Leading Zionist historian was first to say ‘Israel Firster’– in 1960

HistoryofJews
A History of the Jews (1965)

In recent weeks, the Israel lobby has drawn a red line on the use of the phrase “Israel Firster.” Supporters of Israel have lectured us that it is an “anti-Semitic trope.” Here, for instance, is Spencer Ackerman denouncing the use of the term at Tablet:

“Israel Firster” has a nasty anti-Semitic pedigree, one that many Jews will intuitively understand without knowing its specific history. It turns out white supremacist Willis Carto was reportedly the first to use it, and David Duke popularized it through his propaganda network. And yet [M.J.] Rosenberg and others actually claim they’re using it to stimulate “debate,” rather than effectively mirroring the tactics of some of the people they criticize.

As if the very words have anti-Semitism in their DNA.

Well Ackerman is wrong. The term Israel Firster was used by a Zionist before it was used by white supremacists. I just got a hold of the American Jewish Committee’s Yearbook for 1961. It cites the use of the term “Israel Firster” by a legendary Zionist, the late Abram Leon Sachar, the leading American historian of Jews and president of Brandeis when he said it.

Read the screenshot below:

I’ll write it out:

American Jews and Israel

American Jews continued to raise large sums of money for Israel, and to defend it. Israelis, for their part, continued to seek greater commitments from American Jews and more emigrants. The conflict between Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and Nahum Goldman, president of the WZO (World Zionist Organization], did not abate. On june 2, 1960, at a meeting of Mapai’s central committee, Ben-Gurion declared that neither Israel nor the Jews outside Israel needed the Zionist movement as an intermediary between them. He said that Goldmann was “neither an Israeli nor an American,” but “a wandering Jew.”

American Jews continued to object to Israel’s claim that a genuine Jewish life was possible only in Israel. Abram L. Sachar, president of Brandeis University, at the biennial convention of JWB [Jewish Welfare Board], declared on April 2, 1960 that among Jews there is no room “for Israel Firsters whose chauvinism and arrogance  find nothing relevant or viable in any area outside of Israel.”

Sachar was speaking to the JWB, or Jewish Welfare Board, which bought Torahs for Jewish boys in uniform. American uniform. And he made his comments in the context of American Jews being loyal citizens of the U.S. Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, had long urged American Jews to move to Israel. The American Jewish community was resisting the pressure to make “greater commitments” to Israel.

Sachar was a goldplated Zionist, national director of the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations who wrote that the “rebirth of [the Jews'] independent homeland” was “an event pregnant with incalculable opportunities for creativity and enrichment.”

But Sachar needed to draw a red line of his own. He didn’t like Israel Firsters. Here he is in the New York Times, 1960:

Dr. Abram L. Sachar, president of Brandeis University, rejected tonight the “dogma that only in Israel is a genuine, normal, substantive Jewish life possible.”

I can’t get the rest of that clip because my computer’s wonky, but you get the point.

Now let’s review the context in which “Israel Firster” has arisen in 2011-2012: a situation in which supporters of Israel are pushing the U.S. to go to war against Iran in some measure out of concern for Israel’s security. One of these supporters is Sheldon Adelson, who personally revived Newt Gingrich’s campaign with $10 million after Gingrich called Palestinians an “invented people” and who is now said to be dickering with Romney’s campaign about the terms on which he will give money to the Republican frontrunner.

That dickering will turn on Romney’s promises re Israel, you can be sure of it. Because, as Adelson has said, he “unfortunately” wore the uniform of the American military not the Israeli army, and he wants his son to be a sniper for the Israeli army because “All we care about is being good citizens of Israel.”

If you can criticize Adelson’s giving without venturing the thought that he puts Israel first– well, do me a favor and don’t turn my mind into spaghetti.

The Center for American Progress has folded under pro-Israel pressure. It has recanted its use of the term Israel Firster. The fabulous young journalist, Zaid Jilani, who used the expression in tweets, has moved on to another job. Look over the battlefield today and only Andrew Sullivan, MJ Rosenberg, and Glenn Greenwald have stood up for the acceptability of the term. Courageous writers all. And they can say that the words have a good Jewish pedigree…

P.S. I wonder what’s next for the Zionist Censors? How about “Matzorian candidate?” Jon Stewart said that about the Republicans expressing endless support for Israel, with hints of dual loyalty. Sure sounds like a “trope” to me!

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in American Jewish Community, Iran, Iraq, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Media, Neocons, US Politics | Tagged

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

  1. Great article with force. The term is here to stay, and given the powerful message it conveys to the uninformed average American, it will prove very valuable.

    I do find it sad how we often bend to Israel Firsters who want to control the debate, but only by finding an “acceptable Zionist Jew” who utilized (or coined) the term, we truly gain free license to use it. And I count myself as guilty in playing their game, bending over backwards to avoid the expected baseless attacks.

    When will false charges of antisemitism cease to derail us, and blunt honest debate? When will we dictate the terms of debate? We are getting past that here, but the MSM has a long road ahead…

    • Pixel says:

      “When will we dictate the terms of debate? We are getting past that here, but the MSM has a long road ahead…”

      We’ll “dictate the term of the debate,” in tandem with the MSM, when the Israeli Firsters no longer control the MSM.

      • Theo says:

        I would not hold my breath that long, the MSM has an unlimited supply of financial support, therefore liberals and anti-zionists MUST find a way to negate that.
        Just like the Vietcong made our far far superior weapons unimportant.

  2. Ackerman is himself an Israeli-Firster who leans on neocon puppets like Evan Kohlman, a make-believe terrorism ‘expert’ (who doesn’t speak Arabic, never served in the military or intelligence, never lived in a Muslim country, etc.), to ‘support’ the usual hate parade that passes as journalism in the mainstream.

    Any chance we can get Blankfort to chime in here (or anywhere for that matter)?

    • Agreed, he is full of deep knowledge when looking back, and just in general an intellectual powerhouse. I would like to see him commenting again.

    • MRW says:

      Evan Kohlman is a joke, a phony, and a plant. If you want to read a real terrorism expert, someone who has been advising Congress (House and Senate) for 40 years, it’s Brian Michael Jenkins. As Jenkins testified before the Senate in November 2010, there was more terrorism in the 1970s than now.

      Terrorist violence is not a new phenomenon. Al Qaeda and its jihadist followers did not bring terrorism to the United States. Along with its immigrant communities, the United States has imported numerous terrorist campaigns. Cuban, Puerto Rican, Croatian, Serb, Palestinian, Armenian, Taiwanese, and Jewish extremists have all carried out attacks on U.S. soil, in addition to the homegrown terrorist campaigns of the far left and far right. In fact, the level of terrorist violence was greater in the United States in the 1970s than it is today.

      • MRW says:

        Correction: it was November 2009: “Testimony presented before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on November 19, 2009″

  3. yourstruly says:

    there is no phrase as bitingly accurate to these traitors as israel firster. those to whom it applies know this too, which is why they’re so furious at its being applied to them. it’s as if they’ve been lassoed and are desperately trying to shake off the rope. for those who take pity on them, you let them loose at the risk of endangering not only yourselves but all living beings.*

    *because the iran war that they’re promoting could lead to wwiii with doomsday in waiting.

  4. there’s another term i’d like to see incorporated into mainstream discourse and that is ‘fleders’ for nakba deniers. the people who can’t say palestinians were, and continue to be, expelled.

    • Annie,

      I have asserted previously that many refugees were expelled but that most fled, depending on what stage of the 1948 war is being discussed, greater numbers being expelled as the conflict intensified. No one presented any evidence refuting my assertion that all but about 1500 of the 75-100,000 refugees who fled between November 30, 1947 to April 2, 1948 did so because of the increasing violence and chaos enveloping Palestine, and were not expelled by the Yishuv. After April 2 as the conflict widened and intensified there were more numerous acts of expulsion, but not as numerous as those who fled. I do not believe that any of this constitutes what is called Nakba denial and does not posit blame on the Palestinians for fleeing or being expelled.

      But I am most curious to know: does it make me a “fleder?”

      • American says:

        “No one presented any evidence refuting my assertion that all but about 1500 of the 75-100,000 refugees who fled between November 30, 1947 to April 2, 1948 did so because of the increasing violence and chaos enveloping Palestine, and were not expelled by the Yishuv”

        Robert, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between fleeing the violence of the zionist immigrants and being expelled.
        What’s the difference in the Jews leaving Hitler having “fled” or being “expelled”?
        Same outcome. Same reason. They ran for their lives.

