US spying on Israel reveals cynical heart of the ‘special relationship’

US Politics
on 278 Comments

The Wall Street Journal has continued its series of scoops on espionage in the U.S.-Israel relationship: a new report, “U.S. Spy Net on Israel Snares Congress”, details how the decision to keep NSA technology trained on the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led to intercepts of conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American Jewish groups. While the possibility of illegal spying on Congress will dominate public discussion of the story, the monitoring of Netanyahu and his staff, and the blunt way American officials reportedly discuss it in private, deserves attention, as it completely belies the public presentation of a relationship based on “shared values.”

The possibility of being caught listening in on lawmakers’ phone calls gave the Obama administration pause—one unnamed senior official called it an “Oh-shit moment” —and the story has caused some outcry. On Twitter, former Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee from 2004 to 2007, pronounced the report “very disturbing. Actually outrageous. Maybe unprecedented abuse of power.” The centrist journalist Ron Fournier admonished Democrats, “If you allow your guy to do this, no complaints when the next GOP POTUS runs amok with Obama precedent.” And Representative Ted Lieu, D-Calif., a voice of relative reason on national security affairs, tweeted, “If this is true, it is outrageous… it highlights again that the NSA is out of control.”

But the picture that emerges from the report is of an agency very much under the control of the White House, which made a calculated choice to keep tabs on its closest ally in the Middle East, even as other friendly leaders were said to be exempted from the NSA’s dragnet. In January 2014, following disclosures based on Edward Snowden’s leaks, Barack Obama announced a rollback of NSA surveillance, including an end to spying on heads of state of close American allies. (Underscoring the limitations of these purported reforms, the staffs of these leaders remained fair game, and no electronic implants were actually removed.) But “behind the scenes,” the Journal reports, “the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch, current and former U.S. officials said. Topping the list was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

So while the leaders of NATO stalwarts like France and Germany were deemed deserving of some nominal privacy, affording the same courtesy to the government of Israel was never even considered. “Going dark on Bibi?” one unnamed senior U.S. official reportedly said. “Of course we wouldn’t do that.”

It’s not news that the U.S. spies on Israel, or vice versa; the novel twist to this story is the separation-of-powers angle, which arises from the unusually close relations U.S. lawmakers have with Israel. (It turns out that you can’t wiretap Netanyahu’s office without listening in on senators and congresspersons.) The story’s immediate context is the nuclear negotiation with Iran, Obama’s highest foreign policy priority and the target of political sabotage by Netanyahu and elements of Congress: the White House reportedly “believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign” against the deal. But what’s most remarkable is the picture that emerges of the special relationship, an alliance with a dark heart of cynicism, which has implications far beyond the concluded talks with Tehran.

In private, the Journal reports, Obama justified continuing monitoring of Netanyahu “on the grounds that it served a ‘compelling national security purpose,’ according to current and former U.S. officials.” That purpose, as noted, was securing an Iranian nuclear agreement, but the general notion implicit in Obama’s claim—that Israel is capable of threatening U.S. national security—is the most volatile element of what Haaretz has called an “explosive report”. As an intensely ideological, highly militarized, and technologically sophisticated state, Israel poses incredible danger to the region: this destructive potential was evident as early as 1955, when the moderate Prime Minister Moshe Sharett wrote despairingly in his diary that Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon “has constantly preached in favor of acts of madness and taught the army leadership the diabolic lesson of how to set the Middle East on fire”. As Ariel Sharon was reputed to have said, “Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.”

Everyone understands this. It was just such an act of arson that the U.S. government feared in 2011 and 2012: “Convinced Mr. Netanyahu would attack Iran without warning the White House, U.S. spy agencies ramped up their surveillance, with the assent of Democratic and Republican lawmakers serving on congressional intelligence committees.” Such a strike would not only have wrecked the secret negotiations then underway with Iran, it could well have ignited a regional war, propelling events entirely outside of weakening U.S. control. Hence the very weaponization that makes Israel a valuable strategic asset also represents risk of the highest order—what if the weapon decides to fire on its own?—which is why we’d never go dark on Netanyahu. (The other friendly foreign leader who the Journal says was left off the so-called protected list is Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, unreliable ally in the fight against Islamic State and possible detonator of World War III.)

By 2013, it was clear even to U.S. spies (who aren’t known for their perspicacity) that Netanyahu wouldn’t dare bomb Iran. Israel, for all its power, remains a fearful country, and like its patron it prefers to establish deterrence by making an example of defenseless enemies. Iran, with a population now nearing 80 million, withstood Saddam Hussein’s full fury back when Iraq was a serious military power, and has grown stronger since. It is in fact the lack of a conventional option against Iran that accounts for Israel’s strenuous opposition to Tehran’s nuclear program (as well as American willingness to cut a deal). But even if Netanyahu had privately accepted the inevitability of an agreement that his country’s security establishment actually favored, he had plenty of reason to oppose it in public: domestic politicking, for one, as well as gaining leverage over Obama in negotiations over a new 10-year military aid package. The Prime Minister’s anti-Iranian histrionics on Capitol Hill laid the groundwork for his eye-popping opening position in these talks—a request for $5 billion per annum —by portraying Israel as an aggrieved party, thrown  to the nuclear wolves. It worked: in August The New York Times published a letter from Obama to Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that implicitly accepted the principle of compensating Israel for the Iranian nuclear deal in the form of increased security assistance.

Maintaining the smooth and heavy flow of U.S. funds and weapons is Israel’s number-one national security priority; negotiations with Iran, from which Israel was necessarily excluded, gave Netanyahu an opportunity to pressure Obama on that score, using Congress and American Jewish groups as intermediaries. Once “Israel’s lobbying campaign against the deal went into full swing,” the Journal reports, “it didn’t take long for administration and intelligence officials to realize the NSA was sweeping up the content of conversations with lawmakers.” Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer is said to have been recorded “coaching unnamed U.S. organizations—which officials could tell from the context were Jewish-American groups—on lines of argument to use with lawmakers, and Israeli officials were reported pressing lawmakers to oppose the deal.” According to one intelligence source, “Israel’s pitch to undecided lawmakers often included such questions as: ‘How can we get your vote? What’s it going to take?’” Netanyahu may actually have been arrogant and deluded enough to believe that these smoke-filled-room tactics could stop the West’s march toward long-desired rapprochement with Iran: the NSA is said to have recorded the prime minister and his cronies predicting victory in Congress. Either way, there was no downside to fighting a president who had shown no will to confront Israel, whatever his private feelings.

In a conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg, the longtime Mideast diplomat and Israel lobbyist Dennis Ross defended Obama’s commitment to defending the Jewish state:

When he says in the letter to Nadler that Israeli security is sacrosanct, I heard him say that in the Oval Office. I would hear him say, “Look, whatever our differences are, we fence off security and we do what we need to do on security.” And I think that was completely genuine, and I certainly saw it the whole time I was in, and we’ve seen it in terms of responses. I cite the example of [U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor] Tony Blinken going in during the Gaza War in the summer of 2014, at a time when the White House is clearly not happy with civilian casualties in Gaza, and the Israelis need more money for Iron Dome, and it’s not even an issue, it’s not even a discussion. It’s just, “Yes, we do that.”

For Ross, the fact that the administration has in practice been indifferent to the death and suffering of innocent Palestinians, despite its occasional protests, is a positive sign. Washington obviously had no illusions about Operation Protective Edge: “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Secretary of State John Kerry remarked sarcastically in the middle of that orgy of destruction, unaware he was being recorded by Fox News. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.” Confronted with the tape of these remarks by host Chris Wallace, Kerry segued seamlessly into the disingenuous official discourse of Israel’s right to defend itself: “I think it’s very very difficult in these situations, obviously very difficult, Chris, you have people who’ve come out of tunnels, you have a right to go in and take out those tunnels, we completely support that…” This automatic support for Israel, in the teeth of human feeling, is in Ross’s account a mark of moral conviction.

But Goldberg, savvier than Ross, sensed something disquieting in the diplomat’s description. When Ross recounted how the president would tell him, “You know, whoever is sitting in this office is going to stand by Israel… It’s not just me,” Goldberg objected: “Well is that kind of a fatalism? Like, I can’t do what I want to do?” Ross didn’t think so, but there’s little doubt that Goldberg was right. What Ross heard in the Oval Office was Obama consoling himself, reminding himself that when it comes to Israel he is only the temporary custodian of a partnership that persists for reasons far beyond the personal: “It’s not just me.” The scourging of Gaza, and the defying of the president, is part of the price of the special relationship.

About Eamon Murphy

Eamon Murphy is a journalist in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @epmurph.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

278 Responses

  1. JWalters
    December 30, 2015, 4:21 pm

    The “special relationship” has always been propaganda from a criminal regime with a financial noose around America’s neck. Israel scorns America as being nothing more than its stupid, manipulated bodyguard.

    • David Green
      January 2, 2016, 11:36 am

      “financial noose around America’s neck”

      What a ridiculously stupid statement. What planet do you live on? Do you really think America is a victim?

      • Joe62
        January 3, 2016, 7:08 pm

        Try 9/11, Greenstein. Osama listed it as one of the principal reasons for the attack. Israel, Israel, Israel.

  2. Citizen
    December 30, 2015, 4:36 pm

    I wanna puke. Imagine if Dick & Jane, who already have a very low view of congress, actually had this sort of stuff spelled out to them on cable TV news/infotainment shows.

    • marc b.
      December 31, 2015, 8:43 am

      Yes. But I think the impression left by the news is a bit off. Netanyahu cannot, individually, put a stop to a U.S. Foreign policy initiative. It’s his help mates in Congress. I think the surveillance of yahoo was intended to sweep up U.S. citizens who couldn’t/shouldn’t be ‘bugged’ directly. There was nothing inadvertent about it.

      As for Goldberg’s ‘fatalism’, he’s [email protected] looney. Not only do we have to satisfy Israel’s every whim, we have to do it with unconditional love and affection, tears streaming down our face. Like in North Korea.

      • Blownaway
        December 31, 2015, 10:53 pm

        The only way this gets any positive traction is for the sheeple to hear that their elected officials are willing to fellate a donkey for Israeli money. The story is not what the NSA heard from the Israelis but what they heard from the Americans and that is why this story will fade very quickly

  3. Les
    December 30, 2015, 8:24 pm

    Corporal Jeffrey Goldberg earned his military title from the IDF while serving as campguard of Palestinian prisoners.

  4. pabelmont
    December 30, 2015, 8:42 pm

    “Israel is capable of threatening U.S. national security”.

    That’s of course true, but not the point. Many countries are capable. The point is that Israel is ready and willing to do it — because it will not be hurt if USA shoots itself in the foot (or worse). If Israel can engineer a war between Iran and USA, it is American warships in the Persian Gulf which will be attacked, not Israeli ones. And come what may, the American largesse will keep rolling in (as long as the USA exists).

  5. Kay24
    December 30, 2015, 9:09 pm

    So despite the grand proclamations of unwavering support, it seems the US knows that Israel is as devious and dangerous as many of our enemies in the world.

    The question is, then why aid them and arm them to this extent? Time to treat Israel like it deserves to be treated – like pariah nation. We can also do the right thing and stop the occupation, after all we have this “great” reputation for bringing democracy to people around the world, and the Palestinian suffering has been going on for too long. I wish someone would do an analysis of this sickening relationship, and explain to us why we cannot cut the parasites off, and stop the arming, aiding, and protecting. Time Israel was made to face the consequences their endless crimes against humanity.

  6. Citizen
    December 31, 2015, 12:00 am

    Not directly related, but perhaps some Mondoweissers haven’t read this detailed expose of Kerry’s long and last peace talks: The Explosive, Inside Story of How John Kerry Built an Israel-Palestine Peace Plan—and Watched It Crumble https://newrepublic.com/article/118751/how-israel-palestine-peace-deal-died

    Especially notice Kerry’s (mis)handling of the settlement expansion issue.

  7. W.Jones
    December 31, 2015, 9:56 am

    In the USSR, the KGB was not supposed to wiretap and impose certain spy methods on party members, but they did it anyway.

    Maybe something similar happens in the US, as per the Snowden revelations.

  8. Annie Robbins
    December 31, 2015, 11:35 am

    not sure how i missed this yesterday, excellent article by Eamon Murphy.

    • David Green
      January 2, 2016, 11:40 am

      Annie, this article is a waste of time, and is symptomatic of the obsessions of MW commenters with distractive perspectives on the Israel Lobby. This article doesn’t say anything interesting to those of support Palestinian rights and a just settlement of the conflict.

      • Mooser
        January 2, 2016, 1:50 pm

        ” this article is a waste of time, and is symptomatic of the obsessions of MW commenters with distractive perspectives on the Israel Lobby.”

        Yup, having people comment first, and then writing the article to fit their obsessions will never work. Mondo should try doing it the other way round, article first, then comments.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 3, 2016, 10:30 pm

        david, save your breath you’re barking up the wrong tree. everyone but you is naive, ridiculous, obsessed and you’re appalled – the only one who’s ever right and with the biggest most pretentious attitude in the room. old dogs don’t learn new tricks, so try your shtick on someone else cuz i aint buyin’ it.

        i see you’re still humping that 6 year old article you wrote ragging on phil. jeez, get over yourself why don’t you.

      • David Green
        January 4, 2016, 12:14 am

        Annie, you are a consummately intellectually lazy person, simple-minded in your analysis of the situation, lacking in background, insight, and depth. Those qualities are revealed in your arrogance and moralistic sense of superiority, which of course have never served the Palestinian cause one whit. I think Richard Silverstein, a real journalist with some integrity, had you pegged about right.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 3:00 am

        uh huh

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2016, 3:35 pm

        “Annie, you are a consummately intellectually lazy person, simple-minded in your analysis of the situation, lacking in background, insight, and depth.”

        So what? She’s got oomph, espieglerie (and to spare!), and plenty more where that came from.

        (BTW, David Green, my incontestably Jewish Mother (hereinafter and henceforth to be designated as “my IJM”) always told me: “Yitzchok, if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything, or when you do have something nice to say, nobody will believe it”

  9. xanadou
    December 31, 2015, 2:47 pm

    So a flea with delusions of excessive grandeur, whose existence is dependent on the massive support by foreign entities is not happy and is now having a fit because it is perceived as a violent and thoroughly corrupt nuisance that cannot be trusted

    ¿To spy or not to spy on world leaders? Is the wrong question. However distasteful the practice, the state leadership’s primary duty is to ensure a degree of national and economic security to its constituents. If a foreign leader proves him/herself to be untrustworthy, all bets are off in the secretive world of politics. Consider:

    – if Stalin or Hitler had wriggled themselves into a “special relationship” position and expectations of eternal impunity and, subsequently, found to be unreliable partners, what then? No one in the position of national leadership should have his/her hands tied. A fair warning incorporated into an agreement establishing mutual relations should define the consequences in no uncertain, i.e., b/s, terms. Especially in the age of information. I would rather governments held each other in check with clearly defined obligations, than guns.

    No, I am not equating either genocidal tyrant with petty PM N., or their countries with puny Israel, but rather the bloody chaos they have inflicted over vast areas far outside their own borders, whether defined or not. And in view of Israel’s 68-y/o intransigence on the subject of borders, perhaps its time to implement the borders as those defined by the UN.

    Israel has a decades long history of contempt for the world outside of Ghetto Israel. The U.S. knows this from the endless stream of criminally insane affairs that have cost American lives. The parochial state has flaunted and ratcheted its arrogance with the passage of time, simultaneously endangering the lives of its own citizens. And don’t get me started on the tolerance for the Fifth Columns installed in foreign countries and without which Israel would have faltered a long time ago. National intelligence communities have long considered their existence and “sacred cow” position insulting in the extreme. In effect, the traitors to their home countries have been giving comfort to Israel’s spies from day one, and this is supposed to be tolerated ad infinitum. Why? In a world of quid pro quos: what’s in it for the “host” countries’ majority?

    There will be overt hand-wringing and mea culpas galore. Not a single one sincere. There is no going back on this one, and as a player, Israel knows this from its own games played on the global arena.

    Not least of all, in view of the growing violence of the socially backward settlers who live by medievil mores but with substantial influence on Israeli current politics, and the massive nuclear arsenal in the background, its protestations notwithstanding, the genie is out of the bag. For good. For the consequences that matter, especially to the Palestinians, we have to wait.

    Israel has had a unique opportunity to wield genuine influence on the global arena. That is gone. The only true friends left is the rich and aging teflon brigade. And the settlers. With friends like that…

    • David Green
      January 2, 2016, 11:41 am

      You might like to consider that the U.S. has an empire which it rules by force if necessary. Especially if you’re and American citizen.

  10. Nevada Ned
    January 1, 2016, 11:23 am

    Obama seems to think that the US has no power over Israeli behavior. Is that really true?

    What would happen if the Obama administration leaked to a friendly reporter (or to Mondoweiss) the story about the Israel lobby and its helpers in Congress? The Israelis and their lobby are lobbying the US Congress & Senate.

    At the very least, somebody ought to demand that the Israel Lobby register as an agent of a foreign power. The ground has been prepared by Walt and Mearsheimer, and by Jimmy Carter.

    • Eva Smagacz
      January 1, 2016, 5:01 pm

      “What would happen if the Obama administration leaked to a friendly reporter (or to Mondoweiss) the story about the Israel lobby and its helpers in Congress?”

      It would be buried – it will show in small paragraph online and without comments allowed. This is a power of the Israel Lobby on MSM – the limits of acceptable conversation are set.

      BUT, with a glacial speed but also with a glacial inevitability, the Obama administration is moving the conversation about Israel Lobby into the mainstream. All sorts of red lines of the discourse have been breached, but so slowly, that the opposition has almost nothing to rally about. The progress has been spectacular, but you have to compare it decade by decade, not month by month.

  11. David Green
    January 2, 2016, 11:29 am

    My objections to the tone and substance of this article and many comments were summarized years ago:
    http://palestinechronicle.com/old/view_article_details.php?id=15781
    Israel is not a tail wagging the U.S. dog. Israel is a strategic asset with its own interests. Dems and Repubs have their interests as well, but none which challenge U.S. hegemony in the ME.

    “Shared values” was always a ruse. How naïve of Murphy to believe otherwise. It’s all about power and control. The movement for justice in Palestine is ill-served by blaming Israel as a cover for U.S. hegemony.

    • epmurph
      January 2, 2016, 5:37 pm

      I have to wonder whether you read the article.

      Here is your objection: ‘Israel is not a tail wagging the U.S. dog. Israel is a strategic asset with its own interests.’

      Here is what I wrote: ‘Hence the very weaponization that makes Israel a valuable strategic asset also represents risk of the highest order—what if the weapon decides to fire on its own?’

      To fire on its own, quite plainly, means to act militarily according to its own interests, not those of the master. There is no difference between your claim and mine. (Note that I also said it was always unlikely that Israel would buck the U.S. by bombing Iran on its own; the question was whether U.S. officials took this possibility seriously. They essentially had to, whether there was a high probability or not, because the consequences would have been so dire.)

      Obviously nothing in the article suggests that I personally believed the public version of the U.S.-Israel relationship. The point, as I wrote, is how this latest news is likely to be received in the mainstream, where the true basis of the alliance is virtually never discussed. I know it’s fun to correct people in an imperious tone but you ought to have some basis for doing so.

      • David Green
        January 3, 2016, 1:29 pm

        Eamon, if you are placing the limited and selective power of the Israel Lobby in U.S. geopolitical context, then I’ve misunderstood you. But why do you end your article by stating that Obama is a victim of circumstance? Moreover, do you think that there is any chance that Israel would disobey its U.S. master when real U.S. elite interests are at stake?

      • MHughes976
        January 3, 2016, 3:48 pm

        The two propositions just mentioned, that Israel might have attacked Iran on its own, regardless of dire consequences for others, and that it has control of US power, in important even if limited respects, both do imply that Israel is in some degree a tail wagging the dog. I tend to think that the first proposition is false, seeing that the “‘threats’, based on annual,repetition of ‘an Iranian bomb next year, I tell you!’ got more and more hollow every time. I tend to think that the second is true, else what sense does the existence of a vast lobbying apparatus make?

      • David Green
        January 3, 2016, 5:55 pm

        “I tend to think that the second is true, else what sense does the existence of a vast lobbying apparatus make? ” No, this is nonsense, and incipiently anti-Semitic nonsense; that’s why I’m appalled by the tone and substance of the comments to this post. I don’t think Murphy is even on board with such an absurd statement, but he should speak for himself.

      • Mooser
        January 3, 2016, 9:09 pm

        “No, this is nonsense, and incipiently anti-Semitic nonsense”

        He: “This photograph does not do me justice!”
        She: “It’s mercy you want, not justice”

        I’m not so sure we have the unmitigated right to make that judgement any more, Mr. Green. Are you?

      • Steve Grover
        January 3, 2016, 10:07 pm

        David Green,
        I just sent emails to Illinois House Member Laura Fine, Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss and Gov. Bruce Rauner to see if they could have you removed from your position at U of I. I sure don’t want a nickel of any of the taxes I pay to the financially strapped State of Illinois going to your salary. I’ll email the U of I Chancellor as well.

      • MHughes976
        January 4, 2016, 4:42 am

        I’ll,just say again that one might normally think that the existence of a big and expensive lobbying system, fully accepted within the wider system and not counteracted by anything equivalent on the other side, would indicate that the lobbyists, in whatever cause,,are exercising a degree of control. There is no reason that I can see to set this argument aside just because the lobby in question is Isrsel-linked.
        It’s also true that the system would not operate if it were not in the interests of the politicians who are lobbied and to a degree controlled: no contradiction there, I think. It’s also true that the system is regarded as morally good by most of those involved – and in a casual sort of way by a large mass of people – because ‘Israel’s security is sacrosanct’.
        There’s not much point in saying things are nonsensical or absurd, that people are intellectually lazy and so on, without giving reasons – and much of that stuff constitutes personal attack which Mondoweiss says it will not publish. Mind you I now see Mondoweiss publishing a personal attack not just in the form of negative words but in the form of an employment-related threat. This really should not happen.

      • bryan
        January 4, 2016, 8:03 am

        Do you really believe that an illustrious university makes employment decisions based on idiotic emails from Joe Public, Grover. Now if you had funded a foundation that might be different. Excellent illustration though of the tyrranical and obsessive attacks on freedom of speech which Zionists feel entitled to make.

      • Steve Grover
        January 4, 2016, 10:11 am

        David Green,
        I owe you an apology. I misread one of your posts. Since you correctly point out that Mondoweiss is Israel/Jew hating crap I offer an apology for my previous post. If you were agreeing with Mondoweiss as an employee of the State of Illinois then I would complain to State officials. I do not at all agree with your positions on Israel but I commend you for taking your stand against Mondoweiss.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 12:31 pm

        steve, does that mean you plan on sending emails to Illinois House Member Laura Fine, Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss and Gov. Bruce Rauner to retract your earlier emails to see if they could have green removed from his position at U of I?

        lol, following this thread is like comedy hour, a dominant feature when mr.chastisin’green shows up to hold court in one of our comment sections.

      • David Green
        January 4, 2016, 12:19 pm

        Steve, I’m in favor of justice for the Palestinians, and I’m opposed to US/Israeli/Saudi hegemony in the region. The incipient anti-semitism of the Lobby thesis undermines proper analysis and organized action to work to these ends. There is an enormous amount of lazy analytical thinking and fellow travelling among MW commenters in relation to the power of the Lobby and the alleged perfidy of our elected representatives. They miss the point that our representatives and the institutions they work within are designed to maintain the power of the elite. Thus a lot of distraction about who spied on whom, who extorted what, who betrayed whom. Lots of people are making a nice living in this framework. The power structure remains, before and after the Iran deal, before and after the spying and the bribing. I could not care less about Jeffrey Goldberg’s disagreements with Dennis Ross; they are both vile.

        Anyway, I’m going to retire from the University of Illinois in April, so you won’t have to pay my salary any more after that.

      • MHughes976
        January 4, 2016, 12:33 pm

        The threat may not be in the least bit realistic – though I don’t particularly trust illustrious universities – and the intended victim may be of Imperturbable sang froid. Still it should be a matter of principle that a forum of rational discussion should not allow itself to be used to convey threats and people who have uttered threats should never be allowed to participate again.

      • bryan
        January 4, 2016, 1:32 pm

        Good to hear that humble apology, Steve: seems you often react violently to people’s honest opinions without actually listening to what they say – must be something in the “water” you drink?

      • bryan
        January 4, 2016, 1:45 pm

        “Anyway, I’m going to retire from the University of Illinois in April, so you won’t have to pay my salary any more after that.”

        Sounds like a wise move to me – if you can’t be more coherent than this, and have to slag off Phil and Annie without offering a credible counterposing argument – then all I can say is enjoy your retirement.

      • Steve Grover
        January 4, 2016, 2:32 pm

        Nah Annie, I called ’em.
        And David Green, how is it that you insult Annie’s intellect whilst admiring Brant Rosen’s?
        Rosen turned Mondoweiss into a religion.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2016, 3:44 pm

        “I just sent emails to Illinois House Member Laura Fine, Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss and Gov. Bruce Rauner “

        And just to back you up, “Grover” I sent them a link to your Mondo comment archive.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2016, 4:38 pm

        “I just sent e-mails to…”

        Oh no, “Grover’s gonna get Green canned!

        …then I would complain to State officials.

        Oh, what do you know, “Grover” lied about sending the e-mails.

        Don’t mind “Grover”. He often complains that everybody is double-posting, too.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 4:56 pm

        Eamon,…. why do you end your article by stating that Obama is a victim of circumstance?

        green, he didn’t “state” Obama was a “victim of circumstance”. he stated Obama was , “reminding himself that when it comes to Israel he is only the temporary custodian of a partnership that persists for reasons far beyond the personal…part of the price of the special relationship. ”

        and what’s w/your continued usage of the term U.S.”elite” interests vs US interests? have you questioned how much those “elite” interests might seemingly segue seamlessly with support for israel by design? it’s not as if there are not a lot of highpowered zionists in the american elite anyway. it’s not as if there is a lobby for israel on one side of a scale and elite interests on another. support for israel’s permeation into US elite interests is not a good thing nor is it devoid of lobby influence. the lobby is not limited influencing congress, they are all over the place initiating business partnerships w/states and business entities. not all of those interactions are necessarily fulfilled because they are in the best financial interest of both parties. for example, when dozens of states invest their state pension funneling millions thru israel bonds, they are not doing it because it’s the best financial deal for the state. sure, it satisfies “elite” interests, but how much of that elite is — lobby influenced — or part and parcel of the lobby itself?

        what it comes down to, in my estimation, is we’d have no need for a lobby if initiatives like the pension funds were the best outcome for the pensioners anyway. the lobby exists (like all lobbies exist) because without them the public interest would prevail. the lobby works through the elite to get their desired outcome. and they do that effectively by making sure their representatives are embedded in the elite — are part of the elite.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2016, 7:11 pm

        “lol, following this thread is like comedy hour,”

        Well, if weren’t saying “Goodbye to all that” I would note the extreme difference in asperity between Mr. Green’s remarks directed at a non-Jewish women and a Jewish man. I would’ve said it’s quite telling, but not any more. “Tinkerty-tonk” to all that.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2016, 7:20 pm

        “You blame the Jews in the form of the lobby…”

        Actually, I think she blames the Lobby in the form of the Lobby.

