End of lockstep US Jewish support for Israel is a triumph not a tragedy

Middle East
on 68 Comments

It’s all over but the shouting. Politico says that Republicans might not even have the 60 votes needed to get cloture and end a Democratic filibuster that would prevent passage of a disapproval bill of the Iran deal.

Indeed, the most pressing question at this point is whether they can even get the 60 votes in opposition that are needed to break a filibuster and get a disapproval resolution to Obama’s desk. Senate Majority Mitch McConnell himself has all but said overriding a veto isn’t going to happen as Congress prepares to vote on the deal when it returns from its monthlong recess in September.

This is complete tea-leaf reading, but here are the last three quotes on Senator Cory Booker’s Facebook page. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough, says FDR. And Constant kindness can accomplish much, Schweitzer. Check out the Sand quote– secret message to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach?

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” -Albert Schweitzer

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” -George Sand

“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

The National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar says the vote still isn’t in the bag, and Booker may well oppose it.

The vote is likely to go down to the wire. With Obama spending every bit of political capital to prevent 13 Senate Democrats (and around 45 House Democrats) from defecting, the administration holds the upper hand….

The White House’s biggest gets so far have been Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Bill Nelson of Florida, and Jon Tester of Montana, given that all three are likely to take some political flak from voters back home. But on paper, if you combine the number of undecided red-state Democrats (such as Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin) with those representing states with sizable Jewish constituencies (like New Jersey’s Cory Booker and Pennsylvania’s Robert Casey) the path to 67 no votes is still in play. The longer senators take to make up their minds, the more likely it is they’ll end up opposing.

At The New Yorker, Connie Bruck (wife of a pro-Deal Israel lobbyist) says that Chuck Schumer’s defection on the deal was calculated so that he could raise money for 2016: in a word, AIPAC. It was “implausible” that Schumer would oppose AIPAC, she says; and he will whip opposition to the deal, rather than layin low. And at Lobelog, Eli Clifton writes that Sen. Robert Menendez’s opposition to the deal is also calculated. He is counting on pro-Israel donors who contribute to his defense fund to keep him out of prison.

Which brings us  back to the only community that matters, the community whose gaze is fixed on its navel, as all Americans fix their gaze on its navel too: Jews. Chemi Shalev at Haaretz says the fractured US Jewish community is the first “victim” of the Iran Deal.

It is a battle royal that is taking place in the boardrooms of Jewish organizations from coast to coast, in synagogues, community centers and social gatherings, behind closed doors or out in the open, in polite debate or, increasingly, in heated emotional dispute. It pits Jews against Jews, conservatives vs. liberals, hawks and doves, Republicans and Democrats, donors against professionals, rabbis against their flock and, in recent days, against one another…

The only journalist to fully capture the Jewish “earthquake” that is reverberating here, Shalev says that Robert Menendez and Chuck Schumer’s defection on the Iran deal brought squalls of anti-semitic contumely to the senators. Which the rightwing and the Republicans have tried to exploit.

While the pro-Israel lobby ducks under cover of this alleged incitement, the community reels from the reemergence of long dormant insinuations and accusations of dual loyalties and undue influence. GOP activists, meanwhile, stoke these flames in the hope that next time around, Jews will finally see the error of their ways and vote Republican.

I say the Jewish community is not the first victim, it is the first beneficiary of the Iran Deal. Remember glasnost? Remember two Jews three opinions? The Iran Deal marks a great maturing of the Jewish community, from ethnic solidarity and outsider status to a recognition of its power and responsibility. That is the wonderful role that liberal Zionists have performed in this matter. And yes, I can’t wait to have it out with them over their anachronistic ideology. But they have stepped up to oppose the neoconservatives over the Iran Deal as they were silent or went along (Peter Beinart wrote the Good Fight back then) for the Iraq war. That has been great for America.

Shalev says that American Jewish unity is needed to fight the boycott movement. Hold on! Many Jews are for the boycott movement. And Shalev will no longer be able to ignore us when the Jewish community loses its orthodoxy. No; BDS will finally be debated in synagogues across the country, and American Jews will have to declare whether they believe their homeland is biblical lands in Palestine or the Hudson Valley and Portland.

Shalev says that 18 Jewish Federations have come out against the deal, all the “big hitters.” Jeffrey Solomon thinks their opposition is a historic tragedy.

Among the many facets of the current tragedy is the fact that the Israeli Prime Minister has violated the original agreement of mutual noninterference worked out in the early days of the State between David Ben Gurion as Prime Minister and Jacob Blaustein in behalf of the American Jewish Committee.

Remember that Blaustein was concerned with Israeli appeals in the 1950s that seemed to raise a question about American Jewish patriotism. Yes, a very 1950s kind of apprehension. But while Shalev laments the reemergence of the “long dormant” accusations/insinuations of dual loyalty, Solomon writes that a genuine confusion about allegiance is at the heart of the Federations’ mistake on the Iran Deal.

