Why I am using ‘Israel firster’ again

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 254 Comments

It has been almost three months since the big “Israel Firster” brouhaha which led to me leaving Media Matters for America and the Center for American Progress deciding to avoid writing about anything that might be construed as “anti-Israel.”

At that time I thought that the AIPAC-initiated onslaught was not really about a label it (and its allies) found offensive but about silencing some key critical voices.

I knew that they would not succeed. I, for instance, am just as “out there” as before. I love Media Matters, which supported me throughout the whole controversy, but my voice was heard on the Israel/lobby issue long before I landed at Media Matters and nothing has changed since I left.

And I am far from alone. Other than among the lobby and its cutouts and devotees, supporting Israeli policies is no longer the default position it once was. Even among Jews, support for Israeli policies is deep only among that dwindling number that defines itself, first and foremost, as part of the organized Jewish community. (Of course, these are the people politicians listen to because they vote and contribute money based exclusively on a candidate’s support for Israeli policies. But according to the American Jewish Committee poll, these Israel voters and donors constitute just 4% of Jews.

So what was the campaign which, in the end, brought together AIPAC (via its former spokesman Josh Block), Alan Dershowitz (who said he would campaign against President Obama unless I was fired!) and Bill Kristol (who took out a full page ad in the New York Times condemning me and the offending term) all about?

I now understand it was really about the term “Israel Firster” and about my use of it now. I say now that because I used the term regularly during my decade at the moderate (to the point of being almost indistinguishable from AIPAC) Israel Policy Forum and no one objected. It was viewed correctly as a description of those individuals and institutions which place support for right-wing Israeli policies over any concern for how those policies impact the United States.

Short definition: you are an Israel Firster if you believe it is acceptable to criticize US Presidents (whether Obama, Bush or any other) but believe that you must stand behind any and all Israeli policies and prime ministers. Call it “my country, right or wrong” but with a significant twist.

My best examples of the concept of Israel Firster are liberal Members of Congress, like Jerry Nadler, Al Franken, and Barbara Boxer, who are invariably anti-war in every situation except when it comes to Israel. These legislators have no problem criticizing US Presidents for whatever reason but never criticize Prime Minister Netanyahu for any reason.

The phenomenon is not, of course, limited to Congress. It is evident in the media (think MSNBC) and even in the blogosphere where even supposedly independent bloggers can write endlessly about the failing negotiations with Iran without revealing who is torpedoing them. (See this Atlantic piece by Robert Wright which explains how it is Netanyahu and AIPAC who are preventing successful negotiations with Iran by insisting that sanctions not be lifted no matter what Iran does, and contrast it with the other prominent center-left bloggers who are afraid to mention this fact).

The same dynamic applies to all the columns about Sheldon Adelson which conspicuously ignore that the sole reason he is involved in politics is maintain U.S, support for Netanyahu.

However, as I said, I have been using “Israel Firster” for years and it wasn’t even considered “anti-Israel.” Why would it be? Preserving the status quo or promoting wars that will get Israelis killed is not, by any definition, pro-Israel? And that is what the Israel Firsters promote.

But then, in 2012, it all changed. Suddenly suggesting that those who put their view of Israel’s interests above anything else was anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and (I love this term) perpetuating a “blood libel.”

As Israelis say: “mah pitom?” Why all of a sudden?

I now understand why. And it is the reason will continue to use the term “Israel Firster” and why I think you should too.

The reason Israel Firster became so explosive in 2012 is because (1) this is the year the lobby wants the United States to either attack Iran or allow Israel to do it and (2) this is the year in which tens of millions of dollars of unregulated campaign contributions are flowing to the Republican candidate for president simply because the single-issue crowd believes that Mitt Romney is the candidate most likely to fit comfortably in Netanyahu’s pocket.

The lobby’s biggest fear is that the American people will figure this out and that the blow back will harm the US-Israel relationship.

Frankly, I share part of that worry. But my fear is that if the American people do figure out what AIPAC and its friends are up to, it could harm us here. After all, the lobby has done a great job convincing Congress and opinion leaders that they represent all Jews not just 4%.

I don’t want my kids or theirs tainted with any association with those who are pushing for war with Iran, as they did with Iraq, or who blackmail presidents into supporting policies that harm the United States.

How to prevent that?

In a famous memo, Steve Rosen, the ex-AIPAC official who was indicted for espionage, wrote: a lobby is like a night flower; it thrives in the dark and withers in the daylight.

And that is why we need to use the term Israel Firster, not to call names for its own sake but to make it harder for these people to get the war they want or buy the president they think will give it to them.

It won’t be easy to get the media or blogosphere to tell the truth about any of this. Young reporters know that if they dare discuss the lobby and its influence, their careers will likely be cut short. No matter that the climate of opinion in the country at large (and certainly in the Jewish community) may be changing, a journalist who speaks out could well be destroyed. Just look at this hit piece on Peter Beinart.

So, let’s use all the weapons in our arsenal. And that includes “Israel Firster” with everything that term evokes.

Frankly, I think I’m more than entitled to call this spade a spade. I have supported Israel (not, however, its more horrific policies) my whole life. I believe that Israel should survive and live in security, in some kind of arrangement with the Palestinian people who deserve peace, security and sovereignty just as much as Israelis do. Also, I speak as someone whose own kids are first generation. Their mom, my wife, was born in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany to two Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust.

I simply cannot be intimidated by those who business is intimidation. The way I see it, both my country, America, and a country I deeply care about, Israel,and the Jewish people are all being placed at risk by a small bunch of multi-millionaires and billionaires whose only interests are self-aggrandizement, hob-nobbing with those in power, and crushing anyone who gets in their way.

One day, everyone will understand that.  It should be our mission to make sure that before they do, we break the back of an unrepresentative, dishonest and corrupt lobby that jeopardizes us all.

About M.J. Rosenberg

M.J. Rosenberg served as a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network, and prior to that worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum. You can follow his work at mjayrosenberg.com.

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254 Responses

  1. Bumblebye
    June 20, 2012, 1:46 pm

    Good on you MJ!

    You go to the word-robe, try on all the other terms and phrases, but none looks or feels right, and covers all those lumps and bumps as well as “Israel Firster”.

    • Krauss
      June 20, 2012, 3:40 pm

      Although I’m not sure that the lobby wants war with Iran this year(2012 to Iran could easily be what 2002 was to Iraq, an increasingly hotter climate of incitement until war fever is so high that any rational argument is thrown out of the window(if it isn’t already) and all critics are smeared as anti-Semites), I do think you’re spot-on on your analysis.

      And I also appreciate your measured commentary, because you support the 2SS as I do, but I suppose you also understand that it’s more or less impossible now unless something absolutely drastic happens. You’re concerned with anti-Semitism in the short run by using the phrase but you also understand, wisely, that the biggest danger is longer-turn. Namely, that another disastrous war, this time pushed by AIPAC and AIPAC alone and that fact won’t be hidden in the post-mortems, will cast a wide shadow much more pernicious and deep-seated over the wider Jewish community in America that far surpasses any possible short-term abuse of the term.

      Because as you say, the lobby is pushing for war, hard, despite all the flowery rhetoric. It actively tries to sabotage the negotiations. It uses the puppets in Congress(I’m looking at you, Mark Kirk and Menendez) to undercut the President and smears all who oppose it’s moves as anti-Semites(preferably via reliable outlets like Jeff Goldberg). And just lying down doing nothing isn’t only folly – it’s immoral. The liberal community got swept away ahead of Iraq. We must not make the same mistake again, even when opposition means calling a spade a spade. Something we failed last time.

      • chet
        June 21, 2012, 2:14 pm

        “…the biggest danger is longer-turn. Namely, that another disastrous war, this time pushed by AIPAC and AIPAC alone and that fact won’t be hidden in the post-mortems…”

        If Israel were to attack Iran in the face of explicit US non-support and if Iran used its only feasible defensive weapons – anti-ship missiles – against US shipping in the Persian Gulf, there would most certainly be a significant loss of US servicemen’s lives. The “post-mortems” would unquestionably blame Israel for the loss of those lives and the “special relationship” would be severely damaged – IMO, this is why Israel would not attack without explicit US support. An increase in US anti-Semitism would follow if it was perceived that US lives were lost for only the pursuit of Israeli hegemony

        However (again IMHO), if the attack directly involved the US military or there was explicit support for an Israeli attack, the US MSM would rally behind the US military and concentrate on the demonization of Iran rather than explore that most taboo of subjects – AIPAC’s influence on US foreign policy. Without that scrutiny US Jews need not have a worry of increased anti-Semitism.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 1:06 pm

        “We must not make the same mistake again, even when opposition means calling a spade a spade.

        Oh, just come out and say it, Krauss, you’ll be voting for Romney.

  2. Annie Robbins
    June 20, 2012, 1:47 pm

    YEAHHHH!!!

    The reason Israel Firster became so explosive in 2012 is because (1) this is the year the lobby wants the United States to either attack Iran or allow Israel to do it and (2) this is the year in which tens of millions of dollars of unregulated campaign contributions are flowing to the Republican candidate for president simply because the single-issue crowd believes that Mitt Romney is the candidate most likely to fit comfortably in Netanyahu’s pocket.

    The lobby’s biggest fear is that the American people will figure this out and that the blowback will harm the US-Israel relationship.

    absolutely

  3. lysias
    June 20, 2012, 2:18 pm

    Didn’t a lot of the current Israel Firsters oppose Rabin’s peace policies? I’m not sure I agree that Israel Firsters always support Israeli governments, whatever they do.

    • Keith
      June 20, 2012, 8:18 pm

      LYSIAS- “Didn’t a lot of the current Israel Firsters oppose Rabin’s peace policies? I’m not sure Iagree that Israel Firsters always support Israeli governments, whatever they do.”

      “For Israel’s new American Jewish ‘supporter,’ however, such talk bordered on heresy: an independent Israel at peace with its neighbors was worthless; an Israel aligned with currents in the Arab world seeking independence from the United States was a disaster. Only an Israeli Sparta beholden to American power would do, because only then could US Jewish leaders act as spokesmen for American imperial ambitions.” (Norman Finkelstein)

  4. Dexter
    June 20, 2012, 2:26 pm

    test

    • Sumud
      June 20, 2012, 9:17 pm

      *if you click on your own user name you can see all your past comments and and which ones people have replied to..

  5. Klaus Bloemker
    June 20, 2012, 2:40 pm

    Who is the wolf in sheep’s clothing – in the NYT ad?

    Aren’t these the people who on face value are American or German and say they are concerned with world peace in general but have an ‘Israel first’ agenda?

    Sometimes it takes a certain event for them to come out as Israel Firsters.
    This was so in Germany with the publication of Günter Grass’ poem on Israel.
    Suddenly I realized that people, mostly Jews, whom I considered to be primarily German where in fact Israel Firsters when they violently attacked Grass for exposing Israel’s nuclear arsenal and Iran policy.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      June 21, 2012, 9:36 pm

      Klaus writes: Aren’t these the people who on face value are American or German and say they are concerned with world peace in general but have an ‘Israel first’ agenda?

      You are sooo… right, Klaus. When push comes to shove, the clandestine Israel Firsters come out of the shadows pushing for Israel. And they get a free pass for their duplicity. What? An Israel Firster? Not me! I’m an American/German/Englishman/Canadian ….

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 1:09 pm

        Rutherford, anytime you want to find an Israel-firster, just scratch a “two-state” man.
        The “two-state” solution reminds me of splitting up a gold mine.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 22, 2012, 4:39 pm

        I think you must be right about this, Mooser (sad to say). But there is also another sizable group that appears to be growing by the day: those who overtly wish simply to rid the Levant of Palestinians altogether, and no longer even bother to perpetuate the fraud of the 2SS. Witness the presidential ‘candidate’, Newt Grinch.

  6. Avi_G.
    June 20, 2012, 2:46 pm

    But according to the American Jewish Committee poll, these Israel voters and donors constitute just 4% of Jews.

    So you’re going to tell me that the Israel worship that takes place at synagogues and temples throughout the U.S. is simply part of that 4%?

    Do you have kids? Have you sent them to Sunday school where they got taught how glorious Israel is and are asked for donations every Jewish holiday, donations that go to organizations that, ‘Support Israel’, or donations to “Plant a tree” in Israel?

    By the way, Mah Pitt’om is a scoff-like quip used to express dismissal and incredulity at something someone had just said, as in, “You denied me that job because I’m Jewish.”

    Response: “Mah pit’om,” which roughly translates to (Pfff….What are you talking about?)

    It only translates to, “Why all of a sudden?” when followed by an action, as in, “How come you’re [all of a sudden] reading my mail?”

    • Rusty Pipes
      June 20, 2012, 4:15 pm

      The AJC poll has consistently found that around 5% of American Jews place Israel as their top concern in voting for President. While other Jews may place it high among their concerns, at least one other American domestic or foreign policy issue is more important (like the economy or civil rights).

      There are very few American Jews who would echo Saban in saying that they are a one issue person and that issue is Israel. Which is not to deny the influence of Israel’s successful PR campaigns in organized Jewish culture and institutions among average American Jews.

      • Daniel Rich
        June 20, 2012, 5:39 pm

        @ Rusty Pipes,

        I [personally] don’t give a hoot about polls. It’s the real time actions [of many US Jews] that speak the loudest. It’s one of the reasons why I sincerely appreciate what’s going on here @ Mondoweiss.

      • Avi_G.
        June 20, 2012, 5:43 pm

        The AJC is not a reliable source for any information whatsoever.

        The same organization claimed that the Gaza Flotilla (May 2010) activists used automatic weapons and accused passengers of, “longing for martyrdom”.

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Dan Crowther
        June 20, 2012, 6:53 pm

        My main man Avi back in the mix, slaying the dragon. good to have you back brother

      • Avi_G.
        June 20, 2012, 11:28 pm

        Thank you, Dan.

      • Citizen
        June 20, 2012, 7:34 pm

        Rusty, I can name one: Sheldon Adelson; he’s given over 100 million to Israel, 15 Million to Newt, 10 million to Mitt (so far) and another 10 Millon to 2 superPacs for Israel Firsters, one of them being Eric Cohen’s. Adelson has made it clear he’s a one agenda guy and that agenda is Israel First, even to the point of saying he wished he had fought in the IDF rather than served in US military way back in the day–and Newt acknowledged Adelson’s one note song on primetime TV.

      • Rusty Pipes
        June 21, 2012, 6:08 pm

        Sheldon Adelson is clearly one of the Israel Firsters under MJ’s definition. Certainly, a sizable percentage of American Jews, especially among the older demographic, are zionist sheeple — some of whom just blindly accept the propaganda they receive from major zionist organizations, others of whom respond to every fearmongering action alert they get from CAMERA or the ADL. But only a small percentage are such hardcore advocates for Israel with their time and donations that they clearly deserve the title of “Israel Firster” and should be labeled as such. While one may question the ideology of the AJC, their sampling methods have been fairly consistent: thus the surveys are a useful tool for calling out those Americans who put the interest of a foreign country ahead of any domestic or American foreign policy concern when voting in American elections.

        The most recent survey in which the question was framed clearly was in 2007: “In deciding who you would like to see elected president next year, which issue will be most important to you?” 6% responded, “Support for Israel.” If that’s not Israel First, what is? It’s important to shine the spotlight on that 4-6%, especially since some of them are the mega-million dollar funders who undercut the power of small donors to have any influence on the political process. Perhaps the bright lights will wake up a few of the zionist sheeple — especially those who claim to be interested in the reality-based community.

    • Ira Glunts
      June 20, 2012, 7:46 pm

      So you’re going to tell me that the Israel worship that takes place at synagogues and temples throughout the U.S. is simply part of that 4%?

      @Avi — I asked the same question. It’s only the crazy settlers. It’s only the Revisionists. It’s only the 4%. Oh, I would feel so much better if I believed that!!!

      BTW — .טוב שחזרת

      • Avi_G.
        June 20, 2012, 11:33 pm

        Ira,

        תודה על קבלת הפנים החמה.

        And I yearn for the day when a non-Jewish organization can dare to conduct credible polls about Jewish opinions without being bashed as an anti-Semitic operation.

      • Philip Munger
        June 21, 2012, 2:51 am

        Amen

  7. American
    June 20, 2012, 3:03 pm

    MJ,

    If you don’t mind I am including you, Phil, and some others and your net sites for reference, in a letter to all the North Carolina Democratic Party officers, as examples of Jews and Jewish groups in opposition to the Israel First lobby in US politics/policy and working for a settlement of I/P.

    The NC party is considering a resolution calling Israel and US politicans, all parties, to account on the human rights issue involved in I/P and for US aid enabling it.
    link to dailycaller.com

    This will no doubt be slammed by the Lobby and usual suspects as anti semitic in intent so I want to add to anything they might already have to overcome that and help refute the charge.

    So far it’s been tabled but not dismissed and whether or not they adopt it this is a opportunity to educate them, as individuals at least, and every little bit helps.

    If you don’t want to be “used’ ..lol… this way, so signify.

  8. Dan Crowther
    June 20, 2012, 3:20 pm

    Hmm. So “Israel Firster” is now a Obama re-election ploy? I dont get it. Is Rosenberg saying a vote for Obama (or against Romney) is a vote against war with Iran? Rosenberg might do well to read the latest from the leverett’s.

    Gotta love these liberal zionists man, they start out so well, using the language of justice and truth, and then BLAM! they tell you their real impetus for their actions: to ‘save’ Jews from themselves. Thats fine as far as it goes, which isnt very far – but its not really a rally cry for the other 98% of the US, is it? Because, if you think about it, the other 98% would, presumably, be coming to “help” just as they realize that nearly all of organized american jewry has been acting in ways that directly jeopardize everyone in the US. That doesnt engender a lot of warm feelings, does it?

