‘Israeli opposition network’ launches in US with call for democracy over there

Israel/Palestine
on 50 Comments

The Israeli Opposition Network launched itself today with a bold statement about the Israeli election. More on the composition of the group below the statement.

Israelis living in the United States who oppose current Israeli Leadership launch Israel Opposition Network warning that election results threaten democracy and rule of law in Israel

[January 23, 2013, New York]

A group of highly engaged young Israeli intellectuals and professionals living the United States who are concerned about Israel s increasingly fragile democracy have launched the ‘Israeli Opposition Network’ , a political movement opposed to the current political leadership in Israel

“It’s a mistake to look at the results of today’s election in Israel as a division between two blocks,” says Nitzan Lebovic, a professor of history and a member of the Israeli Opposition Network. “The large majority of the parties in both blocks represent something closer to a Conservative agenda in American and European terms.”

“As advocates for human and civil rights, we fear election results still reflect a political deadlock that stifles the possibility for change. The rise of a Centrist Party calling for the draft of the ultra religious is not expected to address the more serious concerns about Israel. As long as control is maintained over a large population of Palestinians with no representation and no citizenship, Israel’s label as ‘democratic’ remains an unfulfilled promise,” says Itamar Mann, an Israeli Lawyer at Yale Law School. 

With over 25% under the poverty line and the wholesale privatization of national assets to a small number of families, while most of the public struggle with massive debt and the inability to afford a home, the current leadership benefits the few while over four million Palestinians whose lives are controlled by the Israeli Government could not participate in the vote,” says Liron Mor currently at Cornell University.

“As leaders of the social justice protests in 2011, We want Israel to be a democracy. We are part of a growing opposition in Israel, not only to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza but also to the corrupt and unjust economic policies that have sent the middle classes spiraling into poverty. We care deeply for the public in Israel, are extremely concerned for the residents of the occupied territories and for future of the state in the region. We believe we must raise our voices in the US to show that there is a young and capable democratic opposition to the current Israeli leadership says Yael Berda, an Israeli lawyer at Princeton University.

Berda told me that the Network is composed of members of the famous Israeli braindrain to the US. The group numbers about 40-50, and its members are experienced activists who work as scholars, journalists, and other professionals. “As Israelis living in the US, we have responsibilities,” she says, to explain Israeli society to Americans and in particular the American Jewish community, and to build alliances. “Because our voice is one that goes unheard, don’t know about Israeli opposition. There is room in the group “for all-staters– one state, two state– and different solutions to domestic issues,” she says.

Update: This post was updated today, Jan. 25, to correct some academic associations that were mistaken in the original press release.

50 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    January 24, 2013, 7:47 pm

    Could hardly be a better nucleus for a Jewish anti-occupation & pro-peace-and-justice coalition in the USA. JVP should be delighted with this new development. Be interesting to see what J-Street has to say.

  2. American
    January 24, 2013, 7:48 pm

    Hummm……is there potential in this group? What’s their strategy going to be?

    • eGuard
      January 25, 2013, 3:07 am

      What’s their strategy going to be?

      – Don’t mention we’re Jewish (argh, failed)
      – Keep the Palestinians out.
      – Keep BDS out.
      – Continue peace talks.
      – Change resumes .

      • Boston
        January 25, 2013, 7:13 am

        What’s their strategy going to be?

        Controlled oppopsition?

      • Don
        January 25, 2013, 9:03 am

        Too funny…

  3. sardelapasti
    January 24, 2013, 11:02 pm

    “we can no longer call it a democracy that employs the rule of law equally for its citizens…”

    Oh, good morning! Slept well?

    • Don
      January 25, 2013, 9:04 am

      Even funnier…

      No doubt about it…Mondoweiss is definitely the best place for a quick shot of morning humor

  4. eGuard
    January 25, 2013, 2:56 am

    “bold”, Philip? Note that they spoke out … one day after the election. Another “Zionism light”. Keep understanding that they only want to keep Israel for themselves, by themselves. They dare not mentioning Apartheid, 1967 border, one-state. This is what they have for the Palestinians: a Jewish (yes, see below) charity. (“Here’s a treat. Now go away or I’ll do the trick again”).

    They are clear about one thing: you need an Israeli passport to join. particular the [….] Jewish community – they really tried to keep the word out, but in the end couldn’t hold back any more. Such a let go I coin A Fartheid.

    As Israelis living in the US, we have responsibilities: creepy.
    As leaders of the social justice protests in 2011, we [Israeli’s] …? These protests were led by Israelis?

    • Hostage
      January 25, 2013, 11:05 am

      Keep understanding that they only want to keep Israel for themselves, by themselves.

      It doesn’t look that way to me. They said:
      *As long as control is maintained over a large population of Palestinians with no representation and no citizenship, Israel’s label as ‘democratic’ remains an unfulfilled promise.”says Itamar Mann, an Israeli Lawyer at Yale Law School.
      *the current leadership benefits the few while over four million Palestinians whose lives are controlled by the Israeli Government could not participate in the vote,” says Liron Mor Currently at Cornell University.
      *We are part of a growing opposition in Israel, not only to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza but also to the corrupt and unjust economic policies . .
      *There is room in the group “for all-staters– one state, two state– and different solutions to domestic issues,” she says.

