Casual slander of Hagel as anti-Semite puts Elliott Abrams on hot seat

One of the best things about the Chuck Hagel nomination is that it exposes a sinister pattern in which Zionists and their defenders casually throw around the term “anti-Semite” in order to scare off the opposition, when that term is a slander that ruins careers. This pattern was evident in 2007 at Yivo Institute when four intellectuals (including Marty Peretz, Daniel Goldhagen and Jeffrey Goldberg) hurled the term anti-semite at Walt and Mearsheimer in order to protect Israel from criticism. It was evident when Goldberg called Walt a “grubby Jew-baiter” without offering any evidence, because there is none. And Goldberg writes for the Atlantic and Bloomberg.

Well now a group of neoconservatives, led by Elliott Abrams, has called Chuck Hagel an anti-Semite. They hoped through this tactic to make Hagel vanish in a puff of smoke from the playing field, so they’d never have to deal with him again. As they did with Chas Freeman four years ago. But Obama overcame this resistance to nominate Hagel, and the former Nebraska senator is likely to be confirmed as Secretary of Defense. And as Abe Foxman was forced to admit to the Forward, when it asked him why he had virtually accused Hagel of anti-Semitism and is now not opposing Hagel, “In the world we live in, one cannot be nuanced”–though now that Hagel’s been nominated, it’s a “different reality.” I.e., we throw whatever lies we want at someone, to make them persona non grata…  But if someone’s in a high office, we don’t want to get on their bad side.

More good news. Abrams, who is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is now out on a limb for hinting darkly that Hagel gave a cold shoulder to Jews in Nebraska. Nathan Guttman at the Forward looks into Elliott Abrams’s suggestions about the Nebraska Jewish community and comes up with… zilch!

Trouble is, Jews in Nebraska on both sides of Hagel’s confirmation fight emphatically refute the charge. “To make such an accusation you need to be very careful,” said Gary Javitch, an activist in Omaha, Nebraska’s biggest city, which has a community of about 6,500 Jews. “He never demonstrated anything like that in all the meetings I had with him.”

Javitch’s views may hold particular weight because he is no fan of Hagel. A lay leader in several Jewish organizations, he is considered by locals to an expert on the local Jewish political scene.

Javitch harshly criticized Hagel’s expressed views on Israel and the Middle East and did not appreciate his demeanor. “Every time we’d raise something about Israel, he’d filibuster us,” said Javitch, who met with Hagel both in Washington and in Omaha. The former Senator attended a B’nai Brith International “bread breaker” meeting at Javitch’s invitation, but gave the impression he thought Israel “should always do more” for the Palestinians.

Still, when asked if he thought the claims of Hagel’s bias against Jews had any merit, he responded flatly “No.”

Ali Gharib writes that Elliott Abrams owes Hagel an apology, and Robert Wright has turned the focus on to the Council on Foreign Relations, tweeting that Abrams “taints cfr’s good name.” I can’t say that CFR has a good name, being the fount of a lot of bad ideas, but certainly it has a reputation to uphold. It has already distanced itself from Abrams’s remarks. So Abrams’s smear is, at last, splashing back up on the smearer. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a trend.

About Philip Weiss

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

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

  1. Thanks very much Phil- it is great to see the mudslingers get publicly sullied in the process. Let’s hope Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post is held to account as well for her smear that Hagel is the “worst” kind of anti-Semite:

    It [the Hagel nomination] is about the acceptability of the worst expression of anti-Semitism, the accusation of disloyalty. There is no other meaning to Hagel’s phrase “Jewish lobby.” The declaration from Hagel that he is not “the senator from Israel” (Who said he should be?) is again a direct attack on Jews’ fidelity to the United States. For decades this kind of venomous language has been gaining acceptance in Europe. But never in America. In elevating Hagel the president in a real and troubling way moves us closer to Western Europe. Indeed the most disturbing aspect of Hagel’s nomination is not his impact on policy (President Obama has and will continue to make one blunder after another), but what it says about the U.S. president’s willingness to embrace a man espousing the world’s oldest hatred.

  2. pabelmont says:

    OK, point made. And now:

    [1] Can we resurrect Chas Freeman?
    [2] Can we slam the slammers, get them fired for fraudulently throwing around the VERY SERIOUS SOUNDING accusation of anti-semitism? (Yes, Virginia, until recently, it used to be an actually VERY SERIOUS accusation, but it’s getting a bit worn these days.) I’d say these guys are seriously “hurting the Jews” by diluting the formerly serious “anti-semitism” into a mere swear-word (or less), as “damn” was once a serious word and is now thrown around casually.

  3. Keith says:

    PHIL- Yes indeed, one of the good things to emerge from the Hagel nomination is to highlight Zionist anti-Gentile chauvinism. These casual and baseless charges are nothing but a form of ethnic bullying, hardly a manifestation of eternal victim-hood, rather, a demonstration of unaccountable power.

  4. Donald says:

    ” It was evident when Goldberg called Walt a “grubby Jew-baiter” without offering any evidence, because there is none.”

    What’s interesting is that Goldberg doesn’t make the same accusation against Hagel, though as best I can tell their views on the subjects of Israel and Iran and the Palestinians and the Israel lobby are virtually identical. The difference is that Hagel is likely to win confirmation and the accusation of anti-semitism against him is backfiring, because so many powerful people are lining up to defend him. Walt doesn’t have that kind of defense, so Goldberg can slime him with impunity.

  5. Citizen says:

    It’s really astounding that talking points made everyday in the Israeli media, e.g., link to washingtonpost.com

    are painted in USA as Jew hatred.

    • seafoid says:

      The link includes this nugget :

      67% (of Israeli Jews ) believe no matter which parties prevail the peace process with the Palestinians will remain at a standstill for reasons not connected to Israel .

      Oh dear .

      • Mooser says:

        “67% (of Israeli Jews ) believe no matter which parties prevail the peace process with the Palestinians will remain at a standstill for reasons not connected to Israel .”

        I wonder who convinced the Israeli Jews of that?

  6. American says:

    “Price tagging” those like Abrams is way overdue imo.
    They need condeming and confronting, they’ve gotten away with these assassinations for too long.
    It’s an assault on every citizen’s right to their own political opinions as well as on the individuals they smear.

  7. American says:

    Let us not forget the riff raft like the smearers aren’t the most important targets in the I-Firstdom battle.
    “Our’ actual enemies, the enemies of Americans interest and welfare, are those like Schumer, who have publicly, in their own words, many times declared they are in our government first and foremost to serve Israel.
    You won’t ‘change’ the loyalties of those Schumer, you will never ‘make them’ put the US ahead of Israel, so we need to figure a way to get them out of our government.

    It should start with prominent people and the public taking every opportunity to say “in public’ to and about politicians like Schumer …..

    ” your bizarre suggestion that a key job requirement for the U.S. Secretary of Defense is a deep and passionate attachment to a foreign country. WTF is with that????”

    (snitched edited a bit from Steve Walt..lol)

    link to politico.com

    As Chuck Schumer goes, so goes Chuck Hagel

    Hagel hasn’t won over a wary Schumer. | AP Photos

    By MANU RAJU and MAGGIE HABERMAN | 1/10/13 7:59 PM EST

    Chuck Schumer is quietly letting out the word: He’s far from sold that Chuck Hagel will be a staunch advocate of Israel.

    And it’s his vote that counts.
    Schumer, the most powerful Jewish Democrat in Congress, has been noncommittal in his public statements on Hagel’s nomination. But privately, several sources say he has told senators it would be “very hard” for him to support Hagel as the next defense secretary because of his positions on Israel over the years. In New York, Schumer has told allies and power brokers in the Jewish community that he’s uneasy about Hagel’s nomination, a concern he reiterated at a private breakfast in Manhattan’s posh Park Avenue Winter restaurant on Wednesday.

    If Schumer were to oppose Hagel, it would almost certainly amount to a fatal blow to his candidacy since a number of pro-Israel Democrats who are squeamish about the nominee could very well be influenced by the No. 3 Democrat’s position. It would also give bipartisan political cover to Republicans and neocons fighting Hagel’s nomination.

    Still, Schumer could also provide critical support for Hagel’s nomination. Should he support Hagel, it very likely would ride on what the former Nebraska GOP senator eventually says on Israel at an upcoming one-on-one meeting with the New York Democrat and during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Schumer declined to be interviewed Thursday for this story. The White House also declined to comment.

    With the retirement of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Schumer has emerged as perhaps the most hawkish Jewish member of the Senate Democratic Caucus with regard to Israel, a subject that has caused rifts between President Barack Obama and pro-Israeli activists throughout his first term. The Hagel nomination has only raised the temperature on their relationship, and if Hagel fails to placate concerns from the pro-Israeli groups, Schumer will be in a tough spot between his Jewish base and the administration pushing hard for his confirmation.

    Schumer’s relationship with Obama over Israel has been rocky as well, with one source close to the White House expressing frustration over the New York Democrat’s cool response to Hagel so far. In the past, Schumer has been harshly critical of the president’s handling of the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians.

    But he has also come to the defense of the Obama administration in key times, including over the Iranian threat during the presidential campaign, when Mitt Romney was aggressively courting Jewish voters.

