American Jews are taking back their power from Israel

US Politics
on 101 Comments

The last month has seen the greatest change in the US relationship with Israel in more than 40 years, maybe since the 1973 war, or possibly even Suez, or the creation of the state. We see President Obama repeatedly faulting the Israeli prime minister’s conduct, politicians boycotting the Israeli p.m.’s speech in Washington, and suggestions in the official press that Democrats are going to run against Israel in the next election season. The 1991 fight between George Bush and Yitzhak Shamir that helped elect Bill Clinton and Rabin doesn’t approach what we are seeing today. Yesterday the White House chief of staff got rousing cheers in Washington from J Street, the liberal Zionist group, as he slammed Israel as an occupier: “An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.”

Why is this rupture happening now? Why didn’t it happen during any number of earlier provocations, from the building of Har Homa settlement outside Jerusalem to the fomenting of the Iraq war to the slaughter of Cast Lead?

This moment must be seen primarily as a generational Jewish moment. Our politicians and newspapers are speaking out because they are licensed by a segment of the official Jewish community that is deeply troubled by Israel’s behavior. In 1967, American Jews fell in love with Israel and made a solemn promise to protect the country through thick and thin. Nearly fifty years later the same community is reconsidering that vow. What we are seeing is a transfer of power from the Israeli Jewish community to the Diaspora Jewish community that Benjamin Netanyahu failed to anticipate even as he precipitated it. This transfer will not be reversed, and it marks the end of the traditional Israel lobby, though not the end of the “special relationship” between the countries.

The old lobby that so influenced US policy on the conflict for 40 years was based on a simple principle: There must never be daylight between the US administration and the Israeli government, no matter who was in power in Israel, a former terrorist, a war criminal, a rightwing lunatic. No daylight was the motto of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC holds a profound trust: it justly believes its support to be crucial to Israel’s survival, and it was able to maintain order in the official Jewish community behind the No-daylight principle through massacres and colonization because the American Jewish community deferred to the Israeli one. The deference is encapsulated by Bill Kristol’s response in an Upper West Side synagogue to Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street some years ago: It would be “cavalier” of me to sit here in comfort and criticize Israel even if I wondered about its actions, Kristol said. That attitude was reinforced by the Holocaust message, Never again, and by the Jewish religious instruction that Jews in Israel are aliyah, higher, while we in the west are yoredim, or lower.

Liberal secular Jews accepted that back seat. We were in no position to criticize Israel because we didn’t live there and our children didn’t serve in armies. My mother is typical: a liberal Democrat who votes against war and has never been to Israel, she puts photos of her best friend’s children in Israeli uniform on the refrigerator and bites her tongue about the occupation.

No doubt there have been many moments of strain between the liberal Jewish community and Israel. Sabra and Shatilla, Cast Lead, Lebanon, Operation Defensive Shield during the Second Intifada. At each of these horrors, segments of the Jewish population fell out of love for Israel, from Breira to Jews Against the Occupation to Jews Say No, but that splintering didn’t really matter in the official world. The lobby was able to marginalize dissidents so that there were no fractures in the monolith that dealt with establishment politicians. Even the group that has been the leading critic of the settlements – Americans for Peace Now — refused to leave the Conference of Presidents, a very conservative no-daylight organization, lest Peace Now lose access to power as a member of the Jewish inner circle. Peace Now valued Jewish solidarity higher than its human rights principles.

The lobby would not lose power—said MJ Rosenberg, an AIPAC apostate—until congresspeople such as Jerrold Nadler got buttonholed by reporters about their blind support for Israel. That moment finally seems to be upon us, and the question is, Why did things change now? What was special about this provocation?

The Jewish community split on Israel not because of Netanyahu’s racism or his massacres or his rubbishing of the two-state solution; but because he acted in such a way as to place American Jews’ loyalty to the United States in doubt by making the historic speech to Congress on March 3 that even the New York Times has called “subversive.” It was one thing for American Jews to support Israel when the argument could be made that American and Israeli interests aligned. Louis Brandeis helped form Zionist pressure groups in the first place by stating that it was the American way for ethnic groups to show loyalty to their own kind. But the Netanyahu speech to Congress was a shocking and unprecedented interference by a foreign leader in our politics. A generation from now people won’t believe that this even happened. It did happen. A warmongering prime minister sought to undermine a president’s peacemaking policy by coming to Congress at the invitation of Republicans to fight the president’s deal with Iran. The power-play surely reflected the importance of conservative Jewish money in our political process– Bill Kristol’s group the Emergency Committee for Israel had given $1 million to make the career of the Republican freshman senator at the head of insurgency– and it was agonizing to Jews and Democrats who are also beholden to the lobby. The New York Times stated their dilemma plainly: they would “need to make an awkward, painful choice between the president of their country and their loyalty to the Jewish state.” Their loyalty to the Jewish state! Those words are shocking and nearly seditious; and many Democrats made a clear choice, they were on Obama’s side. The Netanyahu speech was surely popular in Israel – when I was there last week, even young people at the polls praised him for his strength – and it delighted the neoconservatives, but it angered liberal Jews.

It took a while for that outrage to coalesce over the six weeks between the announcement of the speech in January and the speech in March. For some time, the main response in the Jewish community was to wish the speech did not happen. J Street pleaded with the Prime Minister not to make Americans have to choose sides over Israel. And even AIPAC worked behind the scenes to try and make the nightmare go away. But the speech went forward, and it did what J Street and AIPAC both feared: it caused Americans and American Jews to have to take a stand. This was a no-brainer for liberal Jews. They would be with their president. As MJ Rosenberg has often said, if American Jews are faced with a choice between open dual loyalty and walking away from Israel, they will walk away from Israel. (We know which side our bread is buttered.)

Of course many other Americans were angered by Netanyahu’s act of daring. But I believe that Jews drove the political shift. You can see that in Chris Matthews’s handling of the matter. Today he is one of the biggest critics in our media of Netanyahu and his speech. He talks about it every night. But in the first couple of days of the outrage he had nothing to say, even though the outrage was as obvious then as it is now, and his first comments were strained. He was awaiting the cue, waiting to see where the Jewish establishment (the sort of people he works for, the heads of Comcast in Philadephia, pro-Israel Jews) was going to line up. When Matthews saw that elements of the Jewish establishment were going to criticize the speech forcefully, he began to criticize it more and more strongly. Today he is a leader on the issue, and he is echoing J Street’s line: Netanyahu has savaged the two-state solution, which the world believes in. Last night Matthews praised J Street as a strong group and the big winner of the Netanyahu scandal; and at J Street’s conference, Morton Halperin (father of Mark Halperin, who appears on Matthews) said that the Prime Minister was a racist who had blocked the two state solution.

Today for the first time in decades, we can see an open divide inside the Jewish establishment over Israel. AIPAC is for tightening Iran sanctions; it devoted its policy conference to that push. J Street is all for the president’s deal; its policy conference was about getting a deal with Iran. AIPAC is urging the president to patch up his relationship with Netanyahu in a hurry; but J Street revels in the new daylight. Netanyahu was repeatedly attacked from the stage at J Street. The young people cheered whenever there was criticism of the occupation.

The moment is generational because six years ago J Street tried to pull off this same political move and it failed. In the belief that American Jews opposed settlements, it resolved to drive a wedge in US politics between those who supported settlements and those who opposed them. That was also President Obama’s policy. He said that the settlements must end. But there was massive pushback inside the Democratic Party Jewish community toward any criticism of the settlement project. Obama folded at the U.N., and J Street folded too. It began talking instead about settling on borders (i.e., accepting the settlement blocs). The president made sure that the Democratic Party supported Israel’s control over Jerusalem in 2012, surely to capture Haim Saban’s millions.