        I don’t know where you get most of your information , never noticed any links or supporting documents or reports.

        I suggest you go to the horses mouth, the people who were witnesses and reported and documented events.
        This is the British National Archives link.

        link to nationalarchives.gov.uk

        I have already set up the page for you. Insert your search term–like Jews or Israel or Palestine or Palestine Refugees. Insert the years you want to bring up documents for like 1939 to 1950.. Click on the documents shown that look likely to give you the info you want to get a description of the document. There will be a lot of them, hundreds, so it will be a time consuming education. For the documents you want to see in full click on it’s title and then click ‘add to my shopping cart’. Most of them are free. You go to your shopping cart and there you order them to be downloaded to your computer or the download links sent to you via email.

        There is history rewritten and then there is real history. Are you interested in the truth or in what you want to believe?

        • thetumta says:

          “there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between fleeing the violence of the zionist immigrants and being expelled.”

          Well, yes there is. Having fled certain situations, I think the people fleeing the Zionist death squads(Menachem Begin, Yitzak Shamir,Ariel Sharon, et. al.) were not prepared to leave the planet, just yet. At least, that was their hope at the time. Difficult decision to lose everything made under great pressure. Not everyone was expelled, many were murdered and just disappeared. Just like Spain, Viet Nam, Iraq and whoever is next.

          In the past, I have found it prudent to not debate the issue with a man with a weapon in his hand, unless I was armed and could see some daylight maybe? Not your average Palestinian refugee in the the 40s or refugees in general. Nor mine in certain situations. I don’t think Robert has any experience in these matters.
          Hej!

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Robert, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between fleeing the violence of the zionist immigrants and being expelled.”

          The fact that the invaders generated the violence in order to cause the flight and which resulted in the flight makes them all expulsions and the zionists responsible for them all.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        So it’s not considered being expelled if, say, an armed immigrant insurgency comes after your family with guns and runs you off of your property so they can claim it for an ethnocentric state that they wish to form by driving the majority of yours and other ethnicities out of your land and refuse to allow you to return to your home thereafter?

        What do you consider expulsion, then? You don’t consider, say, what the Nazis did to Poles to make room for “reinrassig” Germans to be expulsion then? Same thing went on there.

      • American says:

        One other thing Robert.

        The holocaust people, Israel, their committies, ect. have defined a holocaust surivior as… ‘any Jew who lived in or escaped or fled from any country occupied by the Germans”. Not just the Jews that were in concentration camps.

        So what is your stand on that? Is that definition strictly correct or not?
        The bottom line is whether they fled the nazis or survived a camp they all ended up refugees…..just like the Palestines.

      • you’re a fleder , a nakba denier robert. you utilize the term ‘fled’ to deny the intention/agenda to expel palestinians. i’m not engaging you in a nakba denial argument, it’s against site rules. you should be banned for your denial.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          You know what’s funny? Don’t the new rules say that nakba denial is explicitly banned from our comments section?

          I continue to be amused by the fact that Phil always manages to create a microcosm of the very thing he seeks to combat with this blog (i.e. a situation where Israelis and Israel Firsters operate with complete impunity from the rules that the rest of us are held to pretty strictly).

        • i think robert knows phil and adam are on vacation.

        • “i think robert knows phil and adam are on vacation.”

          I think Robert posted his comment on Febraury 7–a day before Phil and Adam announced their vacation. Nice try.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “I do not believe that any of this constitutes what is called Nakba denial ”

        It is. Your account should be fragged.

    • Pixel says:

      Thank you, Annie.

      Your suggestion is worth being taken very seriously.

      First and foremost, because it rings true. Secondly, and using shorthand here, two can “play the game”. Unfortunately, playing it from both sides is a must.

      Diffusing their power to control the conversation is imperative and this is one small, but significant, way to counter the outrageous and hysterical charge of “Holocaust Denier.”

      Have the courage and resolve to keep using it.

      Words matter.

      • thanks pixel, i just saw your comment. i’m serious, i’m going to start using it more, whenever i encounter it. what will they do? can the use of it anti semitic?

        this weekend at pennbds i stood up at one of the question answer periods at a panel discussion when the discussion turned to 48 and said what i had to say about the fleders, how they wanted to keep debating what happened in 48, and 67 too. i said we need to treat these people just the same as those who try to minimize the holocaust, not debate these freaks. the crowd clapped and hooted! they were expelled! if people are rounded up and threatened with death with only one direction left open for escape it’s still an expulsion. cowards that’s what fleders are, nakba denying cowards.

  5. Les says:

    I doubt that Sachar could be considered a Zionist by today’s standards. He makes it more than clear that the US is his first country, not his second.

  6. Pixel says:

    Amazing find, Phil. Thanks!

  7. pabelmont says:

    “Abram L. Sachar, president of Brandeis University, at the biennial convention of JWB [Jewish Welfare Board], declared on April 2, 1960 that among Jews there is no room “for Israel Firsters whose chauvinism and arrogance find nothing relevant or viable in any area outside of Israel.””

    His use of “Israel Firster” is — in the immediate context of the paragraph quoted — STRICTLY in a intra-Jewish context. He doesn’t like being told by Israelis that all Jews outside Israel are ?? outsiders, irrelevant to matters of importance, not really Jews at all, bad Jews, etc., etc., whatever the Israelis were in fact saying.

    I don’t read THIS STATEMENT as talking about all the dual-loyalty stuff, though of course he may have had that in mind. Recall that early USA opposition to Zionism was from FEAR of being punished, as Jews, for support of Israel.

    • I used to participate with an area group that met at a synagogue, was convened by Jews concerned about I/P; I was usually one of two or three non Jews. In those meetings, frequently Jewish people questioned either, a. what right do we in the US have to tell Jews in Israel how to conduct their affairs; or b. what if Jews in Israel cut us off; what if Israeli Jews tell us Jews outside of Israel that we have no relevance to how Israel conducts its affairs.
      The second scenario usually evoked the greater amount of angst.

      • pabelmont says:

        Teta,
        My late wife (whose Palestinian father brought her family from Ramallah to the USA in 1944 when she was 12) belonged late in life (1980s) to several “Jewish-Arab dialog” groups in Boston. some groups visited Synagogues to tell the Palestinian story, the Jewish members serving somewhat as “passports” to reassure the Synagogue folks and thereby get the Palestinians into the meetings. They were great friends, perhaps especially the women-only groups. Many of these “dialogs” were closer, I’d imagine, to pro-Palestine monologues, in which case the dialogs occurred when they visited Synagogues.

        My take on the questions you mentioned is that “as Americans” USA Jews have no business telling Israeli Jews anything (or listening to them unduly, either) and every business telling other Americans the things people say inside democracies. Such as, “cut off aid and UNSC vetoes to Israel until * * *”.

        We all wait for the day USA Jews no longer have angst from recognizing and dealing with Israeli/Palestinian realities. To say nothing of having a secure identity as Americans and, if they will, as Jews, without reference to Israel (or Timbuktu either if you see what I mean).

        • thanks pabelmont. great insight.
          I DO get what you mean by Timbuktu — but I must say, growing up in the parochial system ( if you get what I mean), I always thought of Timbuktu as the most enchanting place on earth. Still want to visit there.

  8. Mighty article from Phil, and good to know that not all people decided to shut off critical parts of their brain vis a vis the Holocaust and Zionist propaganda. I wish Sachar and Alfred Lilienthal were alive today.

    Back to today, as has been said already by others: It’s time to stop debating about the term, we all know there ARE Israel Firsters in important positions. Even IF white supremacists would in fact have invented the term, which we now know they didn’t, it wouln’t change that reality. It’s time for Americans to force Israel Firsters from important positions in government and publicly owned media, and to boycott any candidate who gets Adelson and Saban money, as well as any private media company which follows Israel Firster agenda (I think Jeff Zuckers NBC with his “I don’t want jihadists raving about Palestine” stuff and the like).

    • What’s more: It’s okay to be a private citizen and emotional Israel Firster, if you explain to others what Israel should be. If the idea is compatible with universal humanism and rights for all humanity, and if it does not claim a special bond between Israel and Jews in other countries, why not.