    In a previously unreported episode, Schumer told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he was betting on the wrong candidate after he bashed the Obama administration over Iran in the heat of last fall’s presidential race, according to a person familiar with the telephone call. Schumer’s implicit message to his friend Netanyahu: Continuing to attack Obama will only undercut their efforts to win strong support from the administration in the president’s second term…….continued

    • lysias says:

      The Hagel nomination has only raised the temperature on their relationship, and if Hagel fails to placate concerns from the pro-Israeli groups, Schumer will be in a tough spot between his Jewish base and the administration pushing hard for his confirmation.

      There is zero possibility that Schumer will ever lose a Democratic primary or a general election in New York State. If anybody’s seat in the Senate is a safe one, Schumer’s is. Whatever his “Jewish base” may think.

      So what’s this about a tough spot?

    • Mooser says:

      “Let us not forget the riff raft…”

      For those who maybe don’t know, the “riff raft” is the lifeboat most of the band got on when the Titanic sank.

  8. seafoid says:

    The bots have been slandering decent people with the stain of antisemitism for over 100 years. PUBLISH IT NOT (1975) has the history .

    • Bumblebye says:

      This is interesting, from Christopher Mayhew, the author’s wiki page:
      “Nasser and the High Court
      In 1973 he offered £5,000 to anyone who could produce evidence that Nasser had stated that he sought to “drive the Jews into the sea”. Mayhew repeated the offer later in the House of Commons (Hansard, 18 October 1973) and broadened it to include genocidal statements by other Arab leaders (Manchester Guardian, 9 September 1974), whilst reserving for himself the right to be the arbiter of the authenticity of any purported statements as well as their meaning. Mayhew received several letters from claimants, each one producing one quotation or another from an Arab leader, which Mayhew deemed to be fabricated. One claimant, Warren Bergson, took Mayhew to court. The case came before the High Court in February 1976. Bergson was unable to offer evidence of Nasser’s alleged statement. Bergson acknowledged that, after thorough research, he had been unable to find any statement by a responsible Arab leader which could be described as genocidal.”
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Genocidal statement in October 11, 1947 Abd Al Rahman Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League was quoted in the Egyptian paper Akhabar el Yom, saying the following regarding the coming war: “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacre of the Mongols or the Crusades.”

        • Bumblebye says:

          Perhaps we can assume Mayhew meant such statements to have been made after the establishment of the state? Hard to ask a dead man. Also noting that Bergson didn’t find any such statement.

        • Shmuel says:

          On Azzam Pasha’s “genocidal statement”, see Tom Segev, “The makings of history / The blind misleading the blind”

        • Mooser says:

          “Genocidal statement in October 11, 1947 Abd Al Rahman Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League was quoted in the Egyptian paper Akhabar el Yom, saying…”

          Damn, I was hoping that quote wouldn’t surface! There goes the Palestinian cause, just cause some over-excited secretary in 1947 gave the game away to a newspaper. And we came so close…

        • tree says:

          Thanks, Shmuel. If I may quote a small portion:

          A friend of McKay’s who was in Cairo went to the offices of the newspaper, where he was shown the original newspaper, somewhat yellowed and creased, from October 11, 1947. An interview with Azzam appears on the ninth page, as does the quote, although with the addition of several words that have subsequently been omitted from the citation.

          “Personally, I hope the Jews do not force us into this war, because it would be a war of extermination and momentous massacre …”

          And Segev’s penultimate paragraph:

          There is something pathetic about this hunt for historical quotes drawn from newspapers. Azzam used to talk a lot. On May 21, 1948, the Palestine Post offered this statement by him: “Whatever the outcome, the Arabs will stick to their offer of equal citizenship for Jews in Arab Palestine and let them be as Jewish as they like.”

          I would hope that Yonah would retract his description of Azzam’s quote as “genocidal”, because it is clearly not. It is just another example of Zionists falsely transforming quotes to suit their own purposes.

        • tree and Shmuel- Because someone puts a conditional clause on a sentence, this does not make it an innocuous statement. “If there is a war, we will commit genocide,” is not as bad as “our fondest wish is to commit genocide and nothing will stop us”, but it is still an annihilationist comment.

        • Hostage says:

          Because someone puts a conditional clause on a sentence, this does not make it an innocuous statement.

          There is no crime of genocide unless the requisite mental state or intent (mens rea) can be established. Even then, it’s impossible to attribute the intent of a lone génocidaire to an entire ethnic group. In this case, the same fellow is discussing guarantees of equal rights for the same people you claim he intended to annihilate. So a reasonable person, like Segev, might find the evidence dubious.

        • Donald says:

          “If there is a war, we will commit genocide”

          What makes your paraphrase unfair is that little word “we”. It implies that the speaker himself is expressing his own desires. Yes, I know he says “us”, but it’s clear from Shmuel’s link that he’s describing what he thinks will happen, not something that he advocates. If you read the article you’ll see that he condemned anti-Jewish riots in Egypt.

          In fact, what he said is less genocidal than any argument anyone has ever made for having nuclear weapons as a deterrent. In that case the argument would be “I hope we never have to use them, because it would result in mass slaughter.” Which really is an expression of intent, not just a prediction, if the person is defending the policy.

          If you want to condemn some Arab as annihilationist, go dig up the Hamas charter or something. Pick on people who really have said vile things.

        • an addendum- It seems that the statement was mostly predictive rather than prescriptive. This is what will happen. But it has a ring of triumphalism about it: it will be a historic annihilation like unto the great and glorious massacres of the past.

        • Donald says:

          Here’s a friendly suggestion, Yonah. (No sarcasm intended.) Just admit you made an honest mistake–I’d heard of that bloodthirsty comment too and when I read it I didn’t realize it was out of context and since I knew nothing about the man who uttered it I assumed it was someone who really was a bloodthirsty anti-semite. That turns out not to be the case. Are there vicious anti-semites in the Muslim world? Yes, of course, but it turns out this particular man has been slandered all these years.

        • Mooser says:

          Yonah’s been doing quite a bit of left-right zigzagging lately. I’m waiting to see whose property he settles on when he lands.

        • MHughes976 says:

          I agree with Yonah that even with the context this was still a bloodthirsty and unconscionable threat. I also agree with Mooser that there is little to learn from the fact that desperate some things bubble up in some, even in most minds, when we get to certain points of stress. I was prompted to look for a source for the statement that ‘the only good German is a dead German’ which was said to be going around Britain under the Blitz and which is likewise unconscionable – I remember hearing it denounced from the pulpit in the 1960s. Like the anti-Jewish genocidal threats of 48 it is rather hard to pin down, but a PBS programme about the Bletchley Park codebreakers broadcast on Nov.9, 1999, found someone who would own up to it. So some British people, perhaps most if you pressed them, entertained genocidal thoughts against Germans in a desperate time. Under the pressures of conflict everyone finds it hard to stay rational. I don’t say that this attitude had no serious or no regrettable consequences but its existence doesn’t show that British culture was generally brutish or that we had no right to start the war.

        • Donald says:

          “I agree with Yonah that even with the context this was still a bloodthirsty and unconscionable threat. ”

          Wonderful. So if he thought that a war would lead to massacres, he shouldn’t have said anything about it.

          Remind yourself never to predict that if Israel continues down its present course it might lead to horrific violence, because any such prediction is an unconscionable threat.

        • Donald says:

          “it will be a historic annihilation like unto the great and glorious massacres of the past.”

          This is ridiculous. You keep putting words into his mouth. Here’s a guy who actually criticized Arab violence against Jews and you along with MHughes persist in painting his prediction in the worst possible light. It’s not like you couldn’t find genuinely bloodthirsty comments from Muslims or Arabs against Jews that you could condemn. Is it that this particular story is just too juicy to give up? Or do you assume that when he refers to past massacres he must think they were grand and glorious? What about him would make you think that?

        • Donald- The quote is not as bad as I once thought and the person who is being quoted is not as bad as I once thought. But I don’t think it is as innocuous as you are making it out to be.

        • Donald- but since the level of evil that is required by the adjective genocidal statement seems to require a desire to commit the evil rather than merely a description of what will occur, it is an evil statement, but not a genocidal statement.

        • seafoid says:

          The Arabs warned the Americans about what a disaster Zionism would be for the region all the way through the 1940s.

          And frankly Israel’s reality surpasses even their most gruesome nightmares. Who in Cairo or Baghdad in 1944 could have imagined what they would do to Gaza ?

          Deliberately deindustrialise and pauperise it and use it as a testing ground for illegal weapons. Use the suffering of its people to slowly test the limits of and finally kill international law.

          What Palestinian farmer in 1944 could have imagine the hell his people were about to enter ? Great grandchildren condemned to live as stateless in some refugee camp far from the nourishing land of home. All because of the fcking Nazis . And those who took up their baton.

          And Zionists everwhere are quick to score points with verbal concoctions about genocide but will never acknowledge the awful cruelty of their ideology in real time against the poorest and most defenceless Palestinians of all.

        • tree says:

          But it has a ring of triumphalism about it

          Only because you wish to hear such a “ring”. From Segev:

          The Zionist movement knew him well. A few weeks before the interview with Akhbar el-Yom, Azzam met with two representatives of the Zionist lobby in London, Abba Eban, who would become foreign minister, and David Horowitz, who would become the governor of the Bank of Israel.

