Bibi throws in with GOP, Democratic base turns critical, and Israel finally becomes partisan wedge issue like abortion — Blumenthal

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 97 Comments

Max Blumenthal

This is fabulous. And a great improvement on Meet the Press or Face the Nation! Below is a summary of Max Blumenthal’s sharp analysis on Russian television, springing off his piece for Al Akhbar on Bibi Netanyahu ally Sheldon Adelson’s intervention in the Republican campaign (with a big gift to Newt Gingrich).

What would it mean for our sharpest political minds to be engaged on the Israel lobby issue? Well here is your answer, thanks to Russian TV. Walt and Mearsheimer had to go to London, Blumenthal to Russia. But as he indicates, the firewalls are breaking down. Next stop, Hardball! Summary:

This is the first time an Israeli prime minister has thrown himself into an American presidential race on the side of one party, the Republicans. Using his “cutouts,” the neoconservative allies in Washington.

The one they’re going after now is Ron Paul. But this faction will turn on Obama once the Republican nomination is resolved, and it will turn on the issue of Iran.

Follow the money? “The media… refuse to say the Israel word” when talking about Sheldon Adelson.  Though the puzzle remains, Adelson and Netanyahu will be just as happy with a Mitt Romney presidency as a Newt Gingrich presidency, why the support for Gingrich?

Why is it that the media is not talking about Israel?

Well Adelson’s a funder of the Israel lobby in the U.S. So is Mel Sembler, a kingpin among Romney’s backers… And the media in the United States “is terrified of the Israel lobby and the power it has to suppress discussion.”

“We’ll never talk about this in a frank way–” TV producers have said to Blumenthal. Thus Rachel Maddow’s description of the Adelson money simply as “dark money.”

Blumenthal does not think that Netanyahu and the combined power of the Israel lobby can determine an election, but they can “color the political landscape.”

The good news:

Israel has become “a wedge issue” in the campaign, there is no longer bipartisan support for it. “The Democratic base is likely to turn increasingly more critical of Israel. Even if Democratic politicians vote with the lobby. This is of great concern to the Jewish establishment. That Israel can become a wedge issue like gay marriage and the abortion issue.”

Prediction: Very rancorous second term for Obama with a Netanyahu.

About Philip Weiss

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

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97 Responses

  1. Les
    January 15, 2012, 11:11 am

    Our media is far and away the most important member of the Israel Lobby. No amount of money can match their free contribution.

  2. Richard Witty
    January 15, 2012, 11:14 am

    There is an enormous flaw in Blumenthal’s and your analysis of the Adelson donation.

    That is that it likely is NOT fixated on Israel, as you and Blumenthal are.

    He probably just supports Gingrich, all of him, Israel-attitudes, other foreign policy concerns, economic philosophy. Simple, comprehensive, NOT presuming that Adelson or really any of the prominent neo-conservatives are fixated on Israel, but definitely include their impressions of implications for Israel in their math.

    As I include implications for Israel, and for Palestinians, in my math, to usually 130 degree different conclusions from most of the neo-conservatives that I’ve read and met.

    It is a BAD way to dissent, as it puts all of eggs of opposition to republican approaches in the “Israel” basket. If you are wrong about your guesses about their politics, then you throw out the whole argument against a Gingrich, or Romney campaign.

    Stop the one-issuing is the point. The world is MUCH bigger than that jaundice.

    There definitely isn’t bi-partison support for Netanyahu. I agree with that point of Blumenthal’s, that Netanyahu has interfered in American electoral process. And, that the concensus of bi-partisan support for Israel’s defense is thrown into unnecessary skepticism by that stupid “diplomacy”.

    This post is ON TOPIC. Please do not censor it for the letter of the law.

    • Henry Norr
      January 15, 2012, 3:21 pm

      Richard Witty and anyone else who questions whether Adelson is fixated on Israel should check out Connie Bruck’s 2008 New Yorker profile of him, or at least Richard Silverstein’s excerpts from and comments on Bruck’s piece.

      • Donald
        January 16, 2012, 10:43 am

        From the New Yorker link that Henry provided–

        “A third co-host was the Republican consultant Sig Rogich, another longtime McCain supporter, who has also worked for Adelson. Rogich told me that although Adelson had been an ardent backer of Rudy Giuliani, once McCain became the presumptive nominee Adelson said he would support him. Rogich said that McCain had been “cementing his relationship with Adelson further,” and added, “All I’ve tried to do is make sure the two communicate well, and that he understands the passion John McCain has for the issues that are so important to Sheldon Adelson—first and foremost, Israel.”

    • Shingo
      January 15, 2012, 4:56 pm

      There is an enormous flaw in Blumenthal’s and your analysis of the Adelson donation.

      A huge flaw based on what Witty? You’re gut feeling?

      Not every thread kn this form is about dissent Witty. Stop polluting this place with your meaningless rants.

    • justicewillprevail
      January 15, 2012, 6:30 pm

      I note your use of the word ‘probably’ as an admission that you haven’t a clue about him. I also note your trigonometric analysis that are 130 degree different to the neocons – another priceless Witticism. Only 130? So you’re an obtuse angle away from madness? Is that it?

      • Richard Witty
        January 15, 2012, 8:07 pm

        Adelson’s endorsement of Gingrich was not about Israel solely. Certainly it included a kinship on that issue.

        Adelson exerts a difficult/corrupting influence on MANY issues. I’m not in Adelson’s head, so I don’t know what is most important to him, or of sole importance.

        I don’t believe that Blumenthal or Phil Weiss are either, and their speculation that Israel is all Adelson thinks about or puts his money and time into, is more of a projection than an observation.

        He certainly does put time and money into Israel and right-wing versions of Israel’s defense. Its the description of fixation that I contest.

      • Shingo
        January 16, 2012, 2:41 am

        I’m not in Adelson’s head, so I don’t know what is most important to him, or of sole importance.

        Then how can you know if “Adelson’s endorsement of Gingrich was not about Israel solely.”?

        Stop trolling Witty.

      • MLE
        January 16, 2012, 2:41 am

        Easy, all you have to do is look at what other organizations he funds. Then you get a very good pictures of what his intention is

      • kalithea
        January 16, 2012, 12:42 pm

        “Its the description of fixation that I contest.”

        Of course you do, and we all know why, don’t we? Be afraid.

        Zionists just couldn’t leave well enough alone; they had to push for more cake. Well you know what happens when you have your cake and eat it too?

        Yes, YOU know, but unfortunately your dumb Zionist friends with big money don’t. Let’s just say Marie Antoinette got what was coming to her. When you go too far and want too much; you end up with nothing!!

        It gives me so much pleasure that you’re their Cassandra, but who’s listening to you??? LOL!

      • eljay
        January 16, 2012, 12:54 pm

        >> I’m not in Adelson’s head, so I don’t know what is most important to him … I don’t believe that Blumenthal or Phil Weiss are either, and their speculation that Israel is all Adelson thinks about or puts his money and time into, is more of a projection than an observation.

        RW doesn’t know what’s in Adelson’s head, but he knows enough to conclude that Max and Phil are “projecting”. Interesting.

        I like how RW “notes” or “observes”, but everyone else “projects”.

        Although I suspect his recent attempt to cut down Ms. Rosengarten – a woman whose moral fibre is staggeringly superior to his – involves a lot more projection than it does any valid observation:
        >> RW: I didn’t engage in innuendo against her. I noted a confusion of identity. … I don’t know one way or another as to Lillian’s views. In ALL cases, it would be presumptious [sic] of me to judge her character.

