Israel lobbyists say U.S. support transcends faith (even as Hagel courts most powerful Jewish senator)

Israel/Palestine
on 39 Comments

The Hagel nomination means that people are at last arguing about the power of the Israel lobby in the mainstream press. Hagel’s confirmation hearing offers the likelihood that senators will be arguing about the definition of the term “Jewish lobby”–and it seems inevitable that the New York Times and MSNBC will have to talk about Zionism inside Jewish life, who’s a Zionist and who isn’t, and when and why the ideology enveloped the community wholesale, and what sense does Zionism make in 2013? Some of the discussion…

Below, two members of the Israel lobby are outraged by Hagel’s suggestion that the lobby bullies (not to say bribes) its way to influence over policy. These men argue that the American people just love Israel without needing to have their representatives lobbied. Ari Fleischer at CNN: 

Israel is widely supported by the American people because Israel deserves to be supported. Israel is a lonely democratic ally and a steady friend of the United States in a dangerous and tumultuous region. Their people are like the American people — free, independent, capitalistic and tolerant…….

Contrary to Hagel’s logic, Israel doesn’t enjoy widespread American support because anyone — from any faith — intimidated someone else; Israel earned the support of the American people because of its people’s values…
I’m a New Yorker and neither of my senators — Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — supports Israel because someone muscled them into that position through intimidation. They both support Israel because the lobby that wants them to support Israel is an American lobby, made up of people from both parties and all religions and from people with no religion or political party at all.
The NRA should have it this good. Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard also says it has nothing to do with any faith:
while Colin 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.
But if it’s really just all Americans across the board, then why does the New York Times’s Jennifer Steinhauer report on the religious aspects of Hagel’s nomination?
In what could be a crucial moment in the Obama administration’s efforts to advance the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, he will meet this week with Senator Charles E. Schumer, the most influential Jewish member of the Senate, who is expected to press Mr. Hagel on issues concerning Iran and Israel.
The article says that Schumer has discussed his vote with Jewish groups and that he will press Hagel to fully reject a strategy of nuclear containment with Iran and statements that Israel and the U.S. must talk to Hamas.
Mr. Schumer is also suspicious of comments by Mr. Hagel that seem to support a strategy of containment, in which the United States would accept Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon while seeking to prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Mr. Hagel might need to fully reject that strategy in order to bring his position in line with President Obama’s and Mr. Schumer’s. During his race against Mitt Romney last year, Mr. Obama took a more forceful position against Iran………

Mr. Schumer will seek reassurances that Mr. Hagel now considers Hezbollah and Hamas to be terrorist groups, the person familiar with his plans said.

But the US talked to the Sunni insurgents in Iraq back in 2007–terrorists who participated in suicide bombings!

I have to believe that Chris Matthews will soon do segments on the Israel lobby, though he will try to limit the discussion to the rightwing Zionist lobby–the neoconservatives who want Israel to have the West Bank. The truth is that the Israel lobby includes all those who argue for a special relationship with Israel in which there are never consequences to its human rights violations. In that sense, the lobby includes Chris Matthews himself, who regularly professes love for Israel– and remember, David Cohen, executive vice president of MSNBC’s parent, Comcast, has said that Israel was a top priority in his own family and that link is to an award he got from an organization that has participated in the ethnic cleansing of Israel.

Yet Matthews is honest and tough, and he will at least have to look at the settlement program– and how it got wide support in both parties, to the extent that even Obama vetoed a Security Council resolution to condemn settlements. In the Los Angeles Times, Shashank Bengali describes this political reality:

[Hagel supporters] say he’s been the victim of a U.S. political landscape that has become not only more partisan but less tolerant of criticism of Israel. Particularly on the Republican side of the aisle, unwavering support for Israeli policies has become a litmus test over the last decade.

“The debate about the U.S. relationship with Israel has certainly moved to the right,” said Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat who served alongside Hagel in the Senate until 2001. “You could oppose settlements in the 1990s,” he said, referring to Israelis building on land beyond Israel’s 1968 borders. “Not anymore.”

Matthews could also put on Uri Avnery, who writes that nearly all US senators are “Israeli senators:”

HOWEVER, HAGEL’S most heinous sin is not often mentioned. While serving as the Republican senator for Nebraska, he once uttered the unspeakable words: “I am an American senator, not an Israeli senator!”

