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Liberal pundits and Democrats are stifling conversation on failed peace process, AIPAC’s power, and push for war on Iran

on 41 Comments
Judah Benjamin
Judah Benjamin

On Friday Pat Lang’s national security site published an essay that a lot of folks are passing around. I don’t know who wrote it–the byline was the pseudonym J.P. Benjamin (at left)–but the familiarity with a lot of inside baseball suggests someone in the know.

The chronology could not really be clearer. In the immediate aftermath of the Knesset passage of the bill restricting funding for human rights organizations within Israel, followed by Secretary of State Clinton’s criticism that was extended to condemnation of the treatment of women in Israel, and the unprecedented official protest against the Israeli policy lodged by the US ambassador, there has been a strong and harsh backlash, obviously whipped up, assailing organizations and people in the US that have been critical of the Occupation, the Netanyahu government’s destruction of the peace process, and the right-wing within Israel. From the Ben Smith article in Politico on December 8 on the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for publishing critical material of current Israeli policy and its ideologues (“vitriol”), to Jennifer Rubin (who has openly called for the mass murder of Palestinians and has been protected by Washington Post editors and its publisher), to Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic (a former Israeli prison guard who has proclaimed himself the oracle on all matters pertaining to Israel and that criticism of him is ipso facto rejection of the Jewish State and ipso facto objectively anti-Semitic, encompassing perhaps his service in the Bush administration choir on links of Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein, etc.), et al (the usual suspects), there is a broad and systematic effort to limit discussion and debate about Israel and the Middle East that reflects the campaign inside Israel, including on the following subjects: the collapsed peace process and who is responsible; the complexities of the Arab Spring; the diplomatic rather than ultimate military path towards Iran; the emergence of Turkey and its chastising of Israeli policy on Gaza, especially after the killings on the Mavi Marmara; the influence of Likud through AIPAC and other organizations on the US political process, the US media and the US Congress; the rise of the new right around Islamophobia; the influence and role of Israel on US detainee policy and the militarization of domestic policing policy; the assault on Secretary of State Clinton for her remarks on the threats to democracy within Israel, as well as the nearly complete silence in the US from the Democratic Party, liberal intellectuals and pundits, defending her and the administration, as well as freedom for human rights groups within Israel; and the effort to discredit anyone operating outside the limits set by those that insist on the narrow spectrum of discussion, far different from within Israel itself.

Please read the articles below: Clinton criticism sparks Israeli anger, etc.

The articles can be found at the post.

Philip Weiss

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

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41 Responses

  1. HarryLaw on December 11, 2011, 1:39 pm

    Just why Clinton was criticized and Ambassadors Gutman and Freeman pilloried is quite simple, let them get away with it, then anybody[can grow a spine]and get away with it. Just picture a crime boss shaking down shops and businesses, what does he do when one person refuses to pay,unless that person is taught a lesson[you have a nice place here would not like anything to happen to it, know what I mean guvnor]and one that is seen by everyone, the whole edifice could come crashing down, Congress got the message.

    • American on December 11, 2011, 5:26 pm

      You’re right HarryLaw……they have to crush any dissenters as example to others to keep them in line.

      • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 5:28 pm

        Nice, the US is now essentially run by a concocted mafia in behalf the Big Likudnik Kuhuna who has never met an American he didn’t see as a simple tool for maintaining Zionist hegemony and lebensraum.

  2. JonGarfunkel on December 11, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Philip – You’re a professional journalist, and you soundly conclude here regarding alias Judah Benjamin is “All I know is that he or she can write”?

    What we have here is a person capable of putting together 2 run-on sentences totalling 400 words. That’s not writing.

    Certainly, one would have to be blind to not witness the writing on the wall regarding the fissures between Israel and America (“blind” — that’s an idiom, that’s what writers use!) . But to cast a wide net suggesting a full conspiracy to silence criticism of Israel is ludicrous. To charge Jennifer Rubin with calling for mass murder, or to suggest that Jeffrey Goldberg is so narcissistic that he equates criticism of himself with anti-Semitism, is just the start of nonsense in the rant you reposted.

    There is a huge potential for the vastly liberal American Jewish to more openly lose faith with the direction Israel has been going in. But not by this drivel.

    Jon Garfunkel
    New York, NY

    • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 5:36 pm

      It’s a very transparent cabal, not a back room conspiracy. The lights are coming on, flashing more and more, and the electrified string they share is not something fresh out of the box. If it keeps up, America will increasingly delegitimize itself, just as Israel has been doing for years.

