‘Israel Firster’ gets at an inconvenient truth

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 120 Comments
Jeremy Ben Ami 1
Jeremy Ben Ami

The new battleground in the argument over Israel’s influence on American policy is the idea that some of those pushing an attack on Iran are “Israel Firsters.”

The term has been used by MJ Rosenberg of Media Matters and Zaid Jilani, formerly of  Center for American Progress. Israel supporters have struck back hard. They claim that using the term is anti-Semitic because it calls on a long history of questioning Jews’ loyalty to western countries.

Yesterday Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street bravely defended the use of the expression in an interview with the Washington Post. “If the charge is that you’re putting the interests of another country before the interests of the United States in the way you would advocate that, it’s a legitimate question,” Ben-Ami said. (And today Ben-Ami, evidently summoned by commisar Jeffrey Goldberg, apologizes for misspeaking.)

I think “Israel firster” is a perfectly legitimate term in a wide-open American discourse– especially a debate about attacking another country. Obviously, it’s loaded. It’s a comment on a person’s motivation, and it can be wielded as a form of redbaiting. But as an intellectual and political question, it has a long and honorable pedigree.

Its legitimacy can be demonstrated by three factual arguments:

1, Israel supporters routinely make frank professions of loyalty that raise the issue. 2, Students of US policy, including many mainstream (and Jewish) writers, have blurted frank comments in recent years about dual loyalty, so it must be a useful term. 3, It was useful historically for three important theorists of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, Hannah Arendt, and Rabbi Elmer Berger. If they get to talk about it, why can’t we? 

1). Public declarations of loyalty.

Senator Chuck Schumer went to AIPAC and declared that his name means guardian in Hebrew and then he cried, “Am Yisroel Chai.” The people of Israel live! MJ Rosenberg caught this:

Schumer: “I believe Hashem [Orthodox for God] actually gave me that name. One of my roles, very important in the United States senate, is to be a shomer — to be a or the shomer Yisrael. And I will continue to be that with every bone in my body …”

He’s hardly alone. Neoconservative Elliott Abrams wrote in a book on Jewish identity that “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live.” Alan Dershowitz has written that American Jews have a “sacred mission” to protect Jewish lives in Israel, and The Forward has lately stated that Jewish university presidents have “loyalty” to Israel.

If all these folks can talk about their devotion to Israel, then why can’t critics problematize that support and wonder if it crosses the line? Of course we can. That’s called debate.

2. Lots of smart writers find the term useful.

Before MJ Rosenberg and Zaid Jilani were attacked for talking about Israel firsters– and before Jilani apologized for doing so– many writers have questioned the allegiances of Israel supporters.

Joe Klein at Time:

The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives–people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary–plumped for this [Iraq] war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S. lives and money, to make the world safe for Israel.

John Judis, at the New Republic:

[Jewish leaders] want to demand of American Jewish intellectuals a certain loyalty to Israel, Israeli policies, and to Zionism as part of their being Jewish. They make dual loyalty an inescapable part of being Jewish in a world in which a Jewish state exists.

Eric Alterman of the Nation (speaking at the 92d St Y):

I am a dual loyal Jew and sometimes I’m going to actually go with Israel, because the United States can take an awful lot of hits and come up standing. Whereas if Israel takes one serious bad hit it could disappear. So there’s going to be some cases where when Israel and the United States conflict I’m going to support what’s best for Israel rather than what I think is best for the United States. The big fiction that permeates virtually all discussion and I bet you even in J Street, but certainly amongst official organizations is That there’s no such thing, that there could be possibly anything that could be both Good for Israel and Bad for the United States or vice versa.

Finally, culture critic Douglas Rushkoff has written that American Jewish confusion about which is our nation, epitomized by the two flags in the synagogue– “So the Jewish flag was our real flag—our secret flag—and the American flag was our conspicuous nod to the nation that we called home”—helped to produce the “compromise of Jewish ideals” that American Jewish support for Israel has involved.

Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt

3. This problem was anticipated historically by leading theorists of Zionism.

The very best understanding of dual loyalty was expressed by Hannah Arendt, in 1944, when she said that if the creation and long-term preservation of a Jewish state depended upon American Jews, the relationship would foster questions of dual loyalty.

From Zionism Reconsidered:

If a Jewish commonwealth is obtained in the near future… it will be due to the political influence of American Jews. This would not need to affect their status of American citizenship if their “homeland” or “mother country” were a politically autonomous entity in a normal sense, or if their help were likely to be only temporary. But if the Jewish commonwealth is proclaimed against the will of the Arabs and without the support of the Mediterranean peoples, not only financial help but political support will be necessary for a long time to come. And that may turn out to be very troublesome indeed for Jews in this country… It may eventually be far more of a responsibility than today they imagine or tomorrow can make good.

This is visionary, utterly visionary. Arendt anticipates the edifice of the Israel lobby in 2012. She anticipates Schumer declaring himself Israel’s “guardian” in Hebrew, Eric Alterman saying that the U.S. can take some hits for Israel, Joe Klein wondering about the neocons’ motivation for the Iraq war, and John Judis’s understanding that dual loyalty is an “inescapable” part of American Jewish leadership.

Now to Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism. Herzl repeatedly refers to allegations of dual loyalty in his diaries chronicling his campaign for Zionism in the eight years before his death in 1904.

Herzl wanted to characterize these allegations as anti-Semitic– as dark questions that anti-Semites raise about good Jews. But his diaries show that leading Jews, including the Zionist Edmond de Rothschild, who was then paying for Jewish settlement in Palestine, were concerned about the doubts posed to their patriotism by the foundation of a Jewish state.

From the diaries:

Paris. Nov. 10, 1895. Meeting with French Chief Rabbi Zadok Kahn.

He too professed himself to be a Zionist. But French “patriotism” also has its claims. Yes, a man has to choose between Zion and France.

Paris. Nov. 17, 1895. Meeting with Narcisse Leven, Jewish French leader.

When he harped on his French nationality I said, “What? Do not you and I belong to the same nation?”

London. Nov 24, 1895 Meeting with Samuel Montagu, Member of Parliament.

He confessed to me—in confidence—that he felt himself to be more an Israelite than an Englishman.

May 1896, diary entry containing a report of the feelings of Edmond de Rothschild, a French banker and Zionist:

What I am doing he considers dangerous, because I render the patriotism of the Jews suspect.

I will get to Rabbi Berger later. But to conclude, the term Israel Firster gets at an inconvenient truth of Zionism: that when you establish a Jewish nation, it may raise questions about the interests of Jews outside the “homeland.” Especially when they are pushing war that will help Israel.

Yes, some people who use the term Israel firster may be anti-Semites. Yes, the term can be ugly. Just as the expression “the 1 percent” can be ugly if wielded crudely.

But smearing people who use the term Israel firster as anti-Semites is a very old Zionist tactic– because they don’t want us to talk about a legitimate question, in this case whether an attack on Iran is in Americans’ interests. As Arendt wrote: 

[W]hen the assimilationists talked about the danger of double loyalty and the impossibility of being German or French patriots and Zionists at the same time, they rudely raised a problem which for obvious reasons the Zionists did not care to talk of frankly.

Zionists have controlled the terms of this conversation for too long. The smearing of smart journalists as anti-Semites is yet another effort to do so.

120 Responses

  1. Ramzi Jaber
    January 20, 2012, 10:31 am

    And then AIPAC and the zionists in USA (and elsewhere) scream bloody anti-semitism when someone says that they have huge influence on public discourse and on muzzling anti-israel positions.

    Yet another proof that that power is real and extreme and a threat to peace and global stability.

    The general public in USA and elsewhere will soon start realizing that being against the israeli government’s criminal actions does not equate to being against israel or jews. In fact, one might argue that those who are against the israeli government are in fact the true supporters of israel since they clearly see that the end of the two-state solution is the end of israel as a “democratic and jewish” state. As King Abdullah II said, israel will very soon have to choose between democracy or apartheid.

  2. Dan Crowther
    January 20, 2012, 10:35 am

    “Yes, some people who use the term Israel firster may be anti-Semites. Yes, the term can be ugly. Just as “the 1 percent” can be ugly if wielded crudely.”
    ———–

    Is this Phil buying into the Dan Siedarski “some inherent anti-semitism within Occupy” line? What do you mean “the 1 percent” can be ugly? Ugly toward jews? ugly toward wealthy people? ugly how?

  3. Avi_G.
    January 20, 2012, 10:45 am

    They claim that using the term is anti-Semitic because it calls on a long history of questioning Jews’ loyalty to western countries.

    Another Zionist helps perpetuate stereotypes about Jews.

    If the charge makes Ben-Ami uncomfortable, perhaps he and other Israel supporters need to cease and desist their preference of Israel over the United States.

    But, they want to have their cake and eat it, too; maintain Israel as a Jewish state, maintain support for said Jewish state and claim that any criticism of such tribal loyalty is taboo.

    Essentially there is no difference between Dershowitz’s sentiments and Ben-Ami’s. The two seek to dress up their exceptionalism in various mainstream terms (e.g. the anti-Semitism charge).

    Like George Carlin used to say, “F*** off!”

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 20, 2012, 11:13 am

      “But, they want to have their cake and eat it, too; maintain Israel as a Jewish state, maintain support for said Jewish state and claim that any criticism of such tribal loyalty is taboo.”

      Absolutely correct analysis, Avi.

      • yourstruly
        January 21, 2012, 11:07 am

        zionists want isreal-first to be taboo because it’s so accurate and because they know it’s where they’re most vulnerable

    • LeaNder
      January 20, 2012, 12:36 pm

      Avi, I initially had problems with your agitprop, but by now have come to appreciate your contributions. May I question to you nevertheless–somehow similar to my question to Jerome Slater, whom I asked if he really thought that using the “Just War” theory in the context of Ron Paul was a wise decision–do you think it make sense to compare Ben-Ami and Dershowitz? And then use George Carlin?

