Hagel news: Abrams says lobby is mostly Christian, JVP wants Americans to say ‘apartheid’

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Chuck Hagel’s bid to become Defense Secretary has been endorsed by Republican Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, meaning that Hagel will be confirmed after the Congressional recess, in the view of several media outlets.

Other news on the Hagel front: The Israel lobby is now being openly debated. Elliott Abrams says that the Israel lobby has weakened Hagel, but the lobby is now a Christian lobby; while several critics of the Israel lobby say that the process has brought the media’s focus at last to Israel’s illegal occupation. And Jewish Voice for Peace is circulating a petition that makes the Greater Israel Lobby the enemy. 

Pundit Michael Cohen in the Guardian warns that the special relationship is fostering disaster:

[U]nquestioned support for Israel is basically unchallenged in US political debates. Indeed, in 2011, when President Obama stated that a final peace deal between Israel and Palestinians should be based on the 1967 borders, he was met by a furious pushback – even though this has been longstanding US policy.

The mere suggestion that Israel would have to make concessions for peace led to practically universal calls from Republicans that Obama had “thrown Israel under the bus”. Only the hint of divergence from the preferences and desires of Israel’s leaders was enough to spark a firestorm. There is no other US bilateral relationship where such a dynamic exists.

… a key tenet of US policy toward Israel is opposition to settlement construction in the West Bank, a position that has been endorsed by every US president since Ronald Reagan. And yet, Israeli settlement construction continues. In fact, late last year the Netanyahu government announced it would begin planning for new settlements in both East Jerusalem and the controversial E-1 section of the West Bank. This runs counter to both the spirit and the letter of US policy….

What has put Hagel in such hot water are the suggestions that the desperate plight of the Palestinians should be an issue of concern to the United States; that US diplomacy is negatively effected by perceptions of America support for Israel; that negotiations even with Israel’s enemies should be embarked upon; that progress on peace between Israel and the Palestinians is of vital importance; and finally, that America’s relationship with Israel cannot come at the expense of its relations with the Arab world. Since being nominated, Hagel has been forced to walk back or explain away all of these statements.

None of these are unreasonable positions; and none of them, if expressed in Israel, would be considered controversial. That expressing these views would lead to such furious opposition – even from members of his own party – is indicative of how constrained US debates have become about Israel. In fact, US policy is held hostage to political orthodoxy, dissuading any public official from departing from the accepted party line. This is, frankly, bad for democracy and bad for US national security interests….

So, while Chuck Hagel may pay a short-term price by being blocked from becoming Secretary of Defense, it is Israel, the United States and, above all, the Palestinians who will pay a much larger and disastrous penalty for America’s constricted debate about Israel.

Noam Sheizaf at +972 has a report on Elliott Abrams’s interview with Nahum Barnea in Yedioth Ahronoth. Note that the words “Jewish lobby” are regularly used in the Israeli press:

Abrams opens by explaining why he believes Hagel is an anti-Semite, referring to Hagel’s past remark on “the Jewish Lobby” (by the way, this is the term Israelis use too, including most of the press. Examples: herehereherehereherehere).

Then Sheizaf quotes Abrams saying the lobby has weakened Hagel: 

Abrams: “Yes. I suppose he will be confirmed. But he will be a weaker secretary of defense. The fight against Hagel presents the Republican party as a very pro-Israeli party, which is a good thing. Second, it’s becoming clear to everyone that there is a strong pro-Israeli lobby that is relying mostly on Christians. This is not a Jewish lobby.”

Scott McConnell in The American Conservative– The Hagel Foes’ Self-Defeating Witch Hunt— lands on the fact that neoconservatives are exercised that Hagel reportedly used the word “apartheid,” then points out that former Israeli P.M. Ehud Barak issued the same warning:

“As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic.  If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”

McConnell argues that by seeking to make Hagel’s reported “apartheid” line controversial, the Israel lobby groups are only calling attention to their own bankrupt but controlling agenda.