Views of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Agreement) focused largely on the threat that Iran poses to the State of Israel, rather than those broader global issues that led to the JCPA [Jewish Council for Public Affairs] and should be driving American policy.

Let us be clear. This is not a trivial error. It’s a profound one. This is why Scott Roth tweeted, without any insinuation: “Imagine the outrage if Xi Jinping told Chinese Americans to defy their government.” If the Jewish community is splitting over this question, it surely should.

Solomon says that he wants to educate the Jewish donors, who chose the wrong side.

Those Federations who have taken a position opposing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action are in the process of dividing community. As a loving participant-observer of the Federation movement for close to 50 years, I find this to be a tragic mistake… We need a healing process that helps us to educate all donors to the respective roles of the organizations in our communal fabric.

Again, no tragedy. The tragedy was the lockstep support of Israel. But the Israel lobby is exposed and it is infighting. This will break up the Jewish Zionist consensus and also break up the US Establishment Zionist consensus. Gaza will thank us.

More on the division of the Israel lobby. Bloomberg’s Josh Rogin says that Republicans have outsourced their foreign policy to the muscular John Hay Initiative, this cycle’s version of the American Enterprise Institute. Founded by neocons Eliot Cohen, Eric Edelman, and Brian Hook (who doesn’t like “neo isolationism in both parties”). Also including Michael Chertoff and Michael Hayden. They’re briefing almost all the candidates. Not a word about Israel in this article, but it’s clearly an important matter to the Hay Initiative. Rogin says Roger Zakheim is part of the Rubio braintrust. Here’s Zakheim saying that George W. Bush is a good role model after all. Who knew?

Finally, John Judis has an excellent piece up at Slate on the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the small pro-Israel thinktank that has become a leading opponent of the Iran deal, supplying three witnesses to a Senate Banking Committee hearing against the deal. FDD used to serve the Democratic Party, but increasingly it is serving Republicans, Judis relates. And there’s this about donors.

FDD’s chief funders have been drawn almost entirely from American Jews who have a long history of funding pro-Israel organizations. They include Bernard Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot, whiskey heirs Samuel and Edgar Bronfman, gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, heiress Lynn Schusterman, Wall Street speculators Michael Steinhardt and Paul Singer, and Leonard Abramson, founder of U.S. Healthcare.

About Philip Weiss

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

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68 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson
    August 19, 2015, 12:01 pm

    RE: Albert Schweitzer, George Sand and FDR (the quotes on Booker’s FB page)

    THE HASBAREST SEZ: Two commies and a cross-dresser! ! !

  2. JLewisDickerson
    August 19, 2015, 12:26 pm

    RE: “Rogin says Roger Zakheim is part of the Rubio braintrust. Here’s Zakheim saying that George W. Bush is a good role model after all. Who knew? “ ~ Weiss

    ZAKHEIM’S “GOOD ROLE MODEL”: “Bush’s Shocking Biblical Prophecy Emerges: God Wants to ‘Erase’ Mid-East Enemies ‘Before a New Age Begins'”, by Clive Hamilton, CounterPunch.org, 5/22/09
    Bush explained to French Pres. Chirac that the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Mid-East and must be defeated.

    [EXCERPT] The revelation this month in GQ Magazine that Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary embellished top-secret wartime memos with quotations from the Bible prompts a question. Why did he believe he could influence President Bush by that means?
    The answer may lie in an alarming story about George Bush’s Christian millenarian beliefs that has yet to come to light.
    In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France’s President Jacques Chirac. Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and how they must be defeated.
    In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped.
    The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:

    “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

    Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:

    “This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”.

    The story of the conversation emerged only because the Elyse Palace, baffled by Bush’s words, sought advice from Thomas Romer, a professor of theology at the University of Lausanne. Four years later, Romer gave an account in the September 2007 issue of the university’s review, Allez savoir. The article apparently went unnoticed, although it was referred to in a French newspaper.
    The story has now been confirmed by Chirac himself in a new book, published in France in March, by journalist Jean Claude Maurice. Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush’s invocation of Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.” . . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/05/22/bush-god-iraq-and-gog/

    • JLewisDickerson
      August 19, 2015, 12:30 pm

      P.S. These are the (End) Times that try men’s souls! ! !
      ■ Bush Told Chirac Iraq Invasion Was About Biblical Prophecy

      Bush, Gog, and Magog

    • RobertHenryEller
      August 19, 2015, 1:55 pm

      The story of George W. Bush pitching the Gog and Magog stuff to Chirac was revealed by Kurt Eichenwald is his book, “500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars.” (2012) The story of the Gog and Magog pitch to Chirac was excerpted in Vanity Fair in October, 2012.