But today U.S. policy is getting shaken up. At J Street this year they cheered for a Palestinian state and the president’s chief of staff indicated that the U.S. would take Netanyahu on over settlements. Chris Matthews campaigns for the two-state solution every night. Will this shift make any difference in the conflict? I don’t think so. It is too late for the two state solution; any real effort to establish a viable Palestinian state would start a civil war in Israel. We are at the beginning of a tumultuous period inside Israeli society, as Noam Sheizaf warned J Street; while Nabila Espanioly stated that Israeli “fascism” is at our door. Americans are finally waking up to what Israel is.

The significance of the rupture is the political and psychological shift inside the American Jewish community. The civil war will begin here. For two generations the Jewish community was unwilling to criticize Israel. In the face of events that would cause a Jewish uprising in the U.S. — from racist atrocities to policies merging church and state–  the Jewish community was silent because it had made a vow in the 1970s to provide political life support to Israel.

Today that deal has been broken; and the American discourse will only get better. J Street tried to circumscribe the official statements on its stage to Zionists, and Halperin pledged to fight the boycott movement; but free speech is free speech, and many panelists expressed heretical views. Marcia Freedman spoke up for cultural Zionism, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum called for Jewish spaces to open their doors to anti-Zionists, and Huda Abu Arqoub called for the boycott and downfall of the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli politicians who appeared at J Street looked dazed and lost. When the rockstar of Israeli Labor, 29-year-old Stav Shaffir, called for “separation” from Palestinians, the hall was silent. Once this American conversation begins, it will never end. More and more Jews will understand that Zionism is incompatible with liberalism. And Jewish Voice for Peace and the BDS movement will be the beneficiaries.

For forty years we saw the demise of the Jewish intellect in blind support of Israel. A leading liberal community had abandoned its post. The overreach by a thuggish racist foreign leader in American politics has stirred that community to life. America won’t be the same.

Thanks to Adam Horowitz, Annie Robbins and Scott Roth.

About Philip Weiss

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

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101 Responses

  1. Kay24
    March 24, 2015, 10:26 am

    Well, at least during a J Street conference the dirty word OCCUPATION was mentioned by the WH Chief of Staff. About time too.

    “White House chief of staff: 50 years of Israeli occupation must end
    U.S. cannot pretend Netanyahu didn’t say no Palestinian state would be established on his watch, Denis McDonough tells J Street conference in Washington.

    White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made it clear Monday that the crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations over the issue of a Palestinian state has not dissipated, despite efforts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to clarify remarks he made late in the election campaign that no such state would be established on his watch.

    “We cannot simply pretend that those comments were never made,” McDonough told the J Street conference in Washington, whose leftist audience received his remarks enthusiastically.

    He also warned Israel’s next government not to consider unilateral annexation of any West Bank territory, saying it would “be both wrong and illegal,” and that America would strenuously object.

    “Israel cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely,” he said. “An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.” He denied claims that the administration’s reevaluation of its approach to the peace process stemmed from U.S. President Barack Obama’s “personal pique” with Netanyahu, but he described Netanyahu’s remarks before the election as “troubling.”

    McDonough called into question Netanyahu’s sincerity regarding the two-state solution.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.648465

    • pabelmont
      March 24, 2015, 11:18 am

      Kay, Yes the occupation must end and high time the Obama administration has begun to say so, perhaps even daily! Let us hope!

      Also, the break in Jewish solidarity with Israel may be because not only of the Netanyahu speech to Congress but also the no-two-states and racist-against-the-Arab-20% speech by Netanyahu before the election.

      But how to end the occupation?

      An imposed peace treaty (a la UNGA-181 (1947))? Or something else?

      I favor something else, sanctions to require Israel to remove all setters, the wall, all settlement buildings; and end the siege on Gaza.

      • Kay24
        March 24, 2015, 11:50 am

        It is going to be very hard Pabelmont, it will be a miracle if they can pull this off.

        I agree sanctions (BDS) is the only way to go. These zionists deprive the Palestinians of every thing possible, time they felt some of that too. No nation deserves it more than Israel.

      • Mooser
        March 24, 2015, 3:33 pm

        “It is going to be very hard Pabelmont, it will be a miracle if they can pull this off.”

        No doubt, but if it does come to this, I would rather the US used my tax money to ‘compensate’ (OMG!) settlers for being moved out of the territory than to buy Israel more arms. Or better still,to compensate Palestinians!

  2. marc b.
    March 24, 2015, 10:37 am

    good god, what a nauseating paean to exceptionalism. and who do I thank for this?

    Our politicians and newspapers are speaking out because they are licensed by a segment of the official Jewish community that is deeply troubled by Israel’s behavior.

    say, that’s mighty white of you, licensing free speech by politicians and newspapers. is there a licensing fee?

    • Eva Smagacz
      March 24, 2015, 7:13 pm

      I don’t see paean to exceptionalism, I see statement of deeply unpleasant fact.

      By permitting subversion of democracy with money and nepotism/tribalism, we give licence to “a segment of official Jewish community” to control politicians and newspapers.

      We let them become “mighty white”. There isn’t folk alive on this planet that wouldn’t take such a power if it was there for the taking.

      Consider reading how America is no longer a democracy 2014 paper by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page

      http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9354310

      • Keith
        March 24, 2015, 8:02 pm

        EVA SMAGACZ- “Consider reading how America is no longer a democracy 2014 paper by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page.”

        No longer a democracy? The link you provided indicates that there is empirical data to demonstrate that the US is a money driven, money controlled society. Where, exactly, does it show that the US was ever other than an elite controlled society?

  3. Bill in Maryland
    March 24, 2015, 10:42 am

    Beautiful essay—> thanks so much Phil.

  4. Giles
    March 24, 2015, 10:45 am

    Anybody else see a problem with the idea that the 98% plus of Americans who are not Jewish seem to have no say in American foreign policy in the Middle East? We must wait until “a segment of the official Jewish community” allows us to back what they are saying?

    • marc b.
      March 24, 2015, 11:02 am

      it’s okay, giles. you apparently just glossed over ‘official’. an honest mistake. it didn’t sound kosher to me at first, but, well, if it’s official, what’s to argue? after all this signals the reversal of ‘the demise of the jewish intellect’.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 24, 2015, 11:09 am

      about 1/2 way thru i did think ‘hey, we matter too!’ and the next sentence i read was “Of course many other Americans were angered by Netanyahu’s act of daring. But I believe that Jews drove the political shift. ”

      this, i believe, is difference of opinion/perspective – there are those who believe (like slatter) that any shift in US opinion on israel depends on the jewish community. i don’t agree. i think most american jews are susceptible to the same shifts, the same winds coursing thru our political environment. i don’t think we can be separated so easily and i don’t think we take our cues from jewish pundits, politicians and thinkers. i think americans of all stripes were appalled by the gop/netanyahu/boehner gumption of making that speech and there is clarity israel is trying to push us into war with iran. that’s not just jewish people giving us permission to be appalled. it’s a natural reaction for an american. so that revulsion swept thru the country and we all felt it.

      i don’t care that phil (and others) think these national winds of change on the american conscience happen because there is some sort of permission there from american jews. in fact, phil’s second to last embed here: http://coreyrobin.com/2015/03/19/it-breaks-my-heart-to-say-this-but-today-i-dont-feel-i-can-call-myself-a-zionist-any-longer/ “It breaks my heart to say this, but today I don’t feel I can call myself a Zionist any longer.” i think we give them permission. i think the national dialogue is lifting up and supporting these voices . it’s really normal not to be a zionist and it doesn’t mean you’re a hater and a bad person. it’s because of people like martin, and people like blacklivesmatter, and people who have been in front on prison reform, and here we are decades after the civil rights movement that as americans we just know, in our hearts that racism is wrong. that’s not jewish per se, it’s common sense and who we are. and it’s the strength in knowing that and the support we lend eachother that will give courage to these people who are a part of us (american jews) who have been raised to support this criminal state — it will give them support to break away. and that’s what we’re seeing. i don’t think they are leading this shift. i think it is the american people from all walks of life in the lead. as we (all of us) swell in numbers what we’re seeing is the tipping pt.

      anyway, either way it’s fine with me. chick egg or egg chicken it makes no difference. what makes a difference is we’re moving forward and doing it together.