    Rosenberg worries about jews becoming unwelcome in the states. I for one, am not (kind of a weird, unnecessary worry in my opinion) but lets ask an important question: If a scenario like the one Rosenberg mentions does arise in America, might it then be time to rethink some of the standard “uncontested” “truths” about the history of “the jewish people?” In my life, I was always told Jews got kicked out of places because of a racial hatred, but if Jews were all of a sudden discriminated against in America, bastion of pro jewish sentiment, it would have to be because of actions taken by Jews. There would be no other explanation.

    So, does Rosenberg fear persecution against Jews in the states for the obvious reasons, or does Rosenberg also worry that if the tables turned on american jews, they would also turn on the “jewish narrative?” The one that goes something like “we were persecuted throughout history for who we were” Other americans might begin to ask “was it because of who you were, or what you did?” Hmmm. Terrible questions to be sure.

    • YoungMassJew
      June 20, 2012, 4:12 pm

      Dan, Rosenberg just worries that Jews will be persecuted “for the obvious reasons” as you put it. It was nothing to do with “jewish narrative” as nothing he has said has indicated that’s his reason.

      • Dan Crowther
        June 20, 2012, 4:40 pm

        Ive read this guys stuff for years, so my questions (and what informs them) go beyond just this post

    • mjrosenberg
      June 20, 2012, 5:09 pm

      Dan Crowther,
      I don’t care about the “Jewish narrative” whatever that is.
      I oppose war with Iran, and sanctions too.
      I favor ending the occupation on terms acceptable to Israel and Palestine’s elected representatives, including Hamas.
      And I want to see the lobby’s influence collapse because its influence is dangerous and also because, along with the politicians it owns, it will ultimately produce an anti-Semitic backlash.
      In fact, people like me, Phil, Max Adam, etc are anti- anti-Semitism machines — reminders to Americans, Palestinians and others that neither the lobby nor Israel’s government speaks for us.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 20, 2012, 5:40 pm

        In fact, people like me, Phil, Max Adam, etc are anti- anti-Semitism machines — reminders to Americans, Palestinians and others that neither the lobby nor Israel’s government speaks for us.

        I think this is exactly right.

      • ritzl
        June 21, 2012, 12:04 am

        Ditto.

      • hophmi
        June 20, 2012, 5:42 pm

        “And I want to see the lobby’s influence collapse because its influence is dangerous and also because, along with the politicians it owns, it will ultimately produce an anti-Semitic backlash.

        Oh, please, MJ. The only people engaging in antisemitism here are sha shtil Jews people like you and Phil who are worried about Jews participating in the power structure and think that it’s OK to lay blame for the failures and faults at the feet of the organized Jewish community. This is an old, old story, best illustrated by the movie Sunshine.

        The fact of the matter is that the more pro-Israel the US has become, the less antisemitic it has become. Phil isn’t worried about a backlash. He simply believes that Jews should come in for more criticism because Jews are successful and largely assimilated. The mainstream in the US has stubbornly refused to adopt your narrative of Judaism-as-political-problem. It does not look at the religion of policymakers like you and Phil do because it realizes that it is hypocritical to point to both the Jewishness of policymakers out of one side of your mouth and the high assimilation rate out of the other.

        Your narrative has been adopted elsewhere because most of this world still sees Jews as a nation apart with something less than full loyalty, particularly in Europe, where such views have a long, bad history.

      • mjrosenberg
        June 20, 2012, 8:47 pm

        what is sha stil?

      • Sumud
        June 20, 2012, 9:35 pm

        Oh, please, MJ. The only people engaging in antisemitism here are sha shtil Jews people like you and Phil who are worried about Jews participating in the power structure and think that it’s OK to lay blame for the failures and faults at the feet of the organized Jewish community.

        You’re making excuses to justify Israel’s atrocious treatment of Palestinians.

        “Participating in the power structure” means living up to the commitments Israel made when it chose to join the UN – not just doing whatever it wants in violation in international law and all moral norms.

        You know what happens to rogue states in the long term, jewish or not…

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 1:17 pm

        “This is an old, old story, best illustrated by the movie Sunshine.”

        Why, that story is so old, and so true, a fictional movie best illustrates it, because if I try to find any kind of factual validation, it falls to pieces.

      • Daniel Rich
        June 20, 2012, 5:47 pm

        @ MJ Rosenberg,

        Why don’t you go out and see to it that justice is done to the USS Liberty survivors? You make all the right moves and produce all the right noises, but besides that you constantly maneuver within Jewish borders. Once you step outside of those, you’ll have my attention and appreciation. No words, just actions. Thank you. USS Liberty link to gtr5.com

      • Dan Crowther
        June 20, 2012, 7:03 pm

        MJR:
        I don’t care about the “Jewish narrative” whatever that is.
        ————–

        I actually did define it, vulgarly I will admit. I was referring to the sort of eternal justification for jewish tribalism, your tribalism. You did famously say “I will always choose the jewish cause” – whatever that means.

        The fact of the matter is, I agree with you for the most part. But I do consider some of your views sectarian. And if you truly opposed war with Iran, you wouldn’t be a democratic party operative.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        June 20, 2012, 8:12 pm

        One simple, last question on the Israel Lobby and Jews supporting Israel:

        – Is Israel Judaism?

    • dbroncos
      June 20, 2012, 11:55 pm

      Dan Crowther-
      “… nearly all of organized american jewry has been acting in ways that directly jeopardize everyone in the US.”

      Dan,
      The AJC poll MJ cites above suggests only 4% of American Jews are people who vote “exclusively on a candidate’s support for Israel.” But even if that number were .4%, or if that number were only 250 individuals, and they were all millionaires and billionaires, that would be an army more than rich and powerful enough to buy our congress, especially since there’s no organized opposition with any standing or any money. The power of Christian Zionists is also subtantial. Christian Zionist”s power isn’t discussed frequently on this site, and there are those on MW who have questioned the significance of their power and influence over US laemakers, but I think it’s a very real and neccessary component to the success that the GOI has had in railroading their agenda through our American institions. The pledge of allegiance to Israel we’ve been hearing from our Presidents for decades would have struck a sour note long ago were it not for the millions of starry eyed Christion Zios. Whatever the case may be, the day of reconing is coming for Israel Firster Zionists – both Jews and Christians alike. That reconing is underway even if it is, at this stage, barely audible outside the I/P informed crowd. Soon enough both Jewish and Christian Zionists will have to answer tough questions about their moral standards and their loyalties. Most pointedly from their fellow believers.

      As for MJ’s concern for all Jews being lumped together under the Israel Firster banner – I don’t see this happening at all. When this brewing conflagration between Israel Firsters and the rest of us is finally aired in the living rooms of America’s news watchers, one of the first things we’ll learn is that Jews are among Israel’s most passionate critics. We may yet see an MSM smack down between Phil Weiss, MJ Rosenburg, Steve Walt, and Zbigniew Brezinski on one side and Pam Geller, Bill Kristol, John Hagee and Gary Bauer on the other :D

      • YoungMassJew
        June 21, 2012, 1:18 am

        I think European Jewish history circa 19th-20th century tells us otherwise. Sorry to be a pessimist.

      • Citizen
        June 21, 2012, 8:10 am

        4%? Note: The David Project ‏@David_Project
        #Tomorrow12 Eizenstat: only 22% of American #Jews place #Israel in top 3 issues when electing a president

        Sheldon Adelson donations alone offset hundreds of thousands of small grass roots donors who are not Israel Firsters.

      • Dan Crowther
        June 21, 2012, 10:14 am

        DBRONCOS-

        That 4% number is not to be believed, I am sorry to say. go up thread and read Avi’s post on the AJ. Having grown up in a “liberal” reform jewish community – I can say, from an anecdotal perspective, its waaaaaaay more than 4%.

    • Mooser
      June 22, 2012, 1:14 pm

      “BLAM! they tell you their real impetus for their actions: to ‘save’ Jews from themselves.”

      So where the hell were they when I needed them? I’ve been completely enslaved by myself, but do they care? Noooo!

      • Dan Crowther
        June 22, 2012, 7:36 pm

        See, the liberal zionists claim another victim

  9. Sin Nombre
    June 20, 2012, 3:32 pm

    I have a question for you, Mr. Rosenberg, given your apparent experience with these jewish organizations such as AIPAC and etc.

    What do they expect from us—the non-jews that is?

    I see for example the report of a recent lobbying meeting with some high Obama official where, from what I could see, every major American jewish organization is in attendance and every single one of them is pushing to get Jonathan Pollard released. With this clearly being in coordination to time with Israel’s plan to have Peres ask Obama for same again when he met him recently.

    So what do they expect from us, is my question? What reaction to this? It isn’t even really about *Israel,* is it? Just one guy. And they gotta know how insanely insulting it is to us to have a Pollard released due to lobbying pressure.

    So what do they expect from us in reaction to this, not to mention all the other clearly Israel-first things they push, such as having American boys dying to save Israelis from doing the same?

    But just to stick with the Pollard thing so as to keep it clean, there is no argument there that they could believe in that releasing him is in the American interest. And they must know the kind of reaction this will get from lots of Americans.

    So what do they expect? Nothing because … Americans aren’t patriotic? Because we are stupid? Because they like anti-semitism?

    I’d really appreciate you telling us what goes on in their heads as they must think of this to some degree. And being so tribal they also must think of it in at least *some* tribal, “jewish/gentile” way.

    And I’d especially like you to address my suspicion which is that they either just don’t give a good goddamn, or indeed positively like sticking it in our eye. That they think/know they’ve got the whip hand politically over us gentiles and thus just couldn’t give a shit about our sensibilities, or in fact like even more the idea of insulting us.

    I have to say that because of the circumstances of the Pollard matter it’s very hard to me to believe it’s even the innocent first idea of “not caring.” They know they suffer a bit from inflamed anti-semitism getting this schmuck out, and yet they can’t resist when finding something to poke us in the eye with.

    And I have to say further given either alternative I don’t see why we should give a good goddamn for them at the very least, and not even return the hostility if that what theirs is, but that’s another issue. Once again, I’d simply like to hear from someone who has been close to the mindset in these organizations how their thinking works on this “gentile” issue that they must think *something* about.

    Do they feel *any* natural affinity towards us? Would they truly (and not just for show) “side” with us to *any* extent if our interests led us into conflict with Israel’s?

    And I realize I’m talking about a lot of different people, but give me at least some generalized idea which surely ought to be possible. I think lots of gentile Americans would like to know how they are truly being thought of by these “leadership” folks, and think you might be the guy to tell us.

    • Citizen
      June 20, 2012, 7:48 pm

      Sin Nombre–did you hear any flack when Bibi got a bigger standing ovation from Congress than our POTUSs get? What gives when the Israel Firsters push for war on Iran as we head for at least another recession, when, in short, they are willing to risk real economic depression combined with a war on a relatively powerful (and yet again, another Muslim) country that is no threat to the US at all, and, indeed, could be a big asset if our diplomats were allowed to actually talk with their Iranian peers? Instead, Obama’s pushed in a corner, parroting Bibi’s “no containment.” And don’t even think balance of power.

      • Sin Nombre
        June 21, 2012, 5:35 am

        Hi Citizen:

        Yeah I acknowledge all those incidents, but I focused on the Pollard thing because with all the rest I think the guys in these jewish organizations—just being human—can fool themselves that doing what they want is also in America’s best interest. Such as … attacking Iran or etc.

        Not so with Pollard: As clean a matter as can be. The longer he sits and serves the deeper his lesson persuades about the cost of spying on America. And yet *still* they agitate for his release. *Knowing* how much ire this causes amongst patriotic Americans.

        Like I say I thus wonder when they do that … what reaction do they *expect* from us gentiles when we see that? How can anyone *not* reasonably expect *loads* of hostility from that? And thus how can anyone do what they are doing *without* feeling some contempt for us gentiles? Without feeling some glee at sticking it to us if they succeeded in freeing Pollard?

        But it appears that Mr Rosenberg has either not seen my questions to him or has chosen not to answer.

        I dunno, but every time I get mad at, say, an Abe Foxman or a Shumer or etc. I think … “well, wait a minute, from their perspective is it possible that they don’t realize and thus don’t intend to create gentile ire?”

        But damn, more and more I just can’t help feeling that among a good number of such figures they *like* sticking it in the gentile eye. That there’s some big, natural background *aggression* there towards gentiles. And that’s what I wanted to hear Mr. Rosenberg dilate upon because it’s just hard to believe it to the extent it can appear.

      • American
        June 21, 2012, 11:59 am

        SN,

        “So what do they expect? Nothing because … Americans aren’t patriotic? Because we are stupid? Because they like anti-semitism?’
        &
        “How can anyone *not* reasonably expect *loads* of hostility from that? And thus how can anyone do what they are doing *without* feeling some contempt for us gentiles? Without feeling some glee at sticking it to us if they succeeded in freeing Pollard?””

        I think all of what you said applies to the zionist….don’t know about the other whatever %, probably some. But you can definitely see this in the zionist attitude. Look at the descriptions we have seen here of the aggression and barely contained, and sometimes not contained, violent responses of the AIPAC’ers to peaceful protesters like Code Pink and others. ..there is loads of hostility and aggression in those people.
        Not to mention the contempt the zios show for America and Americans in general in their public displays of how much power they have over the US government. Yea, they do like sticking it in our eye.
        But MJ is right to worry cause some day the zios, if not stopped, will go too far and make Americans “mad’ and when people are in the throes of ‘mad’ they aren’t reasonable and don’t do a whole lot of discriminating about what part of a group is friendly and what part isn’t.

      • yourstruly
        June 21, 2012, 3:16 pm

        not only gentile ire, but the wrath of americans of every religious or non-religious persuasion who opposes our government’s coddling of the apartheid zionist entity.

    • Mooser
      June 22, 2012, 1:24 pm

      “What do they expect from us—the non-jews that is?”

      After much calculation, and including all applicable discounts, I figure you should be sending me about $575.oo a month. A bargain, if I ever saw one. You can’t even rent a hovel (well, not a nice hovel, anyway) for that much.
      I’ve got Pay-Pal, and there’s no reason why the amount can’t simply be deducted from your account each month. Plus you get a nice T-shirt which says “I’ve paid my debt to the Jews, HAVE YOU?”

  10. hophmi
    June 20, 2012, 3:35 pm

    Another piece that relies on a series of straw man arguments to make a self-aggrandizing point.

    It has long been true that very few voters vote on Israel alone. It is also true that groups like AIPAC represent not only those voters, nor that perspective, but the much larger segment of voters, now mostly non-Jewish, who believe in a strong US-Israel relationship, rather than an (even-stronger) US-Arab partnership. Israel has a lot more to contribute to its relationship with the US than oil and terrorism, which are the main exports of the Arab world right now.

    It is tiring and silly to suggest that Netanyahu is single-handed keeping the West from negotiating with Iran because he insists on maintaining sanctions. If the US and France and Saudi Arabia and the other countries worried about the destabilizing effect an Iranian nuke would have on the Middle East wanted to negotiated an end to the sanctions regime, they would, and Bibi Netanyahu would not be able to stop it.

    “Young reporters know that if they dare discuss the lobby and its influence, their careers will likely be cut short. ”

    Bullshit. Matt Lee at the AP asks tough questions at the State Department all the time. What is the proof that his career is suffering as a result? Can you name any example of a “young reporter” whose career was “cut short” because they discussed the “Lobby”?

    “It won’t be easy to get the media or blogosphere to tell the truth about any of this. ”

    It’s always a conspiracy. And it’s always unintentionally hilarious. MJ Rosenberg (not to mention Phil (mentioned in the NY Mag piece that was a “hit job” on Peter Beinart, Glenn Greenwald, and Andrew Sullivan) all blog about “the Lobby”. Greenwald works for Slate and Sullivan works for the Daily Beast; both are mainstream sources. Let’s cut the victim-bullshit about how no one talks about what MJ Rosenberg wants them to.

    • Woody Tanaka
      June 20, 2012, 5:14 pm

      “Israel has a lot more to contribute to its relationship with the US than oil and terrorism, which are the main exports of the Arab world right now.”

      Typical hoppy. Typical Zio. Typical anti-Arab bigot.

      • hophmi
        June 20, 2012, 5:33 pm

        Typical Woody. Can’t admit that Arabs on occasion have been involved in terrorism outside of the Arab world.

        I didn’t say terrorism has anything to do with being Arab. I said that IN THE WEST right now, terrorism is perceived as being a major export from the Arab world, which is one reasons US policy makers are reluctant to further cosy up to Arab countries.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 20, 2012, 6:03 pm

        “Can’t admit that Arabs on occasion have been involved in terrorism outside of the Arab world. ”

        False. I have no problem admitting that.

        “I didn’t say terrorism has anything to do with being Arab.”

        Yeah, you pretty much did.

        “I said that IN THE WEST right now, terrorism is perceived as being a major export from the Arab world”

        No, you didn’t. You did not use the word “perceived.” You made the rank, bigoted statement that “oil and terrorism” are the “main exports of the Arab world right now.” You were not making a statement about others perceptions, you were merely venting your bigotry yet again.

        So now I guess we can expect that you will do what you demanded of others and “man up and take responsibility” and admit your bigotry. (Somehow I think you’ll find some excuse to not do so…)

      • talknic
        June 20, 2012, 6:36 pm

        hophmi June 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm

        ” I said that IN THE WEST right now, terrorism is perceived as being a major export from the Arab world,”

        Folk can see what you wrote. Now you’re showing readers you’re a liar. Not un-common for an Israel firster.