    • you’re gonna have a whole lotta boycotton (as opposed to girlcotton ;) going on –

      Israel’s By-Pass Foreign Policy

      The right-wing government of Israel has embarked on a novel foreign policy, one that seeks to develop close relations with sub-national state and provincial governments, thus by-passing national governments and avoiding the increasing hostility of national foreign ministries and local grass roots movements to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

      The establishment of state-to-state relations between Israel and such sub-national governments as American states, Canadian provinces, and even Native American tribal nations has increased under the ultra-nationalist Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The new aggressive policy by Israel to seek allies at sub-national levels results in internal pressure on national governments to take a less critical approach to Israeli policies on the West Bank and Gaza. . . .

      State to State Agreements between Israel and US states
      Alabama
      California
      Colorado
      Connecticut
      District of Columbia
      Florida
      Georgia
      Hawaii
      Illinois
      Indiana
      Louisiana
      Maryland
      Massachusetts
      Michigan
      Minnesota
      Missouri
      Nebraska
      New Jersey
      New Mexico
      New York
      North Carolina
      North Dakota
      Ohio
      Oklahoma
      Oregon
      Pennsylvania
      South Carolina
      South Dakota
      Tennessee
      Texas
      Vermont
      Virginia
      Washington
      Wisconsin

      How many states in the US union have Israel consulates? How many states have Chinese consular offices or formal business agreements — those are contracts, which, if a state sought to act in opposition to some Israeli behavior, could possibly subject that state to a lawsuit that you just know Israel firsters would make extremely costly to prosecute.

      screwed again.

      • American says:

        teta,

        This has been on a long time. Created by the Israel firsters and congress. It’s about diluting or splitting US Federal grants to US states by two programs BIRD and BARD so that Israel gets half of what would go to the states.
        It’s also a way for Israel to siphon off or get credit for any US work or discoveries in research by so called “joint development”. For example in a federal grant for some research at Duke Univ Hosp half has to go to Israelis for shared “collaboration” in that research.
        Same thing goes for business ventures.
        An example of how ridiculous this is…..a federal health grant to NC to study end of life questions for the elderly was shifted to Israel cause the Israelis sharing the grant said NC population was too ‘homogeneous’ to be studied.
        So we have a ‘federal grant given specifically to study NC elderly attitudes’ homogenous or not, that was shifted entirely to Israel.
        What good does the studying the non homogenous elderly in Israel do for the homogenous elderly in NC that the grant was given for? None.
        Just more money for Israelis benefits.

        The Israel -firster parasites at work….in every single organ of the US.

  9. seafoid says:

    I wonder what Louis Brandeis would make of Israel now.

    “The “rebirth of [the Jews'] independent homeland” was “an event pregnant with incalculable opportunities for creativity and enrichment.””

    Where did it all go wrong? Creativity around cruelty and oppression and the enrichment of the 1%. Israel could have been so much more. Imagine having a poet or a filmmaker instead of Danon in his position.

    • it’s worse than just the present moment, seafoid.

      Imagine having a poet or filmmaker instead of Danon . . .

      I suspect I’m not alone when I express the opinion — Thanks just the same, we’ve had enough of Israel for awhile. Say 50 years. Danon & fellows have sucked that much oxygen out of the atmosphere.
      Try again next century.

  10. Chatham says:

    I found an article from 1952 that predates what Sachar said:

    link to thesignalwire.com

    But you’re right, Israel-firster was not created by neo-Nazis, and has been used by Jews from it’s early use, and even used positively (“Matt Cohen proudly proclaims himself an ‘Israel Firster’ “). Evidence is in the link.

    I e-mailed Ackerman, Goldberg, and Sullivan (who also repeated that the term came from neo-Nazis) a week ago to let them know they were incorrect about its origins. No response. No retraction. This is how these people conduct their “journalism.”

  11. hophmi says:

    That is not the same thing, and you know it. Sachar is using the term in reference to a debate about Jewish life. Pundits and racists like David Duke use the term to accuse Jews who support a strong US-Israel relationship of dual loyalty.

    Who cares if it first came up in a discussion between Jews? Are you going to tell me it’s OK to use the “N” word to refer to African-Americans because they themselves use it in intra-Black debates?

    So once again, you’re guilty of intellectual disingenuousness, Phil.

    • Sachar is using the term in reference to a debate about Jewish life….Who cares if it first came up in a discussion between Jews?

      jews can use it but we can’t. yeah, it definitely references jewish life.

      wrt david duke, there is a really good section in the hasbara handbook about the 7 rules of propaganda and point scoring. in fact dkos hosted a diary and thread on finding things duke said that phil said and then made the leap it meant phil said everything else duke said. this is called transference or something.

      do you use crest toothpaste hophmi? becasue i hear duke does. that would put you and him in the same bag. israel firster means aligning oneself with likud rtwg policies uber israel support, that does not conflate with using the n word although i understand why your team would like to associate it as such.

      nice try, you fail tho.

      • hophmi says:

        “israel firster means aligning oneself with likud rtwg policies uber israel support”

        That may be what it means to you, but it’s clearly used to refer to anyone who supports a strong US-Israel relationship, or the concept that the US should not meddle in internal Israeli affairs and should let Israel makes it own decisions.

        You’re simply being disingenuous when you try and argue that it’s somehow not a bigoted term to accuse Jews of dual loyalty.

        Sorry you have antisemitic views. I know how much it hurts the self-righteous sanctimoniousness of radical lefties to be accused to having bigoted views.

        • That may be what it means to you

          yeah, it is.

          but it’s clearly used to refer to anyone who supports a strong US-Israel relationship, or the concept that the US should not meddle in internal Israeli affairs and should let Israel makes it own decisions.

          so? if i say you “support a strong US-Israel relationship, or the concept that the US should not meddle in internal Israeli affairs and should let Israel makes it own decisions.” that is not exactly proof i am an anti semite hophmi. why don’t you clarify how it is bigotted to say someone supports a strong US-Israel relationship, or the concept that the US should not meddle in internal Israeli affairs and should let Israel makes it own decisions.

          you’re not making much sense.

        • hophmi says:

          “you’re not making much sense.”

          And you’re being purposely dense. The term is a derogatory way of referring to people who take perfectly justified political positions. I call these people Americans and patriots, just like anyone else who takes a political position they believe is in the best interest in our country.

        • American says:

          ‘You’re simply being disingenuous when you try and argue that it’s somehow not a bigoted term to accuse Jews of dual loyalty.

          Sorry you have antisemitic views. I know how much it hurts the self-righteous sanctimoniousness of radical lefties to be accused to having bigoted views.”…..’

          Boo hoo hoo, hophmi. If some US Jews have dual loyalty and some have single loyalty to Israel , which some do, as in Sheldon Aldeson and others. People are going to say so and point them out as undesirable to US welfare.
          As JB said if it’s true, it isn’t anti semitic.
          So no point in your fighting it any longer.

          I don’t support strong US Israel relations….as an American why should I support favoritism to Israel ?…Israel has proven it’s a liability to the US not a asset and dangerous to some other living beings as well.
          I support Israel being treated as any other country the US has dealings with.
          If Israel -firsters consider that anti semitic too bad.

        • The term is a derogatory way of referring to people who take perfectly justified political positions.

          that’s debatable. adelson shoveling millions at gingrich and pushing the gop candidates further in the israel camp during an election cycle may be ‘justifiable’ in your book but it doesn’t seem American or patriotic to me, especially after what he said about putting israel first.

          besides, lots of people say derogatory things during election season, doesn’t make it bigoted. that’s one of the downsides (or upsides depending on ones pov) of supporting an ethnic national state. when the state does something criminal or illegal their supporters love claiming it’s the ethnic part of the ethnic nationalist state being criticized instead of the state itself. this is just a crutch hophmi, one you are all to eager to apply. there’s nothing bigoted about accusing someone of supporting a radical rtwng foreign government. if i was a big supported of hugo chavez and you called me a communist would i be correct in calling you a bigot? your anti semitism crutch is showing. and let’s follow thru on this:

          It’s perfectly legitimate to argue against the prudence of a political position. It is not legitimate to argue that Americans who support Israel purposely put Israel’s interests before America’s and care more about Israel than the United States.

          actually it is if that’s what it looks like. it’s perfectly legitimate. (notice how i stripped ‘jews’ out of your sentence) if i want to call gingrich an israel firster i can. when americans have to be inundated with declarations of support for the foreign state of israel during an election cycle, when candidates run over to israel and give interviews to the israeli public when running for the presidency here, then we have a right to discuss it and say what we feel about it. when bachmann, the day after announcing her prez run, produces a video with one topic, her support for israel, then it’s fair game. if all of this were happening wrt china there would be plenty spoken, and no one would call it racism. it is very legitimate, fair game actually.