    • Charon
      January 15, 2012, 8:05 pm

      Witty, the paradox of universal rules are the reason why we encounter double standards. Double standards can be justified in such cases. Your claim is that this presumption is bad because, in your opinion, a foundation is being created that is not 100% verifiable by evidence. So it falls under the umbrella of ‘guess’ and because a guess is less then a sure thing, if you’re wrong about it then you throw out your whole argument. That’s just perception. If you have a solid argument of ten good points and one of your points turns out to be false, people will use that one false point to dismiss the other nine and people will buy it. They buy it because they have been conditioned to buy it. This is an irrational perception which has been created by evil rhetoric. It’s a flawed way of thinking.

      I’ll use a ridiculous example to illustrate my point. Pretend there was minor fringe speculation that Adelson was genetically modifying horses to create unicorns. Pretend that Gingrich said “I believe in unicorns” and that’s what this piece was about, Adelson support Gingrich hinging on the unicorn issue. If that were the case, you would have an actual point here. But that’s not the case, the foundation is quite strong and verifiable that Adelson is fixated on Israel. Couple that with the fact that Gingrich has a history of flip-flopping and bowing down to the highest bidder. Adelson supports Gingrich as a mouthpiece and a puppet. That’s what Gingrich is. He doesn’t support Gingrich for Gingrich’s all-around politicalness because Gingrich doesn’t really have any. But he has been reliable as a mouthpiece for agenda in the past.

      Therefore we can safely assume with good faith that Adelson is fixated on Israel. Same with most, if not all, of the neoconservatives. It’s their number-one issue. That and demonizing Islam. This is not a secret and you don’t need 100% conclusive proof when there is a substantial paper trail of evidence. With enough evidence and experience knowledge, even if it is circumstantial, intuition alone is proof enough. It just seems that a lot of people are completely lacking intuition, especially authors who write about it who attack it and almost seem jealous of it. That’s why there are a lot of poor ‘mind-readers’ in this world who subscribe to concepts such as preemptive war.

      Nobody is on trial for murder here so it is not a bad way to dissent. Even if it could be proven to be wrong, you don’t throw out your whole argument against a Gingrich or Romney campaign unless that’s the only egg in your basket.

    • kalithea
      January 16, 2012, 12:33 pm

      There are two fears really transparent in your post.

      1. You shade the truth regarding Adelson’s attempt to influence the race (buy would be a better word) because you have an innate fear that Zionists will be discovered as wielding power over the outcome in American politics. This is because you fear that one day American’s are going to open their eyes to what’s going on and run Zionists out of town on a rail.

      2. You don’t like it very much when your Zionist friends favor one party over another; you want them to secure all their bases, and this ties back to number 1. If the Democrats should become very popular without strong Zionist backing; Israelis “needs” might suffer. But there’s something much greater here that scares you. You’re for the defunct two-state solution where Palestinians get scraps of land and no right of return. The Democrats are the ones pushing for this, but the Republicans have gone to the hard right on this issue allowing Israel to keep stealing land and making the two-state solution impossible, although you’re delusional if you think it’s still possible. The fact is that you know and we all know that if Zionists have their way under a Republican Administration that spells the END OF THE JEWISH STATE AND THE BEGINNING OF APARTHEID (although Apartheid has already taken root in Israel) which would initiate world-wide clamor for Palestinian rights and a one-state solution, and alas, the end of your precious Zionist dream.

      I got you pegged. With me there’s no wiggle room.

      • Richard Witty
        January 16, 2012, 12:56 pm

        I do fear the over-extension of Israeli chutzpah, of Netanyahu’s over-extension, his interference, as well as his “vision”.

        But, I utterly disagree with the ZOG theme of your post, and regard it is a fascist approach in America, in Mondoweiss.

        It is the worst of America, not the best.

  3. Avi_G.
    January 15, 2012, 11:21 am

    The Republicans compared to the company that Bibi keeps, the Republicans come across as moderate and reasonable. I have just finished reading Robert Fisk’s latest article in which he mentions how much reverence Bibi has for rabbi Lubovich. Fisk writes (my emphasis):

    “The Lubavitcher Rebbe [sic] was famous for his vehement opposition to even the tiniest withdrawal from any territory ever held by the Israel Defence Forces, even in the framework of full peace,” Rachlevsky wrote. “The most prominent emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe – the great rabbi, as Netanyahu termed him at the United Nations – included Baruch Goldstein, perpetrator of the 1994 Hebron massacre, and Yitzhak Ginsburg, the rabbi of Yitzhar, he of the radical book Baruch the Man (which celebrates the massacre).” The rabbi, Rachlevsky continued, believed that in the land of the messiah, there is no room for Arabs. Newt was right on track, it seems. “Thus racism entered Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations – not ‘merely’ against Islam, but also against Arabs.”

    • Richard Witty
      January 16, 2012, 1:00 pm

      Baruch Goldstein as emissary of Rabbi Shneerson?

      Please restrain yourself from grossly libelous character defamation.

      I’ve seen the videos of Netanyahu meeting Rabbi Shneerson, and of his proclamation that Jews should never willingly give up an inch of the holy land.

      I’ve also seen video of him insisting that land only be acquired by purchase, legally, and not by force or by deception.

      Please try to avoid libel against the man that MANY revere very deeply.

  4. Winnica
    January 15, 2012, 11:22 am

    Any chance this is a bit of wishful thnking? I mean, Max Blumenthal and Russian TV are hardly primary formulators of American public opinion, and in order for their report to be true you’d sort of expect some evidence to be forthcoming from the mainstream, since it’s the mainstream they are reporting about. Pinpricks of dissatisfaction with Israel have been around since the State Department did its best to convince Truman not to recognize Israel in May 1948, but a sea-change – which is what you’re looking forward to – needs to be seen clearly from every beach, so to speak.

    • seafoid
      January 15, 2012, 12:29 pm

      “Pinpricks of dissatisfaction with Israel have been around since the State Department did its best to convince Truman ”

      Winnica December 2007

      “All this talk of a problem in the housing market is just fluff”

      Winnica August 2008

      “Anyone who thinks Lehman Brothers is in trouble is a fantasist”

      Winnica March 2010
      “The fears over the solvency of the Greek state are a storm in a teacup”

      • john h
        January 16, 2012, 2:58 am

        That is impressive, seafoid. How on earth did you come up with those?

        I wonder who else you keep tabs on! Talk about the long arm of seafoid…

      • American
        January 16, 2012, 1:23 pm

        I like that seafoid keeps up with stuff. He can be our comments historian.

      • kalithea
        January 16, 2012, 12:44 pm

        LOL!

  5. pabelmont
    January 15, 2012, 11:39 am

    Where is a pro-Palestine PAC so I can give money to Obama AND EXTRACT A PROMISE (as BIG-BANKs and BIG-ZION do)?

    My $25 will only squeek, not yell commandingly, but mayhaps there are many of me.

    • Kathleen
      January 15, 2012, 1:17 pm

      Send to Rep Paul right now. Suck it up on domestic issues (he does not have a chance to get the nomination) But on sane foreign policy Rep Paul holds the key. Subtle threat to go rogue hangs over the party which means they lose. Paul taking votes from Romney. Send money to Rep Paul…he is the counterbalance to Israel and the I lobby and he knows it. Keep his anti unnecessary wars message in the debates up to the Republican convention and beyond.

      Max Boot working for the Romney campaign

  6. Ramzi Jaber
    January 15, 2012, 11:47 am

    Love it, thank Phil for this. I agree with Max totally except on one point: that AIPAC/Nutnyahoo can decide the US election. I say they can. Here’s why:

    – Obama will not win without OH, PA, and FL.
    – OH is very tough for Obama and likely to go Republican.
    – PA is a tossup and Biden will continue pushing to win it for Obama.
    – FL becomes key. Here’s where the silly “unshakable” promise comes into play.
    – Get FL and Obama wins.

