JTA wonders why ‘Jewish influence’ is so ‘pervasive’ in our politics

Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency is a good journalist to acknowledge the murmur in the discourse, Why is “Jewish influence” so “pervasive” in our political culture? But his answer (below), that Jews are engaged constituents who go out into the freezing rain to leaflet, is pure mystification.

Kampeas purports to be dealing with Middle East policy– “The lobby– a crash course” is his headline.

This is a legitimate and important question, and any honest answer would first engage the matter of our wealth, that we are the richest group by religion in the U.S., as Ynet has shown. And that we give more than half the Democratic presidential donations, per the Washington Post, and now the Wall Street Journal warns that the Republicans are peeling off “Jewish donors” from Obama. Over Israel.

An honest answer would also speak of Jewish numbers in the media. Consider: An American politician is told that Jews love Israel, and then he wanders out into a media terrain heavily populated by Jews, from Andrea Mitchell to Howard Fineman to Tom Friedman to David Brooks to Rob’t Bazell (I’m guessing) to both hosts of All Things Considered, and so forth– well that politician is going to love Israel too!

The problem, I insist, is not Jewish numbers. Societies have elites, they always have. The problem is that there is not an open discussion of Jewish attitudes on the Jewish state, that war has not broken out inside that elite over two simple questions: Do you feel unsafe in America? Do you feel a need for a Jewish state to escape to if things get too hot over here? That is an essential conversation for Jews to have. In the meantime, we are simply in denial about our success inside American society, and our safety. And Kampeas, who owns property in the Israeli occupation, is hardly a reliable guide on these questions. His take: 

I’m forced to deal with, more frequently than anyone could possibly stand, theories of why Jewish influence is so pervasive in the United States.

Is it money, is it threats of ostracism, or is it just that America loves Zion?

A little of each, maybe, but the answer is so wonkish, it defies sexiness: Jews are involved politically.

We join together as a community and we contribute a chunk of our earnings to pay folks to insert themselves into the political process through lobbying and activism. Beyond that, we volunteer our hours to activism and lobbying.

AIPAC is persuasive, above all, because it can get 6,000-plus people up to the Hill each year.

But the key is the holistic quality of the involvement: Every election, every decision is important.

And not just about Israel, about everything: Immigration, health, religious freedoms, the economy.

None of it is made up, or faked.

Politicians listen to Jews because Jews tend to ask them incisive questions, on just about everything.

As anyone who has leafleted a suburb in a freezing November rain will explain to you, there is no better match made than that between a pol and an involved constituent.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. tod says:

    “Politicians listen to Jews because Jews tend to ask them incisive questions, on just about everything.”

    Until this point I thought this guy was serious.

    Jews are influential because they are united and borderline paranoiac (the whole world hates us, etc.). Once you also have the money and the media it’s pretty easy to have a huge influence by presenting a united front. I’m talking mainly about the support for Israel, as I’m not aware of any other issue that is supported by Jews with such fervour.

  2. Potsherd2 says:

    It’s entirely a matter of leverage. Zionist Jews aren’t just rich, although certainly some of them are among the world’s richest persons. It’s the fact that they leverage their money, they put it where their interest lies, in Israel. They donate, heavily. And when they’re pissed off, the donors call up and threaten to withdraw their funds. And when they’re challenged, they use all their clout to discredit the challengers.

    Muslim and Arab voters in the US will soon greatly outnumber Jewish ones, but these communities aren’t mobilized – not for Palestine. There are reasons for this, largely fear and intimidation, as well as facist US laws designed to inhibit donation to Palestinians causes. But voters don’t count in this contest.

  3. Mooser says:

    “Do you feel a need for a Jewish state to escape to if things get too hot over here?”

    Oh yes, absolutely! And, it goes without saying, when that day comes, I expect a good year to transfer all my assets, sell my property, convert my money at advantageous rates, and book a first-class flight to Israel at charter rates. If America does any less before they kick us out, I’ll be the first one to scream “anti-Semitism!” Actually, I think America should pay for the trip out. That is if they care about the common Jewish people, the oy-polloi.

  4. Mooser says:

    “Politicians listen to Jews because Jews tend to ask them incisive questions, on just about everything.”

    Questions like: ‘Who was that lady I saw you with last night?’

    • Sand says:

      Except if you are ‘Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn’ in which case the probing question of “who were you with last night” miraculously gets pushed aside. Sorry couldn’t resist.

  5. eee says:

    “The problem is that there is not an open discussion of Jewish attitudes on the Jewish state, that war has not broken out inside that elite over two simple questions: Do you feel unsafe in America? Do you feel a need for a Jewish state to escape to if things get too hot over here?”

