Obama ushers in the crisis of the Israel lobby

US Politics
on 66 Comments

Update: In a huge win for the president, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has come out for the deal. Some of her statement echoes the president’s warning: she says killing the deal could result in “an invasion with yet another massive and costly land war in the Middle East.”

Original post:

In his new book on the US and Israel, former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says that all the young Ivy Leaguers who went to work for President Obama had read The Israel Lobby, by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, and that it was their playbook for understanding the Middle East. (Along with Edward Said’s Orientalism).

Yesterday’s speech shows that President Obama has also read The Israel Lobby and that its central points have become his chief concerns: The Israel lobby is a loose but powerful coalition of Israel supporters who will distort policy at every turn out of the sincere misguided belief that the US and Israel have the same interests; that coalition of conservative Jews in league with Republican hawks played a critical role in starting the Iraq war that has been an unmitigated disaster for our foreign policy. I have argued here for a long time that we won’t defeat the war party till we identify its true cause, and Obama all but did so explicitly yesterday. “Every nation in the world that has commented publicly” supports this deal, except Israel, he said. And Israel has many friends in this country, including the president himself, he said.

Then he called out the “mindset” in the U.S. that opposes the deal as a mindset of warmongers. The same “mindset” that gave us the Iraq war will leave us no alternative but military strikes on Iran, and none of the advocates of that mindset have to go off and fight these wars themselves.

Never before have I heard Obama go step by step over why he was right to oppose the Iraq war, 13 years after the fact. But he is trying to defeat that “mindset,” which as Paul Pillar says, he can’t identify too explicitly because of political orthodoxies in D.C. Though he said that mindset’s paranoia and reliance on force are inconsistent with American values and he’d be “abrogating” his constitutional duty if he sided with Netanyahu on the Iran Deal.

The mainstream media have not focused on Obama’s defiance of the Israel lobby in his speech, partly because some of them are part of the Israel lobby (a top exec at Time Warner is a Netanyahu speechwriter; the top execs at Comcast are Israel lovers). But this is a case of Obama going over the heads of the media to the people. When he said that Congress needs to set aside “political concerns,” people know who he means. If you look at the New York Times comments on his speech, everyone is saying that AIPAC with all its millions should not be dictating U.S. policy in the Middle East.

So we’re finally getting to the political discussion that we need to be having about this deal: who is buying the Congress? Chris Matthews said last night that all those swing Democrats in the Congress are under great pressure from “contributors” right now. He didn’t say voters, he said contributors. That’s pro-Israel money. American Jews largely support this deal. Even Simon Schama says so.

The president is breaking an important discussion. The Washington Post has run a big piece on that AIPAC-sponsored trip to Israel, for 58 House members, 22 Democrats and 36 Republicans. Catherine Ho and Karoun Demirjian report:

The last time the foundation sponsored travel to Israel, in August 2013, it paid for 24 House Republicans and 36 Democrats, which cost about $1 million — roughly $18,000 per member, according to LegiStorm, which tracks congressional travel.

From Aug. 4 to 10, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will lead Democratic contingent to the country and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will shepherd the Republican delegation. Hoyer and McCarthy’s offices declined to share the names of the lawmakers traveling on the trip, as did AIPAC. 

But PowerPost confirmed the trip includes a number of House Democrats that many lobbyists consider critical votes on the deal, including Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Mark Takai (D-Hawaii), Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Gwen Graham (D-Fla.), and Hoyer himself. 

Here are about 20 Democrats meeting the Israeli president yesterday. Why are they in Israel right now when they could be talking about income inequality or global warming or #BlackLivesMatter with their constituents back home? Because that’s where the money is.

Democratic congresspoeple meeting Israeli president August 5, 2015

Democratic congresspoeple meeting Israeli president August 5, 2015

Here are some of the readers’ picks from comments in the Times on Obama’s speech:

rlk, New York: The last time I looked, Netanyahu is not American and he certainly isn’t our Secretary of State. We need to do what is right and correct for America. If in this circumstance our needs diverge from Israel’s needs, so be it.

Jason Shapiro, Santa Fe: The President is correct in his characterizations. The only groups who want us to keep fighting wars in the Middle East are Israel, right wing chicken hawks who haven’t worn a uniform since they were Boy Scouts, fundamentalist evangelicals who believe in some nonsense called The Rapture, and defense contractors. All those people put us into Iraq and now they want to put us into Iran – a much larger, more powerful, and more prepared nation. AIPAC does not in any manner speak for me, nor does it speak for millions of other Americans.

David Ballantyne: ‘The speech came as pro-Israel groups, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, are sending hundreds of activists to lobby lawmakers to reject the deal and are planning to run more than $25 million in television advertising to rally opposition.’ Can we send lobbyists to Israel and run ads on their TVs to make them stop abusing the Palestinians?

Jeff Cohen, New York: It is ridiculous and degrading that an American president felt he had to make this speech. As the president said, the only country in the world opposing the Iran deal is Israel and, as he didn’t say, the only organized opposition to it in Washington comes from Israel’s lobby.
Then there are the Jewish Members of Congress who say openly that there primary concern in considering whether to support the deal is Israel’s security. Not US security but Israel’s. Not even Israel’s security either (top security officials there support the agreement) but Netanyahu’s idea of “security.”
As a Jew, I am appalled by this behavior. Simply put, those Democrats who oppose the deal (not the Republicans who are invariably hawkish & will oppose any Obama initiative) are choosing Netanyahu over President Obama and Israel over the United States.
It’s a disgrace.