      • Kathleen
        August 19, 2015, 10:10 pm

        Cenk Uygar is a champ. Love his delivery. What really like to know exactly why MSNBC canned him. What nerve did he touch?

        Invasion of Iraq a crime that still goes unpunished.

      • peters
        August 23, 2015, 8:00 pm

        Invasion of Iraq a crime that still goes unpunished. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/lockstep-triumph-tragedy#comment-791497

        has a list been made up yet? i think we need a list of perpetrators… not, politicians, those from the “intellectual” classes.

      • piotr
        August 26, 2015, 10:18 am

        One can call Gog and Magog absurd myths, but it can be disputed. What easy to read books can help? It of course depends on your reading level. For example, this is quite popular and available as an eBook (paper copy not available due to high demand?):

        The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Bible, 3rd Edition
        by James Bell Jr., Stan Campbell

        There is also something like “Cretin’s guide to Biblical Prophesy”. What is also relevant in our context is that Judaism in its form that is popular in Israel and to an extend in USA is chock full of prophesies and commands, so Netanyahu and other officials keep trying explaining the “nations” that Eretz Israel is an ETERNAL gift of G.d to the Jewish people etc., but those are most anodyne parts of their cooky beliefs.

      • MHughes976
        August 26, 2015, 11:33 am

        The Wilipedia article on Gog includes – interestingly – copious references from Islamic literature (will theologians in Gaza argue that Netanyahu is the real Gog and Israel the genuine Magog?) and a terrifying speech by Ronald Reagan in 1971 that must be one of the sources for Bush’s later pronouncements. Remarkable how these assonant names have captured so many imaginations.
        It’s often regarded as a revision of the main text of Ezekiel, reflecting a phase when the main enemy was to the north – Maccabean times, perhaps. Whether it is particularly absurd among religious imaginings, as piotr suggests, I don’t know. I would ask Bible readers to note that this is not the whole of Ezekiel, who at one point calls for acceptance of non-Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land as what we might call fellow-citizens. Also,, if we are to take the text in a pretty literal spirit, how could we even think that it is being fulfilled when no leaders (or country with a leader, depending on how you read) with the (surely essential) assonant names have as yet appeared?

      • Mooser
        August 26, 2015, 4:39 pm

        “when no leaders (or country with a leader, depending on how you read) with the (surely essential) assonant names have as yet appeared?”

        Of course not. I thought somebody-or-other swept down upon the Assonantarians “like the wolf upon the fold” or something. They’re not sticking their heads up again.

  3. Citizen
    August 19, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Whichever way Congress decides, thanks to the domestic conflict in the USA over the Iran Deal, the whole world knows now the power of Zionist money in US political decisions–even Dick & Jane are waking up! Here’s the concluding scoop, depending on if Obama or Netanyahu wins–what happens?:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/19/optimism-on-the-iran-deal-whichever-way-congress-decides/

    • JWalters
      August 19, 2015, 6:37 pm

      Thanks for the link to that excellent article. By history professor Gary Leupp, it shares the optimism of Phil’s article, and lays out a powerful indictment of Israel’s financial power to control America’s internal discourse.

      • Kathleen
        August 19, 2015, 7:38 pm

        Many believe this shift is far better for Israel based on the internationally recognized borders. They have been mutilating and killing Palestinians way too long. Ultimately self mutilating.

    • Krauss
      August 20, 2015, 1:36 am

      From the article:

      Anyone who’s ever doubted the strength of that Lobby (rooted in the Christian Zionism of U.S. evangelicals, and in the political war chests of various diehard Israel support groups)

      It’s time to end the Christian Zionism canard. Sure, they are numerous but they are totally insignificant. Who is influencing democrats on the hill? CUFI?

      This kind of cowardice needs to stop, it is dishonest and a disservice to the conversation.

      • Boo
        August 20, 2015, 3:03 pm

        Actually, true “Christian Zionists” aren’t that numerous but they have a loud voice and draw a lot of attention, just like the Westboro Baptist Church does with its anti-LGBT public haranguing.

        Most Christians in the US are not pro-Zionism, but they do tend to be unthinkingly pro-Israel. That’s slowly changing as it becomes less comfortable — and less defensible, when challenged — to root for a country that is flouting international law (colonization) and the dictates of human decency (Gaza).

        Groups like CUFI do wield outsize influence with legislators due to the considerable financial blandishments they offer at election time, but they fail to attract the support of most mainstream Christians because they hold neither the theological or moral high ground.

  4. just
    August 19, 2015, 1:32 pm

    Thanks, Phil.

