Fact-checking Jeffrey Goldberg: the American Jewish unanimity on Israel

Jeffrey Goldberg wrote yesterday about American Jewish unanimity on Israel:

We live in an era during which the U.S. president (whom the majority of American Jews support) is in almost constant low-grade conflict with Israeli prime minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. Such periods are never comfortable for American Jews of all political leanings, who tend to be happier when they see their president and the leader of the Jewish state in harmony.

Melissa Weintraub

Melissa Weintraub

Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, a liberal Zionist, speaking at a panel on the Jewish community at Washington’s Jewish Community Center last month, said there is no such unanimity. Minute 1:

Israel has become the most volatile wedge issue in American Jewish life, by most observers, journalists, rabbis, people who are immersed in this field. We’ve got three prevailing avenues for Israel engagement, currently.

One is avoidance. Nearly every American Jewish social justice organization– I was recently in a room with all the luminaries of the Jewish social justice movement, and veritably every one of them has an organizational policy to avoid Israel. The rabbis of every denomination and from across the political spectrum talk about what actually a local rabbi Scott Perlo, who’s at 6th and I, calls the “the death by Israel sermon”, which means we can talk about anything but Israel. We can talk about health care or guns or other controversial issues, but say anything about Israel and we could be fired. It seems every day I hear of another organization that’s banned Israel from its listserve.

So that’s avoidance, the first pattern… The first pattern is really reacting to the second pattern, but I stated avoidance first because it’s become most ubiquitous…

The second pattern is more overt antagonism; vilification, demonization; attacks and counter attacks on op ed pages, funding threats, boards and executive directors in utter terror, paralyzed, because they are in damned if you do and damned if you don’t situations on a regular basis. A lot of this is outside of public view, but I can tell you as someone who works in this field that I hear dozens of institutions facing these kinds of dilemmas every month.

And you know equally as damaging: reckless caricatures of each other’s positions, distortions, quoting each other out of context, impugning each other’s motives, antagonism.

The third pattern I call avoidance 2.0. And that is congregating with, conferencing with those who agree with our own politics, and dismissing everybody else as loony, or malicious, or dangerous. Taking pride in the numbers of those who are with us, categorically, one-dimensionally dismissing everyone else. And that is becoming increasingly common as well.

So what do we get when we have those three patterns as our prevailing options? We get those who care passionately having to stand behind a megaphone in order to be heard. While others who also care passionately and think other things turn up the volume on their own megaphones. And most other people put their fingers in their ears and walk away. We get a poisoned and polluted conversation. We get a lot of alienation, and sadness, and distrust, distance between groups. We get unraveled and harmed relationships, and we get a community that’s not nearly as smart, a community that doesn’t have the collective intelligence that it needs to solve the challenges that Israel faces….

[As to] the rich Jewish tradition of dialogue and debate… We value dialogue and debate because we know that it’s what leads to good decision making, good public decision making, and it’s what leads to truth. There’s no other way than the collective intelligence that emerges from the coming together of divergent views. …Why this matters, that our conversation is broken and stuck– is the first step to wanting to do something about it.

Weintraub is not even speaking of the rank and file in the Jewish community, many of whom are anti-Zionist, who were not represented on that JCC panel.

So– who is Jeffrey Goldberg talking about?

About Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins

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

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

  1. doug says:

    >> ” Such periods are never comfortable for American Jews of all political leanings, who tend to be happier when they see their president and the leader of the Jewish state in harmony.”

    Much to my surprise I agree with Goldberg. The divergence of Israeli trends with American Jewish values can create nothing happy.

    Arguably, Phil Weiss, and the existence of Mondoweiss is example no. 1.

    • Krauss says:

      I think Chomsky had a useful phrase for what Goldberg is attempting to do: manufacturing consent.

