Did you see the location for the presidential debate on foreign policy? Help!

Boca Raton. Let the Presidential Panderfest go wild!  It’s the last debate, October 22, in the hotbed of the Israel lobby. I wonder if they’ll spend any time making the case for absolute support of Israel…

Did I say hotbed?! Was that anti-Semitic? Don’t take it from me, take it from Jeffrey Goldberg:

Jewish leaders who considered [Olmert] hopelessly spongy — and very nearly traitorous — on an issue they believed to be of cosmological importance: the sanctity of a “united” Jerusalem, under the sole sovereignty of Israel…  live in Chicago and New York and behind the gates of Boca Raton country clubs,

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. seanmcbride says:

    And Jeffrey Goldberg — one of the most ethnocentric pundits on the American scene — went apoplectic and apocalyptic when Walt and Mearsheimer dared to mention the Israel lobby. Zionists tend to be highly irrational and self-contradictory people — behavior typical of victims of cult programming. They don’t even try to make sense. They don’t know what sense is.

    • marc b. says:

      Zionists tend to be highly irrational and self-contradictory people

      in other words, frozen in adolescence.

    • Tex Tradd says:

      Jeffrey Goldberg has his antenna too finely tuned to anti-semitic frequencies, but his NYTimes piece is the work of a serious analyst. He should get credit for exploring and musing on the attitudes of various Zionists the way that he does. He is gently but firmly bringing ideas into circulation that challenge the Likudnik ethos. True, he can morph into a tribalist ideologue when he senses certain boundaries are crossed, leading him into embarrassing screeds against Andrew Sullivan, Maureen Dowd, and who knows who else. All of us have our ideological tripwires and passionate complexes though, perhaps tribal, perhaps religious, perhaps something else: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

      I am not meaning to cut him too much slack. The accusation of anti-semitism is a very serious business. It is irresponsible of Goldberg, an educated man who is quite aware of the complexity of the world and who should know better before hurling such accusations unfairly.

      Still, Goldberg should get more credit from Mondoweiss posters for his writings that challenge Zionism from within. He does not live in a black and white universe. He drew complex and nuanced portraits of the Palestinians he encountered. He is trying in his own flawed way to save Zionism from it’s worst excesses. He represents a deeply problematic side of liberal Zionism which tries to stop harsh critics from being able to keep their day jobs. Yet I trust his judgment on how to get to a viable two state solution far more than I do those anti-Zionist BDS activists rightly called out by Norman Finkelstein for desiring Israel to not exist at all.

      • Tex Tradd says:

        “He represents a deeply problematic side of liberal Zionism which tries to stop harsh critics from being able to keep their day jobs”

        This is poorly worded. I meant to say, his labeling of critics as anti-semites might potentially have the effect of people losing writing jobs as a journalist, but I don’t want to accuse him of trying to get people fired. I don’t think that is what he tries to do.

        • Boston says:

          Wow. You do not understand elite Zionist Jews at all. Of course he is hoping to ruin the careers of those who “talk-back”. These are a buncf of insecure, extremely petty and vindictive (for the most part) males.

      • manfromatlan says:

        If Israel should ever “not exist at all” then it will be the fault of those Zionists who first stopped the two-state solution then now are trying to hold back the tides of the only option remaining, one state.

        And if Goldberg ever tried to “save Zionism from its worst excesses” then that was far more nuanced than ordinary mortals could understand.

  2. Citizen says:

    I see the format will be the same as the first debate (on domestic policy) on Oct 3, where Jim Lehrer, the moderator, apparently selects the topics, but in the Oct 22 debate on foreign policy, Bob Schieffer (CBS) is the moderator –nothing says he selects the topics, so who will?

    Maybe the Oct 16 debate in town hall format, which covers both domestic and foreign policy, and consists of Q & A by citizens, will be more revealing? Wonder how the audience of questioners will be screened.

    • Kathleen says:

      And during the last run up to the Presidential election CBS’s Bob Schieffer allowed Hillary Clinton, Obama and McCain repeat unsubstantiated, inflammatory and very dangerous comments about Iran. He has allowed the attack Iran stage to be pre-emptively set up on his news program like so many of the other MSM host of news programs.

