The claim that ‘Jewish lobby’ is anti-Semitic term is cynical and hypocritical — Siegman

Israel/Palestine
on 75 Comments

Great letter from Henry Siegman, defending Chuck Hagel’s use of the term “Jewish lobby.” From the New York Times yesterday:

I served on one of Aipac’s committees for more than 20 years when I headed two national American Jewish organizations, the Synagogue Council of America and the American Jewish Congress.

Since the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s creation in 1951, when it was headed by Isaiah L. Kenen, the organization was referred to by everyone in the Jewish community as “the Jewish lobby for Israel.” And to this day, Jewish establishment organizations constitute virtually Aipac’s entire organizational membership.

The suggestion by some senators and conservative groups opposed to former Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary that his reference to Aipac as “the Jewish lobby” is “hurtful to Jews,” as reported in a Jan. 8 news article, is not only untrue but also a cynical exploitation of the issue of anti-Semitism for the narrowest political purposes.

That said, “the Jewish lobby” may indeed be the wrong name for Aipac and its satellites. Senator Hagel’s skepticism of military solutions to all problems resonates far more authentically prophetic Jewish values than the reflexive support offered by the Israel lobby to the most extreme militaristic policies of this Israeli government.

HENRY SIEGMAN
President, U.S.-Middle East Project
New York, Jan. 8, 2013

By the way, what about what Haaretz reported four years ago:

“American Jews eye Obama’s ‘anti-Israel’ appointees”

Every appointee to the American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community.

About Philip Weiss

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

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75 Responses

  1. Les
    January 12, 2013, 11:40 am

    And self-serving.

  2. Klaus Bloemker
    January 12, 2013, 11:55 am

    Siegman: “Senator Hagel’s skepticism …. authentically prophetic Jewish values.”
    ————————–
    It’s of course fair to question the values of the pro-Israel Jewish lobby, but does Siegman know the “authentically prophetic Jewish values” better than they do?

    • Annie Robbins
      January 12, 2013, 12:39 pm

      does Siegman know the “authentically prophetic Jewish values” better than they do?

      klaus, Siegman was the Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress for over 15 years. what evidence is out there anyone in the ‘pro-Israel Jewish lobby’ best defines “authentically prophetic Jewish values” anyway?

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2013, 1:10 pm

        ““authentically prophetic Jewish values””

        Because Zionism is the “authentically prophetic Jewish values”
        not this other do-gooder, touchy-feely, hopey-changey stuff we use as cover. That’s the line Mondo should push! You’ll go straight to the top if you fight it out on those lines. Think of all the Old Testament quotes you could use! Just think of the articles exposing how these intrinsics are instilled!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 12, 2013, 10:00 pm

        Because Zionism is the “authentically prophetic Jewish values”….That’s the line Mondo should push!

        while it may be in vogue on the comment threads the chance the site will be pushing this meme on the front page? not in my estimation mooser.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2013, 1:16 pm

        “while it may be in vogue on the comment threads the chance the site will be pushing this meme on the front page? not in my estimation mooser.”

        Thanks, Annie, that’s all the reassurance I need in this case, thank God we aren’t talking about my looks. I’ll consider the subject closed. BTW, I am handsome, don’t you think?

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2013, 1:41 pm

        The thing is, Annie, my usual tonsorialist, a Christian militarist as near as I can figure, took a long hiatus from his shop over the holidays. Having only a quarter of my crowning gory, what’s left grows four times as fast, so I had to go to a salon down the block run by a nice Asian lady. From the Philippines, I gathered, but she has very little idea of how to cut Jewish hair. It’s gonna stick straight up for days to come. Oh well, at least it’ll hide the polling-marks, but my vanity has taken a big hit.

    • Donald
      January 12, 2013, 2:03 pm

      I think the idea behind a phrase like “prophetic Jewish values” is that the Old Testament prophets like Isaiah and Amos were deeply concerned about what would now be called social justice issues. Then there’s the book of Jonah, which is a satire against the narrow tribalistic views of its protagonist, who is forced by God to preach repentance to the people of Ninevah and then pouts when they repent and God doesn’t blast them. He really wanted to see them blasted. Unfortunately the fish story is the only part of the book the average person seems to know about.