  5. DICKERSON3870
    January 25, 2013, 5:43 am

    RE: “The rise of a Centrist Party joins calling for the draft of the ultra religious into the military joins War mongering, adoption of racial laws against the Palestinian minority and the government’s witch-hunt against civil servants from the opposition means we can no longer call it a democracy that employs the rule of law equally for its citizens” ~ Itamar Mann, an Israeli Lawyer at Harvard Law School

    MY COMMENT: Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, is going to be so POed! ! !

  6. Kathleen
    January 25, 2013, 8:25 am

    Healthy development. But trying to explain apartheid to anyone is tough. Glad to read they stand against settlements. Wonder how long they have done so? I guess as it goes for so many Jewish people who have finally been standing up to this apartheid government. Better late than never.

  7. Kathleen
    January 25, 2013, 8:35 am

    Annie and Phil over at Emptywheel.net Marcy Wheeler last post is about which big shots did and did not endorse Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. As she to articulately points out it if often more interesting pointing out who did not sign a letter of endorsement. She has a link to the letter of endorsement.

    And post this list of those who did not endorse

    Tom Donilon, Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton (can they endorse while they are serving) Stephen Hadley, Condi Rice (who both refused to have meetings with counter terrorism expert Richard Clarke when they came into office..oh yeah and Hadley was the one who made sure those 16 words went back into Bush’s Cinci speech about Iraq), Anthony Lake, Frank Carlucci, John Poindexter, William Clark, Richard Allen, Henry Kissenger, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, James Schlesinger, and James Baker III (surprised by this one).
    Sorry unable to link. Interesting read

    • seanmcbride
      January 25, 2013, 10:37 am

      Kathleen,

      And post this list of those who did not endorse

      Lists at their finest as tools for cutting through messy and long-winded prose into the heart of the matter. What connections and features do most of the names on that list share in common? — hint: they tend to revolve around a certain core subject on Mondoweiss.

      James Baker is an anomaly on that list — it would interesting to know what he thinks about Hagel and why he didn’t sign on.

      • Hostage
        January 26, 2013, 4:44 am

        James Baker is an anomaly on that list

        So is Henry Kissinger. He had the same attitude as Hegal, i.e. that he was the US Secretary of State, not the Israeli Secretary of State:

        . . . helping Soviet Jews emigrate and thus escape oppression by a totalitarian regime — a huge issue at the time — was “not an objective of American foreign policy.”

        “And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union,” he added, “it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”

        link to nytimes.com

        Maybe he and (call me when you get serious) Baker figured their endorsements would do more harm than good.

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2013, 10:42 am

        Hostage,

        There are some people who believe that Henry Kissinger has been playing a double game on Israel all along — that he is essentially a neoconservative who has been masquerading as a foreign policy realist — much like Dennis Ross, who without a doubt has been playing a double game. I don’t know whether this is true, but Kissinger was a strong supporter of the Iraq War and seems to be on the same page with the UANI people (UANI — United Against Nuclear Iran — was cofounded by Dennis Ross) in agitating for an ever-increasing escalation of tension between the United States and Iran on behalf of Israeli strategic objectives.

        Did you have no disagreements with my comments on pro-Israel gatekeepers?

        I would add that pro-Israel gatekeepers all across the political spectrum, from the far left to the far right, are working for the same team. Some of them seem to position themselves at diverse points along the political spectrum with the express intention of acquiring the ability to control the conversation about Israel in a coordinated way — they are trying to cover all their bases.

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2013, 11:10 am

        Hostage,

        Regarding Henry Kissinger’s political agenda on Iran, which seems to be in lockstep with Shimon Peres:

        Henry Kissinger recently gave an ominous forecast on the future of Iran’s nuclear program: that it will be taken care of one way or another very soon.

        Speaking at the World Economic Forum at a Swiss ski resort in Davos, Kissinger said, “People who have advanced their view will have to come to a determination about how to react or about the consequences of non-reaction,” he said.

        “I believe this point will be reached within a very foreseeable future.”

        Also at Davos, Agence France Presse reports that President Shimon Peres said, “There will be more attempts to try and negotiate, but there will always be in the horizon a military option, because if the Iranians think it’s only economic and political, they won’t pay attention.”

        Kissinger, Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak all seem to think that the Iran nuclear situation will come to close in some way in the next few months.

        link to businessinsider.com

        Both Henry Kissinger (a “foreign policy realist”) and Shimon Peres (a “liberal Zionist”) are basically pushing the same Israel-centric policies on Iran as the neocons and Likud Zionists. How is it possible to be taken in by this charade any longer? — they are so transparent.

        No wonder Kissinger isn’t supporting Chuck Hagel — Hagel is highly skeptical about the wisdom of Americans getting involved in a war with Iran — especially after the disasters of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, both of which were engineered by Israel-centric neoconservatives and neoliberals.

      • LeaNder
        January 26, 2013, 12:23 pm

        Thanks, Hostage, interesting response, Hostage.

        Hagel Foes Graham and McCain Praised James ‘F**k the Jews’ Baker, Jon Perr

        Interesting since it shows that James Baker shows us the real reason behind the “antisemitic slur”, obviously not aware it could be diligently recorded and preserved, for the very simple reason he didn’t support the Neoconservative idea of bringing democracy at the point of a gun to a series of ME states.

        This may well be a sign for the limit of lists, just as much as simplistically observed “core drivers”, since they usually miss the larger context of realistically considered complex sources for our ultimate choices and motivations.

        In any case it also shows that the hawkish pro-Israel perspective specific kind of lists of antisemites may not work either.

