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In attacking Romney, Democratic p.r. firm embraces ‘pro-Israel necons’

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I’m on the mailing list of Rabinowitz-Dorf, which works for the Democratic Party (and which was hired to help rehabilitate the Democratic-Party-affiliated Center for American Progress when it got into trouble for running pieces criticizing the Israel lobby). And here are two recent communications from my friend there:

Hey, As we end the GOP convention and start thinking about the DNCC, I wanted to remind you about the person who nominated Romney to this position: Gov. John Sununu. Governor Sununu was probably… the most anti-Israel Governor in US history. It’s pretty notable. I mean, imagine if Obama was nominated by someone even close to as unsupportive of Israel as Sununu. Below is a brief reminder [link to Jewish Week] of why Sununu is infamous among the pro-Israel community.

And last week my friend at Rabinowitz-Dorf hopped on a rumor about Romney’s foreign policy choices. Note that in doing so, Rabinowitz-Dorf sided with neoconservatism.

Thought you would be interested in today’s report that [former World Bank president Robert] Zoellick “is seen as very likely” to be Romney’s pick for Secretary of State. As a reminder, this is the same pick that raised questions for Romney because his “selection of James Baker protege Zoellick to key [campaign] foreign policy slot is pitting the ‘realists’ of George H.W. Bush against the pro-Israel ‘neo-Cons’ of his son.”

The emails reflect a core characteristic of the Israel lobby. It transcends party, it is more powerful than either party in its policy area. Neither party dares run against it. Dershowitz calls Obama “Neville Chamberlain” and still gets a meeting with him– because Obama needs Dersh. And meantime, Bill Kristol can brag to a liberal Upper West Side Jewish audience that he helped purge “Arabists” from the Republican Party and he gets no grief for that; no, because neocons are pro-Israel…

Philip Weiss

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

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17 Responses

  1. Citizen on September 1, 2012, 10:40 am

    The power of the Israel Lobby over both main US parties would not mean anything except that it puts a tiny foreign state at the head of US foreign policy in the most globally strategic area in the world, the Middle East. It’s amazing to me that most Americans are not aware of this fact. Is it related to how ownership of US mainstream media has been reduced to only a half-dozen companies with control ownership? All of these companies are “pro-Israel.” Pro-USA is not even part of the equation. And Dick and Jane sleep. Are we waiting for them to be awakened by fringe like David Duke? They will have to be mauled first. And this is coming. Mitt, McCain, Candi all beat the drums for war on Iran. Add in spike in gas pump price. What do you get? Sheldon Adelson moving to Israel at the speed of sound?

    • chinese box on September 2, 2012, 1:06 pm

      And Dick and Jane sleep.

      I have a problem with this oft-repeated notion on this forum that Americans don’t have a clue what’s going on. Even the average wage slave at Walmart probably has some inkling that Israel is extremely controversial, even if they don’t know the first thing about I/P.

      I think a large number of people disagree with what Israel is doing but they don’t see a viable grass roots means for challenging the status quo given the entrenched money politics dynamics of the current system. I think there also a lot of educated people who don’t want to stick their necks out, or just don’t care. Anyone who has worked in corporate America knows that projecting a certain image of one’s self and one’s personal life is helpful and perhaps necessary to climb the ladder; being vocal about unpopular or controversial causes is generally not part of creating that corporate persona. The fact that many American companies do business with Israel directly or indirectly just adds to workers’ incentive to look the other way.

  2. yourstruly on September 1, 2012, 11:51 am

    yet in 1956 when president eisenhower demanded that the israeli-french-british invading forces pull back from the suez canal, and again in 1992 when president bush the elder hinted that israel firsters might be somewhat less than patriotic, opinion polls during those episodes indicated that there was overwhelming public support for the president. what this suggests is that while public support for the zionist entity may be quite wide, it’s also extremely shallow, such that said support quickly collapses under the weight of official scrutiny. it’s hard to believe that president obamas isn’t aware of this. why then doesn’t he take on israel and its israel firster supporters on, say, the issue of the ever expanding settlements? yes, sure, at first the israel firsters would claim “foul play”, but as more and more americans came around to supporting the president, they’d be running for cover. an expression, perhaps, of a pent-up fury in america that awaits the proper moment and occasion for its release? but what better outlet for the expression of popular will than the regaining of a nation’s sovereignty?