        ” and you provide fodder for valid charges of anti-semitism”

        What are you saying? That you can find “valid charges of anti-Semitism” against Mondo? Well, go ahead, make those charges, don’t just imply them at second hand.

        Sure sounds like “anti-semitism” is ‘what you don’t like’. And by now, I’m really sorry, but everybody knows that we do that, and will make their own decisions about anti-Semitism.
        You might face up to that, and deal with it.

    • Theo
      January 3, 2016, 2:02 pm

      DG

      “It is all about power and control”:

      You are absolutly right. The USA has the power, however the israeli lobby has the full control, or do you think anyone from Congress would ever say anything negative about Israel? The controllers would make sure that he or she never will be reelected.

      • lysias
        January 3, 2016, 4:49 pm

        The trouble is that our politicians attach such importance to being re-elected.

        Careerists all.

      • David Green
        January 3, 2016, 5:44 pm

        The Israel Lobby would like for politicians to think it is in control, and it expends a lot of effort to create that image in that. There is an aspect of that control that is real, and an aspect that is Wizard behind the curtain. However, it is not in control of USFP, and not influential in ways that violate U.S. elite interests. That in itself is propaganda and mythology. It’s a bad analysis that in no way helps the movement for justice in Palestine.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 3:05 pm

        the israeli lobby has the full control

        well it’s obviously not in full control theo, lest they would have gotten their way on the iran deal and we’d be in full throttle war w/iran by now. instead, iran sanctions are about to be lifted (some of them anyway).

  12. David Green
    January 2, 2016, 11:52 am

    “What Ross heard in the Oval Office was Obama consoling himself, reminding himself that when it comes to Israel he is only the temporary custodian of a partnership that persists for reasons far beyond the personal: “It’s not just me.” The scourging of Gaza, and the defying of the president, is part of the price of the special relationship.”

    Obama is not a victim of institutional forces. He chose to align himself with those forces, which makes him a war criminal.

    • Keith
      January 2, 2016, 5:47 pm

      DAVID GREEN- “Obama is not a victim of institutional forces. He chose to align himself with those forces, which makes him a war criminal.”

      That is exactly right, David. Why oh why do folks keep making excuses for the Obama administration’s disastrous (for the 99%) performance? Yes, yes, his options are limited by the system, his ability to influence events in doubt, but why assume good intentions? There is a reason the 1% supported him in 2008 and he returned the favor generously by lobbying for the bank bailout when he conceivably could have made a huge impact on the political economy by reigning in the banks and financialization. Instead, he supported throwing money at banksters. Unbelievable, yet predictable. As an aside, I recommend the film “The Big Short.” Below a quote and link on Obama protecting the bankers from the people.

      “Obamas political advisers urged him to go with the more radical policy. The Bush bailouts had been deeply unpopular, and the new president could appease some of the anger against bankers by going for something transformational.

      The president chose to listen to his Treasury secretary and take the more cautious route. That meant avoiding a populist broadside against bankers, indeed deflecting outrage. Obama admitted as much when, at a meeting with bank chiefs in 2009, he said: I am all that stands between you and the pitchforks.” http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-09-12/obamas-wall-street-bank-rescue-stabilized-economy-at-a-political-cost

      • Boomer
        January 5, 2016, 10:47 am

        re: “There is a reason the 1% supported him in 2008 and he returned the favor generously by lobbying for the bank bailout when he conceivably could have made a huge impact on the political economy by reigning in the banks and financialization.”

        Yes, the pattern is clear.

    • Boomer
      January 5, 2016, 10:44 am

      re “Obama is not a victim of institutional forces. He chose to align himself with those forces . . . ”

      Exactly. The “special relationship” is between Obama and his backers.

      Like all politicians, his options are constrained, but he is not a victim, nor without agency. Particularly now, with no concern for his own reelection, he could do much if he wanted. He could, for example, quit using the veto in the UN to protect Israel from legitimate international efforts to help the Palestinians. And he could speak honestly to the American people. There would be consequences for him, but in the long run those consequences would be good for his legacy, as well as for the people of the region. In any event, we honor people for acting on principle for the greater good and accepting the consequences, not for selfish self-serving.

    • rugal_b
      January 8, 2016, 4:02 am

      Shmuel, you summarized the Jewish (Americans) motivations for justice in the IP conflict perfectly.

      I like to add just one thing though, Jews do not owe anyone explanations for their political activism and do not subscribe to the respectability politics when pursuing their god-given right to political representation, be that in the right wing or the left wing.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 8, 2016, 5:51 am

        Jews do not owe anyone explanations for their political activism

        just thought i’d point out i’ve been challenged here many times (by zionists) to provide explanations for my activism. but then i am not jewish — so maybe i don’t qualify for the free pass.

      • David Green
        January 8, 2016, 10:04 am

        Annie, of course you don’t need any explanations for your activism. That doesn’t let you off the hook for having an understanding of what you’re being activist about.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 8, 2016, 8:33 pm

        but i’m not on the hook david. you can’t even keep up w/me, much less catch me or even corner me. you’re running in circles.

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2016, 12:00 am

        “That doesn’t let you off the hook for having an understanding of what you’re being activist about.”

        Yes, Mr. Green, you’ll never let Annie “off the hook” for “having an understanding of what you’re being activist about”. You seem to resent that fact that she does, a lot.

  13. Kathleen
    January 3, 2016, 2:58 pm

    If the Obama administration wanted the deal to make it they had to keep a ‘close watch” on BB and team. Otherwise the deal would have been obliterated.

    • David Green
      January 3, 2016, 6:01 pm

      You have zero evidence for making this statement.

      • Kathleen
        January 3, 2016, 9:43 pm

        No evidence..BB’s lobbying congress to push back against the Iran deal in public, strong evidence of just how far BB was willing to go.

      • David Green
        January 4, 2016, 10:05 am

        And how far did he get, Kathleen, and what does that tell you about the real power of the Israel Lobby? No, USFP was about bringing Iran into the system, and that’s what it got. The IL could not do a thing about it, when all was said and done. And of course Israel is of strategic value to US hegemony. So it’s a win-win that they have to be “bribed” with a couple billion more $. Lots of activity, lots of fodder for comment on MW, but the result is the same. And the Palestinians get nowhere, partly because the US govt. is not responsible to US citizens, including you and me. That’s on us, not on the Lobby. Noam Chomsky has stated: “The thesis Mearsheimer-Walt propose does however have plenty of appeal. The reason, I think, is that it leaves the US government untouched on its high pinnacle of nobility, “Wilsonian idealism,” etc., merely in the grip of an all-powerful force that it cannot escape. It’s rather like attributing the crimes of the past 60 years to “exaggerated Cold War illusions,” etc. Convenient, but not too convincing. In either case.”

      • Kathleen
        January 4, 2016, 12:20 pm

        David that Israel and the I lobby failed miserably on their latest lobbying efforts to destroy this international agreement with Iran was as you know a real shift in U.S. foreign policy. This was as you know the first time that pro Israel no matter what Dems took a public stand against what Israel was demanding was a first. You know this. This stance was not demonstrative of decades of going along with whatever Israel and the I lobby wanted in regard to U.S. foreign policy in that neck of the woods. You know this.

        There are plenty of examples of the I lobby working their will on the U.S. congress. Ask Charles Freeman about the power of the I lobby. Ask Norman Finkelstein, Jimmy Carter, Vanessa Redgrave etc etc. Ask those who were on the USS Liberty who have and continue to call for justice for Israel’s attack on that ship

        You know the I lobby has been a successful and destructive lobbying force. You know if Senator Chuck Schumer and crew could have shut down the Iran deal they would have. This was a first.

        Ask those who wanted the Aipac espionage investigation trial too come to fruition. Ask them about Jane “waddling on over to interfere in the Aipac investigation” Harman. How her efforts to shut it down were successful. Ask Haim Saban about his conversation with Harman asking her to use her power and position to shut that investigation and that 9 time delayed and then dismissed trial down.

        Are you really trying to say that the power of the I lobby and Israel have not been a very powerful force? Total diversion from historical facts.

        Hillary Mann and Flynt Leverett have written extensively about Israel’s behind the scenes (for decades) interference of any U.S. efforts to make peace with Iran

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 12:43 pm

        kathleen, not to mention (for the umpteenth time), if chastisin’greens theory regarding the lobby were true (“our representatives and the institutions they work within are designed to maintain the power of the elite”) the lobby wouldn’t even need to exist, much less bribe or threaten (‘we’re keeping a list, checking it twice, of the who’s who NOT attending netanyahu’s congressional iran deal speech so if you don’t want us donating a zillion dollars to your electoral opponent to fund smear commercials about you being in bed w/isis — be there, and make a public spectacle of yourself cheering on your feet on cue a few dozen times, or else) our representatives to do their bidding.

        why even bother responding kathleen!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 1:03 pm

        and just to be clear, this is our congress on ziocaine (of course, nothing to do w/the lobby!)

      • David Green
        January 4, 2016, 12:36 pm

        Kathleen, you’re avoiding naming the system of American global empire and hegemony, and instead rely on the Lobby to account for that. Chas Freeman, a diplomatic tool, made rather a fool of himself in his blaming the Israel Lobby while avoiding discussing US hegemony in the region. And no, Schumer and Co. were not going to derail the Iran deal, whatever the political posturing involved. Yes, it was going to happen, because USFP elites were on board with that, it was long in the making. The rest is political theater at a different level with lower stakes. You do a disservice to the Palestinian cause by avoiding the responsibility of USFP for their plight. Instead, you rely on over-estimating the power of the Israel Lobby, which when it is effective acts at the behest of US elite interests. The Liberty had nothing to do with the Lobby; it coincided with the 1967 war, during which Israel served USFP goals by smashing Arab nationalism in the form of Nasser. That was just a quid pro quo, not the Lobby influence. Anymore than you needed a Lobby to pardon Iraq’s attack on the USS Stark in 1987. You just don’t want to look in the mirror and see that we Americans are responsible for a government that rules the world, especially the ME, by force. So blame it on the Lobby, aka the Jews, and subject yourself to credible charges of anti-semitism by those who have destroyed Palestine.

        The “shift” in foreign policy you refer to was not a historical anomaly. It does not portend any change in brutal regional or global power politics. There have been plenty of shifts, nothing to do with the Lobby. And the Lobby could not do a thing about it, in the final analysis. Sure they were opposed to it. What good did that do them, in the final analysis? USFP elites got their deal, and Israel gets another $1.5 billion. Yes, a great defeat for the Lobby LOL as the settlements continue to grow and Gaza remains under genocidal siege. Yes, we’re so proud of defeating the Lobby LOL.

      • David Green
        January 4, 2016, 12:52 pm

        Annie, you simply will not look at what is right in front of your face. The goals of US hegemony & empire dwarf and circumscribe those of the Lobby. The Lobby gets what it wants as long as there is a quid pro quo for American empire, and there are plenty of those–economically, militarily, technologically, ideologically. It all works rather smoothly, except when it doesn’t, and USFP slightly diverges from Israeli ambitions. So you have “victories” against the Lobby–the Iran deal, Pollard in prison for the full term. But that doesn’t clue you in that perhaps the Lobby wasn’t really that powerful all along, that it’s just being used by elites for various reasons as long as they don’t conflict with USFP and global hegemony. These “victories” only prove that there have has always been a Wizard behind the curtain effect. And the Palestinian suffering goes on, and you fail to acknowledge what’s at the root of it. You blame the Jews in the form of the Lobby, and you provide fodder for valid charges of anti-semitism, and the Palestinians are not helped one whit by your stubborn blindness to the realpolitik of American power. So how many years of “game changers” regarding Israel do we need before you realize that the game has not changed, because Americans are compliant with their rulers?

        But then again, why do I bother responding to you? You never forget anything, and you never learn anything.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 1:08 pm

        Annie, you simply will not look at what is right in front of your face.

        you fail to acknowledge

        You blame the Jews

        you provide fodder for valid charges of anti-semitism

        your stubborn blindness

        you never learn

        yes daddy. i heard you the first time daddy.

        ( http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/reveals-special-relationship#comment-818276 )

        zzzzz

      • echinococcus
        January 4, 2016, 1:04 pm

        Green…

        So blame it on the Lobby, aka the Jews, and subject yourself to credible charges of anti-semitism,

        “Credible”, eh? What in the name of anything is “antisemitism” in defending a theory, which has more than overwhelming evidence for it but doesn’t happen to encounter your approval is “antisemitic”?

        What exactly?

        Is the theory that Zionists have got the US Gov by the balls racist against Jews (i.e. discriminating against a group of people because of circumstances at birth)? You would necessarily be implying, according to linear, common logic, that all persons born to nominally Jewish families (or do we want to further define which parents and grandparents, too) are Zionist. And yes, it is a logically necessary step, just parse it in a syllogism.

        Is it not about racism, but discriminating against the followers of a religion? My, my. Are you, again, suggesting or implying that all followers of Judaism are Zionists? Again, no other possible logic to it.

        So let’s finally have the definition of that “antisemitism” that JVP and a couple others (not that I am inferring anything about your affiliations, which I have no idea of) seem to have made into the primary objective of their operation, instead of destroying Zionism. We have had reams of correspondence about that, recently even on MW, and these guys strangely never gave a precise one. Let’s see exactly what’s yours, before all that talk.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 1:25 pm

        question, what’s the difference between hasbrats utilizing the accusation of anti semitism crutch like a battering ram to bash and intimidate ideological opponents and green using it?

        takers anyone?

        and what’s this: the Lobby, aka the Jews

        will everyone here (besides david green*) who thinks the lobby represents “the Jews” please stand up.

        *green doesn’t have to stand up, he gets to cast aspersions on anyone for not agreeing with him but not be accountable for the slander of his own words, referencing the lobby as “the jews” because he does it in the service of ‘catch a bigot’ — one of his specialties.

      • David Green
        January 4, 2016, 1:35 pm

        Annie, when you only talk about the Lobby and place inordinate emphasis on it, then you may as well be talking about the Jews. It’s shocking, as always, to think that those who claim (wrongly) to support the Palestinian cause give a pass to 200 years of USFP and its expanding economic/military control around the world, including the ME. With friends like these, the Palestinians don’t need enemies.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 1:42 pm

        Annie, when you only talk about the Lobby and place inordinate emphasis on it

        i might better see your point david, if i only talked about the lobby. but alas, i don’t: http://mondoweiss.net/author/annie

        and neither does the author of this article. you already referenced earlier my so called “analysis”, and yet you failed to notice i’d provided no such “analysis” about the article. you don’t even know what my ptv is regarding your obsession. and if you think i think everything the US does (wrt USFP) is at the behest of the lobby, you’d be wrong. but that doesn’t stop you from your mission of chastisement. like i said earlier, you cant teach an old dog new tricks. so carry on, frankly i find you somewhat amusing albeit i’m relieved you don’t grace us with your infinite wisdom everyday.

        It’s shocking, as always, to think that those who claim (wrongly) to support the Palestinian cause….

        i dare say david, since you’ve been repeating this same meme for years now, i’m a little bewildered it still shocks you. curious really. you wouldn’t just be claiming that for effect would you?

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2016, 7:32 pm

        “Annie, when you only talk about the Lobby and place inordinate emphasis on it, then you may as well be talking about the Jews.”

        GEE, MAYBE THE LOBBY SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT!!! But of course, it’s our responsibility to think about the Lobby in a certain way deemed ‘not anti-Semitic’ but God forbid we should look at it for what it is, or how it presents itself!

        (Jeez, if you’re going to do a colonial project you have to think about all these things! Or somebody has to look after it, anyway))

      • rugal_b
        January 5, 2016, 12:52 am

        Kathleen – JVP credible…cough. JVP appears to be made up of biased individuals who like to shut down the deeper debate by herding people into what they have determined are “anti semitic” into a corral. Their goal seems to be to divert the conversation and really do sense they are actually anti gentile. –

        Actually, JVP is the most credible organization that is covering the IP conflict at present. This can easily be seen from the sheer number of private individuals who are donating members of the organization, in addition to the immense diversity of its supporters, ranging from Zionist Jews to Palestinian nationalists to American “gentiles”.

        You assertions are nothing more than slander, in my opinion.

      • Kathleen
        January 5, 2016, 8:15 pm

        JVP is not the most credible group. They may have the money and quite a bit of power. Ali Abunimah seems to be going with that program.

        Can anyone tell me if there are any non Jews on JVP’s staff?

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2016, 12:14 am

        “But then again, why do I bother responding to you? You never forget anything, and you never learn anything.”

        Well, in point of fact, it was Marie Annietonette Robin’s ex-husband’s family in another life, they said that about. Not her. I don’t think she was a Bourbon.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 7, 2016, 12:25 am

        bourbon? what a great idea! i’ll be right back….

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2016, 12:41 am

        I’ll be right back…

        But Marie Annietonette, you can’t go, we have no bread! The people have no bread!

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2016, 2:00 am

        Darn it. I was so sure you would answer: “Then let them eat bagels!”

      • rugal_b
        January 8, 2016, 4:36 am

        “Also, I must confess to much (too much?) impatience with the identity game, too. Hard to rely on people who still consider themselves part of the same tribe as the enemy.”

        What is this supposed to mean? I am sorry but this just rubs me all the wrong way.

        Firstly, tribe or not, everyone I mean every single individual on Earth have some sort of selfish preference to their own self and community. Why are Jews not allowed to form tribes of their own without being considered as the “enemy”?

        This is such a bizarre display of entitlement and colonial mentality. Do liberal, atheist Palestinians in Ramallah disown their ethnic and tribal links with the religious and conservative counterparts in Gaza? No they don’t, yet you expect (American) Jewish liberals to do so, on what basis exactly?

      • echinococcus
        January 8, 2016, 7:41 am

        Rugal

        I am sorry but this just rubs me all the wrong way

        Don’t be sorry. If you are JVP, it would rub the wrong way, of course.

        Firstly, tribe or not, everyone I mean every single individual on Earth have some sort of selfish preference to their own self and community. Why are Jews not allowed to form tribes of their own without being considered as the “enemy”?

        Firstly, calling oneself “Jewish” if one is not religious demonstrates illogical nationalism. Culturally speaking, if not religious one can be Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, Sefardí, etc., not “Jewish” –that was in the tribal times of the Holy Roman Empire or the Ottoman “millets”. No longer in modern Western (or Eastern) societies. People with this kind of nationalism are very liable to be tribal, just as you described.

        “One’s own… community” in this case includes an overwhelming majority of Zionists. Zionists (not “Jews” but some Jews –your Zionist reflex is showing, as it does with Green) are the enemy, if you look at it from the viewpoint of the Palestinian population.
        Were you told yet that we have a war here? A shooting war, not a “war of ideas”, with aggression of all neighboring countries, terrorism in other countries, and ongoing genocide of the Palestinian population, since way before 1947 for the latter?

        In times of war, people who see themselves as part of the enemy are not to be trusted –at the very least. You guys are not only tribal, you are openly fraternizing with the enemy.
        I had a personal confirmation of the fact with my own relatives and friends –none of them Zionist. After starting to contribute money or effort to help me with some small-scale work, they realized with the 1982 war of aggression against the Lebanon, while I was in Beirut, that this was a war to the death. And guess what? They expressed sympathy with my work and at the same time stopped helping, because we have family on the Zionist side.

        This is such a bizarre display of entitlement and colonial mentality

        No sh8t… look who’s talking!
        You claim a right to organize solidarity with Palestinian resistance, whose deadly, genocidal enemy is acknowledged by yourself as a tribal relative, on the tribal basis where the overwhelming majority belongs to their mortal enemy, without being called on that, and you dare call your accuser “colonial”! If there were only one single stereotypic Eskenazi (not Jewish) trait, it’s chutzpah and by gum you have it.
        Your tribe represents what, 2%-3% of the general population, including its 95%+ belonging to the enemy… and you claim you are entitled to have the lead in efforts against a mortal enemy that enjoys the full first-person participation of the US, proceeding by character assassination (at least character assassination) of opponents that are efficiently trying to get the general population to participate in the fight. Talk about entitlement!

        Do liberal, atheist Palestinians in Ramallah disown their ethnic and tribal links with the religious and conservative counterparts in Gaza? No they don’t, yet you expect (American) Jewish liberals to do so, on what basis exactly?

        On the basis that, contrary to what you seem to believe, Palestinians are a downtrodden, exiled, genocided and disarmed population dominated by Zionist puppets just like your good self, attacked and oppressed by “American Jewish Liberals” and American Jewish Nonliberals, united in pushing the US to do the dirty job of the Zionists, while “American Jewish liberals” are none of all this; those among them who want to help may do so as Americans period, and work to gain all Americans, including reactionaries, conservatives, libertarians and other people who may be OK with other aspects of US imperialism. Besides, Palestinians are not organized on a tribal political basis but that of a liberation struggle with allies among the religious (now a majority, thanks to the Zionist oppression.)

      • David Green
        January 8, 2016, 10:07 am

        Echinococcus: “Firstly, calling oneself “Jewish” if one is not religious demonstrates illogical nationalism.”

        That’s a pretty ridiculous and insulting assertion. There are those of us who are culturally and “genetically” Jewish. There’s no reason to deny that; in fact, the pro-Palestine movement obviously benefits from such perspectives.

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2016, 12:48 pm

        “Why are Jews not allowed to form tribes of their own without being considered as the “enemy”? “

        Antisemitism, no doubt about it! I just don’t know why people won’t recognize our ordinary Jewish right to be exempt from all kinds of social and political processes. And a whole lot of stupid laws, too. Why is our tribe not allowed to make its own laws?

      • echinococcus
        January 8, 2016, 5:57 pm

        Green,
        You appear to be a real artist in “rejecting” arguments without ever addressing (essentially by hiding) the reasoning that is offered in support of it. A tactic that I so many times have seen among Trotzkyites and such, BTW.
        To offer you the complete argument to respond to, what I wrote was:

        Firstly, calling oneself “Jewish” if one is not religious demonstrates illogical nationalism. Culturally speaking, if not religious one can be Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, Sefardí, etc., not “Jewish” –that was in the tribal times of the Holy Roman Empire or the Ottoman “millets”

        So it says there is no Pan-Jewish anything nonreligious, but different unrelated cultures. Calling it “Jewish” instead immediately indicates adherence to nationalist, “religious-peoplehood” myth.

        Want to start again, instead of repeating that you disagree –we know you disagree, of course, and I don’t think much anybody gives a rat’s fundament about your disagreement without a discussion.

        As for what you (sneakily) call “pro-Palestine movement”, I am starting to think that it would fare better without some of the help being offered today.

    • rugal_b
      January 5, 2016, 1:41 am

      For those who are supporting Allison Weir, and disapprove of JVP’s stance towards her and her work, may I ask why [b] specifically [/b]?

      From my knowledge, Ms. Weir never wrote and published anything of value or extraordinary about the Israeli occupation of Palestine, that was not published already by numerous writers and activists. All her work involve the rehashing the various published work on the issue, and re-center them around the narrative of America has been uninformed on the conflict all along hence we couldn’t help them.

      There are numerous issues with this particular narrative, starting with, who exactly are the Americans she is referring to? Many Arab and Muslim-Americans, along with progressives have been aware of the issue from the very beginning, and have acted in solidarity with the Palestinians all their lives despite the negative consequences that may follow.

      Also, many Jewish Americans even though they may and may not approve of it, are also well-informed on the conflict through their own effort and research. Some hold on to their Zionist ideals despite the Israeli state wrongdoings, some vouch for the Palestinians, and most know but can’t be bothered to hold any opinion.

      Among black Americans, the issue of Israel-Palestine have been a key talking point, even from the 60’s from the intersection of Palestinian liberation movement and the black civil rights movement in the US.

      Secondly, why is she not acknowledging the crimes of the US state that are just as unethical as any of the Israeli state action in Palestine or worse?

      This is what separates her from the rest of writers and activists on the IP issue. She appears to implicitly support oppression and state violence, as long as it is done by the “American” government for the benefit of the “American” people. What is the difference between the Zionist regime bombing the civilian population of Gaza, and the US bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan? Or the ongoing (as of late 2015) drone attacks in Pakistan?

      • David Green
        January 5, 2016, 10:35 am

        Your point about African American criticism of Israel is well-taken. I’m excerpting here from a summary I wrote a few years ago. This summary also provides a basis for understanding US support in a broader context that goes well beyond the Lobby, and incorporates other currents in terms of the reaction to the 1960s:

        In the institutional Jewish community, the occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s holiday brings with it customary references to Rabbi Heschel, Goodman and Schwerner, and Dr. King’s support for Israel—frozen in time. Fortunately, this year also brings with it increased and welcomed visibility of African-American supporters of Palestine, on leftist blogs like Black Agenda Report and Black Commentator, and from courageous individuals like Cynthia McKinney.

        The “official” history of African-American criticism of Israel, like Palestine, is Zionist-occupied territory. It demands revision and affirmation, especially from the left. There will of course be landmine charges of “blackantisemitism” along the way, but the single and unhyphenated word in quotations is designed to remind us that this has been for nearly a half-century largely a term of propaganda, invective, political blackmail, and indeed an expression of white racism itself. It will continue to be employed for all the wrong reasons: distortion, distraction, discreditation, and contrived Jewish claims of victimization.
        The purpose of this article is to briefly outline the basis for a leftist revisionist perspective on African-Americans, Jews, and Israel. This cannot be done without references to domestic history and issues, also commonly and egregiously misrepresented in ways that avoid fundamental realities of race, class, and the domestic correlates of American foreign policy. My purpose is also to provide a non-exhaustive but representative bibliography that documents not only the persistence of ideology and propaganda, but also a few objective and incisive examples upon which to build a leftist and accurate narrative as a basis for inter-racial solidarity in the antiwar and pro-Palestinian movements.

