In ‘The Nation,’ Birnbaum says Netanyahu has exposed Jews to dual loyalty charge (and Dennis Ross is an Israeli agent)

Israel/Palestine
on 84 Comments

There has been more pushback against Netanyahu from Jewish Democrats. Barney Frank and Henry Waxman are appalled by his intervention in our political process.

Netanyahu’s error was exposing American Jews to a dual loyalty charge. American Jews don’t want that suspicion; but Netanyahu’s appeals to Jewish voters created it.

There is a fascinating piece up at The Nation in which Norman Birnbaum, sociologist and Georgetown University prof emeritus, accuses Netanyahu of recklessness in exposing American Jews to such charges. Birnbaum lays out the basis for the concern: Zionism is a transnational ideology, dependent on a foreign power, and therefore on Diaspora Jews. And though Birnbaum is obviously troubled by the Israel lobby’s role in U.S. politics, he chooses his words carefully, as if people are about to be accused. He says the lobby is hardly representative of American Jewry; it calls on the most “ethnocentric” of Jews. He says that Protestants are a “pillar” of the lobby, but also that Protestants are about to walk away. 

The exciting bits are at the end of my excerpts. First, Birnbaum’s biopsy of American Jewish attitudes:


Unconditional support for Israel among American Jews is a substitute for the faith of our fathers. Generally, that support is strongest among those who live in a predominantly Jewish milieu. Those who are out and about in American society tend to have more differentiated views….

That debate has moved from the margins to near the center of American Jewish consciousness. The fervid supporters of Israel continue to embarrass the rest of us, as in the attempt to ban criticism of Israel in our colleges and universities as ipso facto “anti-Semitic.” Opinion polling, and every other sort of inquiry, suggest that a majority of American Jews are so rooted in this country that Israel’s fate does not determine or dominate their entire being, including their politics….

Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, among others, have certainly bought attention by throwing their money around, but no amount of money can erase the grossness of their ethnocentrism…

Groups and individuals espousing critical views of Israel’s policies have always been part of the American Jewish landscape. In Israel’s early years, the American Jewish Committee and any number of publicists, rabbis and scholars insisted that their primary loyalty was to the United States, and they warned the Israelis not to seek total support from American Jewry or to interfere in American affairs. At present, J Street is the most audible of American Jewish groups critical of Israel’s policies, but it limps behind events. It espouses a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, a solution that is blocked by Jewish settlements. Indeed, few in the Jewish community are prepared to acknowledge the obvious: Unless some hundreds of thousands of Jewish inhabitants of Palestine move back to Israel, the two peoples, Arab and Jewish, will remain joined—but not forever. 

….Even some of the more critical American Jewish supporters of Israel are reluctant to examine these problematic aspects of Israel’s future.

…The leaders of the American Jewish organizations understand American public life as a system of group bargaining. What will they do when more and more of their gentile interlocutors (a movement already well advanced in some of the mainline Protestant churches) declare that American values require criticism of Israel? No amount of funding of not exceptionally gifted legislators (think of Senators Jon Kyl and Mark Kirk) can replace dealing with fundamental conflicts of political value. ….

Uncritical support for Israel among the more ethnocentric segments of the Jewish community and among the most culturally closed groups in gentile America is no compensation for the increasing readiness of much of American Protestantism to take its distance. 

Now here’s his analysis of how Netanyahu has exposed the Jewish community in ways that it will find extremely uncomfortable. He’s too careful here; but he knows that Americans who have had their careers destroyed for criticizing Israel are angry about it, and he believes they might have the last word. Note his acknowledgment that the Israel lobby has been guilty of dual loyalty, and his warning to Jews about avoiding that trap. “It ill becomes us to devalue [our contributions to American life] by assigning priority to agreement with Israel’s agenda, formed in a society not ours.”

Netanyahu’s exceedingly undiplomatic diplomacy will strengthen those in the [U.S.] permanent government [he means gentiles, mostly] who have long been angered by the supporters of Israel. Some have paid for their dissent from total alignment of US policy with that of Israel with difficulties in their careers. Those who have chosen discretion are not, on that account, devoid of resentment. The historically reflective among them argue that a general re-evaluation of our policy in the Middle East cannot be effective without a serious reconsideration of the alliance. They favor not its termination but the gradual development of distance. That would require refusing Israel a free hand in the occupied territories. The supporters of Israel themselves, in their frenetic demand that there be “no daylight” between US and Israeli policies, seem to think the possibility of alteration real enough….

The retirement of Dennis Ross, who served as Middle East adviser under several presidents, Democratic and Republican, is evidence for the loss of influence of the more egregious of Israel’s American agents. Netanyahu appears to have ignored the significance of his departure. It was tactless of Netanyahu to use Romney’s visit to Israel to ask—yet again—for the release of Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of espionage in 1987 and sentenced to life in prison for passing secrets to Israel while serving as a US intelligence analyst. ..

By raising the matter of Pollard, Netanyahu has also raised the question of double loyalties—not a simple matter for American Jewry, but one that is inevitably entailed in any serious discussion of the relations of the Diaspora to Israel. What would our lives be like if every Jewish applicant for a post in government, or in the academy or media, was suspected of considering it an obligation to serve Israel? 

…The Jewish Americans most committed to assisting Israel argue that it is unfair to charge them with a conflict of loyalties…

Impelled by a diverse set of motives, including recollections of the inability of the American Jewish community to come to the assistance of European Jewry in the years 1933–45, the American supporters of Israel have used their cultural and economic success to pursue Israel’s interests in the United States. It is for the Israelis to say whether in the long run military and political dependence upon the United States is the most effective path to their national security. What will they do if Washington should decide, in the coming decades, that present engagements in the Middle East are too expensive and politically risky to be maintained? Israel may not be the first advanced position to be evacuated, but the evacuation will take place: ask Mubarak and the descendants of the Shah of Iran.

Insofar as American Jewry wishes to continue to live in the United States, we are obliged to consider where our true interests lie. They cannot be found in the false prophecy of Benjamin Netanyahu, with his grotesque interpretation of Jewish history. American Jews have achieved security and the respect of our fellow citizens because of the openness of our national institutions and the contributions we have made to national life. It ill becomes us to devalue these by assigning priority to agreement with Israel’s agenda, formed in a society not ours. We will find, shortly, that we have little choice in the matter. An increasing number of our fellow citizens, especially in the more influential segments of the nation, are reconsidering America’s alignment with Israel. As Jews and Americans, we have something to contribute to the discussion—but we do not require advice from an Israeli politician increasingly distrusted by significant parts of his own citizenry. Should the reckless arrogance that Netanyahu reflects actually endanger the existence of Israel, we might wish to have some credit established with our fellow American citizens, the better to assist the Israelis. That is not, unfortunately, as remote a situation as some might think.

About Philip Weiss

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

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84 Responses

  1. yrn
    September 28, 2012, 1:52 pm

    “Netanyahu’s error was exposing American Jews to a dual loyalty charge”

    Good morning……. well before that, it was not exposed…..

    • sardelapasti
      September 28, 2012, 2:58 pm

      Yeah, it stopped being exposed on the day the polls among Jewish citizens stopped asking the question about Israeli interests… What were the percentages the last time they did ask it?

  2. EscapeVelocity
    September 28, 2012, 2:06 pm

    “The leaders of the American Jewish organizations understand American public life as a system of group bargaining.”