Here then is the problem for the Hagel haters. It is not simply that Hagel is being accused of saying thing like “the State Department sometimes acts like an adjunct of the Israeli foreign ministry”—which State Department officials actually do complain about, albeit off the record. He is being accused of saying things which Israeli prime ministers say on the record. And much as Commentary, Jennifer Rubin, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Free Beacon try to bend these remarks into supposedly damning evidence  of a viciously anti-Israel mindset, they can’t make their argument without quoting the alleged quotes. And almost any journalist must at least note that the “damning” quotes are extremely similar to what Israeli leaders say in public themselves. So by damning Hagel, they call attention to the Israeli occupation, which is in fact turning Israel into an apartheid state. I don’t really see any way around it.

The Hagel fight has already turned into an own-goal situation for the Israel lobby. The idea that Israel controls the U.S. government—the kind of thing which 20 years ago would be said by no one who wanted to hold a mainstream job—has now become a fairly widely circulated popular culture meme, openly joked about in a justly famous (if unaired) “Saturday Night Live” skit and riffed on by Bill Maher….

Now the Hagel foes, having succeeded in illustrating before a mass public the concept of the Israel lobby (without, of course, John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt’s exemplary precision) are starting to focus Capitol Hill media on Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Could one ask for anything more?

JVP agrees with McConnell. It wants the apartheid label to stick; and it believes the Hagel process has allowed Americans to focus on the occupation, and on the dreadful “Lobby.” From Cecile Surasky’s appeal to members, to stop the McCarthyite campaign against that word.

Sign the petition: Using the term “apartheid” is acceptable in Israel – it should be acceptable in the U.S.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse—U.S. Senate Republicans and their friends in the Greater Israel Lobby are using classic McCarthyite smear tactics to derail the confirmation of former Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham dug up an unsubstantiated report that Hagel once voiced concern over Israel “becoming an apartheid state”, and now the Lobby is making hay of the charge.

Unless we act now — we have until Tuesday when the Senate reconvenes — the Lobby could succeed in smearing a public servant for saying what many high-ranking Israelis, including former prime ministers Ehud Barak[1] and Ehud Olmert[2], have been saying for years. 

Join us and our partners at Just Foreign Policy now. 

Sign the petition now and find out who else in Israel uses the term “apartheid”:

Graham and friends fail to understand that a responsible Middle East policy must include recognition of the millions of Palestinians living under Israeli military rule without basic rights, or inside of Israel as second-class citizens.

Only then can we hope to reach a lasting peace for both peoples.

Israel’s many public officials who have talked about apartheid — a formal system of segregation and discrimination — recognize this, but most Senate Republicans are acting as if unquestioning support of Israel’s illegal settlement policies is required for high level Cabinet positions.

Enough is enough! If you believe, as I do, that it’s time the Israel Lobby and its Republican allies stop turning reasonable criticism into McCarthy-worthy smear campaigns, then I hope you’ll join me in signing this petition to Senator Graham…

About Philip Weiss

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

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48 Responses

  1. piotr
    February 22, 2013, 1:31 pm

    By the way, Elliot Abrams is a part time Zionist and full time imperialist (neocon if you will) and GOP operative. His participation in the public discourse is most welcome. The support of settlement expansions is now located where it belongs: among supporters of assassinations, genocide, and of course the original Apartheid when it was still there. Plus the nuts who wish to stone gays, burn abortion clinics and fight on the plain of Megiddo.

    It is still a forlorn wish that the opponents of the settlements and the oppression committed by the occupation will actually do something (I mean elected and appointed politicians), but the disputes occasioned by Hagel nomination were the most refreshing in years. The gruel is still thin, but it is not just water anymore.

    • MRW
      February 22, 2013, 2:14 pm

      Abrams is also a US felon.

      • David Samel
        February 22, 2013, 3:12 pm

        I don’t believe so, MRW. Abrams was convicted of misdemeanors not felonies, and even so he was pardoned by George I, which means a complete erasure of his criminal record. He’s a complete asshole, not a felon. Though you could argue that he committed felonies for which he was not convicted. . .