        But if the reader should choose to stop here, the major point—and one that has rarely if ever been forthrightly made—is this: Black critics of Israel, from the 1960s (when they were nearly lone American voices) to today, have been justified and should be largely vindicated, in terms of anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, human rights, and social justice. For African-Americans to be identified with the Palestinian struggle is one of many ways to connect that struggle to its global and historical origins, which inevitably brings us back to European and now American domination in the Middle East and elsewhere, including Africa.
        Black criticism has been shaped by a variety of perspectives, of course not all leftist. Some criticism has not been well-informed, especially during an era when the particulars were only known by the victims. Some of it has been based on a reflexive identification with colonized and oppressed peoples rather than a sophisticated understanding of Arab politics. Some of it has employed anti-Semitic characterizations of Jews.

        But for the large part, these views have been legitimately shaped by the identification of African-Americans with the natives of former European colonies in both the Middle East and Africa. It hasn’t been by accident that a subset of the racially oppressed in this country has more accurately distinguished perpetrators from victims, even when the Jewish perpetrators have historically been the victims of European racism; just as it hasn’t been by accident that Jewish-Americans can claim a legacy of principled participation in the Civil Rights Movement—although one hopes not in the spirit of self-congratulation and charges of betrayal, but in the spirit of self-criticism, and ongoing struggle.

        The unqualified post-1967 support of Jewish-American institutions and the U.S. government for Israel and its domination of the Palestinians runs like blue and white threads through the subsequent four decades of—as the official Jewish narrative would have it—conflictual Black-Jewish relations. The landmarks of this history include the infamous 1967 National Conference for New Politics in Chicago, the New York City teachers’ strike of 1968-69, Andrew Young’s dismissal from his post as Ambassador to the United Nations in 1979 for his contact with the PLO, the Jesse Jackson presidential campaigns of 1984 and 1988, the “culture wars” of the 1990s as framed by the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Louis Farrakhan and his lieutenants, and the furor raised by Farrakhan’s Million Men’s Marches of 1995 and 2005.
        As a reality check, it should be noted that as a result of these four decades of “deterioration,” the overwhelming vote of the U.S. House of Representatives to condemn the U.N.’s Goldstone Report was opposed by seven of the 39 (House of Representatives) members of the Congressional Black Caucus, out of a total “Nay” count of 36. Similarly, 12 of the 54 signers of a letter to President Obama urging him to ease the siege on Gaza were members of the CBC.

        The voluminous literature and commentary during this period, including four anthologies, has many serious entries from both Blacks and Jews, and provides a partial basis for a serviceable domestic history that can be pieced together by the critical reader if related to the larger domestic context of neoliberalism and white reactionism since the 1960s, as well as the global context of U.S. and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the dominant “public intellectual” voices are of Jewish liberals and neoconservatives, and the tendentious assumptions of what Norman Finkelstein calls the Holocaust Industry hold sway. Concepts of Black Power, Black Nationalism, and Pan-Africanism are often conflated, simplified, and ridiculed. Meanwhile, the virtue and necessity of Jewish attachment to Israel goes largely unquestioned, and Black concerns about Africa in relation to the U.S., Europe, and Israel are routinely dismissed. The realities of Israel-Palestine—that is, the Zionist narrative—are assumed to be both obvious and solely the political province of Jews and other supporters of Israel.

      • Mooser
        January 5, 2016, 2:46 pm

        ” The realities of Israel-Palestine—that is, the Zionist narrative—are assumed to be both obvious and solely the political province of Jews and other supporters of Israel.”

        Well, of course! After all, who is better qualified to find the ‘incipient anti-semitism’ in critiques and analysis? Who knows what may happen if that isn’t assiduously attended to!

      • Kathleen
        January 5, 2016, 8:12 pm

        Allison (following in Paul Findlay’s foot steps) has made available a tremendous amount of accurate information at her site and to the public through her brochures etc. She has taken great risk. I watched a group of hoodlums continuously verbally attack her at one of the Move Over Aipac protest in D.C. She has written in great detail about the history of the occupation.

        Her work is valuable.

        JVP’s effort to target her and take her out of play is despicable . They have made her guilty via association. I lost all respect for JVP.

      • echinococcus
        January 7, 2016, 4:33 am

        Rugal B,

        No matter all your sales talk, JVP has revealed itself definitively as a racially/tribally segregated organization with a couple token Goys and token Arabs, organized and guided by Zionists with the intent of deviating all discussion away from supporting the liberation of Palestine against the Zionist theft, oppression and genocide, to “antisemitism” (undefined) and American aggression (and creating the impression that the latter is outside the control of the Zionists), and to prevent Americans of different political horizons to unite agaisnt Zionism.
        Ms Weir did the remarkable pioneering job of collecting all unexceptionably documented sources and presenting them to an American public, no matter its political orientations, of honest persons who may or may not agree among themselves about other topics but will be shaken and scandalized by the material, is to her high credit, no matter your typically Zionist denigration. The unadulterated McCarthyism unleashed against her was a good thing; you guys overplayed your hand after success went to your head with your commando action at dusk against Greta Berlin and Co. It showed all the world the material you are made of, see Mr Green or the preposterous defense on MW.
        That’s where we saw how much you guys are embedded with Zionists, refusing to oppose Zionist racism while taking exception to a radio show a century ago. Some credible support to Palestinian resistance, eh.
        As for JVP being big and powerful, that’s not really a good argument to command respect. All Zionist organizations are well funded.
        As for your using, let’s call it “leftyist”, criticism of the US as a pretext for not attacking the Zionists and keeping discord among the US opponents of Zionism, that’s an old one. I’ll take any person on the right, including Know-nothing, who opposes the Zionist crime over any “leftie” enabler of Zionists.
        My compliments to the ha-sebara org who thought out this plan. Unfortunately they are now running out of Zionist foot soldiers with enough wits to implement it well.

      • Shmuel
        January 7, 2016, 9:27 am

        JVP has revealed itself definitively as a racially/tribally segregated organization

        Hi echinococcus,

        Specific criticism of JVP aside, there are a number of reasons why there is a real need for Jewish organisations in the struggle for Palestinian rights. For example:

        1. Such organisations are more effective in countering unjust accusations of anti-Semitism that hinder the work of the entire movement.
        2. More generally, like it or not, Jews are given greater credibility and have greater access to mainstream western societies/media, especially in this context. This undeserved privilege should be used to advocate for those who are denied a voice and specifically those who are victims of it (keeping in mind that it is indeed an undeserved privilege).
        3. Since Jewish organisations play an important role in perpetuating pro-Israel policies and public opinion, they need to be challenged within/from within the Jewish community.
        4. We are also fighting a battle for the future of Judaism. Not directly related to the struggle, but not entirely unrelated either.
        5. Some Jews who could contribute to the struggle are turned off or even intimidated by real anti-Semitism within the movement (in my experience, generally not from Palestinians), and therefore feel more comfortable acting within a Jewish organisation.
        6. Some non-Jews, who could contribute to the struggle are turned off by real anti-Semitism within the movement, and therefore feel more comfortable acting within or in cooperation with a Jewish organisation.

      • David Green
        January 7, 2016, 1:43 pm

        Echniococcus: “No matter all your sales talk, JVP has revealed itself definitively as a racially/tribally segregated organization with a couple token Goys and token Arabs, organized and guided by Zionists with the intent of deviating all discussion away from supporting the liberation of Palestine against the Zionist theft, oppression and genocide, to “antisemitism” (undefined) and American aggression (and creating the impression that the latter is outside the control of the Zionists), and to prevent Americans of different political horizons to unite agaisnt Zionism.”

        This is a defining statement of the “Lobby done it” incipiently anti-Semitic mentality. Blame the Lobby. Hate on a leftist Jewish pro-Palestinian organization that wisely does not blame the Lobby for American support for Israel. But of course never look in the mirror at USFP. This is anti-semitism and conspiracism in full bloom. And unfortunately, typical of the tone of many of the regular commenters on MW. And unfortunately that mentality only undermines the Palestinian cause. The enemies list gets long: JVP, Electronic Intifada, Noam Chomsky. Who’s next?

      • echinococcus
        January 7, 2016, 2:31 pm

        Green,

        No matter all your twittering about isolated questions (and systematically avoiding the point), it’s a no sale, definitive. I see you as a Zionist plant, one of the nationalists used to take control of the solidarity movement with the Palestinian resistance.
        The only way to stop the insanity is to unite a maximum number of Americans of all possible political tendencies. Not only artsy-fartsy Dim voters. Many of thesegeneral-Americans may, in fact will, agree to many other aspects of US imperialism. I don’t give a rat’s fundament: our objective is to beat the Zionists with all possible means. “Antisemitism” is to all practical purposes dead, your efforts and those of your Zionist sidekicks notwithstanding. It won’t mean a thing and even if it did, the objective is to destroy Zionism –with or without “antisemitism”, I don’t give a rat’s etc.

        “Jewish” nationalist gatherings and incestuous Zio-leftie bullshit is totally insignificant in this. Any “biological” Jew who is not religious but still calls himself “Jewish” (not, mind you, Yiddish-speaking, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, etc. but “Jewish”) has a nationalism problem, anyway, and cannot be relied upon. This is a war, if you have paid attention, involving loss o life and limb; seeing yourself as brothers with the invader against the invadee is a questionable position. Second, trying to convert the so-called Jewish community, i.e. those who have not liberated themselves from tribal identities, to stop supporting Zionism means a huge lot of effort, totally unlikely to have any effect at all, for a ridiculously small population. Screw that.
        What is to be done is exactly what Alison Weir is showing us how to: tirelessly inform the Americans on Zionism and its crimes; concentrate criticism of the US exclusively on its nefarious support of Zionism and the suppression of Palestinian rights.

        Once the fact that the Zionist entity is a racist, apartheid regime, in fact more, a genocidal entity and the very negation of everything the US is supposed to be is clear to the general US public, one might expect a reaction strong enough to move the government, and this is exactly what you guys are fighting tooth and nail against.
        The second step is to make absolutely clear that the Partition is the worst act against humanity since WWII. Once the Zionist crimes are a mainstream narrative, I can see that one getting traction, too.

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2016, 4:02 pm

        “Hi echinococcus,…1),2),3),4),5)”

        “Shmuel” I’m not sure we can demand they play by our rules anymore. Or defer to us on this. (Speech about and activism concerning Zionism)
        I’m not sure we really should, frankly. But you do what you think best.

      • Shmuel
        January 7, 2016, 4:12 pm

        I’m not sure we can demand they play by our rules anymore. Or defer to us on this. (Speech about and activism concerning Zionism) I’m not sure we really should frankly. But you do what you think best.

        Just explaining my perspective, Mooser. Surely we can still do that, no?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 7, 2016, 4:35 pm

        why is she not acknowledging the crimes of the US state that are just as unethical as any of the Israeli state action in Palestine or worse?

        This is what separates her from the rest of writers and activists on the IP issue.

        but does it separate her from other writers, historians, activist or journalists covering other issues besides IP? i don’t think so. do authors writing about the crimes of saddam or say a book about how (allegedly) horrible iran is, do they always or generally place that in the context of acknowledging the crimes of the US state? because i am not sure they do.

        and while i agree with you that many Jewish Americans might be informed about israel, i can guarantee you there are many who are not, at all. in fact some students just made a video about that very thing. how they never heard the word occupation til they got to college. and there are israelis who have written about not even knowing palestinians were there growing up. i can’t say the same for palestinian or arab americans because i don’t really know, but i think a LOT of jewish americans really have no idea. i mean why would they? it’s been documented here, by someone who did research on literature available to kids in american synagogues and what was clear is the history of the nakba just wasn’t there, at all.

        plus, coincidentally just 2 nights ago i had a visitor selling magazines who came to my door so i invited her in for tea because it was pouring rain outside and she was pretty wet. we started talking and she ended up staying a few hours. she was from baltimore, the inner city. we had a lot to talk about. at some point, and i forget how it came up i mentioned that i had visited lebanon .. something about how pretty it was and she said she didn’t know i would be allowed there or weren’t christians not allowed. so i got out my computer and showed her a photo of the huge statue of mary on the mountain side above sidon and explained to her there were many christian in lebanon, whole villages of them. like a lot of americans she didn’t know anything about the middle east. i said lots of arabs are/were christian and certainly she knows the original christians came from there? and many still lived there, palestinians, and always had. she thought they would just kill me if i went there and knew nothing about muslims. anyway, she literally knew nothing about the region. this assumption that a black person would know about israel palestine simply by virtue of being african american is incorrect. i knew nothing about israel/palestine until after 9/11, it truly can happen to anyone.

        and finally, She appears to implicitly support oppression and state violence, as long as it is done by the “American” government

        beauty is in the eye of the beholder. what appears to you tells us nothing about allison weir, and only about your own prejudice or ignorance. it would be easy enough, considering all she’s written, to back this statement up w/a source. similar to me asking green for a source since he made the same charge against walt and mearsheimer. he couldn’t find a source, can you? because otherwise you just sound like a fool with an ax to grind.

        there’s no reason anyone exposing israel’s crimes is obligated to (repeatedly) balance it out by acknowledging US crimes at the same time. if someone were writing a book about russia or nazi germany or whatever there would be no need or requirement to also mention US crimes. this is just silly and repeated obsessive calls for it are noted.

      • David Green
        January 7, 2016, 5:05 pm

        Echninococcus: “No matter all your twittering about isolated questions (and systematically avoiding the point), it’s a no sale, definitive. I see you as a Zionist plant, one of the nationalists used to take control of the solidarity movement with the Palestinian resistance.”

        You can see my response to the end of your statement near the bottom of the page.

        In any event, you only prove my point about the damage that the mentality you exemplify does to the already challenged pro-Palestine movement. I don’t care to take control of anything. I care about being truthful, and beginning to be effective. I think JVP is a big step forward in this regard, but also a small piece of the puzzle. Again, I refer you to Norman Finkelstein’s perspective on strategy and tactics, for which he has taken a lot of heat.

        I have no problem with a complicated and contentious movement, as comes with BDS and its critics. I do have a problem with a movement that attracts conspiracy theorists. I will continue to make a fuss about that from time to time.

      • RoHa
        January 7, 2016, 6:34 pm

        “the Partition is the worst act against humanity since WWII.”

        I would suggest avoiding the superlatives. There is no scale to measure these things, and if you say “worst”, then you run the risk of the message being lost in a welter of comments about Pol Pot, Agent Orange, etc.

        Perhaps “one of the worst acts” would be better. It is much harder to challenge.

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2016, 6:57 pm

        “Just explaining my perspective, Mooser. Surely we can still do that, no?”

        Absolutely! Can hardly avoid it.
        And, what’s more, if somebody is going to explain for the “we” in “we can still do that”, well, “Shmuel”, I would sure hope it would be you “explaining my (our) perspective”, instead of a host of others, no, instead of almost anybody! We should be so lucky.

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2016, 8:45 pm

        “In any event, you only prove my point about the damage that the mentality you exemplify does to the already challenged pro-Palestine movement.”

        Gosh, you wouldn’t happen to have an example or two of the damage that the mentality you exemplify does to the already challenged pro-Palestine movement.”

        But if you are trying to say that Zionists are probably turned off by “the mentality you exemplify”, I conceded the point immediately.

      • echinococcus
        January 7, 2016, 9:45 pm

        RoHa,

        Correct as usual –I suppose it’s too late in life to correct bad habits, like running ahead of my own sentences and assuming the reader completes in his own mind my partial statements. In this case, the worst act of international bodies.
        Thanks.

      • echinococcus
        January 7, 2016, 9:59 pm

        Shmuel,

        All of what Mooser said (thank you Mooser.)
        Also, I must confess to much (too much?) impatience with the identity game, too. Hard to rely on people who still consider themselves part of the same tribe as the enemy.

      • Shmuel
        January 8, 2016, 12:39 am

        And, what’s more, if somebody is going to explain for the “we” in “we can still do that”

        No problem, Mooser. It was in response to your (sing.) “I’m not sure we can demand they play by our rules anymore. Or defer to us on this. … I’m not sure we really should, frankly.” (emphasis mine)

        My own personal tongue was in my very own personal cheek as I wrote that dastardly first person plural pronoun that seems, on occasion, to give you the heebie jeebies.

      • Shmuel
        January 8, 2016, 12:42 am

        I must confess to much (too much?) impatience with the identity game, too. Hard to rely on people who still consider themselves part of the same tribe as the enemy.

        “Part of the same tribe as the enemy”? It sounds like you really do have a problem with the “identity game”. You sound just like a lot of Israelis I know.

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2016, 1:31 am

        “All of what Mooser said …”

        Thanks, “Echin”. I was hoping that my comment (about Shmuel speaking for “we”) would be taken as sincere, cause it was.

        To give me the heebie jeebies? I got a chronic case. With occasional attacks of the fantods, botts and glanders. I’m chopfallen, and no wonder, not to mention my arches. ‘I’m just drek, a human wreck, that’s fated soon to plotz‘, as the song says.

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2016, 1:46 am

        “I would suggest avoiding the superlatives. “

        Absolutely. Them superlatives are chock full of incipience!

      • echinococcus
        January 9, 2016, 2:48 pm

        Hi Shmuel,

        Now the weather is calmer, let me answer a couple things:
        For the life of me I can’t see what’s such a big deal in getting accusations of antisemitism. If you think the Zionists don’t use them with the same generosity against Jews, ask the whole list, from Gilad Atzmon to Moshe Menuhin, not to mention all the ones we hear everyday. Bah.
        Well, JVP and such don’t attract that heavy a flak but that’s because of their accomodation and happy coexistence, at least, with the Zionists.
        Besides, what’s the problem with it? First, it has become totally meaningless. Second, it only impresses some fancy liberals, generally Jewish. Not the general population. Experience shows that one only has to forge full steam ahead, ignoring the disturbance and focusing on the message. Stupid “antisemitism” accusations, in short, are not avoidable in any way and they are not torpedoes, either. Who cares?

        Challenging “Jewish organizations” meaning Zionists “from within the Jewish community” sounds like the pipest of pipe dreams. However, you want to try, go ahead, on your own turf. No need to invade and destroy the work done to unite all Americans who agree just on this single point, to bear directly on the Government. Which may be even greater a utopia, agreed, but that model has worked sometimes in the past.

      • Shmuel
        January 9, 2016, 4:04 pm

        Thanks for getting back to me, echinococcus,

        For the life of me I can’t see what’s such a big deal in getting accusations of antisemitism

        The accusation of anti-Semitism is the primary weapon used to silence legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism and to favour pro-Israel policies. The power of such accusations is such that, often, they don’t even need to be made in order to be effective. They prevent Palestinian voices from being heard, and they (ironically) ensure that Israel is “singled out” — for the better. In Europe, this is particularly true in countries where Jews suffered Fascist and Nazi persecution and were embraced by anti-Fascist and progressive forces. In France, it is accusations of anti-Semitism (or anti-Jewish hate speech, or whatever term they use) that have criminalised BDS.

        I belong to a Jewish organisation that is part of the broader struggle for Palestinian rights. I can’t tell you how many times our presence or intervention has been specifically requested by Palestinian and Palestinian-solidarity groups, in order to counter false accusations of anti-Semitism, which significantly impede their work. I’ve been told by people at demonstrations, “We could not have taken part, had it not been for your banner.”

        If you think the Zionists don’t use them with the same generosity against Jews.

        Tell me about it. I’ve been called everything under the sun. This does not change the fact that Jewish anti-Zionist groups can help deflect such accusations against Palestinians and their supporters.

        Challenging “Jewish organizations” meaning Zionists “from within the Jewish community” sounds like the pipest of pipe dreams.

        Perhaps, but it is still a necessary undertaking, for the reasons I have explained.

        However, you want to try, go ahead, on your own turf. No need to invade and destroy the work done to unite all Americans who agree just on this single point, to bear directly on the Government. Which may be even greater a utopia, agreed, but that model has worked sometimes in the past.

        Again, I will cite from my “own turf” (although probably not the kind you had in mind). Around these parts, it is the left-wing backbone of the Palestine solidarity movement that refuses to have anything to do with fascists or racists of any kind, even if they happen to express support for the Palestinian cause (as they do from time to time). To do otherwise would be to violate their principles — the very principles that have brought them to support the Palestinians in the first place — and to play into the hands of those who undermine the movement and discredit it in the eyes of the mainstream and the general public, with unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism (see above).

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2016, 5:04 pm

        “Shmuel”, I am with you all the way! Look, there’s no way we are going to come out of this (Zionism) looking good, but anything we can do from looking too bad should be done.

        While a whole lot of the stuff I wished I’d never heard or read about Zionism, I already have, but still, there’s a whole buncha stuff I hope I never hear, or read, especially if it’s true!

        You are one of the few people I would trust to take a part in this effort. Other people (cough…cough) are so damned clumsy at it. It requires a very deft touch with words and language.

      • Shmuel
        January 9, 2016, 5:43 pm

        Thanks Mooser. I explained the reasons why I think such groups are necessary. “Looking good” (or “not too bad”) wasn’t one of them. As a matter of fact, Israel-supporters don’t look nearly as bad as they should.

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2016, 5:53 pm

        ““Looking good” (or “not too bad”) wasn’t one of them. As a matter of fact, Israel-supporters don’t look nearly as bad as they should.”

        Ah, thank you Shmuel, for so deftly explicating, elucidating the point at which Israel criticism edges over into antisemitism. Yup, about when they look as bad as they should.
        That will be our sticking-point, to which we will screw up our courage! (Not sure I have that right, but let it go)

      • Shmuel
        January 9, 2016, 6:10 pm

        Ah, thank you Shmuel, for so deftly explicating, elucidating the point at which Israel criticism edges over into antisemitism. Yup, about when they look as bad as they should.

        And you, Mooser, for your original interpretation of what I actually wrote.

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2016, 6:50 pm

        And you, Mooser, for your original interpretation of what I actually wrote “

        I’m sorry, I was teasing, trying to infer that sometimes we don’t even know our own motives, and even when we do we have no way of knowing if they seem the same to others.

        But no, without the teasing, (sorry) if there is anybody I’d hope would take on the job (and it may very well need doing!) for the right reasons, and in the right way, it would be you. I’ve no doubt of that. We should be so lucky.

      • W.Jones
        January 24, 2016, 6:27 am

        Rugal,

        You ask:
        “For those who are supporting Allison Weir, and disapprove of JVP’s stance towards her and her work, may I ask why specifically ?”
        She goes on many speaking tours for Palestinian rights, while JVP’s stance is weak for two reasons:

        1. Weir did not actually say anything that is definitely anti-Semitic, and if you are going to accuse a major fellow peace activist, the proof must be definitive, not debatable.

        2. Weir’s position that the US Interest does not support the occupation of Palestine has been said before by JVP in one of its FAQs, yet this was an explicit basis to reject her ideology in JVP’s letter.

        You ask: “Secondly, why is she not acknowledging the crimes of the US state that are just as unethical as any of the Israeli state action in Palestine or worse?”
        If you do a google search on her website for terms like Iraq and Afghanistan, you will see that she and her materials do criticize those wars.

  14. David Green
    January 4, 2016, 1:41 pm

    “Is the theory that Zionists have got the US Gov by the balls racist against Jews (i.e. discriminating against a group of people because of circumstances at birth)?”

    Of course it is, because it’s simply not true. If you choose to ignore the long rich history of US WASP elite USFP and instead emphasize the Israel Lobby (not the Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers, Oil Lobby, Chamber of Commerce, Military-Industrial Complex), then you’re reducing an overwhelming and long-standing power structure to some allegedly powerful Jewish/Zionist interests. It’s a gift to those who want to label the pro-Palestinian movement as anti-semitic. You should not be so generous or ignorant to give them that gift. The Palestinians have a difficult enough time as it is.

    Countering Lobby propaganda is one important function of the pro-Palestine movement, obviously. Blaming the Lobby for USFP goals that have allowed for and supported Israeli wars and occupation ongoing is something else altogether. This should not be that difficult to see, but dogmatism and doctrinaire thinking create their own world of self-fulfilling propaganda. Never a testable proposition, never a way to disprove it. If the Lobby is “defeated”, then that’s just more fodder for the thesis that the Lobby is all-powerful. It’s a self-contained ideological system, impervious to reality.

    • David Green
      January 4, 2016, 1:52 pm

      “So let’s finally have the definition of that “anti-semitism” that JVP and a couple others (not that I am inferring anything about your affiliations, which I have no idea of) seem to have made into the primary objective of their operation, instead of destroying Zionism. We have had reams of correspondence about that, recently even on MW, and these guys strangely never gave a precise one. Let’s see exactly what’s yours, before all that talk.”

      Falsely attributing an inordinate amount of power and influence to a group of Jews is anti-Semitic, and will be credibly used against the Palestinian movement. That’s why JVP, of which I am a member (and I’m Jewish) was correct regarding the Alison Weir affair. I have not doubt that Weir and people like you aren’t really anti-semites; you just say anti-semitic shit, and that’s stupid and obviously bad for the movement.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 2:01 pm

        Falsely attributing an inordinate amount of power and influence to a group of Jews is anti-Semitic

        oh, i see you’ve tampered your speech david. no longer lobby aka the Jews eh. well that’s progress i suppose.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 2:35 pm

        That’s why JVP … was correct regarding the Alison Weir affair.

        hmm, i read jvp’s compliant against weir, but i don’t recall Falsely attributing an inordinate amount of power and influence to a group of Jews as one of the claims. could you quote that part of the accusation please.

      • echinococcus
        January 4, 2016, 6:30 pm

        Falsely attributing an inordinate amount of power and influence to a group of Jews is anti-Semitic

        No sh*t… Even if it is demonstrably true? Even if it is “a group of” Jews? “A group of” like the Zionist bastards? Well, that is not an “if”, they were the only ones cited.
        So these Zionists are a determined group of –it’s certainly not all Jews. And it sure is an evil group of criminals, still not all “Jews”.
        Besides, grabbing an inordinate amount of power is exactly what Zionists do. Why are you defending the Zionists with such intensity –to the point of risking to appear as illogical as a newt? Is it because you harbor friendly feelings “against” Zionists?
        A lot of people here maintain that the Zionists are criminals against humanity. In fact, there can be no solidarity with Palestinian resistance if not by destroying Zionism. And you have just said that “falsely” (yarright, as if your characterization of false or true was law!) saying that the Zionists are power-grabbing bastards is antisemitic, thereby slinging muck on all the Palestinian resistance and all solidarity with it. Zionists are recognized as a group of Jews and you are defending criminals against humanity.
        By the way, since when is citing one example of action a definition?

        As to how it can be used, it sure will be used against the Zionists. Not “against the Palestinian movement”, what a kinky idea! How anything will be used is always irrelevant to establishing the facts.

        I figured you could be JVP: this amount of insanity is hard to find anywhere else. Well, I don’t really know if it’s insanity or deliberate sabotage of the solidarity movement. and I don’t want to let it rip, as there are a number of censors here. The persecution and character assassination of Ms Weir did effectively reach the level of insanity the moment she solidly documented the power grab by the Zionists in the US. For anyone watching your hands instead of listening to your self-serving words your objective is effectively to prevent the Americans from knowing, and you are working for the Zionists.