      Goldberg probably understands that the Zionist Concensus that he grew up with is over. The tacit alliance between “liberal” Zionists like himself and his Jewish neocon brethren on the other side. They’d play doll theater with each other, to entertain the goys with the impression that they fundamentally disagreed but whenever it really mattered; Cast Lead, the War against Iraq, the supression of Palestinian voices, any real fundamental questioning of apartheid, they would always close ranks.

      Weintraub is correct in her analysis. (also, shameless plug, I posted the link to that speech over a month ago on this website!).

      There isn’t a fundamental split per se, but more of a gnashing of the teeth from the other side. Little by little, the seams are coming apart and Goldberg rushes to create the impression that no such thing is happening. I remember he was saying a few years ago that the anti-Zionist Jews “wouldn’t even be able to fill a minyan”. Well, as Blumenthal said at one of his talks, we can more than fill a minyan now. JVP is growing fast. Swarthmore Hillel is pointing to the future where a non- and anti-Zionist Jews can feel welcomed.

      We can argue about where exactly the two opposing forces are meeting, what are the relations of power. But we can’t really argue about the direction of the debate.

      Remember, the old “liberal” Zionists like David Harris and Dershowitz defend Adelson to the hilt(for Harris, the eye is partly on Adelson’s purse, but for Dershowitz it is not). That would be impossible for the younger Beinarts. In due time, the “liberal” Dershowitz will become as toxic as Adelson and this is already happening.

      How long until the Alterman/Goldberg types become trapped in this net of toxicity?
      Types who are not even pretending to be moderate on domestic issues but who hold hard-right ethno-nationalist views so long as the victims of those views are outside America’s borders.

      Goldberg has already slowly moved away from the Atlantic, probably in no small part because James Fallows defends Blumenthal but Goldberg probably knew where Fallows started to move on the I/P issue years ago. As for Alterman, how long will he be at the nation? That’s increasingly the question.

      It’s in this backdrop that Goldberg is writing his fearful column.
      Goldberg can see where the trends are going better than most journalists, he is constantly adapting to them. It remains to be seen if he can shape them better than he can adapt to them.

      I’m doubtful.

      • Philip Weiss says:

        Yes Krauss I should have mentioned your role. I got to the discussion on my own, b/c of Shavit discussion next week, interest in what they’ve programmed; but Annie Robbins was turned on to it by you, and told me about it, and then showed me Weintraub material and we got on it. Thank you

  2. MHughes976 says:

    I don’t think Goldberg and Weintraub are fully contradicting each other. It’s true that there’s a feeling of low-level conflict (very, very low-level, masked by endless protestations of devotion to the Zionist cause, if only it could be modified just a little, so as you’d hardly notice) and that this causes uneasiness. Conscious avoidance of a subject, or of a person, are signs of uneasiness not of unconcern. I don’t think Goldberg’s claiming unanimity, ie saying that what everyone would say, if they weren’t avoiding the subject, would be the same, rather that any difference is acutely embarrassing to say the least. Weintraub’s other two strategies reflect the same fact. You get aggressive because the opinion of the other side is insufferable to you or you make sure that you talk only to people who are likely to agree – both those indicate that the subject is very touchy.
    I think that my disagreement with Goldberg would arise because he thinks of it as a Jewish problem while I would think of it as a universal problem. Non-Jewish people often avoid the subject because they don’t want to offend Jewish people to whom they’re talking, sometimes feel intense frustration bordering on aggression, sometimes make sure they keep on their own side of the divide. In both Jewish and non-Jewish contexts the old days when you could just assume that there was no question, that everyone agreed, are over.

    • Citizen says:

      @ MHughes976

      Yes.

      The money quotes: “…A lot of this is outside of public view.”

      [And so] “…we get a [Jewish] community that’s not nearly as smart, a community that doesn’t have the collective intelligence that it needs to solve the challenges that Israel faces….”

      “There’s no other way than the collective [Jewish only or universal?] intelligence that emerges from the coming together of divergent views. …Why this matters, that our conversation is broken and stuck– is the first step to wanting to do something about it.”

