Security. Of course he just wants to protect us all from the forces of evil:
      link to

      • Schwartzman
        September 21, 2010, 12:57 am

        Wow, you really just linked to Do you believe

        Links like that do my for MY cause than they the worst trolls, bots, or plants.

        Thank you Citizen!

  3. Kathleen
    September 18, 2010, 11:25 am

    “But there is no evidence to support the claim that Americans feel a bond with Israel that is so strong that it leaves their leaders with little choice but to forge a special relationship with Israel.”

    But you have Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Sarah Palin, Wolf Blitzer, Bill Kristol, Frank Gaffney, congress critters all repeating the endlessly repeated neocon mantra..the U.s. feels a special attachment to Israel. Stirring up those Holocaust feelings.

    John thanks for your work exposing this false and artificially produced response and for all of the work that you, Stephen, Former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Tutu, Art and Peggy Gish, Paul Findley, (council for a National Interest) Norman Finkelstein, Amy Goodman, Phillip Weiss, Allison Weir (If Americans Knew) Max Blumenthal and many others are doing to open the dialogue, encouraging people to research get the facts and examine this conflict and our support of Israel more closely and to do something about it.

    Had the pleasure of meeting you at a Peace Conference at Ohio University quite a few years back (before your I lobby book was out). You were on a panel with Leon Fuerth and Micheal Ledeen. I asked one of the questions about “Israel signing the NPT agreement” and “halting all illegal settlement expansion and illegal building in East Jerusalem” Ledeen’s first words out of his mouth in response was “you don’t like Israel do you” My response “stop trying to put words in my mouth” and please respond to my questions. He danced and dodged for another minute or so. Leon Fuerth brought up the Holocaust. And then the moderator tried to move on. No one addressed my questions. Came up to you later after the panel and you answered. Yes to both of my questions. Israel should sign the NPT. And Israel should stop building and expanding illegal settlements.

    Thanks for all of your work

    • Taxi
      September 18, 2010, 4:38 pm

      I like your style of questioning, Kathleen :-)

      You really are a treasure and an asset to our friends, the Palestinians.

      Hats off to you again. You really impress me.

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 6:48 am

        I agree, Taxi. Kathleen is one heck of a woman! She’s very brave, smart, and persistent. She sticks up for “the lemon tree.”

      • Kathleen
        September 20, 2010, 12:02 pm

        Just following the lead of people like Art and Peggy Gish, Norman Finkelstein, you folks. A team effort. Let’s keep pushing. contacting Reps about this critical issue. Encouraging more folks to come to places like Mondoweiss, Informed Comment, Race for Iran, WAshington Note where there are informative action oriented folks.

  4. VR
    September 18, 2010, 11:46 am

    “Steve Walt and I argue that there is no good strategic or moral rationale for this special relationship, and that it is largely due to the enormous influence of the Israel lobby.”

    The history of the United States is a series of directions and activities, since the beginning, that do not reflect the will of the people of the United States. To merely name this one at the present time is to totally ignore the operational mode of the US, and that the government is merely and has always been, the franchise of an elite.

    As I have said, I am appreciative of M&W’s expose of the lobby, and agree entirely that it does not reflect the will of the people en masse – and that the “relationship” with Israel is not a strategic asset, but a liability. However, historically the (as I said above, but once more for emphasis), the decisions of import have always been primarily that of a moneyed elite, as Madison (the father of the Constitution) said was the purpose of government since the inception. It seems the M&W’s insistence of ignoring this fact also influences their analysis, and even though the work on the form and function of the lobby is accurate, they insist on portraying the US in its official function (government, etc.) as a bumbling idiot always trying to do good – no exploitation or animus, the dismissal of a foreign policy of destruction and exploitation.

    The judgment of “…it is largely due to the enormous influence of the Israel lobby,” while having some accuracy ignores the confluence of interest and the form and function of the US system. It reminds me, as an example, of Tom Segev’s Six Day War narrative where he describes the fear of the people, who were essentially on the outside of what was taking place in high places in Israel, where they knew it was in the bag, so to speak. Mr. Segev insists on elaborating the peoples ignorance and fear to embellish the “danger” Israel was in, totally ignoring reality of the military might which Israel possessed. The people in Israel, as well as those in the US, are subject to propagandized information (deliberate misdirection and lies, or the absence of truth thereof, of what is rally taking place) which causes them to always turn outward rather than looking at the abyss within.

    In other words, outside of the current reality of an entrenched lobby, the thrust of concern and direction of activity is going to have to be broader than merely routing the Israel Lobby (regardless of the ridiculous crowing of the clown Dershowitz). Otherwise you run the risk of inadequate reform when what is really needed is revolution, it is not merely part of the problem that needs to be addressed (the lobby), but the entire system. Although I must admit, I am getting really really tired of repeating this on this site to your anesthetized and blindly privileged condition.

    • potsherd
      September 18, 2010, 4:16 pm

      Your arrogance is duly noted.

      • VR
        September 18, 2010, 6:57 pm

        Is that your argument potsherd? I thought so, it is the only argument of no argument. “I don’t like your spirit – hubris – manner in which you communicate,” shame shit they throw at Finkelstein – the argument of no argument. I do not give a damn whether you think I am arrogant or not, If you do not want to know what is happening than do not even approach the subject.

      • potsherd
        September 18, 2010, 9:14 pm

        In which case, VR, you can continue not giving a damn and continue with your repeated pronouncements of your own superiority. And if no one listens, that will be the reason.

      • VR
        September 18, 2010, 11:12 pm

        I will continue potsherd because I am making statements of fact, not pontifications of superiority, and you can continue with your ad hominem nonsense because you have no argument.

      • potsherd
        September 19, 2010, 8:17 am

        I will not continue this exchange, which I regret starting, as it introduces pointlessness into the site’s discussion.

      • rmokhtar
        September 19, 2010, 10:21 am

        “as it introduces pointlessness into the site’s discussion.”

        Sorry, potsherd, I think Witty beat you to it.

    • Citizen
      September 18, 2010, 5:19 pm

      Yes, our history does reveal we have always had our own particular form of oligarchy; in the main it is fairly characterized as a plutocracy. The ommission of essential facts and manipulation of news media has always been part of the elite’s toolbox. The sheep can always be led. But the uniqueness of a foreign country
      being placed first by our current elite renders a distinctly new page in our history.

      • Citizen
        September 18, 2010, 6:00 pm

        Here’s the root of our problem:
        link to

      • VR
        September 18, 2010, 11:08 pm

        “But the uniqueness of a foreign country being placed first by our current elite renders a distinctly new page in our history.”

        There is nothing unique about this, because this is what happens when you have the interest of the few as the main thrust of this system. The point in fact is that the people have “never” been in lets see – the top ten (to use a familiar term) of interest. The people have never been in the run up, it matters little what goes before them. A point may be specifically unique, all forms of elite interest that take precedence of the people have a unique makeup, however it is not sui generis because it is the same old game.

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 11:44 am

        Yes, the people have always been irrelevant to what the few actually do for their own agenda (and at the peoples expense), but name another example of the domestic elite having, so consistently, and for such a long time, an agenda priority that puts a foreign state before the USA on every level. For example, neither the Irish or China lobbies of old can hold a candle to the Israel First lobby in this respect.

    • Mooser
      September 18, 2010, 6:18 pm

      “Although I must admit, I am getting really really tired of repeating this on this site to your anesthetized and blindly privileged condition.”

      Uh oh! I know what happens when VR finally loses patience with our anesthetized and blindly privileged condition. It won’t be pretty.

    • traintosiberia
      September 18, 2010, 6:42 pm

      Ignorance of Americans about US ( politics,history,foriegn policiy,economics) vs. of Israel is on two fundamnetally different planets in terms of the power to correct, modify, and change the status quo. American have changed thier dircetion as necessary in every decade and centuries.American if ever try to do same to US policy to Israel by using American interest as the reason would be dead meat. Revolution is long overdue in this area.

