The dam is breaking?

As John Mearsheimer said recently, although the internet exposed the reality of Occupation in Palestinian Territories to many more Americans, this knowledge does not translate into political power. And I believe him.

But I woke up in an optimistic mood and then came accross this piece at the Huffington Post by Stephen Zunes, saying, “imagine if, during the 1980s, Barbara Boxer had taken positions on Central America comparable to her current positions in the Middle East.” And I want to believe that his piece is a harbinger of change:

American politicians are beginning to be openly challenged as to their position on Israel, and what’s more, how does it reflect on American values. 

Zunes writes about Barbara Boxer:

The senator has strongly defended Israeli attacks on civilian population centers in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Lebanon and has categorically rejected calls for linking the billions of dollars in U.S. aid to human rights considerations. The senator has attacked reputable human rights organizations and leading international jurists for daring to document war crimes committed by Israeli forces (in addition to those committed by militant Islamists.) The senator has openly challenged the International Court of Justice on the universality of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, co-sponsoring a Senate resolution attacking the World Court’s landmark 2004 decision. The senator has led the effort in the Senate to undermine President Obama’s efforts to halt the expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, insisting that Obama refrain from openly challenging Israel’s right-wing government to suspend its illegal colonization drive. The senator has attacked supporters of nuclear nonproliferation for calling on Israel to join virtually every other country in the world in signing the NPT. The senator has endorsed Israel’s illegal annexation of greater East Jerusalem and expansion of settlements in violation of a series of UN Security Council resolutions, as well as Israel’s construction of a separation barrier deep inside the occupied West Bank to facilitate their annexation into Israel and virtually eliminate the possibility of the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. The senator defended Israel’s illegal attack in international waters of a humanitarian aid flotilla, even after a United Nations investigation revealed that five people on board, including a 19-year old U.S. citizen, were murdered execution-style. Indeed, this senator has consistently sided with Israel’s right wing government against those in both the United States and Israel working for peace and human rights.

How far have we  have come from 2006 when the very mention of Israel was “here comes the grenade” moment that public had to be prepared for. (For all those who swallowed Scott Ritter’s character assassination here is Craig Murray’s take on the “bog standard smear technique“)

About Eva Smagacz

White Knight from Britain.
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel Lobby, US Politics | Tagged

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

  1. pabelmont says:

    I love Zunes’s analyses and articulations. But how do they help us? (How does our other work help us?) Who is listening out there?

    Is Boxer listening? Are her voters listening? Do they care? Got other things on their minds, do they? Do they care to criticize US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan?

    I hope so, is my answer to all these questions. I hope so.

  2. potsherd says:

    Scrolling down to the previous post on Shumer is enough to quash optimism.
    The Senate will circle their wagons as the last outpost of Zionism in the western world.

  3. Scott says:

    Nice link. Agree with Zunes, the endorsement is outrageous and Dean and is brother should (and do, actually) know better. I’d vote for Fiorina cause she couldn’t possibly be worse, and might even have some American First instincts that can be excavated. Might–not very likely.

  4. Kathleen says:

    “As John Mearsheimer said recently, although the internet exposed the reality of Occupation in Palestinian Territories to many more Americans, this knowledge does not translate into political power. And I believe him.

    Sure looks like that is the case

    • Colin Murray says:

      The transition from increased public awareness to political power is only going to occur via the political toxification of Zionist money. Even if we saw 99% of American Jews about face and oppose the Israel Lobby, the 200 Zionist billionaires (Phil’s # from an old post) who fund the backbone of Israel-first neocon/neolib activity aren’t going to stop using their money to buy and blackmail our politicians into supporting or acquiescing to Israeli ethnic cleansing of and Jewish colonization in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Moreover, I suspect that they have great depth in their pockets that can more than compensate for loss of funds from far more numerous smaller contributors who may come around and see that they are subsidizing a great injustice, undermining their country, and helping Israel commit national suicide.

      Political toxification of Zionist money isn’t going to happen in a polite and genteel way. It is going to require persistent in-your-face truthtelling that is going to upset and greatly disturb a lot of American Jews who would prefer to cling to comfortable myth. It is going to require forcing Israel-firsters to publicly choose, whether explicitly or implicitly, whether they are Righteous Jews or New Afrikaaners.