      So, as you say, “I think that my disagreement with Goldberg [and Weintraub?] would arise because he [and she?} thinks of it as a Jewish problem while I would think of it as a universal problem. ”

      When a Jewish ghetto arms itself with the only nukes in its region, a key globally strategic region and font of basic energy; and the only superpower on earth arms that same ghetto with the latest conventional arms, and lots of them–for free, and also immunizes said ghetto from accountability at the UN by pocket veto, this matter of Israel is indeed a matter of universal interest. We all have skin in this game.

      A lot of this should be in public view. If your laundry is radioactive, it really should be washed in full public view. Scary proposition, eh?

  3. hophmi says:

    You say many of the rank and file of the Jewish community are anti-Zionist. Do you have anything to back that up?

    I’m in the community too. And while I see some of what Weintraub is talking about, I think she’s overstating the problem, and I say that as someone who has long called for a bigger tent. What she’s describing seems endemic to identity politics in this country. You can find it in the African American community on issues like affirmative action, and in the Hispanic community on issues like immigration. The community takes a position, and tends to marginalize anyone who takes a contrary position in the interest of maintaining maximum unity for political purposes.

    I’m also not sure she’s right about this avoidance. Jewish social justice orgs may avoid Israel, but then again, it’s not clear why they would need to bother. If your issue is hunger in NY, why exactly would you be discussing Israel? It’s definitely a topic of discussion on mainline orgs like the AJC.

    I’ll tell you now, that I’d rather rabbis not discuss Israel very often. Sermons about Israel tend to be politics more than religion, and generally, albeit with some exceptions, religious messages should transcend politics.

    • Cliff says:

      Sure, hoppy.

      We could generate your typical response to these topics.

      Here’s the algorithm for a hophmi troll comment:

      1. Nothing is ever as bad as people (whoever hophmi is disagreeing with at the moment, here it happens to be a Liberal Zionist).

      2. Filibuster with conflation and conjecture – ‘blah blah African-Americans, Hispanics, etc.’.

      3. End with a total bullshit claim: ‘religious messages should transcend politics.’

      You don’t want a bigger ‘tent’. You are on the same wavelength as the ADL and StandWithUs. You are a Jewish supremacist who enjoys equality in America, while preaching the Zionist moral virtues of hatred of the Other and apartheid in the Jewish State.

      Get it through your thick skull, hoppy: suicide bombing is over and was a blip on the violence radar. Israel killed more people in 2.5 weeks than all suicide attacks (in general!) for over 30 years.

      Your Jewish apartheid country-club kills more civilians and commits more crimes against humanity.

      There is no such thing as Liberal Zionism – which is why some members in these Jewish organizations feel the need to self-censor or avoid the Israel/Palestine issue.

      Haters like you, the ADL/SWU/JDL/etc. etc. will never allow a bigger ‘tent’ (nor does one need to exist).

    • Donald says:

      “Jewish social justice orgs may avoid Israel, but then again, it’s not clear why they would need to bother. If your issue is hunger in NY, why exactly would you be discussing Israel?”

      I agree with this. There are a zillion social justice issues, and if someone wants to focus on hunger, why bring up a divisive and irrelevant issue like Israel? It’s the same argument one could use in defense of those who focus on the I/P conflict–why should they have to demonstrate their good faith by talking about Tibet?

      • Isn’t there a clear connection between policy on Israel and domestic issues like hunger? If the US stopped aiding Israel and preparing for wars that would mainly serve Israeli interests and used the money to improve conditions at home, that money would stretch a long way. I expect someone has worked it out in more detail.

        • Donald says:

          I think we’d be spending too much on the Pentagon no matter what, but can’t say for sure. The US has a long history of intervention and don’t think it would be that much different if Israel had never existed. The details would change, but we’d probably still have supported tyrants in the Mideast and a lot of other places.