      Somewhere or other Chomsky says the prophets were the political dissidents of their day, people unafraid to criticize the flaws in their own society, sometimes at considerable risk to themselves. So I think that’s what Siegman means.

      • Donald
        January 13, 2013, 11:34 am

        “Old Testament”

        Should have said “Hebrew bible” in this context. But anyway, adding to what I said yesterday, it always surprises me when people don’t seem to know about the pro-social justice strand in the Hebrew Bible. Possibly it comes in part from one particular strand of Christian bias, where it is claimed that the Old Testament (now using the Christian term) was about “an eye for an eye” and legalistic restrictions about diet and so forth, whereas Jesus brought a sense of compassion and concern for the poor that was completely new. Which is obviously false, as anyone who had actually read much of the Bible would know, but the stereotype about Judaism being harsh and legalistic is out there and maybe that’s why a phrase like “Jewish prophetic tradition” doesn’t ring a bell with some people.

      • Elliot
        January 14, 2013, 10:54 pm

        Right. Jesus didn’t invent kindness and social justice.
        In the context of the prophets in, it would be fair to term the Pentateuch/Torah as “harsh and legalistic”. Most of the prophets (with notable exceptions such as Joel) are not.

        “Hebrew Bible” is not accurate. The Book of Daniel, aside from the intro in Chapter 1 is in Aramaic, not Hebrew.
        “Pre-Jesus Bible” would offend everybody…sticking with the language marker, how about “the non-Greek Bible”?

    • Hostage
      January 12, 2013, 5:20 pm

      It’s of course fair to question the values of the pro-Israel Jewish lobby, but does Siegman know the “authentically prophetic Jewish values” better than they do?

      He is an ordained Orthodox Rabbi (Yeshiva Torah Vadaath) and served as a Chaplain during the Korean War.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 13, 2013, 4:30 am

      Siegman: “Senator Hagel’s skepticism …. authentically prophetic Jewish values.”

      klaus, why did you choose to parse siegman’s words like that? let’s review what he said:

      That said, “the Jewish lobby” may indeed be the wrong name for Aipac and its satellites. Senator Hagel’s skepticism of military solutions to all problems resonates far more authentically prophetic Jewish values than the reflexive support offered by the Israel lobby to the most extreme militaristic policies of this Israeli government.

      your hatchet job on the quote is highly disingenuous.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 13, 2013, 5:35 am

        1.
        Hagel’s military skepticism stems from his military experience not from the Hebrew bible. To link Hagel’s skepticism to “authentically prophetic Jewish values” sounds arcane to me (as a gentile). Did you understand Annie what
        he was referring to?
        2.
        To claim that the pro-Israel “Jewish lobby” is in fact a misnomen because it doesn’t represent the prophetic ‘true’ Jewish values sounds not very plausible to me (as a gentile).

        As to my quote Annie, I had no intent to be disingenious. I just picked the key words as a matter of simplicity. Siegman’s full statement was right above my comment.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2013, 7:31 am

        To link Hagel’s skepticism to “authentically prophetic Jewish values” sounds arcane to me (as a gentile).

        so let me get this straight. as a gentile you have no idea what he’s referencing because you don’t know what “authentically prophetic Jewish values” are but your hunch is it’s ‘arcane’.

        Did you understand Annie what he was referring to?

        hmm, no. but i could guess. as a proud jew there is probably something in the “authentically prophetic Jewish values” that resonates with being skeptical about entering into war.

        i can’t figure out why you are making negative comments about his intent when you don’t understand what it means. he’s probably not trashing “authentically prophetic Jewish values” tho.

        Hagel’s military skepticism stems from his military experience not from the Hebrew bible.

        there are probably quite a few other things in the hebrew bible besides ‘military skepticism’ that merge with hagel’s pov. there’s nothing arcane in any of this. your arguments are convoluted and full of holes. you should find out what you’re talking about before thrashing ‘skepticism’ being linked to “authentically prophetic Jewish values”. instead of trashing it to score points in an online argument you know nothing about. especially right at the top of the thread. some people might interpret this as a form of spamming.