      Ben-Ami’s problem, just like Phil’s, has been the stifling of honest debate about the issue from the start; and since he is in charge of an institution that tries to fight the “alleged unity” on the issue, he better is careful as long as a open debate is not immediately incriminated as anti-Semitic. Phil has much more freedom to move without endangering his enterprise.

      • Avi_G.
        January 20, 2012, 6:34 pm

        LeaNder,

        I understand that on the surface it seems like there is a huge gap between Ben-Ami and Dershowitz. By the way, I’m not comparing him to Dershowitz for the purpose of attributing to Ben-Ami guilt by association.

        Anyway, when one looks at Ben-Ami’s statements and takes into account the fact that Ben-Ami must be familiar with what is happening on the ground in Israel and in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, then Ben-Ami’s rhetoric and his organization’s protestations finally appear for what they really are, empty and hollow.

        As one example, Ben-Ami peddles his advocacy for the two-state solution, yet refuses to speak FOR Palestinian rights. Additionally, he refuses to apply pressure on the Israeli government in order to end the occupation and withdraw to the 1967 ceasefire lines. He must be familiar with the iron grip that Zionists have on the centers of power in the United States, the same centers of power to which Palestinians have no access. So how exactly does he expect the two-state solution to manifest itself? Through magic? A miracle?

        Thus between Dershowitz and Ben-Ami the end result is the same, that is the marginalization of Palestinians from the discourse and the monopolization of said discourse by major Zionist organizations, the same organizations that claim to be “alternatives” but which end up perpetuating the status quo.

        Ye shall know them by their fruit.

        As for George Carlin, well, George Carlin had a talent for peeling away all the hypocrisy and nonsense and getting right to the heart of the matter. So perhaps that’s how George Carlin fits into all this.

        • LeaNder
          January 21, 2012, 11:26 am

          Thanks Avi, I better admit that my current subject of study seems to have interfered, I somehow mixed up George Carlin with somebody else.

  4. FreddyV
    January 20, 2012, 10:47 am

    ‘Zionists have controlled the terms of this conversation for too long.’

    That’s the sum total. I’ve been arguing with Zionists for nearly 2 years. That’s now stopped. I recently adopted Finkelstein’s approach.

    1: The occupation is illegal according to the International Criminal Court.

    2: The UN votes annually on the occupation with an average turnout of 160-6 against and for. The entire world is decidedly and consistently against it.

    It’s pointless engaging with a Zionist. They are fed on a diet of Hasbara and buzzwords designed to smear, discredit and close down arguments against it. They don’t like the Afrikaans word Apartheid as it’s a pejorative, but use Hafrada, which means the same thing: Separation. Think about it for a second. They’re using the same word when it suits them.

    Now they don’t like Israel Firster. It’s got nothing to do with the legitimacy of it’s use. It’s just another way for Zionists to control the conversation.

    This stuff is enough to make your head spin, and that’s precisely the way Zionism wants it. All you need to do is cut through the bullsh*t and it’s all very simple and clear.

    Israel do bad stuff and need to stop it.

    Nice job Phil.

  5. HRK
    January 20, 2012, 10:52 am

    I agree that what Arendt wrote in 1944 was startlingly visionary.

    Also, regarding “Israel firster”: One way to think about this term is that it simply refers to someone who is single issue politically, and that single issue is Israel. I wrote a while back that when I was young I was single issue pro-life. Other people are single issue flat tax or single issue unions, etc.

    The idea that it’s somehow impossible that someone could pick as their single issue a nation outside of the United States as opposed to a social/cultural issue such as one side or the other of the abortion debate is ridiculous. Of course people can be single issue Israel. And, definitely, we should be able to talk about it–because it’s actually a real phenomenon.

    I bristle at these complicated rules of political etiquette some would impose on us which have the effect of excluding ordinary people from taking part in the public conversation: “What, you didn’t know you can’t use ‘Israel firster’? Go home! Shows how much you need to keep your trap closed!”

    I don’t think so. “Israel firster” is reasonable. We should use it.

  6. Woody Tanaka
    January 20, 2012, 11:08 am

    “But smearing people who use the term Israel firster as anti-Semites is a very old Zionist tactic– because they don’t want us to talk about a legitimate question.”

    This is very interesting. You will recall that one of the themes in “1984″ was the claim that one could not hold an idea if there were no words to express that idea. Ergo, cut from the language those words which described concepts which the powers-that-be find offensive and the concepts themselves are destroyed.

    Because the problem to the Zionists isn’t with the term “Israel-Firster” as much as it is with the concept. (In the same way, they seek to destroy the concept of “anti-Zionism” by claiming it to be merely anti-Semitism.) So it is important to hammer home the concept.

    • alexno
      January 20, 2012, 3:34 pm

      The great achievement of George Orwell’s “1984″ was to invent concepts which are now common parlance 60 years later. It was a brilliantly original creation.

      However it would have been better for us today if he had not written it. Too many politicians, not only Neocons, have used it for inspiration.

      The image of poverty where the tobacco falls out of cigarettes if held vertically is also our future. The necessary product of the political concepts Orwell invented.

  7. Scott
    January 20, 2012, 11:08 am

    Albert Lilenthal quotes the Jewish Agency’s official statement:
    “Once there is a (Jewish) State, clashes inevitably arise with the needs and demands of other countries to which Jews owe loyalities. The problem of double loyalty cannot lightly be dismissed merely by saying it does not exist. . . It will become more difficult to fight in behalf of Israel’s political demands when these demands do not conform to the policy of the State in which the Jews are citizen.”

    • Scott
      January 20, 2012, 11:12 am

      sorry, meant Alfred Lilenthal

      • LeaNder
        January 20, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Lilienthal? Lilie is a lily in German and thal seems to be a variant spelling of Tal=valley.

  8. atime forpeace
    January 20, 2012, 11:11 am

    “long history of questioning Jews’ loyalty to western countries”

    so if the long history of questioning jews loyalty to western countries were to be studied without bias would we find what has been discovered in the United States?

    • LeaNder
      January 20, 2012, 12:57 pm

      What do you know about the Dreyfus affair? Do you think that Dreyfus could have been accused of spying for the Germans if he didn’t happen to be Alsatian? I admittedly somehow doubt.

      By the way, I do not doubt that the motivation was antisemitic.

    • patm
      January 20, 2012, 1:03 pm

      ….but a least with a country, the Jews can feel much safer and more protected.

      Safer, you say. Israel has been at war with its neighbours for 60+ years, and now its citizens are fighting among themselves. Not my idea of safety.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 20, 2012, 1:28 pm

      “Phil wants to argue that Jews are safe in the US and then it turns out that his own efforts are encouraging Dreyfus like discourse,”

      False. There is no “Dreyfus-like” discourse. That is a slur and a libel that you have generated from whole cloth, in an attempt to prevent the discussion of this important issue by linking it with an dissimilar event from the past.

      “The more this issue is discussed, the more Jews in the US will understand how important it is that Israel exists. The ‘double loyalty’ charge resonates whether Jews have a country or not but a least with a country, the Jews can feel much safer and more protected.”

      The charge isn’t “double loyalty” but one of bias. Your problem is that while you see the issue as one of an attack — safety and protection — in reality, this is merely about bringing biases to light so that Americans can decide for ourselves what we, as a country, should do. If certain of us have unnatural attachments to foreign powers then it is not an attack for us to note it, but merely smart, so that we can properly put into context that which the speaker is saying.

      It is no more suspicious in this case than it was in the ’80s and ’90s when Americans had to understand the biases of certain people regarding the Northern Ireland dispute. In other words, if someone said that the US should take steps that would have been detrimental to the UK/US alliance, it would have been proper to point out if that speaker was a Irish nationalist/republican/IRA supporter, or what-have-you, so the bias of the speaker can be considered in evaluating the proposal. Same here. If someone says that the US should invade this, that or some other country, but there is little to no appreciable upside to the US doing that, and signficant downside, but, by doing so, it would greatly aid Israel, it would be imperative, to evaluate the recommendation, to know whether the speaker would put Israel’s interests ahead of Americas.

      *And your notion that the existence of Israel as “protection” for Americans who are Jews is both insulting and naive. It is insulting, of course, because it presumes that the non-Jews in the US are bigoted like Israelis are against the Palestinians in Israel. Don’t worry, Americans aren’t bigoted against Jews. We believe in equality.

      It’s also naive, because if Americans were ever to, dog-forbid, go after the Americans of Jewish descent, there is little to nothing that the Israelis could realistically do about it. But don’t worry, those of us which you distain — the Human Rights Firsters — are on the job to see that this never occurs.

    • Don
      January 20, 2012, 1:31 pm

      Phil’s…his own efforts are encouraging Dreyfus like discourse.

      And that is a bad thing, eee? …no offense, but you might want to spend a few minutes learning about the Dreyfus phenomenon. Here is what Lenny Brenner has to say about it…
      link to marxists.de

      “His (Hertzl) universal pessimism caused him to misjudge totally the political environment of late-nineteenth-century Western Europe. In particular, Herzl misunderstood the Dreyfus case. The secrecy of the trial, and Dreyfus’s soldierly insistence on his innocence, convinced many that an injustice was done. The case aroused a huge surge of Gentile support. Kings discussed it and feared for the sanity of France; Jews in remote hamlets in the Pripet Marches prayed for Emile Zola. The intellectuals of France rallied to Dreyfus’s side. The socialist movement brought over the working people. The right wing of French society was discredited, the army stained, the Church disestablished. Anti-Semitism in France was driven into isolation lasting until Hitler’s conquest. Yet Herzl, the most famous journalist in Vienna, did nothing to mobilise even one demonstration on behalf of Dreyfus. When he discussed the matter, it was always as a horrible example and never as a rallying cause. In 1899 the outcry compelled a retrial. A court martial affirmed the captain’s guilt, 5 to 2, but found extenuating circumstances and reduced his sentence to ten years. But Herzl saw only defeat and depreciated the significance of the vast Gentile sympathy for the Jewish victim.

