‘Jewish political community’ supported Iraq war, but now divides between neocon funders and liberals — Alterman

Israel/Palestine
on 80 Comments

Here’s an excellent piece by Eric Alterman at The Nation on the new division inside the Jewish community between neoconservative funders and liberal rank-and-file. Norman Finkelstein made many of these points last week at the New School. I say it’s a new division because this distinction wasn’t evident during the Iraq war runup, as Alterman implicitly acknowledges. No, then the liberal Jews refused to dime out the neoconservative “funder” group, as Alterman does here, and the Israel lobby was monolithic, and my liberal brother could say to me, I was against the Vietnam war, but my Jewish newspaper says this war could be good for Israel. 

Now the Israel lobby seems to be breaking openly, between Likudniks and liberal Zionists. This is further evidence of the fact that Walt and Mearsheimer’s thesis of the complicity of the Israel lobby in the disastrous Iraq war can now be discussed, because liberal Jews are disassociating themselves from the traditional lobby. Also notice that Alterman bashes David Gregory for calling Netanyahu the “leader of the Jewish people.”

Excerpt (thanks to Terry Weber):

while Jews remain liberal and dovish—even on Israel—many Jewish funders and neoconservative pundits do not. Although these people are deeply out of step with the vast majority of Jews, they wish to create a media narrative that suggests the opposite. They are aided in this task by the largely conservative leaders of “major” Jewish organizations, who work with these same funders (most famously right-wing casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, currently under investigation)—funders who also happen to pay their extremely generous salaries. Money, you may also have heard, has a way of talking when it comes to politics. The fact that the policies these organizations push and the politicians they support and nurture represent views antithetical to those of the very same people they profess to speak for might be a problem in, say, an Israeli kibbutz or a Park Slope food co-op. In the world of professional Jewish organizations, however, it barely rises to the level of an inconvenience.

The role of the neoconservatives in the media reinforces this misperception. Google the words “Jews, Republicans” and the result will be about 13 million hits. Even allowing for false positives, repeats and some negative responses, this is a considerable ado over next to nothing. Commentary has been publishing its wishful thinking about a Jewish desertion of the Democrats ever since Milton Himmelfarb (Irving Kristol’s brother-in-law, William Kristol’s uncle) posed the question “Are Jews Becoming Republican?” back in August 1981. Obviously, the answer has been “no” for the last thirty-plus years—and yet every election cycle, some gullible journalists find themselves asking it again, and doing so as if it would matter either way.

So why has it been so easy to fool so many members of the media so much of the time? One reason is laziness: journalists use the views of so-called Jewish leaders regarding Israel as a shorthand for those of all American Jews. (Meet the Press’s David Gregory recently went so far as to call Bibi Netanyahu the “leader of the Jewish people,” God help us.) No less significant, however, is the willingness of the hawkish, Israel-obsessed micro-minority to intimidate critics with accusations of anti-Semitism or Jewish “self-hatred.” Happily, with Marty Peretz having been forced out of The New Republic after only thirty-seven years of slanderous attacks, this brand of Jewish McCarthyism is no longer associated with the word “liberal.” But it remains many neocons’ weapon of first resort.

This tendency was evident not so long ago, when The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd wrote a column critical of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for outsourcing their foreign policy to the same neocon armchair warriors who championed the invasion of Iraq. According to Politico’s Dylan Byers, Dowd—who made no reference whatsoever to the religion or ethnicity of her subjects—“set the Jewish political community on fire…with a column about the Republican ticket’s foreign policy proposals that, according to her critics, peddled anti-Semitic imagery.” In fact, that “Jewish political community” consisted predominantly of neocons and former Bush cheerleaders, a significant number of whom now appear to be pining for similar bloodshed in Iran.

80 Responses

  1. David Green
    October 13, 2012, 12:23 pm

    For the record, Finkelstein rejects the notion in Chapter 4 of his book:

    “To hammer home the Israel lobby’s culpability Mearsheimer and Walt
    single out Israeli intelligence reports hyping Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction
    (WMD). But, however much it echoed and reinforced U.S. intelligence,
    the misinformation (or disinformation) Israel passed on does not
    appear to have significantly infl uenced the Bush administration. In his self exculpating memoir At the Center of the Storm former CIA director George
    Tenet did what he could to slough off personal responsibility for the false
    U.S. intelligence that Saddam possessed WMD, but not once does he point
    an accusatory fi nger at Israel.115 Although Rumsfeld also does not shy away
    from pinning blame on others for what went wrong in Iraq, and although
    he alleges that U.S. evidence of Iraqi WMD had been corroborated by foreign
    intelligence services, he does not fault Israeli intelligence or even list it
    among the erroneous corroborators of U.S. intelligence. Nor does Cheney
    fault Israeli intelligence or list it among the erroneous corroborators. Nor
    does Rice. The only plausible explanation for this across-the-board silence
    is that Israeli intelligence really was irrelevant.
    It is beyond dispute that Jewish neoconservatives pushed long and
    hard for an att ack on Iraq. But were they, as Mearsheimer and Walt purport,
    the war’s “driving force” and “chief architects”? Of the six self-styled
    Vulcans (dis)credited with leading the country to war—Richard Armitage,
    Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul
    Wolfowitz—only Wolfowitz fi ts the Jewish neoconservative profile. And
    Wolfowitz himself is a most unlikely mole.”

    • Annie Robbins
      October 13, 2012, 12:42 pm

      rejects which notion? norm said It is beyond dispute that Jewish neoconservatives pushed long and hard for an attack on Iraq and alterman said the same neocon armchair warriors who championed the invasion of Iraq

      dowd was referencing foreign policy proposals, norm was talking about intel. we didn’t go to war over WMD, that was just the excuse.

      the new division inside the Jewish community between neoconservative funders and liberal rank-and-file. Norman Finkelstein made many of these points last week at the New School.

      btw, have you listened to his speech wrt american jews?

      link to mondoweiss.net

      • Les
        October 13, 2012, 2:32 pm

        Odd isn’t it that in days to come people will speak of the neoconservatives who supported the war against Iraq and the fact that a handful were not Jewish.

      • David Green
        October 14, 2012, 4:40 pm

        “It is beyond dispute that Jewish neoconservatives pushed long and hard for an attack on Iraq and alterman said the same neocon armchair warriors who championed the invasion of Iraq”

        I was pointing out that NF clearly makes a distinction between this statement, and the idea that the neocons “led us into war.” Alterman would probably make it too, although he has zero credibility with me, but not because he might be wrong or right about this.

        Just pointing out the distinction, around which much of Chapter 4 of NF’s book is based–in general, the influence of the Lobby vs. the power of the Lobby to determine USFP.

        I don’t think that the war in Iraq was fought for Israel or the Israel Lobby. Nothing that hasn’t been expressed many times before on Mondoweiss in various contexts.

    • Shingo
      October 13, 2012, 4:42 pm

      Of the six self-styled
      Vulcans (dis)credited with leading the country to war—Richard Armitage,
      Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul
      Wolfowitz—only Wolfowitz fi ts the Jewish neoconservative profile.