    • Keith
      September 18, 2010, 11:23 pm

      VR- You are quite right to point out that Mearsheimer & Walt’s analysis suffers from the fact that they both are essentially anti-Zionist liberal imperialists, hence, they ignore the consequences of Imperial geo-strategy, thereby overemphasizing Zionist culpablity for US imperial actions. Of course, the Zionist have gained enormous influence, however, the Empire preceeded the Zionist ascension, and should be resisted with or without Zionist influence, something which M & W don’t seem all that concerned about.

      • VR
        September 19, 2010, 9:29 am

        I appreciate your point and support for what I have posted Keith. Of course, what I posted does go a bit further, in the sense that Zionism is definitely preceded by US Imperialism, but Zionism has melded into the system because the system is predisposed to this kind of relationship (or, as you have said “Zionist have gained enormous influence”). Therefore I call it a confluence of interest, it is perceived to and does serve the Imperial interest.

        M&W’s activity in this instance, while doing an excellent description of the form and function of the lobby, do not merely ignore Imperialism but ascribe to the lobby what the imperial design and will wishes to accomplish, thereby mitigating the activity of US Imperialism. So rather than a partnership between these reprobate systems (Zionism and imperialism), they say the driving force of US Imperialism is wholly that of Zionism. So rather than partnership between the two, they imply the US is duped, hamstrung, deceived, forced – rather than working consciously in tandem. Or, as another has said – “The US as a Garden of Eden corrupted by the Zionist serpent.”

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 11:48 am

        VR, for example, how do you account for the fact the US State department was totally against Truman’s recognition of Israel?

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 11:53 am

        VR would have us believe that the Israel Lobby is just another lobby, and that Israel has been a mere client state of the Imperial USA. This is Chomsky BS: link to

      • VR
        September 19, 2010, 6:44 pm

        I am trying to find out what you mental hangup is Citizen, as well as a number of others on the site. You follow the facts through and than revert to some sort of Chomsky accusation (although it is flattering to be confounded with Chomsky). Actually Chomsky and I agree on more than we disagree, and I respect him immensely (as well as his contemporary Zinn, etc.), and so should all of you.

        However, how can you go through the entire stretch of the operation of this nations system and than say that Israel is merely a client state? How can you divorce the lobby from the way this country worships and serves elites? Israel may indeed essentially have a client state makeup, but it is supported by an elite strongly entrenched in the US system. The power of the lobby is not a complication, it is a simplification of how these “representatives” who do not serve the people operate in the government – why bow to a myriad when you can take care of it all in one concern? It is like having a WallMart in Washington, the blue light special lobby.

        Second, you do not seem to understand that many have relatives both far and near in Israel, hence the rabid nature of the “support.” However, Israel to those who make it first, have mixed it with every weird religious and secular dream known to man. So, it might have the foundation of what one calls a client state, but it has never meant so much to so few with so much. It operates within the seamless bowels of the empire, and promises all of the treasure that the few in power dream of, in this life and for some, the next.

        So in some ways it is the much more of other operations, and in others it is the same old story. So while this is certainly hybrid it is not totally new, not by a long shot. To imply that it is, and to disconnect it from the common operating patterns of what happens in this country is to deny this country’s mode of operation from the beginning, and to attribute to it something wholly other – is the conclusion of those who do not know any better, and either have some fairy tale view of this country or are totally disingenuous. For those who are totally disingenuous they just do not like that it is connected to “the Jews.” And to make it wholly unique and other makes those who participate the same, what do you think the end result of this would be?

      • Keith
        September 19, 2010, 8:23 pm

        CITIZEN- A couple of points. First, it isn’t a case of the dog wagging the tail versus the tail wagging the dog, this gross oversimplification obscures more than it illuminates. The dog and the tail are one. The Lobby has immense power, however, the Lobby is not the exclusive servant of Israel. Not only does the Lobby influence Israeli policies (for the worse, I might add), but the Lobby has integrated itself into the US foreign policy apparatus to the extent that it is now virtually the Imperial lobby pushing for those things that the CIA, State Department and DOD are not permitted to lobby for. Make no mistake, the Zionists which power the Lobby are also staunch Imperialists, which is a logical extension of Zionism in any event.

        Second, what am I to think of your gratuitous swipe at Chomsky? Was he mentioned in the article or VR’s comments? Yet, you went out of your way to denigrate one of America’s outstanding
        dissident intellectuals who has spent a lifetime in principled opposition to the US Empire. Perhaps your link to Jeffrey Blankfort gives a clue. For some reason Jeffrey has turned into a one trick pony whose primary goal seems to be to slander Chomsky whenever and wherever he can. Since he consistently misrepresents Chomsky, his is not a principled opposition. Also, he takes great pains to look for an excuse to denigrate Chomsky even when totally inappropriate. He seems to feel that Chomsky is the single greatest obstacle to peace and justice in the Middle East. A cross between Professor Moriarity and Leo Strauss. I don’t know if he is pulling a Christopher Hitchens or is simply psychologically unbalanced. I don’t agree with everything that Noam Chomsky says, however, I regard him as a highly principled world class intellectual. If his opinions don’t agree
        with mine, so what? I’m entitled to my opinion, he to his. As for Jeffrey Blankfort, I have come to consider him totally unreliable due to his Chomsky fixation. You prefer Blankfort? Fine. But why
        look for excuses to insult Chomsky?

      • Citizen
        September 20, 2010, 8:39 am

        VR, I did not say that “that Israel is merely a client state.” You said I said that. I said: “VR would have us believe that the Israel Lobby is just another lobby, and that Israel has been a mere client state of the Imperial USA.” Scroll up and look.
        By opting for unprovoked aggression against Israel’s enemies, and by supporting so completely Israel’s lethal preemptive activities, the U.S. has been embarking on a project beyond imperialism, and moving toward world war and Armageddon.

        And I am still waiting for you to respond to my earlier response to what you said:
        “VR, for example, how do you account for the fact the US State department was totally against Truman’s recognition of Israel?”

      • traintosiberia
        September 20, 2010, 10:21 am

        VR-” Zionism has melded into the system because the system”

        I dont garee with this.At best it can earn a qualified support from the history. US interest in ME has not benefitted from affliation with Israel.US interest in Hondurus,Guatamela,Columbia,and Nicragua might have benfitted both Israel and US-imperialsim following the begining of the cold war . In Middle East,US has allowed Israel to conceptulaize,legalize,propagandizie (educate ) and carry out plans as Israel has seen fit over the years. Total lack of any kind of diplomatic resistance ,let alone any military,has prevented Israel from mounting any kind of offensive aginst these countries using US administration and legislative bodies. That mask came unglued after 911 when the neocons both foreign and local started demanding attacks on broader middle east (Podhoretz had a much more inlclusive list of the “axis of evil” goes beyond the three countries cited in President Bush’s State of the Union speech, and includes Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, the Palestinian National Authority, Saudi Arabia and Syria.) and this is a theme that Wesly Clark was horrified to learn that it was being openly discussed in Oct of 2001. Befor 911 these Anti US pro-Israelis could not have come with this kind of atrocious plans. It is interesting that Israel has always created and then used a crisis to advance its own cause at a great cost to US ( and in the past to UK ).Israel has helped these countries but only when its interest was not hurt.This is not a good example of symbiosis.It is more like a parasitsm.

      • traintosiberia
        September 20, 2010, 10:24 am

        Sorry -it should read as “let alone any military,has prevented Israel from mounting any kind of offensive aginst these countries ( Egypt,Saudi Arab,Jordan, and Algeria)”.

      • VR
        September 20, 2010, 7:29 pm

        Apparently because they were against Truman’s recognition of Israel, but the State Department is filled with cogs that have no authority Citizen. This has always been the case, there are myriads in any department which may not necessarily share the same views of an administration. However, when they are told that certain things are supposed to be they fall in line. Was there any mass exodus out of the Trueman Administration from the State department?

        Quite frankly, in any administration there is a divergence of views, so I do not know what your point is – is it that people are being forced to do the bidding of Israel? That there has been some invasion and people are chained down? The possibilities are numerous, out of common cloth.

      • VR
        September 20, 2010, 7:34 pm

        “VR, I did not say that “that Israel is merely a client state.” You said I said that.”

        Where did I say that? I said there were unique factors in regard to Israel, but also the same old game. It is not necessary to have a hard and fast category like – “it is a pathetic client state, or, it is ruling Washington as a foreign entity.” These choices are not necessary, you are the one who makes hard categories.