That is really the crux of the matter.

US senators are nearly all Israeli senators. Ditto for US congressmen. Hardly any of them would dare to criticize the Israeli government on any issue, negligible as it may be. Criticizing Israel is political suicide. Not only does the Jewish lobby use its huge resources to get loyal pro-Israelis elected and re-elected, but it openly employs these resources to unseat the few elected officials who dare to criticize Israel. They almost always succeed.

Speaking of huge resources, Chris Matthews’s boss isn’t the only powerful American who is in love with Israel. I noticed John Kerry, soon to be our next Secretary of State, in the owner’s box at the New England Patriots’ victory yesterday. Sitting a row behind Robert Kraft, the Pats’ owner. Of course Kerry is a Massachusetts Senator. But it bears mentioning that Kraft is a leading promoter of Israel, supports Israeli football, backs a fund that sends Jewish teenagers to Israel through the Combined Jewish Philanthropies. His late wife’s name is on that fund too; she once said that her sons could fight for Israel, but she didn’t want them fighting for the U.S.

The Israel lobby is enmeshed in the American establishment and, yes it draws on Jewish community ideals– a belief that Zionism was a Jewish liberation movement. The only way Jews will be freed of this mistaken understanding is through open discussion. Because when there’s open discussion, Americans will not support Jim Crow and apartheid– Americans of all faiths. (Thanks to Annie Robbins)

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39 Responses

  1. David Doppler
    January 14, 2013, 11:34 am

    “The Hagel nomination means that people are at last arguing about the power of the Israel lobby in the mainstream press.” Great double entendre, there, Phil. There are now plenty of stories, back and forth, about Hagel and realism vs Kristol, et al, and neoconservatism. You have to come to Mondoweiss, however, for honest reporting on that power within the press itself, influencing the message. How do you get committed journalists to confront their long-held tabus, and . . . report about them.

  2. American
    January 14, 2013, 11:41 am

    ”Israel is widely supported by the American people because Israel deserves to be supported. Israel is a lonely democratic ally and a steady friend of the United States in a dangerous and tumultuous region. Their people are like the American people — free, independent, capitalistic and tolerant…….Ari”>>>

    Sure it is….that why you need 1000′s of pro Israel Jewish orgs and publications to lobby for Israel. LOL

  3. Ellen
    January 14, 2013, 11:47 am

    Americans will not support Jim Crow and apartheid…

    But we do! And we have supported Jim Crow for most of our history.

    Listen to Lindsay Graham’s recent CNN interview again.

    Yet I appreciate your optimism and hope.

    • American
      January 14, 2013, 12:06 pm

      Ellen,

      We need to distinguish between Jim Crow type ‘individuals’ and a Government or Country that enforces a ‘official’ Jim Crow policy…like Israel.

  4. seanmcbride
    January 14, 2013, 11:48 am

    Phil is now touching the third rail within the third rail. :) But this subject needs to be explored fully if any progress is going to be made in modifying the policies of the Israeli government.

    The worldwide Jewish establishment (including the worldwide Jewish religious establishment) has been the main driver behind the entire Zionist enterprise. Stating this truth upsets quite a few people (including anti-Zionists like Mooser), but facts are facts and no one here on Mondoweiss has been able to rebut this assertion. Christian Zionists are, relatively speaking, bit players in this historical drama.

    By the way, how much more awesome can Tom Brady get? :) That game yesterday was a pure joy to behold.

    With regard to the views of most Americans on Israel, especially non-Jewish Americans: I know many non-Jewish Americans. The vast majority of them never think about Israel at all — they have much more important issues on their minds, from their perspective, than the problems of Israel.

    Jewish pro-Israeli activists like Ari Fleischer, William Kristol and Chuck Schumer are radically misreading the world around them if they think that most Americans are fired up about Jewish nationalism. They are projecting their own narrow obsessions on their fellow Americans.

    How often do Jews think about Irish nationalism or the nationalism of any non-Jewish ethnic group? How many sacrifices would they be willing to make for non-Jewish ethnic nationalist movements? Many Jewish pro-Israel activists are unable to read the world aright — and this is a standard cognitive and behavioral problem with true believers in all messianic ethnic nationalist movements. That is why these movements so often go off the rails and self-destruct.