      • marc b.
        March 24, 2015, 11:22 am

        i don’t care that phil (and others) think these national winds of change on the american conscience happen because there is some sort of permission there.

        annie, whether you care or not, the accuracy of Weiss’s statement is important. if he is correct, then essentially we are talking about an internecine battle of the Netanyahus vs. the anti-Netanyahus over the soul of Israel, and other suspect memes. that’s hardly an earthshattering development. but you’re right on one level: it’s possible that a significant number of Americans are coming to the conclusion that jewish sensibilities should be irrelevant when considering solutions to the IP conflict, whether they’re given permission to reach that conclusion or not.

      • Mooser
        March 24, 2015, 11:39 am

        “i think most american jews are susceptible to the same shifts, the same winds coursing thru our political environment.”

        Bong! Bell rung, bulls-eye hit, ring around the neck of the floating bottle, and the winner is entitled to cigar, coco-nut, or stuffed animal, winner’s choice!

      • Philip Weiss
        March 24, 2015, 11:39 am

        I mean inside the MSM and the establishment, Annie; I think they are still very attuned to Jewish official attitude. But yes, our coalition has grassroots power. And James Baker spoke at J St

      • Kathleen
        March 24, 2015, 12:35 pm

        Baker did not tip toe several decades ago and demonstrated that once again in his most recent speech

      • just
        March 24, 2015, 1:38 pm

        +10 Annie!

      • Annie Robbins
        March 24, 2015, 11:49 pm

        the winner is entitled to cigar, coco-nut, or stuffed animal, winner’s choice!

        i’d like the cuddly moose:
        http://www.cuddlycollectibles.com/Animal/Animal%20Collections/klumbsy/GU60148CarobMoose.jpg

      • just
        March 25, 2015, 12:03 am

        awww!

      • Mooser
        March 25, 2015, 12:45 am

        “i’d like the cuddly moose:”

        Did not have address to send stuffed animal, so I sent a donation to Mondo instead.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 25, 2015, 1:38 am

        ;) bummer! i wanted the cuddly moose! you’re forgiven. how very very sweet of you.

      • CigarGod
        March 25, 2015, 9:15 am

        Based upon the response in my neck of the woods…heavy teaparty/evangelical….bibi was speaking to this fascist segment of america…which mirrors israel. These american groups were already standing on their chairs cheering…before he ever made the speech. Bibi doesnt care about liberal jews…he cares about teaparty/evangelical zionists. That is where the new “gushers” are being drilled. Thats why the traitorous republicans gave him a drilling permit.

    • Krauss
      March 24, 2015, 1:14 pm

      Anybody else see a problem with the idea that the 98% plus of Americans who are not Jewish seem to have no say in American foreign policy in the Middle East?

      Bingo, Giles.

      The most important book on the I/P was actually the Israel Lobby by Mearsheimer/Walt and both are non-Jews. I don’t believe two Jewish professors would have written that book – just look at the community leash imposed on Richard Goldstone.

      Even if I agree with the technical analysis of Phil’s words, I’m annoyed that he doesn’t see the deep problems in this situation. People shouldn’t be licensed by anyone but their own conscience to speak out. If there is a roadblock, whether by an ethnic/religious or even class-based group, then those people must step aside or else be forced to.

      We can’t wait for these people to change, and I say that even if it concerns my own community. This oversensitivity is helping nobody.

      • MRW
        March 25, 2015, 4:09 am

        This oversensitivity is helping nobody.

        Precisely.

    • Keith
      March 24, 2015, 5:42 pm

      GILES- “Anybody else see a problem with the idea that the 98% plus of Americans who are not Jewish seem to have no say in American foreign policy in the Middle East?”

      Since the 99% have at best a negligible effect on foreign policy, there is no significant difference when it comes to the Middle East. And surely you are not suggesting that the majority of American Jews have a significant impact on US Middle East policy? As with most things, the elites determine policy based upon their perceived self-interest and manufacture consent through the doctrinal system. That is why Obama can get away with audaciously “declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.”
      http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/3/obama-absurdly-declares-venezuela-a-national-security-threat.html

    • JWalters
      March 24, 2015, 6:52 pm

      I don’t think Phil was saying that non-Jews have no effect on American Middle East policy. Many non-Jews (and Jews) have been working for decades to bring the facts to the public. It seems to me he is (1) acknowledging the outsized influence Zionist Big Money has had on American policy, and (2) saying that outsized influence is cracking due to a split in the American Jewish community.

      As long as the American Jewish community was mainly monolithic, it gave credibility and political strength to the Zionist Big Money. Because of this split, that credibility and political power is now collapsing. The shift in the American Jewish community has thus precipitated a tipping point.

      The tipping point would have come eventually because of the power of facts in an internet age. But it might have been slower and uglier. And the tipping of the American Jewish community has without doubt depended on all those people, Jewish and non-Jewish, who have been hammering on the truth for decades.

      The acknowledgement of Zionist Big Money is significant in itself because Big Money of any sort often has its own agenda, often hidden.

    • MRW
      March 25, 2015, 12:30 am

      A generation from now people won’t believe that this even happened. It did happen.

      You’re naive if you think the disparaged goyim aren’t noticing,

      A warmongering prime minister sought to undermine a president’s peacemaking policy by coming to Congress at the invitation of Republicans to fight the president’s deal with Iran

      Good thing these bastards didn’t do it during the 80s. Can you imagine if the pro-Israel/pro-Russia group had convinced a bunch of hepped-up Democratic senators to write Gorbachev during Reagan’s SALT II talks and told him that Reagan would be out of office in two years and Congress could reverse everything they were doing?

      Someone in the Jewish community is smoking the wrong weed.

  5. Annie Robbins
    March 24, 2015, 10:47 am

    if it has not occurred to the conference of presidents they shot themselves in the foot by rejecting j street – not including them in their big tent – it should be dawning on them sometime soon. bigggg divide in the works.

    great article phil!

  6. seafoid
    March 24, 2015, 11:46 am

    The speech and the arrogance and the racism of the election finally cracked the monolith.
    Israel had been running on fumes for some time. In Hebrew it’s fine to decide peace is pointless but they never translated successfully into English. Israelis do not give a f$ck and the penny finally started to drop for Americans. Bad faith .

    The bots took away the fig leaf of hope and they are paying for it now. Hope is for goy losers, they thought..

    I can imagine well intentioned anti BDS activists who wanted to take a stand against something they felt was unjust because Israel would deliver a better way. The stab these people got in the back is unforgivable. Bad faith is the essence of Zionism .