        • hophmi says:

          “that’s debatable. adelson shoveling millions at gingrich and pushing the gop candidates further in the israel camp during an election cycle may be ‘justifiable’ in your book but it doesn’t seem American or patriotic to me, especially after what he said about putting israel first.”

          Oh please. It’s a rich guy supporting a political candidate. You think Adelson’s responsible for that? Maybe, oh maybe, it’s the huge evangelical movement in the Republican party, instead of the rich Jewish donor.

          “besides, lots of people say derogatory things during election season, doesn’t make it bigoted.”

          So Israel-firster is just an election-year derogatory term?

          ” if i was a big supported of hugo chavez and you called me a communist would i be correct in calling you a bigot? ”

          No. Communist describes a political philosophy. It isn’t derogatory. I mean, sure, supporting a common dictator like Chavez means you’re pretty damn naive, but I assume your good intentions and I assume you don’t care more about Venezuela than the United States. Israel-firster is a smear charge that suggests that one is not loyal to one’s country, right up there with those right-wingers who claim dissent is unpatriotic.

          “(notice how i stripped ‘jews’ out of your sentence) ”

          In the same post where you harped on Sheldon Adelson, as if there are no non-Jewish rich people bankrolling the Republican party.

          “when americans have to be inundated with declarations of support for the foreign state of israel during an election cycle”

          They don’t have to be. The candidates choose to do so because for many Americans, Israel is an important issue. They don’t have to declare their support for low taxes either.

          ” when bachmann, the day after announcing her prez run, produces a video with one topic, her support for israel, then it’s fair game. ”

          Sure it is. But there is a difference between making an intellectual argument and using a smear meant to question a person’s loyalty to country.

          “if all of this were happening wrt china there would be plenty spoken, and no one would call it racism.”

          Are you kidding? The entire US policy toward China is an example of the elevation of business above human rights. No one calls businessmen who do business with China or elected representatives who supporting MFN status for China (which is virtually all of them) China-firsters. And this despite the fact that the Chinese rob us blind by stealing our intellectual property and creating a hostile climate for our products.

        • hophmi says:

          “As JB said if it’s true, it isn’t anti semitic.”

          It isn’t, but I can think of lots of things that are “true” and yet it’s bigoted to point them out using incendiary language.

          “I don’t support strong US Israel relations”

          So do you mind if I call you an Iran-firster?

        • No one calls businessmen who do business with China or elected representatives who supporting MFN status for China (which is virtually all of them) China-firsters.

          ok, just link to one of those videos with a politician declaring his love for china and i will call him a china firster. link to the section of the gop debates where they all argue over who is a bigger china supporter. i will definitely use the term. ink to the politician wanting to throw billions of free money at china..please, i will be first in line.

          Oh please. It’s a rich guy supporting a political candidate. You think Adelson’s responsible for that?

          of course i think adelson is responsible for shoving money at gingrich so he’ll call palestinians invented and move the embassy to jerusalem. of course, that’s why i call him an israel firster. like i said before:

          that’s one of the downsides (or upsides depending on ones pov) of supporting an ethnic national state. when the state does something criminal or illegal their supporters love claiming it’s the ethnic part of the ethnic nationalist state being criticized instead of the state itself. this is just a crutch hophmi, one you are all to eager to apply.

          No. Communist describes a political philosophy.

          what about rtwng likud zionist agenda is not “political philosophy”. this has “political philosophy” written all over it hophmi, just like apartheid has “political philosophy” written all over it. you’re just too blind to see that.

          btw, i assume you are aware of the hypocrisy of accusing others of using derogatory terms as substitutes for intellectual arguments while accusing us of anti semitism. just saying, you’re crutch is showing.

        • So do you mind if I call you an Iran-firster?

          not really. i could care less. i wouldn’t call it bigoted tho. i would run around trying to prove it was racist.

        • Cliff says:

          What is the context of calling someone an Iran-firster or an Israeli-firster?

          I know you understand the context for the latter.

          The ‘Iran-firster’ label is nonexistent. I mean, there might be people like that, but calling people here on MW, an Iran-firster, is false.

          Why?

          Because people are not Iran-firsters simply because they don’t want a war with Iran.

          They are anti-war. Or they oppose the war because they don’t want more dead American soldiers. Or more dead people in the ME, in general – increasing anti-American sentiment. Or maybe they don’t want another war because of the economy.

          There are plenty of reasons hophmi.

          There could be plenty of legitimate reasons to be pro-Israel and pro-American at the same time, but that has to be argued. It is underhanded to say that something is by-definition, antisemitic – simply because it is antisemitic (circular logic; see: your mentioning of David Duke and Father Coughlin).

          You have to say why you think someone is an Iran-firster. I see no one here saying our interests and values and strategic goals are the same as Iran. I see no one here advocating we send Iran military helicopters and tons of money or that we should go to war w/ Israel because it is an existential threat for Iran.

          Those are all simple reasons that could be expanded upon in greater detail.

        • cliff, hops doesn’t want to have this argument on a level playing field, he wants to wield the racist crutch. he wants to lecture us on using derogatory terms instead of making legitimate arguments while wielding his lil AS stick as if it’s all the argument he needs. he wants to pretend we are not making political arguments based on political agendas.

          while we make political statements (israel firster is completely tied to political agenda) he battles it on derogatory terms (anti semitite!)

          fail

        • American says:

          No one calls businessmen who do business with China or elected representatives who supporting MFN status for China (which is virtually all of them) China-firsters. And this despite the fact that the Chinese rob us blind by stealing our intellectual property and creating a hostile climate for our products.”…hopmi

          Yes we do, we name special interest…we call them the ” 1%” or the “Capitalist Elites” or the “Multinational Vultures” or whatever.
          We name groups deemed determintal to some larger population’s interest or welfare according to their motives and/or interest.
          The state of Israel is the prime interest of Israel- firsters.
          So we name them Israel- firsters.

          What do you think they should be called?
          They have to have a name so people know who we are talking about.

        • hophmi says:

          “ok, just link to one of those videos with a politician declaring his love for china and i will call him a china firster.”

          What does public love have to do with it? You miss the point. No one needs to profess public love for China, because support of China is a fait accompli.

          “of course i think adelson is responsible for shoving money at gingrich so he’ll call palestinians invented and move the embassy to jerusalem.”

          I don’t think it has much to do with Adelson.

          “what about rtwng likud zionist agenda is not “political philosophy”.”

          What agenda?

          “btw, i assume you are aware of the hypocrisy of accusing others of using derogatory terms as substitutes for intellectual arguments while accusing us of anti semitism.”

          Not at all. Mine is accurate. Yours isn’t.

        • American says:

          So do you mind if I call you an Iran-firster?”..hopmi

          You can, I don’t care, but it’s silly.
          I expect Iranians to be Iran -firsters, Israelis to be Israel firsters, Russians to be Russians firsters if they are citizens of those countries. It’s normal national loyalty.
          For myself ( and probably most humans)—-I am a Anti Bullies-Killers-Injustice-Oppressors of People -Firster, then I am a American-Firster. When America gets in the way of my First-Firster, then I go after bashing and beating on it , as I have done.
          Life is simple.

        • Chu says:

          Is this what it’s come to?
          Losing the argument is one thing… but…

          [homphmi] Not at all. Mine is accurate. Yours isn’t.

          The word is going to exist. Deal with it. Change some of your
          Likidist brethren’s habits inside this country and the word will be less used.
          Is it the fault of US citizens that there are those among them who are solely concerned with building another nation 9000Km away?
          Read the George Washington piece below and deeply reflect on its meaning. It’s jarringly accurate when you think about the current alliance of the favorite state.

        • Mine is accurate. Yours isn’t.

          lol, iow according to you i am an anti semite and adelson is not an israel firster. got it. is that hop’s zio argument technique 101?

