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Rabbi raises ‘dual loyalty’ question– and all hell breaks loose in DC Jewish community

Israel/Palestine
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Rabbi Weintraub talks about dual loyalty

Rabbi Weintraub talks about dual loyalty

Last month at a Washington Jewish forum, a liberal Zionist rabbi said that the Iran issue raised the question of “dual loyalty” for American Jews, and all hell broke loose. Other Israel supporters on the panel expressed outrage that a Jew would dignify the charge. One said it was the fare of anti-Semites, racists, and David Duke. Rabbi Melissa Weintraub stood by her statement: Some Jews have a “real sense of being torn,” they “experience a competing pull,” and it’s important for American Jews to talk about it.

The forum at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center was called, “Embracing Democracy: The American Jewish Community’s Evolving Relationship with Israel.” Weintraub said of the Iran deal (at 31:00, in the video):

Are Israeli interests and American interests actually aligned here? If our American interests do diverge from Israeli interests, what then for us as American Jews, how do we navigate that?… There are several positions that have been articulated in the American Jewish community around this agreement, one of which is that this was the ultimate dual loyalty test actually because what arose here was actually a divergence between American and Israeli interests, in which the agreement helped America avert a war and did place Israel in existential danger.

Wexler flinched as Weintraub spoke

Wexler flinched as Weintraub spoke

Robert Wexler, a former Florida congressman who now heads a pro-Israel organization, flinched as Weintraub spoke.

 

 

Moderator Jane Eisner of the Forward stepped in.

I saw Robert wince, and I know why, and that was using the phrase dual loyalty. This is a really tough one. This is the kind of thing that makes a lot of us squirm. On the one hand we’d like to believe that there is this alignment, that America’s interest are Israel’s interests. And Israel’s interest are America’s interests, and as Americans Jew with the descriptor of American to being Jews, we want to see this both happen, and yet at the same time we know as Americans, unlike most other hyphenated Americans we have this other country that we care about– a real lot.

 

Long Island Jewish center with Israeli and American flags at half mast after Sharon's death, photo by Scott Roth

Long Island Jewish center with Israeli and American flags at half mast after Sharon’s death, photo by Scott Roth

Eisner said her children went to Jewish day school and they sing two national anthems, the Hatkivah and the Star Spangled Banner, at assemblies. “Both flags flying.”

Wexler was unmollified. He said that “the whole notion of dual loyalty introduced to this conversation, I find completely unwarranted.”

“We’re the only community in a certain respect…that takes the most heinous of tactics that the worst people have employed against the Jewish people and in innocuous way we somehow continue that discussion. I think we should just wipe it away, because it’s really not relevant.”

One of two neoconservatives on the Jewish community panel, Michael Makovsky, who served in the Bush administration as an Iraq hawk, took the issue personally. He said raising the issue was equivalent to calling him a “traitor–I never felt anything so repugnant in my whole life.” He then linked it with the “idea of Israel Firster” that has been taken up by the antiwar left. “I’ve never seen anything so disgusting.”

Makovsky then brought up Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, authors of The Israel Lobby.

“I find it unbelievable that people do this kind of thing…. I personally would never be on a panel with Stephen Walt or John Mearsheimer.”

Makovsky said he’d refused to go on a show on PBS or NPR a year or so back because Walt was on the panel. “I told them I wouldn’t do it. Then they replaced Stephen Walt.” He said this was “a minor victory,” and he’d only shared it with his brother— David Makovsky, who serves now on the Middle East negotiating team for the State Department.

Makovsky added of Walt, “How come that guy still has a job at Harvard?” And Mearsheimer was a “nut,” he said. Eisner, the moderator, said nothing in defense of the scholars.

Weintraub did not back down. She said there was a tension between American interests and Israel’s interests, and it had to be addressed, even if you don’t like the words dual loyalty.

“I think it’s a very important question whether the phrase itself is repugnant because it brings up anti-Semitic slurs around our loyalty… The importance of the phrase is that it gets at something that has been articulated in those terms by many Jews whether we use those terms or not, which is a sense of real competing interests….a real sense of being torn. Because there are those who think that American and Israeli interests don’t align here.”

And while all the other panelists think that American and Israeli interests did align here,

“there are many people who don’t think that is the case and therefore experience a competing pull. And that’s what has been called in some op-eds dual loyalty and we can call it whatever we want, but I think that it’s important to articulate.”

Weintraub is not alone. The Netanyahu government put out a poll and then withdrew it last year that asked American Jews where their allegiances would lie if there were a crisis in American-Israel relations. Both Peter Beinart and MJ Rosenberg have raised the issue of dual loyalty in order to support Obama’s deal: Beinart reminding Jews that the American Jewish leader is Obama, and Rosenberg suggesting that supporters of the Iran deal lean harder on the dual loyalty issue to scare off AIPAC (I believe he’s taken that tweet down). The term has a long pedigree inside the Jewish community. John Judis of the New Republic has said that Jewish organizations demand dual loyalty of Jews, Eric Alterman has said proudly that he feels dual loyalty to Israel, Doug Rushkoff has written that all the Israeli flags in his Hebrew school gave him a sense of dual loyalty, MJ Rosenberg coined the term Israel Firster, Rabbi Elmer Berger raised the issue in the 40s, and London Jews threw dual loyalty at Herzl when he tried to recruit them at the turn of 1900s.

"Disgusting"

Makovshy: “I’ve never seen anything so disgusting”

But Makovsky continued to harp on Walt and Mearsheimer. He said the Jewish community should never grant a platform to the scholars, and that Theater J’s Ari Roth was wrong to say that he would stage a play about Walt and Mearsheimer, because “the dual loyalty issue…. is out of bounds…. Why should the Jewish community give any credibility to what I think are racist views, certainly anti-Semitic.” He then compared Walt and Mearsheimer to David Duke.

Again, no rejoinder from Jane Eisner, moderator.

For the record, Walt and Mearsheimer’s book makes the following points about Michael Makovsky: that he worked for Richard Perle’s Office of Special Plans in Bush’s Defense Department, which made the case for war with Iraq, and that he had worked for Israeli PM Shimon Peres after graduating from college in 1989. In the footnotes, Walt and Mearsheimer quote an article in the St Louis Post-Dispatch about Makovsky when he went to work for Peres:

“I have strong feelings about helping to build a Jewish state… It’s like returning to your roots.”

Don’t such statements raise a question about whether someone should be working on war plans in the Middle East for the Pentagon?

Also, while their book implicitly raised the question of whose national interest the neocons were supporting in pushing the Iraq war, Walt and Mearsheimer said they were not raising the issue of conflicted loyalty: we all have lots of loyalties in this modern world, and that’s alright, they said.

But let’s be clear about the forum the Forward published on video, above: the Jewish community provides a platform to Melissa Weintraub when she raises the issue of dual loyalty. Weintraub is Jewish. Walt and Mearsheimer are not; and they can be smeared with impunity.

The panel was thoroughly dispiriting. It featured a lot of talk about what donors will tolerate, and rabbis being afraid to criticize Israel, and the panel ranged from liberal Zionist to two neoconservatives. This passes for a robust conversation about Israel… This is the Jewish community? And so that self-designated community is now married to apartheid, a moral crisis in the eyes of young Jews; but there’s no crisis at the JCC!

I’m at a loss why Jane Eisner presides over this cooked panel. She’s a journalist, of some accomplishment, and she thinks a panel weighted by neoconservatives represents diversity. Weintraub said that we have lots of diversity in the Jewish community and none of these groups are talking to each other; and Eisner said, “Except for here– yay!” Weintraub disagreed. Suggesting that the JCC’s redlines were a result of financial pressure, she said that by excluding discussion of BDS and dual loyalty, the Jewish community is excluding a lot of young people who want to talk about this stuff, and these people aren’t going away. No, their energy will just get intensified by being marginalized, on “the fringe.”

I would urge Eisner to reflect that diversity: to have a panel in New York that represents the Jewish insurgency, people like Rebecca Vilkomerson and Max Blumenthal.