        And how the hell is it that I get promoted to “antisemite”, genius? Zionists are criminals against humanity and must be appropriately punished, of course, but I sure have no problem with Neturei Karta, let’s say, or my Bundist uncle, still alive. I will even have friendly relations with some people calling themselves Jewish on biologic grounds, because they are against Zionism. Besides, I am *biologically* at least as Jewish as your good self and you have no Ayatollah status. So how the f*&^% would I be supposed to be antisemitic if your definition of that were racism?

        By the way, you still haven’t provided a definition of antisemitism but don’t bother, you already lost any respect for your opinion.

      • echinococcus
        January 4, 2016, 6:40 pm

        But Annie, that’s the very reason of the persecution of Ms Weir. It all exploded with her last book showing the power grab by the Zionists (=attributing an inordinate amount of power and influence to a group of Jews).
        The Zionists were already driven crazy by her organization name from the start. “If Americans Knew” –I don’t know if you were at Black Oak books that night –was it 13-14 years ago?– when they were so hysterical about the name –not the massacres she was documenting, not even her anti-zionism. That Americans should know is the big danger.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 7:11 pm

        that’s the very reason of the persecution of Ms Weir. It all exploded with her last book showing the power grab by the Zionists

        not according to jvp. they (intentionally i posit) evaded even mentioning her latest book in their complaint (probably because they didn’t want to cite any of it specifically to defend their stance). i just wanted him (green) to quote his reference since he made the claim. (it’s called entrapment but now you’ve busted my cover)

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2016, 9:22 pm

        ” I have not doubt that Weir and people like you aren’t really anti-semites; you just say anti-semitic shit, and that’s stupid and obviously bad for the movement”

        Sorry Green, we simply have too much, and have demonstrated too much of the use of accusations of anti-Semitism for Jewish self-protection (and on both sides of Zionism) for us to make the charge with any integrity.
        You can pretend that is not happening, but it is.

      • Kathleen
        January 4, 2016, 10:00 pm

        JVP credible…cough. JVP appears to be made up of biased individuals who like to shut down the deeper debate by herding people into what they have determined are “anti semitic” into a corral. Their goal seems to be to divert the conversation and really do sense they are actually anti gentile.

        Green your effort to claim that Israel and the I lobby have not been disproportionately influential over decades holds no water at all. The proof/evidence far outweighs your bias and efforts to divert.

        Although I will give it to you that U.S.global hegemony continues to be a driving force. I will always add that I lobby/Israel’s influence over decades is equal too that force.

        You seem committed to diversion
        .

      • Kathleen
        January 4, 2016, 10:03 pm

        Annie I also read JVP’s complaints against Allison. All guilty by association charges. My sense is they want to give her the bump because of her successful efforts for over a decade. Some sort of competitive move.

      • Kathleen
        January 4, 2016, 10:04 pm

        Agree Ech…the threat was/is Americans getting the facts. Allison has been effective…can’t have the facts getting out

    • Annie Robbins
      January 4, 2016, 2:21 pm

      green, i hope you realize you didn’t fully address the questions echin posed:

      You would necessarily be implying, according to linear, common logic, that all persons born to nominally Jewish families (or do we want to further define which parents and grandparents, too) are Zionist. And yes, it is a logically necessary step, just parse it in a syllogism…..Are you, again, suggesting or implying that all followers of Judaism are Zionists? –

      can you see how you might perpetuate this jews = zionists meme/myth? which is damaging to the idea of what it means to be jewish, and that jews — like everybody else — are individuals with unique points of view, and don’t always think alike? even groups like jvp are composed of all different kinds of thinkers, quite varied actually — as demonstrated by the conversation surrounding weir. even zionist groups are not all aligned with each other. so on principle what’s the difference between one generalization and the other? aren’t you doing (in your verbiage) the same thing you’re accusing others of – in the service of making your point that is?

      • David Green
        January 4, 2016, 3:55 pm

        Of course I well understand all the ways in which those who want to defame the pro-Palestinian movement conflate criticism of Israel/Zionism with hatred of Jews/Judaism. I well understand that people like Mearsheimer and Walt are not anti-Semites in any ideologically/politically operative sense. I’m not lumping those who over-emphasize the influence of the Lobby with anyone who genuinely hates Jews. I am lumping them with those who don’t want to confront the fundamental problem of US foreign policy and its strategy to control ME energy resources, and therefore perpetuate the status quo. The quid pro quo with Israel and the occupation and the oppression of the Palestinians is a product of this geopolitical strategy.

        Americans need to understand our role in this. It is not a result of the Lobby, except insofar as the Lobby has skillfully exploited primary US interests that coincide with Israel’s interests in oppressing the Palestinians. An over-emphasis on the Lobby hands a weapon to Zionists, and it leaves a vacuum that should be filled by the sort of institutional analysis that Chomsky/Finkelstein favor. It also unnecessarily divides the pro-Palestine movement on fundamental issues of strategy, not just tactics.

        If the Lobby thesis is correct, all we have to do is explain to the ruling class that their interests are being subverted by Israel; but of course, they know that’s not true, and that won’t work to support a just settlement in Israel/Palestine. The correct strategy is to confront the ruling class and its neoliberal geopolitical strategy, which obviously is really hard. But avoidance only makes it harder, and makes things worse. But overall, that’s a relatively minor reason why things have continued to get worse. I don’t lay all that much at the feet of those who are relatively powerless anyway. But if the powerless are going to organize to win people over and gain some influence, at least make the right argument. People around the world know about USFP, because they bear the brunt of it. It’s Americans who need to be told to look in the mirror.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 7:41 pm

        Of course I well understand all the ways in which those who want to defame the pro-Palestinian movement conflate criticism of Israel/Zionism with hatred of Jews/Judaism.

        so is that why you characterized kathleen’s criticism of the lobby as aka the Jews, to defame the pro-Palestinian movement? or don’t you think the lobby effectively represents Israel/Zionism in the US?

        I’m not lumping those who over-emphasize the influence of the Lobby with anyone who genuinely hates Jews.

        yet you sling around the accusatory threat of anti semitism easy enough as a regular component of your argument. do you really think that’s an effective form of argument? and if so, why?

        I am lumping them with those who don’t want to confront the fundamental problem of US foreign policy and its strategy to control ME energy resources, and therefore perpetuate the status quo.

        there will always be debate surrounding how much influence X has vs W, Z, J, Q, or R.
        relying heavily on accusations of bigotry to win arguments about the varying powers behind american foreign policy is not an effective form of argument imho. if someone was blaming saudi arabia or china left and right nobody would start accusing them of bigorty, they’d fight them well sourced argument. generally, it’s only people protecting israel or their lobby who rely on this bigotry defense.

        If the Lobby thesis is correct, all we have to do is explain to the ruling class that their interests are being subverted by Israel

        by ruling class i presume you mean the general populace. and if i’m not mistaken i do believe argument has been made.

        but of course, they know that’s not true

        not necessarily. i think ‘the ruling class’ is too diverse in this country for you to be speaking about what they know to be true or not true.

      • echinococcus
        January 4, 2016, 5:58 pm

        Hey, this is exactly what “Jews aka lobby” necessarily implies.
        I hope you now realized that both definitions of antisemitism (that I offered in the absence of a definition by Green, the initiator) also necessarily imply that when saying “Jews aka lobby”.
        I have no problem with any of what you wrote there –Green has.
        One thing though, once the discussion is about being on one or the other side of the barricades, like Zionist or not, all individual differences inside each camp become worthless but luckily that is a matter only for political divisions.

      • echinococcus
        January 4, 2016, 6:42 pm

        PS. I’m not Greg.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2016, 6:49 pm

        yes i know echin, i wasn’t directing the comment to you i was directing it at david green, because when he responded to your comment (upthread) he cut off the end of your remark and didn’t address it. after i read your comment i realized you thought i was addressing you, so i went to add green and inadvertently typed greg instead. lol, it was only up there for a few seconds!

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2016, 9:24 pm

        “an you see how you might perpetuate this jews = zionists meme/myth? which is damaging to the idea of what it means to be jewish,”

        Naah, he’s not worried about that, he’s in control of it. It’ll mean exactly what we want it to mean when we want it to mean that. And nothing will wrest that control from us, or ever has. So why worry about it?

      • David Green
        January 4, 2016, 9:41 pm

        Annie, it’s wrong for those who support Israel’s crimes to accuse their opponents of anti-Semitism. And it’s also wrong and stupid for supporters of the Palestinians to give them a plausible reason for doing so. Zionists will always accuse critics of Israel of “singling out Israel.” That’s almost always a specious argument. But claiming that the Israel Lobby has the power and control to determine USFP against “American interests” in the ME (as Weir does), and to assume by omission that “American interests” represent the majority rather than elites, is a double bad move. It creates nothing but distraction and confusion. Cut to the chase. The power of the Israel Lobby has been to align itself with and contribute to shaping elite interests in this country; to create a win-win for Israeli and American elites. It’s been effective at doing that within the limits imposed by general capitalist elite interests in the ME and around the world, including the Iran deal. Practically every major lobby undermines the interests of the majority, the public interest. The Israel Lobby is no different. To single out the Israel Lobby as somehow uniquely subversive of the public interest, no less in a global sense, is to just hand Zionists a big juicy case for anti-Semitism, however cynical they are in exploiting it. Once you blame any group of people called Jews for the destructive nature of USFP, you’ve lost credibility, and for good reason, even if that’s unfair to sincere intentions to defend Palestinian rights.

      • echinococcus
        January 4, 2016, 11:51 pm

        OK Annie, can’t you use your pull in there to put a goddam reply button under each post, just like any other site? Sorry for the confusion but I plead entrapment.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 12:35 am

        lol, i will put in a good word for a reply buttom. but write [email protected] and bug him yourself, it might work better. i had another fish to fry right now. no worries tho!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 1:53 am

        david, But claiming that the Israel Lobby has the power and control to determine USFP against “American interests” in the ME (as Weir does)…. is a double bad move.

        i can’t argue the claims for or against weir because i am not an expert on her writing. nor was this articulated in the formal complaint against her, as i recall (lots of stuff about a radio station in 09 and white supremacists).

        and to assume by omission that “American interests” represent the majority rather than elites, is a double bad move.

        i believe the term used was “the ruling class” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruling_class

        A ruling class is the social class of a given society that decides upon and sets that society’s political agenda by mandating that there is one such particular class in the given society, and then appointing itself as that class.
        The sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962), argued that the ruling class differs from the power elite. The latter simply refers to the small group of people with the most political power. Many of them are politicians, hired political managers, and military leaders. A common term used to refer to people who directly influence politics, education, and government with the use of wealth or power is the ruling class.[2] In terms of Marxism the “ruling class” is typically seen as the Bourgeoisie.

        Bourgeoisie is french for middle class.
        .. and to me that’s american interests. but speaking of elites, read this and tell me how this is somehow not heavily embedded with zionists, some by their own admission bend over backwards for israel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elite#Power_.C3.A9lites

        read it slowly and try tell me this class isn’t brimming over with .. zionists of the jewish persuasion. you can’t separate the lobby from the elite when the lobby is deeply embedded in the elite (and the ruling class – Bourgeoisie for that matter).

        Practically every major lobby undermines the interests of the majority, the public interest. The Israel Lobby is no different. To single out the Israel Lobby as somehow uniquely subversive of the public interest, no less in a global sense, is to just hand Zionists a big juicy case for anti-Semitism, however cynical they are in exploiting it. Once you blame any group of people called Jews for the destructive nature of USFP, you’ve lost credibility, and for good reason, even if that’s unfair to sincere intentions to defend Palestinian rights.

        i totally agree with you that “Practically every major lobby undermines the interests of the majority, the public interest.” but, Practically every major lobby, aside from the israel lobby and the weapons industry lobbies (whoever they are), is not involved with foreign policy. iow, the NRA, AMA, IAI, PhRMA, etc, are not involved w/foreign policy. and since something like a HUGE % of our fed funds go towards foreign policy .. people whose focus is on foreign policy, would be UNWISE not to focus on ..you guessed it >> the largest and most powerful foreign interest lobby, the israel lobby. or maybe you have not heard 60% of the funding going into the dem party is from… where? our elections coming up.. hello. israel matters, which is why our politicians keep mentioning them, or haven;t you heard. and we’re supposed to shut up about it? i don’t think so. lots of people think OUR FP is “uniquely subversive of the public interest”. iow: war. read this (SLOWLY) and then tell me to stay away from “plausible” (your word), which is only designed to shut us up : http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/semitic-israel-lobby

        if you can’t stand the heat get out of the fire. this is not a blog on big pharma. but if that were my focus, pharmaceutical or health care, you better believe i would be going after them, the lobby, and no one would accuse me of bigotry for it either.

      • talknic
        January 5, 2016, 3:13 am

        @ echinococcus ” …. reply button under each post, just like any other site”

        at least one or two more levels.

        But no
        more,
        other
        -wise
        comm
        -ents
        could
        look
        like
        this!
        :-)

      • RoHa
        January 5, 2016, 7:09 am

        That
        ‘s
        what
        they
        look
        like
        any-
        way
        .

      • David Green
        January 5, 2016, 11:08 am

        Annie: “i totally agree with you that “Practically every major lobby undermines the interests of the majority, the public interest.” but, Practically every major lobby, aside from the israel lobby and the weapons industry lobbies (whoever they are), is not involved with foreign policy. iow, the NRA, AMA, IAI, PhRMA, etc, are not involved w/foreign policy. and since something like a HUGE % of our fed funds go towards foreign policy .. people whose focus is on foreign policy, would be UNWISE not to focus on ..you guessed it >> the largest and most powerful foreign interest lobby, the israel lobby. or maybe you have not heard 60% of the funding going into the dem party is from… where? our elections coming up.. hello. israel matters, which is why our politicians keep mentioning them, or haven;t you heard. and we’re supposed to shut up about it? i don’t think so. lots of people think OUR FP is “uniquely subversive of the public interest”. iow: war. read this (SLOWLY) and then tell me to stay away from “plausible” (your word), which is only designed to shut us up.”

        Annie, you’re welcome to explore the influence of the IL and its relationship to USFP. There’s lots of educating to be done in response to hasbara and its influence in the media, education, etc. But attributing USFP to the IL is like attributing capitalism to Big Pharma or Big Oil. It doesn’t help to understand USFP or capitalism/neoliberalism, or the relationships at a larger level. You’re confusing the fundamental structure with the players involved in perpetuating that structure. And it gets back to Dennis Ross’s complaint about Obama’s plight. Obama achieved power by agreeing to perpetuate the structure, generally and specifically. That’s why Gaza is not the “price to pay”; it’s just business as usual.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 11:59 am

        Obama achieved power by agreeing to perpetuate the structure, generally and specifically. That’s why Gaza is not the “price to pay”; it’s just business as usual.

        when achieving a position of power by agreeing to perpetuate a specific structure, there’s a price to be paid for that. that price entails not always doing and saying things things the way you want. ie, while a sec of state might sarcastically remark “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation” off the record, it would be unacceptable to say it in a news broadcast. that’s just business as usual, but it’s also the price you pay for agreeing to perpetuate a general (or specific structure).

        some people, may perceive compliance with that agreement as being a “victim” of the system (your word not mine nor the authors). others, a tool, a cog in the wheel, whatever, it’s business as usual and will remain so until the structure is broken.

        btw, i don’t think america’s agreement to provide israel w/a qualitative military edge is normal or healthy. there’s no need to have a binding agreement to always secure a foreign state. if it’s in your interest you can just do it, or not.

      • echinococcus
        January 5, 2016, 1:01 pm

        Than
        ks for the
        first laugh of
        a horrible day. Ther
        e is no need, really, to ind
        ent each response, in fact ma
        ny sites gr
        oup resp
        onses
        to the same p
        ost at the same level.

      • David Green
        January 5, 2016, 1:48 pm

        Annie, victim (or victim of circumstance) is the word I used to describe what is implied about Obama’s acquiescence to Protective Edge, etc. It’s important to stress that he has exhibited a certain enthusiasm about “killing people” in reference to the drone war. So no, he gained power by fully signing on to the neoliberal/imperial agenda. That gives us a better place to begin to understand his de facto support for the occupation, siege, arms shipments, etc. The Lobby didn’t force him into any of that. By the same token, the threat of severe backlash from the Lobby does not explain his unwillingness to pursue a just settlement. All of that makes him no different than any other President, including Carter.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 3:27 pm

        everyone here is already well aware of your perceptions wrt to the victimhood meme.

        The Lobby didn’t force him into any of that.

        right, nobody forces anyone. and all our congresscritters sucking donkey cock just like giving head cuz it tastes so awesome.

        bye, i’m done here.

      • David Green
        January 5, 2016, 5:29 pm

        Annie: “btw, i don’t think america’s agreement to provide israel w/a qualitative military edge is normal or healthy. there’s no need to have a binding agreement to always secure a foreign state. if it’s in your interest you can just do it, or not.”

        Annie, it’s obviously “normal” in the context of US hegemony in the oil-rich ME, and has been since 1967. But while you’re at it, you might want to wish for the IDF to turn into the Sugar Plum Fairy.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 6:55 pm

        you can fandangle the “context” however you want david to make it fit your theory. it also might be normal for my neighbor to continue beating his wife 5 times a day well into the future since he’s been doing it for the last 20 years. that doesn’t make it normal behavior.

        like i said, there’s no need to have a binding agreement to always secure a foreign state. if it’s in your interest you can just do it, or not. and no amount of diverting sugar plum fairy jokes will make that go away.

      • David Green
        January 7, 2016, 1:58 pm

        Annie: “there’s no need to have a binding agreement to always secure a foreign state. if it’s in your interest you can just do it, or not. and no amount of diverting sugar plum fairy jokes will make that go away.”

        So the questions becomes, why do we have a binding agreement with Israel. The answer lies in US strategy in the ME, to control its energy resources. So there is a reason. And no amount of fantasizing about USFP turning into Gandhi will make that go away.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 7, 2016, 11:24 pm

        So the questions becomes, why do we have a binding agreement with Israel. The answer lies in US strategy in the ME, to control its energy resources. So there is a reason.

        sorry, i do not view israel, strategically, as an asset for america in securing ME oil. we do agree on this one thing, there is a reason. but until someone can explain to me how israel provides something to the US that we couldn’t get elsewhere, or that we couldn’t live without or that balances the disadvantage of having israel as our ally, then i’m of a mind that israel is not a good strategic ally in the ME, not for oil or for any thing else.

        strategically, even iran would be a better ally than israel. at least with SA, which is another crappy ally, they actually provide oil. UAE would also be a better ally. what is the purpose of allying ourself with such a headache as israel. we might as well just place a target on our backs. oh, we have!

      • David Green
        January 8, 2016, 10:12 am

        Annie: “sorry, i do not view israel, strategically, as an asset for america in securing ME oil. ”

        Then you might like to have a plan for convincing American elites to agree with you. Why don’t you explain it to them.

        In this case, American elites know much better than you what butters the bread of global capitalism. Our job is to challenge them, and Israel–not the Lobby. The Lobby didn’t invent the fact that Israel is a strategic asset. It just exploits that.

      • RoHa
        January 8, 2016, 6:56 pm

        Do I detect a hint of petitio principii here? My paraphrasing comes out like this.

        DG: The American elite support Israel because it is a strategic asset for controlling oil.

        AR: I can’t see how Israel is a strategic asset for controlling oil.

        DG: Ask the elite. They know better than you, and they wouldn’t support Israel if it weren’t a strategic asset for controlling oil.

        Perhaps I have misunderstood something about the argument.
        However, I see assumption that the elite are infallible, or, at least, unlikely to be wrong about Israel, in their beliefs about what is good for capitalism. This seems to be a questionable assumption.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 8, 2016, 7:43 pm

        RoHa, it’s totally circular, i hear it like this:

        Anakin Skywalker: there’s no need to have a binding agreement to always secure a foreign state.

        Obi-Wan Kenobi: the questions becomes, why do we have a binding agreement with Israel.

        Anakin Skywalker: because we’re idiots?

        Obi-Wan Kenobi: The answer lies in US strategy in the ME, to control its energy resources.

        Anakin Skywalker: i do not view israel, strategically, as an asset for america in securing ME oil.

        Obi-Wan Kenobi: i know much better than you. the fact is Israel is a strategic asset. challenge them, and Israel–not the Lobby.

        Anakin Skywalker: but Israel is represented by the Lobby so why not attack it?

        Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Lobby exploits the fact Israel is a strategic asset.

        Anakin Skywalker: i do not view israel as a strategic asset. The Lobby exploits the myth Israel is a strategic asset.

        Obi-Wan Kenobi: i know much better than you. the fact is Israel is a strategic asset. challenge them, and Israel–not the Lobby. the questions becomes, why do we have a binding agreement with Israel.

        (Anakin Skywalker attacks the lobby)

        Obi-Wan Kenobi: Attack those federation starships, quickly – not the Lobby

        Anakin Skywalker: Sorry, Master. I forgot you don’t like flying.

        Obi-Wan Kenobi: I don’t mind flying, but what you’re doing is suicide!

      • RoHa
        January 8, 2016, 7:54 pm

        Annie, I think the main point is that he, and the elite, and probably everyone else, knows better than you.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 8, 2016, 8:01 pm

        he thinks he’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. he thinks repeating ‘Israel is a strategic asset, do not challenge the Lobby’ over and over is an argument. it’s not.

      • David Green
        January 9, 2016, 2:27 pm

        Noam Chomsky:

        When we do investigate (1), we find that US policies in the ME are quite similar to those pursued elsewhere in the world, and have been a remarkable success, in the face of many difficulties: 60 years is a long time for planning success. It’s true that Bush II has weakened the US position, not only in the ME, but that’s an entirely separate matter.

        That leads to (2). As noted, the US-Israeli alliance was firmed up precisely when Israel performed a huge service to the US-Saudis-Energy corporations by smashing secular Arab nationalism, which threatened to divert resources to domestic needs. That’s also when the Lobby takes off (apart from the Christian evangelical component, by far the most numerous and arguably the most influential part, but that’s mostly the 90s). And it’s also when the intellectual-political class began their love affair with Israel, previously of little interest to them. They are a very influential part of the Lobby because of their role in media, scholarship, etc. From that point on it’s hard to distinguish “national interest” (in the usual perverse sense of the phrase) from the effects of the Lobby. I’ve run through the record of Israeli services to the US, to the present, elsewhere, and won’t review it again here.

        https://chomsky.info/20060328/

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2016, 4:25 pm

        it’s hard to distinguish “national interest” (in the usual perverse sense of the phrase) from the effects of the Lobby.

        and yet it’s ok to target “national interest” but leave the lobby alone? that really doesn’t make any sense. of course, unlike green, chomsky isn’t obsessively ‘hands off lobby’.

      • echinococcus
        January 9, 2016, 3:36 pm

        Green,

        Do you really think people here are not familiar with Chomsky? Or are you thinking that quoting The Wise One will make knees shake and heretics convert forthwith?

      • David Green
        January 9, 2016, 5:21 pm

        Annie: “and yet it’s ok to target “national interest” but leave the lobby alone?”

        Point is, when you’re only targeting the lobby, and blaming USFP on Israel and Jews, you’re not really targeting the perversity of “national interest.” You’re accepting that somehow “national interest” would be authentic and pure, if not for Jews. I think that Mearsheimer/Walt/Freeman etc.’s track record is pretty clear on that. They don’t question the essential virtue and purity of USFP, US right to rule the world. Maybe you do question that, but you and Kahleeen and Echinococcus have a strange way of showing it.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2016, 7:48 pm

        but you fail to realize i am not responsible to satisfy your requirements for my activism, there’s no way i accept US “national interest” are authentic and pure. so no amount of claiming i do makes it so. this is just a myth you’re perpetuating:

        You’re accepting that somehow “national interest” would be authentic and pure

        and it’s a lie.

        and no matter how much you claim Mearsheimer/Walt and Freeman’s track record is “clear” you’ve refused to provide any text/quotes by any of them to support your (earlier) claim they support a US global empire. i get what your point is, i just do not agree with you.

        and the audacity to tell me to go do my homework and that you’re not required to do it for me (ie: to back up your smears), to validate your point i don’t agree with, is amusing and nutty.

        it seriously appears as tho you’re more interested in targeting me than either israel, the lobby, or “US interests”. you seem a tad obsessed. does it occur to you that you’re making a bit of a fool of yourself? or are you just a glutton for punishment?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2016, 8:10 pm

        another thing david, by your standard of logic one could allege someone “clearly” supports the israel lobby because they do not write articles criticizing them. this is not a form of argument i think has any merit.

        why not just start your own blog and fight the empire how you think is best instead of trying to change mondoweiss or phil or me. we won’t be changing to satisfy you, to bring the site up to your standards — not that i know of anyway.

        and one more thing (AGAIN), it would be a LIE to say i’m “only targeting the lobby, and blaming USFP on Israel and Jew “. here’s an article i wrote about the ME, didn’t mention lobby, Israel and Jew even once:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/own-up-obama

        AGAIN, when i make derogatory claims about individuals i expect to be able to support those claims. however, since i made no claims about them, i don’t have to source claims i never made. so your pathetic fandangled demand to convince you that your claims (about Mearsheimer/Walt/Freeman) are not true then i am supposed to provide you a statement from them to contradict you is a** backwards. do your own homework and backup your accusatory allegations.

        good bye. i’m done defeating you time and again. back up your friggin allegations with something they wrote or said or get off my back. you’re a redundant harping bore.

      • W.Jones
        January 24, 2016, 6:40 am

        Dear David Green,

        You claim:

        <>

        I agree that US globalist interests are imperialist toward the Middle East, but that doesn’t account for everything in the USFP there, does it?

        What is the “interest” of either US elites or the 99% of regular Americans in maintaining the brutal occupation? Even JVP has stated in an previous FAQ that the Occupation is not an American “interest”. (See JVP Portland website).

        And yet in practice the USFP has come to effectively support the occupation, allowing tax write offs for gifts to illegal settlements, etc.

        This does not make sense for our country to do, David, whether one uses an anti-imperalist viewpoint or not. Weir brings something to the table on this issue, and indeed it’s a point that Phil Weiss himself occasionally discusses.