    I’m still reminded of your piece the other day:

    “As we’ve pointed out before, the politics of the Iran Deal have unfolded as a largely Jewish affair. Not a very democratic process!”- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/pittsburgh-holocaust-ambassador#sthash.oQZEgFLa.dpuf

    So is it finally ok to point out that it appears that Zionists of all stripes and locations have had, and still do have, an inordinate and unhealthy amount of influence on the US government, elected officials, and US foreign policy?

    Beinart, today:

    “Accusing Obama of anti-Semitism Enables AIPAC to Wield Power but Escape Scrutiny

    Saying that the lobby spends money to convince members of Congress to do things they would otherwise not do is not anti-Semitic: it’s the truth.

    … Obama’s second supposed anti-Semitic “dog whistle” concerns money. Asked about the Iran fight by Jon Stewart, Obama said that, “If people are engaged, eventually the political system responds. Despite the money, despite the lobbyists, it still responds.” In so doing, argued Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin, Obama conjured “traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes” about Jewish money and power. His “vile tactics” constituted an anti-Semitic “smear.” 
    It’s true: For centuries, anti-Semites have accused Jews of using their money and power to shape government policy. It’s also true that in the United States in 2015, Jewish groups like AIPAC use their money and power to shape government policy. …”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.671930

    It’s worth a read. I don’t agree with some his historical assessments, but “IT’S” finally out there.

    “The tragedy was the lockstep support of Israel. But the Israel lobby is exposed and it is infighting. This will break up the Jewish Zionist consensus and also break up the US Establishment Zionist consensus. Gaza will thank us.”

    I hope that Gaza and the rest of the Palestinians don’t have to wait until they all sort things out. Because this welcome and overdue fight is not gonna be pretty, as Chemi Shalev intimated.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 19, 2015, 2:14 pm

      Saying that the lobby spends money to convince members of Congress to do things they would otherwise not do is not anti-Semitic: it’s the truth.

      maybe beinart reads mondoweiss > http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/semitic-israel-lobby

      • just
        August 19, 2015, 2:50 pm

        I really did think of your piece when I read Beinart’s this morning, Annie!

        He came right out and said ” it’s not anti- semitic” and then he discussed the “tropes” ;-0

        You always are an inspiration.

        As an aside, I can only say that I don’t think that any of this would have happened if Netanyahu and his cabal had not won. With Herzog, it would have been back to the insufferable status quo.

      • ckg
        August 19, 2015, 3:03 pm

        As an aside, I can only say that I don’t think that any of this would have happened if Netanyahu and his cabal had not won. With Herzog, it would have been back to the insufferable status quo.

        “Keep your head up, it has to get worse before it can get better.”–anonymous

      • just
        August 19, 2015, 5:47 pm
      • JWalters
        August 19, 2015, 6:40 pm

        “maybe beinart reads mondoweiss”

        I don’t see how anyone truly interested in this topic today can not read Mondoweiss.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 19, 2015, 7:20 pm

        wow, or maybe we just have exactly the same kind of common sense. he said a bunch of stuff i have said so many times. like this:

        If members of Congress required no political pressure to support AIPAC’s agenda, then AIPAC would not need to exist.

        and just last night i wrote something very similar to this in comments:

        debate over Iran without mentioning AIPAC is like discussing the congressional debate over guns without mentioning the NRA

        and very similar to this in comments the other day:

        By that standard, criticizing Bernie Madoff is anti-Semitic too: After all, his behavior provided a festival of anti-Semitic imagery. And condemning Bill Cosby is racist since it feeds stereotypes of African-American men as sexual predators. If every observation that could feed bigotry is itself bigotry, irrespective of whether it’s true, there’s going to be an awful lot we can’t discuss.

        i think they way i put that last one was “nobody would be able to say anything about anybody.”

      • just
        August 19, 2015, 7:32 pm

        Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

        ;-0

      • Annie Robbins
        August 19, 2015, 7:36 pm

        something tells me he doesn’t spend too much time reading our comment section ;)

    • Kathleen
      August 19, 2015, 7:44 pm

      Annie bet you could put money on it…That Beinart reads Mondo and comments. You are moved by a deep humanitarian sensibility. I for one don’t believe that is the case with Beinart…sense of preservation of Israel seems to be his motivation. Periodically he wraps it up in a humanitarian cloak. Whatever brings people to the table to seek justice and peace in that conflict. Now Finkelstein, Ilan Pappe, Tony Judt…deep sense of humanity.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 19, 2015, 8:17 pm

        thank you kathleen. i meant by common sense – pragmatic thought structure (i think of my logic that way vs creative or imaginary). i didn’t mean to say we are in agreement about most things. motivationally i think he is a person with good intentions although i don’t agree with his priorities.

  5. Pixel
    August 19, 2015, 1:46 pm

    The Iran Deal marks a great maturing of the Jewish community, from ethnic solidarity and outsider status to a recognition of its power and responsibility.