The Israel lobby entailed the idea of Jewish consensus in a hostile world; and the lobby is fragmenting because American Jews who feel secure are rebelling against the leaders/donors. One Barbara Dobkin explains:

The Iran proposal has exacerbated the already lethal divide in the Jewish community. Criticizing Israel or supporting Obama labels one anti-Semitic. Mega donors threaten to withhold money from important institutions (Hillel for example) because of the organization’s desire to be inclusive of everyone. Civility is sorely lacking. And the upcoming elections will worsen the situation. I wonder if we will be able to mend the divide.

No: we won’t be able to mend the divide and that’s a good thing. J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace are going to be the big winners of the Iran Deal inside the Jewish community; and those two groups don’t agree on Israel, and when the dust settles, we will begin to have that argument.

The pro-Israel groups are worried about that. The other day the Jewish Council for Public Affairs warned that divisions over the Iran Deal are reminiscent of the “baseless hatred” that brought about the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. It was warning that Jews shouldn’t fight with Jews (I interpreted that wrong in my original post). A friend explains:

The gratuitous hate meme refers to intramural Jewish hate during the time of the second temple.  In contrast to the destruction of the 1st temple which was linked to idolatry. The expression in Hebrew is Sinat Chinam. And is illustrated with the tale of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza.
The idea that Jews should speak with one voice is a traditional idea out of step with modernity and our era of Jewish power and accountability. That idea of consensus helped give us the Iraq war. The fragmentation of that consensus will preserve the Iran Deal and, in turn, open the gates on a vital American conversation about the damage of Zionism.
Thanks to James North.

 

About Philip Weiss

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

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66 Responses

  1. ritzl
    August 6, 2015, 1:00 pm

    This struck me:

    Washington Post … Catherine Ho and Karoun Demirjian report: …

    Maybe my memory is going, and not that I read everything, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a news story (not OpEd) about Israel in a major news publication written without a Jewish byline.

    Rare and welcome.

  2. Citizen
    August 6, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Meanwhile Dershowitz just published an article in Algemeiner denigrating Obama’s speech by mischaracterizing parts of the actual Obama text for the speech, and asking vague lame questions implying Iran had no right to sovereignty;many were answered specifically by Obama. He flashed his credibility badge by saying he opposed the bombing and invasion of Iraq. All commenters were simple expressions of really bad hasbara except one comment, which referenced a link to Counterpunch showing Dershowitz did not oppose the bombing and invasion of Iraq prior to its event; rather he coached such an invasion by boiling the choice down to, essentially, if you assumed Iraq did not have ready WMD, and you were wrong, the result would be your annilation.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 6, 2015, 2:18 pm

      which referenced a link to Counterpunch showing Dershowitz did not oppose the bombing and invasion of Iraq prior to its event

      i looked but didn’t see that. maybe it got deleted or maybe i just didn’t look hard enough. anyone know what article that is?

      • Citizen
        August 6, 2015, 2:50 pm

        Probably got deleted. Here’s the Counterpunch I was talking about: http://www.counterpunch.org/2007/01/31/a-hawk-in-drag/
        I just looked, the comment was deleted.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2015, 4:39 pm

        thanks citizen. from 2002 this sounds so0000 familiar

        Most frightening, it is expanding its efforts to enlist terrorists as carriers of weapons of mass destruction. If these facts are true–and there seems little dispute about their accuracy–then we can be relatively certain of two conclusions: one, Iraq is determined to develop nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver them, and two, they do not yet have that capacity. The third, and perhaps most crucial, conclusion is the most hotly disputed: how much time do we have before these weapons become operational, and is it enough to warrant further efforts short of attack, such as U.N. inspections and other diplomatic actions?”

        fancy that!

  3. echinococcus
    August 6, 2015, 2:08 pm

    Mr Weiss,

    Are the adjectives in the following based on evidence or just your own imagination?

    …out of the sincere misguided belief that the US and Israel have the same interests

    • Annie Robbins
      August 6, 2015, 2:24 pm

      there are likely a few sincere and misguided supporters of israel in the israel lobby operating under this assumption. .. but i’d wager there are many more that fantasize the US and israel have the same interest merely as a matter of convenience to serve their self interest. because it makes no matter, they would always support what israel wants regardless.

      • Citizen
        August 6, 2015, 2:53 pm

        Yes, I agree.

    • Philip Weiss
      August 6, 2015, 2:53 pm

      obama said they were sincere.
      myself i think a lot of them really are sincere–and concerned about Never again– but completely deluded on that score, and willing to use influence to corrupt the political process. The path to Never again is Respect Universal Decl. of Human Rights

      • Les
        August 6, 2015, 3:05 pm

        Sincerity is not a virtue. Hitler and lots of evil minded people were and are sincere, spuring them to make their deeds all the more devastatingly successful.

      • jhitchcock
        August 16, 2015, 2:46 pm

        Well said, Phil.

    • piotr
      August 6, 2015, 3:28 pm

      It reminds me when I lived in Germany and I wished to have an account with interest, and young lady in my savings bank branch could not understand why I think that my account was too boring. What does it mean “interest”, and “same interests”? Clearly, Israelis are interested in soccer, Americans — when their daughters play the game (and fathers watch something else).

