Friedman line, ‘Congress is bought and paid for by Israel lobby,’ is shot heard round the world

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 73 Comments
Thomas Friedman
Thomas Friedman, photo by Josh Haner

The last time Tom Friedman shocked the American Jewish community was in 1982 when he said that Israel’s bombardment of Beirut was “indiscriminate.” The word was disputed by his copy editors, but Friedman prevailed, and it made his career. The ponderous pontiff has now outdone himself with his laser shot at the Israel lobby in yesterday’s column, writing the “standing ovation [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby”

The line is a shot heard round the world. Max Blumenthal has some of the hysterical responses here, I’m hopping on his list.

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post says the line has stirred a “firestorm.

You see, in Friedman’s eyes, the entire U.S. Congress is bought and paid for by a cabal of Jews.

I also received this from Cong. Steve Rothman’s office:

 in the New York Times this morning: Thomas Friedman’s defamation against the vast majority of Americans who support the Jewish State of Israel, in his New York Times opinion piece today, is scurrilous, destructive and harmful to Israel and her advocates in the US. Mr. Friedman is not only wrong, but he’s aiding and abetting a dangerous narrative about the US-Israel relationship and its American supporters. I gave Prime Minister Netanyahu a standing ovation, not because of any nefarious lobby, but because it is in America’s vital national security interests to support the Jewish State of Israel and it is right for Congress to give a warm welcome to the leader of such a dear and essential ally. Mr. Friedman owes us all an apology.

Elliott Abrams also demands an apology, to Congress. His analysis:

Members of Congress in a country that is two percent Jewish stand to applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu because they, like their constituents, support Israel and want America to support Israel. Many of those standing and cheering were from districts where there are no Jews or a handful of Jews, and where Evangelical churches form the strongest base of support for the Jewish state. Now perhaps Mr. Friedman means those churches when he refers so nastily to the “Jewish Lobby,” but I doubt it.

Jonathan Tobin at Commentary lumps Friedman with anti-Semites:

To make such an assertion is not, as Friedman would have it, an expression of friendly concern, but a blow intended to delegitimize both the country and those who are devoted to its survival…. It is one thing for open Israel and Jew-haters to speak in this manner. For a writer such as Friedman–who regularly trumpets both his Jewish identity and his wish to be considered a friend of the Jewish state–to use such arguments is evidence of the depths to which opponents of both Israel’s government and its supporters will sink in order to undermine the alliance.

And Jim Lobe has this excellent response to the critics, including Abrams, here, on the question of what makes up the lobby, Christians or Jews. Excerpt:

And then Abrams writes something truly bizarre and, I think, quite dishonest. Having made his point about Christian support for Israel, he states

“Now perhaps Mr. Friedman means those churches when he refers so nastily to the ‘Jewish Lobby,’ but I doubt it. I think we all know what he means, and that is why he should withdraw the ugly remark fast.”

I’ve searched Friedman’s column several times and have yet to find the phrase “Jewish Lobby”. And, of course, the implication that he makes from this phrase which Friedman never wrote — “we all know what that means” — is much nastier than anything in the op-ed. If, after all, Friedman had used “Jewish Lobby,” he could be depicted as an anti-Semite (or a self-hater), but he didn’t use that phrase. He used the phrase “Israel lobby”, which, as stressed by Walt and Mearsheimer, includes some Jews and well as some non-Jews, including and especially Christian Zionists (an unfortunate number of whom are classically anti-Semitic in their views of Jews, but, as Irving Kristol pointed out 30 years ago, “it’s their theology, but it’s our Israel.”).

And while Abrams is right that polls of U.S. public opinion have long shown greater sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians, they have also shown time after time that majorities — and quite large majorities at that — prefer the U.S. to act as an honest broker between the two parties rather than to side with one or the other. In a comprehensive survey put out by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in 2010, for example, two-thirds of all respondents, including nearly half of all Republicans, took that position. An August, 2011, poll by Shibley Telhami and the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) found that 61 percent of U.S. respondents said they believed the U.S. should not take either side. Abrams, of course, knows this very well, but it wouldn’t help his argument to say so.

About Philip Weiss

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

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73 Responses

  1. Theo
    December 15, 2011, 10:11 am

    As I said months ago, nothing will change in this country until the american jews
    lead the charge against zionism and the israeli lobby.
    Bravo, Tom Friedman, lead the charge and may you have many followers.

  2. American
    December 15, 2011, 10:47 am

    Yada, yada, yada….Friedman is a Jew hater (or self hating Jew), we’re all anti semites, the lobby is really controlled by christian zios….blah,blah,blah.

