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Heilbrunn says that Israel lobby ‘crucified’ George HW Bush over settlements

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Imagine if a non-Jewish critic of the Israel lobby used the verb in my headline. Just imagine. Wouldn’t happen. They might take away the guy’s job.

Also remember that Mike Desch reported that George H.W. Bush felt that he had lost his bid for reelection in 1992 in part because he had taken on the Israel lobby (a lesson not lost on George II, but lost on all our political journalists).

OK now go to 1:18 of the video below. Jacob Heilbrunn, student of neoconservatism, is answering a question by the entertaining Dmitri Simes, the head of the Nixon Center, which is posed around 1:10. Simes hates neocons, is a Putin apologist, has a fun, heavy accent, is I think Jewish, and somehow manages to have gotten and maintained control of the Nixon Center. Simes’s question is about the irresistible hold of neoconservatism– why no Republican president has challenged the neoconservatives.

And note that Heilbrunn opens the question up to the idea of the Israel lobby hamstringing all presidents, Republican and Democrat. Heilbrunn: 

What would the price be for a Republican president? We already see Obama actually paying a price and I think you want to focus on this issue. It really gets down to the case of Israel. Obama went against his own party to some degree–and of course has incurred  violent reactions from the neoconservatives– demanding smply not that Israel dismantle settlements, but that it freeze new construction. This has triggered an uproar. You know, George Herbert Walker got crucified when he made the same demand and tried to suspend loans to Israel in the wake of the Iraq war. And he was attacked for saying he was just one lonely guy up here, against this enormous lobby. But you know, He had to give in, George Herbert Walker was not able to hold that line. And I haven’t seen any president that’s been able to. So I think that the advantages that the neoconservatives have, it’s an organ… etc


Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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