      • VR
        September 20, 2010, 7:53 pm

        Two things traintosiberia, so than Israel has not ruled the roost eh? Caused the US to do all of its bidding, and attack all of these countries? So essentially, Israel and the lobby do not rule ME strategy.

        Secondly, it was indeed very profitable for the Military Industrial complex, and the unrest is still paying off in big money – that is because any enterprise (as I said above), which benefits an elite faction is a big win. Many corporations are still benefiting, the fortune 500 love it. Anything warlike makes dollar signs appear in the eyes of the participants. So it is absolutely wrong to say that the US (in the form of its elite, which all those in power care about did not benefit 0 they are the ONLY ones that benefit). In fact, the entire “war on terror” which is the creation of both the lobby and the US is the gift that keeps on giving, to the few, to those whom Washington serves.

    • yourstruly
      September 19, 2010, 11:21 am

      What more reliable way for the powers that be to avoid the consequences of blowback* than by tricking the public into believing that “It’s the Israeli Lobby {ie them Jews) that made us support the settler-state against the Arab/Muslim world, so blame them, not us?” And yes, VR is right, it’s the system and what’s needed to change this system is a revolution.

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 11:55 am

        What do you recommend we put in place of our plutocratic oliarchy?

      • yourstruly
        September 20, 2010, 1:03 am

        “What do you recommend we put in place of our plutocratic oligarchy?”

        That we not waste any more time with indirect representative) democracy and go for direct democracy. After all representative democracy was established when our country was mostly agrarian, with transportation so slow back then that it made sense to elect representatives to travel to the state or national capital and carry out the people’s business. Todays there’s no need for for us to elect repesentatives, since the Internet makes it possible on matters that concern the public for us to decide for ourselves.

      • Citizen
        September 20, 2010, 4:15 pm

        What would be the curbs, if any, on direct majority rule? Keep in mind that some Israeli leaders have recently said that majority rule is the only kind worthwhile–so long as they can manipulate things so that the demography remains in favor of the Jewish Israelis.

      • yourstruly
        September 21, 2010, 11:55 am

        What would be the curbes on direct majority rule? To be decide by the people, presumably via an online constiutional convention.

      • Mooser
        September 19, 2010, 4:42 pm

        “What more reliable way for the powers that be to avoid the consequences of blowback* than by tricking the public into believing that “It’s the Israeli Lobby {ie them Jews) that made us support the settler-state against the Arab/Muslim world, so blame them, not us?”

        Exactly, and just how freakin’ naive would a Jew have to be, how unaware of Jewish history, and how completely untouched by anti-semitism, to think that it would be otherwise.
        For people who complain incessantly about anti-Semitism, they don’t seem to have the slightest working knowledge of it.

        In the US, they’ll leave the Jews holding the bag, and in Israel, they will leave the settlers holding the bag. It won’t be pretty.

      • Citizen
        September 20, 2010, 8:53 am

        The people that should hold the bag here are the American neocons and PEP Peeps of the media and think tanks and Christian Zionists, and organizations such as AIPAC and JINSA. Most of congress should end up holding the bag too. Unless Senator Lieberman gets his way with the internet, you won’t have to worry, Mooser, nor will Phil, Adam, or other Jewish Americans, including the anti-zionist Jews who post here and, for example, those who opposed Shrub’s attack on Iraq–we know more Jewish Americans opposed that war than Gentile Americans.

      • traintosiberia
        September 20, 2010, 1:14 pm

        “who opposed Shrub’s attack on Iraq–we know more Jewish Americans opposed that war than Gentile Americans. ”

        After the war more Jews as a % of population turned against the war but majority of the Jewish people supported the war prior to the invasion when it mattered.

        Why American Jewish groups support war with Iraq
        By Michelle Goldberg-

    • Kathleen
      September 20, 2010, 12:03 pm

      More distraction.

  5. Kathleen
    September 18, 2010, 12:38 pm

    Amy Goodman seems to be steering clear of the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the new talks recently. This is odd

    No focus at all so far in Sept
    link to

    She does this story in August
    link to
    EXCLUSIVE…Emily Henochowicz Speaks Out: Art Student Who Lost Her Eye After Being Shot by Israeli Tear Gas Canister in West Bank Protest Discusses Her Life, Her Art, and Why She Plans to Return

    Wonder if Democracy Now is feeling some kind of pressure. This lack of coverage is odd

    • Danaa
      September 18, 2010, 9:15 pm

      They ARE feeling pressure – you can count on it. Like every organization and outlet that’s heavily dependent on donors’ money. Sometimes it’s the donors themselves who come under pressure.

      kathleen – you know it’s all about the funding profile. That’s why NPR caved in big time. Whether we like it or not, Jewish people are some of the biggest donors to anything that depends on public or private funds. Be it art or politics or some cause. Individual Jewish people may also contribute but – if they are small time, are relatively immune to pressure. But the larger the contributor (or agency) is, the more they are open to blackmail or greenmail – which can take the form of emotional or business or monetary “pressure”. That’s what gets to Grit TV also, in casse you noticed that Laura Flanders has been lately walking around the I/P issue rather gingerely.

      So, do the math – how many $25. contributions does Democracy Now need to make up for one $10K one which can be withdrawn at a drop of a hat?

      That’s also, IMO, part of the dynamic that affects (infects) leftist blog sites – even if isn’t obvious. They need the crowds – and many of their supporters (a disproportionately large percentage) are jewish. All you need then is that a relatively small fraction of those be susceptible to pressure and the impact is huge. That’s IMO is also why DK is the way it is – it’s gotten large enough to be at risk. And I am not talking only donations, but also intangibles like “legitimacy”, “prominence”, finding a publisher for a book, supporters for a cause, access to “decision makers”, etc.

      Which is why it is so, so much safer to discuss DADT (which affects a miniscule number of leftists, really) or immigration (ditto) or some silly mosque business (synthetic news, as David Sirota just referred to it – see his latest article on OL or in syndicate).

      Solve this problem and the rest is smooth sailing….

      • MRW
        September 19, 2010, 4:23 am

        Could not agree more, Danaa.

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 6:54 am

        How to solve? All attempts to fix the content imbalance of privately owned news media by federal regulation, and to fix the power imbalance of political campaign funding by federal regulation, have been substantially failures.

      • Danaa
        September 19, 2010, 10:49 am

        But we should also note that MW seems to be flourishing as is Tikkun_Olam, and (though not strictly I/P) as are several other news compilations and blog sites dedicated to the topic, with more popping up seemingly every week. As is Glenn Greenwald with his unrelenting campaign to tear down the utter hypocricy of the MSM (so satisfyingly, too) and taking the powers-that-be to task, whoever they are.

        So, I’ve been thinking – what is it that allows these sites to go on unmolested (the obligatory trolls aside)? even while sharing the same attribute with outlets like NPR – ie, a predominance of jewish voices and supporters and reliance on smallish-to-largish funding?

        The only answer I could come up with is that a true departure from traditional route of power and influence i required to stay in this business AND flourish AND be influencial. Phil Weiss is less subject to blackmail/corruption BECAUSE he already burnt certain bridges on his way to MW. The friends to be lost were already gone, the family strife already happened, children/siblings not trying to make their way into Harvard and/or up up the journalistic/political ladder, privacy walls [somewhat] breached. Most importantly, personal ambition has to be held in check – Phil, like Glenn, found ways to live without the “respect” from the “important” people, and are no longer in thrall to “acceptance’ from the tribe{s}.

        Which leaves only a few ways to “get to” Phil (and if he get any more popular that may just get him and Adam that little extra unwelcome “attention”): one is to spoil him with a large gift which can then be threatened with removal, or to find a way to compromise his reputation through temptation (I can only hope the good Ms. Weiss keeps her eyes open at all times….), or? (use imagination).

        I think it’s important to remember that the Lobby’s power rests on humans’ fundamental quest need for power/influence/ wealth/happiness/peace of mind. All these have to be relinquished – to some extent – to be able to run successfully with a post/anti/a-zionist viewpoint, or any anti-establishment one. To take on power, one has to be able to vanquish the personal need for power. for a congressman that mean being willing to lose their seat. For a president, to have congress oppose you and not be re-elected. For a journalist, to be content with a small-time forum to publish in. For a lawyer, to not make partner in a big time firm or to not even be in one. And so on.