      Americans want their politicians to bring pork back to their districts, Israeli do not have districts, and I have no idea what do politicians bring there, falafels? Polish politicians are a bit closer to American, because they are promising “electoral kielbasa”, but this is actually different, that kielbasa is supposed to grow on trees, like increasing the benefits and cutting deficit in the same time, also, kielbasa can be thrown to both dogs and humans to their satisfaction, which is much more hygienic than raw meat — but again, what can be done with kosher folks? Let them eat latkes? Sadly, I do not know.

      So in Israel the popular belief has it that sanctions on Iran combined with the “military option” are beneficial. Similarly, in Poland many (well, not THAT many) believe that you can get more money by purchasing an oil painting of a Jew counting money and hanging it near the entrance, and in a case of financial setback, hanging it upside down. Perplexed Israeli reporters try to figure out if this is anti-Semitic. It is very complicated to assess if such strategies are effective. There is a strong placebo effect: with sanctions or an oil paining in place you gain confidence that can translate to genuine or at least perceived success. In fact, the decline in confidence was one of the demerits of the deal with Iran that was discussed.

  4. Les
    August 6, 2015, 3:31 pm

    ‘The Israeli government should not be telling U.S Jews what they should do vis a vis their government,’ says Conference of Presidents chief.

    http://www.haaretz.com/beta/.premium-1.669986

    • Bandolero
      August 6, 2015, 5:53 pm

      Jesus.

      Opposition to Prime Minister Bibi reached circles I hardly ever imagined. Besides CoP president Malcolm Hoenlein, also Israeli President Reuven Rivlin criticized Bibi for his fight against the US president:

      Israeli President Rivlin: Netanyahu’s Anti-Iran Drive Isolates Israel
      “I have told him, and I’m telling him again, that struggles, even those that are just, can ultimately come at Israel’s expense.”
      Reuters

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/israel-rivlin-netanyahu-iran_55c362b6e4b0f1cbf1e3cff1

      • just
        August 6, 2015, 6:03 pm

        Too little, too late! Nobody can reign him in. I hope that the rupture is real. It’s not only Israel that needs to come to its senses, it is also the US.

        (I must admit that I’m finding it rather ‘amusing’ to witness, though)

      • just
        August 6, 2015, 7:30 pm

        “US Jewish leader: Several EU PMs, including from P5+1, very unhappy with Iran deal

        Various European leaders object to many provisions of accord but ‘not courageous enough’ to speak up, says Malcolm Hoenlein

        … “What the Europeans say essentially is that we gave this over the United States. The US took over the leadership and they’re responsible,” he added. “This deal that looks like everybody was a cheerleader for – [but] they are expressing their reservations in private.”

        Still, Hoenlein said opposition to the deal must be carefully thought out, lest it deepen the rift between Israel and the US.

        “The fact is, though, that it doesn’t matter anymore because it’s a done deal, and we have to deal with the fact that this exists and we have to be careful about how we do this. We don’t want a rupture in US-Israel relations over this,” he said.”…”

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-jewish-leader-eu-leaders-wary-of-iran-deal-but-let-us-lead/

        Yeah, right Hoenlein.

        Let the rupture continue. Please. This “dual loyalty” needs to be tackled head- on.

  5. yonah fredman
    August 6, 2015, 4:15 pm

    Never before have I heard Obama go step by step over why he was right to oppose the Iraq war, 13 years after the fact. But he is trying to defeat that “mindset,” which as Paul Pillar says, he can’t identify too explicitly because of political orthodoxies in D.C. THOUGH HE SAID THAT MINDSET’S PARANOIA and reliance on force are inconsistent with American values and he’d be “abrogating” his constitutional duty if he sided with Netanyahu on the Iran Deal. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/ushers-crisis-israel#sthash.DuqPVmvG.dpuf

    I’d bet 200 dollars that the word paranoia was not in Obama’s speech. Please quote me the sentence (or two) that sums up as paranoia in his speech.

  6. ivri
    August 6, 2015, 5:53 pm

    Israel`s lobby would have been in crisis if there was a unanimous view otherwise, or at least a majority of Congress had been so. But is that the case? It is fact likely that Obama will have to use his veto here – which is a rarity.
    In addition, it is clear that effective navigation of the process will be left to the next President given that this is a 10 years agreement and that a lot will only start (if the agreement is ratified by all) in earnest only about a year or so from now – when he would be about to be succeeded.
    Now what if the next president will have a contrary view about it? Say, will be one of those that oppose it now.
    This agreement issue is in reality a process, not a one off event, which has just been kicked off – there is no telling what expects it down the road.

  7. unverified__5ilf90kd
    August 6, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Phil wrote “Israel supporters who will distort policy at every turn out of the sincere misguided belief that the US and Israel have the same interests” Sincere misguided belief, really ? Phil is being too kind, too diplomatic and too timid. There are many, many Jews who know full well that the US and Israel do not have the same interests but nonetheless they use the US thoughtlessly to get everything they can for Israel. The war in Iraq is but one glaring example of this disconnect between US and Israel interests.