P.S. Vilkomerson wrote this in a thank-you note to donors:

“In the struggle to stop the displacement of Bedouins from their ancestral homes, the launch of SodaStream boycotts coast-to-coast, and the exciting new conversations we’re seeding in living rooms and synagogues, we can tell that people are grappling with the myths they’ve been taught about Israel and Palestine.”

Social justice and opposition to apartheid– in living rooms. With people. Vilkomerson is describing a conversation among Jews and non-Jews (including two-staters like Walt and Mearsheimer). That is Jewish leadership.

Update: MJ Rosenberg explains why he took down that tweet:

I now take all old tweets down (automatically) b/c they are just tweets and I don’t need them out there as if they are well thought out statements. I most certainly do believe that dual loyalty is a valid consideration when any group knowingly chooses the interests of a foreign country over their own. Like Israel Firster, it describes reality. The good news for me is that this is not a Jewish community problem but rather the problem with a small group of Jewish organizational hacks, neocons, and rank-and-file true believers (mostly old), etc.
The reason Makovsky and Wexler go nuts about “dual loyalty” and “Israel Firster” is because they know how valid the charge is when, as with Iran, people knowingly put the interest of Israel’s Likud government above America’s. Walt and Mearsheimer terrify this gang because, simply put, the truth hurts. And, in this case, shines an unhelpful flashlight on their motives.

Thanks to Annie Robbins for help on this post, and Krauss for directing attention to this video.

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96 Responses

  1. just
    just
    January 25, 2014, 10:58 am

    Rabbi Weintraub throws an important issue right on the “table”.

    Many thanks. I hope that this necessary conversation continues all the way to Capitol Hill and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    • American
      American
      January 25, 2014, 11:57 am

      ”Rabbi Weintraub throws an important issue right on the “table”.

      She’s smart and right to do so.
      How does anyone explain the refusal of the Makovskys and Wexlers to admit this is an issue? Are they truly so far gone that they think informed non Jews dont see the Israel loyalty of Jewish leadership as a problem in our government’s foreign policy and in our media and press for that matter?
      They literally ‘blank out” on how 99% of the citizens of a country would view the problem of dual or split or higher loyalty to a foreign country among a group with influence.
      How can they be this dumb. I dont understand it.

  2. irishmoses
    irishmoses
    January 25, 2014, 11:16 am

    Why isn’t this post on the MW front page with a link?

  3. Les
    Les
    January 25, 2014, 11:29 am

    When American Jews ask that Jonathan Pollard be exempt from the usual standards of patriotism because of his religion, aren’t they in fact saying that exemption applies to all American Jews?

  4. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    January 25, 2014, 11:30 am

    I cannot think why waz-his-name equates “dual loyalty” with “treason.”

    What Pollard did was a crime, an action, and was I believe treason. What Zionists, even the worst of them, do when they state Israel-First notions and ideas and seek to persuade people (including Jews) of this-and-that is not an action (generally) but speech and is not (generally) treason. Or so I suppose. Unless the speech creates a clear-and-present-danger of treasonous acts by seeking to persuade someone to act treasonously. Do they do that?

    Even those awful Senators who want to vote for a mechanism by which the USA can be forced to go to war with Iran under Israeli determination of time and place and reason are not doing treason. I suppose. Even if they’ve sworn an oath to uphold the USA’s constitution, and even if it says that only Congress can declare war * * *.

    Maybe it IS treason. Or a violation of an oath of office?

    • American
      American
      January 25, 2014, 12:08 pm

      @ pabelmont

      The dual loyalty of the US Zionist has in fact been put into ‘action’ many times in ways that have damaged not only the ‘national interest’ but the practical and economical welfare of Americans.
      I’m not going to bother to list all those ways and acts —it would take too long.

      But you are right in the sense that this is not ‘legally’ defined as ‘treason’.
      Thats why we need to update our legal definitions of treason to better curtail what foreign fifth columns and corrupt politicians do.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 26, 2014, 9:42 am

        And also rewrite FARA in a way that would require AIPAC to register as an agent of a foreign government. Being paid in direct dollars by a foreign government or directly funded by such government should be only one criteria.

    • puppies
      puppies
      January 25, 2014, 1:58 pm

      That’s the point for the reported discussion too: Weintraub is talking about dual loyalty while all others are about exclusive loyalty to a foreign power. The rabbina (?) also manages to underline this without even mentioning it, when she comes back about “the ultimate dual loyalty test”. As for treason, we know it is but cannot prove it without being inside the person’s brain.

  5. Ron Edwards
    Ron Edwards
    January 25, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Is there hope for a rational discussion in these comments? I’ll try.

    1. The issue begins with what loyalty is supposed to mean, at all. I submit that this concept is already broken and undesirable. It was originally framed, and I think continues to be, as more than merely liking one’s community and generally abiding by its laws and operating within its framework. I’ll call that “citizenship,” not in the legal sense but rather the living-here sense.

    i) State, not community. It’s about a given power-structure, and not just a means of sharing or dividing power, but of holding and keeping it.

    ii) Nation-state, not merely state, which usually (despite denials) means a given ethnicity or specific hierarchical complex of ethnicities, language, legal framework, and similar. Therefore the state apparatus is not only to be held and kept, but also (and only) by specific people and interests.

    In this context, loyalty is not merely a pleasant feeling, or an irrational but probably-harmless sense of elevation. It is specifically action to keep that power held by these particular people.

    2. I submit that when loyalty is further extended to be synonymous with citizenship, that is a bad thing. Confusingly, it’s usually framed as to a “country” or a “nation” (in the vague U.S. sense, masking the ethnic issues), not to what it’s really to – a cabal or locked-down special interest in a state apparatus. This phenomenon means that to live here, one must be a fanatic to a specific power-structure and specific holder of that power. It means that to dissent, or to struggle against some exercise of that power, is literally to negate one’s citizenship.

    It means being willing to kill for that special kind of citizenship and to die for it. It means lying for it, and betraying others to it. It means equating dissent or compromise with disastrous defeat. It means upholding it against anyone and everyone.

    I’d like to see the loyalty oath stricken from the process of immigration. I’d like to see the pledge of allegiance stricken from American schools and understood, and taught about, as a cousin to such things as segregation and McCarthyism.

    3. So … is dual loyalty bad? Such a question only makes sense to someone who thinks single loyalty is a good thing in the first place. In that context, it’s a self-answering question: clearly if you’re not loyal to Us, then you cannot also be loyal to Them, and therefore “dual loyalty” is actually not a literal term, but a euphemism for “traitor.” It is the cry of a vicious, paranoid, privileged fanatic: a Brownshirt. Or a Neocon, the same thing with horn-rimmed glasses.

    Here’s what I think is most relevant for the I/P issue, when dual loyalty is brought up: that the whole concept of loyalty is being taken as a good thing. So Rabbi Weintraub (falling into the trap) says, “Hey, that looks like dual loyalty,” and this despicable Makovsky person can say, “But it’s not, it’s single, so it’s OK!” … and caught in the trap, neither Weintraub nor anyone else realizes that the problem is not single vs. two-in-one vs. dual vs. quintuple, but rather, that this kind of loyalty to anything – but especially to a specific power-holder in a state apparatus – is bad in the first place.

    Fail to understand that, and you will be forever vulnerable to the Altermans who say, “Yeah, I’m dually loyal, because twice-times excellent is so excellent,” and to the Makovskys who say, “No, it’s single loyalty because there’s really this thing called the U.S. of Israel,” and either way, the magnificent audacity of their lies and the horror they serve with such lies is whisked out of the conversation.

    In what’s left of the conversation, they get to spray all the fog about their motives and their intentions and the effects of their actions, and how such things are unimpugnable and/or unknowable and/or unaccountable. They can do this because once untethered from what is actually called out as wrong, then their honed skills at this fog-talk kick into high gear, disorienting everyone else.

    So! My call? The loyalty is bad. Whether to the U.S. (more accurately some specific power-cabal in it) or to Israel (ditto), or to any damn place you can name (ditto). Alterman and Makovsky support evil practices in an evil way, and that’s all there is to it. Don’t get swept up in the single-dual-polyamorous spectrum of fog about it.