      Bob Schiefer never challenges these often repeated and unsubstantiated claims about Iran. Never.

  3. YoungMassJew says:

    O gawd. That is all.

  4. calm says:

    Make no mistake …. Obama has already been chosen by the establishment to win the presidency but not the control of Congress.

    The establishment knows full well that if Obama was to lose, that is the exact day that the Occupy Movement becomes whole and complete because the visible minorities will begin to feverishly participate. At the moment, the minority population is keeping their powder dry because of not wanting to destroy the first black presidency.

    Calm

  5. ColinWright says:

    calm says: “…The establishment knows full well that if Obama was to lose, that is the exact day that the Occupy Movement becomes whole and complete because the visible minorities will begin to feverishly participate…”

    Not that again. Living in the Bay Area, I suppose you could say I’m at one of the ‘ground zeroes’ of that movement. We actually had some ‘Occupy’ group move into a vacant house down the block. Apparently, they were distressed at how nothing happened, because after a while, they started leafleting all the neighbors with material to the effect of ‘we’re here — live with it.’

    So eventually somebody complained, and the cops showed up and booted them out. Wow — six cop cars. Pretty much the news highlight of the year for the Richmond Annex.

    Nobody cares. Certainly no one I know. It’s a lot of self-referential leftist children playing their silly-ass games that let them throw things.

    …and nobody will care, because the people involved in this are totally out of touch with — dare I say it — the 99%. You know, the ninety nine out of every hundred Americans who don’t care about what you’re doing if they even notice you at all.

    • Theo says:

      Living in Europe I can only judge the OM by the many videos I have seen, however to me they are nothing, but childish pranks, without any real aim or organisation.
      Similar to college panty parties, let´s have fun.
      I know large demonstrations are not common in the USA, therefore they should organize and watch many videos how it is done in Greece, France, Italy, Spain, etc.
      Not a few thousands, but many hundreds of thousands must march before they can achieve anything. Such crowds are very difficult to ignore and the policy thinks twice before they get real brutal.

      • calm says:

        Has anybody seen Romney speaking (or even being invited) to a christian church during this election cycle? Do people actually believe that the Republican choice of a Mormon candidate was because the establishment is unaware that most christians views Mormonism as a cult much like Scientology? Do people actually believe that this was just a slignt oversight by the establishment?

        The fix is already in for Obama to win, because he is the only person who can sell the loss of the American Dream and call it ” Fairness”.

        The Republican Party realizes that as the economy worsens, Christians will be asking what is fair and “What would Jesus do?”. (Not about social issues such as abortion, etc.) Thus the Republicans have chosen to deliberately abandon the christian mantra and to rebrand themselves as the “Law and Order” party for future electoral battles. (The Occupy Movement will be named as “Terrorists”.)

        Obama is going to be “Allowed” to win and which gives the Republican Party ample time to rebrand themselves and for the establishment to introduce all the necessary “Anti-Terror” legislation required for the battles on the horizon.

        The press would have us all believe that the Occupy Movement is a spent force, and that Occupy is a group of people without cause or a sense of direction. If that were true, then why was such brutal state force used against them in order to quell the outrage?

        Make no mistake, the Occupy Movement is the largest threat to face the Ruling Class in the past 60 years or more.

        Calm

        • ColinWright says:

          calm says: “…The press would have us all believe that the Occupy Movement is a spent force…’

          The ‘Occupy’ movement never had any force. The media engaged in some concerted wishful thinking and pumped up a few rather small demonstrations into significant events — but they weren’t.

          “…Make no mistake, the Occupy Movement is the largest threat to face the Ruling Class in the past 60 years or more…”

          If so, then the ruling class is safe as houses.

        • piotr says:

          Jewish population in USA in general, and Florida in particular is not a homogenous mass. Not all are rich, and most are at least somewhat liberal, which usually implies that for them Netanyahu is a jerk, and they write comments to that effect in ynetnews or jpost.

          That said, I must confess something about me learning idioms of English as the second language. For many, many years I did not see the phrase “see no daylight between”. Then I did see it in the description of a chubby girl (what you see or not see between her tights). Right afterwards everybody and his brother (an English idiom I have learned earlier) applies this phrase to USA and Israel.