    • yrn says:

      ” many of whom are anti-Zionist, who were not represented on that JCC panel.”
      If Many of whom are Anti Zio’s, then you have done your job.
      Good for you as if most are Anti Zio’s, you are all set.
      You win !!!!!!!!

    • ziusudra says:

      Greetings Hophmi,
      …. the Jewish community…….
      An Empire will support its vassal as long as is needed to achieve its Agenda.
      What anyone in the Zionistan 6mn. teapot or the US 6mn teapot think is
      irrelevant.
      The US will not perpetually support Zionistan, basta!
      W/o support that puny Apartheid Statelet would collapse.
      See Rhodesia, & So. Africa. Existence as long as ME oil lasts?
      ziusudra
      PS Euro Jewry was good for Europe.
      US Jewry is good for the US.
      Zionism is negative for Israel & World Jewry.

    • Citizen says:

      @ hophmi

      RE: “I’m in the community too. And while I see some of what Weintraub is talking about, I think she’s overstating the problem, and I say that as someone who has long called for a bigger tent. What she’s describing seems endemic to identity politics in this country. You can find it in the African American community on issues like affirmative action, and in the Hispanic community on issues like immigration. The community takes a position, and tends to marginalize anyone who takes a contrary position in the interest of maintaining maximum unity for political purposes.”

      Very true. But identity politics as you describe it (And Atzmon, for one, too) is a MAJOR problem in the USA. And all factions always call for a bigger tent, it’s the requisite preliminary pc rhetoric. Weinstein is actually understating the problem.

  4. American says:

    ”We live in an era during which the U.S. president (whom the majority of American Jews support) is in almost constant low-grade conflict with Israeli prime minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. Such periods are never comfortable for American Jews of all political leanings, who tend to be happier when they see their president and the leader of the Jewish state in harmony….Goldberg

    “Israel has become the most volatile wedge issue in American Jewish life, by most observers, journalists, rabbis, people who are immersed in this field.” ….Rabbi Melissa

    Dear Rabbi Melissa

    Tell your people.
    Give it up…give up the world wide ‘Jew qua nation’ anchored by Israel…give it up give it up, give it up or you will always be in conflict with yourselves and others.
    Keep your religion, your culture, your traditions, identities, keep your cousins and everything else you want but divorce Israel ‘the nation’ and Isr- Jewish WW Peoplehood…..leave Israel to Israelis.

  5. pabelmont says:

    We are constantly being told that Jews love Israel, Jews are Zionists (or “liberal” Zionists). The “L” means (to me) that they are in love with some sort of dream that has been dissociated from reality for 20-30 years. Little boxes to collect money for planting trees in that arid desert which nonetheless blooms. Saving Jews from the holocaust as if that were still happening. Ignoring the maleficent machinations of AIPAC and so many entrenched talking-heads and printing-heads.

    I don’t go to Jewish places of meeting. I can say that my 80-y-o Jewish friends change the direction of conversation when I sound off in criticism of Israel. “There he goes again.”

    I assume that the younger and more enlightened (educated, aware of current events) Jews are shifting away from support for Israel-my-mother-drunk-or-sober, and I am VERY interested in the Rabbi’s death-by-mention-of-Israel sermon, especially if that includes sermons which praise Israel.

    Lastly, NY pols seem to go overboard to visit and praise Israel JUST AS IF their political futures depend on it. But of course they will keep doing that as long as BIG-ZION funds that sort of action and Jewish voters do not punish it. I assume that Jewish voters are by no means punishing people who spout all the pro-Israel crap (such as Joe Biden’s and I suppose Hillary’s).

    • seafoid says:

      Israel has nothing to offer young American Jews unless there is a huge constituency looking for their identity in torture. Why should they bother propping up the 17 oligarchs and the IDF ?

      • Ecru says:

        …unless there is a huge constituency looking for their identity in torture…

        Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s as much about being part of a “hard” people (“Hey those Jews are tough look at them drop bombs on caged women and children“) without having to actually risk anything even approaching a fair fight on their own doorsteps.