      • seethelight
        February 22, 2013, 3:20 pm

        Actually Abrams pleaded guilty to 2 misdemeanor charges for withholding information from Congress. If he hadn’t pleaded, felony charges were waiting for him.

      • MRW
        February 22, 2013, 4:13 pm

        Indictment was awaiting him. They’d already drawn up the charges.

        So he needed a Presidential pardon for a misdemeanor?

      • doug
        February 22, 2013, 3:29 pm

        No, Abrams is not nor was a US felon. He copped a plea to lessor charges.

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 22, 2013, 3:44 pm

        “No, Abrams is not nor was a US felon. He copped a plea to lessor charges.”

        Does that mean he is not a felon or merely not a convicted felon?

    • James Canning
      February 22, 2013, 7:44 pm

      Yes, a very aggressive neocon warmonger, our Elliott Abrams.

  2. Bill in Maryland
    February 22, 2013, 1:34 pm

    Could it have been Master Chess player Obama’s intention all along with the Hagel nomination, to outflank Netanyahu and his allies and get this long overdue discussion about the Lobby and apartheid out into the light?

    • MRW
      February 22, 2013, 2:23 pm

      I was wondering the same thing myself because he stayed out of the Hagel nomination arguments, which he did not do with Rice’s Sec of State nomination. The latter gave Obama the cover in his opponents’ eyes of engaging because of race, but it was more than that, I think.

      get this long overdue discussion about the Lobby and apartheid out into the light
      Then he goes to Israel. ;-)

    • American
      February 22, 2013, 4:31 pm

      I wondered the same thing…….O knew Hagel would get a shit storm of attacks from I-firstdom……another thing that tells me O and Hagel collaborated and coordinated on this from the beginning.
      However I’m not going to assume it was done to show or get the lobby—it could have been O’s conviction that he needed fellow traveler Hagel at the pentagon to accomplish what he wants to do.
      They could have both agreed that the ’cause’ of changing the US direction and military was worth the shit storm or whatever anyone wanted to make of Hagel’s nomination, including the lobby side show..

    • David Doppler
      February 22, 2013, 5:04 pm

      Master chess player? Or Judo Master? who uses his opponent’s strength and size against him. Whatever, I think there is a political genius in the WH who mapped out the Hagel strategy, to give the Lobby and its extended network of surrogates and media amplifiers enough rope to hang themselves with. Or to hackney still another metaphor, to allow the nightflower to expose itself too much before the full sunlight falls on it.

      • Citizen
        February 22, 2013, 6:41 pm

        @David Doppler
        Or, maybe Obama was looking for a good cover in Hagel for cutting pentagon budget, and no more was expected by Obama. That could explain why Hagel looked like such a pussy at his hearing when his past history showed he was very different.

      • dbroncos
        February 23, 2013, 12:59 am

        Where’s the track record to support the notion of Obama as “chess master” or “judo master”? Obama has nothing up his sleeve, no secret grand strategy wrt to Hagel or US/Israel relations or the Israel lobby. His detached nonchalance is what it is and it’s who he is.

      • James Canning
        February 23, 2013, 2:23 pm

        I too am one who does not see strong signs of great strategic thinking ability possessed by Obama.
        Obama blundered on Iran and Israel, thanks to the cabal of relatively inexperienced foreign policy advisers he put into the White House.

  3. sardelapasti
    February 22, 2013, 2:40 pm

    A petition to Senator Graham (or the certified 1st-degree murderer McCain, seeing that they are one soul in two bodies, and what a soul) makes as much sense as a petition to the Zionist Military Tyranny Authority. It must be attached to a firecracker.

  4. Mike_Konrad
    February 22, 2013, 2:54 pm

    The Israel lobby is now being openly debated. Elliott Abrams says that the Israel lobby has weakened Hagel, but the lobby is now a Christian lobby;

    It may not be a Christian lobby; but it has massive Christian support.

