Conservatives for Palestine

Israel/Palestine
on 81 Comments
Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski

Air Force Lt. Col.,retired, Karen Kwiatkowski

I am just back from the National Summit to Re-Assess the U.S.-Israel Special Relationship and will file reports of compelling remarks from speakers in days to come.

But I want to convey the importance of the conference here. The crowds were impressive. There were close to 300 people inside the National Press Club to hear a wide range of speakers denounce the role of the Israel lobby in our politics.

The speakers were largely from a US national-interest point of view. Many of them were conservative. When I say wide range, it did not include Palestinians– though a couple spoke from the floor.

But a concern for Palestinian human rights ran through many speakers’ remarks. Cynthia McKinney said she was standing up for “dignity and human liberty.” Steve Walt repeatedly cited the “moral” weakness of the Israel lobby’s argument for a state that privileges one group over another. Justin Raimondo spoke of the power of reading They Were Human Too, a book on Palestinian refugees published by the conservative publisher Regnery in the 50s (a point I have made myself). These pictures could be from Gaza today, Raimondo said.

And Lt. Col., retired, Karen Kwiatkowski told a gripping story about going to work in the Pentagon in a room that was the birthplace of the Office of Special Plans, the secret neoconservative unit that stovepiped bad intelligence on Iraq to the Bush administration to push the war. Early on, a colleague gave her a warning, “If you have anything nice to say about Palestinians, don’t say it here.”

Kwiatkowski identified herself as a libertarian-leaning Republican, very typical of the military. Yet when I met her next to a table filled with leftwing books about Palestinian human rights, she said that many in the Pentagon were actually concerned with Palestinian freedom. A point that was underlined by Paul Pillar and Mark Perry.

Perry related that when David Petraeus went into small towns in Iraq and saw pictures of the Al Aqsa mosque on people’s walls, he thought, “This Israel Palestine thing is really a big deal here,” and Petraeus later brought that news to Washington. Ray McGovern, the charismatic leftwing former CIA analyst, said that the battle of Fallujah was brought on by Iraqis enraged by Israel’s murder of Sheikh Yassin in Gaza.

“That’s what happens when people identify the United States with the kind of assassination raids that Israel is doing.”

While author Gareth Porter said that bad Israeli intelligence continues to form a part of the Obama administration’s dossier on Iran.

The conference had its share of lunacy. A Holocaust denier spoke up from the audience. I didn’t go for the description of Ketziot prison, where Jeffrey Goldberg served when he was an Israeli soldier, as a “concentration camp.” I didn’t like the attack on Phyllis Bennis and Noam Chomsky (much as I differ with Chomsky on the importance of religion in policy-making), and the analysis of Louis Brandeis’s secret society of Zionists was a little too Skull-and-Bones, with dripping candles, for my taste.

But Grant Smith and Alison Weir did a fabulous job of organizing the conference, and you could glimpse the formation of an important American community that has largely been silenced on the issue. That includes the old Arabist crowd, anti-Zionist Jews who are concerned about dual loyalty (wait till I get Allan Brownfeld’s talk up), veterans, and libertarians (kindred to Republican Thomas Massie, the only Congressperson to stand up to the Israel lobby on 400-1 legislation last week). Does anyone really think that we can build a freedom coalition without these folks? Certainly we won’t unpack the special relationship with Israel without reexamining the human cost to the United States. That includes the attack on the USS Liberty (another excellent speech by Ernie Gallo), the 9/11 attacks, the murder of Robert Kennedy. In my remarks I referred to the death of former Navy Secretary James V. Forrestal in 1949. How much of his breakdown was a result of opposition to Zionism, and Zionists’ ferocious opposition to him? There is great journalism to be done on these subjects; as indicated by the interest in John Judis’s Truman book that attacks the lobby.

The national-interest crowd was traditionally silenced by the anti-Semitism charge. Scott McConnell showed how anti-Semitism charges were used to marginalize writers Joseph Sobran and Pat Buchanan when they took strong stands against Israel. Steve Walt said that the overuse of the charge by the lobby had helped undermine its power to blacklist speakers and arguments.

So we’re entering a new phase in the history of the lobby, in which conservative critics feel more emboldened to speak, and feel a national necessity in doing so. The conference solidifies that moment. Expect vicious attacks in days to come.

About Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .


Posted In:

81 Responses

  1. tokyobk
    March 9, 2014, 1:14 pm

    Sobran’s comments on Jews, about whom he wrote generally with suspicion, hostility and resentment, went way beyond Israel.

    Buchanan is more careful, but it would not be over-reach to assume that he is no fan of the Jews either.

    • Krauss
      March 9, 2014, 2:31 pm

      I agree on Joe Sobran. I’ve read some of his things on Jews. He’s a gifted writer but he believed in a White Christian America, let’s not pull any punches on this one. There was no place for Jews in his America, or hardly anyone else for that matter either.

      As for Pat Buchnan, I think he is a much different animal.
      I view him the same way as I view John Mearsheimer. I don’t think Mearsheimer cared much about Jews for most of his life, but he had to, he was forced to, because he could see who were the driving force for war against Iraq; neocons.

      Let’s just face the facts: if you were a realist the last 30-40 years as American got more and more involved in the Middle East, you had to be deaf, blind and dumb not to see the central role Zionism had in those considerations. Neoconservatism is flowing from the same fauna. Israel is their central issue.

      The neocons have always essentially been a Jewish club with gentile fellow-travellers, but the core power structure has always been in the hands of the Podhoretzes and the Kristols and their friends. They’ve always been able to count for help from people like Chait, Goldbeg and the folks at TNR whenever they had to attack white conservatives critical of neoconservatism.

      But going back to Mearsheimer. I think he couldn’t believe why there is even such a debate about attacking Iraq. He understood it as clearly against America’s national interest and he must have seen a lot of neocons carrying dual loyalty. I think Buchanan is the same. He’s essentially a realist.

      Now, Mearsheimer did endorse an anti-Semitic book(“the wandering jew”). My theory is that after years of attacks and essentially character assassinations by almost only Jews, he probably did develop a hostility towards Jews which probably wasn’t there before. As for now, I think that hostility has largely faded as he has essentially won the argument.