      • seanmcbride
        January 13, 2013, 10:03 am

        Regarding authentic prophetic Jewish values:

        /book-review:
        /book-author Marc H. Ellis
        /book-title Judaism Does Not Equal Israel
        /review-author Allan C. Brownfeld
        /review-title Judaism does not equal Israel: a call for a return to prophetic Jewish values
        /review-date Spring 2009
        /review-url link to acjna.org
        /end-book-review

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 13, 2013, 10:55 am

        Annie,
        the term “prophetic” has an arcane connotation to begin with.
        Prophets speak in cryptic, mysterious metaphors.

        I didn’t “trash” Seligman’s approval of Hagel’s military skepticism.

        What you dislike is that I implicitly ridiculed the “authentically prophetic Jewish values” (a pathetic and arcane phrasing) and the claim that Hagel’s
        sober military thinking resonates these ‘prophetic values’.

      • Castellio
        January 13, 2013, 11:35 am

        Annie: Isn’t it Seigman’s use of the word “authentic” which is causing the problem? He’s making a distinction between inauthentic and authentic Jewish tradition – in that respect, knowing what he means is in fact “arcane” (defined as ‘understood by few’).

        It makes no difference if one is Jewish or Christian, Seigman’s precise understanding of “authentic” tradition is arcane.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 13, 2013, 11:54 am

        P.S. to Annie

        I guess, Phil didn’t know either what Siegman referred to.
        He just took it on face value.

        What Donald says (above), referring to Chomsky, refutes Siegman.
        If the prophets were “political dissidents” i.e. heretics, why should
        their views (on military matters) be adopted as ‘authentically Jewish’
        by the mainstream Jewish organizations who support Israel?

      • seanmcbride
        January 13, 2013, 11:59 am

        Annie,

        Any thoughts on these questions?

        1. What are the top 5 Jewish prophetic values?

        2. Which prophetic values does the contemporary worldwide Jewish religious establishment embrace and promote?

        3. Which organizations worldwide are currently the most influential and authoritative leaders and interpreters of Judaism?

        4. What are the leading values that are promoted in ancient, classical and contemporary Judaism?

        Marc Ellis would probably have an interesting take on these issues.

      • Hostage
        January 13, 2013, 12:14 pm

        hmm, no. but i could guess. as a proud jew there is probably something in the “authentically prophetic Jewish values” that resonates with being skeptical about entering into war.

        The Jewish scriptures contain many warnings to avoid the company of warmongering sinners “for their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed blood.” (Proverbs 1:16)

        The prophet Isaiah said they had ruined the nation: Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness; robbery and ruin are in their paths.
        The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever goes on it knows no peace.
        Therefore, justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light and behold there is darkness, for brightness, but we walk in gloom. (59:7-9)

        The Jewish Encyclopedia explains that before his death Hillel is said to have prophetically designated Johanan Ben Zakkai, his youngest pupil, as “the father of wisdom” and “the father of coming generations” (Yer. Ned. v., end, 39b). Zakkai, was the primary source of the core text of Rabbinical Judaism, the Mishnah. According to the theory formulated in the Mishnah (Ab. ii. 8), that traditions were handed down through an unbroken chain of scholars, Johanan, in receiving the teachings of Hillel and Shammai, formed the last link in that chain.

        Johanan argued in favor of peace with the Roman’s during the Jewish Revolt. He was trapped in Jerusalem during Vespasian’s siege against the city. (Giṭ. 56b; Lam. R. i. 5; Ab. R. N. iv.). When the strife between the Zealots and the other parties in the besieged city became unbearable he had his students carry him to the Roman camp in a coffin to negotiate with Vespasian. He obtained permission to teach and practice his religion in Yavneh (aka Yabneh/Jamnia). He established an authoritative rabbinic body there and turned it into the new center of Jewish religious life after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. link to jewishencyclopedia.com

        The Christian scriptures also caution against rushing into wars and extol the virtue of being a peacemaker:
        Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9)

        Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. (Luke 14:31-32)

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2013, 1:23 pm

        “there are probably quite a few other things in the hebrew bible besides”

        You can’t fool me! I saw “Cat Ballou”. There’s a lotta good things in the Bible.
        As I remember, the particular volume of Scripture in question contained a revolver.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 13, 2013, 1:56 pm

        “as a proud jew [Siegman] … ” – Annie
        —————————————–
        “Racial pride is stupid, even if provoced by racial hatred”- Karl Popper
        – Well, Siegman didn’t himself say, he’s a “proud Jew” – you did.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 13, 2013, 4:10 pm

        Thanks Hostage,
        what you say and quote about war and peace doesn’t sound arcane.
        But obviously it didn’t enter the mainstream Israeli-Jewish thinking
        (nor that of the mainstream Jewish organizations of America).

