Media are stunned by Congress’s ‘loyalty’ to Netanyahu (but refuse to explain it)

US Politics
on 75 Comments

In the Emperor’s New Clothes, only the little boy can say that the emperor is naked. The good news about yesterday’s speech by Netanyahu to a joint meeting of Congress is that lots of media are taking on that boy’s role, and pointing out the nudity: exclaiming over the fact that a foreign leader came into our house of government to try and overrule our president on foreign policy. Chris Matthews was especially forceful, describing it as a takeover. While a New York Times article said that Democrats have to choose between “loyalty to the Jewish state” and the president.

But journalists have a bigger job than merely exclaiming. They must explain to readers why this outrage took place. Why did Netanyahu get this platform? The answer is the power of the Israel lobby inside our politics. And while there was some talk about the Christian Zionist component of the lobby compelling Republicans to show up, no one could explain why so many Democrats– about 175 of them– sat still for this insult to the president. They did so because of the importance of the Jewish part of the lobby inside the Democratic Party, epitomized by Alan Dershowitz in the gallery. This was surely obvious to viewers. But the media were silent on that score.

Here is some of the coverage I’m talking about. A piece at the New York Times saying that Netanyahu had issued an effective policy challenge to Obama pointed out the strangeness of the spectacle–

Mr. Netanyahu’s hotly disputed address constituted a remarkable moment in Washington: a foreign leader taking the podium before members of the House and Senate to argue strenuously against the policies of the sitting American president. In doing so, the Israeli leader was essentially urging lawmakers to trust him — not Mr. Obama — when it comes to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon…

Times reporters Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear then openly spoke of Democrats whose “loyalty to the Jewish state” is competitive with their support for the president:

For Democrats who have long viewed themselves as supporters of Israel, Mr. Netanyahu’s speech sought to impress upon them the likelihood that they will eventually need to make an awkward, painful choice between the president of their country and their loyalty to the Jewish state.

Why is that choice awkward and painful? I would like to hear why those Democrats feel that “loyalty.” Why aren’t we hearing about Haim Saban and other leading funders of the Democratic Party? Why aren’t Chris Matthews, Jon Stewart, Anderson Cooper and Chris Hayes interviewing John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, the scholars who wrote the book The Israel Lobby?

Stewart did a lot of Jewish shtik about the Netanyahu speech yesterday. He called it the longest blowjob a Jewish man has ever received. But he tried to put it on the Republicans– “the state of the union speech the Republican wanted.” Hold on. As the Times informed us: “Some Democrats who are strong supporters of Israel praised Mr. Netanyahu’s speech.”

Stewart briefly hinted at the power of the lobby when he played Obama’s rather-restrained response to the insult:

[whispering] That’s how powerful Israel is. Their prime minister comes here, publicly slaps Obama in the face and the president’s response is, That’s OK, in fact, everyone should know, I’m buying him gloves, so when he hits me, it doesn’t hurt his hand as much.

Good that Stewart got in US aid to Israel.

Respecting the Israel-loving climate on the Democratic side, Chris Matthews was very careful about the speech. He praised it lavishly as a masterful performance. And then he blew his top. First yesterday afternoon:

This man from a foreign government walked into the United States legislative chamber and tried to take over foreign policy…. He said you should trust me, not your president on this… I’m the man you should trust, I’m your true leader on this question of U.S. geopolitics….

It was a startling situation… It’s a remarkable day when the leaders of the opposition in Congress allowed this to happen. Think it through, what country in the world would let a foreign leader come in and attempt to wrest from the president control of U.S. foreign policy? And that’s what the applause was about today…. This was a takeover attempt by Netanyahu with his complying American partners to take American foreign policy out of the hands of the president.

Last night on Hardball, Matthews also blew up— and asked the all-important Why? question:

Can you name another time in American history that we have invited someone into the US Congress chamber to criticize a president’s foreign policy? I can’t think of one. I’ve never heard of that done before. Has it ever been done before? Why now?

Why do we break a tradiiton”? Why do we do something all of a sudden for the first time in history let someone from a foreign government come into our governing chamber and tell us the president is wrong?

No answer to his own questions.

The New York Times was also opaque. Its editorial board exclaimed over the spectacle but then had no words to explain it.

With Republicans and most Democrats as his props, he entered the House of Representatives to thunderous applause on Tuesday, waving his hand like a conquering hero and being mobbed by fawning lawmakers as he made his way to the lectern.

Even Washington doesn’t often see this level of exploitative political theater; it was made worse because it was so obviously intended to challenge President Obama’s foreign policy.

I suppose I should be happy that the press is at least exclaiming over the outrage, and that it’s now obvious to Americans. The Democratic lib-left is now taking on the Israel lobby, though not by name. Stewart castigated Netanyahu for pushing the Iraq war 12 years ago, and Matthews went further, saying that Netanyahu had worked with the US neoconservatives:

Let’s be honest here.  Bibi Netanyahu would have a chunk more credibility on this peace-and-war issue if he hadn’t been blowing his bugle over the heads of the Bushes and the neo-cons as we rushed into Baghdad.

His complaint about Iran’s grab of other countries would have more blare to it if it hadn’t been that he, Bibi Netanyahu, had not been totally “in” on the war that turned Iraq into an Iranian pawn.

Dana Milbank in the Washington Post called out Netanyahu for all but committing the Congress to go to war.

[Nancy Pelosi’s] agitation was not difficult to comprehend. It’s a rare thing for Congress to declare war — and rarer still to do it at the request of a foreign leader.

It wasn’t literally a war declaration, of course, just symbolic applause from Republicans, and several Democrats, for Netanyahu’s bid to scuttle U.S. negotiations with Iran.