    And those groups that are not allowed to participate or are ostracized (white Europeans) will therefore lose by default. Thus we get special preferences and privileges for others, and legal discrimination against white Europeans.

    Youve got a much larger insurrection from the resented status quo looming, Mr. Weiss.

    • Dan Crowther
      September 28, 2012, 2:47 pm

      What the F? “White Europeans” are ostracized in the united states? what planet do you reside on? Keep holding out for the “white european american backlash;” I dont think it’s coming. Maybe take a break from your Ernst Zundel reader for a while.

      • Citizen
        September 28, 2012, 4:09 pm

        @ Dan Crowther
        Yeah, take a break from Zundel, get into Dershie!

    • ColinWright
      September 28, 2012, 5:46 pm

      Escape velocity says: “…And those groups that are not allowed to participate or are ostracized (white Europeans) will therefore lose by default. Thus we get special preferences and privileges for others, and legal discrimination against white Europeans…”

      This is about 10% right. I’m no bigger a fan of affirmative action etc than you appear to be — but White Europeans are still top dog, and more so than most realize.

      I walk into the Asian Mall down the street, and everyone immediately drops to their knees…well, no. However, when I look at the posters in the music store at all these strange Asian pop stars, the photos have all been noticeably touched up to make their features more ‘white.’ Hispanics pretty much equate beauty with blonde hair and blue eyes. Etc.

      To be a success is to be white, essentially. The ideal remains Obama, not Snoop Dogg (and Obama is very, very white).

      That’s the way it is. We equate whiteness with success and beauty, exalt values that are above all European, and pretty much define deviation from those values as evil and/or failure. Every frigging mode of thinking, social structure, and definition is white. People rush to drink fine wine, not the very best palm liquor.

      Artifacts — food, people, taking off your shoes inside, attempts to integrate other groups into the structure — are inserted into the matrix, but the matrix itself is unquestioningly, completely, quintessentially ‘white.’ To deviate from that in any fundamental way remains an outrage. Consider our response to China’s persistent failure to dutifully value free speech. We’re quite upset that they don’t conform.

      We’re quite happy to let other cultures set up a booth at Epcot — but we’re not about to adopt their standards. In fact, we insist that they adopt ours. It is axiomatically wrong for India to cling to caste distinctions, for Muslims to seek to build societies that conform to the tenets of Islam, for Chinese to value harmony and order, etc.

      And it is indeed axiomatically wrong. This is a world in which ‘white’ values and ‘white’ modes of social organization, of thinking, of…everything have triumphed, where any who would deviate struggle to justify their behavior.

      What, you want even more? On the whole, I wouldn’t whine about it if I were you.

      • Krauss
        September 29, 2012, 10:51 am

        @ Colin

        I agree to a certain extent, but I view it as a passive leftover of the last ruling class and it’s lasting effects, rather than any gold standard. Give it enough time, and the taste will change.

        What I think people like Escape represent is the more conservative quarters of European-American opinion.
        Most successful WASPs today are liberal, in large part because Jews took over the élite institutions and, perhaps more importantly, because the old boys network of the WASPs excluded most of their lower class WASP peers, many of whom were brighter(but not richer, hence their exclusion), which breeded significant class resentment among the lower classes of the WASPs.

        Thus, the new, brighter, class of whites who rose up nationally in the 1960s and beyond naturally found their allies to be Jews – whom they viewed as having more in common with – rather than old, monied Protestant elites who had excluded them for generations because they were not bluebloods.

        The problem becomes that as the only ‘allowed’ conservatism among European Americans is basically an amalgation of religious conservatism and neoliberal policies, that cannot and won’t hold.

        This is why the Rockefeller Republicans got cleansed from the Republican party; from the bottom they were pressured by the Evangelicals on social issues, from the top they were pressured from neocons on matters foreign policy.

        Still, unlike Escape I don’t see any major uprising happening. Whites in America have increased their net wealth by over five times the last 75 years, when controlled for inflation.

        Second, 50 % of kids under the age of 18 are non-European. In the category of ‘non-hispanic white’, the census counts Jews, Arabs, people from Kazakhstan, Morocco, Iran etc etc.

        If you look at only European(or, non-hispanic, non-Semitic) whites, they are already at or below 50% of those in the college age today. So 50 % are not Europeans.

        In a sense, we’re already and irreversibily a diverse nation.
        We’ll likely see a situation in the coming years that will become dangerous, as whites across the nation understand that the GOP will never be elected again nationally, much like what has happened in California, only act as a slowing force in Congress.

        This means that the age when only white voters mostly mattered is over and electorically, minority voters will set the agenda henceforth as white voters are much more split than most other groups(Jews, blacks, Asians, Arabs or hispanics).

        This will pretty shocking for many whites, I think, and most haven’t really understood this in a deep and profound way yet.
        The media doesn’t really broach the subject a lot, for understandable reasons.
        The net effect is that, post-Great Recession, many hispanics and blacks just don’t want to hear about ‘personal responsbility’, as they view it as shorthand for vulture capitalism(and they’re right).

        Second, Asians have gone from a swing block to firmly Democrat as the Republican extremism in social matters as well as foreign policy has pushed them away.

        The solution is the return of the party dominated by Rockefeller Republicans(of all backgrounds and colors), but will also mean a shift to the left. And even then, it’s hard to see how the Republican party can compromise too much of it’s decades-long rightward shift.

        Eventually, as in California, most U.S. whites will move on. But the transition phase is dangerous and the world economy does not exactly look like it will suddenly heal or mend, and these two factors will probably cause signficant social unrest by the time of the next election as the GOP, with Marco Rubio as it’s frontrunner, realizes that it is now a permanent minority and a majority of white America, along with it, now understand that on Democratic means, they are no longer able to fully control their destiny, but like all minorities, must depend to some extent on the kindness of others.

        This is a new development for white America, some would say a welcome development, but it will nonetheless strike fear into the hearts of many. After all, Jews have long argued that being a minority isn’t that great, which was part of the reason why Israel was founded. Will white Americans come to the same conclusion, and if they do, what then?

      • Dan Crowther
        September 29, 2012, 11:45 am

        Oh all the White Knights have come out on this thread! All this thread needs is two big slices of wonder bread and a big slathering of Mayo and we’ll be all set.
        Clowns.

      • ColinWright
        September 29, 2012, 2:49 pm

        Krauss says: “…This means that the age when only white voters mostly mattered is over and electorically, minority voters will set the agenda henceforth as white voters are much more split than most other groups(Jews, blacks, Asians, Arabs or hispanics).

        This will pretty shocking for many whites, I think, and most haven’t really understood this in a deep and profound way yet…”

        On the other hand, this assumes a couple things.

        First, it assumes that racial identity is all. People tend to deny racial identity exists as a factor at all — and then veer promptly to the other extreme and analyze the situation as if it were all. When I think about the people I know and stack them up and sort them, other forms of identity often trump ethnicity in their associations. The Hispanic and the White evangelical I know can easily be pictured arm-in-arm in opposition to me and the Black neighbor across the street on some issue. Race is indeed significant — but that doesn’t mean it just became everything.

        Second — particularly here in America — ‘white’ is an elastic term. A hundred-plus years ago, groups such as Italians were only very questionably included under the heading. I find myself regarding all kinds of groups as ‘white’ that a European never would. Turks, for example.