        Sorry, but I just had to put something up to counter citizen’s thoroughly negative, no-hope take – for which he has good reasons (after all, we’re all in agreement on what and where the problems are), but, today seems to be a good day to preach atonement (to others, of course) and it’s never a bad day to praise the worthy…..

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 12:09 pm

        Danna, I’m sorry if I gave the impression of NO HOPE. MW always gives me hope. I agree with all you say here. The history of campaign finance reform underscores just how difficult it is to change the system, and the Pravadaesque output of our most influential MSM
        is such a huge rock to move. Hence you are right, the brave individuals you name and suggest should always be praised, even on a dark day. I myself gave up the US Army officer corp, and I gave up a lucrative attorney career. I had no help at all, just to put myself in a position to turn down those things. So I do know what you are talking about. I also gave up a chance to get a novel published because I wouldn’t change parts of it (“too controversial”).

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 12:11 pm

        Oops, I mean Pravda. but Pravada works too in its own way.

      • MRW
        September 19, 2010, 12:57 pm

        Danaa, agree with all you say, but I would add ‘unhook the Christian Zionists — all 70 million of them, by John Hagee’s count — from the Scofield Bible.’

        Here is Army Major Brian L. Stuckert’s monograph (Master’s thesis) on Pre-Millennialism, long, but powerful and full of sources. Called Strategic Implications of American Millennialism. Worth printing out and reading, no matter how long it takes you. [I suggest leaving it in the can. ;-) ] Gave the christian/christian military groups major, major diarrhea. More importantly, it was approved by the School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth where Stuckert defended his thesis.
        link to

        Secondly, get the DVD available here, and pass it around. “Christian Zionism – The Tragedy and The Turning, Part 1”. is the site that wrote it; buy from this site, they are far more responsive than the producer (see below). This guy is a former Christian Zionist, but still a devoutly religious man; he got ‘activated’ after a trip to Palestine. (Stuckert goes far more into the implications of the Scofield Bible on American foreign and military policy.)
        Trailer: link to

        [The guy who produced it has a youtube trailer as well:
        link to ]

      • MHughes976
        September 19, 2010, 4:29 pm

        Thanks for the ref to Stuckert. Very interesting, particularly in the references to subconscious influences.
        I’m of the opinion that Sco and the conservative, militaristic forces associated with him are only one of the wings on which Zionism flies, the other being the seemingly opposite progressive-liberal ideas given powerful form by George Eliot. Positivism, the French philosophy which was, as best I recall, most favoured by her husband GH Lewes, was the Dispensationalism of the left.

      • Citizen
        September 20, 2010, 8:56 am

        The Scofield bible is a real pernicious work of artlessness.

      • Danaa
        September 20, 2010, 2:10 pm

        Thank for the reference, MRW, but I couldn’t open the first one (the thesis). May be some incompatibility with my Mac? the trailer was interesting though – I’ll see about getting the DVD. I am still, BTW, conflicted about the role and relative influence of the christian zionists, especially as some seem to have infiltrated certain armed force branches (Air Force?). Not ready to fight this one out yet – need to read and think through [quite] a bit more. But I am glad you are drawing attention to this much neglected aspect of the whole tragic picture.

      • Danaa
        September 20, 2010, 2:13 pm

        Thanks for the personal tid-bits, citizen. Always glad to learn something about the posters here. Don’t give up on the novel though.

      • Kathleen
        September 20, 2010, 12:10 pm

        “That’s what gets to Grit TV also, in casse you noticed that Laura Flanders has been lately walking around the I/P issue rather gingerely.”

        Thanks for reminding me about Grit TV. Really like Laura Flanders, calm hard charging style. It is always telling though when Laura, Katrina (Nation), Jane Hamsher (FDL) are under the national spotlight (Ed show etc) they will just not go there. Katrina has been more honest than others about the I/P issue. She has definitely dipped her toes in when she is on the MSM. But not Jane Hamsher (in fact she banned me over at FDL after I challenged her about not being willing to go there when she is in the national spotlight and Phil picked up the story) Does not like fair challenges. Either roll over and sing her praises or get axed. Oh well says a great deal about ego out of control.

        Too bad about Flanders. Hope she steps her toes in when she is on the MSM and they broach this subject which we all know is not very often.

        Almost all MSM outlets silent about the Goldstone Report . Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Ed..Silent

      • Danaa
        September 20, 2010, 2:04 pm

        Kathleen, sorry to hear you have been banned at FDL. I that true? I thought you had quite a few defenders over there, and here, of course, and the 3-4 part discussion at MW was excellent, IMHO. Nowhere could one see such open-minded interchange of different opinions. I liked the interjection by Munger, Tuttle and Sian, even if the latter seemed a bit sensitive (OK, OK, not trying to reopen anything here. personally I am happy for every poster/commenter who lends a hand for the good fight. Good job all)

        As an aside, something I noticed of [some] people on the left – a few seem to have somewhat brittle egos. They may be enormously brave going after some bad guy(s) who may be super-powerful (like Jane and the insurance industry a well as Obamites of all stripes) but when challenged by those in their own corner, they seem to fold, go weepy and/or go ballistic. Seemingly without good reason, as those “attacks’ were often quite mild, and even good-natured. Interestingly – and just for the sake of drawing contrast, the “fighters” on the right seem to be emboldened when attacked from within – people like Limbaugh stopped taking prisoners long time ago. Or Imus or Coulter. have you seen many of them go all huffy lately? it’ more like they reacg for that word they have been holding in reserve.

        But, psychology can come to the rescue again: the reason for the “brittleness” we sometimes see on the left is probably a natural side-effect of the personality types left causes attract in the first place. If general empathy for the downtrodden is high on the list, we should expect that drawing attention to the selectivity of empathy (aid selectivity being all too human) may well come across with the force of undermining the otherwise brave individual. Those who seem ready to smite dragons, are sometimes tricked by innocent little lizards among their own forces.

        I wouldn’t be surprised to find that even Glenn, a mighty dragon slayer, if there ever was one, has his brittle points.

        For more proof, see the little fire-fight between VR, potsherd and citizen on this very board. And they are on the same side 99.5%!! and for what? a chicken-or-the-eggs conundrum (what came first – zionism or imperialism or is it just an ungodly omllette (sp?) of the two….)

      • Danaa
        September 20, 2010, 3:23 pm

        OK here I go committing phrase murder again. Correction:

        “it’ more like they reach for that sword they have been holding in reserve. ”

        If Phil and Adam ban me one of these day for the crime of negligent lingual homicide, I’ll understand. They (and eric?) are probably tired of all the reported abuses they get…..

    • annie
      September 18, 2010, 10:19 pm

      she always opens w/headlines where she mentions whats going on frequently. for example from your first link if you click on the first available “Headlines for September 17, 2010”

      the third story after US poverty and Bradley Manning is:

      Clinton: Israeli Settlement Freeze “Would Be Helpful”

      Israel and the Palestinian Authority have wrapped up the latest round of US-brokered peace talks after three days. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to commit to extending a partial freeze on West Bank settlement building, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has maintained his vow to walk away from the talks if the settlement construction resumes. Although claiming it’s committed to seeing a peace deal reached, the US has refused to leverage billions of dollars in US aid to exert pressure on Israel. On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration thinks a settlement freeze would be “useful.”

      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “It takes time. All of this is complicated. But where we sit now, it would be useful for some extension. It would be extremely useful. And I don’t think a limited extension would undermine the process going forward if there were a decision agreed to by both parties that, look, this is it, you know, this is our last effort to try to do this.”

      Israel Carries Out Attacks in Occupied Territories

      As the talks proceed, Israel is continuing military attacks inside the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Earlier today, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian commander of the armed wing of Hamas in the West Bank. On Thursday, Israeli fighter jets bombed two weapons storage facilities in Gaza one day after launching strikes that killed a Palestinian man and wounded three others. Israel says it carried out the Gaza attacks in response to Palestinian mortar fire from Gaza.