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Castellio Annie: Isn’t it Seigman’s use of the word “authentic” which is causing the problem? He’s making a distinction between inauthentic and authentic Jewish tradition

        no, he’s making a distinction between what’s inauthentic vs ‘authentically prophetic‘ in Jewish values, (as opposed to false prophets, possibly wrt zionist interpretation/’merging’ of judaism). what those authentic prophetic values are may be arcane (especially to someone unfamiliar with judaism, like myself), but there’s nothing arcane about saying hagel’s military skepticism is in line with authentic prophetic Jewish values.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 13, 2013, 4:35 pm

        “there’s nothing arcane about saying hagel’s military skepticism is in line with authentic prophetic Jewish values.” – Annie

        – in case one knows what is meant by these “prophetic Jewish values”.
        – I didn’t know, you didn’t know, and Phil probably didn’t know either.

        To me, Siegman just wanted to give Hagel a Jewish spin to make him more acceptable to Jews. – That’s laudable but not plausible (except to Hostage).

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2013, 4:41 pm

        thank you (again) very much for your invaluable contributions to our discussions hostage.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2013, 4:49 pm

        To me, Siegman just wanted to give Hagel a Jewish spin

        To me, siegman was directing his audience to listen, review, remind, or familiarize oneself with jewish prophets during this episode of judgement. for those who adhere to judaism it is a reminder, for others a different kind of lesson. but i was immediately curious to ask ‘oh really? and what did the authentic jewish prophets have to say about war? were they too skeptics? ‘ and low and behold..comes along someone familiar with jewish prophets to teach us something. something we might not have learned had siegman not said what he did.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 13, 2013, 5:03 pm

        Mooser,
        Cat Ballou is one of my favorite movies. But it wasn’t an ‘authentic Jewish prophet’ who put the gun into the Scripture – it was a fake Christian priest.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 13, 2013, 5:11 pm

        “we might not have learned [about war and peace and the prophets] had siegman not said what he did”- Annie
        ——————————————
        We might not have learned about it, if I(!) had not challenged Siegman’s
        ‘arcane’ statement.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2013, 5:41 pm

        We might not have learned about it, if I(!) had not challenged Siegman’s
        ‘arcane’ statement.

        ok you win i surrender. i have to get used to understanding how my superior abilities of comprehension allows clarity wrt what otherwise seems arcane to the average mind. because of my inherent brilliance no doubt.

        just kidding!

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2013, 6:41 pm

        “Cat Ballou is one of my favorite movies. But it wasn’t an ‘authentic Jewish prophet’ who put the gun into the Scripture – it was a fake Christian priest.”

        You’re right, Klaus! It had to be! Why, firearms hadn’t even been thought of in Old Testament times. But in a Western Spoof type of movie, those little absurdities add a certain charm. I leave you with Jackson Two-Bear’s line after slugging somebody in a brawl: “Sholom Aleichem!”

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 13, 2013, 6:45 pm

        Well Annie,
        we both have to thank Hostage (and we did) whose mind is more brilliant than the two of our minds combined.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2013, 6:47 pm

        “thank you (again) very much for your invaluable contributions to our discussions hostage.”

        With you 100%. I’ll wait through a 500-comment thread loading to see green around “Hostage”. ‘Cause it means I will learn something.

      • Castellio
        January 13, 2013, 8:12 pm

        Well, all I can say is that where I come from questioning Herzl and Ben Gurion was considered blasphemous, as the return to Israel was thought the very essence of authentic prophetic Jewish values. I imagine that’s still the case in many places. If answering the call of “next year in Jerusalem” wasn’t prophetic, what was it?

      • Mooser
        January 14, 2013, 1:16 pm

        “1. What are the top 5 Jewish prophetic values?”

        ROTFLMSJAO!!! Are you selling real estate in the settlements?

      • Donald
        January 14, 2013, 2:06 pm

        “What Donald says (above), referring to Chomsky, refutes Siegman.
        If the prophets were “political dissidents” i.e. heretics, why should
        their views (on military matters) be adopted as ‘authentically Jewish’
        by the mainstream Jewish organizations who support Israel?”