          The meeting took place at the Savoy Hotel. Horowitz recalled Azzam as a slight man with dark and penetrating eyes. He received the two, along with the journalist John Kimche, with great courtesy, but explained to them that there was no option but war.

          Horowitz quoted Azzam’s gloomy assessment of the situation: “We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions.”

          He is talking of the Zionists as foreign invaders, which they clearly were. He is not certain who will triumph but thinks that if war comes it will be especially brutal. He does not indicate that “we” will exterminate and massacre, only that it will be a consequence of war. As it turned out they lost, and most of the massacres and brutally were perpetrated by Israeli forces. I suspect that you know that and wish in some way to justify Israeli actions by imagining “genocidal threats” that you suppose might mitigate the utter brutality of Israel in its massacres and ethnic cleansing. Its certainly a standard defense of Zionists. “We had to do it because they wanted to kill us all”. Frankly, if the Palestinians and neighboring Arabs were even a tenth as anti-semitic as Zionists like to portray them, they would have never let the Zionists get as far as they did. The project would have been over in the early 1900′s. Israel earned all its neighbors’ hatred the hard way, by aggressive and hateful action.

        • tree says:

          MHughes, did you actually read the entire link from Segev? If not, I suggest you do so.

        • Donald says:

          “But I don’t think it is as innocuous as you are making it out to be.”

          Anything is possible. As I mentioned before, I had heard of this comment (it’s obviously well-known) and had always assumed it was some idiot/fanatic expressing hatred. Then I read Shmuel’s link and find this same man had criticized Egyptian riots against Jews and was respected by the Zionists who knew him, and that his own favored solution was one where Jews were free to stay, so I think the burden of proof is on those of you who think he said it in a personally approving bloodthirsty sort of way.

          At any rate, it would have been nice if the people quoting this remark all these years had quoted it accurately and had told us those other details, but clearly the motive was to paint the Arab side in the darkest possible light. Ironically, they could have simply said that this Arab official himself worried that the war would lead to massacres–as I read it, he seems concerned that it was going to be a fight to the finish on both sides, so that whoever won, it would be a bloodbath. That’s not flattering to either side.

        • tree, you skipped the best part:

          The Zionist movement knew him well. A few weeks before the interview with Akhbar el-Yom, Azzam met with two representatives of the Zionist lobby in London, Abba Eban, who would become foreign minister, and David Horowitz, who would become the governor of the Bank of Israel.

          The meeting took place at the Savoy Hotel. Horowitz recalled Azzam as a slight man with dark and penetrating eyes. He received the two, along with the journalist John Kimche, with great courtesy, but explained to them that there was no option but war.

          Horowitz quoted Azzam’s gloomy assessment of the situation: “We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions.”

          Ben-Gurion, who was informed of the meeting, summed up Azzam’s words thus, in a meeting with members of his party: “As we fought against the Crusaders, we will fight against you, and we will erase you from the earth.”

          Since he considered Azzam to be an honest person, Ben-Gurion believed him. He, too, assessed that war was inevitable.

          There is something pathetic about this hunt for historical quotes drawn from newspapers. Azzam used to talk a lot….

          all this bloviating paraphrasing!

          and now yonah’s like a dog with his favorite bone!

          “If there is a war, we will commit genocide,” is not as bad as “our fondest wish is to commit genocide and nothing will stop us”

          and what of this:

          But it has a ring of triumphalism about it: it will be a historic annihilation like unto the great and glorious massacres of the past.

          if that was the case you would not need to paraphrase. do you crave for an enemy gleefully calling for your annihilation?

        • Hostage says:

          “But I don’t think it is as innocuous as you are making it out to be.”

          Bear in mind that Zionists have always paid empty lip service to negotiations as the sole route to a final agreement, while in practice they impose faits accomplis through the use of force against Arabs.

          In 1943 the US Consul at Cairo cabled the State Department:

          “I have noted in discussions with Zionist spokesmen visiting Cairo recently a marked hardening in their attitude (possibly owing in part to increased confidence resulting from alleged large-scale clandestine arming by Jews in Palestine) which in several cases has taken the form of frankly admitting that it is idle to continue to talk of “negotiations” with Arabs, in balance obvious that any solution satisfactory to Zionists would have to be “imposed” on Arabs by threat or use of force and this latter the only realistic line of action to adopt.

          A multitude of sources report that the Arabs had acquiesced to the principal of partition, but didn’t accept the idea of giving the Jewish minority the bulk of the territory. They definitely objected to the use of force by the Zionists to expand the borders beyond those in the UN plan.

          *In “Pan-Arabism Before Nasser” (page 98), Michael Doran reported that Eliyahu Sasson made at least two trips in late 1946 to lobby Egyptian officials regarding the partition of Palestine. Sasson reported that he had been warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the Secretary General of the Arab League. Doran says that King Faruq and other palace advisers received reports on the partition talks and did nothing to scuttle them.
          *Joseph Heller, “The birth of Israel, 1945-1949: Ben-Gurion and his critics”, University Press of Florida, 2000, says that in the Spring of 1946 Sasson was dispatched to Egypt and that he reported that, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, there was a virtually unanimous consensus favorable to partition among the members of the Arab League.

        • tree says:

          tree, you skipped the best part:

          Hi annie. I did post the center two paragraphs from your longer cite, mostly for brevity’s sake, but now that you posted the longer version I think there is something there that also deserves pointing out from Segev’s piece.

          First you have Horowitz’s interpretation of what Azzam said in the meeting. Horowitz was there and so would clearly be a more reliable witness of what was actually said, barring any justifiable reason to question his veracity. Then you have Ben-Gurion, who was NOT at the meeting, but “paraphrases” what was said to put a more sinister spin on it. Azzam professes uncertainty of the outcome according to Horowitz, but Ben-Gurion changes the quote to claim that Azzam said “we will erase you from the earth”. But according to Horowitz, he said no such thing. I think this is yet another example of how Ben-Gurion and the Zionist leadership lied and misrepresented their actions and the action of those who opposed them in order to appeal to Jewish fears and Jewish prejudices.

          The reason why these kind of misrepresentations are still widely accepted within the Jewish community is due to Jewish prejudice. Essentially, the problem, and its eventual solution, hinges upon Jewish prejudice, by which I mean prejudice held by Jews, not prejudice against Jews. Which is not to say that Jewish prejudice is any different or worse than any other prejudice, because it certainly isn’t. But neither is it any better, or non-existent as some like to pretend. This notion of the “lack of prejudice”, or moral superiority, among Jews is a prime element of the very prejudice it denies. That is one reason why so many are willing to believe obvious falsehoods despite overwhelming proof of their falsity. It all boils down to a belief that “Jews don’t do that,” when obviously some Jews, like some members of every other group on Earth, are perfectly capable of committing heinous acts.

          …do you crave for an enemy gleefully calling for your annihilation?

          I’d say yes he does, because it helps him in some way to excuse the actual evil acts that were done by the Zionists. It also justifies his own prejudice against non-Jews because he can say to himself, “See, I was right. They all hate The Jews.”

        • you’re right and you’re wrong tree. you’re wrong because the fact these kinds of misrepresentations are still widely accepted within the Jewish community has nothing to do with prejudice. you’re right because these kinds of misrepresentations are still widely accepted within the Jewish community because it helps them excuse actual evil acts that were done by the Zionists.

          they knew they were going to ethnically cleanse the land, they know that is what they did. therefore any inkling it was excusable, or their enemy had the same intent, in their minds somehow justifies their own sins and washes away, excuses their actions.. hence, the ‘arab armies invaded on our birthday’ myth as well as ‘they want to drive us into the sea’ myth. it’sall to cover up their culpability.

        • talknic says:

          Hi Hostage

          here’s a really handy tool link to citebite.com

          e.g., link to pages.citebite.com

          (doesn’t work when quotes are included [[ it is idle to continue to talk of “negotiations” with Arabs, in balance obvious that any solution satisfactory to Zionists would have to be “imposed” on Arabs ]] will give an error

          Cheers

        • tree says:

          Of course its prejudice. The assumption is that Jews are not capable of this kind of stuff, and that is clearly a prejudice, so even when there is ample evidence that in this case Jewish Zionists did exactly what they did, there is an overwhelming need to excuse the actions of a set of Jews when they would rightly condemn the same kind of action if it was committed by any other group. Why do you seek to deny that Jews can be just as prejudiced as any other set of human beings? Why does much of the Jewish community need to excuse the acts of Zionist Jews when the same kinds of actions are clearly condemned when done by others? Because of Jewish prejudice. “Our sins are excusable, or even non-existent. Theirs are heinous. ” That’s prejudice. You aren’t helping by excusing Jewish prejudice. It exists. Just as white prejudice was the hinge upon which the US civil rights problem and solution rotated, so Jewish prejudice is the axis upon which the I/P conflict turns.

          From the tribal loyalties post:

          Rich Siegel’s moment came while waiting for his wife at a train station where a table held literature including “Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer”by Phyllis Bennis. He says: “I got to the section about the Deir Yassin massacre. Jews massacring Arabs. My jaw dropped. This had somehow been concealed from me all my life.”