    The true history of Zionism is that it started with Christians before Herzl.

    Years before Herzl

    In 1891 … William Eugene Blackstone circulated a petition among Senators, Congresssman and Judges, and hundreds of thousands of churchgoers to make Palestine a Jewish State. He presented the petition to President Harrison.

    This five years was before Herzl’s Judenstaat

    John Darby was preaching this in England and America long decades before Herzl

    The most amazing was the German Temple Society which moved to Jaffa and built roads because they believed the Lord was telling them to prepare the land for the soon arrival of the Jews. In the Mid 19th century. It was these Germans who started up the Jaffa Orange franchises. They build German neighborhoods in Jaffa, and Jerusalem, which are called German colonies to this day.

    A small minority (about 17%) of these Germans (third generation descendents) in the land joined the Nazi party, against the wishes of the majority; so after WWII they were kicked out. But the vast majority remained true to the vision. There are neighborhoods in Israel (Tel Aviv and Jerusalem) call German colonies, to this day.

    But these Germans were building up the land even before the first Aliyah arrived. They set up transporation, business etc. They felt they were doing the will of God.

    Many see them as an indispensable aid in the early establishment of the Yishuv, and perhaps a role model for the Zionist Movement of the time.

    A lot, perhaps the majority of it, is buttressed by Christian Zionism.

    There were American, English, and German Christians into this even before the Jews woke up to Zionism.

    So while the lobby may be Jewish led; it is Christians who support it.

    • American
      February 22, 2013, 5:13 pm

      Really Mike, you are wasting your time if you’re trying to convince us that some majority of American Christians support Israel or are the force behind the Israel Lobby and US Isr policy.
      If there is one thing we know it’s that Lobby related zionist money and the ways the Lobby intimitates politicans is the real force behind I-firstdom.
      If the majority of Jews don’t even vote/donate based solely on Israel why would you think Chris- zio conseratives would either?

      • FreddyV
        February 23, 2013, 7:58 am


        Premillenialism – The end times theology that sees Christianity being ‘raptured’ up to Heaven and Jesus’ return to the Mount Of Olives to reign over the reborn nation of Israel is the dominant theology amongst American evangelicals. There’s millions of ’em and they believe it’s their Christian duty to defend and protect Israel.

        The shame is that they don’t unpack their theology. In order for these events to take place 2/3rds of the Jews in Israel must perish and the remainder must convert to Christianity. Not much antisemitism there then. It’s quite good fun challenging them on this. The either haven’t been taught it and just blindly follow what their pastor preaches, or they develop a form of cognitive dissonance where they can’t process the obvious outcome and see it for what it is. Try it. It’s most amusing.

      • James Canning
        February 23, 2013, 1:18 pm

        Excellent suggestion. And ask them why they support the expulsion of Christians from “the Land of Israel”.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 22, 2013, 5:47 pm

      hi mike , it’s simply a myth CZ had taken off in anyway before massive lobbying on the part of the lobby. they were a miniscule influence. we discussed this earlier on another thread. (scroll up and down, lots of links)


      they were not a political force til the 70’s. also check out the last link in this article, ‘how modern Christian Zionism was birthed’, from jpost:

      and i’ve never even seen a reference to the term ‘christian zionism’ before the 60’s or 70’s.

      • Citizen
        February 22, 2013, 6:45 pm

        The Christian Zionists are a front for Jewish Zionists, whether they know it or not. What CZ has the $ donor power of S Adelson or H Saban?

  5. seafoid
    February 22, 2013, 3:01 pm

    “Using the term “apartheid” is acceptable in Israel – it should be acceptable in the U.S.”

    Israeli Jews know what is going on but believe it is justified, partly because of American support.
    Americans have no idea and believe Israel is decent.
    It is important to keep Americans in the dark.

    Otherwise the whole thing could destabilise very quickly.

  6. Krauss
    February 22, 2013, 3:46 pm

    The underlying premise of the entire discussion is that only people with J positive blood can be allowed to talk about Israel without censorship, either imposed by themselves or by others.