    • rugal_b
      January 5, 2016, 5:36 am

      Annie – read it slowly and try tell me this class isn’t brimming over with .. zionists of the jewish persuasion

      I have read the wiki article, and it didn’t really change my opinion on the current and past political dynamics of the USA. However, before I rebuke your point (s), can I just clarify the above statement with you…

      Are you saying, Jews, more specifically Zionist Jews, dominate the ruling class of United State of America, as of 2016? Not white, Christian Anglo-Saxons?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 5:54 pm

        rugal, Are you saying, Jews, more specifically Zionist Jews, dominate the ruling class of United State of America, as of 2016? Not white, Christian Anglo-Saxons?

        let’s review my words first before i answer your question:

        you can’t separate the lobby from the elite when the lobby is deeply embedded in the elite (and the ruling class – Bourgeoisie for that matter).

        and here is the elite, as per wiki that i linked to earlier:

        In political and sociological theory, an elite is a small group of powerful people, such as an oligarchy, that controls a disproportionate amount of wealth or political power in society. This group holds a superior position among the ordinary people and exercises greater privilege than the rest of the population.

        ….Insofar as national events are decided, the power elite are those who decide them”.[1] Mills states that the power elite members recognize other members’ mutual exalted position in society.[2] “As a rule, ‘[t]hey accept one another, understand one another, marry one another, tend to work and to think, if not together at least alike’.”[3][4] “It is a well-regulated existence where education plays a critical role. Youthful upper-class members attend prominent preparatory schools, which not only open doors to such elite universities as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton but also to the universities’ highly exclusive clubs. These memberships in turn pave the way to the prominent social clubs located in all major cities and serving as sites for important business contacts”.[5][6] The men who receive the education necessary for elitist privilege obtain the background and contacts that allow them to enter three branches of the power elite

        my focus on mentioning the elite was in response to green who brought them up time and again, in the context of his argument:

        The power of the Israel Lobby has been to align itself with and contribute to shaping elite interests in this country; to create a win-win for Israeli and American elites. It’s been effective at doing that within the limits imposed by general capitalist elite interests in the ME and around the world, including the Iran deal.

        the framing here makes it seem (to me) as tho the lobby and the elite are somehow separate entities, when in reality, i do not believe that is the case, at all. i used the word “embedded” vs “aligned with” . iow, there are instances of no separation because they are merged (in my mind) and notice this:

        Of course it is, because it’s simply not true. If you choose to ignore the long rich history of US WASP elite USFP

        ah, the long rich history of the US WASP elite. i see, so the elite is … primarily … wasp? regardless of a whatever ‘long history’ we’ve had. you asked about 2016. the elite of 2016 is not a “wasp elite”, it includes jews, obviously. i would not consider or reference a “wasp top 1%” when referencing the top 1% of the country, because everyone knows it isn’t. jews are well represented in the top 1%. very well represented i am certain.

        thanks for wading through all that! and to answer your question, am i saying Jews, more specifically Zionist Jews, dominate the ruling class of United State of America, as of 2016? Not white, Christian Anglo-Saxons? no, you’d be entirely missing my point if you thought that’s what i said. my point, is that the lobby is not merely aligning itself with an elite, they are active members of the elite (not all lobby members of course, in any given lobby). and when it comes to foreign policy those active members play their part, they are not in the back seat. they are right in the front row. just like members of the other powerful lobbies are part of the elite, they are not just aligning themselves with elite interests. they represent elite interests. and that would be the case for most radically wealthy people in this country, the billionaires and things like that. they don’t just “align” themselves with powerful people, they are the powerful people.

        that said, i don’t know how many of them are jewish or zionist. i don’t really know any of the elite, nor have i attended any of exclusive powpows. but my hunch is they certainly are not a small percentage and when it comes to all things israel they know how to apply pressure, right from the top.

      • rugal_b
        January 6, 2016, 10:06 am

        Annie – [quote] “that the lobby is not merely aligning itself with an elite, they are active members of the elite (not all lobby members of course, in any given lobby). and when it comes to foreign policy those active members play their part, they are not in the back seat. they are right in the front row. just like members of the other powerful lobbies are part of the elite, they are not just aligning themselves with elite interests. they represent elite interests” [/quote]

        The above is an excerpt of your earlier comment, that I wish to place special emphasis on as part of my reply. However, before that let me address your earlier points about the elites and ruling class of the nation. You split these two terms up into different definitions, which for me is redundant. An elite is a generic term for anyone who is far more privileged than the average person within the community he is a part of, for whatever reasons. Anyone who belong in the ruling class are therefore by definition, elites because they are given the highest form of privilege, which is the power of authority over those they rule.

        The three primary means to join the ruling class of the state is to have control of the economy, the politics, and the military. Political control may or may not include religion, which in certain circumstances can be a primary mean by itself. I really don’t want to write a thesis here, but I believe this should be straightforward enough to preface my upcoming point. Since the establishment of the Union, all three of the above means have been dominated by white, Christian Anglo-Saxon males. While the specific groups of people within the ruling class change frequently from family to family and party to party, the overall core component of the class has largely stayed the same, with access being passed down through each generation.

        And as it is anywhere, no group of people will willingly share or relinquish any amount of power without being forced to do so. One of such forces is demographic change, with growing American population that falls outside of the WASC or WASP denomination. Long story short, to maintain their positions in the ruling class, these people had to expand the membership of the class to other groups that are willing to assimilate into theirs, and pay fealty to the same values and ideology that they espouse or face the risk of being forced out of the class, by this fast-growing group(s). Among them are the Irish, the Italians, the Scandinavians and other groups originating from Europe.

        Jewish Americans, however have a unique history with regards to their interactions with the ruling class. Some definitely took up the offer to join and shed most of the Jewish identity while doing so, but most ended up with this peculiar dual identity of being Jews and also being honorary WASCs. When they were in Europe, they were the primary ‘others’, the decidedly non-Europeans in European society. But in America, they are far more European compared to the native Americans, the blacks and the Asians. This meant they had an easier time assimilating in the existing power structure, headed by the white Anglo-Saxon males, but only compared to those other non-European groups. On the opposite end of the spectrum, they were also Jews who simply didn’t care to assimilate, and tried to maintain their Jewish identity and community as much as possible, through religious and secular forms.

        Now, coming back to the above quoted statement of yours. Are there Jews in powerful positions, sitting on the same table along with the most powerful white men and women of the country, drawing their picture of what America should look like? No doubt they definitely are up there. But the table is far too big, for any group making up less than 2% of the American population to even come close to dominate it. It is simply absurd to even contemplate such an arrangement, unless American Jews are indeed genetically superior beings like most philo-racists identify them as.

        In addition, let me ask you this : If the elite Jews are able to sit in the same table with the elite whites and other non-Jews in the ruling class, collaborating and cooperating in earnest to reach their common interests, can they even be primarily identified as Jews anymore as opposed to other labels that more precisely identify their political, religious and cultural leanings?

        Wouldn’t they be ‘those in the ruling class who just happen to also be Jewish’, not Jews in the ruling class?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 10:22 am

        it wasn’t me who split up these two terms.

        ruling class: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruling_class
        power elite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elite#Power_.C3.A9lites

        your theory, that the power structure in america is historically (and essentially apparently) white anglo-saxon therefore any jew who is part of the power structure shouldn’t be identified as jewish, or something like that (“just happen to be jewish” — because “access being passed down through each generation” is just a christian anglo saxon thing), is silly/wacky, nutty. anyway, i’m sort of over answering questions.

    • rugal_b
      January 7, 2016, 10:05 am

      Annie, I do not blame you for finding my previous comment on the evolution of the WASP/C ruling class whacky. After all, to summarize the syllabus of several semesters worth of political science lectures into one short comment is pretty whacky indeed.

      Regardless, here are some supporting bibliography for my comment.

      i. THE RISE AND FALL OF ANGLO-AMERICA by Eric P. KAUFMANN describes in detail the formation of the ruling class, motivations behind it and plots the evolution of the WASP identity to a more inclusive, white sociopolitical group within the American context in detail. It includes the progressive widening of the boundary of the group as a reaction to the large-scale immigration of non-Anglo, Christian, Europeans into America post 1900’s.

      ii. This article in the WSJ also covers the evolution of the WASP identity reasonably well considering it’s short length.

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304367204579268301043949952

      iii. The link (s) below shows the continued dominance of the white sociopolitical group in the US economy, with 90% of the directors of Fortune 500 firms hailing from the group as of 2010. White males specifically make up 75% of the executive positions while making up only 34% of the general population. In total, they generate aprox. $12 trillion in revenue and control assets worth in excess of $17 trillion. This is during a period where the white sociocultural group is seen as declining in economic power.

      http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/diversity_among_ceos.html

      http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/10/22/2816041/white-men-ceos/

      http://fortune.com/fortune500/

      iv. The political domination of the white male sociopolitical group in macro and micro-scale of the American political landscape is also widely researched and documented. One damning statistic states that even though they make up only 37% of the population, white males occupy an astonishing 90% of all elected offices in the US as of 2014. The micro-scale domination uses the Ferguson case study to show how even in town with majority black population, the elected officials are overwhelmingly white.

      They are presented in the series of articles listed below :

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/10/08/65-percent-of-all-american-elected-officials-are-white-men/

      http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/10/10/3578399/survey-finds-white-men-have-eight-times-as-much-political-power-as-women-of-color/

      http://www.colorlines.com/articles/infographic-shows-white-mens-outsized-hold-us-elected-offices

      http://wholeads.us/

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/08/14/ferguson_missouri_government_why_is_it_so_white.html

      As for the role of Jewish Americans in all of these, here are some articles to support my previous whacky assertions. They basically present how Jews, once they became a noticeable sector in the overall American population, split into three distinct groups. The first who rejected most of their Jewish cultural and religious identity in order to assimilate into the preexisting power structure, the second who maintained close relationships to the insular Jewish communities, and lastly those who balanced themselves in between total assimilation, and complete insulation.

      https://academic.udayton.edu/race/01race/white14.htm

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/09/22/jews-in-america-struggled-for-generations-to-become-white-now-we-must-give-up-that-privilege-to-fight-racism/

      http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2013/10/american_jews_embrace_your_secular_intermarried_selves.html

      The Price of Whiteness:Jews, Race, and American Identity by Eric L. Goldstein

      • Annie Robbins
        January 7, 2016, 11:56 pm

        hi rugal, while i get your obsession with wasps, i don’t share it. hence, i won’t be opening all your many links nor was i expecting to get into a tutorial about wasps (which btw, is a derogatory term). you also started out asking about United State of America, as of 2016, so why are you giving me a history lesson on wasps in america? i am not a wasp, nor was i raised in a wasp family.

        In addition, let me ask you this : If the elite wasps are able to sit in the same table with elite jews and the other rich people who made it to the table in the power elite, collaborating and cooperating in earnest to reach their common interests, can they even be primarily identified as wasps anymore as opposed to other labels that more precisely identify their political, religious and cultural leanings?

        Wouldn’t they be ‘those in the ruling class who just happen to also be white’, not wasps in the ruling class?

        that’s actually a trick question.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 8, 2016, 12:29 am

        As for the role of Jewish Americans in all of these, here are some articles to support my previous whacky assertions.

        i’m not sure the majority of americans share the ‘american jews are people of color’ theory. including the people writing some of your source articles. for example, your think progress link:

        In The Guardian’s new list of America’s top-paid CEOs, all are white and male. Mark Zuckerberg, creator and CEO of Facebook, tops the list with a base salary of $503,205, $1.2 million in perks, and $2.3 billion in profits from the company’s recent IPO.

        and your first link (iii), only mentions jews in the opening paragraph, in all the categories of demographics they are not included (as jews), just as white men. so i think your philosophy is a little off and may need some adjustment.

    • rugal_b
      January 10, 2016, 2:43 am

      Annie

      – ” so why are you giving me a history lesson on wasps in america? i am not a wasp, nor was i raised in a wasp family. ” –

      It wasn’t directed at you, specifically or any other individuals. It is for the enlightenment of all who happen to read it. The intention is to force you (the reader) to reexamine the current and past power dynamics of the nation, and its consequences on the general population within the US, and also globally.

      WASP is an obsolete sociopolitical term, and has been superseded with just “W”, or white as documented by Kaufman’s book. It’s importance lies in the fact that it was the base identity from which the current dominant hegemony rose from. If you don’t know and understand the past,you cannot plan for the future. One which grants equal opportunity and privilege to all Americans. After all, this is the ultimate goal for left-wing activists like yourself, right?

      In 2016, we have a specific group that makes up 34% of the population with overwhelming control of the nation’s politics and economy, leaving the rest of the population disenfranchised and fighting for scraps. This is not sustainable nor a fair and just system by any means. In comparison, the relative success of American Jews in lobbying a few laws or having above average wealth is almost a non-story. People who think Jews or Zionists are the source of problem of the nation are genuinely clueless on the state of affairs and as such, presents themselves more of a problem than a solution to the domestic and global mess we have at the moment.

      Here is another brief but well-written article to further backup my point (s).

      http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2009/03/08/white-men-as-the-problem/

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2016, 3:10 am

        The intention is to force you

        good luck w/that.

        WASP is an obsolete sociopolitical term, and has been superseded with just “W”, or white

        you mean the way Kike is an obsolete sociopolitical term, and has been superseded with just “J”, or jew? and just in case you don’t know it, there are a lot of white people in this country who are not, nor have ever been wasps. all of them are afforded white privilege — including almost all american jews.

        as documented by Kaufman’s book.

        you mean as perpetuated by Kaufman’s book? sounds so racist loverly.

        i gotta go, have moderation to do. and on the bright side that’s as far as i got on your comment. considerate a free pass for the remainer and a “WARNING” for other readers, the last 2/3 of the comment have been cleared for moderation without review.

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2016, 1:19 pm

        “” Starting in this new year of 5776, we must teach our children that we are, in fact, [b]not white[/b], but simply Jewish.”

        What a great system “rugal b”! I love it! It won’t piss off the whites, we don’t presume on them, and being “simply Jewish” is still a whole hell of a lot better than being, well, ‘simply Arab’, when it’s all said and done, huh?

    • rugal_b
      January 10, 2016, 3:17 am

      Annie

      – i’m not sure the majority of americans share the ‘american jews are people of color’ theory. –

      I am not aware of such theories, but can understand the reasoning behind it if such theories exist. People of color is a term developed from the predominant social system that collectively made all communities that physically and culturally fell outside of the standard white, Christian European framework, the “other”.

      It was a term created to claim back the dignity, the pride and self-worth of the people from the system that refused. The “othering” was also done towards American Jews as well, but at a lesser extent compared to blacks, or Mexicans. Consequently, it is a perfectly reasonable political stance for American Jews to take, by co-opting with the POC label, as a way to voice their rejection of the prevailing system.

      You’d be surprised that there are now many physically white individuals, with European heritage also supporting this movement and wishing to be part of it, as a way to claim back their unique identities as atheist Swiss-Americans, pagan Celt-Americans, Swedish-Americans etc etc from a system that erases their rich history, traditions,language, culture and religion by simply lumping them all as “White”.

      Also, here are some quotes from the WaPo article with regards to the position of Jews in the current American social arrangement:

      ” Starting in this new year of 5776, we must teach our children that we are, in fact, [b]not white[/b], but simply Jewish.”

      “Our own children and grandchildren, raised as white American children of privilege, have completely forgotten who built their place in society, or why their well-meaning ancestors so passionately endeavored to build it”

      ” And the truth is, we have never belonged to one race alone. The Torah tells us that we left Egypt with the “erev rav,” with a mixed multitude of peoples. Around the world there are Jews of color, Asian Jews, Jews of all kinds. The idea that Jews are white is not only ridiculous, it’s offensive to who we really are!”

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2016, 3:43 am

        Consequently, it is a perfectly reasonable political stance for American Jews to take, by co-opting with the POC label, as a way to voice their rejection of the prevailing system.

        or as a way to portray them selves are oppressed, which they are not.

        You might think I’m not being entirely fair. Yes, most of us and our children are a part of white America now. But we know plenty of young Jewish Americans who are very proudly Jewish. Many are devoted to Israel, devoted to good causes; they fight racism and other injustices. But if we are going to take our American-ness and our Jewishness seriously, we must own all the ways that we have benefited from and continue to benefit from the worst elements of American racist culture.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/09/22/jews-in-america-struggled-for-generations-to-become-white-now-we-must-give-up-that-privilege-to-fight-racism/

        and yet he said nothing of the culture of slavery in america as it pertains to jews. perhaps he wasn’t aware of the negative contributions jews made to that culture.

        Our people have been known by many names over the centuries….We are to be the ones who struggle with ultimate issues of life, of values, of justice.

        certainly not exclusively. people who “struggle with ultimate issues of life, of values, of justice.” come in all colors (including white). and people who blow off issues of life, of values, of justice are as likely to be jews as anyone else.

    • rugal_b
      January 10, 2016, 5:17 am

      “yet he said nothing of the culture of slavery in america as it pertains to jews. perhaps he wasn’t aware of the negative contributions jews made to that culture. ”

      Uhhh that escalated way too quick. How on Earth did we end up associating American slavery on the Jews lol. A few sources to back up your claim would be appreciated.

      I agree with many of your views, but at the same time, why are you disagreeing with mine which are along the same plane of thought as yours?

      Jews, especially visibly white Jews are a privileged group in the US, as a result of the white supremacist social system that is in place. I despise Jews who claim oppression and try to co-opt the struggle of truly oppressed blacks and Muslims for ulterior, self-serving reasons. Then again, I despise all people acting in the same manner, including those annoying right-wing Christians claiming their religion is under attack, or liberals with white-guilt trying to force solidarity with marginalized groups to make them feel better about themselves.

      “you mean as perpetuated by Kaufman’s book? sounds so racist loverly. ”

      I’m sorry but I honestly think the book is really good in its scope and detailed coverage of the subject. Kaufmann (https://twitter.com/epkaufm) is an esteemed professor in politics, so it is unlikely he used the WASP term in any sort of racist or derogatory manner. Plus, I believe the most correct definition of racism is prejudice+power (https://www.andover.edu/About/Newsroom/TheMagazine/Documents/8-PedOfRacismSWJournal.pdf).

      WASPs occupied the uppermost level of American power structure, therefore it is impossible for anyone to be racist towards them.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2016, 8:47 am

        what disagreement are you referencing?

  15. David Green
    January 4, 2016, 6:02 pm

    Annie wrote: “the lobby exists (like all lobbies exist) because without them the public interest would prevail.” Yikes. That truly is an unbelievably naïve statement. Which lobby got us into Vietnam?

    • Annie Robbins
      January 4, 2016, 6:35 pm

      Which lobby got us into Vietnam?

      probably the arms industry’s, although this is not an area of my expertise. i’ll amend that statement to say “like all powerful lobbies” like drugs, guns, weapons, insurance etc. powerful lobbies do not exist unless there is strong public pressure against their interests. there would be no need for them if the public was behind them en mass or if what they advocated was popular and good for the majority of americans without their efforts.

      • David Green
        January 4, 2016, 7:55 pm

        “lobbies do not exist unless there is strong public pressure against their interests.” That may be sometimes true at a very trivial level. On the other hand, lobbies emerge from basic economic interests whatever the public interest, which hardly has an institution to define that public interest and advocate for it. And again, there was no lobby to get us into Vietnam. It was institutionalized into Cold War politics and ideology. And as Chomsky correctly argues, there was no lobby to explain to the ruling class that Israel aided U.S. global hegemony and control over oil an enormous service by smashing Nasser’s Egypt in 1967.

        When lobbies do exist, they more often reflect larger elite class interests which may jostle with each other, but support capitalism as we know and love it. The Israel Lobby has done nothing to challenge that, and indeed supports ruling class interests, and thus it has thrived. But again, it does not control USFP, as Iran shows. Instead, it aids and abets the basic elite interests reflected in USFP. Otherwise, elites wouldn’t allow it to prosper, as they will continue to do post Iran deal.

        We shouldn’t allow the despicable behavior of Israel and Zionists to distort our understanding of the context in which this behavior takes place–domestically, internationally, or economically.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 11:46 pm

        just saw this comment, sorry to respond so late

        When lobbies do exist, they more often reflect larger elite class interests which may jostle with each other, but support capitalism as we know and love it. The Israel Lobby has done nothing to challenge that, and indeed supports ruling class interests, and thus it has thrived. But again, it does not control USFP, as Iran shows. Instead, it aids and abets the basic elite interests reflected in USFP.

        i think you have a (or some) fundamental misconception spelled out in this passage.

        The “larger elite class” you referenced, includes people who lobby (and fund lobbies) for israel (big duh) and who have israel as their first (primary) interest. that can also be said of other lobbies of the elite class (ie; insurance lobby has active members embedded in the power elite)– after all the elites run corporations and are among all the highest positions in society. and yes, those elites jostle with eachother — probably make tradeoffs/quid pro quos all the time. and i agree with you the IL doesn’t challenge that, for the very logical reason that entities don’t generally challenge themselves. that should be self evident. your entire theory seems dependent on the idea the IL is an outsider of the elite and the “power elite”, it isn’t. it’s deeply embedded in the american elite and power elite structures and interests. they already have a place at the table for a long time now, including the USFP table especially where israel comes into play. none of those people at the table looking out for israel, is subordinate to other members of the elite at the table although they are competitive with each other as all ambitious powerful people are (it is in their nature or they wouldn’t be where they are). again, of course they would not challenge ‘capitalism as you know and love it’ because they have always been part of the engine driving it — like the rest of the elite class.

        however, they only “indeed supports ruling class” in as far as the ruling class supports them. (there is a difference between ruling class and power elite btw, google is your friend). i do believe the IL thrives in the past because they were supported by the ruling class, but i am not so sure about that today.

        and make no mistake, the power elite absolutely does control USFP, unless the sleeping masses awake. the iran deal didn’t fall in the direction of israel’s interests merely because of a “jostle” within the power elite — at all. it was because of the ruling class, and the masses. same with the challenge over the syria “red line” bombing initiative challenge to congress. when the general populace (including the middle/ruling class) get active they can overpower the elite. it was the exposure afforded to the iran deal and the lobby’s attempts at manipulation that woke the public. the huge howls and screams on social media when schumer broke with the prez was very very instantaneous, obvious and alarming. the calculated move by members of the elite to shove netanyahu in front of congress to challenge the president was one of the stupidest moves i have ever seen. 40 million for propaganda? they could have spent a billion. every penny spent called more attention to that rip off.

        claiming IL “aids and abets the basic elite interests reflected in USFP” assumes IL is outside the elite. everyone aids and abets their own interests. the lobby, being part of the elite, is no different. they are not outsiders wrt the elite, they just take a much more active roll in propagandizing to the ruling and lower classes to conform to their ptv. but to be fooled to think FP lobbies (israel, weapons, war profitters, etc) are merely members of the middle or ruling class,is naive. people controlling powerful lobbies are the elite class and power elite. they are hanging right at the top w/all the other big guys and gals.

        p.s. the image i get imagining your mind, is a boardroom w/a bunch of wasps sitting around the table smoking cigars and lobby jews outside the door trying to align w/them or get their attention. it’s so not like that. they are not just in the room, they are at the table. not as subordinates, they are power players, part of the elite.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2016, 9:04 pm

        “On the other hand, lobbies emerge from basic economic interests whatever the public interest…”

        Ah, Zionism is a “basic economic interest”! Of course it is, I guess, but for who? The US public? I’ll have to wait for him to explain it to me.

      • David Green
        January 5, 2016, 11:35 am

        “Ah, Zionism is a “basic economic interest”! Of course it is, I guess, but for who? The US public? I’ll have to wait for him to explain it to me.”

        Of course there are economic interests involved in support for Israel. They are subordinate to the primary interest of control of ME energy resources. Obviously none of this is in the public interest if that term is taken seriously. Have I ever said otherwise? All I’ve been trying to say is that the Israel Lobby did not invent global capitalism and the US need for hegemony in the ME.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 12:49 pm

        when you say “subordinate to the primary interest of control of ME energy resources”, how so? how do they “subordinate”. because they do not send their army to join coalition forces when the US sends troops over there. can you think of an example of this so called subordination, wrt US control of ME energy resources?

      • David Green
        January 5, 2016, 1:56 pm

        Annie, the Iran deal is about a re-structuring of the control of energy resources in the region, harkening back to the relationship with the Shah. The interests of Israel as perceived by its PM and the IL were subordinate to that. There are also broader geopolitical interests with Iran in relation to Russia/China. Israel’s “interests” are subordinate to those as well. But of course Israel will do just fine out of all this, and the Palestinians will continue to be miserable while MW commenters proclaim victory over the IL LOL.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 3:19 pm

        keep laughing green, you claimed “They (israel) are subordinate to the primary interest of control of ME energy resources.”

        oddly enough i assumed you meant

        1.
        under the authority or control of another within an organization.

        and here’s webster http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subordinate

        Full Definition of subordinate
        1
        : placed in or occupying a lower class, rank, or position : inferior
        2
        : submissive to or controlled by authority
        3
        a : of, relating to, or constituting a clause that functions as a noun, adjective, or adverb
        b : subordinating

        obviously, if israel was “subordinate” their prime minister wouldn’t be actively opposing US interests or US foreign policy decisions w/agents pumping 40 million dollars into a propaganda campaign to destroy it. the fact they accepted the outcome is not evidence of subordination, it’s evidence of losing a battle after a long fight, fair and square. and you’re now changing the goal posts when you claim The interests of Israel as perceived by its PM and the IL were subordinate to that. please! and they are asking for more money to appease them for not getting their way! how’s that for subordination?

        if you beat a prisoner til he’s unconscious on the ground one could also claim he’s subordinant. but if israel were subordinant to the US they would not be spying on us, challenging us left and right. their PM would have to succumb to obama’s 2SS, and at a minimum produce a proposal for the 2 states, they didn’t. in instance after instance israel does not act in a subordinat fashion unless they are forced to, that’s not a friend or an ally, it’s a adversary. so you can laugh your head off, i could care less.

        and the Palestinians will continue to be miserable while MW commenters proclaim victory over the IL LOL.

        little immature digs such as these only tell us more about you, they have nothing to do who we are. and no one here (that i can recall ever) has claimed victory over israel or the lobby. grow up.

    • rugal_b
      January 5, 2016, 12:42 am

      David Green is in the right, as always. Too many people are conveniently diminishing the role of the US hegemony in the current turmoil in Middle East. Israel may have done many bad things to stir the pot, however it cannot in any shape or form, be compared to the actions of the US government past and present. Also, the dominant ideology and social class that is driving the US imperial hegemony has little to do with the Israel lobby. I do support the assertion that placing blame on the lobby primarily, for the unsavory actions of the US state and its allies, is political antisemitism.

      In addition to the already mentioned Vietnam war, what about the ongoing colonization of Guam, Puerto Rico and Hawaii, which is ethically an act of domination and oppression through might. How does the Zionist or Israeli lobby play into this?