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.648009

    “Netanyahu’s reelection takes away pro-Israel students’ most powerful tool: the existence of a government committed to peace. “The situation has gotten so bad, so indefensible, that, over the past year, the pro-Israel community has given up on defending Netanyahu’s policies. Instead, on-campus activism consists of harmless events about Israel’s startup scene or innovative water conservation research. Even “defensive” actions by pro-Israel groups against student government BDS resolutions no longer target the foundation of the BDS movement (that there are human rights violations occurring and that the best way to stop them is to cut ties with those complicit in them), for while they often lack critical context, the citations in the BDS resolutions about Israel’s human rights violations are ironclad. When the pro-Israel camp cannot present an alternative to the cycle of violence, it is very hard to oppose loud, angry students who say they have the answer. – ”

  7. seafoid
    March 24, 2015, 11:52 am

    Israeli Judaism went this way
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJMFxIauuME

    American Judaism went off in other directions

    Impossible to triangulate

    • ziusudra
      March 24, 2015, 10:50 pm

      Greetings seafoid,
      I was startled to hear him give his bit as PM BB in voice tamber & mannerisms! 10 sec. was enough.
      Thank you.
      ziusudra

  8. unverified__5ilf90kd
    March 24, 2015, 11:59 am

    You wrote “It is too late for the two state solution; any real effort to establish a viable Palestinian state would start a civil war in Israel”.

    Phil – you sound like one of those irrational Jews you are criticizing. It is too late for the two state solution ? A Civil War ? In my opinion if it takes a civil war to get a two state solution then we should foment a civil war as soon as possible. I think Israel deserves punishment and must be changed because of what they have done to the Palestinians. Phil – are you saying that we should forgo our demands and our struggle for the two state solution in order to protect Israel from a civil war ? What exactly is your meaning ? You owe us an explanation ?

    • OyVey00
      March 24, 2015, 7:21 pm

      A civil war would mean the Palestinians would be expelled or eradicated, since there’s no way they can win against the IDF.

      • Mooser
        March 24, 2015, 10:45 pm

        No a civil war. Factions in Israel fighting each other.

    • italian ex-pat
      March 24, 2015, 8:11 pm

      For all it’s worth, I have to agree with Phil on this, there’s no way those settlements will ever be dismantled or evacuated, too late for that. For pete’s sake, the IDF can’t even remove a few families living in shacks, which the Israeli Supreme Court itself has declared illegal; if they manage to tear them down the settlers rebuild them the next day. Can you imagine trying to evict several hundred thousands, all armed to the teeth? I have no doubt they would turn their arms agaist fellow Israelis, if their claim to the land is threatened. And I wonder how the soldiers themselves would react, if ordered to get rough with their friends and neighbors. Civil war it would be, and it might even reach the US, where loyalties are still mixed, in spite of recent events.

      No, the blame rests squarely with successive US presidents who have been too weak or too afraid of political blowback to confront the Jewish lobby and withdraw support to Israel when it became obvious that country was set on an expansionist course and actually presumed to make demands and dictate foreign policy to its benefactor.

      • NickJOCW
        March 25, 2015, 11:56 am

        The target of BDS is precisely to get the settlements dismantled. BDS is a peaceful movement, it doesn’t anticipate driving the settlers away with tanks and bulldozers but by encouraging socio/cultural ostracism and escalating economic incentives. I see no reason why that shouldn’t succeed in achieving serious emigration with no immigration. Whatever happens there will remain Jewish migrants but Palestinians are not likely to seek to persecute them or deny them human rights. There is no Palestinian equivalent to Zionism. In fact no civilized people has anything quite like it.

      • Mooser
        March 25, 2015, 3:23 pm

        “Can you imagine trying to evict several hundred thousands, all armed to the teeth?”

        With light weapons, limited ammo, no armored vehicles and no air power? No secure communication, and oh yes, no military discipline? Please. Cut off their water, cut off their electricity. What do they plan to do with the kids during the battles?
        Make sure there’s a safe path for those who want to leave, so they won’t be cut down by the settlers when they leave.

    • ziusudra
      March 24, 2015, 11:04 pm

      Greetings,
      …I think Israel deserves punishment……
      It’s always the People or the Country that are to blame, but ne’er the Politicians. I think PM BB & his croonies deserve punishment & any pol. party that continues on with conquest & the demise of the Palestinians.
      …A civil war…..
      Would only have PM BB, Goldman Sachs, Fed Res., Bank of England & the vile Settlers against the Israelis. Ah, yes the Military Brass & the Justice System would also side with BB. – not a good idea for the People.
      ziusudra
      PS What happened to the Germans or Japanese that committed crimes against humanity? They got away. So will the low echelon helpers in Israel.

  9. Kathleen
    March 24, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Read once. Going to read again later.

    Phil: “But I believe that Jews drove the political shift.’ This seems like an effort to inflate the efforts of one group over another for the “political shift.” More recently Dem congressional black caucus members led the stance against attending BB’s speech focused on undermining P5+1 negotiations. Some Jewish congressional members seemed to follow their lead.

    Why not say that the “political shift” is a confluence of many groups efforts to open up the debate based on facts to BDS, Christian groups, Jewish groups, congress people waking up, MSM outlets more willing to report the facts etc. Why elevate one particular group?

    Chris Matthews has become more outspoken. However as you have pointed out he waited until he felt totally safe that he would not be reprimanded or suffer some sore of consequences. He still repeats that in Israel everyone is free to say whatever they want about the circumstances. We know that is not the truth. Mentioning the Nakba now against the law etc. What would happen if a Palestinian went into a coffee house in Tel Aviv and started shouting about illegal settlements etc. What a myth he is pushing.

    First MSNBC host to step out on this issue was Chris Hayes when he was host of UP, Melissa Harris Perry has had numerous panels on this issue, Dylan Ratigan (his guest Glenn Greenwald took Cliff May down some years ago about the conflict etc) Chris Matthews has come out when he knows it is safe. His willingness now to play a bit of real hardball on this issue has been a long time coming. We don’t need to make him some kind of hero or saint because he finally has done so. He has played it safe for a long time. Better late than never Chris. One thing he did do almost immediately after BB ‘s congressional speech was to say that no one has ever believed that BB “was never for the two state solution” That BB “kept upping the ante”

    Chris has been testing the waters a bit over the last year or so. But Chris Hayes, MHP, Dylan Ratigan led the way by having panels etc on these issues on their programs. Chris still refuses to have Hillary Mann Leverett on his program to help educate the public based on facts about Iran. Melissa Harris Perry has had her on at least four times on this issue since last summer. Matthews still has the same old same old safe MSNBC contributors on like Fineman, Corn etc. Have some real experts on. People who have been in administrations , are middle east experts and have actually negotiated directly with Iran. Chris is a follower on speaking out about this issue not a leader. Rachel, Al Sharpton, Ed etc are still following

    Mika Brzenski has really been playing hardball on this issue the last couple of mornings on Morning Joe (Scarborough not there) This morning she went off on guest asking why everyone is blaming Obama for the rift “what are you afraid of” …”who will cut through the bs” She was really digging in.

    • Donald
      March 24, 2015, 4:39 pm

      “Mika Brzenski has really been playing hardball on this issue the last couple of mornings on Morning Joe (Scarborough not there) This morning she went off on guest asking why everyone is blaming Obama for the rift “what are you afraid of” …”who will cut through the bs” She was really digging in. ”

      Might be her dad’s influence, not that I want to take any credit away from her. Her father really ripped into Joe on this issue once–I’m not a regular viewer, but I saw the clip online.

      • JWalters
        March 24, 2015, 7:03 pm

        Her dad said (on Morning Joe) that the movie which triggered the demonstrations which provided cover for the attack on the Benghazi embassy was a “conspiracy”, because the financing of that movie was so mysterious. (He used the word “conspiracy”.) It seems to me the most logical explanation is that it was intended to be the “October surprise” which would propel Mitt Romney into the presidency. Like the Repubs did to get Nixon elected, and then Reagan. The Republicans in Congress keep hammering on Benghazi because they want to get the maximum return for their investment.