    The question then is this: wold Obama have the courage in a second term to really take on Nutnyahoo and stick to it without the spectre of another election that he needs to win?

    Over the years, my parents and grandparents and many Palestinians would always hope that a new President would be more balanced. It never happened to-date. I doubt it will happen with Obama second term. AIPAC and the zionists will find a way to control him. After all, they found Monica for Bill!!!

    • lysias
      January 15, 2012, 1:09 pm

      A Republican can’t win in November without the support of Ron Paul’s people. Too visible Lobby support for the Republican would alienate those people.

    • Pixel
      January 16, 2012, 2:25 am

      Any election can be stolen.

      Hacking Democracy

    • kalithea
      January 16, 2012, 12:47 pm

      You’re right, they’d find something real dirty to get Obama with. They actually may have it already as insurance for a rainy day.

      But I really think they’re up to something much bigger to try and prevent a second Obama term.

  7. Dan Crowther
    January 15, 2012, 11:54 am

    So, a couple of things – Russia Today is basically wholly owned by the Russian State – anyone can go on there and say negative things about the US, anti-US rhetoric is one of the ways the russian ruling class mollifies their own population, the US of course mirrors this propaganda from Russia and makes further declarations about other states all the time…here’s Paul Jay at the the real news talking about this phenonmenon: (and hes canadian!) :)
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=7808

    I think its important to note as well that the US just recently mounted an extensive campaign against Putin during Russian elections, this seems to be a “return of the favor” in my opinion.

    As for Blumenthal, Bibi and Barry — we are talking about Sidney Blumenthals kid here, so that should be noted – he does have a way of painting Obama as the guy the Israeli’s and the Lobby absolutely hate, which in turn makes uninformed “liberals” think, “hmm, well, he must be doing something right” – and by Blumenthal going on about this being a partisan wedge issue, he insinuates that the democratic party ( or at least its base) can be a vehicle for not only openly criticizing Israel’s policies, but also the “special relationship” itself. All evidence to the contrary.

    As for “hope” that Israel becomes a partisan “wedge” issue – anyone who gives a shit about Palestinians should hope and pray this does not happen, especially within the context of the two party system. In the US right now, a democrat could say, “the sky is blue” and a republican would say, “no, its not, your a fool.” Why anyone would want an issue as important as the slow destruction of Palestine to become an “issue” on the level of abortion or gay marriage is beyond me.

    I agree that many pro-israel types are already as irrational as my scenario above, but institutionalizing these views, making one party the party of Israel and the other the party of “peace” or whatever is to guarantee that nothing ever gets done. And it also has the effect of neutering activism, and gives special privilege to certain groups and americans in general – which is, and has been, a large part of the problem to date.

    • Avi_G.
      January 15, 2012, 12:33 pm

      Dan,

      You’re killing me. What you describe in reference to Max Blumenthal’s views about Obama has no standing. I urge you to read more of Max Blumenthal’s work, preferably going back a few months and then making up your mind. For example, the characterization that Obama is hated in pro-Israel circles is quite true. There is a combination of racism and fanaticism that feeds into that hatred. When Obama first came to power and was critical of the colonies in the occupied territories, Israeli colonists marched with pitchforks and torches to the nearby US consulate. I kid you not.

      And I don’t think that Max Blumenthal is holding onto the misguided notion that Obama or the Democrats are any different than the Republicans in terms of foreign policy decisions concerning Israel. He has repeatidly acknowledge the Lobby’s power and sway. SO he is under no illusions.

      But if you believe otherwise, if you think that Blumenthal is under such an illusion, then I am prepared to look at whatever evidence you have to offer in support of that assessment.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 1:08 pm

        Avi my brother,

        I know its uncooth around here to make dissenting remarks about those “who agree with us” – Im not saying your part of this camp, but I don’t think we should overlook the guy’s biography, his fathers involvement in the democratic party or the bulk of his non israel related work – which is to disparage the christian right aka the republicans base. Republican Gomorrah? I mean, come on.

        I do read the guys work, and I know he is very critical of the president (rightfully so) – but I do notice the tendency among the *cough* well born left advocates *cough* to bash away…. until its election time, then you have to bite your lip and pick the lesser of two evils(as they define them). And by going on RT and making the “bibi and the R’s” pitch, he is, even if he doesn’t mean to, making Barry the “anti-bibi” candidate. I see no evidence whatsoever that this is true.

        Lets also notice what wasn’t said in the interview – the fact that Barry and the O’s have taken the “special relationship” to a whole new level. Why wasn’t Blumenthal mentioning this when discussing Adelson – something along the lines of “Adelson should realize how good hes got it with Obama” – but none of this was said. It was a straight, bibi and the R’s on one side – Barry on the other.

        Leaving aside my views of Blumenthal here, the thrust of my comment was that I/P becoming a wedge issue between the two parties in the states would be disasterous – but now that I think of this further, if there really was a official “anti-israel as it is” wing of the democratic party, who would be its official spokespeople? my guess is dudes like blumenthal. So yea, I do notice that some of Blumenthals personal interests are involved in his advocacy.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 4:16 pm

        y’know, it might be helpful if you could specifically cite what it is you are referencing instead of accusing max of “insinuates” and “tendency among the *cough*” this whole “we are talking about Sidney Blumenthals kid here” lingo is really bs. max has got a body of work that speaks for itself and you’re all over the map with your criticism. let’s not mince words here. who is it running the gambit of insinuation? you that’s who.

        if you’re going to criticize him quote him in context. here’s his blog
        http://maxblumenthal.com/

        and the recent article is linked in phil’s post. and try keeping his dad out of it. unless you have evidence his dad is propping up his keyboard or something.

        for christs sakes.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 5:06 pm

        i guess i made the mistake of criticizing someone who annie likes – yikes

        First, in his piece he talks of the clinton administration etc – mentions nothing of his dad being in the administration, i think that is worth adding…

        but more to the point – the whole piece was about bibi and the republicans, as if there is a iron wall dividing the obama administration and the israeli’s and the lobby… he links bibi to every scary republican hatchet man there is and yet doesnt say anything about democrats… the entire article was about big bad bibi and the big bad republicans – im sorry but if this was a foreign country, and the son of a former official was on the air talking about a head of a foreign state conspiring with the opposition party in his country, would we for a second think he was giving an “objective” opinion? No, we would think he was deliberately attacking the opposition.

        he mentions bibi “hating liberal jewish supporters of israel” — and quotes an israeli official saying if obama is re-elected “the carrots will be replaced by a stick” — barry as the tough guy, sure. thats how blumenthal ends the piece!! with a line saying that bibi and co are nervous and have reason to be..that is absurd

        annie, ive been reading this guys sht for years – some is good, some is not, some is straight hackery. at the end of the day, he feeds at many establishment troughs, but can feign independence because of his families prominence and his (supposed) bankroll.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 5:26 pm

        Another “insinuation” is blumenthal’s repeated mentioning of the “culture wars” with bibi’s involvement by way of the republican party.

        from blumenthal’s comment section:

        Each POTUS tries to outdo the former in pro-israel stands, and it is incredible that Obama is considered less than a slavish puppet because of a few pathetic meaningless muttered words about settlements, while every action and most speeches have kept to the AIPAC line

        Where in blumenthals piece does he make this critical point? he doesn’t, because if he did, rational people would ask, “what the F is the point of this story other than to make bibi and republicans look bad and obama look good”??

        And yes, you can ask these questions while still thinking that the R’s are bibi and D’bags…..