    If the Christian fundies were the ones with political influence abortion would illegal, prayer in schools would be mandatory and they’d be getting the 3 billion a year to convert the Jewish heathens to Jesus.

    • tombishop
      December 15, 2011, 12:12 pm

      What makes you think that is not happening? In Pennsylvania the legislature has just put so many restrictions on abortion that only wealthy women will be able to get one. Last week, with all our problems with homelessness and education, the Philadelphia City Council spent a day debating whether there should be state sanctioned school prayer.

      Jewish Zionism and Christian Zionism are dependent on each other. Each could not exist without the other. Christian Zionists give Israel carte blanche for whatever it does because they believe the Bible tells them to and they believe an expansionist Israel is necessary for the Second Coming. As Netanyahu’s Christmas message shows (on today’s posts) Israeli Zionists are very conscious of the importance of Christian Zionists in influencing political dialogue in the U.S.

      • tombishop
        December 15, 2011, 12:53 pm

        from Haaretz:
        U.S. love for Israel comes with a price
        The Republican’s unconditional support for Israel is undoubtedly gratifying for many Jewish voters, but in the long run, it could do more harm than good.
        By Chemi Shalev

        link to haaretz.com

  3. hophmi
    December 15, 2011, 10:57 am

    I personally find this a silly firestorm. It’s clear Friedman means Jews and non-Jews, and it’s equally clear that many anti-semites and hard-right pro-Israel people take it to mean Jews only. I accept his argument. I feel strongly that Congressional support for Netanyahu has everything to with lobbying on behalf of Israel, and as I told some of my friends, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. Israel’s status as an issue supported by both houses of Congress is an achievement about which we can be proud. I also believe that Walt and Mearsheimer are responsible for leaving the impression that the term “Israel lobby” means Jews, because in their initial LRB article, they prominently referred to Jewish organizations, and not to Christian Evangelical ones.

    I dislike Tom Friedman, who is one the world’s awful op-ed writers and by most accounts one of the most ego-driven newspaper men alive, and I hate his vilification by the hard-right in the Jewish community, which has much bigger and more important enemies, even more.

    • Donald
      December 15, 2011, 11:40 am

      “I dislike Tom Friedman, who is one the world’s awful op-ed writers ”

      We can agree on that anyway. It’s a measure of how horrible our media culture is that someone like this is seen as Pulitzer worthy. I agreed with the column he wrote in this case, but its real interest is as an indicator–Friedman is, I suspect, echoing what some in the foreign policy establishment might be saying in private.

      As for the Israel Lobby, I think both Jews and evangelical Christians are important in the Republican Party, while for Democrats it’s probably more Jews who matter, though there are also liberal Christians who’ve been socialized to think that any criticism of Israel borders on anti-semitism unless it is surrounded by a cloud of caveats. I know one or two like that. But I don’t think the I/P conflict comes up as a topic of converstation very often with most Americans–maybe not even most Jewish Americans, but my personal sample size there isn’t huge. In my real life it never comes up with most people unless I bring it up, not even in political discussions.

      • Citizen
        December 16, 2011, 4:02 am

        Donald, your thoughts and my thoughts here, and your experience and your experience– match perfectly. Real life.

      • Donald
        December 16, 2011, 11:33 am

        Yeah. In my case the only person I can think of who brings up Israel is this Christian Zionist Islamophobic, Fox News-watching, Anne Coulter and Robert Spencer-reading friend of mine. We’re finding fewer and fewer serious topics we can discuss without getting a little hostile.

    • eee
      December 15, 2011, 12:28 pm

      Hophmi,

      To what extent do you think “that Congressional support for Netanyahu has everything to with lobbying on behalf of Israel” relative to the grass roots support of Israel in the US? How do you view the relations between the two?

      The NRA, another successful lobby does a good job lobbying but it is successful also because many people in the US support its views. I think the same applies to the Israel lobby. It is successful because it lobbies well but it lobbies well because many people support its views in the US.

      It is like with Hollywood movies. The more the studios believe a movie will be successful, the more they advertise it. When the movie succeeds, would it be right to say that it succeeded just because of the advertising?

      • Annie Robbins
        December 15, 2011, 12:36 pm

        The NRA, another successful lobby does a good job lobbying but it is successful also because many people in the US support its views.

        no one needs lobbies when everyone already agrees with them eee. the only reason the nra exists is because of the threat from a serious gun control lobby supporting strict legislation.

        so what need is there for an israel lobby if congressional support reflects the views of the american public? no one need bother with a lobby when there’s no opposition. in this regard, the israel lobby is NOTHING like the nra for while they both have STRONG opposition, there is not reflection of that in their representation in congress. and why might that be?