        What? That’s Siegman’s point. We’re talking about political dissidents 2500 or more years ago, people who stood up to tyrannical rulers and rich people who abused the poor. Siegman is, I strongly suspect, pointing out that kneejerk defense of Israel as it oppresses people today is the opposite of what a Biblical prophet would have done.

        How you think this refutes Siegman is bizarre.

    • piotr
      January 13, 2013, 1:20 pm

      Invocation of “prophetic values” is indeed a mark of Siegel being a rebel here. Prophets were a grumpy lot, usually predicting disasters and exhibiting a negative attitude.

  3. HarryLaw
    January 12, 2013, 11:55 am

    Uri Avnery has a good article at Anti war .com here..link to original.antiwar.com“Many years ago he called the pro-Israeli lobby in Washington (would you believe it?) the “Jewish lobby”. Until then, it was understood that AIPAC is mainly composed of Buddhists and financed by Arab billionaires like Abu Sheldon and Abd-al-Adelson”.

    • Inanna
      January 12, 2013, 9:20 pm

      I think his Arabic name would be Shahir ibn al Adel. Note I’m being ironic.

  4. W.Jones
    January 12, 2013, 11:56 am

    It’s kind like labeling people as “anti-American” for their dissenting politics- including Americans!

  5. jimmy
    January 12, 2013, 12:19 pm

    Senator Hagel’s skepticism of military solutions to all problems resonates far more authentically prophetic Jewish values

    try to telling that to the neocons…

    that want to shoot first ..ask ??? later…

    real jews of this country should be taking real aim at the neocons…

    shout them down

  6. yourstruly
    January 12, 2013, 12:21 pm

    the zionist entity israel’s occupation of palestine and savagery towards palestinians is what stokes anti-jewishness, such that with the dissolution of the entity (not its people) anti-jewish feelings would be reduced to a size that could be flushed down a toilet.

  7. HRK
    January 12, 2013, 12:22 pm

    AIPAC might be an “Israeli lobby” if, on an issue of substance, it ever took a stance against the interests of Jews in Israel and in favor of the interests of the Palestinians residing there.

    It hasn’t, to my knowledge.

    Hence, it’s a Jewish lobby focusing on Israel (perhaps “the” Jewish lobby is incorrect–but certainly it’s “a” Jewish lobby).

    (The NRA is “a gun lobby” despite the fact that not all gun owners agree with it/support it.)

  8. W.Jones
    January 12, 2013, 12:22 pm

    You ever seen it on a forum that is beginning to question State policies, where a Hasbara person always refers to the Israeli army and government as “the Jews”?

    Then someone who sounds like a fake opponent of the State’s policies argues back in an openly anti-semitic way. And then they go through a whole debate and the Hasbara person ends up sounding like the reasonable one?

  9. seanmcbride
    January 12, 2013, 12:28 pm

    AIPAC is a member organization of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — what more needs to be said on the matter?

    For a powerful lobby to try to bully and intimidate the world into not mentioning the leading term which best defines its agenda reeks of Orwellian and Stalinist totalitarianism — no exaggeration.

    These people (leaders of the Jewish/Israel lobby) are completely off the wall — and they need to be pushed back against with maximum force before they get Americans bogged down in any more self-destructive foreign wars on behalf of Greater Israel and Old Testament blood and soil messianism.

    • Mooser
      January 12, 2013, 1:13 pm

      “pushed back against with maximum force”

      “Maximum force” is such a general term. I know what “maximum” means, I know what “force” usually consists of when it comes to forcing people, but perhaps I don’t grasp all the implications. What did you have in mind for “maximum force”?

      • seanmcbride
        January 12, 2013, 6:32 pm

        Mooser,

        What did you have in mind for “maximum force”?

        Clear and strong language rebutting their smears, delivered with mental force. Example: the writings of Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2013, 1:25 pm

        “Clear and strong language rebutting their smears, delivered with mental force.”

        Nah, nah, sticks and stones may break my tuchas but words will never harm me.

        But I appreciate your endorsement of pacifist and non-violent principles. Where I come from, “maximum force” was the name of a Chuck Norris movie.