        I once had a bit of an epiphany. A second or third-generation Mexican carpenter I was employing was bitching about a Guatemalan we’d both employed. It dawned on me that while both the Mexican and the Guatemalan were technically ‘Hispanic’ that I and the Mexican were a lot closer to each other in just about every respect than the Mexican was to the Hispanic. In some sense — at least in my mind — the Mexican was now included under the heading ‘White’ in my mind. And indeed, members of many of these groups do tend to just ‘melt’ into the rather elastic category of ‘white’ in America. I spent a year working as a substitute in high schools in LA. There are schools in middle class neighborhoods there where most of the students present as ‘white’ — but if you glance down the roll, you can see that a good half of them are actually Hispanic.

        So it’s questionable if ‘white’ identity will actually be overrun or just incorporate newcomers and adjust accordingly. Figures such as Bobby Jindal and that rather odious Asian who wrote legal apologia for torture on behalf of the Bush administration suggest the latter. It’s been pointed out that while most citizens of the late Roman Empire still emphatically regarded themselves as ‘Roman,’ they were very often of Germanic stock, and had taken to such German innovations as trousers. Absent any concerted and powerful effort to prevent similar transitions here, I think it’ll happen here. Indeed it always has been happening. A hundred and sixty years ago the plaint was about German and Irish immigrants overrunning what was then a predominantly British ‘us.’

        There will always be an ‘us.’ It may become increasingly implausible to label that ‘us’ white (although a figure like Geert Wilders suggests any obstacle can be overcome in this regard), but there will always be an assimilated, acculturated bloc to keep what it at least imagines to be the home fires burning.

      • EscapeVelocity
        September 29, 2012, 6:22 pm

        I wrote several long thoughtful replies to several posters here, which were relegated to the moderator dust bin.

        Wish we could communicate, but seems like actually talking across the political divide is more and more difficult these days….which doesnt portend well for our future balkanized polities.

        I guess that is why firearms and ammo are flying off the shelves these days.

        My guess is that violent balkanized future wont portend well for the Western Left in the coming decades. They will probably be shunned like Neo-Nazis have been since WW2.

      • Dan Crowther
        September 29, 2012, 7:42 pm

        This Escape Velocity cat is pretty obviously a white nationalist. What’s probably the most shocking is that white nationalism has so many ways to mask itself these days, so many legitimate strains. I’ve really enjoyed reading from Whitey McWhiters and Co. about how bad affirmative action is, how “white europeans” are under attack and so on, my computer hasn’t let me access Stormfront for months now…….

      • Elisabeth
        September 30, 2012, 5:10 am

        Funny, I had the opposite impression: That Europeans consider more people ‘white’ than Americans. It had to be explained to me years ago that Colin Powel was ‘black’. He looked European, though not northern European perhaps.

      • ColinWright
        September 30, 2012, 3:46 pm

        Elisabeth says: ‘…That Europeans consider more people ‘white’ than Americans. It had to be explained to me years ago that Colin Powel was ‘black’…’

        Ah, but actual negro descent is a different matter.

        I’d say that Americans confine the term ‘black’ exclusively to those of at least partially sub-saharan African descent — but I have had arguments with Europeans that were confused by the fact that they were applying ‘Black’ to anyone from India to Morocco.

        Furthermore, I’ve run photo experiments with an English friend. I’ll readily accord ‘white’ status to people he wouldn’t. The term ‘white’ here in America seems to apply to a much wider range of people and is at least partially culturally determined. Take a reasonably light-skinned northern Mexican or Armenian, add good English and sufficient Americanization, and he’s ‘white.’ He needn’t buy a bottle of peroxide.

      • manfromatlan
        September 30, 2012, 4:19 pm

        So, who’s buying the guns and ammo? The whale-hugging left, or the paranoid right?

    • HRK
      September 28, 2012, 6:58 pm

      Let’s hope there’s a revolution in understanding each other–so that people from all groups (Christians, Jews, Muslims, whites, blacks, etc., etc.) can feel it’s okay to come out of their shells and vote independently on any and every issue under the sun–the goal of the vote being to further what’s in the best interests of all of us instead of “my group.”

    • American
      September 29, 2012, 2:34 am

      @ Escape

      Where beside the Israel issue do see white european americans being left out?
      Tell me you aren’t one of those ethnic nationalist please.

  3. seafoid
    September 28, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Zionism has exposed Jews to a lot worse than dual loyalty.

  4. MRW
    September 28, 2012, 2:33 pm

    He’s reading this right.

    Some have paid for their dissent from total alignment of US policy with that of Israel with difficulties in their careers. Those who have chosen discretion are not, on that account, devoid of resentment.

    Already happening. Reread quote above.

    What would our lives be like if every Jewish applicant for a post in government, or in the academy or media, was suspected of considering it an obligation to serve Israel?

    They already have, they’re just being publicly mum about it. But gentiles are yacking among themselves and rolling eyes derisively, make no mistake about it.

    An increasing number of our fellow citizens, especially in the more influential segments of the nation, are reconsidering America’s alignment with Israel.

    It should be “better to assist American Jews.” Israelis can take care of themselves.

    Should the reckless arrogance that Netanyahu reflects actually endanger the existence of Israel, we might wish to have some credit established with our fellow American citizens, the better to assist the Israelis.

    Consequences are not something you can control (actions and results, yes). They play out in the consciousness of the times. The idea of unilateral action is a fool’s game.

    EDIT: BTW, thoughtful article.

  5. proudzionist777
    September 28, 2012, 2:52 pm

    I would ask Professor Birnbaum one question. Will Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons make the world a more or less safe place?

    BTW. I’ve found a great deal more political wisdom by listening to working class people who live paycheck to paycheck than by listening to tenured academics.

    • Philip Weiss
      September 28, 2012, 3:18 pm

      Thanks proud, we need more reporting from the lunchpail crowd. The American street speaks! Can you file your reports here?

      • proudzionist777
        September 28, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Nice and condescending, Phil.

      • Citizen
        September 28, 2012, 4:24 pm

        I doubt somebody who has a handle of “proudzionist777” has any access at all to the “lunchpail” crowd of Americans. Further, I doubt said lunchpail crowd knows Iran has not started a war in 250 years, while Israel has started many in its much shorter lifespan. The lunchpail crowd also has no clue a key to the ME problem other than Israel, is that the US did a CIA/Mossad/Brit regime change in ’53 and that model remains intact for the US neoncons & PEPs.

      • Theo
        September 29, 2012, 10:12 am

        citizen

        The lunchpail crowd, at least most of them, doesn´t even know where Iran is located!! Even the more educated ones, college of some kind, have problems with the news of this world, sorting out what it really means.
        The high school diploma for everyone, regardless how retarded the student may be, really killed the value of education in the USA.
        I would put my money on a high school educated european person anytime when he is having a discussion of world affairs with an average US college degree.

      • pineywoodslim
        September 29, 2012, 10:21 am

        Most folks I talk to who could be pigeon-holed as the “lunchpail crowd”, which is probably most people, and certainly most people I know, are aware that Israel has a brutal policy towards the Palestinians, are aware that Israel receives a disproportionate share of US money, and dislike our political subservience to Israel.

      • piotr
        September 30, 2012, 10:26 pm

        Dear Theo,

        I may be hazy on the point if Iran is closer to Iraq or Indonesia (or if Iraq is closer to Iran than to Ireland, alphabetically these countries are neighbors), but the principles of what is good and what is bed do not depend on geographic location!