          Even from someone who has confronted the the truth and accepted it, there is the realization that the concept that Jews could have massacred Arabs is enough to make one’s “jaw drop”. That’s because, even in good people there is still that element of unrecognized prejudice which must be confronted. I have great respect for Rich Siegel and others who have confronted reality and their own prejudices to come out for equality and justice, but even those people have had to struggle against their own previously unacknowledged prejudice. Its one of the fallibilities of humankind. There’s no need to deny it.

        • Why do you seek to deny that Jews can be just as prejudiced as any other set of human beings?

          seek to deny? this sounds loopy. we’re obviously on different pages. pick an enemy, any enemy. be it iran, germany at one time, whatever. the US wants to wage war they demonize the enemy. the enemy is bloodthirsty,the enemy is a savage,the enemy is a terrorist,the enemy wants to annihilate us, etc etc. this is a strategy. one that justifies your wiping him out, because he wants to wipe you out whether sadam has wmd’s or not. this is the way of war.the enemy is ruthless. how ruthless, well they want genocide! they want our scalps, they will kill all our children! this is not prejudice er se.

          and do i think zionists are prejudice? of course. but this fabrication of the quote is a lousy example of prejudice. we didn’t say sadam had wmd’s because we are prejudice nor do we claim iran is a danger to the ME and the world because of that. we say it to soften the targert (the american people) to prepare them for war.

          if a man kills another in an alleyway and he is at his trial, in his own defense does he say..he was a nice guy, i wanted his house and he wouldn’t sell it to me so i thought i would kill him. no,you say ‘he was big and mean and trying to kill me, i had no choice’. that is not out of prejudice, its what all natural born killer/liars do to justify their murderous ways. it’s a very standard defense. and for the end of time you swear they were out to kill you.

        • tree says:

          You seem to be missing my point, and don’t understand how demonization works. Why is the US government able to successfully demonize the enemy in the first place? Because it plays upon the prejudices of its own people. Prejudices. “We, the US, are pure of motive and the swarthy foreigners are not. They aren’t like us. Be afraid. Be very afraid.” This is playing upon and encouraging prejudices among ordinary US citizens. I’m surprised you don’t understand this.

          I’m not talking about the motive of a killer who is trying to excuse his actions. I’m talking about the prejudices that he can exploit to excuse his actions. If his jury is inclined to have prejudices about black men and a white man has killed a black man, he can exploit that prejudice to suggest a scary black man threatened his life. It may be a totally implausible story, but if the jury is prejudiced enough against black people then they will buy it despite the implausibility. I’m talking about the jury in this example, not the killer himself. Prejudice is what motivates them if they are swallowing an implausible story told by a white man about who was attacking whom.

          In the case of the Zionist leaders, I’m not talking directly about their excuses for their actions. I’m pointing out that large segments of the Jewish community have accepted those implausible excuses because they fit their stereotypes about what Jews are capable of doing, and what non-Jews are capable of doing. And the Zionist myths fit those prejudices that Jews don’t act that way, but gentiles do. Jews have prejudices just like everyone else, and those prejudices have been exploited by the guilty parties among them.

          Go back and reread my comments above. I’m clearly not talking about the Zionist leaders themselves. I’m talking about a general prejudice within the Jewish community that the Zionists exploited and continue to exploit for their own purposes; a prejudice that makes in hard for some Jews to confront what has really been done and continues to be done by Israel, even though the evidence is plain as day. Its fantasy Israel for them because Jews just wouldn’t do what Israel is doing. Prejudice.

        • tree and annie robbins- I mentioned the quote because Bumblebye raised the topic. I didn’t raise the topic.

          The usage of “since the Mongols and the Crusades” by Azzam, is a desire to put it in mega historical terms. (Like richard nixon referring to the moon landing as the greatest week since creation. except instead of landing on the moon he was talking about killing people.) He was feeding the press with his false prediction, because he was not as sure as he was pretending to be in his statement. He was feeding the press raw meat, based on a pretense.

          No big thang. Assholes say stupid things to the press all the time. Actions are more important than words. but Bumblebye raised the topic and I answered. Sue me.

        • Hostage says:

          talknic: . . . here’s a really handy tool: link to citebite.com

          Thanks. Much appreciated.

        • Ellen says:

          Excellent link and fascinating historical factual document.

          So much confirms that many of the ongoing public hasbara arguments to be nothing more than lies and distortions of the history.

        • Mooser says:

          “And Zionists everwhere are quick to score points with verbal concoctions about genocide but will never acknowledge the awful cruelty of their ideology in real time against the poorest and most defenceless Palestinians of all.”

          You’ve come to the conclusion, Seafoid, that nothing except externally applied pressure will move the Zionists?

        • Mooser says:

          “All because of the fcking Nazis . And those who took up their baton.”

          Seafoid, I’m not sure condemning the Zionists as heirs to the Nazis is quite fair. After all, even if the Nazis had never existed, there were still plenty of models and ways-of-thinking from racism, colonialism and ethnic nationalism and romanticism, and even religious tropes for the Zionists to use.
          That’s the tragedy of it all. Those were things Jews were victims of, but now Zionism planned to use them to our advantage! Poor plan, in my view.

        • sorry for misinterpreting you tree. must have been the late hr. yes i completely agree leaders stoke the prejudice in people and depend on that prejudice to carry out their agenda.

        • All of Truman’s military and foreign policy advisers told him the creation of Israel would not be a good thing for the US.

  9. ” I can’t say that CFR has a good name, being the fount of a lot of bad ideas, but certainly it has a reputation to uphold.”

    Yeap they have a great reputation to uphold with a lot of bad ideas, makes sense to me.

  10. jimmy says:

    2004…

    Leaders Fear Probe Will Force Pro-Israel Lobby To File as ‘Foreign Agent’ Could Fuel Dual Loyalty Talk

    By Ori Nir
    Forward
    December 31, 2004

    WASHINGTON – As the Department of Justice intensifies its investigation of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Jewish communal leaders fear that the goal of the probe is to compel the powerful lobbying organization to register as a “foreign agent” representing the government of another country.

    and what became of that ….nothing

  11. jimmy says:

    an interesting tidbit to me anyhow…

    how jewish activists in California are trying to get the cal govern to equate protesting Israel with anti–blah blah blah…

    while at the same time a number of jewish organizations are attacking Hagel…

  12. RE: “Casual slander of Hagel as anti-Semite puts Elliott Abrams on hot seat”

    MY COMMENT: As far as I am concerned, Elliott Abrams is as close as a person can get to being ‘evil incarnate’.
    John Negroponte is a close second.

    FROM ‘RIGHT WEB’/IPS [Elliott Abrams]:

    (EXCERPT) . . . [Elliott] Abrams is best known for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. He was indicted by a special prosecutor for intentionally deceiving Congress about the Reagan administration’s role in supporting the Contras—including his own central role in the Iran-Contra arms deal. In this deal, national security staff led by Oliver North brokered the sale of weapons from Israel to Iran in exchange for Iran helping broker the release of six Americans held hostage by Hezbollah. Some of the money made from the sale was channeled to the U.S.-backed and -organized Contras, who were spearheading a counterrevolution against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Congress had prohibited U.S. government assistance to the Contras because of their pattern of human rights abuses.
    At the time of his involvement, Abrams was the assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, working under George Shultz. Abrams pleaded guilty to two lesser offenses (including withholding information from Congress) to avoid a trial and a
    possible jail term.
    Throughout the proceedings, Abrams denied knowledge of the NSC and CIA programs to support the Contras. He blamed Congress for the deaths of two U.S. military members shot down by the Sandinistas in an illegal, clandestine arms supply operation over Nicaragua. He [Elliott Abrams] described the legal proceedings against him as “Kafkaesque” and called his prosecutors “filthy bastards” and “vipers.” . . . [18]

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to rightweb.irc-online.org

    • P.S. FROM HistoryCommons.org [Elliott Abrams]:

      “June 2001: Abrams, Other Think Tank Neoconservatives Move to Join White House”
      Hardline neoconservative Elliott Abrams (see June 2, 1987) joins the National Security Council as senior director of Near East and North African affairs. A State Department official will later recall: “Elliott embodied the hubris of the neocon perspective. His attitude was, ‘All the rest of you are pygmies. You don’t have the scope and the vision we have. We are going to remake the world.’ His appointment meant that good sense had been overcome by ideology.”