    • Hostage
      January 12, 2013, 5:45 pm

      AIPAC is a member organization of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — what more needs to be said on the matter?

      That it probably only uses that “Jewish lobby” label as camouflage? I agree with Grant Smith that there is ample evidence of direct Israeli government control. Our Justice Department just isn’t interested in finding out if its an agent of a foreign government or if Israel is funneling money to AIPAC along with the draft legislation from Israeli MKs its cronies introduce in our lawmaking bodies.

      • seanmcbride
        January 13, 2013, 12:09 am

        Hostage,

        Since AIPAC is lobbying for an officially self-described Jewish state, in combination with 50+ other Jewish organizations under the umbrella of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, I think we can safely and fairly label AIPAC as an arm of the Jewish lobby. Why would there be any need for AIPAC to camouflage its agenda or essential character? It is what it proudly claims to be.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2013, 6:52 pm

        Sean, can you read? Why are you defending AIPAC against Hostages’ contentions,(“I agree with Grant Smith that there is ample evidence of direct Israeli government control”). which are quite serious?

      • seanmcbride
        January 14, 2013, 11:01 am

        Mooser,

        Is it your hope that there will be no need to mention Jews, Jewish organizations, the Jewish establishment, the Jewish religious establishment, Judaism, the Jewish lobby, etc. in discussions and debates about the ideology of Zionism and the policies of the Israeli government?

        And is it your belief that any references to the role of Jews and Jewish groups in Israeli and Zionist politics is antisemitic, even though Jewish pro-Israel activists themselves claim to speak for “the Jews” (their phrase) and liberally and conspicuously sprinkle all their remarks with variations of the word “Jew”?

        Truly, I am not following the line of thinking that has developed in your comments over the last month or two. How exactly do you hope to detach Jewish issues from Jewish nationalism — the ideology that the worldwide Jewish establishment has enthusiastically embraced for several decades now?

        Are you worried that the close association of Jews with Zionism in the minds of most people around the world could trigger global antisemitism? Well, you should be worried about that. The Israeli government and the Israel lobby have the potential to wreak havoc with relations between Jews and non-Jews worldwide.

        Generally speaking — and I can think of no historical exceptions — the ringleaders of ethnic nationalist movements are usually members of the ethnic groups behind those respective movements. :) That truism comes close to being a tautology.

      • seanmcbride
        January 14, 2013, 12:06 pm

        Mooser,

        David Remnick has a new article up at the New Yorker about Naftali Bennett here:

        link to newyorker.com

        From the article:

        Bennett talks about “reviving” Zionism through an infusion of “Jewish values,” including a sense of the sacredness of the land….

        To what “Jewish values” do you think Bennett is referring in addition to “the sacredness of the land”?

      • Mooser
        January 14, 2013, 1:20 pm

        “To what “Jewish values” do you think Bennett is referring in addition to “the sacredness of the land”?

        You’re asking me? Okay, if I inteerpret the bit of quote correctly the “Jewish values” this Bennet is talking about is probably nothing more than his price as a hasbara writer. He hopes it’ll go up.

      • seanmcbride
        January 14, 2013, 1:58 pm

        Mooser,

        With regard to Bennett’s “Jewish values” — it’s difficult to pursue a serious discussion with you on any subject — you tend to be incredibly evasive for reasons that we can all speculate about in our own ways.

        Remember those core drivers I mentioned?

        1. sacred territorialism (the Land of Israel)

        2. sacred peoplehood (messianic ethnocentrism, “the Jewish people”)

        3. sacred nationalism (the “chosen nation” vs. “the nations”)

        4. messianism (to which all the founding fathers of Zionism made abundant references)

        I am fairly certain that these are the main “values” that Bennett is referring to — and they are also leading themes in ancient Judaism.

        Do you think that this subject is a big joke? Bennett is going to score big in the upcoming Israeli elections. Sober up. Currently Jewish religious Zionists are having much greater success in defining “Jewishness” for the world than Jewish anti-Zionists like yourself. You are losing the war of ideas.

  10. American
    January 12, 2013, 12:46 pm

    “That said, “the Jewish lobby” may indeed be the wrong name for Aipac and its satellites. Senator Hagel’s skepticism of military solutions to all problems resonates far more authentically prophetic Jewish values than the reflexive support offered by the Israel lobby to the most extreme militaristic policies of this Israeli government.”