    • American on September 1, 2012, 2:08 pm

      “while public support for the zionist entity may be quite wide, it’s also extremely shallow”….yourstruly

      I don’t think it’s even that. Last night we took an elderly widow in our neighborhood , older than us anyway, out to a early dinner. She’s very religious, very old fashioned, reminds me of my grandmother back in the 50’s. She mentioned getting called for a AARP survey on Medicare and that led me to ask her if she was following the election and what she thought. I finally asked her if she believed Romney when he said Iran was a threat to the US or did she think it was all about Israel. She said she thought it was about Israel and the US shouldn’t get involved in wars for other countries. She did say Israel should take care of itself and not drag the US into things. This lady isn’t someone who really even knows about I/P or has any idea about the cost of Israel to the US, like most of her age she follows mostly domestic things that affect her like Medicare, health care and taxes and so forth. So this was just her ‘surface’ impression on the war talk. There are probably lots like her who see thru or are suspicous of the” threat to America” thing in the Iran hype. I didn’t see any point in going into all of it and getting this 78 year old upset, but imagine, if this is her casual observation “surface impression” , what most people’s reaction to the Iran war talk would be if they knew the whole dirty story on Israel-US.

    • Citizen on September 1, 2012, 3:34 pm

      @ yourstruly
      My guess is that Obama does not realize he could break the shackles of Israel Firster insiders by standing at the public pulpit and speaking right over the heads of the Israel Firsters directly to the American masses. He’s like some retiree with a 401K who has all his money in the only stable value fund in there, and now they are removing that fund from the line-up of options. Mitt-Adelson are going for the Blue Chip Israel stocks, and Obama’s looking at the crappy short and med term bond funds offered–what Obama should do is just get the f*** out of the 401K, take a big tax hit, and he will be free and better off without it, and will still have enough left over to play the truth game without being tossed into the street.

    • Kathleen on September 1, 2012, 11:02 pm

      agree yours truly

      American clearly more and more people are becoming aware of how Israel’s illegal actions continue to undermine U.S. national security as well as their own

  3. on September 1, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Funny, too, considering commuter and passersby comments per to NY ads about Israel’s theft of Palestinian land.

    One said he thought the issue was settled in the 1970s…indicting media for failing to inform better the public.

    Another called it antisemitic. Laughable almost. The charge is leveled so much it’s becoming meaningless. Like:

    “How’s the weather?”


    Another said he was shocked to see an ad attacking Israel. As if doing so was unthinkable. As if Israel is sacred and above criticism.

    Slowly, too slowly, but still: more and more people are waking up to Israel’s reality… and how it differs from myths told about it.

    I’m so disappointed in Plastic Fantastic Obama that I’m tempted to vote for Mitt. Only Mitt is even more pro-war than Barrack. Plus the truth is, it won’t really matter who holds the title “President.” Other forces with pull his strings.

    • Kathleen on September 1, 2012, 3:22 pm

      hard to tell about the situation with Iran. Is Obama just throwing out a few bones in regard to not being so aggressive towards Iran right now? Romney’s foreign policy team does not look good for Iran. If they have their way next stop Iran. Don’t see much difference between Romney and Obama on accountability issues. Iraq war, torture, allowing Aipac off the hook, Wall Street, ….not much difference. But for now Obama looks less likely to be pulled into Iran by Israel. But only time will tell

  4. Kathleen on September 1, 2012, 3:06 pm

    Did Sununu mention UN resolution 242 to get that label placed on him? Phil I am not known for correct spelling or grammer..but did you mean to spell neocon necon?