      • LeaNder
        January 21, 2012, 12:39 pm

        That’s a very good citation concerning the Dreyfus affair.

        I think one of the most fascinating characters in the whole conspiracy to quickly convict a “convenient victim” was another Alsatian Georges Picquart. Who even had to pay a price himself for not surrendering to the plot against Dreyfus.

        • MHughes976
          January 21, 2012, 2:19 pm

          Dreyfus was convicted in December 1894 and Picquart’s suspicions over the verdict were not aroused until July 1896, the public protests starting later. So there was quite a long interval in which everything was quiet, except for poor Dreyfus himself on Devil’s Island. Herzl had not used his position as correspondent in Paris for a leading Vienna newspaper to raise any immediate queries – so the only conclusion seems to be that he too was convinced at the time by the conspirators and their forged evidence.

        • Citizen
          January 21, 2012, 5:06 pm

          Like nearly everyone else at the time of Dreyfus’s arrest, Herzl concluded Dreyfus was in fact guilty of treason, although he was puzzled and disturbed about the case. Later, by 1899 when a major part of the French left had come around to a belief in Dreyfus’s innocence, he tried to build up his claims to prophecy, saying he had known all along of said innocence and that anti-Semitism had been responsible for his arrest (not factually true, although anti-Semitism was a competing factor of many in what came to be known as the Dreyfus Affair).

        • LeaNder
          January 22, 2012, 12:19 pm

          and Picquart’s suspicions over the verdict were not aroused until July 1896

          True MH, but then he didn’t have a chance to investigate the secret documents before; and if I remember correctly, if the secret dossier had been handled as the cabal intended, and not been kept together due to someone I forget now, he wouldn’t have had a chance even at that late point in time.

          One has to add that Picquart later could have promoted Dreyfus to a higher rank, for all the years lost on Devil’s Island, quite a horrible story, but didn’t. Even this hero has a slight human stain.

          Of course the Germans knew Dreyfus was innocent the whole time but remained silent.

          But anyway. I remember that the Dreyfus affair was mentioned in the introduction of a book on Antisemitism that the affair essentially proved that no matter how antisemitic the atmosphere a few upright people could turn it. Again, if I remember correctly it was in the introduction of the late Robert Michel’s A Concise History of American Antisemitism. I do not remember the author; as I remember it, but I think it wasn’t Michel himself.

          The Dreyfus affair is a highly interesting story, and I somehow doubt it couldn’t happen again today. It in fact does happen everywhere people are convicted based on secret files.

        • Citizen
          January 22, 2012, 8:27 pm

          Thanks to Picquart, at the risk of his own career, the case was reconsidered. Yet he was contemptuous of the entire Dreyfus family during the entire Affair–he thought them all scheming and pusillanimous.

        • LeaNder
          January 23, 2012, 7:39 am

          Yet he was contemptuous of the entire Dreyfus family during the entire Affair–he thought them all scheming and pusillanimous.

          What source are you relying on in this context, Citizen?

          I find it hard to believe that anybody that studies the story can arrive at any other conclusion than that the activities of the Dreyfus family, especially his brother, were completely justified.

        • Citizen
          January 23, 2012, 9:44 am

          LeaNder:
          Jean-Denis Bredin, The Affair: The Case Of Alfred Dreyfus (NY, 1986), pp 467-8, 476; Albert S Lindemann, Esau’s Tears, Cambridge University Press, 1997,pp 233, 236.

          There was plenty of deep hostility among those who worked to free Dreyfus. At the final hearing exonerating Dreyfus, Mathieu Dreyfus offered Picquart his hand–Picquart refused it.

          Obviously Picquart believed in the evidence he found and pushed against the will of his own superiors to bring it into the light, the evidence of Dreyfus’s innocence

    • American
      January 20, 2012, 2:28 pm

      Did anyone do a head count on how many US Jews fled the US for Israel when we tried and imprisoned the Jewish traitor Pollard?
      I am imagining somewhere around zero to none.

      • Citizen
        January 23, 2012, 9:46 am

        During the Dreyfus Affair years, there was a net inflow of Jews into France.

  9. Woody Tanaka
    January 20, 2012, 11:12 am

    Your attempt to poison the debate by passing on the meme that there are only two, equally biased views, is false. The opposite of an “Israel Firster” is usually never a “Palestine Firster,” but is virtually always “Human Rights Firster.”

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 20, 2012, 12:22 pm

      “Yeah right, when your only explanation why you focus most of your time on the Palestinian issue is that it is your right to do so, you are not a about human rights, you are a Palestine Firster.”

      Well, as that your premise is false, your conclusion can be ignored. No one focuses their time on the Palestine issue because it is their right to do so (although it is), but because what the Israeli Jews are doing to the Palestinians is so awful and inhumane.

      “How can you deny that this is a Palestine First blog and its writers are Palestine Firsters?”

      By noting the simple truth that opposition to the acts of the Israeli state as it relates to the human rights of the minorities within the de jure state and those in the West Bank and Gaza (or even opposition to Zionism, itself) does not make one a Palestinian Firster. As I noted, most people who are interested in this issue on the right, moral side (i.e., in opposition to the Israeli state) do so out of the moral and ethical conclusion that the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis Jews is barbaric and inhumane.

    • pabelmont
      January 20, 2012, 1:55 pm

      I am not “Palestine first”. If any aspect of supporting human rights for Palestinians went against a serious and broadly-based USA value or interest, I’d weigh the matter. But supporting human rights never seems to me to go against USA values or interests (outside the AIPAC variety).

      But many Zionists seem to want to drag the USA into yet another war, this time with Iran, and in my view that is quite contrary to USA’s interests and the worlds. Those who push for this due to fealty to Isael may justly be called “Israel Firsters”. Or so it seems.

    • American
      January 20, 2012, 2:21 pm

      Whatever you call us eee is irrelevant.

      Do a poll of everyone attached to the I/P-Israel- US issue and what you would most likely find is that most came to it when they learned the horrible things being done to a defenseless people by the (hypocritical) holocaust State of Israel and learned further that our own country, the US was supporting Israel doing it.

    • desaforado
      January 20, 2012, 2:43 pm

      agree, there are a a great amount of position on not being a “Israel Firster”, for instance I am a moderate supported, I support Israel when it respect Palestine, that is to say a conditional supporter

    • Cliff
      January 20, 2012, 3:07 pm

      eee said:

      Yeah right, when your only explanation why you focus most of your time on the Palestinian issue is that it is your right to do so, you are not a about human rights, you are a Palestine Firster.

      How can you deny that this is a Palestine First blog and its writers are Palestine Firsters?

      The concept of ‘[country] firster’ means that you have citizens of your home nation steering domestic and foreign policy in favor of a foreign country.

      This entails a whole host of issues.

      Yet, Palestinian solidarity activists are not asking the US to give a hypothetical Palestinian State (none exists, due to the Israeli colonial project and 45 year long occupation) weapons of mass destruction and diplomatic immunity to do what it wants to it’s neighbors.

      The Palestinian solidarity movement is about human rights and liberation and justice.

      There is NO COMPARISON WHATSOEVER to an Israel firster SLASH traitor who wants the strongest country on Earth to enable Israel’s colonial project.

      eee, being the dishonest, two-faced, ex-IDF fascist that he is (oh and a Afrikaaner who uses Jewish history/culture/identity as a human shield for Zionism) constructing a false paradigm.

      Even if we were truly ‘Palestine firsters’ the context is still of a humanitarian/liberation tone. We aren’t trying to make Palestine the strongest ‘country’ in the region by subverting all the others surrounding it. We aren’t censoring political opponents who express dissent in Washington.

      WE AREN’T CENSORING A DAMN CHILDRENS’ ART EXHIBIT!

      There is no comparison between us and the likes of you, eee.

      I don’t care how binary it may seem, but you are the villain of this story.

  10. seanmcbride
    January 20, 2012, 11:13 am

    Great essay by Phil.

    Israel Firster: someone who is more preoccupied with Israeli issues than any other issues.

    Germany Firster: someone who is more preoccupied with German issues than any other issues.

    Ireland Firster: someone who is more preoccupied with Irish issues than any other issues.

    And so on. Simple stuff.

    These people are easy to spot — they shout their agenda to the heavens. It’s the only subject they think about, talk about and care about.

    If you are an ethnic nationalist, there is a strong probability that you are going to place your ethnic nationalist interests above any other interest — it’s the nature of the beast (the beast being ethnic nationalism).

    Spotting Israel Firsters in particular: they are aggressive and overexcited about Israeli issues. They are often abusive and threatening to those who disagree with them. In discussing Mideast politics their focus is always on the Israeli interest, never on the American interest or the interest of any other nation. When they claim to speak for the American interest they never make the slightest sense on strategic and logical grounds — they are dissembling.

    Most (nearly all?) neoconservatives are blatant Israel Firsters. They make no effort to hide what they are up to and what drives them.

  11. justicewillprevail
    January 20, 2012, 11:29 am

    Another classic false equivalence. Nobody here is advocating uncritical acceptance of every single Palestinian claim, nor subservience to a Palestinian ideology, if there was such a thing. Nobody advocates waging war on other states for the benefit of Palestinians, or showering them with free arms and innumerable benefits. Nobody lobbies to call Palestinian critics anti-semites, or have them sacked and vilified. Nobody demands that every institution, including candidates for public office must swear an undying loyalty to Palestine.
    Absurd attempt to equate undying support for a rich, ethnic cleansing, apartheid country with support for a vilified, dispossessed, deliberately empoverished people who are denied basic human rights. But no more than you expect from Jim Crow types who whine about ‘anti-white’ prejudice in the form of civil rights.