          I don’t think it has much to do with Adelson.

          yeah, that’s because you want to define the parameters of the discussion. adelson has everything to do with being an israel firster.

          “what about rtwng likud zionist agenda is not “political philosophy”.”

          What agenda?

          the israel firster agenda. y’know, bomb iran for israel..move the embassy to jerusalem, claim palestinians are invented irrelevant and don’t exist or some version thereof, claim the west bank is S&J and disputed, claim israel is a lil victim stat surrounded by hording mobs here’s the prob hops..you’re not interested in my definition of israel firster because it’s perfectly defendable. you want it to mean what you want it to mean so it will be susceptible to the little switch twig in your hand which is all you seem to be battling with here. how about i get to define what israel firster means, not you. if you want to use it then you can define it for yourself but you can’t put words or thoughts in my mind that are not there (“american jews who love israel are disloyal americans” or some version of hasbara like that). i am not missing your point, i am telling you your point is missing the mark.

          So Israel-firster is just an election-year derogatory term?

          election season, basically yes. the problem is those seasons last about 23.9 months now. btw, could you respond to this, it will be the third time i have posted it:

          that’s one of the downsides (or upsides depending on ones pov) of supporting an ethnic national state. when the state does something criminal or illegal their supporters love claiming it’s the ethnic part of the ethnic nationalist state being criticized instead of the state itself. this is just a crutch hophmi, one you are all to eager to apply.

        • American says:

          The term is a derogatory way of referring to people who take perfectly justified political positions. I call these people Americans and patriots, just like anyone else who takes a political position they believe is in the best interest in our country.”

          oh gawd hopmi, that’s such an old discredited rationalization, you have to be desperate to drag that one out again.
          American patriots?
          It might be possible that some with the I.Q of a cabbage truly “think” they are being patriots.
          So I’ll call them cabbages instead of Israel firsters LOL.
          Although I really think the cabbage I.Q.s are more prevalent among the christian zio religious fanatics.

    • Cliff says:

      Hophmi, stop attempting to smear Phil and MW via guilt by association.

      In fact, it’s nonsensical since David Duke did not originate the term and popularize it.

      You are assuming that it is impossible that a pro-Israel ideologue in the US is putting Israel’s interests above the US interest.

      Your premise is that all pro-Israel intellectuals, politicians, policy-makers, etc. are all as pro-American as well and believe our interests are one in the same.

      That is the point where people disagree and it can be demonstrated very easily.

      These people are not pro-American. They simply seek to link Israel’s problems with America’s.

      George Washington warned against this kind of thing. Is he antisemitic too? LOL

      You are only upset that people don’t think Zionism is within America’s interests.

      Israel-Firster is a legitimate term and it’s not antisemitic. It’s the truth. Unless you are so delusional that you want to turn reality into antisemitism so we all adopt your worldview.

      • hophmi says:

        “You are assuming that it is impossible that a pro-Israel ideologue in the US is putting Israel’s interests above the US interest.”

        It’s perfectly legitimate to argue against the prudence of a political position. It is not legitimate to argue that American Jews who support Israel purposely put Israel’s interests before America’s and care more about Israel than the United States. That’s an old smear of the Father Coughlin variety.

        • Cliff says:

          Antisemitism is an abstraction hophmi. It is not a law of nature.

          It is possible to be American and put the interests of a foreign country above America’s.

          It is also possible for an American Jew to put the interest of Israel before America’s, while residing in (more or less permanently) the US.

          What you are implying is that an American Jew putting the interests of Israel above that of America is a logistical impossibility. That is absurd and conspiratorial.

          And anyways, the point here is not everyday people but politicians, policy-makers, mainstream intellectuals, etc. The ‘Elite’. Everyday people should be allowed to vote whichever way they choose (except if it is illegal). That still would not change the characterization of their priorities.

          If something is true, then it is true. You want to characterize something that could be true as antisemitic. Mentioning David Duke, or Father Coughlin is a circular argument. It doesn’t address the issue.

          Sheldon Adelson says he only wants to be a good Zionist. He says he regrets having wore an American uniform. He says he wants all his children to serve in the IDF. He donates to candidates according to who is most to the right of Likud.

          It’s his right too. He can spend his money on whichever candidate as long as he isn’t violating any laws. He can say whatever he wants to say about being a good Zionist. That’s his right to free speech.

          And likewise, we have the right to call him out for being an Israel-firster; someone who puts the interest of Israel before that of the United States.

          The term presumes that American and Israeli interest are not one in the same.

          Once again, George Washington warned about the danger of permanent alliances.

          That is the spirit informing the usage of this terminology. It is not unique to Jews due to some arbitrary assessment of Jewishness.

        • hophmi says:

          “It is possible to be American and put the interests of a foreign country above America’s.”

          Sure it is. It’s also possible to be American and put the interests of Russia above America. Or the interests of France. Or Egypt. Usually, though, people of good faith assume people have America’s best interest at heart and avoid using derogatory terms as substitutes for intellectual arguments.

          You know what you’re doing, and so does everybody else. You don’t use terms like France-firster or Russia-firster or China-firster or India-firster or Iran-firster, so why Israel-firster?

        • Cliff says:

          Why do you keep characterizing the term and it’s usage, conspiratorially?

          It is not derogatory if it is true. If it is true, it is important to articulate that truth.

          Usually, though, people of good faith assume people have America’s best interest at heart and avoid using derogatory terms as substitutes for intellectual arguments.

          This is ridiculous. You are implying that the term, ‘Israel firster’, is being applied without consideration.

          As I said:

          If you believe that Israel and the United States are not joined at the head and if you believe that associating the United States with Israel is dangerous (as in, their problems are our problems and they are just like us and blah blah) – then the term ‘Israel firster’ is acceptable.

          The presumption is that the person, for example Adelson, does NOT have the interests of our country as a priority.

          You are once again assuming that pro-Israel Establishment elites are incapable of putting Israel’s interests above our own.

          Not to mention that the label of ‘Israel firster’ is not based on antisemitic views of Jews in America but rather the political situation in this country w/ respect to Israel and the ME.

          If we have a reason to call someone a France-firster, then we would use that term.

          Once again, you seem to think reality can be antisemitic. Antisemitism is an abstract concept.

          It is antisemitic if it is not true and if it generalizes and if it presumes the by virtue of being Jewish – someone will do this or that.

          And even that last part isn’t always antisemitic. Otherwise, why would we talk about ‘the Jewish vote’ or ‘the Hispanic vote’?

          People give people legroom when talking about these identities when you know the intention is not to be antisemitic but rather to describe a demographic in a territory/country. It is not pseudo-scientific but (hopefully w/ good intentions) a careful, sincere, political assessment.

        • American says:

          “You know what you’re doing, and so does everybody else. You don’t use terms like France-firster or Russia-firster or China-firster or India-firster or Iran-firster, so why Israel-firster?”…hopmi

          Because at the moment it is the Israel- firsters causing some of the biggest problems for the US.
          So why not call them Israel -firsters?
          Is there any particular reason we shouldn’t?

        • You don’t use terms like France-firster or Russia-firster or China-firster or India-firster or Iran-firster, so why Israel-firster?

          please link to a video of one of our candidates or senate member professing their everlasting guarantee we will always protect france as we dump billions onto their military, or the section of the gop debates where all the candidates crawl all over themselves declaring their devotion to china or russia. i’ll gladly call them those names. better yet, how bout our candidates NOT compete with eachother as to who can be the bestest israel firster. if you don’t mind. how bout they all at least pretend to put america first.

          thanks

        • Chu says:

          Here’s a clear example of Israel Firster. Atlanta Jewish Times publisher,
          Andrew Adler calling for the assassination of the US President by Mossad
          agents, not but a month ago.

          That is a clear case for you, in case you think that the term is too harsh and conspiratorial.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Why do you keep characterizing the term and it’s usage, conspiratorially?”

          I assume that the Ministry is pushing a new meme.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You don’t use terms like France-firster or Russia-firster or China-firster or India-firster or Iran-firster, so why Israel-firster?”

          I’ve heard China-firster on a number of occassions. Just because you don’t run in those circles doesn’t mean that no one does, hoppster.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “It is not legitimate to argue that American Jews who support Israel purposely put Israel’s interests before America’s and care more about Israel than the United States.”