      • Citizen
        June 20, 2012, 8:01 pm

        Woody, wouldn’t you like to see the list of artful questions used by these polls that come out regularly showing how Americans strongly support Israel? I bet regulars here could come up with some poll questions on the subject that would show support is wafer thin as it is wide. It is all about perceptions, and those perceptions are manipulated, revved up constantly by mainstream media- stink tanks’ commission and omission. The engine battery works + Jews/Israel, Peace, and on the other end: -Muslims/Arab/Terror

      • thankgodimatheist
        June 21, 2012, 2:48 am

        ” I said that IN THE WEST right now, terrorism is perceived as being a major export from the Arab world,”

        Don’t lie, Hophmi! You made it plain and clear that two contributions of the Arab world were oil and terrorism. Have the guts to admit it! You’re a racist but that is a given in any Israel groupie and enabler. However, I’ll point out to you that the only contribution Israel is making to the world today is revivalist colonialism.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 21, 2012, 9:59 am

        Yes, absolutely. I have no doubt that the questions that were asked (and not asked) were designed specifically to skew the results.

      • American
        June 21, 2012, 12:04 pm

        “I said that IN THE WEST right now, terrorism is perceived as being a major export from the Arab world, :…hoppie

        And we know why, despite 911 being 11 years ago and OBL being dead, that this “perception” grow and grows don’t we? We all see and know who keeps pushing and propagandizing the Islamic and Arab terrorist meme on the US public don’t we.
        It’s the Israel firsters and their hired hands.

      • seafoid
        June 21, 2012, 12:20 pm

        In the West now arabs …terrorism …yada yada

        I don’t buy that crap. Zionism is still flogging that dead horse but Tahrir square 2011 killed that narrative. Clash of civilisations is very passé even though they haven’t figured that out in West jerusalem.

        Bibi ran with the theme at the UN in September 2011 and nobody clapped.
        It’s a beaten docket.

        When people think of the Syrian people now they don’t think about OBL.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 1:27 pm

        Oh Talknic, don’t get upset! You should know there is a tradition of witty use of quote marks at Mondoweiss.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 21, 2012, 4:12 am

      Israel has a lot more to contribute to its relationship with the US

      looks like a one way street to me.

  11. atime forpeace
    June 20, 2012, 3:43 pm

    Thank you Mr Rosenberg, I read your site whenever you post something new.

    Israel firsters will be upset, but we need to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  12. lysias
    June 20, 2012, 3:53 pm

    OT, on Julian Assange.

    Ecuadoran ambassador to UK says Ecuador has a long tradition of supporting human rights but that the government of Ecuador does not want to interfere in the legal processes of Britain and Sweden. She went on to say that the government of Ecuador wants to reach a solution with regard to Assange together with Britain. Ecuador no quiere interferir con los procesos de Inglaterra y Suecia, dice la embajadora:

    Ana Albán, la embajador ecuatoriana en Londres, leyó una declaración a propósito de la solicitud de asilo de Julian Assange en la que dice que el Ecuador tiene una “antigua y bien establecida tradición de apoyo a los derechos humanos”, pero añadió que no está entre las intenciones del Gobierno ecuatoriano “interferir con los procesos tanto de los gobiernos de Inglaterra y de Suecia”. Así lo informa el diario inglés The Guardian. Según la declaración, el gobierno del Ecuador quiere llegar a una solución al tema de Assange en conjunto con Inglaterra. “Esta mañana he tenido una reunión con el representante del gobierno de Inglaterra para discutir la solicitud del señor Assange para asilo político. Las discusiones han sido cordiales y constructivas”. Agregó que saluda “la declaración del gobierno de Inglaterra de la noche de ayer en la que dice que ese gobierno está dispuesto a trabajar con el gobierno ecuatoriano para encontrar una solución”.

    One can certainly conceive of a compromise that could fulfill all these requirements. Assange, for example, could be extradited to Sweden if Sweden gives assurance that he will not be extradited to the United States.

    • lysias
      June 20, 2012, 5:02 pm

      Now we know the U.S. is involved in the discussions about what is to happen to Assange. Victoria Nuland, in the State Department press briefing today denied that the U.S. is involved in the discussions now going on between the UK and Ecuador.

      • RoHa
        June 20, 2012, 9:30 pm

        Victoria Nuland, in the State Department press briefing today denied that the U.S. is involved in the discussions now going on between the UK and Ecuador.

        “The first rule of politics: never believe anything until it’s been officially denied.”
        Yes, Minister

    • RoHa
      June 20, 2012, 9:25 pm

      I must admit that I am a bit puzzled why Assange would be in greater danger of extradition to the US from Sweden than from the UK. The US only has to point at someone, and the British Government touches its cap and hands that person over.

      • lysias
        June 21, 2012, 10:15 am

        Gary McKinnon has succeeded in avoiding extradition from the UK to the U.S. for ten years now, despite a lot of pressure from the U.S. government, especially the Defense Department.

      • RoHa
        June 21, 2012, 7:41 pm

        This is a surprise. Britain has been America’s poodle in so many ways that I thought that there was nothing they wouldn’t do.

      • Theo
        June 21, 2012, 2:11 pm

        Because GB will not extradite anyone on whimsy reasons, on the other hand Sweden stopped to be neutral country, the CIA inflirtrated their judicial system. Assange has a good reason to be scared, those sex charges are ridiculous, coming from such country where sex is just another past time.

  13. radii
    June 20, 2012, 3:57 pm

    if the shoe fits … er, I mean jackboot

  14. Rusty Pipes
    June 20, 2012, 3:59 pm

    You go, MJ! I hadn’t heard about that particular threat from the Dersh. Thanks for the link:

    “Not only will [the Media Matters controversy] be an election matter, I will personally make it an election matter,” said Dershowitz.

    Continued Dershowitz: “I will speak to every Jewish group that invites me, and I think it’s fair to say I speak to more Jewish groups than probably any other person in the world. I spoke to over a million Jews over the years. You know, just last Thursday spoke to 1200, just in the next weeks alone I’ll be speaking and in the past weeks to thousands of American Jews. And believe me, I will not let them ignore this issue.”

    “I don’t know whether President Obama has any idea that Media Matters has turned the corner against Israel in this way,” Dershowitz said. “I can tell you this: he will know very shortly because I am beginning a serious campaign on this issue and I will not let it drop until and unless Rosenberg is fired from Media Matters, or Media Matters changes its policy or the White House disassociates itself from Media Matters.”

    Considering Markos’s concern for electing “more and better Democrats” and hostility to those who threaten to leave the party or campaign against it, will you be cross-posting this over at the Garish Orange Site? I doubt that Dersh’s threat to campaign against Obama unless Media Matters fired you has gotten much coverage there. I’m sure you’re well-aware of the hostile response you’ll likely receive from a faction there if you defend the use of “Israel firster” for any reason.

    • seafoid
      June 20, 2012, 5:42 pm

      “I will speak to every Jewish group that invites me, and I think it’s fair to say I speak to more Jewish groups than probably any other person in the world. I spoke to over a million Jews over the years”

      I can just imagine the Dersh taking over the TV room of his nursing home . there’ll be old old ladies playing bridge and he’ll storm into the room demanding an oath of allegiance to Prime Minister Lieberman. And he’ll be tended to by young nurses taking pity on this centenarian -who must have been someone- who keeps talking about this country that disappeared 15 years previously.

  15. Taxi
    June 20, 2012, 3:59 pm

    I like the “break the back” bit.

  16. eGuard
    June 20, 2012, 4:03 pm

    I applaude MJR and advise anyone to follow his blog at link to mjayrosenberg.com

  17. YoungMassJew
    June 20, 2012, 4:27 pm

    Thank you Mr. Rosenberg.
    I’ve been following you for a couple of years now. I remember the first time I heard about you was on Bridges TV (which Verizon no longer carries) being interviewed by Dr. James Zogby. It’s refreshing to have a voice like yours out there taking on the lobby as forcefully as you do. I share your concerns about how “Jewish people are all being placed at risk by a small bunch of multi-millionaires and billionaires” as I try to address these concerns too on this blog I recently joined. I’m just a young, soon to be college graduate young Jewish person who no one listens to on these issues. People in your position with your background are able to give these issues visibility and I thank you sincerely for doing so.
    -YMJ

  18. Danaa
    June 20, 2012, 4:30 pm

    MJ, these are good points you make. Like the Passover question – “why is this night different from all other nights?”.

    Somethings is changing that’s for sure, but it’s not just all you are saying (Lobby for bombing Iran – against US interests). There’s something deeper that we knew in our hearts (and some minds) is coming:

    The great project afoot is The Great israel project andIisrael’s plan for covering up – or at least keeping under cover – what is happening, and worse – what is about to happen.

    I – and many others – and just about every Palestinian know what it’s really all about; Israel has every intention of taking over the West Bank, just as it always had, and the first step in that effort is nearly complete. Specifically, the take-over of area C (which is now nearly cleansed of Palestinians) is now moving on to Area B in earnest. Part of that is the final severance of Jerusalem from the West Bank, which is moving along swimmingly, barely under the MSM radar. Area B is where many of the demonstrations are happening now and where the villages are slowly but surely encircled and strangled. But to Israel these demonstrations are just pin pricks. The big question has always been how to keep the lid on the “Grand Plan” – and that’s where the battle is now.

    The plan BTW does involve a slow transfer of Palestinians – first to Area C – then out of the West Bank altogether. Hebron is a model of what’s afoot for Bethlehem too – it’s not a question of “if” just of “when” and “how fast”?

    Believe it or not but there are many people in Israel whose job it is to make these plans. And a big part of the plan involves finsding ways of shutting out the world – not just the US. Effectively the Jewish establishment has already been drafted into the effort to cover up – and keep away from American consciousness – what is afoot. In that grand battle, Iran and Syria are just play pieces, partly meant to deflect attention, partly meant to cow into submission. Obama and Romney are another two play pieces. The only question israel has is whether Obama can be corralled. If the answer is yes, then his election makes little difference. If there’s any doubt about it, watch for signs that point to direct torpedoing of the economy, if that’s what it takes to elect Romney, who’s in the bag already.

    Israel has apparently come to the conclusion that they must execute on their plan within a few years. Unfortunately for Iran that means bombs, for Egypt it means military rule and for Syria it means instigating a civil war. Only thus will Hezbollah be brought down as a threat. For the US it means shutting down any and all debate that’s visible to ordinary people. For the world, it means bring internet freedom down.

    The 10 trillion $ question is what to do about the pesk ” activists”. People like Mr Rosenberg and Mondoweiss, and Anna Balzer and ISM and the JVP and the many excellent people out there. I hope people are not under any illusions that our little rag tag army is going to be allowed to continue its work in peace. Watch for what Israel is doing to the “lefty” activists and NGOs in their midst, and know what’s coming to the US.

    In all this MJ’s worries about the blowback are right on the money. Those of us who live in the heartland of America, know things about the people around here that are not so clear in NY, Boston and LA. The day when information about the take-over of America starts trickling out, is the day that some of MJ’s and others’ worries will come to look prescient.

    It is about 100 years since The protocols. To think that it’d take 100 years to make a forgery become truth? is that a great irony or what*?

    ____________
    * But then I also happen to believe that out entire little universe runs a bit like a game board. Keep trying to figure out what the lesson is supposed to be (not for us as much as for the players). But that’s hard to do when you can’t get out of the box.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      June 20, 2012, 7:06 pm

      So in the end it boils down to this: What defense do Gentiles in America have against political and economic domination by Jews except anti-Semitism? Where else can logic lead but to that sordid conclusion?

      • Sumud
        June 20, 2012, 9:55 pm

        The solution is anti-zionism, not anti-semitism.

        Jews aren’t the problem, zionists are.

        It never ceases to amaze me that people will come to a blog such as Mondoweiss and propose (to a large jewish audience) anti-semitism as a rational or logical course of action.

      • ritzl
        June 21, 2012, 12:53 am

        +1 and +1 again, Sumud. Thank you.

        I would add that simple factual observations are a big part of the solution. There’s so many to be made. Not extrapolations and generalizations. I think that’s an onus on people, especially and including myself, that post/argue correctly and aggressively on this issue to make that distinction (or at least hold in the background for future reference that it is a distinction), here and in RL.

        The backlash is coming. It’s inevitable. I hope the people that lead here, now, so effectively, can also lead when that happens. Once the insurmountable object Israel-first/unfettered Zionism) is overcome, the irresistible moral force/voices that overcame that will have to lay out an equally moral and/or inclusive path from there.

        Again thanks. Important, imho.

      • Taxi
        June 21, 2012, 2:51 am

        Sumud,

        A dark thanks to zionism, middle America can’t tell the difference between zionist and jew, between anti-zionist and antisemitic. The zionists have spent trillions of benjamins on making sure of this confusion. What can a (nice) motley crew of enlightened internet jews do in the face of this seemingly hopeless Sisyphean challenge? How to correct this fatal and prevalent piece of propaganda: zionism=judaism, and where to get the vast sums of money you’d probably need to reverse the brainwash effectively?

        And how to do it fast fast fast?!

        Cuz, Sumud, the zionist operatives ain’t putting the breaks on anything – in fact they’re effing at it harder.

      • American
        June 21, 2012, 12:45 pm

        I don’t think Thomson is ‘purposing it’. I think he is saying that would/could be the response of the masses when Israel drops that final straw.
        For several reasons, major one being how many people out there in the US public not involved in this issue (which would be the majority) ever heard of a zionist? They dont’ know zionism from a hole in the ground, they only know Israel = Jews. The msm sure as hell doesn’t ever use the word zionist or explain it.
        But let’s say the public was introduced to zionist as opposed to just Jews.
        You would still have a lot, a lot, of overcoming and untangling to do because to the mass mind Israel=Jews. And let’s even say the public was educated on zionism….are they going to use it to separate different Jews positions or are they going to see zionism as ‘the Jews’ by virtue of the Zion Israel connection? Here there are still debates about whether or not zionism had some roots in Judaism..the pubic isn’t going to care about that or debate it. When it comes to Israel all they hear is “for the Jews, for the Jews” from the zio mouthpieces ‘and’ from US politicians.
        The untangling is one of, if not the major, point of MW, observe how we all have come to target and distinguish the zios from other Jews, it’s now ingrained our thinking and discourse…this is not so with the general public.
        For Israel this is the catch 22 in their use of Jewish diaspora and the linkage they have established if or when the worm turns. And it is the catch 22 for Jews.

      • Fredblogs
        June 21, 2012, 2:09 pm

        Or at least to call it “anti-zionism”.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 21, 2012, 6:43 pm

        Sumud writes: It never ceases to amaze me that people will come to a blog such as Mondoweiss and propose (to a large jewish audience) anti-semitism as a rational or logical course of action.

        It never ceases to amaze me how reading-challenged most people are. There were a lot of things wrapped up in my little assertion, but “proposing” anti-Semitism as a “solution” was not among them.

        You could benefit from reading the comments of Taxi and American nearby. The overwhelming majority of Americans don’t make distinctions between Israel (the ‘Jewish State’) and Jews. Their eyes glaze over when you mention Zionism or Zionists.

        A careful analysis of American society today, and the exalted place of American Jews within it, leads inexorably to the conclusion that anti-Semitism must increase substantially with time. Preventing that outcome would require radical changes in trajectories that seem increasingly unlikely. In this context, please read Sin Nombre’s penetrating comments and questions above to MJR about the apparent attitude of most American Jews toward the rest of us.

      • Sumud
        June 21, 2012, 6:45 pm

        Taxi & American ~ I hear you both, and I did note to myself that Thomas Rutherford referred to anti-semitism as the “sordid conclusion”, but all the same he did ask the question:

        What defense do Gentiles in America have against political and economic domination by Jews except anti-Semitism?

        …and I don’t see from his brief comment that he understood that his framing of the situation is wrong, so of course the sordid conclusion is wrong also.

        This framing also reminded me of the hebrew phrase “aine breira” (no choice) which is used by Israelis a lot (according to Jeff Halper) to justify all the atrocities they commit against Palestinians. They attempt to sooth their consciences by telling themselves they had no choice – that Palestinians forced them to take this course of action etc.

        It’s wrong when Israelis do it and it’s wrong when those who oppose Israel’s behaviour do it also.

        As for the great unwashed masses, I think the concern about an explosion of anti-semitism is misplaced. Well that’s what I think today anyway…

        There will be a backlash when the general public comes to understand how much zionists have exploited the holocaust for political ends, and when they learnt about the Nakba and about just how disgusting Israel’s treatment of Palestinians really is. When I came to understand those things I was very angry about it for a good few months – no-one likes to be lied to, and WW2 and the holocaust – or the shoah rather, just the jewish victims – is constantly in the media, mostly for hasbara purposes.

        How far the backlash plays out is yet to be seen but I don’t think jews are in danger because of it. There is a reckoning to be had though, and again – it is with zionists, not jews.

      • Sumud
        June 21, 2012, 7:04 pm

        I agree ritzl ~ we all have a role to play when this backlash occurs. I agree with you it will happen.

        At every Palestine event I go to like a talk or a book launch there is almost always a question or comment from an audience member who identifies themselves as jewish and (sometimes newly) pro-Palestinian; they are warmly received by the audience. It’s very nice, and it reminds me that hasbara victimises jews every bit as much as everybody else.

        There is a Jewish Intifada happening, and more and more people are ‘shaking off’ zionism. That’s obviously going to stop if supporters of Palestine decide they have no choice but to be anti-semitic…

      • Annie Robbins
        June 21, 2012, 9:19 pm

        Their eyes glaze over when you mention Zionism or Zionists.