    • gamal
      August 6, 2015, 7:05 pm

      “There are many, many Jews who know full well that the US and Israel do not have the same interests but nonetheless they use the US thoughtlessly to get everything they can for Israel”

      “Jews” ? Surely the majority of people who believe this are not Jews, are you saying that the crushing of the societies of the Arab east is not an American objective? America, Saudi (and sundry Arabians) and Israel have identical interests in respect of the Semitic rabble who inhabit Oilistan.

      “The war in Iraq is but one glaring example of this disconnect between US and Israel interests.”

      Naif Hawatmeh, Habash and all the rest of us get that Palestine is an Arab and “Black” issue Palestine will not be free till American power is broken, we all agree.

      Israel is Americas’ bitch, you dont think the Arab Kings would finance Israel, 20 billion per annum, to defend them, Israel is the only power that can challenge the USA in the region, she has the kings behind her, but the USA doesnt ramp, Israel is serving the Oligarchs, as we all are,

      America is the problem not the solution. Zionists own the American “political” process with the consent of your owners, enjoy your gilded cages while they last. “Zionism” “Zionists” and “Jews” are being set up to pay for the sins of “Whiteness”, Really dont Jews get that “whiteness” has been thrusting them down black throats to defeat anti-racism, Jewish power is a chimera, you serve bigger players and your day is done, we also seem to be doomed, but that’s just an illusion, trust me.

  8. PeaceThroughJustice
    August 6, 2015, 7:30 pm

    “Every nation in the world that has commented publicly supports this deal, except Israel.”

    Spring 2003, while the planet was covered with the largest anti-war demonstrations in history, there was one country that enthusiastically supported the idea of a US invasion–

    MOST ISRAELIS SUPPORT THE ATTACK ON IRAQ
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=269674&contrassID=2&subContrassID=5&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y&itemNo=269674

  9. JLewisDickerson
    August 6, 2015, 8:07 pm

    RE: “When he [i.e., Obama] said that Congress needs to set aside ‘political concerns’, people know who he means.” ~ Weiss

    LIZA & JOEL ON “POLITICAL CONCERNS”:
    “A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
    A buck or a pound
    A buck or a pound
    Is all that makes the world go around,
    That clinking clanking sound
    Can make the world go ’round…
    …Money money money money money money
    Money money money money money money…
    …Money makes the world go around,
    Of that we can be sure…”

    • JLewisDickerson
      August 6, 2015, 8:23 pm

      P.S. RE: “If you look at the New York Times comments on his speech, everyone is saying that AIPAC with all its millions should not be dictating U.S. policy in the Middle East. So we’re finally getting to the political discussion that we need to be having about this deal: who is buying the Congress?~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: Enquiring minds mimes want to know!™

      FROM THE CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS (opensecrets.org) AS OF 8/03/15:

      ● Pro-Israel: Money to Congress
      • SUMMARY
      • All cycles

      Dems: $71,700,750
      Repubs: $43,054,007
      Other: $1,552,596
      All Candidates: Total to All Candidates: $116,307,353
      Incumbents Only: Total to Members: $93,416,000

      House
      Party / # of Members / Avg. Contribution / Total
      Democrats 1,554 $16,821 $28,077,908
      Republicans 1,083 $14,814 $17,055,956
      Independents 2 $836 $11,700
      TOTAL 2,639 $17,107 $45,145,564
      The US House of Representatives has 435 members and 5 non-voting delegates.
      Totals may exceed 440 due to mid-term replacements.

      Senate
      Party / # of Members / Avg. Contribution / Total
      Democrats 388 $75,287 $30,202,925
      Republicans 310 $51,035 $16,639,371
      Independents 5 $93,965 $1,366,890
      TOTAL 703 $68,576 $48,209,186
      The US Senate has 100 members.
      Totals may exceed 100 due to mid-term replacements.

      The numbers on this page are based on contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more.

      All donations took place during the -1-All election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, March 09, 2015.

      SOURCE – http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/summary.php?ind=Q05&cycle=All&recipdetail=A&sortorder=U

  10. just
    August 6, 2015, 8:10 pm

    O/T but relevant:

    “Updated: Phyllis Wise to resign as UI chancellor, effective next week”

    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2015-08-06/updated-phyllis-wise-resign-ui-chancellor-effective-next-week.html

    May the nest of vipers that lobbied for his dismissal and treated Professor Salaita so shabbily be exposed next.

    Hope that he’ll have a great time @ AU in Beirut.

    • JLewisDickerson
      August 6, 2015, 8:36 pm

      What a terrible loss for the Likud Lobby! ! ! Phyllis Wise was such a loyal Israel-firster.

      • just
        August 6, 2015, 9:47 pm

        Better yet:

        “August 6, 2015, Chicago – Today, a federal judge rejected efforts to throw out a lawsuit against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for firing Professor Steven Salaita from a tenured position based on his personal tweets criticizing Israel’s military assault on Gaza last summer. The university has admitted that it based its decision on Salaita’s tweets, calling them “uncivil.” The court firmly rejected the university’s claim that it did not have a contract with Professor Salaita, stating, “If the Court accepted the University’s argument, the entire American academic hiring process as it now operates would cease to exist.” The court further rejected the university’s attempt to dismiss Professor Salaita’s First Amendment claims, finding that his tweets “implicate every ‘central concern’ of the First Amendment.”