      • Kathleen
        March 25, 2015, 11:01 am

        I think her brilliant father’s well informed insights have had an influence. However Mika is sharp enough to come to her own conclusions. Watch her hold her tongue so often with Scarborough on these issues. She may feel the same safe opening that Chris Matthews is operating from. Also Scaborough gone this week. She has been ripping.

        Over and over hearing host and guest try to pass this rift between Obama and Netanyahu has “personal” Such hooey. There are extreme policy differences. Obama is the first President to take a firm and I believe constructive stand against Israel’s undermining of U.S. National Security and ultimately their own. I really think Obama and Kerry are being sober and constructive friends to Israel. Like drawing the boundary with an addicted friend who is about to destroy themselves

      • lysias
        March 25, 2015, 11:07 am

        Obama is the first President to take a firm and I believe constructive stand against Israel’s undermining of U.S. National Security and ultimately their own

        Eisenhower did it. So did JFK.

    • Kathleen
      March 25, 2015, 12:20 pm

      JFK demanded Ben Gurion open up to international inspections which did not happen. How else would you say that Kennedy stood up to Israel?

      Eisenhower?

      I think Obama is going the distance standing up to Israel and the I lobbies push for a military intervention with Iran

      And now making clear that Netanyahu’s lack of real action (stop building illegal settlements and housing in E Jerusalem) on a 2ss speaks much louder than his words. For a two state solution before he was against before he was for web of deception

    • Kathleen
      March 26, 2015, 10:07 am

      Thanks lysia

  10. Kathleen
    March 24, 2015, 12:32 pm

    Prof Cole has a zinger up at Informed Comment looking to 2030 in the region

  11. Mooser
    March 24, 2015, 12:33 pm

    “American Jews are taking back their power from Israel”

    I don’t think Mr. Weiss is thinking this through. If American (and other) Jews put too much pressure on Israel, they might excommunicate us, kick us out. And what then? Is it worth the risk of being declared persona non gantseh?

    • Kathleen
      March 24, 2015, 12:37 pm

      Most American Jews and many others have kept the wall of silence intact for decades. Celebrating that this shift is happening is important. However inflating one groups more recent efforts over another groups efforts is not a good idea. Divisive and false

  12. hophmi
    March 24, 2015, 12:43 pm

    You are, as usual, engaging in magical thinking, and vastly overstating your case. It’s in your interest to do so, I suppose, but it’s silly to argue that this debate will lead to more support for the BDS movement. There has been a debate between two-staters and one-staters for 40 years, and the two-staters have recovered from the disappointment of Oslo. It is not new. This is a correction to the ascendency of the right-wingers.

    But Jews will not sign on en masse to the BDS movement, which, at its core, is rife with Jew-hatred precisely because it has taken on the bad psychopathologies of the Middle East rather than tempering them with the liberal values of the West (and that is the reason that it has led to increased antisemitism), and offers no real solution to the conflict in the Middle East other than a self-serving, naive utopia that will lead to bloodshed. BDS continues to be marginal, and continues to have no effect on American public opinion.

    • Qualtrough
      March 24, 2015, 1:52 pm

      Hopfmi, The fact that you spend so much of your time here writing about something ‘marginal’ makes me wonder if you really know what that word means.

      • Mooser
        March 24, 2015, 3:48 pm

        “You are, as usual, engaging in magical thinking, and vastly overstating your case. It’s in your interest to do so, I suppose, but it’s silly to argue that this debate will lead to more support for the BDS movement.”

        Hello Qualtrough! Hophmi’s opinion of Phil Weiss has apparently improved quite a bit in the last few weeks! It was only about two months ago Hophmi began a comment thus:

        This analysis is nothing new. It is typical of Phil’s writing, which suggests, as it always does, the Phil has internalized anti-Jewish hatred, and like those secularist Jews in Europe who looked down upon their brethren or converted to Christianity to escape their Judaism, Phil adopts the classic tropes of the self-hater.

        And builds to this incisive climax:

        “Self-hatred is a disease. It is a sad disease borne of many generations of persecution, but it is a disease. And Phil is afflicted with it, as many Jews have been in the past. And it is usually the self-haters who cause the worst damage to the Jewish community, precisely because of how small it is”.

        Now, I ask you, Mr. Qualtrough can we call someone who can reason like that marginal?

      • Keith
        March 24, 2015, 8:25 pm

        MOOSER- Hophmi says: “And it is usually the self-haters who cause the worst damage to the Jewish community, precisely because of how small it is.”

        Is he actually accusing Phil of being a traitor? One can only wonder how many Zionist lawyers on Wall Street favor brown shirts.

      • Mooser
        March 24, 2015, 10:54 pm

        “Is he actually accusing Phil of being a traitor?”

        Damned if I know what Hophmi is trying to do, except make sure nobody ever takes him seriously, or think he is on the level.
        And of course, what a grotesque Hophmi makes of himself, doing all this at Phil Weiss’s blog. Not at his own, but in the comment section of Phil’s blog, where he’s come to settle.

    • seafoid
      March 24, 2015, 1:56 pm

      What age are you, Hoppy? Israel is like a FRED process- Fast Rise, exponential decay
      It’ll be even more odious next year and you think the kids are gonna go with Likud ?
      Go for a lie down.

      • just
        March 24, 2015, 2:33 pm

        +1 seafoid!

      • Mooser
        March 24, 2015, 2:49 pm

        “is rife with Jew-hatred precisely because it has taken on the bad psychopathologies of the Middle East”

        Oh no, is Hophmi going to repeat all of his same old tired stuff, only substituting “Jew-hatred” for “anti-semitism”?

        Got to admit “Jew-hatred” has a raw visceral sound that old “anti-semitism” can’t quite muster.

        Hey, Hophmi, why don’t you do a long comment linking the “bad psychopathologies of the Middle East” to Phil’s “self-hatred and “diseased mind”

        Maybe you could surpass the “The Phils Will Fall Away”!

      • seafoid
        March 24, 2015, 4:00 pm

        Good old Jew hatred. Nothing to do with Sabra sons of bitches who think cruelty is politically effective

      • Philemon
        March 24, 2015, 10:09 pm

        Hey, the old charge of being “antisemitic” or an “anti-Semite” was losing its caché. It was becoming, as someone put it, not so much someone who hated Jews, as much as someone that particular Jews hated. It was getting so that everybody was an anti-Semite.

        “Jew-Hatred” is fresh and in-your-face. The only problem for the propaganda is that nobody in reality hates Jews.

      • Mooser
        March 25, 2015, 12:53 am

        “The only problem for the propaganda is that nobody in reality hates Jews.”

        I forget who it was, but somebody reminded us the other day that for many, many people, Israelis and their works are the only Jews they know, and Zionists almost they only Jews they know of. I can’t blame a person who has had a significant amount of experience with Israel and its works for hating Jews, since Israel makes every effort to make it clear that Jews and Judaism is what Israel represents.

      • RoHa
        March 25, 2015, 5:47 am

        “since Israel makes every effort to make it clear that Jews and Judaism is what Israel represents. ”

        Add to that the fact that in many parts of the world lots of “official” Jewish organizations (Boards of Deputies and the like) are very vocal in support of Israel. They create the impression that the great majority of Jews are Zionists.

      • Philemon
        March 26, 2015, 8:40 pm

        But that’s just it. Antisemitism is so old fashioned and based on a racist ideology that nobody can even wrap their minds around nowadays. Not to mention that it never made any sense in the first place.