    • Mooser
      January 14, 2013, 1:10 pm

      “The worldwide Jewish establishment (including the worldwide Jewish religious establishment) has been the main driver behind the entire Zionist enterprise.”

      So how do you figure the Sephardim fit into all this? I never have figured that out. And by “main driver” what do you mean? That’s a useless term in terms of getting anything done. Can’t indict anybody for being a “main driver”, can you? But, of course, I would defer to Hostage if he said that “main driver” is a felony.

      • seanmcbride
        January 14, 2013, 2:06 pm

        Mooser,

        So how do you figure the Sephardim fit into all this?

        You can educate yourself on that topic here:

        /article:
        /title Post-Zionism and the Sephardi Question
        /author Meyrav Wurmser
        /publication The Middle East Quarterly
        /date Spring 2005
        /url link to meforum.org
        /end-article

        My impression is that the Sephardim do not wield much power within the worldwide Jewish establishment.

      • Shmuel
        January 15, 2013, 2:08 am

        You can educate yourself on that topic here:
        /article:
        /title Post-Zionism and the Sephardi Question
        /author Meyrav Wurmser

        Meyrav Wurmser is a Memri/Hudson Institute polemicist, with a “post-Zionist” fetish. I’d go easy on the word “educate” when referring to anything she’s written or said on the subject.

      • seanmcbride
        January 15, 2013, 10:00 am

        Shmuel,

        Meyrav Wurmser is a Memri/Hudson Institute polemicist, with a “post-Zionist” fetish. I’d go easy on the word “educate” when referring to anything she’s written or said on the subject.

        You’re right, but the factual remarks in this article support the truthful claim that the Sephardim are relatively powerless within the worldwide Jewish establishment.

        Regarding Wurmser:

        # Meyrav Wurmser: categories

        1. ACPR (Ariel Center for Policy Research) member
        2. AEI (American Enterprise Institute) member
        3. anti-Muslim activist
        4. anti-Muslim militant
        5. Benador Associates client
        6. Clean Break paper coauthor
        7. David Wurmser wife
        8. Endowment for Middle East Truth board member
        9. George Washington University Ph.D
        10. Hudson Institute senior fellow
        11. Iran War ringleader
        12. Iraq War ringleader
        13. Islamophobe
        14. Israel lobby leader
        15. Israeli citizen
        16. Israeli op
        17. Israeli-born
        18. Jabotinskyite
        19. Jerusalem Post writer
        20. Jew
        21. Jewish Islamophobe
        22. Jewish lobby leader
        23. Jewish nationalist
        24. Jewish neoconservative
        25. Jewish Zionist
        26. Johns Hopkins University instructor
        27. MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) co-head
        28. Middle East Forum member
        29. National Review writer
        30. neoconservative
        31. pro-Israel activist
        32. pro-Israel militant
        33. US Naval Academy instructor
        34. Washington Post writer
        35. Yigal Carmon associate at MEMRI
        36. Zionist

        Edits welcome.

        I should probably point out again that if Wurmser were Roman Catholic or Mormon, I would replace the term “Jewish” in the categories above with the terms “Roman Catholic” or “Mormon.”

      • seanmcbride
        January 15, 2013, 11:24 am

        How lists can be extraordinarily valuable in building reality-based mental models of political processes: for instance, in the list above, and others like it, one can easily see how organizations like

        1. ACPR (Ariel Center for Policy Research)
        2. AEI (American Enterprise Institute)
        3. Benador Associates
        4. Endowment for Middle East Truth
        5. Hudson Institute
        6. Jerusalem Post
        7. MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute)
        8. Middle East Forum
        9. Washington Post

        tend to cluster tightly together. One learns how to understand and graph global politics as a set of interactions among social networks.

      • Citizen
        January 14, 2013, 5:24 pm

        @ Mooser
        Sephardim means, generally, any Jew who is not Ashkenazi. I thought it was pretty obvious that the latter invented, maintained, and support Zionism, and Zionism is the main driver of the enterprise so called. A “main driver” by definition is what mainly gets anything done. You ain’t cute at all, Mooser.

    • American
      January 14, 2013, 1:38 pm

      @sean

      Agree.
      However I don’t think the US press is the place for discussing “zionism within the Jews”.
      First because I think the Israel problem should be focused on the ‘political’ problem of foreign influence and lobbies in the US.
      Second because the non Jewish public, no one outside of the Jews themselves is going to or could do anything about zionism in the Jewish community or religion.