        ****************************************

        May I ask you something. I am brooding over something while looking into the larger context and chronology of “Hendryk M. Broder” polemics against Jakob Augstein, or his attempts to out him as a pure antisemite over here first, that in turn triggered Augstein’s listing as top ten antisemite by SWC in the US …

        In this context I discovered this. The American perspective first:
        Arab-Israeli Fatalities Rank 49th, Gunnar Heinsohn and Daniel Pipes

        In a different perspective, some 11,000,000 Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, or 0.3 percent, died during the sixty years of fighting Israel, or just 1 out of every 315 Muslim fatalities. In contrast, over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims.

        The German variation on the topic by Gunnar Heinsohn alone : How to enlighten the youth on anti-Semitism

        Scholars would parry that indeed since 1948 about 55,000 Muslim lost their lives in war against Israel, but this means only represents 0,5 percent, which means one of 200 of the about 11 million Muslim victims since 1948.

        Notice the different numbers used, cannot be explained away by the distance between the publications (Okt 8, 2007 versus Jan 22, 2013). The more interesting difference is Muslim casualties generally over here, versus “Muslim on Muslim” casualties in the US. Casualties defined how exactly? And what is it only “Muslim on Muslim” atrocity or will e.g. the victims of the French in Algeria be included?

        The article uses a suggestive pattern, repetitively starting out with what kids would/do think or say and then offering the informed/initiated scholar’s response. Handing over talking points so to speak. The above one follows the misguided statement by German kids that Israel kills people.

        Were would I find reliable research concerning this type of numbers, does it exist at all. It feels even the sources the give beneath the tables could be an attempt at manipulation. They do not tell us what the above numbers are based on. And they cannot be deducted from the numbers in the table.

        When I contacted Heinsohn via Broder since he publishes on Broder’s Axis of the Good about scholars and sources Heinsohn responded with one word in the subject line only: casualties.

        I have to leave, no time to proofread. Forgive. ;)

      • Hostage
        January 26, 2013, 1:37 pm

        Both Henry Kissinger (a “foreign policy realist”) and Shimon Peres (a “liberal Zionist”) are basically pushing the same Israel-centric policies on Iran as the neocons and Likud Zionists. How is it possible to be taken in by this charade any longer? — they are so transparent.

        Your interpretation of Kissinger’s remarks is completely unwarranted. Sometimes the Kahanist news network offers better analysis of the daylight between hardline Israeli positions and those held by others. Here’s the rest of the story: Kissinger: Iran Strike is an American Decision: Former U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger on ‘red lines': We cannot subcontract the right to go to war. That is an American decision:

        Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said on Thursday that a decision to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities should be an American decision.

        “There are two ways to look at red lines,” he said. “One is: should we make a public announcement that can be used by Israel or any country as a justification for it going to war? That we cannot do. We cannot subcontract the right to go to war. That is an American decision.”

        Kissinger added, “We do need to define for ourselves, when we say that nuclear weapons capability is unacceptable, we need to know for ourselves what we mean by that. What is the definition? I would say, private red line, publicly decide it in terms of tactical necessity.”

        link to israelnationalnews.com

        The President has said that the only “red line” for the US is that an Iranian weapon is “unacceptable”. Hegal is not going to change that policy according to the assurances he is providing to others in advance of the hearings on his nomination.

        Kissinger is simply saying that people who have advanced their view (that an Iranian weapons is unacceptable) will have to come to a determination about how to react or about the consequences of non-reaction in the foreseeable future and come up with a definition of what “unacceptable” means.

        For his part, Kissinger started writing about the “unacceptability” of other countries obtaining nuclear weapons for the CFR back in the 1950s. He’s written entire volumes on the subject since then, e.g. See Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, Norton, 1969. But that did not mean that he favored military strikes against against India in 1974. See “Kissinger ordered low-key response to India’s nuclear test, reveals book link to thehindu.com

      • seanmcbride
        January 28, 2013, 5:20 pm

        Hostage,

        Henry Kissinger is pushing the same neoconservative (Likud Zionist)/neoliberal (liberal Zionist) line on Iran as William Kristol and Dennis Ross:

        /article:
        /author Henry Kissinger
        /title Iran must be President Obama’s immediate priority
        /publication The Washington Post
        /date November 16, 2012
        /url link to articles.washingtonpost.com
        /quote:

        In the aftermath of an exhausting reelection campaign, the most urgent decision facing the president is how to stop Iran from pursuing a military nuclear program. Presidents of both parties have long declared that “no option is off the table” in securing this goal. In the third presidential debate, the candidates agreed that this was a matter of the American national interest, even as they described the objective alternately as preventing an Iranian “nuclear weapon” or “breakout capacity” (President Obama), or a “nuclear-capable Iran” (Mitt Romney). As Iran continues to elaborate its enrichment capacity and move it underground, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a spring deadline for counteraction. In this fraught environment, what operational meaning should be given to America’s declared objectives?

        /end-quote
        /end-article

        It’s obvious what he’s up to.

        Why should non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons be a higher priority for Americans than existent North Korean nuclear weapons?

        Kissinger is quite the clever player — certainly much more subtle than William Kristol and Richard Perle.

      • Hostage
        January 28, 2013, 7:26 pm

        Henry Kissinger is pushing the same neoconservative (Likud Zionist)/neoliberal (liberal Zionist) line on Iran as William Kristol and Dennis Ross:

        I just showed you that he is not. Gingrich, Romney, Kristol, et al were trying to subcontract the decision to go to war to Israel throughout the Presidential campaigns.