        A careful analysis of American society today, and the exalted place of American Jews within it, leads inexorably to the conclusion that anti-Semitism must increase substantially with time. Preventing that outcome would require radical changes in trajectories that seem increasingly unlikely.

        thomson, if it matters..i didn’t read your earlier comment as proposing antisemitism. i read it as a question. wrt Where else can logic lead but to that sordid conclusion?..i think it could lead to a better understanding of what zionism is and what ‘The Great israel project’ is, to use danaa’s terminology.

        while i agree with you a lot of americans do not distinguish between jews and ‘the jewish state’, i am not satisfied it is an ‘overwhelming majority’ tho that is neither here nor there.

        right now what seems evident to me is that, while more and more americans are waking up to the bind we’ve gotten ourselves into (literally bonded) with our commitments to this criminal state (a wake up we can count on 10 folding if we go to war with iran) what is going to accompany that awareness is explanation and rationale. ‘the jews did it’ is just not a fulfilling explanation. zionism (the way it acts, not the cozy ‘self determination’ ideological excuse..but how zionism has materialized from a dream into a reality) is an explanation.

        the important thing is to expose people to truth. there’s little in life more intoxicating than truth..most people, once they have their aha moment..once they get a taste of it..they want more.

        so we should be addressing the political and zionism when we frame our angst because it is the zionist state and supporters of the ziostate pushing us to war. not ‘jews’. we do not need ‘radical changes in trajectories’ to prevent an outcome of anti semitism and there is no conclusion that anti-Semitism must increase substantially with time.

        every year people are becoming more aware of the conflict. have faith in the youth, they are not coming out of a generation or country steeped in racism, but just the opposite. there is more potential and opportunity for political colorblindness in todays youth than ever before. and and american jewish kids are part of that.

        have faith in mankind. the trajectory, the wind is on our backs. believe it.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 21, 2012, 10:39 pm

        Annie writes: have faith in mankind. the tradjectory, the wind is on our backs. believe it.

        Annie, I know it’s important for activists to remain optimistic about their cause, and for years I tried here at MW to give some scope for the “faith” and “belief” that you advocate. But I think I can see clearly enough the unmitigated catastrophe that awaits the Palestinians. And the Iranians and Syrians and Lebanese at the hands of the Israelis and Americans. And I think I can see who is behind all this. I think that in the long run most of the now-ill-informed Americans will see it as I do, and they are going to be outraged in a way that philosophical me is not capable of.

        Concerning the distinction between Zionists and Jews that we so scrupulously maintain here: Would there be Zionism without Jews? Could it survive today outside of Israel without massive and broad political and financial support from Diaspora Jewish communities, especially those in America? Of course not. The idea that it could is another of those wild fantasies entertained by liberal American Jews who imagine that Jews, generically speaking, could not possibly be responsible for Zionism and its iniquities in America.

        I can remember in the 1950’s when the Zionist virus first began infecting liberal American Jews en masse. In rather short order, Zionism became the new Judaism for most American Jews, liberal and conservative alike. Despite the acute embarrassment that many liberal Jews now feel about the monstrosity that Israel undeniably is, it still remains true that Zionism is the glue that binds the in-grown American Jewish community together in what it largely continues to see as an alien environment around it. It’s going to take more than a few free-thinking college students and MW posters/commenters to change that very soon.

      • Sumud
        June 21, 2012, 11:22 pm

        It never ceases to amaze me how reading-challenged most people are. There were a lot of things wrapped up in my little assertion, but “proposing” anti-Semitism as a “solution” was not among them.

        Reading challenged my arse Thomson Rutherford.

        If you’re going to ask silly questions, have the sense to indicate that you do actually know the answer to them next time.

        You gave no indication of that in your original comment, and pointing to Taxi and American’s response comment only reinforces that.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 21, 2012, 11:23 pm

        But I think I can see clearly enough the unmitigated catastrophe that awaits the Palestinians. And the Iranians and Syrians and Lebanese at the hands of the Israelis and Americans. And I think I can see who is behind all this. I think that in the long run most of the now-ill-informed Americans will see it as I do,

        ok, thomson. if you are speaking for yourself and you think other americans will come to see the way you do then let’s takes this a step farther. would you also posit what you see and know will determine that anti-Semitism must increase substantially with time…wrt yourself? and if not what separates you from everyone else who you are predicting will become anti semites.

      • Keith
        June 22, 2012, 12:57 am

        THOMSON RUTHERFORD- “A careful analysis of American society today, and the exalted place of American Jews within it, leads inexorably to the conclusion that anti-Semitism must increase substantially with time.”

        What is going on here? You are sounding like Abe Foxman on this. Suffice to say I disagree. I am not going to go into detail because I think Mondoweiss overemphasizes the prospect of anti-Semitism and I don’t want to contribute to that discussion. I find the ongoing emphasis on this a distraction from more pertinent issues.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 22, 2012, 1:37 am

        Annie writes: … if … you think other americans will come to see the way you do … would you also posit what you see and know will determine that anti-Semitism must increase substantially with time…wrt yourself? and if not what separates you from everyone else who you are predicting will become anti semites.

        (1) If I were going to become anti-Semitic, I would have done so long ago. In this context, mainly what separates me from most Americans is a broader and less fragmented historical perspective, together with a phlegmatic disposition.

        (2) To be more specific, a large fraction of Americans will come to perceive Israel and the Israel Lobby much as I do now (i.e., as a pernicious and subversive influence in American politics and media). A substantial fraction of these anti-Israel Americans (not all, by any means) will become anti-Semitic or more intensely anti-Semitic than they are now. A fault line in American politics will crack wide open where none now is clearly visible, and it will not be pretty. Free expression in this area is not presently possible for most Americans, but it will become so once the taboos are massively broken. There will be much public political expression that most non-Jewish Americans would not consider to be intrinsically anti-Semitic, but most Jewish Americans will indeed judge to be anti-Semitic. IMHO, this is, in part, what lies ahead.

      • American
        June 22, 2012, 3:12 am

        Sumud,

        “There will be a backlash when the general public comes to understand how much zionists have exploited the holocaust for political ends, and when they learnt about the Nakba and about just how disgusting Israel’s treatment of Palestinians really is.”

        This is a subject where it is easy to misunderstand pov’s on it because you might be thinking from a Jewish pov, Taxi from a ME and cosmopolitan pov, and someone like me from a American pov.
        All I can offer is what life experience and observation of human natures, particularly Americans (and our history) tells me.
        Let’s say first we are all interested in the injustice and human suffering involved in I/P.
        But added to that is going to be some self interest from Jews involved, Arabs involved, Americans involved and etc..
        So when we’re talking about backlashes in the US because of US zios and Israel some of that self interest comes into play.
        So then it becomes a fight or conflict between us and them.. including whoever us ‘perceives’, rightly or wrongly as connected to them.
        I think that is what TR meant by ‘defense”.
        As MRW has said often, a lot of people don’t have a grip on how the average American actually thinks or reacts when he discovers he’s been, is being royally screwed over. “If” that royal screwing is big enough, as in his interest being sold out for some pissant foreign country by fifth columns and politicians…then that is ‘Big Enough’, meaning he will have plenty of company in his community for him “join the wolf pack” and feel justified in doing so.
        Americans won’t care about the holocaust being abused, they could care less, they will care about ‘them and theirs’ being abused.
        I am not one who thinks the US is ever going to holocaust Jews, but I do know Americans can be just as much ‘mobs’ in their thinking as anyone else so I don’t discount anti semitic backlashes, although I don’t really think anti semitism is a good word for what I think would be more like just overt ‘resentment’.
        So what would a backlash look like? Probably a lot of ‘hurt feelings’. Frankly, I would be o.k. with hurt feelings, although I would regret the zio spill over affected innocent Jews. But I would be o.k. with it because I think a lesson is called for…..the lesson being America isn’t Israel and Americans do not owe Israel or the Jews and they have no right to “use” our country for their own select group and interest in the ways they do. IOW, if it’s hurt some innocent Jewish feeling or let this abdication of US interest to Israel continue, I’m for the hurt feelings, cause they’ll get over it or at least not suffer any material wear and tear.
        However I not even sure any Jews but the guilty ones would even feel that their feelings were being hurt if the NYTs did full page editorials calling for hanging fifth column Zionist for ruining the US.
        I would bet if some kind of show down ever came about, US Jews would cause a run on US flag lapel pins and the Star of David flags would disappear over night.
        My attitude might sound hard ass to you but sometimes you have to be a little hard ass to make people focus.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 22, 2012, 1:05 pm

        what separates me from most Americans is a broader and less fragmented historical perspective, together with a phlegmatic disposition.

        ok, you are exceptional and you think most americans..not so much wrt historical perspectives. that is where we disagree. while i would agree there will be a rise/backlash, i do not believe it threatens to pull in the mob. i do think people can distinguish between opposing political leanings, i think american will/can eventually distinguish between zionism/zionists and ‘jews’. i recently retweeted one of mjrosenbergs tweets:

        link to twitter.com

        MJ Rosenberg ‏@MJayRosenberg

        One of my Palestinian friends just told me, “If it wasn’t 4 progressive Jews, I don’t think anyone would stand up for Palestinians in US.”

        progressive jews are in the frontlines of any movement to free palestine. you literally couldn’t get rid of them if you tried. they will always be out in front on this issue standing up to support the palestinian leaders of the movement. so i do not see how, as americans become more aware of what is happening, they will not see those people as our allies. i do not think we will be splitting alone ethnic lines in this fight. we will split along ideological lines…like dems and republicans are split (altho that is a bad comparison since both are so steeped in the lobby). there will be a backlash but it will be against zionism/zionists, including christian zionists (glen beck, hagee etc religious nationalism). that’s my opinion. we have to stick together and empower the growth of our movement. we have to support progressive jews and they support us and we have to have eachothers backs. not fear and not backdown. obviously.

        no, i do not think you are exceptional. give others more credit thomson.

      • American
        June 22, 2012, 1:51 pm

        @ Thomson & All

        “Concerning the distinction between Zionists and Jews that we so scrupulously maintain here: Would there be Zionism without Jews?”

        Not speaking for Thomson but want to point out once again that we need to realize that we here, ‘us involved’ do not think like the general public, we just don’t for the simple reason that we know more.
        What Thomson said above looks scary on the face of it and is in fact scary.
        I have in fact made the statement that without Jews in the US the US would have not have pro Israel policy to the extent it does.
        This not a Hitler like nazi statement or some kind of veiled get the Jews out of America prop. It’s just a fact. And in fact AIPAC has had trouble establishing Jewish lobbies in other countries that don’t have large Jewish populations. I posted a AIPAC article on that a while ago.
        And the reason I point it out is if you want to understand how the average Joe would respond in a showdown of seperate us and them interest look no further than the response and attitudes of many Americans to the hispanic immigration issue in the US. The ones who feel their interest threaten or object to it not only oppose it politically but many ‘cop an attitude,’ to put it gently, toward the hispanics themselves and blame them for coming here and creating the ‘problem’.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 22, 2012, 2:04 pm

        ‘us involved’ do not think like the general public

        american, we are not speaking in the context of today, we are speaking in the context of some possible time in the future wrt the chances of pogroms bursting out. so lets look at the gap between now and then. the circumstances of a backlash in public opinion happens when enough people become aware of the issue. with that awareness comes a trajectory of thought. during that period it is likely lots of americans, just like when the neocons were on the rise, will become more educated and aware of what zionists and zionism represents. they will not just fly into a rage against jews. it won’t happen. we’re not that brilliant and special (‘us involved’).

        plus, awareness is on the rise, not the decline. pro palestinian activism is replacing anti war activism on US campuses, that says something. the pushback against this is evident:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        hundreds of millions are being spent on this by our adversaries and there is NO indication it can turn back the tide. NONE.

        so you can believe there will be virtually zilch growth of awareness wrt reality (wrt zionism/zionists) as americans literally leap from today,to some future of retribution against jews. i think you are wrong. yes there will be your fanatics and anti semites. but i think you are underestimating american culture if you do not think the faultline people will split over political differences vs ethnic ones.

      • American
        June 22, 2012, 2:47 pm

        annie…….you’re ‘allowing for time’ to grow the public’s awareness of zionism vr Jews…. and I also don’t want to say there is no good judgement or restraint in the American masses…there obviously is…we saw that not all Americans became raving anti Muslims after 911 but the ones that did became enough of a force to influence some others.

        But the question in your position really is……is there time?
        Events have a way of over taking time……time runnth out sometimes.
        I think that was what Danaa was saying/warning on the other day.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 22, 2012, 2:51 pm

        i do think time is running out in some regards, but i don’t think pogroms on jews in right around the corner, by a long shot.

      • American
        June 22, 2012, 3:01 pm

        also annie, there is some alarmism and scarifying by some in all these comments about a backlash.
        There will be no ‘ pogroms’ or ‘retribution’…that’s nonsense.
        And why I say ‘antisemitic” is not really a correct description for what would be ” a attitude” in the public… it’s a far cry from some anti semitic ‘uprising’ against Jews.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 22, 2012, 6:46 pm

        no, i do not think you are exceptional. give others more credit thomson.

        I never said I was exceptional. That is a disparaging word you chose to apply to me. I differ from most Americans in a number of ways, but that does not make me ‘exceptional’ in any way that I know of. You asked if I think I myself will be subject in the future to anti-Semitism and I answered, No, and gave some reasons why. If you think that many Americans are not, and will not be, subject to anti-Semitism, then you live in a bubble of your own making.

        The increased anti-Semitism I am predicting does not involve “the mob” (your words) perpetrating pogroms. As I pointed out to Mooser below, I expect ‘softer’ forms of anti-Semitism to become commonly expressed in political arenas throughout the country. Palestine will not be the central issue. Rather, it will be overt non-Jewish resistance to excessive and disproportionate Jewish influence over political institutions and the media. The expression of this resistance will find venues among many diverse issues of concern to Americans – the foreign policy area being just one set of these.

        This is one of the elements of the changing American social environment in which the fight for justice for Palestinians, Lebanese, and other Middle Eastern peoples must be continued. It simply must be dealt with by good people in the best way possible.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 22, 2012, 8:13 pm

        Hey, I actually wanted to scratch the comment just above because it sounds pompous and my crystal ball is clouding up. But the system didn’t let me. Time to move on.

      • Sumud
        June 24, 2012, 7:50 am

        FYI American, I’m not jewish, I’m an atheist from Australia with a christian family background.

        I don’t think your attitude is hard-ass at all. I think it would be a good thing if zionists the world over becomes as ‘untouchable’ as nazis and the KKK, and all its adherents of zionism (jewish, christian and other) are scorned, ridiculed and shunned. The mob stuff I can do without but scared zionists: OK with me. A lot of zionists are traitors (Americans placing Israel first) and should be treated as such.

        I pulled Thomas Rutherford because his statement was [too] ambiguous, it wasn’t clear he knew the answer to the question he asked. He’s clarified all that in comments since…

      • American
        June 24, 2012, 11:47 am

        I know Sumud..just making examples of different people’s frames of reference.
        And I am too ambiguous myself a lot of the time in my hurry to get my opinion out.

      • ColinWright
        June 21, 2012, 4:12 am

        ‘What defense do Gentiles in America have against political and economic domination by Jews except anti-Semitism? Where else can logic lead but to that sordid conclusion?’

        Sigh.

        I hate to break it to you, but if I had to choose someone to be marooned on a desert island with, and ethnicity was the only criteria I could employ, I’d probably pick a Jew.

        However, he can’t be an Israel supporter. That I will not abide.

      • American
        June 21, 2012, 12:51 pm

        “I’d probably pick a Jew.”…Colin

        That’s interesting. Why?
        I’d probably pick a American Indian or some other mother nature connected ehtnic, someone who knew how to start a fire and fish…lol

      • YoungMassJew
        June 21, 2012, 2:30 pm

        LOL

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 21, 2012, 8:46 pm

        ColinWright writes: I hate to break it to you, but if I had to choose someone to be marooned on a desert island with, and ethnicity was the only criteria I could employ, I’d probably pick a Jew.

        I hate to break it to you, but your ethnic preferences have nothing to do with my point. Many non-Jews who visit here, including me, have personal ties to Jews and generally admire much about modern Jewish ‘civilization’. (I also would pick a Jew – my wife.) But my long observations lead me to believe that most Americans are not by any measure philo-Semitic, just as they are not innately anti-Semitic.

        As I said, my own careful analysis, considering both Jewish and non-Jewish sources and contacts, convinces me that a sharp increase in anti-Semitism in America is now inevitable. Jews will blame the ‘evil’ inherent in Gentiles for this transformation in attitudes, but I think that it would be more fruitful for Jews to look closely at their own behavior – especially in the realms of politics and mass communications – in relation to the interests of other people in the broader society around them.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 2:42 pm

        “I hate to break it to you, but if I had to choose someone to be marooned on a desert island with, and ethnicity was the only criteria I could employ, I’d probably pick a Jew.”

        So Judaism is an “ethnicity”? And I thought it was a religion. Don’t you understand the greased-pig slipperyness of the slope you’re on? You start with Jewish “ethnicity”, and think it’s allright, and the next thing you know, we’re talking about (May God forgive me for writing the words) ‘the Jewish lifestyle’. Do you really want to go there?

      • yourstruly
        June 21, 2012, 3:36 pm

        anti-zionism, not antisemitism, is the defense that non-zionist gentiles/jews have against political and economic domination by gentile/jewish zionists.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 1:38 pm

        “What defense do Gentiles in America have against political and economic domination by Jews except anti-Semitism? Where else can logic lead but to that sordid conclusion?”

        For God’s sake, stop kvetching Rutherford! Look, there’s what, about 5 million Jews in the US, give or take? You could kill most of us, and drive the rest out or into hiding, in about a month or so.
        I mean, if it’s a matter of saving yourself from “political and economic domination by Jews” (like Bainstein Capital?) well, let’s just say that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice-grip”.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 22, 2012, 5:45 pm

        For God’s sake, stop kvetching Rutherford!

        Well, I hardly know what to say, Mooser, because rather perversely I refused to learn Yiddish (and Hebrew and Greek). But not Latin and German, which together account for my multisyllabic disorder.

        Nevertheless, you have inadvertently brought up a relevant point. America is still a nation of laws (cough, cough), and the Government (men in black suits and black helicopters) still has a monopoly on organized violence. I am not suggesting that we shall see pogroms against Jews in America. What I am predicting is that ‘softer’ forms of open anti-Semitism (as conventionally defined by Jews) will become commonplace in public political spheres.