    You are getting nowhere because you are asking the wrong questions. The Jews in America are divided according to this question:
    Do you care about the Jewish community in general and the Jewish community in Israel in particular?

    Most of your life you didn’t care at all about the Jewish community. Now you care in order to make Jews in the US care less about the Jews in Israel. You care about the Jewish community in order to divide it. I am not sure that this is what is meant by “caring” about something.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      maybe im trying to help save the jewish community. as i often say, herzl was a xmas tree jew like myself who was made jewish again by the antisemites, and acted to try and help his community. neocons have done the trick for me

      • Mooser says:

        “a xmas tree jew”

        Yeah, strange fruit.

      • eee says:

        The differences between you and Herzl are staggering.
        1) Herzl wanted to better the situation of Jews, you are arguing that Jews are privileged and should accept to live in worse conditions, at least in Israel
        2) Herzl wanted to build a democratic Jewish state in which Jews can decide their destiny for themselves. He applied this model to the Zionist congresses. You on the other hand do not respect the internal democratic process of Israel and want to use OUTSIDE influence to get your way.
        3) Antisemitism is totally different from the neocon ideology. The neocon ideology has nothing to do with Jews. You case is like someone becoming Jewish to fight communism because many communists were Jews. Nu, does that make any sense? And why would anyone think that such a person really cares about Jews? You care about some anti-neocon ideology, not the Jewish community.

        • annie says:

          what do you mean by “live in worse conditions”?

        • Mooser says:

          “what do you mean by “live in worse conditions”?”

          Annie, I think that’s pretty obvious. You wouldn’t call living as equals under law a step up from being lords of the land, would you?
          And if you don’t think it’s fair for Jews to be supreme, keep this in mind, Annie: Every single Jew who has ever died, is still dead. From a world like that, you want equality?

        • eee says:

          “what do you mean by “live in worse conditions”?”

          So you really think that a very crowded country of 8 million people can take in 5-7 million mostly dirt poor and uneducated refugees without the standard of living going way down???

        • libra says:

          annie: ‘what do you mean by “live in worse conditions”?’

          Having a Palestinian neighbour.

        • annie says:

          i just wanted an answer eee, not a question.

          you are arguing that Jews are privileged and should accept to live in worse conditions

          let’s rephrase that to incorporate your response to me.

          you are arguing that Jews should accept 5-7 million mostly dirt poor and uneducated refugees

          i’m not sure i’ve heard phil argue that specifically. but either way if there were 2 states, which you say you advocate..shouldn’t palestine be able to admit whoever they want? why should israel have a say in determining their neighbors immigration policy? as opposed to palestinians who have a right of return under international law?

        • Mndwss says:

          “what do you mean by “live in worse conditions”?”

          3xe = 3xK !

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          Please, Phil is for the ROR even in the case of 2 states which means 5-7 million refugees into Israel.

          And if there are two states, the Palestinians can of course admit whoever they like into their state, but that is not what they are demanding in the ROR. They want Israel (inside the 67 lines) to accept the refugees, not their state.

        • eee says:

          “3xe = 3xK !”

          You are a narrow minded idiot. Every Western country limits immigration.

        • Potsherd2 says:

          Filthy Arabs, right, eee?

        • annie says:

          how is advocating for 2 states effective when israel is taking all the land for the other state? israel won’t even agree to any borders so aren’t you jumping the gun pretending this has anything to do w/ror? israel accepted millions of refugees before and didn’t quibble about standard of living. do you really think this has to do with poor people? is that what you are saying? you are saying the quality of living for jews would go down because refugees are poor an uneducated.

          well then how is it israel keeps placing more and more people in the west bank with all those “poor and uneducated people”? it doesn’t seem to hold back their standard of living there.

          it sounds very jim crow what you are saying. settlers are gang ho about living right next door to palestinians when they want to take over their land. you’re not being honest.

        • annie says:

          Every Western country limits immigration

          every western country doesn’t limit immigration based on ethnicity.

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          I am not being honest??? It is quite simple. Anybody advocating for the ROR is advocating in the BEST case for a huge decrease in the standard of living of Israelis and in the worst case for a civil war. Since that is what you and Phil are advocating for, you want even in the best case to lower the standard of life of Israeli Jews significantly. How will Israel create jobs for so many uneducated people? How will Israel double its number of schools? Where will the funds for healthcare for double the population come from? Where is housing going to come from? What about the environment? I am asking because I really don’t know. There is a good reason governments limit immigration and discriminate against uneducated and poor immigrants.

          What has this got to do with the 2 state solution and the settlers? The number of settlers grows by at most several tens of thousands a year, not millions.