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 5:47 pm

        y’know, it might be helpful if you could specifically cite what it is you are referencing instead of accusing max of “insinuates”

        Another “insinuation” is blumenthal’s repeated mentioning of the “culture wars”

        dan, i meant a paragraph, something to back up your allegations.

        from blumenthal’s comment section:

        uh huh. and this proves what? dan, you can either cite something specific max wrote or not. “culture wars” is not saying much. and *cough* is just insinuation. the article is about the gop candidates, the primary and the connection to netanyahu and about the attack dogs. ..and then some. that is the context. you’re bummed because it isn’t about the dems too.

        you’re just slinging around insults and ‘trough’ comments. that’s all it sounds like to me. i’m not engaging you anymore unless bring something to the table. i will give you an example:

        By all accounts, Netanyahu’s personal chemistry with Obama is toxic.

        now it is your job to tell me how this insinuates. a phrase, something. not just attitude and claims.

        ciao

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 5:54 pm

        classy.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 6:19 pm

        I also don’t get your response annie – i wrote a few paragraphs and quoted the article along the way – those quotes are from the article…..

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 6:29 pm

        i am looking at your archives here:

        “Having millions of more people in the US aware or even caring the Palestenians is a good thing. This is what happens when I/P becomes a partisan issue.”

        Wrong, dead fckin wrong.

        is this your grand proof of insinuations? i’m just not seeing it. there is a whole article. grab a paragraph or not. quit blaming others for not agreeing with your sloppy logic.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 7:07 pm

        Im gonna reply in full – but first let me say, again, your pretty much doing what your accusing me of. that was one sentence that i wrote

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 7:49 pm

        Ok, so annie

        You first said “y’know, it might be helpful if you could specifically cite what it is you are referencing instead of accusing max of “insinuates”
        ——
        That is a nonsensical statement. “accusing max of “insinuates” doesnt make sense.

        And it’s also such an incredibly simply concept, I didnt find it necessary to explain. In the video he states plainly, so does Phil, that this is becoming or going to become a “partisan wedge issue” …. Partisan wedge issues are between Republicans and Democrats. The democrats by defintion then become “a vehicle for not only openly criticizing Israel’s policies, but also the “special relationship” itself. (me up thread)”

        Annie doesnt want to discuss anything Ive written here, only what I havent written, in this case, I have not given full quotes from blumenthal (which is odd, given that on a comment thread your usually commenting on the article you just read, which is plain to see above) – I get the sense that annie is personally offended by my criticisms of blumenthal, but she wants to know what my “bone to pick” is – so here we go ( annie, if you dont acknowledge this in your reply, you will have been exposed):

        My bone to pick with blumenthal is the same as it is for someone like ed shultz, rachel maddow, kos, and to some degree guys like john nichols, and the mother jones guys…. if its not about how horrible the republicans are, it gets little interest. Its the same point that Glenn Greenwald made in his “progressives ron paul fallacies” piece – most reporting on these issues is just one team against another. Well, I dont buy it – and I don’t like that this happens. Annie wants examples of what I am talking about, here is blumenthals blog titles (alternet,his site,alakhbar)

        The Little-Known, Inside Story About How Newt Became the Man He Is
        Posted on Dec 18, 2011, Source: Nation Books
        From Occupation to “Occupy”: The Israelification of American Domestic Security
        U.S. Right Wing and GOP Presidential Candidates Spreading Paranoid Anti-Muslim Hysteria as Part of Take-Over Strategy
        How Could the Largest Social Justice Movement in Israel’s History Manage to Ignore the Country’s Biggest Moral Disaster?
        Meet the Right-Wing Hatemongers Who Inspired the Norway Killer
        Witness the Shocking Denial and Ignorance About the Occupation of Palestine by AIPAC Delegates
        Arizona Is Drowning in a Sea of Extremism
        Right-Wing Money-Fed Campaign Escalates Latent 9-11 Paranoia into Anti-Muslim Hysteria
        A Wildfire Is Burning All Illusions in Israel
        Posted on Dec 5, 2010, Source: Electronic Intifada
        Watch: As Israel Slides Toward Fascism, Citizens and Supporters Swear Their Loyalty
        How to Kill Goyim and Influence People: Israeli Rabbis Defend Book’s Shocking Religious Defense of Killing Non-Jews (with Video)
        Days of Rage — The Noxious Transformation of the Conservative Movement into a Rabid Fringe
        Watch: Rabid Rally in Tel Aviv for Israeli Commandos Who Killed 9 Peace Activists
        Watch: Ultra Zionists Take Manhattan, and Demand the Holy Land
        Netanyahu Takes His Siege Against Human Rights NGOs to the US
        Abusing Immigrants, Enriching Parasitic Attorneys — on Your Dime
        Birthers Defend Conservative Candidate’s Bizarre Comment About Obama’s Birth; 6 Shocking Discoveries About the GOP Senate Candidate
        Meet the FBI Operative Who Threatened My Life, and the Gov.-Elect Who May Have Helped Him
        Sarah Palin Rules the GOP — And She Will Destroy It
        Elie Wiesel’s Shocking Stage Appearance With Mad Preacher and Anti-Semite John Hagee
        How My Dispute with Joe Scarborough Sheds Light on the Civil War Within the GOP
        Republican Gomorrah: The Shattered GOP, Taken Over by Authoritarian Radicals, Is Incapable of Compromise
        ‘Father of Neoconservatism’ Irving Kristol’s Forgotten Alliance With Anti-Semites
        The Nightmare of Christianity: How Religious Indoctrination Led to Murder
        How Mike Huckabee’s Evangelical Creds Helped Him Avoid the GOP’s Collapse, and Remain a Political Threat for 2012
        Eisenhower’s Forgotten Warning and the Threat of Authoritarian Currents in Our Politics
        Video: Young Cosmopolitan Israelis Share Their Shocking Racist Views
        Exclusive Video: The Radical Settlers Behind Israel’s Clash with Obama
        Armed Revolt in the Obama Era? Right-Wing Gun Nuts Share Their Paranoid Worldview
        Sarah Palin Suffers Massive Political Fallout from Her Latest Nutcase Nominee
        Did Paranoid Right-Wing Media Fuel the Pittsburgh Cop Killer’s Rage?
        Is the Twice-Divorced Newt Gingrich Converting to Catholicism for a 2012 Run?
        Will Revelations About Bobby Jindal’s Weird Secret Past Destroy His Political Career?
        Porn Star Stormy Daniels to Take on Sexual Hypocrite Sen. David Vitter?

        New GOP Standard Bearer Rush Limbaugh Is Less Popular Than Jeremiah Wright
        Pro-Israel Rally Attended by Big-Time NY Dems Descends into Calls for ‘Wiping Out’ Palestinians
        Condom Burnings and Anti-Gay Witch Hunts: How Rick Warren Is Undermining AIDs Prevention in Africa
        Posted on Jan 8, 2009, Source: The Daily Beast

        —–

        I count No Less that 25 stories on domestic politics (with the lobby included) All of them focus on “the right wing” — its not worth asking whats up with this guy? It doesnt seem like he is a democratic party operative? When you mention who his father is, and look at his archive its pretty easy to see, this guy just likes bashing on the right wing. That I agree with him sometimes (which i genuinely do) doesnt mean I should close my eyes to this plain and obvious fact.

        Me and Avi were having a respectful debate before you came along annie – i hate to say it, but you were wrong to start out the way you did

      • iamuglow
        January 15, 2012, 9:07 pm

        “if there really was a official “anti-israel as it is” wing of the democratic party, who would be its official spokespeople? my guess is dudes like blumenthal.”

        Thats silly. If Blumenthal wanted to make it in Democratic party, wouldn’t he just tow the line and not take up a conterversial position like advocating for the Palestenians? Supporting Palestenians, thats a dumb career move, isn’t is?