    And growing up is rarely easy or “pretty”.

    Most of us do so only against our will, kicking and screaming the whole way.

    At least, I always have.

    .
    Phil, this sentence is important; it’s key.
    It’s moving, loving, and true.

    • JWalters
      August 19, 2015, 6:45 pm

      Fully agree, a key statement from an honest and mature perspective

  6. David Doppler
    August 19, 2015, 2:12 pm

    Check out Jonathan Landay’s piece for McClatchy today, Why is Israel’s nuclear arsenal not mentioned in Iran deal debate, which starts out:

    “There’s one major issue that President Barack Obama, his supporters and his critics assiduously have avoided as they battle over the deal designed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons: Israel’s own nuclear arsenal.”

    It includes this from Avner Cohen, and Israeli American in Monterey:

    “Cohen, an Iran deal supporter, also believes that it’s difficult to understand Israeli leaders’ fervent opposition to the accord – especially Netanyahu’s unprecedented interference in domestic U.S. politics – without understanding that they’re worried about maintaining an undeclared nuclear monopoly they’ve enjoyed for decades.

    “’Part of the 800-pound gorilla missing in the debate is an indication of Israel’s true interest,’” said Cohen, a professor of nonproliferation studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Calif. ‘Israel’s primary but unstated interest is to keep its own nuclear monopoly, in other words, not to allow anyone else (in the region) to have the bomb, not to allow anyone else to even get close to the bomb. The Israelis are concerned that the nuclear deal with Iran effectively provides Iran certain international legitimacy for being a special nuclear status, and the Israelis don’t like it.'”

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/world/article31477886.html#storylink=cpy

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/world/article31477886.html

    Interesting coverage of both sides of the issue, per the Mondoweiss thesis.

    • Pixel
      August 19, 2015, 2:25 pm

      Nice

    • Kay24
      August 19, 2015, 2:43 pm

      Many American do realize that Bibi is a lying hypocrite, and his “do as we say, not as we do” narrative has no clout. Unfortunately the media does not call him out on that.

    • JWalters
      August 19, 2015, 6:47 pm

      The invisible 800 pound gorilla is losing its invisibility cloak.

      • Krauss
        August 20, 2015, 1:38 am

        The invisible 800 pound gorilla is losing its invisibility cloak.

        And it will still be a 800 pound gorilla, nothing to sneeze at! But it will finally become normal to attack the Israel lobby in the same way as you’d attack the NRA.

        That is about time.

    • Kathleen
      August 19, 2015, 7:46 pm

      Landay was one of the premiere reporters before the Iraq invasion. Questioned the false pre war intelligence. Tried to go deep continuously

  7. RobertHenryEller
    August 19, 2015, 2:28 pm

    Netanyahu wants anti-Semitism to rise in the U.S. If there is a rise in anti-Semitism in the U.S. as a result of backlash against the U.S. Israel lobby killing the Iran deal, and pushing the U.S. into another Mid-East war that could cost even more than the $6 trillion Iraq war we’ve run on the credit card, Netanyahu will be thrilled. Why?

    Netanyahu figures he can get Jewish Americans to move to Israel, the way he’s scared Jewish Europeans to do. In Israel, Jewish Americans can also serve as part of Netanyahu’s Human Demographic Shield against the growing Arab population.

    Meanwhile, Netanyahu figures further that anti-Semitism will push more rich Jews towards the Republican Party and into the loving arms of their John Hagee Christians United For Israel wing.

    Anti-Semitism in the U.S. will be a winner, in Netanyahu’s calculations. He only needs enough Jews in the U.S. to buy the President and the Congress.

    At this point, Jewish Americans would be better off if there was no U.S. Israel lobby. Netanyahu may now be Jewish Americans’ greatest existential threat.

    • Citizen
      August 20, 2015, 6:00 am

      Early Zionists are on public record saying they will use anti-semitism for their own purpose.

  8. James Canning
    August 19, 2015, 2:28 pm

    I too think it is a good thing, for the US and for Israel, if “lockstep US Jewish support for Israel” has ended.

    • Krauss
      August 20, 2015, 1:38 am

      Whether it is a good thing for Israel or not shouldn’t even come into consideration. The U.S. must look after its own national interest, just like any other nation.

      • James Canning
        August 20, 2015, 4:06 pm

        Regrettably, for many US politicians the issue is whether the deal is acceptable for Israel.

  9. pabelmont
    August 19, 2015, 2:45 pm

    Gog and Magog say: News of AIPAC’s demise have been exaggerated. OTOH, From whoever’s mouth to God’s ear! The big problem is that there is no reason for the Jewish organizations to align with Jewish-street rather than with (as for many years) Jewish-Big-Money (BIG-ZION). Who pays the piper calls the tune. American oligarchy (rule by BIG-MONEY) is alive and well and runs the big Jewish organizations even more tightly than it runs the USA’s Congress. Take Hillary. Really!