        • eee says:

          “every western country doesn’t limit immigration based on ethnicity”

          It is not an issue of ethnicity, it is an issue of quantity. Whatever the ethnicity of the refugees Israel cannot absorb them without a huge decline in the standard of living.

        • eljay says:

          >> Every Western country limits immigration.

          Hateful and immoral “common sense”-wielding Zio-supremacists simply cannot grasp the fact that RoR is not immigration, it is accountability, a righting of wrongs.

          >> Filthy Arabs, right, eee?

          Filthy, poor, uneducated AND genocidal. But, no, he’s not racist.

        • annie says:

          It is not an issue of ethnicity, it is an issue of quantity.

          and all those ultra orthodox who don’t work with the twelve children. are they also dragging down the quality of life for israelis?

        • Mndwss says:

          “Every Western country limits immigration.”

          Maybe they are scared to death that they will become Palestinians or indians?

          Israel is an example of what to much immigration can do to the local population. South Afrika is another one…

        • eljay says:

          >> and all those ultra orthodox who don’t work with the twelve children. are they also dragging down the quality of life for israelis?

          They can’t be – they’re Jews! And in a supremacist “Jewish state”, surely that’s all that matters.

        • Donald says:

          ” Herzl wanted to build a democratic Jewish state in which Jews can decide their destiny for themselves. He applied this model to the Zionist congresses. You on the other hand do not respect the internal democratic process of Israel and want to use OUTSIDE influence to get your way.”

          I guess then the early Zionists would have never dreamed of using outside influence to determine events in what would become the future state of Israel. No sir–Palestinian Arab input was actively sought and if at any time they had raised any objection that would have been the end of any notion of a Jewish state in Palestine.

        • eee says:

          “and all those ultra orthodox who don’t work with the twelve children. are they also dragging down the quality of life for israelis?”

          Sure they are, and there is a lot of resentment about this in Israel. About that and about the fact they don’t serve in the IDF.

        • annie says:

          and are you going to accuse them of not caring about jews also?

        • eee says:

          “I guess then the early Zionists would have never dreamed of using outside influence to determine events in what would become the future state of Israel. No sir–Palestinian Arab input was actively sought and if at any time they had raised any objection that would have been the end of any notion of a Jewish state in Palestine.”

          And the point is? Herzl wanted Jews to have self-determination so they could work to further their interests, “their interests” being what most Jews agreed to democratically. Phil does not respect what the majority of Jews say. See the difference?

        • eee says:

          “and are you going to accuse them of not caring about jews also?”

          How is the situation similar? If some American teaches his kids only to study the Talmud, is that similar to someone advocating that 200 million people from Mexico, Latin America and South America should be immediately allowed to immigrate to the US? Not at all. The latter does not care what his drastic move will do to the standard of living of most Americans. The former is making bad education choices that will influence his children in the future.

        • Donald says:

          “And the point is? Herzl wanted Jews to have self-determination so they could work to further their interests, “their interests” being what most Jews agreed to democratically. Phil does not respect what the majority of Jews say. See the difference?”

          This is funny. My point was that the early Zionists came from outside Palestine with the intent of creating a Jewish state whether the Palestinians approved or not. They got as much outside help as they could, trying to persuade the world that Jews had a right to a state there–ever hear of the Balfour Declaration? Now you’re complaining about outside interference.

          This is the second time in two days that you’ve shown yourself unable to understand that Palestinian rights need to be taken into account. That’s part of what motivates Phil and you are baffled by it.

        • andrew r says:

          “what most Jews agreed to democratically”

          How dare Rosa Parks went against what most Americans agreed to democratically.

          You don’t really care about democracy. Otherwise you would respect the democratic will of the Palestinians to return to their country. Democracy is supposed to protect other people’s rights, not your right to take away theirs.

        • Potsherd2 says:

          eee, they’ll have a new supply of donkeys to hew their wood and draw their water for cheap. Israel can deport those pesky expats who keep wanting to stay and be loyal citizens and raise their Jew-contaminating kids there.

          Life will be great!

          Of course it never occurs to eee to ask the question: Why should Israeli Jews have a higher standard of living than the people they dispossessed?

        • eee says:

          “This is the second time in two days that you’ve shown yourself unable to understand that Palestinian rights need to be taken into account. That’s part of what motivates Phil and you are baffled by it.”

          You are again missing the point completely. The Palestinians should work to advance their interests just as the Jews should work to advance theirs. If Phil wants to work for Palestinian interests, he should not be saying that he is working for Jewish interests.

        • eee says:

          “How dare Rosa Parks went against what most Americans agreed to democratically.”