        If the tide changes, hopefully people like him who took princibled stances will grab some power.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 9:13 pm

        Here’s Blumenthal interviewing Ralph Nader – the ralph nader with little to no power – what does blumenthal do? he tries to smear him….if he isn’t working for the democratic party, he sure seems like he is…

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 10:02 pm

        “If the tide changes, hopefully people like him who took princibled stances will grab some power.”
        ——–
        Maybe he knows this. It is a little strange for Max Blumenthal to be sitting here saying “the democratic base WILL become more critical” ( he does cite second opinion) — part of that analysis is a suggestion that the democratic party will look toward people with views more consistent with the base (even if it may be just superficial appeasement) or “cred” with the base. Who better than Max B right? haha. Here he is!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 16, 2012, 9:43 am

        That is a nonsensical statement. “accusing max of “insinuates” doesnt make sense.

        And it’s also such an incredibly simply concept, I didnt find it necessary to explain. In the video he states plainly, so does Phil, that this is becoming or going to become a “partisan wedge issue”

        excuse me, i used “insinuates” instead of insinuating because i was quoting you and i make a point of only using quote marks around exact phrasing. try making up your mind here, was there insinuation going on or did they plainly state israel is becoming a wedge issue?

        Ok, so annie..Annie doesnt want to discuss anything Ive written…I get the sense that annie is personally offended…..she wants to know what my “bone to pick” [tsk tsk on fabricated quotes]….( annie, if you dont acknowledge this in your reply, you will have been exposed)…Annie wants examples of what I am talking about….you came along annie – i hate to say it, but you were wrong

        it’s not everyday someone uses my name 6 times in one comment. impressive. still, no examples of max insinuating anything. got it.

        now, extracting the filler i’ve distilled your argument here:

        My bone to pick with blumenthal is ………if its not about how horrible the republicans are, it gets little interest….25 stories on domestic politics… All of them focus on “the right wing”….this guy.. likes bashing .. the right wing

        got it. you think max likes bashing the rightwing (me too btw) and insinuates the democratic party can be a vehicle for criticizing Israel’s policies, and the “special relationship” .

        me, i know the dem party can be a vehicle for criticizing Israel’s policies, and the “special relationship”. and here’s why. israel is a racist apartheid country led by radical rightwingers. if the dem politicians continue to align themselves with radical rtwg racist policies they will loose sections of their base (like me). the more israel is exposed (something people like kos and maddow avoid like the plague) the more it threatens the concept they ‘share our values’ because, for the most part, they don’t. they are an ethnic national state, we aren’t. there are fundamental differences in our core values. max exposes those differences. he exposes the truth of those extremes and is a valuable asset to american discourse.

        btw, i think the democratic base will become more critical. i think lines will be drawn and defended. i think there’s evidence we’ve already seen the beginning of that in the discussion around making the distinction between criticism of israel and anti semitism. it’s just going to get louder and louder, it is inevitable.

      • kalithea
        January 16, 2012, 12:58 pm

        You’re right. Democrats are too dishonest when it comes to being outspoken and critical of Israel

        This “wedge issue” thing is just more hopeful thinking.

        I suspect you’re right about Max being critical of Obama but when election time comes around “not-so-much”.

    • lysias
      January 15, 2012, 1:12 pm

      The Russian people don’t watch RT English. To the extent that it’s propaganda, it’s propaganda directed at a U.S. audience. When it deals with Russian issues, the channel’s subservience to the Russian government is apparent. But it usually deals with American issues, and on those it is able to be a lot more honest than the U.S. media, because the Russian government knows that merely presenting the truth to an American audience will suit its purposes.

      • jewishgoyim
        January 15, 2012, 8:10 pm

        Yeah on the financial crisis or Foreign Policy, I’d say RT is like Al Jazeera: way above whatever the US MSM can deliver.

        So basically the US MSM is not doing its job and those outlets just rushed into the gaping hole. Smart of them and useful to the entire planet except maybe to US citizens who may have a very hard time understanding and admitting that RT and AJ is putting out a much better news product than the absolute crap they’re being fed everyday (at least as far as the US is concerned).

    • iamuglow
      January 15, 2012, 1:54 pm

      I don’t get any of those points.

      RT has good content and hosts voices that the US media ignores. That they are Russian owned or that this is part of their agenda doesnt bother me.

      For years Max has made on point articles and videos about I/P..who is his father was doesnt enter into it.

      Having millions of more people in the US aware or even caring the Palestenians is a good thing. This is what happens when I/P becomes a partisan issue.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 2:16 pm

        the guy who is on TV, talking about bibi and the republicans etc is the son of a clinton admin official, and that isnt worth noting? ok.

        “Having millions of more people in the US aware or even caring the Palestenians is a good thing. This is what happens when I/P becomes a partisan issue.”

        Wrong, dead fckin wrong. when I/P becomes a partisan issue the lives and survival of “millions of people” ( Palestinians) becomes a partisan issue and while it may be nice to think about “awareness or caring” back here in the real world, partisan issues on the one hand lead to “awareness” in one group and “i dont even care or want to know” in another…you want to totally fck over the palestinians, make I/P a democratic party “issue”……..

      • iamuglow
        January 15, 2012, 6:04 pm

        Are you serious? You need to get over yourself.

        “There is no aisle” when it comes to Israel in Washington, today. In ‘reality’ both paties can be counted on to go out of their way to fck over the Palestinians.

        Its a gift Republicans have gone so overboard in their proclamations of love for Israel…its forcing people on the left to take a position on the issue and see Israel for what it is. I think thats a good thing. Abe Foxman doesnt like it. Apparently you don’t either. Ok. Moving on…

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 6:15 pm

        you want to totally fck over the palestinians, make I/P a democratic party

        yeah because senate 100-0 is so great for the palestinians! ha. i would love it to become a partisan issue. love it. let’s have an american fight about israel, human rights, apartheid. i can’t think if anything that would thrill me more for an election cycle!

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 6:42 pm

        so how long does it take for a 100-0 senate to get to a legitimate peace deal majority?

        By making the democratic party the face and voice for Palestinians you are at once pitting at least 40% of the electorate against them, and you are also guaranteeing that whatever “peace deal” that does come, will be designed with the interests of the democratic parties real masters (same as the republican’s) in mind. We all want Palestine to be free, but do we also want Palestine to be a neo-liberal hell hole? I hope not. But if some president were ever to come in with a “mandate” to free palestine, that is what the end result of a american lead peace deal would be. And that’s because INSTITUTIONALLY they are bound to do just that. So, gotta stay out of institutions, got to be outside. Much better to focus on BDS and things like working class solidarity that can lead to real economic sanctions, international union involvement, refusal to unload ships, all the things that regular people have to do, on their own to make change for themselves. If you think about it, what are the US sanctions on Iran if not a series of persons taking action -usually administratively- to purposefully hurt the economy of Iran? Im saying, we may not be able to get the administrators of the world (because israel has been pretty good for capital, truth be told) but we can get working class folks. Been done before……

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 7:05 pm

        imauglow

        i need to get over my self but here you are advocating palestine become a US political football. how arrogant are we? seriously. but what I cant understand is anyone who want to use the institutions of government for the conflict’s resolution that were used to start the conflict in the first place. Take south africa for example – the congress and presidents condemned apartheid for decades, didn’t do anything about it – in fact the the US was the number 2 trading partner, quite a clip of business. or lets take a more obvious example, the US civil rights act, what did that mean for most black folks in their everyday lives, their economic opportunities, their communities? what does it mean now? It’s gotta be about civil society sanctions, worker sanctions, all that stuff. And I should say, its the same for us here in the states, “trying to elect better democrats” and sht is the dumbest thing ive ever heard of – got to organize organically, got to strike, boycott, divest all that good stuff…

      • yourstruly
        January 15, 2012, 8:30 pm

        the vietnam war became a partisan issue. did that hurt the vietnamese people or contribute to their chasing out the invaders?