  12. seanmcbride
    January 20, 2012, 11:32 am

    These are a few people (among many others) who strike me as Israel Firsters in American politics:

    1. Alan Dershowitz
    2. Ari Fleischer
    3. Brad Sherman
    4. Bret Stephens
    5. Caroline Glick
    6. Charles Krauthammer
    7. Chuck Schumer
    8. Daniel Pipes
    9. Debbie Schlussel
    10. Dennis Ross
    11. Douglas Feith
    12. Elliott Abrams
    13. Eric Cantor
    14. Fred Hiatt
    15. Haim Saban
    16. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
    17. Jeff Jacoby
    18. Jeffrey Goldberg
    19. Jennifer Rubin
    20. Joe Lieberman
    21. John Podhoretz
    22. Martin Peretz
    23. Meyrav Wurmser
    24. Michael Ledeen
    25. Mort Zuckerman
    26. Morton Klein
    27. Natan Sharansky
    28. Norman Podhoretz
    29. Pamela Geller
    30. Sheldon Adelson
    31. William Kristol

    If I’ve got this wrong, please straighten me out. If I talked about Ireland with the same relentless urgency and aggressive tone these folks talk about Israel, I would be the first to label myself an “Ireland Firster” — why try to hide the obvious? It would be ridiculous.

    If you are going to be an ethnic nationalist, fess up to what you are. Deal with the consequences forthrightly. Don’t play games.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 20, 2012, 1:04 pm

      eee, you can call me a palestine firster if you want. right now my political priority is freeing palestine. there are other things i do put first, my family etc..but i don’t care if you call me that. and i consider myself a patriotic american and i think palestine being free is in the best interest of my country. i have dual loyalties in life. it doesn’t shame me to say that. i am proud of what i do. i think america supporting an apartheid state with a brutal occupation is dangerous for my country.

      i self identify as a global citizen.

    • justicewillprevail
      January 20, 2012, 1:28 pm

      This is incoherent rubbish, eee, and if that is the best you can do in an attempt to obscure the obvious point, it is pretty feeble. Is this your new insult – ooh, he is a Palestine firster? As if it means anything, other than some stupid idea of your own? Read the article and respond to the well argued points there, if you have anything worthwhile to say. Otherwise we can only assume you are trolling once again, since your gambit is utterly AWOL.

    • seanmcbride
      January 20, 2012, 2:45 pm

      eee,

      I am not a Palestine Firster — I am an America Firster. Maybe a Europe Seconder. Then maybe a Global Thirder. Israel is much farther down on my list of priorities. Palestinians even lower down on that list.

      With regard to Mideast politics, my number one concern is, what’s good for America and Americans? Until recently I have thought that achieving a peaceful solution between Israel and its neighbors (one that was fair to the Palestinians) would be good for everyone concerned — for Americans, for Israelis, for Palestinians, for Europeans and for the world in general. Now I realize that Zionism has morphed into (or was it always?) a racist and mad apocalyptic cult that has never had the slightest intention of achieving a fair and reasonable settlement with the Palestinians and its Arab and Muslim neighbors.

      Ethnic nationalism bores me to tears — that is why I am big fan of Americanism and modern Western democracies in general.

      So let’s have this discussion: I am an America Firster and you are an Israel Firster: where do we go from here? Why should Americans support or get involved with your narrow ethnic nationalist politics? What’s in it for us except huge headaches? Do you really appreciate how out of sync you are with the rest of the world?

  13. Richard Witty
    January 20, 2012, 11:52 am

    As smear, the accusation of anti-semitism for bringing up any other relevant question, is out of line.

    As smear, the accusation of dual loyalty is equally out of line.

    The relevant response to name-calling, which is nearly always a prejudicial generalization (not intelligent inquiry), is what exactly do you mean by “dual loyalty”? Does that have any actual significance, or is it being used only to shut down inquiry?

    One test for me of where that line between inquiry and propaganda rests, is in repetition. If repeated, if no room is being made for addressing content, then it is likely suppressive propaganda.

    If “our side” does it, its suppressive propaganda, if “they” do it, its also suppressive propaganda, whether one is the powerful or the powerless.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 20, 2012, 12:15 pm

      The burden is on you, as the one who would call it a smear, to actually prove that contention before dismissing it.

      • eljay
        January 20, 2012, 11:48 pm

        >> RW: One test for me of where that line between inquiry and propaganda rests, is in repetition. If repeated, if no room is being made for addressing content, then it is likely suppressive propaganda.

        Kind of like when a person repeats the claim, over and over again, that the Palestinians wanted to wipe the street of Gaza with Israeli blood.

        >> WT: The burden is on you, as the one who would call it a smear, to actually prove that contention before dismissing it.

        He would, but he’s too busy repeating it, so there’s no room being made for addressing content…which means it’s just suppressive propaganda.

    • yourstruly
      January 21, 2012, 11:35 am

      not a smear when it’s true, as when israel-firsters advocate for a war against iran en route to wwiii.

  14. pabelmont
    January 20, 2012, 11:52 am

    Great article. Hope some folks outside the usual suspects read it!

    Eric Alterman: “I am a dual loyal Jew and sometimes I’m going to actually go with Israel, because the United States can take an awful lot of hits and come up standing. Whereas if Israel takes one serious bad hit it could disappear.”

    Let’s ask these folks a simple question (which Alterman really answers):

    Simple Question: If Israel desires the USA to go to war or take other action which is broadly understood to be contrary to USA’s interests (other than the interests of some of its Zionist citizens), is a person advocating such action legitimately called an “Israel Firster”?

    If war with Iran would reasonably be anticipated to result in the loss of a great many American soldiers’ lives, the loss of one or more (vastly expensive) American war-ships, a rise by 100% in the price of oil and a great reduction in the availability of oil, short-term, an increase of terrorism against USA targets world-wide, etc., AND if Americans understand this and believe it and have the temerity to take the political position that a USA war with Iran would be “bad for the USA”, is a Zionist demanding such a war for Israel’s sake an “Israel Firster”?

    In that case, is it DUAL loyalty, or SINGLE loyalty?

    • seanmcbride
      January 20, 2012, 12:20 pm

      SINGLE loyalty. Please — the expression “dual loyalty” is misleading and far too generous.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 20, 2012, 12:55 pm

      Since one can argue that the US Congress actually decides what US interests are, what you say does not make sense.

      just because US congress makes decisions doesn’t mean they don’t act in the best interest of the lobbiests. that’s what lobbiests are there for.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 20, 2012, 1:41 pm

      “Simple question: Who decides what US interests are and how do they decide them?”

      The American people do, based on our individual beliefs about the world.

      “You are claiming that the US Congress acts against US interests. Since one can argue that the US Congress actually decides what US interests are, what you say does not make sense.”

      No, what does not make sense is your notion that the US Congress — with it’s single-digit approval ratings — decides what US interest are. How foreign (to an American) such a concept is. It is absolutely statist. So alien to the American mind.

  15. American
    January 20, 2012, 11:52 am

    “This is visionary, utterly visionary. Arendt anticipates the edifice of the Israel lobby in 2012. She anticipates Schumer declaring himself Israel’s “guardian” in Hebrew, Eric Alterman saying that the U.S. can take some hits for Israel, Joe Klein wondering about the neocons’ motivation for the Iraq war, and John Judis’s understanding that dual loyalty is an “inescapable” part of American Jewish leadership.”

    Actually Arendt was just using common sense. The reason people use truisms like ‘you can’t serve two masters” and the reason these sayings are called truisms is because they have proven thruout time to be true.
    Another truism is “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”…which is where most of are at in trying to tell US zionist they can’t serve two masters.

    I have worn myself out in trying to explain the basic facts of life and loyalty to Israel Firsters to the point where my only response to this:
    “They claim that using the term is anti-Semitic because it calls on a long history of questioning Jews’ loyalty to western countries.”
    Is…well then, quit doing what you’re doing. Cause what you are doing is exactly what Jews have been accused of before.

    • American
      January 20, 2012, 1:20 pm

      “How is this view not antisemitism?”….eee

      I am not going to waste my time explaining the difference to you.
      Go bait someone else.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 20, 2012, 2:18 pm

      eee, you ask how it was not antisemitism. my answer is that the accusation of anti semitism assumes the charges (of israel firster) are false in every instance.

    • American
      January 20, 2012, 2:54 pm

      “Au contraire. It assumes that past charges were true just as the current ones are assumed to be true. Exactly the opposite of what you write”…eee

      The past ‘charges” may have been true of some Jews, giving rise to the carnards about the Jews in general.
      Just as today the activities of some Jews who are Israel Firsters could give rise to generalizations about Jews in general today.

      There are only two groups that want to encourage this generalization:

      1) Your zionist group that wants to pretend pointing out of Israel Firsters is generalizing about Jews because you think that will shut people up and let the Israel Firsters continue their Israel First activities uncriticized.
      2) The other group that likes this generalization is the other Supremist, the KKK, Aryan Brotherhood and etc..

      Not nice circles you are traveling in.

  16. Hostage
    January 20, 2012, 11:57 am

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If and when the term “Palestinian Firster” is used to describe you and others that think like you, I hope you will be just as benign about it.

    Yet another example of your limited comprehension. You failed to name any Palestine firsters in the US Senate. You also failed to cite any examples of Senators or MW commentators who have advocated that the US subordinate its own interests to those of Palestine or the Palestinians. Hell, even Mearsheimer and Walt don’t recommend we do that.