        “Given the serious ramifications of my termination from a tenured professorship to a wide range of people, I am happy to move forward with this suit in the hope that restrictions on academic freedom, free speech, and shared governance will not become further entrenched because of UIUC’s behavior,” said Steven Salaita.

        The lawsuit, brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Loevy & Loevy on Prof. Salaita’s behalf, argues that UIUC violated Salaita’s rights to free speech and due process and breached its employment contract with him. It seeks Professor Salaita’s reinstatement and monetary relief, including compensation for the economic hardship and reputational damage he suffered as a result of the university’s actions. Shortly before the lawsuit was filed, UIUC rejected a recommendation from the university’s own Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT) that the university reconsider its decision.

        “The court’s ruling clears the way for Professor Salaita to seek redress for the wrongs done by the university, including violating his right to speak freely on issues of public concern without being fired,” said Center for Constitutional Rights Deputy Legal Director Maria LaHood. “The university must finally face the facts of what it has done to Professor Salaita and principles of academic freedom.”

        Today’s ruling comes on the heels of an Illinois state court’s decision in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit on June 12 ordering university officials to turn over emails related to Professor Salaita’s firing that they had refused to divulge, as well as a vote by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) to censure the university on June 13. The AAUP issued a report in April that concluded UIUC had violated academic freedom and due process. …”

        https://ccrjustice.org/home/press-center/press-releases/judge-permits-free-speech-case-against-university-illinois-urbana

      • JLewisDickerson
        August 7, 2015, 4:27 am

        So Wise’s “resignation” was most likely precipitated by the judge’s refusal to dismiss Salaita’s lawsuit. UIUC realizes the jig is up and all their lies are going to be exposed during discovery (by the 9,000 emails between the administration and trustees relating to Salaita’s firing).
        It’s going to be very juicy!

      • just
        August 7, 2015, 7:07 am

        “It’s going to be very juicy!”

        Yes it is. It will be popcorn- worthy.

        The exposure of those that exerted the pressure is long overdue and so necessary.

        It will be “juicy”. I’m not so sure it’s going to be pretty. ;-0

      • Mooser
        August 9, 2015, 12:28 pm

        “What a terrible loss for the Likud Lobby!”

        But we have gained your adorable brown Lab avatar! Good doggie!

    • RockyMissouri
      August 7, 2015, 10:22 pm

      EXCELLENT TO HEAR!

  11. JLewisDickerson
    August 6, 2015, 8:20 pm
  12. Bandolero
    August 6, 2015, 8:51 pm

    Btw

    @Philip Weiss

    I think this article on Obama speech is a much better characterization of that speech than the last article.

    Well done.

  13. Kay24
    August 6, 2015, 9:13 pm

    So Chuck Schumer decides to show loyalty to Netanyahu OVER his own Democratic President.

    I guess we should not be surprised, he has always shown unwavering support, love, and shameless devotion to the mothership.

    “New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s third-ranking Democrat, plans to announce his opposition to the nuclear deal negotiated by the U.S., Iran, and five world powers tomorrow, three people familiar with his thinking tell The Huffington Post.

    Schumer’s move will come a day after New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Schumer’s fellow New York senator, Kirstin Gillibrand, announced their support for the deal. That momentum is blunted by Schumer’s pending announcement. Backers of the deal had hoped that if Schumer decided to oppose the deal, he would hold off until the last minute.

    Schumer’s support of a war footing over diplomacy puts him at odds with the Democratic caucus he intends to lead next term, though it is consistent with the position he has long taken. ”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chuck-schumer-planning-to-break-with-obama-oppose-iran-deal_55c3f7e9e4b0d9b743dba71d?kvcommref=mostpopular

    • just
      August 6, 2015, 9:28 pm

      From your link, Kay24:

      “As the soon-to-be leader of his party in the Senate, Schumer’s decision to directly fight President Barack Obama on the biggest foreign policy achievement of his presidency is a bold, but not surprising, move. Schumer has long been more hawkish on foreign policy than some of his fellow Democrats. In 2002, he voted for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq. In 2006 he backed John Bolton’s nomination to serve as George W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly telling a Senate Democratic caucus meeting that “a vote against Bolton was a vote against Israel.” Bolton is an ardent foe of negotiation with Iran.

      Schumer has a sizable Jewish constituency and has developed close ties to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the influential pro-Israel lobbying group that has pledged over $20 million to kill the nuclear accord. During his 34 years in Congress, Schumer has become fond of telling his voters that his surname is derived from “shomer,” the Hebrew word for “guardian.” “I am a shomer for Israel and I will continue to be that with every bone in my body,” he said in 2010.

      But to his more hawkish pro-Israel constituents, Schumer’s hesitation to announce his position and his failure to whip fellow Democrats against the deal demonstrate a betrayal of this promise. “Schumer, you are no shomer,” yelled a crowd of 10,000 protesters rallying against the Iran deal in New York City’s Times Square last month. “Where is Chuck? Kill this deal!” they chanted.””

      It’s past time to show Schumer the exit door of the US Senate. Let him and his shomer “bones” serve in the Knesset where his heart is.

      “As the soon-to-be leader of his party”~ Heavens no!

      In spite of what he and Debbie Wasserman Schultz and AIPAC thinks, President Obama is the leader of the Democratic party.