    Perhaps then we can talk about the precise two-step that makes a cabal of specific ethnic and economic power-grabbers (I do not say “interests,” this is about privilege and profit) possible across several nations, foremost among them the U.S., Israel, and Saudia Arabia. And finally, we can talk about the people who benefit from it, for some of whom, “being Jewish” is specifically and only code for loyalty to one set of the entwined components.

    • American
      American
      January 25, 2014, 12:15 pm

      @ Ron Edwards

      That sounds more ideological than rational to me.
      Do you think there is anything people or people in any nation should be loyal to?

      • Ron Edwards
        Ron Edwards
        January 25, 2014, 12:39 pm

        If by “loyal” you mean operating in a communal framework for everyone present, supporting laws which facilitate that community, seeking to alter other laws, and supporting justice in working all that out, then sure. People should do that. You can call that “loyal” if you want, but there isn’t any loyalty actually. Can people be proud of it? Sure, and rightly. Can they prefer to live there rather than anywhere else? Sure. None of that’s a bad thing.

        Do you see the difference? I’m criticizing literal devotion to a particular group of alliance holding power, and equating that loyalty to eligibility for citizenship. That’s the context in which the phrase “dual loyalty” was coined: not that someone was proud of two things at once, or could see themselves living in either place, but rather that they were willing to lie, betray, exploit, and kill for someone else instead of for “us.”

        By that definition, then, no, I do not think anyone should be loyal to any state or other power-apparatus, ever.

        Look at your username – what does it mean? Are you proud of the U.S.’s many good features, happy to participate in those, publicly critical of other features, publicly committed to changing them, willing to risk yourself to the benefit of others there, also willing to refuse such a risk when you think it’s misguided? I think so, or am willing to think so. You are a good citizen (I mean that in the best way), a fellow community member with me; we might agree or disagree on whatever thing, but we live together and work it out.

        But that profile isn’t “loyal.” I submit to you that when someone talks about your loyalty or lack of it, they’re not talking about that profile. They’re talking about whether you deserve to be an American. If you criticize certain things and try to change them, then you certainly don’t, as they see it. That’s the loyalty I’m saying no one should have or be permitted to express without it being called out for what it is, privilege and bigotry.

        I’m being very precise. I’m not permitting a friendly reading of “loyalty” because people like Alterman are using that to mask their actual devotional loyalty of the sort I’m criticizing. I’m suggesting we avoid that trap, and if we have to, shelve the friendly reading of the word in order to do so.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        January 25, 2014, 1:11 pm

        I’d understand Loyalty as readiness to serve the interests of a group at least as far as justice and morality allow. I would think that loyalty in that sense is reasonably expected of each other by the members of any group, at least in so far as they operate the group’s power structures, even by voting in elections, but especially when holding political office. At that rate there is some reason to mistrust anyone who has the same readiness in respect of more than one group.

      • American
        American
        January 25, 2014, 1:44 pm

        @ Ron

        ”You are a good citizen (I mean that in the best way), a fellow community member with me; we might agree or disagree on whatever thing, but we live together and work it out.

        But that profile isn’t “loyal.” I submit to you that when someone talks about your loyalty or lack of it, they’re not talking about that profile. They’re talking about whether you deserve to be an American.
        >>>>>

        This is my basic belief……>” but we live together and work it out. ‘
        But I apply it ‘realistically ‘ because whatever you are loyal to practically speaking requires a ‘structure’ to work it out and a authority to implement/maintain it.
        I apply my loyalty to the ‘nation’ as the instrument to bring about the common good it is suppose to…even when it doesnt—whereupon I bang the object of my loyalty on the head and kick it in the ass for not doing the job.
        But I dont have any other instrument at hand to replace my nation –the UN does not hand out citizenships and voting rights and protections for individuals— so I cant throw my national loyalty out with its dirty bathwater.
        As far as not deserving to be an American for not being loyal—-there are people like the Zios that I consider undeserving—-because imo in a crunch Americans have to give some of their personal ‘wants’ up to preserve the ‘whole’ and the common good.
        The Zionist are the antitheist of that American concept.

        And as I just finished this I thought of the Mexicans who enlisted and went to Iraq in return for expedited US citizenship—-the wrong war for certain—- but to get the prized possesion of US citizenship they gave—-the Zionist like Wexler and fellows only take and spit on their US citizenship benefits.

      • Ron Edwards
        Ron Edwards
        January 25, 2014, 12:42 pm

        H’m. It also occurs to me to say this: if the generalized level I was talking about is too much or goes too far, then we can stay with Israel and Palestine as the only topic. In that case, I submit that single-loyalty to Israel as it stands today and dual-loyalty to the U.S. and Israel (as exemplified by Alterman’s self-description) are bad things – because loyalty to such awful privilege, oppression, destruction, and general horror is monstrous.

        Does that work? I’m saying that to debate and twist about in confusion about whether it’s double or not, or whether that’s good or not, or whether that’s anti-Jewish or not … is to miss that key point, which makes all that foggy talk irrelevant.

  6. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 25, 2014, 12:42 pm

    Second time listening, Rabbi Weintraub explains the wall of silence on this issue that has existed for decades better than anyone I have ever heard. 1. Avoidance. 2. Moral villification, demonization, funding threats etc etc. 3. Avoidance 2.o. Only talking with those that agree, dismissing everyone else. Although did find point 2 and 3 similar. She is so sharp, open minded, fact based. Rep Wexner and Jonathan Tobin’s body language was so telling when she spoke at first. Especially Tobin’s. He looked like he needed some Preparation H. Shut down, judgmental, could not allow anything she said in.

    Dr. Michael Makovsky’s most dangerous and twisted statement ” prevent a nuclear Iran at all cost” This man belongs in prison for being complicit in war crimes against the Iraqi people. http://www.lobelog.com/neocons-who-brought-you-the-iraq-war-endorse-aipacs-iran-bill/

    He is pushing a military action against Iran just as he did in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/content/open-letter-congressional-leaders-iran

    Rep Wexner calls himself a “total ally of the President” but then goes onto completely undermine President Obama’s stance on Iran.

    Jonathon Tobin was out of his mind while Rabbi Weintraub spoke. When Tobin goes into the fear factor and stirs the pot. He focuses on “Israel should not exist” He totally exposes his dual loyalty and who is loyalty sits with.

    Weintraub takes notes the whole time. She listens and then notes. Love it

    Talk about a lop sided panel

  7. January 25, 2014, 12:46 pm

    Walt and Mearsheimer are pioneers, patriots and truth-tellers. MJ Rosenberg has it exactly right. He says “Walt and Mearsheimer terrify this gang because, simply put, the truth hurts. And, in this case, shines an unhelpful flashlight on their motives.”

  8. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 25, 2014, 1:00 pm

    Tobin spends most of his time doing just what Weintraub described at the beginning. Demonizes New America Foundation and Max Blumenthal. Demonizes the Rachel Corrie play calling Israeli atrocities “a myth”

    Then goes onto say that the Jewish community has been ” having a very good time with the” settlements the borders issues. He gives Rabbi Weintraub’s points total validation.

  9. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    January 25, 2014, 1:06 pm

    There are many concepts of loyalty. Some are defensible, others not. There is an authoritarian concept of loyalty as a duty of uncritical obedience to certain power structures, but there are also democratic concepts of loyalty to a community in which you have rights and to which you have corresponding obligations. Democratic loyalty does not stipulate what policies you should support or oppose — you can constitute a minority of one if you consider it necessary. It does require that in determining your views you should be guided primarily by the interests (as you perceive them) of the community in which you live and not by the demands of a foreign power.

    • Ron Edwards
      Ron Edwards
      January 25, 2014, 2:33 pm

      As I tried to explain above, the dual-loyalty accusation was invented in a single, specific context for the term “loyalty.” That context was anything but a democratic (or communitarian, or whatever) concept; it was a concept precisely as you describe as authoritarian. Worse than that, even, as I see it, because it also favored a specific seizure of power and its keeping.