      Only if you ignore Feith, Abrahams, Frum, Perle, Kristol, podhoretz, Lieberman, Wurmser, Kagan and at least half a dozen others.

      Then again, there are few who have mastered the art of denial and ignoring the elephant in the room as you David.

      • David Green
        October 14, 2012, 5:13 pm

        Since 2/3 of the American people supported the war, perhaps they were all doing it for Israel. Maybe there’s more Jews out there than anyone can imagine.

      • traintosiberia
        October 14, 2012, 8:45 pm

        David Green says:
        Since 2/3 of the American..”
        Mnaufacturing of this consent and this level of support were the works of the AIPAC -provided talking points vomited by neocons on the FOXnews and CNN. Donahue was thrown out for he wont buy this rancid gossip . What was the level of support for war against Iran in 2003 or 2006? Figure it out how that level has gone up how since then? Who is creating this myth of Iran being a danger to US and the world and is one turn of screw away from incinerating Israel and the West?

      • Shingo
        October 15, 2012, 2:40 am

        Since 2/3 of the American people supported the war, perhaps they were all doing it for Israel.

        Seriously David,

        Do you come to this forum just to satisfy some perverse urge to humiliate yourself in front of an audience? Why do you think Netenyahu has been doing the rounds on national TV to call or more action against Iran? Because he’s worried about the interest of Americans?

      • Annie Robbins
        October 15, 2012, 4:12 am

        shingo, i think he actually believes what we’re designed to believe about ourselves. his perception of 2/3 reminds me of the gavel coming down at the dem convention.uh huh/not.

      • Shingo
        October 15, 2012, 4:44 am

        Yes Annie,

        He reminds me of those guys from the Bush Administration like Rummy, who when confronted about the WMD lies, responded with the defence that “every thought he had them”, failing to acknowledge that “every thought he had them” because that’s what the Bush Administration told them.

      • David Green
        October 15, 2012, 11:30 am

        Sorry. The Iraq war was fought and supported by Americans like you and me, from all backgrounds. It’s completely irresponsible and cowardly for you to blame it on Jews, Israel, etc. It’s much more deep-seated than that, in our own political culture and history. And your arrogance doesn’t help any.

      • David Green
        October 15, 2012, 11:40 am

        Train, it takes a lot more than Jews on board to get this thing going. And it continues to go under Obama as well as Bush, even in the absence of lurid neocons. Not too hard to figure out why that is. Obama’s on board, from the get go. That’s how he got where he is.

      • piotr
        October 15, 2012, 10:27 pm

        [Vulcans:] Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul
        Wolfowitz—only Wolfowitz fi ts the Jewish neoconservative profile.
        [David Green]
        Only if you ignore Feith, Abrahams, Frum, Perle, Kristol, podhoretz, Lieberman, Wurmser, Kagan and at least half a dozen others.

        Then again, there are few who have mastered the art of denial and ignoring the elephant in the room as you David.
        [me, piotr]
        There are several manipulations in one sentence here. First, Powell, Rice and Armitage were not pressing for war but more or less followed the orders. They were obedient aparatchicks, not the drivers. So we are left with Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz (and plenty of other Jewish neocons, and some non-Jewish like Bolton).

        Second, I do not know who claimed that neo-cons were moles. Hence, as moles they were unlikely. Cheney and Rumsfeld were central figures of military-industrial complex, but they were quite inarticulate. They needed professionals in sales and promotion, and here neo-cons were crucial. Rather than oscillating between government posts and lucrative corporate positions, a typical neo-con is in think tanks, PR companies etc, i.e. they make a living by selling their intellectual bodies to the clients (funders of think tanks, customers of PR etc.) And their screeds were plied all over the media. They are not poor, but far from “ruling class”. Funding of neo-cons is more murky, and here is a nice terrain for conspiracy theories.

        Who was the primary driver for the war in Iraq is a bit semantic question. For example, one selling point was domination over oil markets, for example before the war there was a conference in London how Iraqi oil can be managed by Western companies to boost the production above Saudi level. Cheney himself was in oil services. In the hindsight, the war was not a bonanza for oil companies, but oilmen could genuinely expect that it will. Military-industrial complex was more natural in wishing a war, except that people on active duty are not overly enthusiastic about being too active.

        My non-hyped assessment is that the key segments of American ruling class were pro-war but in an ambivalent degree, while the Zionist segments was dead set to remove the arch-enemy of Israel (as Saddam was painted) from the picture. These people had huge influence over think tanks and the media.

      • David Green
        October 18, 2012, 9:26 am

        “My non-hyped assessment is that the key segments of American ruling class were pro-war but in an ambivalent degree”

        Speaking of semantics, it’s amazing the lengths that you will go to to try absolve–although unconvincingly–the ruling class from responsibility. Again, Finkelstein’s chapter convincingly refutes the notion that the neocons were ultimately responsible for going to war.

      • Cliff
        October 18, 2012, 11:48 am

        The ruling class?

        No, what is truly amazing is how such a wormy liar can continue to call himself an anti-Zionist when you’re clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

      • andrew r
        October 19, 2012, 8:21 am

        I do have a question for those who believe the Israel lobby manipulated the US into attacking Iraq: How about Lebanon in 1983?

    • American
      October 13, 2012, 4:55 pm

      Did he or didn’t he? I bet he did.
      Plenty of people were saying it in private at the time, plenty now have said it publicly after the fact, Clark, Wilkerson, Powell in referring to JINSA, and many, many lesser figures. And they weren’t even drunk…LOL
      Tenet got screwed but it was his own fault for going along to get along. He shoulda known he was going to take the fall. But he still has his pension and some kind of award because as we know no one in government ever gets punished for their gross incompetence or failure in their duty to the country.
      Nope, they are given a medal and allowed to retire or be reassigned to another position.

      George Tenet, Drunk in Bandar’s Pool, Screaming about Jews
      By Jeffrey Goldberg
      Dec 16 2008, 12:03 PM ET

      I just picked up Patrick Tyler’s forthcoming book, A World of Trouble, about America’s tortured relations with the Middle East, and the prologue contains this whopper of a scene, one that is quite devastating, if true: An enraged George Tenet, drunk on scotch, flailing about Prince Bandar’s Riyadh pool, screaming about the Bush Administration officials who were just then trying to pin the Iraq WMD fiasco on him:

      ” A servant appeared with a bottle. Tenet knocked back some of the scotch. Then some more. They watched with concern. He drained half the bottle in a few minutes.
      “They’re setting me up. The bastards are setting me up,” Tenet said, but “I am not going to take the hit.”

      And then this:

      “According to one witness, he mocked the neoconservatives in the Bush administration and their alignment with the rlght wing of Israel’s political establishment, referring to them with exaxperation as, “the Jews.”

      Tyler reports in a footnote that, when asked, Tenet initially denied staying at Prince Bandar’s palace, then denied that he had said anything in the pool. “He disputed the remarks attributed to him and denied that his memory might have been affected by the amount of alcohol he was reported to have consumed on top of a sleeping pill,” Tyler reports.

      link to theatlantic.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 13, 2012, 9:08 pm

      RE: “But, however much it echoed and reinforced U.S. intelligence,
      the misinformation (or disinformation) Israel passed on does not
      appear to have significantly influenced the Bush administration.” ~ Finkelstein in Chapter 4 of his book (per David Green)

      MY REPLY: Tony Blair seems to think otherwise (if he is to be believed), and he was actually “there”.