        We should simply check who shares our values:

        death penalty: advantage …

        gays in the military: advantage …

        socialized medicine: advantage …

        belief in God (which country has a higher percentage of believers): advantage:

        the right to bear arms: advantage … [Afghanistan? Libya? The plucky Libyans have RPGs at home, that is something to admire!]

        Granted, I need to do some research to answer the questions, but I do not see how a map can help me. Also, Google maps are easy to download but have lots of some funny crawly thingies that I cannot read.

      • tree
        September 28, 2012, 4:33 pm

        You do know that pz has already moved to Israel, by his own account, don’t you, Phil? Hard to see how he can file reports on the American street from central Israel. Or was that a joke and I missed it? Or does pz’s IP address indicate he’s still in the US, not Israel?

      • manfromatlan
        October 1, 2012, 8:34 am

        The ‘lunchpail crowd’ in Israel regularly beats up Arabs in the streets, and chants anti-Arab slogans at soccer matches. Yet comparisons to post 1932 Germany are frowned upon. Curious.

    • eljay
      September 28, 2012, 3:42 pm

      >> Will Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons make the world a more or less safe place?

      The creation of a supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine made the world a less safe place. Zio-supremacist Jews had their turn, now the Iranians should be allowed theirs – that seems just and fair. Oh, that’s right, Zio-supremacism isn’t about justice and fairness.

    • Boston
      September 28, 2012, 3:47 pm

      I would ask the proudzionist777, why he speaks of an Iran with nuclear weapons when the consensus of the American and Israeli intelligence communities and the IAEA is that they are not pursuing such weapons.

      I would also ask him how he feels about Zalman Shapiro’s theft of American raw materials and technology that was given to Israel to begin its undeclared nuclear WMDs program. You know, the one that actually exists

      • Theo
        September 29, 2012, 10:16 am

        In addition, we should ask why it is never ever mentioned that Israel already has 150 or more nuclear weapons and refuses any inspection by the IAEA?
        Why don´t the iranians zero in on that subject?

      • Meyer
        October 13, 2012, 8:01 pm

        Theo,

        The key difference is that Iran is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty while Israel, (like India and Pakistan), is not. As a nation that’s agreed to the terms of the NPT, Iran has hugely benefited from shared nuclear technology and help in the building of their reactors. With this aid comes the expectation that they allow full inspections and refrain from violating the terms of the NPT, both of which Iran has failed to do on past occasions.

        Israel isn’t a signatory to the NPT, thus there isn’t any expectation that they should allow inspectors or have their nuclear ambitions defined by the IAEA.

      • Shingo
        October 14, 2012, 9:28 am

        Iran has hugely benefited from shared nuclear technology and help in the building of their reactors.

        I don’t know if you’re trying to be funny here, but Iran has far from benefitted from being a signatory. In fact, the West has denied any assistance and gone out of it’s way to block it’s access to those very entitlements. The reactor is purchased from Russia took about a decade longer to complete than it should have. It has been forced to source centrifuges and medical imaging equipment from the black market because the US pressured the legitimate suppliers not to provide them.

        International law professor Dan Joyner, who has written THE book about the NNPT, even argues that “the IAEA applies incorrect standards, exceeds its legal mandate and is acting ultra vires (beyond its power) with regard to Iran.”

        Iran has not violated the terms of teh NPT. To do so would require Iran to be caught red handed producing nukes, which no one has even suggested is the case. They have been in technical violation of the Nuclear Safeguards Agreement, which is but one aspect of the NPT, but even these violations were debatable or trivial at best.

        Furthermore, Iran has never denied the IAEA access to inspect any declared nuclear facility or sight.

        Israel isn’t a signatory to the NPT, thus there isn’t any expectation that they should allow inspectors or have their nuclear ambitions defined by the IAEA.

        Of course, that also denies them the right to insist that the Iran be held to the NPT, when they themselves hold it in contempt.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 14, 2012, 11:53 am

        this aid comes the expectation that they allow full inspections

        what aid? what’s your definition of ‘full inspections’? iran is not required to provide access to all their military bases.

      • Meyer
        October 14, 2012, 4:55 pm

        Shingo,

        I’m not pretending to be an expert on matters related to the NPT or IAEA. My understanding of Iran’s violations are based on a cursory google search and nothing more. My post was a response to Theo’s suggestion that Iran focus on a perceived double standard regarding Israel; a strategy I still consider unproductive.

        “Of course, that also denies them the right to insist that the Iran be held to the NPT, when they themselves hold it in contempt.”

        I disagree. The expectation that Iran meet its obligations set out by the NPT does not come from an assumption that the NPT should be universally applied. Israel’s insistence is merely based on Iran’s promise to follow it. Nations like Israel that did not sign on and were therefore excluded from the benefits of the treaty have as much of an interest as anyone else in ensuring that no state be allowed both the benefits of NPT membership AND the freedoms non-signatories are granted.

        If Iran doesn’t benefit from the NPT at all then they can leave it at any time. Since they haven’t done so yet I assume that membership must benefit them in some way. And while they are members I don’t think it is problematic for any state to expect that they meet all of their commitments under the treaty, do you?

      • Meyer
        October 14, 2012, 5:35 pm

        Annie,

        By aid I meant the assistance they received in building their reactors, like the involvement of that Russian company. I didn’t mean financial aid or anything like that.

        And by “full inspections” I mean that they should meet whatever the accepted understanding of their obligations are under the NPT. That’s all. I know in the past they were discovered to have been secretly constructing concealed sites, only reporting them when their discovery was imminent. I assume that such actions are a violation of the NPT and is what I was referring to in my earlier post.

    • seafoid
      September 28, 2012, 4:51 pm

      PZ

      “I’ve found a great deal more political wisdom by listening to working class people who live paycheck to paycheck than by listening to tenured academics”

      Finkelstein has way more to say than that clown Dershowitz.

      • W.Jones
        September 28, 2012, 6:36 pm

        Good point. Dershowitz is tenured, while Finkelstein is not, because of the witch hunt.

        “than by listening to tenured academics”

      • proudzionist777
        September 29, 2012, 1:35 am

        Dershowitz, an academic, is a buffoon.

        Finkelstein, smarter than Dershowitz, has nonetheless said some really stupid and bigoted things as well.

        Example 1. Finkelstein said that he rejoices in the deaths of invaders, including Americans in Iraq.

        Example 2. Finkelstein has also suggested that Israel, who he called , ‘a Satanic State’, was behind the bombing of the Coptic church in Alexandria last year.

        Both of these academics are out of control.

      • seafoid
        September 29, 2012, 11:22 am

        Americans in Iraq were fair game. They were there to loot Iraq.

      • proudzionist777
        September 29, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Fair or not, I find it hard to imagine Professor Finkelstein looking a dead American soldier’s family in the eye and saying that he’s rejoiced in that death.

        That’s what I mean when I say the Finkelstein has made stupid and bigoted statements. Statements that he can’t or won’t back up.

      • sardelapasti
        September 29, 2012, 7:55 pm

        “Statements that he can’t or won’t back up.”
        How so? Two perfectly logical statements, one in line with international law and the other extremely probable considering history. In both cases, he has made available his thinking over the years, so it’s all abundantly backed up.
        Now, what was your beef?

    • ColinWright
      September 28, 2012, 5:53 pm

      proudzionist777: “I would ask Professor Birnbaum one question. Will Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons make the world a more or less safe place?”

