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Pro-Israel organization sought to survey US Jews on dual loyalty

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This is astonishing. An Israel lobby group came up with a questionnaire for American Jews and Israeli Jews living here that asks a question that supposedly only anti-Semites ever ask, about the degree of loyalty Jews would have for Israel if the two countries were at odds. An other questions about the importance of the Jewish lobby.

The Israeli government had distributed the surveys to tens of thousands of people, Haaretz says, but Netanyahu has now scotched the survey, which was undertaken by a nonprofit, the Israeli American Council (which is funded by both Sheldon Adelson (Republican giver) and Haim Saban (Democratic)).

Haaretz’s original story:

One question in the survey asks specifically which side the respondents would support publicly if there was a crisis in the relationship between the United States and Israel. The respondents are also asked to what extent the presidential candidates or Congress members’ attitudes toward Israel impact their voting decisions.

Haaretz follow-up– Netanyahu kills the poll:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday ordered Israel’s immigrant absorption and foreign ministries to cease distribution of a controversial questionnaire already sent to tens of thousands of Israelis living in the United States and Jewish Americans, asking them to indicate where their allegiance would lie in the case of a crisis between the two countries.

Netanyahu also instructed all official government agencies from promoting the questionnaire. News of the questionnaire, reported in Haaretz on Sunday, promoted an uproar in the Jewish media.

The survey was commissioned by the Israeli American Council, a private nonprofit group based in Los Angeles. Its mission is “to build an active and giving Israeli-American community in order to strengthen the State of Israel, our next generation, and to provide a bridge to the Jewish-American community,” according to the IAC website.

Two sensitive and potentially explosive issues that have always clouded the relationship between the Jewish community in the United States and the State of Israel related precisely to the issues raised in the survey: firstly claims of “dual allegiance” to both Israel and the United States; the other concerns the pro-Israel, American “Jewish lobby.” Many of those raising such claims against American Jewry have themselves been accused of anti-Semitism.

P.S. I have long maintained that the dual loyalty issue is inherent in Zionism, and have compiled statements by American supporters of Israel that directly raise the issue. By the way, here is liberal Zionist Eric Alterman saying that he is dual-loyal and that if the U.S. had to take a hit for Israel, it can take it.








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20 Responses

  1. just
    just on October 27, 2013, 1:46 pm


    Many of these “dualies” are not patriotic nor real Americans at all, imho.

    They’d rather serve the IOF than the American armed forces. (not that I am an advocate for “joining up” anywhere.)

  2. pabelmont
    pabelmont on October 27, 2013, 2:11 pm

    The USA seems to admire dual loyalty. Didn’t Rahm Emanuel, now Mayor of Chicago, serve as a “civilian volunteer” for the Israeli armed forces in 1991? I guess he didn’t formally become a “military” member of IDF and so avoided, what? automatic de-frocking as an American?

    Emanuel reportedly served briefly as a civilian volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces in 1991, during the first Gulf War. He was reportedly stationed in one of Israel’s northern bases, where he rust-proofed brakes.

    No problemo. (Sorry, I don’t know how to say that in Yiddish.)

    • just
      just on October 27, 2013, 2:27 pm

      Yep. And so did Jeffrey Goldberg.

      I would really like to know how many congress persons possess dual citizenship…

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye on October 27, 2013, 2:46 pm

        Don’t forget their staffers, their advisors, their pet think-tank wonks, etc etc!

  3. doug
    doug on October 27, 2013, 2:50 pm

    Check out the current Commentary. Max Boot has a column about the necessity of spying and points out that countries have interests and they vary over time, agreeing with this:

    “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies.”

    He also states:

    “That’s why the U.S. intelligence community fears penetration by the intelligence service of Israel (an ally) at least as much as it fears penetration by the intelligence services of avowed enemies such as Iran and Cuba. And with good cause.

    Refreshing. Especially from Commentary.

    *Bolding mine.

  4. German Lefty
    German Lefty on October 27, 2013, 3:05 pm

    I don’t understand why it’s called “dual loyalty”. It’s not dual loyalty. It’s loyalty to a foreign country. I don’t find loyalty to a foreign country inherently problematic. It’s only problematic if that foreign country has a criminal regime.
    Actually, people shouldn’t be loyal to any country, not even their own. People should be loyal to justice.

  5. PeaceThroughJustice
    PeaceThroughJustice on October 27, 2013, 4:25 pm

    “… in order to strengthen the State of Israel, our next generation, and to provide a bridge to the Jewish-American community.”

    While it’s not entirely clear what the grammatical role of “our next generation” is in this sentence, it appears to be saying that, while we may be living here today, Israel is bound to be the home of future generations of Jewish Americans.

    When did Michael Oren’s loyalty switch — when his plane’s tires left the tarmac at Newark, or when they touched down at Tel Aviv?

  6. pipistro
    pipistro on October 27, 2013, 8:10 pm

    They realized it was time to establish some rules of deception.