      When suggestions were made in the past that ‘zionism’ should be introduced into the public to distinguish non zionist Jews from it I agreed. But now I am not so sure that is a good idea. If zionism… *within the Jewish community* …starts to become a public topic …and if it’s agenda and activities are accurately described in the press … it might tar ‘The Community’ more instead of less.

    • Inanna
      January 14, 2013, 7:11 pm

      @seanmcbride: I don’t think it’s so much a ‘worldwide Jewish establishment’ since the idea of political zionism was founded by one man who went on to find like minds in Europe. The fact that they could be so successful in establishing a state was precisely due to the mutually-held racism of the European imperialists and the zionists themselves. The former wanted to get rid of a problem in their own countries and create a strategic ally in an important part of the world (just who tried to take the Suez in 1956?)and the latter were more than happy to help them and pay forward the racism they experienced in Europe upon Palestinians and non-European Jews.

      So not really a ‘worldwide Jewish establishment’ is it?

      • seanmcbride
        January 14, 2013, 7:36 pm

        Inanna,

        So not really a ‘worldwide Jewish establishment’ is it?

        Well, I think it is — and this worldwide establishment and lobby — which includes dozens (or hundreds) of organizations is perfectly open about its global networking and reach. The worldwide Jewish establishment has certainly been the main backer and manager of contemporary Zionism.

        The structure and operations of this worldwide establishment have been chronicled in depth in the mainstream Jewish media — especially in the United States, Israel and Europe. Google it — you will uncover torrents of material.

        Try looking into the Conference of Presidents, the AJC (American Jewish Committee), ADL, EJC (European Jewish Congress), CJC (Canadian Jewish Congress), BBI (B’nai B’rith International), ZOA (Zionist Organization of America), WJC (World Jewish Congress), etc. This is just the tip of the iceberg. All of these organizations are richly interconnected and are backed by dozens of billionaires from all around the world.

        European and American national security elites have always had strong reservations about Israel and Zionism and still do — they have never been the main driving force behind Zionism.

      • Inanna
        January 16, 2013, 6:57 pm

        I’m afraid that even though you might think so, the US, Europe and Israel do not constitute the ‘world’ as in ‘worldwide’.

      • seanmcbride
        January 16, 2013, 7:54 pm

        Ianna,

        I’m afraid that even though you might think so, the US, Europe and Israel do not constitute the ‘world’ as in ‘worldwide’.

        The “worldwide Jewish establishment” refers to all those Jewish organizations in the world (not necessarily in every nation in the world) which officially define themselves as members of that establishment, and which closely coordinate their activities with the Israeli government.

        Building an organization chart of this global social network is a piece of cake, since these groups take such pains to advertise their activities. See, for instance, the website for the AJC (American Jewish Committee).

    • MRW
      January 15, 2013, 5:49 am

      But this subject needs to be explored fully if any progress is going to be made in modifying the policies of the Israeli government.

      Is that what you’re attempting to do, Sean? Why are you bothering, unless you’re Jewish yourself?

      The “third rail within the third rail” exists right here in the US. The majority of US congressmen aren’t Israel lovers; they’re intimidated (and probably blackmailed with evidence of their peccadilloes). Their legislative time is spent arguing about and for a foreign country instead of fixing the financial health of this country, a situation they created. The ink and air over Hagel is a disgrace. Twenty-three million people are out of work, and a screeching minority are exercised that Hagel isn’t sufficiently idolatrous to pick up the community soap in the prison of the Jewish/Israeli/Anti-Semantic (it fits) lock on public discourse.

      Wait until Jack Lew is through destroying the economy by ‘balancing the budget’ the way he did during Clinton’s time with the ‘three surpluses’ Obama praised him for, which will lead to another recession (every federal surplus in 225 years has created a depression/great recession…every single one…you’d think these einsteins would at least learn the lesson of 1937). Even though the hoi polloi, sadly, have zipperino understanding of how federal accounting works (neither does Obama), they are noticing where congress is appropriating the cash; hence, the Houston billboard about $30 billion to Israel. You think they’re going to stand for any of this when the next recession hits? It took one year in 1937 for unemployment to shoot up from 14% to nearly 20% after the Republicans and conservative Democrats forced FDR to ‘balance the budget’ by cutting the deficit. It can happen that fast. (It was only the 400% increase in the deficit during WWII that saved this country from abject poverty by producing full employment.)