      • Avi says:


        That’s right. But, perhaps Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) can have the intended effect of hurting those billionaires in their pockets. No?

    • Citizen says:

      Similarly, the internet has exposed the root problem with the Federal Reserve and our general monetary system, but to no avail. Obama’s finance reform keeps the status quo intact, and the same people in charge.

      • Keith says:

        COLLIN, CITIZEN- I agree with you both. I think an essential first step is for voters to vote to throw the Republicrats out. Third party or write-in, no exceptions. A vote for a Republicrat is a vote for the status quo. Not voting is acquiescence to the status quo. Voting for an alternative to the Repulicrat status quo is an easy and essential first step toward changing the system. A message to all that you are fed up and not going to take it anymore. This election is critical. Unless there is a strong protest at the polls and elsewhere, I see little chance of changing the course of events. Time is of the essence.

        • Avi says:

          I think an essential first step is for voters to vote to throw the Republicrats out. Third party or write-in, no exceptions. A vote for a Republicrat is a vote for the status quo.

          Keith, I don’t understand your rationale. Is there a difference between the Republicans and Democrats in terms of foreign policy regarding the Middle East, in general, and Israel, in particular?

        • Citizen says:

          I have the same question, Avi. There is mostly no difference in the two main party candidates, e.g., in the two main contenders I need to choose from for US Senator–sometimes you can find a slight difference, e.g., the incumbent Republican Rep for my District says nothing about Israel or the ME per se, but the Democratic contender does say on her web site she is against the war in Iraq and always was; there is some difference on the ME foreign policy with a few of the independent/alternate or unaffiliated candidates.

        • Keith says:

          AVI- “Republicrats” is a term used to describe both Republicans and Democrats in such a way as to make it obvious that they are essentially the same. In essence, vote for a candidate other than a Republican or a Democrat. I tend to forget that there may be many Mondoweissers unfamiliar with US argot.

        • Avi says:

          Keith October 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm

          AVI- “Republicrats” is a term used to describe both Republicans and Democrats in such a way as to make it obvious that they are essentially the same. In essence, vote for a candidate other than a Republican or a Democrat. I tend to forget that there may be many Mondoweissers unfamiliar with US argot.

          Got it. I am actually familiar with such terminology. What happened was I looked at “Republicrats” and it registered in my head as “Rethuglicans” for some reason, ala Their, They’re, There. That’s where the misunderstanding came from.

          It reminds me of this:

          Aoccdrnig to rscheearch dnoe at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for that link to the Zunes article. A winner

    “There was a time — such as during the Vietnam War or during U.S. military intervention in Central America in the 1980s and the Vietnam War earlier — that such callous disregard for human rights and international law would have exempted a member of Congress from ever getting an endorsement from a major progressive organization, much less such an exemplary designation, however progressive their domestic agenda may have been. For example, during their long Senate careers, Democratic senators like Hubert Humphrey and Henry Jackson took leadership on such progressive causes as civil rights, labor, and the environment, but they were widely despised among grassroots Democrats for their outspoken support for the Vietnam War.”

    This absurd and very wrong inconsistency has gone on for far too long. In fact have called out some of the so called progressive bloggers (Jane Hamsher) who strongly support Grayson and Weiner who support Israel and falf completely into line with the I lobby . When these powerful progressive bloggers do not draw a distinction or even whisper about these clearly weak stands on the human rights issues in the Palestinian Israeli conflict they only fuel this decades long hypocrisy.

  6. It doesn’t matter a whit what the American public things–about anything. Poll after poll has shown that the public opposes bank bailouts, any reduction in social security, any extension of tax cuts for the upper 1%, etc., etc., yet the elite still plod ahead with their public-excluded agenda.

    It will be–and is–the same thing with Israel-Palestine issues. The elite ignore the public will on every other issue, why would I-P be any different?

  7. mig says:

    Aipac contribution to Congress :

    Barbara Boxer = S Boxer, Barbara* D I 11,000 239,794

    2010 AIPAC Contributions of Congress
    Submitted by sunny on Mon, 05/31/2010 – 09:11

    * Activism

    2010 AIPAC Contributions of Congress

    This is THE most current list.
    I received this in an email from a RA at
    It is not on the website yet.
    The format is messed up. I fixed it as best I could.