        The whole “Jew-hater” thing is predicated on some people having a reason to mistrust, resent, object to, or be angry with some Jews. However, the people who are actually subject to mistreatment by Israelis are under no illusions that it is “every person with any Jewish ancestry or anyone who subscribes to Judaism.” They are perfectly well aware that it is only some Jews, and they know which ones. Which I’m guessing is why a significant percentage of Israeli Jews have dual passports.

    • eljay
      March 24, 2015, 2:17 pm

      || hophmeee: … it has taken on the bad psychopathologies of the Middle East rather than tempering them with the liberal values of the West … and offers no real solution to the conflict in the Middle East other than a self-serving, naive utopia that will lead to bloodshed. ||

      An excellent description of Zio-supremacism and the decades-long supremacist “Jewish State” project.

    • Giles
      March 24, 2015, 2:42 pm

      “…as usual, engaging in magical thinking, and vastly overstating your case.”

      “..rife with Jew-hatred…”

      “..bad psychopathologies of the Middle East..”

      “…increased anti-Semitism…”

      “…self-serving, naive utopia..”

      Note the child-like, emotionally charged words of someone who has been raised from before the age of reason to believe in a fairytale Israel.

      This is not someone interested in the truth. This is a glimpse into the Occupied Mind of someone who never had a chance to develop his own worldview before having the Zionist Narrative forced onto him

      • Mooser
        March 24, 2015, 3:23 pm

        “having the Zionist Narrative forced onto him”

        What nonsense, Giles, if you don’t mind my saying so! “Forced onto him”? I really , really doubt that. Nobody forces anything on Hophmi.
        I am sure he is well compensated for everything he does. And besides, just hink of the royalties from his “Collected Comments” books. And I’ve heard Hophmi’s had very lucrative offers to develop “The Phils will Fall Away” and “My Two Outer Reaches” into a full-length feature film.

      • justicewillprevail
        March 24, 2015, 3:59 pm

        Hoppy, the bus has left and you missed it. As it picks up momentum and more passengers get on board, you are getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror. Bye.

      • seafoid
        March 24, 2015, 4:01 pm

        Hoppy should talk to some Muslims via his outreach programs to see how they viewed Protective Slaughter.

    • Sycamores
      March 24, 2015, 2:52 pm

      Hophmi,

      the two state solution is dead in the water, all sides can agree on that by now. yet the insanity prevails internationally the 2ss is the only option on the table. so is it possible to resuscitate the 2ss? maybe by appliying massive international force on Israel with sanctions, divestments and boycotts. there is no gaurantees that it would work.

      the 1s1v1p would be fought tooth and nail by most Jewish Israelis to save the Jewishness of their state over democracy as well as holding on to Palestinian land stolen by illegal Jewish settlers.
      i reckon if there was a ‘civil’ war the illegal settlements would be the first flashpoints.

      Israel solution so far is maintaining the status quo of an Non-State with no borders as it gobbles up more Palestinian land while the international community watches on.

      the frustration of the Palestinians people with Israel and the international community led them to their BDS movement and in 50 years time our children children will be wondering why anyone would oppose it.

    • just
      March 24, 2015, 3:10 pm

      Here hophmi:

      “The Anti-Semitism Surge That Isn’t

      ………Here’s what we do know: The Anti-Defamation League, which hardly downplays prejudice against Jews and keeps its own, careful statistics, reports that there is a trend: The number of anti-Semitic incidents on campuses in three of the last four years is actually the lowest it’s been since the ADL started keeping track in 1999.
      A deep breath would be a good idea about now.

      …….Meantime, our own profession, the media, bears responsibility for hyping this out of proportion. Before relinquishing our skepticism, before broadcasting a more frightening narrative, we need to critically examine the facts. Anti-Semitism in higher education should not be minimized; nor should it be exaggerated. Jewish students ought to be smart enough to perceive and confront the difference between institutional bigotry and the damaging statements of their peers.”

      Read more: http://forward.com/articles/217167/the-anti-semitism-surge-that-isnt/#ixzz3VKdq9X5h

      None of your “Jew- hatred”, either.

  13. Sibiriak
    March 24, 2015, 1:04 pm

    “It is too late for the two state solution; any real effort to establish a viable Palestinian state would start a civil war in Israel.”

    ———

    And any real effort to create a single democratic state (Israel +Gaza + West Bank) would face far, far greater–near unanimous–opposition in Israel. So if a two-state solution is impossible due to Jewish Israeli opposition, then, a fortiori, a single-state solution is impossible as well.

    • Keith
      March 24, 2015, 7:10 pm

      SIBIRIAK- “So if a two-state solution is impossible due to Jewish Israeli opposition, then, a fortiori, a single-state solution is impossible as well.”

      I agree that a single state of all Israeli citizens with equal justice, etc, is quite impossible at the present time and in the foreseeable future. This is why I think that arguing over one state versus two states is a waste of time. The near term goal should be to lift the siege of Gaza and fight for human rights. Right now, another Gaza assault is virtually inevitable as Israel, once again, violates the terms of the most recent cease fire, a recurring pattern. If you can’t get the siege lifted, don’t even bother talking about a one state solution.

  14. marc b.
    March 24, 2015, 1:08 pm

    the BDS movement, which, at its core, is rife with Jew-hatred precisely because it has taken on the bad psychopathologies of the Middle East rather than tempering them with the liberal values of the West . . .

    and here comes hophmi to cast Weiss’s ethnocentric navel-gazing in a positive light. that’s a whole lot of racism packed into one bit of a run on sentence, even for you. so BDS has internalized ‘the bad psychopathologies’ of the ME rather than tempering them with the ‘good psychopathologies’ of western liberalism? what I would pay to be your shrink.

    • amigo
      March 24, 2015, 1:49 pm

      “what I would pay to be your shrink.” marc b to hopknee

      Yes indeed, there is enough material there for a 4 week conference.

      • marc b.
        March 24, 2015, 3:04 pm

        not to pile on, but his complete lack of a functioning introspection bone (found deep in the nasal cavity as any student of freud and fliess knows) is a medical miracle of sorts.

        this is a neat little summary of the introduction of western liberal values into the ME and Africa at the turn of the (last) century, a review of ‘A history of bombing’:

        Joseph Conrad was describing the British naval bombardment of African coastal settlements when, in An Outcast of the Islands (1896), he wrote of ‘the invisible whites’ who ‘dealt death from afar’. In Lindqvist’s history, too, aerial bombardment appears as a novel kind of punitive raid. The first bomb ever to be dropped from a plane – an Italian monoplane piloted by Lieutenant Giulio Cavotti – landed among troops encamped at an oasis outside Tripoli on 1 November 1911. It was reported to have had ‘a wonderful effect on the morale of the Arabs’. The Spanish practised the technique in Morocco, as did the French – who also dropped bombs on Syria and even designed a special ‘colonial’ plane which allowed its airmen to ‘sit in the shade with plenty of space for their machine guns and shoot the indigenes in comfort’. The British bombed revolutionaries in Egypt and Pathans on India’s North-West Frontier in 1915. After the First World War, the future of the British Air Force was guaranteed by Mohammed Abdille Hassan, the troublesome ‘mad Mullah’ of Somaliland, who was bombed into submission within a week. Arthur (Bomber) Harris was a squadron leader in the Third Afghan war of 1919, and pioneered the strategy of ‘control without occupation’ in Iraq, which entailed sprinkling fire on straw-roofed huts: ‘within forty-five minutes,’ Harris reported, ‘a full-sized village … can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured by four or five machines which offer them no real target.’