  7. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia on October 27, 2013, 8:24 pm

    Is it dual or mono? I think it is just one and only one that these gentlemen serve . Just one flag and that is Israeli.

  8. Citizen
    Citizen on October 28, 2013, 9:13 am

    According to The Foreward, the IAC’s PR spokesman said IAC drafted the questions and ““We think those questions are legitimate, as they are not influencing the reader to vote one way or another. The survey is totally anonymous and the results are for statistical study. The questions you referred to are questions that many Jews and Israeli Americans are faced with.”

    Read more:

  9. Citizen
    Citizen on October 28, 2013, 9:24 am

    Hannah Arendt and Herzl himself had a good handle on this dual loyalty issue, along with other prominent historical figures:

    The poll was commissioned by an NGO created by Israeli ex-pats, and the first page of the poll bore the stamp of the state of Israel.

  10. Citizen
    Citizen on October 28, 2013, 9:33 am

    Here’s what Israel is concerned about–US relative reluctance to bomb Iran issue:

  11. Citizen
    Citizen on October 28, 2013, 10:10 am

    Adelson unwittingly made the poll urgent with his public suggestion the US fire a warning nuke shot into the Iranian desert, followed up by a direct threat to wipe Tehran off the map if its too uppity for Israel’s taste as local nuke hegemony king. Maybe that’s why Soros’ donation to the IAC is played up by the press, but not Adelson’s? Now Netanyahu’s worried about the bad PR evoked by both the poll and Adelson. God forbid Dick and Jane get an inkling about the Israel First 5th Column’s heavy influence in American foreign policy in the most strategic area of the world.

  12. homingpigeon
    homingpigeon on October 28, 2013, 12:30 pm

    I have a contrary view about dual loyalty. Dual loyalty is fine. Triple loyalty is even better. Ultimately loyalty should be to truth and justice, as commentators have pointed out, but now we’re talking about the treif of tribes and nations.

    The reality is that not only do we Americans include immigrants from so many nations, but Americans have married foreigners and produced children belonging to two cultures. Some of us, though American, have spent formative years abroad and have attachments to those places. So I cannot fault a Jewish American who has an attachment to Israel due to perhaps being born there, for having relatives there, having spent time there, or for believing the skilled hasbarists. After all as an American grew up over there on the Palestinian side of the barbed wire as an accident of history, I am loyal to the people and culture of the girls who babysat me, the kids who taught me to make kites, breed pigeons, and ride the bicycle. And besides the Palestinians I can think of several other peoples, nations, or tribes that I am loyal to.

    The problem is not the matter of loyalty. The problem is that in the current system, the American who is loyal to Israel has the power to influence and suborn the apparatus of the United States government to the service of Israel. Further, such an American compels me to finance Israel though taxes and collude with the murder of my friends. And my loyalty to Palestinians makes me suspect in the eyes of the Washington regime and the dominant culture of America. Palestinian Americans loyal to their heritage are prone to have their background and legal status put under a microscope in a way that doesn’t happen to citizens enamored of Israel.

    The challenge is that our system presently allows any well organized group of people who can buy politicians and the media to manipulate the energies of this nation at the behest of a foreign country, and compel all other Americans to support that particular attachment with their wallets, even if not with their hearts.

    A complete and unconditional ending of taxpayer supported foreign aid, an end to foreign intervention, an end to foreign entanglements, and a withdrawal of military forces from overseas would address the matter of suspect “dual loyalty.” No one could force a Zionist to support Hamas and no one could be compelled to support Zionism. No one would have to go to war and face a choice between killing cousins or being accused of treason while cranky nativists press the question of “ultimate loyalty.”

    By the way, I am also loyal to Israelis and don’t want any more of them killed in this horrible Zionist experiment.

    Vote Libertarian!

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty on October 28, 2013, 2:48 pm

      @ homingpigeon
      I distinguish between loyalty and emotional attachment. Of course, I am emotionally attached to my country. However, I am not loyal to it. I associate the term “loyalty” with unquestioning obedience, the “my country right or wrong” mentality. And such an attitude is very unhealthy. If you care about your country, then you must be able to judge it objectively in order to keep it from making mistakes.

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty on October 28, 2013, 2:52 pm

      I am also loyal to Israelis and don’t want any more of them killed in this horrible Zionist experiment.
      Really? But most Israelis keep voting for Zionist parties. This means that the horrible experiment is self-inflicted. Therefore, I find it hard to sympathise with these people.

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1 on October 28, 2013, 4:02 pm

        @GL: Sympathize? Homing said “I am also loyal to Israelis and don’t want any more of them killed in this horrible Zionist experiment”.

        And you replied:
        “Really? But most Israelis keep voting for Zionist parties. This means that the horrible experiment is self-inflicted. Therefore, I find it hard to sympathize with these people.”

        So, what is your conclusion? opposite of Homingpigeon?

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty on October 29, 2013, 4:38 pm

        @ MahaneYehude1
        So, what is your conclusion? opposite of Homingpigeon?
        No. As a pacifist, I don’t want anyone to be killed either.

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