      FROM STEPHEN WALT (02/08/10):

      [EXCERPT] . . . In his testimony [under oath - J.L.D.] to the Iraq war commission in the U.K., former Prime Minister Tony Blair offered the following account of his discussions with Bush in Crawford, Texas in April 2002. Blair reveals that concerns about Israel were part of the equation and that Israel officials were involved in those discussions.

      Take it away, Tony:

      “As I recall that discussion, it was less to do with specifics about what we were going to do on Iraq or, indeed, the Middle East, because the Israel issue was a big, big issue at the time. I think, in fact, I remember, actually, there may have been conversations that we had even with Israelis, the two of us, whilst we were there. So that was a major part of all this.

      Notice that Blair is not saying that Israel dreamed up the idea of attacking Iraq or that Bush was bent on war solely to benefit Israel or even to appease the Israel lobby here at home. But Blair is acknowledging that concerns about Israel were part of the equation, and that the Israeli government was being actively consulted in the planning for the war. . .

      SOURCE – link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 13, 2012, 9:48 pm

      RE: “. . .Rumsfeld . . . does not fault Israeli intelligence or even list it among the erroneous corroborators of U.S. intelligence. Nor does Cheney fault Israeli intelligence or list it among the erroneous corroborators. Nor does Rice. The only plausible explanation for this across-the-board silence is that Israeli intelligence really was irrelevant. “~ Finkelstein in Chapter 4 of his book (per David Green)

      FOR ANOTHER POSSIBLE EXPLANATION (for the “across-the-board silence”), SEE:
      “Why the U.S. Media Barely Covered Brutal Right-Wing Race Riots in Tel Aviv”, By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 6/17/12

      [EXCERPTS]. . . Recently, Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the Tel Aviv riots, the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program and how the Israel lobby helps narrow the discourse around Israel in the United States. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole interview here.)
      [EXCERPTS]
      • JOSHUA HOLLAND: From your inside perspective on that organization [AIPAC], what did you see as far as their tendency to call out criticism that they think is illegitimate or beyond the pale?
      • MJ ROSENBERG: They [AIPAC] consider all criticism of Israel illegitimate. It’s all beyond the pale. I suppose their definition would be if by some miracle someone like Joseph Lieberman made a statement critical of Israel it would be legitimate. When I worked there in the ’80s, back before everyone had computers, they had a big war room where all they did was assemble every bit of data on members of Congress, on candidates, but also on writers, celebrities – anyone in the public eye.
      In those days they would just put them in these folders. They always had at hand all this negative information — what they considered negative information — to tar people as being anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic. That stuff would be given to reporters if something came up. They were either initiated on their own to give to reporters or some reporter called them because they had a treasure trove of information.
      They still operate that way. In those days they did it directly; now they have former staffers and people who are close to the organization in the blogging world and political world who do it for them. They do it so much. When you read that someone is anti-Israel they’re the ones putting it out there. They’ve got the data. . .

      ENTIRE (LIGHTLY EDITED) TRANSCRIPT – link to alternet.org

  2. Annie Robbins
    October 13, 2012, 12:29 pm

    Although these people are deeply out of step with the vast majority of Jews, they wish to create a media narrative that suggests the opposite…So why has it been so easy to fool so many members of the media so much of the time? One reason is laziness: journalists use the views of so-called Jewish leaders regarding Israel as a shorthand for those of all American Jews……that “Jewish political community” consisted predominantly of neocons and former Bush cheerleaders

    i doubt it’s laziness. he says “No less significant” is the ” accusations of anti-Semitism or Jewish “self-hatred.” ” i’d say that’s about 98% of the reason unless a journalist agrees with the neocons. not sure how many journalists have access to msm who have not been previously indoctrinated.

    • pabelmont
      October 13, 2012, 3:23 pm

      Annie: Exactly: MSM folk are under the same pressure as Congressmen, etc., to kow-tow to hard-line Israel. They work for corporate owners. They don’t BELIEVE neocons, they merely find them convenient to quote.

      Phil: Tsk, tsk for this “Bibi” in place of “Binyamin” or whatever the English is supposed to be: “Meet the Press’s David Gregory recently went so far as to call Bibi Netanyahu the “leader of the Jewish people,” God help us.) ” N’yahu is not as benign as the name “Baby Doc” sounds (and either was “Baby Doc” himself).

      I thought the editors of MW had agreed on this one. Hope so.

    • Meyer
      October 13, 2012, 5:52 pm

      I did not understand that aspect of this piece. The often reflexive accusations of anti-semitism notwithstanding, I don’t see how it is applicable here. Why would reporting on Jewish political views that reflected the community’s overwhelming preference for liberal ideologies as opposed to AIPAC’s far less popular neo-conservativism be considered anti-semitic?

      Have journalists who have pointed out the discrepancy between the conservative face of Jewish political power and the far more left-leaning views held be the bulk of US Jews been accused of anti-semitism or self-hatred?

      • American
        October 15, 2012, 12:58 pm

        “Have journalists who have pointed out the discrepancy between the conservative face of Jewish political power and the far more left-leaning views held be the bulk of US Jews been accused of anti-semitism or self-hatred?…Meyer

        Yes, they have been. Many…Glen Greenwald, Phil, ….too numerous to list.

      • Meyer
        October 17, 2012, 7:00 am

        American,

        The statement we’re discussing (shown by itself, not in every possible context), undoubtedly NOT anti-Semitic at all.

        I wonder what else was written by those journalists and if any of it elicited the accusation. Because by itself the charge of AS just doesn’t make sense. I’m having trouble believing that SO many people were accused of racism for nothing more than making this one, singular, utterly benign comment.

      • American
        October 17, 2012, 10:04 am

        @ Meyer

        I promise you that any journalist Jew who dares to say that there are some Jews who don’t support the zionist’ excuses’ for Palestine occupation, who points out bad aspects of zionism or hints Zionist don’t speak for all Jews or otherwise doesn’t toe the zionist line will be subjected to the slurs 9 times out of 10. They may pressure him privately and if that doesn’t work they will go after him publicly. I can’t think of an example of one right now that went after Beinart for instance, but as gung ho as he is for Israel he still got attacked from some quarters. Maybe a few like Tom Friedman can away with some criticism without being publicaly attacked but not many of them can.

      • Meyer
        October 17, 2012, 7:53 pm

        American,

        Ok, this is starting to make more sense. The examples in your last post are very different than the original criticism we were discussing. I think that there are ample opportunities for criticizing Israel without getting called anti Semitic. Things get grayer once those criticisms become less about policy and more about criticizing or even rejecting Zionism as a valid ideology. I see how some people would begin to make accusations then. It’s very different from the original criticism that AIPACs ideology sits far to the right of most US Jews.

