Robert Caro, Nakba-denier

Israel/Palestine
on 98 Comments
Robert Caro

Robert Caro

One of the fascinating shifts in US policy occurs between the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Kennedy had opposed Israel getting nukes, Johnson was a wimp on the question. Kennedy had stood up for the return of refugees, Johnson didn’t push it. As historian Geoffrey Wawro said at Friday’s “National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel Special Relationship,” Kennedy was far more concerned than Johnson about the impact of US support for Israel on Arab opinion, and Johnson was far less friendly to Nasser than Kennedy.

“I’ve got three Cohens in my cabinet,” Johnson boasted after Kennedy’s death, Wawro related. “No president had done more for the Jews than he would.”

Robert Caro is of course the indefatigable biographer of Lyndon Johnson. The latest volume of his multi-volume pursuit is called The Passage of Power, and focuses on the transition from the Kennedy to the Johnson administrations. I picked it up in a friend’s house recently and saw that Israel was mentioned once or twice in the index.

Caro brings up Robert Kennedy’s visit to Israel and Palestine in 1948. Kennedy had just graduated from Harvard and filed four stories to the Boston Post. Caro:

But when he arrived in the Middle East and saw, with his own eyes, Jews fighting for their existence against overwhelming odds, and was told by a twenty-three-year-old Israeli woman (“I never saw anyone so tired,” he wrote his mother) about her four brothers fighting in the Haganah, the views he expressed in his articles for the Post were not the views of his father [a reputed anti-Semite]. “The Jews in Palestine have become an immensely proud and determined people… a truly great modern example of the birth of a nation,” he wrote. They have “an undying spirit” the Arabs could never have; as for the United States, its failure to come more strongly to Israel’s assistance should be a matter of shame. “We are certainly not the great little saints we imagine ourselves.” And there was another noteworthy aspect of the articles, written as they were by such a mediocre student: they showed, as Arthur Schlesinger writes, “a maturity, cogency and, from time to time, literary finish” quite “creditable for a football player of twenty-two.”

It wasn’t only his reaction to Jews that gave the hint, it was his reaction to the embattled to the oppressed— to anyone, it began to become apparent, who was the underdog…

Caro is of course writing about the Nakba, the period in which 750,000 Palestinians fled and/or were expelled from Palestine as part of Israel’s creation. You would have no idea about the Palestinian experience from his rendering.

Why do I think that Caro’s next book, on Johnson as president, is going to do a poor job of treating the Six Day War and the general question of US policy toward Israel?

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98 Responses

  1. yonah fredman
    March 9, 2014, 12:06 pm

    Maybe your headline should read “RFK : Nakba Denier”. Caro is merely reporting what RFK wrote home about his experience.

    • Philip Weiss
      March 9, 2014, 12:48 pm

      RFK, politician, 23 years old. With no distance from the event.
      Caro, historian, 78, writing 60 years after the event. And describing the Israelis in thrilling terms as underdogs. He leaves out the Palestinian experience entirely.

      • yonah fredman
        March 9, 2014, 1:11 pm

        Caro was describing RFK’s relationship to his father, Joseph Kennedy’s pro Nazi, antisemitic legacy. The book is about the relationship of LBJ to RFK (and JFK) and you want Caro to start pontificating about the blindness of the 23 year old RFK vis a vis the Palestinians. And because he doesn’t pontificate about the issue that obsesses you, therefore he is a Nakba denier. No, he’s not a Nakba denier. He has other priorities in what he is describing: RFK’s relationship to his father’s legacy.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 9, 2014, 1:29 pm

        yonah,

        i just read the 4 articles jfk wrote and he didn’t say the arabs could never have an undying spirit. so why do you think caro wrote this:

        They have “an undying spirit” the Arabs could never have; as for the United States, its failure to come more strongly to Israel’s assistance should be a matter of shame.

        and why do you think he tacked on his own opinion at the end here implying it was jfk’s assertion. granted the articles he wrote were very pro jewish, but he wrote this:

        But the British have left – and now the issue is to be resolved in a bitter war between Jew and Arab. I do not think the freedom-loving nations of the world can stand by and see “the sweet water of the River Jordan stained red with the blood of Jews and Arabs.” The United States through the United Nations must take the lead in bringing about peace in the Holy Land.

        caro imposes his own opinions wrt the jewish ‘underdog’ and claims they are kennedy’s. but kennedy didn’t say that nor did he say jews were “fighting against overwhelming odds”. (quoting caro).

      • DaBakr
        March 9, 2014, 5:47 pm

        Why don’t you actually read what RFK wrote about his experiences with both arabs and jews in pre-Israel Palestine. you would know that rfk viewed the arabs as inherently hostile to not just the jews of haganah but to all jews in general. and he also notes that Jerusalem in ’48 had a majority of jews with the surrounding lands mostly arab. He descirbes the arabs desire to poison the jews water supply (ironic since mw makes SO much about Israeli control of water to Palestinians.he also describes bombings by both sides against the other and rfk certainly did write about the “undying” spirit, the underdog status and the odds facing the jews in Palestine.

      • LeaNder
        March 11, 2014, 10:39 am

        pretty hard to figure out what reply interface to use to end up below you. ;)

        Do I read this correctly:

        The Lindbergh address simply reminded the listeners that pro-war Jews would almost certainly be the target of a backlash.

        Does this mean – considering the larger context – as sticking out as American Jews, or speaking for a specific Jewish institution?

        I guess, I face an old paradox here, which ultimately Libertarians, like Justin Raimondo, if I recall correctly brought to mind. I can understand the huge repressions anti-war people or draft deniers faced at a later time, and yes in spite of the huge American losses, I have to admit, I am “pleased” that the US ultimately declared the Nazis war. In 1941, as far as I recall, the UK was the only military left facing the Nazis, apart from the Russians.

      • Cliff
        March 9, 2014, 5:38 pm

        Wondering Jew said:

        And because he doesn’t pontificate about the issue that obsesses you, therefore he is a Nakba denier.

        Wondering Jew is upset that Phil Weiss, the creator of a popular anti-Zionist/post-Zionist Israel/Palestine blog, is ‘obsessed with’ the Nakba.

        I wonder what Wondering Jew thinks Phil Weiss and other participants in the ongoing debate/conflict between Zionism and the Palestinian people should ‘obsess’ about?

        Perhaps we should obsess about the Hamas charter or rockets on S’Derot or the Holocaust or antisemitism or blah blah blah.

        So long as it’s not that dreadfully annoying Nakba.

        As to Caro. I think it’s obvious he is a Nakba-denier for playing up the image of the Israelis (by adding things RFK did NOT say).

        He went on a tangent basically. And you ate that shit up w/ a grin on your face.

      • yonah fredman
        March 10, 2014, 8:37 am

        Cliff- In fact Phil should obsess about the Nakba, that is his purpose and the objective of his life. I think the headline “Nakba Denier” is another in a long line of tabloid journalism headlines. If I was truly interested I would do research about what RFK wrote in all his dispatches to the Boston Globe and compare them to the section written by Caro and reach a more complete conclusion about what his duty as a historian of that moment of history requires. Surely Caro’s verbosity is an argument that a sentence or two as follows could easily have been included: (Obviously RFK seems oblivious to the expulsion of Palestinians that was occurring as he wrote and did not recognize the loss to their fighting spirit of the exiles of the 36 to 39 revolt. Whether the Jews or the Palestinians were the true underdogs is a subject for the debate of the narratives.)

        I recently read parts of a biography of Isaac Deutscher and Isaiah Berlin and their attitudes towards Zionism in the aftermath of WWII. (Berlin supported Zionism even before the war but Deutscher’s attitude was changed by the war.) David Caute the writer of the book devoted several paragraphs to a description of the Nakba in critique of Deutscher and Berlin. But Caute’s topic was the morality of world politics as understood by Deutscher and Berlin and therefore a discussion of the morality of the issue of Zionism was apropos of his topic. Here Caro is discussing American politics and the development of RFK’s political views in relationship to Joseph Kennedy’s views and LBJ’s attacks on RFK’s father. The morality of Zionism is relevant but not essential. But given the verbosity of Caro a sentence as I have written above could have been included without adding too much ink to the book.