    • JWalters
      August 19, 2015, 6:49 pm

      Why won’t Bob Woodward follow THIS money???

      • Kathleen
        August 19, 2015, 9:24 pm

        You mean the Bob “groupthink” Woodward who not only went along with the Bush administrations pack of WMD lies he pushed the agenda. You mean the Bob Woodward who called the Bush administrations intentional outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame “much ado about nothing.” A woman who put her life on the line for her country and did it without a focus on fame or fortune…that outing was “much ado about nothing.”

        Now Woodward is comparing Hillary’s email issue to Nixon’s Watergate tapes. Watergate where Deep Throat (who had a bone to pick with NIxon) led Bernstein and Woodward right to where he wanted them. That Woodward?

        Something is seriously fishy about Woodward his willingness to go along with the run up to the invasion, his dismissal of Plame’s outing , his exaggeration of the email issue. As if he would like to see Hillary go down. He has been long over rated.

        When he came to Ohio University to speak he would not take any direct questions. Had to go through a filter. Now there is a weak kneed journalist.

    • chet
      August 20, 2015, 7:06 pm

      @p a b —

      Your pessimism is shared – while BIG ZION is getting unwelcome media attention, there is no reason to believe that the disproportionate influence that is wielded in respect of politics and the media will suffer substantially in the long term, or the short term, for that matter.

  10. Kay24
    August 19, 2015, 2:52 pm

    Bibi has interfered in American policies, he has divided this country, political parties, and even the American Jews…..and Congress let him. If Congress stood their ground and did not allow him to give that divisive speech in Congress, and handled this situation on an “only American” priority, this deal would not leave this nation so fractured. We have had senior Congresspeople like Schumer show disloyalty to his own President, and we have seen many ads against this deal worth millions of dollars, all because an alien nation, and it’s agents here, are trying to manipulate and sabotage what Americans are trying hard to achieve, mostly to avoid war.

    It is unbelievable to think that the worlds greatest superpower is controlled so much by a conniving little rogue nation.

    • eljay
      August 19, 2015, 3:00 pm

      || Kay24: … It is unbelievable to think that the worlds greatest superpower is controlled so much by a conniving little rogue nation. ||

      It’s depressing to think that the people who run the world’s greatest superpower are so willing – so desperate, actually – to sell their souls to a (war) criminal and supremacist state.

      • Kay24
        August 19, 2015, 3:29 pm

        It is indeed. It feels that we will never be able to get out of these shackles that have had us
        controlled for years and years. Our leaders have made the biggest mistakes allowing this serpent to slide into our nation. It has poisoned our entire political system, and the media is either loyal to their cause, or afraid to speak out about it.

        The American people do not realize it, but they are “occupied” too.

    • Citizen
      August 19, 2015, 3:21 pm

      @ Kay24

      “It is unbelievable to think that the worlds greatest superpower is controlled so much by a conniving little rogue nation.”

      That little rogue nation would be helpless sans #AIPAC-orchestrated campaign donations, and the likes of zionist billionaires like Adelson, Soros, et al. The Hagee Zionists, the ME oil control agents, the MIC?–they hang on to Zionist money power to advance their own agenda, but they are nothing without AIPAC orchestra.

      • Kay24
        August 19, 2015, 5:11 pm

        I agree. AIPAC has too much of influence in our political arena. Time they dropped the A in AIPAC because they do not give a damn about the US, and are doing the work of a foreign nation, and everything is for the advantage of that nation. The US is simply the tool. We are used like a doormat for zionists to wipe their filthy feet.

      • RobertHenryEller
        August 19, 2015, 5:29 pm

        Will people ever take the time to understand what George Soros does and does not do?

        Please, do your research. Soros does not particularly support any Zionist programs.

        Start here: http://www.rense.com/general44/soros.htm

        Soros spends his money on promoting democracy.

        Just because Soros is rich, and Jewish, does not imply that he supports Israel in general, or Likud or Netanyahu in particular. He does not. I have to conclude that you heard something from an unreliable source, or you just jump to conclusions.

      • Kay24
        August 19, 2015, 7:48 pm

        RHE is right, Soros is not known for backing zionists issues. He has favored liberal causes, not extremist or conservative.

      • Keith
        August 20, 2015, 5:53 pm

        ROBERTHENRYELLER- “Soros spends his money on promoting democracy.”

        Yes, he is a charter member of the imperial democracy promotion project.

      • Keith
        August 21, 2015, 10:41 am

        KAY24- “He has favored liberal causes….”

        Color revolutions are liberal causes? The coup in the Ukraine is a liberal cause?