    • American on December 12, 2011, 6:10 pm

      “But to cast a wide net suggesting a full conspiracy to silence criticism of Israel is ludicrous. To charge Jennifer Rubin with calling for mass murder, or to suggest that Jeffrey Goldberg is so narcissistic that he equates criticism of himself with anti-Semitism, is just the start of nonsense in the rant you reposted.”

      You are in wrong place Jon to post this drivel. I say that not because many here champion a Palestine State and end to Israel’s occupation but because 99% of us here have done our homework, as has Phil.
      If you’re gonna blow smoke go outside.

  3. DanMazella on December 11, 2011, 4:46 pm

    Having a conflict is a goldmine for the Pals. They been living on handouts for over 60 years.
    They dont want to end the conflict, because they would have to take responsiblity of their people.

    • eGuard on December 11, 2011, 5:20 pm

      They call it the Nakba Industry. Please keep it a secret, as others would copy it.

    • eljay on December 11, 2011, 5:26 pm

      >> Having a conflict is a goldmine for the Pal[estinian]s.

      It’s not nearly as rich a goldmine as it is for Israel.

    • Eva Smagacz on December 11, 2011, 5:41 pm

      Dear DanMazella,

      Pals have been prevented by Kikes from earning the living. Last year they were magnanimously allowed by Israel to export 4.5 tons of cherry tomatoes (and few other things, not many) from Gaza, presumably so that the income would allow them to feed 1.5 million people without resorting to handouts.

      Three questions for you:

      Which is more insulting: Kikes or Pals?
      Is 3 billion that Israel collects a year more than less than Palestinians collect?
      Do you know that half of Gaza population is children, and Israel is not paying a penny for their food not that Israel ever did ??

    • dahoit on December 12, 2011, 9:17 am

      Yeah,our toadies (Fatah)who have done zilch for their people want the handouts to continue.That’s why Hamas is ascendent.They aren’t compromised by greenbacks and shekels.

    • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 5:39 pm

      Israel is the biggest recipient of US foreign aid in all of US history. We Americans need to cut off this aid as Likud Israel is no friend of America or its best values, nor is it of any strategic interest, nor does it have any natural resources we need. Likud Israel is nothing but an ugly parasite.

  4. DanMazella on December 11, 2011, 4:56 pm

    2nd, we find out last month, that Saeb Erekat confirmed Olmert had offered a final peace settlement that would include territorial concession equivalent to the entire West Bank and the division of Jerusalem.
    The Palestinians also control 100% of Gaza.
    Erekat also admitted the Jews only live on 1.1% of the West Bank.
    So it proves what lies Philip Weiss has said over the years that Israel never offered the Pals a state.
    The problem is Palestinian Rejectionism.
    So why did the Palestinians not respond to Olmert’s offer?
    All you have to do is go to Palmediawatch and see the Palestinians genocidal plans against Israel.
    Why dont Weiss see how the Palestinians glorify terrorists who massacre Israeli civilians, names streets after these terrorists and talk how Israel will be eliminated.
    I guess talking about that dont fit Philip’s radical agenda against Israel.

    • Cliff on December 12, 2011, 5:35 pm

      Stop spamming the blog with your over-used hasbara bullshit.

      Can we ban this retard yet?

      • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 6:01 pm

        Perhaps he doesn’t know that all he says has been debunked on MW so often it’s absurd?

      • American on December 12, 2011, 6:13 pm

        Just ignore him. The sudden uptick in hasbara trolls means Israel is scrambling in the propaganda war.

  5. DanMazella on December 11, 2011, 4:58 pm

    Then Weiss says, the complexities of the Arab Spring;
    There are no complexities. Its jihadists taking over all these Arab spring countries and in Syria, you have a goverment thats killing thousands of its own people, which doesn’t seem to bother Philip.

    • jewishgoyim on December 11, 2011, 5:19 pm

      DanMazella. I did not know this troll before. It’s hard to keep up…

    • RoHa on December 11, 2011, 6:33 pm

      “Its jihadists taking over all these Arab spring countries”

      So NATO was supporting jihadists against Gaddafi?

      “and in Syria, you have a goverment thats killing thousands of its own people, which doesn’t seem to bother Philip.”

      Of course, these people are jihadists. Jihadists are, you suggest, a Bad Thing, but you don’t want the Syrian government to suppress them.

    • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 5:10 pm

      Aw, DAnMazella, so you miss that deeply discounted Egyptian gas you got from the last Egyptian regime for 30 years thanks to USA tossing bribe cash at Mubarak?

    • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 6:04 pm

      Right, there are no complexities in the Arab Spring–it all sucks unless any new regime at least supports Israel as much as the last one. Syria is on the PNAC hit list. US does not support Syria in any significant way.

  6. eGuard on December 11, 2011, 5:16 pm

    Thank you Phil for explaining the complexities of the Arab Spring. Please add another post when you think needed.

    • DanMazella on December 11, 2011, 6:03 pm

      Who won the Elections in Egypt and Tunisa? Islamists.
      Who won the election in Algeria, when they had an election? Islamists.

      • piotr on December 11, 2011, 7:26 pm

        And who won in Israel?

        Actually, it would be nice if Israel, being perhaps the first democracy in the region, gave a “good example” so the others would not be convinced that “even Israel” segregates public transit and censors NGOs. Decent treatment of religious minorities would be similarly helpful. Abolishing “administrative detention” etc. would help too.

        Concerning Syria, pro-democracy activist do not spend much energy demanding sanctions on the regime because … these are already in place. Sri Lanka is a rare country that suffers no sanctions and has a very poor human rights record (mind you, it is a democratic country like Israel), and it is one of the “pet causes” of the left.

      • dahoit on December 12, 2011, 9:18 am

        And the other ists win in Israel.Sheesh.

      • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 6:07 pm

        So what? I don’t see Islamist states starting wars, occupying whole peoples like Israel does. And we don’t give them endless giant chunks of foreign aid with no strings attached and at interest cost to us. And some of those Islamist states have OIL, which Israel does not–just blood diamonds and stolen tek.

  7. DICKERSON3870 on December 11, 2011, 6:59 pm

    RE: “I don’t know who wrote it–the byline was the pseudonym Judah Benjamin. All I know is that he or she can write.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: A pseudonym or a “nom de plumes”?
    “Enquiring mimes want to know.”


    (excerpt) Judah Philip Benjamin (August 6, 1811 – May 6, 1884) was an American politician and lawyer. Born a British subject in the West Indies, he moved to the United States with his parents and became a citizen. He later became a citizen of the Confederate States of America. After the collapse of the Confederacy, Benjamin moved to England, where he established a second legal career. In 1883 he retired and moved permanently to Paris, where his wife and daughter had lived for years. He died the following year.
    During his career in U.S. politics, Benjamin was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives; in 1852 he was elected by the state legislature to the US Senate from Louisiana; the second Jewish senator in U.S. history. Following the formation of the Confederate States of America in 1861, he was appointed by President Jefferson Davis to three different Cabinet posts in his administration. Benjamin was the first Jewish appointee to a Cabinet position in a North American government, and the first Jewish American to be seriously considered for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court (he twice declined offers of nomination). Following his relocation to the United Kingdom, he became a distinguished barrister and was selected in 1872 as Queen’s Counsel…

    SOURCE –

  8. DICKERSON3870 on December 11, 2011, 7:36 pm

    RE: “A dark wind is blowing through the country” ~ Tsipi Livni (from the post by “JP Benjamin” at Sic Semper Tyrannis)

    MY COMMENT: “Just don’t judge me by my shoes.”

    ANOTHER TOTALLY EXCELLENT LATE AUTUMN EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, brought to you by the proud makers of new Ziocaine Xtreme®:

    “Listen to the rice when the wind blows ‘cross the water,
    King harvest has surely come…
    …The smell of the leaves,
    From the Magnolia trees in the meadow,
    King harvest has surely come.
    Dry summer, then comes fall,
    Which I depend on most of all.
    Hey, rainmaker, can’t you hear my call? …
    …Scarecrow and a yellow moon,
    And pretty soon a carnival on the edge of town,
    King harvest has surely come.
    Last year, this time, wasn’t no joke,
    My whole barn went up in smoke.
    My horse Jethro, well he went mad
    And I can’t ever remember things bein’ that bad…
    …Corn in the fields.
    Listen to the rice
    when the wind blows ‘cross the water,
    King harvest has surely come.” ~ Robbie Robertson

    The Band: King Harvest (Has Surely Come) -

  9. Graber on December 11, 2011, 10:14 pm

    I often wonder about the psychology of the occupiers. They target youth and teenagers among the Palestinians – often I think because it’s their own youth and teens who are serving in the military.

    And now they’re limiting funding for foreign NGO’s. But it really seems like the US should be investigating who is funding AIPAC… Which ‘foreign agents’ are there influencing US politics?