      Discussion of any and every possible use of the term is beside the point, and a fine example of internet blithering. What matters is that when Israel and Palestine are being discussed, and people’s unacceptably horrible loyalties are being exposed (Alterman and Makovsky as prime examples), then a reverse accusation appears: “You’re accusing me of dual loyalty,” or some other complicated layered response to such an accusation, like “it’s single loyalty because the two things are the same.” If you get caught in debating that, it’s hopeless – the only thing to do is to call out that unacceptably horrible commitment in the first place. “Your loyalty is privileged bigotry and the institutionalized force it employs, period. Screw your loyalty, whatever you want to call it or don’t want it to be called, it’s contemptible.”

      I’m saying, stay out of the nuances of loyalty discussion as it pertains to Jewish identity and Israel/Palestine. Instead, call out unacceptably horrible loyalty, as such, then and there.

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 25, 2014, 3:07 pm

        @Edwards – “stay out of the nuances of loyalty discussion as it pertains to Jewish identity and Israel/Palestine. Instead, call out unacceptably horrible loyalty, as such, then and there.”
        Good, agreed. But there is a legal requirement regarding loyalty. Even though it is moronic and not worth even thinking about as long as it refers to the “my country” nonsense, it is fully worth cultivating with regard to Zionists.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 25, 2014, 3:30 pm

        Ron,

        I’m saying, stay out of the nuances of loyalty discussion as it pertains to Jewish identity and Israel/Palestine. Instead, call out unacceptably horrible loyalty, as such, then and there.

        But the issue isn’t the philosophy of universal loyalty, or curing the faults of loyalty as if were a national health epidemic.

        The issue is dual loyalty, and it involves Israel currently dictating against American interests. The issue is powerful American Jewish pressure on the US Congress (using money and career/reputation threats) to screw US foreign policy, the US President, and upset a peace deal that would work if they stopped it. The issue is specific American Jewish warmongering to benefit Israel whether it risks world war, or costs more US treasure. This is dual loyalty; MJ Rosenberg has the description right.

        The stakes are real, and the outcome could be catastrophic. This isn’t the time to braid the short-and-curlies over a word that offends the perps. These people need to be stopped; moreover, what they are doing identified…accurately. They are not doing this for the benefit of the United States of America. Or you or me.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        January 25, 2014, 4:49 pm

        Ron,

        I prefer the term conflict of interest which is less loaded a term. It is the loyalty to two masters that’s the problem and that creates the conflict of interest. It can also result in treason. Jonathan Pollard is not the only example. There have been other, non-Jewish US citizens who allowed their loyalty to their ancestral or recent homeland to provide a justification for becoming disloyal and ultimately selling out their US homeland.

        That, incidentally, was not Pollard’s true motivation as he and his supporters (dually loyal supporters, I might add) would have us believe. He sold secrets for the money and was hawking his wares to other countries as well. A cocaine habit and a healthy case of narcissim were also contributors.

        The contrived concern about his excessive sentence is only the latest clever ruse to gain his early release in order to turn him into an Israeli and Zionist mega-hero, complete with over a $1 million in “back pay”, as well as street and park namings in his honor, etc. The circus ceremony of his release could well result in the US public waking up to the reality of Israel and its disdain for its so-called great ally. That awakening could well backfire on US Jews, many of whom have been caught up in the fervor for his release.

      • dbroncos
        dbroncos
        January 26, 2014, 6:18 pm

        @Ron Edwards

        I agree with your assessment of the term “loyalty”. The “pledge of allegiance” to America should be taken with a large grain of salt as you rightly pointed out. The framers said as much in our Contitution. Being loyal either to DC or to Tel Aviv is a false and hazardous choice and when the discussion is reduced to these terms it reaches a dead end.

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      January 28, 2014, 3:27 am

      Stephen Shenfield:

      [Democratic loyalty] require[s] that in determining your views you should be guided primarily by the interests (as you perceive them) of the community in which you live and not by the demands of a foreign power.

      But how do you define “the community in which you live”? If you mean the sovereign state in which one is a citizen , why not just say that, since that is what you imply when you posit “foreign powers” as the loyalty-competing entities?

  10. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 25, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Would have loved to have seen Hillary Mann Leverett
    on this panel. Wonder if three of the panelist would have refused to be on the panel.

  11. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 25, 2014, 1:21 pm

    Makovsky would not sit on a panel with Walt, would not take Mearsheimer’s class again proves Weintraub’s early statements. Avoidance, vilification, avoidance 2.o. Makovsky’s statements verify everything Weintraub said early on.

    Ot. Christopher Walken so has to play Makovsky if there are ever any Hollywood films about the cast of characters who cherry picked and manipulated intelligence in the run up to the invasion of Iraq,

    The new Pentagon papers
    A high-ranking military officer reveals how Defense Department extremists suppressed information and twisted the truth to drive the country to war.
    Karen Kwiatkowski
    http://www.salon.com/2004/03/10/osp_moveon/

    “Among the other people arriving over the summer of 2002 was Michael Makovsky, a recent MIT graduate who had written his dissertation on Winston Churchill and was going to work on “Iraqi oil issues.” He was David Makovsky’s younger brother. David was at the time a senior fellow at the Washington Institute and had formerly been an editor of the Jerusalem Post, a pro-Likud newspaper. Mike was quiet and seemed a bit uncomfortable sharing space with us. He soon disappeared into some other part of the operation and I rarely saw him after that.

    In late summer, new space was found upstairs on the fifth floor, and the “expanded Iraq desk,” now dubbed the “Office of Special Plans,” began moving there. And OSP kept expanding. ”

    Dr. Michael Makovsky
    Chief Executive Officer

    http://www.jinsa.org/professional-staff/dr-michael-makovsky

  12. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 25, 2014, 1:23 pm

    What is up with Tobin referring to discussions in the Jewish community about two state borders, settlements as having “fun” or “entertainment” is so disrespectful basically racist towards what is going on for Palestinians

  13. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 25, 2014, 1:38 pm

    RE: “Some Jews have a ‘real sense of being torn,’* they ‘experience a competing pull’, and it’s important for American Jews to talk about it.” ~ Rabbi Weintraub

    * FROM BRITANNICA.COM [cognitive dissonance]

    cognitive dissonance – the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in a person is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: the person rejects, explains away, or avoids the new information, persuades himself that no conflict really exists, reconciles the differences, or resorts to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in his conception of the world and of himself. The concept, first introduced in the 1950s, has become a major point of discussion and research.

    SOURCE – http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/124498/cognitive-dissonance

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      January 25, 2014, 1:58 pm

      P.S. RE: “Last month at a Washington Jewish forum, a liberal Zionist rabbi said that the Iran issue raised the question of ‘dual loyalty’ for American Jews, and all hell broke loose. Other Israel supporters on the panel expressed outrage that a Jew would dignify the charge. One said it was the fare of anti-Semites . . .”*** ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: As Stuart Smalley was wont to say, “denial ain’t just a river in Egypt”. If these people were to admit to themselves that the question of “dual loyalty” was legitimate, they would experience an unacceptable level of cognitive dissonance. Hence the use of denial** as a “Defence mechanism”*.

      * FROM WIKIPEDIA [Defence mechanisms]:

      [EXCERPTS] In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms (or defense mechanisms) are psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind[1] to manipulate, deny, or distort reality (through processes including, but not limited to, repression, identification, or rationalization),[2] and to maintain a socially acceptable self-image or self-schema [and to minimize cognitive dissonance – J.L.D.].[3]
      Healthy persons normally use different defenses throughout life. An ego defense mechanism becomes pathological only when its persistent use leads to maladaptive behavior such that the physical and/or mental health of the individual is adversely affected. The purpose of ego defense mechanisms is to protect the mind/self/ego from anxiety [i.e., cognitive dissonance – J.L.D.] and/or social sanctions and/or to provide a refuge from a situation with which one cannot currently cope [i.e., a refuge from cognitive dissonance – J.L.D.].[4]
      Defence mechanisms are unconscious coping mechanisms that reduce anxiety generated by threats from unacceptable impulses.[5]
      . . . The list of defence mechanisms is huge and there is no theoretical consensus on the number of defence mechanisms. . .