        Kissinger is not willing to do that. “Unacceptable” means a preemptive attack to Kristol, et al. Kissinger says it has not yet been defined and that those who say it is (unacceptable) will have to decide what America means when it says that.

        It’s obvious what he’s up to.

        It’s only obvious that you can’t find any statement that he has made which endorses a military strike.

      • Hostage
        January 28, 2013, 8:28 pm

        May I ask you something. I am brooding over something . . . Were would I find reliable research concerning this type of numbers, does it exist at all.

        No I don’t think so. There really isn’t any one running around conducting accurate audits of the dead in most wars or rebellions. After all it’s only the number of enemies that are still living that you need to worry about. In the example of our own US Civil War, the estimates of the dead were revised upwards by 20 percent recently: See New Estimate Raises Civil War Death Toll link to nytimes.com

        I think the whole line of argumentation employed by Pipes and Heinsohn is illogical and amounts to a form of hate speech anyway, i.e. publicly condoning, denying, or trivializing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

        You could just as easily argue that several hundred thousand more Americans were killed in our civil war than in the attacks on Pearl Harbor or the World Trade Center. Pointing out that fact would not have diminished the sense of outrage felt by the American public in the wake of those events by one iota.

        If 35,000 Muslim casualties at the hands of Israelis is only significant to an anti-Semite, then is Daniel Pipes Islamophobic for making such a big deal about the 2,977 victims of the 9/11 attacks? After all, that same year, about 11,000 Americans were killed by their own brethren using firearms.

      • seanmcbride
        January 29, 2013, 9:48 am

        Hostage,

        It’s only obvious that you can’t find any statement that he has made which endorses a military strike.

        Kissinger is trying to ratchet up tension with Iran and he invokes the mantra “all options are on the table” — which includes the military option. He is clearly trying to push the United States into a situation in which a war with Iran will be inevitable. He is too smart to outright call for war at the moment but he knows where his rhetoric is leading.

        And he published his urgent advice to Obama — “Iran must be President Obama’s immediate priority” last November 16 — in America’s most strident neoconservative rag — the Washington Post.

        Hostage: why does Henry Kissinger think that Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons are a greater threat to Americans than North Korea’s very real nuclear weapons, which it has threatened to use against the United States?

        You didn’t respond to this point in my previous comment.

      • seanmcbride
        January 29, 2013, 10:54 am

        Hostage,

        With regard to Kissinger and Iran, see this:

        /article:
        /title Kissinger: The Iran Nuclear Situation Will Come To A Head In The ‘Very Foreseeable Future’
        /author Geoffrey Ingersoll
        /publication Business Insider
        /date January 25, 2013
        /url link to businessinsider.com
        /quote:

        Henry Kissinger recently gave an ominous forecast on the future of Iran’s nuclear program: that it will be taken care of one way or another very soon.

        Speaking at the World Economic Forum at a Swiss ski resort in Davos, Kissinger said, “People who have advanced their view will have to come to a determination about how to react or about the consequences of non-reaction,” he said.

        “I believe this point will be reached within a very foreseeable future.”

        Also at Davos, Agence France Presse reports that President Shimon Peres said, “There will be more attempts to try and negotiate, but there will always be in the horizon a military option, because if the Iranians think it’s only economic and political, they won’t pay attention.”

        Kissinger, Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak all seem to think that the Iran nuclear situation will come to close in some way in the next few months.

        /end-quote
        /end-article

        Hostage — isn’t it obvious that Kissinger, Peres and Barak, along with the neocon/neolib UANI crowd led by Dennis Ross, are trying to push the United States towards exercising the military option with regard to Iran?

      • Hostage
        January 29, 2013, 1:53 pm

        “all options are on the table”

        Shawn quit playing stupid. Kissinger is not an administration spokesman. He’s only offering and analysis of the statements made by Obama or the State Department. You’re trying to make a mountain out of molehill by claiming that he’s endorsing the Israel Lobby’s position on “red lines”, delegating the decision to Israel, & etc. He actually hasn’t done that or recommended a military strike.

      • seanmcbride
        January 29, 2013, 2:15 pm

        Hostage,

        Why doesn’t Kissinger move the policy argument on Iran away from the manipulative and coercive frame designed by neoconservatives and neoliberals like William Kristol and Dennis Ross? The truth is, the military option should be entirely off the table — the United States cannot under any circumstances afford to be drawn into a war with Iran.

        And what about North Korean nuclear weapons and North Korea’s threat to use them against Americans? Why isn’t Kissinger pushing that issue to a position on the American policy queue before non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons?

        Do I recall correctly that you have defended both Noam Chomsky and Henry Kissinger in discussions here? I can’t imagine that Chomsky and Kissinger agree on very much.

      • seanmcbride
        January 29, 2013, 2:36 pm

        Hostage,

        This is how Newsmax is reporting the Kissinger/Iran story:

        “Kissinger: US on Brink of Nuclear Crisis with Iran”

        Former U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace laureate Henry Kissinger is warning that the United States and Israel are very close to facing a crisis with a nuclear-arming Iran.

        The 89-year-old Kissinger told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that such a crisis — a full-fledged atomic war — would be “a turning point in human history,” the BBC reported.

        link to newsmax.com

        Hostage: why does Henry Kissinger never mention Israel’s huge arsenal of nuclear weapons and other WMDs? What role might they be playing in fueling a nuclear arms race in the Mideast?