      • yonah fredman
        March 11, 2014, 1:26 am

        sibiriak- Charles Lindbergh the autistic aviator who hung out with Nazis (even assuming that in his heart he hated the Nazis, of which there is no evidence now and no evidence at the time) stands up in Des Moines and warns the Jews, “Don’t push the US into war. If you do you will suffer, because tolerance is dependent on good times.”

        Now, I need to prove to you the motives of the great Lindy. Not really. But I will tell you that I don’t really care if in his heart he really loved the Jews and all he was trying to do was to cow them into silence. The threat is enough. That was an antisemitic speech, meaning that the effect of the speech was to cow the Jews. His purpose may have been to stop those who were pushing for war. But the means he was using was Jew baiting. The speech is a Jew baiting speech for the purpose of keeping the US out of war.

        But answer me this: How many people quit the American First committee in protest of Lindy’s speech which you consider to be just advocacy against war?

      • Hostage
        March 11, 2014, 10:12 am

        Thanks Hostage, I wasn’t aware of that group. But interesting, so Roosevelt’s New Deal too was a Jewish conspiracy.

        Yes. The fact is that there were large groups during the era, like the Bund and the Klan, who were not rational actors. The Lindbergh address simply reminded the listeners that pro-war Jews would almost certainly be the target of a backlash.

      • Giles
        March 9, 2014, 5:56 pm

        Its hard to think of any great American who lived pre 1967 who has not been smeared as an anti-Semite. Ben Franklin, US Grant, Thomas Edison, Joe Kennedy, Walt Disney, Charles Lindbergh.

      • yonah fredman
        March 10, 2014, 8:42 am

        Congratulations to Giles for exonerating all these men of the accusations. I suppose the speech of Lindbergh from Des Moines is a philo semitic speech?! I suppose Grant did not attempt to ban Jews from a territory during the civil war?
        But then we are lucky to have Giles to sum it all up in one sentence. The war of ideas!

      • Hostage
        March 10, 2014, 11:18 am

        I suppose the speech of Lindbergh from Des Moines is a philo semitic speech?!

        The US public was appalled by reports about war profiteering after WWI. There were also the revelations of secret treaties, like the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which illustrated that the war which had cost millions of lives had been prolonged in the interest of territorial aggrandizement, not the defense of democracy. The American public pressed for the adoption of Neutrality Acts to deter any future involvement in foreign wars.

        Putting aside hasbara talking points about “the myth” of Jewish financial power, the head of Kuhn, Loeb, and Company, Jacob Schiff, had floated the loans needed to finance about half of the Japanese navy that routed the Baltic fleet during the Russo-Japanese war. He let it be known that it was done in retaliation against Tsarist Russia for treatment of Jews during the Kishinev Pogram of 1903. See R.L. Braham (editor), “Contemporary Views on the Holocaust”, Springer, 1983, page 82 http://books.google.com/books?id=3PRfVnANJ-UC&lpg=PA82&ots=G7l79LYPq7&pg=PA82#v=onepage&q&f=false

        So there was every reason to take very seriously the declaration of a “holy war” by major Jewish groups broadcast to the rest of the world from a huge rally at Madison Square Garden and the explicit call for “Jewish bankers” to punish Germany which was broadcast on WABC radio and published in the New York Times on 7 August 1933 in “Text of Untermyer’s Address”.

        The Des Moines speech was a call from Lindbergh to respect the official US policy of neutrality and a warning to ignore calls contrary to that policy from Jewish and British opinion makers:

        The second major group I mentioned is the Jewish.

        It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race.

        No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution of the Jewish race in Germany. But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy both for us and for them. Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its consequences.

        Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastations. A few far-sighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not.

        Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.

        I am not attacking either the Jewish or the British people. Both races, I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war.

        We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we also must look out for ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.

        http://www.charleslindbergh.com/americanfirst/speech.asp

        That statement is antiwar, not anti-semitic.

      • yonah fredman
        March 10, 2014, 11:56 am

        Hostage- A threat against the Jews that if war breaks out and it doesn’t go well for America it will not go well for the Jews, that’s how I interpret this:

        “Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastations. A few far-sighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not.”

        Do you consider this an anodyne anti war message, or a threat against the Jews?

        Let alone: Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.

        What kind of anti war statement is that?

        Lindbergh’s speech in Des Moines was a low point in American history vis a vis threats to the Jews. Trying to coerce them to watch their mouths, for if war breaks out, tolerance may disappear with the good times. Those Jews who control the movies, that is the danger.

        Not a very tolerant performance by Mister Lindbergh and a very mediocre performance by Hostage.

        (How many american firsters resigned from the organization based upon Lindbergh’s speech?)

      • Sibiriak
        March 10, 2014, 12:25 pm

        yonah fredman:

        A threat against the Jews that if war breaks out and it doesn’t go well for America it will not go well for the Jews, that’s how I interpret this:.

        Fortunately, not everyone would read into those statements the most negative possible meanings and motivations as you have.

        The question you have never been able to answer is: on what basis do you determine that Lindbergh was making a threat against Jews motivated by Jew-hatred as opposed to a warning motivated by the concern about the loss of tolerance that can happen in war time?

        Why can’t you admit that yours is certainly not the only reasonable interpretation of his words, and that to interpret them in the most negative way possible is, therefore, a choice? Why can’t you tolerate any other less negative interpretations and reactions to those statements?

        And why haven’t you adduced corroborating evidence of Lindbergh’s alleged Jew-hatred?

      • Sibiriak
        March 10, 2014, 12:46 pm

        yonah fredman:

        [Lindbergh:]” Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.”

        What kind of anti war statement is that?

        If you were engaging in critical thinking, not polemics, you wouldn’t pull that statement out of context.

        In context , the anti-war import is clear: a group whose leaders were in favor of a war would be in an especially strong position to promote that pro-war view due to considerable media control and influence over government. Whether that assessment was completely accurate or not, it was certainly connected to an anti-war statement.

      • yonah fredman
        March 10, 2014, 10:22 pm

        sibiriak- regarding my interpretation or misinterpretation of Lindbergh’s words: Communication is a two way street. There is a speaker and a listener and when the speaker says something, it is relevant as to who is listening. Go to the newspapers of September 1941 and see their reaction to Mister Lindbergh’s warning. Do you think that the reactions of the newspapers of September 41 are relevant or do you feel that we should only look at his words as if they were spoken in a vacuum as if they were inscribed on parchment and passed down through the generations rather than broadcast to the nation over the radio at a specific day and time in a specific atmosphere at a particular political historical moment?

        Isn’t it relevant to see the reaction of the Jews of September 1941 to his speech. This type of legalism where only the dry meaning of his words has relevance and that one cannot read into his words strikes me as so much ahistorical bull. It may be true that Lindy was autistic, he was certainly tone deaf to many sentiments that are accepted circa 2014 in regards to how one should talk to minorities in America. But I do not accept his autism as an excuse and I certainly do not believe that we should adopt his autism in analyzing the import of his words. Let’s say his heart was pure, is there no relevance to the import that his words had on his listeners? I think history is not chemistry. You cannot do a litmus test and see if his words cause the litmus to turn pink or blue. No, you analyze how his listeners reacted to his words. That is relevant as well rather than a legal pure Webster dictionary reading of his words.

      • Sibiriak
        March 10, 2014, 11:07 pm

        yonah fredman:

        Isn’t it relevant to see the reaction of the Jews of September 1941 to his speech.

        The reaction of Jews tells us how Jews interpreted his words. It doesn’t tell us what Lindbergh intended to convey. If Jews interpreted his words as a threat, that does not mean that they were a threat. I don’t see how you can dispute that simple logic.

        do you feel that we should only look at his words as if they were spoken in a vacuum

        No. Hostage did a nice job above explaining the historical context.
        That context involves much more than simply the subjective interpretation of Jewish listeners to the speech.

        You STILL have not adequately answered this question:

        …on what basis do you determine that Lindbergh was making a threat against Jews motivated by Jew-hatred as opposed to a warning motivated by the concern about the loss of tolerance that can happen in war time?

        Saying it was a threat because Jews felt is was a threat is NOT at all a satisfactory answer.

      • Hostage
        March 10, 2014, 11:11 pm

        sibiriak- regarding my interpretation or misinterpretation of Lindbergh’s words: Communication is a two way street. There is a speaker and a listener and when the speaker says something, it is relevant as to who is listening. Go to the newspapers of September 1941 and see their reaction to Mister Lindbergh’s warning.