      • eee
        December 15, 2011, 1:04 pm

        Annie,

        Yes, of course, nobody needs lobbies when everybody agrees with them just as no one needs advertising when you have a great product. Don’t you wonder why the products people like the most or are considered best in class are heavily advertised? The purpose of the lobbies is to keep the attention on their issues.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 15, 2011, 1:48 pm

        can you give me an example of another lobby with no opposition in congress eee. thanks

      • hophmi
        December 15, 2011, 2:06 pm

        There’s opposition to Israel in Congress. It’s not unanimous.

      • American
        December 15, 2011, 2:16 pm

        “so what need is there for an israel lobby if congressional support reflects the views of the american public?”

        Exactly annie.
        Let’s put aid to Israel and/or war for Israel up for public vote by Americans.
        Israel would be finished if we did and the zios know it.
        That’s why they started media propaganda for Israel decades ago and corruption of US politicians decades ago.

      • eee
        December 15, 2011, 2:29 pm

        Annie,

        The point is that even if everyone agrees with you, they are too busy doing something else and not what you want. The lobby does not need to convince most Congress people, as they already support Israel because of their voters. The lobby needs to grab their attention and focus them on certain courses of actions.

        Great films are advertised because people can do so many alternative things than go to the cinema. The advertisement is not to convince people that the film is great, but to remind people to go see it over doing alternative things, such as having a picnic or watching a football game.

      • eee
        December 15, 2011, 3:57 pm

        “Let’s put aid to Israel and/or war for Israel up for public vote by Americans.”

        What is the problem? Make it a ballot issue in some states. If you have the support you claim it shouldn’t be a problem. Instead of talking trash, just do.

      • Dan Crowther
        December 15, 2011, 4:35 pm

        Hophster says:

        There’s opposition to Israel in Congress. It’s not unanimous.

        Me: That’s a lie. You, and everyone else here knows it. Stop lying.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        December 15, 2011, 9:09 pm

        For once I agree with hophmi, there is opposition to Israel in Congress. At least in the House where, unlike the Senate where the votes are now 100-0, Israel hasn’t been able to do better than 404 to 6. There is also usually a handful who vote “Present” which is pretty much close the bottom of the courage meter.

        The swampy basement is reserved, for those members of Congress who have chosen to put their political careers before their commitment to their country a position which was exemplified by an unnamed member of Congress who told the New Republic’s Mort Kondracke in August, 1989, that it wasn’t out of love for Israel that there was no debate concerning US aid to Israel. “It’s that you don’t want to wake up one morning and find out that your opponent has a $500,000 war chest to run against you.”

        That statement expresses the degree of power that the organized Jewish community which is the “A Team” of the Lobby has over members of Congress. They don’t have to give them money, just withhold it from their challengers.

        The term, “Jewish Lobby,” is how the leviathan is referred to in the Israeli press because that’s how they’ve seen it over the years. Even today, while the votes of Christian evangelicals are extremely important in the mentally retarded states, they are not in the same league when it comes to giving to politicians. No other “ethnic” or single issue lobby is.

        Everyone in Washington knows that as well as they know that on this occasion Friedman is speaking the truth like the boy who identified the naked emperor and you had better believe it has scared the beejesus out of the Jewish establishment. Its war against him has only just begun and may exceed its public lynching of Goldstone.

      • Kathleen
        December 15, 2011, 9:23 pm

        always interested in hearing your take..thanks

      • CloakAndDagger
        December 15, 2011, 9:50 pm

        @eee
        What is the problem? Make it a ballot issue in some states.

        Oooh – good idea, eee!

      • Hostage
        December 15, 2011, 11:55 pm

        The NRA, another successful lobby does a good job lobbying but it is successful also because many people in the US support its views.

        Hardly. The people and their leaders refused to ratify the Constitution without the inclusion of the Bill of Rights, precisely because they distrusted the proposal for a federal government with boundless discretion and unlimited powers. The NRA is lobbying for a right that is explicitly protected by the Constitution.

        The Supreme Court has ruled that our Congress is a creature of the Constitution and that it is bound to respect the prohibitions contained in that document when it adopts laws and treaties with an extraterritorial scope of application. The Congress shouldn’t be appropriating money for the establishment or maintenance or an ethnic or religious Jewish State in Palestine or adopting laws that require other peoples to recognize one there. It has no authority to do anything remotely similar in its own jurisdiction due to the establishment and equal protection clauses.