      Rush of Neoconservatives into Administration – Abrams’s entry into the White House heralds a rush of former Project for the New American Century members (PNAC—see January 26, 1998 and September 2000) into the Bush administration, almost all of whom are staunch advocates of regime change in Iraq. “I don’t think that most people in State understood what was going on,” the State Department official will say later. “I understood what this was about, that PNAC was moving from outside the government to inside. In my mind, it was an unfriendly takeover.” [UNGER, 2007, PP. 205]

      Neoconservatives Well-Organized, Contemptuous of Congress – In June 2004, former intelligence official Patrick Lang will write: “It should have been a dire warning to the US Congress when the man who had been convicted of lying to Congress during the Iran-contra affair [Elliott Abrams] was put in charge of the Middle East section of the NSC staff.One underestimated talent of the neocon group in the run-up to this war was its ability to manipulate Congress. They were masters of the game , having made the team in Washington in the 1970s on the staffs of two of the most powerful senators in recent decades, New York’s Patrick Moynihan and Washington’s Henry ‘Scoop’Jackson (see Early 1970s). The old boy’s club—Abe Shulsky at OSP [the Office of Special Plans—see September 2002], Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, Middle East Desk Officer at the NSC Abrams, Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle—had not only worked together in their early government years in these two Senate offices, but they had stayed together as a network through the ensuing decades, floating around a small number of businesses and think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute and the openly neoimperialist Project for a New American Century. The neocons were openly contemptuous of Congress, as they were of the UN Security Council.” [MIDDLE EAST POLICY COUNCIL, 6/2004]

      SOURCE – link to historycommons.org

  13. Denis says:

    @seafoid: “. . .the stain of antisemitism . . .”

    There is an interesting legal question lurking in this conversation: Is calling someone an “anti-Semite” defamatory as far as civil liability goes? Broadly speaking, defamation is a false factual assertion about someone that tends to injure the reputation of that person or put their name in disrepute. A “stain” to borrow seafoid’s excellent word.

    I mean, setting aside all the Sullivan sorts of considerations regarding who’s talkin’ trash about whom, if Abe Foxman were to call me anti-Semitic, would that be enough for me to get my defamation case to a jury – assuming of course that I am not an anti-Semite, and I assure you I am not, unless you narrow the definition of the word “Semite” to mean only people who call other people “anti-Semite,” in which case I probably am.

    Given the broad definition of “defamation” it’s not a stretch to see how calling someone “anti-Semite” could be considered defamatory. OTOH it is not a stretch to see how it could not possibly be considered defamatory. Judges in Brooklyn, NY and Tulsa, OK are probably going to have different views on this. I don’t know of any cases where it’s been decided.

    Of course, the mirror-image question is whether it is defamatory to call someone an “Israel-firster,” particularly a politician. That slur could connote treason at some level, which is, after all, why the slur is used. An allegation of treason – a felony – clearly tends to lower the public’s opinion of the alleged traitor. I, personally, would hold an alleged Israel-firster, like Schumer, in far greater disregard than an alleged anti-Semite, like Hagel. And I do. But then I don’t live in Williamsburg.

    If anyone has Al Dershowitz on their Rolodex, could you ask him to check in here and help us out? I’ll bet that an alleged Israel-firster like him could come up with 100 reasons why calling someone an “Israel-firster” isn’t protected by the 1st Amendment, but calling someone an “anti-Semite” is.

    • lysias says:

      The crime of treason is very strictly defined by the U.S. Constitution. To commit it, you have to commit an overt act that gives aid and comfort to a country with which the U.S. is at war. Even Pollard wasn’t charged with treason. Nor were the Rosenbergs.

  14. chuckcarlos says:

    sorry all this anti semite shit is getting a tad too confusing

    1. Maybe set up a committee or board or something to determine who is an anti semite and then hand out numbers…better yet set it up as the Masons or Moromons and have different levels of anti semites depending on aptitude and seriousness…you know you come in at the basic level and then you can progress to various stages, like a Ramses II level, Hajo Meyer level, and then if you study real hard and get real good at anti semitism you can progress to the Joe Goebbels level only to be topped by the Head Priestess level of anti semites, mainly the Norman Finkelstein level which is reserved for only all those who are really deserving…

    gotta have a scorecard to know the players…

    another good idea….

    2. Anti Semites, the board game…sort of like Jumangi or Monopoly…you got the various places to land on the edges…say, like Babylon, Egypt, Spain and they can even be people…like the square for Hagel (loose two turns) or the square for Finkelstein (got back and start again)…the corners can safe places, like Sheldon Alderson’s Casino, Mitt Romney’s House, ADL headquarters….

  15. Citizen says:

    Wonder how they will handle China as it moves into first place among the Gentile nations? Calling a critical Chinese person an anti-semite won’t work….

  16. ToivoS says:

    Phil keeping the focus on Kristol is good politics. Maybe it is time to make Schumer part of this debate over Hagel. link to andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com

    He is obviously making the case that a primary requirement of our SOD should be someone who is an advocate for Israel. At least he should be required to at least deny that is not what he is saying. Turn the debate away from Hagel and back onto those who believe our primary loyalties lie with Israel.

    • American says:

      “Turn the debate away from Hagel and back onto those who believe our primary loyalties lie with Israel.”…Toiv

      Correct—THAT is the point…and it really doesn’t need debating, all those who believe this or promote this need condemning.

  17. I recall when I first read Walt and Mearsheimer in the LRB that I reacted the words are “fine”, but the background music is antisemitic.
    Leaving aside the other criticism that I have of Walt and M, I wonder if I would come to the same conclusion today, I have moved six or so years further to the “left” and away from the right wing Bibi-Lieberman government and I feel that the standing ovation in Congress is quite questionable in regards to the long term health of people and “state or national institutions.”

    In the LRB article, when Walt and M capitalized Israel Lobby and referred to the Lobby, it was clear that they were propagandizing. When their book came out they had returned to the small “l”. At Union Square where a friend and I were commenting about one of the stalwart counter demonstrators to the Women in Black, a nondescript nebbish type, I joked that he put the capital “L” in Lobby. All supporters of Israel if they are Jewish are thus part of the Lobby.

    The other issue that I put aside above is their blaming the Israel Lobby for the 2003 war against Iraq. Thus the lobby=any Jewish supporter of Israel=the neoconservative movement of Wolfowitz and Perle. and these equal signs are questionable.

    • Leaving aside the other criticism that I have of Walt and M, I wonder if I would come to the same conclusion today, I have moved six or so years further to the “left”

      i’ve noticed your movement, just thought i would point that out.

      In the LRB article, when Walt and M capitalized Israel Lobby and referred to the Lobby, it was clear that they were propagandizing. When their book came out they had returned to the small “l”.

      some of this stuff is editorial decisions. since this is relatively ‘new’ territory i am not so certain one can make these kind of blanket sweeping assumptions about what one capitalized letter implies.

      The other issue that I put aside above is their blaming the Israel Lobby for the 2003 war against Iraq.

      do you mean the Lobby, or the lobby?

      At Union Square where a friend and I were commenting about one of the stalwart counter demonstrators to the Women in Black, a nondescript nebbish type, I joked that he put the capital “L” in Lobby. All supporters of Israel if they are Jewish are thus part of the Lobby……Thus the lobby=any Jewish supporter of Israel=the neoconservative movement of Wolfowitz and Perle. and these equal signs are questionable.

      the vast majority of the american public is only now becoming aware of the lobby. there’s a learning curve. i think you are putting too much weight on interpreting these intricacies. try not to get too bogged down it the outliers. i don’t think ‘All supporters of Israel if they are Jewish are thus part of the Lobby’. that’s silly. and lots of people who are not jewish are part of the lobby, like senator mark kirk. the israel lobby was extremely instrumental in our invasion and war w/iraq. that is just something you’re going to have to come to terms with.no amount of hasbara will turn that around. truth has a way of rearing its head, whether it’s ugly to you or not.

      • Annie Robbins claims “The Israel lobby was extremely instrumental in our invasion and war w/ iraq.” I disagree. The decision to invade Iraq was made in the White House by Cheney and Bush and their neoconservative advisers. Once the decision was made, my personal belief is that nothing could have stopped them. Thus the lobby was not instrumental or extremely instrumental. Probably Bush and his crew said, “The lobby? They’ll go along. Any war against any Arab leader? The lobby will go along.”

        That’s not instrumental, that’s being useful. In the aftermath of 9/11 Bush could certainly have gotten any war passed. (the vote for the war in 1990 or 1991 was close and the Israel lobby was instrumental. But in 2002 or 2003 the vote was lopsided and the call for war passed in a breeze and there was no need for the instrument to be used.) Because of the Israel lobby Bush didn’t even need to try hard. it was a slam dunk. That’s not instrumental. Instrumental means without them it wouldn’t have happened.

        Israel wanted war against Iran. Israel didn’t want Iran strengthened by a Shiite government in Iraq. But if the US wanted to go to war, Israel chose to go along with the Bush Cheney decision. That’s not instrumental.

        • The decision to invade Iraq was made in the White House by Cheney and Bush and their neoconservative advisers.

          so, neocon advisers were/are somehow divorced from the israel lobby? do you also think the emergency committee for israel is not part of the lobby either?

        • Hostage says:

          Annie Robbins claims “The Israel lobby was extremely instrumental in our invasion and war w/ iraq.” I disagree. The decision to invade Iraq was made in the White House by Cheney and Bush and their neoconservative advisers.