    I’ve repeatedly explained that the debate over the one state vs. two state solution is completely irrelevant, since the ultimate goal is equal human rights and justice for everyone. It simply doesn’t matter how many states there are in the territory of the former Palestine mandate. We all know that you can live with that (but choose not to). So you hang out here pissing and moaning or making unsupported accusations.

  17. Ellen
    January 20, 2012, 11:59 am

    This article reminded me of something. It was 1980, I think. Watching a local TV station outside of Philadelphia very late, there was the sign off broadcast at about 2:00 am. The broadcast was of the Israeli flag being raised with the Israeli national anthem solemnly playing in the background. I learned from others that this station always signed off with the Israeli flag and anthem in those wee hours.

    I had few opinions about world events or politics, but found it strange, even wrong, to regularly celebrate any foreign country on a US TV station sign-off.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 20, 2012, 1:44 pm

      I think that there are towns along the Jersey Shore where Israeli, Irish and Italian flags on homes far outnumber American flags.

      • Ellen
        January 21, 2012, 12:39 pm

        Private property is one thing.

        It is not a publicly licensed broadcaster with responsibilities to the broader public.

  18. Annie Robbins
    January 20, 2012, 12:10 pm

    excellent phil!

  19. LeaNder
    January 20, 2012, 12:17 pm

    Do I remember correctly, that “eee” was the one singled out by Jerome Slater as someone more intelligent then the rest of the people commenting here?

  20. seanmcbride
    January 20, 2012, 12:18 pm

    Any American who is

    1. conspicuously and aggressively lobbying for a foreign government,

    2. advocating policies for the sake of that government that are damaging to Americans, and

    3. attacking and abusing his or her fellow Americans on behalf of that foreign government

    should be sharply questioned about where his or her true loyalties really lie. Their answers will of course consist of evasions and lies, but most us will easily recognize the truth. These people have only a single loyalty — to the foreign government. Some of them (like Jonathan Pollard) should be investigated as possible foreign spies and operatives. They are no friends of America or Americans.

  21. seanmcbride
    January 20, 2012, 12:27 pm

    eee,

    I am an America Firster (with no apologies) and you are an Israel Firster. Can you live with that? What, really, do we have to talk about? Why should your ethnic nationalism be of interest to me other than possibly as a subject of scholarly and critical investigation?

    How many sacrifices have you made for ethnic nationalist movements that are not your own?

  22. kalithea
    January 20, 2012, 12:35 pm

    There’s a whole lot of hypocrisy involved in this discussion and other issues relating to Zionism. For instance, one of my comments was censored on the Cantor thread. So I’m going to assume it was considered Anti-Semitic because I expresssed that I believe that moral laziness, cowardliness and selfishness on the part of the J…wish community (with the exception of the VERY FEW whose ACTIONS put conscience and humanity FIRST) is what keeps Congress stacked on both sides of the aisle in essence creating a one-party system on all issues regarding Israel and Middle East policy, and that we can talk these issues to death but as long as that situation in Congress continues this TALK, TALK AND ONLY TALK will lead NO WHERE! Because when push comes to shove, “Liberal” Zionists talk a good game and then vote another way. They vote for Democratic Zionists and then expect them to come to these sites and listen to reason or feel pressured by this debate. How disingenuous! Put it this way, the majority of J…ws ARE ZIONIST anyway so why wouldn’t they want Congress stacked? A stacked Congress, together with Lobby money and influence, means ISRAEL FIRST or Zionism First all the time, FOREVER, and an endless supply of excuses to just TALK but absolutely no justice reaching those who suffer. A stacked Congress is just another Iron Wall that Jabotinsky could only dream of.

    Two Palestinian politicians were arrested by the ZOF (Zionist Occupation Forces) yesterday, and where’s the outcry, where’s this news ANYWHERE? If Kucinich and Paul were suddenly arrested there would be an outcry, although, if this situation keeps going, even this might be tolerated in America one day (especially if Paul were arrested).

    That’s why ALL Zionists and J…ws in general fear Ron Paul so much, because he would end the “special” relationship by cutting funding to Israel and disengaging from Israel’s foreign policy and this would represent the beginning of the end of Zionist influence in Congress and that thought terrifies them, because that influence is just too good to sacrifice even if it represents sparing Palestinians, Lebanese, Iranians and others from Zionist injustice and hostility.

    If this post is censored, I’ll know there’s bad faith going on here.

    • Bumblebye
      January 20, 2012, 5:09 pm

      Here’s one of them, Aziz Dweik:
      link to bbc.co.uk
      which I read at snore o’clock this morning.
      Meanwhile, bbcR4′s news at Ten is coming right now from Jerusalem.

      • Bumblebye
        January 20, 2012, 5:23 pm

        Martin van Creveld just said Israel can live with a nuclear Iran just as well as South Korea can live with a nuclear North Korea.

        • Charon
          January 20, 2012, 9:20 pm

          And India and live with a nuclear Pakistan. Dare I even say the US living with a nuclear Russia/China.

          There is no nuclear balance of power in the region. Israel is the only nuclear nation for nearly 1,500 miles (unless you count the ones the US has in Turkey). I’m personally okay with a nuclear weapons Iran. I also don’t believe they have a nuclear weapons program. Iraq didn’t, the reactor ruins inspection proved this. Israel was wrong about them. Israel and their cheerleaders were also wrong about Iraq and WMD just a few years back. They may have been right about Syria, but a tight lid has been kept tight on that info. They’re probably wrong about Iran if you go by their track record.

        • Annie Robbins
          January 20, 2012, 9:35 pm

          charon, i recommend listening to Mearsheimer on the radio show hosted by adam and lizzy. it is really good. he talks about the enrichment program re iran. the whole thing is worthwhile.

        • Richard Witty
          January 21, 2012, 6:36 am

          Charon and Annie,
          I agree with you that Mearsheimer made important insights on the radio program.

          The one that struck me is that he ratified the US observation (and mine), that Iran is pursuing the path with enrichment of nuclear ambiguity, that the worry is that Iran will reach an enrichment capacity that allows it to very very quickly develop weapons (potentially within the window of the 6-month allowed delay of disclosure – my comment, not Mearsheimers).

          He, like I, states preference that Iran NOT pursue the enrichment process beyond a status that is clearly ONLY for nuclear power. He, like I, states a worry that Iran will push forward anyway, and will make some bad decision as to escalation that will be misunderstood and misinterpreted and responded with a larger escalation.

          He did not speak of the advisability of just accepting Iran’s efforts for power, but of the question of whether to provoke gently, to undertake military efforts, or to undertake containment efforts when/if Iran does develop nuclear capacity.

          He does not minimize the significance of prospective proxy militias on multiple Israeli borders.

          He, like Obama, like me, like Israel, worries and like Obama, like me, like Israel, doesn’t know what is the effective strategy to realize a moderate Iran with nuclear power but without nuclear weapons.

        • Shingo
          January 21, 2012, 8:33 am

          as is alays the case Witty you hear or watch a clip and imagine stuff that was never said.

          The one that struck me is that he ratified the US observation (and mine), that Iran is pursuing the path with enrichment of nuclear ambiguity, that the worry is that Iran will reach an enrichment capacity that allows it to very very quickly develop weapons (potentially within the window of the 6-month allowed delay of disclosure – my comment, not Mearsheimers).

          That’s not what he said. he makes no reference to levels fo enrichment for power and or research reactors.

          Meareshmer was commenting purely on the basis of what this means from an Israeli and US government perspective. Nuclear ambiguity, which is what Israel is practicing, involves producing nukes. Iran are not producin them, not even trying.

          Meashimre makes no reference to nuclear ambiguity.

          He, like I, states preference that Iran NOT pursue the enrichment process beyond a status that is clearly ONLY for nuclear power.

          Stop lying Witty.

          That is not what the NPT states and Meareshimer says nothing of the kind. In fact, he doesn’t offer any opinion abot what he wants Iran to do.
          Under the NPT, Iran is allowed to enrich to 20%. Meashimer points out that this is what Iran is allowed to do.

          He, like I, states a worry that Iran will push forward anyway, and will make some bad decision as to escalation that will be misunderstood and misinterpreted and responded with a larger escalation.

          False again. He says that if Iran push foeward, it’s better to let it happen than push for war. he makes no mention of “escalation that will be misunderstood and misinterpreted and responded with a larger escalation.”

          He did not speak of the advisability of just accepting Iran’s efforts for power, but of the question of whether to provoke gently, to undertake military efforts, or to undertake containment efforts when/if Iran does develop nuclear capacity.

          Absolute rubbish. he said nothing fo the sort. He didn’t even offer an opinion as to Iran’s nuclear power industry.

          He does not minimize the significance of prospective proxy militias on multiple Israeli borders.

          Nor does he even mention them in the interview.

          It’s unbelievable that you think you are operating on the same intellectual and as Meareshimer. Talk about delusions of grandeur!

        • Citizen
          January 21, 2012, 10:56 am

          Mearsheimer said on the same radio show that war with Iran was not an option he would back, and that Iran had a perfect right under the NPT to develop enrichment. And he said that if Iran were bombed, it would still eventually get enrichment enough to use it for defensive war, if it so chose. And he said Israel has never wanted a viable Palestinian state and the US regimes can do nothing about it due to the Israel Lobby.

      • Hostage
        January 20, 2012, 11:24 pm

        I’ve been reading about the Israeli Palestinian MKs coming under fire for visiting him after his release and about his arrest at PNN, Maan, and Ynet. You really can’t conduct peace negotiations between two states while one of the parties occupies the other and arbitrarily arrests its officials.

        All UN member states have an obligation to accept Security Council resolutions and implement them. This sort of thing violates the GC IV and UN SC Res. 1860:

        “7. Encourages tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation including in support of mediation efforts of Egypt and the League of Arab States as expressed in the 26 November 2008 resolution, and consistent with Security Council resolution 1850 (2008) and other relevant resolutions;

        Hamas has called for an end to the meetings in Amman unless the arrests of PLC members stops and the members are released. Sounds reasonable to me. The Quartet hasn’t delivered on its proposal and it is working as Israel’s lawyer again.