      Buchanan? I’ve read an interview with him where he said he knew all the neocons in the Reagan and the Nixon administrations. He said he never had an issue with them on any issue, including on gay or racial issues.

      This is like the neocons attacking Hagel on gay issues. It’s a diversion. The issue is always Israel, nothing else, but they use liberal attacks and can in that way draw in their liberal Zionist friends to attack someone on the right in order to maintain the Zionist concensus.

      And when Buchanan basically called them on it, he was attacked as an anti-Semite. He saw the pattern. Remember, even talking about Jewish power makes some Jews – including yourself tokyobk – very antsy and go into self-denial.

      Sobran is not much different from a guy like Bret Stephens, a conservative racial nationalist. Not my cup of tea, but there is no question there’s a strange approval or even celebration of the kind of ethno-nationalism that Stephens espouses while Sobran’s a no-go.

      Buchanan, on the other hand, is a bigot on homosexual and racial matters. (He’s also over 70 years old). But does he hate Jews? I don’t think so. I was always told he was an anti-Semite when I grew up, but when I read him, his “anti-Semitism” was mostly an opposition to neoconservatism.

      He made the forbidden connection – Zionism, neoconservatism and Jewish media power – the kind of connection that we do every day these days because we have to. You can’t understand why any opposition to the occupation inside the Beltway could have been suppressed for as long as it has if you don’t broach these subjects.

      Buchanan’s bigotry in other matters made him an easy target, but his fundamental analysis is actually remarkably intelligent on Israel/Palestine and the neoconservative agenda, which is why there’s been such a strong attempt to blacklist him from the right.(With the usual help from their liberal Zionist friends on the left whenever they had to).

      The difference between then and now is that these links are much weaker. Abe Rosenthal of the NYT was a fanatic Zionist – despite growing up as a Marxist. Bill Safire was also a racist Likudnik of the Martin Peretz variety.

      Even more “mild-mannered” Zionists like Michael Walzer could be dependend upon to keep the ranks closed on Zionism.

      These people were the folks that the neocons could count upon 20-30 years ago. Either to actively help them, like Abe Rosenthal, Safire etc, or at least to keep the left silent(like Walzer). This isn’t the case anymore.

      If you want to accuse Buchanan of being an anti-Semite, I’ve love for you to provide a link with a collection of the worst you can find and not just hearsay.
      It’s time to put that myth to rest. (We don’t disagree on Sobran).

      • Krauss
        March 9, 2014, 2:45 pm

        By the way, I think that Phil should interview Buchanan.
        Still, I see the incredible hurdles to do that. A lot of Jews in their 50s, 60s and 70s still believe that Buchanan is this rabid anti-Semite who hates all things Jewish.
        A lot of them think Walt/Mearsheimer are anti-Semites too.
        (disclosure: half my extended family does).

        Well, a lot of older Jews probably think Max Blumenthal is an anti-Semite as well. After all, he’s on the “top 10 anti-Semites list” of the SWC.

        What I am trying to say is: people’s beliefs are not always rational. And it’s hard to change something that is so ingrained. But interviewing Buchanan about the neocons, about Zionism etc should be a must-read, because he could probably say a lot about how the neocons worked from inside the administration to get us where we got, he can probably shed light on the Jewish neocon/white gentile realist conflict. But of course, if Phil or anyone else from this site does that interview, as fascinating as it would be to read, it would inevitably invite attacks from breaking the omertá and I’m guessing that it may not be worth it in the long run if you’re still in the influence game.

        An interview would set back the site into the margins of respectable society, but then again, if that’s what we were concerned about, shouldn’t we have all just stuck with the classical liberal Zionist narrative and pretended nothing was happening as the 2SS died before our eyes? That’s what a lot of people are doing in the media these days and I don’t think that’s been a winning strategy or frankly any enlightening either.

      • DaBakr
        March 9, 2014, 6:11 pm

        believe me-you can’t can’t get much more ‘marginal’ then mw. if you really think you represent more then the margins of political thought in the US- then congratulations. and I do not think it is beyond the scope of mw to interview buchanon, mckinney, or even davd duke for that matter as all of these names, i gather, would support the basic tenet of mw

      • Cliff
        March 9, 2014, 6:49 pm

        DaBakr said:

        if you really think you represent more then the margins of political thought in the US- then congratulations

        Being on the margins in the US political spectrum isn’t a bad thing from a moral standpoint.

        It’s bad for true progressives from a strategic standpoint. Of course we’d like to be the mainstream.

        All that being said, Krauss said margins of ‘respectable society’.

        The society you seem to imagine Zionism in, DaBakr, is not respectable. Far from it.

        […]would support the basic tenet of mw[…]

        What a pathetic and lazy slander (re: David Duke).

        Tell us what the ‘basic tenet’ of MW is. Then tell us how David Duke would fit that model.

        I mean, I think David Duke uses the word ‘the’ a lot too. I guess you and David Duke have a lot in common if you use the word ‘the’.

        So tell us what opinions, in the same context of course, that both DD and MW share.

        Tell us whether those opinions are for the same reasons/context.

        Oh wait, you can’t because you’re a troll.

      • talknic
        March 9, 2014, 7:15 pm

        @DaBakr graces the page with some typical zionnuttery

        “believe me..”

        Why would anyone believe someone who spreads wholly holey olde Hasbara nonsense?

        ” … I do not think it is beyond the scope of mw to interview buchanon, mckinney, or even davd duke for that matter as all of these names, i gather, would support the basic tenet of mw”

        Speculation can be fun eh… you can say anything, no matter how meaningless. What you’ve thought is not reality and while you’re quite welcome to ‘think’ and ‘gather’ from your speculation, your thoughts and gathering have no basis in fact

      • Citizen
        March 10, 2014, 5:09 pm

        @ DaBakr
        Yes, it’s true the main media and our government is effectively muzzled by AIPAC orchestration. If only, as Alison Weir, illustrates so poignantly in her very personal speech at the subject summit, every American kid knows about the Holocaust, but very few ever heard the word Nakba. And they don’t know how they’ve been taken to the cleaners by the Zionists.