          No one is talking about “American Jews” as a group or as a whole. Rather, the label is used to denote people who put Israel’s interests before America’s and care more about Israel than the United States. Those people do exist. You can stick your face in the sand and rant about priests who died a hundred years ago, but that won’t change the fact that such people exist and some are very powerful.

          So what term should be use to describe American citizens who put Israel’s interests before America’s and care more about Israel than the United States?? You chose. Place a fair label on that concept, hophmi.

        • MRW says:

          You know what you’re doing, and so does everybody else. You don’t use terms like France-firster or Russia-firster or China-firster or India-firster or Iran-firster, so why Israel-firster?

          Show me the links to government policy and laws that put France first, Russia first, China first, or India first. Go on, show us. List the names of US congressmen (House and Senate) who waste our national legislative time fighting to get France’s, Russia’s, India’s, or China’s best interests introduced into law here. Tell us how much taxpayer money goes to support France, Russia, India, or China. List it. And while you’re at it, tell us how much military materiel we donate to those countries.

          None of us here object to personal proclivities, tastes, or emotional attachments. We object to policy manipulation, engaging in wars for the foreign country’s benefit, and smearing and labeling Americans who won’t go along with it, and who are fed up with it…which you are attempting to do with your sneer of You know what you’re doing, and so does everybody else.

          Edit: France, Russia, India, and China are not trying to start war with Iran with our money, men, or military. You’re damn right we’re going to object with the Israel-Firster moniker. You don’t like it? Tell them to stop doing it.

      • American says:

        Time for George:

        ”So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld.

        And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

        As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

        Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests. ”

        • Chu says:

          If a congressional representative on the Senate floor gave that 216 year-old speech from George Washington they would be the next target of AIPAC and the establishment media.

        • GW would be called an anti semite for giving that speech today.

        • American says:

          “If a congressional representative on the Senate floor gave that 216 year-old speech from George Washington’…Chu

          Would you believe congress reads Washington’s speech out loud on the house floor every year?
          They do.
          And none of them pay the slighest attention to what it says.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      “Disingenuousness” would be suggesting that African-Americans came up with the “N” word the same way the Zionist community came up with the term “Israel firster.” It would also be suggesting that any criticism of Israel is automatically anti-Semitism against American Jews.

      Who are you loyal to? Israel, or the US?

      • Who are you loyal to? Israel, or the US?

        that’s like asking a child to side with his mother over his father. dual loyalties are a natural phenomena under certain conditions. we’re just not allowed to say that, it’s ‘anti semitic’.

  12. Israel first – is a valid question and a valid phrase. But as a phrase its use usually indicates animus towards Israel, not merely animus towards those who support Israel. And animus towards Israel sometimes includes animus towards Jews.

    When Edward Said, the saint of Western supporters of Palestine, said about Ari Fleischer, “whom I believe is also an Israeli citizen”, he was being more blatant in his animus towards Jews who support Israel. (Maybe because Fleisher supports Likud Zionism rather than Labor Zionism, this slur, or sloppy backhanded use of a term for purposes of denigrating one’s opponents, is valid.) But if you read the comments section and the use of the term “israel firster” 9 times out of 10 it is the sentiment of trench warfare or mudwrestling rather than a discussion of the issues.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      he was being more blatant in his animus towards Jews who support Israel

      Wondering jew, it’s a really really really bad idea for you to equate opposition to ethnic cleansing and apartheid with anti-Semitism.

      • MRW says:

        Wondering jew, it’s a really really really bad idea for you to equate opposition to ethnic cleansing and apartheid with anti-Semitism.

        And immoral.

    • But if you read the comments section and the use of the term “israel firster” 9 times out of 10 it is the sentiment of trench warfare or mudwrestling rather than a discussion of the issues.

      israel firsters are part of the issue. attacking the lingo is just another way of evading the issue. it’s simple and concise and it’s here to stay. get used to it.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “But as a phrase its use usually indicates animus towards Israel,”

      So? That’s a valid position.

      “And animus towards Israel sometimes includes animus towards Jews.”

      And mostly it does not.

      “he was being more blatant in his animus towards Jews who support Israel.”

      No, he was commenting on the fact that it would be impossible to expect the Palestinians to get a fair shake from a White House staffed with people who are citizens of (or in the case of people like Rahm Emanuel — virtual citizens of ) the enemy state.

    • animus towards Israel sometimes includes animus towards Jews.

      well professed love for israel sometimes includes animus towards jews but you don’t see that stopping the israel firsters distancing themselves from the christian fundies. as long as it suits their purpose they don’t care who they align with, do they?

    • American says:

      But as a phrase its use usually indicates animus towards Israel, not merely animus towards those who support Israel. And animus towards Israel sometimes includes animus towards Jews.”……WJ”

      ..amd animus towards Jews sometimes includes animus toward Blacks and anumis towards Blacks sometimes includes animnus toward gays and animus toward gays sometimes includes…….well WJ, you see where I ‘am going with this line of thought I hope.
      You can’t control the langauge and even if you could you couldn’t control the sometimes or someones. You chase ghost 99% of the time.

    • Proton Soup says:

      to be honest, i’m sick and disgusted with the whole “you hate jews if you don’t go along with our agendas” dialogue. and so, i am perfectly happy to remove it from the discussion. instead of “israel firster”, i will refer to other-loyalists as “america seconders”. and as for the whole zionism thing, my new favorite phrase is “zionists are not jews”. i’m no longer giving in to the emotional terrorism, it has to stop.

    • It has finally become intolerable to listen to or look at news in this country. I’ve told myself over and over again that one ought to leaf through the daily papers and turn on the TV for the national news every evening, just to find out what “the country” is thinking and planning, but patience and masochism have their limits. Colin Powell’s UN speech, designed obviously to outrage the American people and bludgeon the UN into going to war, seems to me to have been a new low point in moral hypocrisy and political manipulation. But Donald Rumsfeld’s lectures in Munich this past weekend went one step further than the bumbling Powell in unctuous sermonising and bullying derision. For the moment, I shall discount George Bush and his coterie of advisers, spiritual mentors, and political managers like Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and Karl Rove: they seem to me slaves of power perfectly embodied in the repetitive monotone of their collective spokesman Ari Fliescher (who I believe is also an Israeli citizen). Bush is, he has said, in direct contact with God, or if not God, then at least Providence.

      that is the context of wj’s Edward Said quote which wj produced as evidence of “blatant..animus towards Jews who support Israel” and (Maybe because Fleisher supports Likud Zionism rather than Labor Zionism, this slur, or sloppy backhanded use of a term for purposes of denigrating one’s opponents, is valid.)

      what term might that be? the term “who I believe is also an Israeli citizen”? notice how wj jumped the shark and grabbed a phrase, claimed it was an animus towards ‘jews who support israel’, pretended ari had been called an israel firster (instead of say…adelson, or someone who was actually referenced as an israel firster ) and then called the usage (which Said never actually used) sloppy, backhanded and denigrating? viola! and that’s called transference people. winning an argument using your own make believe evidence.

      here’s something hophmi refused to address, i’m passing it on to you WJ:

      that’s one of the downsides (or upsides depending on ones pov) of supporting an ethnic national state. when the state does something criminal or illegal their supporters love claiming it’s the ethnic part of the ethnic nationalist state being criticized instead of the state itself. this is just a crutch hophmi, one you are all to eager to apply.

      animus towards Israel sometimes includes animus towards Jews.

      9 times out of 10 it isn’t. and 9 times out of 10 it is the sentiment of ‘anti semitic’ trench warfare or mudwrestling rather than a discussion of the issues. team israel just seems more comfortable fighting against anti semitism. you feel on solid ground, more justifiable, worthy of defense. you’re just boxing at shadows for the most part this WJ, because 9 times out of 10 it’s state policies that drive us nuts, and those who support those apartheid policies. it’s political.

      • annie- I consider Edward Said’s phrase definitely more egregious than the term Israel firster. He said, “whom I believe is an Israeli citizen”, which was probably untrue (although he is no longer here, I do not believe Professor Said truly believed that Ari Fleisher was an Israeli citizen, but he was mocking his name and accusing him of dual loyalty with a fancy turn of phrase.)

        Israel firster is a taunt and a label that is used to mock one’s opponents. Considering the range of taunts that are used here and elsewhere to mock or provoke those who support Israel, it is rather innocuous. But it is still a taunt rather than a tool for ideas.