        Although bombing didn’t determine the outcome of the First World War, it had already become central to military thinking. In The Aircraft in Warfare (1915), the British mathematician F.W. Lanchester suggested that the critical aim of an act of warfare was to overwhelm ‘the fire-extinguishing appliances of the community’, after which ‘the city may be destroyed in toto.’ Lanchester also came up with the idea of deterrence, predicting that, where bombing was concerned, the ‘threat of reprisal’ would always be more effective than ‘pseudo-legal’ prohibition under international law. The Zeppelins bombed civilian areas, and so, too, did the British Air Force under the command of Hugh Trenchard, who once assured enquiring officials that, far from accurately concentrating on targets like railway stations, his pilots ‘drop their eggs well into the middle of the town generally’. The idea of ‘strategic bombing’, which would later support the ‘bomber dream’ of resolving wars from the air alone by laying waste civilian areas, found its prophet in the Italian Giulio Douhet, author of Dominion of the Skies (1921) – though such bombing had already been defined as a war crime under the Hague Conventions of 1907.

        For General Douhet, it was crucial that war be regarded ‘unemotionally, like a science’. This, as Lindqvist says, is the approach taken by the people who have sat in their laboratories working out how to make napalm burn deeper. In order to establish his own contrary perspective, Lindqvist includes a great deal of autobiography in his history. In 1932, the year of his birth, Stanley Baldwin announced that offence was now the only effective form of defence: ‘you have to kill more women and children more quickly than the enemy if you want to save yourselves.’ On Lindqvist’s tenth birthday, 28 March 1942, Bomber Harris launched his offensive against German residential areas, striking Lübeck at night with incendiary bombs. As Lindqvist turned 13, Churchill wrote to his chiefs of staff, arguing that Bomber Command’s raids should now be concentrated on ‘military objectives’ rather than on ‘mere acts of terror and wanton destruction’.

        mere acts of terror. not that Churchill followed his own advice.

      • just
        March 24, 2015, 3:20 pm

        ;-((((

        thanks for the review, marc b.

        This is brilliant:
        “not to pile on, but his complete lack of a functioning introspection bone (found deep in the nasal cavity as any student of freud and fliess knows) is a medical miracle of sorts.”

      • Mooser
        March 24, 2015, 3:27 pm

        “(found deep in the nasal cavity as any student of freud and fliess knows)”

        I believe it was Fleiss who said: “The nose is the gate-way to the mind!”

      • amigo
        March 24, 2015, 4:00 pm

        “or General Douhet, it was crucial that war be regarded ‘unemotionally, like a science’.” marc b.

        Until one of the pilots goes down and is dealt with by the victims .Watch for the unemotional response then.

        I bet you hopknee loved that summary.Right up his zionist alley.Especially the part about killing women and children.

      • RoHa
        March 24, 2015, 6:10 pm

        What a peculiar article! It’s called the “Royal Air Force”, not the “British Air Force”.

      • marc b.
        March 25, 2015, 8:26 am

        roha, perhaps it’s short hand of a kind., or simply a mistake. there was no RAF before 1918, (just like there was no separate service USAF until after WWII) but a couple of air units, the abbreviations of which I forget.

  15. W.Jones
    March 24, 2015, 3:27 pm

    Phil is the best regular writer here (no surprise, I suppose) with the way he writes about insider politics.

  16. ToivoS
    March 24, 2015, 3:48 pm

    I have to agree with Phil that there has been a big change in just the last week. American Jewish support for Israel has been dropping little by little at least since 1982. Perhaps what happened was that some kind of tipping point has been reached.

    What I am most struck by is the lack of a significant response to Obama’s recent statements critical of Nethanyahu. Perhaps I missed it but AIPAC seems quiet right now. What are up to? Maybe they think if they just keep quiet this whole thing will just go away? Maybe the division Phil documents extends into the AIPAC itself and they are struggling to define new party line? Whatever, the dog is not barking. That is a mystery.

    • amigo
      March 24, 2015, 4:08 pm

      “What I am most struck by is the lack of a significant response to Obama’s recent statements critical of Nethanyahu. Perhaps I missed it but AIPAC seems quiet right now. What are up to? -” .Tovio S

      I bet the zionist false flag dept is working overtime.Israel needs a few suicide bombings or some other method of arranging a mass killing of Israeli Jews to steady the ship.

      The loss of the victim status has to be reversed at any cost.What are a few dozen Jewish lives compared to losing the Greater Israel.

    • Chu
      March 24, 2015, 6:36 pm

      Agree. It’s like the electric fence short circuited. Seems like an opening is at hand.

  17. Mooser
    March 24, 2015, 4:26 pm

    I sure like the idea that maybe, just maybe, the American public will learn that those with grave doubts about Israel’s course of action, or even opposition to Zionism itself, or a personal policy of non-involvement with Israel/Zionism, are not just a few Jewish “self-haters” but instead, compose a significant part of today’s American Jewish community. That can’t hurt.

  18. W.Jones
    March 24, 2015, 4:43 pm

    Why is this rupture happening now? Why didn’t it happen during any number of earlier provocations, from the building of Har Homa settlement outside Jerusalem to the fomenting of the Iraq war to the slaughter of Cast Lead?

    One reason was how brazen Netanyahu was. Obama wants peace with Iran, and Netanyahu decided to run a full-house concert style applause session against Obama. There are other things, but that definitely played a big role.

  19. JLewisDickerson
    March 24, 2015, 5:49 pm

    RE: “Morton Halperin (father of Mark Halperin, who appears on Matthews) said that the Prime Minister was a racist who had blocked the two state solution.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: “Like father, like son!”
    Bibi Netanyahu is a racist!
    Bibi Netanyahu’s father was a racist!
    Bibi Netanyahu’s son is a racist!

    SEE – “Bibi’s Father’s Answer to the ‘Arab Problem’: Hang’ Em in the Town Square”, By Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 4/04/09

    [EXCERPTS] Imagine, if you will, if Barack Obama’s real father was Rev. Jeremiah Wright and imagine, if you will, that Wright gave an eight-page interview to USA Today the week of Obama’s inauguration. Then you can imagine the “interest” with which such a ‘Maariv’ interview with Bibi Netanyahu’s father was met in Israeli circles.
    Noam Sheizaf, who works for Maariv, has translated portions of the interview . . .
    . . . And without further ado, I give you, Ben Zion Netanyahu, the father of the man:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . • Question: You don’t like the Arabs, to say the least.
    Benzion Netanyahu: “The Bible finds no worse image than this of the man from the desert. And why? Because he has no respect for any law. Because in the desert he can do as he pleases.
    The tendency towards conflict is in the essence of the Arab. He is an enemy by essence. His personality won’t allow him any compromise or agreement. It doesn’t matter what kind of resistance he will meet, what price he will pay. His existence is one of perpetuate war.”. . .
    . . . • Question: Is there any hope of peace?
    Benzion Netanyahu: …No…The two states solution doesn’t exist. There are no two people here. There is a Jewish people and an Arab population… there is no Palestinian people, so you don’t create a state for an imaginary nation… they only call themselves a people in order to fight the Jews.”
    • Question: So what’s the solution?
    Benzion Netanyahu: “No solution but force… strong military rule. Any outbreak will bring upon the Arabs enormous suffering. We shouldn’t wait for a big mutiny to start, but rather act immediately with great force to prevent them from going on…
    If it’s possible, we should conquer any disputed territory in the land of Israel. Conquer and hold it, even if it brings us years of war. We should conquer Gaza, and parts of the Galil, and the Golan. This will bring upon us a bloody war. . .” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2009/04/04/bibis-fathers-answer-to-the-arab-problem-hang-em-in-the-town-square