      • Kay24
        August 6, 2015, 9:44 pm

        I am tired of these zionist puppets who do the bidding of their masters from Israel. They should all pack up and leave these shores, where they can continue to fight for, support, and protect their motherland. They are doing a lousy job of doing that for us here, especially when their own President is working hard to avoid a bloody war, that the zionists seem the only ones to keep pushing for.

      • RockyMissouri
        August 7, 2015, 10:26 pm

        Truth! Thank you.

      • traintosiberia
        August 8, 2015, 11:27 am

        10,000 showed up to start a process to wage war and not a whimper of disavowal !

        Did the death to Iran echo? No .It cant but could be replaced with the alternate words ,it is too reminiscent of Death to USA”.

        May be that is why these supporters of death,war,destruction and murders will be forgotten.
        You see in America one has to hear certain phrase to get riled up ,angry,revengeful and one has to say certain words strung together to be called fanatic ,atavistic,genocidal,terrorists as David Brook recently described Iran in NYT.

    • ckg
      August 6, 2015, 10:17 pm

      Thanks for the link, Kay. Earlier this week I heard Michael Savage on the radio rant about Schumer’s “lack of ethics” because AIPAC had given so much money to the senator, yet Schumer had failed to support the lobby. This announcement should satisfy both AIPAC and Savage.

      • Kay24
        August 6, 2015, 10:40 pm

        Schumer sold his miserable soul to the devils.

  14. yourstruly
    August 6, 2015, 9:46 pm

    could it be true?

    the public waking up

    to the fact that the interests of Israel and the U.S. are not one and the same

    never have been

    and that without U.S. backing Israel won’t be able get away with its crimes against humanity

    never again

    • Sibiriak
      August 7, 2015, 9:29 am

      yourstruly: could it be true? //the public waking up// to the fact that the interests of Israel and the U.S. are not one and the same

      ——————

      And then, might we fantasize, the public waking up to the fact that “U.S national interests” and the interests of the American people are not one and the same?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 7, 2015, 12:08 pm

        i was reading the over 200 comment on the reddit post of phil’s abrogation article (which btw has gone viral) and the very vast majority of them indicate the public has definitely woken up. i think the couple month long fight about netanyahu’s speech pretty much spilled the beans. anyone would have to have been living under a rock not to notice how outrageous that was.

  15. Kay24
    August 7, 2015, 9:02 am

    So after all that angst it seems the WH will not penalize Israel for the arrogant interference in our affairs regarding the Iran deal. How potent is zio koolaid?

    http://www.haaretz.com/beta/.premium-1.669998

    • RockyMissouri
      August 7, 2015, 10:29 pm

      Too bad… Pretty potent koolaid.

    • inbound39
      August 8, 2015, 8:10 am

      I have pondered that statement for some time. Whilst the WH may state publically that they won’t penalize Israel I strongly suspect that some agreements made with Israel may change. Reality is Obama cannot afford to allow the level of interference by Israel to continue nor can he in reality do nothing because he is intelligent enough to know what it is doing to America’s global standing. The American Public need to get more vocal and demand their Government functions on THEIR behalf and NOT ISRAEL.

  16. Bilejones
    August 7, 2015, 9:35 pm

    ” out of the sincere misguided belief that the US and Israel have the same interests;”

    Bollocks.

    There is, of course, no evidence of sincerity or concern for American interests.

  17. unverified__5ilf90kd
    August 8, 2015, 9:23 am

    Phil is right. There is a great change underway. People have been so intimidated by the fear of being called antisemites that they are even afraid to saying the word “Jew”. I have seen the same thing in my community where white people are even afraid of saying the word “black”. No kidding. But Mark Shields on PBS last night (with the despicable anti-Iran David Brooks) said the words “the Jews” twice. This is indeed a breakthrough. Even white people these days feel emboldened to talk about “the Jews” who are causing so much fuss and bother for Obama’s attempt to lead us into the 21st century in foreign policy.

    • eljay
      August 8, 2015, 9:34 am

      || unverified__5ilf90kd: … Mark Shields on PBS last night … said the words “the Jews” twice. This is indeed a breakthrough. Even white people these days feel emboldened to talk about “the Jews” who are causing so much fuss and bother … ||

      Zio-supremacists have done a bang-up job of conflating their unjust and immoral ideology and enterprise with all Jews and Judaism. Somewhere, JeffB is rubbing his hands together in anticipation of all Jews being held responsible for the actions of hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists like him.

  18. traintosiberia
    August 8, 2015, 9:56 am

    Just says”… “What the Europeans say essentially is that we gave this over the United States. The US took over the leadership and they’re responsible,” he added. “This deal that looks like everybody was a cheerleader for – [but] they are expressing their reservations in private.”

    Yes Hoenlein , you are right.
    What happened to the names of those countries belonging to the international community supporting ear against Iraq,Lbya,Syria,and sanction against Iran? Are they ready for their names to be published?

    Or did they tell you not to be named ?