    2010 Pro-Israel PAC Contributions
    April 26, 2010

    May – June, 2010

    Election Watch


    State Office Candidate Party Status
    2009 Contribution Career Total Committees

    S Shelby, Richard C.* R I 5,000 199,825 A (D, HS)

    H Bright, Bobby N., Sr. D I 2,500 8,500 AS

    H Rogers, Michael R I 2,500 18,325 AS, HS, I

    H Parker, Wayne, Jr. R I 2,500 7,500

    H Bachus, Spencer R I 2,500 17,000

    S Murkowski, Lisa* R I 7,500 61,100 A (HS)

    S McCain, John* R I 2,000 177,500 AS, HS, I

    H Kirkpatrick, Ann D I 2,000 5,000 HS

    H Mitchell, Harry E. D I 2,000 8,000

    H Giffords, Gabrielle D I 7,500 38,224 AS, FR

    S Lincoln, Blanche* D I 18,500 62,027

    S Boxer, Barbara* D I 11,000 239,794 C, FR (NE)

    H Pelosi, Nancy D I 11,500 114,300 Speaker of the House

    H McNerney, Jerry D I 2,000 15,000 C

    H Sherman, Brad D I 4,000 63,930 FR (NE)

    H Berman, Howard D I 12,000 101,050 FR

    H Schiff, Adam D I 3,500 62,917 A (FO), I

    H Becerra, Xavier D I 1,000 3,000 B, W

    H Cedillo, Gilbert D O 2,000 2,000

    H Watson, Diane E. D N 1,000 13,500 FR

    H Harman, Jane D I 3,000 106,771 C, HS

    H Sanchez, Loretta D I 4,000 55,200 AS, HS

    H Tran, Van R C 1,000 1,000

    H Filner, Bob D I 1,000 91,514

    S Udall, Mark E. D I 1,000 48,250 AS

    H Markey, Elizabeth H. D I 2,000 9,100

    S Dodd, Christopher* D N 13,000 247,178 FR (NE)

    S Lieberman, Joseph Ind. I 1,500 367,851 AS, HS

    S Carper, Thomas D I 1,000 37,600 HS

    S Meek, Kendrick*# D O 5,000 26,500 W

    H Boyd, F. Allen, Jr. D I 5,000 14,700 A (D), B

    H Stearns, Clifford B. R I 3,000 13,500 C

    H Grayson, Alan Mark D I 3,000 5,000

    H Posey, Bill R I 1,000 1,000

    H Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana R I 36,500 200,240 FR

    H Deutch, Theodore D O 1,000 1,000

    H Wexler, Robert D N 500 33,750

    H Wasserman Schultz, Debbie D I 5,500 37,300

    H Diaz-Balart, Lincoln R N 500 58,000

    H Klein, Ron D I 7,500 55,024 FR (NE)

    H Hastings, Alcee D I 15,000 85,850 I

    H Kosmas, Suzanne D I 2,000 4,000

    S Isakson, Johnny* R I 16,000 41,500 C, FR (NE)

    H Price, Thomas E. R I 1,000 2,000

    H Barrow, John J. D I 500 49,074 C

    S Inouye, Daniel K.* D I 49,000 254,425 A (D, FO, HS), C

    Minnick, Walter C. D I 500 3,500

    S Kirk, Mark S.*# R O 42,604 263,686 A (FO, HS)

    H Lipinski, Daniel W. D I -750 4,900

    H Feigenholtz, Sara D C 2,000 2,000

    H Schakowsky, Janice D. D I 1,145 31,145 C, I

    H Halvorson, Deborah D I 3,000 13,500

    H Biggert, Judy R I 3,000 13,227

    H Foster, G. William (Bill) D I 1,500 6,500

    H Hare, Philip G. D I 2,500 13,650

    H Schock, Aaron J. R I 2,500 9,000

    S Bayh, Evan* D N 29,000 113,250 AS

    H Burton, Dan L. R I 15,000 135,500 FR (NE)