      No…but would anyone acquiring nuclear weapons make the world a more or less safe place? I see little to be gained from a nuclear-armed Canada, Norway, or anyone else. Nuclear proliferation is not a good thing.

      On the other hand, obviously Israel having nuclear weapons gives everyone who is opposed to her an excellent reason to want them themselves — as Iran does.

      The obvious solution is to demand that Iran and Israel both agree to verified nuclear disarmament. Happily, we can force Israel to do whatever we wish.

      Now, would Iran go along? Well, let’s ask, shall we?

    • Shingo
      September 28, 2012, 6:40 pm

      Will Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons make the world a more or less safe place?

      Did you intend to actually provide evidenxe that Iran are seeking to acquire nukes or are you simply arguing in hypotheticals?

      BTW. I’ve found a great deal more political wisdom by listening to working class people who live paycheck to paycheck than by listening to tenured academics.

      The usual fall back position for those who can no longer find an audience for their BS. Rather than trying to present evidence if Iranisn nukes, turn to what the working man thinks – as though they’re supposed to know something about Iranisn nukes that the academics do not.

      Runsfeld used that tactic when confronted by Ray McGovern about his WMD lies. That the public believed it.

    • Kathleen
      September 28, 2012, 11:43 pm

      The world would be a safer place if Israel would sign the NPT and open up for international inspections. Would say so much if they acted like they were willing to play by the same rules that they want others to abide by.

    • Carowhat
      September 29, 2012, 1:20 am

      “I would ask Professor Birnbaum one question. Will Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons make the world a more or less safe place?”

      If Iran’s having a nuclear weapon makes it less likely that Israel would start a war, an Iranian nuclear weapon makes the Mid-East a safer place.

      • Theo
        September 29, 2012, 10:26 am

        I agree 100% with above.
        40 years of cold war never became another WW, because both sides knew that they will be destroyed in case of an attack.
        An old saying means: “if you want peace be prepared for a war”.

        Israel would never dare to attack another moslem nation if Iran had nuclear weapons, so there is only one solution: either allow Iran to have it or Israel must destroy all its own.

    • Keity
      September 29, 2012, 11:49 am

      The same could be asked of Israel which already has nukes and (unlike Iran) refuses to sign the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty). Why the double standard?

  6. pabelmont
    September 28, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Nice to hear all this, very nice.

    “Israel may not be the first advanced position to be evacuated, but the evacuation will take place: ask Mubarak and the descendants of the Shah of Iran.”

    I suppose he means to suggest merely that Israel may be required to “evacuate” its (illegal, but hey, who cares, right?) settlers from territories occupied in 1967 (including, Oh yes!, including East Jerusalem, (Anything more evacuative than that would surely invoke the Sampson Option, n’est-ce pas?

    • HemiFaulk
      September 28, 2012, 10:24 pm

      Surely not the Sampson Option… Even the Israelis aren’t that insane, are they?

  7. MHughes976
    September 28, 2012, 3:38 pm

    I took him to mean that the entire Israeli enterprise would be wound up and its participants evacuated westwards IF views in Washington change and if Israel has not changed its behaviour so that it has some regional consent to its continued existence. And I think he means that Washington will not continue in its present policies for ever and ever.

  8. seafoid
    September 28, 2012, 4:07 pm

    The Jewish fantasy of eternal hegemony over the Middle East will come back to haunt the US.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/sep/27/are-hackers-heroes/?page=3

    “Stuxnet’s genesis—from top-secret idea to top-secret joint creation by Israeli and American programmers to top-secret deployment in an Iranian nuclear enrichment plant to its very public escape onto computers throughout the world—has been precisely unraveled by David Sanger, both in his reporting for The New York Times and in his masterful new book Confront and Conceal. Stuxnet is a weapon in an undeclared war being fought so surreptitiously that for a long time its targets, according to Sanger, had no idea what, if anything, had hit them. Now that it is not secret, and its architecture and coding are available for all to see, Stuxnet has the potential to take hacking to a new level.

    Last year alone there were around two hundred attempted or successful attacks on the basic infrastructure that undergirds society, including water treatment plants, the electric grid, oil and gas refineries, power plants, and transportation systems.

    Yet even this pales in light of the exponentially destructive power of Stuxnet and whatever other viruses it generates and inspires.4 As the German security expert Ralph Langner, who first cracked the Stuxnet code, wrote in The New York Times, the real threat of Stuxnet is that it will morph into a cheap weapon available to organized crime, rogue nations, terrorists, hacker kids with time on their hands, and anyone who wants to “fix” the world. “Any US power plant, including nuclear, is much easier to cyberattack than the heavily guarded facilities in Iran,” Langner wrote. “An attacker who is not interested in engaging in a long-term campaign with sophisticated disguise (which rogue player would be?) needs to invest only a tiny fraction of effort compared to Stuxnet.”

  9. Kathleen
    September 28, 2012, 4:17 pm

    “grossness of their ethnocentrism”

  10. ColinWright
    September 28, 2012, 4:27 pm

    “…Unconditional support for Israel among American Jews is a substitute for the faith of our fathers. Generally, that support is strongest among those who live in a predominantly Jewish milieu. Those who are out and about in American society tend to have more differentiated views…. “

    I think this may be key. All people want to be ‘good.’ If they think of themselves as Jews, they want to be good Jews.

    Now, nobody wants to run around in funny clothes and not mow his lawn on account of it’s Saturday, etc — that’s weird as hell. Even the two sets of dishes thing must be a bit of a pain. So awkward — trying to tactfully steer your son to go out with only Jewish girls. This could be hard…

    But there’s an easier way! Just support Israel. I think this helps to explain Sheldon Adelson, for example. Having made his pile, he’s now spending it to buy good Jew credits.

    In its milder form, even if you can’t stomach making statements of support for Israel, you’ll refrain from criticizing her. After all, if to support Israel is to be a good Jew, it follows that to criticize her is to be a bad Jew.

  11. Les
    September 28, 2012, 4:30 pm

    Having sworn allegiance to Israel to whatever degree, Zionist politicians are loud and clear that they are part-time Americans, how part-time is anyone’s guess.

  12. ColinWright
    September 28, 2012, 4:33 pm

    “What would our lives be like if every Jewish applicant for a post in government, or in the academy or media, was suspected of considering it an obligation to serve Israel? “

    Now here, doesn’t the ‘good Jews support Israel’ thesis legitimize the suspicion? The following two propositions cannot simultaneously both be true:

    1. Good Jews support Israel.
    2. There’s no reason to suspect Jews of supporting Israel.

    • Carowhat
      September 29, 2012, 4:58 pm

      “if to support Israel is to be a good Jew, it follows that to criticize her is to be a bad Jew.”

      Well said.

      • MHughes976
        September 30, 2012, 5:20 pm

        If support for Israel on the part of someone Jewish implies goodness lack of that support implies that that person is either no good or that his/her goodness has to be established some other way.

  13. tokyobk
    September 28, 2012, 5:47 pm

    This is not really about loyalty to America it is about an effective tactic to dismantle Zionism, disrupt what is considered an immoral alliance, and change opinion within the Jewish community. Its also a big tent for Israel critics from genuine humanitarians and libertarians to the haters on the “ZOG” ultra-right. Do most critics using this device really care about policing loyalty or find it interesting to search out the motives of people’s political behavior in national terms. Quite the opposite. Its McCarthyism.