      Vaillant’s categorization of defence mechanisms

      Level 1: Pathological
      The mechanisms on this level, when predominating, almost always are severely pathological. These six defences, in conjunction, permit one to effectively rearrange external experiences to eliminate the need to cope with reality. . .
      *** • Delusional Projection: Delusions about external reality, usually of a persecutory nature. . . [i.e., characterizing legitimate criticism as “Anti-Semitism” ~ J.L.D.]
      ** • Denial: Refusal to accept external reality because it is too threatening; arguing against an anxiety-provoking stimulus by stating it doesn’t exist; resolution of emotional conflict and reduction of anxiety by refusing to perceive or consciously acknowledge the more unpleasant aspects of external reality. . .

      Level 2: Immature
      These mechanisms are often present in adults. These mechanisms lessen distress and anxiety provoked by threatening people or by uncomfortable reality. . .
      • Fantasy: Tendency to retreat into fantasy in order to resolve inner and outer conflicts. . .[i.e., the belief that the interests of the U.S. and Israel are identical is a nice example of fantasy ~ J.L.D.]

      Level 3: Neurotic
      These mechanisms are considered neurotic, but fairly common in adults. Such defences have short-term advantages in coping, but can often cause long-term problems . . .
      Intellectualization: A form of isolation; concentrating on the intellectual components of a situation so as to distance oneself from the associated anxiety-provoking emotions . . .
      Withdrawal: Withdrawal is a more severe form of defence. It entails removing oneself from events, stimuli, interactions, etc. under the fear of being reminded of painful thoughts and feelings. . .

      Level 4: Mature
      These are commonly found among emotionally healthy adults and are considered mature . . .
      • Thought suppression: The conscious process of pushing thoughts into the preconscious; the conscious decision to delay paying attention to an emotion or need in order to cope with the present reality; making it possible to later access uncomfortable or distressing emotions whilst accepting them. . .

      SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_mechanisms

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      January 25, 2014, 7:52 pm

      P.P.S. TANGENTIALLY RELATED:
      “The Shoah as State Religion? Blasphemy in Secular France”,
      by Diana Johnstone, Counterpunch.org, 1/24/14

      [EXCERPTS] The campaign by the French government, mass media and influential organizations to silence the Franco-Cameroonese humorist Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala continues to expose a radical split in perception within the French population. The official “mobilization” against the standup comedian, first called for by Interior Minister Manuel Valls at a ruling Socialist Party gathering last summer, portrays the entertainer as a dangerous anti-Semitic rabble rouser, whose “quenelle”* gesture is interpreted as a “Nazi salute in reverse”.
      For his fans and supporters, those accusations are false and absurd.
      The most significant result of the Dieudonné uproar so far is probably the dawning realization, among more and more people, that the “Shoah”, or Holocaust, functions as the semi-official State Religion of France. . .
      . . . Constantly recalling the Shoah, in articles, movies, news items, as well as at school, far from preventing anything, can create a morbid fascination with “identities”. It fosters “victim rivalries”. This fascination can lead to unanticipated results. Some 330 schools in Paris bear plaques commemorating the Jewish children who were deported to Nazi concentration camps. How do little Jewish children today react to that? Do they find it reassuring?
      This may be useful to the State of Israel, which is currently undertaking a three-year program to encourage more of France’s 600,000 Jews to leave France and go to Israel. In 2013, the number of Aliyah from France rose to more than 3,000, a trend attributed by the European Jewish Press to the “French Jewish community’s increasingly Zionistic mentality, particularly among young French Jews, and a manifestation of efforts by the Jewish Agency, the Israel government, and other non-profits to cultivate Jewish identity in France.”
      “If this year we have seen Aliyah from France go from under 2,000 to more than 3,000, I look forward to seeing that number grow to 6,000 and beyond in the near future, as we connect ever more young people to Jewish life and to Israel,” declared Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Surely, one way to encourage Aliyah is to scare Jews with the threat of anti-Semitism, and claiming that Dieudonné’s numerous fans are Nazis in disguise is a good way to do this.
      But as for Jews who want to live in France, is it really healthy to keep reminding Jewish children that, if they are not wary, their fellow citizens might one day want to hoard them onto freight trains and ship them all to Auschwitz? I have heard people saying privately that this permanent reminder is close to child abuse.
      Someone who thinks that way is Jonathan Moadab, a 25-year-old independent journalist who was interviewed by Soren Seelow. Moadab is both anti-Zionist and a practicing Jew. As a child he was taken to tour Auschwitz. He told Seelow that living with that “victim indoctrination” had engendered a sort of “pre-traumatic stress syndrome”. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/24/blasphemy-in-secular-france/

  14. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 25, 2014, 1:51 pm

    Weintraub encourages us all to look at demonizing, shutting down etc. All of us. She encourages us all to look at method and objective. What a wise and brilliant young woman. She brings up Jews being “excommunicated” from the Jewish community. Made me think of Goldstone backing off from his UN report because of pressure and being ostracized

    Goldstone Flinched Due To Social Pressure — Plus Great NY Times Column On Judge http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/goldstone-flinched-for-re_b_846083.html

    For some reason the video is cut when Weintraub is discussing method, objective on all sides of issues and then goes over to Makovsky saying “not that we should shut down debate no one hear believes in censorship” Then goes into his refusal to be on a panel with Walt which is complete censorship. Tobin does not want particular issues in the Jewish community for debate, Rachel Corrie play…all about censorship. Makovsky contradicts himself in the very same sentence. Talk about obvious

    • American
      American
      January 25, 2014, 5:35 pm

      I am wondering how long before they call Rabbi Weintraub a self hating Jew…..have they actually called a Jewish Rabbi that yet?
      Whatever her attachment or non attachment to Israel she has real guts in bringing up the loyalty issue.

  15. annie
    annie
    January 25, 2014, 2:04 pm

    i took literally dozens of screenshots before i stopped to focus on another draft i needed to finish. i swear, the looks on these guys faces every time rabbi weintraub spoke is priceless, just priceless. there’s another, as i was viewing last week, where wexlers arms go up.(i am almost positive). if i have time later i’ll go find it and add it. but it’s truely torturous for them to have to listen to her, that’s the feeling i got. and she’s so…beautiful and wise. really, it’s enough to make me want to listen to one of her sermons. the community is so lucky to have her.

    plus, some of tobin’s expressions are really funny. he’s having none of it! talk about a dysfunctional family, these guys take the prize. and Makovsky..what exactly is his appeal? it’s hard to fathom how he could convince anyone he’d be a worthy advisor. wonders never cease.

    • just
      just
      January 25, 2014, 2:14 pm

      Many thanks for bringing her truthfulness and wisdom to all of us at MW.

      • annie
        annie
        January 25, 2014, 3:37 pm

        hey just, you’re so sweet. thanks for being here.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      January 25, 2014, 2:41 pm

      “it’s enough to make me want to listen to one of her sermons. the community is so lucky to have her.”

      I feel the same way. She is so wise, articulate, breaks it down so clearly. She is encourages us all to examine how we demonize, vilify. She ask us all to examine this. The video above does jump from her finishing up her statement about “method and intention” over to Makovsky who contradicts himself in his own examples almost immediately. He was a real player in cherry picking intelligence in Feith’s Pentagon Office of Special Plans. Ok I can hear Weinstraub wisely lecturing me when I call Makovsky a war criminal. But the man pushes war as easily as some vendor might push hot dogs on the street

      • annie
        annie
        January 25, 2014, 3:33 pm

        The video above does jump from her finishing up her statement about “method and intention” over to Makovsky

        kathleen, it actually takes a while to transcribe and parts i listened to over and over to get all the words exact. there’s one place they cut her, spliced it right in the middle of her sentence. and it makes me wonder what it was she said. it blew me away and i wrote about it w/exact time in one of my emails to phil over a week ago. i will go find it. a crucial part.

        edit.. here it is (in bold) at 31:49.

        31: 30 “are israel interests and american interests actually aligned here? if our american interests do diverge from israeli interests what then for us as american jews? how do we navigate that? the issue that did come up here were questions around how pressing this is …those are fundamental que and there’s real disagreement in polling among american jews about those questions there are several positions that have been articulated, if this was the ultimate dual loyalty test actually because what arose here was actually a divergence between israeli and american interest in which ah dis ah the agreement helped america avert a war and did place israel in existential danger”

        you can hardly hear it. but you can see it too, if you watch that split second.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      January 25, 2014, 2:41 pm

      “it’s enough to make me want to listen to one of her sermons. the community is so lucky to have her.”