          Yeah Cheney’s advisors were the same people from the Hudson Institute, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies -Jerusalem, et al (Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser ). They were the core members of a number of so-called Letterhead Organizations and had written the bizarre fairy tales in 1999 about the Hashemite scheme to undermine Syria by reshaping Iraq to Israel’s liking or bemoaning America’s failure to remove Sadaam Hussein during the first Gulf War. Jordan supposedly would become the focus of efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from power and install yet another Hashemite regime in his place. See
          *A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm link to israeleconomy.org
          *Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein
          link to amazon.com

          The notion that the Israel Lobby hadn’t been campaigning for a war with Iraq since the 1990s is simply not true. See for example: Stephen Walt, “Richard Perle is a liar” link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

        • hostage, speaking of a clean break i noticed a reference the other day (tho perhaps ‘arcane’): link to mondoweiss.net

        • Castellio says:

          Please look up the role of the Wolfowitz, Feith at al. Or the Operation of Special Plans.

        • You seem to overlook the fact George W. Bush kept asking why the US should invade Iraq when Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. Israel lobby played key role in duping Bush, using knowingly false intelligence.
          Yes, Israel itself would have preferred a US attack on Iran, rather than Iraq.

        • An important element in the thinking of those who conspired to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq, was the reward programme operated by Saddam Hussein, in which the families of suicide bombers attacking Israeli targets were given compensation of $25,000. In particular, Tel Aviv was being disrupted, property values hurt, etc etc etc etc.

        • Regarding the role of the neoconservatives: When they worked for the various think tanks, which are intellectual arms of certain ideologies, they are part of the lobby. But when Bush-Cheney hire them and bring them into the room, they become part of the administration and are no longer part of the lobby.

          Regarding the Iraq war. Once Bush Cheney decided on war, there was going to be a war. The lobby helped, but it was not instrumental. Meaning that the vote in Congress was going to go the way of the administration no matter if the lobby sat on its hands.

          The lobby sounds nefarious, even without a capitalized L. (When you capitalize it it sounds Nefarious!) And it is the attempt of many to make it sound as nefarious as possible. When Bush Cheney hired a roomful of neoconservatives they made their choice and it became inevitable that the day after 9/11 the Bush administration would head in a direction of war. (Just as Rumsfeld said, you go to war with the army you have, so you decide on war based upon who is going to be invited into the room.) And Bush Cheney hired those people. They didn’t sneak into the room, they didn’t lobby in order to get their opinions into the room. Bush Cheney appointed them.

        • Mooser says:

          “But when Bush-Cheney hire them and bring them into the room, they become part of the administration and are no longer part of the lobby.”

          Oh really? “If I ever forget thee, O Jerusalem…”

        • lysias says:

          Regarding the Iraq war. Once Bush Cheney decided on war, there was going to be a war. The lobby helped, but it was not instrumental. Meaning that the vote in Congress was going to go the way of the administration no matter if the lobby sat on its hands.

          What makes you so certain that the Democratic-controlled Senate would have approved the Iraq war even if the lobby had sat on its hands?

        • You are too simplistic. Yes, Dick Cheney and his gang saw the opportunity to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq on knowingly false pretenses, given the mood in the US. Bush George W. Bush said a number of times: “why invade Iraq if Iraq had nothing to do with the “9/11″ attacks?”

          Neocons remain part of the Israel lobby even if they are employed directly by the White House.

        • I of course agree that the Israel lobby was an indispensible factor in bringing on the illegal invasion of Iraq. But the Lobby was cincerned about being blamed for a blunder if the war went badly.

        • Because the democratic controlled senate voted for the war against Iraq in 90, when there was no 9/11, so much moreso after 9/11.

        • Rusty Pipes says:

          A few points:

          1) Mearsheimer and Walt use “Israel Lobby” in caps in the title of both their article and their book because it is a title. Within the book, they refer to it as the Israel lobby — which they compare to other lobbies. (I prefer to capitalize the whole thing because it is a term and should be treated as a proper noun. If you want to debate English grammar, fine.)

          2) M&W demonstrate in their book that the Israel Lobby was the major factor in initiating the 2003 Iraq War, both because many parts of the lobby (including AIPAC) led the push for it, but also because the war was able to mobilize bipartisan support in Congress (despite multiple red flags being raised by Democratic congressional leaders).

          3) Bush did not just “choose” neocons for his staff. Bush/Rove were a very savvy team for building support among the leaders of key Republican constituencies in the years preceding his 2000 primary bid (As commentators like Latuff have noted, Republicans are more hierarchical, “strong father,” oriented than Democrats; so securing the endorsement of the leaders of Republican constituencies gained the support of the majority of their base). No other Republican has been able to cement those constituencies pre-primary since. The neocons and Christian Right were key Zionist constituencies who gave Bush their backing because he gave them assurances — and he delivered on those assurances by placing their reps in key positions in his administration. He danced with them that brung him.

          4) In 2000, partisan pandering about Israel was mostly about votes for Republicans and mostly about donations for Democrats. Republicans could count on enough wealthy donors pushing various corporate interests that they did not need Zionist donors — part of the reason that some of the voices most critical of Israel in congress were of socially-liberal Republicans. The agenda of the Christian Right had been an important force in the Republican Party since 1980, an agenda in which Christian Zionism played an important role. Dubya had learned through working on his father’s campaign how to cultivate (and how to avoid blowback from) this constituency.

          On the other hand, while Zionism is a motivator for some Democratic voters in key districts and states, Democratic politicians across the country support the majority of AIPAC’s positions because they need financial support from the Democrats’ ATM. Israel is very low among the priorities of most Democratic voters. Even those Democrats who can raise enough from PACs, unions and small donors cannot afford the risk of an AIPAC donor-funded challenger in the primaries. Since Republicans are the party of big money, Democrats have had a harder time finding big donors to fund their campaigns — especially for the Senate or Presidential primaries.

          With the passage of Citizens United, even Republicans have needed larger and larger donations — so the dynamics related to Zionism and donors have shifted since 2000.

        • Hostage says:

          The lobby sounds nefarious, even without a capitalized L. (When you capitalize it it sounds Nefarious!) And it is the attempt of many to make it sound as nefarious as possible.

          The Lobby is nefarious. WINEP, AIPAC, et al aren’t just an Israeli fan club, they are working as agents for a foreign power and introducing Israeli drafted legislation in our lawmaking bodies on the subjects of refugees, recognition of Israeli sovereignty over an undivided Jerusalem, & etc. e.g. link to mondoweiss.net

          What if an unfriendly foreign power was introducing legislation in the Knesset to redefine who can be considered Jewish in order to gain an advantage for Palestine in the peace negotiations? Wouldn’t that be considered nefarious?

        • yonah – - Surely the US and the UK were obliged to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait if Saddam Hussein failed to withdraw voluntarily. Agreed?

        • Rusty Pipes- In the LRB article in the text Walt and mearsheimer wrote the Israel Lobby. To me that made it into a piece of propaganda. (Can simple spelling/capitalization turn something into propaganda??!! Punctuation can. Think like me!!!!)

        • Hostage- Once Bush Cheney appointed Wolfowitz and the other neoconservatives and gave them power, they stopped being lobbyists and became the arm of the president. Nefarious is not the word I should have used.. “Underhanded” was the word I should have used. A lobbyist is not someone who is a straight forward holder of power, but someone who buys you a three martini lunch and gives you superbowl tickets and makes sure campaign funds are not lacking. That’s what lobbying connotes. (Think tanks are included because they are the intellectual cover for lobbyists and thus the brains and the body are one and the same. )And as such Wolfowitz was not part of the Israel lobby when he raised the topic of a war against Iraq. He was assistant secretary of defense. He was coming from a mindset that you consider wrong and unAmerican, but he was not a lobbyist. People in the room knew where he was coming from, but he was not a lobbyist.

          But Annie wants to call anyone who agrees with the Israel lobby’s agenda part of the Israel lobby and this is not accurate other than in a propaganda sense. Using the term lobby to paint people as underhanded as the term lobbyist connotes.

        • James Canning- I think the first gulf war was certainly more justified than the second gulf war and I think that it was an affront to the international community for Iraq to invade and annex Kuwait, a member state of the United Nation, and I think it was very non-wobbly of Bush pere and maggie thatcher to give him the boot. “Obliged” is not really a word I would use.

        • James Canning- Middle East policy is so dominated by the Israel issue in the Congress, that if Israel or Aipac had decided to take on the president, in theory they could have stopped him. Israel did not like Saddam. But he was not a long term threat to Israel compared to Iran. Bush Cheney wanted the war and the Israel lobby cooperated.

          (On middle east policy the Israel lobby is like electricity (almost like oxygen). Meaning if the power grid or a basement generator would have been shut down for months, congress could not have voted, because the lights would have been out and they would not have voted for war, because Congress could not have convened. Cooperating with Israel regarding Middle East is automatic like turning on the light. I have an image of an “obedient” senator. “Bush wants a war against Iraq? My constituents will go for it. Okay. Wait. Is Israel on board? Great. Okay. Let’s roll.)

          Once Bush Cheney decided on war in the aftermath of 9/11 they would have gotten their war in a cakewalk. Any ten people from an ad agency or a PR agency in Manhattan could have made that war happen. The Israel lobby is for tough stuff like trying to get a war against Iran. Now that’s not an easy job. But the war against Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11, that was a cakewalk.