      Please don’t say this is a form of whataboutism, because it is not. This is considering the bigger picture and taking into account all sides of the story.

      [quote] lobbies do not exist unless there is strong public pressure against their interests [/quote]

      Yes this is true, however it does not mean lobbying is a negative action, even when it is done to oppose the will of the majority, especially when the lobbyists are members of the minority. It is a legitimate and legal channel to resist the tyranny of the majority and look after one’s own interest which may or may not be in line with the interests of the majority.

      • Mooser
        January 5, 2016, 4:47 pm

        “How does the Zionist or Israeli lobby play into this?”

        Easy there, “rugal” you are taking a step back. Green has already excised the Israel Lobby and Zionism from the discussion, completely, and we are discussing the Us-Israel relationship as just another USFP mission. All of this, you see, disproves the power of the Israel Lobby and Zionism, so why bring it up? Besides, we don’t want to get incipient, do we?

      • David Green
        January 5, 2016, 5:34 pm

        Mooser, you well know that my complaint is with those who inflate the power of the Lobby to control USFP. That’s not excising anything. But I would also say that Norman Finkelstein has been wise to limit discussion of “Zionism” and “Zionists” in these discussions. He’s right to say that the terms have lost most of their meaning in regard to productive discussions about how to resolve the conflict. But without them, where would the MW comments section be?

      • Keith
        January 5, 2016, 7:58 pm

        DAVID GREEN- “Mooser, you well know that my complaint is with those who inflate the power of the Lobby to control USFP.”

        Unfortunately, all of our discussions of “the Lobby” assume we are talking about some well-defined entity which is not the case. Some take a narrow technical definition to only include AIPAC. Others, take a much broader definition to include just about anyone (neocons, Sheldon Adelson, etc) and everything (the MIC?), which would more properly be considered part of the Zionist network of influence. Technically speaking, the power of the official Zionist lobby is overstated, however, the power of the Zionist network of influence is not. I find it difficult to ignore the strong pro Israel bias among the dominant elites who shape imperial policy. I also find it disingenuous to attempt to explain all of this bias as simply an outcome of capitalist profit seeking or purely rational geostrategy. The continued increase of wealth and power of Zionist Jews within the corridors of power is having an impact. The neocons are primarily Jewish Zionists who are exerting a wildly disproportionate influence on imperial policy which, partly because of them, has become aggressive and warlike in the extreme. The world is on fire, the survival of the species in doubt, and pretending that this has nothing whatever to do with Jewish Zionist power seeking is to engage in apologetics. Also, the elites are hardly paragons of cool rationality. The ongoing destruction of the biosphere along with the threat of a nuclear armageddon is a consequence of power lust, not brains. I leave you with a quote which seems to sum up our current foreign policy.

        “If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war… our children will sing great songs about us years from now.” (Michael Ledeen)

      • David Green
        January 5, 2016, 9:57 pm

        So Keith, how do you explain the Iran deal going through?

      • Keith
        January 5, 2016, 11:59 pm

        DAVID GREEN- “So Keith, how do you explain the Iran deal going through?”

        The Iranian deal is a tactical maneuver, nothing more. Iran, Russia and China are still being targeted for geostrategic reasons, as well as Israeli ambitions in the case of Iran. Just because influential Jewish Zionists have a strong pro Israel bias does not mean that they don’t seek to enhance their power within empire. I believe that Israel and Zionism are the organizational glue which enables organized Jewish Zionist internal solidarity (kinship) which greatly facilitates Jewish Zionist power seeking through mutual support. A kind of secular religion which binds them together. As such, they are much more motivated to support Israel for personal reasons than non-Jewish elites. Let me put it this way, the Zionist network of influence is primarily based in the US, not Israel. The dog and the tail are joined together. A quote and link concerning the Iranian “deal.”

        “The Iranian regime has reacted angrily to threats by the Obama administration last week to impose new sanctions targeting individuals and companies connected to its ballistic missile program. The US is accusing Iran of carrying out two ballistic missile tests—in October and November—in breach of a UN Security Council resolution banning Iran’s development of such weapons systems.

        Washington’s threat is particularly provocative as it came just days after Tehran fulfilled a key aspect of the nuclear agreement reached last July between Iran and the P5+1 group that includes the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. A Russian ship left Iran last Monday carrying virtually all country’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium and thus greatly lengthening the time that would be needed to manufacture enough highly enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran has repeatedly denied that it has any plans to build a nuclear weapon.

        In return for the shipment, Iran will receive an equivalent amount of natural uranium from Kazakhstan that has not been enriched. However, Iran’s main payoff for giving up its enriched uranium is meant be the first steps to lifting the punitive sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy, possibly this month. These would include the release of about $100 billion in frozen assets, limitations on the sale of Iranian oil and allowing Iran to operate freely in the world financial system.” (Peter Symonds) http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-threatens-new-sanctions-on-iran/5499283

      • David Green
        January 6, 2016, 10:48 am

        So Keith, do you think that the Zionists subvert “U.S. interests.” And if they promote “U.S. interests” with marginally different tactical and material biases, what’s all the fuss about their influence on this website?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 11:40 am

        what’s all the fuss about their influence on this website?

        oh that’s really rich david green. it was you who came into this comment section and started humping the lobby left and right, or don’t you recall?

        this article is a waste of time, and is symptomatic of the obsessions of MW commenters with distractive perspectives on the Israel Lobby.

        the article is about an important story that WSJ broke, it’s news. if you want to know what the so called “obsession” w/the lobby is on this website go look in the mirror. of course if you come into a comment section and start saying lobby lobby lobby (‘we’re just helping out aligning with what the US would be doing anyway bla bla bla — and forget about how stupid that theory is because if you don’t agree w/me you’re an anti semite’) with every other breathe of course the conversation is going to end up being about the lobby. but the obsession is definitely yours! denial is not a river in egypt.

      • Keith
        January 6, 2016, 5:13 pm

        DAVID GREEN- “So Keith, do you think that the Zionists subvert “U.S. interests.”

        Jeez, David, give me a break. I am reasonably sure that you are aware that I am aware that the phrase “U.S. interests” refers to the so called national interests as defined by the dominant elites. Do the elites subvert elite interests? No, but the consensus elite interests reflect the balance of power among the elites. Obviously, the interests of Jewish Zionist elites are sufficiently compatible with that of the non-Jewish elites that conflict seems minimal. I think it safe to say, however, that without Jewish Zionist influence, Israel would be less confident of US support regardless of its provocations, hence, would be at least somewhat more moderate in its behavior. Much of Israel’s militarism, in fact, reflects the wishes of US Zionist Jews who desire an Israeli Sparta. Also, there is the neocon influence on overall US foreign policy which is militaristic and reckless in the extreme. This reflects the Zionist mythos that had the Zionists been more moderate, Israel would never have come into being. This obsessive pursuit of single minded goals while ignoring the potential for negative consequences could well lead to nuclear war over either Syria or Ukraine.

        Imperial policy (we have gone beyond merely national interests) is formulated primarily in the US. The Zionist network of influence strongly influences policy in regards to Israel within the general framework of overall elite interests. Without the Israel lobby (AIPAC) and the rest of the Zionist network of influence, Israel would be little more than a vassal state. Israel, however, is clearly not a vassal state. For all of the reasons mentioned, Israel’s relationship to empire is truly unique, perhaps without precedent.

        As for the power of the Israel lobby, I have long since concluded that arguing what is properly considered part of the lobby versus what is merely strong elite bias is a waste of time. The power of the lobby depends upon how one defines the lobby and most folks tend to define it broadly.

      • David Green
        January 7, 2016, 2:12 pm

        Annie: “the article is about an important story that WSJ broke, it’s news. if you want to know what the so called “obsession” w/the lobby is on this website go look in the mirror. of course if you come into a comment section and start saying lobby lobby lobby (‘we’re just helping out aligning with what the US would be doing anyway bla bla bla — and forget about how stupid that theory is because if you don’t agree w/me you’re an anti semite’) with every other breathe of course the conversation is going to end up being about the lobby. but the obsession is definitely yours! denial is not a river in egypt.”

        The more I think about the focus of Murphy’s article, the more I realize that it operates within the same parameters of the Frontline documentary shown on Monday. Everything is set up never to address the context of USFP and Israel’s role in that. It’s all set up to emphasize what amount to personal differences between Obama & Netanyahu. Yes, Iran is a major strategic split. And the Lobby could not stop it. And US hegemony remains and is strengthened. And Israel gets more $ for MIC weapons.

        All the rest is trivia, whether one is talking about Ross and Goldberg, or Obama & Netanyahu. Again, distractions from the major issues, and distractions from seriously addressing the Palestinian plight and what can be done about it, as Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky do.

  16. Mooser
    January 5, 2016, 6:16 pm

    ” But without them, where would the MW comments section be?”

    Don’t worry, Mr. Green, I patrol this comment section with a fine tooth comb and a high definition monitor, and I never allow anybody to say anything about Jews or Jewish organizations which is any worse than the stuff people say about Muslims, or Christians, for that matter. Never!

    • Mooser
      January 5, 2016, 8:58 pm

      “Mooser, you well know that my complaint is with those who inflate the power of the Lobby to control USFP.”

      Your complaint is that people are talking about Jews in ways that are starting to get under your skin. Sorry. You think it doesn’t bother the hell out of me, what I see here? But you know what, almost all the stuff that really bothers me is people taking Zionists at their own words, their own valuation.
      So there is, I think, two choices.
      We can try to limit people’s speech in some way,
      Or we could stop doing the things which make people talk that way.
      If, of course, you feel there’s any validity to what they say, and if any of the things they’re talking about are, in some sense, a Jewish responsibility. And in the final estimation, how likely is that?

  17. Kathleen
    January 5, 2016, 8:53 pm

    Green has throughout this thread dodged and dismissed evidence supporting the disproportionate amount of power and influence that the I lobby has had. The Iran deal going through does demonstrate a loss of punch.

    However for those interested in the facts and the reality of that power. How at times the power of the I lobby has interfered in U.S. National Security. Take your time and read some of these pieces. As well as Mearsheimer and Walt’s book.

    Aipac espionage investigation…and 9 time delayed trial which was eventually dismissed.

    1. http://www.thenation.com/article/spy-story-harman-saban-and-aipac/
     Spy Story: Harman, Saban, and AIPAC

    The trial on espionage-related charges for two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee starts this summer, unless — as the Washington Post has demanded — the Justice Department drops the charges.

    Now we know, thanks to Jeff Stein of CQ, that a reported offer from Rep. Jane Harman to intervene in the case on behalf of AIPAC — to “waddle into” it, as she put it — was caught on tape on a court-ordered (and court-sanctioned) wiretap. According to Stein, perhaps Washington’s very best reporter on intelligence, an FBI probe of Harman’s pledge to run interference for AIPAC was dropped on orders from Alberto Gonzalez, President Bush’s attorney general, who wanted Harman’s cooperation to protect the secret (and illegal) domestic surveillance program.

    2.http://www.salon.com/2009/04/20/harman/
    Monday, Apr 20, 2009 05:35 AM MDT
    Major scandal erupts involving Rep. Jane Harman, Alberto Gonzales and AIPAC
    CQ reports that a key member of Congress was caught on wiretaps agreeing to intervene in a criminal prosecution of AIPAC officials, but Bush’s AG protected her
    Glenn Greenwald

    3.http://washingtonnote.com/jane_harman_is/
    Jane Harman is Going to Have Bad Day
    Representative Jane Harman denies that she agreed to lobby on behalf of two AIPAC employees facing espionage-related charges in exchanging for AIPAC lobbying Nancy Pelosi to allow Harman to assume the chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
    But there’s growing clamor over an National Security Agency intercept that, if true, seems to call into question Representative Harman’s insistence that she would not do this — even if she didn’t.

    4. http://www.antiwar.com/cole/?articleid=3467
    AIPAC’s Overt and Covert Ops

    by Juan Cole

    CBS is reporting that a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst detailed to Undersecretary of Defense for Planning Douglas Feith’s Office of Special Plans is under FBI investigation for spying for Israel. The person passed to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) confidential documents, including those detailing Bush administration policy toward Iran, and AIPAC then passed them to Israel. There are wiretaps and photographs backing up the FBI case (the FBI agents involved are extremely brave to take this on).

    5. Read some of the federal Aipac espionage investigation case files. Wonder why it never went to trial. No I lobby influence there. Green is here to divert from facts, evidence

    https://fas.org/sgp/jud/aipac/index.html
    USA v. Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman (“The AIPAC Case”): Selected Case Files
    On May 1, 2009 the government filed a motion to dismiss the superseding indictment against Rosen and Weissman, effectively terminating the case.

    Hearing on Reduction of Sentence for Lawrence A. Franklin, June 11, 2009
    Memorandum Order Denying Motion to Quash and Ordering William Leonard to Comply with Subpoena, February 17, 2009
    J. William Leonard’s Motion to Quash Defendants’ Subpoena, August 28, 2008
    Subpoena of J. William Leonard to Testify at Trial for the defense, July 25, 2008
    Defendants’ Reply to Opposition to Testimony of J. William Leonard, April 11, 2008
    Government’s Opposition to Order Authorizing Testimony of J. William Leonard as a Defense Expert, March 31, 2008
    Defense Motion to Authorize Testimony of J. William Leonard, March 19, 2008
    Hearing on Motions (transcript), November 8, 2007
    Court Authorizes Subpoena of Condoleezza Rice, Other Officials, November 2, 2007
    Memorandum Opinion on the Application of the Classified Information Procedures Act, November 1, 2007
    Order Denying Defendants’ Motion for Reciprocal Discovery, October 24, 2007
    Memorandum Opinion Denying Defense Motion for Dismissal, May 8, 2007
    Transcript of Status Hearing, April 19, 2007
    Memorandum Opinion Denying Govt Motion to Close Portions of the Trial, April 19, 2007
    Hearing on Motion to Limit Public Access to Evidence, April 16, 2007
    Proposed Amicus Brief filed by Amcha Coalition for Jewish Concerns, April 12, 2007 (denied April 12, 2007)
    News Organizations Petition for Leave to Intervene, April 9, 2007 (denied April 12, 2007)
    Govt Response to Defense Motion to Strike, March 29, 2007
    Defendants’ Supplemental Motion to Strike Govt’s Request to Close the Trial, March 21, 2007
    Hearing on Motions, March 15, 2007
    Memorandum Opinion Denying Defense Rule 15 Motion, February 14, 2007
    Order Denying Defendants’ Motion to Suppress, February 14, 2007
    Memorandum Opinion Rejecting Defense Motion for Show Cause Hearing on Alleged Grand Jury Leaks, January 26, 2007
    Hearing on Pending Motions, November 16, 2006
    Government Motion for Clarification of August 9 Court Order, August 18, 2006
    Court Order Denying Defendants’ Motion on FISA Surveillance Matters, August 14, 2006
    Court Order Denying Govt Motion to Show Document Requested by Defendant was Classified, August 11, 2006
    Court Order Denying Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Counts I and III, August 9, 2006
    Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss on Fifth, Sixth Amendment Grounds, July 18, 2006
    Defendants’ Notice of Supreme Court Decisions Relevant to Pending Motion to Dismiss, June 2, 2006
    USA v. Rosen, Weissman: Second Hearing on Motions to Dismiss, April 21, 2006
    Defendants’ Reply to Government’s Supplemental Response to Motion to Dismiss, April 6, 2006
    Defendants’ Supplemental Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss, March 31, 2006
    Government’s Supplemental Response to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Superseding Indictment, March 31, 2006
    USA v. Rosen, Weissman: Hearing on Motions to Dismiss, March 24, 2006
    Court Denies Amicus Status to Reporters Committee, February 27, 2006
    Government’s Consolidated Responses to Pretrial Defense Motions, filed January 30, 2006
    Motion to Dismiss the Superseding Indictment of Former AIPAC Officials Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, E.Dist. Va., filed January 19, 2006. (Superseding Indictment, August 4, 2005)
    Sentencing Hearing for Lawrence A. Franklin, transcript, January 20, 2006 (1.2 MB PDF)
    USA v. Franklin: Plea Agreement, October 5, 2005
    USA v. Franklin: Statement of Facts, October 5, 2005

    Green demonstrates complete arrogance claiming that Charles Freeman “made a complete fool of himself” calling out the I lobby. Actually quite the contrary. Freeman demonstrated real fortitude and bravery calling out just who had rallied their comrades to take him out of the running for a top intelligence position..

    Folks really interested in the facts should read for themselves.

    1. http://www.politico.com/story/2009/03/freeman-hits-israel-lobby-on-way-out-019856
    Freeman hits ‘Israel lobby’ on way out

    Then Freeman issued his barnburner of a statement saying it was all about “a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.” “There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government—in this case, the government of Israel,” he wrote. “This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.”

    2. Interview With Charles Freeman
    http://www.thenation.com/article/interview-charles-freeman/

    3. Senator Schumer led the attack on Charles Freeman. No I lobby influence there. Schumer voted against the Iran deal.

    The agenda of Chuck Schumer
    The Democratic Senator was a key supporter of even the most radical Bush appointees, and then led the way in sinking an Obama appointee who made “statements against Israel.”
    Glenn Greenwald
    http://www.salon.com/2009/03/11/schumer/
    http://www.thenation.com/article/interview-charles-freeman/

     Since February 26, I’ve written several times (here, here, here, and here) about the battle over the nomination of Charles W. (“Chas”) Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Committee. On Tuesday, he withdrew his name from consideration after what I called a “thunderous, coordinated assault” against him by the Israel lobby and its neoconservative allies.

    On Friday, three days after he withdrew — in the midst of a media storm, including front page stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post — Freeman and I spoke in an exclusive interview for The Nation. Here is the unedited transcript:

    • David Green
      January 5, 2016, 10:01 pm

      Freeman is a classic example, as are Mearsheimer/Walt, of “realists” who support the USFP global empire blaming Israel Lobbyists for undermining the efficiency of American empire. Kathleen, do you support the American Empire? Do you think the Zionists keep the US from dominating the ME and the world in a more efficient way, of which you would approve?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2016, 10:34 pm

        did Mearsheimer/Walt say that? that they support a USFP “global empire”? do you have a link to something they wrote or a quote?

        or is this a sort of a ‘why do you beat your wife’ type question?

      • David Green
        January 5, 2016, 10:53 pm

        Of course they do; they are classic realists, no secret. They don’t question American global hegemony. If they did, you would have heard.

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2016, 12:33 am

        Look, I’d be happy if Mr. Green told us how or at what point “The incipient anti-semitism of the Lobby thesis undermines proper analysis and organized action” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/reveals-special-relationship#comment-159440 If I’m not mistaken (a rare but happy occasion) that’s where this all started. There’s some stuff we’re not supposed to say about the lobby. What is it?

        And then he’ll have to explain to me why I shouldn’t see any attempt to fix that point as self-protection and gate-keeping.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 3:17 am

        definitely seems like gatekeeping to me mooser

      • David Green
        January 6, 2016, 10:53 am

        Mooser, the stuff we’re not supposed to say about the Lobby is that its general success is based on the alignment of American elites, Jewish or otherwise, with general goals of US hegemony in the ME. That hegemony is based on the need to control oil. Thus, the Iran deal, which all the efforts of the Lobby could not subvert.

      • eljay
        January 6, 2016, 11:13 am

        || David Green: Mooser, the stuff we’re not supposed to say about the Lobby is that its general success is based on the alignment of American elites, Jewish or otherwise, with general goals of US hegemony in the ME. That hegemony is based on the need to control oil. Thus, the Iran deal, which all the efforts of the Lobby could not subvert. ||

        I do believe that, for various reasons (manufacturing, economic, financial and security), nations require secure access to natural resources and markets.

        1. Is Israel a significant source of natural resources for the U.S.?
        2. Is it a significant market for the U.S.?
        2. Does Israel – a belligerent, antagonistic, intransigent and (war) criminal enterprise – assist the U.S. in securing access to natural resources and markets in other M.E. nations?

        If the answers to all three questions are ‘no’, Israel is of no benefit to the U.S.

        If the answer any of those questions is ‘yes’, Israel is of some benefit to the U.S.

        But does the benefit of a partnership with Israel outweigh the cost of having such an unsavoury partner?

        If a partnership with Israel is of little to no benefit to the U.S. or if its cost outweighs its benefit, why would the U.S. to deliberately put itself at a disadvantage on many fronts – not the least of which are security and foreign relations – by establishing, maintaining and relentlessly publicizing an “unshakeable common bond”, “no light between” partnership with Israel?

        “I gots to know!”

      • David Green
        January 6, 2016, 11:28 am

        eJay, your comment is a classic example of Lobby over-emphasis illogic and incipient anti-Semitism. You assume that the US is not advantaged by its alliance with Israel, when in fact US corporations work closely with Israel and invest heavily. More fundamentally, Israel serves as essentially a US military base in the ME. Even more fundamentally, Israel smashed Arab nationalism in 1967, and works to maintain the tropes of the “clash of civilizations” and “war on terror.” And of course your manner of argument implies that US ambitions in the ME and the world are somehow innocent–just normal “interests” like everyone else. But when you are the world’s only superpower, that’s far from the case. You don’t get to be the world’s only superpower by being like everyone else, and US citizens need to challenge that. Once again, the Lobby explanation is a distraction to all of that.

      • echinococcus
        January 6, 2016, 2:35 pm

        “Oil” my @$$, Mister Green, if you’ll pardon my French. The US Gov got its marching orders in the shape of the PNAC document, widely available on the Web. We all can read here. So we read the PNAC, we read its predecessor the Yinon plan, we read the news and what countries are being destroyed systematically just for the hell of it (no oil –it’s more like a destruction of oil production and big loss on the oil side, and no winners but only massacre by US-initiated intercommunal strife.) Just as the PNAC doctor ordered. So who are we gonna believe, our lying eyes or a Zionist –moreover, a Zionist trying to get control of the Palestine solidarity movement?

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2016, 5:47 pm

        “definitely seems like gatekeeping to me mooser”

        And can you imagine the vicious combination of entitlement and naivete which allows a person to think that gate-keeping and Jewish-self-protection will work? That it will do anything but make it worse and worse? Oh well.

      • David Green
        January 6, 2016, 6:38 pm

        It’s hilarious to talk about “gatekeeping,” given Annie’s role on Mondoweiss comments. But I guess she’s so ubiquitous that it’s like she’s not even there.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 7:09 pm

        are you bummed i asked you to source your allegation? sorry! i shouldn’t have even ask — tall order i realize : http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/reveals-special-relationship#comment-818748

        will you forgive me?

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2016, 7:46 pm

        “It’s hilarious to talk about “gatekeeping,” given Annie’s role on Mondoweiss comments.”

        I’m sorry, Mr. Green. Are you getting a lot of comments deleted?

        “elJay, your comment is a classic example of Lobby over-emphasis illogic and incipient anti-Semitism.

        So, let me get this straight, you can detect “incipient antisemitism”, but none of us is allowed to detect so much as an iota of special pleading, intimidation, self-protection, self-interest and evasion in your detection? Okay, Mr. Green.

      • eljay
        January 6, 2016, 8:28 pm

        || David Green: eJay, your comment is a classic example of Lobby over-emphasis illogic and incipient anti-Semitism. … ||

        Your comment is a classic example of fully-developed idiocy.

        || … You assume that the US is not advantaged by its alliance with Israel … ||

        I assume no such thing. I do not know whether the U.S. advantaged by its alliance with Israel and, if it is, I do not know how great that advantage is:

        … If the answers to all three questions are ‘no’, Israel is of no benefit to the U.S.

        If the answer any of those questions is ‘yes’, Israel is of some benefit to the U.S.

        But does the benefit of a partnership with Israel outweigh the cost of having such an unsavoury partner? …

        || … And of course your manner of argument implies that US ambitions in the ME and the world are somehow innocent–just normal “interests” like everyone else. … ||

        You infer something that I did not imply. I do not believe that U.S. ambitions in the M.E. are in any way “innocent”.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 8:43 pm

        You infer something that I did not imply.

        eljay, it’s your “manner” of argument that allegedly implies. perhaps it has to do with the way you format (“… ||”) that reveals some inner manner. as an aside, i don’t know any people anywhere who thinks the US is “innocent” in the ME. heck, everyone knows iraq was a bloody friggin nightmare. maybe we’re just supposed to forget about the clean break/rebuilding defenses — like it never .. oh never mind. innocent, heavens forbid. maybe if we chant cheney cheney cheney every hour it will please him.

      • eljay
        January 6, 2016, 8:51 pm

        || Annie Robbins: eljay, it’s your “manner” of argument that allegedly implies. … ||

        Me and my bad manners.   ;-)   I guess I should have been more clear and written “You infer something neither I nor my ‘manner of argument’ implied.”

        || … perhaps it has to do with the way you format (“… ||”) that reveals some inner manner. … ||

        Huh. Maybe that’s where the “incipent anti-Semitism” lies. :-P

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2016, 1:51 am

        “Mooser, the stuff we’re not supposed to say about the Lobby is that its general success is based on the alignment of American elites, Jewish or otherwise, with general goals of US hegemony in the ME.”

        Yup, I thought you would have a pretty cogent idea of what we don’t want people to say. That about describes it perfectly.

    • rugal_b
      January 6, 2016, 12:19 am

      Kathleen, I believe your assessment of the state of US politics and the lobby is upside down. The neo-conservatives are not allies of the Israel lobby, it is the other way around. Israel lobby need to form allies with both the neo-conservatives and the liberals in order to ensure their interests are met. It is not an equal partnership where the lobby and the political blocs work side-by-side. This has an element of servitude in it.

      I disagree with the aims of the lobby such as continued supply of weaponry and military aid to Israel, however I support the political maneuvering the lobby takes part in to achieve its aims within the preexisting system. How do you propose, in a democratic nation with an immensely diverse political bases, for a any particular group to achieve its goals without lobbying or forming unsavory alliances with the greater powers?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 12:35 am

        The neo-conservatives are not allies of the Israel lobby

        myth

        This has an element of servitude in it.

        and the same could be said about the NRA i suppose, or any powerful lobby. all lobbies frame themselves as serving the public or serving the power structure. but in reality, the lobby serves their big donors .. the primary ones who are in positions of power, including the USFP power structure.