      I feel the same way. She is so wise, articulate, breaks it down so clearly. She encourages us all to examine how we demonize, vilify. She ask us all to examine this. The video above does jump from her finishing up her statement about “method and intention” over to Makovsky who contradicts himself in his own examples almost immediately. He was a real player in cherry picking intelligence in Feith’s Pentagon Office of Special Plans. Ok I can hear Weinstraub wisely lecturing me when I call Makovsky a war criminal. But the man pushes war as easily as some vendor might push hot dogs on the street

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        January 25, 2014, 2:42 pm

        oops

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      January 25, 2014, 3:12 pm

      Thanks Annie for that hard work. Those pictures make the story come alive!

      • annie
        annie
        January 25, 2014, 3:35 pm

        my pleasure phil, it’s such a joy working w/you. so glad you finally put this important post together, seamlessly! you’re a jewel.

  16. Icarusverum
    Icarusverum
    January 25, 2014, 2:28 pm

    The Israel first crowd undoubtedly exists. To deny the existence of the “dual loyalty” issue is akin to putting one’s head in the sand.

    But that issue isn’t just an issue of one’s Jewishness; hearing so many Christians talk about Israel – I frequently accuse Christians of being in this weird Israel first group. Indeed – some Christians have this odd “dual loyalty” to Israel that I can’t quite comprehend.

    But it exists. I talk about it all the time but the Jewish community is afraid to … and the first charge is of course “that’s antisemitism”.

    But the antisemite charge has been incorrectly used as a weapon for so long now that it no longer means anything. I’m glad to see this discussion happen.

  17. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 25, 2014, 2:29 pm

    RE: “Makovsky said he’d refused to go on a show on PBS or NPR a year or so back because Walt was on the panel. ‘I told them I wouldn’t do it. Then they replaced Stephen Walt.’ He said this was ‘a minor victory’, and he’d only shared it with his brother– David Makovsky, who serves now on the Middle East negotiating team for the State Department.” ~ Weiss

    SPEAKING OF DAVID MAKOVSKY, SEE: “Lies About the Past, Clamoring for War in the Future; New Yorker Magazine Concocts Case for Bombing Syria”, By John W. Farley, Counterpunch, 9/12/12

    [EXCERPT] In the September 17 issue of The New Yorker, David Makovsky has a piece entitled “The Silent Strike: How Israel bombed a Syrian nuclear installation and kept it secret”.Makovsky tells a tale about how Israel took out a Syrian nuclear threat. There is one slight problem: Makovsky’s tale should have been published as “fiction”. How do I know? I’ve heard this story before.
    It is an unquestioned fact that Israel bombed something in Syria back in September 2007. But what was that something? The Israelis claimed that they bombed a Syrian nuclear reactor, but journalist Laura Rozen shot that story down very convincingly. She interviewed Joseph Cirincione, then director of nuclear policy with the Center for American Progress, who identified the bombed site as a non-nuclear Syrian military base. It’s where Syria stores their missiles, which they buy from Iran and North Korea. It’s not a nuclear reactor or any kind of nuclear installation at all. Back in 2008, the mainstream media (AP, Tom Jelton of NPR, ABC News) referred to the “Syrian nuclear reactor” as if it were an established fact, when it was actually malarkey.
    Back in 2008, I relied on Laura Rozen’s investigative reporting and the detective work of antiwar Libertarian blogger Justin Raimondo to produce a piece, “Syrian Nukes: the Phantom Menace”, published on CounterPunch. It’s valuable background reading and a refutation of the Makovsky piece. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – LINK

    P.S. ALSO SEE:

    [EXCERPTS] Wow is this crazy. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs is threatening to punish the Palestinian Authority for daring to ask for a state from the int’l community and it’s convening a hearing of neoconservatives on Wednesday. Well I don’t know about this guy Phillips, but the other three– Makovsky, Elliott Abrams, and Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies? My god. It never ends. Apparently Makovsky is the soft neocon, acceptable to Democrats. From the announcement:

    [EXCERPTS] The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on Wednesday entitled, “Promoting Peace? Reexamining U.S. Aid to the Palestinian Authority, Part II.” . . .

    . . . Who:

    • The Honorable Elliott Abrams Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Council on Foreign Relations

    • Mr. James Phillips Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs The Heritage Foundation

    • Jonathan Schanzer, Ph.D. Vice President of Research Foundation for Defense of Democracies

    • Mr. David Makovsky Ziegler Distinguished Fellow Director of Project on the Middle East Peace Process The Washington Institute

    SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/old-neocons-never-die-they-just-keep-testifying-to-congress.html

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      January 25, 2014, 2:47 pm

      P.P.S. RE: “Mr. David Makovsky Ziegler Distinguished Fellow Director of Project on the Middle East Peace Process The Washington Institute” ~ from above

      MY CLARIFICATION: “The Washington Institute” is apparently WINEP (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy) somewhat in disguise. WINEP (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a/k/a “The Washington Institute”) was established by AIPAC.

  18. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    January 25, 2014, 2:35 pm

    Michael Makovsky’s social/political network in a single brief list:

    # Michael Makovsky; category; *
    1. Blaise Misztal co-author
    2. BPC (Bipartisan Policy Center) member
    3. Charles Robb co-author
    4. CNBC pundit
    5. CNN pundit
    6. Columbia University MBA
    7. David Makovsky younger brother
    8. Dennis Ross co-author
    9. Eric Edelman co-author
    10. Harvard University Ph.D.
    11. Iran sanctions ringleader
    12. Iran War ringleader
    13. Iraq War ringleader
    14. Israel lobby leader
    15. Jewish lobby leader
    16. Jewish neoconservative
    17. Jewish Zionist
    18. JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) member
    19. neoconservative
    20. New Republic writer
    21. NPR pundit
    22. OSP (Office of Special Plans) member
    23. pro-Israel activist
    24. University of Chicago B.A.
    25. Wall Street Journal writer
    26. Washington Post writer
    27. Weekly Standard writer
    28. William Kristol co-author

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      January 25, 2014, 2:58 pm

      A few more interesting datapoints on Michael Makovsky:

      1. Betar member
      2. Bush 43 administration member
      3. Claremont Institute visiting fellow
      4. Douglas Feith subordinate
      5. dual US-Israeli citizen
      6. Ed Morse coauthor
      7. Greater Israel supporter
      8. Henry Jackson Society speaker
      9. IDF veteran
      10. Institute of Contemporary British History visiting fellow
      11. JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) CEO
      12. San Francisco Chronicle writer
      13. West Bank settler
      14. Yigal Amir friend

      Be sure to see [article; title=Michael Makovsky; publication=Right Web; url=
      http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Makovsky_Michael%5D

  19. just
    just
    January 25, 2014, 2:35 pm

    Both Makovsky and Alterman, and far too many zionists have much in common.

    ” “I find it unbelievable that people do this kind of thing…. I personally would never be on a panel with Stephen Walt or John Mearsheimer.”

    Makovsky said he’d refused to go on a show on PBS or NPR a year or so back because Walt was on the panel. “I told them I wouldn’t do it. Then they replaced Stephen Walt.” He said this was “a minor victory,” and he’d only shared it with his brother– David Makovsky, who serves now on the Middle East negotiating team for the State Department.

    Makovsky added of Walt, “How come that guy still has a job at Harvard?” And Mearsheimer was a “nut,” he said. Eisner, the moderator, said nothing in defense of the scholars.”

    They’re all scared to death to face the truth. I guess it’s because their heretofore unquestioned narrative (fairy tale) has gone splat.