      • Citizen
        December 16, 2011, 4:09 am

        Yes, here’s Glen G chiming in on this matter:
        link to salon.com

      • Kathleen
        December 16, 2011, 9:40 am

        Have met with different Ohio Reps with citizens groups on the I/P issue for three decades. What your Reps will say “off the record” about the conflict and the US’s support for Israel no matter what they do is refreshing but of course at the same time depressing because they are terrified to say what they think out loud. Have never ever heard a Rep say anything anti Jewish. But criticism of Israel’s policies and the US support…oh yes.

        I encourage people to make appointments with their Reps with a group of citizens who are concerned about this issue.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        December 16, 2011, 12:45 pm

        My sister met several times as part of her group with now retiring Lynn Woolsey from Marin and Sonoma counties who said, not off the record, that half the people in Congress are afraid of AIPAC and of voting against it. Two weeks later it was announced that she was to be off on an AIPAC/AIEF trip to Israel. It seems when AIPAC invites you to dance, you’re not allowed to sit it out.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 15, 2011, 1:10 pm

        “The NRA, another successful lobby does a good job lobbying but it is successful also because many people in the US support its views. I think the same applies to the Israel lobby. It is successful because it lobbies well but it lobbies well because many people support its views in the US.”

        The NRA does the same thing the Israel lobby does: It basically threatens those politicians who go the other way with a decrease in donations and with supporting opposing candidates. Although there are way, way more people who love guns than Israel in the US, the power of the NRA in the halls of congress comes not from the voters but from the money they wield.

        What you seem to be wholly ignorant of is the fact that in American politics, money is everything. People don’t vote by and large on policies, but on advertising.

        “The more the studios believe a movie will be successful, the more they advertise it. When the movie succeeds, would it be right to say that it succeeded just because of the advertising?”

        Well, it shows you don’t know much about the movie business, either. Often times the movies that studios think will be least successful are the movies that are advertised the most. And many dogs who make a ton in their opening week but who die as the word of mouth gets around succeed, to the extent that they do, solely on advertising.

      • eee
        December 15, 2011, 2:34 pm

        “What you seem to be wholly ignorant of is the fact that in American politics, money is everything. People don’t vote by and large on policies, but on advertising.”

        If this is true then your whole activism campaign is worthless. You should be out raising money for ads. But what you say is of course false. It is not always the case that the candidate with the most advertising wins and there are many issues that no matter how much money you throw at them, will not fly. Try making people pro-choice or pro-life via ads. It works on very few people.

        “Often times the movies that studios think will be least successful are the movies that are advertised the most.”

        That is just false. You have no idea what you are talking about. Studios do not throw good money after bad.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 15, 2011, 3:15 pm

        “If this is true then your whole activism campaign is worthless. You should be out raising money for ads.”

        Oh, my god. It’s like trying to explain physics to a baby. First you need to raise awareness, otherwise no pitch for money will be successful.

        “It is not always the case that the candidate with the most advertising wins”

        Yes, but you can be damned sure in America that a candidate without the ability to do advertising has little to no chance of winning.

        “and there are many issues that no matter how much money you throw at them, will not fly.”

        Which is one of the reasons why you need to raise awareness.

        “That is just false. You have no idea what you are talking about. Studios do not throw good money after bad.”

        LMFAO. Oh, my. You really are ill informed. This is film marketing 101, day 1, class 1, the first ten minutes: If you have a movie that you know is probably going to be a bomb, you market the hell out of it, in the hopes that you can fool enough people into thinking that it is a “must see” that your opening weekend box office will be big enough to offset the campaign plus put you in the black because if you do anything else (like open slow and rely on word of mouth) you will crash and burn and will have to start selling cars in Bakersfield.

        That’s not throwing good money after bad; that’s maximing your opportunity. (Throwing good money after bad is advertising it in the second weekend if your first weekend was a bust. But that’s not what I’m talking about.)

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2011, 2:58 pm

        “The NRA, another successful lobby does a good job lobbying “

        Okay, so you both acknowledge that there is indeed an “Israel Lobby”.
        But using the NRA for a favorable comparison? Talk about going out on a limb and stepping in it!
        Yes, there are many points of comparison between the Israel Lobby and the NRA, none of them favorable to either side.

      • patm
        December 15, 2011, 5:37 pm

        Perhaps it would helpful to point out to new readers that both eee and hophmi are hasbarists (propagandists) for the Israel Lobby. It’s their job.