          Jim crow was not agreed upon by all Americans. The fact is the law was abolished democratically. The nature of this conflict is such that the democratic will of the Palestinians conflicts with that of Jews. That usually leads to war as in this case.

        • MRW says:

          Democracy is supposed to protect other people’s rights, not your right to take away theirs.

          Nicely put, andrew r.

        • MRW says:

          Every Western country limits immigration.

          And when the Palestinians tried to do that in the 1930s, Jews shot them and created the Haganah to steal the land from them.

        • lysias says:

          Jim crow was not agreed upon by all Americans. The fact is the law was abolished democratically.

          Segregation was abolished by decree of the Supreme Court. Just as antimiscegenation laws were abolished by decree of the Supreme Court 13 years later.

          And polls at the time showed that both Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia were opposed by majorities of the American people at the time.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “And when the Palestinians tried to do that in the 1930s, Jews shot them and created the Haganah to steal the land from them.”

          But they were Arabs so, to people like eee, Zionists need not bother themselves with their rights.

        • Robert says:

          eee,

          This post at least addresses some economic issues about integration of Israel and Palestine. You ask about schools and hospitals and so forth. Water would come from great use of desalinization. link to saltworkstech.com The labor for all of this building would fall heavily on Palestinians (perhaps imported Chinese and other Asians as well?) . Financing would come from major Western powers, Japan, China, etc. Educated Palestinians would be the primary workforce to teach less-educated Palestinians. All it takes is cash. That is a truly worthy goal for Arab and Jewish investment and philanthropy.

          The value of solving the Israel-Palestine conflict is that enormous. Business loves stability, and there are huge benefits to not having to worry about constant wars.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          I like that eee only cares about what’s good for Jews and only Jews who care only about Jews like himself.

          I can’t think of any better evidence of how deeply the apartheid spirit is etched into the Israeli psyche.

        • andrew r says:

          “The nature of this conflict is such that the democratic will of the Palestinians conflicts with that of Jews. That usually leads to war as in this case.”

          Let’s chew over this Orwellian claptrap for a minute. You might as well change ‘war is peace’ to ‘war is democracy’. War is about as authoritarian, anti-democratic and disdainful of the individual as it gets. The Zionist settlers chose an aim that would lead to war. Had the Palestinians fled their country without even an ineffective attempt at fighting back, which was the minimum necessary to avoid conflict with the settlers, there still would have been war on them. This was not a clash of democratic wills. It was a clash of racist tyranny on the part of the Zionists vs. the natural right of the Palestinians to remain in their country.

          The fact that the Yishuv at large was willing to be conscripted as the foot-soldiers of such tyranny does not make it democratic. It only means they submitted the basis for their livelihood to an authoritarian structure. It’s like arguing Assad has a democratic mandate because many in Syria still support him.

          Zionism started as an aggressive proto-fascism that can not by definition respect anyone’s democratic will. It will only claim a democratic mandate, as you attempt here, to legitimate expulsion, thus denying other people their rights.

        • Sand says:

          eee It is not an issue of ethnicity, it is an issue of quantity. Whatever the ethnicity of the refugees Israel cannot absorb them without a huge decline in the standard of living.

          So the UK – that small little over populated Island isn’t allowed to restrict immigration — but Israel is? And, the UK doesn’t even want to restrict on ethnicity. Plus, the UK and US is paying for Israel’s ‘right’? to restrict immigration on ethnicity – totally sick and twisted — but what’s new.

        • Hostage says:

          the UK doesn’t even want to restrict on ethnicity.

          The 1924 US Immigration Act excluded Asian immigrants altogether and restricted the entry of southern and eastern Europeans through a national origins quota system. The 1965 US Immigration Act abolished that discriminatory system. See Nancy Foner, George M. Fredrickson, Not Just Black and White, Russell Sage Foundation, 2005, page 120 link to books.google.com

        • Sand says:

          I agree — the UK definitely had a history of discriminatory immigration policy based on ethnicity in the past. But not in 2011 when it comes to the regulations of the EU. However, the UK still has a (sustainable) population issue.

          See how the UK’s population is changing
          link to news.bbc.co.uk

        • Sand says:

          I side with “Chris Hedges – The Decay of Empire – Page 272/3″

          “…Footprint data suggests that, based on current lifestyles,the sustainable population of the United Kingdom – the number of people the country, with an estimated population by 2010 of about 62 million, could feed, fuel and support from its own biological capacity — is about 18 million. This means that in an age of extreme scarcity, some 44 million people in Great Britain would not be able to survive. Overpopulation will become a serious threat to the viability of many industralized states the instant the cheap consumption of the world’s resources can no longer be maintained…”

          Adding, and I don’t want young ignorant kids to die for those resources.