    Therefore, the problem with Hagel saying that Israel was becomming an apartheid state should be understood within that prism. Ehud Barak can say it how many times he wants, or Ehud Olmert for that matter.

    The same is true with the “Jewish lobby”. It’s okay if you’re a guy or a girl with J positive blood. But not okay if you happened to be one of those awful goys with a conscience.

    That is the moral of the story here. The problem isn’t what is said.
    It’s who is being allowed to say it. It’s a very typical attitude of liberal Zionists. Such as when Ben-Ami of J Street refused to allow Palestinians to debate BDS as he wanted it to be “within our community”.

    That’s why the only good christians are the crazy right-wing fundamentalists, who are uncritical of Israel. The good ones, who are sane and have a moral backbone, are smeared as anti-Semites.

    • Citizen
      February 22, 2013, 6:49 pm

      @ Krauss
      No question in my mind that ethical, moral secular folks who are not jews have no voice at all in the debate or reality of Zionist conduct and US enablement of it.

  7. Empiricon
    February 22, 2013, 4:30 pm

    Interesting tack by Abrams. He must fear that the gig is up. To paraphrase the Luther character in the movie “The Warriors”: “No. No… It wasn’t us. It was them. It was the [Christian] Warriors.”

  8. Annie Robbins
    February 22, 2013, 4:51 pm

    i just have to say (and i am late getting around to reading this article, still have not read thread) how very refreshing it is having so many of the thoughts and ideas we’ve talking about here in our comment sections land in the press, to be able to read these ideas in the blockquotes on top of the links, instead of just down below in the comment line. loverly loverly loverly.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    February 22, 2013, 4:52 pm

    RE: “Second, it’s becoming clear to everyone that there is a strong pro-Israeli lobby that is relying mostly on Christians. This is not a Jewish lobby.” ~ Elliott Abrams

    MY COMMENT: I remember seeing Elliott Abrams in one of the post-9/11 documentaries (probably from the U.K.). He was expounding upon some of his long-term plans for pro-Israel legislation in the U.S., and when he got to the last one (a biggie) he said something like: “Of course, we will need the Christian Evangelicals to get this passed.”

  10. James Canning
    February 22, 2013, 5:24 pm

    How many “Jewish” organizations can be called part of the Israel lobby? And how many Christian organizations?

  11. Citizen
    February 22, 2013, 6:51 pm

    Has anyone parsed it, and listed the self-proclaimed Christian organizations who are, on the one hand, pro-Israel, and on the other hand, critical of Israel? Is this data collected and published anywhere in the world?

    • James Canning
      February 24, 2013, 7:41 pm

      Citizen – – Rabbi Michael Lerner (of Tikkun org) might know. Historically, the Epriscopalians and Presbyterians supplied many of the Protestant missionaries from the US who went to the Middle East. And most of them were quite dubious about the merits of setting up a state controlled by Jews, in Palestine.

  12. pabelmont
    February 22, 2013, 7:15 pm

    No-one should doubt that the Christian Evangelicals are a HUGE part of the voting blok of TheLobby (c). Jews (tout complet) were maybe 2% of Americans in 2011, but the voting block is 25%.

    A more pertinent question is what proportion of pro-hard-line-Israel political money comes from them and what part from those I like to call (quoting myself) “a very, very few very, very rich Jews” who appear to fill out AIPAC to considerable extent. Never forget, the USA is run by a very tiny (0.01% perhaps) whom I call the oligarchy, such as owners and managers of big banks, pharma, weapons-manufacture, fossil fuels, etc., and their power (which is so thick as to be miasmal in politics) comes from a practice of spending huge sums in what amount to political bribes and threats (politely: carrots and sticks). All those fellows who stood and cheered 765 times when N’hu spoke to Congress had been trained to be puppets by money, not (generally) by votes.

    • James Canning
      February 23, 2013, 1:05 pm

      Jews apparently provide more campaign funding for Democrats than all other groups in the US combined.
      Jews are also important in financing some Republicans. (Sheldon Adelson comes to mind.)