    People who support Israel perceive it as an important alliance for both countries, which is protected thought and speech. If AIPAC breaks any lobbying rules, shut them down with impunity. Until then they are within their rights as is any other lobby, including the NRA and the red-dye no. 3 lobby.

    Do those who accuse some Jews of being dually loyal or “Israel firsters” consider it also treason to lobby against a stated ally of the United States? Of course not. Is it treason according to anti-zionists to form alliances with non-Americans all over the world against particular policies that the American government pursues out of its perceived interests and those of its ally, Israel? No. Where the government has criminalized alliances, anti-zionists are the first to cry foul such as in some of the Muslim charity cases (Without a doubt Muslims suffer from a double standard here). To vote against a particular candidate because they are supportive of Israel is treasonous or raise money for her or his opponent? No. Of course not.

    The dual loyalty charge is obnoxious in almost all cases up to Jonathan Pollard who should rot in jail for his treason. If others are proven traitors arrest them too. But not for lobbying and not even for lobbying in an unjust cause. And, actually in such an America it won’t be Jews who are locked up for treasonous thoughts, speech and “loyalties.”

    There is no question that the USA is the best thing ever to happen to the Jews and American Jews have achieved not only security here but a large measure of social power which will bring particular scrutiny.

    For me, there is also no choice. America first second and third (Japan fourth). But if another American choses Israel, Pakistan or Syria second, or votes with Mexico in their heart, its frankly none of my business, or yours. MJ Rosenberg recently tweeted that Joe Lieberman was waiting for his Prime Minister Netanyahu to tell him how to vote in the upcoming election. It was funny, but actually while what the retiring senator does on the floor is fair game, Joe Lieberman can do what ever he wants in the voting booth, for what ever reason, and so still can any other American.

    • ColinWright
      September 29, 2012, 3:04 pm

      tokyobk says: “…Do most critics using this device really care about policing loyalty or find it interesting to search out the motives of people’s political behavior in national terms. Quite the opposite. Its McCarthyism…”

      I think that’s a valid point to some extent. There is often an element of hypocrisy in the ‘dual loyalty’ charge. On the other hand, the impact of such groups as the Neo-cons on national policy does suggest that whatever label you want to use, Zionist sentiments do lead people to act in ways that are not in America’s interests. Certainly a figure such as Jonathan Pollard does.

      I also feel to some extent trapped. The Zionists use every dirty trick in the book, from concerted vilification and persecution of prominent critics (Finkelstein, Walt and Mearsheimer, Goldstone, Jimmy Carter) to murderous black ops. Meanwhile, we are to play it all clean and above board. Keep on the gloves and stick to the Queensbury rules whilst our opponent produces a submachine gun.

      So no thanks. I don’t want to be a noble loser. Israel is too vile. I can’t afford to indulge my moral preferences without regard to the outcome. We need to win this fight.

    • Carowhat
      September 29, 2012, 5:12 pm

      tokyobk: People who support Israel perceive it as an important alliance for both countries, which is protected thought and speech. . .

      For me, there is also no choice. America first second and third (Japan fourth). But if another American choses Israel, Pakistan or Syria second, or votes with Mexico in their heart, its frankly none of my business, or yours.

      It’s strange to hear that it’s none of my business to complain about Israel-firsters who are doing their damnedest to get us to go bomb Iran for Israel and thereby wreck our economy for a generation, kill thousands of young Americans, and destroy our country’s good name for the next century. In my opinion, if someone loves Israel (or any other country you’d care to name) more than America, he owes it to himself (and certainly to those of us who don’t want to see this country wrecked due to his dual loyalty problems) to move there as soon as he can. If he doesn’t want to leave because he thinks he can help Israel more by staying in America, he can at least obey the registration law for foreign agents.

      • manfromatlan
        September 30, 2012, 4:17 pm

        I’d suggest they move to Israel, but haven’t the Palestinians suffered enough?

    • sardelapasti
      September 29, 2012, 8:05 pm

      Tokyobk:
      “The dual loyalty charge is obnoxious in almost all cases up to…”

      Where you may be looking at it wrong side up is in not differentiating government intervention and private criticism. The latter is nothing else but our exercise of free speech. Of course we don’t want more repressive, stupid laws. But if I feel like calling anyone a so-and-so-firster, or a traitor, or whatever I want to call him, and explain why, that’s my privilege. If the word becomes a rabble-rouser, because the accusation is perfectly well-founded… so much the better.

  14. ToivoS
    September 28, 2012, 6:04 pm

    (and Dennis Ross is an Israeli agent)

    I wonder if Bill Clinton has realized at this late date that he was being used by Ross at those fateful Camp David meetings between Barak and Arafat. Ross remains a fixture on MSM TV but seeing something like this in the Nation is a big step for complete exposure of Dennis – Dual Loyalty – Ross.

    • American
      September 29, 2012, 12:55 pm

      @ ToivoS

      I read in Haarazt several years ago an article by Israeli at the meetings who said Clinton and Barak agreed to both blame the failure of Camp David on Arafat for the sake of both of their own “domestic political considerations at home”.
      Knowing how the politics go on Israel I believed that is true.

  15. DICKERSON3870
    September 28, 2012, 7:05 pm

    RE: “Impelled by a diverse set of motives, including recollections of the inability of the American Jewish community to come to the assistance of European Jewry in the years 1933–45” ~ Birnbaum

    EXCERPTS FROM “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict, Third Edition (2001), Published by ‘Jews for Justice in the Middle East’:

    (excerpts) . . . “In 1938 a thirty-one nation conference was held in Evian, France, on resettlement of the victims of Nazism. The World Zionist Organization refused to participate, fearing that resettlement of Jews in other states would reduce the number available for Palestine.” ~ John Quigley, ‘Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice’
    “It was summed up in the meeting [of the Jewish Agency’s Executive on June 26, 1938] that the Zionist thing to do ‘is belittle the [Evian] Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing… ~ Israeli author Boas Evron, ‘Jewish State or Israeli Nation?’
    “[Ben-Gurion stated] ‘If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second — because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.’ In the wake of the Kristallnacht pogroms, Ben-Gurion commented that ‘the human conscience’ might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: ‘Zionism is in danger.’” ~ Israeli historian, Tom Segev, ‘The Seventh Million’
    Roosevelt’s advisor writes on why Jewish refugees were not offered sanctuary in the U.S. after WWII
    . . . “[Roosevelt] proposed a world budget for the easy migration of the 500,000 beaten people of Europe. Each nation should open its doors for some thousands of refugees…So he suggested that during my trips for him to England during the war I sound out in a general, unofficial manner the leaders of British public opinion, in and out of the government…The simple answer: Great Britain will match the United States, man for man, in admissions from Europe…It seemed all settled. With the rest of the world probably ready to give haven to 200,000, there was a sound reason for the President to press Congress to take in at least 150,000 immigrants after the war…
    “It would free us from the hypocrisy of closing our own doors while making sanctimonious demands on the Arabs…But it did not work out…The failure of the leading Jewish organizations to support with zeal this immigration programme may have caused the President not to push forward with it at that time…
    “I talked to many people active in Jewish organizations. I suggested the plan…I was amazed and even felt insulted when active Jewish leaders decried, sneered, and then attacked me as if I were a traitor
    …I think I know the reason for much of the opposition. There is a deep, genuine, often fanatical emotional vested interest in putting over the Palestinian movement [Zionism]. Men like Ben Hecht are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own.” ~ Jewish attorney and friend of President Roosevelt, Morris Ernst, ‘So Far, So Good’