        • Annie Robbins
          January 20, 2012, 11:29 pm

          Hamas has called for an end to the meetings in Amman unless the arrests of PLC members stops and the members are released. Sounds reasonable to me the Quratet hasn’t delivered on its proposal and it is working as Israel’s lawyer again.

          yeah, israel has reframed the quartets proposals and timeline so i guess maybe that means the quartet never asked for what they asked for..or something.

        • Hostage
          January 20, 2012, 11:41 pm

          yeah, israel has reframed the quartets proposals and timeline so i guess maybe that means the quartet never asked for what they asked for..or something.

          The PLO exercise to embarrass and isolate the US and Blair only requires that they wait until the 26th before taking actions to approach other agencies and international organizations. Abbas agreed to wait, with two exceptions. The campaign for membership in the UN has gone-on non-stop and the PLO has approached the ICRC in Geneva to request that they take action to enforce compliance with the applicable conventions. There are a number of UN resolutions asking that the Diplomatic Conference of the High Contracting Parties be reconvened on that same issue. After the UNESCO vote and the GA resolution on permanent sovereignty there are about 180 states with an obligation to treat Palestine as a state party and allow it to pursue claims against Israel in their Courts.

  23. gingershot
    January 20, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Preview of the Newest Anti-Semitism circa 2020:

    The world allowed or otherwise didn’t stop Israel from setting up an Apartheid State because the world is genetically or at least unconsciously anti-semitic and just wanted a reason to hate Jews.

    It was all a trick so as to give non-true human beings an excuse to express their latent anti-semitism.

    Of course it couldn’t be the Israelis simply didn’t give a damn about anyone else to the point of ethnic cleansing anyone in their way, or perhaps even that Israelis have an unconscious need to create a world that hates them, because that’s one of the deep anchors the culture gins up for a major portion of it’s sense of identity

  24. Citizen
    January 20, 2012, 1:15 pm

    Good article, Phil! This Jeff thinks it’s as American as apple pie to join the IDF, but not the US military: link to theatlantic.com

  25. brenda
    January 20, 2012, 1:21 pm

    thanks for the WaPo link, Phil. The story was only published yesterday and already has 1427 comments on it. Actually, 1429 comments, I put up two myself.

    Jennifer Rubin already covered this story and she got royally trashed in the commentary, also didn’t get nearly so much reaction. This latest piece is done by a proper reporter, not a columnist on the AIPAC payroll, so he writes a better and more balanced piece that is attracting more attention.

    Even so, our side is holding down the fort admirably! You would be proud, Phil, probably a lot of MondoWeiss graduates there :>) We’re not getting bulldozed, I would say it’s the other way around. I think the tide is finally turning.

  26. Parity
    January 20, 2012, 1:45 pm

    A number of years ago, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (my representative) told a group of us sitting in her office in Washington, DC, that other members of Congress had told her that when they had to choose between supporting Israel or supporting the United States, they chose Israel. We did not press for names, and I am sure she would not have given them to us if we had.

  27. American
    January 20, 2012, 1:55 pm

    We did agree that sticking to facts for the sake of lurkers and newbies was something we should do. So I submit some facts concerning the creation of Israel and how many in the Truman adm tried to convince him of the dangers for the US, how it would become a political issue for US Jews and how we would become politically forced by domestic politics to assume responsiblity for Israel and it’s financial welfare and it’s military protection.

    If you study what really went on in the Truman adm it is impossible to deny the Israel “cabal”, so to speak, influence from the beginning. If you really go thru all the oral histories and documents (there are piles of them) you will understand that Israel Firsters were true Israel Firsters—–advocating and using all kinds of not nice and underhanded and threatening tactics, as they do today—-the interest of the US and the short and long term and the position it put the US in and the well understood consquences were of absolutely no concern to them. …the Jews and Israel came First. Period. Some of the names you will recongize as well know zionist leaders at the time. But what is even more interesting are nuggets of the same thing we see today in the positioning of zionist in offices high and low where they had the ability to both aboveboard and underboard tactics to faciliate the zionist goal for Israel.
    I’ll use just an excerpt from one official’s oral history that is representive of 90% of the US officials position on Israel. It also illustrates what we have seen time after time in US officials being targeted by the Zionist as anti semities if they speak up in favor of US interest as opposed to Israeli interest. From day one of the Jewish State, to be Pro American was turned into being anti semitic. Anyone who has a whole day to spend can use the link at the bottom to go thru dozens of them and more documents.

    link to trumanlibrary.org
    Excerpts- oral history of Abm Loy Henderson

    MCKINZIE: Did you ever have any reason to think that because of the position that you had taken on the Palestine problem that that had some effect on your appointment as Ambassador to India?

    HENDERSON: Oh, yes, without any doubt, it was responsible for my transfer from the Department. It also cast a shadow over me that was never fully dispelled. Literally hundreds of thousands of Americans who were devoted to the establishment and continued prosperity and development of the Jewish State have continued to associate my name with what they considered to be the nefarious “pro-Arab” group in the State Department who had opposed the establishment of such a State.

    During the years 1945-1948, various of my Jewish friends had tried to warn me that I was making powerful enemies who could make life miserable for me. I can recall that a Jewish member of Congress with whom I had friendly relations, had given me a fair warning. He had said, “Loy, I want to tell you that you will be in deep trouble if you continue to adhere to what is believed to be your present attitude with regard to the establishment of the Jewish State. Can’t you at least modify your stand and just let affairs take their natural course? If you continue to advise our Government against supporting the setting up of a Jewish State, your career can be ruined, and I don’t know what else might happen to you.”

    I thanked him because I felt that he was not threatening me but, on the contrary, was trying to be helpful, and I told him that in my present position in the Department of State it was my duty to advise the Secretary of State on problems relating to the Middle East. I would not be doing my duty if I should allow considerations of my personal career or well-being to prevent me from telling him what my office, which was composed of personnel well-acquainted with problems of the Middle East, and I believed to be the policies that would be in the interests of the United States, of humanity, and of peace. I added that I need not tell him that I was not anti-Jewish and that I was interested not only in the welfare of the United States but in that of the Jewish people.

    During the latter part of 1947 and the first six months of 1948, thousands of letters came into the State Department demanding my immediate dismissal. Similar letters also piled up, I assume, in the White House. I was attacked on the floors of Congress, and on one occasion a delegation of members of Congress, I understand, went to the White House in order to insist that I be dropped from the Department of State.

    It became clear by the middle of 1948 that my continued presence in the Department represented a liability both for the Administration and for the Department.

    MCKINZIE: And then, of course, your appointment to India was in ‘48.

    HENDERSON: Yes, in June, I was asked if I would be willing to go as Ambassador to Turkey and had replied that I was prepared to go to the field in any capacity agreeable to the President and the Secretary. Several days later while I was in California attending a seminar at Stanford University, I received a telephone call from the Department inquiring if I would be prepared to go to India instead of to Turkey, and again I stated that I would do whatever the President and the Secretary wanted me to do. So in early July I was appointed Ambassador to India.

    Upon my return to the Department I was told that the shift was made because some of the more extreme American Zionists would not be happy if I would be serving at a post in the Middle East so close to Palestine. The irony of the change was that George Wadsworth, who was to go to India and then shifted to Turkey, was a highly qualified and experienced expert on the Middle East, who for many years had been opposed to Zionist ambitions with regard to Palestine.

    MCKINZIE: Could you talk a little bit about the State Department in general on this subject? I don’t think we mentioned that in our last conversation, Mr. Truman, I think, did say in his Memoirs, something about his feeling that there was considerable anti-Jewish sentiment.

    [161]

    HENDERSON: I encountered no anti-Jewish sentiment in the State Department. Most of my colleagues, I believe, and I am including personnel in offices other than my own office, thought that the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine by sheer force would cause endless trouble for Arabs, Jews, and the United States and might eventually even lead to wars in which the United States might become involved. The Policy Planning Staff in the Department, according to my recollection, made a study of the Palestine problem which resulted in recommendations similar to those made by us.

    MCKINZIE: Did you have discussions with the Policy Planning Staff?

    HENDERSON: The Policy Planning Staff called in members from various offices in the Department to testify at its hearings. I talked to them as a representative of my office. Its findings, I believe, were not widely known. I doubt that they were ever published. That is understandable because they were primarily for the use of the Secretary and Under Secretary and not for the general public.

    MCKINZIE: But, nevertheless, there were a number of other people who you believed arrived independently at the same position.

    HENDERSON: Of course, my influence in the State Department was not so great that its other members were not able to form their own independent decisions. Although I cannot speak for him, and so far as I can remember he did not tell me what his views were, I was confident that Dean Rusk also thought that the establishment by force of a Jewish State in Palestine would be a mistake. Although both Dean Acheson or Bob Lovett were careful never to approve the views expressed by my office, they were continually asking for them and encouraging us to give them voluntarily. If they had told us not to give them, we would of course not have done so. They passed many of our memoranda to the Secretary and to the President. I think that in general both they and the Secretary were of the opinion that our concerns had a certain amount of substance.

    MCKINZIE: How much in your discussions with the people in the White House, or even in the State Department, did you talk about the inevitability of some kind of war if this thing happened?

    HENDERSON: In most of my discussions I took the position that in the absence of an arrangement acceptable to both Jews and Arabs for the establishment of a Jewish State, a Jewish State would be set up by force; there would certainly be wars of some kind. I said during my talk at the White House that the Arabs in the Middle East outnumbered the Jews to such an extent that even if, in the initial clash, the Jews would have the advantage and be able to establish their State, they would be facing a hostile Arab world many times the size of the Jewish State for an indefinite number of years to come. I did not see how such a State could long survive without our continued aid, and there was a danger that sooner or later we would become involved in one of the wars that seemed to me to be inevitable.