  13. James Canning
    February 22, 2013, 7:40 pm

    Elliott Abrams thinks the foolish effort by some Republicans to block Hagel, showed the Republican party as being “pro-Israel”? Rubbish.

  14. James Canning
    February 22, 2013, 7:43 pm

    The rise of the Israel lobby’s power in the US has coincided with the decline in Wasp power in the US. Didn’t the Presbyterians and the Episcopalians oppose the creation of a “Jewish” state in Palestine?

  15. Dagon
    February 22, 2013, 9:40 pm

    So now Jaffa oranges are german?The zionists invented that Mike.Sheesh.

  16. ritzl
    February 22, 2013, 10:24 pm

    If, as AL.com reports, Shelby (Ranking Member, RM; Senate Appropriations Committee, SAC; third on SAC Defense, and RM on the Sen. Banking Committee) comes out as a “yes” vote on Hagel, along with Cochran (RM on SAC Defense), Hagel is in. Period.

    Shelby (SAC) and Sessions (SASC) know full well that perpetual war (lack of draw down in current conflicts, and/or new conflicts) diminishes their monied constituents.

    No Republican is going to persistently and directly challenge that extraordinary level of Senate power, within their caucus, in favor of confirmation – without consequences. Which means not at all. The SAC (money allocations) drives so much (arguably all) of Senate power dynamics.

  17. W.Jones
    February 23, 2013, 1:17 am

    Sure. Billions of tax dollars get sent every year, and about 70% of taxpaying Americans are Christian. That means it’s Christians who make the decisions about what happens there. Meanwhile, tons of foreign products are made in other countries and sent to the US, boosting the US economy through corporate profits. So it’s really the rest of the world that is in charge… You might as well call it the “Third World Lobby.” Alot of them are Muslims. You see how easy it is?

  18. bob
    February 23, 2013, 2:30 am

    Shifting the focus over to the Christians seems to be the new strategic talking point

    • James Canning
      February 23, 2013, 1:13 pm

      Bob – – If the Israel lobby succeeds in setting up yet another idiotic US war in the Middle East, there are some Jews in that Lobby who want to have the blame put on Christians rather than Jews.

  19. bob
    February 23, 2013, 3:30 am


    “Jesus washing” is the new talking point. Shifting the focus onto the useful idiots over at CUFI and the evangelicals. Making it about “because Jesus,” is right in line with washing over the neoconservatives in Iraq and making it about “Bush.”

    With the Hagel nomination, you can see just how transparent and weak this ploy is

    Line up all the organizations who have been assuaged for the Hagel nomination. Then line up all the oganizations who have not been assuaged.

    Here is where you see power, and I do not see people speaking to this directly.

    Hagel was a move to the (U.S. political) “left,” (not really leftist, but lets skip that).

    Its more of what Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post says, that the appointment is a move to the left. It is more than just the left, as we have even seen prominent Netanyahu mouthpieces accept Hagel. We even have official Israeli spokespeople publicly approve of Hagel. So, what is going on here?

    Hagel had to, of course, grovel to Schumer, Cardin, Boxer, Feinstein, Levin, Lautenberg, et al. and every one else who expressed some reservations over his stated positions. Obama had to smooth things over with the lobby. We also saw important figures in the media finally shift over to Hagel. CUFI? No one gives a crap. Neoconservatives? They don’t have access to power at the moment.

    We saw a very visible shift of support to Hagel in he media. You see a break where Jewish lobby figures that are associated with the Democratic party, you know, the party where “2/3 of Democratic money comes from Jewish donors” or 60 percent of the money raised from private sources, have lined up to support Hagel. In fact, the senate confirmation was an effort by the congresspeople to gain access</a< to some of this money.