      • hophmi
        December 15, 2011, 6:38 pm

        Perhaps it would be helpful to point out that patm works for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

        I’m just assuming this, but since assumptions about employment are permitted here, I guess it’s OK.

        Give it a rest patm. If you want to argue, argue. There’s no need to play dirty.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 15, 2011, 6:55 pm

        hey hops, can you link to the job offers for bloggers @ the Council on American-Islamic Relations? didn’t think so. any budget laid out for info warriors there? didn’t think so. iow, not plausible.

      • patm
        December 15, 2011, 7:05 pm

        …the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

        Hey watch your talk bud, I’m a Canadian. Newcomers need to know, hops.

      • CloakAndDagger
        December 15, 2011, 9:57 pm

        @ hopper
        I am looking for job opportunities as a propaganda agent. Will whore for food.

      • Citizen
        December 16, 2011, 4:23 am

        The NRA peddles the arguably constitutionally-based right of Americans (who have no felony record) “to keep and bear arms.” (If memory serves, the first national law Hitler passed as Leader, was the ban on exactly that right for Germans. ) The Israel lobby acts in behalf a foreign state; it constantly says or implies that there is no sky or space between US and Israeli interests. Something is clearly wrong when these too are compared because they are the most influential lobbies in DC. (ARRP is the third one in terms of influence, I’ve read–it lobbies for American senior citizens. )

    • American
      December 15, 2011, 2:28 pm

      “I feel strongly that Congressional support for Netanyahu has everything to with lobbying on behalf of Israel, and as I told some of my friends, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. Israel’s status as an issue supported by both houses of Congress is an achievement about which we can be proud. ”

      Pride goeth before the fall.

  4. Dan Crowther
    December 15, 2011, 11:11 am

    me thinks thou dost protest too much
    ( and i know its “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” ok, shakespeare experts? :) )

  5. DICKERSON3870
    December 15, 2011, 12:20 pm

    RE: “[the] standing ovation [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby” ~ Friedman

    ALSO SEE: “Bibi and the Yo-Yos”, by Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com, 05/26/11:

    (excerpt) It was all rather disgusting.
    There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.
    It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.
    What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?
    The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.
    The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert? …

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to original.antiwar.com

  6. Kathleen
    December 15, 2011, 1:02 pm

    Friedman headed for the light. Cracks in the wall widening. Hope he does not spin that this has always been his standing. Stirring up the hornets next He is going to feel the sting as so many have for years.

  7. Kathleen
    December 15, 2011, 1:12 pm

    While I wish that Friedman was coming out like this because he has guts and not just possibly addicted to the limelight with his finger in the wind. He is jumping in whatever his reason. But the way he completely supported the invasion of Iraq and has been repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran do not believe he will stray too far from the I lobbies thinking. Everyone knows that congressional ovation was bought and paid for by the lobby

    • Citizen
      December 16, 2011, 4:31 am

      Kathleen, the problem is everybody does not know that ovation was bought and paid for by the lobby. Most Americans are not even aware of that ovation at all–think about that. Most Americans have never even heard the acronym AIPAC. Politicians count on such ignorance.

  8. Kathleen
    December 15, 2011, 1:20 pm

    Friedman reading the tea leaves. Not going to get better for Israel only going to get worst if they do not decide to play by the rules that they want everyone else to live by

    Friedman “I’d never claim to speak for American Jews, but I’m certain there are many out there like me, who strongly believe in the right of the Jewish people to a state, who understand that Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood yet remains a democracy, but who are deeply worried about where Israel is going today. My guess is we’re the minority when it comes to secular American Jews. We still care. Many other Jews are just drifting away”

    Friedman “And it confuses them to read Gideon Levy, a powerful liberal voice, writing in Haaretz, the Israeli daily, this week that “anyone who says this is a matter of a few inconsequential laws is leading others astray. … What we are witnessing is w-a-r. This fall a culture war, no less, broke out in Israel, and it is being waged on many more, and deeper, fronts than are apparent. It is not only the government, as important as that is, that hangs in the balance, but also the very character of the state.”

    • American
      December 15, 2011, 2:21 pm

      “Friedman “I’d never claim to speak for American Jews, but I’m certain there are many out there like me, who strongly believe in the right of the Jewish people to a state, who understand that Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood yet remains a democracy”

      Well, I just can’t entirely admire people who always insert the lie about Israel being a democracy. If you’re telling the truth about the Lobby might as well tell the truth about Israel too.

      • CloakAndDagger
        December 15, 2011, 10:03 pm

        Being jewish doesn’t prevent him from being Helen Thomas’ed (there I go turning a noun into a verb again).