        I think that’s all part of the appeal. It’s a have-your-cake-and-eat-it situation. An image of being oh so “liberal” and “caring” in the diaspora, and yet, largely off most people’s radar, complete and utter bigots that would shame the KKK in Palestine.

  6. ckg says:

    I think M.J. Rosenberg said it well:

    Nobody I know is interested in talking about Israel anymore.

    I think that may be because virtually all my friends are essentially pro-Israel and have supported Israel their entire lives. Now their attitude is “what’s there to say?” as if Israel was a friend with an alcohol problem who, despite everyone’s best efforts, simply chooses drinking to excess over being sober. You know the alcohol is killing him but you also know that it’s his considered choice to drink. He’s weighed the risks and chosen alcohol. There isn’t anything anyone can do.

    • ckg says:

      Even better is the first comment from Greta Berlin:

      It’s not true that no one cares about what Israel does. The Palestinians care, and so do those of us who have stood with them for 65 years. Israel is not about the occupation since 1967, it’s about denying the Palestinians the right of return since they stole the land in 1948. BDS is succeeding, and it can’t happen fast enough for those of us who believe in a nation for ALL of its people, not just Jews.

    • American says:

      ”You know the alcohol is killing him but you also know that it’s his considered choice to drink. He’s weighed the risks and chosen alcohol. There isn’t anything anyone can do. ”

      Yea you can , you can lock him up and take away his car.
      Which is what should have been done to the Zionistas to begin with.
      But the Jews who had a fatal attraction for Israel didnt do that cause the Zios were so good at extracting support and billions from the world for it.
      Now you got a total drunk driver wreck that someone is going to have to clean up.

    • Citizen says:

      @ ckg
      MJ Rosenberg should now include in his scenario the drunk who is not only killing himself, but abusing his family, and terrorizing the neighbors when he goes on a drunken spree. We have DUI laws for a reason. We don’t buy the drunk a new car and fill it up with gas, and hand him the keys. Of course, in reality, if the drunk is rich and influential, that happens way too often. Israel is treated like Jerry Lee Lewis in his home environs. He gets drunk, crashes his car, and the report handler at the police station gets the call. “Oh, it’s Jerry the king of rock and roll! Up to his usual mischief…” And no report is entered on paper or in computer. Hospital records are benign and banal.

  7. RE: “Weintraub is not even speaking of the rank and file in the Jewish community, many of whom are anti-Zionist, who were not represented on that JCC panel. So– who is Jeffrey Goldberg talking about?” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Jeffrey Goldberg is obviously not talking about Norman Pollack!

    FROM NORMAN POLLACK (1/10/14):

    [EXCERPT] . . . Israel is determined not to have a settlement. Its characteristic mindset is obviously the militarization of Zionism and, to that end, making Judaism a State Religion. This is very different from the spirit immediately following World War II, when the socialist kibbutz was affirmed as the nation’s model. Judaism does not need Israel. It is a world religion with fundamental moral-ethical principles, all which Israel violates on a daily basis. When the oppressed become the oppressors, we have a profoundly sick psychoanalytic condition, the introjection of the crimes committed against it, now turned outward. That, I submit, has happened. Israel has left Judaism far behind, in its quest for power, superiority, expansion.

    American Jewry, once the fountainhead of liberalism and radicalism, reaching a high point in the New Deal, and manifested not only in politics, but culture, and a saving remnant existing into the ’60s, incorporating true humanism and inclusiveness as part of the civil rights struggle (Schwerner-Goodman-Cheney), has degenerated into NeoCon warmongering, reactionary politics and social policy, superpatriotism, in sum, the forfeiture of all that made me proud of my heritage. To criticize now is to be pilloried as a self-hating Jew, whether said criticism is directed to Israel or US global policy–Joe McCarthy with a yarmulke, functional red-baiting by e.g. AIPAC under a different label. I shall continue to affirm my Judaism, wholly separable from Israel. . .