  3. CitizenC
    October 13, 2012, 1:10 pm

    No doubt there are changes in American Jewish views. But what do they really amount to? Embarassment at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians? At Israel’s strident war-mongering? Do American Jews reject Zionism? Do they agree that Israel should be coerced by withholding US aid? What kind of “solution” do they envision?

    Nearly 80% of US Jews supported Cast Lead according to the poll at this link, key question below. The poll is from the ADL but the question seems fairly stated, lacking perhaps only a skeptical phrase about Israeli diplomacy in the first answer. Is this reflexive kill-em-all, ask questions later, approach still the common denominator?

    link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

    Which view is closer to your own? (ADL, January 13-19, 2009)

    Israel’s (military) response to the current crisis in Gaza is EXCESSIVE: Israel has every right to protect its people from the rocket attacks of the Hamas radicals, but its use of air strikes, and sending troops into Gaza is a disproportionate response to the current crisis. The Hamas rockets attacks are not a serious threat to Israel’s existence.

    OR

    Israel’s (military) response to the current crisis in Gaza is APPROPRIATE: Israel pursued every diplomatic channel possible to persuade Hamas to stop firing their rockets into Israel. Further, Israeli leaders issued repeated warnings that unless Hamas radicals stopped firing rockets into Israel, Israel’s only alternative was the use of military force.

    Appropriate
    79%

    Excessive
    17%

    • Philip Weiss
      October 13, 2012, 1:24 pm

      thanks. helpful. it’s a reactionary community on this issue

      • Citizen
        October 13, 2012, 8:58 pm

        Whether its “good for the Jews” will be a continued undercurrent in politics long after anyone reading this blog is dead. The only question for the seniors here is, will they live long enough to see WW3 afire in the ME?
        A century from now, a handful of the world’s leftover people will be trying to connect old dots with recently declassified data.

    • yonah fredman
      October 13, 2012, 4:56 pm

      Cast Lead was a difficult issue, primarily because Gaza is such a remnant/reminder of the nakba with its primarily refugee population. Combining that with the fact that Sharon’s lone legacy of his career as prime minister was withdrawing troops and settlers from Gaza and there is a need to believe that this was a good move (and a sufficient move). And it can only be considered a good move, if the proviso of harsh response to rocket attacks is included. (I think it was a good move, but not a sufficient move. Further effort towards the normalization of Gaza’s relationship with the rest of the world vis a vis exports first and imports eventually, should be initiated.) Also whereas Abbas represents the West Bank, Hamas “represents” Gaza and Hamas is not an easy or digestible fact either. So I recognize Jewish and Israeli “reactionary” attitude towards Cast Lead as explainable. Rejecting Cast Lead, as I did over time, is not an easy step for most Jews committed to Israel’s existence/survival/ right of self defense.

      • Shingo
        October 13, 2012, 5:33 pm

        Rejecting Cast Lead, as I did over time, is not an easy step for most Jews committed to Israel’s
        existence/survival/ right of self defense.

        While I respect that you did question the tribal dogmas that are shared by Israeli supporters, the problem is that Israeli supporters generally accept anything and everything does as being in the name of self defense. This includes land theft, settlement expansion as well as every military action they take.

        In fact, there is practically nothing the Israelis are doing that serves Israel’s
        existence/survival/ right of self defense.

      • Andre
        October 13, 2012, 6:08 pm

        Yonah Fredman said: “Rejecting Cast Lead, as I did over time, is not an easy step for most Jews committed to Israel’s existence/survival/ right of self defense.”

        I assume you supported this Israeli genocidal act of war crimes and crimes against humanity. May I ask you what made you change your mind about this particularly barbaric, vicious atrocity against 1,5 million defenseless people, including some 800,000 children?

      • CitizenC
        October 13, 2012, 8:29 pm

        “Cast Lead was a difficult issue.”

        I am flummoxed that anyone reading this site would make such a stmt.

      • yonah fredman
        October 14, 2012, 3:57 pm

        Andre and CitizenC- Communication between supporters of Israel and those who oppose Zionism is an iffy thing. I do not sense that either of you are interested in communication with a supporter of Israel. Have a nice day.

      • CitizenC
        October 14, 2012, 6:40 pm

        No I am not a “supporter of Israel” as a Jewish state, the state of “the Jewish people”, whose historical and social existence I reject. In modern terms Israeli Hebrew-speakers belong to a secular, Israeli Hebrew nationality, as Boas Evron argued in “Jewish State or Israeli Nation” nearly 30 yrs ago. In fact there was a story in Haartz this week about how most of the IOF identifies as Israeli, not Jewish. Your unbelievable statement that “Cast Lead was a difficult issue” is further evidence, if it were needed, on the indefensibility of “the Jewish people”.

      • Andre
        October 14, 2012, 9:59 pm

        @ Yonah Fredman: I’m not sure what you mean by an “iffy thing”. If I wasn’t interested in communicating with a supporter of Israel, (something I’ve done on an almost daily basis for the past few decades) I wouldn’t have posted a perfectly legitimate question regarding your change of mind about Cast Lead in the first place. Have a nice day, too.

      • American
        October 15, 2012, 1:04 pm

        yonah fredman says:

        Andre and CitizenC- Communication between supporters of Israel and those who oppose Zionism is an iffy thing. I do not sense that either of you are interested in communication with a supporter of Israel. Have a nice day.”

        There’s nothing to communicate about except the terms of surrender for zionist racism and supremacy in Palestine.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 15, 2012, 1:32 pm

        There’s nothing to communicate about except the terms of surrender for zionist racism and supremacy in Palestine.

        not really. the original question (” what made you change your mind “) is actually worthy. originally yonah said Rejecting Cast Lead, as I did over time, is not an easy step for most Jews committed to Israel’s existence/survival/ right of self defense.

        so i take him at his word, both that he rejected supporting the massacre ( albeit that he probably wouldn’t characterize as that, but i just cannot call it CL ) and that the transition from supporting it to not supporting it was not easy. but it is exactly that personal transition that holds a key to understanding how societies can evolve for the better, thru individual/recognition transformations..

        so, the framing of it as a massacre as i did, or as andre called it ” barbaric, vicious atrocity” might not precisely match yonah’s vision, therefore answering the question with that framing he may find repulsive. but if he’s on the road that’s still a plus factor.

      • American
        October 15, 2012, 2:17 pm

        “not really. the original question (” what made you change your mind “) is actually worthy. originally yonah said Rejecting Cast Lead, as I did over time, is not an easy step for most Jews committed to Israel’s existence/survival/ right of self defense.”..annie

        Dreamer…:):)…idealist..:):)…..I say with kindness.

        Let’s do an exercise about the root of yonah’s belief before he made his conversion to condemning Gaza’s carnage
        I live in a powerful state that has a mostly powerless enemy with home made rockets that can rarely hit a barn door.
        But I fear for my existence becuase they want their land back.
        Rational or not?
        Not.
        But I have now made the step to not supporting wholesale slaughter despite my irrational fears.
        So all that is needed is to allow time for more ants to convert from irrational fear to criticizing too much Israeli carnage and then they can move the rubber tree plant.
        And because of course it isn’t’ easy’ for Jews to do that we and Palestine and the world must be patient and understanding with them.
        When hell freezes over and Palestine disappears will there be enough converted ants to move that rubber tree plant.