      • David Green
        January 6, 2016, 11:03 am

        So Annie, why couldn’t the Lobby “serve” the USFP power structure by convincing it to bomb Iran? You’re right to say that the success of any major Lobby lay in its ability to convince powerful elites that they deserve to have a say in how power and wealth are dispensed in the country and in the world. But this is done in terms of the general elite interests of the system, not the specific ephemeral needs of, say, demonizing Iran for Israel’s benefit. In the case of Iran, the influence of Israel and the Lobby was subordinated to an alternative USFP approach to control ME energy resources. And we are still left with the question of how to challenge the primary facts of US hegemony and global domination, which all the talk about the Lobby distracts us from, not to mention that Mearsheimer, Walt, Freeman etc. don’t question US global hegemony, not really.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 6:44 pm

        why couldn’t the Lobby “serve” the USFP power structure by convincing it to bomb Iran

        who are you quoting up there with the quotation marks? you should really try to keep up w/the conversation david, i already explained my take on the iran deal as it pertained to the lobby in the thread. here : http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/reveals-special-relationship#comment-818672

        You’re right to say that the success of any major Lobby lay in its ability to convince powerful elites that they deserve to have a say in how power and wealth are dispensed in the country and in the world.

        don’t put words in my mouth i didn’t say. quote me if it suits you. i mocked your framing of “servitude” and stated lobbies served their donors. they don’t serve foreign policy, they try making it, imposing it. that’s not a servile position — it’s the opposite.

      • echinococcus
        January 7, 2016, 12:44 am

        Rugal:

        How do you propose, in a democratic nation with an immensely diverse political bases, for a any particular group to achieve its goals without lobbying or forming unsavory alliances with the greater powers?

        By doing like the civilized nations, i.e. banning lobbying by calling it by its name, ie officialized graft, slamming its practitioners in the cooler, directing anyone wishing to change things to normal channels like freedom of assembly. freedom of demonstration and, most important, multi-party democracy. Unsavory alliances would be what exactly, a matter of taste?

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2016, 1:04 am

        “How do you propose, in a democratic nation with an immensely diverse political bases, for a any particular group to achieve its goals without lobbying or forming unsavory alliances with the greater powers?”

        Uh, nice try, dude, but here in the US we try to draw a big distinction between domestic lobbies, and organizations which are agents for foreign powers, posing as lobbies. That’s what this is about.

      • David Green
        January 7, 2016, 2:21 pm

        Mooser: “Uh, nice try, dude, but here in the US we try to draw a big distinction between domestic lobbies, and organizations which are agents for foreign powers, posing as lobbies. That’s what this is about.”

        Certainly that distinction is drawn, but is also ambiguous. Multinational corporations, and indeed all corporations, have agendas that in no way can be said to contribute to the public interest. The world isn’t divided only by countries; it’s divided by social class. Thus we have MNCs promoting trade deals that violate US sovereignty and the public interest. But again, it’s part of the general ruling elite ethos to support these neoliberal trade agreements. Steve Jobs couldn’t do it himself. No corporate lobby subverts U.S. “interests,” any more than the Israel Lobby subverts USFP.

      • Shmuel
        January 7, 2016, 3:21 pm

        Certainly that distinction is drawn, but is also ambiguous. Multinational corporations, and indeed all corporations, have agendas that in no way can be said to contribute to the public interest. The world isn’t divided only by countries; it’s divided by social class.

        This reminds me of the debate in Israel over Ayelet Shaked’s “NGO bill” (which would require NGOs that receive most of their funding from foreign governments to wear special tags in Knesset and disclose the fact [although already required of all NGOs in quarterly reports and online] at the beginning of any contact with official bodies). The bill was clearly intended to target human rights NGOs, but Shaked and her supporters have argued that there is a difference between funding from foreign states and funding from individuals, with only the former constituting foreign meddling in Israel’s affairs. Many of the bill’s opponents, however, have claimed that there is no fundamental difference between funding from the government of a friendly state (e.g. the Netherlands or Sweden) and funding from a Sheldon Adelson or a Serge Muller (a shady Belgian millionaire who has donated to Shaked’s own election campaign) — and if there is, it is not in Adelson or Muller’s favour.

    • Kathleen
      January 6, 2016, 9:02 am

      As I said Green has throughout this thread denied and tried to distract from the power of the I lobby and Israel’s disproportionate amount of influence on U.S. foreign policy. He continues to do so.

      Anyone reading this thread and the public in general should assess for themselves by reading about Israel’s efforts to destroy the Iran deal, interfere with the Aipac espionage investigation etc etc.

      • David Green
        January 6, 2016, 11:15 am

        No Kathleen, I’ve spent countless hours in my life challenging the influence of the Lobby, including in the Salaita case where I live and work. The distraction is that the emphasis on the power of the Lobby leads to an inaccurate and futile analysis of the origins of USFP, which lay in an empire that has been expanding since the founding of our country, and now incorporates the planet, especially including the ME and its oil. Understanding everything about the Lobby’s influence, machinations, and perfidy is futile unless its part of challenging US global hegemony, and in fact serves to change the subject from that. It’s a big problem and a big system, but the least you can do is start by naming it, instead of implying that its all about a few Jews.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 6:40 pm

        I’ve spent countless hours in my life challenging the influence of the Lobby, including in the Salaita case … emphasis on the power of the Lobby leads to an inaccurate and futile analysis of the origins of USFP…. Understanding everything about the Lobby’s influence, machinations, and perfidy is futile unless its part of challenging US global hegemony, and in fact serves to change the subject from that.

        so why don’t you explain to us how the salaita case, thru the machinations of the lobby, is part of challenging US global hegemony. assuming you think that’s a worthy endeavor, unlike others challenging the influence of the lobby that doesn’t meet your standards.

      • Kathleen
        January 6, 2016, 9:50 pm

        I too have challenged, protested, gone to jail based on challenging “U.S. global hegemony” Vietnam, Central American issues, invasion of Iraq (which was clearly a confluence of oil, neo, theo cons). However understanding the power of the I Lobby is a key issue for the public to understand as well.

        That is why I am in complete support for Senator Sanders for President. I believe he is our best bet for challenging “U.S. global hegemony” and also believe he is actually far more likely to be open to real solutions in the I/P conflict.

        While I would love to see a woman President and clearly Clinton is totally capable. She is an extreme war hawk far more into “regime change” than Bernie and quite honestly do not feel an ounce of shame or compassion for those she has been more than willing to be an integral part of the death, destruction, refugee issue that is all a result of the expansion of “U.S. global hegemony”

        However not being willing to examine how Israel and the I lobbies efforts to promote the invasion of Iraq , disrupt negotiations with Iran, undermine U.S. national security (Aipac espionage investigation, I/P conflict) etc is simply irresponsible and stupid.

      • Kathleen
        January 6, 2016, 10:11 pm

        Great points Annie

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 10:45 pm

        thanks kathleen, i’m always appreciative of your fantastic contributions too.

      • David Green
        January 7, 2016, 2:24 pm

        Annie: “so why don’t you explain to us how the salaita case, thru the machinations of the lobby, is part of challenging US global hegemony. assuming you think that’s a worthy endeavor, unlike others challenging the influence of the lobby that doesn’t meet your standards.”

        Annie, I did my best to try to explain the Salaita case in the context of neoliberal hegemony: http://mondoweiss.net/author/david-green

        It’s important not to see it in isolation from powerful contextual hegemonic forces.

    • Mooser
      January 6, 2016, 6:23 pm

      “Green has throughout this thread dodged and dismissed evidence supporting the disproportionate amount of power and influence that the I lobby has had…

      No, not exactly, in my opinion.
      What he is doing, as I see it, is trying to find a reason why speech about the Israel Lobby should not be granted the same latitude, the same freedom* that all other political speech is in the US.
      And of course, the reason that speech about the Israel Lobby must be carefully vetted (by the standards of those qualified to detect “incipient antisemitism”) has something to do with “Jewish”, I’ll betcha. And is entirely disinterested, natch.

      *and as far as I know and see all around me, that freedom of political speech may include exaggeration, falsehood, an attempt to persuade, and all the techniques of propaganda. Also includes strong feelings and sometimes inappropriate things. Sorry.
      As far as I know, the US and the Israel Lobby and Zionism and the US, all that is very much a political subject.

      (But as I said, I wish to assure Mr. Green that anybody who says anything worse about Jews than the things people say about Muslims, or Christians, or a host of other people, will hear it from me!)

      • David Green
        January 7, 2016, 2:27 pm

        Mooser, in no way would I ever support suppression of freedom of speech, including what I label incipiently anti-Semitic speech. People need to be free to say stupid things, so that what goes on in their heads can be challenged by others.

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2016, 6:21 pm

        “People need to be free to say stupid things, so that what goes on in their heads can be challenged by others.”

        Ah, but often the stupidest things if they express what people are feeling are the most persuasive.
        And BTW, you can’t count on people to say them in a way that can be challenged by these “others” you assume will be there to challenge them and be granted a hearing.
        I doubt they will, in any effective fashion. I’m not sure they should.

    • rugal_b
      January 7, 2016, 11:53 am

      Echinousorus

      – “By doing like the civilized nations, i.e. banning lobbying by calling it by its name, ie officialized graft, slamming its practitioners in the cooler, directing anyone wishing to change things to normal channels like freedom of assembly. freedom of demonstration and, most important, multi-party democracy. Unsavory alliances would be what exactly, a matter of taste?”-

      You made sound so easy, I suppose until the ideal system is in place, everyone are supposed to just be nice and deal with the clusterfick like gentle,civilized adults, regardless of the vast amount of disparity in political strength and systematic inequality.

      Politics is a 24/7/365 game you need to play, in perpetuity especially if you are not part of the dominant majority. How you play it will depend on whatever system that is in place, and each groups strategy such as engaging in lobbying is going to be different. You are welcome to criticize but unless you are in the same set of circumstances, they can’t be taken seriously.

      • echinococcus
        January 7, 2016, 2:40 pm

        You play your politics game –the one consisting in deviating the movement for solidarity with the Palestinian resistance and for the destruction of the Zionist entity, into a Zionist-led herd with principal objective the “anti-semite” (oh yeah) witch hunt and the limiting of any boycott to the “liberal”-Zionist boycott of post-1967 occupation.
        The only politics I know are done honestly, by stating exactly what you want to do and uniting with anyone who agrees on the next step.

    • ritzl
      January 7, 2016, 9:04 pm

      Hi Kathleen. Sorry for butting in but wrt the strength of the Israeli Lobby Iran deal only made it through the Senate by maybe THREE votes. And that wasn’t a 52-48 affirmation by a slim majority, it was a 64-36 (+|-) skin-of-the-teeth future veto uphold.

      So to recap, the vote on whether we would go to war with a country of 80M people that controls access to 50% of the world’s oil supply thereby destroying the global ecolony and costing 10,000 more US lives and those of 10M Iranians, none of which even remotely benefits anyone on the planet — EXCEPT ISRAEL — only avoided going down by a few votes that had to be personally lobbied by the White House to get even that marginal result.

      There’s your Israeli Lobby power. They can get the US Senate to almost vote for Armageddon.

      The NRA are pikers in comparison.

      Wierd discussion. I guess I’m just gonna have to go with my own lyin’ eyes when someone starts obscuring the power and malevolent intent if the Israeli Lobby.

      • yonah fredman
        January 8, 2016, 12:18 am

        The Senate voted 58-42 in an attempt to stop the democratic filibuster. Falling two votes shy of the 60 votes needed for cloture, which would have forced a vote.

  18. David Green
    January 6, 2016, 12:19 pm

    Comment on MW by VR:Tell me what M&W say about the “American political system” in their tome, I have the book open. It is like a walk through Alice in Wonderland when it comes to America, and why is that? That is because M&W are merely interested being allies of power and they do not care if a two-state prison is erected for the Palestinians. If you want to get in bed with imperial power you will lose, and so will the Palestinians. Imperialism will continue with or without Israel. So when you wake up in the morning after a night with the Imperialists, which is where M&W are a mere shower will not wash the filth off. All you argue for is a more efficient empire with M&W, democracy has been long dead anyhow, you just don’t know it. So pontificate about “national interests” as if they are yours, and when you wake up in the morning and have you first cup of java, the nightmare will just have begun. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/chomsky-materialism-and-the-israel-lobby-thesis#sthash.Ei4nRSvF.dpuf

    • Annie Robbins
      January 6, 2016, 12:57 pm

      Comment on MW by VR:Tell me what M&W say about the “American political system”

      david, i asked you upthread (here: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/reveals-special-relationship#comment-818664 )

      did Mearsheimer/Walt say that? that they support a USFP “global empire”? do you have a link to something they wrote or a quote?

      should i assume your answer to my question is “NO – i do not have a link or a quote to something they wrote to support the allegation Mearsheimer/Walt support the global empire”

      your link here is to your own writing. it quotes neither of them, it’s just more of your opinions which we’ve already heard endlessly. can you just quote them please if this is all so self evident.

      • David Green
        January 6, 2016, 1:06 pm

        Annie, M & W have long been part of the USFP intellectual establishment. They accept the basic “realist” assumptions of US global hegemony and exceptionalism. Mearsheimer teaches at the U. of Chicago, Walt at Harvard and writes for the establishment journal Foreign Policy (the establishment “realist” journal). They gained notoriety by wrongly arguing that the Israel Lobby interferes with the US elite’s pursuit of global & ME oil hegemony. Given M & W’s established credentials, it would be up to you to dig up something that shows that they support a critique of USFP a la Chomsky, Zinn, Kolko, etc. Your handing me an assignment in this regarding is a rather transparently evasive tactic on your part. If you’re interested in disproving my point, you can do your own homework.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2016, 1:32 pm

        so that would be a NO, you have nothing.

        i just wanted an examples of what you keep referencing as if it was based on truth instead of conjuncture. i have not read their book nor did i bring them up in this discussion.

        if you keep making allegations it’s not really anyone else’s responsibility to do homework to verify those allegations. if you care to be taken seriously you should be able to source your own theories, otherwise people might think you were just passing off your own opinions as if you were basing them off research credibly sourced to the subject.

        phff

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2016, 8:02 pm

        “Comment on MW by VR:Tell me what…”

        Oy Gevalt, all this spilled milk under the bridge, and nobody explained to Mr. Green the difference between the ‘comment section’ and the main-page articles. Perhaps a lot of argument could have been be avoided if it had been explained, because it’s so freakin’ hard to tell.

  19. David Green
    January 6, 2016, 6:09 pm

    An illuminating quote from Norman Finkelstein’s Knowing too Much, p. 69:

    “In light of their checkered careers, malleable doctrine and self-aggrandizing
    politics, it defies belief that Jewish neoconservatives would cast overboard
    their homegrown, made-in-America earthly pleasures for the sake of
    Zionism. The only “ism” to which these courtiers of power are in thrall is careerism.
    Although posturing as embattled outcasts “speaking inconvenient
    truths,” in reality they revealed “an astute feel for politics and culture,” as
    they put a “finger to the wind and tacked rightward.”89 The policy agenda
    they championed was “congenial to powerful forces, probably the powerful
    forces in American life. . . . Neoconservatives will not wither for want of
    well-heeled patrons.”90

    Should the interests of Washington and Tel Aviv collide, and should Jewish
    neoconservatives have to choose between their cushy seats of power in
    the U.S. and support for their tribe in Israel, who can doubt that, just as they
    turned on a dime in the past when the lure of “making it” proved irresistible,
    many of them would without a moment’s hesitation—indeed on this
    or that contrived “principle”—betray kith and kin?”

    • Annie Robbins
      January 6, 2016, 6:27 pm

      don’t mention anything about jews and “cushy seats of power in the U.S.” together in the same sentence, it might topple hops into the thread. he’s part of the oppressed class too last i heard.

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2016, 8:16 pm

        “he’s part of the oppressed class too last i heard.”

        You know it:

        1) No US recognition of the Jews as a people or nation.
        2) All US Jews given civil rights and full Gentile citizenship in the US, subverting Jewish unity and cohesion.
        3) Not a freakin’ penny from the US Government for Jewish education or religious facilities. (Oh wait, that’s not true anymore, what with Homeland Security.)
        4) Complete refusal to recognize the proper place of Jewish marriage by making Jews eligible for civil marriage. They don’t even ask your parents before they give you the license!
        5) Never gave us, as a people, a damned acre of land. We’re worse off than the Native Americans!

        I could go on and on, (I did, but deleted, it’s too sad) they were always against us. The bastrds just let Jews do whatever they wanted, a mortal and deliberate blow at Jewish authority!
        Nobody knows the trouble we’ve seen.

    • Kathleen
      January 6, 2016, 10:09 pm

      Finkelstein was out on the front lines of the stand against crimes being committed against Palestinians early on. Suffered serious personal consequences for having a conscience and a commitment to justice.

      Have always appreciated his focus on international law in the I/P conflict

      The only thing I have heard Finkelstein say or write that was not “illuminating” were his comments about BDS being a “cult”

  20. Kathleen
    January 6, 2016, 10:03 pm

    Anyone watch the Chris Matthews interview with Clinton last night (Tuesday?) He did ask her about her Iraq vote and her war hawkishness. Was looking for the transcript(unable to find). However what I remember is Matthews saying something about Sanders saying she was into “regime change” (which clearly she is). Clinton answered with something like “that is not true” (got to find the script)….

    Chris Matthews did not challenge her at all. Let her slip right through.

    Clinton is clearly into “regime change” as well as supporting Israel no mater what they do. I truly believe Sanders is the more reasonable candidate. Think his conscience is far more intact…as well as not being as corrupted by the millions that the Clinton’s have packaged

  21. Kathleen
    January 6, 2016, 10:45 pm

    Remember when BB was taped saying “America is a thing you can move very easily”

    • Annie Robbins
      January 7, 2016, 12:13 am

      kathleen he was just serving US global hegemony in the ME when he said that, making it more efficient/snark

      btw, i liked that part in the chas freeman interview when he said AIPAC was the avigdor lieberman lobby — or something like that.

      • David Green
        January 7, 2016, 2:32 pm

        “BB was taped saying “America is a thing you can move very easily” ”

        Apparently not so easily, and that’s the point. Don’t use the his megalomania as evidence for the false argument that the US is a tool of Israel. They are tools of each other, and the US has by far the larger arsenal with which to inflict damage on the ME and the rest of the world. BB gets under your skin, of course. But grow up.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 7, 2016, 8:41 pm

        Apparently not so easily, and that’s the point.

        are you crazy? of course he did it easily. maybe you forget what he said that day.

        “They asked me before the election if I’d honor [the Oslo accords],” he said. “I said I would, but … I’m going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67 borders. How did we do it? Nobody said what defined military zones were. Defined military zones are security zones; as far as I’m concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone. Go argue.

        david will argue!!! it’s was sooo hard what netanyahu pulled off!!

      • Kathleen
        January 7, 2016, 7:14 pm

        D let’s be grown up and stick to the written script. I have never written or said that the “U.S. is a tool for Israel” I have and will continue to say that Israel and the I lobby have a destructive and disproportionate amount of influence on U.S. foreign policy.

        Yes as said earlier the Iran deal was very different. In fact one of the first times Israel has been publicly backed down.

        Sure seems to get under your skin when people provide evidence to back up the disproportionate and destructive influence that Israel has had.

        And as I also said earlier U.S. global hegemony has been an issue many of us have focused on for decades. Along with the power of Israel and the I lobby

        Times are a changing.

        A grown up sticks to the written script and does not attempt to put their words into others mouths.

      • David Green
        January 7, 2016, 7:40 pm

        Kathleen: “D let’s be grown up and stick to the written script. I have never written or said that the “U.S. is a tool for Israel” I have and will continue to say that Israel and the I lobby have a destructive and disproportionate amount of influence on U.S. foreign policy.”

        Kind of like saying that the Gambino family had a destructive and disproportionate amount of influence on the Cosa Nostra.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 7, 2016, 8:27 pm

  22. David Green
    January 7, 2016, 2:53 pm

    Echniococcus: “Once the fact that the Zionist entity is a racist, apartheid regime, in fact more, a genocidal entity and the very negation of everything the US is supposed to be is clear to the general US public, one might expect a reaction strong enough to move the government, and this is exactly what you guys are fighting tooth and nail against.”

    It may be the negation of everything to US is supposed to be, but not of everything that it actually is. In fact, Israel’s behavior in ethnic cleansing mirrors our own. Certainly, the US public should be aware of the crimes committed in our name and with our $$. But it would seem more effective to make a truthful and honest argument about the nature of the relationship and what the US gets out of it, which you shamelessly deny. Once you make that argument, then Americans can be encouraged to be responsible for the behavior of their own government, which can indeed settle the issue, as well as many others. But as horrible as Israel is, just lashing out at it as if it operates in a vacuum is both moral and strategic stupidity, and is intellectually dishonest. And it won’t work, because Americans won’t be provoked into shame and conscience, as we should be. Relatively effective movements–Vietnam, Central America–have relied on Americans to examine our own imperialist agenda. There is no way to justice except through truth. And it’s simply not the truth that Israel or the Lobby has somehow bullied Americans into supporting its oppression of the Palestinians.

    American elites, Jewish or otherwise, have gotten plenty of eggs from these crazy chickens, just like they’ve gotten plenty of eggs from everything else that has to do post-WWII global hegemony.

  23. bryan
    January 8, 2016, 5:10 am

    Annie – thanks for you anecdote (at 4:35 pm on Jan 7th) regarding your wet visitor. This exemplifies the fatuousness of much of the conversation here, where reams are devoted to the alleged racism within the Israel / anti-Zionist debate whilst virtually nothing is said about the much more overt, flagrant, manifest, systematic abuse of Arabs and Moslems, often by those same people who see anti-semitism lurking within every criticism made of Israel, no matter how well-reasoned, logical and well-evidenced.

    Now surely anti-racism (like justice and freedom) is indivisible in a way that other qualities (like loyalty and patriotism) are not. One can applaud loyalty (to one’s tribe or community) without advocating it elsewhere, but surely one can only condemn racism towards one’s group by condemning the phenomenon wherever it appears (assuming of course that your objection to the alleged racism is based on rational principles). Yet how often do we hear those who shout about possible anti-semitic slurs complain about much more ostensible anti-moslem or anti-Arab bigotry?

    Another issue is that many alleged instances of anti-semitism (in the political rather than religious arena) are barely distinguishable from stereotyping, something that is objectionable to informed students of history and politics, but is by no means as egregious as racist sentiments. It is almost impossible to make any generalisation about any large collectivity (e.g. socialists, lefties, Americans, Republicans, Christians, gun-owners, animal-rights supporters, lobbyists) without indulging in a degree of stereotyping, unless one hedges interminably with qualifications. However generalisations are far more appropriate about Israel and Zionism than are equivalent generalisations about Arab states, Moslem-majority countries or Jews because of their respective organisational structures. Zionism is protected and promoted by a tightly-knit (!?) system of Zionist organisations, federations and committees, which have so far been highly successful in excluding moderate voices and maintaining a remarkable doctrinal cohesion.

    The commonalties are far more significant than the divergencies proferred by the alphabet soup of WZO, JNF, ZOA, ADL, AIPAC, JAI etc, and whilst historically there has been diversity (Cultural Zionism, Labour Zionism, Liberal Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, neo-Zionism, post-Zionism, green Zionism, religious Zionism etc) several of these were cul-de-sacs – perhaps more correctly tributaries that led into the main channel which is today straight, narrow, canalized. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Atheism and many other belief systems have no overwheening organisational structures to impose orthodoxy. Similarly the Israeli state has become dominated by a very narrow spectrum of Israeli society, centred on the military elite and their settler supporters, and excluding non-Jews (within and without the 67 borders), radical secular Jews, those supporters of liberal NGOs, and even non-Zionist religious Jews.

    To sum up my point of view:
    (1) there is virtually no overt anti-Semitism here, perhaps partly because the moderators are understandably more sensitive to slurs against Jews in general or some Jews in particular than they are to equivalent accusations against non-Jews, especially Moslems.
    (2) Whether there is hidden “anti-semitism” is a pointless discussion because allegations of “anti-semitism” have totally corrupted that term, as a frequent strategem to rebut legitimate criticism when the accuser has in reality run out of plausible defences for the unacceptable.
    (3) Stereotyping is problematic in all discourse but by definition less likely to apply the more concrete and less diverse the topic being considered, and this topic is in many ways as concrete as an 8 metre barrier snaking its way across the West Bank.
    (4) Subjects like this that arouse enormous passions on both sides will inevitably lead to emotive language, which will sometimes grate upon the ear. Expressions sometimes amount to gross-oversimplification on the lines of “Zionism is theft” or Zionists are like “rapists” but this is rhetorical and metaphorical, and fully matched by perhaps more sophisticated expressions like “redeeming the land” (bland euphemism for ethnic cleansing) and “returning after 2000 years to ones ancestral homeland” (outright lie masquerading as a euphemism for ethnic cleansing).

    • Annie Robbins
      January 8, 2016, 5:41 am

      bryan, don’t have time at the moment to check the comment you’re referencing (mod’g from back page) cuz we’re stack up w/comments. just read a link of yoni’s, led to another and another and realized for the first time we’re teaching genocide denial of native americans in california state universities. i am so blown away and i can’t stop crying. gotta go. backed up. will come back. i just can’t stop crying.

      • Kathleen
        January 8, 2016, 9:04 pm

        “Human rights crimes committed against Palestinians”…

      • YoniFalic
        January 9, 2016, 2:02 pm

        History Professor Maury Wiseman’s genocide denial seems to connect to his racist Zionist belief system, for Zionists have often likened E. European Zionist settlers in Palestine to European settlers in America.

        If the American settlers committed genocide against native Americans, obviously E. European Zionist settlers committed genocide against native Palestinians.

        Once must also keep in mind that Zionist leaders like Max Nordau (second only to Herzl) viewed genocide of non-Europeans by Europeans (including by “Jewish” Europeans) as something positive and inevitable throughout the world (including throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia, and especially Palestine).

    • David Green
      January 8, 2016, 10:23 am

      Bryan: “1) there is virtually no overt anti-Semitism here, perhaps partly because the moderators are understandably more sensitive to slurs against Jews in general or some Jews in particular than they are to equivalent accusations against non-Jews, especially Moslems.”

      I doubt that is true for the moderators, nor should it be. There may be no overt anti-Semitism, but a good deal of what is said about the influence of the Israel Lobby over USFP evokes tropes about Jewish power that are false in relation to American elites, and should be avoided for strategic and tactical reasons. It will get the Palestinians nowhere for us to challenge “Jewish power” in this country. We need to challenge the hegemonic strategies of USFP. We need to do so by telling the truth about Israel’s strategic role in US hegemony in the ME. It’s really not that hard, once you get the hang of it. That’s pretty much what JVP does, and it’s telling that they are dismissed by at least two of the primary commenters on this thread in quite jaundiced terms. And this is an ongoing problem on Mondoweiss, that goes back years, to the era when Jeffrey Blankfort held forth.

      http://palestinechronicle.com/old/view_article_details.php?id=15781

      • Kathleen
        January 8, 2016, 7:16 pm

        The fact based information about the power of Israel and the I lobby on U.S. is not going away. The fact based information about the human rights crimes that have and continue to be committed against is not going away.hi

        The fact based information about U.S. global hegemony agenda (talked about a great deal here and at many other websites) is not going away.