      • piotr
        August 25, 2015, 11:27 pm

        “Color revolutions” got a bad name, but this is not a priority of the Jewish/Israeli lobby. If anything, their newest priority not directly related to Israel is the support of “Sunni axis”, including the support for taqfiris in Syria and the support of “making a parking lot from Yemen”. It would be a huge stretch to call those “color revolutions”. Soros is not an angel, but one has to see differences between billionaires.

      • Keith
        August 26, 2015, 12:30 pm

        PIOTR- “Soros is not an angel, but one has to see differences between billionaires.”

        Not an angel? My, you have a penchant for understatement. As far as the difference between billionaires, surely the currency speculators are the worst of the worst. They are financial pirates who use concentrated financial power to smash countries and destroy economies causing misery to the populace in order to secure their coerced plunder. And in the former Soviet Union, Soros was involved in the shock therapy which resulted in the most extreme example of de-industrialization and impoverishment of any advanced country during peacetime. The reduction in Russian life expectancy (since reversed under Putin) was also unprecedented resulting in millions of excess deaths from previous norms.

        Like the Robber Barons of old, Soros has given some of his ill gotten gains to liberal causes resulting in the transformation of this financial pirate into a liberal philanthropist. Lord Soros now wears the mantle of a liberal do-gooder in spite of his atrocious record.

  11. ivri
    August 19, 2015, 5:20 pm

    @citizen and Kay
    Well, use your heads – you are getting things in reverse. In reality Netanyahu is merely a useful pawn here – his positions, based on perceived Israel`s interests – happen to serve other people`s much, much bigger agendas. If they thought otherwise the whole Israeli “formidable” lobby would have been shut down overnight.
    People over here, being solely interested only in a segment of the whole picture – the Israel saga, keep missing, because of that, what really and truly goes on. In particular, it means being forever “surprised” by what indeed makes no sense if you ignore the grand stratagem.
    That`s the problem with a single-issue focused site in a world where everything is linked now and where the US, the global master, is concurrently engaged in multiple arenas and issues.

    • Citizen
      August 20, 2015, 5:55 am

      @ ivri

      I didn’t miss the bigger picture; I already said, “…that little rogue nation would be helpless sans #AIPAC-orchestrated campaign donations, and the likes of zionist billionaires like Adelson, Soros, et al. The Hagee Zionists, the ME oil control agents, the MIC?–they hang on to Zionist money power to advance their own agenda, but they are nothing without AIPAC orchestra.” You downplay the power of AIPAC’s orchestration when it is in your face, exerting tremendous pressure, including by bombarding the tv audience with Fear ads, to bring down an international agreement made by US, Russia, China, France, England and Germany?

      Soros and Saban have recently given billions to Hillary. What do they want in return? Didn’t she recently assure at least one of them she would do all she could to kill BDS?
      http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/311429/billionaires-saban-and-soros-pour-3m-into-hillary-clinton-campaign/

  12. JWalters
    August 19, 2015, 6:21 pm

    First there was no Israel Lobby. It was a myth. It was an anti-Semetic trope. It was a vicious lie. Now it suddenly emerges as an extremely strong power trying to kill an international peace agreement.

    This is an amazing turn of events. No sane person can ignore such a seismic reversal. This deserves a THOROUGH investigation and a COMPLETE understanding. What is going on here?

    And if this is a replay of a historical pattern, that history needs to be understood as well.

    In the big picture, this will benefit the larger Jewish community. As Avigail Abarbanel so clearly explained, “It’s time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped”.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/american-recognize-duped

    Mondoweiss deserves a lot of credit for its sane and courageous honesty.

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      August 19, 2015, 8:17 pm

      “First there was no Israel Lobby. It was a myth. It was an anti-Semetic trope. It was a vicious lie. Now it suddenly emerges as an extremely strong power trying to kill an international peace agreement.”

      Yup. Amazing. :)

      Probably mainly have to thank Mearsheimer & Walt. Here’s Commentary magazine in 2006:

      But never mind their choice of friends; Mearsheimer and Walt deserve to be judged by their words. Others among their critics, notably Alex Safian and Alan Dershowitz, have dug deep through their original paper to unearth the factual errors, the pervasive use of double standards in argumentation, the rich array of logical fallacies, and above all the distortions, malignant insinuations, and outright falsehoods, both about the historical conduct of America’s Jews and about the historical conduct of American foreign policy, at its heart.

  13. Kathleen
    August 19, 2015, 7:10 pm

    Exposure has helped divide in healthy ways for all involved. Better to loosen that I lobby, Israel grip on U.S. National Security. Many believe that this deal is better for Israel too. Just keep wondering what would happen if Israel were to pivot and play ball with the international community on this deal.