      • unverified__5ilf90kd
        March 9, 2014, 2:50 pm

        In my opinion the use of the word anti-Semite has become meaningless and laughable because of the relentless overuse of the word by Zionists in meaningless and laughable ways, in order to silence their critics who are generally not anti-Semites at all. Therefore, I suggest that when you use the word anti-Semite you should define the exact context in which the accused person has exhibited so-called anti-Semitism. I have personally been called an anti-Semite by many Jews merely for criticizing trivial aspects of Zionism or Israeli policy. Not only has discussion of Israel been silenced but discussion and definition of the word anti-Semitism has also been suppressed as anti-Semitic.

      • doug
        March 9, 2014, 5:14 pm

        Krauss,

        I’m not Jewish but back in the day I used to pick up Commentary, Dissent, Public Interest, and Partisan Review and TNR at the local news stand. I loved the writing and found much to like in most of the articles. I don’t know why I gravitated to them but possibly because they reminded me of my father’s friends.

        In any case Commentary stood out as the self proclaimed leading Neoconservative exponent and one couldn’t miss the Jewish connections. Though they carried few ads the bulk of them were Israel oriented, travel, I bonds, and such. The notion that Neoconservatism is not primarily a Jewish led one just seems silly to me. Still, it’s not really representative of the average Jewish thought, at least based on conversations of those around me.

      • Citizen
        March 10, 2014, 5:14 pm

        @ doug
        The elder of Commentary was on cabletv’s Fox News channels a few days ago, pushing war on Russia and Iran. And Bolton and Kristol and Krauthammer are on there nearly every week, pushing, still pushing war on Syria as well.

      • bilal a
        March 9, 2014, 11:57 pm

        There is an interesting case study linkage of the purging of Sam Francis, Joe Sobran, and Pat Buchanan from National Review, on the Israeli issue, coupled with the purging of mirror white identity politics (Brimelow, Derbyshire) from Corporate Conservatism/National Review
        with anti-Catholicism: the ‘AntiSemitism of the Left’.
        see Francis’s Legacy. by E. M. Jones.

      • Naftush
        March 10, 2014, 3:34 am

        Spending only a few minutes on the matter, I doubt that I’ve found “the worst,” but here are a few samples:
        [Jews “who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats.” In 2007: “If you want to know ethnicity and power in the United States Senate, 13 members of the Senate are Jewish folks who are from 2 percent of the population. That is where real power is at.” http://www.frontpagemag.com/2012/ben-shapiro/pat-buchanan-anti-semite/
        In 1991, William F. Buckley wrote of Buchanan: ”I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism” (ibid).

  2. Ellen
    March 9, 2014, 1:40 pm

    Tokyobk, I know nothing about Sobran, but Buchanan, like many or most all, does not even care about One group or the other, Jews or not. Remember, it is not all about Jews.

    It is about a ethno-nationalism and it’s pernicious influence on US policy and governance. That is the deep concern of all. If you are a US citizen, you should also be concerned.

    • Krauss
      March 9, 2014, 2:36 pm

      Tokyobk is interesting. He’s not a rabid troll like hophmi but his world view is very old. I recognize it very clearly in my parent’s generation. I’m guessing he is probably over 60 or so. Certainly not under 50. He’s carrying all the myths of my parents’ generation in one umbrella. It’s almost amusing to see it.

      • libra
        March 9, 2014, 7:19 pm

        Krauss: Certainly not under 50.

        I think you may be in for a bit of a surprise here, Krauss. Indeed, if my memory serves, when Phil first met tokyobk in Yale a year or so ago he was still a student, though perhaps not the youngest on campus.

      • Sumud
        March 10, 2014, 1:54 am

        It’s no surprise tokyobk was mistaken for an older person.

        Most zionists are stuck intellectually somewhere between 1948 and about 1970 – they cannot cope with the reality of Israel and Palestine and have retreated into a long since disproven (often by Israeli historians) hasbara fantasy land.

  3. doug
    March 9, 2014, 1:43 pm

    Thank you Phil, for your passionate defense of the teaching of Anne Frank and the reality of the Holocaust at the conference.

    • gamal
      March 9, 2014, 3:07 pm

      what is the “reality of the Holocaust” and what does it imply, what is derived from studying the Diary of Anne Frank in America that could not be better served by teaching from say “Soledad Brother” or “Black Elk Speaks”?

      • Krauss
        March 9, 2014, 6:22 pm

        Phil, since when did a bunch of Holocaust deniers or people obviously sympathetic to that kind of ideology like our friend, above, come to this site? It hasn’t been like this and last time we had these people flocking, there were mass bans. Is it time again?

      • aiman
        March 9, 2014, 7:59 pm

        I don’t think you understood Gamal’s point. And so “obviously sympathetic to thank kind of ideology” is false judgment.

      • American
        March 9, 2014, 8:12 pm

        Krauss says:
        March 9, 2014 at 6:22 pm
        Phil, since when did a bunch of Holocaust deniers or people obviously sympathetic to that kind of ideology like our friend, above, come to this site? It hasn’t been like this and last time we had these people flocking, there were mass bans. Is it time again?>>>>>>>>

        What did he say that was holocaust ‘denial’? Explain your accusation.
        He asked what the “reality was”…..meaning, as I took it, how teaching Ann Frank diary was going to ‘add’ much more reality to it than everyone already knows.
        Than he suggested that studying Black Elk who was a famous holy man and healer among the Indian tribe would be just as well or maybe better…..which again I took to be saying ‘expand the subject’—don’t limit events like the holocaust to just one narrative particular to Ann Frank to tell story of the good and evil.
        I don’t now what he’s said in his other post but that was not holocaust ‘denial.’

      • gamal
        March 9, 2014, 9:13 pm

        As I am not given to rational well thought out posts let me Start by saying that what links you, Krauss and T0kyoBK is, obviously, youth and privilege.

        two things, how did your study of the Holocaust and the diary of Anne Frank inform your decision to write:

        “Sans oil exports, the Arab world exports about as much as Finland, a country of 5 million, in terms of value in GDP. The amount of literature being translated into Arabic is miniscule compared to the overall population.”