  5. Annie Robbins
    January 14, 2013, 11:51 am

    The NRA should have it this good.

    lol, i can’t stop laughing. love your asides phil ;)

    • peeesss
      January 14, 2013, 12:15 pm

      I just don’t understand this Mondoweiss belief in Chris Matthews .

      • Dan Crowther
        January 14, 2013, 12:49 pm

        For real.

      • Citizen
        January 14, 2013, 5:27 pm

        @ peeesss

        Me either. Matthews does not play hard ball when it comes to the US special relationship with Israel. In that arena, he’s a total wussy boy. But, hey, his employer is a hard core Zionist–his wife stated she’d be OK with her sons joining the IDF, but not the US Military.

  6. Donald
    January 14, 2013, 11:51 am

    “I have to believe that Chris Matthews will soon do segments on the Israel lobby, though he will try to limit the discussion to the rightwing Zionist lobby–the neoconservatives who want Israel to have the West Bank. ”

    “Yet Matthews is honest and tough, and he will at least have to look at the settlement program– and how it got wide support in both parties, ”

    Those two statements are contradictory. In the first one you describe Matthews as he really is–dishonest, prone to spin, cowardly, staying within certain parameters. In the second one you talk about Matthews as you’d like to imagine him to be.

    That Steinhauer report in the NYT today is much more honest than anything I’ve ever seen on Matthews.

  7. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 14, 2013, 12:10 pm

    Well said Phil. It’s about opening everything for discussion.

  8. gingershot
    January 14, 2013, 12:29 pm

    Anti-Semitism Revised:

    It’s time for a little thought experiment with the very practical application of ‘successfully stopping Israeli Apartheid’.

    For the moment let’s just define ‘Anti-Semitism’ as the ‘complete dismantling of Israeli Apartheid’ – done according to UN, all international law, and Geneva – and that’s it.

    (Netanyahu/Neocons argue precisely this. Let’s give them their definition and say, ‘FINE’ – stopping Apartheid, ‘being against Israelis practicing Apartheid IS Anti-Semitic’. Great – now we’re ALL on the same page.)

    Israelis cover-up setting up and running the Apartheid state by use of charges of Anti-Semitism against anyone trying to stop them – using it very successfully for a platinum ‘get out of Apartheid-Free’ card

    Let’s change the fundamental nature of the argument – there actually has NOT BEEN ENOUGH ‘Stopping Israeli Apartheid’, not enough ‘disliking those running Israeli Apartheid’, not enough ‘Being Against Israelis (or South Africans) Practicing Apartheid’, not enough ‘Being Against Israelis’ if by Anti-Semitism we mean ‘successfully stopping Israelis desperate to keep Apartheid intact’.

    It’s a ridiculous farce with one goal and one goal only – to stop Apartheid from ever being dismantled by leveling bogus ‘Anti-Semitism’ charges against them

    It’s a laughable cynical farce of Israelis hiding and running Apartheid – abusing Palestinians – under cover of charges of ‘Anti-Semitism’. Simple.

    I suggest a 6 month moratorium on anybody paying any attention to what any Israeli or Jew says regarding Anti-Semitism or attempts by these groups to try to protect their Apartheid using a manipulative trick like this – particularly by known abusers of this tactic such as Kristol, Abrams, Foxman, Stephens and Pletka (Or Israeli politicians for that matter – as they are are on record already as saying it’s common practice to bring up charges of Anti-semitism just about anytime they want to get their way)

    If dismantling Israeli Apartheid is considered Anti-Semitic by the ones RUNNING it – fine, who cares, let’s have MORE of it

  9. Taxi
    January 14, 2013, 12:52 pm

    “Yet Matthews is honest and tough”.

    I wouldn’t call an over-caffeinated man in need of a spittoon, “honest and tough”. Mathews is the epitome of a liberal zionism in our media – cuz the zios are buttering his bread nice and thick. The man is NOT an idealist but a careerist. He would never step out of line and risk his fat paycheck over the issue of Palestine.

  10. gingershot
    January 14, 2013, 1:42 pm

    “Mr. Schumer has told aides and other senators that he could be persuaded to support Mr. Hagel depending on the meeting’s outcome.”