        • But Annie wants to call anyone who agrees with the Israel lobby’s agenda part of the Israel lobby

          yonah, i addressed this allegation upthread with your earlier attempt at framing/hasbara: ” Thus the lobby=any Jewish supporter of Israel=the neoconservative movement of Wolfowitz and Perle.”

          here is what i wrote (directly upthread)

          i don’t think ‘All supporters of Israel if they are Jewish are thus part of the Lobby’. that’s silly. and lots of people who are not jewish are part of the lobby, like senator mark kirk.

          so why are you repeating this especially co-oping my name when i have already clearly refuted it?

        • Annie Robbins- I’m very sorry for the mistake. I’ll try to be more careful in the future.

        • Down thread your wrote: “The term israel lobby means those working for the lobby agenda. to me, it doesn’t matter why they are doing it.” It isn’t clear to me when, according to you, someone is considered to be included in the lobby and when one isn’t.

        • Actually, G H W Bush was indeed “wobbly”, and Margaret Thatcher knew she needed to convince him to ensure Iraq forces were removed from Kuwait.

        • yonah – - Aipac wanted the US to invade Iraq, and to exploit the opportunity to deceive the American public in order to set up that invasion.

          You seem unaware that George W. Bush was duped, to a considerable degree.

        • Hostage says:

          I think the first gulf war was certainly more justified than the second gulf war and I think that it was an affront to the international community for Iraq to invade and annex Kuwait, a member state of the United Nation, and I think it was very non-wobbly of Bush pere and maggie thatcher to give him the boot. “Obliged” is not really a word I would use.

          “Obliged” is the correct view. The Security Council simply enforced the legal obligation for Iraq to respect the boundary it had created for itself when it concluded a “Memorandum of Agreement” on the subject that had been deposited by Kuwait with the Secretary General, acting as depositary for the UN Treaty Organization.

          The Security Council held that the parties were still bound by the terms of their own acceptance. See E. Lauterpacht, et al “The Kuwait Crisis: Basic Documents”, The Agreed Minutes Between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq Regarding the Restoration of Friendly Relations, Recognition and Related Matters, 4 October 1963.

          In the 19th century, Great Britain carved Kuwait out of the Ottoman Mesopotamian District of Basra and made it a British protectorate under the terms of a trucial agreement. That was done by force or the threat of the use of force in exactly the same way the other Emirate or Trucial States in the Gulf and the British Protectorates of Aden, Egypt, and the Sudan were established. The League of Nations Mandate instrument for Iraq never entered into force, since the British had already concluded yet another trucial agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom before the League took up the issue. The Council of the League subsequently adopted resolutions which stated that the trucial agreements regarding relations between the British and the Hashemites in Iraq and Transjordan did not effect the mandated status of those territories. In the case of Transjordan, the mandate instrument established the legal authority of the Allied boundary commissions and treaties. But in the case of Iraq, the draft mandate was never actually implemented and the border with Kuwait was not laid down by a joint allied commission and remained a matter of dispute, until the Memorandum of Agreement was concluded.

        • Great post.

          I think it continues to be worthwhile to examine why Saddam Hussein failed to agree to get out of Kuwait quickly when well over half a million troops were in the vicinity, ready to expel Iraqi forces.

    • Kathleen says:

      “the background music” is cemented in your brain. M and W stated fact after fact about how the I lobby operates. They included the I lobby in the push for the invasion of Iraq. They were a driving and huge influence. Hell the false intelligence came right out of Feith’s office of special plans in the Pentagon. Many believe Micheal Ledeen was the creator of the Niger Documents. Have you ever read the SSCI’s report on the pre war intelligence? Although Jason Vest of the Nation and others warned about the sources for the WMD intelligence in 2002.

      • Kathleen, I seem to recall reading an excellent report on the fake Niger documents, in Vanity Fair perhaps. Will check.
        Ledeen may have been involved in helping to set up the programme (forge the docs, convey them to Italian intelligence, etc).
        CIA station in Rome spotted the docs as forgeries virtually immediately. Yet Condoleeza Rice allowed George W. Bush to refer to them, obliquely (and thus camouflaged to provide deniability), in his 2003 State of the Union address.

      • Craig Unger, in Vanity Fair magazine Oct. 17, 2006, had a brilliant report on the Niger forgeries that neocon liars employed to help set up the illegal invasion of Iraq.

        • lysias says:

          The break-in into the Niger embassy in Rome that provided the letterhead stationery that was used for the Niger forgeries occurred in early January 2001, before Bush was inaugurated. It was a long-term conspiracy.

        • Yes, this fact cannot be challenged. Conspiracy to set up illegal invasion of Iraq on knowingly false pretenses.

        • Mooser says:

          “Yes, this fact cannot be challenged. Conspiracy to set up illegal invasion of Iraq on knowingly false pretenses.”

          Robert L. Jackson’s “accumulated evil of the whole” and then some, besides.
          Not to mention on borrowed money, too. Always seemed clear enough to me.

      • Kathleen- Do you consider the capitalizing of Lobby to be journalism or propaganda? This is not enough to justify the background music that I felt, but it is not a figment of my imagination that something was askew with Walt and Mearsheimer in the LRB.

        • Mooser says:

          “Do you consider the capitalizing of Lobby to be journalism or propaganda?”

          That depends on whether you are case-sensitive or simply anti-Semantic, doesn’t it?

        • Hostage says:

          “Do you consider the capitalizing of Lobby to be journalism or propaganda?”

          That depends on whether you are case-sensitive or simply anti-Semantic, doesn’t it?

          It’s possible that Wolfowitz is a propaganda tweeting anti-Semite: “Obama-Lobby marriage on the rock[s] – Pakistan Daily”
          link to twitter.com

    • piotr says:

      Recall a famous anti-Semitic movie “Apocalypse Now” with the famous Wagnerian theme. link to youtube.com

    • Mooser says:

      “I recall when I first read Walt and Mearsheimer in the LRB that I reacted the words are “fine”, but the background music is antisemitic.”

      Hey, Jude, goo-goo-Jew-goob, it was just a Beatles record in the next apartment. And now, I bid you pastrami.

  18. quercus says:

    Completely unrelated — but will Mondoweiss look into the ‘claimed’ suicide of Aaron Swartz in New York?

  19. Ramzi Jaber says:

    Great interview on This Week. Mr. Haas strongly defended Sen. Hagel on the anti-semitism attack. The aipac poodle Sen. Coker questioned Sen. Hagel’s temperament! A new angle by the neocons and the jewish lobby. Under challenge by George, Coker modified his stand and said he sees no showstoppers, he just wants to “learn” more.

    Must see interview.

  20. piotr says:

    I will try to defend Elliott Abrams: “I think if you look at the statements by Hagel and then you look at the statements by the Nebraska Jewish community, about his unresponsiveness to them, his dismissal of them, his hostility to them, I don’t understand really how you can reach any other conclusion, … ”

    I think, the key verb group of the sentence is “I don’t understand”, and I would be first to concur, I am am sure that hundreds of experts would agree to. Abrams does not understand much.

    Number two, the citations of the “community leaders” from Omaha suggest that Hagel indeed had been unresponsive to their arguments that Israel correctly treats Palestinians, so he dismissed those arguments. So the “slander” would hinge on “his hostility”. But this is genuine thinking of Zionist extremists like Abrams. In a nutshell, if Israel does not apply all stern measures against Palestinians as it does apply it will loose its ability to defend itself which would lead to a massive slaughter of Jews so only “Jew hatred” can motivate opposition to those measures. So it is not slander but simple stupidity.

    These conclusion is also supported by the record of Abrams as a public servant, including monumentally stupid Iran-Contra affair. Subsequent carrier as a think tanker was not overly clever either.

  21. Kathleen says:

    This type of vicious “casual slander” that has been going on for decades and directed towards anyone who criticizes the Israeli government or those who fully support the government as “anti semite” is dissolving. So important.

    Phil really glad that you continue to point out someone like Goldberg and his position and being more than willing to throw out empty and vicious terms towards Walt etc calling him a ” grubby Jew baiter” sheds more light on how this has been happening up on the upper tiers of our media for a long long time. People so fearful of being labeled with some type of outlandish and untrue label has helped shut down the necessary debate…clearly changing by leaps and bounds.

    My take on Schumer is that he will do what ever it takes to take Hagel down. I just hope Barney Frank’s self appointment for Kerry’s seat does not add to that effort to take Hagel down. Frank has all ready come out taking shots at the Hagel nomination

  22. Blank State says:

    Blahblah….“The Israel lobby was extremely instrumental in our invasion and war w/ iraq.” I disagree….blahblah….The decision to invade Iraq was made in the White House by Cheney and Bush and their neoconservative advisers…..Blahblahblah…..

    Yonah Fredman denies reality while expecting to be considered credible. The list of “neocon handlers” joined at the hip with the Israelis is long and almost entirely inclusive of ALL the criminals that marketed the invasion of Iraq. To deny Israel’s role in the marketing of the Iraq invasion is purposely disingenuous. In fact, the Israeli’s advocated, publically through a media release, to invade “sooner rather than later”.

    It bears note that most excuses and rationales for Israeli behaviour are founded in purposely fabricated bullshit. One has to ask oneself about the morality of policies and actions that can only be defended with dishonesty. And, to be blunt, it says volumes about the integrity of the ones doing the defending.