        • ColinWright says:

          piotr says: ‘Jewish population in USA in general, and Florida in particular is not a homogenous mass. ‘

          There’s the understatement of the century. I’ve never seen so many people with so little in common with each other as in Florida.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “most are at least somewhat liberal, which usually implies that for them Netanyahu is a jerk, and they write comments to that effect in ynetnews or jpost.”

          Most are liberal on issues other than Palestine. Most are reactionaries when it comes to Palestine.

        • piotr says:

          There are many widely shared beliefs in Florida, like that it is worth to pay extra for your dwelling to have a chance that your window will be hit by a golf ball. Satellite pictures do not make it clear if Boca Ratonians live “behind gates”, but clearly residential areas are well defended by ponds, ditches, sand traps etc. But within those country club communities you have hoi polloi in townhouses that start at 300k and multi-million dollar dwellings.

        • Theo says:

          Not to forget an army of alligators and lately, new arrivals of tiger pythons from Asia, that can grow to be 12 feet long and are very hungry.
          A place to visit, but not to live.

        • Theo says:

          piotr

          Have you ever heard : once in a blue moon?
          Figure the meaning of it.

  6. Will this be the year that it will be required of the American President to recite the pledge of allegiance to Israel?

    It couldn’t happen in a more appropriate place, Boca!
    Lets name the Debate in Boca, Hatikva in Boca!

    Let’s see which of the two contenders for the office of biggest tool of the state steps up to the plate and hits it out of the ballpark.

    Or will this be the year that American Jewry awakens from their slumber and have a road to damascus moment and the scales might fall off their eyes.

    Shouldn’t Americans be thoroughly embarrassed by the entire scene of having to see their president groveling to the influence of an obviously foreign lobby.

    no shame!

  7. ColinWright says:

    Assuming the audience is more or less assembled from locals who volunteer — why was Obama dumb enough to agree to this?

    Edit: not as bad as all that. ‘The majority of tickets are distributed to host university students and faculty through a lottery system.’

    So at least we’re spared the spectre of a thousand Sheldon Adelsons booing and clapping.

  8. eGuard says:

    Boca Raton is where Romney said “47%”.

  9. hophmi says:

    Boca Raton is the hotbed of the Israel Lobby?

    Ok, then. So, pretty much anywhere there are a lot of Jews is the hotbed of the Israel Lobby, right Phil?

    • Ellen says:

      No hophmi, much of the money flowing into the lobby comes from boca and that region. Many lobby activist live in and around Boca. Spend time in Boca, go through the annual reporting, and you will see the pattern that it is indeed a major hive of activity for the Israel project in the USA.

      Once again and as so often, you are projecting.

      • hophmi says:

        Ah, Boca and that region. Thanks for the specific answer.

        “Major hive of activity for the Israel project in the USA”

        Do you mean that many Americans there choose to support strong US-Israel relations by giving donations to political groups of their choice?

        • eGuard says:

          More precise, hophmi: in Boca Raton they pay $50,000 a plate to hear Romney say: the Palestinians have no interest [...] in peace.

        • ColinWright says:

          hophmi says: “…Do you mean that many Americans there choose to support strong US-Israel relations by giving donations to political groups of their choice?”

          You almost manage to make it sound like supporting Israel is a morally defensible thing to do. If ‘the political group of my choice’ is a society dedicated to repealing laws against child molestation, then what I am doing may or may not be legal — but it’s certainly not right.

      • chinese box says:

        I don’t think hophmi was really objecting to the Boca reference per se, more so the idea that there’s a powerful lobby, rather than a loosely organized group of concerned citizens. Any suggestion that donating money to Israel PACs might be slightly less innocuous than say, supporting shelters for abused kittens, is deeply offensive to him.

  10. Kathleen says:

    We should place some bets on how often they will say
    1. Israel is our closest ally
    2. Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map
    3. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

    What we will not hear them say.