    H Pence, Mike R I 14,500 72,250 FR

    H Hill, Baron P. D I 3,500 37,465 C

    S Grassley, Charles E.* R I 8,500 149,823 B

    S Moran, Jerry*# R O 3,500 3,500

    S Bunning, Jim* R N 10,940 100,690 B
    S Grayson, C.M. (Trey)* R O 2,500 2,500

    S Vitter, David* R I 25,500 67,000 AS, C

    S Landrieu, Mary D I -1,000 205,389 A (FO, HS), HS

    H Scalise, Steve R I 4,500 14,500 C

    H Cao, Anh (Joseph) R I 5,000 5,000 HS

    H Fleming, John C., Jr. R I 2,500 5,000 AS

    H Alexander, Rodney R I 2,500 13,500 A

    H Cassidy, William R I 2,500 2,500

    S Collins, Susan R I 1,000 109,000 A, AS, HS

    H Michaud, Michael H. D I 1,500 11,750

    S Mikulski, Barbara* D I 21,000 198,599 A (D, FO, HS), I

    H Edwards, Donna D I 2,500 3,500

    H Hoyer, Steny H. D I 21,000 214,275 House Majority Ldr.

    H Cummings, Elijah D I 2,000 22,500

    S Coakley, Martha† D O 12,000 12,000

    H Schauer, Mark H. D I 2,000 6,500

    H Peters, Gary D I 4,500 11,500

    H McCotter, Thaddeus G. R I 1,000 13,500

    H Levin, Sander M. D I 1,000 129,727 W

    S Franken, Al D I 3,000 5,680

    H Kline, John P. R I 3,000 17,500 AS

    S Blunt, Roy*# R O 18,000 63,850 C, I

    S Carnahan, Robin* D O 5,000 5,000

    H Carnahan, Russ D I 2,500 18,600 FR (NE)

    H Skelton, Ike D I 4,000 92,450 AS

    S Burns, Conrad R N -1,000 210,210

    S Reid, Harry* D I 54,000 374,301 I

    H Berkley, Shelley D I 19,500 309,555 FR (NE), W

    New Hampshire
    S Ayotte, Kelly A* R O 5,000 5,000

    S Hodes, Paul W.*# D O 10,500 32,137

    H Shea-Porter, Carol D I 2,000 4,000 AS

    New Jersey
    S Lautenberg, Frank R. D I 1,000 503,578 A (FO, HS), C

    H Andrews, Robert D I 10,500 73,525 AS, B

    H LoBiondo, Frank A. R I 2,000 24,750 AS

    H Adler, John H. D I 4,000 7,000

    H Lance, Leonard R I 2,000 7,000

    H Rothman, Steven R. D I 3,500 77,003 A (D, FO, HS)

    H Sires, Albio D I 1,000 1,000 FR

    New Mexico
    H Heinrich, Martin D I 4,000 9,000 AS

    H Teague, Harry D I 2,000 4,000

    New York
    S Gillibrand, Kirsten*† D I 10,200 26,450 FR

    S Schumer, Charles* D I 6,000 63,635

    H Israel, Steve D I 10,500 49,059 A (FO)

    H King, Peter T. R I 1,000 26,500 HS, I

    H Ackerman, Gary L. D I 3,850 54,350 FR (NE)

    H Crowley, Joseph D I 1,000 94,657 FR (NE), W

    H McMahon, Michael E. D I 4,000 6,000 FR (NE)

    H 17 Engel, Eliot D I 7,000 242,418 C, FR (NE)

    H 1Lowey, Nita M. D I 5,500 154,738 A (HS)

    H Murphy, Scott M. D I 5,250 5,250 AS

    H Tedisco, James† R O 2,500 2,500

    H Owens, William D I 5,000 5,000 AS, HS

    H Scozzafava, Dierdre K.† R N 1,500 1,500

    H Arcuri, Michael A. D I 4,000 16,000

    H Massa, Eric J.J. D N 10 11,110 AS, HS

    North Carolina
    S Burr, Richard* R I 2,500 13,250 AS, I

    North Dakota
    S Dorgan, Byron L.* D N 47,000 186,350 A (D), C

    S Fisher, Lee Irwin* D O 5,000 5,000

    H Chabot, Steve R C 3,000 16,500

    H Driehaus, Steven L. D I 2,000 4,000

    H Boehner, John R I 14,500 71,500 House Rep. Ldr.