  5. Kathleen on September 1, 2012, 3:12 pm

    On Democracy Now on Friday they focused quite a bit on Karl Rove $ Adelson. DN’s camera person caught Rove up in Adelson’s box at the Republican convention. Craig Unger and Rove went a few rounds and Amy tried to interview one of the Koch brothers. Rove is such a freak creep. Why that man is not behind bars for his role in outing Plame, well no one went to prison for that National security breach. Ever notice how Karl Rove insults journalist or anyone who is about to ask him a question before they get a word out of their mouth. Says something about the way the look a tie, hair, something the person recently said. The strategy of a fraternity boy with self esteem issues.

  6. Kathleen on September 1, 2012, 3:18 pm

    “even handedness” slanderous Sununu. As far as access to personal info on Reps, politicians, former weapons inspectors who disagree with Israeli policies. Always go back to that Carl Cameron report soon after 9/11 about Amdocs infosys, Comverse Israeli communication systems having access to 95% of all Americans phone calls. If this is true what a way to pick up trash on folks that are talking truth about the issue

  7. mudder on September 1, 2012, 3:32 pm

    Green Party U.S.A. candidate Jill Stein says:

    …the United States has encouraged the worst tendencies of the Israeli government as it pursues policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law.

    Please, if your state is not in play in November, vote Green.

  8. mudder on September 1, 2012, 3:54 pm

    It’s difficult to imagine any Arab-American, apart from Fouad Ajami, Walid Shoebat, Brigitte Gabriel, and Wafa Sultan, more loathed by fellow Arab-Americans than Gov. John Sununu.

  9. Inanna on September 1, 2012, 8:50 pm


    add Hussein Ibish, Walid Phares, Ziad Asali and David Ramadan to that list as well.

    • Walid on September 2, 2012, 12:55 am

      Inanna, you left out, Donna Shalala. From the Daily Star, June 2012:

      BEIRUT: Several dozen people disrupted the Master’s graduation ceremony at AUB Friday evening to protest against the awarding of an honorary degree to Donna Shalala due to her support for engagement with Israel.

      Shalala, president of the University of Miami in Florida and a former U.S. secretary of health, has three honorary degrees from universities in Israel, and does not support a cultural boycott of the country.

      Around 40 protesters heckled Shalala as she began her speech of thanks, shouting “boycott Israel.” Some held a large banner that read “Boycott Zionist Shalala.”

      Some other audience members, including graduates, ushers and parents, joined in the heckling, prompting Shalala to respond, “Let us welcome this demonstration of academic freedom.”

      In her keynote address later, Shalala, born in the U.S. to Lebanese parents, spoke of volunteer work that she carried out with UNRWA at a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

      “Fifty years ago, my experience with Palestinians in the refugee camp seared me forever as an advocate for the people of Palestine and their statehood.”

      A former AUB student handing out flyers said: “I don’t want my university to honor someone who is on a normalization quest. Beirut has a history of resisting Zionism. There is no legal or moral reason to honor her.”

      Last year, former World Bank president James Wolfensohn pulled out of attending a ceremony where he was scheduled to receive an honorary doctorate and deliver the keynote address following a similar campaign by students and faculty members over his links with Israel.

  10. upsidedownism on September 2, 2012, 5:06 am

    neo conservatives are not merely ‘pro-Israel’; neo-conservatism is a branch of zionism.

    Has anyone ever heard of an ‘anti-Israel neocon’? It is unthinkable.

    Every neocon will admit that supporting Israel is important. What they won’t admit is that supporting Israel is the basis of the whole neo-con philosophy.

    Without Israel, neo-conservatism would not exist. There would still be right wing, war mongering Americans, but they wouldn’t be called neo-cons, they’d be called something else.

  11. Andreas Schlueter on September 3, 2012, 5:37 am

    Again I state that in the final analysis the tail will never “wag the dog”. If it looks so after some time the dog will turn out to be a lizard: !
    Andreas Schlüter
    Berlin, Germany

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