So that’s the plus side of the coverage yesterday. The political dynamics are so obvious that the American people are feeling outraged. A friend writes from abroad:

Yesterday, the US was not only publicly, but globally insulted…. Now that the dual loyalty business is out of the closet, I hope the US won’t return to its usual induced coma.

Commenters on the New York Times editorial are clued in to the whole charade. ScottW:

That is Bibi’s stick and it never changes. Iran is the boogeyman and while Israel has untold numbers of nuclear weapons, has never signed the nuclear nonproliferation agreement, and permits no inspectors in its country, the Iranian’s somehow pose a greater threat. Pure baloney.

The congressmen who gave Bibi an ovation for a speech that offers nothing new, only the old, is disgraceful. Are they trying to placate the Jewish Lobby in hopes of securing hundreds of millions in donations?

Fortunately for the process, neither Bibi nor any of his cheerleading representatives are involved in trying to reach a deal with Iran that will bring us into the 21st Century.

TDW:

If this doesn’t prove to the world that the United States is nothing more than Israel’s puppet state I don’t know what will. Remember this is the guy who appeared on all the Sunday morning blab fests telling us about Saddam’s WMDs prior to our adventure in Iraq.. The paranoia, ignorance, and xenophobia displayed by the republicans can all be traced to their master “President” Bibi. I’m ashamed of my country today because of this disgrace.

Alison:

Every Congressman who contributed to Netanyahu’s photo op and campaign rally from within our hallowed hall did a disservice to our nation, our presidency, and our voters. We need their names and we need them held publicly accountable for their choice.

Banzai:

Wow. Looking at that picture, I’m hard pressed to believe Netanyahu is not the American President, and those beaming congressmen are not reprensentatives of the American people.

The NSA should be alarmed at this enormous influence of a foreign country on our legislative body.

Thanks to Susie Kneedler for pointing out all the progress, and to Annie Robbins.

About Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .


Posted In:

75 Responses

  1. peacenotapartheid
    March 4, 2015, 12:44 pm

    Netanyahu won a proxy war with Saddam Hussein without firing a shot. Now he just wants the same thing for Iran.

  2. HarryLaw
    March 4, 2015, 12:45 pm

    Right on cue Obama calls for a freeze on all nuclear work for 10 years, “Obama said on Monday that Iran must commit itself to a verifiable freeze on nuclear activities for at least 10 years in order for a comprehensive nuclear deal to be reached”. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/17323-iran-rejects-obamas-request-to-suspend-nuclear-activities-for-10-years. No matter how demeaning and insulting Netanyahu is to the US, the US always folds or compensates with cash or 100 of the latest warplanes. The US does not have it in its DNA to do a deal with Iran, the sanctions have been in place since 1979, I suspect the US will insist on this freeze, and try to keep its sanctions in place, that’s what delusional superpowers do. Will the rest of the world follow? I don’t think so.

    • pabelmont
      March 4, 2015, 1:31 pm

      Harry: Hope you are right about the rest of the world.

      My own take is that Iran would not be more or less of a threat to anyone if it did have a nuke. How would it use it other than to make it less likely that Israel/India/Pakistan would use a nuke against Iran. IMO we and P5+1 should drop the sanctions and let Iran (like Cuba) live its life untrammelled. Doing no harm. And be nice for Israel to have to think once in a while before starting its cruel aggressions.

    • steven l
      March 5, 2015, 8:00 pm

      Right now Iran is working on their nuke tech! And refuse inspection of several sites as per AIEA1

      • OyVey00
        March 8, 2015, 3:09 am

        Cool story bro.

        Israel got nukes since decades and hasn’t let anyone inspect them yet.

  3. Susie Kneedler
    March 4, 2015, 12:46 pm

    Thanks, Phil, for pointing the way, as always: you teach “reporters” how to report rather than play dumb.

  4. JLewisDickerson
    March 4, 2015, 1:24 pm

    RE: “The congressmen who gave Bibi an ovation for a speech that offers nothing new, only the old, is disgraceful. Are they trying to placate the Jewish Lobby in hopes of securing hundreds of millions in donations? ~ ScottW in his NYT comment

    SEE: “As a Muslim and Iranian-American I Am Delighted Netanyahu Will Speak to Congress”, by Muhammad Sahimi, March 02, 2015

    [EXCERPT] . . . This is a Congress whose member Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Netanyahu last December, “You [Netanyahu], above all others, have said that sanctions [imposed on Iran] are what got Iran to the table, and it will be the only thing that brings them to a deal that we can all live with. I’m here to tell you, Mr. Prime Minister, that the Congress will follow your lead” [emphasis is mine], hence asking the head of a foreign government to tell the US how to conduct its policy in the Middle East.

    To Graham, who received $279,150* in campaign contributions from pro-Israel groups for his last re-election, and must pander to Israel’s ardent supporters in South Carolina, namely, the Christian Zionists that make up the majority of the white voters in his state, it is more important to call for and support massive military attacks on Iran than helping this country get out of the vicious cycle of wars in the Middle East that the United States has been involved with since the 1990s. If this is not undue and harmful influence of a lobby, I do not know what is or can be.
    Contributions totaling $279,150 for election cycle 2014.

    This is a Congress whose member, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who received $341,170** from pro-Israel groups in the last election, is one of the most vocal and active proponents of sanctioning Iran, which he insists – against the 2007 judgment of the US intelligence community, reaffirmed in 2010, 2011, and 2012 – is on the verge of weaponizing nuclear material. With his fellow Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) – “AIPAC’s million-dollar baby”*** – Menendez co-authored a 2011 sanctions law that effectively cut Iran’s central bank off from the rest of the world, making it exceedingly difficult for the country to sell its oil abroad and leading to a rapid downturn in the Iranian economy, harming tens of millions of innocent Iranians. . .