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 24, 2015, 5:50 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Netanyahu Family’s Racist History: Like Father, Like Son”, By Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 07/12/11

      [EXCERPT] Jewish tradition declares that children shall not be punished for the sins of their fathers. But it didn’t anticipate a son like the 19 year-old Yair Netanyahu, who appears to retain some of the harsh Arab-hatred that characterizes both his father, Benyamin, and 98 year-old grandfather, Ben Zion. I have written here of the latter’s call for hanging Arabs in the nearest town square to teach them who’s boss, a punishment he contends that was quite effective in the Ottoman era. Apparently, he doesn’t realize that the despotic Muslim Ottomans may not be the political model he wishes Israel to emulate. In 1989, Benyamin, his father advocated expelling Israeli Palestinian citizens from the State in a comment I’d personally never heard until I read it and published it here.
      The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as they say. Here [in Hebrew] are a few of the choice racist comments (and a shorter English article) this excellent expose by Uri Blau attributes to Yair Netanyahu via his Facebook page.
      A few years ago at a time when Ehud Olmert was prime minister, riots broke out in the formerly Arab town of Akko (Acre), when an Israeli Palestinian mistakenly drove into an Orthodox community on Yom Kippur (a day when driving is forbidden). The result was this Facebook page created by the younger Netanyahu which stated:

      As a Result of the Akko Pogroms, I Too Boycott Arab Businesses!

      Those Arab sons of whores desecrated the holiest day of our year. This wasn’t in Syria or in Egypt. It was right here in the State of Israel–the Jewish nation’s only state. Because the leftist authorities won’t do anything regarding this matter and because the media will only trot out [before the cameras] the “poor Arabs,” it is up to us to do the minimum to restore our self-respect by boycotting all Arab businesses and products. Besides, I boycotted these shits even before!

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/07/12/netanyahu-familys-racist-history-like-father-like-son/

    • RoHa
      March 25, 2015, 6:10 am

      “• Benzion Netanyahu: “The Bible finds no worse image than this of the man from the desert.”

      Let’s ignore the fact that the vast majority of Arabs are farmers and city folk.

      ” There is a Jewish people and an Arab population… there is no Palestinian people, so you don’t create a state for an imaginary nation”

      And here we see that strange obsession with “nations” and “peoples” that we find in JeffB’s posts.

  20. Keith
    March 24, 2015, 6:59 pm

    PHIL- “In 1967, American Jews fell in love with Israel and made a solemn promise to protect the country through thick and thin.”

    True enough, but why and how does this relate to taking back their power from Israel? Was not this alliance between Israel and American Jewish Zionists based in the US? Is not Israel primarily a quasi-metaphysical symbol of the secular religion known as Zionism? Is not Zionism the secular equivalent of Classical Judaism insofar as it is the ideological unifier of Zionist Jews? And as such, do not the American Jewish Zionist elites influence Israel at least as much as Israel influences them?

    I maintain that the notion of Israeli control over American Jewish Zionists is a serious misreading of the situation. The love affair between American Jews and Israel began after the 1967 war in which Israel destroyed Nasser and pan-Arabism, a huge service to empire which established Israel as a prime strategic asset, at least initially. It also established Zionist bonafides as reliable blood and soil nationalists as opposed to radical socialists and reformers. In no small measure, Zionism and Israel is the means by which the Zionist elites control organized American Jewry for the benefit of empire and themselves. Empire Jews, not Marxist radicals. It was primarily this fact which eliminated the barriers to Jewish penetration of the upper echelons of power. There is no power to take back because it was never given away. Now, American Jewish Zionists may come to abandon Israel as a unifying symbol, however, at this point in time Israeli actions largely reflect the wishes of American Jewish Zionist fat-cats like Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban and the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations.

    • aiman
      March 25, 2015, 6:29 am

      PHIL- “In 1967, American Jews fell in love with Israel and made a solemn promise to protect the country through thick and thin.”

      And why is this fact not widely scrutinised? Why is one form of tribal militancy (JSIL) permissible and another (ISIL) not? Both are barbaric cults. I believe Zionism is not just centred on the lobby but like other propaganda cults is a matter of consciousness.

  21. just
    March 24, 2015, 7:39 pm

    “Boehner baffled over WSJ accusations

    Scathing reports accuse Israeli spies for giving information to Republicans about the White House’s Iranian nuclear negotiations. Ed Schultz, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Steve Clemons discuss the implications, especially ahead of Speaker Boehner’s trip to Israel.”

    video @ http://www.msnbc.com/the-ed-show/watch/boehner-baffled-over-wsj-accusations-417635395912

    Watch Boteach explode…

    • Citizen
      March 25, 2015, 12:05 am

      Karl Rowe was talking with Lou Dobbs tonight, both astonished at Obama’s “petulance,” and petty immature handling of righteous Israel, the land of the free, home of the brave. They both chided the WH for daring to accuse Israel of spying on Iran and then talking to US congress critters, after all, they agreed earnestly, the WH was spying on our best ally in the first place! They are painting Obama as they paint Iran; it’s really strange. It’s as if Israel is the real America, Bibi the real POTUS. Yes, really, really strange.

      BTW, what broke the camel’s back was when the black caucus felt Obama was disrespected by white Bibi, who went behind his back to speak to Congress.

  22. echinococcus
    March 24, 2015, 7:40 pm

    Undue optimism again. This is all against Netanyahu, not Zionism. The aim of this vague movement is to gain back sympathies towards the Zionists.

    • Citizen
      March 25, 2015, 8:27 am

      You mean they deem Netanyahu too honest, tactless, obvious, not enough of a sly way with words to mollify even the sleeping American millions regarding Israel?

      • echinococcus
        March 25, 2015, 3:10 pm

        Precisely. He’s the archetypal Yahoo –I’m repeating myself, as likable in aspect as Mussolini and in speech as Hitler. Imagine a totally impossible scenario, in which the US would like to lord it over the world. Who would you rather have to represent it, mission-accomplished Bush or silent executioner Obama?

  23. bryan
    March 25, 2015, 2:24 am

    “This transfer will not be reversed, and it marks the end of the traditional Israel lobby, though not the end of the “special relationship” between the countries”

    Philip – I hugely admire your journalism, but perhaps you need to temper your enthusiasm. Writing obituaries while the “corpse” is still breathing can be dangerous – remember your forecast (and those of others) before election day that Netanyahu’s career was finished. The lobby is still in robust health, let alone on life-support or comatose.

  24. Bornajoo
    March 25, 2015, 5:00 am

    “Undue optimism again. This is all against Netanyahu, not Zionism. The aim of this vague movement is to gain back sympathies towards the Zionists.”

    I fully agree with your comment

  25. Avigail Abarbanel
    March 25, 2015, 5:13 am

    Fantastic article Phil!

  26. Citizen
    March 25, 2015, 8:34 am

    The Next Crisis? United States Might Limit Aid to Israel by Amount it Spends on Illegal Settlements http://www.algemeiner.com/?p=259444

    • Mooser
      March 25, 2015, 5:15 pm

      Citizen, I made the mistake (entirely my own) of clicking on the link. Then I compounded my error by reading some of the comments there.
      Are there really still, ah, people certain that God will smite their “enemies”? Hasn’t that notion been pretty much laid to rest by a very convincing demonstration of non-intervention? Oh well.

  27. lysias
    March 26, 2015, 12:13 pm

    If Obama wants to destroy the power of the Israel Lobby, he should authorize some leaks about the truth about the sinking of the U.S.S. Liberty.

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