        Now, it is true that Kissinger says that he “hopes” there will be a negotiated settlement with Iran on this issue — but he is framing his remarks in a way that clearly calls for ratcheting up American pressure on Iran — thus the scare talk. What more pressure can the United States apply on Iran at this point, short of war or the threat of war?

      • MRW
        January 29, 2013, 2:39 pm

        @Hostage at January 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm. Thx for putting your hand on the jolly jumper.

      • Hostage
        January 30, 2013, 7:04 pm

        This is how Newsmax is reporting the Kissinger/Iran story:

        That just goes to show that you should never read Newsmax to find out what the BBC actually reported. The BBC said that Kissinger was talking about a nuclear arms race in the region that would happen as a consequence of a nuclear armed Iran. That’s not an immediate prospect:

        He said nuclear proliferation in the region triggered by an armed Iran would increase the chances of an atomic war – “a turning point in human history”.

        But he didn’t advocate a military strike. According to BBC Kissinger’s bottom was line was that there are still “years” for people to come to any decision and serious negotiations should be employed by the parties to look for solutions:

        In a few years, people will have to come to a determination of how to react, or the consequences of non-reaction.

        “I believe this point will be reached in a very foreseeable future,” he added

        Mr Kissinger called for “serious” negotiations on both sides to look for solutions.

        link to bbc.co.uk

        You are the only one who thinks he’s pushing the Zionist party line. I think calling for negotiations is pretty anticlimactic and isn’t a way of ratcheting up the pressure for military action.

      • seanmcbride
        January 31, 2013, 5:19 am

        Hostage,

        Let’s try a third time:

        Why are Henry Kissinger and emotional pro-Israel militants like Dennis Ross and William Kristol — along with the entire Israel lobby — promoting the strange idea that non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons are a greater threat to Americans than very real nuclear weapons that North Korea has threatened to use against the United States?

        Also, how do you reconcile your strong defense of both Noam Chomsky and Henry Kissinger — one strongly anti-imperialist, the other strongly imperialist?

        Chomsky and Kissinger do share one trait in common: the subject of the Israel lobby in American politics is one they would usually prefer to avoid. (Kissinger has had a few minor tussles with the lobby, but nothing on the scale of the conflicts that Carter, Bush 41, Baker, Obama and Hagel have had to endure.)

      • Hostage
        January 31, 2013, 8:01 am

        The truth is, the military option should be entirely off the table

        The truth is the neocons are not pushing for more negotiations at this point. FYI, the US is taking action through the UN Security Council. So the military option is never off the table. That’s how Chapter VII enforcement works. It begins with negotiations, escalates to provisional measures like sanctions, & ends with the possibility for the collective use of force.

      • Hostage
        January 31, 2013, 8:10 am

        There are some people who believe that Henry Kissinger has been playing a double game on Israel all along — that he is essentially a neoconservative who has been masquerading as a foreign policy realist — much like Dennis Ross

        So far as I know, Ross has never advised the President that it would not be a US problem if another government decided to commit genocide against its Jewish citizens. After Kissinger’s remarks on that subject were declassified, I’m guessing that he hasn’t been offered many fellowships at WINEP, the Hudson Institute, & etc.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 31, 2013, 11:47 am

        sean, i am really failing to see this ‘promotion’. newsmax’s headline isn’t supported by the quotes in the article. here’s AFP:

        link to rawstory.com

        In a wide-ranging talk on foreign affairs, Kissinger said he expected the Iranian nuclear issue to soon come to a head.

        i expect the iranian nuclear issue to come to a head soon too.

        “For 15 years, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have declared that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, but it has been approaching,” he said.

        okay. nothing there.

        “People who have advanced their view will have to come to a determination about how to react or about the consequences of non-reaction,” he said.

        uh huh.

        “I believe this point will be reached within a very forseeable future.”

        Kissinger said negotiations with Iran needed to be given “a real chance” and that “unilateral action by Israel would be a desperate last resort.”

        yep

        He said he expected “Iran to be high on the agenda” of US President Barack Obama’s new administration, and said failure to deal with the question could lead to a spread of nuclear weapons in the region.

        “That would be a turning point in human history,” Kissinger warned.

        can you support this notion of ‘promotion’ sans the editorial slant of reporters? here’s the bbc article on which newsmax based it’s ‘brink’ headline. link to bbc.co.uk

        note ‘in the forseeable future’ is not ‘on the brink’. and who doesn’t think an atomic war in the region wouldn’t be ‘a turning point in human history?’

        “If Iran acts as a nation and not as a revolutionary cause, there is no reason for America or other permanent members of the UNSC to be in conflict with it, nor any countries in the region. On that basis I would hope that a negotiated solution would be found in a measurable time.”

      • seanmcbride
        January 31, 2013, 12:41 pm

        Annie,

        One can argue about the Newsmax headline, but one cannot argue with the fact that in the Washington Post article that was previously cited here, Henry Kissinger was attempting to pressure the Obama administration into escalating pressure on Iran, in lockstep with with neoconservative groups like UANI (United Against Nuclear Iran).

        This is my main question: why is the Iran issue gathering so much more attention than the North Korean issue? North Korea already possesses nuclear weapons and has repeatedly threatened to use them against Americans.

        I have been watching the Hagel hearings this morning, and so far not a single member of the US Congress has mentioned the issue of North Korean nuclear weapons. Why?