    * Contributions totaling $279,150 to Sen. Graham for election cycle 2014. Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. – http://maplight.org/us-congress/contributions?s=1&politician=569&office_party=Senate%2CHouse%2CDemocrat%2CRepublican%2CIndependent&election=2014&business_sector=any&business_industry=any&business_id=J5100&source=All

    ** Contributions totaling $341,170 to Sen. Menendez for election cycle 2012. Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. – http://maplight.org/us-congress/contributions?s=1&politician=368&office_party=Senate%2CHouse%2CDemocrat%2CRepublican%2CIndependent&election=2012&business_sector=any&business_industry=any&business_id=J5100&source=All . . .

    *** “AIPAC’s million-dollar baby” – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/mark-kirk-is-aipacs-milli_b_448192.html

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://original.antiwar.com/muhammad-sahimi/2015/03/01/as-a-muslim-and-iranian-american-i-am-delighted-netanyahu-will-speak-to-congress/

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 4, 2015, 1:29 pm

      P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA [Pay to play]:

      [EXCERPT] Pay to play, sometimes pay for play, is a phrase used for a variety of situations in which money is exchanged for services or the privilege to engage (play) in certain activities. The common denominator of all forms of pay to play is that one must pay to “get in the game,” with the sports analogy frequently arising.[1]

      • In politics [See also: Political corruption]

      In politics, pay to play refers to a system, akin to payola in the music industry, by which one pays (or must pay) money to become a player.
      Typically, the payer (an individual, business, or organization) makes campaign contributions to public officials, party officials, or parties themselves, and receives political or pecuniary benefit such as no-bid government contracts, influence over legislation,[2][3] political appointments or nominations,[4][5] special access[6] or other favors.
      The contributions, less frequently, may be to nonprofit or institutional entities,[7] or may take the form of some benefit to a third party, such as a family member of a governmental official.[8]
      The phrase, almost always used in criticism, also refers to the increasing cost of elections and the “price of admission” to even run[9] and the concern “that one candidate can far outspend his opponents, essentially buying the election.”[10]
      While the direct exchange of campaign contributions for contracts is the most visible form of Pay to Play, the greater concern is the central role of money in politics, and its skewing both the composition and the policies of government.[11][12] Thus, those who can pay the price of admission, such as to a $1000/plate dinner or $25,000 “breakout session,” gain access to power and/or its spoils, to the exclusion of those who cannot or will not pay: “giving certain people advantages that other[s] don’t have because they donated to your campaign.”[13] Good-government advocates consider this an outrage because “political fundraising should have no relationship to policy recommendations.”[14] Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington called the “Pay-to-Play Congress” one of the top 10 scandals of 2008.[15]
      Incumbent candidates and their political organizations[16] are typically the greatest beneficiaries of Pay-to-Play. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been criticized for the practice. Many seeking to ban or restrict the practice characterize pay-to-play as legalized corruption. . .

      SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_to_play

    • ziusudra
      March 4, 2015, 2:04 pm

      Greetings JLD,
      Graham $279K
      Menendez $ 341K
      That’s all they get?
      They’re selling out for Peanuts!
      ziusudra

  5. atime forpeace
    March 4, 2015, 1:51 pm

    What is it that the Press refuse to explain? Self monitoring occurs, it occurs here also. That is the fear of the AIPAC Lobby.

    The Press fear The One and Only, fear inducing, Jewish Lobby AIPAC, which include the Christian Zionist lobby of preachers along with a media elite that would blast anyone of the reporters who would start to broach the subject without permission into the realm of unemployed and persona non grata. How many past examples do we not have of relatively major reporters (msm types) being blasted into the ether-sphere and labeled as untouchables for transgressing the unwritten unutterable law of Thou shalt not speak evil of Israel but especially do not mention the Jewish Lobby AIPAC.

    The Lobby, “night flower”, enforces this law like we have all seen over the years.

    The problem isn’t American anti semitism, but the fear induced upon us all by a lobby that has called itself the “night flower” because they prefer to operate in the dark without attention being brought upon them. Now what do you think is the solution for a night flower Lobby that hates the light? Sunshine as disinfectant and good riddance. But not many are willing to pay the ultimate price and thus the conversation here is monitored as to not insult anyones sensibilities.

    The minions that they influence to make phone calls and accuse news media or business interests of that most dreaded of all accusations have the affect of making them walk the walk or be subjected to a shmearing with the dreaded accusation. Those who support the Lobby only fear one thing, being labeled more loyal to Israel than to the U.S.

    This will all play itself out based on how long it will take for the masses to realize this and pushback on their political appointees. Hopefully it doesn’t happen during a financial upheaval when populations are more likely to blame anyone for the things they are going through.

    The Lobby is an arrogant lot.

    • seafoid
      March 4, 2015, 3:04 pm

      Jewish plutocrat money is the great unmentionable. Just watch the football or Bruce Jenner’s transformation , kids. Do not look at the money.

      • Elisabeth
        March 4, 2015, 3:49 pm

        Am I the only one that still cringes at the term ‘Jewish plutocrat’ ?

      • seafoid
        March 4, 2015, 10:58 pm

        Maybe, Elisabeth

        It’s not a good mix.

      • Mooser
        March 5, 2015, 5:43 pm

        “Am I the only one that still cringes at the term ‘Jewish plutocrat’ ?”

        Elisabeth, at one time I would have cringed and kvetched, too.
        I’m slowly and painfully losing my cringe-and-kvetch reflex.

  6. Krauss
    March 4, 2015, 1:58 pm

    I’m super shocked to see Jon Stewart covering up for Israel and the lobby. Yeah, it’s all Republicans, amirite? No wonder Chris Rock even refuses to call him a liberal, instead claiming he is “center-left, more to the center”.
    His analogies were disgusting anyway. Won’t be sad to see him go(but I will miss Colbert).

    Btw, I don’t think this controversy is dead yet. Bibi will go nuclear once the deal is announced and his allies in the U.S. will, too.