  14. Kay24
    August 20, 2015, 7:32 am

    Apparently 25 Jewish American leaders announce support for Iran deal in NYT:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/25-us-jewish-leaders-announce-support-for-iran-deal/

    Looks like Bibi and his supporters are looking like the minority.

  15. Kay24
    August 20, 2015, 7:35 am

    Now this is cool and sweet:

    “Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, have announced their support for Obama’s nuclear deal, U.S. news site Breitbart reported on Thursday.

    Cohen and Greenfield co-authored an email to activists on MoveOn.com, the liberal-leaning e-petitions website, urging fellow Democrats to support the deal in Congress.

    “We’re writing today about keeping America out of another war in the Middle East,” they wrote. “This agreement is the only peaceful way to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. And it’s a critical test for what sort of nation we’re going to be.”
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/1.672105

    • just
      August 20, 2015, 1:22 pm

      That makes sense for them as far as their usual politics, imho.

      Now if they would only get out of the illegal settlements. They are PEP.

      In other news, it is confirmed now:

      “Britain’s foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, will formally reopen the UK embassy in Tehran on Sunday, nearly four years after it was shut down as a result of a mob attack.

      The Iranian embassy in London will be reopened at the same time, as part of a rapid warming of relations between Iran and the west following the agreement reached on 14 July on the future of the Iranian nuclear programme. Hammond’s Tehran trip, the first by a British foreign secretary in nearly 12 years, comes soon after visits from the French and Italian foreign ministers, Germany’s vice-chancellor, and the EU’s foreign policy chief.

      Hammond will be accompanied on his visit by a handful of British business leaders as well as the Foreign Office political director, Sir Simon Gass, who represented Britain in the marathon talks leading up to the July nuclear agreement. …”

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/20/britain-to-reopen-embassy-in-tehran-after-four-years-iran#comment-57887588

      Wouldn’t the US look like certifiable fools if they choose to stand alone?

      • Kay24
        August 20, 2015, 2:30 pm

        Yes indeed we will look like certifiable fools and we will be alone…..this is mainly because of Israel and the unwavering support we keep giving it, aiding it, arming it, and protecting it.

        We only have ourselves to blame for the inevitable isolation.

  16. Boo
    August 20, 2015, 2:50 pm

    There’s a moral here that is relevant to both the Iranian nuclear-development issue generally and the US Jewish community in particular:

    Fission doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Not at all.

    It’s essential for the growth and development of (almost) every living thing.

    If each of our zygotes didn’t fission “When We Were VERY Young” (tip o’ the hat to A.A. Milne), none of us would be commenting here!

  17. piotr
    August 25, 2015, 11:34 pm

    Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the fourth-ranking Senate Democrat, has officially endorsed President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran.
    Though Murray had long been expected to line up behind the agreement, her formal announcement on Tuesday brings the Obama administration closer to the 34 votes needed in the Senate to sustain any veto of the resolution of disapproval on the nuclear deal.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/iran-deal-patty-murray-support-democrats-121726.html#ixzz3jt5PnOEb

    If Politico is correct, Obama needs 5 more senators (and he got 29 so far), and opponents of the agreement, 21 more (and they got 2).

    • piotr
      August 25, 2015, 11:51 pm

      I made a mistake by 10 (Senate has fewer seats than Knesset!) so the opponents need 11 more (got 2).

  18. piotr
    August 26, 2015, 10:40 am

    From Jewish Political News and Updates (JPNU):

    According to the YouGov poll, 49% of Americans say it was appropriate for Schumer to take a position against the foreign policy of a President of his own party, while only 24 percent think it is inappropriate. Among those who support the deal, a plurality – by a 47-35 percentage point margin – say it is inappropriate to defy the president. More Democrats also feel the same way (43-27).

    The poll also shows that while a plurality – by a thin 37-34 percentage point margin – support the deal, almost half of Americans (48%) think a better deal could have been negotiated, while only 35% think this was the best outcome of a diplomatic solution. A plurality (40-28) also want Congress to override Obama’s veto if Congress rejects the deal, including 21% of those who want Congress to support the agreement. 19% of Democrats also want Congress to override the veto.

    ======

    The article spins the numbers as showing that the fight against the agreement has hope, but it actually suggests the opposite. Big portion of the public has quite confused views, and for myself, faced with a question “could a better deal be negotiated”, I would have to answer “How can I know”? And I know some history, and I followed news. For the sake of the poll I would answer “no”, because it is clear that the priorities of all states at the table with the exception of USA were to have a stronger Iran, both as prospering market in the world where there are not many new expanding market, and as a military power in the region where “Sunni axis” is literally going bonkers, wrecking havoc in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, while Israel latches to their war wagon. To consider a better deal, one has to define “good”, and keeping Iran destitute and ISIS + al-Qaeda rampant is apparently what some regard as good. Including the writers of JPNU.

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