        Many publications other than Newsmax have interpreted Kissinger’s remarks with even more extreme language than Newsmax: Google [henry kissinger iran] to see all the examples. Perhaps they are taking into account the overall track record of Kissinger, who was a strong proponent of both the Vietnam and Iraq Wars. They are reading between the lines to discern his real intent.

        With regard to Kissinger’s relations to neoconservatives, perhaps we can unpack the following two articles in future discussion:

        1. ARTICLE AUTHOR Josh Nathan-Kazis TITLE Neocons Gather To Fete Iraq War Godfather Bernard Lewis PUBLICATION Forward DATE September 28, 2012 URL link to forward.com

        2. ARTICLE AUTHOR Philip Giraldi TITLE Henry Kissinger: Realist, or Neocon? PUBLICATION Antiwar.com DATE September 11, 2007 URL link to antiwar.com

        I would be especially curious to read Hostage’s reactions to these two articles — especially Philip Giraldi’s analysis.

      • seanmcbride
        January 31, 2013, 12:50 pm

        Annie,

        With regard to the dinner honoring Bernard Lewis, arguably the lead architect of the neoconservative Clash of Civilizations, we find the following cluster of proper names:

        1. American Friends of Tel Aviv University
        2. Benjamin Netanyahu
        3. Bernard Lewis
        4. Bruce Kovner
        5. Fouad Ajami
        6. Henry Kissinger
        7. Itamar Rabinovich
        8. Judith Miller
        9. Mort Zuckerman
        10. Paul Wolfowitz

        How do you interpret Kissinger’s presence at this dinner?

        There are two neoconservative billionaires on that list, by the way: Bruce Kovner and Mort Zuckerman. You should look into all their affiliations within the neoconservative political network.

        ARTICLE AUTHOR Josh Nathan-Kazis TITLE Neocons Gather To Fete Iraq War Godfather Bernard Lewis PUBLICATION Forward DATE September 28, 2012 URL link to forward.com

      • seanmcbride
        January 31, 2013, 1:02 pm

        Annie,

        Let’s take a look at the Philip Giraldi article:

        ARTICLE AUTHOR Philip Giraldi TITLE Henry Kissinger: Realist, or Neocon? PUBLICATION Antiwar.com DATE September 11, 2007 URL link to antiwar.com

        One of the most disturbing attributes of the neoconservatives is their willingness to subordinate the United States’ national interests to those of Israel. To be sure, the attempt is frequently made to demonstrate that the two nations’ interests are identical, but a careful analysis of the impact of Israel’s domestic and foreign policies can only conclude that the relationship has been detrimental to the United States. To cite only one example, Washington’s counter-terrorism policy has been shaped by Israel, which insists that national liberation movements like Hamas and Hezbollah must be treated as terrorists and can only be dealt with by force. This has meant that the United States, which should have dialogue with adversaries worldwide, is hamstrung by its political commitment to Tel Aviv. It also means that any progress toward the establishment of a Palestinian state is stillborn, which may be what Likud wants, but it is not in America’s interests. That the neocon agenda might not serve Israel’s true interests either means that the tragedy is a double one.

        It is now obvious that the neocons have been marketing their agenda under deceptive labels and meticulously planning their takeover of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus to advance their Middle Eastern program. The new book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on the Israel Lobby provides some fresh insights into how American interests have been consistently betrayed by politicians and government officials who have fought to protect Israel at all costs. Mearsheimer and Walt reveal, inter alia, that Henry Kissinger, while national security adviser and secretary of state between 1969 and 1977, might have been one of the first neocons in deed if not in name. Kissinger, who prefers to describe himself as a “realist,” reportedly took it upon himself to defend Israeli positions even when those positions were in no way linked to American interests in the region.

        In 1972, Kissinger and Nixon ceded to Israel a veto over any peace proposals that Washington might be considering in dealing with the Arab states, basically accepting the principle that Tel Aviv would call all the shots in the region without regard to American interests. In October 1973, the same duo airlifted military supplies to Israel during the Yom Kippur War to the tune of $2.2 billion in impromptu aid, leading to the Arab oil embargo and its catastrophic impact on the U.S. economy, which amounted to nearly $50 billion in 1974 alone (equivalent to $140 billion in 2000 dollars).

        In late October 1973 Kissinger was sent to Moscow to negotiate with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to pursue a comprehensive peace process for the Middle East, but he ignored Nixon’s instructions and pressed instead for a cease-fire that left Israel dominant and destroyed any chance for a multilateral peace effort. According to Mearsheimer and Walt, “The American-compiled minutes of the three meetings that Kissinger attended with Brezhnev unequivocally show that he accurately and repeatedly represented Israeli interests to Moscow, almost totally contrary to Nixon’s preferences.” When the UN Security Council subsequently passed a cease-fire resolution, Kissinger allowed the Israelis to ignore it for 12 hours so they could consolidate their gains.

        In 1975, while secretary of state, Kissinger signed a memorandum of understanding that pledged the U.S. to provide for Israel’s oil needs in the event of a crisis and to finance and stock a strategic reserve. He also agreed that Washington would not “recognize or negotiate with” the PLO as long as the group refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist. This made it impossible to talk to the only group that represented the aspirations of most Palestinians, a dialogue that the Israelis wished to derail but which would have served America’s interests. Kissinger’s last year as secretary of state also saw Israel’s aid from the U.S. skyrocket from $1.9 billion in 1975 to $6.29 billion for 1976.