      • Sand says:

        “…maybe im trying to help save the jewish community. as i often say, herzl was a xmas tree jew like myself who was made jewish again by the antisemites, and acted to try and help his community. neocons have done the trick for me.”

        And I became involved in the US political scene, because Katrina, and then the astonishing disingenuousness (esp. after 911) of those supposed ‘xmas jews’ that weren’t that tolerant of xmas after all? Please don’t it personally – but really, eee got it right a few weeks back — truly where in the Jewish political influencial community are “anti-zionist” Jewish organizations in the US”?

        We’ve come a long way since the early days of W&M ~2005/6 exposing the self-interested hypocrisy of the Jewish elite in politics (and finance).

        e.g. Health care over Israel – hell yeah!

        • Sand says:

          adding:

          – Please don’t ‘take’ it personally – but really, eee got it right a few weeks back — truly where in the Jewish political influencial community are “anti-zionist” Jewish organizations in the US”?

          It’s because I respect you and MJ Rosenberg (+ Richard Silverstein), I often don’t go into what I see as the blatant contradictions. e.g. :(

          MJ: “…I quickly corrected him. I told him that I was neither anti-Zionist nor anti-Israel. In fact, I am pro-Israel and that if I wasn’t, I doubt I would be involved so heavily in the fight for justice for the Palestinians…”
          link to tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com

          At this point — with the ‘reality’ of the state/State of (Jewish) Israel — knowing it ain’t gonna change for the better (and we know full well @ Mondo why it won’t change) if you’re NOT anti-Zionist, I really have to question what the *new* game plan is?

    • Mooser says:

      “I am not sure that this is what is meant by “caring” about something.”

      That’s a brave and significant admission, “eee”. Admitting you don’t know how to care about others could be the first step in your recovery from Zionism.

      But actually, “eee” the “unity” question is very, very important for the future of the Jewish race. We have got to get that birthrate up!

  6. The problem is called Democracy.

    The US is in the mess its in because even those jewish-americans are a small minority there are nevertheless about 25 jewish americans for every palestinian-american. There are no palestinian american senators, governors, or congressmen, none running banks, movie studios, corporations, etc.

    There isn’t any reason for any politician to support the palestinian cause, and there lots of reasons to be seen as a supporter of israel. If there were 6 or 7 million palestian americans and only 2 or 3 hundred thousand jewish americans, the Us would have a completely different policy.

    Democracy is a better form of government than just about anything else, but it doesn’t guarantee moral or ethical behaviour. A democracy can be just as cruel and inhumane as any dictatorship. When Harry Truman recognized Israel, it was against the advice of all of his officials, as it would cause enormous hardship in Palestine and make America a pariah in the Arab world. He explained by saying he didn’t care about Arabs because he never heard of a case where an American election was decided by the Arab vote.

    • democracy without teaching proper values is useless.
      It leads, sooner or later, to a camouflaged totalitarism.
      People tend to pick politicians looking at not what they have In their heads, but what they have On their heads.
      In other words, how well they can sell themselves for the general public.
      Big smiles, empty promises of an easy, abundant life and easy solutions. And then, democracy becomes not the power in the hands of the masses,
      but the masses in the hands of a few, chosen “democrats “, (or rather authocrats/plutocrats).

    • Charon says:

      Democracy is manipulated by the pocketbooks of the elite. Google “net neutrality” and “elite” for example. You’ll find a treasure trove of articles on financial/political sites and blogs about the growing influence of the Internet on public opinion. They want to pass laws restricting the usage of the Internet in several areas, but primarily in the area of campaigning. They want to place a tax on Internet political campaigning.

      One blog (I believe it was called the big money blog) was not shy at all and admit campaigning is expensive and television spots are expensive because they made it that way, to reduce and eliminate the influence of us common folk. These people believe they are entitled to making these decisions and we are not. It said that the Internet will soon surpass television in influencing public opinion and they need to make sure it stays expensive to shut out our influence.

      They will likely take advantage of hacking and ‘anonymous’ to pass some dumb laws to do this. Or at least try to. It is a futile gesture. For now they have PR departments of paid bloggers like Hasbara in Israel, but they are easy to identify and have minimal influence.

      The elite have the money to manipulate all the avenues which influence public opinion (except the Internet). The candidates we vote for, no matter which party they represent, have been pre-selected by really rich people and the media has been bribed to talk about them. Rupert Murdoch is not shy in admitting his news outlets favor whoever he backs.

      We can fix the system, but unfortunately it’s an illusion at this point. A financial oligarchy. Paper monarchy.