    Even some conservative pro-Israeli lobby organizations have taken positions that have backed away from removing him as an option. Let us not forget that Obama made an effort to assuage AIPAC, and that White House lobbying of AIPAC may explain why group is not going great guns so far against Hagel nomination. Let us also recall that Hagel prostrated himself in front of the lobby for votes. AIPAC is the key group here, and people are speculating what it is that they are doing. MJ Rosenberg, as mentioned on this site, suggests AIPAC “chooses to keep the Hagel onslaught going in order to show who is in charge. “This is what we can do.” No doubt that message has been received in all the right places. Jim Lobe gives a laundry list of reasons why AIPAC has pulled back. So, while AIPAC have their fingerprints on the smear Hagel campaign, they have backed off for strategic reasons. These reasons certainly remind us of the lessons AIPAC learned in 1992, and they extend to some other high profile right-wing lobby organizations. The RJC, similarly, are letting it go through, but they want to make an example. The Republican Jewish Committee wanted a “very difficult and bruising nomination battle.” Very tough warning.” Neoconservative Ari Fleischer is angrily resigned to it. The language I do not see here is to stop it. Even the confirmation hearing was seen as a visible attempt of making this pain visible was to reinforce behind the scenes deals. It is to make an example from a candidate they are letting through.

    No where in all of this saga do you see Obama groveling in front of evangelicals, or fighting for the evangelical media opinion. No where do you see Senators requiring Hagel to bow to an evangelical point of view. Nowhere do you see Hagel and Obama making amends with the evangelical lobby. You do, however, see it with a very pro-Israeli media, and lobby of a largely different ethnicity. This effort to hold the CUFI useful idiots out in front in an effort have them represent the lobby is painfully transparent.

  20. yonah fredman
    February 23, 2013, 3:52 am

    There is no McCarthyite campaign against the word “apartheid”. That’s just semantic propaganda. The word “apartheid” is offensive. It is also accurate (to describe the west bank. the excuse of “security”for the west bank status quo is ridiculous, moving settlers next door to people who are not offered the vote… well, if that’s not apartheid it certainly looks like apartheid.) but those who battle against the word may be wrong, but that does not make them McCarthyites for battling the term. McCarthy is an attack on individuals through rumor and innuendo without proof. The attempt to make the word apartheid treyf (unkosher) has nothing to do with McCarthyism and mentioning McCarthy is an attempt to paint any action one opposes with a wide brush and quite inaccurate.

    For example: Barghouti and Butler. Not allowing their words to be heard at Brooklyn College by threatening to restrain funding from the college, that has a McCarthy slant to it. But even there it’s borderline. It is heavy handed use of top down rather than grass roots efforts to stop free speech. That is not McCarthyism, but that’s besides the point, because it was heavy handed top down attempt to stop free speech, so it was wrong and therefore the term is in the right ball park. But a word? smear a word is McCarthyism? you’re just impressed with your own rhetoric. Gimme a break.

    • James Canning
      February 23, 2013, 1:53 pm

      Do you see the word “Apartheid” as “offensive” because it is tricky for Democratic politicians in the US who depend upon the “black” vote?

  21. Citizen
    February 23, 2013, 11:34 am

    Phil Maher and many others have attributed the Senate attack on Hagel as a GOP evil thing, but the truth is it’s bipartisan:

    Also, both McCain and Abrams have said Hagel will be a crippled head of the Pentagon. Is this wish, or reality?

  22. James Canning
    February 23, 2013, 2:20 pm

    Citizen – – I think we can assume Elliott Abrams hopes Hagel has been damaged signficantly. False hope, in my view.

    • Citizen
      February 24, 2013, 8:09 am

      If Hagel gets in, will be interesting to see what he does and says as Pentagon chief; who won’t be watching him after that hearing? If he doesn’t stay pc on everything Israel, will they bring back his take-backs at the hearing? Law of unintended consequences will remain in play? Either way? Which way?

  23. James Canning
    February 24, 2013, 1:47 pm

    I think Hagel will use his best judgment, to advance the interests of the US. And that he will continue to comprehend that foolish American “support” for Israel right or wrong is not a good thing for the American people — or for Israel.

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