        One would think that Kissinger’s disastrous handling of Vietnam would have been enough for any one man, but he is clearly seeking to leave his mark on the Middle East as well. He continues to be a troubling presence in wars both ongoing and intended. Even though he rarely mentions Israel, preferring to couch his arguments in terms of U.S. national interests, the positions he takes would undoubtedly be welcome in Tel Aviv. Kissinger’s frequent op-eds in leading newspapers support the Iraq war, the current surge, and an aggressive foreign policy directed against Iran. Such is his perspicacity that in January 2002 he argued that the U.S. should “focus on the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq in order to change the regional dynamics by showing America’s determination to defend regional stability, its interests, and its friends. (This would also send a strong message to other rogue states).” Concerning Iraq, he has also been quoted as saying “Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy.”

        Kissinger has also embraced the neocon concept of “Islamofascism,” arguing that the U.S. should stay the course in Iraq, writing in August 2005, “The war in Iraq is less about geopolitics than about the clash of ideologies, cultures, and religious beliefs. Because of the long reach of the Islamist challenge, the outcome in Iraq will have an even deeper significance than that in Vietnam. If a Taliban-type government or a fundamentalist radical state were to emerge in Baghdad or any part of Iraq, shock waves would ripple through the Islamic world. Radical forces in Islamic countries or Islamic minorities in non-Islamic states would be emboldened in their attacks on existing governments. The safety and internal stability of all societies within reach of militant Islam would be imperiled.” One might note in passing that if Kissinger were an analyst at the CIA or the DIA rather than a former secretary of state his explanation of the situation in the Middle East would likely be graded a D-minus. Like all neoconservatives, he looks for an explanation that confirms his preexisting notions, in this case that militant Islam is the cause of conflict rather than a byproduct of genuine grievances.

        Kissinger is reported to be a frequent visitor to the White House, most particularly to the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, and has been a driving force to confront Iran. According to at least one source, he is the principal architect of the new policy to create a regional alliance of Arab states opposed to Iran while at the same time increasing direct pressure on the government in Tehran. President George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have adopted another recommendation from Kissinger that in effect abandons the “freedom agenda” for Iraq and the Arab Middle East in favor of focusing on Iran as a strategic menace to the entire region. The shift in emphasis means that during Bush’s last year there will be a major effort to resolve the Iranian nuclear challenge using whatever means are necessary. As diplomacy so far has consisted of shouting matches staking out adversarial positions, the only options that would be viewed as viable by the White House are military in nature. Kissinger has convinced Bush and Cheney that bringing democratic institutions to Arabs cannot be accomplished in the near future. He argues that simplifying the equation by viewing Iran as a strategic threat to the Middle East in general and to Arab dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt in particular narrows the range of options and protects all U.S. allies in the region. Relying on the Kissinger rationale, Vice President Cheney has successfully argued for retaliatory measures against Iran when an Iranian “smoking gun” can be identified.

        No wonder Henry Kissinger joined leading neoconservatives in honoring Bernard Lewis at the dinner mentioned above.

        I posted the entire article because it is so densely packed with factual detail — it merits a close and careful reading.

        Perhaps Hostage will offer a rebuttal to Philip Giraldi — did Giraldi get any of his facts wrong?

      • Hostage
        January 31, 2013, 1:15 pm

        Hostage, Let’s try a third time:

        No let’s not. You’ve struck-out trying to spin Kissinger’s reply to a specific question about Iran into anything other than a call for more negotiations. He stipulated that it would be “years” before those who advance the view that a nuclear armed Iran is “unacceptable” would have to come to decision about that even means.

        Also, how do you reconcile your strong defense of both Noam Chomsky and Henry Kissinger — one strongly anti-imperialist, the other strongly imperialist?

        I don’t completely agree with either man’s political positions. I simply try to point out verbatim quotes that help explain what they mean to say when I see others deliberately engage in misleading paraphrases and overly-broad generalizations. In the case of Chomsky, there are people here who obviously have never read a word he’s written trying to make accusations that simply don’t hold water. I’ve purchased a couple of Kissinger’s books and will do lookups for others, but I think he’s a criminal who belongs in the dock in Argentina, Cambodia, Loas, & etc.

      • seanmcbride
        January 31, 2013, 1:23 pm

        More revealing political networking:

        ARTICLE TITLE Scooter Libby Love Letters PUBLICATION The Smoking Gun DATE June 5, 2007 URL link to thesmokinggun.com

        Donald Rumsfeld, Henry Kissinger, Paul Wolfowitz, and John Bolton top the list of individuals who wrote a federal judge on behalf of former White House aide Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, who was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for lying to investigators and a federal grand jury examining the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 31, 2013, 2:52 pm

        from your link:

        Of the 198 letters sent to Judge Reggie Walton, 174 referred positively to Libby

        by your standards Kissinger’s ‘political networking’ extends far beyond Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Bolton.

      • seanmcbride
        January 31, 2013, 2:59 pm

        Annie,

        by your standards Kissinger’s ‘political networking’ extends far beyond Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Bolton.

        I posted the names of other Libby Legal Defense Trust members here before: most of them are neoconservatives and Likud Zionists, or “liberal Zionists” like Martin Peretz, Dennis Ross and Leon Wieseltier.