    Israel is most frightened of Israel (

  10. Dan Crowther on December 12, 2011, 8:56 am

    Wait, so there is a systematic effort on the part of Israel’s backers in the US to stifle debate, lash out against critics and provide material and ideological support for it’s policies? Getdafckouttahere, no way, really?……

    also, the whole “this is debated in Israel” meme is growing really, really tiresome. To me, it just serves to pat the tribe on the back, while covering over the complicity of the vast majority of Israeli’s and jews around the world, right and left alike, in this horror show taking place in Palestine. Big deal, they “debate” with out the same “narrow spectrums” – look what they have done, and continue to do to the Palestinians. There is ZERO moral value to mentioning the fact that this topic is “debated” in Israel; moreover, what would a “discussion outside the narrow spectrum” look like in the US? Four jews from different vantage points talking about the conflict? Maybe five?

    What goldberg and co. are really afraid of is not “israel being discussed/debated,” its israel being debated by non jews, maybe even without jews present. (scary,huh?) they can handle you, phil – but they can’t handle a american population who no longer fails in line behind the jewish advocates, on either side of the conflict. Wake me up when someone “in the know” or on TV etc. says, “man, can we get some non jews on to discuss this, please?”

    • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 5:57 pm

      Dan C, “Man can we get some non-Jews on to discuss this, please?” You mean somebody who does have a blatent or subtle Jewish superiority complex? Maybe Mooser? Ah but he’s a moose. Oh yeah, he’s not on TV, but gone with Rocket J Squirrel? And, er… I don’t think he ever claimed to be in the know… Besides, he’s a Jew. Who’s left? Seems everytime a non-Jew who’s somewhat in the public eyenspeaks up, they sort of vanish. Or at least, they don’t get any MSM coverage that lasts much past the incident where they spoke up.

    • American on December 12, 2011, 6:19 pm

      Maybe Phil wrote the Sic Semper Tyrannis article. It’s all information he’s covered here. If he did..good.

      • philweiss on December 12, 2011, 6:20 pm

        no not me

      • American on December 12, 2011, 6:34 pm

        Maybe you should adopt a pen name and write some articles for other sites, you know the intricacies of the issue, particularly in the Jewish community, better than or as well as anyone.

  11. dahoit on December 12, 2011, 11:27 am

    Our POTUS has continually thumbed his nose at the Constitution of the USA.The silence from the alleged liberal(Ho Ho)press is deafening.
    And sickening.Especially that Iranian plot that is a lie.Man,it’s like the burning of the Reichstag,a false flag attempt to start another bloodletting.This man is the emptiest suit in American history and an idiot.

  12. Les on December 12, 2011, 1:21 pm

    Perhaps it’s time to get afraid again or just continue to be afraid.

    Dec. 12, 2011

    Why the US & Israel May Agree to Bombing Iran

    • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 5:05 pm

      Insightful article by Spinney, Les–how the American mind is being set up to nod OK when Israel bombs Iran & our Congress/POTUS call for us to join Israel to save us both from the Horrible new Islamic Hitlerian Iran. So Goebbels/Hitler learned from Bernays/Brits/ (WW1), and Israel learned from Goebbels/Hitler; and now it’s the American people’s turn to learned once again what they did not learn from the fraudulent invasion of Iraq. If Americans buy this again, they deserve what will unfold, which will be much worse than what Wolfowitz willfully ignored.

  13. seanmcbride on December 12, 2011, 2:57 pm

    In his confrontations with Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman over illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, Obama received little support from Democrats and “liberals” who have supposedly supported the Mideast peace process and the two-state solution for several decades now. In fact, some Democrats and “liberals” attacked Obama, siding with the most extreme right-wing regime in Israeli history.

    So: what is really going on here? Have many self-proclaimed liberal Democrats really been covert Likudniks all along? Are they a collection of little Newt Gingrichs pretending to care about human rights and democratic values? That is what it looks like. Their silence speaks volumes.

    What should be clear by now is that the Democratic Party is completely useless from the standpoint of achieving a fair and just Mideast peace settlement. At least with the Republican crazies (especially Christian Zionists and Christian Armageddonists) you know what you are getting. They are honest and forthright about their views.

    • Citizen on December 12, 2011, 6:09 pm

      Yes, their silence speaks volumes–I think Atzmon makes the same point.

    • American on December 12, 2011, 6:37 pm

      I agree the Dems are useless on Israel, as well as other issues.

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