      Palestinians, Lebanese Mark Anniversary of Sabra and Shatila Massacre

      In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees and Lebanese citizens are marking the twenty-eighth anniversary today of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Up to 2,000 Palestinians died on September 16 and 17, 1982, when the Israeli military allowed a Christian militia to attack the camp.

      amy rocks. more on the 16th nothing on the 15th but on the 14th there’s 2 more stories including:

      Israeli Military Accused of Sexually Abusing Palestinian Youth

      The Israeli military, meanwhile, is facing new allegations around the sexual abuse of jailed Palestinian children. In an interview with CNN, an unidentified Palestinian youth said a group of Israeli soldiers had tried to sodomize him with an object while he was in custody.

      Unidentified youth: “I was handcuffed and holding onto the chair with my hands. They tried to insert a plastic stick inside me. They tried to sodomize me with it. I fell forward and tried to move away.”

      Reporter: “He claims a dozen officers were laughing at him, only stopping when their boss walked in. He says they did not manage to insert the stick.”

      Earlier this year, the group Defense of Children International said it had gathered affidavits from fourteen Palestinian children claiming Israeli soldiers had either sexually abused them or threatened sexual abuse. The alleged victims were between the ages of thirteen to sixteen years. Defense of Children International has submitted their testimony to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.</blockquotiow, read the headlines, almost everyday there's something.

      • annie
        September 18, 2010, 10:21 pm

        i didn’t close my last blockquote properly. the last line is mine

        iow, read the headlines, almost everyday there’s something.

        (about i/p)

      • Danaa
        September 19, 2010, 10:10 am

        annie, you are right about the headlines, of course – DN does certainly more to go over the I/P issue while avoiding the standard MSM whitewash leads. However, what Kathleen was talking about is the relative paucity of feature stories, which Democracy Now used to do on the subject. It’s not like there’s no news on that front to discuss and elaborate on. Once a week was the norm. Now it’s a lot less than that.

        However, I must say that Democracy Now – while doing superb work in many areas, seems to emphasize everything Spanish and/or Latin America. Not taking anything away from the importance of this angle, but it should be duly noted that “Spanish” is considered “kosher” for leftists, as is anything to do with gay rights or immigration (ie, other than Arab immigration). Crazy Christian preachers are an especially welcome bit to chomp on. Can’t help wondering why that a would-be Quran -burning off-kilter reverend got all that attention – for an entire week on end – including from DM. Could it be that it’s something ‘safe” for “proper, liberal, mainstream leftists” to discuss as a way of varnishing their slightly tarnished, spotty left-wing credentials?

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 12:14 pm

        Danna, another home run for you. Bingo!

      • annie
        September 19, 2010, 1:11 pm

        i’ve have not noticed “emphasize everything Spanish and/or Latin America. ” on democracy now ( co host juan gonzales doesn’t qualify) maybe i’m just not paying attention. i just reviewed the entire september archives (kathleen’s link) of feature stories and didn’t notice one feature story on anything hispanic. one story about a domestic worker bill in ny which could be construed as ‘something spanish’.

        as an aside i did notice on september first

        “Security for Everyone, Not Just Settlers and Occupiers”–Ali Abunimah on Opening of US-Brokered Mideast Peace Talks

        regardless, i’d always like more focus on palestine/i.

      • Danaa
        September 20, 2010, 2:17 pm

        annie, my comment on the “latin” aspect was just a general impression I got from watching DN over 6 months. It could well be I tuned in just when they addressed it, a luck would have it. September I had very little time to watch and you may well be right about that. I’d love it for someone to compile an authoritative summary of the attention different issues have been getting over time.

        A an aide, DN did a great job in the aftermath if the Gaza Flottila. I did catch that one.

      • Kathleen
        September 20, 2010, 12:13 pm

        Amy generally does rock. Goes where no one else is willing to go. Well except for Glenn Greenwald and a few blogs like this one.

        How to break open the MSM is still baffling. Here we are in 2010 after years of Former President Jimmy Carter, ARchbishop Tutu, newly formed organizations, Norman Finkelstein (who has personally sacrificed a great deal). Mearsheimer and Walt and many others who have been trying to knock down the wall of silence on our MSM. Still Rachel, Keith and so many silent.

  6. Citizen
    September 18, 2010, 3:04 pm

    The 9/11 Commission found that the motive for the attack was US foreign policy, most specifically and especially the US iron-clad support for Israel, although this specificity was changed to the generic blowback always part of any foreign policy in the final draft of the report made for public consumption. In light
    of this fact, it is notable that the Chicago Council on Global Affairs study also found:

    “Interestingly, when resolving the Israeli–
    Palestinian conflict is put in the context of a top,
    direct threat to the United States, namely terror-
    ism, a majority of Americans (58%) favor making
    a “major effort” to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian
    conflict as a way to combat international terrorism.”

    That fact of public opinion coupled with the fact that 62% of the sample do not want settlements in the West Bank makes it clear the American people would accept Obama putting real pressure on Israel, especially considering
    the study also showed (if memory serves) that at least 60% (or was it 68%?) of Americans want to cut back on foreign aid both economic and most especially military aid–it’s not like Obama doesn’t have more sticks than the single one Mitchell mentioned (reduce loans to Israel), especially in the current economic state of the US. (We need the aid money at home) All Obama has to do is tell the public–he could even mention the settlements are illegal according to international law–and longstanding US official accord with that law. He could include all the talking points.

  7. radii
    September 18, 2010, 4:49 pm

    zionists have never let facts get in the way of their objectives – usually they are obstacles to be bulldozed

  8. lobewyper
    September 18, 2010, 4:54 pm

    Mearsheimer’s data are very encouraging. I agree with VR that the power elites of countries control most of the important decisions despite citizen majority opposition. (So far as I know, they always have.) And because the elites usually control the MSM, public opinion is easily manipulated. Where I might disagree with VR is that I think it’s especially important to lessen/expose the Lobby’s influence because otherwise we could find ourselves in further wars that are strategically unjustified and sap our morale and resources. (This of course is essentially Mearsheimer & Walt’s point, as well as that of many others.)
    Yes, it would be great to override the power elite and run things democratically on every issue, but we can’t fight every battle simultaneously. The simple fact is, money talks and always has. The militant Zionists have immense financial resources and can probably buy almost any politician currently on the scene. The question is, can The Lobby’s power be reduced to levels compatible with real democracy, and if so, how? Step one would appear to be to speak truth to power, and this is being done by Phil, Adam, and many others. Someone on these boards said that the US military has a great deal of influence on our foreign policy. If so, let it speak now!

    • Kathleen
      September 20, 2010, 12:14 pm

      good points

    • Psychopathic god
      September 20, 2010, 5:52 pm

      two associated points:
      1. Paul Chappell is a West Point graduate and author of “Will War Ever End.” His book and life’s work argue that war — violence — is NOT a natural human response but is actually contrary to human nature. He argues that the way soldiers are induced to act violently is by training them to love their warrior comrades.

      He further argues that West Point training and the West Point program focuses on peacemaking through conflict resolution with war as an absolute last resort. (Questions I have after hearing Chappel’s talk: if West Pointers are educated to seek peace, and are trained to do so at taxpayer expense and to serve US citizens, why is the US embroiled in foolish wars, and why is the shaping of influence so often delegated to think tankers and lobbyists? )

      #2. tangential point: came across this on Kevin MacDonald’s website (yes, I agree MacDonald tends toward white supremecism.) MacDonald linked to a video featuring Barbara Lerner Spectre:

      In this You Tube video, Barbara Lerner Spectre, who runs a government-funded Jewish study group in Sweden, makes the following remarkable statement—remarkable because she does not attribute anti-Jewish attitudes to irrational prejudices or even Muslims who hate Israel. Instead she says that it’s because of the “leading role” played by Jews in the movement toward multiculturalism:

      I think there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism because at this point in time Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role and without that transformation, Europe will not survive.

      Her comment is an example of the age-old Jewish self-concept of a “Light Unto the Nations”: Jews saving Europe by leading it to multiculturalism.