        But good for yonah, even though he’s a day late and dollar short because it wasn’t ‘easy’. None of this is easy for anyone, least of all for the people of Gaza.
        No insult intended to yonah.
        But time’s up.

      • yonah fredman
        October 15, 2012, 5:25 pm

        Andre- If you think your question was posed in a communicative way, I hope you don’t communicate in said fashion with people close to you. “You were such a worthless idiot, why don’t you tell me why you stopped being such a stupid worthless idiot.” If you think your question was legitimate, why would you pose it surrounded by thorns. No, I don’t believe the gist of your question was asked in a spirit of communication.

        I was helped along in my short journey from supporting the war against Gaza to opposing it, by Larry Derfner’s distinctions between the war against Lebanon of 2006 and the war against Gaza. He felt that whereas Lebanon is a sovereign state, it had a responsibility to control all attacks from its territory and Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon was complete in a way that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza was incomplete. Also the fact of prolonged occupation of Gaza implies responsibilities on Israel’s part, that the shorter (nonsettler) occupation of southern Lebanon did not imply.

        But these were logical scaffolding for a more emotional response that the death of civilians were “bad” and somehow Israel’s response was too political (internal Israeli politics) and too brutal.

        To be specific, right after the war, I said to myself, “If I would have been in charge, Israel would not have attacked this way.” But there are two ways of interpreting such a statement: “It’s lucky that Israel does not have such a weak willed person in charge.” or “I wish someone more like me would be in charge.” and over time I came to give the second interpretation to my initial reaction.

        But if you are interested in communication, you would not surround your question with thorns.

      • Donald
        October 15, 2012, 10:25 pm

        The difference between Lebanon 2006 and Cast Lead is that I think Hezbollah started the 2006 war. However, Israel’s brutality was similar in both–the use of indiscriminate firepower, culminating in their use of cluster munitions at the end.

        Hezbollah and Hamas aren’t innocent either (HRW put out separate reports on war crimes by both Israel and Hezbollah in the 2006 war), but Israel has a pretty consistent record of brutality towards civilians and my impression is that most defenders of Israel are in denial about that.

      • yonah fredman
        October 16, 2012, 4:23 pm

        American- Your “I live in a powerful state that has a mostly powerless enemy with home made rockets that can rarely hit a barn door.”

        Please realize that this is not the basis for rejecting Israel’s actions in its war against Gaza. If Mexico allowed home made rockets to be fired from its territory to force San Diego’s inhabitants into bomb shelters, you can bet that the US would react disproportionately. The fact is that whenever the city of Sderot is mentioned here on this web site it is routinely accompanied with information regarding its original Palestinian inhabitants. Thus it is not Israel’s reaction to the home made rockets, nor the limited damage done by those rockets that is at the source of objection to Israel’s policy, rather the fact that those attacking them have a claim on Israel (in your view) that is the basis of the problem.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 16, 2012, 4:59 pm

        “If Mexico allowed home made rockets to be fired from its territory to force San Diego’s inhabitants into bomb shelters, you can bet that the US would react disproportionately.”

        In your hypothetical, is the US trying to keep the Mexicans on a starvation died and slowly poisoning their environment and blockading the country for no reason other than for standing up for their rights? If so, then people might favor the Mexicans.

      • Shingo
        October 16, 2012, 6:38 pm

        If Mexico allowed home made rockets to be fired from its territory to force San Diego’s inhabitants into bomb shelters, you can bet that the US would react disproportionately.

        If Mexico tried to blockade the US and conducted raids into the US even during a ceasefire, you can also bet that the US would react disproportionately.

        Thus it is not Israel’s reaction to the home made rockets, nor the limited damage done by those rockets that is at the source of objection to Israel’s policy, rather the fact that those attacking them have a claim on Israel (in your view) that is the basis of the problem.

        Only a hasbrats could discuss the rockets and ignore the elephant in the room – namely the blockade. It amazes me how hasbrats stand behind Israel’s decision to go to war in ’67 over a week long blockade that affected 5% of Israel’s shipping, yet can’t wrap their heads around why a blockade that affects 100% of Gaza’s imports might incite any kind of response.

        It must take years of practice and commitment to get that good at it.

      • yonah fredman
        October 16, 2012, 11:02 pm

        Shingo- Yes, the blockade is the most important fact. The side of a barn stuff is just beside the point. And I dealt with a “beside the point” point in a hasbara fashion.

        I wonder what kind of missiles Hamas will bring into Gaza if and when they are free to import. I think Israel should talk to Hamas and Gaza should be given as much freedom as possible. That freedom does not include being included in the offer to vote which should be made to the West Bank Palestinians (as soon as the players concede that the two state solution is no longer doable.), but will not be made to the Gaza Palestinians. Once the West Bank Palestinians dominate the Knesset vote they may vote to include the Gaza Palestinians into the new Isratine.

      • Mooser
        October 17, 2012, 6:39 pm

        “Rejecting Cast Lead, as I did over time, is not an easy step for most Jews”

        Oh, please, it’s the same old shoot-n-cry. But it’s nice to know, Yonah, that you have finer moral and ethical sensitivities than “most Jews”.

    • American
      October 13, 2012, 5:10 pm

      This poll is referring to the Cast lead Operation in Gaza or some other?

      If it was asking about Cast Lead in Gaza then the Jewish pollees are totally out of step with even the most indifferent of Americans. Cast Lead with a picture of dead children made the front page of my small town mostly conserative newspaper and got Israel condemned in it’s editoral. I would tell the story about a Jewish woman’s complaint on the coverage by the paper and what was said back to her but it’s too long for me to go into now. Anyway, that was the beginning of the end for Israel around here.

    • Danaa
      October 14, 2012, 5:40 am

      Wow. I think the community is beyond reactionary on this or anything else to do with Israel’s “excessive’ actions (like running Rachel Corrie down with a buldozer?).

      Let’s call it like it is, Gaza cast lead was an outright abomination, a war crime by any measure the ICC would have adopted – had it not been for the US guarding israel’s back. It was every bit as bad as the killings in Darfur, as the ethnic cleansing by the Serbs at Srebrinka and a few others we can mention. It was the deliberate and methodical murder by phosphorous and other hideous means of children, women and totally innocent men. The justification – but Hamas!

      If we admit that Cast Lead was criminal then those who support it are – what exactly would we call someone who supports a mafia hit?

      But what we have from you Phil is the mild “reactionary”.

      What the word should be we can only figure out if we imagine what the condemnation words would have been like had the victims been Jewish.

      Alas, the Jewish community – or the 80% who thought “Cast lead” was “appropriate” – is beyond mere denial or ignorance of the facts due to lack of coverage by the media. It is utterly and totally indifferent to lives that happen to be muslim, or Arab, or maybe just – what? we saw it in the indifference to the immense death and destruction inflicted upon Iraq (once the mayhem started – there was indeed great silence), we see it in the mostly indifferent reactions to the endless string of civilian deaths in Afganistan, or Yemen, or Somalia. Sure some of this silence is so as to not give a black eye to a democratic president, but not all of it. The rest can only be called indifference, because I doubt jewish people – pundits included – are so good at keeping quiet about things they really don’t care for.