        More than once have I seen you express similar thoughts here at MW. So I’m not hanging out there like the Lone Ranger.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 7:28 pm

        Sorry Thomson, I was just trying to reassure you. I agree, when the time comes to reduce “Jews” to their proper size, the job won’t be very difficult.
        And if you have any questions about Yiddish expressions (Not necessarily writing or speaking the language fluently, which I will always kick myself [now, that's what I call "putting your best foot forward"] for not learning when I had such an excellent chance to do so) the Gantseh Megillah is a good place to start. You know what the song says:

        Brush up your Yiddish!
        Start speaking it now.
        Brush up you Yiddish,
        and they’ll all kow-tow!

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 23, 2012, 8:34 am

        Thanks, Mooser, for the link to the English-language guide to Yiddish phrases. I do concede also that, had I had this at my fingertips at strategic moments in my life, it might have helped me make better sense of the modern, and even post-modern, world. But I’m still having trouble connecting, probably because there is a disconnect. I think what I really need is a German-language guide to Yiddish phrases, which would have fewer and smoother seams, and from which I can translate into my poor English as needed. English is such an impoverished language, anyhow, and we are so fortunate to have Yiddish with which we now may express our deeper thoughts. I don’t know why I resisted becoming thus improved back when it might have helped me advance in life.

    • MRW
      June 21, 2012, 2:09 am

      Danaa,

      Extraordinarily prescient.

      Let me put it another way for those of you who live overseas and don’t have heels on the ground here, and for whom there are no dead-straight voices reporting accurately from areas outside the major metropolitan ones.

      Here’s an analogy: Let’s suppose you’re male and married. You have one daughter. You want to take your wife out for a week of celebrations for her birthday and your anniversary. You hire a babysitter. The babysitter has always been reliable when you hired her while you were working and your wife was out, and she adores your child. You’d like a week like you had when you were first married.

      You go out. You come home. The front door is open. Your daughter is safe inside pitching wooden blocks about. No signs of struggle or subterfuge. Where’s your babysitter?

      You find her across the pond in your gated community helping some other family. She sees nothing wrong with what she did; after all, your daughter can’t walk by herself and this other family claimed need: she left your daughter playing with toys.

      That is what the heartland, as they call it, are seeing in their US congressmen devoted to Israel over the US in these economic times. Abandonment. Abdication of duty. Desertion. Every summer trip to Israel since January 2009 when you can’t meet with your congressman is, as FOX’s Greta van Susteren said bluntly, tone-deaf.

      Gentiles are talking among themselves and Jews aren’t hearing it. They won’t, they are being kept in the dark; Foxman won’t hear it until its too late; it’s in private living-rooms. And you can count on one other thing. If big Jewish donors go after Obama and destroy his presidency for Romney over Israel, because of Israel, as Adelson and Saban and the others state, an entire subclass of voters will know one thing: Farrakhan was right. There are Blacks who resent that they should vote for Obama because he is black; resist it with their souls and refuse to be swayed. But there is another group, the majority, who have watched the monkey jokes, listened to the Limbaugh racism that no one has excoriated the way they did in Helen Thomas et al, and they have kept score. And you will not hear from them until it is too late to do anything about it.

      I’m no oracle, but I know how to take a pulse. And I can recognize when one in throbbing silently in the quiet shadows under a slice of moonlight.

      Pay close attention to what Danaa writes. Jews’ concern for what might happen to themselves in America, their own tribe, is short-sighted. Selfish and unnecessary. There must be more grandeur from those with the ears to hear and the eyes to see.

      • Taxi
        June 21, 2012, 3:04 am

        Dana is incredible. A lighthouse on the edge of night.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 21, 2012, 4:01 am

        yep

      • American
        June 21, 2012, 1:08 pm

        “There are Blacks who resent that they should vote for Obama because he is black; resist it with their souls and refuse to be swayed. But there is another group, the majority, who have watched the monkey jokes, listened to the Limbaugh racism that no one has excoriated the way they did in Helen Thomas et al, and they have kept score. And you will not hear from them until it is too late to do anything about it”….MRW

        What you said MRW is true, particularly about Blacks and Obama. My town is 60% black and they do comment on the racism shown toward Obama…they know it’s there…and they are keeping score. Last year when I was out getting stuff to prepare for our hurricane I got into a conversation with a black man about the racism evident during hurricane Katrina in NO..they haven’t forgotten that either…it morphed into a discussion about Obama as a black president…they aren’t missing the racist digs at him either.
        If we had to choose up political ethnic or race partners in the US I’m gonna choose American blacks, not because I have white racist guilt, but because blacks have (always) totally ‘bought in’ , they know they are ‘stakeholders’ in the US, not in their Africa roots or anywhere else.

      • American
        June 21, 2012, 1:41 pm

        I think it’s worse than that MR.
        I once described it as your wife throwing you out of the house and moving in her lover, and you’re having to live in a tent in the back yard and watch them frolic in your pool while you work to support them financially.
        That’s what it feels like to me. Betrayal, plus the betrayers living it up, while not caring you’re living in that tent in the back yard and having to see them enjoying themselves at your expense.

      • CloakAndDagger
        June 23, 2012, 2:46 pm

        That is one great analogy!

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 1:44 pm

        “and they have kept score. And you will not hear from them until it is too late to do anything about it.”

        I wouldn’t worry. There’s usually a couple of days of jungle drums and war-dances before they work themselves up to an attack. Plenty of time to prepare. One whiff of the grape and they’ll scatter.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 22, 2012, 1:48 pm

        There’s usually a couple of days of jungle drums and war-dances before they work themselves up to an attack.

        thanks mooser

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 2:48 pm

        “thanks mooser”

        Don’t worry, Annie. I’ll call you first thing, as soon as I hear the ominous thrumming in the bush. We’ll head for the coast and hope we meet up with the British relief column.

      • Taxi
        June 22, 2012, 4:19 pm

        Mooser on the looser!

    • American
      June 21, 2012, 2:58 pm

      “But then I also happen to believe that out entire little universe runs a bit like a game board.”…Danaa

      It kinda is…like monoply.
      The publics need to start playing strip poker…. make all the players strip down to their nakedness and reveal themselves.
      That is sorta what the net public is doing….now if we just had our own fricking army we could collect the chips we’ve won.

      • Taxi
        June 21, 2012, 3:40 pm

        LOL American! And why not strip monopoly?

      • Annie Robbins
        June 21, 2012, 3:45 pm

        taxi, all the people who couldn’t pay their rent would be naked and freezing in the winter. at least with strip poker there’s more of a chance.

        well maybe not

      • Taxi
        June 21, 2012, 3:52 pm

        Hahahaha – that’s right “maybe not”!

  19. Daniel Rich
    June 20, 2012, 5:32 pm

    @ MJ,

    Once you start using he USS Liberty [for the first time?] you’ll have my attention.

    • hophmi
      June 20, 2012, 5:58 pm

      You mean that accident where a dozen investigations have not established Israeli culpability, but pro-Palestinian prattle on and on about as if it’s somehow relevant today and somehow proves Israel hates the US?

      • atime forpeace
        June 20, 2012, 6:41 pm

        Yeah Hophmi that accident, like a cockroach when the lights come on…you can run but you can’t hide.

        link to ussliberty.org

        Colonel Patrick Lang describes translated intercepts
        I was a student in the Military Intelligence Officer advanced Course at Ft. Holabird, Maryland (Baltimore) in 1967-1968. The course lasted about ten months. We students were required to take several electives from a group offered and I took a course in Cryptology. This was taught by people from the NSA School at nearby Ft. Meade. This course was taught in the winter or early spring of 1967-1968. There were several sub-courses, one of which had to do with voice intercepts. In the course of this, the instructor introduced a booklet produced at Ft. Meade as material for the course. It contained various course materials. Among them were transcripts of the translated intercepts of radio conversations between the Israeli strike commander and his base before and during the attacks on USS Liberty. The instructor, a retired cryptologic warrant officer or NCO identified the transcript as being of the Liberty incident. It was also so marked in the booklet.
        In the transcript, the flight leader spoke to his base to report that he had the ship in view, that it was the same ship that he had been briefed on and that it was clearly marked with the US flag. I think he said that the ship was displaying the US flag on an upper deck, but my memory of that might be inexact. He asked for confirmation of his orders to attack the ship and seemed reluctant (understandably) to attack the ship. He asked more than once and was told to carry out his orders and attack the ship.

        There was some further discussion of damage to the ship.

        W. Patrick Lang
        Colonel (Ret.) US Army

        August 10, 2007

      • Citizen
        June 20, 2012, 8:24 pm

        The US congress had never had a full and proper investigation of the intentional attack on the intelligence ship USS Liberty by Israelis. Nor has it ever been explained why two groups of US fighter jets were called back when they tried to intervene, nor has the US mainstream media ever admitted it’s kept the muzzle on the incident since it was perpetrated.

      • Keith
        June 20, 2012, 8:47 pm

        HOPHMI- “You mean that accident where a dozen investigations have not established Israeli culpability….”

        You either have no brains or no shame, which is it? The evidence that the attack, ordered by Moshe Dayan, was intentional not accidental, is overwhelming. This includes the Israeli pilot Evan Toni who refused to participate in this attack on an obviously American vessel and was arrested and convicted of insubordination. He later toured the US with zero media coverage. The cover-up of all of this is shameful. In my opinion, LBJ should be tried for treason posthumously.

      • Michael W.
        June 20, 2012, 9:40 pm

        Is there any evidence that Evan Toni actually exists?

      • Ellen
        June 21, 2012, 5:41 am

        Questioning the existence or not of Toni is the classic Hasbara diversion rhetorical tactic. It is meant to confuse the issue at hand and discredit any evidence the attack was intentional.

        The files of testimony to us US State dept. and legislators?

        link to examiner.com

        But Toni is irrelevant. The sustained attack of a US Ship by Israel happened and 30 some sea men were murdered under the sustained attack. It was not an accident, could not be an accident.

        Both The Israeli and US government are complicit in a massive crime and cover up.

        What else is new?

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 1:47 pm

        “You either have no brains or no shame, which is it?”

        Hophmi is a double threat.

      • traintosiberia
        June 20, 2012, 10:28 pm

        @hophmi says:
        June 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm
        That kind of investigation where “Judge ” Colin Powell had to come out to comfort the Israeli-firster that Isarel/Jews was not promoting Iraq war .
        Fearful that public are seeing the conncetion, media and politicinas are trying to assure the AIPAC-led communities that Iran hysteria is not being concocted in Tel Aviv.This will also be recorded as investiagtive report by hophmi.

      • straightline
        June 21, 2012, 8:46 am

        You must be the only person left in the world who still believes this was an accident.

        For those who are not blinded by their Zionism here’s the BBC’s take – not that the BBC is particularly pro-Palestinian these days.

        link to video.google.com

      • hophmi
        June 21, 2012, 12:40 pm

        Nope, Michael Oren, who wrote an entire book on the Six Day War, believes it as well.

        As does A. Jay Cristol.

        But, please, continue beating this dead horse, because I’m sure you’ll convince people that the Palestinians love the US and that the Israelis hate it.

      • Theo
        June 21, 2012, 2:20 pm

        So does Nini, all members of the Mossad and the IDF.
        Gangsters stick together.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 21, 2012, 4:10 pm

        “Michael Oren, who wrote an entire book on the Six Day War, believes it as well.”

        LMAO. And I’m sure if Anatoly Dobrynin had written a book about the Katyn Massacre, he would probably have blamed the Nazis and not his own government for its crime… it’s what’s expected from a state’s ambassador.

        “A. Jay Cristol.”

        Interesting that a rabid zio like Cristol just so happens — coincidentally, no doubt — to get his hands on classified Israeli records (from Miami, no less) and his thesis just so happens — again, coincidentally, no doubt — to toe the israeli line.

        LMAO

      • Fredblogs
        June 21, 2012, 7:00 pm

        @straightline
        Sorry, outside the echo chamber of Israel haters, almost no one believes it was deliberate. Almost all the people who do, believe it either because they are Israel haters, or because they got one side of the story with the paranoid rantings of anti-Semites portrayed as gospel.

        And the BBC is notoriously anti-Israel.

      • hophmi
        June 21, 2012, 8:09 pm

        We get it, Woody, if it disagrees with you POV, you laugh. It’s not a big surprise.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 7:16 pm

        “Sorry, outside the echo chamber of Israel haters, almost no one believes it was deliberate.”

        Why you’d be surprised how often little accidents, minor mishaps, like a sustained air attack on an ostensible ally’s ship flying its flag happen, by accident. You see, nobody at the Israeli airbase had their second cup of coffee yet, and they were confused.
        One thing about habaratchniks; they haven’t learned how to quit when they are behind.
        Say Fred, have you thought of telling us that the Liberty was a Palestinian Navy ship, and the Palestinians substituted the bodies of Americans they had killed previously to make Israel look bad, yeah, that’s the ticket.
        No, that’s not very believable, but would you believe that…

    • mjrosenberg
      June 20, 2012, 6:19 pm

      Be still my heart.

    • Citizen
      June 20, 2012, 8:25 pm

      Daniel Rich, I’m with you on MJ.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 1:51 pm

        Citizen, why are you against MJ and PW saving the Jews from themselves? Just a little more equivocation and some more marital navel gazing, and there will be few enough Palestinians to fit into that 1/4 acre ‘second state’.

  20. Dexter
    June 20, 2012, 6:17 pm

    Since we are taking back terms, I would hereby like to take back the term “Semite.” It is common knowledge that European Ashkenazi Jews are not Semites.

    My parents, for example, were born and raised in Palestine (and so too were their ancestors); this means they are Semitic. Oleg’s parents were not born in Palestine; they are not Semitic.

    This makes Oleg, Hophmi, and the rest of the Hasbara brigade’s comments against Arabs/Palestinians the epitome of anti-Semitism.

    • Newclench
      June 20, 2012, 7:47 pm

      You you seem to not know what the words ‘Semite’ or ‘antisemitism’ refer to. But let Joseph Massad help:

      link to weekly.ahram.org.eg

      There is much misunderstanding about the term “anti-Semitism” among Jews, Arabs, and European Christians. The term is bandied about as a description of attitudes deemed anti-Jewish, and on occasion anti-Arab, but much of its use is anachronistic and ahistorical. While Zionists and their supporters have been using the charge of anti-Semitism against any and all who oppose Israel and its policies, especially, although not exclusively, in the Arab World, Arabs have taken offense countering that they are “Semites” and therefore by definition cannot be “anti-Semitic”. What are the merits of such arguments?

      Perhaps some history will help: The term “Semite” was invented by European philologists in the 18th century to distinguish languages from one another by grouping them into “families” descended from one “mother” tongue to which they are all related. In this context, languages came to be organised into “Indo-European” and “Semitic”, etc. The philologists claimed that Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Amharic, etc., were “Semitic” languages, even though philologists could never find a parent Semitic language from which they all derived.

      The defensive claim made by some that Arabs cannot be “anti-Semitic” because they are “Semites” is equally erroneous and facile. First, I should state that I do not believe that anyone is a “Semite” any more than I believe anyone is an “Aryan”, and I do not believe that Arabs or Jews should proudly declare that they are “Semites” because European racists classified them as such.

      • Dexter
        June 20, 2012, 9:54 pm

        You obviously missed the point of my comment Newclench.

        I am familiar with Joseph Massad’s scholarship; he has a very particular area of expertise

      • Sumud
        June 20, 2012, 10:05 pm

        So you agree with Massad that no-one is a semite?

        This implies the term anti-semitism shouldn’t be used at all.

      • Dexter
        June 20, 2012, 11:25 pm

        I neither agree nor disagree with Massad on the issue. I do not refer to myself as a semite, but the point of my original post was that if a European is going to highjack the term and use, misuse, and abuse its historiocity, then we present day Arabs have every right to reclaim the term as part of a struggle in which the “truth” is central. Whether semitic people do or do not exist may be debatable, but the fact that Arabs are likely more “semitic” than Ashkenazi Jews is not. It has more to do with the hijacking of a collective identity, culture, and heritage than any anthropological issue.

      • lysias
        June 21, 2012, 10:18 am

        Proto-Semitic is as real as Indo-European. Neither language is directly attested, but they can be reconstructed from the languages that descend from them using rules. When one uses the same methods to reconstruct the ancestor of the Romance languages, what results is something very close to the Classical Latin which is attested.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 1:56 pm

        When is Mondoweiss going to do a post on this? For God’s sake, the designation “Semite” is spurious, no matter who it is applied to.
        It simply is not a relevant term.
        I wish somebody smart (that neatly lets me out) would do a post on it. Why not compare the statements and assumptions of the guy who invented the grouping “semites” with what we know now about the people in the area?
        Semites is a spurious term. It’s good for nothing, well, nothing good.
        It’s about as real, in terms of this world, as “Ayran”

    • Dutch
      June 20, 2012, 9:32 pm

      Correct. The Ashkenazim are Indo-Europeans, Aryans.

  21. HarryLaw
    June 20, 2012, 7:06 pm

    There is no better reason to use the term ‘Israel firster’ or in another context ‘apartheid’ than both are true, and both have the added benefit of driving them absolutely ape shit.

  22. atime forpeace
    June 20, 2012, 7:57 pm

    You do realize Mr Rosenberg that using Israel firster at Media Matters and yelling Israel firster in some little dark corner of the internet are two very different things.

    I do not think that the Neocon crowd will pay much attention to you unless you have a pulpit, so unless you can get published in the Forward, or some such other print piece. that reaches larger numbers of readers your impact using that once attention getting term will not impact as it once was able to.

    Never the less, you do have a name in the market place, so my best to you.

    • mjrosenberg
      June 20, 2012, 10:32 pm

      Actually, my main vehicle has always been Huffington Post and I continue to post there.