    So let’s just be clear about this – Schumer meets with Hagel on Wednesday and then essentially catches a plane for Tel Aviv to spend the next several days parsing every nuance of the entire meeting over with Netanyahu, Shin Bet, and Mossad. They all come up with a plan and Schumer flies back to the US by Sunday to be ready for Meet The Press and David Gregory’.

    My only question is – why do we need the Schumer in the picture at all, except for appearances sake?

    Why doesn’t Hagel just let Netanyahu vet him directly and ditch the middleman?

    I love the way Politico and the Neocons have now conferred upon Last Chance Chuck all the powers to give Hagel the dispositive thumbs up or down – he being the guardian of Israel and all.

    Schumer is just another neocon bite at the Hagel-apple

    • Annie Robbins
      January 14, 2013, 5:07 pm

      Last Chance Chuck

      ha! there both chucks you know..they could chuck it out. who’ll be the last chuck standing .

  11. Kathleen
    January 14, 2013, 3:11 pm

    Chris Matthews always professes his allegiance to Israel on a regular basis. Let’s not forget that he even announced on his program that he had a paid for trip to Israel. He did not mention who the trip was paid by. I will not be holding my breath on Chris really digging into this issue. Chris Hayes will likely be the only contender on MSNBC. But who knows Matthews may surprise us. And Phil you have pointed out who one of his bosses says the pledge of allegiance to. As I have said before when I talked with Chris Matthews at the Libby trial I asked him why he never touches the I/P issue. He said then ‘I am not the producer” A cop out.

    He could start by having Steve Clemons, Katrina (my sense is he does not like her when she has been on the program), Leveretts, hell he loves Andrew Sullivan start by having him on to discuss this issue. Lots of guest to choose from to discuss this issue. Once long ago he had Amy Goodman on but never saw her on there again. She would be a great guest to discuss this issue.

    Phil you sound like you could be looking for a guest spot. You, Adam, Annie, Max what a team. Would also promote what seems to be an agenda for you that many more Jews have gotten involved with pulling the curtain back the last five years. The Mondoweiss team on Chris Matthews would be great as well as promoting what I think is part of your agenda.

  12. Kathleen
    January 14, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Quoting Ari Fleisher one of the Plame outers about anything is dubious at best. In fact I have always thought he was the first to out her because he left or was let go of during the time of the Plame investigation. And remember Bush did say that he would dismiss the person who outed her. Now granted that would have been Cheney, Libby, Rove, etc what would seem to be a good percentage of his team but Fleisher did go. I think at the time it was one of those things that they spun as “wanting to spend more time with his family”

    Fleisher is another one of the neocons who is more devoted to Israel than the US. And that hooey they endlessly repeat that Americans love Israel no matter what is pure bullshit. Listen to the callers into Washington Journal, Diane Rehm etc people are becoming far more informed and questioning the US/Israel relationship. The Israel firsters think just by repeating that line so often it will make it so. Just not the case if it ever was. People are starting to get the facts on the ground.

  13. HarryLaw
    January 14, 2013, 3:38 pm

    Bob Kerrey a Nebraska Democrat said “You could oppose settlements in the 1990s,” he said, referring to Israelis building on land beyond Israel’s 1968 borders. “Not anymore.” All the more reason for that complaint to the ICC on the illegality of transferring Israeli citizens into occupied territory in breach of the Geneva Conventions Article 49.6 and the Rome Statute, because the International court of Justice have already given their opinion on the matter 15 Judges to nil in 2004, it would appear to be a straight forward issue, the Israelis are already illegally with holding tax revenues to the Palestinians causing them to go begging round the world to stay solvent, are they going to wait until they have all been ethnically cleansed to Jordan before involving the ICC, in all honesty what other terrors of the earth can the Israelis visit on the Palestinians without having to take full financial and administrative responsibility, a duty which is theirs in any case as the occupying power.

  14. justicewillprevail
    January 14, 2013, 4:15 pm

    Well, Americans supposedly also favor free speech, civil rights and democracy. They might wonder how that squares with the Israel they read about. Or the USS Liberty and the death of US sailors at the hands of the Israelis. Or the constant demands for perpetual war, wars in which US citizens die, whilst Israeli watch them on their tv. Or the blank cheque they give to Israel every year, the same country which boasts about its thriving economy.
    Having been to Israel, I don’t recognise any resemblance of its citizens to Americans, who I would not characterise as the paranoid, self-centred, obsessive, whiny bigots you find everywhere in Israel.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 14, 2013, 5:03 pm

      Having been to Israel, I don’t recognise any resemblance of its citizens to Americans

      i met some really cool people there. yes, even in israel.