        Oh please! The local Jewish federations and the Zionist movement have always employed officials who were formally appointed to handle their propaganda portfolios. They always have, and always will, intentionally distort what others have said and engage in character assassination of anyone who opposes their political agenda. That means there always has been someone just like Abe Foxman, and that charges of antisemitism and defamation always have been part of the Zionist propagandist’s stock-in-trade.

      • yonah fredman
        March 11, 2014, 1:27 am

        Hostage- If you have to mention Abe Foxman in a discussion about Lindy as if the Jews who opposed the Des Moines speech were like Abe Foxman, and as if one has to have been a Zionist to feel threatened by his speech, you are off your rocker. Stick to the law and leave defending Lindy to the wing nuts.

      • yonah fredman
        March 11, 2014, 1:29 am

        sibiriak- Charles Lindbergh the autistic aviator who hung out with Nazis (even assuming that in his heart he hated the Nazis, of which there is no evidence now and no evidence at the time) stands up in Des Moines and warns the Jews, “Don’t push the US into war. If you do, you will suffer, because tolerance is dependent on good times.”

        Now, I need to prove to you the motives of the great Lindy. Not really. But I will tell you that I don’t really care if in his heart he really loved the Jews and all he was trying to do was to cow them into silence. The threat is enough. That was an antisemitic speech, meaning that the effect of the speech was to cow the Jews. His purpose may have been to stop those who were pushing for war. But the means he was using was Jew baiting. The speech is a Jew baiting speech for the purpose of keeping the US out of war.

        But answer me this: How many people quit the American First committee in protest of Lindy’s speech which you consider to be just advocacy against war?

      • yonah fredman
        March 11, 2014, 1:33 am

        Hostage- When you bring Foxman and Zionists into a discussion of Lindy, you discredit even your antiZionism. Not here of course. Here in the gutter of the MW comments section you can spout against Judaism and Jewishness and barely a peep out of anyone.

      • Sibiriak
        March 11, 2014, 2:35 am

        yonah fredman:

        I don’t really care if in his heart he really loved the Jews […]That was an antisemitic speech, meaning that the effect of the speech was to cow the Jews.

        First of all, I reject both your and Lindbergh’s assertion of a monolithic entity “the Jews”.

        More importantly, I reject your defining anti-Semitism solely in terms of the subjective reaction of Jews.

        “Having the effect of cowing Jews” is simply not a reasonable definition of anti-Semitism. Many Jews say they feel cowed by criticisms of Israeli policies/Zionsim– does that mean those critics are necessarily anti-Semites? Of course, not. Your definition of anti-Semitism is untenable and pernicious,.

        When you label someone an anti-Semite, you necessarily refer to the person’s feelings, intentions, motives. You are saying not simply that the person is mistaken, wrong, illogical, nonsensical, ignorant, stupid or whatever, you are saying that the person is motivated by hatred of Jews .

        And for the record, I never said I agreed with Lindbergh’s statements, or that they were “just” or anything like that, so you can stop putting words in my mouth. I simply disagree with your characterization of Lindbergh as an anti-Semite based on that speech . So, it doesn’t make a difference to my argument how many people quit the American First committee in protest of Lindbergh’s speech.

      • Hostage
        March 11, 2014, 8:48 am

        Hostage- If you have to mention Abe Foxman in a discussion about Lindy as if the Jews who opposed the Des Moines speech were like Abe Foxman, and as if one has to have been a Zionist to feel threatened by his speech, you are off your rocker.

        There’s zero evidence in Linbergh’s speech or conduct that he ever accepted Nazi policies regarding the Jews. At the time, the US had a large ethnic German population and the German American Bund had no trouble filling Madison Square Garden for its rallies in support of Hitler. If Lindbergh was warning Jews about a backlash from Hitler’s supporters here in the USA and from Nazis in Germany in the event of a Jewish call for war, that doesn’t make him antisemitic at all.

        I already pointed out that Samuel Untermyer, who had served as Chairman of the Keren Hayesod and Vice President of the American Jewish Congress, delivered an address published in the New York Times in which he literally and explicitly called for a “holy war” and asked “Jewish bankers” to punish Germany for its behavior. BTW, Untermyer is the same guy who recommended that Jews shouldn’t interfere in the internal affairs of the Klu Klux Klan here in the USA because of his own concerns about a possible backlash. http://www.jta.org/1924/01/01/archive/can-samuel-untermyer-remain-chairman-of-the-keren-hayesod-asks-yiddish-daily

        Stick to the law and leave defending Lindy to the wing nuts.

        If you have to ignore the role of Zionists, like Untermyer, and the similarity of the advice given regarding the threat of a backlash from the supporters of the Nazis and the Klan in response to organized Jewish political machinations, then you shouldn’t act like you are a student of history. You’re just repeating hasbara and innuendo.

      • Hostage
        March 11, 2014, 9:13 am

        Not here of course. Here in the gutter of the MW comments section you can spout against Judaism and Jewishness and barely a peep out of anyone.

        I have no complaint with Judaism or Jewishness to the extent that they represent universalism and universal values. But I reserve the right to object to superstition, chauvinism, and racism disguised as harmless, sentimental communal beliefs and overbearing demands that they be accepted as some sort of ultimate truth worthy of respect.

      • LeaNder
        March 11, 2014, 9:27 am

        At the time, the US had a large ethnic German population and the German American Bund had no trouble filling Madison Square Garden for its rallies in support of Hitler

        Thanks Hostage, I wasn’t aware of that group. But interesting, so Roosevelt’s New Deal too was a Jewish conspiracy.

        American Bund

        In February 1939 Kuhn and the Bund held their largest rally in Madison Square Garden—ironically, one which marked the beginning of the end for the organization. In front of a crowd of 22,000, flanked by a massive portrait of George Washington, swastikas and Americans flags, Kuhn attacked FDR for being part of a Bolshevik-Jewish conspiracy, calling him “Frank D. Rosenfeld” and criticizing the New Deal, which Kuhn had deemed “the Jew Deal”. Three thousands members of the Ordnungsdienst, the militant arm of the Bund, were on hand and fistfights broke out in the crowd among those who had come to heckle Kuhn.

      • LeaNder
        March 11, 2014, 10:42 am

        Hostage, didn’t work now, I am above you. Seems now I understand a problem people talked about.

        Now I’ll check if I use this reply interface, where do I wind up this time.

      • rightcoaster
        March 12, 2014, 5:10 pm

        “Giles said in a post of March 9 at 5:56PM (I can’t figure out how to get this reply adjacent his post) that most great Americans before 1967 were anti-Semites, hard to find one who wasn’t.

        Washington and Lincoln come to mind as great Americans by anyone’s definitions. Certainly not Jew-haters. But your list is quite odd: Joe Kennedy was a great American? Walt Disney a great American? Lindbergh? Even Edison? The may have been famous, two of them even highly productive and contributory in many ways, but you would have to define “great American” differently from the way I would for any of them to warrant that appellation. As for Ben Franklin, another great American by any measure, there is no evidence whatever that he was in any way anti-Jewish: please cite a reputable source.

        Even Grant’s General Orders #11 was an aberration for which he apologized: “Grant didn’t deny that General Orders No. 11 had grossly violated core American values. “I do not sustain that order,” he wrote humbly. “It would never have been issued if it had not been telegraphed the moment it was penned, and without reflection.”

        But it was as president that the full extent of Grant’s regret became clear. He opposed a movement to make the United States an explicitly Christian state through a constitutional amendment designating Jesus as “Ruler among the nations.” He named more Jews to government office than any of his predecessors – including to positions, such as governor of the Washington Territory, previously considered too lofty for a Jewish nominee. …”

        Giles, your comment is quite nonsense.

      • tree
        March 12, 2014, 7:07 pm

        “Giles said in a post of March 9 at 5:56PM (I can’t figure out how to get this reply adjacent his post) that most great Americans before 1967 were anti-Semites, hard to find one who wasn’t.

        Poor reading comprehension, rightcoaster. Giles said:

        …any great American who lived pre 1967 who has not been smeared as an anti-Semite

        Being smeared as one implies that the accusation is false, therefore your defense of Grant, while illuminating, just proves Giles point in regards to Grant. Enjoy your Emily Litella moment.