    Anthony Blinken, the deputy security advisor has basically said that he sees this conflict dragging on for the next two years. Hillary may come in and try to change the equation but the grassroots have shifted. Huffington Post has been going nuclear on this story for days leading up to it, even as most of the established liberal media, like the NYT, wrote about it but didn’t place it on their frontpage as prominently as HuffPo.

    HuffPo is much closer to the base and they in many ways reflect it, just like the NYT’s commenters do rather than the arcance and aged editorial board.

  7. amigo
    March 4, 2015, 2:04 pm

    I am Irish and living here in Ireland and I felt embarrassed by the obscene spectacle I witnessed yesterday.

    Absolutely unbelievable.

    I hope the average American realises just what has been foisted on them and makes their voice heard in the right place.I hope also that Obama has a plan to leak some damaging tidbits about the Lobby and it,s antics not to mention it,s efforts to get Americans to shed their blood for an ungrateful , greedy self serving tin pot nation that could care less about America or the people who through their taxes keep the zionist entity ticking over.

  8. Sycamores
    March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm

    in the http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/opinion/benjamin-netanyahus-nuclear-deceptions-on-iran.html?smid=tw-share opinion pages

    Netanyahu’s Nuclear Deceptions
    A Response to Netanyahu From Iran’s Ambassador to the U.N.

    Netanyahu said at congress

    The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program.

    in response

    Yet, in his speech this week, Mr. Netanyahu claimed the agency had determined that Iran had “a military nuclear program.” This is a gross distortion of the agency’s position. The “possible military dimensions,” which Mr. Netanyahu amplifies on every available occasion, are based not on the agency’s findings but on referrals by other member states with their own political agendas. In one case, in 2012, a former agency director dismissed such a report “because there was no chain of custody for the paper, no clear source, document markings, date of issue or anything else that could establish its authenticity.”

  9. Elisabeth
    March 4, 2015, 4:03 pm

    Someone asked how other countries reported the news.
    It is headline news here in the Netherlands in some of the papers and very prominent in others. (I skipped the rags.) The comments do not ridicule American congress or the influence of the pro-Israel lobby. They are about the insult to the Obama administration, the split it causes within American politics, portraits on Netanyahu’s background and why he is so obsessed with Iran (and was with Irak) getting nuclear arms, even when his own intelligence agencies contradict him. (This included lists of his false predictions over the years of an Iranian bomb being imminent.)
    They were all strongly critical of Netanyahu’s speech and the whole enterprise, warning that messing up a peacful deal with Iran would have very serious global consequences.
    I was not dissappointed, but do not read all newspapers. (I saw Trouw, NRC and Volkskrant.)

    • Chu
      March 5, 2015, 1:57 pm

      Thanks. If the US news wasn’t so entirely corrupt, we would have probably have similar headlines.

  10. MRW
    March 4, 2015, 5:15 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Matthews’ talking points came from Colonel Lang who elevated a call for his readers to demand a congressional boycott of Netanyahu’s speech to the top of his blog for two days replacing his standard sticky about his own books.

    Because the points were the same. Here it is: Write to your members of Congress! Stop Bibi!

    This man is in the United States for the specific purpose of wrenching control of US foreign policy from the hands of our elected president and the Executive Branch of the federal government.

    He does not shrink from saying that this attempt is all about his country and what he imagines are its interests and that he does not care if the interests of our country are damaged by his efforts. […]

    • MRW
      March 4, 2015, 5:20 pm

      In the same post, Colonel Lang educates a commenter about what is wrong with Netanyahu making the speech. [I’m breaking it up to make it easier to read]

      There is a great deal wrong with this speech before the Congress. Israel is a country that in spite of not having a constitution functions as a parliamentary government.

      The PM is a member of the knesset and he derives his actual power from his party or coalition’s majority in the knesset. He wields power as a first among equals. That is why we constantly hear on the news of this committee or that committee meeting to approve an action with the PM as a member.

      Our government is nothing like that. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the US Constitution.

      In our government the president and the Executive Branch have completely separate powers from those of the Congress. The president is charged with the conduct of foreign policy. He is NOT subject to the authority of Congress in the conduct of foreign policy.

      Obama can conclude an agreement with Iran and the other negotiating parties as an executive order. It is only if Obama submits the agreement to the senate for ratification as a treaty that the Congress has a “say’ in this matter.

      Many people have argued for the transformation of the United States into a parliamentary democracy but this has never been a popular idea.

      Until such a transformation takes place the introduction of the leader of a foreign government to speak from Congress against the foreign policy of the US is a direct assault on our constitutional separation of powers.

      That is why it is important. pl.

  11. philadelphialawyer
    March 4, 2015, 7:34 pm

    Again, all true.

    Still, it seems to me that mention must be made of the five dozen Democratic Senators and Congressmen who skipped the mandatory appearance. And many of them did so explicitly as part of a principled boycott.

    The Lobby remains strong, no doubt.

    But the actual NEWS today, it still seems to me, is good. Kowtowing to Israel and to the Lobby is dog bites man. Fifty plus Congresscritters telling Israel and the Lobby to stuff it is man bites dog.

    • OyVey00
      March 8, 2015, 3:14 am

      There’s no boycott against the lobby, it’s merely infighting WITHIN the lobby between the people who think that Netanyahu is good for Israel and those who don’t.

      • philadelphialawyer
        March 8, 2015, 10:04 pm

        Don’t buy it. The Lobby wants lockstep, no questions asked, “When you say jump, I ask how high?” compliance. Not nuance. Of course, the boycotters are not going on record as being anti Israel or anything like it. But their actions do show that there is a limit, that their is a line they won’t cross, even though the Lobby does indeed want them to cross it.