        Taunt all you like, and I see that you like, so taunt away. But don’t pretend that it is dialogue or a war of ideas.

        • john h says:

          We’re in a war of words, and taunting is so old hat.

          As you well know, Zionists are experts at it, and at using taunting words to cower those who can be cowered, and they are still far too many.

          But more and more are coming to know it is their way to avoid real dialogue or engaging in a war of ideas or facing up to the moral dilemmas they have created for themselves.

        • RoHa says:

          “to cower those who can be cowered,”

          You mean “to cow those who can be cowed”, surely. “Cower” is intransitive.

        • I do not believe Professor Said truly believed that Ari Fleisher was an Israeli citizen, but he was mocking his name and accusing him of dual loyalty with a fancy turn of phrase

          mocking his name? that sounds a tad paranoid wj, i would not have thought of that. there’s nothing particularly israeli sounding about the name fleisher.

          when someone uses the phrase ‘i believe’ in the context Said used it, it generally means ‘i think but i am not certain’, so it is unlikely Said ‘truly believed’ because that would run contrary to the implication of his words.

          but i think you are expecting too much in this day and age when many american jews have dual citizenship, it is not unusual, we are supposed to accept it as normal just as we are supposed to accept it as normal for an american youth to join the idf.

          so maybe he shouldn’t have said it, maybe it was inappropriate. but we were pushed into war for heavens sakes, look at the context. he was mostly addressing fleisher’s role as the press secretary. so what if he said as an aside ‘i believe he is israeli’. do you have any idea how integrated the idea of israel and israelis have become with our society? have you read the nyt lately? some settler dies and it lands in the obits as if it matters here for heavens sakes.

          this is one person, a palestinian american, making one aside, referencing an american as israeli and here we are years later discussing it in the context of the israel firster argument.

          move on. it wasn’t that big a deal. if i have to accept the notion of willful dual citizenship just for the heck of it (no, i don’t particularly like americans becoming israeli, the other way around i don’t mind) then you’ll have to expect the speculation once in awhile.

          and furthermore it isn’t racist or bigotted. if it was someone saying ‘isn’t he french’ during the french fries fiasco no one would have called it racist. i dig perhaps but not racist.

          and i can’t stand it we’ve got that nuland character married to the neocon kagan doing the press briefings. it makes me want to puke. i’m sick of the neocons, completely sick of them meddling in my government and i don’t trust them as far as i could throw a stick. period. that said, i don’t really know anything about fleisher. he’s not a red flag neocon like nuland’s husband.

          i don’t take this whole dual loyalty thing as seriously as you do. i think americans have accepted a huge portion of american jews have a deep attachment to israel. normal people associate deep attachment w/an element or degree of loyalty. so you’re expecting too much to expect americans to accept this deep attachment (which is continually shoved down our collective throats with this constant ‘share our values’ and ‘special friends ‘ status) while at the same time this stick is always there ready to punish us if we associate it with loyalty. the two things go together for heavens sakes. watch the bachmann video she put out the day after she announced her run for president. it’s disgusting. i’m over these declarations of loyalties expected from our politicians. i’m over the 29 standing ovations, over it.

          he was mocking…accusing him of dual loyalty with a fancy turn of phrase

          get over it or DO something about it. we need to sever the ‘unbreakable’ bond between this criminal apartheid state and our government. SEVER. don’t blame the rest of us for having to put up with this crap constantly if we target individuals who seem to care more about israel than the US. that’s my opinion. Said’s comment was a miniscule infraction compared with that, compared with the context of that paragraph. millions of iraqis died as a result of that war, and you’re offended by “whom I believe is an Israeli citizen”.

        • wj, is there a reason you didn’t address my blockquote? the one about when the state does something criminal or illegal their supporters love claiming it’s the ethnic part of the ethnic nationalist state being criticized ?

          i’ve only repeated it 4 times i think. should i blockquote it again?

        • john h says:

          Right you are, RoHa, you cow-catcher you!

          Darn, what a cow, but it matters nothing compared with being a coward in the face of Zionism and its cowage.

        • Hostage says:

          Taunt all you like, and I see that you like, so taunt away. But don’t pretend that it is dialogue or a war of ideas.

          ROTFLMAO! Let’s keep in mind that we are talking about Ari Fleischer, the propaganda apparatchik who thinks a true copy of an infant’s birth certificate should have the baby’s signature on it somewhere:

          @AriFleischer The more I think about it, the more I wonder if the Obama birth certificate is real. It doesn’t look like he signed it anywhere

          link to twitter.com

          Edward Said’s “A Monument To Hypocrisy” was published days before the invasion of Iraq and it proved to be absolutely prophetic – right down to the fact that Colin Powell’s bogus speech at the UN about Saddam’s WMD program was pure political theater and a moral low point. link to wussu.com

          “Israeli citizen” is way too kind. Around my house we usually call Ari Fleischer and his neocon bosses “no good”, “liars”, and “sons-a-bitches”. That’s how the Bush White House team deserves to be remembered in the history books. FYI, Sourcewatch and a host of other sources still indicate the widespread belief that Fleischer is a dual US-Israel citizen. link to sourcewatch.org

          To return to the actual topic of discussion, there isn’t any doubt that individuals like Adelson and Saban can accurately be described as Israel-firsters. They’ve both bragged, very publicly, about the fact that Israel is their top political priority. Those two alone are contributing tens of millions to the current US Presidential campaigns and there is nothing wrong with pointing out their agenda.

        • john h says:

          That Ari Fleischer quote says it all. Such an intelligent and moral person…someone Zionists can be proud of.

      • annie- as they say in the neighborhood, “it’s no big thang”.

        Calling someone an Israeli firster is usually used as a taunt, a short hand, a dismissal. If you find it useful as any of the above, I can’t stop you from using it and I’m not particularly offended. It does not smell of animus against Jews within itself, and usually there are a few words thrown in which make the stink quite clear: parasite, “chosen people”, those are much surer tip offs than “israel firster”, but taunt away. Supporters of israel are not holier than thou in this regard and so if you want to say, they do it, so we should be allowed also, I can’t agree with your premise. My point is: Don’t pretend you are dialoguing when you are cheerleading. They are two different types of communication, dialogue is demanding both intellectually and emotionally. Cheerleading is relatively cheap. But it has its allures. It can be fun. Enjoy.

        The US government allows its citizens to take citizenship in other countries. If you wish to change that law, write your congressman to change that policy. (I know. Congress is broken. Norm Orenstein, a neoconservative I believe, who is not also a citizen of Israel I believe, wrote a book describing congress as the “Broken Branch”. I concur. Yet the law of the land is established by congress. That establishes the legality of dual citizenship. If you dislike people who have connections to other countries, that is your personal reference but not a moral judgment. The only part that seems immoral to me is dishonesty.)

        I think that the tendency of Jews to defend Israel because it is Jewish is predictable and lamentable. Does that answer your block quote question. I don’t see it as being particularly deep or insightful. Am I missing something.

        • Hostage says:

          If you dislike people who have connections to other countries, that is your personal reference but not a moral judgment. The only part that seems immoral to me is dishonesty.)

          LOL! I guess you’ve never seen a Gingrich or Romney campaign advertisement or watched one of the televised debates, but politically incorrect campaign contributions and the exercise of Presidential war powers are subjects that invariably come-up for discussion. None of this dual citizenship crap you brought up in connection with Said and Fleischer alters the right of the general public to discuss the public statements from Adelson, Saban, Sembler et al regarding their Israel-first agendas. After all, they are funding candidates for public office who are begging us to vote for those agendas. It would be dishonest to say that I’m more worried about the number of times a candidate has been divorced than I am about whether he has an obligation to his backers to launch a war against Iran that would get a lot of of innocent people killed.

          The US government allows its citizens to take citizenship in other countries. If you wish to change that law, write your congressman to change that policy.