      • seanmcbride
        January 31, 2013, 3:13 pm

        Hostage,

        I’ve purchased a couple of Kissinger’s books and will do lookups for others, but I think he’s a criminal who belongs in the dock in Argentina, Cambodia, Loas, & etc.

        Ok — you are clear on that matter. I have posted several other comments today (not yet cleared), which delve more deeply into Kissinger’s ties with neoconservatives.

        With regard to Chomsky, I’ve read all his major books (including in linguistics), many of his articles, and have attended several of his talks. I think he is brilliant and truth-seeking on Israeli issues, but strangely evasive on any controversies concerning the Israel lobby.

        I am still curious: do you think that Americans should be more worried about North Korean nuclear threats than Iranian nuclear threats?

        During the Hagel hearings today, North Korea wasn’t mentioned once during the time I watched. Much of the US Congress seems to be obsessed with Israel and Iran in a way that is truly bizarre — Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz are the worst of the lot. I’ll wager that AIPAC has written their scripts.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 31, 2013, 4:17 pm

        sean, you won. kissinger posts have dominated the thread. frankly i am not that interested in him. i think he’s an old guy with dwindling influence. i’m backing out. maybe you can find someone else to discuss this with. see ya.

      • Keith
        January 31, 2013, 5:05 pm

        SEAN MCBRIDE- “Why should non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons be a higher priority for Americans than existent North Korean nuclear weapons?”

        The primary reason is that the nuclear issue is mostly a pretext for aggressive actions to bring about a regime change in Iran as part of the imperial restructuring of the Middle East. Wesley Clark mentioned the seven states being targeted: Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and Iran. This appears to be an ongoing project, Obama following neocon formulated strategy, now the bi-partisan consensus. The secondary reason is that a nuclear armed Iran would be too dangerous to attack, hence, a potential threat to US Middle East hegemony.

      • Hostage
        February 1, 2013, 1:48 pm

        I think he is brilliant and truth-seeking on Israeli issues, but strangely evasive on any controversies concerning the Israel lobby.

        He’s had an article online for years which explains that it is one of the primary factors in determining US foreign policy. He has always claimed that it has a very powerful influence on issues related to Israel itself or on external matters where its interests happen to coincide with those of the US government or the military industrial sector.

        But he observes that it’s opinion on issues, like the strike on Iran, are not decisive or a determining factor. That pisses off a lot of people. But it just so happens that the Israel Lobby has been an abject failure in its non-stop efforts over several decades to incite the US government into attacking Iran.

      • seanmcbride
        February 2, 2013, 1:14 pm

        Hostage,

        The main problem I have with Noam Chomsky and Noam Chomsky disciples is that they don’t appear to be knowledgeable about the long history of internal conflict within the American national security community about Israel, which began before the founding of Israel and which continues until this day.

        The Israel lobby has been the most important factor in tilting American foreign policy towards Israel — not any supposed corporatocracy or capitalist power elite within American or Western politics.

        Chomskyites simply don’t get this — they are hooked on a simplistic one-size-fits-all hard left ideology to explain everything. By distracting attention from the primary drivers of American Mideast policy, they play into the hands of the Israel lobby. Some of them are clearly operatives for the Israel lobby.

    • seanmcbride
      January 25, 2013, 10:44 am

      Kathleen,

      Sorry unable to link. Interesting read

      c; article; /title Praising by Damned Faintness: The NSAs, SoSs, and SoDs Who Didn’t Endorse Chuck Hagel /date January 24, 2013 /publication emptywheel /author emptywheel /url link to emptywheel.net

      This article is a good example of how to data mine lists — although one could pursue the analysis in much greater depth in combination with other lists.

      • Kathleen
        January 25, 2013, 6:38 pm

        Thanks Seanmcbride

    • American
      January 25, 2013, 11:05 am

      Well Baker is considerably more anti Israel than Hagel but he’s also more a believer in ‘US superpower force’ than Hagel…that might explain him.

  8. seafoid
    January 25, 2013, 12:24 pm

    “We are part of a growing opposition in Israel, not only to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza but also to the corrupt and unjust economic policies that have sent the middle classes spiraling into poverty. ”

    “not only” “but also”- it is all part of the same system. Probably 20% of Israeli government spending goes to the occupation, all told. All that settler infrastructure costs money. how much does it cost the IDF to keep 5000 extremists living in the centre of Hebron for a week ? Who loses out?

    The fate of Israel reminds me of what Chief Seattle said some time ago

    link to halcyon.com

    “It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. A few more moons, a few more winters — and maybe not many. A few more moons; not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours. But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the white man whose God walked with him as friend with friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see…”

  9. Nevada Ned
    January 25, 2013, 8:47 pm

    Thanks, Phil, for the news of the Israeli Opposition Network. I knew nothing about them.
    As Mondoweiss readers know all too well, the policies advocated and practiced by the dominant Israeli parties are a dead-end for both Israeli Jews and Palestinians, especially the Palestinians who are the main victims.
    One of many problems faced by the Palestinians (in addition to their own internal divisions) is the fact that no Palestinian initiative, no matter how wise or inclusive, is likely to evoke a sympathetic reaction from most Israeli Jewish parties.

    Now, that may be beginning to change. There may be the beginning of a movement among Israeli Jews – in exile in the US – that could respond positively to Palestinian initiatives for peace and justice.

    It’s of course possible that the fledgling Israeli Opposition Network may peter out or prove abortive. Certainly I have no crystal ball.

    I hope Phil and MW will continue its coverage of this – potentially very important – development.

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