        And that’s what the Lobby wanted from its here to fore bought, paid for and intimidated Congressmen and Senators. That folks within the Lobby may be pro or anti Bibi is not the same thing at all. Sure, some of them think, for tactical reasons, that Bibi is a “good” thing, and some don’t, but none of them want mere American legislators to have the temerity to reject a message from the Chief War Criminal of Israel out of hand, nor to, yes, boycott the speech in which that message is delivered. They, the members of the Lobby, can be pro or anti Bibi, but the bootlicks are supposed to do as they are told.

        In short, no matter how the news is spun, it is still good.

  12. JWalters
    March 4, 2015, 7:46 pm

    Excellent questions by Mr. Weiss. A parallel question is – WHY does the mainstream media not report on these factors?

    And why has the mainstream press not been reporting thoroughly on Netanyahu’s lies? The voters deserve to know when conclusions are based on false premises. Here is excellent run-down on the false self-defense claims in his speech.
    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/04/netanyahus-false-narrative/

    And here’s an excellent article on the history of the focused campaign of lying by the right wing. It includes their efforts to discredit science, evidence, and rational discussion. This is intentional, and obviously destructive to a just society.
    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/01/its_worse_than_scott_walker_and_ted_cruz_secrets_of_conservatives_decades_long_war_on_truth/

    It seems to me there are many in the media who are ready to talk about the truth. But they have to proceed carefully due to severe threats of career destruction and character assassination. They need the support of a hue and cry from the public, and continuing informed analyses in the truly free press.

    The oligarchy is hanging tough. Netanyahu got a bump in the polls from his speech. They may see keeping him in office as important enough to risk the repercussions of his speech. I suspect they’re worried about other crimes coming to light, having to do with getting the Iraq war rolling. This is a time to keep pushing.

  13. Les
    March 4, 2015, 8:33 pm

    This is in response to the sign the demonstrator is holding in the photograph. Some years ago Saudi Arabia stopped funding the building of mosques in the US when told that they would be run by and for their American members, rather than for Saudi Arabia’s wishes. Look at the demonstrator’s sign again and ask yourself how many synagogues and Jewish schools encourage people to attend Salute to Israel Day without ever encouraging them to attend American patriotic events, i.e., July 4th celebrations. Instead of the FBI only monitoring mosques shouldn’t such synagogues be monitored for their participation in Israel’s fifth column in the US?

  14. Kay24
    March 4, 2015, 9:12 pm

    It is sad that in the US, the only source of strong criticism, comes from a fake news show.
    The outrage that a lying, interfering leader, conniving with members of congress, manipulating them to give him a platform to sabotage their own President’s foreign policy, was mild. The MSM just loved this entire Netanyahu power play, the arrogance, and Obama getting kicked, by a foreign leader. This is the same attitude when the zionists in the Bush White House was salivating for war with Iraq. The media went along with the lies. In fact some were deliberately doing the war mongering for Cheney and others. The zionist media will fall on their swords for Israel, and never, ever, question what they know are the lies, even if it is against their own countries’ policies and security.

  15. chris o
    March 4, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Your criticism of Jon Stewart made me watch it again because I was really impressed by it. And now I can see that the criticism is incongruous, thus ridiculous.

    [QUOTING] “He called it the longest blowjob a Jewish man has ever received. But he tried to put it on the Republicans– “the state of the union speech the Republican wanted.” Hold on. As the Times informed us: “Some Democrats who are strong supporters of Israel praised Mr. Netanyahu’s speech.”

    “Stewart briefly hinted at the power of the lobby when he played Obama’s rather-restrained response to the insult: [whispering] ‘That’s how powerful Israel is. Their prime minister comes here, publicly slaps Obama in the face and the president’s response is, That’s OK, in fact, everyone should know, I’m buying him gloves, so when he hits me, it doesn’t hurt his hand as much.'” [END QUOTE]

    Yes, he did put most of the blame for Netanyahu’s speech on Republicans because they invited him to a joint session of Congress (I was shouting the last part of that sentence)!! Democrats would have never done that. So let’s be real. You dismiss the Obama clip as “rather restrained” when he was grovelling to the Lobby! And even as you quote Stewart’s devastating words on the Lobby, you downplay it as hinting. Hinting? Obama punched in the face, grovelling and buying Bibi gloves so he doesn’t hurt his hand. Quite a graphic hint.

    He commented on and showed the thunderous ovations and that went to both sides, not the Republicans only. And his blowjob comment with the visuals was a clear indictment of both parties of Congress.

    So I think you should watch it again!

  16. tombishop
    March 4, 2015, 11:51 pm

    Netanyahu Invokes Biblical Armageddon in US Congress
    Ali Abunimah, editor of Electronic Intifada, says Netanyahu is playing to the extreme Israeli right, Christian evangelical Zionists, and attempting to prepare conditions for war

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=13343

  17. David Doppler
    March 5, 2015, 1:40 am

    A day and a half after the event, I’m impressed with Netanyahu’s ever-heavier hand on the helm of Israel’s ship of state. He’s been shouting about the existential threat posed to Israel by Iran since the early 1990s, so far to no avail. So he calls an election, to rid himself of troublesome coalition partners Livni & Lapid, then he goes to Congress to tell his story with the largest megaphone on Earth: the US Congressional dome. He defies protocol, insults the President of the US, tells the world that Obama doesn’t know how to negotiate, disclaims any political motivation, and wraps himself in the Israeli flag, the robe of Jacob, defender of God’s chosen people from the Holocaust, from every threat that ever existed, all of which become existential in his telling.