      • Donald
        March 9, 2014, 1:19 pm

        Very disappointing about Caro. I haven’t read the latest of the LBJ series.

        But there’s a chance Yonah is right about Caro’s motives.
        I’m remembering the opening part of the first book, where he describes the Comanche. (Caro goes back into the middle of the 19th century to tell the story of LBJ.) He correctly describes the terror of Comanche raids, who were extremely brutal to their enemies, but if I recall correctly, doesn’t really give the Native American side of things, who might have had a thing or two to say about the brutality of LBJ’s Texan ancestors. But I think Caro might just be describing how LBJ and his fellow white Texans saw their own history–the Comanches were “savages” and the whites were the civilized heroic settlers.

        There’s also this long piece in the NYT where Caro defends the record of Coke Stevenson (who LBJ defeated in the senate contest by stealing votes). Other writers said that Caro was making Stevenson out to be better than he was. Caro says that Stevenson in fact was an honest man, but agrees with the charge that he was a racist. However, if you read the second half of this long piece, you’ll see that Caro says

        “And of course for 11 years in Congress Johnson had voted against every civil rights bill, including an antilynching bill (as he would, following the 1948 campaign, vote against every civil rights bill for the next nine years). This is not to say that Johnson was a segregationist, just as I do not say that Stevenson was not a segregationist. Stevenson was one. Nor, of course, is it to condone Stevenson’s views. What I am saying is that since Texas was a segregationist state and the public positions of both candidates were the same, civil rights was not an important issue in the campaign. Nor, sadly, did Stevenson’s deplorable record and views ever affect his overwhelming popularity. To have given significant emphasis to race in my book would have been to wrench the campaign out of its historical context, to have looked at a 1948 event through a lens ground in 1990.

        The Rainey affair, too, despite all the anguish it caused (and still causes) those who love liberty of thought and discussion, was not an important campaign issue in 1948. Stevenson’s administration as a whole was not an important issue in the campaign; Johnson did not make it an issue, for he was well aware of the popularity of that administration — and of the political philosophy on which it was based — with the great majority of Texans. As even Stevenson’s critics conceded, “He was as liberal as the people.” And since I was writing about Stevenson primarily because of his relationship to Lyndon Johnson and the ’48 campaign, I dealt only in a summary fashion with aspects of Stevenson’s life that had little to do with the campaign. ”

        link

        So maybe Caro is just talking about RFK and not going off on what he perceives as an irrelevant tangent.

        All that said, even if Caro might not intend to be a Nakba denier, it sounds like he made a very bad choice as a writer not to go into this a little bit. He can’t take for granted that his readers know better on this issue, as he could on the subject of racism in Texas in the 1940’s.

      • Donald
        March 9, 2014, 1:27 pm

        Or to put it in few sentences, Caro might not have intended to be a Nakba denier. He might only have intended to describe events as RFK saw them. But on a subject like this, where there is still a tremendous amount of Nakba denial, Caro should not have let it go at that. A few paragraphs in one of his massive books setting the record straight would have been useful. This is a guy who wrote a page after page on the history of Senate procedure in his third volume, just to set the stage for LBJ as Senate leader.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 9, 2014, 1:45 pm

        donald, denying something requires being aware of it. it’s likely kennedy was monitored closely while he was there. he probably didn’t witness the expulsions he wrote about. a lot of what he wrote was probably repeating what he’d been told. ( ie: ” If the Haganah had waited for May 15th and the withdrawal of British troops, there would be few alive in Jerusalem today. …… As a Jew said to me at the time, “This is our battle of the Atlantic.” The maneuvers had to take place and took place despite the British.” )or simply kennedy’s true understanding at the time:

        The Jews have small settlements or community farms such as Givat Brenner in completely hostile territory. They take pride that, despite the great difficulties, they have not evacuated any of them. From the very tip of Galilee right down to the arid Negev these communities exist with such Jewish names as Zan, Safed, Yehsem, Mishmar Haemak, Ben Sheba, Laza. All have their supply problems. But no great military operation can be undertaken into Arab territory to relieve the increasing Arab pressure.

        Need True Facts

        In addition to these handicaps that the Jews suffered through the presence of the British, there are many more far-reaching aspects of British administration which unfortunately concern or, rather involve us in the United States.

        Having been out of the United States for more than two months at this time of writing, I notice myself more and more conscious of the great heritage and birthright to which we as United States citizens are heirs and which we have the duty to preserve. A force motivating my writing this paper is that I believe we have failed in this duty or are in great jeopardy of doing so. The failure is due chiefly to our inability to get the true facts of the policy in which we are partners in Palestine.

        whereas caro is writing with hindsight.

      • Philip Weiss
        March 9, 2014, 1:52 pm

        Exactly. He should have said something. He said nothing.

      • Donald
        March 9, 2014, 2:00 pm

        “donald, denying something requires being aware of it. it’s likely kennedy was monitored closely while he was there. ”

        I wasn’t writing about RFK, only about Caro’s motives. But on RFK, I would cut him some slack, because he was young and stupid, but not too much slack. Lefties who visited the Soviet Union in the 30’s and came back to report utopia were kept on a tight leash too, but we criticize them anyway as airheads. The fact is that the early propaganda for Israel never made much sense–the Palestinians were supposedly all begged to stay by Zionists who were unbelievably saintly and wished them to remain (apparently one Jewish mayor did ask Palestinians to stay, and in hasbara history became representative of the entire movement), but the evil Palestinians fled anyway, because they hoped to come back on the heels of the invading Arab armies and plunder their Jewish neighbors. Even when I was still a Christian Zionist and heard this it sounded like crude propaganda. RFK was like that of countless misguided idealists of every variety who go to a foreign land, see a war and turn it into a childish morality play.

        On Caro, I already said I think he made a bad choice and should have described the Nakba, but I also pointed out that he’s done this sort of thing earlier in his LBJ series–presented events from the standpoint of the people he was writing about (white Texans, most of the time). I don’t want to repeat what I already wrote.

      • Donald
        March 9, 2014, 2:11 pm

        The key to determining Caro’s motives will be in this next volume–if he continues to give a purely sympathetic view of Israel when he gets to the 67 war and the Liberty incident then it will be hard to explain as just Caro doing what he’s done before.

        But I wasn’t crazy about the section on the Comanches either, or about the valorization of Coke Stevenson. Texas history is crammed full with racism and viciousness towards blacks, Mexican-Americans and Native Americans–it’s everything bad about American history all wrapped up in one state. Telling the storyof LBJ for long stretches purely from the Anglo-Texan viewpoint isn’t really a good idea, IMO.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 9, 2014, 2:20 pm

        sorry donald, maybe i misread. when you said “there’s a chance Yonah is right about Caro’s motives” i thought you were referencing yonah’s comment about rfk being a nakba denier and Caro is merely reporting what RFK wrote home about his experience.

        because i don’t think caro was merely reporting what rfk wrote about his experience. (at least that’s my impression from the brief blockquote relating to the articles).

        and of course i agree with you he should have described the Nakba, i guess i’d use stronger terms than “bad choice”. from this blockquote it reads like caro is implying (agreeing) jews were oppressed underdogs.

        anyway, not trying to get too stuck here.

      • Donald
        March 9, 2014, 2:56 pm

        “anyway, not trying to get too stuck here.”

        That’s okay. I’m not too sure one way or the other about Caro’s motives. And even if he’s not intending to be a Nakba denier, it’s just a bad way to write history, IMO, when so many people might take the RFK story at face value.

      • Sumud
        March 11, 2014, 7:20 am

        Sibiriak ~

        First of all, I reject both your and Lindbergh’s assertion of a monolithic entity “the Jews”.

        If you read more carefully the speech which Hostage quoted Lindbergh doesn’t refer to any such monolithic entity [my emphasis]:

        Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastations. A few far-sighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not.

        Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.

        I am not attacking either the Jewish or the British people. Both races, I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war.

        He’s actually quite careful to avoid making statements of generalisation about “the jews” and also frames his statement about opinions on going to war – or not – for both parties to be about a rational self-interest.

        Of course yonah predictably ignores all this.