    • Mooser says:

      “Yonah Fredman denies reality while expecting to be considered credible.”

      But what if I told you that he seemed to be denying a little less reality than he used to, sometimes? A smidgin, sure, but it may be the opening for the rest.

    • Annie Robbins, Blank State and others- The neocons are in fact joined at the hip with Israel policy. To say that the war against Iraq was intimately tied to the pro Israel positions of many in the Bush Cheney administration would be an accurate statement.

      This is the problem with the term Israel lobby. To me the Israel lobby refers to AIPAC and those who contribute to campaigns in order to influence politicians and such to support Israel. It does not include senators who support Israel because their constituents support Israel or who would support Israel any way without campaign moneys. If a Jewish senator who has always been pro Israel throughout his political life supports Israel once he is elected by the people of his state, I do not consider him part of the Israel lobby. I consider him a supporter of Israel. If an adviser to a president was chosen by a president with the knowledge that this person is very pro Israel and he was appointed and then he argues for israel, he is not part of the Israel lobby.

      But apparently the phrase to many means all those who support Israel. And according to that definition the Israel lobby was intimately involved in the decision to go to war against Iraq.

      • Hostage says:

        To me the Israel lobby refers to AIPAC and those who contribute to campaigns in order to influence politicians and such to support Israel.

        The Israel Lobby includes the Hudson Institute, JINSA, IASPS, et al.

      • To me the Israel lobby refers to AIPAC and those who contribute to campaigns in order to influence politicians and such to support Israel.

        yonah, the goalposts keep moving on who or what exactly is the israel lobby. but it’s nice to see you’ve moved a little in this thread to at least agree bush’s neoconservative advisers are part of that lobby. but hey, i just found out from the weekly standard this morning that not even aipac is part of the lobby. or else they work for the israel gov, it’s hard to keep all these little details straight: link to weeklystandard.com

        Powell may find the term “Israeli lobby” slipping out from time to time, he really should restrict it to Israelis or those working for the government of Israel. The rest of us–a majority of Americans–are just pro-Israel.

        the most transparent way to figure this out is for the israel lobby to stand up and out themselves! are you now or have you ever been part of the israel lobby!!!? that won’t happen.

        It does not include senators who support Israel because their constituents support Israel or who would support Israel any way without campaign moneys.

        i suppose by definition, because lobbies exist to influence congress and the executive branch, politicians themselves are not the lobby. but why bother making the distinction? you use the term ‘joined at the hip’. so what about a senator like mark kirk who, even while recuperating from a devastating stroke is sponsoring right wing israeli legislation from israeli MP’s? when their chief of staff is cojoined at the hip w/aipac?

        what difference does it really make if mark kirk is in or not? why even bother making the distinction? the term israel lobby means those working for the lobby agenda. to me, it doesn’t matter why they are doing it. and, btw, this scenario whereby senators who support Israel because their constituents support Israel, this is so slim it’s negligible. the lobby wouldn’t need to exist if this was the case.

        • Mooser says:

          “the goalposts keep moving on who or what exactly is the israel lobby.”

          Not really, except maybe around the edges. Where the damn goalposts seem to be jumping from one end-zone to another is the Jewish people’s relation to that lobby, or anything else connected with Zionism.

  23. Let us try to keep in mind, in discussing Elliott Abrams, that Abrams literally conspired with Israel to subvert the results of the Palestinian elections (Hamas won).

  24. American says:

    It’s interesting who is behind the funding of the Pro Hagel push back against the I- Firsters. Is there some ‘ not so pro Israel’ element within J-Street? And did they choose to back a so far pro Israel J Street as an entry point to I/P-US-Isr?
    J Street having been set up as a kinder, gentler AIPAC, can not so pro Israel money ‘turn J-Street’ more to their liking?

    link to thecable.foreignpolicy.com

    Horse-racing gambler funding pro-Hagel campaign
    Posted By Josh Rogin
    ”The Cable has learned that a large chunk of that pro-Hagel money is coming from one Democratic donor, gambling legend Bill Benter, who is working with the Podesta Group, a Washington lobbying firm, to support pro-Hagel advertising. Podesta facilitated Benter’s funding of a week of ads in Politico’s Playbook must-read daily newsletter, written by Mike Allen, a spokesman for Benter confirmed to The Cable. ”

    “The Bipartisan Group issued its letter to set the record straight on Chuck Hagel’s character and on the positions taken by that Group. One of the Group’s long-time supporters, Bill Benter, paid for the advertising so that the letter could reach a wider audience,” the spokesman said. “The public interest would be better served if those organizations which spent much more on attack ads against Senator Hagel would also disclose their donors.”

    It appears that Bill Benter who is not Jewish and a wealthy Hong Kong woman have been the largest donors, besides Soros, to J-Street.

    link to israelmatzav.blogspot.com

    (excerpts)

    More on that strange Hong Kong contribution to J Street

    You may recall that I raised some suspicions regarding Consolacion Esdicul’s $811,697 contribution to J Street here. Lenny Ben David, who has been on the J Street story since the very beginning, raises some more suspicions.
    Beyond the Soros contributions to J Street, equally troubling is a huge $811,697 contribution from a “Consolacion Esdicul” from Hong Kong. It appears that Consolacion is “Connie” Esdicul, who Google reveals as a member of the Hong Kong Rotary Club and lives in the Happy Valley section of Hong Kong. But little is known about the woman. J Street claims that she was solicited by Bill Benter, “a prominent J Street supporter from Pittsburgh.” Actually, Benter, who is not Jewish, is considered the world’s most successful bettor on horse races, and he hangs out at the Happy Valley horse track in Hong Kong. Racing sheets report that Benter places $250,000 bets on a race. According to Wired.com, “Nobody’s more skilled at masking bets than Bill Benter, regarded by many of his peers as the most successful sports bettor in the world.”

    Esdicul’s contribution is a strange number unlike all the others which are rounded off to three zeroes. The figure may make sense, however, if it were a foreign currency conversion. What currency does $811,697 equal? Until J Street fesses up, we can only speculate. Using today’s conversion rates, Esdicul’s contribution equals 6,298,308 Hong Kong dollars, or 606,491 Euros, or 517,388 British pounds or 3,044,756 Saudi riyals.

    Why would a Hong Kong individual contribute as much as one-half of J Street’s budget? With such contributions, it’s easy to understand how J Street’s operation on Capitol Hill grew exponentially in the last 12 months. According to lobbying records on file at the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate, J Street’s lobbying budget went from under $5,000 in the first quarter of 2009 with one registered lobbyist to $130,000 in the first quarter of 2010, when J Street registered six lobbyists.

    When Lenny wrote that Benter was not Jewish, that struck me as odd. Naively, since J Street described him as a supporter, and with his not-so-obvious last name, I assumed he was Jewish. So I started searching Bill Benter’s name in Google, and one of the associations that came up was Vivian Fung. It turns out that Vivian Fung – who is a native of Hong Kong – is Benter’s wife.
    A Google search of Bill Benter’s name with Israel turns up 132,000 results. I’m still combing through those. Most of them are related to the recent story, but there was this curious one written by Steve Clemons of the Washington Note, a pro-Arab publication (I’ve seen it cited elsewhere but unsourced).

    “A quick note on schedule. This morning, I am hosting a delegation of the International Women’s Commission comprised of Israel, Palestinian and international women calling for final status negotiations between Israel and Palestine as opposed to the imposition of a unilaterally decided border.”

    • Bravo. Yes, Final Status negotiations. Including getting all Israeli troops and police out of the West Bank, no matter how many foreign peacekeepers need to be brought in.

  25. I continue to see Hagel at Defence as a very good thing for Israel, and for the US of course.

    Would it not have been a very good thing for the German Empire, if the Austor-Hungarian Empire had avoided acting so stupidly in its response to the assassination of Franz-Ferdianand in Sarajevo in 1914?

    • lysias says:

      I keep thinking of that analogy with Austria-Hungary and 1914. In 1914, Austria, the junior partner in the alliance that felt threatened, dragged ally Germany into a war that was meant to solve Austria’s problems but instead turned out to be disastrous (although plenty of Germans in authority wanted that war too).

      • Yes, The Prussian General Staff wanted to hurt Russia, and the foolishness of the Austro-Hungarian Empire owed a great deal to warmongers in leadership positions in the German Empire.

        American leaders would do well to study the events of 1914. And study them again. And again.

        • lysias says:

          A big reason why John Kennedy avoided war over the Cuban Missile Crisis was that he had recently read Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August.

          I wonder how many of the people in authority now read books at all, still less books about history that is not recent.

        • Lysias – - I ponder the same question. An appalling lack of knowledge of history is too often typical for American leaders setting policy in the Middle East. Think of Condoleezza Rice!

  26. irmep says:

    This morning on Morning Edition (NPR) it was Max Boot sharing his (allegedly) deep knowledge on guerrilla warfare against technologically advanced military forces.

    One has to wonder what expert interview pools a more diverse NPR (at the executive, top reporter, booking levels) might produce for its listeners.

    Can’t wait to hear John Bolton’s analysis of the UN, and Richard Perle’s insights about a Hagel DoD.