      • iamuglow
        January 15, 2012, 8:48 pm

        I don’t know who are you’re quoting with this

        “trying to elect better democrats” bs but it isn’t me, so don’t use double quotes.

        If you’re worried about I/P becoming a partisan issue you ought to contact the Emergency Committee for Israel and tell em to tone it down. They are the ones taking out the full page ads about Israel/Obama. If you feel so strongly maybe you can reach out to the ADL or Wasserman at the DNC and see if they can suggest some activism for you.

        You’re wasting your outrage on me. Me, I’m only expressing my opinion that it’s a good thing that the American public begin to know more about Palestinians than ‘they danced on 911’. The war of ideas… having more people supporting the Palestinians is a good thing. It’s not mutually exclusive to supporting BDS or in believing “the whole US political system is corrupted” it doesn’t make me an Obama apologist or Democrat or anything you seem to be assuming.

        My opinion also isn’t going make a difference to the “survival of millions of people (Palestinians)”…I’ll take a gamble, neither will yours, so, by all means, please spare me the hyperbole and god like predications. We have different opinions. Oh well…and the world keeps turning.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 9:47 pm

        “getting better democrats elected” is sort of a cliche, i shouldnt have put it in quotes
        any declarative statement can called “god like” –

        and also, lost in all of this is, the palestinians are already more popular in this country than are elected democrats. and NO ONE watches msnbc, so it wouldnt be helping anything – but it cant be understated, linking the palestinian cause to the drastically less popular democratic party would be disasterous

        I think yourstruly above kind of sees where Im coming from ( i think)

      • yourstruly
        January 15, 2012, 10:01 pm

        does freeing palestine have to begin with a mandate from congress? can’t it begin with an aroused public (led by the occupy movement) demanding no war against iran? this + bds and the other things you mention.

      • iamuglow
        January 15, 2012, 10:31 pm

        Link it with the OWS demanding no war against iran – Link it with the Tea Party demanding an end to forgein aid – Link it with the Democrats who say they care about equal rights – Link it with the Republicans who feel its a risk to the military – and support BDS and counter Islamaphobia and on and on.

        Whatever gets Americans aware of I/P is IMO, good for the ’cause’.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 16, 2012, 9:27 am

        No it doesnt have to begin with a mandate from congress, that is exactly my point – all the other things you mention have nothing to do with “official” entities like the democratic party and its corporate media advocates…….

        But, by Blumenthal saying this “is going to be a partisan wedge issue” he seems to want to place palestine within the “official” context, the two party context and the corporate media context. Personally, I find all of this extremely distasteful. Hoping that someone, anyone just says what i want want the them to say on television is the defining characteristic of loser liberalism, “lets have some representation” in the mainstream should be a slogan all of us reject. Rooting for the mainstream press to include pro-palestine advocates, and having pro-palestine advocates openly state their willingness to make it a partisan issue is about as well thought out as trying to get Elizabeth Warren elected to the Senate. Good intentions for sure, but totally and utterly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. And just like Warren will be coopted, so won’t the cause of Palestine. Maybe if palestinian americans, and muslims in general were a big democratic voting bloc, and had insititutional support, but they dont – all this advocacy will be is a bunch of well heeled americans “debating” the issue of Palestine, I find this to be repugnant. Just look at Cenk Uygur, when he had a radio show and was independent, he laid waste to Israeli hasbara and told it like it was, then he went to MSNBC and is now on current – and his show is nothing more than Countdown except its with a guy form Turkish descent. How radical.

        Of course, the other thing in all of this is, haven’t these “partisans” forfeited their “right” to be advocates of human rights? the occupation is 45 years old, and they havent said sht, but here we are trying to change their minds? yea, lets work to change the minds of multi-national corporations and their highly paid employees by getting someone “we” like to be a highly paid multi-national corporate employee. wake me when this is over.

      • Philip Weiss
        January 16, 2012, 9:54 am

        so you dont want i/p to enter our mainstream discourse with any political sponsorship? myself i dont care who does it, i want it on television.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 16, 2012, 10:20 am

        Sure, I would like to see it “enter our mainstream discourse” if it is to point out exactly how full of sht our “mainstream discourse” is. But I don’t think that can be done with the msnbc prime time line up — once those guys “take it on” as one of their issues, you forfeit the ability to attack the democratic party for its complicity, and you make the people who ignored the issue, or were too cowardly for decades to report on it, the face of its advocacy. Palestine, to me is a moral issue, its about how we feel about ourselves and others as humans, these “partisan” msm types are moral cowards – and like I say above, they have forfeited the right to advocate for human rights, especially in Palestine.

        “wanting it on television” is fine – but on what stations, discussed by who? There are already outlets for “liberals” to preach to the choir – I want it on TV too, but from non-aligned types, I dont want the democratic party and its official media organs making the case. And that is precisely what happens when it becomes a partisan wedge issue, it becomes something that can be discussed for two minutes on hardball. I’ll take one speech from jesse lieberfeld over fifty hardball segments anyday…and I should say, that kid came to his conclusions and made that speech without this being a “partisan” issue, without any meaningful mainstream attention, what does that say about the power of individuals in society? What can it mean for individuals acting collectively in society? I think it means a whole hell of a lot, not only as a way to get what we want (in this case a free palestine) but also as an example of people thinking and acting against institutions, just as lieberfeld thumbs his nose at the american jewish establishment. This kid sends an incredibly powerful message, one that no one on TV could ever hope to send

      • kalithea
        January 16, 2012, 1:04 pm

        “its forcing people on the left to take a position on the issue and see Israel for what it is. I think thats a good thing.”

        NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE.

        Anyone who thinks the Democrats who have more Zionists in their ranks than the Republicans are not going to SELL OUT the Palestinians are DREAMIN’.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 16, 2012, 7:07 pm

        By making the democratic party the face and voice for Palestinians you are at once pitting at least 40% of the electorate against them

        no one here is suggesting the dem party become the face and voice of palestinians. i want israel exposed. there are lots of ways of doing that besides asking americans to be the ‘face and voice for Palestinians’. what i would like is the dems to be americans instead of the face and voice for rtwg likud policies /the israel lobby.

        you know that, you just like being inflammatory.

        If you think about it, what are the US sanctions on Iran if not a series of persons taking action -usually administratively- to purposefully hurt the economy of Iran? Im saying, we may not be able to get the administrators of the world (because israel has been pretty good for capital, truth be told) but we can get working class folks. Been done before……

        i hear ya dan, you’re all about regular folks and working class ‘folks’ but just stay the heck away from screwing with politicians and the party..”gotta stay out of institutions, got to be outside” and hey, even tho the senate voted 100-o for iran sanctions it’s just ‘series of persons’ (little fold like us no doubt).

      • Annie Robbins
        January 16, 2012, 7:12 pm

        linking the palestinian cause to the drastically less popular democratic party would be disasterous

        lol, yeah because the unpopularity of the dem party would really drag down the palestinians .

        is this a joke. are you a professional troll dan?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 16, 2012, 7:22 pm

        i need to get over my self but here you are advocating palestine become a US political football.

        i’ve figured it out dan, you can’t can’t say ‘israel and wedge issue’ in the same sentence. you keep flipping it to palestine/wedge issue. palestine will not become a wadge issue because the gop refuses to acknowledge they exist. we’re all talking about israel and the their lobby and their rgtwg policies becoming the wedge issue.

        but you can’t even say that.

      • ToivoS
        January 16, 2012, 8:16 pm

        Kalithia let’s us know: Anyone who thinks the Democrats who have more Zionists in their ranks than the Republicans are not going to SELL OUT the Palestinians are DREAMIN’.

