Foxman: American Jews should shut up about Israeli policy and fall into line

Israel/Palestine
on 14 Comments

Abe Foxman in the Jerusalem Post. By the way, the one position he mentions the American Jewish community shutting up about is Jerusalem, which is the “supreme” issue, the “heart and soul” of the Jewish people. Even though he doesn’t even live there, and could. Let’s not forget that Partition, which Strawson says was based in international law of its time, stated that Jerusalem and Bethlehem would not be controlled by either side. Herzl made the same promise. So law and equity go out the window. And so does the peace.

Here is Foxman describing how the Israel lobby works:


the two main arguments for this position [American Jews lining up behind the Israeli position] remain as potent as ever. First was respect for the people of Israel who every day face life and death decisions because of the threats that are ever present. I consider myself as staunch a Zionist as anyone, but I always understood the difference between my living comfortably in America and the Israeli people who were on the frontlines of the struggle. Respect for that reality and faith in the democratic process of Israel generated a profound sense of reserve about telling Israelis what they had to do.

Second was the impact on the American domestic scene. The ability of the community to have influence with Congress and the administration, not to mention the public at large, at any given time was deemed to be related to the perception of how strongly the community was supporting Israel. A divided community, one where there was a free-forall with everyone telling Israel what to do and many criticizing its policies, was seen as weakening the community’s impact on American policymakers.

Politicians had less of a need to pay attention if they were hearing a cacophony of voices.

 

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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14 Responses

  1. seafoid
    November 15, 2010, 9:11 am

    Foxman now reminds me of the last years of HL Mencken . The kids have moved on and there is nothing he can do about it, fierce as he was as a younger man

    Super quote in the Monthly Review :

    “But the maintenance of such a position is physically impossible. We have to make the momentous choice between brief but true greatness and longer continued mediocrity.””

    link to monthlyreview.org

    Israel chose brief but true greatness. And now it is time to pay the piper.

    • Mooser
      November 15, 2010, 11:27 am

      ….longer continued mediocrity

      So spreading all throughout Europe, parts of Asia, and surviving all kinds of persecution, repression and maladjustment into the modern era is “longer continued mediocrity”?
      Well, being a mediocrity myself, and proud of it, it seems all right to me.
      And if a Zionist jumps off an 80 story building he can fly! Well, for about 79 floors.

  2. Antidote
    November 15, 2010, 9:15 am

    “the people of Israel who every day face life and death decisions because of the threats that are ever present”

    … while everybody else lives in peace and comfort, just like Foxman does in the US. Bomb Gaza, bomb Iran – no problem, as long as Israel lives and controls Jerusalem. I despise this abysmally stupid man with a passion

  3. Kathleen
    November 15, 2010, 9:23 am

    Foxman ” I consider myself as staunch a Zionist as anyone, but I always understood the difference between my living comfortably in America and the Israeli people who were on the frontlines of the struggle. Respect for that reality and faith in the democratic process of Israel generated a profound sense of reserve about telling Israelis what they had to do.”

    Gambling with Conflict How settlers control Israeli policy. Meet the illegal, violent Israeli settlers . And the violent illegal Israeli soldiers who protect them
    link to youtube.com

    link to youtube.com
    link to il.youtube.com

  4. annie
    November 15, 2010, 9:26 am

    The ability of the community to have influence with Congress and the administration, not to mention the public at large, at any given time was deemed to be related to the perception of how strongly the community was supporting Israel.

    it goes even beyond that. the ability of the lobby to have influence over congress and the administration, at any given time is dependent on the perception of how strongly the public at large supports israel. otherwise people might begin to notice support for israel is the only thing the two parties have in common.

    obviously, if the support of israel in congress was a reflection of american support there would be no need whatsoever for a lobby. lobbies exist where there’s opposition.

    • Avi
      November 15, 2010, 7:46 pm

      annie,

      That’s a good point and a great reminder of how the Lobby operates. But, don’t look there, it’s the “Upper Class” in the U.S. that’s to blame…..or something like that.

      • annie
        November 16, 2010, 5:05 am

        ‘upper class’ has nothing to do w/it.

  5. annie
    November 15, 2010, 10:15 am

    there is something fundamentally eschew about foxman’s premise.

    There is no doubt that Jerusalem is the supreme issue of the Jewish people, its heart and soul. However, I don’t believe the importance of the issue to all Jews justifies abandoning our long-standing position. It still is Israelis above all who will have to live everyday with the consequences of whatever approach they take. And to accept this view would inevitably lead to the further loosing of the old ideal of nonpartisan support for Israel.

    ?? this is the exact text i just merged the paragraphs. the little piece of text between the title and the article (what is that called ?) says Jerusalem’s importance to all Jews does not justify public criticism that divides the community and tells Israelis what to do.

    since when is ‘Jerusalem’s importance to all Jews ‘ being used to justify public criticism? it sounds to me as tho what he is really saying is jerusalem’s importance to all jews justifies NO public criticism, which is what he wants. iow, stfu. that is obviously what he is saying while saying the opposite.

    in the blockquote above when he says to accept this view would inevitably lead to the further loosing of the old ideal of nonpartisan support for Israel’ . what view is he talking about because he isn’t voicing it, he’s voicing the opposite. certainly he’s not saying to accept the view ‘it still is Israelis above all who will have to live everyday with the consequences of whatever approach they take’ would inevitably lead to the further loosing of the old ideal of nonpartisan support for Israel. is he?

    certainly he is not saying to accept the view there is no doubt that jerusalem is the supreme issue of the jewish people inevitably leads to loosing nonpartisan support.

    is this some brainwashing technique form of argument or what?

    • Philip Weiss
      November 15, 2010, 10:32 am

      thanks annie, smart

      • annie
        November 15, 2010, 12:57 pm

        ; ) thank you phil.

    • Richard Parker
      November 15, 2010, 7:14 pm

      Sorry, Annie; eschew is a verb meaning ‘consciously avoid’ – askew means ‘crooked, awry’. But maybe Big Abe is actually consciously avoiding something. It’s in his character.

      • annie
        November 16, 2010, 5:09 am

        ahhh, i actually spent way too much time this morn looking for askew. thank you so much richard. i tried escque the esque, then escew, and on and on. thanks!

    • Avi
      November 15, 2010, 7:51 pm

      since when is ‘Jerusalem’s importance to all Jews ‘ being used to justify public criticism? it sounds to me as tho what he is really saying is jerusalem’s importance to all jews justifies NO public criticism, which is what he wants. iow, stfu. that is obviously what he is saying while saying the opposite.

      They’re merely copycatting. When was the last time an Israel firster had a creative and original thought?

      After one or two U.S. politicians said something about Jerusalem being the third holiest place in Islam, Israel’s defenders, foxman among them, started claiming that Jerusalem’s importance in Judaism nullifies all criticism. Of course, the difference between that claim and the statements of said U.S. politicians was that they mentioned it within the context of a just peace agreement where the Palestinians get to keep East Jerusalem as their capital. But, the ADL and AIPAC want it all, the cake, the forks and all the slices.

      • annie
        November 16, 2010, 5:18 am

        They’re merely copycatting. When was the last time an Israel firster had a creative and original thought?

        no, i think it is more convoluted than that. it is subliminal messaging. negative words are purposely avoided (like ‘do not criticize’). they do not want to be outed for silencing therefore they claim the mantel of the opposition/resistance and appeal to people’s loyalty while advocating for suppression. they want to appear as victim so they steal the opposing sides positioning understanding people are too lazy/brainwashed to notice.

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