        FYI I have no opinion on Lindbergh being an anti-semite or not – I don’t know enough about him – but I find little evidence of it in this speech.

      • Sibiriak
        March 11, 2014, 7:32 am

        Sumud:

        If you read more carefully the speech which Hostage quoted Lindbergh doesn’t refer to any such monolithic entity

        Good points and thanks for the correction. I still think Lindbergh goes too far in the “monolithic” direction with this statement, for example, where he speaks of Jews as a unitary “race” with identifiable “leaders”:

        But I am saying that the leaders of both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war.

        I realize that the term “race” probably means something more like “people” in today’s terminology, and there were Jewish “leaders”, so my point may not be so compelling.

      • just
        March 12, 2014, 7:22 pm

        @ tree– “Emily Litella moment”.

        LOL!

        ( RIP to a very funny & talented lady.)

      • Jackdaw
        March 9, 2014, 1:41 pm

        An omission and a denial are two different things.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 9, 2014, 1:52 pm

        jack..claiming jews in palestine were the the “oppressed … underdog” is not an omission, it’s a denial, which is now clear in hindsight. and not what kennedy said anyway.

        plus, kennedy claimed the jews at the time were hindered (primarily) by the british.

        donald (and excuse me for this landing before your comment) here’s what caro wrote about kennedy:

        It wasn’t only his reaction to Jews that gave the hint, it was his reaction to the embattled to the oppressed— to anyone, it began to become apparent, who was the underdog

        whereas, had he written ‘— to anyone he perceived as the underdog…’

      • Donald
        March 9, 2014, 2:13 pm

        If Caro lied about what either JFK or RFK actually said, then that goes beyond a sin of omission.

      • Jackdaw
        March 9, 2014, 2:34 pm

        The military might of several Arab States was brought to bear against the Zionist enterprise when their armies invaded Palestine. From a military standpoint, Israel was the underdog.
        The Egyptian air force bombed Tel Aviv from the air. Israel didn’t bomb Cairo.

        Yes. Underdogs.

      • Hostage
        March 9, 2014, 4:13 pm

        The military might of several Arab States was brought to bear against the Zionist enterprise when their armies invaded Palestine. From a military standpoint, Israel was the underdog.

        Israel had a well armed force of at least 60,000, while the Arab States combined could only field around 35,000. FYI, the contemporary US State Department and CIA reports portrayed the Arabs as the underdogs.

      • Jackdaw
        March 9, 2014, 5:14 pm

        @Hostage

        “FYI, the contemporary US State Department and CIA reports portrayed the Arabs as the underdogs.”

        Uhhh….What CIA is that? Not this one.

        ‘If a Jewish state was created, the CIA said, war would break out between Arabs and Jews, and the Arabs would win.’

        http://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-1273639941/the-view-from-1947-the-cia-and-the-partition-of-palestine

      • DaBakr
        March 9, 2014, 5:57 pm

        “jack..claiming jews in palestine were the the “oppressed … underdog” is not an omission, it’s a denial, which is now clear in hindsight. and not what kennedy said anyway.”

        actually, its an opinion, not necessarily a denial. the zionist position on the nakba is that Palestinians are trying to equate it with the holocaust which it can not. the Palestinians are otherwise one of 100s of ethnic/cultural groups displaced in the 20th century. there was never a premeditated campaign to destroy them through murder and obliteration.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 9, 2014, 9:30 pm

        DaBakr, we are not discussing the holocaust right now. nakba denial violates site comment policy, it is not imposed here by palestinians. the sheer ability to expel hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and prevent them from returning underlines the fact palestinians were and are the underdog. zionists were not and are not the oppressed underdog in this fight. that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

        also, nakba denial is a banning offense here. push it, and you might find yourself unable to comment here anymore. that goes for your buddy jack too. we don’t debate that aspect of the nakba here.

      • Hostage
        March 9, 2014, 10:10 pm

        Uhhh….What CIA is that? Not this one. ‘If a Jewish state was created, the CIA said,

        Now you’ve switched subjects and are talking about “pre-war” discussions of possible developments and situation reports. Before you were commenting about the period after “the military might had been brought to bear” on the Zionist Enterprise, i.e. The military might of several Arab States was brought to bear against the Zionist enterprise when their armies invaded Palestine. From a military standpoint, Israel was the underdog.

        The CIA reports during the war and the truces in July and August portrayed the Arab governments as the underdogs:
        * http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000258352.pdf
        * http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000258353.pdf

        FYI, the pre-war estimates simply said that the Jews would initially win and be able to hold out during a war of attrition for two years without any foreign arms and assistance. Those same reports noted that manpower was readily available from Europe and that the Czech, French, and Belgian governments were reportedly willing to provide arms to the Zionists. They also noted the possibility that the UN or the Great Powers might be forced to intervene on behalf of the Zionists if they suffered a setback and enforce the partition on their behalf.
        * http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000256621.pdf
        * http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000256628.pdf

        The World + dog (and the US State Department and CIA) considered the Zionists the aggressors after they went on the offensive in April and started conducting massacres and ethnic cleansing operations.

      • Donald
        March 9, 2014, 3:09 pm

        “The military might of several Arab States was brought to bear against the Zionist enterprise when their armies invaded Palestine”

        “Military might of several Arab states” sounds very dramatic. It wasn’t a sure thing that the Zionists would win, because for a short period of time they had inferior weapons, but the odds were in their favor. They had numbers, for one thing. (Despite the usual nonsense one hears of “tens of millions of Arabs”, which might be relevant if those “tens of millions of Arabs” could have fielded, say, one hundred thousand well-equipped and well-trained soldiers.)

      • Jackdaw
        March 9, 2014, 3:20 pm

        The Arab invasion of Palestine was botched. The most egregious military failure was in the Negev. Did the Arab’s military failures make Israel less an underdog? No.

        BTW. The Arabs had tanks and an air force at their disposal, which they failed to use to their advantage.

      • Walid
        March 9, 2014, 4:02 pm

        Donald, I have to disagree with you although I’m glad you referred to one nonsense in particular, but there were others in the general statement. For one thing, the Arabs at any time before or after the war had weapons superior to those of the Zionists as what they had was just a notch above flintlocks of WW I vintage while the Zionist forces had up-to-date arms purchased from Poland and Italy they had been smuggling into and stocking in Palestine long before the official outbreak of the war. The Arabs with exception to the British-trained formidable Arab Legion of Jordan were disorganized, untrained, unequipped and fighting among themselves for the leadership of the combined forces. Numbers-wise, the fully-trained Zionists, some of them WWII allied forces veterans outnumbered the combined Arab military forces. And Jordan that could have changed the course of the war, had a pre-war agreement with the Zionists to put up only a token resistance for which Jordan would be able to take the WB with ease in exchange of the Zionists taking the rest. Self-pitying and glorifying stories being repeated by Jack are nauseating.

      • Ellen
        March 9, 2014, 10:11 pm

        Annie, you are too kind, too polite to DaBakr’s revolting and lying comment, that there never was a plan to destroy and obliterate the Palestinians not only from their homes, but as a people. Obliteration of a people, was exactly the Zionist plan. As Zionist apologist have said here, the campaign of destruction and murder of a people was necessary for the Colonial Zionist project.

        Under Plan Dalet, (which continues today in other forms): “Zionist terrorist organizations went on a rampage expelling and murdering Palestinians and destroying their homes and villages. …Palestinians men, women and children from the areas allocated to the Jews in the Partition Plan…

        Chaim Weizmann later commented that this Palestinian Exodus had been “a miraculous clearing of the land: the miraculous simplification of Israel’s task.”
        http://www.1948.org.uk/plan-dalet-and-the-nakba/

        Palestinians were at war with no one. The attacks, murders and displacement of the Nakba have no comparison.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 9, 2014, 10:19 pm

        you’re right ellen. no excuse, my last few hours were a tad frustrating so i am attempting to wind down. by all means unleash your wrath and wisdom, it might do them some good (but i doubt it)

      • Hostage
        March 9, 2014, 10:28 pm

        The Arab invasion of Palestine was botched. The most egregious military failure was in the Negev. Did the Arab’s military failures make Israel less an underdog? No.

        Not to rain on your parade, but intelligence reports from April 1948 onwards indicated that Israel was the aggressor in a war of conquest and that the Arabs were disorganized and would not be able to equip a fighting force to match either the size or capabilities of the Jewish militias.