    ENTIRE “ORIGIN” BOOKLET – http://archive.org/details/TheOriginOfThePalestine-israelConflict

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 28, 2012, 7:17 pm

      P.S. FROM ‘The Hidden History of Zionism’, by Ralph Schoenman [EXCERPTS]:

      • Sacrificing Europe’s Jews
      The correlative . . . was that when attempts to change the immigration laws of the United States and Western Europe were contemplated in order to provide token refuge for persecuted Jews of Europe, it was the Zionists who actively organized to stop these efforts.
      Ben Gurion informed a meeting of Labor Zionists in Great Britain in 1938: “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative.” [84] This obsession with colonizing Palestine and overwhelming the Arabs led the Zionist movement to oppose any rescue of the Jews facing extermination, because the ability to deflect select manpower to Palestine would be impeded. From 1933 to 1935, the WZO [World Zionist Organization] turned down two-thirds of all the German Jews who applied for immigration certificates.
      Berel Katznelson, editor of the Labor Zionist Davar, described the “cruel criteria of Zionism”:

      German Jews were too old to bear children in Palestine, lacked trades for building a Zionist colony, didn’t speak Hebrew and weren’t Zionists. In place of these Jews facing extermination the WZO brought to Palestine 6,000 trained young Zionists from the United States, Britain and other safe countries. Worse than this, the WZO not merely failed to seek any alternative for the Jews facing the Holocaust, the Zionist leadership opposed belligerently all efforts to find refuge for fleeing Jews.

      • Fighting Asylum
      The entire Zionist establishment made its position unmistakable in its response to a motion by 227 British members of Parliament calling on the government to provide asylum in British territories for persecuted Jews. . .
      . . . At a Parliamentary meeting on January 27, 1943, when the next steps were being pursued by over one hundred members of Parliament, a spokesperson for the Zionists announced that they opposed this motion because it did not contain preparations for the colonization of Palestine. This was a consistent stance.
      Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader who had arranged the Balfour Declaration and was to become the first president of Israel, made this Zionist policy very explicit:

      The hopes of Europe’s six million Jews are centered on emigration. I was asked: “Can you bring six million Jews to Palestine?” I replied, “No.” … From the depths of the tragedy I want to save … young people [for Palestine]. The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world … Only the branch of the young shall survive. They have to accept it. [87]

      Yitzhak Gruenbaum, the chairperson of the committee set up by the Zionists, nominally to investigate the condition of European Jews, said:

      When they come to us with two plans – the rescue of the masses of Jews in Europe or the redemption of the land – I vote, without a second thought, for the redemption of the land. The more said about the slaughter of our people, the greater the minimization of our efforts to strengthen and promote the Hebraisation of the land. If there would be a possibility today of buying packages of food with the money of the Karen Hayesod [United Jewish Appeal] to send it through Lisbon, would we do such a thing? No. And once again no! [88]

      SOURCE – http://www.marxists.de/middleast/schoenman/ch06.htm

  16. dbroncos
    September 28, 2012, 9:46 pm

    I have mixed feelings about Mr. Birnbaum’s critique. I’m glad to see it was published and some of his comments were on target:

    “It ill becomes us to devalue these by assigning priority to agreement with Israel’s agenda, formed in a society not ours.”

    However, Birnbaum seems more concerned about the bad manners exibited by Netanyahu and some over reaching American Jews who have tried to silence Israel’s critics than he does about the direction of the Jewish State and its reason for being. The debate about I/P isn’t about the assinine actions and statements we hear and see from Israel’s leaders and supporters and how those actions cause an uncomfortable unpleasantness for better mannered and more circumspect Zionists. Birnbaum cites his concern about Zionists missing the direction of the I/P debate but I wonder if Birnbaum himself is being left behind by a debate that, at the grass roots level, has started the end game critique of Zionism itself. The critique of Zionism is already well beyond the point of maintaining “some credit established with our fellow American citizens, the better to assist the Israelis.”

    • Carowhat
      September 29, 2012, 11:31 pm

      Well you’re right that Birnbaum mistakenly assumes our goal should be to “better assist the Israelis.” A lot of people now think America’s goal should not be to assist the Israelis at all as long as they persist in colonizing the west bank, persecuting the Palestinians and threatening war with everyone else. In fact our goal might better be to de-assist the Israelis until they learn how to coexist with their neighbors (and quit calling gentiles cattle and grasshoppers).

  17. American
    September 28, 2012, 11:14 pm

    Birnbaum is careful, but very direct, ..and he’s right imo.

    “Generally, that support is strongest among those who live in a predominantly Jewish milieu. Those who are out and about in American society tend to have more differentiated views.”

    That for instance is something I have said several times……Jews I know who live in majority gentile societies and areas like mine don’t show the kind of ethnocentricity that those who live in high Jewish population areas do…and I would also say they seem much happier intermingling, don’t have hang ups or attitudes about being Jewish that you see in Jews who group together mainly with other Jews.

    ”What would our lives be like if every Jewish applicant for a post in government, or in the academy or media, was suspected of considering it an obligation to serve Israel?”

    Well, there are some who do…they have said so,even bragged about it…lol.
    And we do suspect Jewish government appointments to some degree. I don’t think it’s anti semitic if a Jew is appointed to check out his background on his Israel and zionism position. Israel and US zionist and the lobby make us need to or want to know where he will stand. If Israel didn’t exist there would be no need to check out Jewish officials, but the Israel issue is a issue so there is no way around being leery and wanting to check out their personal ideology. However it’s not just Jews we check out, it’s every politician, we are constantly looking to see who is religious christian zio whacko or bought by the Lobby. Sorry state of affairs, but it is what it is.

    “Insofar as American Jewry wishes to continue to live in the United States, we are obliged to consider where our true interests lie. ”

    Birnbaum must be channeling my mind on that statement too cause I keep saying Jews for Israel have to be confronted with a choice. Netanyhau seems to have helped some of them see that a choice is necessary. I don’t think the choice confrontations are over though because even without Bibi Israel is still crazy and will create more dilemmas for Jews and America. As an American I want Israel cut loose from the US. What I would be willing to accept in regard to Israel is the US agree to defend it if it is attacked in a major way that it did not bring on itself by attacking another country. Other than that, I want all things Israeli gone from the US. It is a damaging parasite that has lived off us too long.
    However I would also agree if Jews want to support Israel privately on their own dime, subject to the same tax rules as everyone else, or in other non US involved ways, they have a right to do that.
    The real crisis choice for Jews is going to come when and if the US does withdraw significant support. That could happen fast after some event or it could be a gradual
    pulling away from Israel. Whichever way it happens there will be a lot of noise.

  18. HemiFaulk
    September 28, 2012, 11:18 pm

    Who is at work inside Israel to change the powers that be?

    The video posted earlier this week showed children being indoctrinated and readied for the joys of warfare, or lacking a war, indiscriminate murder of natives that sounds strangely like the treatment of American Indians from many years ago. Generational hatred passed down like family heirlooms and the kids will never know the difference. Thats the saddest part of all this, leaving the rhetoric or politics behind, kids being raised to kill and everyone smiling and laughing, a Kafkaesque picnic without the identity conflicts.

    So if I don’t support this country I am either a bad Jew or an anti-semite.

    Birnbaum is to be commended and rightly so.