        I don’t know if you haven’t noticed but the Democrats and the Republicans have been selling out the Palestinians for the last half century. That just happens to be the current political reality. What might, let me stress ‘might’, be changing is that an open political discussion of Israeli domination of this issue inside the Democratic Party is opening up. If so, then that means the issue of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians might become a topic in our national political dialogue. I think opening this discussion is the whole reason MW was set up in the first place.

        I find your’s and Dan’s responses to this possibility incredibly inflexible. And to attack Max because his father worked for Clinton is really outrageous. Max’s work should be judged on its own merits. I would be totally appalled if my political stances were judged on my father’s views.

        To put my reasons in a larger political context, let me say that I happen to fairly active in the Democratic Party at a county level. One thing I do know is that there are many DP party activists that share my views on the IP issue but are unwilling to bring them up in public because of their concern over “Party Unity”. Once that dam collapses we could see very quickly an open political debate on the rights of the Palestinian people. The opening to this debate will be the realization that Israel is pushing us into war with Iran.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 17, 2012, 8:30 pm

        annie–

        shame on you. you should be ashamed of yourself. Im not gonna go into my bio, to defend my being here, but you have exposed yourself as a classic authoritarian. dissent is to be crushed, through accusation etc. my comments have been consistent from the time ive commented, whatever else is true about them, they are my thoughts and my thoughts alone. and i think my ability to critically think as a non-aligned individual is part of the reason phil let me post a critique of finkelstein, of course i was critical of finkelstein, so you probably hated it, and me for writing it. never again will i reply to anything you write.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 17, 2012, 8:39 pm

        toivos

        no one attacked max for who his father is(and it was because of his position, not his views), but it does become relevant in the context of what stories he covers. all he does it right about the republican party and how awful it is. now, i happen to agree with max, but that doesnt negate what is an obvious bias. and when you mention his dad, it starts to make sense. sorry, its just true.

        so you are active in the democratic party and you disagree with me, shocking.
        im sure you do. so, you know a lot of moral cowards, who out of their own self interest are not willing to advocate for human rights, how does this in any way take away from what i said about democrats? its exactly what i said, democrats know this is totally F’d but are cowards and wont saying anything – i personally think it because they either dont care, or care about themselves a whole lot more, either way (i really cant overstate my feelings here):
        F THEM

    • seafoid
      January 15, 2012, 3:51 pm

      “and by Blumenthal going on about this being a partisan wedge issue, he insinuates that the democratic party ( or at least its base) can be a vehicle for not only openly criticizing Israel’s policies, but also the “special relationship” itself. All evidence to the contrary.”

      Spot on, Dan. The whole US political system is corrupted at this stage. There might have been some difference between the Dems and the Republicans in the past but they are like one party now. I’ll believe things are changing when the Gini coefficient goes back to 0.27.

  8. PeaceThroughJustice
    January 15, 2012, 12:15 pm

    I don’t understand Blumenthal’s idea of a “wedge issue.” I’ve always seen opposition to the lobby as essentially an anti-corruption issue, with little to do with issues of left/right ideology. So unless you take the Christian Zionist movement seriously (which I see as essentially a trailer-park demographic lacking any real economic power), how are Bibi and the lobby going to make support for Israel into a broad “red team” issue. What’s so “conservative” about it? It’s either a good idea or not, to be decided on moral and economic grounds, but it’s not like the abortion issue, which is already pre-decided on religious grounds.

    Also, wedges are supposed to have two sides. I have yet to see any significant “blue team” opposition to “America’s plucky little ally.”

    • American
      January 15, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Looks to me like Netanyahu is getting behind GOP for the heavily Jewish states like Flordia to swing the vote….which makes it a wedge issue for the Jews vr dems mainly. Not a wedge issue to general voters.

    • Donald
      January 15, 2012, 1:27 pm

      “So unless you take the Christian Zionist movement seriously (which I see as essentially a trailer-park demographic lacking any real economic power),”

      I’d defer to someone with real data, but I think that’s an outdated view of conservative evangelicals. Growing up believing Hal Lindsay’s garbage, we were middle class kids bound for college. And I doubt the megachurches which preach this stuff fill their pews with the people who live in trailer parks.

      • richb
        January 15, 2012, 7:22 pm

        You pretty much have it nailed. Going by the megachurch(es) I attend it’s heavy with white upper middle class professionals. That’s why the Tea Party has traction because the deficit vs jobs priority crosses at $75000 a year. Also note how many trailer park folk could afford a $10000 a couple trip to Israel? We may not be the 1% but we are the 10%.

  9. American
    January 15, 2012, 12:41 pm

    It’s not a wedge issue yet.

    For it to become a wedge issue ..for the general voting public….the Dems would have to take a stand ‘publically’ on the pitfalls of the Israel influence/ US-Isr relationship in US policy and decisions.

    Otherwise it’s the same old Israeli hawk & dove split by Dems vr the GOP single hawk position.

    • American
      January 15, 2012, 1:01 pm

      Want to add…..Israel and it’s influence in the US is a wedge issue to us who are addicted to the I/P-AIPAC and etc. problem so sometimes we can’t be objective about how important some event is or what it means.
      Israel is becoming an issue with more of the public on US aid and other things they have learned about Israeli corruption/influence in the US if we go by what we see in comments made by the general public.
      But I don’t think Israel will be a huge wedge issue for non Jews until Israel or US zionist create that last straw I described before…something like attacking Iran.

      • kalithea
        January 16, 2012, 1:15 pm

        “But I don’t think Israel will be a huge wedge issue for non Jews until Israel or US zionist create that last straw I described before…something like attacking Iran.”

        Uhh, not so sure if attacking Iran will even cut it. People don’t want another war; but should Iranians retaliate against the U.S. for an Israeli strike, irrational patriotism will kick in and the animosity against Israel will be shelved until the war is 6 months to a year in and Americans start feeling the effects and start putting 1+1 together, as in: who got us into this mess? By then it’ll be too late.

    • yourstruly
      January 15, 2012, 8:36 pm

      if mossad’s latest assassination of an iranian scientist is an opening, anti-zionists can better serve the cause of justice for palestine by jumping in and widening the breach.

      • kalithea
        January 16, 2012, 1:16 pm

        The anti-zionists need to be widening the breach from within the Administration. Outside anti-zionism isn’t yet having enough of an effect.

  10. tombishop
    January 15, 2012, 1:04 pm

    It remains to be seen if Israel will become a wedge issue in U. S. politics. The Chris Hayes show on MSNBC gave a rare look, however, at how the rest of the world sees the U.S., regardless of which party is in power:

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/up-with-chris-hayes/45996572

    • yourstruly
      January 15, 2012, 9:28 pm

      war against iran should be the wedge issue, with israel brought in because of how it fits in the equation.

  11. chet
    January 15, 2012, 1:07 pm

    Being the dyed-in-the-wool, pro-union, anti-corporate excess old lefty that I am, please let me recommend Thom Hartmann’s daily show on RT for those similarly inclined.

    All the topics that are verboten on the MSM (including the Israeli depradations vis-a-vis the Palestinians) are examined by him and his informed guests who you will never see on any other TV shows.