      I think it’s time to take stock of what the larger Jewish community is indifferent to and stop the real denial. Obviously the Christian churches – methodists and Presbetarians – are seeing and not denying and acting – slowly still, but it will accelerate. Could it be that those Christian denominations care more than Jews (looking at the sum total now) about Justice and Human Rights? alas, one Glenn Greenwald is not enough to redeem thousands of uncaring Jewish people and their representative synagogs and communities. Even 10 Glenn’s is not enough. We need thousands and thousands before real change will happens. So far, unfortunately the only schism I see is among the progressive left.

      PS Just noticed Frankie P noted voiced similar sentiments below (more succintly too!). Oh well, can’t hurt having two though his is the more pointed comment. Oh well, let it all rip.

  4. Citizen
    October 13, 2012, 9:02 pm

    @ American
    Where I live Cast Lead never made it into the local papers at all; it certainly was not a subject at dinner.

    • American
      October 15, 2012, 1:33 pm

      It was around here. I can’t account for why our paper front paged this and did a number on Israel , except it’s owned by newspaper group of more Libertarian ideology than actual right wing conservative, plus it’s very military oriented because of the high military population here and very mainstream Christian oriented. For a supposed southern and conservative and anti immigration area we have a lot of Churches here that bring in refugees, the past 3 years it has been refugees from Burma..we’ve almost got a regular UN going here. And for a small Southern town we have a high number of Muslim Arabs, Indians and I know several Arab Israeli families here that emigrated to the US …so go figure.
      I told the story before of the incident at a restaurant where a Jewish lady made a public scene over the newspaper’s coverage and got told off by a man and the whole restaurant applauded him. Shocked the hell out of me because as much as I personally and some friends in the community are into Israel’s gross actions I didn’t realize what effect showing the Gaza carnage would have on the community in general.

  5. Andre
    October 13, 2012, 10:29 pm

    I was just wondering why my question to Yonah Fredman about Cast Lead is still “awaiting moderation”?

    • Mooser
      October 17, 2012, 6:45 pm

      Andre, “over time” he came to reject it. It was hard, hard to realise that committing what was pretty much a massacre would not necessarily help Israel. Takes time.

  6. Frankie P
    October 13, 2012, 11:37 pm

    Thank God for cool heads like that of Citizen C, who made an excellent comment above, and I have to say that Phil Weiss seems to have his head further and further up his, well we won’t go into that. PW: “thanks. helpful. it’s a reactionary community on this issue” WTF is that supposed to mean? As if you didn’t know that, as if you didn’t know the figures regarding American Jewish support for Cast Lead, not to mention the slower burning day to day ethnic cleansing that is Israel and the Palestinian territories that she controls. Here’s an excellent piece by Alterman, indeed. We only look at the first sentence and wonder how or why Phil Weiss would not challenge and yes, even laugh out loud at this sentence:

    “while Jews remain liberal and dovish—even on Israel—many Jewish funders and neoconservative pundits do not.”

    When will you realize, Phil Weiss, that most Jews in America, contrary to your wishes, dreams, and invocations, do NOT think like you in regards to Israel. Jews in America are NOT dovish on Israel, though they may be dovish on other issues, especially domestic ones.

    And then Alterman’s “excellent piece” moves in the direction we have come to expect, namely that of Jewish sensibilities and sensitivities, especially regarding the dreaded peddlers of anti-Semitic imagery. Ho-hum. Alterman then comes to the brilliant conclusion, totally wrong, of course, that “this brand of Jewish McCarthyism is no longer associated with the word “liberal.”” Yeah, tell Greta about that, and we’ll see if she agrees with you.

    FPM

    • ToivoS
      October 14, 2012, 3:23 am

      Frankie I don’t think you are paying close attention to criticisms against Greta Berlin. This criticism came from Palestinians. Jewish critics were slow to take this up. JSF and MW waited a week before supporting the Palestinian initiated criticisms. My introduction to the scandal was reading Larry Derfner’s (who describes himself as a Zionist) defense of Greta.

  7. sardelapasti
    October 14, 2012, 1:42 am

    Frankie P.: “We only look at the first sentence and wonder how or why Phil Weiss would not challenge and yes, even laugh out loud…”
    You may wonder; other people don’t anymore. This site is definitely in the “Zionist Anti-Zionist” category. You can expect a lot of so-called “criticism” of something called “Israel” but not a slaughter of any of the sacred cows like those of a “Jewish” ethnic identity, or that of a significant difference between the reactionary and liberal varieties of Zionist murderers. To whom Eric Alterman proudly belongs, and is allowed to spread his obvious Zionist propaganda on this site, like several other Zionist propaganda agents, as if they didn’t have enough room elsewhere.
    Yes, to Phil, one of the longest-lasting, perhaps bloodiest wars of our times is nothing but a war “of ideas”.

  8. atime forpeace
    October 14, 2012, 8:31 am

    I don’t think Miko Peled could be called a liberal zionist but he explains zionism really well.
    Miko Peled gave this speech recently, here he tells his story, growing up the son of a famed Israeli General.

    link to lewrockwell.com

  9. chinese box
    October 14, 2012, 10:44 am

    I’ve never trusted Alterman on this issue. He always seemed like a fence-sitter, and he is still promoting 2ss. And now he’s trying to palm this off as a strictly neocon/Likud problem.

  10. shachalnur
    October 14, 2012, 6:23 pm

    maybe something else is happening.
    the so-called “neoconservative fundraisers” , are the ones who have more knowledge
    of what’s going on behind the scenes.
    The split inside the jewish lobby has more to do with Obama’s puppetmasters.(mainly european bankers ,that own the Fed.)
    The people that created Israel also have been able to “own” both republican and democratic candidates for ages.
    this time it’s different; the stakes are much higher and Israel has been dumped by it’s former (european) sponsors.
    Israel is aware of this,most jews in the US are not.
    Therefore the late and desperate support for Romney,
    The Likud, neo-con,mormon alliance is trying a coup d’etat in the US.
    In spite of all the warmongering not a lot is happening; the Syrian “rebels” are running out of steam,Turkey forces down a plane with non-existing arms aboard,and are in trouble with the Russians now(I wonder who gave them this fake info),mysterious drone diversions etc.
    A coordinated attack by Israel and the US on Iran is not very likely right now.
    Any war breaking out in the middle east right now (Syria,Lebanon,Turkey) will be very bad news for Israel.
    That’s why all warefforts have been put on hold(Israel is part of this)
    The real war is going on in the US right now;Obama’s puppetmasters(formerly Israel’s supporters,who pulled the plug on Israel) vs. Romney (Likud ,neo-con (fundraisers) and cristian zionists).
    An Obama win is “very dangerous for Israel”(Adelson,Murdoch and others).
    A Romney win is dangerous for all jews.

    • Mooser
      October 15, 2012, 1:56 pm

      “The Likud, neo-con,mormon alliance is trying a coup d’etat in the US.”