      As long as one group presumes to have the right as well as unique ability to tell other people how to live their lives; as long as such elites identify themselves as representatives of an entire category of human beings who are endowed in a way superior to all other human beings, and as long as large amounts of money flow to those elites, then their power will overwhelm the power and influence of leaders — like West Pointers — who are supported by taxpayers and expected to represent the democratic values of the citizens they serve.

      In other words, an alien group holds and exercises power that marginalizes democratic power.

      Sooner or later, citizens and their leaders will rise up in opposition to elites who impose their values on a democratic populace.

  9. Citizen
    September 18, 2010, 5:32 pm

    Carter’s new book comes out tomorrow–in it he says Obama has turned his back on his Cairo promise, especially regarding the settlements, and those settlements grew like hotcakes under Clinton.

    link to

    The EU has just called for extension of the settlement pause, reminding everyone that those settlements are illegal under international law–think we will hear about this on TV news? In the MSM print?

    Imus was spitting at Carter a few days ago; says Carter’s a creep for saying
    Teddy K blocked his health care plan 5 hours after he presented it–Imus says that’s because Carter’s an old senile snaky creep. Imus always backs Israel. So does FOX, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, and the network channels. A quick patter of hasbara sound bite code is all it takes–and no indication anyone is even slightly aware of the many facts and issues taken as common knowledge on this blog, for example. Amazing Carter is still speaking out.
    He will probably sell more books overseas than here. Carter’s no longer useful to the elite. Maybe Chas Freeman will buy his book. Another guy not sufficiently a tool. Mitchell?

    • Citizen
      September 19, 2010, 7:00 am

      Holland has now put its money where it’s EU mouth is, so to speak–standing squarely against the inclusion of settlement mayors on a
      visit list:
      link to

      • MRW
        September 19, 2010, 11:55 am

        Citizen, the article also states that Spain canceled the same meeting after the Gaza flotilla murders; they told Israel it was not welcome there. Reason why it moved to Holland.

      • Citizen
        September 20, 2010, 8:58 am

        Yep. Another reason to hope.

    • MRW
      September 19, 2010, 11:46 am

      Political journalist and historian, Teddy White, covered seven presidents for TIME, LIFE, and a patch of other papers. White called Jimmy Carter “the smartest of the bunch” by far, if not the century; he called his intellect “towering” over the others he knew.

      I have no link. He said it to me directly.

    • MRW
      September 19, 2010, 11:48 am

      Carter and Ford became close friends after their presidencies. Ford said in a televised interview that Carter was the smartest man he knew.

    • Kathleen
      September 20, 2010, 12:15 pm

      Will be interesting to see who brings Carter on their programs to discuss his new book and what he has to say. Will Rachel , Keith, Matthews have him on?

  10. potsherd
    September 18, 2010, 9:20 pm

    There are those who still cherish the delusion that Clinton was a liberal president. Those people would sell their own grandmothers for a photo op.

  11. Parity
    September 19, 2010, 12:35 am

    I have skimmed the entire report and think these findings are worrisome:
    There has been an 8-point drop in the in the attitude that Americans should not take either side in the conflict (from 74% in 2004 to 66%) and an 11-point increase in those saying the U.S. should take Israel’s side (28%, up from 17% in 2004), while the percentage of Americans thinking we should take the Palestinians’ side is 3%. On a scale of how people feel about a country, with 50 being neutral and 100 being very warm and favorable, Israel scores 57 and the Palestinians score 3. How do we ever turn things around with the media so skewed toward Israel? And this is after Operation Cast Lead and Israel’s thumbing of the nose to Biden and Obama.

    • lobewyper
      September 19, 2010, 10:51 am

      Nice post, Parity. Only after posting above, I looked at the part of the report dealing with Israel and found these less encouraging findings (which Mearsheimer doesn’t mention). Shows the importance of reading source materials instead of relying upon another writer to extract the important points for us…

    • rmokhtar
      September 19, 2010, 11:08 am

      How do we ever turn things around with the media so skewed toward Israel? And this is after Operation Cast Lead and Israel’s thumbing of the nose to Biden and Obama.


      Israel/pro-Israelis have had 40+ years to shape Americans’ views of Arabs in general. 9/11 didn’t exactly help, either.

      The Palestinian camp has a lot of catching up to do.

      Also, this doesn’t help: link to

      • Mooser
        September 19, 2010, 4:50 pm

        “9/11 didn’t exactly help, either.”

        By the time it’s all over, and the story is out, 9/11 will not endear Israel to the American public.

      • Citizen
        September 20, 2010, 9:02 am

        Yep; the five dancing Israelis on the white van top, and what one of them said later on Israeli TV will be well known, along with how quickly those guys and a bunch of others were whisked out of the USA and sent back to Israel. Not informing your friend when you have advanced knowledge puts a crimp in the friendship when the truth outs.

    • rmokhtar
      September 19, 2010, 11:17 am


      link to

      Wealth but no political power
      By PATRICK SEALE, Posted on » Wednesday, May 14, 2008

      Arab oil producers are awash in wealth. They have never been so rich. But the paradox is that, in spite of their great and growing wealth, their political weight in the world remains small, even derisory. They have not – or, at least, not yet – converted their wealth into political influence on a global scale.

      This is particularly striking in the Arabs’ own Middle East region. Why, one wonders, have the Arabs not been able to resolve the grave crises in Iraq and Lebanon, which are tearing their region apart? Why have they allowed the US to neglect Arab interests in the festering Arab-Israeli conflict, and tilt so decisively in Israel’s favour? Why have the Arabs not intervened to defuse the dangerous confrontation between the West and Iran which, if it were to escalate into a military clash, would be utterly disastrous for the Gulf?

      Why do the Arabs seem to focus all their attention and all their energies on business – on getting rich and richer still – while leaving their political and strategic destinies very largely in the hands of foreigners?

      Whatever the reasons – and they are undoubtedly many and deep-seated – the Arab world projects an image of impotence, even where its own vital interests are concerned.

      Yet, the wealth is there – and in most other societies, wealth means power. But not in the Arab world – or, at least, not yet. It is worth recalling the figures. On December 12, 1998, the price of oil collapsed and was quoted at $10.76 (BD4) a barrel. In January last year, it had recovered to a comfortable $58 a barrel. Then, to universal astonishment and alarm, the price soared on January 2 this year to a then all-time record of $100.

      But that was not the end of it. This past week, oil surged to $126 a barrel – an 11 per cent rise on the month – and some experts even predict it could rise to $200!

      We are living through what looks like the first great crisis of the 21st century. Quite apart from oil, foreign exchange and commodity markets have also displayed huge volatility. Food prices, for example, have risen by 40pc – their sharpest rise since 1978. The price of wheat alone nearly doubled between March last year and this year, causing tremendous problems for countries like Egypt, which imports 50pc of the wheat it consumes.

      At the same time, the US dollar, to which several Gulf currencies remain pegged has collapsed. The causes lie in the vast US budgetary, commercial and foreign trade deficits – themselves linked to the disastrous Iraq war – to alarming signs of recession in the US economy, and to a sharp fall in US interest rates.

      Meanwhile, wealth and power are moving away from the once-dominant western world to China, India, Brazil and other emergent economies.Such is the world in which the Arabs live. Their oil is a non-renewable resource. They need to be careful not to waste a single dollar of their oil bonanza and invest instead in building a post-oil economy.

      Above all, they need to translate their wealth – with vision, intelligence and determination – into political power, so as to resolve the many conflicts which sap their energies, afflict their people and prevent them from taking their proper place in the world.

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 12:33 pm

        Do the clans that run the various Arab countries care about anything other than their own clan profit? Seems the western-drawn border overlay of them means nothing in terms of minimum western notions of what constitutes a nation state. Lines on a regional map with no content beyond the letters within the border lines. Maybe the Sheik Of Arabia
        still rules.

      • occupyresist
        September 21, 2010, 12:54 pm

        “Do the clans that run the various Arab countries care about anything other than their own clan profit?”

        Sure they do!! How can you say that?