    That is the boondoggle for Jews.
    AIPAC is indeed a Jewish Lobby for the Jewish State.
    However AIPAC’s stance on Israel does not reflect many Jew’s values.

    So if there is a solution to the conflating of US Jews with the Jewish Lobby it stands to reason it must come from within the Jewish Community itself.
    The problem is that regardless of whether US support of Israel is unconditional or conditional among Pro Israel Jewish orgs, as long as the US supports Israel – the Jewish State- above and beyond what is considered *normal in relations with foreign states or even allies….it will be seen as and linked to primary *Jewish demand/support for the *Jewish Nation.
    Conditional support as long as it is still US abnormal *favoritism is still support.
    Jews who don’t support US favoritism for Israel can only say and keep repeating *they* don’t support this aberration.
    This is where it’s at in the Jewish Lobby unconditional support vr Jewish conditional support vr Jewish no favoritism for Israel vr US/Isr among the Jewish community…it’s a total tangle only they can unravel.

  11. pabelmont
    January 12, 2013, 1:05 pm

    I think a lotta folks are missing the point here, including Siegman.

    This “Jewish Lobby” thang is an attempt to make communication difficult.

    It’s OK for Jewish AIPAC thugs (and other Jewish folk) to refer to THEIR AIPAC any way they want to, even as “the Jewish lobby” if they want to, but it’s not OK for non-Jews to talk about Jews or Jewish anything at all (unless with highest praise). Anything else is anti-semitic. Maybe it’s not OK even for Jews if they do not love Israel with sufficient fervor (sufficiency determined by ?). Got that?

    [For comparison, think of who may, and who is ill-advised to, use the so-called "N-word".]

    The consequence of this important censorship-like rule is that mealy-mouthed folk, if not Jewish, must (for safety) refer to AIPAC as “that lobby which promotes the interests of those Americans who promote the interests of the right-wing in that foreign country which refers to itself as ‘the State of the Jewish People’ and which appears to own the USA’s Congress.”

    Kinda long-winded. Makes it hard to say. Easier just to say AIPAC, which some Americans will not understand to refer to: “that lobby which * * * “.

    • Mooser
      January 13, 2013, 1:29 pm

      “This “Jewish Lobby” thang is an attempt to make communication difficult.”

      I agree completely. Anybody who insists on using the term “Jewish Lobby” is without doubt, anti-Semantic in the truest sense of the word.

      Sorta makes me wonder why Sean is so committed to helping make the communication difficult.

      • libra
        January 13, 2013, 7:18 pm

        Could we perhaps just refer to it as “the lobby that has no shame”?

    • MRW
      January 13, 2013, 7:31 pm

      I agree completely, too, Pabelmont.

    • MRW
      January 13, 2013, 7:41 pm

      It’s OK for Jewish AIPAC thugs (and other Jewish folk) to refer to THEIR AIPAC any way they want to, even as “the Jewish lobby” if they want to, but it’s not OK for non-Jews to talk about Jews or Jewish anything at all (unless with highest praise).

      Yeah, as if the mere fact that we bring up a topic that Jews claim for their own (Israel, Zionism, Holocaust, etc) is an anti-semitic-semantic (ass) act in itself.

      BTW, is the magazine Hebe still in existence?

  12. American
    January 12, 2013, 2:37 pm

    I remember Seigleman best for this article back in 2010. I was glad to see a Jewish leader then say a solution has to “be imposed” on I/P by outsiders because it is what I have believed and said from day one of my aquaintence with Israel.
    But alas, no one listened then or is listening now.

    Imposing Middle East Peace
    Henry Siegman January 7, 2010

    ‘’An imposed solution has risks, but these do not begin to compare with the risks of the conflict’s unchecked continuation. Furthermore, since the adversaries are not being asked to accept anything they have not already committed themselves to in formal accords, the international community is not imposing its own ideas but insisting the parties live up to existing obligations. That kind of intervention, or “imposition,” is hardly unprecedented; it is the daily fare of international diplomacy. It defines America’s relations with allies and unfriendly countries alike’’

    link to thenation.com

    Many times said, stop Israel now or stop it later, only difference is how much damage done to all involved between now and then.