  19. traintosiberia
    August 8, 2015, 10:14 am

    “Just as the beneficiaries of war dividends view international peace and stability inimical to their interests, so too the militant Zionist proponents of “greater Israel” perceive peace between Israel and its Palestinian/Arab neighbors perilous to their goal of gaining control over the “promised land.” The reason for this fear of peace is that, according to a number of the United Nations’ resolutions, peace would mean Israel’s return to its pre-1967 borders. But because proponents of “greater Israel” are unwilling to withdraw from the occupied territories, they are therefore afraid of peace—hence, their continued attempts at sabotaging peace efforts and/or negotiations.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/07/behind-israels-hysterical-opposition-to-iran-nuclear-deal/

    The real reason behind the protests against the deal is also that it leaves Iran as a functioning society and not into some pulverized countries like Iraq,Syria,and Libya.
    The other losses are that AIPAC ,JINSA,FDD,IP,WINEP,ECI and Krauthammer,Kristol – the bomber boys,and Kissinger,B Lewis and Iran Directorate were not part of the process as they were part of plans against Syria,Libya and Iraq. .
    Obviously the war chanting also can’t be used. AIPAC has to invent word and phrases that will sink easily in American minds.
    Israel also can’t always cite Iran for excuses to kill Gazan a
    ,Lebanese,Surian,and ask for more money .

    • jeff_davis
      August 9, 2015, 3:44 pm

      “The real reason behind the protests against the deal is also that it leaves Iran as a functioning society and not into some pulverized countries like Iraq,Syria,and Libya.”

      Exactly. The whole story in a single sentence.

  20. Kathleen
    August 8, 2015, 1:48 pm

    Was surprised by Gillibrand’s decision. She generally falls into line when it comes to all things having to do with Israel.

    Looking at the picture of Mearsheimer and Walt makes me think about all of the hoopla in the news about Jon Stewart’s alleged bravery on all issues. Lots in the piece aired on Friday evening “Jon Stewart has left the building” with Rachel Maddow, his writers, Al Sharpton, Richard Engel etc saying things like “no one was off limits” …”relentless”. …”cleverly going after any topic”…”goes after high targets.” Really? Stewart has his sacred cow. He seldom criticized Israel or Israeli leaders. I know he did a piece on Aipac espionage case/Harman etc. However I remember that being a first. Did he have Mearsheimer and Walt on when their book came out? Saw an interview with Musharif where Stewart publicly skewers him. Have we ever witnessed Stewart doing this with an Israeli official? Did Stewart hammer Israeli leaders when they were killing innocent Palestinians last summer? Not that I know of.

    On Iran I have heard Stewart sing some of the neocons false claims about Iran having a nuclear weapons program.

    All of this canonizing of Stewart of being willing to go after any leader, any country is just bullshit. He talks about having a bullshit meter…Being vigilant. Yet Stewart failed in really covering Israel’s crimes against humanity that he applied to other leaders and countries. I love his humor but…he was not “brave” in his coverage or lack of coverage is more like it

    • piotr
      August 8, 2015, 2:33 pm

      “Was surprised by Gillibrand’s decision. She generally falls into line when it comes to all things having to do with Israel.” Basically, AIPAC no longer defines what the line is.

      In the larger picture, Washington no longer defines what the line is. “The deal” is between Iran and the combo: EU (three largest economies represented), USA, China and Russia. If a minor state can change the course of USA, USA ceases to have a credibility as a power that can negotiate anything. And even the “war option” is not there if Russia and China choose to be seriously against it.

      In somewhat smaller picture, Democrats need good issues to stand on, and healthcare + peace for everyone is a decent combination. “Schumer alternative” is pleasing a selected group of special interests while carping that “Obamacare was a mistake” and so on, for all his intelligence (1600 SAT as a kid) he is a machine politician with no imagination whatsoever. Not to mention that even investment bankers are for the deal, the opposition is a pet cause of a fringe (and some few minor countries, Bahrain and … now I do not remember all countries in that region).

      • Kathleen
        August 11, 2015, 12:13 pm

        Lots more folks scoring 1600 on the SAT. We sure know Schumer scores 1600 plus for anything that Israel demands and Aipac/Jinsa push for.

        He should be made to eat his words “will do what is right for the U.S.” One of the talking heads needs to ask him just how undermining the P5+1 deal is right for the U.S. Simple straightforward question based on what he has all ready said.

    • Pippilin
      August 14, 2015, 6:40 pm

      I thoroughly agree. I will save my praise for whistleblowers like Snowden, Assange and Manning and will refuse to lionize retiring comedians and retired military generals.

    • jhitchcock
      August 17, 2015, 1:58 pm

      I agree that Stewart did not go nearly as far as we would have in criticizing Israel, but for the MSM, he did go much farther than most on more than one occasion:

      http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/0hlk16/strip-maul

      http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/dpobnh/anna-baltzer—mustafa-barghouti

  21. shalom
    August 8, 2015, 6:37 pm

    Phillip you can say anything you want. You can call up Walt and Mearsheimer and have them say anything that you want against AIPAC. But the truth whether you or the President of the United States stretches it is that AIPAC didn’t lobby Congress first. It didn’t convince President Bush or his key staff. It waited for a policy to support: “In September 2002, before Congress had begun considering the administration’s proposal authorizing force with Iraq, Rebecca Needler, a spokeswoman for AIPAC, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “If the president asks Congress to support action in Iraq, AIPAC would lobby members of Congress to support him.” Atlantic

    • echinococcus
      August 8, 2015, 7:50 pm

      Salaam,

      Where do you think you are trying to peddle that kind of steer manure? “AIPAC didn’t lobby Congress first”. Sure, it’s the other way around, it’s Senators and Representatives paying millions to buy lobbyists since before 1947. Totally.