          That would actually be rather pointless. In the past, the US government routinely denied citizens the right to voluntarily obtain citizenship in another country. In Perez v. Brownell, 356 U.S. 44 the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had the authority to forcibly take away citizenship regardless of a person’s intention not to give up their citizenship.
          link to caselaw.lp.findlaw.com

          However in a case involving a naturalized US citizen who had moved to Israel and voted in the national elections, Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967), the Court overruled the earlier decision and held that citizenship was a constitutionally protected right under the 14th Amendment and that Congress has no power to divest a person of his United States citizenship absent his voluntary renunciation.
          link to caselaw.lp.findlaw.com

          In Vance V. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980) the Supreme Court ruled that Congress could strip an individual of his citizenship if the preponderance of the evidence indicated that the person intended to renounce his or her citizenship.
          link to caselaw.lp.findlaw.com

          The current State Department policy goes well beyond that standard of evidence. It assumes that everyone wishes to retain their citizenship and requires that the department ask the individual concerned and certify their response in most cases.
          link to travel.state.gov

        • WJ, whether you realize it or not you are applying lots of ad hominems here. you accuse others of not partipating in real dialogue and i engage you in my honest opinion and then you accuse me of dishonesty.

          you brought up dual loyalty in a derogatory manner, you introduced it into the conversation, i addressed it and you rag at me. so don’t tell me you’re interested in dialogue.

          If you dislike people who have connections to other countries, that is your personal reference but not a moral judgment. The only part that seems immoral to me is dishonesty

          i didn’t say i disliked people who had ‘connections’ to other countries. we’re at war, some israel supporters (israel firsters) are not acting in our best interest. they are pushing us. you think my language is ‘taunting’, what do you think of Israeli Hirsh Goodman? i have no idea is he’s israeli or american or both, what i do care about is the access he has to the mainstream media. the neocon narrative is privileged in the msm, as zionism is privileged in the msm, it’s a view that’s afforded way more exposure than it deserves (the neocons were voted out of office) and we can’t rid ourselves of it. the fourth estate is primarily in the purview of the few and i can resent that without being accused of dishonesty.

          you give a good try but can’t seem to get anywhere sans the personal insults. you’re part of the victim class aren’t you? your people are unfairly maligned. meanwhile the ink isn’t dry on iraq and we are being pressured to war.

  13. Cliff says:

    Zionists want a monopoly on labels.

    Rachel Corrie is not a humanist or activist or pro-Palestinian solidarity activist. Nope. She is an ‘anti-Israel’ activist according to Commentary.

    How many people – who don’t care about Israel but rather the plight of the Palestinians – are called anti-Israel?

    And of course there’s ‘Jew-hater’/antisemite.

    It’s all part of controlling the narrative and setting parameters everywhere to determine what kind of criticism they think is ok (i.e., no criticism; no meaningful criticism at least).

    You can be an eee-type Zionist or a WJ-type Zionist and still be all for censorship.

    • I am not all for censorship. If you wish to use the phrase Israel firster, I ain’t stopping you. And yes it is a phrase that I have already gotten used to. I am just saying that certain speech patterns lead to certain reactions. If you just care about letting your freak flag fly or of letting it all hang out or of being as free as the birds will let you, go right ahead. I ain’t stopping you. (that’s the definition of censorship by the way, an action of mine which stops you (rather then merely inhibits you psychologically) from expressing yourself), but to pretend as if you are moving the dialogue forward, when you (Cliff), have shown zero desire to dialogue, is just b.s.
      Use whatever language you want. if on the other hand you desire to dialogue, then limit your language to that which will spur dialogue. It couldn’t be simpler.

      • well thank you wj. i have desire to dialogue. what shall we discuss? i assume you don’t want to discuss adelson’s israel firster status.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Ask him his stance on whether Israel comes first vis-a-vis Israel’s “right” to kill Iranian civilians with assassination strikes. Or, regarding possible US involvement, whether that takes precedence over US laws that make assassination categorically illegal.

        • Annie- Please cite a discussion on this web site in which you participated, which you would label your participation as “dialogue” rather than “hooray for our side” and “boo for your side”. That is not dialogue. Neither is it the war of ideas.

          The use of the term “israel firster” is basically analogous to the term “Israel basher”. I would call Phil an Israel basher, particularly when he labels Israel money lovers because a journalist relates to the Japanese earthquake by wondering about the availability of soy sauce. But that’s a specific instance and even though in general I would in my heart consider Phil an Israel basher I don’t feel that constantly tossing around the term is conducive to discussion.

          The web site calls itself a “war of ideas”. I suppose there are various ways to wage a war of ideas. Some of those in the trenches throw garbage and some throw labels. Others say “hooray for our side” and “your side sucks”. This is war (mudwrestling, I’d call it), but it really is not ideas.

        • john h says:

          Your last paragraph, wj, sums it up nicely.

          Your problem is you seem to think of yourself or Zionists as the exception to the rule. You aren’t and they aren’t; they are the experts at saying “hooray for our side” and “your side sucks”, and you well know it.

          Be the exception then, forget about garbage and forget about labels, give us something that really is ideas, not to win a war (of words or ideas or anything else), but to make a lasting difference in people’s lives.

        • Annie- Please cite a discussion on this web site in which you participated, which you would label your participation as “dialogue” rather than “hooray for our side” and “boo for your side”. That is not dialogue.

          wj, you already accused me of ‘pretending’ to dialogue and asked me to ‘limit my language’. so i asked you politely what you would like to discuss and you challenge me to site a discussion in which i have dialogued in the past. i am having a dialogue with you right now. perhaps, if your choice of a discussion is the nature of dialogues in and of themselves you should start by citing an example of your own in which you excel. one that doesn’t include this trait you profess is my affliction.

      • American says:

        Hey WJ, I call this woman a Israel- firster, what would you call her?

        US Affairs: Reaching for the Jewish vote Florida

        By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER 02/10/2012 16:26 With a Jewish population of 600,000, the Jewish vote is key in the swing Sunshine State. By REUTERS/Larry Downing

        HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA – During the depths of the Great Depression, Rose Nisenbaum’s bank refused to allow her to withdraw the $400 emergency fund she had spent her life carefully saving. So she decided to appeal to a higher authority: she wrote to the president, Franklin Roosevelt, much to the amusement of her family.

        Eight weeks later, everyone but Nisenbaum was shocked when she received a response from the White House. She was instructed to take take an enclosed letter to the bank. When she arrived and rapped on the window of the locked building, the manager inside waved her off. But when he saw the White House insignia on the envelope she pressed against the glass, he let her in, read the missive and promptly gave her the money.

        Her daughter, Ruth Lynn, was with her that day and still remembers it – and its lasting political message – well.

        “To us, president Roosevelt was a wonderful, wonderful man,” she recalls from her Florida home, “and we always voted Democrat.”

        But now, at age 89, Lynn plans to break the family tradition and cast a ballot against Democratic President Barack Obama this fall. At the top of her list of reasons is his attitude toward Israel.

        link to jpost.com

      • Cliff says:

        WJ said:

        but to pretend as if you are moving the dialogue forward, when you (Cliff), have shown zero desire to dialogue, is just b.s.
        Use whatever language you want. if on the other hand you desire to dialogue, then limit your language to that which will spur dialogue

        I have no desire to dialogue with someone who shares the same twisted views as Ward Churchill who justified the 9/11 attacks.

        You justify killing Iranian scientists (because of Israeli existential fear, while it strikes REAL fear into Palestinian civilians and steals their land/resources/dispossess them) because they are part of the Iranian war machine.

        Ward Churchill said that many of the victims of 9/11 were not ‘really’ victims because (and thus the attack wasn’t all that bad) they were part of the American war machine.

        You’re an Israeli and you’re country (in spite of possessing no strategic value whatsoever) is our ally. So, you get to make these kinds of pro-terrorism statements. It’s just about who is on what side.

        So sorry, I don’t ‘dialogue’ with terrorists!

  14. kapok says:

    …an action of mine which stops you (rather then merely inhibits you psychologically) from expressing yourself…

    Sorta like a tear gas canister in the face, huh?

  15. patm says:

    “American Jews continued to object to Israel’s claim that a genuine Jewish life was possible only in Israel. Abram L. Sachar, president of Brandeis University, at the biennial convention of JWB [Jewish Welfare Board], declared on April 2, 1960 that among Jews there is no room “for Israel Firsters whose chauvinism and arrogance find nothing relevant or viable in any area outside of Israel.” Quoted above by Phil Weiss. My bold.

    Wise words by the Brandeis president 52 years ago. He would be appalled to learn how little heed has been paid to his warning. Israel Firsters, awash with chauvinism and arrogance, have taken over the levers of the US government and are now threatening to propel us into a nuclear war. They are in practice if not in law traitors all.