      • Citizen
        December 16, 2011, 4:33 am

        Or Chas Freedmaned.

  9. Charon
    December 15, 2011, 1:24 pm

    The masses have been manipulated by a mind control campaign to equate Israel together with Jews as if the two are inseparable. Therefore Friedman’s critics can pretend he said “Jews” instead of Israel and the useful idiots will buy it.

    I love Rubin’s mention of “cabal of Jews” … Somebody should tell her that the Israel lobby is not a cabal of Jews, but primarily a cabal of psychopathic fundies who deliberately target wealthy Jewish donors (the “Jewish Vote”) to pay for their political aspirations.

    • Citizen
      December 16, 2011, 4:36 am

      Another tried and true manipulation roller bearing is “Judeo-Christian.” This characterization is a pretty new one that now pervades.

  10. dumvitaestspesest
    December 15, 2011, 1:38 pm

    It it interesting to observe how much Israel/Zionists will try to please , appease Christians, seeing that they are losing more and more credibility in the eyes of American Jews .
    “A drowning man will clutch at a straw”.
    The more American Jews will criticise them , the more they will try to make their alliance with Christian Zionists stronger.
    As long as their politics is free to continue they don’t really care who support them.
    The will probably even agree to this Christmas tree in Nazareth Illit, and temporarily put a ban on spitting of Christians. One daily spit allowed only.

  11. traintosiberia
    December 15, 2011, 1:46 pm

    There is Taiwan Lobby, Saudi lobby,and Pakistani lobby and Georgian Lobby,Indonesian Lobby and many more . We have seen their fates dissipate under American assualt when American interest as articulated by Human Rights or Military or Business community or UN’s consesus forced America to do just that.
    First Israeli lobby is not even registered as these are. We also have seen the fate of Biden,Petreus and Mullen as late as last year hanging on balance for raising the fact American casulties being related to Israeli activities. Who showed up to defend Isarel ?The same who did not show up to defend these Americans, the same crops of Congressmembers who rightly did not show up to defend Pakisatn after F 16 was not delivered in 1990s and who did not show up to defend Pakisatn after Pakistani nuclear tests . The same Congress did not raise any voice when Richard Perle’s protege urged the Defense Board to change regime of Saudi Arab in 2002.

    No one was punished by saudi lobby or pakistani lobby. no one lost job or Congress seat or was banished from academia like Finklestein was, no one banished from TV like Olivia Nasr was, no one called out openly and succeessfully Robertson or Graham Jr as bigoted antimuslim as was the fate of Graham sr and Richard Nixon afterthier “antisemitic” commnet of American control by the Jewish people.
    No “muslim” or Hindu lobby can force a Congressperson to return the valid and legal donation to campaign as was done to a muslim body in California over spurious claims of anti american activities. The lobby works in overdrive to make sure its activities get unnoticed and never then brought under scrutiny by America by media. So when they openly approach Congresssmne , neither have to worry of any fallout .Those who question are automatically labelled as anti semite. Thats is the fate of Ron Paul to day .His marginalized by the media or banned from debate. The achievment is then celebrated in news media as American succeess against antisemtism!
    It is same with Iarn.You never get to hear the honest facts on the grounds. Who is feeding anti- Iranain rhetorics to the citizen of UK/Germany/France/USA ? One thing sure it is not the citizen themselves .
    This public support against Iran is based on falsehood and Israeli lobbyy who owns the Congress on this matter is orchestrating it. Questioning it is antisemtism and that label is then forced as “yellow ribbon” on the forehead of the dissenters for banishment from society.

  12. Justice Please
    December 15, 2011, 2:08 pm

    Judging from some of the reactions to Friedmans statement of the obvious, one can only conclude that there are people in our midst which are truly psychotic: They are on a quixotic quest to prove that a Jew can do no harm and that non-Jews inherently want to harm Jews. Their psychosis is so severe that they are not able to analyze situations in anything resembling a rational way.

    Examples are Elliot, Rubin et al.

    I don’t know if their dangerous psychosis comes from the Holocaust experience, or if it is a cultural thing for anti-assimilationist, conservative and racist Jewish individuals. All I know is they are poisoning the very functions of democracy and open society. They hinder our societies in making progress towards true justice for all.
    How many people have to get character assasinated by these raving lunatics, before we as a society treat them as we would treat other psychopaths? Lock them away if they harm others, and certainly not allowing them into important positions at governments, think tanks and newspapers.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      December 15, 2011, 9:28 pm

      So why did Friedman write this now? Because, like an increasing number of Israelis and Israeli journalists he realizes that Israel is in the process of committing a political Massada, that it is moving away from what has been a democracy for Jews to fascism for everybody, embodied by but not by any means limited to Israel’s Foreign Minister and bar room thug Avigidor Friedman and he wants both to warn American Jews (good luck, Tom!) and distance himself from the scene before it implodes or explodes.