        As to “friend” you condescending little prig you are no friend of mine and on to,

        “The rise of Islamism all over the region will not exactly help liberal democracy flourish or liberal values for that matter. But let’s blame Britain! This is hilarious, and sad at the same time, for it is so typical of the Arab world today to blame everything and everyone but where the blame actually belongs: itself.” the article was not authored by the Arab world, but one Nu’man Abd al-Walid stands for all, i suppose they are all like that, you must be so tired of Arab whining.

        and

        a recent Comres poll found that 59% in the UK estimated all Iraqis deaths as a result of the 2003 war in 2013 at less then 10,000, many of whom will not be Holocaust deniers and like me will have studied Anne Frank at school, I am too old for Holocaust education, but I was involved in reviewing the texts books used on these course for kids 11-14years in the London Borough of Brent back in the day, say about early ’90’s

        What is the purpose of Holocaust remembrance how does it function in the overall discourse on racism, imperialism and why is your stomach so sensitive when you are able to write racist diatribes like the above, do they do Britain in the Arab world in Holocaust studies? or would that revolt you?

        by the way your, to paraphrase, “we really fucked up the Africans and you dont hear them whining like Arabs” was one of the bright spots for me in the last few weeks, is that what you draw from Anne’s wonderful little book?

      • aiman
        March 10, 2014, 7:31 pm

        two things, how did your study of the Holocaust and the diary of Anne Frank inform your decision to write:

        “Sans oil exports, the Arab world exports about as much as Finland, a country of 5 million, in terms of value in GDP. The amount of literature being translated into Arabic is miniscule compared to the overall population.”

        Krauss has probably been spending too much time hunched over Bernard Lewis or rather his vacuous tomes.

      • oneof5
        March 10, 2014, 5:24 pm

        “Phil, since when did a bunch of Holocaust deniers or people obviously sympathetic to that kind of ideology like our friend, above, come to this site? It hasn’t been like this and last time we had these people flocking, there were mass bans. Is it time again?”

        Wow … just wow …

      • just
        March 10, 2014, 8:53 pm

        Krauss– I think that terribly unfair and unfounded. I’ve not ever witnessed gamal denying the Holocaust, and I would be hard- pressed to advocate for “mass” bans on folks on someone else’s website.

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2014, 5:20 pm

      @ doug
      Deir Yassin should be in every American kid’s early education, same as Anne Frank? If not, why not?

  4. unverified__5ilf90kd
    March 9, 2014, 2:35 pm

    I watched the entire conference on the internet and I can say that Phil’s description above is an excellent capsule of what happened. It was truly an amazing experience.

      • Krauss
        March 9, 2014, 5:27 pm

        I’ve skipped to Raimondo’s talk after viewing Walt and Wawra(both of those were great), but had to skip past him too after he, hilariously, tried to suggest that CUFI is somehow much more powerful than AIPAC.

        I doubt he is stupid or ignorant. Most likely cowardly.

        Now onto McConnell, who seems like a great and knowledgable speaker. Then Phil’s speech.

      • Krauss
        March 9, 2014, 6:06 pm

        I just got to the panel after Phil’s speech. What a batshit crazy Holocaust denier, right off the bat. The second question was bizarre, completely off-topic about the Jewish virtual library. I was also disgusted seeing Jeff Blankfort defending that Holocaust denier.

        I really liked McConnell’s speech, as I thought, but was disappointed at how the painted over Sobran’s darker sides. Not just about Jews but on many other issues. He did say, however, that after he was fired he was writing “indefensible things”, but that was a qualified statement at best.

        But as a speech, he gave a much better one than Raimondo who was stuttering incoherently and giving really bizarre statements(again, the Christian Zionist stuff). McConnell’s rendition was much more nuanced and you can tell he is much deeper in the weeds with the conservative movement, even to this day, despite his convassing for Obama in 2012.
        Raimondo’s conservatism(really, libertarianism) is much more superficial and he gave a horrible talk.

        As for Phil’s speech, honestly I thought it was forgettable. Maybe because I read this site every day. But even so, I was really looking forward the Q&A because I wanted Phil to expand on his thoughts, because I really like the personal reflections he writes on this site, so I was disappointed that his speech was really quite brief and in some ways very formal. But of course, the Q&A was cut down and hijacked by crazies, so that recourse went out of the window. If the Q&A had been much better, I’m guessing Phil would have had the space needed to really add depth to the conversation and the much-needed Jewish angle which frankly was often lacking. (There was sometimes an undertone which was a bit unpleasant against Jews when a few select speakers spoke, but far from the majority).

      • Philip Weiss
        March 9, 2014, 6:32 pm

        I agree with you re Phil’s speech! Bad timing

      • Scott
        March 9, 2014, 6:54 pm

        Krauss,
        I can speak for McConnell. Of course to go more deeply into the Sobran question, one thing you’d have to ask whether Midge was right from the beginning about him–and I don’t know the answer to that, though my guess is that Buckley would not have been so fond of Sobran if that were true. As for the later things, especially the appearance at the Holocaust denial conference in 2002, I suspect poverty, debts and bitterness and social isolation can move around someone’s mental furniture in a very bad way. Both Buchanan and McConnell phoned him urging him not to go, but he would not be dissuaded.
        Your comments above about Buchanan are right on the money.

      • bilal a
        March 10, 2014, 5:31 am

        Weird that the audience and much of the panel was so old; I think Walt was onto something, you have to be retired to write or speak on this subject.

      • oneof5
        March 10, 2014, 5:36 pm

        “I’ve skipped to Raimondo’s talk after viewing Walt and Wawra(both of those were great), but had to skip past him too after he, hilariously, tried to suggest that CUFI is somehow much more powerful than AIPAC.”

        Well, I haven’t watched the entire conference yet, so I can’t really speak from that perspective, but I do have to say that: … yes … I’ve generally found it to be best to to ignore and avoid listening to someone if I really want to understand what point it is that they are trying to make …

        “I doubt he is stupid or ignorant. Most likely cowardly.”

        Well, in light of the fact that antiwar.com – and Raimondo personally – have been targeted by the national security state, and even despite that he continues to speak out in a highly visible and quite public manner … I’d have to say that your assessment – to put it politely – appears to me to be something less than well informed

  5. Amar
    March 9, 2014, 3:12 pm

    I like Buchanan. Never seen anything anti-semitic in his utterances. He just makes no bones when speaking about issues, ie, “Capitol Hill is Israeli occupied territory”.