      • talknic
        March 10, 2014, 3:57 am

        Jackdaw “The Arab invasion of Palestine..”

        Well at least you got that part right. The war was fought in territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” http://pages.citebite.com/x1r0b4d1y6mkv

        ” was botched”

        Odd… Israel was prevented from taking all that remained of Palestine after Israel was proclaimed “as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947” http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf saving parts of Gaza and what became known as the West bank. A 50% success rate at short notice against Jewish forces already entrenched in non-Israeli territories

        “Did the Arab’s military failures make Israel less an underdog? “

        An ‘underdog’ starting a war…. cute

        “BTW. The Arabs had tanks and an air force at their disposal, which they failed to use to their advantage”

        Perhaps they thought foolishly, Israel might abide by the law and UN Charter as it said it would.

      • rightcoaster
        March 10, 2014, 11:11 pm

        Responding to Donald’s comments above, with citation of four CIA reports. I skimmed the two 1947 reports and could not find support for your words following in quotes. The two 1947 reports, before the British withdrew and war began, predicted the Arabs would prevail. It is the two later in 1948, after RFK’s reports in June, that showed the Jews were in a better position.

        ” FYI, the pre-war estimates simply said that the Jews would initially win and be able to hold out during a war of attrition for two years without any foreign arms and assistance.”

      • Hostage
        March 10, 2014, 11:27 pm

        Responding to Donald’s comments above, with citation of four CIA reports. . . . I skimmed the two 1947 reports and could not find support for your words following in quotes.

        Donald didn’t cite the CIA reports I did. If that is any indication of your reading skills, I suggest you do more than just skim them.

      • Hostage
        March 10, 2014, 11:51 pm

        I skimmed the two 1947 reports and could not find support for your words following in quotes. . . . ” FYI, the pre-war estimates simply said that the Jews would initially win and be able to hold out during a war of attrition for two years without any foreign arms and assistance.”

        If you skim all the way to the 4th paragraph of the Summary on page 2 of this pdf file that I cited above: http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000256628.pdf

        You’ll see that it says:

        The Jews are expected to be able to mobilize some 200,000 fighters in Palestine, supplemented to a limited extent by volunteers and recruits from abroad. The Jewish armed groups in Palestine are well equipped and well trained in commando tactics. Initially, they will achieve marked success over the Arabs because of superior organization and equipment. As the war of attrition develops, however, the Jewish economy (severely strained by mobilization) will break down; furthermore, the Jews will be unable continuously to protect their extended supply lines and isolated settlements or to plant and cultivate their fields in the face of constant harassing, “hit and run” Arab attacks. Without substantial outside aid in terms of manpower and material, they will be able to hold out no longer than two years.

      • James North
        March 9, 2014, 8:02 pm

        Hasbara Central sends over a new reinforcement. Jackdaw?

      • Ellen
        March 9, 2014, 10:31 pm

        From Jackdaw’s own dubious link:

        But the only logical conclusion to be drawn from its report would have been that partition would be detrimental to the long-term interests of the United States and would ultimately augment rather than alleviate the suffering of the world’s Jews.

        If your assertion is to have any weight one could argue that The combined Arab armies may have prevailed over Israel in the early detades. The CIA at the time did not take into account Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and that the US would come to Israel’s military aid under Nixon.

        But as Hostage’s research documents, by 1948 the CIA’s reports gave the Israeli forces the big upper hand:

        http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000258352.pdf
        page 5 of this previously secret report.

      • Hostage
        March 9, 2014, 10:54 pm

        If your assertion is to have any weight one . . .

        would have to argue that *after* the Arab governments brought their military might to bear against the Zionist enterprise, *contemporary* CIA or State Department reports were submitted (during the war) that said Israel was the underdog. There were no such reports. Dean Rusk’s US State Department UN section summed-up the situation in the weeks before the Arab Armies entered Palestine. I’ve commented on those in the past, e.g. http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/opposed-religious-fanatical.html/comment-page-1#comment-636536

      • Ellen
        March 9, 2014, 10:54 pm

        Annie, we cannot expect it to do any good for the Nakba deniers who have created a nether reality to get through the day, but out right lies (which are hateful) thrown out by a DaBakr have to be addressed with disinfectant if allowed to lie here like a pile of dung it is.

        Thanks for all your work!

      • tree
        March 9, 2014, 11:00 pm

        Israel didn’t bomb Cairo.

        This is totally false. Not only did the IAF ( Israeli Air Force) bomb Cairo in July 1948 (with two B-17s it had just purchased), it also bombed Amman, Jordan and Damascus and Quneitra in Syria and El-Arish in the northern Sinai in Egypt. The IAF bombed Amman on June 1st and Damascus on June 11th and later in July. It also dropped bombs or provided other aerial support for IDF forces prior to May 15, 1948 as well as after: for example, during Operation Yiftach, part of Plan Dalet, the IAF dropped bombs on Safed on April 20, 1948.

        On the return from the IAF bombing run to Cairo, the B-17s also dropped bombs on Rafah, Gaza.

        (Note: There was a nearly month long truce from June 11th to July 8th, 1948. Israel used this to its advantage by smuggling in large quantities of military equipment, including aircraft, giving it a definite military advantage over the Arab states, all of whom, outside of Jordan, had only token armies that suffered from the Western imposed Middle East arms embargo. Relatively speaking, Israel, having clandestine sources, did not suffer from the embargo.)

      • tree
        March 9, 2014, 11:50 pm

        I forgot to add a source or 2 to my comment, in case anyone doubts the veracity.

        Cairo Is Bombed by Israel Flier, Associated Press, NY Times, July 16, 1948.

        http://cojs.org/cojswiki/Cairo_Is_Bombed_by_Israel_Flier,_Associated_Press,_NY_Times,_July_16,_1948.

        http://www.iaf.org.il/3201-7597-en/IAF.aspx

        Further note: The Egyptian bombing of Tel Aviv, which was aimed at the IAF airfields there, was executed with Dakota C-47s and Spitfires. After a successful air defense by the IAF on June 3rd, the Egyptian Dakotas were never used against Tel Aviv again.

      • Sibiriak
        March 10, 2014, 2:12 am

        Israel didn’t bomb Cairo.

        The most striking air operation was the attempted bombing on 15 July of King Farouk’s Abdeen Palace in Cairo by a lone IAF B-17. Three B-17 Flying Fortresses had been purchased by the Haganah in the United States before 15 May, had been flown to Czechoslovakia to be outfitted and armed, and on 15 July had set out for Israel. Their orders were to bomb Egyptian targets on the way. One headed for Cairo, where it failed to hit the palace but caused some damage nearby,132 causing Ben-Gurion satisfaction if not joy. 133

        The bombing certainly raised morale in Tel Aviv. 134 Some thirty Egyptians died and a railway line was hit.135 The two other airplanes bombed Rafah (instead of El Arish, their ordained target) before landing at `Eqron Airfield. 136 The Egyptians responded on 16 and 17 July by repeatedly bombing Tel Aviv with Dakotas, accompanied by a Spitfire fighter escort, killing at least fifteen Israelis.

        The Egyptians lost one Dakota. 137 In the following days the B-17s bombed El Arish and Syrian positions around Mishmar Hayarden. On the night of 17-18 July an IAF Dakota bombed Damascus itself, killing about sixty and injuring another eighty to one hundred people. The bombs blew out the windows of the Syrian parliament building. 138 A further bombing, by a lone B-17 bomber on the morning of 18 July, aimed at Maze Airfield but missed, hitting Damascus itself, with bombs and crates of large bottles (to “heighten panic”). Twenty persons were killed and eighty injured, and windows and doors in the apartment occupied by the US charge d’affaires shattered. This provided “an unpleasant introduction” for the American minister, James Keeley, who had arrived in the Syrian capital the night before.13`9 Rich families reportedly fled Damascus, and the Syrian government began building air raid shelters. The Syrians (and Iraqis) reacted that evening by bombing the Ramat David Airfield and Haifa but failed to hit anything. 140

        The IAF Messerschmitt Squadron flew ground-support missions and occasionally intercepted Egyptian aircraft. The Arab air forces were almost completely ineffective; only the Syrian air attacks around Mishmar Hayarden had a serious impact.