      • Kathleen
        December 15, 2011, 10:01 pm

        “distance himself from the scene before it implodes or explodes.’ His finger has been up in the wind..and as I often say better late than never. In the meantime he is going to have his ass kicked. But seems like Friedman will be able to seek cover in the NYT’s with his own column

      • Citizen
        December 16, 2011, 4:43 am

        Going to be interesting to see how he comes out of this–he can’t really go back on this line he drew in the sand in public. Has Friedman written anything about how Ron Paul is being handled by our MSM and both parties on TV News?

    • Kathleen
      December 15, 2011, 10:08 pm

      good points

      “Lock them away if they harm others, and certainly not allowing them into important positions at governments, think tanks and newspapers.”

      or demand that they do weekly therapy for their trauma. When you think about the people who witnessed the horrific massacre of Jews and others during the Holocaust. Clearly they experienced excruciating trauma. The horrors that most of us have only read about or seen nightmarish photos of. Passing some of that down to the next generation. But as Finkelstein has so clearly pointed out in the “Holocaust Industry” (and many of us have been aware of for decades) that some used this trauma to manipulate others when it came to birthing Israel etc

      It is truly sad the harm that Israel is inflicting upon itself

    • Citizen
      December 16, 2011, 4:47 am

      Atzmon says they are afflicted with Pre-Traumatic-Stress Syndrome.

  13. dumvitaestspesest
    December 15, 2011, 2:23 pm

    In the meantime this is going on in Europa
    link to i.imgur.com

  14. Les
    December 15, 2011, 4:50 pm

    The non-Jewish members of the Israel Lobby are baggage that its Jewish members are happy to welcome aboard if not pay for. When it comes to the Israel Lobby, our politicians bow to the (perceived) desires of the Lobby’s Jewish members with no regard by those same politicians for the Lobby’s white Christian members, knowing full well that they, for the most part, are very much a part of America’s underclass.

  15. eGuard
    December 15, 2011, 6:33 pm

    Now let me get this straight. There is a jew, right, called Tom. Now he is a jew, and he writes in the New York Times. He writes like: Israel lobby has bought US Congress time & applause. And then the Internet says: eh, problem.

    MondoPhil. Again and again I say: Jews won’t save Palestine.

  16. traintosiberia
    December 15, 2011, 6:48 pm

    Helen Thomas lost her job from (?)Hearst News paper and was denied access to White House front row. Her appearance was cancelled by schools/colleges for saying that Israeli Jewish should go back to Germany, UK,Poland and USA where they came from. Her was not a prepared speech in front of luminaries and well known figures but was an inadvertent commnet to a a sick guy who was videotaping her without her knowing..

    Gingrich goes out with prepared speech in front of politically active , financillay well heeled,possibly well known to every Congressmen-women and Senators crowd who can influnece governmnet of US and the West. He says that Palestinian are invented people who should fade away in the larger wilderness that is Arab land.

    Why Gingrich is not being condemned by White House sameway?
    Why he still has access to White House?
    Why the newspaper is still trying to get his opinion and track his polling numbers?
    Do the media have a responibilty (of being consitent and even handed ) that comes from the perks they enjoy including access to Governemnt affairs.briefs,influencing polciy and offerring advices and from Tax break?
    The people/organizations who called her antisemite and destoyed her life overreacted and they are intentionally underacting ( not acting )now.
    Who advised Helen to say those words?
    Who are advising Gingrich how to approach crowd for money and vote?

  17. Kathleen
    December 15, 2011, 9:58 pm

    Folks are going to like this one. He gives a shout out to Phil
    Why Tom Friedman is a true friend of Israel
    Posted By Stephen M. Walt Thursday, December 15, 2011
    link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

    “Hopefully Friedman will stick to his guns in the weeks and months ahead, because he is making arguments and advocating positions that are not only in America’s interest, but in Israel’s as well. The new Tom Friedman is a friend of Israel, not an enemy. “

    • MRW
      December 16, 2011, 1:08 am

      Walt captures it.

      • Citizen
        December 16, 2011, 4:51 am

        And the positive collateral result is Friedman is a friend of USA, which some Americans care about.