    The settlements are illegal and a persistent problem blocking movement forward
    Iran has the right to enrich uranium up to 20% for peaceful purposes
    Israel should sign the Non Proliferation treaty just like Iran did years ago

    Anyone hear Mona Altawany on Chris Hayes Sunday morning. Great program. The spray painting event made it on. The news that the rest of the MSNBC talking heads will not touch

    • ColinWright says:

      Kathleen says: “We should place some bets on how often they will say
      1. Israel is our closest ally
      2. Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map
      3. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel…”

      It’s kind of interesting to reverse all those. One comes up with statements that at least could be true — and are a lot truer than the originals.

      1. Iran is our closest ally. Well, they could be an ally — if hopefully not our closest one. They would have been entirely willing to cooperate with us in deposing Saddam Hussein. In fact, there’s some evidence they manipulated us into doing just that. They certainly offered to help us depose the Taliban. They have never been at all interested in working with al Qaeda (although that doesn’t stop the nutters from making accusations to that effect). Compare and contrast with Israel, which has a long and distinguished record of not doing anything for us, not being able to do anything for us, and not being interested in doing anything for us.

      2. Israel wants to wipe Iran off the map. It is Israel that has the ability to wipe Iran off the map and makes perfectly creditable threats to attack her — not the reverse. It is Israel that conducts assassinations inside of Iran — not the reverse. It is Israel that carries out acts of cyber-espionage inside of Iran — not the reverse.

      3. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Pretty much self-evident. Palestine is the name of the region, and Jerusalem is traditionally the leading city in it.

  11. sandhillexit says:

    This debate should be at Quantico or West Point so that the audience has at least some sense of the true cost of the last eleven years. The military families should demand that it is moved.

    By the way, if you haven’t listened to Sen Webb’s speech this weekend you should. It is a variant on the Clinton speech from the convention, that you do not have to worship at the Obama shrine, you do to have to put his picture behind the bar, to think he has a better plan for the country. This speech will play very well in western PA, NC, Florida Panhandle and southern Ohio. I would say that Sen. Webb is one of those guys whose political career has mysteriously not thrived, but he is beloved and would win in a fairer fight.

    For some reason it is hard to find….here is a link to a clear, complete version

    • Citizen says:

      Webb sees that African Americans and white poor and barely-able working class whites face the same enemy. He also sees Israel Firsters as operating in the interest of a foreign government. No wonder he is a lame duck. It’s a challenge to get this dual message to Dick and Jane. He’s one of the very few who is not a chicken hawk. Obama has never served in the military, and neither has Mitten or his five sons. Will Americans see this? I doubt it.
      Who could be more different than Goy combat soldier & family Webb versus Zionist Bill Krystol or Krauthammer et al?

      • seanmcbride says:

        Citizen,

        You raise an interesting point: not only is the Israel lobby firmly associated with a foreign nation and a single small ethnic group, but is also tightly tied to a plutocratic class of billionaires and hectomillionaires — and an often rather corrupt plutocratic class at that.

  12. pabelmont says:

    Folks, read: “Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous than Others”, James Gilligan, a psychiatrist at New York University. On the whole, he suggests, Republicans appeal to voters trained to be motivated by HONOR, SHAME, and HUMILIATION (which lead the fringes to murder, suicide and lead the party and governments to war and to cutting-back on human services of all kinds).

    Interesting theory. Interesting fact: big rise in murder and suicide in USA during Republican administrations, he says. Does all of this explain American attitudes toward Zionism, toward Israel? Jewish attitudes?

    Beats me.

    • Inanna says:

      I remember reading a long time ago about the psychology of political support – those who support conservatives have daddy issues and those who support leftists have mommy issues. I wonder what happens if you have both mommy and daddy issues?

  13. ColinWright says:

    pabelmont says: “Folks, read: “Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous than Others”, James Gilligan, a psychiatrist at New York University. On the whole, he suggests, Republicans appeal to voters trained to be motivated by HONOR, SHAME, and HUMILIATION (which lead the fringes to murder, suicide and lead the party and governments to war and to cutting-back on human services of all kinds). ..”

    I have a distaste for that sort of thing. It’s ‘Doctor Blah Blah lets us think our opponents really are bestial vermin.’

    It’s an old routine. Obviously, capable of varied uses.