  13. Joeygee23
    January 12, 2013, 3:17 pm

    If “Jewish Lobby” is anti-semetic®©™. Then Israel Lobby is correct. Therefore it should be require to register as agents of foreign nation.

  14. Joeygee23
    January 12, 2013, 3:20 pm

    Fits accordingly…..

    link to en.m.wikipedia.org

  15. MRW
    January 12, 2013, 6:45 pm

    Good interview on Scott Horton, Phil.

  16. pipistro
    January 12, 2013, 7:30 pm

    Well, then they determined that being a lobby is somewhat insulting. Or that it is insulting only if people reunite into a Jewish lobby. I opt for the latter hypothesis, otherwise the whole US system should be at stake.
    Might it be for someone could look at a Jewish Lobby as a Jewish conspiracy? Apalling. Who on earth could think so?
    They had an option. Why not being very clear and say that Jewishness hasn’t anything to do with the Israel Lobby, so much to keep on blaming Hagel. Obviously, they preferred the anti-Semite card. Otherwise they had to stress that saying Israel is not the same thing as to say Jews.
    I see something – God forbid – like “some senators and conservative groups” having a guilty conscience. And even forked tongue.

    • Mooser
      January 14, 2013, 1:27 pm

      “Might it be for someone could look at a Jewish Lobby as a Jewish conspiracy?”

      Absolutely! I think a very good case could be made ethically, and socially, maybe even religiously that they have a conspiracy against the Jewish peoples.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 14, 2013, 6:19 pm

        ‘a Jewish Lobby … absolutely a conspiracy against the Jewish peoples.’
        ————————
        Mooser,
        I related your argument (comment) to a German social-democratic friend of mine who once in a while goes to events/meetings of the ‘German – Israel friendship society’. – He is very concerned about Third Reich history and visited most concentration camps but for some time now got worried about Israel and Germany’s support of Israel.

        I told him that you are an ‘intrinsically Jewish American’ – so he should take you argument seriously.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 14, 2013, 9:52 pm

        The society is called “Deutsch – Israelische Gesellschaft”
        —————————————————————————————
        The president is Reinhold Robbe, a social-democratic MP till 2005.
        (He was the lobbyist who tried to prevent – together with the Council of
        Jews in Germany – a German edition of Finkelstein’s ‘Holocaust Industry’.)

        The address of the society is:
        Martin-Buber-Straße 12
        14163 Berlin

  17. ivri
    January 12, 2013, 8:30 pm

    Have you all noticed how childish this argumentation has become? It is obvious that a lobby for a country, which is called by many “the Jewish state” with no offence intended (after all that is how it sees itself) will include (many) Jews and revolve around Jewish concepts and values.. What can be more obvious than that? It is about a fight on the hearts and minds of the American people and as long as it is done lawfully that is the stuff that democracy is made of.

    • Castellio
      January 12, 2013, 11:49 pm

      But perhaps this “Jewish or Israeli” debate actually hides the real struggle.

      Do Americans as a people believe in equality of peoples, or a hierarchy or races; do they believe in individual acts of crime or collective punishment and guilt; do they want laws based on equality of individuals and individual acts, or laws based on the propagation of collective advantage for some?

    • sardelapasti
      January 13, 2013, 12:53 am

      “as long as it is done lawfully that is the stuff that democracy is made of.”

      Democracy my axe. Buying and bullying the people’s supposed representatives openly in plain daylight. Yes it is legal here, and anywhere else it will get you a stiff jail sentence. So democracy is buying the lawmakers, intimidating those you don’t buy, and then buy a law that says it’s all lawful. Love it.

    • Boston
      January 13, 2013, 8:09 am

      This has nothing to do with value, Jewish or otherwise. This thing is not a lobby. It is much better described as an international crime family. Similar to the Cosa Nostra at its height in the 1950s except far better funded, far morer reaching, with much greater penetration into the corridors of power, and with an vise grip on the mainstream media. James Petras cover the “lobby” as well as anyone (he refers to it as a “power configuration”.

      • Castellio
        January 13, 2013, 8:58 pm

        Boston, one thing that approach clarifies is the relation of Russian crime syndicates to Israel and to the Russian community within Israel: a whole area of financial power and political suasion that is rarely discussed.

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