    . . . American support for Israel surely goes beyond residual feelings of guilt for allowing the Holocaust to occur and continue (e.g., by joining forces with Europe after the invasion of Poland, or later, the siege of Stalingrad), admiration, post-war, for suffering humanity, here, Zionism qua a crusade of the displaced persons for security in a new land, or devoted respect of Judaism as a foundation stone of religion in the West. Some of this may be true (on the level of sentiment, and political expediency in attracting American Jewry), but the US pro-Israel position has always been firmly grounded in realpolitik, at first a bastion or forward line in the Cold-War confrontation with the Soviet Union, relatedly, preservation of the Middle East as a sphere of influence centered on the world’s oil supply, and then, access to oil itself, freed from Left popular forces and the confiscation of US oil properties.
    But as Israel developed, and especially proved its military mettle to the US in dislodging and forcing out the indigenous Palestinian populace, along with a general posture of identifying with conservative regimes (apartheid South Africa, various dictators in Latin America) and somewhat rigidly following the American lead in international relations, concomitant with abandonment of a socialist-kibbutz vision in domestic organization in favor of becoming a Mossad-style world player and nuclear-armed military power, the US rejoiced at the special relationship. Ideologically, Washington gives away nothing. This was love at first- or at least second-sight, testified from early on by the close working relations between the military and intelligence communities of the two countries. Now, perhaps more than ever, because of America’s struggle to maintain its global hegemony, it not only sanctions but applauds every abuse of the Israeli government, possibly acting as enablers for inhumane thought and practices which might otherwise not have materialized had such back-up not been provided. In any case, America’s overall policy toward Israel reveals its own ethnocentrism, militarism, and disregard for international law. To see Israel is to see America with clear eyes. . .

    SOURCE – link to counterpunch.org

    • Citizen says:

      Pollack makes a good point. However, it’s not subtle enough because To see Israel is to see America’s 1% and their paid lackeys, including the usual suspects and, of course, the complicit mainstream media, which is nothing but a propaganda arm for said PTB. As for the bulk of America, they are not even in the picture when it comes to informed consent on Israel. There, I fixed that mote log in Pollack’s eye.

      • MY REPLY: From an economic standpoint, Israel is also pretty much run by their oligarchs.

        SEE: “Oligarchy in the Holy Land — Tiny Number of Families Dominates Israel’s Economy”, By Alex Kane, alternet.org, 12/02/13
        After America, Israel is the most unequal “rich” country in the world when it comes to wealth.
        LINK – link to alternet.org

        • Citizen says:

          Does the US have an iron wall on foreign property that any Israeli citizen can see? It’s easier to keep Americans ignorant. Does Israel have an American First 5th column? No. I don’t think the claim that both countries are run for the benefit of the 1% and their customary lackies makes them equal in terms of simple manipulated ignorance.

  8. seafoid says:

    It’s hard to fit Tikkun Olam and Likud on the same pinhead.
    I think that’s the problem.

    And you don’t want Lieberman anywhere near your nice Hamptons tent, either pissing in or pissing out. You want him to piss off and go back to the day when everyone agreed about Israel and it gave you a warm feeling as well as a second home you never asked for.

    • puppies says:

      @seafoid – “It’s hard to fit Tikkun Olam and Likud on the same pinhead.”
      A lot of people would strain to see any kind of difference as to what really matters. They are both about keeping alive the Zionist dream, i.e. a so-called Jewish nation, and there is no way out of that. Each goes about it according to their own sensitivities or culture or lack thereof, but frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. At the end of the day, it is all about keeping the “right” to pack the place with illegal immigration of aliens from everywhere, giving them first-class citizen status and denying their home to the owners of the land. See if your “liberal” bandits are any different.
      It looks to me as if the Zionists have managed to have most people just reduce their expectations before even starting to fight, what with the loaded Western “solidarity” groups and the collaborators that speak as PA.