    MCKINZIE: Before you assumed your Ambassadorship to India, had there been discussions in the State Department as to what kind of not only diplomatic relations, but what kind of American assistance should go to the new State of Israel?

    HENDERSON: There were no talks in which I participated regarding the kind of diplomatic relations which we should have with Israel. I do recall that the White House thought that our envoy to Israel should have the rank of Ambassador even though our recognition had been de facto. These decisions had been made in the White House and were carried out in pursuance of White House instructions.
    It was taken for granted that the new State should have aid at once and that it would not be self-supporting for many years.”

    Here is listing of oral histories of Truman adm members and other US officials concerning Israel and US relations:…and more, including documents from Israeli archives.

    link to trumanlibrary.org

    • Hostage
      January 21, 2012, 1:29 am

      American, Edwin Wright, the Special Assistant to the Director, Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, Department of State, 1946-1948, was given a draft transcript of his interview on Palestine and recognition of Israel to look over and approve. The Truman Library included the cover letter he attached upon its return. It contains a much more direct and concise summary of the situation that is very appropriate to the discussion of Israel firsters:

      I took the liberty of adding a number of footnotes. The material I gave Professor McKinzie was of a very controversial nature–one almost taboo in U.S. circles, inasmuch as I accused the Zionists of using political pressures and even deceit in order to get the U.S. involved in a policy of supporting a Zionist theocratic, ethnically exclusive and ambitious Jewish State. I, and my associates in the State Department, felt this was contrary to U.S. interests and we were overruled.

      link to trumanlibrary.org

      Here’s an example:

      The next morning Henry Byroade got a call from Nathan Goldman, who was in California. [Nathan Goldman was president of the World Jewish Congress and many years president of the World Zionist Organization. He acted as though he were president of a World Jewish State and had a bitter fight with Ben Gurion after 1948.] He used his first name and said, “Hank, did you make that speech in Philadelphia that was reported in the papers today?”

      [47]

      Byroade said, “Yes, I made that speech.”

      He said, “We will see to it that you’ll never hold another good position.”

      That was the control, from California, that Nathan Goldman held over the State Department. All they had to do was go to the President or to Congress, and the demand would come for this fellow to be sent off and put in some obscure area, where he no longer would influence the situation. This has been going on for 26 years in the Department of State as the result of Mr. Truman’s first decision to purge Loy Henderson.

      It destroyed the efficacy of the Department of State in that particular area. The Zionists consider that they have control of the Department of State, can dictate who is going to be in it and who is going to say what policy should be. It’s sort of silent terrorism that they have applied and kept up ever since.

      • Hostage
        January 21, 2012, 1:53 am

        P.S. Here is the radical speech that caused Byroade to loose his job:

        Henry Byroade made a talk in Philadelphia in April 1954. Before he made this talk he had two men work with him on it. One was Parker T. “Pete” Hart, who was the head of the NE, the Near Eastern Section, and the other was myself. We went over to his house and worked out his talk. In it he made this statement: “I have some advice for both Arabs and for Jews. Israel should think of itself as a state living in the Middle East and that it must live with its Arab neighbors. The Arabs must cease to think of themselves as wanting to destroy Israel and should come to terms with Israel itself.” [Fred J. Khouri The Arab-Israeli Dilemma, Syracuse Press, 1968, p. 300 adds that even the Israeli Government protested this statement]

  28. Ellen
    January 20, 2012, 2:45 pm

    Well, when Andrew Adler, the owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, a weekly newspaper serving Atlanta’s Jewish community, on January 13, 2012 to “order a hit onto Obama” to solve Israels problems…..we can only wonder why an American publisher would write that to the Jewish community? I do hope his readership and advertisers game him an earful.

    As he wrote to his thousands of readers in Atlanta this month:

    “Three, give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.”

    Note “US. – based Mossad agents….”

    Here it is in the original

    link to documentcloud.org

    • yourstruly
      January 21, 2012, 11:58 am

      there’s a law against threatening the life of a u.s. president. presumably, the secret service is investigating the owner of the atlanta jewish times?

  29. alexno
    January 20, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Even if the term “Palestine Firster” existed, it would not mean the same as “Israel Firster”. “Palestine Firster” could only mean someone who is interested in the Palestinians and their welfare. “Israel Firster” goes much further, and means someone who puts the interests of Israel in front of those of the USA. I have never heard of anyone who puts the interests of Palestine before those of the USA. No point in inventing a term for people who do not exist.

  30. seanmcbride
    January 20, 2012, 3:03 pm

    eee,

    I would really like to see a clear acknowledgement from you that many critics of Israel are not Palestine Firsters but America Firsters, Britain Firsters, Canada Firsters, China Firsters, Europe Firsters, France Firsters, German Firsters, Human Rights Firsters, Iran Firsters, Ireland Firsters, Italy Firsters, Russia Firsters, Turkey Firsters, etc.

    Do you get it? Many nations around the world have interests in Mideast politics. They have as much right to pursue their interests as you have to pursue your interests.

    For instance, American national security leaders oppose an Iran War not because they are Palestine Firsters or Iran Firsters but because they are America Firsters. Please provide some indication that you understand this state of affairs.

  31. Kathleen
    January 20, 2012, 3:25 pm

    If they talk like an Israel firster, and they walk like an Israel firster..then guess what they are an Israel firster.

    • hophmi
      January 23, 2012, 2:28 pm

      Aren’t you a Palestine-firster, Kathleen? And if not, why not?

  32. Daniel Rich
    January 20, 2012, 4:10 pm
  33. Daniel Rich
    January 20, 2012, 4:11 pm

    Sorry, should have added this to previous reply:

    As of June 2011, the Megaphone Desktop Tool became unavailable for download from the creators website. Currently, alerts are displayed only through the GIYUS website RSS feed.

  34. Sin Nombre
    January 20, 2012, 4:12 pm

    eee wrote:

    “The more this issue is discussed, the more Jews in the US will understand how important it is that Israel exists.”

    To steal another line from something eee said in response to another comment, “how is this not anti-semitic”?

    It is after all the idea that American jews are going to sympathize with the idea that, regardless of its accuracy as applied to any particular jew—which *conspicuously* hasn’t been disputed here—the term “Israel Firster” cannot be used against *any* jew whatsoever. Even, presumably, any jew who stands up and says “I’m an Israeli Firster!”

    And thus it is further the idea that American jews sympathize with an incredible, absolute blanket immunity for all jews, regardless of the truth of an assertion against any one of them.

    Essentially, that American jews are “Jewish Firsters.”

    Shame on you, eee. Shame….

  35. radii
    January 20, 2012, 4:12 pm

    fait accompli … the subject is finally out in the open and there is no going back – israel-firsters are now exposed and loyal Americans have the right to ask why anyone would put another country ahead of their own

  36. seafoid
    January 20, 2012, 5:51 pm

    “Israel supporters have struck back hard. They claim that using the term is anti-Semitic because it calls on a long history of questioning Jews’ loyalty to western countries”

    the more the Ziobots misuse the term antisemitism the more they destroy it. It’s like having a fine engine and throwing sugar in it every time someone brings up Israel’s human rights abuses.

  37. piotr
    January 20, 2012, 5:59 pm

    When Eric Alterman confesses that he would put interest if Israel before interest of USA, to me it satisfies a part of “Israeli-firster” definition, but not the most important part. Contemporary Zionism, as opposed to its staid “liberal Zionism” variety, is about supremacy. Some people think that supremacy is bad for Israel and bad for USA and it could save Israel if it (she?) was forced to abandon the habit of supremacy.

    Some people think that supremacy is great for USA and for Israel, and unfortunately, USA has insufficient opportunities in this direction. But, luck has it, USA can engage in supremacy vicariously, through Israeli experience. That kind of covers all GOP presidential candidates other than Ron Paul.

    “Jewish supremacists” would be perhaps more accurate than “Israeli firsters” but it is exactly due to slight inaccuracy that the latter term is actually milder.

    As a partial proof of concept, consider concept of the day, attacking Iran. It has nothing to do with rationally considered interests of Israel or USA, and everything with going in, kicking ass and showing who is the master. And even if it is mere idle talk, this is the talk from supremacists perspective. Ah, if only this stupid Bambi had more balls, we would go in, kick ass etc.!

    • MHughes976
      January 20, 2012, 6:45 pm

      That might be to say that ‘Israel first!’ means that supporting Israel is the most important thing that can be done to preserve the world supremacy of the United States – or, slightly differently, of the West. One step back, and the barbarians will be all over us.
      I think that this is a mistake, since I don’t think we Westerners (or you Americans) can base supremacy, or even a lasting position of strength, on endless provocation in one of the world’s most sensitive regions.
      I suppose I am a Palestine-Firster in the sense of thinking that a just solution to the Palestine problem is the most imporant medium-term thing that can be done to preserve my dear country and maintain its long-term interests, which in this case are roughly the same as the interests of humanity overall, Jewish people not excepted. I would accept some short-term inconvenience to the UK in the process.

  38. Charon
    January 20, 2012, 9:10 pm

    I see all these replies to eee and no eee. Did eee get deeeleted?

  39. Talkback
    January 21, 2012, 4:09 am

    Well, the Israel supporters are lying again, if they say that using the word “Israel firster” would be antisemitic, if it is not a collective/stereotypical accusation against Jews as such. And again Israel supporters by claiming something is antisemitic which is not are abusing Jews as human shields.

  40. Jabberwocky
    January 21, 2012, 7:28 am

    A very interesting article that demonstrates the failing attempt to control the debate by those who would put Israel’s interests before those of the USA – or their country of birth.