  18. Richard Witty
    December 15, 2011, 11:05 pm

    I appreciate that Friedman speaks his own mind, and should be consistently respected for that, even when you disagree with his assertions, implications or imagined assumptions.

    • MRW
      December 16, 2011, 1:04 am

      As should all of here, Richard, including Phil. Even you.

    • tree
      December 16, 2011, 2:06 am

      Then try this, Richard:

      “I appreciate that Weiss speaks his own mind, and should be consistently respected for that, even when I disagree with his assertions, implications or imagined assumptions.”

      It might help you refrain from being so condemnatory towards Phil.

      Or not… We all have noticed how difficult it is for you to take your own advice.

      • Richard Witty
        December 16, 2011, 6:26 am

        You think Phil doesn’t want criticism? Ask him.

        His actions are his editorial selection and editorial framing.

        There is a big either/or discussion about advocacy journalism, whether it should be the articulation of subjective journalism (“I understand x this way, because….” “This is my journal of inquiry.”) or objective (“x is true, regardless of my personal impressions. My personal impressions are only useful in the search for accurate understanding and communication”)

        It is an either/or decision. It is often informative to straddle (say like Robert Fisk’s “autobiography”), but also confusing and somewhat dishonest.

      • tree
        December 17, 2011, 5:37 am

        You obviously can’t take your own advice, nor do you understand what others are saying to you, Richard. Not surprising, but it would behoove you to actually try to listen to and comprehend what other people are saying rather than simply using someone’s comment as a springboard to more mangling of the English language made to make you feel like you have something profound to say, when its all merely platitudinous word salad.

    • straightline
      December 16, 2011, 4:33 am

      All we should require is that when someone is clearly (an eee word) proved wrong on a statement that is verifiable, they do not repeat it. OK Richard?

      • eljay
        December 16, 2011, 8:25 am

        >> All we should require is that when someone is clearly (an eee word) proved wrong on a statement that is verifiable, they do not repeat it. OK Richard?

        Sounds easy, but “proved wrong” ignores the power of “nuances” and “personal spiritual discipline” to turn wrong into right or even righteous.

        Any person who can approve of, justify and staunchly defend Zionist terrorism, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the creation of a religion-supremacist state won’t be deterred by something as simple as being “proved wrong”.

    • LeaNder
      December 16, 2011, 8:01 am

      this is a very beautiful mistake, Richard:
      I appreciate … and should be consistently respected for that

      my deepest respect, consistently ;)

      • Citizen
        December 16, 2011, 2:16 pm

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, although I notice commercial advertisements indicate there is a pattern of common consensus across the world.

        also:
        “Truth is beauty, beauty, truth.”

  19. Avi_G.
    December 16, 2011, 3:56 am

    I gave Prime Minister Netanyahu a standing ovation, not because of any nefarious lobby, but because it is in America’s vital national security interests to support the Jewish State of Israel and it is right for Congress to give a warm welcome to the leader of such a dear and essential ally.

    Why is it that members of Congress never delineate how support for Israel is in the national interest of the United States?

    They will repeatedly say that it is in the national interest of the US to support that dear friend and ally, but they never explain why. It’s as though they were handed a few lines to repeat and they repeat them without question, without pausing for a moment to ponder their meaning.

    I ask because time and again retired CIA and military officers have stated the opposite; they have said that Israel is a liability not an asset.

    So who’s right, the intelligence and military in the field or the politician sitting in DC, arriving to work at 11 and leaving the office at 2?

    • Citizen
      December 16, 2011, 5:07 am

      Avi_G, yeah, politicians and TV news anchors and pundits say it as much as they say “thank you for your service.” It really grinds my ass–our Fourth Estate must actually be located in Israel. OTOH, I don’t know one person who doesn’t assume when any politician or news pundit calls, say Saudi Arabia, our ally (yet never our bestest one or a democracy) it’s because of only one thing: OIL

      I imagine most Americans actually think we have a mutual defense treaty with Israel, when we don’t. Most Americans have no clue of the sheaf of MOUs we have with Israel, collectively promising Israel anything they need to defend themselves including arms and oil expressly even if it cuts our own needs short, and attaching us to whatever decision Israel makes, all of which I think don’t even reach the four points of any contract–the qui pro quo or consideration is so one-sided, very clear and detailed as to what we will do for Israel, with only vague abstractions for what the US gets out of any of them.

  20. Sheldonrichman
    December 20, 2011, 2:30 pm

    As I recall, nobody liked the kid who said the emperor had no clothes either.

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