        The efforts to expose the destructive results of both are not going away. The efforts to curb (lobbying, protest, teach ins, leaflet dropping etc etc this website) these destructive forces are not going away.

        Folks should do all they can to keep Senator Sanders in the running. While his voting record is not much different than Clinton’s on the I/P issue, he provides far more possibilities when it comes to the Bush and OBama’s bloody love affairs with regime change

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2016, 11:55 pm

        “There may be no overt anti-Semitism, but a good deal of what is said about the influence of the Israel Lobby over USFP evokes tropes about Jewish power that are false in relation to American elites, and should be avoided for strategic and tactical reasons.”

        Mr. “Green” I know exactly how you feel and agree with you whole heartedly. I am a American Jew who is an inveterate antizionist. Disliked the idea from the first I heard about it, and then I learned something about it, and hated it.

        But you know what? There’s still a whole lotta stuff I hope to God I never hear about the Israel Lobby, and its actions in the US or about Israel. Oh far less than in the past, cause they’ve done most of them, but there’s still a whole lotta things I would hope to hell I never hear or read in the news. Especially if they are true!

        So for “strategic and practical reasons” let’s see what we can do about keeping the lid on this. For the Palestinian’s sake, I hasten to add, purely for their sake.

      • bryan
        January 11, 2016, 7:34 am

        David Green – “evokes tropes about Jewish power that are false”

        I think your disingenuity is clearly demonstrated by your use of two words in such a brief statement:

        (1) “Jewish” – no credible exponent of the influence of the lobby refers to it as Jewish – it is always Israel or pro-Israel, because transparently the power exerted comes from a very broad spectrum ranging from Christian fundamentalists to non-Zionist commentators (like Paul Krugman) who are clearly aware of its malign policy influence but too cautious / cowardly to grasp a nettle which because of its obvious influence could be hugely damaging to their careers.

        (2) the word “trope”. This may have some meaning in religion (cantillation associated with the chanting of the Torah), mathematics (a term “used in the theory of quartic surfaces in projective space” according to Wikipedia), philosophy (qualities or properties in formal ontology) or in literary criticism (the use of recurring literary or rhetorical devices, motifs or cliches). However, in political analysis is frequently sloppily misused by those too lazy to use more precise language and engaging in emotive and oversimplistic sloganizing (e.g. the “tropes” that “government is not the solution” or “guns do not kill, people do”), or far worse – employed regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict it is a cheap innuendo to imply that your opponent is deeply motivated by anti-semitic bigotry, and to foreclose all discussion on a given topic.

        We can argue whether the lobby “strongly influences” American and European policy, or “controls” policy, or has a stranglehold over Congress”, or, far less plausibly, has objectives that just happen to coincide and overlap with other powerful interest groups, but denial (and non-discussion) of the power of the lobby does no service to democracy or peace or justice or the oppressed Palestinians.

        Bibi famously said (unaware that he was being recorded): “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in their way.” Do you think he was saying that American plutocrats, independently and without any prompting from our supporters, will change their ways? Do you really think that when Stephen Rosen said: “You see this napkin? In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin” he was simply boasting of his prowess as a disinterested autograph-hunter? Do you really think that when Netanyahu received umpteen standing ovations during each of three speeches to joint sessions of Congress this was simply a natural and spontaneous response to his amazing oratorical and intellectual skills? Do you really think that when American politicians unanimously profess their undieing love of Israel (and outrageously compete with each other to attain new heights of hyperbole) they are simply counting the anticipated profits in their portfolios when America (entirely independently) makes its next foreign policy intervention?

      • David Green
        January 11, 2016, 10:25 am

        Bryan,

        I think I’ve made it clear that I well recognize the power of the Lobby to influence politicians, as well as Jewish institutions and media. What I’ve argued against here is attributing to the Lobby control of USFP. Clearly, the Weir case is an example where the problematic nature of this sort of approach came to full boil in the pro-Palestine movement. Whatever you think about it, it wasn’t about nothing. And while, I do not feel that she is an anti-Semite, there is an anti-semitic edge to what she argues, and gives hasbarats unnecessary fodder. Call it a trope, call it what you want. It’s not my favorite word either. And of course, I myself always use the term Israel Lobby rather than Jewish Lobby. But again, when you’re talking about a group of Zionists with the power to subversively control USFP, you’re talking about a group of Jews, and that will be exploited, and understandably so in the Weir case. Again, it’s also bad strategy for the pro-Palestine movement. We need to be challenging USFP at a fundamental level, while also educating people about I/P in a specific sense. We need not to see Obama as a victim of institutional forces, but as part of the problem.

        Here are a couple of letters I had published in my local newspaper last year regarding the influence of the Lobby. My local state assembly rep is an African-American woman whom I have known for years. I was publicly critical of her “non-vote” regarding apartheid, and I’ve taken much criticism for that:

        (1)

        The connection between what is now called the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the movement for justice in Palestine can be traced to the aftermath of Israel’s aggressive 1967 war of choice that resulted in the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza—what has come to be called Palestine. Black Power advocates at that time rightly came to see Palestine as an anti-colonialist cause.

        While there were undertones of anti-Semitism in some blacks’ rhetoric, accusations were exaggerated in order to deflect attention from the fundamentally racist nature of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, both within Israel and under the occupation regime. Moreover, the slogan “from Gaza to Ferguson” appropriately characterizes relationships between American and Israeli militarism and surveillance, including the training of American police in Israel.

        The Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement joins the Black Lives Matter movement in non-violent resistance to state-sponsored racist oppression. It is slandered locally by privileged and liberal academics, administrators, and Zionists who feather their own narrowly professional nests while having nothing to do with movements for social justice other than perhaps a few pretty words on Martin Luther King’s birthday.

        It is in this context that Israel Lobby propagandists proposed legislation in Springfield that not only condemns the BDS movement, but requires foreign corporations to invest in apartheid Palestine. Remarkably, this odious business was passed without dissent, including from African-American legislators. But these individuals should have to answer not only to advocates for justice in Palestine, but to the Black Lives Matter movement.

        (2)

        From 1947-49, the establishment of Israel was accompanied by ethnic cleansing of ¾ million Palestinians. In 1967, Israel secured its role in U.S. strategic control of the Middle East by smashing Egypt in a war of Israel’s choice, with U.S. support and transfer of weapons ever since.

        As a quid pro quo for hegemonic services, Israel has maintained its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (Palestine) and illegally transfers Israeli citizens to those regions. The results have been apartheid on the West Bank and the ongoing genocidal siege of Gaza, with regular massacres to prevent a Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution. Israel and the U.S. have been the only rejectionists of this solution at the U.N. for decades.

        The Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement (BDS)—mistakenly, I think—commits to neither one state nor two states. Nevertheless, its non-violent opposition to apartheid has been effective, especially on college campuses, and has supporters of Israeli apartheid panicked.

        These supporters—the Israel Lobby broadly understood—have enormous resources with which to challenge BDS, and use McCarthyite tactics unashamedly. Their influence on campus administrators created the context for the Salaita affair. Their influence on Illinois state legislators has resulted in unanimous support for or unwillingness to oppose apartheid. Both of our legislators should be unequivocally condemned for their recent “not voting” decision on this issue.

        Finally, affiliates of local Jewish institutions are enlisted in de facto support of apartheid, and are aligned with extreme right-wing News-Gazette editors in this effort.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 1:32 pm

        “What I’ve argued against here is attributing to the Lobby control of USFP.”

        Why? That may be a very effective thing to do, and it is completely within bounds with all the rest of the <political speech I see around me. Quite a bit of exaggeration. Some reason we Jews and our political projects are exempt from this freedom of speech?
        “Green” we are liable for every consequence of Zionism. The fact that the aren’t the consequences we would like has no bearing on it. Sorry.

      • bryan
        January 12, 2016, 5:17 am

        David – thanks for your lengthy reply. I can agree with much of what you say; except the following:-

        * I don’t find the Weir case problematic – like you I don’t for one minute believe she is an anti-Semite. The alleged “anti-semitic edge to what she says” you claim gives the hasbarats unnecessary fodder – but some hasbarats will find anti-Semitism in any statement made by anyone that is critical of Israel, and I don’t believe we should permit rational, logical and well-evidenced discussion to be closed down by what are sometimes clearly hysterical and self-serving voices of bigoted denial, usually engaging in an anti-Arab, anti-Moslem, or even anti-European rhetoric far worse than that which they condemn.

        * I’m glad “trope” is not your “favourite word either”; I was merely criticising you for employing it.

        * I’m glad you “always use the term Israel lobby not Jewish lobby”; I was merely criticising your reference to “Jewish power”, which clearly has “an anti-Semitic edge to it”, though I don’t recall Alison using such terms.

        * I was not “talking about a group of Zionists with the power to SUBVERSIVELY control USFP”; any American citizen or group of citizens is fully entitled to freely advocate for any point of view regarding USFP (preferably one that upholds human rights, national self-determination, international law and wherever possible the non-violent resolution of crises) but I do object to a point of view being imposed by threats against and possible corruption of elected officials, and that policy being orchestrated by a foreign state.

        *** Most especially I’m confused and even perplexed at you strange statement that “As a quid pro quo for hegemonic services, Israel has maintained its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (Palestine) and illegally transfers Israeli citizens to those regions.” This seems to suggest that American collusion in the illegal occupation has been some sort of reward for the strategic support provided by Israel – whereas it seems clear that the US State Department and virtually every US President has had a very clear stance on the fundamental issues (Jerusalem, settlements, the urgency of a two state solution, later the necessity for recognition of a Palestinian state, and even to a lesser extent the need to address the refugee problem). This has been constantly and continually undermined and thwarted either by the Israel lobby directly (orchestrating Congressional action to undermine executive action) or by the State of Israel, backed by the lobby (refusing American requests/ demands to freeze settlements, or to engage in negotiations like the Rodgers Plan or the Bush Road Map). Since the US always has impending elections (including mid-terms) the environment has always been ripe to neuter the UN by pressurising the administration to negate its own policy by employing the SC power of veto.

        *** You do not elucidate on “hegemonic services” so I shall have to guess that you are referring to the supposed immense strategic value that comes from the relationship with Israel. Those who advocate in this manner seldom spellout specifically what they are referring to, but this may be along the following lines:

        (1) Israeli counter-proliferation efforts in south east Asia (e.g. Iran Osirak attack 1981, Syria al-Kibar attack 2007, constant campaigning against Iranian WMD over decades) – yet can it be doubted that such efforts were merely responsive to Israel’s introduction of the bomb into the Middle East thwarting clear American policy pursued before Kennedy’s assassination.

        (2) Joint military training exercises – yet the US conducts military training with many dozen countries throughout the world. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/ex.htm)

        (3) Exchanges of military doctrine and methods – yet does the US seriously need to be familiar with the Dahiya doctrine (described by Goldstone Report as a strategy “designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population”, the Hannibal Directive, the Samson Option and other policies developed by the Sparta / Prussia of the Middle East? Granted the attack on Fallujah might have been less successful had the US army not learned the Israeli technique of attacking civilian areas defended by guerrila bands (e.g. Jenin “massacre”) but what would the US army have been doing in Fallujah but for the efforts of Zionist neocons?

        (4) US acquisition of technology such as unmanned aerial systems, armored vehicle protection, defense against short-range rocket threats, and robotics – yet Israel has gained far more from the US in terms of advanced aircraft, helicopters, munitions like white phosphorus, cluster bombs, bunker-busters, guided missiles, armoured bulldozers, etc., etc. Israel’s Iron Dome has been largely funded by US, and Israel has had few scruples about reselling technology acquired from the US to China, Venezuela or other states potentially hostile to the USA, or extending its American technology portfolio via espionage activities.

        (5) Cooperation in counter-terrorism, intelligence and cyber defence – yet the USA cooperates in like fashion with dozens of other states, and US and Israeli neoconservatism has been a conveyor belt mass-producing “terrorists” like Al Quaida, the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, all of whom thrive on American collusion in the unending occupation of Palestine and attacks on other states (esp. Lebanon) and support for autocratic states (Saudi Arabia, Egypt etc) necessary to maintain Israeli regional dominance. Israel has undoubtedly passed on to the US some interesting tidbits of intelligence (e.g. MiG-21 jet acquired from defecting pilot in 1966, P-12 Soviet radar station captured from Egypt and design of Mirage-5 stolen by spies from France) – but one would expect that the value of US intelligence passed to Israel vastly exceeds this (no proof for this but simply USA is in all respects the superpower).

        (6) Israel is, we were told by Jesse Helms, “America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East” – yet when America has been engaged in war in the region (especially two Iraq wars) that air-craft carrier was out of founds for fear of disrupting the alliances the USA easily formed with other Arab states like Syria and Egypt. Granted the US has positioned advanced radar facilities on Israeli soil, but these seem far more directed at Israeli security than American security. Israel has otherwise refused to allow American troops to be stationed in Palestine even when this was proposed as part a solution to the log-jam of Israeli security concerns re. the Jordan Valley during “peace” “negotiations”.

        (7) Israel has granted the US War Reserve Stock facilities to store armaments on Israel soil, but again I guess this may have proved of greater advantage to Israel than its “boss” since Israel has frequently run out of weapons in its frantic forays against Lebanon and Gaza and been permitted replenishment from these stocks.

        (8) Israel has been granted “Major Non-NATO Ally” status in 1989, enhanced by the American-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013, but I again suspect the advantages have been a one-way street for Israel that has thus had preferential access to American technology as weel as selling its own equipment into the USA, as well as other corporate and academic privileges that again one suspects help the smaller partner more than the larger.

        If I’m barking up the wrong tree on “hegemonic services” then please enlighten me. PS you may of course be referring to Israel being a sub-contractor doing America’s dirty work for it on the lines of Iran Contra or support for South African Apartheid, when such activities became too disreputable for the US to engage in.

      • David Green
        January 12, 2016, 11:01 am

        Bryan, I would primarily disagree that the U.S. has had any serious intention of supporting international law in Palestine, whatever the “official” policy.

        I would continue to claim, referring to the substance of the Murphy’s original article, that the relationship between Israel and the U.S. is indeed special. On this I continue to agree with Chomsky: http://www.alternet.org/story/147865/noam_chomsky%3A_the_real_reasons_the_u.s._enables_israeli_crimes_and_atrocities

      • David Green
        January 12, 2016, 11:16 am

        Bryan, I would add that in the original article, Murphy doesn’t seem to be challenging the utility of the “special relationship.” Nor is he claiming that the Lobby is primarily responsible for the special relationship, rather than its actual utility to US planners. But the implication was quickly drawn that somehow the Lobby is mostly or fully responsible, and that’s the view I’ve challenged. There is a lot of moral capital in the MW comments section invested in the notion that the Lobby, rather than US elites, are responsible for the special relationship. Granted, sometimes it’s hard to tell the two apart, but that’s not the same as what Mearsheimer/Walt are claiming.

        I would also add that you omit the vital strategic relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

        Also, the Rogers plan was opposed primarily by Kissinger.

      • David Green
        January 12, 2016, 11:37 am

        I would also add that my understanding was that the US was not at all on board with Osirak; but that did not disrupt the special relationship.

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 12:15 pm

        “There is a lot of moral capital in the MW comments section invested in the notion that the Lobby, rather than US elites, are responsible for the special relationship.”

        Now there’s a nice circular minimization! That is good, when we can’t deny, minimize, minimize, minimize.

        So “US elites” (all of whom attend services on Sunday, not Saturday) created and maintains the Israel Lobby? And cultivates its influence? Okay

        Now, can I ask you one question? Can you tell me why, based on the record of the Lobby, and Zionism, I should not immediately begin to suspect that the truth is nearer the opposite of what you are saying?

        It is astounding to me how consequence-free people expect Zionism to be.

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 12:36 pm

        ” But the implication was quickly drawn that somehow…”

        Sorry, but what does “the implication was quickly drawn that somehow” mean? Goes right by me. I mean, in case I need to quickly draw an “implication” (that somehow), how is it done?

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 7:15 pm

        “Bryan, I would primarily disagree that the U.S. has had any serious intention of supporting international law in Palestine, whatever the “official” policy.”

        That’s what I thought, too! And it makes me so mad that US elites are able to cynically manipulate and decoy the honest folks in the Israel Lobby. They’re just using us! They’ll just blame it all on the Lobby someday, when they had no serious intention of supporting international law in Palestine”

        Of course, the Zionists are, as we know, released from all those obligations concerning international law, not their problem, which makes it all the more cruelly ironic when they get blamed!

      • bryan
        January 15, 2016, 7:12 am

        David – sometimes the way you frame your argument gives me serious difficulties. For instance:

        (1) you claim that “the U.S. has had [no] serious intention of supporting international law in Palestine” as if the US were a single person. The US is of course a mix of many different interest groups, whose policies change constantly over time, and as you yourself note, even within the President’s ME policy team there can be major differences of approach even at a given point in time, as between Rodgers and Kissinger. Nevertheless all Presidents of no matter which party have to some extent backed international law by refusing to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, by condemning settlement expansion (even though refusing to apply sanctions when this occurs because of their vulnerability to pressures which the Israel lobby can apply within domestic politics). If the US government really is so patently obstructive of the principles of international law please explain to me why Israel has not formally annexed Area C.

        (2) You blithely refer to “American elites” without any attempt to define them, or to demarcate the role of the Israel Lobby within the “American elites”. Those who refer to the Lobby are not referring simply to AIPAC but to a broad alliance of noisy voices within academia, media, government and military, inspired by a commitment to Zionism, and neo-conservative intervention. You quote Chomsky to make your case, but much as I admire and respect this great scholar and activist his argument is poor (and you surely could find better sources to make your case):-

        (a) He argues quite rightly that “Christian Zionism is a very powerful force that precedes and is numerically far stronger than Jewish Zionism” but none of those who assert the power of the Israel lobby dispute this fact.

        (b) Those who assert the power of the lobby do not deny the American desire to control Middle Eastern oil, and to this end to back Arab dictators in order to destroy Arab nationalism. That has also been the constant objective of Israel and Zionism. You can’t really demonstrate the irrelevance of the Israel lobby by pointing to policy areas where the relationship between American imperialism and Zionism is so symbiotic.

        (c) Chomsky somewhat lazily implies the role of the MIC in American policy by arguing that: “By far the most rabid pro-Israel newspaper in the country is the Wall Street Journal. That’s the journal of the business community, and it reflects the support of the business world for Israel, which is quite strong.” That would work only if he could show that the rest of the print media, the film industry, television and talk radio were significantly less rabid in their pro-Israel support. It certainly does not disprove that the influences that make the Lobby so powerful and influential do not extend widely through popular culture, journalism, academia, think-tanks etc.

        (d) Chomsky’s next argument also seems feeble: “Take a look at the two political parties. Most Jewish money goes to Democrats and most Jews vote Democratic. But the Republican Party is much more strongly supportive of Israeli power and atrocities than the Democrats are. Then again, I think that reflects their closer relations to the business world and to the military system.” Well yes, I’ll concede that most Jews vote democratic, and the Republicans are more consistently pro-business and inclined to support atrocities across the world BUT the Lobby is not the voice of ordinary voters and has always set a premium of maintaining bi-partisan support, and the Republican Party has become more consistently pro-Israel as the Lobby has extended its efforts to gain support amongst Republicans and huge funding is now being directed by the likes of Adelson towards the Republic machine.

        (e) Chomsky finally broaches a rather delicate matter – where someone normally so articulate and forthright now seems to have a problem with speaking improptu: “There is, of course, also a Jewish lobby – an Israeli lobby — AIPAC, which is a very influential lobby. And so there are many… and there’s Christian Zionism, which is a huge element.” Note the all-advised reference to a Jewish lobby, quickly corrected, and the sentence he could not complete (And so there are many….) quickly transformed into a reference to Christian Zionism.

        But let me not be too harsh; even the greatest public intellectual and guru of international relationships needs occasionally to bite his tongue when the subject matter gets too controversial.

      • Keith
        January 15, 2016, 11:39 am

        BRYAN- “Those who refer to the Lobby are not referring simply to AIPAC but to a broad alliance of noisy voices within academia, media, government and military, inspired by a commitment to Zionism, and neo-conservative intervention.”

        You do realize, I hope, that defining the Lobby this broadly is tantamount to saying that a significant part of what David defines as the imperial elites comprise much of the power of the Lobby? I no longer bother with these discussions because ultimately the power of the Lobby is directly correlated with what is included in the Lobby.

        As long as I am commenting, however, I will point out that David’s insinuation of incipient anti-Semitism and tropes is a bunch of crap. Some of these anti-Zionist Jews are what I refer to as tribal anti-Zionists, their opposition but an echo of Zionist ideological solidarity. This constant reference to anti-Semitism is a core component of Zionism and of organized Jewish kinship. Many of these tribal anti-Zionists wish to remove Israel from the picture while maintaining a significant degree of Jewish solidarity. The use of allegations of anti-Semitism or potential anti-Semitism or tropes, etc, is a technique for trying to establish Jewish control of the narrative. The very notion of Jew hatred on Mondoweiss is preposterous, and the use of labels as argument spurious.

      • Mooser
        January 15, 2016, 2:41 pm

        ” The use of allegations of anti-Semitism or potential anti-Semitism or tropes, etc”

        A reality, as far as I can see: When we (and nobody else) decided that Judaism was a significant part of Zionism, (and how could it not be?) it didn’t turn criticism of Israel into a violation of the limits on speech reserved for speech about religious practices or beliefs, it opens the religion (and everything else about the word “Jewish”) to political speech. That’s speech used not just to inform, but also to persuade, appeal, even excite or enrage (politically). Or even portray how a person feels about things.
        It can be rough. But that’s our little mess of pottage now, so don’t doth protest too much.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 10, 2016, 2:57 am

      bryan , sorry in being so late getting back to you and i appreciate your comment.

      Yet how often do we hear those who shout about possible anti-semitic slurs complain about much more ostensible anti-moslem or anti-Arab bigotry?

      this reminds me. i drafted one of marc ellis’s article today and he had a really good blockquote from the jvp student network. as it turns out (surprise surprise) zionists are freaking out about the intersectionality between sjp and the black lives matter movement as well as other anti oppression movements on campuses. really freaked out. so there were a bunch of articles about them and both jvp and open hillel wrote statements. without giving too much away from ellis’s (excellent) article (should be up tomorrow we did ‘t publish today) here’s the blockquote:

      The idea that BDS and other oppressed peoples’ movements threaten Jewish safety is a false and harmful one, deliberately perpetuated by Islamophobic, pro-Israel organizations who feign no interest in justice or equity for Palestinians or minority students, as documented in a report authored by Jewish Voice for Peace.

      Anti-Jewish bigotry is not equivalent to the structural oppression, experienced by students of color, which is maintained by state and university policies and violence. However, it is related to them and can provide a basis for historical analysis and a spirit of solidarity in struggle. This is because, on and off campus, contemporary white American Jews benefit, as all white people do, from a system of white supremacy. It is disingenuous to deny the fact that, while anti-black racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab racism run rampant on our campuses and in our society at large, acts of hatred directed against Jews thankfully remain isolated and fringe.

      Zionism is protected and promoted by a tightly-knit (!?) system of Zionist organisations, federations and committees, which have so far been highly successful in excluding moderate voices and maintaining a remarkable doctrinal cohesion.

      oh, they have some so called moderates, they just seem completely right wing since they support apartheid and genocide, inadvertently. and of course Zionism is protected and promoted, with a HUGE budget too.

      (1) there is virtually no overt anti-Semitism here, perhaps partly because the moderators are understandably more sensitive to slurs against Jews in general or some Jews in particular than they are to equivalent accusations against non-Jews, especially Moslems.

      we do get some anti semitism here but not a lot. a lot is also left up to interpretation. i trash comments i find blatantly offensive generally. but lots of times if i think my personal decisions/opinions are uninformed or impacted by bias, i just leave them for other moderators to decide. and then, surprisingly, sometimes i find they make it thru. partly it is because i am not jewish so i think someone who is should decide especially on issues of jewish identity. and often times the person making the comment is also jewish, so i don’t want to get in the middle. one of the things i find really hurtful is the whole de-jewing of jews. the conversations about jews not existing if they are not religious or whatever. it’s so over my head. i don’t like any of that stuff but at the same time who am i to prevent people reading it? so i let other mods decide.

      and things wear on me, and then after years i get used to them. but in all honesty i think many of the kind of comments that grate on my ears, in the analogous — they do work. (like the rape analogies). i’m more sensitive — as i think most americans are given our conditioning — to bigotry against jews. that is a result of years of accusations directed towards the site and the constant drumbeat amplifying the ‘plight’ of jews and the constant threat — as if it were real in it’s magnification. but i don’t think it is anything like what oppressed groups in the US have to endure. and jews are not an oppressed group in the US (imho), which doesn’t mean anti semitism doesn’t exist.

      thanks for your comment, again sorry it took me so long to respond. (and i really was out of it/crying when i wrote my earlier response to you, it’s just so mindgrinding — the denial, to this very day, of native american genocide).

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2016, 11:57 am

        Have we ever had a single-( G-d, just one!) one lone solitary Zionist or Israel defender who doesn’t talk down at us? Who isn’t didactic, superior and pretentious from their very first words?
        And this feast of reason and flow of soul is always accompanied by fine whines.

      • David Green
        January 10, 2016, 1:34 pm

        Mooser, who is “us”??

      • bryan
        January 10, 2016, 3:09 pm

        Mooser – just be a little more appreciative of the difficulties of being an occupier who bears the responsibilities of bringing the benefits of civilisation to backward nations. I speak as a Brit (familiar with the White Man’s burden) – dealing with Americans who chucked us out in the 18th century was difficult enough, let alone the Irish who tried to chuck us out in the 19th century, and the Indians who chucked us out in the 20th century – but just imagine how difficult it is to occupy a nation in the 21st century. If you had to do that you would surely resort to all your skills of didacticism, superiority and pretentiousness – wouldn’t you?

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2016, 3:26 pm

        “If you had to do that you would surely resort to all your skills of didacticism, superiority and pretentiousness – wouldn’t you?”

        And if we die in the attempt just say this of us, there is some corner of a far-off field which is forever kosher?

        Me, I’m strictly “Farewell, the shofar. I shall hear it no more…”

  24. Mooser
    January 10, 2016, 2:30 pm

    “Mooser, who is “us”??

    Try to keep up, stay sort of au courant, would’ja, already? Around here, inattention can be taken for a sign of incipient antisemanticism.
    And you don’t wanna get tarred with that!

Leave a Reply