      • Avi_G.
        June 20, 2012, 11:42 pm

        mjrosenberg says:
        June 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm

        Actually, my main vehicle has always been Huffington Post and I continue to post there.

        Then don’t shy away from directing traffic this way. Mentioning Mondoweiss every now and then would be nice.

        Yes. I had the khutzpah to actually write that.

      • Danaa
        June 21, 2012, 1:07 am

        Avi_G, I love the way you spell khutzpah. That is certainly more correct than the customary chuzpah…now, if i could only convince people….

      • atime forpeace
        June 21, 2012, 7:28 am

        MJ, check this out, this seems to be HUGE and developing unintended consequence directly related to the u.s congress attempts at isolating Irans’ financial transactions due to the embargo.

        If you link over to Jim Sinclairs’ site and type SWIFT into the search function you can read the birth of the new BRICS county system to bypass the controls being implented in Europe and around the world by the U.S embargo on Iran.

        Jim Sinclair says this about the SWIFT system
        “The biggest mistake ever made was using the SWIFT system as an economic weapon.”

        and this…
        “This will and must take place since the business function of SWIFT has been converted into a Western economic weapon of nuclear capacity.

        This weapon is so powerful it should have been inventoried for all out war time. Now, it will simply be replaced without any doubt. The western warrior intellects of our intelligence services picked a nuclear bomb to swat a fly and now will permanently lose that weapon.”

        “Iran designs alternative system for SWIFT: CBI
        Sat May 26, 2012 5:56PM GMT

        Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Mahmoud Bahmani says the country has designed and implemented a new system for conducting international transactions.

        Bahmani said on Saturday the new system, which has already been activated, would replace Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)

        On March 15, SWIFT CEO Lazaro Campos said in a statement that the society has decided to discontinue offering services to Iranian banks which are subject to financial sanctions imposed by the European Union.

        On January 23, the EU foreign ministers approved new sanctions on Iran’s financial and oil sectors, which prevent member countries from importing Iranian crude or dealing with its central bank.

        Experts believe that SWIFT’s new action is meant to fully enforce EU sanctions, as global financial transactions are impossible without using SWIFT.

        Bahmani rejected reports about a Japanese bank freezing transactions with Iranian banks.”

        link to jsmineset.com

      • atime forpeace
        June 21, 2012, 6:02 pm

        MJ, have you ever heard of this, it seems to be a developing unintended consequence of the Iranian embargo being enforced by our congress…it is called SWIFT and it is a method of electronic payment by central banks and Iran was the target.

        if you choose to check into it go to this website and in the search box type in SWIFT and check it out.
        jsmineset.com

        My Dear Friends,
        Iran is to be dropped out of the Swift system in Belgium. That means Iran could neither send or receive bank money wires.

        That would slam Iran’s economy.

        This is economic war at the highest level of conflict. This could start a greater move of central banks with fears of the West to increase and retrieve their gold positions. It certainly puts cash reserves held by central banks (which are computer entries anyway) into serious question as to security.

        Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

        “This will and must take place since the business function of SWIFT has been converted into a Western economic weapon of nuclear capacity.

        This weapon is so powerful it should have been inventoried for all out war time. Now, it will simply be replaced without any doubt. The western warrior intellects”

        more from Jim

        “My Dear Friends,

        The future is US dollar Bloc down, Euro Bloc sideways, Bric Bloc up. This means the absolute end of dollar dominance. Utilizing the SWIFT system as a weapon caused it.

        It began today.”

        link to bloomberg.com

        The Obama administration wants China, India and 10 other nations to present plans detailing how they will curtail Iranian oil imports, saying past cuts aren’t enough to win them an exclusion from new U.S. sanctions.

        Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week granted Japan and European Union countries six-month, renewable exemptions from the measures that take effect June 28, crediting them with “significantly reducing” imports from the Persian Gulf nation.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 21, 2012, 6:10 pm

        US dollar Bloc down, Euro Bloc sideways, Bric Bloc up. This means the absolute end of dollar dominance

        yep, and faster please

    • lysias
      June 21, 2012, 10:21 am

      Well, if what happens on corners of the Internet doesn’t matter, why are the Israel Firsters on Daily Kos so hysterical about Mondoweiss?

      • Rusty Pipes
        June 21, 2012, 8:49 pm

        It’s hard work keeping the trademark on “reality-based” and “the only Democracy in the Middle East” when facts have a liberal bias.

  23. YoungMassJew
    June 20, 2012, 8:05 pm

    While that is true Dexter, some Ashkenazi Jews (me) get coded in certain situations as less than fully European in certain contexts due to wavy hair texture. But yes, we’re predominately European as I could have easily ended up with blond hair and blue eyes like my mother’s side.

    • MTd2
      June 20, 2012, 11:46 pm

      That means Iberians and most people from Southern Europe are considered less than fully Europeans? I think that is pretty much true even for Anglo – Saxons.

      I think straight hair is more related to some Asian mixture, like Nordics.

      • YoungMassJew
        June 21, 2012, 1:12 am

        That’s not what I said, I said that’s what people PERCEIVE me to be. Perception matters. Sometimes I get Italian, sometimes Armenian, sometimes Greek, heck one of my colleges roommates throught I was even German. lol Only sometimes people guess correctly as me being Ashkenazi Jewish. I never said any of those groups you mentioned as less than fully European. I mean that’s what ignorant people believe me to be based on superficial facial features.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 2:08 pm

        “Only sometimes people guess correctly as me being Ashkenazi Jewish”

        Some people are so dumb, aren’t they YoungMassJew? I bet they even think you can be an Ashkenazi Jew who’s German, when we know the two things are indeed mutually exclusive.
        But don’t put them down for it, YMJ. When somebody is as fascinating as you are, people will try and look for an explanation. Oh please, no false modesty, it’s easy to see how much you fascinate at least one person.

      • YoungMassJew
        June 22, 2012, 3:38 pm

        To be more specific on my mother’s side my grandfather’s family came from Germany in the late 19th century so they probably considered themselves German by ethnicity since they were assimilated. My grandmother’s family came from the Ukraine in the early 20th century and spoke Yiddish; less assimilated. On my father’s side my grandfather’s family came from Bessarabia (now Moldova) in the mid 1920s and spoke Yiddish, less assimilated. My great grandfather’s story of how he made it to America is fasinating as he served in the Russian army in the Russo-Japanese war and later worked in Germany making military equipment during the first World War as he learned many languages during this time. Very ironic for a Jew as Germany “liked’ its Jews then. My grandmother’s family on my father’s side came from Poland in the late 19th century, probably less assimilated but my aunt thinks Bubby as we called my great-grandmother always “had money” even during the Depression. But seriously, I don’t think I’m special, as others have paved the way for me, like Phil and Adam, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the works of people like Anna Baltzer. I’m no hero swooping in to save the day as I was brought into this whole saving regular Jews from the coming backlash by the circumstances of my birth and coming of age in the era of apocalypse, 2012.

  24. traintosiberia
    June 20, 2012, 10:29 pm

    In fact 4 % is a big number. The neocons by their own admission knows that a few committed people can achieve a lot.The rest will just passivley follow.

  25. ColinWright
    June 20, 2012, 10:41 pm

    ‘…and Barbara Boxer, who are invariably anti-war in every situation except when it comes to Israel…’

    Ol’ Barb is one of my two senators, and so I am sometimes forced to notice her activities.

    To be fair to her, I was pleasantly surprised to note that she did NOT sign that call for war that forty four senators did sign. This may or may not be evidence of a sudden access of moral integrity, but it IS evidence that the times, they are a changin.’ Anyway, give credit where credit is due. She did manage to keep her pen in her pocket.

    • mjrosenberg
      June 21, 2012, 7:58 am

      I think that is significant. Hope so anyway.

    • MarkF
      June 21, 2012, 8:29 am

      Unfortunately both my Senators, Cardin and Mikulski signed it. Six years ago Cardin ran and pretty much got elected by telling us he was against the Iraq war. Now he is pushing for war with Iran. He runs commercials making him look like he’s just your nice old uncle who loves children and small pets.

  26. anonymouscomments
    June 21, 2012, 12:33 am

    tom friedman-
    “This is a war of an elite. Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.”
    link to haaretz.com (how many are jewish, and how many openly have a bias for israel’s security, hence a loyalty issue?)

    and if you got this far, take it back to 1982!!!!!!!!
    link to cosmos.ucc.ie

    and good old abe foxman, on an interesting stat (if true, and not twisted like he is prone to do…)
    link to haaretz.com

    those 30% are half right. KEY jews ARE more loyal to israel than the US, and this is an undisputed fact…. many of them ADMIT this. flat OUT.

    99.9% of amercians should note that *some*, *influential* jews ARE more loyal to israel than the US. and they aren’t even loyal to israel in a good way….. tough love would solve the predicament, but these “lovers” of israel have her cruising for continual, possibly catastrophic, conflict.

    does anyone read my rants BTW? ~peace

    • ColinWright
      June 21, 2012, 4:04 am

      ‘does anyone read my rants BTW? ~peace’

      I read this one. You’re right about the influence of the ‘go Team Israel’ brigade.

      Israel would do well to stop playing to this particular gallery. Of course, I fervently hope they do keep playing to it.

    • lysias
      June 21, 2012, 10:24 am

      The Pentagon, note, is not within a five-block radius of Tom Friedman’s office. And neither is the CIA.

    • American
      June 21, 2012, 1:25 pm

      does anyone read my rants BTW? “…mous

      LOL, yea I do. And it is true some influential Jews have a ‘single’ loyalty…to Israel.
      Eric Alterman’s famous ‘if it’s a toss up between Israel and the US, the US will just have to take hit’…and the famous casino king regreting he served in the US army instead of IDF.
      You wonder what makes them ‘feel safe enough’ to say these things publicaly in the US…….and then you wonder at the contridiciton between claiming Jews ‘need’ Israel for protection against anti semitism and saying things bound to raise the resentment in non Jews at their display of disloyalty to the US.
      I call it stupid for lack of a better word. Very,very stupid.

      • anonymouscomments
        June 22, 2012, 1:16 am

        this is way beyond israel and palestine. the elites know no allegiance, but to themselves. and they surely do not care about the jews (despite many being jews).

        very good. but i will say this…. knowing what i do about x/xx. almost anything can be used to the same ends. even x/xx truth. this particular fellow seems like possible cointelpro. understand this- they *want* a “revolution” (read- a change they can control and benefit from).

        you try a revolution of the classical sense (which they know *very* well), and the mainstream will run to them for cover, else co-opt the “revolution”. we have to make sure the revolution does not *enable* their quite clear *ends*.

        means to an end….. pick our means, and insist on the right ends.

        like zeitgeist (well intentioned, or BS; i care not). i work in the sciences…. the *suggested* ends of those films are pretty much like the ends “they” want. what does the tribe on an island say, when a “computer” comes for their resources? where are you in a technological “humanitarian” state, which decides what is best for you?

        sustainability is the only answer. not a (more) centralized power structure. it is all about power….. for everyone, not just “them”.

        you want to get violent? they have a monopoly on true violence, and they will use it. they would love you to try it. they are asking for it.

        it comes from the mind, and that is what they fear the most.

        ~revolution
        link to occupy911truth.org (and i will repeat, this has nothing to do with jews or zionists…. these people are above that, by far. and we better realize that)

  27. seafoid
    June 21, 2012, 4:19 am

    “I believe that Israel should survive and live in security, in some kind of arrangement with the Palestinian people who deserve peace, security and sovereignty just as much as Israelis do”

    If you wanted to get there you wouldn’t start from here, where Israel is now.

  28. lyn117
    June 21, 2012, 8:38 am

    @Rosenberg, I too have a fear that Jews in general will be blamed for what rich Jews and zionists do. I hope not.

    That being said, there never has been a time when Israel didn’t have horrific policies towards the Palestinians. Israel was founded by deliberate mass murder and terror against the native people of its land, in order to get rid of non-Jews so they could create a Jewish state. I don’t quite grasp how you can support Israel and not support horrific policies against the Palestinians.

    • Mooser
      June 22, 2012, 2:57 pm

      “I don’t quite grasp how you can support Israel and not support horrific policies against the Palestinians.”

      ROTFLMSJAO! Yup, there’s a little problem there, isn’t there? Well let me tell you something Lynn (is that a Jewish name?), if you think that Israel won’t wake up one day soon, and become completely the oppisite of what it is today, what it has always been, and what it believes it needs to be to survive, because Mondoweiss has pricked its conscience, you will be very embarrassed.

  29. NickJOCW
    June 21, 2012, 9:13 am

    It may well be too late for fine distinctions because such considerable efforts have been made to insist upon the uniformity of the Jewish people. A public that so readily conflates Arabs with bearded terrorists swathed in blankets totting AK47s can hardly be expected readily to distinguish between one and another Jew in a suit and tie. And even if some could be bothered, where would they put the likes of Sheldon Adelson? It’s like a dam with weaknesses in the construction materials, all one can do is hope it holds. Anyway, the straw will be is the subsidies. Now, if an identifiable group of American Jews were to lead a campaign against those, that would mark them apart.

  30. yourstruly
    June 21, 2012, 9:40 am

    M.J. Rosenberg rightly worries that if the American people figure out what AIPAC & its friends are up to, it might hurt us {Jews} here, and that there might be blowback. But if an Iran War (en route to doomsday) is to be prevented, isn’t that a risk that must be taken? Yes, since so many of the visible warmongers are Jewish, it’s likely that there’ll be more than a few who’ll blame Jews for all the wars that America’s unconditional support for Israel have facilitated, the lives lost, as well as so many opportunities squandered for using the resources wasted on war for socially useful purposes instead. Which would be quite a nasty load, indeed, if it were to be dumped solely upon us. So what, then? Not say Israel firster, even though it has the potential for silencing the warmongers, for preventing a war? Better yet, by our preventing a war, the effect could be so topsy-turvy that the power elites will be put on the defensive as never before. And in the age of Tahrir Square & the Occupy movement? Let’s see, elites challenged, the masses rising up, and what sort of world might this bring about?

  31. Abu Malia
    June 21, 2012, 2:36 pm

    It appears all the heavy weights have weighed in on this article and and not very much left to add, however, it is a comment made by my man Dan Crowther, that keeps running through my head since i read it yesterday. He makes a point that i have given some thought in the past just never had the gonads to say it clearly, like he does.

    Dan says, “but lets ask an important question: If a scenario like the one Rosenberg mentions does arise in America, might it then be time to rethink some of the standard “uncontested” “truths” about the history of “the jewish people?” In my life, I was always told Jews got kicked out of places because of a racial hatred, but if Jews were all of a sudden discriminated against in America, bastion of pro jewish sentiment, it would have to be because of actions taken by Jews. There would be no other explanation. “

    • Dan Crowther
      June 22, 2012, 11:30 am

      Ive had a van with blacked out windows outside my apt since I posted that….. :)

      Come and Get me!! haha

  32. American
    June 21, 2012, 2:43 pm

    O.K. ….wanna see where your average non anti semitic, even well educated on the
    zio-Israel issue, American totally loses it and becomes a becomes a slash and burn raving US nationalistic tribalist. Here it is:

    Pro-Israel Activists Break New Ground: An Anti-Arab Hate Video link to mjayrosenberg.com

    (in these excerpts)…..

    “This video has to be seen to be believed. Although it has long been known that AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee and other pro-Netanyahu groups have ties to groups promoting anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate, this video represents a new low.
    The ad encourages Americans who have emigrated to Israel from the United States to work from Israel to counter the effects of voting by Americans who live here, Arab-Americans.”

    ‘And why is Harris worried about Muslim population estimates?
    It would mean that Muslims outnumber Jews in the U.S. and it would buttress calls for a redefinition of America’s heritage as ‘Judeo-Christian-Muslim,’ a stated goal of some Muslim leaders.”

    Leaving aside the putrid GOP to whom zio Israel is just a GOP tool, how does it make me ‘feel’ about this gd phony “Judeo” crap claimed in America’s heritage? How does it make me ‘feel’ about this racist anti Muslim filth they have dragged into MY country and government? How does it make me ‘feel” about their trying to influence and minipulate US elections?
    You don’t even want me to say how I ‘feel’ in my gut, not my head about this…they just better thank God that I don’t and will never have my finger on the button that could turn their precious zionism and zio state into ashes on one of my totally fed up with their crap days.

    • Danaa
      June 22, 2012, 6:24 am

      Be good now, American. Keep it in check. I know how mad we all get, but….

      • American
        June 22, 2012, 12:39 pm

        @ Danaa

        lol……some days I have to beat back my evil twin.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 3:07 pm

        Wow, American, the Jews have really screwed you, and you’re hopping mad about it. Sure I know, you coulda been a contender! But can we work something out, maybe? Perhaps we could agree on an article of clothing, or some kind of sign which will distinguish the good Jews from the bad Jews, to avoid tragic accidents, occurring during spates of self-protection against alien influences.
        Maybe we (us good Jews) could wear a small cross, so you can tell us from the others. The cross can be either gold or silver, so it will accessorize well with whatever one chooses to wear for being pogromed.

      • Taxi
        June 22, 2012, 4:10 pm

        My evil twin has long been retired in the Bahamas but STILL feels like American’s evil twin does – bouts of extreme revulsion and simultaneous extreme impatience.

      • American
        June 23, 2012, 12:48 am

        Mooser says:
        “Wow, American, the Jews have really screwed you, and you’re hopping mad about it.”

        Ha, ha Moose….what? ….I can’t have a temper fit now and then about those people you don’t like either. However now that you mention it some accessory might be called for the misguided “liberal” zionist..like a dunce cap. LOL

      • ColinWright
        June 24, 2012, 5:30 am

        ‘Maybe we (us good Jews) could wear a small cross, so you can tell us from the others. The cross can be either gold or silver, so it will accessorize well with whatever one chooses to wear for being pogromed.’

        Or, it could be like with Muslims, who are really taking a chance if they choose to dress in accordance with their religious precepts.