  7. Potsherd2 says:

    There are Muslim Americans. There are Arab Americans. It’s not the votes, it’s the influence, and influence has to be bought.

    • Charon says:

      Exactly. I still LOL whenever the news mentions Obama trying to win the “Jewish Vote” and break it down to swing states with large Jewish populations. Jews are less than 2% of our population, not all of that 2% is of voting age, and the majority of them vote democratically anyways. Some journalists (like MJ Rosenberg) have the guts to tell the truth. The “Jewish Vote” has absolutely nothing to do with voters. It’s campaign donations. In the case of the “Jewish Vote” they don’t even have to be Jewish. There are a lot of rich Christian Zionist fundies too. The Zionist lobbies are even mostly comprised of Christian Zionists.

      There was a point in history (and I don’t remember which monarchy it was) where the king gave up their power to a democratic parliament. What the people didn’t know was that they established a central bank that practiced usury. They already had most of the money as it was, now they collected all the interest just like they did with taxes as King. They never gave up their power, they just made it appear that way so that peons didn’t start a revolution and cut their head off.

    • American says:

      I agree…it’s $$$$ from Jews that establishes their political influence.
      $$$$ determines all politics in everything now.
      Otherwise the Jewish voters are not important except in districts, or states like Fla. for instance, that have a heavy Jewish population.

  8. Empiricon says:

    Before the ’08 election, a friend of mine said “I always vote for whoever is best for Israel.” In a discussion with another friend, I backed him into a moral corner where his response to the inhumanity of the Israelis toward Palestinians became, and I quote, “I don’t care.” Every Jewish service I’ve been too (bar/bat mitzvahs for friends’ children) has included a somewhat militant prayer for Israel in their fight against their “enemies.”

    As a non-Jew, it seems to me that for many if now most Jews in the US, Judaism means blind, fervent support of Israel. Of course, they are supported in this view my the Zionist Chrisitans in the fundamentalist sects. But until and unless this is challenged, I hold out little hope for a change in US policy or in Israel’s direction toward moral decay.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      Before the ’08 election, a friend of mine said “I always vote for whoever is best for Israel.” In a discussion with another friend, I backed him into a moral corner where his response to the inhumanity of the Israelis toward Palestinians became, and I quote, “I don’t care.” Every Jewish service I’ve been too (bar/bat mitzvahs for friends’ children) has included a somewhat militant prayer for Israel in their fight against their “enemies.”

      I’ve heard many stories such as these. Two things strike me: (1) these very same people would likely be the first people to have smoke coming out of their ears and scream antisemitism if you said that you “don’t care” what happens to the Jews, and (2) refuse to believe that other people consider the Israelis to be “enemies” based on the actions of those same Israelis, and that those people have the same right to defend themselves against the Israeli that the Israelis reserve for themselves.

      These are the same kinds of people who find a claim to exclusive rights to the land between the Med and the Jordan, based on history and religion, to be either fine when Likud makes it, but scandalous when Hamas makes it.

      I don’t know whether to pity them or slap them.

  9. Charon says:

    I wish he would’ve called it a Zionist influence (and not just Jewish). Not every Jew is a Zionist and not every Zionist is a Jew. Every Neoconservative is a Zionist though, the two are practically interchangeable.

    It’s the Zionist/Neocon influence pervasive in our politics. They take advantage of American Jews and Christian fundies who care about Israel.

    Zionism may be attributed to Jews, but by mentioning “Jewish influence” it lumps them all into a category and that’s not fair. If a goy made that statement, they would be called an antisemite. If a goy examined the influence they might make the wrong conclusion. Zionism and Neoconservatives are the problem. They have dual-loyalty and put another nation’s influence above our own no matter how vile their leaders are.

  10. “Do you feel unsafe in America? Do you feel a need for a Jewish state to escape to if things get too hot over here? That is an essential conversation for Jews to have.”

    Fear of Lindberg becoming president, as Philip Roth presented it in “Plot Against America”, is the embodiment of that fear. Do Jewish supporters of Israel consciously fear that? Certainly not most of the time. As far as their unconsciouses, I don’t know how prevalent the fear of America turning fascist/anti capitalist and with it anti Jewish really is.

    I think many of Israel’s supporters are not from the “fear of America” school of thought, but rather fear for fellow Jews in Israel school of thought. I happen to feel that if I could feel as safe about Israel’s Jews’ future as I feel about America’s Jews’ future, I would settle for that degree of safety.

    As far as lowered standard of living if Israel opens its gates to the refugees, that is not my concern. I think Israel could allow in 10,000 people a year for the next 200 years (or 40,000 people a year for the next 140 years) and this would satisfy the demand of Right of Return. My fears are more in terms of violence rather than reduced standard of living.