    • Krauss
      March 9, 2014, 6:07 pm

      What Pat Buchanan wrote 20 years ago is mainstream today. He had the temerity to write it before anyone else in the mainstream media and he refused to back down.

      My view of Pat Buchanan is similar to my view on Ron Paul. On anything except foreign policy I am either vehemently against or disgusted, but on foreign policy I am in large part in agreement.

      • Kathleen
        March 10, 2014, 3:01 pm

        yep

      • Citizen
        March 10, 2014, 5:41 pm

        @ Krauss
        When the first US FTA was passed during Reagan era, it was with Israel, and through domestic trade spies & AIPAC, Israel got the way better deal at the expense of US business, two US reps who voted against that FTA were Kucinich and Ron Paul, if memory servers.

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2014, 5:38 pm

      When I hear Buchanan, who still speaks on PBS weekly news show sometimes, I see he cares that white Christians and Gentile seculars get an equal voice with AIPAC’s drones regarding US foreign policy, and domestically, regarding Atzlan reconquist on illegal alien immigration issue, etc. And, of course, he’s a big supporter of blue collar America, of any stripe. I don’t like all of his rhetoric, but he deserves to be heard too. Same as Atzmon & Blankfort.

  6. alisonweir
    March 9, 2014, 3:44 pm

    For anyone who wishes to see what I said at the Summit, including about the Parushim (including the highly respected sources for facts that Phil finds disturbing), please see http://alisonweir.org/journal/2014/3/9/my-talk-at-natonal-summit-to-reassess-the-us-israel-special.html

    You can also see the C-Span video of this at http://www.c-span.org/video/?318179-1/reassessing-usisrael-relations , although this probably does not include the powerpoint I showed that included photos of Palestinian children who had been shot by Israeli forces. We’re working on putting up our video, including all powerpoint slides, sometime next week.

    • LeaNder
      March 9, 2014, 8:01 pm

      Since Jeffrey Blankfort is mentioned in Phil’s post, I hope he won’t still be banned from commenting on Mondoweiss.

      Alison, from what he communicated, I cannot say I miss him here.

      I am not surprised you don’t recall any “holocaust denier”, by the way. As far as I am concerned, I cannot even spend much time on your site. Already the title is slightly too sensationalist for my taste. It seems to ask for that type of thinking or it hovers between the lines. I cannot help.

      I couldn’t have said it better:

      Louis Brandeis’s secret society of Zionists was a little too Skull-and-Bones, with dripping candles, for my taste.

      Too much wake-up-call-type-of-lore for my taste. Definitively. Much too neat a narrative. Nothing at all happening in Europe at the time?

      But, I’ll take a look at that, I cannot imagine that is exactly what she wrote. But let’s see how her scholarship is twisted into context. By the way the extreme right over here has the habit of adding the title Dr. to support an hyped up statement, seemingly to give it more credence. It’s usually not necessary to cite an academics title in an essay. Well not only that, but Dr. Sarah Schmidt is also Israeli. So obviously it has to be true. No? How comes I still doubt, that is exactly what she wrote?

      • Citizen
        March 10, 2014, 5:46 pm

        LeaNder, it’s not quite the same in US as in, e.g., Germany where even lawyers get the Doctor title when they write or speak, and in everyday greetings, etc. Here, the doctor title in common usage only applies to medical doctors, although many other professions also award doctorate degrees. Further, I’m curious, have you looked into Parushim?

        If Phil Weiss has a problem with Parushim, I don’t know what it is; here’s Judis in his new book about Truman, subject here a few days ago, speaking about Willson and the Parushim, including Brandeis and Frankfurter: http://books.google.com/books?id=oVw0AQAAQBAJ&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149&dq=Brandeis+Parushim&source=bl&ots=LNjuimnS85&sig=EYlJFrWruEjHdPrMfQ4bNdvsyFQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=CzMeU-fWEsei2gWToYGYBw&ved=0CFIQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Brandeis%20Parushim&f=false

      • RoHa
        March 10, 2014, 10:45 pm

        I was always addressed as “Doctor” when I lived in the US. I have a T-shirt that says “not that kind of doctor”.

      • Citizen
        March 11, 2014, 7:26 am

        @ RoHa
        What kind of doctor are you? What was your job here? How long did you live in USA, and where, exactly? I’m talking about Main Street usage in addressing a person to his/her face, and referring to that person in general conversation, as “Doctor X.” For further example, a lawyer with a JD is just called by his/her proper name, and often “your attorney/lawyer,” or “my attorney,” etc. Not as “Doctor X.”

      • LeaNder
        March 11, 2014, 1:26 pm

        citzen, I am not sure if I understand what you refer to here:

        e.g., Germany where even lawyers get the Doctor title when they write or speak, and in everyday greetings, etc.

        In any case you don’t get a doctor title as a lawyer over here, only if you actually write an additional doctor thesis, in that case it will show as “Dr. jur.”, pretty similar as in the US. But you don’t need that to become either a judge or a lawyer.

        I am aware that I cannot simply use what I have observed as some type of German standard or habit. And yes there was the habit of adding the title to support some of the most outrageous statements. Of cause the people did have that title, but obviously belonged to the extreme right or neo-right.

        Now of course there were and still probably are a lot of these type of secret circles and their rituals, thus why should Jewish groups use the ritual. Strictly I would object to giving it such prominence without apparent reason other than sensationalism. The Nazis closed down all masonic lodges too, and some wound up in the camps.

        I went through a revelatory experience by studying the American paranoid and their circles on the internet. the better part, their investigative brothers, by then had mainly left in despair it seems. My summary in a nutshell would read: conspiracy still sells and often relies on 19th century lore. … so count me slightly prejudiced in this context.

        Concerning the Parushim, I have to some get hold of the complete title numbers to be able to order the article via library inter-loan. For whatever reason the site of the publisher’s archive has not listed it. I’ll work on it, but I need to go to the university library to get the precise page numbers first.

        But thanks for the link citizen.