    Can legal action be taken against Chuck Schumer et al for being in breach of their legal Oath of Office?

    What about the issue when placed in terms of the sayanim? Victor Ostrovsky clearly lays out in his book “By Way of Deception” that there are people who are willing to betray their countries for Israel. With examples of hi tech employees helping Israel steal technology from their employers, among other examples.

    This is broader and more serious than simply advocating on behalf of Israel and some Jewish people are willing to cross the line and take actions that actual harm the country of their birth. This can potentially create problems for Jewish people who have no such divided loyalties.

    • yourstruly
      January 21, 2012, 9:57 am

      putting another country’s interest before those of one’s country of birth, isn’t that being a traitor? and for a jewish-american, putting the interests of the settler entity israel before the survival and well being of all jews*, isn’t this antisemitic?

      *rather than israeli jews only

      • Hostage
        January 21, 2012, 11:04 am

        putting another country’s interest before those of one’s country of birth, isn’t that being a traitor?

        No the Constitution says that the crime of treason consists only in levying war against the United States, adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

        The charge has only been employed in a handful of cases. Bradley Manning was recently charged with aiding the enemy in connection with the Wikileaks disclosures of classified information.

        • yourstruly
          January 21, 2012, 2:45 pm

          israel behaves as if it’s america’s enemy but our government keeps ignoring this. “hey, president obama, open up your eyes!”

  41. seanmcbride
    January 21, 2012, 9:00 am

    More on “Israel Firster”

    1. The expression *can* in fact be used as an anti-Semitic slur and sometimes is.

    2. “America Firster” can convey a tone of blind and ignorant chauvinism.

    3. Therefore I rarely use the expressions “Israel Firster” and “America Firster” — they are too easily subject to misinterpretation. The tone is too blunt and crude.

    However, we all know that some pro-Israel activists put the interests of Israel above those of every other nation in the world. We’ve all encountered such people and will never forget the encounters. To describe them as “Israel Firsters” is perfectly fair — that is what they are. Most citizens of all nations around the world are “Firsters” for their respective nations.

    What is problematic for a citizen of any nation is to lobby emotionally for a foreign nation while attacking one’s fellow citizens from the perspective of that foreign nation. Andrew Adler is the best current example of that kind of problem.

    The American Jewish establishment should be worried that the Israeli government and the Israel lobby are placing it in a precarious political situation.

  42. Blake
    January 21, 2012, 9:18 am

    As usual much ado about nothing. I am amazed dual Israeli citizens get such high positions in the US govt. How you would react to the Head of Homeland Security if he or she were a dual national with citizenship in Iran, Lebanon or Saudi Arabia? That is how powerful the Israeli lobby has been in “adjusting” your acceptance of their special status.

    • Citizen
      January 21, 2012, 11:24 am

      Blake, I think the prevailing conceit in America is that those other semite dual nationals are not chosen. Hence your conclusion Dick and Jane accept the Jews special status among semitic peoples. Part of this is due to Christian bible fundies, the bulk is due to lack of information, and misinformation about the state of Israel. Our mainstream media operates wrt Israel as an arm of #AIPAC, which itself operates as an arm of Israel.

    • wondering jew
      January 21, 2012, 4:54 pm

      Blake- Name the five top dual Israeli citizens with high positions in the US government.

      Note: Whereas the term “Israeli firster” is a term which refers to the heart, the term dual citizen refers to a specific fact of record. Is the person a citizen of both the US and Israel.

      For the record I am a dual citizen. Regarding “Israel firster”, I try to differentiate between what I feel/think is good for Israel and what I feel/think is good for the US. I acknowledge that I might not always know the difference, but I usually can tell when one loyalty might be effecting the other.

      BTW, I don’t think Blake can name five dual Israeli citizens in the US government and Blake is using a term that is incorrect.

      BTW, Edward Said, once referred to Ari Fleischer, with the phrase, “Who I believe is also an Israeli citizen”, which was in fact not a fact, but a belief in something which was not true. Thus the false accusation of dual citizenship has a venerable tradition.

  43. seanmcbride
    January 21, 2012, 10:12 am

    M.J. Rosenberg quote from Twitter: “Not a single person I knew at AIPAC was not an Israel Firster except Steve Rosen who was a spook without loyalties.”

  44. yourstruly
    January 21, 2012, 2:17 pm

    since there are christian as well as jewish israel firsters, isn’t the label generic? a corollary question is whether calling, for example, those evangelicals (who support israel) israel firsters is also an antisemitic act? or would it be looked upon as anti-evangelical? as for catholic israel-firsters, how would the long history of questioning their loyalty to western countries apply? would they be accused of harboring tri-allegiances, rome-firster, israel-firster and american? and would this render them triple-threats?

    • Annie Robbins
      January 21, 2012, 2:23 pm

      bachmann is a classic israel firster. we’ve run that video of her twice so far on the site.

    • American
      January 21, 2012, 3:57 pm

      yourstruly…let’s call them all Israel Firsters and Anti America.

      No difference in the Jewish zionist for Supreme Israel and Christian Zionist for Israel as the final doomsday destination for converting Jews except their motivations.

      • teta mother me
        January 21, 2012, 8:00 pm

        my impression may be inaccurate, but I think many MW participants believe that Christian Zionists are strictly of the John Hagee/Armageddon – to- convert- Jews variety.

        Donald and RichB may be able to correct that impression.

        My understanding is that there is a long and strong history of Christian Judeophilia, stretching back to 17th Century England; therefore, it likely permeated US Anglo-Christians. It’s not all about converting Jews, although there was and still is a strong strain of the proselytizing instinct in some branches of Christianity. Incidentally, that proselytizing instinct emerges directly from the Jewish root of Christianity.

        Main point is, the roots of Christian philosemitism run deep — deeper than Christian guilt re holocaust.

        Many on MW who are perhaps more eager than realistic in perceiving that Americans are ‘waking up’ to what some see as Israel’s & I Lobby’s harmful impact on US may not be taking into account the full extent of Judeo and Christian interconnectedness.

        • patm
          January 22, 2012, 8:10 am

          my impression may be inaccurate, but I many MW participants believe that Christian Zionists are strictly of the John Hagee/Armageddon – to- convert- Jews variety.

          What is your definition of a Christian Zionist, teta? Definitions are important here.

          BTW, the word “philosemitism” in the strict dictionary sense should include ‘a respect for and admiration of all Semites, including Arabs’.

        • American
          January 22, 2012, 8:18 pm

          If it was or is teta it wasn’t in the main stream Christian circles I or anyone I
          know ever ran in. I’ve got Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist in the 7 uncles and 21 first cousin family as well as one Uncle who was a Catholic Jesuit….and honestly never heard anything religious about the Christian attachment to Jews in particular or ever heard of Judo- Christian except around the Jews and Israel issue.
          I sure this exist in some not main stream religions, but not among any of the normal religious people I’ve know in 66 years….and that’s a lot of people. I have never come across a Donald for instance in real life.

  45. Daniel Rich
    January 21, 2012, 9:14 pm

    This is NOT a comment. As I don’t know any other way of contacting MW, I use the reply system instead [for which I apologize]. I used MW’s search function, but failed to find entries of the following news articles [and thought it might perhaps be useful and/or informative].

    Thailand recognizes Palestinian state @ link to news.yahoo.com

    Palestinian children play piano @ link to independent.co.uk

    Again, if inconvenient, I do apologize.

    Most cordially,

    Daniel

  46. Larrysturn
    January 22, 2012, 8:06 am

    It’s easy to lump everyone together take their pulse and determine that none meet a standard of liberation that jives with your own. The specturm is large and the history of knocking everything right of far left and left of far right has insured that there is seldom enough common ground for people to stand on together to move peace even a few inches forward. Can we find a way to agree on some things and actually build on that?

    • patm
      January 22, 2012, 10:02 am

      Can we find a way to agree on some things and actually build on that?

      A large order on a site like this, Larrysturn. This is your second comment I see from your profile. Welcome to the comment section of mondo.

      You are in favour of a 2-state solution and you will find others who agree with you.

      Others are die-hard Israeli and Christian Zionists who want all of Palestine. Most commenters, I believe, think the decision on 1-state or 2 states should be left to the Palestinians.

      Discussions get heated. How could it be otherwise?

    • American
      January 22, 2012, 8:29 pm

      Larry…. the one thing we all or almost all —Jews, Muslims, Gentiles,Palestines, Europeans,— the whole very diverse bunch of commenters on here agrees on is I/P needs to end.
      The how to and what the final result should be is naturally where all the different arguments come from.

  47. yourstruly
    January 22, 2012, 5:59 pm

    the israel firster is a traitor to his country, his religion, to all living beings*.

    *because israel’s attacking iran could lead to wwiii

  48. Justice Please
    January 22, 2012, 7:51 pm

    The question is not if there are people who (knowingly or not) put Israels interest above Americas interest. The question is, what are Americans doing about it. There’s still some space left in your jails. I think Jonathan Pollard could really use a roommate or two.

    • Citizen
      January 23, 2012, 10:16 am

      Here’s an update from 3 months ago about the movement to free Pollard in US Congress: link to articles.latimes.com

      Since Newt appears to go most towards placating the Israel First crowd, even to the right of the public Bibi, maybe Newt will additionally promise to free Pollard during this campaign season–a way to cox lots more millions from the zionist casino king?

  49. hophmi
    January 23, 2012, 2:27 pm

    It’s an antisemitic term, the modern-day equivalent of similar language used by Father Coughlin.

    It’s not a defense that members of the left-wing intelligentia use it.

    The fact of the matter is that it’s not being an Israeli-firster to advocate a strong America-Israel relationship as being in America’s best interest any more than it is being a Palestine-firster to advocate strong American support for the PLO or a terrorist-firster to advocate strong American support for a role for Hamas in the peace process.

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