      Yeah, that’s true, but you gotta understand, they just can’t help it. Put those schlimiels together and you get the “Pinky and the Brain” of American politics.

      • Mooser
        October 15, 2012, 1:59 pm

        “A Romney win is dangerous for all jews.”

        If Romney enacts a Federal program to cut heating bills for American Jewish consumers by sending them all long underwear don’t put them on! Shiver if you must, but don them not!

    • David Green
      October 15, 2012, 2:03 pm

      “An Obama win is “very dangerous for Israel””

      An Obama or Romeny win is a win for the 1%, including the 1% in Israel. The specific policy toward Israel won’t be much different as a result.

    • Chu
      October 15, 2012, 2:39 pm

      Which European sponsors dumped Israel, and are they conspiring with the the Obama ‘puppetmasters’ who also have pulled the plug on Israel? Is this what is being said in Israel…

      One more item, why are they all pulling out of the Israel project at this time?

  11. traintosiberia
    October 14, 2012, 9:52 pm

    For David Green.
    How the debate on Middle Eastern policy is shaped by media and propagated to condition Americans to think like a Likudnik could be seen in the VP debate. I am quoting Gleen Greenwald-

    “by Glenn Greenwald
    iFirst there is this:
    RADDATZ: Let’s move to Iran. I’d actually like to move to Iran, because there’s really no bigger national security…

    RYAN: Absolutely.

    RADDATZ: … this country is facing.

    Ryan’s interruption made it difficult to hear whether Raddatz said that there is “no bigger national security threat the country is facing” or “national security issue”. Either way, the very idea that Iran poses some kind of major “national security” crisis for the US – let alone that there is “really no bigger national security” issue “this country is facing” – is absurd. At the very least, it’s highly debatable.”

    October 12, 2012 by The Guardian (UK)

    • David Green
      October 15, 2012, 11:46 am

      Is this the first you’ve heard about endemic American paranoia regarding foreign policy? I guess you haven’t heard about the Cold War, for starters.

      • traintosiberia
        October 15, 2012, 9:04 pm

        I have heard before and we will hear in future.But you also have seen the resistance to those lies and indoctrination by the citizen and by the media. Vietnam war , wars in latin America or support for aparthied regime are among those succeessful examples . They succeeded for eventullay US reocgnized the folly,cost,and effcts on the inetrnational relations. America had ears and eyes to the ground .It took a while to open up and appreciate the messages supplied by the relaity . Isreal did not or could not or did not care to interfere. There was no other lobby to interfere with those sane decisions eventually taken by US in 1975 over vietnam, 1990 over S Africa and similar distancing in cases of Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, or Hinduras or even Venezuela. US could have learnt the same lessons and could have applied the same knowledege to engage to Iraq, Yemen,Somalia, Iran ,Saudi Arabia, but could n’t dare for the presence of organizations AIPAC/JINSA/ADL and for the presence of their card holders in the administration and in the media. US still would be fighting China if Taiwan lobby were that effective and dangerous.

      • David Green
        October 16, 2012, 11:27 am

        “There was no other lobby to interfere with those sane decisions eventually taken by US in 1975 over vietnam, 1990 over S Africa and similar distancing in cases of Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, or Hinduras or even Venezuela. US could have learnt the same lessons and could have applied the same knowledege to engage to Iraq, Yemen,Somalia, Iran ,Saudi Arabia, but could n’t dare for the presence of organizations AIPAC/JINSA/ADL and for the presence of their card holders in the administration and in the media. US still would be fighting China if Taiwan lobby were that effective and dangerous.”

        In all honesty, this shows that your alleged understanding of the history of USFP is based on fantasy. You don’t understand the most primary fact: that USFP in the ME has been built–for 80 years–around engaging Saudi Arabia.

        You completely discredit the “Israel Lobby explains everything” crowd, which hardly needed to be done anyway.

      • Shingo
        October 16, 2012, 6:33 pm

        In all honesty, this shows that your alleged understanding of the history of USFP is based on fantasy. You don’t understand the most primary fact: that USFP in the ME has been built–for 80 years–around engaging Saudi Arabia.

        You shouldn’t be using words like “honesty” David, it makes you sound even less intelligent. No, USFP has not been built around engaging Saudi Arabia, it has been about controlling the region via the British method of divide and conquer.

        In fact, it was a British Prime Minister who endorsed the idea of creating a foreign (non Arab) state in the ME or the Mediterranean that could serve to keep the Arab states divided, and hasn’t it worked a treat?

      • traintosiberia
        October 16, 2012, 10:58 pm

        You might have a point though very indirect to the importnace you are attaching to Saudi Arab. Noeocons like Laurent Murawiec,Richard N. Perle, and Kenneth Adelman put enormous pressure to go after SA, seize their oil,declare them as enemy but were pushed back by White House. link to dailymail.co.uk
        SA dodged the bullet (but Iraq could not ) in 2002 though SA did not get the AWACS in 1980s courtsey of AIPAC.
        The dollar as a reserve currency and as oil as weapon against ‘rogue oil producers ” are based on total capitualtion of SA to the policies of US. SA gets protection from overt Israeli wrath ( for supporting Paletstinian ) in return. SA tried to bring Hamas and PLO together after 2006 but was prevented by US at the behest of Israel. SA offered a peace deal in 2002 and again 2006 with the full support of every Islaimic countries but was rejected by US since Israel wont even explore the ideas.
        SA did enter some kind of deal with US during Rosevelt and during Nixon era that were benificial to US . Give me one exapmle where US benfitted from Isreal. SA is a corrupt family controlled country but it does not mean that Israel is not a racist,aparthied country surviving by milking US for last 6 decades made possible by 5th columns and not by any intrinsic US dependence on Israel.

      • Citizen
        October 17, 2012, 6:56 am

        @ David Green
        “In all honesty, this shows that your alleged understanding of the history of USFP is based on fantasy. You don’t understand the most primary fact: that USFP in the ME has been built–for 80 years–around engaging Saudi Arabia.

        You completely discredit the “Israel Lobby explains everything” crowd, which hardly needed to be done anyway.”

        Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud declared himself king and gave SA its name as a country in 1932. In 1933, the King invited US oil companies into SA to develop SA’s oil fields (after American oil prospectors find lots of oil on land concessions they had purchased from him with gold).

        In 1945, when the US urgently needed oil facilities to supply the Allied war effort, Roosevelt made an oil-for-security deal with the King, with the King guaranteeing to give the US secure access to Saudi oil in exchange for the US providing military assistance and training to SA, and building the Dhahran military base. They made this deal aboard the USS Quincy, docked in the Suez Canal.

        At this meeting the issue of creating a Jewish homeland was also discussed.
        The King acknowledged the plight of the Jews, but argued taking part of Palestine was unfair to the Palestinians. After that meeting, Roosevelt wrote the King he that he would take no action which might prove hostile to the Arab people. Roosevelt died soon after, enter Truman.

        In 1947, the King’s second son, Prince Faisal went to NY for the UN vote on partition. The Saudis were dead set against it. Marshall assured Faisal the US would vote against the proposed partition. Faisal took it as a personal affront when Truman decided to support partition.