    • piotr says:

      Lieberman should go to Connecticut where he belongs. But mercifully, I did not see him lately.

      After checking: Joe is the title character of this recent article “Private equity and Washington: A love story”. My advice: barbecue porkchops to make your Hampton tent Lieberman-proof.

      Ah, another Lieberman. Hm., he looks like a guy who could eat pork chops day and night, plus he could attempt to sing at your party. I am at loss what to advise: security guards?

  9. “when they see their president and the leader of the Jewish state in harmony.”
    The harmony has been in need of some kind of repair for a while. Goldberg can ask who is responsible for the ill feelings.
    Succeessive Israeli PM have deflected the past administrations from seeking any resolution on borders ,refugees,settlements,and compensations from 1948. The problem has only got messier and Israel has become barzen in refusing to budge. TRuman a, Ike and Kennedy could make bold assertions about the need for Israel to look into the realities and change their deceptive beaviors. Johnosn was beholden to Israel and to AIPAC .He was a damaged good . He had too many skeletons in his closet to raise the issue. Carter did try and was defeated. Bush could have done but was defeated also . Bush second was afraid,scared,and was not that bright either to understand the importance of the presidential office or of the foreign policy . . Even Clinton and Reagan paid lip service demanding essentially same that was the demand of the UN, world, Palestine and of Arab.
    Obama has broken ranks with recent presidential approaches and attitudes but he has not asked for anything new that was not demanded before by other US Presidents
    So why Goldberg is having porblem? Why he thinks that Jewish people are queasy and uneasy the direction of relationship between two leaders ?
    Prior to 2012 elections, there were open recriminations and anger expressed by jewish community against Obama for not being “tough” on Iran, for demanding “too many concessions from Israel” and not putting enough pressures on Palestine.
    This is the face of the “liberal” Jewish constituency.

    Goldberg wants the US to ditch its own stated positions and embrace new narrative coming out of Isarel and AIPAC on these simmerring problems . He thinks a good relationship is possible if US does what israel asks for , and he thinks the American Jews would be happy only if and when US does show ‘flexibility” and adopts the Israeli voice.

  10. RE: “Weintraub is not even speaking of the rank and file in the Jewish community, many of whom are anti-Zionist, who were not represented on that JCC panel. So– who is Jeffrey Goldberg talking about?” ~ Weiss

    MY GUESS: Jeffrey Goldberg is probably talking about what James Petras calls “The ‘Israel First’ Industry”*.

    * SEE: “The ‘Israel First’ Industry and CEO Profiteering”, by James Petras, dissidentvoice.org, 1/16/14