        Benny Morris, “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War”

  2. unverified__5ilf90kd
    March 9, 2014, 12:27 pm

    Caro is selective in what he writes about Israel – he is erring on the side of supporting Israel in an irrational way – this is problem in the US today – the Jews/Zionists in the media are often selective in this way and ignore the Palestinian narrative in a dishonest fashion – I and others call it linguistic fraud.

  3. Scott
    March 9, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Curious about RFK, because I think RFK as AG was forceful in trying to get AIPAC registered as a foreign lobby. Grant Smith, what say you?

    • Annie Robbins
      March 9, 2014, 2:00 pm

      RFK as AG was forceful in trying to get AIPAC registered as a foreign lobby

      15 years later.

  4. William Burns
    March 9, 2014, 12:57 pm

    “Maturity,” “Cogency” “Literary Finish” Does it occur to Caro that Daddy was paying for a ghostwriter? When you’re quoting Schlesinger on the awesomeness of a Kennedy you’re pretty much already abandoning all critical standards.

    • Ellen
      March 9, 2014, 11:33 pm

      True on Schlesinger, but RFK could write well, very well. He could also speak, even including a fortuitous and possibly intentional misquotation for the moment.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCrx_u3825g

      No, Daddy did not hire a ghostwriter.

      • Naftush
        March 10, 2014, 3:14 am

        Re your comment above about nakba denial being grounds for banishment from this forum, how about “Obliteration of a people, was exactly the Zionist plan”? Are you okay with this?

      • just
        March 11, 2014, 8:56 am

        They don’t much care for denial of facts here.

        Facts, they don’t have a problem with.

      • talknic
        March 11, 2014, 10:19 am

        Naftush “how about “Obliteration of a people, was exactly the Zionist plan”? “

        Uh? Why would anyone banish truthfullness?

      • amigo
        March 11, 2014, 3:20 pm

        Naftush “how about “Obliteration of a people, was exactly the Zionist plan”? “

        Of course it was the Zionist plan..Look at the facts.

        As it will be demonstrated below, the decision by the Zionist leadership to accept the 1947 proposed UN GA Partition plan was nothing but a smoke screen, which was done solely to gain international recognition and support. This deception was a political ploy to gain initial international legitimacy for the existence of the “Jewish state”, and this was well known to the Palestinian people. The reader is urged to contemplate the following Zionist leaders’ quotes in an open mind. Note that most, if not all, of the quotes below are dated before the entry of any single Arab Army into British Mandated Palestine: * In a letter Chaim Weizmann sent to the Palestine-British high Commissioner, while the Peel Commission was convening in 1937, he stated: “We shall spread in the whole country in the course of time ….. this is only an arrangement for the next 25 to 30 years.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 66) * Ben-Gurion emphasized that the acceptance of the Peel Commission would not imply static borders for the future “Jewish state”. In a letter Ben-Gurion sent to his son in 1937, he wrote: “No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of the Land Of Israel. [A] Jewish state in part [of Palestine] is not an end, but a beginning ….. Our possession is important not only for itself … through this we increase our power, and every increase in power facilitates getting hold of the country in its entirety. Establishing a [small] state …. will serve as a very potent lever in our historical effort to redeem the whole country.” (Righteous Victims, p. 138) * In 1938, Ben-Gurion made it clear of his support for the “Jewish state” on part of Palestine was only as a stepping ground for a complete conquest. He wrote: “[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state–we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 107 & One Palestine Complete, p. 403) * One day after the UN vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun gang and Israel’s future Prime Minister between 1977-1983, proclaimed: “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.” (Iron Wall p. 25) * “”Shamir has said Israel must keep the territories in order to accommodate the immigrants. “A great aliyah [immigration],” he said, “requires a Greater Israel.”(5) He has insisted that, although Soviet Jews are not being directed to the territories, any Jew has the right to live anywhere in the land of Israel, which for most Israelis includes the territories.

        Add to this the continuation of land theft and illegal squat expansion and endless oppression of Palestinians then only a brainwashed fool would believe the Zionists ever intended to share anything with Palestinians but rather wants to get rid of them period.

        So yes accusing Israel of wanting to obliterate a people is just fine.

        Your Nakba denials OTOH are not and you should be obliterated from this site and sent back to your handlers at hasbara central.

  5. American
    March 9, 2014, 1:18 pm

    Did Caro include JFK’s letter to his father about the Jews and Palestine when he visited the area? I bet not.

    http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKPOF-135-001.aspx

    “On the Jewish side there is the desire for complete domination, with Jerusalem as the capital of their new land of milk and honey, with the right to colonize in Transjordan …”…JFK

    • Walid
      March 9, 2014, 5:00 pm

      More important than RFK and JFK and their feelings towards the Palestinians, what does Caro say about LBJ’s involvement with the USS Liberty?

      • Sumud
        March 10, 2014, 12:58 am

        Fifth and final installment of Caro’s Johnson bio will cover 1964 onwards. In late 2011 Caro estimated the last volume would take 2-3 years to write so it should be out this year, or next, but possibly not as previous volumes have taken around 10 years to write. With Caro getting on – almost 80 – I’m guessing he is trying to finish it off ASAP.

      • Walid
        March 10, 2014, 4:33 am

        Most of the surviving sailors will be dead by then.

      • lysias
        March 10, 2014, 10:27 am

        Judging by Caro’s treatment of the JFK assassination, I expect no anti-LBJ (or, perhaps more to the point, anti-Israel) treatment of the USS Liberty incident. In his latest volume, Caro accepts the Warren Commission fairy tale lock, stock, and barrel. He says at one point that he will say nothing about the charges that LBJ was involved in the assassination conspiracy, because he has seen no evidence that he was (thus ignoring, for example, the testimony decades later of the recently deceased Billy Sol Estes, as well as the mountains of evidence presented just a couple of years ago by Douglas Horne, Chief Analyst of Military Records of the Assassination Records Review Board, in his five-volume, 2000-page Inside the Assassination Records Review Board). Despite the portrait that Caro’s earlier volumes paint of LBJ as a moral monster, Caro’s latest volume accepts at face value LBJ’s proclaimed liberalism during this presidency.

  6. seafoid
    March 9, 2014, 2:31 pm

    “The Jews in Palestine have become an immensely proud and determined people… a truly great modern example of the birth of a nation,” he wrote. They have “an undying spirit” the Arabs could never have”

    That’s straight out of Exodus .

    Thinking Jews like Arendt saw where Israel was headed.
    All that violence couldn’t end well

    And guess what ? It didn’t

    • Naftush
      March 10, 2014, 3:11 am

      An odd analogy to say the least: Kennedy’s first-hand observations in 1948 having come “straight out of Exodus,” a 1957 work of fiction. But not nearly as odd as the debate over which side was the underdog, as though the winner gets to wreak vengeance on the loser.

      • lysias
        March 10, 2014, 5:51 pm

        The Irish always side with the side they consider the underdog. It’s in our blood.

      • seafoid
        March 11, 2014, 1:01 pm

        Northern Ireland, another settler colonial enterprise for a people who were chosen by god (according to them), is a complete mess 400 years later

  7. Krauss
    March 9, 2014, 3:15 pm

    I’ve read some of the things JFK wrote when he was in his early 20s. He was a more gifted writer as a neophyte than Caro, a celebrated writer in his own right, is after half a century of practice. And Caro’s not a bad writer. I’ve read a few of his books, but he doesn’t approach the intellectual gifts of Kennedy, especially as a writer, which must surely sting deeply to a vain man like Caro. Which could also explain the bitterness that is apparent whenever he writes about Kennedy.

    • lysias
      March 10, 2014, 5:52 pm

      Arthur Krock is said to have been hired by Joe Kennedy to write most of JFK’s Why England Slept.

      • Krauss
        March 11, 2014, 3:54 am

        I’m thinking of his private letters when he was a young man, which weren’t published until many decades later.

        And those were his own.

        Nice try, lysias ;)

  8. Daniel Rich
    March 9, 2014, 10:10 pm

    And all that WWII surplus went where?

  9. bilal a
    March 9, 2014, 10:46 pm

    Caro was/is merely a careerist, he knew who buttered his bread, we can’t expect him to be more brave than the Nakba deniers at Binart’s Open Zion, even now only a member of the tribe could edit MW or write ‘Goliath’.