        I actually saw two women in Costco dressed in Niqabs the other day. I felt like congratulating them on their courage.

        It is really bad. There used to be a Palestinian family down the street (about forty children — don’t let it bug you, Mooser). Every evening, they used to go out for an evening stroll. Perfectly inoffensive people. After 9/11, they went into hiding.

        Sort of like Jews in…umm, umm, help me out here, Mooser.

      • YoungMassJew
        June 22, 2012, 3:47 pm

        YoungMassJew likes this.

    • ColinWright
      June 24, 2012, 5:22 am

      ‘ The ad encourages Americans who have emigrated to Israel from the United States to work from Israel to counter the effects of voting by Americans who live here, Arab-Americans.”

      ‘And why is Harris worried about Muslim population estimates?
      It would mean that Muslims outnumber Jews in the U.S. and it would buttress calls for a redefinition of America’s heritage as ‘Judeo-Christian-Muslim,’ a stated goal of some Muslim leaders.” ‘

      I’m glad to hear they’re worried about this. Maybe the threat is authentic.

      And that ‘Judeo-Christian’ thing REALLY gets on my nerves. The irony is that the term started out as an inclusivist device to let Jews into the tent. To continue to talk about a ‘Christian’ heritage implicitly excluded them.

      Well, that’s fine, and I have no problem with that. Sentiment’s certainly in the right place. Who this side of the local Klavern could object?

      Now the term has been perverted. Everytime it is used, the effect — even if it is unconscious — is to EXCLUDE Muslims. It’s extremely irritating. Aside from everything else, Islam is at least as closely related to Christianity as Judaism is.

  33. YoungMassJew
    June 21, 2012, 3:57 pm

    The next time I’m in NYC to visit my highly educated, but lying uncle I will stop by Phil and/or Adam’s pad to prove who I am, that’s if they can keep my real name between themselves and I.
    -YMJ

    • Mooser
      June 22, 2012, 3:14 pm

      “The next time I’m in NYC to visit my highly educated, but lying uncle I will stop by Phil and/or Adam’s pad to prove who I am, that’s if they can keep my real name between themselves and I.”

      First of all, you won’t get past the doorman, and if you do, the Weiss’ Rottweilers will tear you to pieces. All Phil (or the Mrs.) has to do is point at the intruder and yell “kapo” and you’re kosher kibble before you know it.
      Besides, why can’t you get it through your head that nobody doubts your identity? You are a commenter at Mondoweiss with the user name “YoungMassJew”. You can deny it all you want, but we all know it’s true. And I’m sure all of us, myself included, are prepared to accept you on that basis. So what’s your complaint? If the moderators did not believe you are a commenter with the user name “YoungMassJew” they would have banned you.
      The only problem anyone has with you (well me, anyway) is your attempt to tell us about yourself. You should stick to topics on which you have some expertise, or personal experience, or at least decided opinions which you can express well.
      And I’m not completely sure, but I am pretty sure (and I’m sure pretty) you can even change your user name to something better, and connect the old user name comment archives with the new one.

      • YoungMassJew
        June 22, 2012, 11:24 pm

        THE ONLY REASON I WENT INTO MY LIFE’S STORY WAS BECAUSE NO ONE BELIEVES ME. BELIEVE ME, YOU THINK I WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY PSYCHIATRIC HISTORY TO STRANGERS?

      • Mooser
        June 23, 2012, 12:26 am

        “YOU THINK I WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY PSYCHIATRIC HISTORY TO STRANGERS?”

        I haven’t noticed anything about the Mondoweiss comment section which forces anyone to say anything they don’t want to say. Have you? If you have, report it to the site owners or moderators. I don’t think they will stand for that kind of coercion here!

      • Blake
        June 23, 2012, 4:28 am

        YoungMassJew: I think the only ones who would not believe you are the (delusional) zionist trolls who want to believe all Jews are a cohesive bunch and stick together backing zionism no matter what and shout “liar” at the drop of a hat. The rest of us believe you. Why would you need to lie.

      • Rusty Pipes
        June 23, 2012, 5:04 pm

        Please don’t yell. I have no idea whether Phil has read your comments; there are several moderators of the comment section because, as the site has grown, Phil and Adam weren’t able to keep up with the comment section as well as produce articles.

        I am not surprised to see other users on this blog cautious (to say the least)about the claims of another user they only know through the internet. Many websites, especially those brave enough to tackle I/P, have been undermined by a variety of trollish tactics. (I personally have had some very negative experiences on another blog with at least one user who had claimed to be an ally, with whom I had communicated by e-mail, who subsequently misrepresented my words and attempted to discredit me, if not get me banned from that site.) In a world of pseudonymity, it is prudent not to take comments about your identity (positive or negative) personally.

      • YoungMassJew
        June 23, 2012, 11:35 pm

        Moose, the only reason I did that was to show that it is relevant to me being able to be honest about Israel/Palestine issues because I’ve lived in a bubble for a long time and thus don’t have many connections with young Jews.

      • ColinWright
        June 24, 2012, 5:11 am

        ‘YoungMassJew: I think the only ones who would not believe you are the (delusional) zionist trolls who want to believe all Jews are a cohesive bunch and stick together backing zionism no matter what and shout “liar” at the drop of a hat…’

        As so often, this has a curious echo on the other side of the spectrum. Isn’t it the classic anti-semitic belief that ‘all Jews stick together’ and back their program no matter what? The Zionists demand that Jews conform to the stereotype.

  34. yourstruly
    June 21, 2012, 4:29 pm

    why is there so much attention on this thread to a possible backlash against israel firster endangerment of america, and so little on how to dangle those magical* two words before the public in ways that can both sour it on an iran war and awaken it to the realities of the i/p conflict?

    *magical, because those two words are a weapon that never fail to produce an alarm reaction in those at whom it is aimed

  35. German Lefty
    June 21, 2012, 5:14 pm

    Short definition: you are an Israel Firster if you believe it is acceptable to criticize US Presidents (whether Obama, Bush or any other) but believe that you must stand behind any and all Israeli policies and prime ministers.
    When I first heard the term “Israel Firster”, I didn’t really know what to do with it. That’s because I didn’t and still don’t understand how a person can put the interests of one country’s government over the interests of another country’s government. I, for example, am not loyal to any country or government. I am loyal to my principles. And I apply my principles to every country. I wouldn’t accept ethnic nationalism in Germany and I don’t accept it in any other country either. Anything other than that would be double standards. I want all nations to do well, not just my own.

    So, let’s use all the weapons in our arsenal.
    Please refrain from violent metaphors. You could say “available means” instead.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      June 21, 2012, 8:24 pm

      So Lefty, to fit your general principle of “I want all nations to do well”, an Israel Firster is one who puts Israel’s interest first and above the wellbeing of any other country – including the one he lives in.

      Look at the furious reaction of organized Jewry (and individual Jews) in Germany and other countries to the Grass poem. – Israel doesn’t want her nuclear weapons and the submarines we deliver (and partly pay for) publicly discussed. That’s their interest. – Those who attacked Grass put this interest above every other consideration. They were Israel Firsters.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      June 22, 2012, 2:17 pm

      @ German Lefty and Theo – on Jazz and Israel

      I don’t know where you are living – but here is the German schedule, the tour dates of The Gilad Atzmon and Frank Harrison Duo “The Road to Bob”:

      link to othersite.org

      They are in Frankfurt next Tuesday, 26. – Gilad is the author of ‘The wandering Who?” – the most fearless critic of Israel’s Judaism. The German edition came out a couple of days ago. But it’s not avaible right now. I don’t know why.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 3:32 pm

        “Gilad is the author of ‘The wandering Who?” – the most fearless critic of Israel’s Judaism.”

        link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com

        link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com

        Now if I remember correctly, Klaus, early on, you admitted how little you knew about Judaism. But now you feel qualified to call Atzmon “the most fearless critic of Israel’s Judaism”. Sure, Ho-kay. Why I can’t think of anyone more qualified to make a judgement like that.

        I’ll say one thing for Atzmon: No matter what his position on the issues are, he argues and reasonsjust like an Israeli.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        June 22, 2012, 8:05 pm

        I’m sorry Mooser, but my reply to you was cancelled. I honestly can’t figure out why. – Let me just reiterate my answer to your question why I called Atzmon “the most fearless critic of Israel’s Judaism”. That’s because, after reading his book, I got away with the impression that he doesn’t hedge his position. But I added: ‘You probably know better. No contest.’ – BTW, why
        do you use the expression “Ho-kay” instead of “okay”? Just for the hell of it?

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 8:27 pm

        “I’m sorry Mooser, but my reply to you was cancelled.”

        Klaus, did you receive an e-mail saying your comment would not be printed, or did your comment not appear (with the ‘to be moderated before appearing’ priviso)? If your comment didn’t appear, it might have been ‘dropped’ by the system, which does happen now and again, not often, but it does happen.

        “Ho-kay” is just a little reference to “The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N” by Leo Rosten, a fust-cless book, which you might enjoy. Then again, you might not.

      • Philip Weiss
        June 22, 2012, 9:02 pm

        you need to justify your love for that book. i just picked it up at my momma’s house and it was dated and squeamishmaking

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 9:20 pm

        “i just picked it up at my momma’s house and it was dated and squeamishmaking”

        How nice of you to validate my affection for the book like that! Thanks.

        But I don’t see why we can’t work out a deal. You just looked at “The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N” and found it “dated and sqeamishmaking” (what are you Phil, a “bright young thing” out of Evelyn Waugh?) and earlier today, I read the “About” page at Mondoweiss.
        I think we’re pretty much even.

      • YoungMassJew
        June 22, 2012, 11:30 pm

        The only thing I ask of you (no, I won’t stop by your house so don’t worry although I don’t bite anyway) is do you read my comments? All I need is a one word answer.

      • Mooser
        June 23, 2012, 12:36 am

        “I don’t bite anyway”

        But those Rottweilers do. It hardly seems like a fair fight.

      • YoungMassJew
        June 23, 2012, 1:43 am

        The only thing I ask of you (no, I won’t stop by your house so don’t worry, although, I don’t bite anyway) is do you read my comments, Mr. Weiss? All I need is a one word answer. Heck, if you answer me you may even get a donation. Hows that for an incentive?

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 23, 2012, 8:25 pm

        Hey, the book should be read as an allegorical treatment of the inherent conflict between Yiddish and English. That’s a timeless theme and just the kind of story Mooser likes, isn’t it? You know, Hero rebels against staid convention, Hero sticks by guns and wins applause and approval in the end, etc.

      • German Lefty
        June 22, 2012, 4:47 pm

        Look at the furious reaction of organized Jewry (and individual Jews) in Germany and other countries to the Grass poem.
        I know, I know. Just terrible. What these people don’t seem to understand is that actually it’s the current Israeli government that acts against the interests of Israel as a nation.

        I don’t know where you are living – but here is the German schedule, the tour dates of The Gilad Atzmon and Frank Harrison Duo “The Road to Bob”
        Nothing close to where I live. Wikipedia says that Gilad Atzmon is called an anti-Semite by his critics. This makes me wonder if being falsely labelled an anti-Semite by Zios could or should be considered a compliment.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        June 22, 2012, 8:27 pm

        Gilad Atzmon “falsely labelled an anti-Semite” – Lefty

        No, he isn’t falsely labelled. He calls himself a “proud self-hating Jew”, because he not only rejects Zionism but more or less Judaism altogether. That’s equivalent to anti-Semitism – of course not in a Nazi/racist sense.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 8:40 pm

        German Lefty, to get some opinions on why Atzmon is called an “anti-Semite”, click the links I offered, and those should lead you to more.
        Of course, if your definition of “anti-Semitic” does not include assigning the behavior of Jews to innate and essential differences between Jews and other people, you won’t agree.
        No matter what Gilad Atzmon’s views are, he pretty much argues like an Israeli. That’s one hell of a disability when you are trying to construct a prejudice-free argument.

        “Wikipedia says that Gilad Atzmon is called an anti-Semite by his critics”

        Well, sorta. What they are leaving out is that Gilad Atzmon is accused of anti-Semitism mostly by committed anti-Zionists. You see, classic anti-Semitic tropes do not become any less anti-Semitic because an Israeli or a Jew or former Jew (whatever) says them. Nor do anti-semitic tropes become acceptable when they are used to explain the bad behavior of Zionists.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        June 22, 2012, 11:17 pm

        -” Gilad Atzmon is accused of anti-Semitism mostly by committed anti-Zionists.” – Mooser
        ——————————-
        Yes, but these “commited anti-Zionists” hedge their opposition to Israel by making a strict distinction between Zionism and Judaism – Gilad doesn’t.
        ——————————-
        -“classic anti-Semitic tropes do not become any less anti-Semitic because an Israeli or a Jew or former Jew (whatever) says them. Nor do anti-semitic tropes become acceptable when they are used to explain the bad behavior of Zionists.” – That sounds arcane, but I know what you mean.

        You argue on the premise that “anti-Semitic tropes” are mean metaphors that can’t be empirically right or wrong. They are bad and wrong by defintion as “anti-semitic tropes”. – That’s a circular argument.

      • Mooser
        June 23, 2012, 12:45 am

        “but more or less Judaism altogether.”

        No, Gilad Atzmon pays what we might call “Zionised Judaism” (for lack of a better term?) the highest compliment he can, that of being a true representation of Judaism. He also gives it the very thing it demands, the idea that Judaism is inseparable from Zionism.

      • ColinWright
        June 23, 2012, 3:25 am

        Well, Zionists need to come up with a new word to describe someone who hates Jews anyway.

        They’ve effectively redefined ‘anti-semite’ to mean ‘someone critical of or opposed to the actions of Israel.’

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 23, 2012, 2:20 pm

        No, Gilad Atzmon pays what we might call “Zionised Judaism” (for lack of a better term?) the highest compliment he can, that of being a true representation of Judaism. He also gives it the very thing it demands, the idea that Judaism is inseparable from Zionism.

        Damn it, Mooser! You and your sixth-grade education. This whole comment is wrong. You interrupt my Saturday afternoon lounging in my easy chair listening to Don Giovanni and pursuing my study of the Punic Wars (what traditionally-bred Anglos do in retirement) to correct your misunderstandings about current affairs.

        Atzmon does not say that modern political Zionism is a representation of true Judaism. He says that Zionism (Israel) has corrupted and hijacked Judaism and the Jewish people. He attacks the ethnocentric tribalism of Diaspora Jewry, which he says has resulted in a widely-accepted, default political philosophy that he calls “Jewish-ness”, with the hyphen inserted to distinguish his term from conventional “Jewishness” – the mere state of being a Jew. He specifically says that he is not attacking Judaism, the actual religion. Rather, he is attacking the pseudo-religion, political Zionism, which after the Shoah gradually replaced Judaism as the organizing principle of Jewish identity among most (not all) Jews in the Western world, and which he suggests has catalyzed a specifically Jewish form of poisonous tribal identification – one bound inexorably to Israel. But IMO you are wrong to think that Atzmon believes that all this derives from some innate, egregious flaw in the nature of Jews and Jewish society. There are other explanations for his strong objections. (Here I’m sort of expecting Evildoer to jump to your aid.)

        I like your term “Zionized Judaism” because it appears to be the same concept Atzmon had in mind in coining his clumsy and unfortunate term “Jewish-ness”. Maybe you should suggest to Atzmon that he replace his term with yours.

      • German Lefty
        June 23, 2012, 2:47 pm

        @ Klaus:
        he not only rejects Zionism but more or less Judaism altogether. That’s equivalent to anti-Semitism
        How does the mere rejection of Judaism make one an anti-Semite? By that definition, all atheists, Christians, Muslims etc. would have to be labelled anti-Semitic, because they reject Judaism. As an atheist, I find all religions equally crappy, including Judaism.

        @ Mooser:
        if your definition of “anti-Semitic” does not include assigning the behavior of Jews to innate and essential differences between Jews and other people
        Actually, my definition of anti-Semitism is “thinking that Jews don’t deserve to be treated equally”. The reason for such an attitude doesn’t make a difference to me. An anti-Semite is everyone who thinks that Jews should get some kind of special treatment, no matter if it’s worse treatment or preferential treatment.
        In my opinion, people who think that Jews and non-Jews are essentially different aren’t necessarily anti-Semitic. As long as these people still manage to treat Jews equally, everything is fine. I don’t care if someone has prejudices against a group of people. What matters to me is that these prejudices don’t translate into unfair treatment.

        No matter what Gilad Atzmon’s views are, he pretty much argues like an Israeli.
        What do you mean by “arguing like an Israeli”? How do Israelis argue? Do all Israelis argue in the same way?

        @Colin:
        [Zionists] have effectively redefined ‘anti-semite’ to mean ‘someone critical of or opposed to the actions of Israel.’
        Sadly, that’s true. However, in the Zionist mind it’s not a redefinition. Zionists consider Israel a Jewish state that represents the Jewish people. Therefore, to them someone who hates the actions of the Israeli government must also automatically be a Jew-hater.

      • Newclench
        June 23, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Alternatively, anti-Zionists will deprive the Zionists of that little victory.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        June 23, 2012, 3:43 pm

        Mooser, I knew you can characterize Atzmon’s position better than I can, so again – no contest.

        But the weird thing in my view is the concept of a “self-hating Jew” and on top of that a “proud” one. This must have to do with the concept that being Jewish is the essential property of a person (unlike an accidental one in the Aristotelian sense – you remember that discussion?).

        This is unlike someone who says: ‘I used to be a communist, now I’m anti-communist.’. It would be absurd if he said: ‘I’m a proud self-hating communist now.’

      • Klaus Bloemker
        June 23, 2012, 4:12 pm

        Colin, what Mooser says is that Atzmon redefined Zionism/Israel as being inseparable, identical with Judaism. Therefore, rejection of Zionism/Israel is equivalent to rejection of Judaism. (But not necessaroliy of a person born and brought up as a Jew.)