      • LeaNder
        March 11, 2014, 2:01 pm

        Well you have to admit that Judis’ account of matters differs enormously from Alison Weir’s. Now what does your instinct tell you? Alison is closer to the truth, and Judis probably concerned about more sinister content?Thus he may have censored it? No? Or did Judis satisfy your curiosity in this context?

      • RoHa
        March 11, 2014, 9:20 pm

        @Citizen

        The other kind.

    • Kathleen
      March 10, 2014, 3:06 pm

      Allison how can we access a copy of the petition that former Congressman Findley referred to during his talk? Cutting off aid to Israel until they abide by international law and Un resolutions. He stated that he wants to send these to President Obama. He also said he wanted folks to circulate those petitions.

  7. alisonweir
    March 9, 2014, 4:32 pm

    A few more clarifications on the Summit:

    I don’t recall a “holocaust denier” speaking from the audience. People can determine this by watching the event for themselves on C-Span.

    Regarding Phil’s comment about Jeffrey Goldberg: During the coffee-registration period that preceded the talks, we showed a compilation of videos. The 4-minute segment on Goldberg is well worth viewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE8Zn_t7b7k

    Since Jeffrey Blankfort is mentioned in Phil’s post, I hope he won’t still be banned from commenting on Mondoweiss.

    A few more clarifications on the Summit: I don’t recall a “holocaust denier” speaking from the audience. People can determine this by watching the event for themselves on C-Span.

    Regarding Phil’s comment about Jeffrey Goldberg: During the coffee-registration period that preceded the talks, we showed a compilation of videos. The 4-minute segment on Goldberg is well worth viewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE8Zn_t7b7k

    We were pleased to invite both Phil Weiss and Jeff Blankfort to speak at the Summit and felt both were valuable participants.

    • Krauss
      March 9, 2014, 6:16 pm

      Of course she is a Holocaust denier, Alison.

      Please do not damage your credibility like this. I’ve watched her entire question. She starts shouting hysterically when she is challenged on her denial. She laments the “Holocaust narrative”. Do you want me to provide you with the exact transcript? I can go back and do that.

      And I also think it was a massive mistake to bring a guy like Blankfort, who entertains bigots like that woman, by indulging in the same kind of arguments.

      It was long overdue when he got banned from this site, no bigots or anti-Semites(the genuine kind) should be allowed in. Would anyone who espoused an ideology of denying the Armenian genocide or the Nakba be allowed to your panel if you ever organized an event surrounding those communities, Alison? Or maybe someone who denied that the native Americans were systematically murdered would be allowed to speak on American history? (unfortunately, we do not have to speculate here on this last point, there are plenty of examples of this to this day)

      • puppies
        March 11, 2014, 8:51 am

        @Krauss – So, is that transcript coming, or do we have an obligation to just believe you because you said so?

    • chauncey
      March 10, 2014, 8:31 pm

      “Since Jeffrey Blankfort is mentioned in Phil’s post, I hope he won’t still be banned from commenting on Mondoweiss.”

      Agreed, but I fear that is deaf-ears territory.

  8. alisonweir
    March 9, 2014, 4:54 pm

    Sorry the above was a bit garbled. Here is a cleaned up version:

    A few more clarifications on the Summit:

    I don’t recall a “holocaust denier” speaking from the audience. People can determine what was said by watching the event for themselves on C-Span.

    Regarding Phil’s comment about Jeffrey Goldberg: During the coffee-registration period that preceded the talks, we showed a compilation of videos. The 4-minute segment on Goldberg is well worth viewing: link to youtube.com

    We were pleased to invite both Phil Weiss and Jeff Blankfort to speak at the Summit and felt both were valuable participants.

  9. Cliff
    March 9, 2014, 5:28 pm

    Excellent comments Krauss. Always a pleasure to read your views.

    And excellent article Phil. Can’t wait for the video (if there is one?).

  10. Pamela Olson
    March 9, 2014, 6:01 pm

    Here’s the most exciting thing I’ve heard in a while: The president or Oral Roberts University here in Tulsa will be speaking at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem this month!

    Why is that so exciting? Well, Oklahoma is the buckle of the Bible Belt, and Oral Roberts University is perhaps the little diamond in the center of the buckle. Full-on conservative Christian heartland stuff. I would never in a million years have expected their president to attend such a conference this early in the game:

    http://www.christatthecheckpoint.com/index.php/speakers/131-william-wilson

    Now that I live in Tulsa (we just moved here from New York), I expect to get in touch and hopefully give some talks on the ORU campus to help bring around some of the students and faculty as well.

    Moving right along!

    P.S. Anyone in the Kentucky/Ohio/Tennessee area, I’m coming through in the next couple of weeks on a book tour. Would love to see some Mondo readers along the way. Here’s the schedule:

    http://fasttimesinpalestine.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/mid-south-book-tour

    I’ll also be at the Sabeel conference in Portland in early April. I’d love to see some of you there, too!

    http://www.mideastpeace.net/Portland_Sabeel_Conference_2014

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2014, 6:00 pm

      @ Pamela
      Didn’t Oral Roberts U produce Michelle Bachmann? I’d be wary of its president speaking at that venue–I suggest you attend with a good way of taking notes to exactly what that president says. He’s not coming to help our cause, which is to free US from negative aspects of US foreign policy due to its “special relationship” with Israel, and so too, aid Palestinian freedom.

      • Pamela Olson
        March 13, 2014, 2:25 pm

        Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to Bethlehem for the conference, but I heard his talk was pretty disappointing, unfortunately. :(

        Still, I’m pretty shocked he even went at all.

    • Boomer
      March 10, 2014, 6:51 pm

      If, in fact, some evangelicals are–like some mainline protestants–becoming more enlightened and active in the cause, that would indeed be a pleasant surprise.

  11. CitizenC
    March 9, 2014, 6:16 pm

    Thank you Pamela, yet more indications that CZ is wide but shallow and breaking up by the day. You’ve seen Porter Speakman’s film, by and for that audience, about Palestine? I think he is making another.

    See this long piece by an evangelical Christian Zionist warning of weakening support from his co-religionists.

    http://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2013/10/evangelicals-and-israel/

    For reasons like this, Mears/Walt called the CZs an “important minor factor” but not the main engine of the IL.