  11. American says:

    “Please, Phil is for the ROR even in the case of 2 states which means 5-7 million refugees into Israel”…….eee

    Well, Jews argued that Palestine should accept millions of mostly dirt poor, uneducated Jews.

    • Potsherd2 says:

      Israel flew in thousands of dirt poor, uneducated Jews who were sprayed with DDT to kill vermin, housed in drafty tents and forced to use separate substandard medical facilities. They were useful indentured labor and cannon fodder.

      • Avi_G. says:

        Many were not poor, at all. In fact, my own family owned a nice home and held a middle class social status in Iraq.

        It wasn’t until agitation started against Jews in Iraq that it became more and more difficult for Jews to, not only continue living like before, but to take the time to properly sell their property and move to Israel.

        By the time Zionist agents had managed to apply enough pressure against Jews in Iraq, many including my family were forced to leave their possessions behind. But, they did manage to bring some jewelry and gold — valuable assets, of course — with them, but were forced to give them up when they arrived in Israel.

  12. Charon says:

    Anybody advocating for the ROR is advocating in the BEST case for a huge decrease in the standard of living of Israelis and in the worst case for a civil war

    So what? If it decreases the standard of living or causes a civil war, so be it. The standard of living in South Africa also dropped when Apartheid ended. Anybody who uses that as an excuse longing for the good ol’ days is a bigot. If you need to oppress an entire group of people in order to maintain a certain standard of living, that is a fascist crime against humanity.

    The Zionists created this situation. It is all their fault and not a single analogy to any other point in someone else’s history is comparable. This only happened 63 years ago. Israel could have absorbed refugees sooner but chose not to and now there are more of them.

    Not everyone is going to choose to return given the option. They might just take reparations and stay where they are or go somewhere else.

    Your argument is invalid on so many levels. It is no different than the ‘facts on the ground’ argument that resulted from the settlement project. That was the intent of the settlement project, to create ‘facts on the ground’ and use it as an excuse.

    These people had their entire culture, costumes, homes, olive trees, farm animals, etc. destroyed. They were kicked out and not allowed back. Just a bunch of excuses and lies not to allow them ever since, my favorite being the “Arab countries told them to leave” or “They left on their own accord knowing the consequences” which are lies. LIES! “We won the war” is the dumbest excuse and lie of them all.

    The Zionists will have to deal with it when it happens. It is insulting that a foreigner who happens to be Jewish can ‘return’ to Israel but not the indigenous people who were forcibly kicked out. The longer this situation draws itself out, the worse it is going to be. They will return even if they have to fake a mass conversion to Judaism to do it.

  13. it looks like once “democratic” UK has the same problem.
    “But we actually have strong reason to believe that Fox was working intensively for Israel. He was enthusiastically advocating Israeli interests such as an attack on Iran. Together with his ‘best friend’ Adam Werritty, he was also funded by the Israeli lobby. We know also that Fox and his ‘flat mate’ Werritty were in direct contact with Mossad, and were even warned by MI6 about it.
    But Fox was not alone: with 80% of our leading party’s MP’s being Conservative Friends Of Israel’s (CFI) members, we have good reason to believe that treachery is now institutional amongst UK elected politicians….”
    link to gilad.co.uk

  14. Keith says:

    PHIL- “herzl was a xmas tree jew like myself who … acted to try and help his community.”

    Perhaps it would be helpful to look a little closer at this. Obviously, you are referring to the Jewish community. But what, exactly, is outside of the Jewish community? Is it a lot of similar communities? An Italian community? A Mexican community? A Roma community? Or is every Gentile lumped together into one huge oppressive Gentile community? Now, if Jews mostly believe that the world is divided into Jews and Gentiles, not Jews and Italians and Mexicans and Roma, etc, and if the Gentile “community” supported their “community” at the expense of the Jewish community, what would that be called?

  15. RE: “Politicians listen to Jews because Jews tend to ask them incisive
    questions, on just about everything.”
    ~ Ron Kampeas

    MY COMMENT: Everything but Zionism/Israel, that is!