        In the case of Saudi Arabia, they care about 1) not being overthrown by other clans or the military 2) controlling and subduing the masses by whatever means necessary (including tampering with religion) 3) killing or torturing those who dissent, so as to prevent any criticism directed at the ruling family

        Seriously, Muslims in the US have it easy compared to Muslims in Saudi….Nothing shows even the most fervently devout religious/nationalist how hypocritical the rulers are than the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

        ABC’s airing a new show: Faith and Fear – Islam in America:–1.html

  12. ddi
    September 19, 2010, 6:27 am

    Well this will surely change their minds




    link to

    • Citizen
      September 19, 2010, 12:34 pm

      Woolsey? LOL. So the money zionists are concerned about the money jihad?

  13. Richard Witty
    September 19, 2010, 8:00 am

    Mearsheimer should know better.

    “Like no time in history. Israel receives more foreign aid than any in recorded history.

    In other words, Israel gets this aid even when it does things that the United States opposes.”

    Korea, Vietnam?

    I don’t know of really any that deny that there are many powerful organizations that lobby on behalf of Israel. There is no argument against that.

    What there is an argument against is that that is nefarious, and monolithic. And, although you site many instance of qualification of that term in your book, and here, it is still descriptive for your theses.

    The reason that those of us that support a close relationship between Israel and the US (and not all support the exact current form of that relationship), is that there is intimacy between the two countries, that is substantive.

    Economy (MANY US companies have significant production and research sites in Israel)

    Religious (There is a link between the major American religious and other cultural communities in Israel. It is the dominant holy site of Judaism and Christianity and a secondary important site for Islam. Historically, access to the region had been denied or hindered when in Turkish or Jordanian jurisdiction)

    Intimate cultural (MANY American citizens reside in Israel part-year or full-time, and have intimate connections there. Even this site reports from many Israelis, some of whom are American)

    Political form (Israel is a democratic state within its boundaries – a shifting sand admittedly. Citizens do have one-person one-vote and are free to associate with the political party of their choice. Citizens do have freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of peaceable assembly, freedom of the press. Israel has had what, 18?, peaceful changes in government administration. It has flaws, but its history of commitment to democratic process is laudable. And, it is consistent with American and European political values.)

    Political/military strategically (Israel still maintains CONSIDERABLE joint training, joint intelligence relationships which although incomplete are irreplaceable currently. Israel’s location is critical relative to the intersection of Europe and Central Asia.)

    The only respect that Israel is a liability, is that it is largely rejected by the on-the-street Arab world, and is a stimulus of fanatic recruitment. Relative to Iran, Iran is not an ally, and not prospectively an ally. The threat of Israeli military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities is a liability of nuance, not of substance. If Israel were participants on containment, rather than the conspicuous threat of attack, it would be effective in containing relations with Iran. (Iran is NOT the friend of the US’s friends in the region. They need to retain good relations with the suppliers of 90% of Middle Eastern oil, not 10%).

    Its an exagerated thesis. The thesis is literally a quarter step from overt fascism (that those that advocate for Israel should not be legally permitted to, or even should be harrassed for legally speaking, all in the name of free speech).

    And, Phil and Mearsheimer regularly walk 1/2 of that quarter step to fascism.

    There is a cliff there, not a moderate sloping hill.

    • Mooser
      September 19, 2010, 9:18 am

      And for God’s sake, Witty, isn’t there somebody around who can help you with your English? It’s complete nonsense.
      I defy you to read it and tell me what you just said.
      I think you have been reduced to writing nonsense simply to take up space.

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 12:54 pm

        Witty writes so he can show us how to use capitalization to convince us his glib assertations actually have solid foundations. Not to worry, he’s not building houses.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 19, 2010, 9:29 pm

        Well Mooser I’ll have to admit that I have never ever read anything that makes as little sense as this..He really reminds me of Jean Claude Van Damme the Belgian karate movies star.
        “In an action film you act in the action. If it’s a dramatic film you act in the drama.” J.C. Van Damme

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 19, 2010, 9:59 pm

        Well to be fair, the problem is not that Witty does not make sense, he may..Who knows? The problem as I see it, is that he wants to sound deep and profound at any cost even when saying banal things.. He prefers long, winding roads to short cuts, which makes the whole thing tedious to the extreme..

    • Bumblebye
      September 19, 2010, 10:40 am


      You’re trying to flog us a whole herd of dead donkeys there, Richard!

      Trouble is they all reek!

      It’s only the naive & uninformed you can persuade that they’re alive, when the maggots wriggle under the skin.

      • Bumblebye
        September 19, 2010, 10:47 am

        That is to say, every point you make has been debunked time after tedious time by others, and yet you continue to make ’em.

      • Citizen
        September 19, 2010, 12:43 pm

        It is odd how Witty continues to assert dogmatically so much that has been debunked so many times on this web site. I guess he’s speaking to lurkers and those who come here by accident. (We’ve also had many discussions on the history of the repetitive big lie, including past nefarious world leaders and creative seminal PR people who first described this psychological manipulation in print.)

    • sherbrsi
      September 19, 2010, 1:40 pm

      And, Phil and Mearsheimer regularly walk 1/2 of that quarter step to fascism.

      Writes the diehard apologist of Israeli ethnic cleansing.

      • James North
        September 19, 2010, 4:45 pm

        Richard: You continue to astonish me. How could I have possibly missed the introduction in the U.S. Congress of the Mearsheimer/Weiss Suppression of Israeli Lobbying Act, which proposes harsh criminal penalties, and which has an excellent chance of passage?

      • sherbrsi
        September 19, 2010, 6:43 pm

        Witty has revealed his new ability: mind-reading. What did any us know that the insidious Mearshiemer (and heck, let’s include Phil in there too while there is mud-slinging) were actually advocating the banning of the Israel lobby. For the skeptics Witty helpfully reveals, according to what must be some very rigorous scientific calculations given the specific nature of the figures, that they are actually walking “1/2 of the quarter step” to overt (not covert, mind you) fascism. Mearshiemer and Weiss: keep those stats in mind next time you write an article, as there is no “moderate sloping hill,” just a “cliff.”

        If, however, they succumb to the allure of this “overt fascism” (due to their daredevil nature of “regularly” walking so closely to the “cliff”) they can always lay the green yarn and make the better wheel.

      • eljay
        September 19, 2010, 7:51 pm

        >> If, however, they succumb to the allure of this “overt fascism” (due to their daredevil nature of “regularly” walking so closely to the “cliff”) they can always lay the green yarn and make the better wheel.

        And if that doesn’t work – if they do slide down the presumably steep hill of moderation discourse and eventually plunge off the cliff of irrationality into the abyss of fascism – all they have to do is promise not to do it (whatever evil thing “it” is) again and “justice” will have been served.

      • Richard Witty
        September 20, 2010, 8:32 am

        To those of us that are Jewish, the threat of establishing some limit on the rights of Jews to speak, for whatever purpose, on the basis of our ethnicity, is chilling, amazing.

        It is expressed in some form by Mearsheimer, Phil, many others here.

        Mearsheimer and Phil don’t go so far. That’s why I describe their thesis as a half-step away, close to the cliff.

        Others actually walk closer. But, they are the boat that proposes to take large numbers near to the cliff face.

      • Richard Witty
        September 20, 2010, 8:34 am

        Its not “they” perse, but the idea itself “there are too many Jews in public service”, and the way it is presented.

      • Mooser
        September 20, 2010, 1:35 pm

        Excuse me Richard, but the quote

        “there are too many Jews in public service”

        is a shocking bit of anti-Semitism! Please, sir, can you please tell me to whom I should attribute that quote, and where it appears, so I can sound informed when I write the ADL.
        Let me repeat, you have that phrase in quotes. Who said it and where?

        Did I miss something, or are you allowed to just make up things, and put them in quotes? There’s an ugly name for that.

      • Citizen
        September 20, 2010, 4:23 pm

        So, what do you think about a loyalty oath for all Israelis? I imagine to those Israeli Arabs and those Palestinians in the OT, the threat, let alone the current actuality of limits on the right of Palestinian Muslims and Christians to speak, for whatever purpose, on the basis of their ethnicity, is chilling; they are chilled to the bone and are amazed that Americans have not put a stop to it ages ago.

      • Shingo
        September 20, 2010, 4:51 pm

        “To those of us that are Jewish, the threat of establishing some limit on the rights of Jews to speak, for whatever purpose, on the basis of our ethnicity, is chilling, amazing.”

        It would be if there was such a threat, but clearly there isn’t.