  12. Citizen
    March 9, 2014, 7:03 pm

    “Cynthia McKinney said she was standing up for “dignity and human liberty.” Steve Walt repeatedly cited the “moral” weakness of the Israel lobby’s argument for a state that privileges one group over another. Justin Raimondo spoke of the power of reading They Were Human Too, a book on Palestinian refugees published by the conservative publisher Regnery in the 50s (a point I have made myself). These pictures could be from Gaza today, Raimondo said.”

    Anybody remember the old Jewish adage, “Be a jew at home, and a man on the street?” There’s lots of variants, but the point is the same. It strikes me that applies perfectly to the inconsistency between heavily supporting equal civil rights in USA, or France, for another example, while also heavily supporting legal religio-ethnic discrimination in Israel. Appreciate all replies, as this really bothers me.

  13. palijustice
    March 9, 2014, 7:11 pm

    Very interesting Phil. Glad you went to the conference to give us this report. It’s good that people feel freer to speak out about this. Let’s hope in can be translated to some political influence, so we can stop seeing these ludicrous lopsided votes in Congress. It’s also interesting that the one opposition vote in the latest AIPAC inspired votes, also was at the conference.

  14. Citizen
    March 9, 2014, 7:15 pm

    Kwiatkowski’s speech was riveting. She brought the audience into what it’s like to be in the bowels of the US government with increasing suspicion, which keeps getting justified, that your own government works for a foreign government. It’s clear why we’ve never seen her on any cable or network news channel regarding the patented take that our leaders were well-intentioned but hoodwinked into attacking Iraq., and of course, the Palestinians are always wrong and deserve what they get. Goebbels would have fully appreciated the Office Of Special Plans.” Anybody know what happened to that Zionist who ran it? What’s he doing these days? (BTW, Chaney is now being trotted out once again for his wisdom, which is calling for the US to attack Russia over Ukraine.)

  15. Citizen
    March 9, 2014, 7:24 pm

    “While author Gareth Porter said that bad Israeli intelligence continues to form a part of the Obama administration’s dossier on Iran.”

    I just read something on the internet, from an Israeli news source, that said US was withdrawing visas for many Israelis in the USA because the US has just realized the Saud-Israel-data given to US was false, or misleading, and not objective assessment for US defense purposes and interests.

  16. Citizen
    March 9, 2014, 7:32 pm

    ” Republican Thomas Massie, the only Congressperson to stand up to the Israel lobby on 400-1 legislation last week).”

    Yes he was. I sure hope more Americans take note of this. I think the Tea Party was hijacked by professional GOP leaders; I think there’s a coalition in Tea Party and those who dislike US foreign policy. I think it should they should be wedded. I noticed Rand Paul took the top in a recent poll on candidates to battle Hillary. He’s come a long way from Imus In The Morning saying he’s flaky, and the CPAC acknowledged this in their time on CSPAN yesterday.

  17. Citizen
    March 9, 2014, 7:36 pm

    “Ray McGovern, the charismatic leftwing former CIA analyst, said that the battle of Fallujah was brought on by Iraqis enraged by Israel’s murder of Sheikh Yassin in Gaza.”

    Wouldn’t it be great if Americans generally knew this? Especially the families of US soldiers who died there? Instead, we get Krauthammer and Chaney, Pelosi and Bill Kristol.

    • James North
      March 9, 2014, 7:58 pm

      Israel’s killing from the air of Sheikh Yassin, a man confined to a wheelchair, does quite understandably strike a nerve, even among people who may not have agreed with his religious/political views.

      • yonah fredman
        March 14, 2014, 4:31 am

        James North- The fact that the assassination of Yassin killed people standing near him is troubling. Objecting to assassinating him rather than Rantisi, who followed Yassin as the leader of Hamas, (who was also assassinated, but was not in a wheelchair) is a very human reaction. Far be it from me to object to human reactions. But if one accepts assassinations as a mode of fighting war (or suppressing intifadas), to differentiate between killing Rantisi and killing Yassin is logically incoherent. Human, but illogical. Mourn instead for those near Yassin who were not in wheelchairs rather than for Yassin, even though he was in a wheelchair.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 14, 2014, 8:33 am

        “But if one accepts assassinations as a mode of fighting war (or suppressing intifadas) to differentiate between killing Rantisi and killing Yassin is logically incoherent.”

        Not really. You’re murdering, in the most cowardly fashion, someone who is disabled and who has a more limited ability to defend himself than a non-impaired person. There is nothing incoherent in recognizing that fact.

  18. Shuki
    March 9, 2014, 11:38 pm

    The conference had its share of lunacy. A Holocaust denier spoke up from the audience. I didn’t go for the description of Ketziot prison, where Jeffrey Goldberg served when he was an Israeli soldier, as a “concentration camp.” I didn’t like the attack on Phyllis Bennis and Noam Chomsky (much as I differ with Chomsky on the importance of religion in policy-making), and the analysis of Louis Brandeis’s secret society of Zionists was a little too Skull-and-Bones, with dripping candles, for my taste.
    ***
    These are the people with whom you align yourself. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

  19. Kathleen
    March 9, 2014, 11:43 pm

    Was sad not to be there. Historic conference aired live on Cspan. Read Kwiatowski’s “The New Pentagon Papers” when it first came out. Riveting

    .http://www.salon.com/2004/03/10/osp_moveon/

    this article was cutting edge at the time too. Thought I remember reading that some sort of special agents showed up at Stephen Green’s home after he wrote this article. http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/02/28/neo-cons-israel-and-the-bush-administration/

    Have not watched the whole conference but making my way through. Hoping folks share share share this conference with as many people as possible. Easy to do.

    Want to get a copy of former congressman Findlay’s petition to Obama asking him to cut aid to Israel. He asked us all to get copies and get people to sign. Think I heard Allison Weir say some time ago the man is 90. How long ago did he create the Council for the National Interest? Smart man.

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2014, 6:03 pm

      @ Kathleen
      Well it’s a day later and we are still waiting for Findlay’s petition to Obama; many above have asked for it, to spread it around as Findlay requested.