    Which is why some past Soviet citizens, consider the west even more totalitarian. MW and EI is our Samizat, but far less penetrating of mainstream culture.

    ———-
    “Caro’s books have been published by Alfred A. Knopf, first under editor in chief Robert Gottlieb and then by Sonny Mehta, “who took over the Johnson project – enthusiastically – after Gottlieb’s departure in 1987.” ”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Caro#Bibliography

    “when Sonny Mehta, my boss [the president of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group within Random House], gave me the responsibility for running Schocken, we agreed that Schocken should focus on its traditional and core publishing strength, which is books that have some connection to the Jewish experience. ”
    http://www.haaretz.com/culture/books/a-conversation-with-altie-karper-1.344010

    Nakba denial and rape culture at Peter Beinart’s Open Zion
    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/benjamin-doherty/nakba-denial-and-rape-culture-peter-beinarts-open-zion

  10. RoHa
    March 10, 2014, 3:05 am

    “No president had done more for the Jews than he would.”

    Why should a US president do anything specifically “for the Jews”?
    Surely everything he does (as President) should be for the American people in general or for humanity as a whole, rather than favouring a particular subset of the population.

  11. Stogumber
    March 10, 2014, 3:52 am

    It’s obvious that RFK was romanticizing about the Haganah in Israel . And I would guess that he was pre-influenced by Irish romanticizing about the IRA. You see: two movements for national independance, both against the British imperialists and its protected adherents. If an Irish Catholic lost faith or at least overcame his Catholic distrust against Jews, he had to fall for the Haganah!

    • RoHa
      March 10, 2014, 10:47 pm

      Though I can’t imagine what Irish romanticizing had to do with RFK. He was an American.

  12. edwardm
    March 10, 2014, 12:33 pm

    Why say “fled/expelled”? You are perpetuating the idea that it makes a godsdamn bit of difference! It’s natural for civilians to flee the carnage of war, whether expelled directly by the foreign invaders, or to try and save their own skins before they are harmed. You do understand that – right?

  13. Bing Bong
    March 11, 2014, 3:46 am

    “Exactly. He should have said something. He said nothing.”

    So he didn’t actively deny the Nakba then, he just didn’t cover it when discussing Robert Kennedy’s visit to Palestine? Did he cover Jewish expulsion from Arab countries? Why doesn’t Robert Bullock’s ‘Hitler a Study in Tyranny’ cover the events of the Holocaust in anything but the briefest of mentions? Is it because he is trying to minimise the extent of the Holocaust? No, it’s because an editorial decision on it’s relevance has been taken.

    Being upset when a historian doesn’t cover your own pet favourite subject because it’s relevance to that historian’s narrative has been judged to be unimportant is childish. Is it really impossible to report the contents of RK’s correspondence without a discussion of the Nakba?

    • Cliff
      March 11, 2014, 6:48 am

      Being upset when a historian doesn’t cover your own pet favourite subject because it’s relevance to that historian’s narrative has been judged to be unimportant is childish. Is it really impossible to report the contents of RK’s correspondence without a discussion of the Nakba?

      So the Holocaust is relegated to your insulting characterization of ‘pet favourite subject’ in a discussion about Hitler, vis a vis the book ‘Hitler: A study in tyranny’?

      Or is it just non-Jewish suffering like the Nakba, that gets that cute label attached?

      The reason he is a Nakba denier is that he put words in RFK’s mouth and added descriptors of his own. He injected his own point of view into that passage because he has a hardon for Israel and mentioning the Nakba would undermine his dream-castle view.

      • Bing Bong
        March 11, 2014, 2:15 pm

        “So the Holocaust is relegated to your insulting characterization of ‘pet favourite subject’ in a discussion about Hitler”

        No, I’m saying the opposite, that a lack of discussion about the Holocaust is valid in that case just as a lack of Nakba discussion is valid for Robert Caro.

        People like you and the OP who have an erect penis for Arab suffering beyond any kind of reason, even handedness or critical assessment who want to shoehorn their Nakba porn into everything they see are the problem. It’s much the same kneejerkoff reaction as those who scream anti-semite whenever Israel is criticised.

      • Cliff
        March 12, 2014, 7:39 am

        It’s much the same kneejerkoff reaction as those who scream anti-semite whenever Israel is criticised.

        I have almost 6,000 comments on MW.

        Exactly 159 mention the word ‘Nakba’. Usually when one of you Zionist trolls is denying the Nakba.

        People like you and the OP who have an erect penis for Arab suffering beyond any kind of reason, even handedness or critical assessment who want to shoehorn their Nakba porn into everything they see are the problem.

        ‘Arab suffering’ is a racist generalization. Unsurprising since you regard the Nakba as a ‘pet’ subject.

        I want to hear you say that the Holocaust is a ‘pet favorite subject’ of say, Elie Wiesel. Or any Holocaust museum.

        Phil Weiss runs a website on Israel/Palestine. HENCE, he has to talk about the Nakba. The Nakba is one of the central issues of this conflict.

        But you characterize it as a ‘pet subject’.

        Then you weasel-word/no-true-scotsman the parameters to “an erect penis for Arab suffering beyond any kind of reason, even handedness or critical assessment”.

        Caro put words in RFK’s mouth and added his own views on Israel. A 78-year old ‘historian’ or whatever he is, talking about Israel like it was an underdog during that war is proof enough of his Nakba-denial.

        Israel was not an underdog. Israel had more weapons, more soldiers and was fighting a disorganized, undermanned, under-equipped, half-hearted attempt by the Arabs – who came in late to the war. A war that was already lost years prior.

        So do you think Holocaust deniers are being squelched by civil society for simply wanting an ‘even-handed critical assessment’?

        Or is non-Jewish suffering – like the Nakba – not an open-and-shut case?

        The Nakba is not a mystery. Jewish terrorists began their campaign of rape/murder/massacre/bombings months before Israel declared itself a State.

        The Nakba is thoroughly documented. No sane person denies it’s existence.

        So tell me what this longing for a ‘reasoned, even-handed, critical assessment’ entails.

  14. rightcoaster
    March 12, 2014, 11:08 pm

    tree says:
    March 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    RC: Giles said in a post of March 9 at 5:56PM … that most great Americans before 1967 were anti-Semites, hard to find one who wasn’t.

    TR: Poor reading comprehension, rightcoaster. Giles said:
    …any great American who lived pre 1967 who has not been smeared as an anti-Semite

    Being smeared as one implies that the accusation is false, therefore your defense of Grant, while illuminating, just proves Giles point in regards to Grant. Enjoy your Emily Litella moment.

    RC: Well, Tree….”Never mind”, as Emily would have said! My hasty misreading arose because I interpreted the comment by Giles to imply that there is “somebody” out there who smears great Americans. Given the tone of many of the adherents of the World of Weiss, that “somebody” is probably “the Jews”. Can’t really blame Zionists.

    You did prove Giles’ right, as to Grant… sort of. But although the Order survives lots more prominently than the apology, Grant wasn’t actually smeared, either, because he did issue an anti-Jewish order.

    As to “smearing” of that “great American” Joe Kennedy: “…Astor pointed out that she had a number of Roman Catholic friends – G.K. Chesterton among them – with whom she shared, if nothing else, a profound hatred for the Jewish race. Joe Kennedy, in turn, had always detested Jews generally, although he claimed several as friends individually. Indeed, Kennedy seems to have tolerated the occasional Jew in the same way Astor tolerated the occasional Catholic.

    As fiercely anti-Communist as they were anti-Semitic, Kennedy and Astor looked upon Adolf Hitler as a welcome solution to both of these “world problems” (Nancy’s phrase).” by Edward Renehan, Jr. , http://hnn.us/article/697

    The Ben Franklin reference was “unknown before its appearance in 1934 in the pages of William Dudley Pelley’s Silver Legion pro-Nazi weekly magazine Liberation. ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Prophecy. How that fits with the rest of Giles’ thesis, however one reads it, is not clear: it’s not really Franklin who was smeared, but Jews. Nobody worth a shit accused Franklin.

    Giles left out that other “great American”, however, who is easily found: Edison’s friend, Henry Ford. Was he “smeared”?

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