        ‘It is expressed in some form by Mearsheimer, Phil, many others here.”

        Ablsolutely false. A shameless lie.

        You are far closer to fascism and suporting fascism than either man will ever be Witty.

      • Shingo
        September 20, 2010, 4:52 pm

        “Its not “they” perse, but the idea itself “there are too many Jews in public service”, and the way it is presented.”

        There’s no mention of Jews in public service anywhere to be found.

        How many lies is that today Witty?

    • Shingo
      September 20, 2010, 5:00 pm

      “Korea, Vietnam?”

      What about it?

      “What there is an argument against is that that is nefarious, and monolithic. ”

      W&M both stipulate that this is precisely what they are not saying.

      “MANY US companies have significant production and research sites in Israel”

      That’s got more to do with tax breaks and financial incentives that intimacy.

      “There is a link between the major American religious and other cultural communities in Israel”

      You mean between the John Hagees of this world (who believes that Hitler is an agent fo God and that the anti Christ will be Jewish), and Israel.

      “Political/military strategically”

      It’s already been establised that Israel is a Political, military and strategic liability for the US.

  14. Mooser
    September 19, 2010, 9:13 am

    “Korea, Vietnam?”

    Are you making reservations for dinner?

    Got to admit, you really out-did yourself in the word-salad department in this one. But I see you end up by calling Phil a facist.
    You sir, are a senile jerk.

    • eljay
      September 19, 2010, 10:10 am

      >> It has flaws, but its history of commitment to democratic process is laudable.

      If history has taught us anything, it is that occupation, aggression, expansionism, colonialism, ethnic cleansing, destruction and theft are all part of the “democratic process”.

  15. lobewyper
    September 19, 2010, 10:59 am

    Parity wrote:

    “On a scale of how people feel about a country, with 50 being neutral and 100 being very warm and favorable, Israel scores 57 and the Palestinians score 3. How do we ever turn things around with the media so skewed toward Israel?”

    Can the Israelis help it that Americans love matzo ball soup???

  16. lobewyper
    September 19, 2010, 11:31 am

    Richard Witty wrote:

    “…Its an exagerated thesis. The thesis is literally a quarter step from overt fascism (that those that advocate for Israel should not be legally permitted to, or even should be harrassed for legally speaking, all in the name of free speech).”

    It’s not about “free speech.” It’s about buying the votes of US politicians, suppressing all but pro-Israel news, silencing critics by intimidation, and demanding special treatment for Israel in multiple ways that we have never given to any other country. It’s about the The Lobby’s preference for the ABSENCE of free speech when there is any criticism directed toward Israel.

    • Richard Witty
      September 19, 2010, 12:20 pm

      There certainly is free speech of criticism of Israel, even within many of the institutions described.

      And, the argument is a half-step from fascisim as both Mearsheimer and Phil know.

      That is the importance of care and precision of every word in that cliff walk. When Mearsheimer and Phil and others get careless in their discussion they cause harm, prospective great harm.

      They are not warning “if you continue with this policy, it might cause anti-semitism”, or “if you continue with this policy, it might cause harms to US troops or interests”.

      They are implying (implying being the 3/4 of the overtly offending step). “Those Americans sympathetic with Zionism should be prohibited from equal participation in the democratic process”.

      • Mooser
        September 19, 2010, 4:59 pm

        Richard Witty, at 8:00 am:

        And, Phil and Mearsheimer regularly walk 1/2 of that quarter step to fascism. (my italics)

        Richard Witty, at 12:00 Noon:

        “And, the argument is a half-step from fascisim as both Mearsheimer and Phil know.”

        Looks to me like they walked back 3/8 th’s of a step from facism! That’s progress! On the other hand, Mearsheimer and Phil both knowingly advocating for facism, that’s bad.

      • tree
        September 19, 2010, 7:35 pm

        You caught the apparent 3/8’s step retreat from “fascism” but missed the subtle difference between Witty’s two posts. In his later one he was talking about “fascisim” not “fascism”. Witty has discovered an ideology that is 3/8th’s of a step BEYOND fascism. He calls it “fascisim” and its worst signifier is the ability to ignore old childhood friends who still think they have some important connection to you when its clear to all others that they don’t. Witty daily fights the “good fight” against this scourge by posting vapid and meaningless comments in the hope for some attention from Phil.

      • Mooser
        September 19, 2010, 5:08 pm

        “Those Americans sympathetic with Zionism should be prohibited from equal participation in the democratic process”.

        Shows how stupid I am, Witty. All I got out of it was that support for Zionism shouldn’t be an excuse or get-out-of-jail-free card for illegal activities. And that the activities of those who support Israel are just as subject to scrutiny and criticism as any other.
        How dumb can I be, to miss the inexorable march to fascism (in 1/8th steps) inherent in such a position.

        Oh BTW way Witty, you have the line “Those Americans sympathetic with Zionism should be prohibited from equal participation in the democratic process” in quotes.
        Why can’t I find it in the article? Would you mind telling me in which paragraph that sentence is?
        Or now that you have put it in quotes, do we just assume that’s what it says?

        How the hell can you lie so casually? Or do you just need a copy of Strunk and White? It’s online, you know.

      • Shingo
        September 20, 2010, 4:48 pm

        “When Mearsheimer and Phil and others get careless in their discussion they cause harm, prospective great harm.”

        Harm to the efforts of propagandists like Witty that is.

        “They are not warning “if you continue with this policy, it might cause anti-semitism”, or “if you continue with this policy, it might cause harms to US troops or interests”.”

        Why does Witty insist on creating imaginary quotes?

        In any case Witty, you’re full of it as usual and wrong. W&M have made that very argument in their book, which you would know if you’d bothered to read it.

        “They are implying (implying being the 3/4 of the overtly offending step). “Those Americans sympathetic with Zionism should be prohibited from equal participation in the democratic process”.”

        Not only does this quote not exist, but it is a blatant lie. Neither has ever made any such argument.

        Witty, lies upon lies upon lies.

    • Citizen
      September 19, 2010, 12:56 pm

      Lobewyper, quit beating Witty with the reality stick; he’s totally immune (and physically protected by those US military grunts and local cops he so despises because they don’t wear Israeli uniforms).

  17. MRW
    September 19, 2010, 12:13 pm

    “It’s about the The Lobby’s preference for the ABSENCE of free speech when there is any criticism directed toward Israel.”

    It’s about Israel’s active interference in free speech in this country, which newly unsealed documents from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (declassified this past summer) show in abundance.

    Unlike RW, I will supply a link to that veracity. Witty doesn’t merely offer his opinion here — which is valued as an opinion — but presents lies as fact.

    Declassified: Israel Lobby’s 50 Year Campaign to Undermine Free Speech in America
    Interview with Jeffrey Blankfort: “[C]an do no better than by examining the early documents of the Israel Lobby and how it successfully insinuated Pro-Israel propaganda into every aspect of American life.”
    link to

    Unsealed Senate Foreign Relations Committee files
    link to

    • lobewyper
      September 19, 2010, 2:09 pm

      “It’s about the The Lobby’s preference for the ABSENCE of free speech when there is any criticism directed toward Israel.”

      MRW responded:

      “It’s about Israel’s active interference in free speech in this country, which newly unsealed documents from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (declassified this past summer) show in abundance.”

      Well said.

      • Citizen
        September 20, 2010, 4:25 pm

        Witty’s reading those unsealed documents now, I imagine, and soon we will hear from him Israel would never work with AIPAC et al to interfere with free speech in the USA.

  18. Les
    September 20, 2010, 3:11 pm

    “Peretz has turned the United States and its national interests into a suburb of Tel Aviv.”

    Lawrence Davidson is a Professor of History at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

    link to

  19. Schwartzman
    September 20, 2010, 3:53 pm

    American support/sympathy for Israel is at an all time high. Perhaps the constituents have something to do with it.

    link to

    The Israel/America haters are in the minority, don’t act like you are the voice of reason in this nation.

  20. LanceThruster
    September 21, 2010, 2:17 pm

    The numbers reflect the fact that Americans are exposed to a wholly one-sided narrative. If Americans knew (link to what was really going on, one mighht expect an entirely different perception of Israel.

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