    And in doing it all, he flays himself and Likud, and the country he leads. He’s blown the cover off of the Israel Lobby’s power, off of dual loyalty as an Anti-Semitic canard, off of his own ongoing character assassination of Iran, whose ambassador was given time on Newshour to explain why Iranians want to see the Zionist regime (not the Jewish people) done away with, because they murder children, don’t represent the native people of the land. He was somewhat understated I thought, because he neglected to point out that Israel hasn’t signed the nonproliferation treaty, and has built its own nuclear weapons in defiance thereof, AND Netanyahu’s chief financial backer has openly called for unprovoked nuking Iran, as a negotiating tactic.

    It’s sheer megalomania. He uncorks all the rare bottles of reserved goodwill for the Jewish people and Israel in the US, and pours them over himself, as a stunt in his flailing re-election campaign, glorying in Congress’s bought and paid for adulation, euphoric in his “triumph,” which instead marks the end of Israeli hegemony in the US.

    • Kay24
      March 5, 2015, 2:11 am

      Very good comment DD, you have described very well, exactly how Netanyahu operated before, and during, his war mongering, chest thumping speech. One would have expected our “intelligent” congresspeople to realize that last time, he lied to them blatantly about Iraq, and deliberately misled them, and this time all the beating of war drums, was most probably a whole lot of hot air too. He played the victim very well, exaggerating the dangers from Iran, and being wiped off the map, all that while he is wiping out the Palestinians off theirs. This man seems more and more unhinged, and desperate. He has taken the biggest risk, disrespecting the President, and setting the congress people, especially the GOP, to backstab their own President, while they showed embarrassing adoration for this war criminal.

      We became the United States of Israel that day.

  18. Sulphurdunn
    March 5, 2015, 6:24 am

    When the representatives of a government are chosen by those whose loyalty rests with a foreign power, that country has been colonized.

  19. John Fearey
    March 5, 2015, 10:05 am

    My question, which so far I have not seen discussed in the media, is to what extent has Bibi thought through the strategy of using the Republicans to torpedo a deal to lift sanctions on Iran.

    As anyone who has spent time outside of the US knows, Americans have a very inflated sense of their influence in the rest of the world which does not, believe it or not, revolve around the US. Maybe Bibi does too? For it is not just the US that has imposed sanctions on Iran and it is not just the US which is negotiating with Iran. There are these other countries, like every member of the EU plus the so-called “P5+1″ (US, China, Germany, France, Great Britain and Russia). The UN has also imposed sanctions but the EU/P5+1 sanctions are, I think , the ones that are causing the most hurt.

    Since Bibi is unlikely to obtain an invitation to address the legislatures of any of these other countries any time soon, the best he can hope for is that the Republican US senate scuttles the deal for the US, assuming the administration and other parties are able to reach one; but only after the administration says “yes” to such a deal and, I assume, only with respect to the US. Not sure how a Senate imposed sixty day moratorium on lifting sanctions effects Iran’s willingness to negotiate, but I am sure that the Senate Republicans aren’t going to persuade or be able stop the EU countries (plus Russia and China) from lifting sanctions if a deal is concluded.

    So, where does that leave the US, Israel and Iran? While the US economy is indeed mighty and powerful, I’m betting that Iran, Russia and Europe will do just fine in the trade department without us, maybe better. Would we then try to unilaterally impose sanctions on foreign (European) corporations that trade with Iran? Not this administration. Would we supply air support and other military aid to Israel if it decides to go it alone and attack Iran? Not this administration. And do US corporations miss out on economic and our government on strategic opportunities in Iran gratis Bibi. Probably.

    And why doesn’t Kerry run for President again? He’s not perfect but I bet he’s way better than Hillary on going to war (he’s a real live vet who’s actually been to war) and, after this experience, wouldn’t be writing Israel any blank checks to do whatever the hell they want at our expense. Draft Kerry for president, not just Vietnam.

    And go Bibi go! Israel will never recover.

  20. James Canning
    March 5, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Very good question: why so little about campaign finance, for Democrats? And the relationship of that funding to foolish US policy toward Israel.

  21. roc
    March 5, 2015, 1:46 pm

    What a completely ridiculous article.

    If someone 100 miles from your city threatened you, and those dear to you, with annihilation… would you just sit back and listen to people 7,000 miles away, tell you to shut up and mind your own business?

    Maybe particularly so in the light of the increasing popularity of “anti-zionist” websites like this one (and the increasing popularity of the people choreographing the memes for these websites, among that other, far removed, people…)

    The only outrage I can see is the demented popularity and uptake of this “outrage meme” – that those people so close to the threat (very well described by Netanyahu) will not “mind their own business”.

    Would you just shut up if it was you? No, thought not. (Of course, it could never be you anyway – you are of such moral superiority to the Israeli Jews etc.)

    • a blah chick
      March 5, 2015, 2:53 pm

      How does a nation (Israel) with nuclear weapons feel threatened by a country (Iran) that does NOT have them?

      And, yes, I do feel myself morally superior to most Jews in Israel. Most of them have made it clear that they are racist and proud of it.

      • Mooser
        March 5, 2015, 5:52 pm

        “you are of such moral superiority to the Israeli Jews etc.”

        Oh, not just moral superiority. After all, American Jews live, work, marry and worship in a country which provides no legal protections whatsoever to Jews and we manage. You would end up in jail the first time you saw a house you liked.

      • justicewillprevail
        March 5, 2015, 5:57 pm

        And American Jews are not allowed by law to walk into someone else’s house and claim that they have a god-given right to it, or even pour sewage on their neighbours or uproot their crops. And still they manage to live comfortably. Just imagine that! How do they do it?

      • Kay24
        March 5, 2015, 10:37 pm

        Good point ABC, even Israel’s own spies say that they don’t. Besides some evil people made sure Iranian scientists were killed off, to make certain those nuclear weapons did not get made.

        If Bibi is afraid of yet to be made nuclear weapons, imagine how much MORE afraid it’s neighbors must be, after all Dimona stands menacingly and we know Israelis are experts at manufacturing weapons (which are used against Palestinians).