      • Thomson Rutherford
        June 23, 2012, 7:05 pm

        Klaus writes: Colin, what Mooser says is that Atzmon redefined Zionism/Israel as being inseparable, identical with Judaism. Therefore, rejection of Zionism/Israel is equivalent to rejection of Judaism.

        This is a misreading of Atzmon, though perhaps not of Mooser. A correct reading would be: “Atzmon has written that present-day Zionists/Israel have redefined Judaism and political Zionism, for their own purposes, so that they are inseparable and practically identical.” Atzmon, being of an essentially conservative bent, has vehemently criticized these redefinitions and as far as I know has never indicated a willingness to accept them.

      • ColinWright
        June 24, 2012, 6:20 am

        “…Sadly, that’s true. However, in the Zionist mind it’s not a redefinition. Zionists consider Israel a Jewish state that represents the Jewish people…”

        They never seem to consider the interests of Jews outside of Israel at all — if anything, they seem to have sometimes worked to ensure Jews would be forced to emigrate to Israel.

        It’s all really quite mad. They should look around: a chunk of semi-desert that size can’t support ten million people.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        June 24, 2012, 8:34 am

        - “What Mooser says is that Atzmon redefined Zionism/Israel”

        I said that, but I don’t go along with Mooser’s interpretation of Atzmon.
        Atzmon points out that Israeli policies and that of her Jewish lobby are deeply rooted in biblical concepts of Judaism, for instance the Book of Ester. – There is no ‘redefinition’ as Mooser says.

        I say this as a layman of Judaism. I, of course, do not contest Mooser’s erudition and much deeper understanding of Judaism, Yiddish etc..

      • Klaus Bloemker
        June 24, 2012, 10:17 am

        - “they [Israel] seem to have sometimes worked to ensure Jews would be forced to emigrate to Israel.” – Colin

        Actually, Uri Avneri said something to this effect: Whenever there is an anti-Semitic incident somewhere, Israel raises hell – but they are also gloating and say to the Diaspora Jews: ‘Brothers, the gentiles inherently hate the Jews, that’s what we have been telling you all along, so brothers come to Isarel’s save haven.’ – Actually, that’s a merry-go-round.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        June 24, 2012, 12:18 pm

        It’s of course “safe” haven, not “save”. – Anyway, whatever the spelling – Israel wants to promote emigration/immigration of Jews – that’s the Zionist concept of ‘ingathering the Jews’.

      • Danaa
        June 24, 2012, 2:33 pm

        @ Mooser “He also gives it the very thing it demands, the idea that Judaism is inseparable from Zionism.”

        And I think that there are subtleties in Gilad’s position that some people just refuse to acknowledge. He doesn’t say simply that Judaism=zionism, but that zionism has been busy hijacking Judaism for lo so many years. This last one is a position I take as well. People think they can cordon off a safe haven around their understanding/interpretation of Judaism thereby building a firewall between religion/culture and the marauding golem of zionism. I have been saying for some time (and am far from original in that, surely) that this golem is so powerful, so greedy and so well-fed that the defenses of a religion built, fortified, revised and adapted over thousands of years may not be sufficient in the face of the onslaught.

        Yes, Atzmon at times “argues as an Israeli” but not because he bought into the equation (see above), and uses it as cudgel to smite the good anti-zionists (as much as they like to pretend this is what he is up to). The Israeliness simply allows him to see things more clearly than say, an American like Beinart does, or the committed anti-zionists of JSF and Tony Greenstein. He knows their fire-wall is not up to the task, and frankly, so do I, but Atzmon shouts it from the roof tops, and people just don’t want to listen. In that, I am always reminded of Troy and their faith in the walls of their mighty city. And I do think of Atzmon as a Cassandra (one of several around). Last I read, her admonitions did not exactly make her popular. But humans are like that – optimists to a fault.

        Also, I agree with TR – the term “Zionized Judaism” may be better than the more controversial “Jewish-ness”. Indeed, I can confirm that the version of Judaism learnt in the secular branch of schools in Israel is a thoroughly “zionized” version. That’s just the way it is. that’s how we studied the bible – not as religion, but as history of a complex – meaning superior (in code) – culture (while glossing over the credulity stretching aspects as ‘quaint” decorations appropriate for the times. It’s the overall message that was emphasized – and choseness was part of it – chiselled into us with a 1000 pound bludgeon). We were made to study the talmud (not for two long) really as an example of the intellectual superiority of the art of argumentation. So the subject matter did not matter as much as the delivery – again – the Talmud was presented as battlefield for great intellects – who cares what the battles were about, right? The expression “Zionized Judaism” means something to me, even if it doesn’t mean the same thing to others who did not experience that brand of Judaism, and so can’t process that what we were subjected to is the biblicalized teachings of a cult, where people like Esther and Yehuda Ha Maccabi were worshipped, and people like Buber were hardly mentioned (and most selectively, if that).

        This, BTW, is just a note in passing. I totally don’t mean to pour fire on yet another Atzmon debate. Certainly not on this thread (which has generated some really good comments from which I wouldn’t want to detract). But it is interesting how the topic keeps coming up – like it’s always lurking. Goes to show you Atzmon is on people’s minds for better or for worse.

    • ColinWright
      June 24, 2012, 5:51 am

      “…I, for example, am not loyal to any country or government. I am loyal to my principles. And I apply my principles to every country. I wouldn’t accept ethnic nationalism in Germany and I don’t accept it in any other country either…”

      Well, ‘ethnic’ nationalism here in the United States has been a pretty hopeless concept since at least the ‘Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion’ election of 1884 or whenever. Nationalism, though, remains a fine, respected concept.

      I have no problem accepting that I am loyal to the United States, and I doubt if I could bring myself to put any other country’s interests first except to the extent that it could be done without jeopardizing our own. I regret that I can no longer say that I am especially proud of my country, but I used to be, and I’d be happy to be so again.

      Moreover, to at least some extent, I think your professed position is self-deception. Inevitably, when you see yourself as being ‘universalist’ you’re simply seeking to impose your own values on someone else. After all, no doubt by the time you got through helping Afghanistan to your complete satisfaction it would — surprise, surprise — look a lot more like Germany than it does now. I assume purdah, universal religious piety, and death by stoning would have to go, for starters.

      This is actually a mistake we Americans make a lot. At our best, we genuinely want to help others to become happy. The problem being that we just can’t wrap our heads around the concept that what makes us happy might not make others happy. Hence our incredibly ham-fisted attempts to export democracy and free-enterprise capitalism. The (almost invariably unwilling) recipients usually manage to tactfully rearrange things to their own taste — with varying success.

      • German Lefty
        June 24, 2012, 2:36 pm

        @Colin:

        I have no problem accepting that I am loyal to the United States, and I doubt if I could bring myself to put any other country’s interests first except to the extent that it could be done without jeopardizing our own.
        How do you define loyalty to a country? Approving of absolutely everything a country does? Having a country’s best interests at heart? Let’s say that the USA needs more land for its people and therefore wants to conquer Canada and extinguish the Canadian people. This would be in the interest of the USA, but not in the interest of Canada. If you are loyal to the USA and put the USA’s interests first, then you must approve of this conquest. I, however, am not loyal to my country. That’s why I would look at such a situation objectively and see the injustice.

        when you see yourself as being ‘universalist’ you’re simply seeking to impose your own values on someone else. After all, no doubt by the time you got through helping Afghanistan to your complete satisfaction it would — surprise, surprise — look a lot more like Germany than it does now.
        No, no. You misunderstood me. Or maybe I didn’t express myself properly. When I say that I apply my principles to every country, then this solely refers to JUDGING my own and other countries. However, I don’t want to actually IMPOSE my values on other nations – with the exception of respecting basic human rights. I categorically reject military intervention/action. When a country commits human rights violations, then there should be some kind of non-military intervention, e.g. a boycott.

        This is actually a mistake we Americans make a lot. At our best, we genuinely want to help others to become happy.
        I don’t think that the USA interferes in other countries’ affairs for altruistic reasons. The USA just likes to play the boss or schoolmaster. And when someone negatively criticises the USA, the reply is: “How dare you bash us? We HELP other countries.”

  36. mhuizenga
    June 21, 2012, 6:55 pm

    I think my post will validate a lot of what Mr. Rosenberg asserts here, and I hope it will provide some insight into an average, but informed, person’s view of this issue. This morning my newsfeed helpfully placed this article next to a Washington Free Beacon article. The WFB article recaps an AEI study which laments the fact that more than half of American families are receiving government benefits and then cautions that “We can’t expect voters to vote for restraint.” Most infuriatingly, it goes on to say that “Health programs worsen the situation. People look to doctors to save them from finitude… They prefer to ignore death and the prices for their actions. Overall, Americans are giving up the degree of self-discipline they used to show.”

    Give me a break. I used to be a reasonably conservative middle class person who believed in hard work, savings, etc. There’s nothing to save, wages are stagnant, and the near zero percent interest rates only help the people who already own everything. Then they top it off with a scolding about wanting to be saved from “finitude” just because we would like decent healthcare like the rest of the civilized world. I about blew my top.

    Next up was a Commentary article suggesting that the public need not be informed or involved in any discussion about Israel because “The pivotal audience for the administration’s spats with Israel is not the American people…It is the Palestinians who have drawn the wrong conclusions from Obama’s determination, as was often expressed at the beginning of his administration, to change everything George W. Bush did, especially his closeness with Israel.”

    Sorry, but that’s not my main concern as an American. I still have a civic right/duty to discuss my country’s foreign policy. The point is that all of these organizations (WFB, AEI, Commentary) have very hawkish views on Iran, and, to a great extent, are very pro Israel. If these same organizations then demand austerity from the American people and the muzzling of public debate about middle east/Israeli policy, average people are going to feel put upon. Less than average people might feel outright hostility. This is what the author is trying to avoid when he makes his arguments about using the term “Israel Firster,” and I agree with him.

    I don’t post much here because I have very little insight to offer next to the contributors and regular commenters, but I do read a lot about these issues and have tried to make it a point to understand all sides. My very visceral reaction to these 3 stories today is rare, but it seemed to confirm so much of what’s in this article that I decided to post this now, long winded, comment. While I’m glad that this site exists, I must admit I feel powerless to stop anything my gov does, so dwelling on the issues tends to mire me down. As one of the less than half of American families who do not receive benefits, I have to pick my battles, the main ones being to put food on the table and keep from getting sick (hard to do after reading these articles) in a society where that misfortune can cost you your life savings, if not your life. I do appreciate the discussion though and am grateful for the brave souls here who bring these issues to light to people like me.

    • Taxi
      June 22, 2012, 10:57 am

      Cool to hear what you gotta say, Mhuizenga. Hope you post again.

      • mhuizenga
        June 22, 2012, 6:07 pm

        Thanks. The issues on this blog are touchy, and you need a thick skin to post. Ignorance isn’t tolerated either. There’s a lot to know about this subject, and if you talk out your arse, you’ll hear about it in the replies. I simply don’t know enough most of the time to post anything intelligent.

        There’s also a lot of wit, and overly earnest and nervous writing (like mine) can be fodder for the irony patrol. All this said, and maybe because of these reasons, mondoweiss is still the best place on the web to discuss Israel/Palestine-if you have the guts and wherewithal.

      • Keith
        June 22, 2012, 7:59 pm

        MHUIZENGA- “The issues on this blog are touchy, and you need a thick skin to post. Ignorance isn’t tolerated either.”

        By coincidence I recently made a comment on another thread expressing my opinion that Mondoweiss commenters were, on average, a somewhat elite group, at least based upon education. I am not referring to elitism, rather, simply that overall our perspective does not fully reflect the ideas and attitudes of those lacking our opportunities. I further mentioned that sometimes the comments get a little rough, and that folks not accustomed to this type of environment can be intimated and not participate. While I think that overall the comments section of Mondoweiss is first rate, I also feel that it can be even better if more participate providing an even broader perspective. I join with Taxi in encouraging you to continue commenting. And don’t get too discouraged if things get a little heated. Nothing like a few insults to enliven the conversation. Hang in there.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 8:53 pm

        “Mondoweiss commenters were, on average, a somewhat elite group, at least based upon education.”

        They’re probably better-educated than you think. My sixth-grade education probably drags down the average.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 9:06 pm

        “Hang in there.”

        That’s right! Don’t be discouraged! They even let me comment, and what does that tell you? Even anti-Zionists can comment here!

      • Danaa
        June 22, 2012, 9:30 pm

        Sorry, Mooser, we who don’t know you are on to you…..thou protests too much, perchance?

      • Mooser
        June 23, 2012, 12:15 am

        “…..thou protests too much, perchance?”

        I protested, my parents protested we all kvetched and cavailed, but they still expelled me. And then my father was arrested for debt, and I had to go to work in a blacking factory. Which, I’ll have you know, is worse than a whiting fishery. Of course, I worked in the whiting fishery, too. My job was to go filter the fish.
        Okay, “go filter the fish” as a pun on “gefilte fish”, now do you believe me about the truncated education? Puns like that you don’t get from Harvard. It beets anything they’ve got.

      • Taxi
        June 23, 2012, 12:48 am

        mhuizenga,

        You don’t need to know the a-z of the conflict to determine that zionism is immoral.

      • American
        June 23, 2012, 1:20 am

        I second Taxi…keep posting.

    • Mooser
      June 22, 2012, 2:31 pm

      “As one of the less than half of American families who do not receive benefits”

      Must be tough, building your own freeways, and inspecting your own food. But gosh darn it, it’s better than getting those awful government benefits. And I’m sorry you have less than half a family.

      • mhuizenga
        June 22, 2012, 3:10 pm

        Ok, the grammar is atrocious at the end, but I have no idea why the quote was picked out of context to imply a position I didn’t really intend to take. Bad writing on my part I suppose. I need to work on my writing when mad skills.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 3:35 pm

        “an AEI study which laments the fact that more than half of American families are receiving government benefits”

        Well, all I can say is, thank God no corporation or business has ever stooped to that level!

      • mhuizenga
        June 22, 2012, 4:47 pm

        Exactly.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      June 23, 2012, 1:08 pm

      mhuizenga says: Sorry, but that’s not my main concern as an American. I still have a civic right/duty to discuss my country’s foreign policy.

      You’ve come to the right place.

  37. Mooser
    June 22, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Okay, I just went over the “about” page with a fine-tooth comb (and since I’m almost bald, I’ll never part with it!) and I really wish that people on both three sides of the issue would get it through their head: MONDOWEISS IS NOT, NOT, NOT AN ‘ANTI-ZIONIST’ WEBSITE!! (so that’s what that feels like. Wow, it’s sort of a rush)
    Yes, the about page is filled with weasel words like “progressive Jewish Community” and “alternative” but at no time does it call itself “anti-Zionist”.

    You want an “anti-Zionist” website, try Jewes Sans Frontieres. It says “anti-Zionist” right at the top of the page.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      June 23, 2012, 11:33 am

      … I really wish that people on both three sides of the issue would get it through their head: MONDOWEISS IS NOT, NOT, NOT AN ‘ANTI-ZIONIST’ WEBSITE!!

      Pardon, Mooser, but what outrage induced this charge? Certainly, the clear fact that a majority of regular commenters here are self-proclaimed anti-Zionists does not define the site itself as being anti-Zionist. That is the role, as you say, of the About Page, and it clearly refrains from that. So what is the solution? Should we allocate a certain portion of our comments to praise for Zionism? Should we receive the Zionists and Hasbaraists more cordially.

      I await your guidance. Does all this have something to do with Atzmon and those of us who regard him as a prophet* or seer of sorts? Edify me.

      *There is obviously a bit of jest here because I regard myself as the only true prophet. I just don’t have the guts for it and I’m lazy.

  38. Mooser
    June 22, 2012, 3:38 pm

    Klaus, here’s another article about Atzmon which will give you much joy.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      June 23, 2012, 4:53 pm

      Mooser, in the article you cited (SocialistUnity.com, Jan 2008), Tony Greenstein, an Atzmon-hater, wrote a polemic attempting a total smear job on Atzmon. One of his statements jumped out at me, as being particularly relevant to much of the vociferous opposition to Atzmon’s ideas. Greenstein paraphrases Atzmon as follows:

      Instead of seeing the Israeli state as an outpost of US imperialism, he reverses the relationship. ‘it looks as if Zionist lobbies control American foreign politics. After so many years of independence, the United States of America is becoming a remote colony of an apparently far greater state, the Jewish state.’

      Atzmon “reverses the [true] relationship”! Greenstein, evidently a disciple of Chomsky, regards Israel, the Jewish state, as merely an “outpost of US imperialism.” In Atzmon’s view (and mine), Zionist lobbies control American foreign policies and the U.S. has effectively become a colony of a politically more powerful Zionist state and its agents in America.

      This difference of opinion lies at the heart of many exchanges that I (and Jeffrey Blankfort, for example) have had here at MW with Keith, Max Ajl, VR (v..), and many other acolytes of Chomsky. The basic agreement between me and Atzmon in this specific argument is the main reason why I defend him so strenuously.

  39. Kathleen
    June 23, 2012, 7:40 pm

    Not sure where I heard the term “Israel firster” Think it was about 20 years ago during one of our then Appalachian Peace and Justice members meeting with one of our Ohio Reps about the issue. We had all decided and gone over every question/comment that we would be presenting to the Ohio Rep (will not say their name) about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. One of the members used the term which adequately describes supporting Israel no matter how many Un resolutions or international laws that they are in violation of. Or how their actions undermined U.S. national security…..Israel comes first no matter what. Boxer, Lantos, Ros Lehtinen, Kerry, Feingold, so many of our Reps roll over and support Israel over protecting U.S. National security. The list of so called liberals in congress who have folded over on this issue for decades is long. Israel firster describes this illogical and dangerous phenonmena quite well glad you will continue to use it MJ.

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