    H Sutton, Betty S. D I 1,000 8,000 C

    H LaTourette, Steve C. R I 1,000 25,500 A

    H Kilroy, Mary Jo D I 1,012 11,012 HS

    H Stivers, Steve E. R C -1,000 5,000

    H Boccieri, John A. D I 1,000 3,000

    S Wyden, Ron* D I 41,500 319,062 B, I

    S Merkley, Jeffrey Alan D I 12,500 21,600 B

    S Sestak, Joseph A., Jr.*# D C 500 22,500 AS

    S Specter, Arlen* D I 36,500 539,973 A(D,FO,HS)

    Toomey, Patrick J.* R C 2,500 3,250

    H Dahlkemper, Kathleen D I 2,000 4,000

    H Cohen, Howard A. R C 1,000 1,000

    H Pike, Douglas A. D C 1,000 1,000

    H Murphy, Patrick J. D I 4,000 22,600 AS, I

    H Schwartz, Allyson Y. D I 500 44,650 B, W

    H Dent, Charles W. R I 1,000 9,250 HS

    South Carolina
    S DeMint, Jim* R I 3,720 28,220 C, FR

    South Dakota
    S Thune, John* R I 26,500 40,730 AS, C

    H Cohen, Steve I. D I 2,000 19,000

    H Reyes, Silvestre D I 21,000 22,000 AS, I

    H Rodriguez, Ciro D. D I 3,500 14,500 A (HS)

    S Bennett, Robert* R I 34,000 133,250 A (D, FO), HS

    H Chaffetz, Jason R I 2,000 2,000

    S Leahy, Patrick* D I 16,711 134,911 A (D, FO, HS)

    S Warner, Mark R. D I -4,000 36,500 B, C

    H Nye, Glenn Carlyle, III D I 4,000 4,000 AS

    H Perriello, Thomas S. D I 2,500 3,500

    H Cantor, Eric R I 24,500 200,730 W

    H Connolly, Gerry D I 2,000 5,000 B, FR (NE)

    S Murray, Patty* D I 19,000 182,293 A (D, HS), B

    S Feingold, Russell D.* D I 38,000 182,310 B, FR (NE), I

    H Obey, David R. D I 1,000 161,600 A

    H Kagen, Steven L. D I 2,000 22,500

    2009 Total Contributions: $ 1,139,692

    Total Contributions (1978-2009): $48,989,535

    Total No. of Recipients (1978-2009): 2,198

    KEY: The “Career Total” column represents the total amount of pro-Israel PAC money received from Jan. 1, 1978 through July 31, 2008.

    H=House of Representatives.
    D=Democrat, R=Republican, Ref=Reform,
    DFL=Democratic Farmers Labor,
    Status: C=Challenger, I=Incumbent, N=Not Running, O=Open Seat (no incumbent). *=Senate election year, #=House member running for Senate seat, †=Special Election.
    Committees: A=Appropriations (D=Defense subcommittee, FO=Foreign Operations subcommittee, HS=Homeland Security, NS=National Security subcommittee), AS=Armed Services, B=Budget, C=Commerce, FR=Foreign Relations (NE=Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs subcommittee), HS=Homeland Security, I=Intelligence, IR=International Relations, NS=National Security, W=Ways and Means.
    “-” indicates money returned by candidate,
    “0″ that all money received was returned,
    “[]” = independent expenditures on behalf of candidate (not included in candidate totals).

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  8. annie says:

    in some cases we’ll never get progressive candidates unless we put up w/a worse alternative for 6 years. that’s just the reality. boxer is very poluar here and i like her except for her stance wrt israel. it just so happens i’m more concerned w/foreign policy than i am w/domestic issues because i think how we act globally has more impact on our domestic issues than how we vote about those domestic issues (ie: jobs and globalization is a result of our foreign policy goals/resource allocations). AND, by extention i’m w/petreaus and the WH in my belief israel damages our reputation abroad in the most critical areas more than any other factor. the influence of our israel lobby imapact foreign policy, everyone knows it. so for me that’s the most important area to fixate on, that and election reform.

    face it, no dem is ever going to unseat boxer. if it isn’t this election it will have to be the next or the next or never. at some point w/have to get rid of these PEPs. this isn’t just california it is across the nation. eventually there will come a time when any progressive running will have to declare their independence from israel, not their loyalty., that will be the limitus test. we just are not there yet.

    • Sumud says:

      annie ~ I think the critical background issue that’s really put the US in the toilet is money in politics. If you can choke that monkey then you’ve essentially declawed the Israel lobby, the healthcare industry lobby, and the lobbies of much of the for-profit war industries…