      • Citizen
        January 14, 2013, 5:42 pm

        I guess you’ve meet some really cool people in America too, eh? More generally, in your experience, do Israeli citizens pretty much resemble American citizens to you?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 14, 2013, 7:23 pm

        More generally, in your experience, do Israeli citizens pretty much resemble American citizens to you?

        just between you and me citizen (shh,secret) many of them are american citizens. i know, shocking huh.

        i was traveling while i was in the region with a human rights delegation and that afforded me the opportunity to meet some wonderful people. but someone like say..jeff halper..he doesn’t loose his american-ness when he moves to israel and becomes an israeli citizen. and needless to say i wasn’t hanging out with settlers. but just walking around downtown jerusalem..no, it did not remind me of the US. nor the transportation. but i had lunch with some women, one of them a musuem director. she was wonderful. she said all her friends were praying obama would really do something. and some people were talking about emigrating.

        in some ways it was very different tho.

      • peeesss
        January 15, 2013, 4:36 am

        Annie, I just think you are much to nice But a “museum Director.” praying that Obama will ” do something.” Traveling with Human Rights Delegations and Jeff Halper? But JWP mentioned ” paranoid, self-centered, obsessive, whiney bigots” found everywhere in Israel. I don’t think Human Rights Delegations and “Museum” Directers would associate too closely with that riff-raff. I think you might have missed out on the prevailing views of ordinary Israeli’s.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2013, 4:03 pm

        @ Annie Robbins,
        No, not shocking at all. Who would be shocked by Jews, of all folks, with both US and Israeli citizenship? What’s are you driving at there? OK, you mentioned the museum director, but you really did not answer my question. Yet, you responded obliquely by saying by saying “but just walking around Jerusalem…no, it did not remind me of the US.”

        Why so much to do re answering a direct question, Annie?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2013, 5:01 pm

        sorry if i didn’t sound direct enough citizen. let me try that again.

        for the most part i was not experiencing israel as a regular tourist because i was traveling with a human rights org and our trip was focused and we were meeting israelis who thought like us. but,when i did get out and just walk around : but just walking around downtown jerusalem..no, it did not remind me of the US. nor the transportation.

        however, on my one day off i did have the opportunity to meet someone (actually the lunch included 2 people from the musuem) not affiliated with our scheduled agenda and really liked them.

        the reason i responded to JWP’s comment was not to lend the impression i thought, in general, israel and american societies were for the most part similar (definitely not). it was because of this sentence:

        I don’t recognise any resemblance of its citizens to Americans

        and i can’t honestly agree that there was nothing recognizable to american citizens there, especially wrt israeli-american dual citizens who are on the left. (albeit there are very few on the left in israel, but that’s primarily who i was exposed to).

        Why so much to do re answering a direct question, Annie?

        i don’t know. sorry for rambling, i talk a lot. again, do Israeli citizens pretty much resemble American citizens to me?:

        no. and i would double down in that wrt getting from pt A to pt B (transportation experience not the same).

        peeesss I don’t think Human Rights Delegations and “Museum” Directers would associate too closely with that riff-raff. I think you might have missed out on the prevailing views of ordinary Israeli’s.

        oh, there were definitely some incidences that were radically different than anything i have ever experienced here in the states, ever. being with code pink and women in black we pulled a few ‘actions’ over there.

        also we stayed in hostels so we interacted with people who ran them and engaged in some very revealing conversations. i definitely encountered paranoid, self-centered, obsessive, whiney bigots.

        just making the point there are others there. i feel sorry for them having all those strange people around. not sure if i could ever get used to it myself.

  15. yourstruly
    January 15, 2013, 12:34 am

    having the discussion is the thing?

    zionism, a jewish liberation movement?

    justice for palestine?

    hallelujah, amen?

    • yourstruly
      January 15, 2013, 10:42 am

      discussions begetting a new narrative?

      towards a just & peaceful world?

      nonviolently?

      joyfully?

      now in motion?

      by popular demand?

      everyone welcome?

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