  12. lysias
    January 15, 2012, 1:13 pm

    Looks like relations between Obama and Netanyahu are not all that good: Israel, U.S. postpone joint anti-missile exercise.`

  13. Kathleen
    January 15, 2012, 1:19 pm

    Meet The Press, GPS, Face the Nation, UP all ignoring the Mossad issue. All avoiding Rep Pauls third place standing in South Carolina. Chris Hayes as chicken shit as the rest. $$$$$$$

  14. Nevada Ned
    January 15, 2012, 6:21 pm

    An article a few day ago in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper discussed Las Vegas billionaire casino king Sheldon Adelson, his million-dollar support for Newt Gingrich, and Adelson’s support for Israel.
    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/jan/13/sources-adelson-contributed-campaign-had-no-say-vi/
    Even more interesting is the fact that the Las Vegas Sun would cover it at all. The Sun was established six decades ago by Hank Greenspun, a fanatical Zionist. Greenspun collected a big arsenal of weapons in the late 1940’s which were used by the Israelis to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians. The editorial position of the Sun did not change when Hank Greenspun died and was replaced by his son Brian. So if even the Sun covers this development, it’s important.

    • MRW
      January 15, 2012, 7:18 pm

      And Brian is a registered Democrat. And a big Clinton buddy.

  15. Justice Please
    January 15, 2012, 6:22 pm

    “Very rancorous second term for Obama with a Netanyahu.”

    What, there’s even more of them? :-)

    That aside, so it has finally been established that the Republican primaries are basically a fight between the bankers & Neocons/Likud Israel, and ordinary citizens & ordinary US soldiers. The former support Romney, Gingrich and Santorum (and propably employ Cheney-style vote fraud), the latter support Ron Paul.

    Every American, whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, should cry foul and protect his/her country against the so obvious treason right in front of his eyes.

  16. dbroncos
    January 15, 2012, 6:31 pm

    A US war on Iran could prove to be a real wedge issue that divides both D’s and R’s from big chunks of their constituencies, with Israel firsters caught in the middle and needing to explain themselves in ways that they weren’t asked to do vis a vis the Iraq war.

  17. MRW
    January 15, 2012, 7:33 pm

    Blumenthal wonders why Adelson isn’t supporting Mitt and is so vehement about supporting Gingrich.

    To me, it’s apparent and right out in the open. The Mossad has reams of blackmail fare on Gingrich from his years in Congress, none on clean-liver Romney. How would you control a Romney? What would you dangle in front of him to threaten to expose him? His governorship? Hardly. His Dad’s dealings? Please. Bain shit? That will be picked over by the vultures before the General. There’s nothing you could use to control him were he in office.

    But Gingrich, yes. Because as President he would be concerned for his legacy and not want his time there spent on Clintonesque scandals.

    Adelson is buying puppet strings, IMO, based on who would best serve his Israel interests.

    • kalithea
      January 16, 2012, 1:36 pm

      “Adelson is buying puppet strings, IMO, based on who would best serve his Israel interests.”

      Don’t let Witty read this. He’s trying to hold back the tide of those who believe Zionists control American politics.

  18. piotr
    January 15, 2012, 10:12 pm

    REPLY
    PeaceThroughJustice says: Also, wedges are supposed to have two sides. I have yet to see any significant “blue team” opposition to “America’s plucky little ally.”

    Ah, you are so naive! Wedgeology is a secret dark art of politics. It is best performed one-sided. For example, you can be for national safety, “ready to do anything necessary”. What is necessary? Whatever the opponent is too squeemish to accept. If the opponent is ready to accept “inhuman and degrading treatment” but opposes even such mild torture methods like water boarding, we go for water boarding. If the opponent accepts water boarding but declares that crushing testicles is too barbaric to contemplate, we can opt to advocate crushing testicles, or to make the big issue that are opponent INSINUATES that are brave forces did crush testicles, or both. And for a while the triad “we do not torture, it is not torture, we should torture” worked quite well. But somehow the zeal to crush testicles (or even mild forms) faded away.

    Mind you, all the pro- anti- torture exercise was basically a reworking of “tough on crime” tune to a more contemporary setting. Wedging of course can adapt any which way. Abortion: the question — should we incarcerate would-be-mothers, their doctors and other enablers — is not exactly “wedging” in the middle but “partial birth abortion” works OK.

    And we clearly have seen “wedging” applied to ME policies. If opponent is not ready to do X for Israel, we can stake X as our plank and proudly announce that sadly, our opponent exhibits disturbing softness in her support for Israel (say, less than full support for crushing testicles in a hypothetical event that Israel would need to crush them to overcome existencial difficulties). The campaign of Ms. Harrington in FL is pretty much like that.

    From the point of view of “long term benefit of Israel” wedging is risky because it involves pushing on an issue until a substancial portion of the public is revolted. Opposition has to be provoked but one the ground that will give us advantage. And tomorrow we may abandon the wedge issue of today to adapt to changing tastes E.g. opposition to mixed race marriages is gone, and to same sex marriages is waning. What happened to same sex marriage anyway? Where are the millions of protesters, constitutional amendments etc.? Wedge issues may end in dumpsters.

  19. Charon
    January 15, 2012, 10:17 pm

    “Members of a single American family have donated half of the NIS 330,000 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has raised for his Likud party primary campaign in the past few weeks. Four members of the Falic family from Florida are responsible for contributing some NIS 165,000”

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/one-u-s-family-is-responsible-for-half-of-netanyahu-s-donations-1.407485

    Interesting. The Falics: http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Hollywood/the-falic-family-foundation-inc-6221385.aspx

    Simon Falic owns Duty Free Americas.

  20. Pixel
    January 16, 2012, 2:29 am

    “This is fabulous.”

    Agreed and seconded.

  21. kalithea
    January 16, 2012, 6:50 pm

    I think this topic’s a joke. This Israel wedge issue becoming part of the campaign is an invention easily construed in the minds of Progressives still refusing to let go of the Obama illusion, and Obama is definitely an illusion. Between his weakness (total capitulation on Neocon issues so far) and his neophyte liabilities: inability to exploit political capital, inability to seize opportunities for change and inability to lead in general, Obama and his lack of conviction, would seize defeat from the jaws of victory with this issue, because he would end up pissing everyone off. He would primarily piss off non-Jewish Progressives for trying to insult their intelligence, he would piss off Democratic Zionists the majority of whom are still right of centre when it comes to Israel, and he would piss off Americans who can’t stand Presidents with weak conviction. The only people he wouldn’t piss off are Jewish Progressives who can’t let go off him just like they can’t quite let go of some Zionist utopia in never-never land which will never be Israel.

    And let’s be practical shall we? How exactly would he broach the issue of Israel? Would he say something like: Israel is wrong to want to strike at Iran??? Can he walk back to a diplomatic solution with Iran when he took such aggressive steps as allowing an Act of War against Iran to pass through Congress or continues trying to topple the regime with covert operations? In fact, he may end up having to defend himself on how he’s handling the inception of War in the aftermath of an Israeli Strike, because Netanyahu may just be crazy enough to strike and set Obama up for a fall, as War would definitely alienate a huge chunk of Progressives AND Independents. Can he go back to the ’67 borders when he capitulated on that red line after the Lobby had their way with him? Republicans would clobber him as a flip-flopper! Some would call him CONFUSED; and Americans would be confused and peg him as weak and lacking conviction; and if there’s one thing Americans can’t stand it’s wobbly conviction. And Progressives would laugh and be reminded of Candidate Obama vs the real Obama; Neocon President Obama. Honestly, what words would you put in his mouth that would sound CONVINCING at this point? Does this man even have convictions on these issues or credibility at this point? I certainly don’t think so! Not a man who escalated the drone program and has so much Pakistani blood on his hands and not a man who turned away while Gazans carried the charred bodies of their babies in their arms when he became President Elect!!

    No-no, this is just another pipe dream, the product of desperation meant to keep the Obama mirage from fading.

    Meanwhile, the issue of Ron Paul being opposed to War with Iran, representing a credible threat to Zionists and the “special relationship” and the only REAL hope we have of challenging Obama’s daft Neocon policies gets SIDELINED AGAIN for this pie in the sky. Because let’s face it, it’s anything BUT Ron Paul around here!

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