  19. American
    September 29, 2012, 2:21 am

    Birnbaum made some other good points also…points many of us have made here. Maybe he’s reading mondo.

    # A small ethnic group with a small state will always be dependent upon the good will of other peoples and larger nations.

    #A future American social crisis might persuade the fundamentalists that the Last Judgment is imminent and revive the anti-Semitism they openly voiced two generations ago. That is not so difficult to imagine; the Islamophobia they now profess is but a step away from anti-Semitism.

    #In the circumstances, many in the permanent government do not think the alliance with Israel should be maintained in its current form. They support Obama and Clinton in their refusal to be pushed into war with Iran. Should Obama be re-elected, they may well assist him in devising ways and means to coexist with a nuclear Iran

    #The domestic turmoil that would follow a Romney victory might compel an intensification of the process of imperial rationalization begun by Obama. In that situation, Israel could find itself rather more expendable than not.

    #The Jewish Americans most committed to assisting Israel argue that it is unfair to charge them with a conflict of loyalties. As precedent, they point to the long domination of the permanent government by immigrants of British descent. The “Anglo-Saxon” character of the long ties between the United States and Britain was evoked by Romney (who apparently is unable to discern Irish, Scots and Welsh in British history). The long and tortuous relationship of the United States to Britain began with the Revolution and continued with the War of 1812, any number of subsequent confrontations (near wars on Canada and British support for the Confederates) and has recently encompassed the supersession of the British Empire by our own. Recall the demand of Israel’s supporters that there be “no daylight” between American and Israeli policies.
    There was, in effect, rather a lot of daylight between the nation created by descendants of British immigration and the United Kingdom.”

    • EscapeVelocity
      September 29, 2012, 6:30 pm

      I too think that there will be domestic violence after Romney wins. The Left MSM has been ratcheting up the “racist” accusation (Chris Mathews being the most egregious example).

      Part of the reason that firearms and ammo are flying off the shelves.

      • Carowhat
        September 29, 2012, 11:39 pm

        People see story after story about gangs of “youths” (i.e. black teens) randomly attacking people on the streets. No wonder the middle class is concerned. But this won’t happen only if Romney is elected. Black-on-white attacks have been increasing throughout the Obama administration. And they’ll continue if if he’s re-elected too.

      • ColinWright
        September 30, 2012, 6:25 pm

        Carowhat says: “People see story after story about gangs of “youths” (i.e. black teens) randomly attacking people on the streets. “

        I wonder if that’s a northeast thing?

        Such news does get suppressed, but I do hear of the odd incident around here (Richmond, California) — and there hasn’t been anything in particular of late. It’s like every few months or so, there’s something — and no, the last few months there hasn’t been anything.

        No, that’s not exactly a statistically valid study — but I’m just not seeing it.

      • ColinWright
        September 30, 2012, 12:47 am

        EscapeVelocity says: “I too think that there will be domestic violence after Romney wins…”

        Yeah, but there would also probably be chaos when the aliens from Alpha Centaurii invade — and that could happen too.

      • Shingo
        September 30, 2012, 7:06 am

        I too think that there will be domestic violence after Romney wins.

        Romney won’t win, sorry to break it to you.

  20. American
    September 29, 2012, 12:45 pm

    O.K., here’s an opportunity for US Jews and the so called liberal zionist spokespeople……to get out and rouse overwhelming political support for this Israeli left wing plan. The way I see it, if both active and passive Israel supporters don’t get behind something like this soon they will lose much of what they have gained in the US and lose all of Israel eventually.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israeli-left-wing-party-drafts-new-mideast-peace-plan-to-replace-oslo-accords.premium-1.466664

    Israeli left-wing party drafts new Mideast peace plan to replace Oslo Accords
    Under Meretz’s plan, Israel would help Palestine be accepted as a UN member, and be the first country to recognize the new state.”

    The details are 3/4’s right at least..still needs to take out Israel’s idea they have right to dictate conditions on other Arab states like Iran..if they ever want to be accepted by the majority of the Arab world. Ideally they would follow this plan and give up all ideas of being the regional hedgemon ‘decider’ in the ME. That way they might survive. The world, and paticulary the ME, needs for Israel to take a long quiet time out nap before it has a prayer of being reintegrated into the ME and accepted.

  21. manfromatlan
    September 29, 2012, 1:23 pm

    “Netanyahu’s exceedingly undiplomatic diplomacy will strengthen those in the [U.S.] permanent government [he means gentiles, mostly] who have long been angered by the supporters of Israel. Some have paid for their dissent from total alignment of US policy with that of Israel with difficulties in their careers.”

    Dennis Ross isn’t around any more? Haim Saban won’t be the next ambassador to Tel Aviv?

  22. American
    September 29, 2012, 2:19 pm

    Russia strip searches Israelis. Good, about time Israelis got some of the humilations they practice on others and so richly deserve. They should all be strip searched anytime they go anywhere. They should also be made to sit in baby chairs below the grownups at all meetings with others. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I am beginning to see more of these little incidents in the press of Israelis getting slapped off their little huffing and puffing perch…hope it’s trend that continues.

    In ‘serious diplomatic incident,’ Russians strip-search Israeli minister’s security personnel Tourism minister, on official visit, has his objections overruled; Jerusalem protests to Moscow

    By Raphael Ahren September 28, 2012, 10:41 pm4

    A “serious diplomatic incident” took place in Russia on Friday when Russian officials strip-searched Israeli security personnel accompanying an Israeli minister on an official visit, the Foreign Ministry stated Friday.
    Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov was asked to represent the Israeli government at an economic conference in Nizhny Novgorod, about 420 kilometers east of Moscow. When he arrived on Friday at the hotel where the event was held, officials of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) approached the security guards accompanying Misezhnikov and asked to check them to ascertain they were unarmed, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a statement.
    “Despite the minister’s explanations that this was a ministerial delegation, and that the guards are unarmed, the Russians forced the Israeli security guards to accompany them to a side room, where they forced them to undress for inspection,” Palmor stated.
    The Israeli Embassy in Moscow immediately turned to the Russian Foreign Ministry in “vehement protest” and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem filed a “vigorous protest” with Russia’s ambassador in Israel, Palmor added.
    Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who is currently in New York as part of the Israeli delegation to the UN General Assembly, is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Friday, and will voice strong protest over the incident, Palmor said.”

    • ColinWright
      September 29, 2012, 10:04 pm

      ““Despite the minister’s explanations that this was a ministerial delegation, and that the guards are unarmed, the Russians forced the Israeli security guards to accompany them to a side room, where they forced them to undress for inspection,” Palmor stated…”

      One intriguing question is left unanswered.

      Were they, in fact, unarmed?

  23. Theo
    September 30, 2012, 8:37 am

    Did anyone asked them how does it feel to be on the receiving end of the deal?
    Israelis have no problems with searching anyone and to “debrief” them for a long period if time.

    • ColinWright
      September 30, 2012, 5:26 pm

      Theo: “Did anyone asked them how does it feel to be on the receiving end of the deal?
      Israelis have no problems with searching anyone and to “debrief” them for a long period if time.”

      Yeah. Supply all immigration authorities everywhere with a little handbook entitled, ‘things Israeli immigration authorities do.’ Urge them to apply the guidelines to Israeli visitors.

      • manfromatlan
        September 30, 2012, 6:04 pm

        Or “things Israeli travellers do” and check their luggage for ecstasy pills or frozen kidneys :)

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