    SEE: Sinning against Zionism: Traitor to Country, by William A. Cook , Dissident Voice, 4/21/11

    Hell is where many false commitments must be unlearned. — Ricardo J. Quinones, Dante Alighieri

    (excerpt) Richard Goldstone’s journey from Justice to Sinner represents the spiritual act of dying in the Zionist world. By recanting his own report he has attempted to break the bonds that cast him into the sufferings in Caina, Antenora, and Judecca where, in Dante’s Inferno, those treacherous to their own, are removed from the light and warmth of their kin, their country, and their masters and suffer eternal damnation in the remorseless dead center of the ice in the most bottomless circle of Hell.
    Fortunately, Goldstone like Dante can learn that he has, in his journey, aligned himself with many false gods and many false attachments ignoring on the way the elementary truths that bind humankind ineluctably in one race in a bond of human grace.
    The Zionist world needs no Hell since it heeds no conscience. It exists on one foundation, a solid block of ice that freezes the soul of all who bear allegiance to its creed of absolute obedience, an ancient form of tribal slavery bound by fear that shackles the soul, by isolation that instills despair, by humiliation that corrodes self, and by victimhood that bonds the tribe in self-perpetuating agony. It is in this sense Medieval, a remnant of the inquisitorial mind that harbored no dissent, gave no credence to personal freedom, and obligated all to one monolithic understanding of commitment to the powers that control…

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to dissidentvoice.org

    • patm says:

      Another excerpt, on the immigration of Jews to Israel, from this article by William A. Cook is worth quoting:

      “Had Goldstone paid heed to his history, he would have realized that his retraction would illicit exactly this behavior. Forgiveness does not exist in the tribal culture; it is a sign of weakness. If history had recorded the truth of the Jewish war against Britain during the Mandate period, the means by which they operated in coordinated violence and terrorism against the very nation that made possible the existence of a Jewish homeland, would be known.

      The existence of the Jewish Agency, formed initially in coordination with the British authorities, metamorphosed into a clandestine Jewish government that used that acceptance by the British to aid Jewish immigrants coming to Palestine, as a means of violating the civil rights of the very Jews they were purportedly aiding. The reality of this period, from 1939 to 1948 demonstrates conclusively that the Zionist rulers of the Jewish Agency, most especially the Consultancy as labeled by Dr. Ilan Pappe, declared a war against the Mandate Police and British forces operating in Palestine while they controlled the entering Jews with mandated taxes through a calculated process of extortion, coercion, and fear.

      In Top Secret documents collected by the British Mandate Police, specifically Head Deputy of the Criminal Investigation Division Richard C. Catling, filed in the archives of the Rhodes House library in Oxford, in Appendices used as evidence for a 48 page report on six areas of violations against the Mandate Authority, are details of an Emergency Fund under the control of the Consultancy that stipulates procedures for forced collection of illegal taxes from Jews providing specific actions to be taken against those who do not pay. Under item 4.a, page 3,

      Measures of pressure against the stubborn are executed under the direct supervision of the Central Office in conjunction with the Department of collection or by the management of the local committee. No incidental pressure or assault or causing excitement to the person refusing before he is warned and declared as stubborn.

      A.b. In the second instance, it will be referred to the party or the organization, institute, economical society, manager of the synagogue, or friends of the person concerned so that they can influence him to pay.

      A.c. In cases where all these measures prove ineffective a decision is passed against the person to inflict on him the following measures. (1) To publish his name and the fact of his refusal and post it in the corridor of the house where he lives. (2) These facts are also circulated amongst his comrades in the party to which he belongs. (3) A demand is made to the party, organization or synagogue etc. to discharge him from membership. (4) Circulation of his name is made in a special notice to be posted in the zone where he lives. (5) Circulation of his name in the press. (6) A request is made to his party and clients to influence him. (7) A demand to the Rabbinate to inflict on him a boycott in case he belongs to the Orthodox Society. (8) To post a permanent picket of protest to accompany him on roads, to stand at the door of his house, office, shop etc., until he fulfills his obligations

      And indeed, the names are posted: “The following are the wealthy people of Tel Aviv who have not responded to the appeal of the Emergency Fund…Morris Gredinger, David Ilgovsky, Hillel Turkeldove, etc. etc….”(about 25 additional names followed by an amendment with more.)

      The Tel Aviv Municipal Council makes the following declaration: “The Municipal Council denounces their behavior and has decided to adopt all means of public pressure at its disposal in order to force those who would evade payment to carry out their civic and national duties.” Other documents in Catling’s file, all seized from the Jewish Agency and its affiliated organizations, testify to individuals who challenged the Emergency tax and also described some “disappearances” of individuals that could have resulted from a refusal to pay.

      It would appear that no Jew arrived in Palestine without having to commit himself/herself to the Zionist enterprise. Personal freedom appears to be non-existent. Those who arrived and had not yet reached the age of 18 would upon reaching that age be required to enter the Jewish military forces known then as gangs but which were in reality well trained troops. If they entered the Hagana forces they had to take the Hagana Oath which committed them for life to the wishes of the High Command even unto death. Commitment, obedience, total acquiescence to the Zionist Consultancy and its beliefs ruled in Mandate Palestine.”