    • oldgeezer
      March 5, 2015, 5:59 pm

      Maybe once they initiate an archeology project in Israel to rediscover it’s morals they could make a tv show about it.

      Stolen any land or heritage yet today?

    • eljay
      March 5, 2015, 6:34 pm

      || roc: If someone 100 miles from your city threatened you, and those dear to you, with annihilation… would you just sit back and listen to people 7,000 miles away, tell you to shut up and mind your own business? ||

      You make an excellent point: Iran has every right to launch pre-emptive self-defense strikes against Israel, given that Israel – a colonialist, expansionist, belligerent and nuclear-armed state – has been threatening nuclear-unarmed Iran for years.

    • John Fearey
      March 5, 2015, 8:52 pm

      What a bizarre (and ridiculous) comment dear Roc, one that probably should be ignored, but i can’t. Yes, Washington DC is over 6,000 miles from Jerusalem AND Tehran; Paris, Berlin and London over 2,000 miles which of course is way too far to be reached by the non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons…even if they existed. Russia, on the other hand has about 6,000 nuclear weapons which could easily reach any of these cities. So why, may I ask, are we wasting any time worrying about Iran since a lot of Americans and Europeans should be focused on Russia and the Ukraine which, if we decide to send military aid Ukraine (God, I hope not) could cause events to spin out of control with potentially unimaginable consequences in Europe, if not the US itself. From what I gather, the one thing we know about Putin is that he’s unlikely to back down. But there’s Kerry talking to the Iranians.. So, Roc, why doesn’t Israel shut up and impose its own (expletive ending in “ing”) sanctions on Iran and let the US and Europe act in their own real interests and worry about Russia and their 6,000 warheads, not Israel and Iran. I hear you guys have about 80 nuclear weapons. That ought to be enough, right?
      Oh, and i’m sure most readers of Mondoweiss would be happy to stop thinking about Israel ( I know I sure would) but you see there’s this little problem that just never seems to go away and that’s the totally unacceptable and illegal treatment of the Palestinians by Israel. Your move.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 5, 2015, 9:58 pm

      roc: If someone … threatened you, and those dear to you, with annihilation…

      ah, the old strawman. this is where we know you have not got a decent argument because you have to lie and massively enhance the threat to argue against it. iran seeks the eradication of the regime, and zionism. not that much different that the US,(at the urging of the neocons who designed the war) wanted regime change in iraq and an end to the bath party (or so they say – although it’s much more likely they wanted the kind of massive destruction the invasion cost). but i didn’t hear all those neocons claiming they wanted the annihilation of israqis. oh no. but when the same standards are applied to israeli, it’s straight on genocide.

      no one is threatening israelis with annihilation, not at all. it’s regime change and the end of the apartheid state i am interested in, iran too no doubt. it just feels like annihilation when you can’t live as the bully state.

    • seafoid
      March 5, 2015, 10:18 pm

      “If someone 100 miles from your city threatened you, and those dear to you, with annihilation… would you just sit back and listen to people 7,000 miles away, tell you to shut up and mind your own business? ”

      If someone went further and agitated to destroy your country and made sure it happened …

      Zionist whining is peerless.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 5, 2015, 10:43 pm

        seafoid, is that dermer in back of netanyahu in that video?

      • seafoid
        March 5, 2015, 11:18 pm

        I don’t know what Dermer looks like, Annie. Maybe it is him

        I just don’t think he’s as good as his predecessor.
        He’s like the guy who always wanted to play for the dream team and when he made it found out that the team had declined .

        I could watch that video for days. All the lies.
        and they did trash Iraq. and people are still dying.

        And they whine about existential threats.

        If real war ever comes to Israel- if half the population is forced into refugee camps and Jewish teenage girls are sold into prostitution by their families and boys are sent to fight rather than be educated- maybe we’d see some perspective. But not now. They still think war is fun.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUWLTIXWo0A

        40 minutes. Hans Dietrich Genscher became German Foreign Minister.

      • oldgeezer
        March 6, 2015, 12:18 am

        If it’s not Dermer I would be surprised. Sure looks like his arrogant visage.

      • Kay24
        March 6, 2015, 2:29 am

        That certainly looks like Dermer, Bibi’s partner in conniving. Looks like he has always been in cohorts with Bibi longer than we realize. Peas in a pod, perhaps.

      • Kathleen
        March 9, 2015, 3:44 pm

        annie from the pictures I have seen of Dermer..that does not look like him to me.

    • Kay24
      March 5, 2015, 10:27 pm

      Strange that despite Mossad saying Iran has no nuclear weapons, Bibi seems to be quaking in his big boots that Israel will be “annihilated”, whatever the threats are, the facts do matter in the end, and words become simply hot air. What does Israel have to fear? RIght now, they hold the big guns, the nuclear weapons, one of the biggest arms manufactures in the world, uses of banned weapons, brutal armed forces, all used on UNARMED CIVILIANS in the neighborhood.
      Remember the threats against the Palestinians when Israeli bombs were being sent into homes and UN Shelters. The ugly calls by Israeli politicians and leaders calling for Gaza to be flattened and back to the stone age, and the calls for putting them in concentration camps, nazi style?

      “An Israeli official has called for concentration camps in Gaza and ‘the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’.
      Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, posted the inflammatory message on his Facebook page at the weekend.
      He lays out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza – which includes shipping its residents across the world – in a letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
      The message, which received more than 2,000 likes on his page, lists four action points which he wants to be enforced as soon as possible.

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715466/Israeli-official-calls-concentration-camps-Gaza-conquest-entire-Gaza-Strip-annihilation-fighting-forces-supporters.html#ixzz3TZYadMpy

      So don’t try to act the victim and react to situation that are not real at the moment. At least the Palestinians had MUCH to be afraid of, after all unlike Iran that has not got a deadly nuclear weapon, Israel has, and much for.