  20. Kathleen
    March 9, 2014, 11:47 pm

    Sorry not to see former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer there.
    Would really like to see Charles Freeman on next years panel too

  21. dbroncos
    March 10, 2014, 2:09 am

    Phil’s comments from the podium were right on the money when he talked about how much intrigue there is in Zionist history, which was expressed so well from disparite viewpoints and by different personalities throughout the conference, and how appealing this gold mine of stories should be to journalists looking for a scoop. The topic of Zionism and its effects are bareley understood in the US and it’s a topic just begging to be covered in a thorough way in the US media. The C-Span broadcast of this excellent conference proves his point.

  22. RoHa
    March 10, 2014, 4:25 am

    ‘when David Petraeus went into small towns in Iraq and saw pictures of the Al Aqsa mosque on people’s walls, he thought, “This Israel Palestine thing is really a big deal here,”’

    I think this is because the “Israel Palestine thing” is a denial of the humanity of all Arabs. It is (Saleema’s words*) “We matter and you don’t” said to the whole Arab world.

    (*And has there ever been a better summary of the core concept of Zionism?)

  23. Citizen
    March 10, 2014, 6:50 pm

    As McConnell says in his speech at the summit, attack on Buchannan was instigated by ADL.. Buchannan’s factual conclusion have always been astute, but his rhetoric has sometimes been easily assailed as anti-Semitic, for example. Remember Scranton? Attack Israel, you will be vanished. Late in the day, Phil Weiss folllowed McConnell: 8 hours plus into the summit panel discussion: He says he’s more from the grassroots than the establishment; J-postive blood today allows statements, e.g. by Tom Friedman, that would be beyond the pale a few years ago; Bush Jr absorbed the lesson that you can’t go too far in supporting right wing Israel; speaks of Judis showing fair review of power of Israel Lobby; in last ten years he’s switched sides towards more freedom in covering AIPAC lobby; Jewish life is changing in USA–it’s beginning to fracture, journalists are understanding great stories, USS Liberty, Forrestal, etc–we will see more and more of that, and finally see high noon of Israel lobby. Q & A: Audience, we can’t oppose the Holocaust dogma, we Americans can’t oppose it. She mentions the Transfer Agreement, and Nazi response, lasting for 1 day, to Jewish boycott of Germany, which lasted 7 years. Blankfort says we Americans all get lots of Anne Frank, and lots of Weisnthal’s The Night, e.g., in California–analogy to US slavery times, which can be debated, but can’t debate Holocaust–it’s a question of historical discussion in SA; Weiss says Ann Frank should be read by US kids; the west incurred a debt of the West’s and the West has a debt to help the Palestinians. Next audience speaker re Jewish Virtual Library-is it good for gentiles to educate themselves? It’s written from a pro-zionist background so you have to be educated, aware of that.

    I think Phil Weiss was well intentioned, but the woman was not saying we should ‘t teach US kids about Ann Frank, but we also need to teach them of other historical injustice just as much, e.g., the Nakba–she was not a Holocaust denier, she just wanted fair treatment of all injustice, and Blankfort agreed. Phil was defending teaching of Ann Frank, but nobody really questioned that; they questioned the one-sided narrative wherein Jews were always the innocent victim and Israel too.

  24. Citizen
    March 11, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Here’s Scot Horton audio interviewing Grant F. Smith on the Summit, and discussing a thumbnail critique of many of the speakers and on what they said–it includes a special (uniquely positive) adjective for our very own Phil Weiss: http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/03/10/031014-grant-f-smith/

    The Summit’s website has half the speakers segments available now for you to see and hear individually; they hope to have the whole thing available by the end of today, complete with any graphics used by said speakers–this is important because Cspan doesn’t do this: http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/03/10/031014-grant-f-smith/

    Horton concluded with the notion from Smith now we will have more of these summits available during the annual AIPAC conference, to counter their BS.
    Horton said he was blown away by the knowledge of the speaker; much of what they said was not previously known by him. He also gives kudos to Alison Weir for her part in preparing and guiding along this 1st national summit on this area in the USA. He was also amazed by the guy leftover from the USS Liberty and what he said. Finally, for the moment, he said all the speakers did a good job considering they only each had 13 minutes within which to speak.

  25. yonah fredman
    March 14, 2014, 4:22 am

    As far as the Holocaust denial of the woman in the audience- Her statement included:
    (I paraphrase rather than quote:) “The boycott by the Nazis was only one day, but the boycott by the world Jewry, which declared war on Germany in March of 1933, lasted seven years.”
    I realize that some people here consider this type of thought acceptable. I can guide you to some comments here that have echoed this thought pattern. (In essence it says, the Jews when they opposed Germany, in boycott or rhetoric, goaded the Germans into WWII and killing the Jews.) I consider the lady and her rhetoric odious. It is not quite Holocaust denial. It is more of the “the Jews brought it on themselves” rhetoric. Fecal smell. Scratch and sniff.

    • Citizen
      March 14, 2014, 7:10 am

      See my comment not too far above yours. (the one timed as March 10, at 6:50PM) It contains additional things she says and Blankfort’s response. More scratch and sniff?
      Explain.

    • RoHa
      March 14, 2014, 7:13 am

      I look forward to your fierce denunciation of my post in which I hint that Muslim immigrants bring it on themselves.

      (Note to all: My recent posts may not be so perfectly formed as you have come expect. This so because I am travelling, and using an iPad. Since I am thus hampered, now would be a good time for the usual suspects to indulge their predilections for logical fallacies, grammatical solecisms, and infelicitous style. Censure is unlikely.)

    • Citizen
      March 14, 2014, 11:18 am

      @ yonah fredman & Krauss, above

      Here’s what the “Holocaust denier” actually said during the Summit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS73ufRIoYc&feature=youtu.be

      Why is all she said so characterized by you two, and what the hell did Phil say about it that was relevant?

      She was not talking holocaust denial, but about the usual fact that one cannot touch the usual narrative on the subject, even when it’s been shown lacking in full truth? For example, she mentions the usual narrative leaves out The Transfer Agreement. That’s why she called the narrative on the Holocaust a religion, a third rail.
      Her reasoning in bringing up the Jewish boycott was not too clear, but she was viewing causation of the Holocaust from the timeline of Versailles Treaty through Hitler era.

Leave a Reply