  20. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 25, 2014, 2:45 pm

    Great panel but it was lopsided even though Weintraub took them all down with her wisdom and intellect. Still would have loved to have seen Hillary Mann Leverett or Phyllis Bennig on the panel. Those guys barely stood a chance with Weintraub but add Benning or Leverett their arguments would have completely been dust in the wind

  21. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 25, 2014, 3:04 pm

    RE: “Weintraub said that we have lots of diversity in the Jewish community and none of these groups are talking to each other; and Eisner said, ‘Except for here– yay!’ Weintraub disagreed. Suggesting that the JCC’s redlines were a result of financial pressure, she said that by excluding discussion of BDS and dual loyalty, the Jewish community is excluding a lot of young people who want to talk about this stuff, and these people aren’t going away.” ~ Weiss

    JAMES PERTAS: “In the past Jewish leaders, especially labor and socially-engaged activists had joined forces with Leftists in opposition to political bigots, McCarthyite purges and blacklists. Today’s leaders practice the very same bully, blackmail and blacklist politics against critics of Israel and its Zionist appendages.”

    SEE: “The ‘Israel First’ Industry and CEO Profiteering”, by James Petras, dissidentvoice.org, 1/16/14

    [EXCERPTS] During the first half of the 20th century, socially conscious Jews in the United States organized a large network of solidarity and charity associations financed mostly through small donations, raffles, and dues by working and lower middle class supporters. Many of these associations dealt with the everyday needs of Jewish workers, immigrants, and families in need. . .
    . . . Over the past fifty years a far-reaching transformation has taken place within Jewish organizations, among its leaders and their practices and policies. Currently, Jewish leaders have converted charities, social aid-societies and overseas programs for working class Jews into money machines for self-enrichment; converted charities funding health programs for Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism into the funding of colonial settlements for armed Zionist zealots intent on uprooting Palestinians; and organized a powerful political machine which buys US Congress people and penetrates the Executive in order to serve Israeli military aims. From defending human rights and fighting fascism, the leaders of the principle Jewish organizations defend each and every Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights – from arbitrary arrests of non-violent dissidents to the detention of children in ‘cages.’ Israel’s Kafkaesque prolonged administration detention without trial is approved by contemporary leaders. In the past Jewish leaders, especially labor and socially-engaged activists had joined forces with Leftists in opposition to political bigots, McCarthyite purges and blacklists. Today’s leaders practice the very same bully, blackmail and blacklist politics against critics of Israel and its Zionist appendages.
    In the past Jewish leaders of social aid organizations received modest salaries . . .
    . . . The moderately social liberal Jewish weekly, The Forward, recently completed a survey of the salaries of Jewish “not-for profits” leaders, with the aid of a professor from the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania). Among the leading profiteers was Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) earning $688,280, Howard Kohr of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — $556,232, David Harris of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — $504,445, Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) — $435,050, Janice Weinman of Hadassah — $410,000, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (PMJO) — $400,815, Mark Helfield of the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society — $268,834 and Ann Toback of the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring — $185,712. These salaries and perks put the Jewish leaders of non-profits in the upper 10% of US incomes — a far cry from the not-too-distant past. According to the analysis by the Forward and the Wharton team, ‘most leaders (CEOs) are vastly overpaid – earning more than twice what the head of an organization of their size would be expected to make”.
    While the membership has declined in many organizations, especially among working and lower middle class Jews, the funding has increased and most important the plutocratic leaders have embraced a virulent militarist foreign policy and repressive domestic policies. Forward describes Abraham Foxman as “diverting the ADL from its self-described mission of fighting all forms of bigotry in the US and abroad to putting the ADL firmly on the side of bigotry and intolerance.” . . .
    . . . The overwhelming response of the Jewish readers to the Forward’s survey was one of indignation, disgust, and anger. As one reader commented, “The economic disconnect between their (CEOs) salaries and the average incomes of those who contribute to their charities is unacceptable”. Another indignant reader remarked succinctly: “Gonifs! (Thieves!)”. Many announced they could cut off future donations. One formerly orthodox reader stated, “I would rather give to a street beggar than to any of these”.
    The drop-off of donations from lower-middle class Jews, however, will have little effect in reducing the salaries of the ‘non-profit’ CEO’s or changing the politics of their ‘non-profits; because they increasingly depend on six and seven digit contributions from Jewish millionaires and billionaires. Moreover, the contributions by big donors are linked to the politics of repression at home and securing multi-billion dollar military aid and trade programs for Israel from the US Treasury. The billionaire donors have no objection to funding the millionaire leaders – as long as they concentrate their efforts on buying the votes of US Congress members and aligning their politics with Israel’s war aims. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/01/the-israel-first-industry-and-ceo-profiteering/

  22. puppies
    puppies
    January 25, 2014, 3:09 pm

    Anyone in the room who frequents this rabbi’s (rabbina’s) temple? I have a feeling that her contract will be up or subject of a buyout very soon and voices will have to be raised.

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      January 25, 2014, 8:36 pm

      FROM HUFFINGTON POST:

      Rabbi Melissa Weintraub

      Rabbi Melissa Weintraub is an educator, facilitator and trainer working to transform conflict in the face of entrenched divisions. Melissa was the founding director of Encounter, an organization dedicated to strengthening the capacity of the Jewish people to be agents of change in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2011, Melissa was awarded the Grinnell Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize in recognition of her impact as a young social entrepreneur. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Melissa is ordained as a Conservative Rabbi and graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude. She is the author of several articles addressing Jewish war ethics and has lectured and taught on four continents.

      ● Entries by Rabbi Melissa Weintraub

      Much More Than Atonement, Yom Kippur Calls Us to Courageous Self-Disclosure
      (20) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 1:07 PM
      A decade ago I walked into my parent’s living room to discover my beloved grandfather, hunched over his walker and weeping while cranking 19th century romantic Russian orchestral music. No one ever accused my grandfather of emotional opacity — but I had…
      LINK – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-melissa-weintraub/much-more-than-atonement-_b_3907812.html

      Jewish Peoplehood and Multiple Paths to Loyalty
      (5) Comments | Posted April 30, 2013 | 12:46 PM
      Do we owe special allegiances to “our people,” above and beyond our responsibilities to other human beings? What is and ought to be the relationship between our collective identities and moral scope?
      In the American Jewish community, op-eds and communal forums have surfaced these questions in debates over philanthropic priorities (do we take care of own first?) and political sympathies (do we stand in solidarity with our people in time of war, and what does doing so mean?). Regrettably, the vitriol through which many of these debates have taken place — and at times distortions among interlocutors of each others’ positions — has overshadowed the substance of these important questions, which have been with Judaism since its inception. . .
      LINK – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-melissa-weintraub/jewish-peoplehood-and-multiple-paths-to-loyalty_b_3186414.html

      An ‘Eye For An Eye’ and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: It’s Not What You Think
      (322) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 6:50 AM
      There is a wonderful TED talk by Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie, called “the danger of a single story.” Adichie describes the danger of talking about any group of people as if they are one thing and one thing only. “The consequence of…
      LINK – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-melissa-weintraub/an-eye-for-an-eye-and-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict_b_1498110.html

      SOURCE – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-melissa-weintraub/

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870
        January 25, 2014, 8:45 pm

        P.S. I must confess that “19th century romantic Russian orchestral music” has also made me weep on occasion (sans walker).
        Go figure.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        January 26, 2014, 2:30 am

        As far as I can tell from a quick perusal, Weintraub does not take up the question of what it is that makes a group “our people”.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        (Mods, please replace my previous post with this one.)

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 26, 2014, 1:40 pm

        @RoHa: Duh. Because that one is harder than squaring the circle. Don’t you think that the brilliant theoricians of the Judenstaat would have had that one ready from the start if it were feasible?

  23. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 25, 2014, 3:16 pm
  24. biorabbi
    biorabbi
    January 25, 2014, 4:27 pm

    The brilliant posters here and their brave leader Phil should, of course, realize Rabbi Weintraub talk about dual loyalty does not make her a pioneer. This is the same language used in many areas of time and space but with the same meaning:

    Poland in 1967 in the aftermath of the Sixth Day War. Jews were listed, delisted, fragmented into many distinct varietals, including Poles of the Mosaic Origin as the good Jews, distinct from Zionists who were more allied with the interests of Israel, leading to mass expulsion of Jews from Poland…. 20,000 of some of the last Jewish Poles. I’m not comparing this incident with Poland, but I am pointing out that the dual loyalty charge is not new, but embedded from Phil Weiss, this Rabbi, to Poland and into antiquity.