  22. roc
    March 5, 2015, 2:50 pm

    PS. Congrats on the picture – nicely conjures up those age-old, as yet unplumbed in this cycle, antisemitic archetypes related to disloyal Jews. Of course, you don’t even realise that, I suppose, or are in self-denial about it, convinced in your belief that any mention of antisemitism must only strengthen your resolve and right to level criticism at “zionism”.

    • RoHa
      March 6, 2015, 4:31 am

      Jews who care more about the interests of foreign Jews than about the interests of their fellow citizens are disloyal.

      If they live up to an antisemitic archetype, they are the ones responsible for strengthening that archetype.

      Of course, the picture nowhere mentions Jews. The message is directed at US Congress members , and not all of them are Jews.

    • Mooser
      March 6, 2015, 10:38 am

      . “Of course, you don’t even realise that, I suppose, or are in self-denial about it, convinced in your belief that any mention of antisemitism must only strengthen your resolve and right to level criticism at “zionism”.

      Gee, I wonder how that awful thing happened? At one time you could count on merely mentioning anti-Semitism to shut people up. Now, an accusation of anti-Semitism is first searched for hypocrisy before it’s accepted. Wonder why that came about?

    • eljay
      March 6, 2015, 11:10 am

      || roc: Congrats on the picture – nicely conjures up those age-old, as yet unplumbed in this cycle, antisemitic archetypes related to disloyal Jews. ||

      Expecting American politicians to pledge allegiance to America instead of to Israel is anti-Semitic. Huh. It looks like roc is angling to take over hophmi’s job!

  23. Tom Callaghan
    March 5, 2015, 10:01 pm

    My one word description of the Netanyahu Joint Meeting spectacle is: CREEPY

    The good news is that more and more people are catching on to what Netanyahu represents.

    http://www.wednesdayswars.com

    • Annie Robbins
      March 5, 2015, 10:39 pm

      good one tom

    • Kay24
      March 5, 2015, 11:02 pm

      Excellent article. You have described beautifully the irrational behavior of Netanyahu. He is predictable, has been caught lying many times, and still unable to comprehend that people are now turned off by his arrogant behavior.

    • Kay24
      March 6, 2015, 12:46 am

      Tom Callagan, your short article impressed some of my friends/relatives when I forwarded it to them. Give us more.

  24. gamal
    March 6, 2015, 3:00 am

    “Why is that choice awkward and painful?”

    Because it could be very expensive for those who make the “wrong” one, US politicians are simply appalling, the entire shower is not worth Eugene V Debs nail pairings, he read Kautsky, you know (but not in reference to the eponymous effect) and led strikes and as you know was imprisoned, which was no doubt both awkward and painful, that’s politics for everyone other than the whores of power.

    I think I speak for all of the rest of us when I say, you have our deepest sympathy, may your sick system be transformed soon and may you be defended from the monsters of CHRISIS as led by the Rev”s Hagee and Graham and others.

  25. Vera Gottlieb
    March 6, 2015, 12:25 pm

    What a disgusting, pathetic and revolting sight. Wonder how many of those so wildly applauding hold dual citizenship??? A scoundrel’s last refuge is the flag.

  26. Curatica
    March 7, 2015, 1:09 am

    Corruption and baseness don’t depend on political affiliations; those who climbed the political ladder they all share the same traits, alright.

    Americans ought to realize, to the extent that they can, that this country is ruled by utterly dishonorable men: petty and cowardly at the best, greedy, ruthless, brutal, cunning, dishonest to the extreme, boastful, uncompromising, unforgiving, at the worst.

  27. blendedpurple
    March 7, 2015, 9:53 am

    The problem for Israel is that a growing chunk of the non-Jewish US elite sees Asia as the future, both in terms of economic growth and a challenge to US imperial power in China. They want detente in the Middle East to clear the deck for a confrontation with China and Israeli polices stand in the way of that.

  28. Kathleen
    March 7, 2015, 10:53 am

    “Media are stunned by loyalty to Netanyahu (but refuse to explain it)”

    If they tried to explain the unbridled loyalty for Israel and whatever leader happens to be in place they would have to point back to themselves and identify and examine the (their) shameful complicity that they have been very much a part of. Still we have Chris Matthews, other host, the majority of the Reps (not Leahy) who did not attend making sure that their undying love for Israel no matter what they do is embedded into stone. Did folks read the comments made by those that did not attend? Covered their asses.

    Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow etc “Israel our best ally” BFF etc. Nauseating.

  29. inbound39
    March 8, 2015, 7:45 am

    What astounds me is the US is prepared to run roughshod over International Law and Humanitarian Law and ignore it all and support and protect the despots that Netanyahu represents and thereby destroys the Status and credibility and legitmacy of itself. America needs to cut Israel loose if it is to survive and regain its standing. Eight years of Netanyahu have made America look totally ridiculous.

    • Kathleen
      March 9, 2015, 6:27 pm

      The U.S. has “run roughshod over International Law and Humanitarian Law” plenty. Plenty. Although I do believe that Israel has and is in violation of more UN resolutions than any other nation. Could easily be that other countries have not called out the U.S. more because of foreign aid etc.

  30. inbound39
    March 8, 2015, 8:12 am

    To Kay24……I did read something about Moshe Feiglin on Haaretz during Protective Edge. It was a rather sanitized version. Just read DailyMail article….WOW! Gobsmacked. How on earth can America stand alongside in unbreakable support of Israel claiming shared values? It is utterly bewildering. Seveny odd years ago the World went to war against mindsets like this….now apparently we support them and give them $3billion a year and all the ammunition and weapons they need to do the work. There was a time when I was extremely proud to fight alongside American troops….not anymore and never again. Makes me want to throw up.

Leave a Reply