        In 1948, the King sent Saudi forces to join the Arab armies attempt to destroy the nascent Jewish state. SA has never officially recognized Israel, and is technically still at war with Israel.

        In 1967 SA called for Israel’s withdrawal from the OTs. More recently, in 2002, SA found it valid to negotiate with Israel, having extended a peace offer between Israel and all the Arab states if Israel withdrew from the OTs. Israel did not respond. In 2007, SA again made that multilateral peace offer.

        SA rejected the Camp David Accords as unable to achieve a comprehensive peace solution re Arab return and division of Jerusalem.

        SA broke diplomatic ties and aid to Egypt (along with the other Arab states) when Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel. SA renewed formal ties with Egypt in 1987.

        SA does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. It participates actively in economic boycott of Israel. Yet SA is fully aware the of the US special relationship with Israel.

      • David Green
        October 17, 2012, 10:35 am

        You’re an apologist for the Saudi royal family, and U.S. alliance with them. That’s shameful. They are a part of the general USFP problem, of which Israel-Palestine is another important part.

      • Citizen
        October 17, 2012, 11:01 am

        @ traintosiberia
        Your comment is factually true. There’s no question the US benefits from its seminal and long policy of access-to-SA-oil-by-giving SA regime military security (from both internal and external forces). NO such benefit has ever derived from the US “special relationship” with Israel, which has always been a matter of US domestic policy due to the influence of the Israel Lobby, made imperative by big Zionist donors and a complicit US mainstream media.

      • traintosiberia
        October 17, 2012, 12:56 pm

        The obsession of AIPAC /JINSA or their parent organizations to maintian a certain narrative about Israel and about Arab countries date back to the early years of 20th century starting in the Basel of Switzerland and travelling to US by Wilson’s election time menaedring through the court of Turkish sultan and of teh Russian Czar and buying off German,French,and British powers with pormises of delivering economic aids,Jewish votes,and grass root agitation by the Jewish crowd in the hostile countries. Jabotonsky even threatened the rich Jewish peopel if support did not come in time ,there would be attack on thier banks and offices and indusrtries .Promises of safeguarding British and Nazi interest were made by the Zionist.Similar promises were made to Czar and Sultan. Czar passed his concern to other . Same time Palestine was sold as an entity in need of peopel and development that could be done not by lazy,corrrupt,anti Christian Arabs who per Ben Guron understood only force and power.

        Further down that line of lying narrative came ex Trostykites and Schanaites of 1940s Jewish intelelctuals who slowly morphed from Communist to Democrat to Goldwater-Reaganite Republican as they saw that the Israeli intersts were being compromised by the new anti -war ,3rd World left section of Democrat.That section has since been eviserated by the confluence of factors in early 80s.
        Wolfowitz in those days going back to 1979 trageted Iraq (link to nytimes.com). 911 gave him the opportunity he was looking for reepteadly haranguing even Rumsfield and other to connect Saddam to 911. He scoffed at the intelligence and forced his ideas on other. His lies made its way to the UN address by the president . His role in trying a much forceful repsonse than allowed by UN or warranted US interest was exposed as bellicose and unrealistic by still thoughtful less afraid media in 1992.

        This is just one neoocn.There are 50 other with similar heavy weight punches making US policy in ME.

    • Chu
      October 15, 2012, 2:46 pm

      Glen makes a good point. Raddatz could have used a multitude of other events (i.e. Al Qaeda, The failing war in Afghanistan, The Rise of China, Cyberwars, Guns & Butter). She may be too absorbed in the Washington bubble to realize her errors, but it seems someone fed her that line from behind the scenes. Iran – come on. America is not Israel, Raddaatz.
      At any rate, Greenwald always gives a thorough analysis of the situation. I almost missed this point entirely given all the other discussion during the debate. Good journalists and reporteres are the great watchers of society.

      • Chu
        October 15, 2012, 3:06 pm

        Another Note: She was formerly married to Julius Genachowski, and they have 1 child Jake.
        Julius studied in Israel, then went to work for Chuck Shumer as staff for Iran Contra. He also clerked for Adner Mikva court of Appeals, and Justice David Souter. She’s been swimming in the Kool Aid for decades now…

        Why she would think Iran is one of the most important national security issues now seems all to clear. It’s the company you keep and the circles that connect you in Washington.

      • traintosiberia
        October 16, 2012, 11:01 pm

        Thank you Chu. This explains the subliminal attempts, behind the scene ,under the table insertion of lies at the service of the AIPAC/JINSA/ADL crowd.

  12. Mooser
    October 15, 2012, 1:52 pm

    “In the world of professional Jewish organizations”…

    Ouch! I can’t tell you why, but that one made me wince. “Professional Jewish organisations”

    • Les
      October 15, 2012, 2:41 pm

      Which reminds me from days of yore when resentful Jews referred to self-chosen spokespersons as “Professional Jews.”

      • Mooser
        October 17, 2012, 6:17 pm

        “Which reminds me from days of yore when resentful Jews referred to self-chosen spokespersons as “Professional Jews.””

        Really? I did not know that, but I’m glad to hear it.

  13. Nevada Ned
    October 17, 2012, 11:18 am

    By now the discussion has wandered so far that Eric Alterman has been forgotten long, long ago.

    Eric Alterman writes a regular column in The Nation. In the past, he has clashed with Alexander Cockburn because Cockburn was strongly critical of Israel, while Alterman entertained only mild and tactical criticisms.

    Alterman’s viewpoint has changed over the years, and he has become steadily more critical of Israel and its supporters in the US. He has recently criticized harshly Marty Peretz and The New Republic, which Alterman would not have done a few years ago.

    In the most recent communication, Alterman has said, in effect, don’t blame “the Jews” (in general) for the actions of the Israel Lobby. The problem with his current position is that an enormous number of politicians fear the Israel Lobby and go to great lengths to avoid provoking the Lobby. Yet Alterman says, the Jewish vote is so small, and Jews are mostly not voting on Middle East policy, etc. But then how does he explain the genuine fear that the Lobby inspires?

    Want another example of a strong lobby? Just last night in their debate, Obama and Romney avoided saying anything that might annoy the National Rifle Association. Nobody wants to cross the NFA. Or the Israel Lobby. Even if you think the NRA can make a difference of “only” 5% of the vote, in a tight race 5% is big enough to make either Romney or Obama lose the race.

    • David Green
      October 17, 2012, 1:16 pm

      Alterman’s changes re Israel are a form of liberal pragmatism. He would like to reinforce the view, mistaken in my view, that Obama is “better” on Israel/Palestine than Romney, neocons, etc. He hopes that might be reinforced if more people recognized that liberal Jews are not the Israel Lobby. That may be true, but unfortunately, Beinart etc. aside, liberal Jews are still largely passive regarding I/P. And the Israel Lobby is, in more crass terms “Jewish money.” Both parties need it. In any event, neither the IL or “Jewish money” determines USFP. It’s “U.S. money” that does that. Whether or not Obama gets re-elected, and whether or not it’s perceived that he did so in spite of “Jewish money,” he will continue to play the role of “dishonest broker.”

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