    • Mooser
      August 9, 2015, 12:35 pm

      “But the truth whether you or the President of the United States stretches it is that AIPAC didn’t lobby Congress first. It didn’t convince President Bush or his key staff. It waited for a policy to support:”

      Aww, what becoming modesty. Doesn’t want to claim his share of a success. That kind of political self-effacement is rare in these self-centered days.

      Now, shall we talk about where and who that “policy” AIPAC waited so long to support came from?

  22. jeff_davis
    August 9, 2015, 3:47 pm

    From your comments policy page:

    People might not always like what we post, but everyone should feel invited and encouraged to join the discussion, share their opinions, and engage in debate. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/policy#sthash.RoPGDx11.dpuf

    Really? Then why do you continually delete my comments , refuse to discuss this with me, or refuse to explain why?

    • Annie Robbins
      August 9, 2015, 5:49 pm

      jeff, i’m not the person who deleted your earlier comment (or comments) but my guess, from checking the trash briefly, is your reference to “psychopathic catastrophe — a path straight to the next holocaust” might be too a tad too dire for someone’s liking. i liked the part about the love bomb tho. why not try again, break up your long comment into sections for more clarity on what’s over the limit, and try re wording the more challenging parts of your comment.

      and if you’re planning on arguing your case on that phrasing in the comments, don’t plan on it making it thru moderation.

  23. gingershot
    August 9, 2015, 6:08 pm

    Cowabunga Haaretz …. the fox is in the henhouse NOW.

    I’m pretty excited but I’m gonna say this is my favorite Haaretz to date OF ALL TIME. OK – at least the top 3, or top 2…

    ‘American Jews at the Service of Netanyahu’

    Who are U.S. Jewish leaders really representing when they lobby the American president on behalf of Israel’s prime minister? Not their fellow countrymen, for sure.

    webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4960YVGYx1EJ:www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.670275+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    ===================

    Note for the Down and Out in San Diego and Tel Aviv … the UncommonProgrammer’s ‘Free Haaretz Bookmarklet’ which has worked like a charm for over a year has been kiboshed in the last week- my only way into Haaretz is my old standby – the ‘cached copy’ route

    Pretty easy and takes me about 10-15 seconds to get a Haaretz article up on my screen:

    1- Go to Haaretz.com like any other innocent avant-garde Haaretz reader ….heheheh
    2- Click to open the article title you’d like to freely devour …
    3- Now simply Select and Copy the web address of the article out of your brower address box
    4- Go to a standard ‘Google Search’ page (mine is at Google.com), like on your Google Chrome homepage, and paste that web address in and hit enter
    5- The article title and article web address will pop up, and all you got to do is look for the little downward arrow right after the web address, carefully click on that and you will see the magic word ‘CACHED’, and you just click on that word and VOILA! the incomparable Haaretz is precisely priceless!

  24. piotr
    August 9, 2015, 8:47 pm

    Just a thought: Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still “undecided”. I e-mailed to DNC that as a donor, I expect DNC leaders to “stand with the Presidents”. After all, they have those “Team Obama” graphics on their main page.

    Of course, I am a minor donor, but Democratic campaigns need people like us, because they cannot win “billionaire primary”, so a few thousands e-mails can make a difference.

    PS. That in the past Schumer supporting Bolton for anything, even a township dogcatcher (I think it is called Animal Control Officer, I had to contact one when a cow roamed on my bike path) decreased my opinion.

  25. RobertHenryEller
    August 10, 2015, 6:19 am

    “In his new book on the US and Israel, former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says that all the young Ivy Leaguers who went to work for President Obama had read The Israel Lobby, by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, and that it was their playbook for understanding the Middle East. (Along with Edward Said’s Orientalism).”

    I wonder what Michael Oren, Ivy League alum (Columbia), has to say about all those “young Ivy Leaguers” who went on to become neo-con apparatchiks?

    Paul Wolfowitz, Cornell
    Elliott Abrams, Harvard
    Richard Perle, Princeton
    William Kristol, Harvard
    Norman Podhoretz, Columbia
    John Podhoretz, Chicago
    Seymour Martin Lipset, Columbia
    Doug Feith, Harvard
    Max Boot, Yale
    Robert Kagan, Yale/Harvard

  26. jayn0t
    August 15, 2015, 6:47 pm

    ‘Obama ushers in the crisis of the Israel lobby’

    No he doesn’t. He continues to play the role of fake opposition to it. By hysterically attacking the Iran deal, Israel and the Republicans give the impression that it’s some kind of concession. In fact, it’s the USA serving Israeli interests by making sure that only Israel has the ability to wipe out all its neighbors. Nowhere else in the world does the US take such an unbalanced position. It didn’t say it was ‘unthinkable’ that Pakistan should get nukes in response to India acquiring them. But both US parties are completely subservient to Israeli interests.

    • Sibiriak
      August 15, 2015, 11:45 pm

      jayn0t :In fact, it’s the USA serving Israeli interests by making sure that only Israel has the ability to wipe out all its neighbor
      —————————

      Not to mention demonizing Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, validating Israeli terror and expansionsim– actions serving “U.S. national interests”, i.e., interests as conceived by U.S. ruling elites.

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