    [EXCERPTS] During the first half of the 20th century, socially conscious Jews in the United States organized a large network of solidarity and charity associations financed mostly through small donations, raffles, and dues by working and lower middle class supporters. Many of these associations dealt with the everyday needs of Jewish workers, immigrants, and families in need. . .
    . . . Over the past fifty years a far-reaching transformation has taken place within Jewish organizations, among its leaders and their practices and policies. Currently, Jewish leaders have converted charities, social aid-societies and overseas programs for working class Jews into money machines for self-enrichment; converted charities funding health programs for Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism into the funding of colonial settlements for armed Zionist zealots intent on uprooting Palestinians; and organized a powerful political machine which buys US Congress people and penetrates the Executive in order to serve Israeli military aims. From defending human rights and fighting fascism, the leaders of the principle Jewish organizations defend each and every Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights – from arbitrary arrests of non-violent dissidents to the detention of children in ‘cages.’ Israel’s Kafkaesque prolonged administration detention without trial is approved by contemporary leaders. In the past Jewish leaders, especially labor and socially-engaged activists had joined forces with Leftists in opposition to political bigots, McCarthyite purges and blacklists. Today’s leaders practice the very same bully, blackmail and blacklist politics against critics of Israel and its Zionist appendages.
    In the past Jewish leaders of social aid organizations received modest salaries . . .
    . . . The moderately social liberal Jewish weekly, The Forward, recently completed a survey of the salaries of Jewish “not-for profits” leaders, with the aid of a professor from the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania). Among the leading profiteers was Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) earning $688,280, Howard Kohr of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — $556,232, David Harris of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — $504,445, Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) — $435,050, Janice Weinman of Hadassah — $410,000, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (PMJO) — $400,815, Mark Helfield of the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society — $268,834 and Ann Toback of the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring — $185,712. These salaries and perks put the Jewish leaders of non-profits in the upper 10% of US incomes — a far cry from the not-too-distant past. According to the analysis by the Forward and the Wharton team, ‘most leaders (CEOs) are vastly overpaid – earning more than twice what the head of an organization of their size would be expected to make”.
    While the membership has declined in many organizations, especially among working and lower middle class Jews, the funding has increased and most important the plutocratic leaders have embraced a virulent militarist foreign policy and repressive domestic policies. Forward describes Abraham Foxman as “diverting the ADL from its self-described mission of fighting all forms of bigotry in the US and abroad to putting the ADL firmly on the side of bigotry and intolerance.” . . .
    . . . The overwhelming response of the Jewish readers to the Forward’s survey was one of indignation, disgust, and anger. As one reader commented, “The economic disconnect between their (CEOs) salaries and the average incomes of those who contribute to their charities is unacceptable”. Another indignant reader remarked succinctly: “Gonifs! (Thieves!)”. Many announced they could cut off future donations. One formerly orthodox reader stated, “I would rather give to a street beggar than to any of these”.
    The drop-off of donations from lower-middle class Jews, however, will have little effect in reducing the salaries of the ‘non-profit’ CEO’s or changing the politics of their ‘non-profits; because they increasingly depend on six and seven digit contributions from Jewish millionaires and billionaires. Moreover, the contributions by big donors are linked to the politics of repression at home and securing multi-billion dollar military aid and trade programs for Israel from the US Treasury. The billionaire donors have no objection to funding the millionaire leaders – as long as they concentrate their efforts on buying the votes of US Congress members and aligning their politics with Israel’s war aims. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to dissidentvoice.org

  11. “Avoidance”. This word captures the problem. Too many American Jews simply ignore the fact other American Jews work steadily to undermine America’s national security interests in the Middle East. In order to “protect” Israel.

  12. radico says:

    The problem with Zionists including not just Jeffrey Goldberg but all other American Jews who support Zionism is that they do not care about the facts. They only cherry-pick the facts that are favorable to Jews, about Jewish suffering in WW2 and Jewish civilians suffering from rocket attacks from Gaza, etc., while ignoring other facts relating to how Israelis have dispossessed, colonized, waged war against and oppressed Palestinians.

    They have decided that, evidence be damned, Israel’s conduct is always justified, because it is a democracy in a sea of Arab dictatorships. Given this highly ideological and anti-empirical worldview, the facts become irrelevant.

  13. mcohen says:

    Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins on January 19, 2014

    “Weintraub is not even speaking of the rank and file in the Jewish community, many of whom are anti-Zionist, who were not represented on that JCC panel.”

    the purge is on “rabbi”weintraub,on the street,who knows maybe you could be the one to lead the New Jew,much like Jesus did,and take the flock off in a new direction.

    imagine that -holy smoke ….a new member of the abrahamic relegion…..Jews Christians,Moslems and the New Jews….who would be the prophet,what would it be called.

  14. Elliot says:

    Ok, so why doesn’t Rabbi Weintraub do something about #2, “demonization. ” She is one of the four leaders of a “big tent” JCPA initiative that is all about #1 “avoiding JVP”.

    Good for her, she doesn’t do #3, ” villifying those she disagrees with.”