    Slansky trial et al in Eastern Europe, Jews were more loyal to Israel than to their countries of origin.

    Stalin’s Doctors plot… again using and scapegoating Jews, vilifying them as ripe for expulsion out of Russia. Zionism was used.

    Hitler’s the Jews are our misfortune campaign took the fifth loyalists to the extreme, but part of his logic fragmented Jews as being disloyal to the state–prompting the publication by refutation of loyal Jews who lost their lives in the First World War…. again the Jews starting the war stuff, but being too intellectual and shifty to fight in the battle mantra(not born by Phil Weiss’ dystopian vision of the evil neoconservatives).

    The Dreyfus Affair in France with the false charge of dual loyalty directly help conversion of Herzl into a zionist, a sort of response to the dual loyalty canard.

    The Spanish Inquisition looked at blood and loyalty to the state… even the conversion of Jews would not exempt the issue of loyalty to the crown.

    This charge even goes back to the foundation of Christianity and well before.

    The wince of Wexler might have simply been honest disgust and shock at the idiocy for a rabbi not to realize the charged words.

    I find the real distinction between the views of Gilad Atzmon and Phil Weiss is Atzmon simply ‘moves the ball’ down the field into explaining the hatred of Jews as the Jews fault. Phil Weiss does not engage into such hatred of Jews, but in his disgust at neoconservatives and his cases studies dual loyalty among American Jews(whether true or false), he should reflect that this is not exactly pioneering work.

    • puppies
      puppies
      January 26, 2014, 12:23 am

      Instead of bullshitting at length (and slandering Atzmon, who you obviously haven’t read), why not come with each particular case and analyze it to see if the person in question has a conflict of interest, or no conflict but action in favor of a foreign power, or loyalty to country of primary citizenship? It’s not that hard to decide and has nothing to do either with group smears or group-wide whitewash attempts. Let’s see if you can.

      • biorabbi
        biorabbi
        January 26, 2014, 10:51 am

        I am not slandering Atzmon. He examines Jewish power, dual loyalty and calls on Jews to examine their own culpability in answering the why behind the historical record . For this he is called out as an anti-semite by the likes of Max Blumenthal and the head of BDS. I would hardly call such individuals supporters of Israel. How is this slandering Gilad?

        In the case of Poland in 1968, the government was later found to have whipped up public sentiment against the tiny minority of Jews to offset their faltering popularity… there were massive student demonstrations against the government back in those days.

        Edrogan appears to be moving in a similar direction today in Turkey, blaming international Jewry for societal unrest, riots, and now for pulling the strings of dissident Islamist voices!

  25. Ecru
    Ecru
    January 25, 2014, 4:29 pm

    It’s hardly the fault of onlookers that Zionists seem intent on bringing back every old anti-semitic canard (in this case the old dual loyalty one) as an actual truth now is it?

    Here’s the thing – many American Jews DO have dual loyalty, even sending their children off to serve not in the US military but in the WaffenIDF. Denying this, attempting to smear those who notice it as “anti-semitic” (which as a charge has long devolved into a rather sad and unfunny joke) is insulting in the extreme to the intelligence of non-Jews and is nothing but another reflection of the base bigotry and xenophobia that lies at the core of the Zionist world-view.

    • biorabbi
      biorabbi
      January 26, 2014, 12:26 am

      Ecru, it is not the truth. It is simply a reflection of the mindset and world view of those making the dual loyalty charge. I’m sure you believe it, and I’m sure those who made the charge throughout history believed it as well. Belief is not truth. Furthermore, your comments on this being another reflection of the base bigotry and xenophobia that lies at the core of the Zionist world-view is, I would argue, a distorted self-reflection of your own reflection in the mirror. Shalom.

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 26, 2014, 1:43 pm

        @niorabbi – In other words, who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?

      • hungrydave
        hungrydave
        January 26, 2014, 10:12 pm

        I find your argument utterly baffling.

        You have spent zero time actually considering the accusation of dual loyalty on a person by person case.

        Your entire argument is that because jews were wrongly accused of dual-loyalty in the past, it is now literally impossible for them to have dual loyalty. An equivalent argument could be: because black people have been wrongly accused of murder in the past, it is now literally impossible for a black person to have committed a murder. And you go further, not only is it impossible for a black person to have committed murder, it is racist to simply hear evidence against that person however fair the trial.

        Let’s take jews out of the equation for the moment. Do you believe that there is such a phenomenon as dual-loyalty for non-jews? I would imagine that at some point, a non-jew has been wrongly accused of having dual-loyalty, therefore it ought to be impossible for any non-jew to have dual loyalty.

        Your argument is without merit

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        January 28, 2014, 6:04 am

        @ biorabbi

        “Ecru, it is not the truth. It is simply a reflection of the mindset and world view of those making the dual loyalty charge.”

        So what you’re saying is that there are no American Jews who, instead of serving in the US Military have instead opted to join the IDF? You deny that any American Jews have either helped break American law or even broken it themselves to advantage Israel? You deny that AIPAC, staffed and funded by American Jews, is not intent on dragging the USA into a war nobody outside Israel wants? A war that would cost the USA an unknown number of lives and billions of dollars, that would quite possibly destroy the American economy? You deny that many of the Jewish NeoCons who are responsible for Iraq had Israel’s interests at heart not those of the USA?

        You’re delusional.

  26. Scott
    Scott
    January 25, 2014, 10:20 pm

    Tobin I read frequently; I didn’t realize he was middle aged, thought he was a younger Adam Kredo/Jamie Kirchick sort. But in person he seemed gentler than his prose. Makofsky, wow–really surprised such a thug could attain a high post, even in the neocon dominated Pentagon of GW Bush. Usually American neocons more effective at masking their narrow mindedness. Is it really true that NPR bumped Steve Walt from a show because Makovsky wouldn’t debate him? That seems pretty amazing, even knowing the biases of NPR.

  27. biorabbi
    biorabbi
    January 26, 2014, 12:20 am

    Ecru, my point is only that the dual loyalty charge is not new. To make such a charge is not brave, it is not thoughtful, the charge is reeks of anti-semitism, indeed it is almost a definition of anti-semitic core beliefs around the world and throughout recorded history. The dual loyalty charge was employed by Stalin and Hitler and their supporters.

    Long before Israel was a state, the loyalty charge was used successfully in Poland. It was used in Poland in the 1930’s and ’40’s. It was used again when the Polish Jews had declined from 3 million to 20,000 souls in 1968. 4 Classifications of Jews were created by the Polish communist party after the Sixth Day War in ’67 in the so-called ‘March events’ of ’68: Zionists… ie Jews who loved Israel and should move there, Jews who were cosmopolitans who secretly loved Israel, Jews who were indifferent and, the good guys or Poles of Mosaic descent as they were called. All groups were booted out of the country for their dual loyalties.

    I bring up these points not to silence any debate but to point out that the dual-loyalty stereotype is one of the very oldest anti-semitic motifs. It did not begin with the birth of Leo Strauss or Paul Wolfowitz, nor did it begin with the Iraq War. An analogy might be how the OJ Simpson trial might have pissed off certain whites in the US. Was OJ Simpson or Rodney King the cause of racism or is there a long strand of racism and slavery that existed in America and throughout the world well before the civil war or revolutionary war.

    • annie
      annie
      January 26, 2014, 1:59 am

      I bring up these points not to silence any debate but to point out that the dual-loyalty stereotype is one of the very oldest anti-semitic motifs…..I bring up these points not to silence any debate but to point out that the dual-loyalty stereotype is one of the very oldest anti-semitic motifs.

      what’s age got to do with it? so what? something is not anti semitic if its true. and it’s not applicable to all american jews. but it’s definitely applicable to some. and of course you’re bringing up these points to silence any debate. listen tot he video. face ot, ground has been taken and now you think you own it forever. well we can call it out when we se it.

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        January 26, 2014, 4:36 am

        Well said, Annie. Truth can be sooooo painful. That excruciating body language says it all.

        This has nothing to do with Judeophobia. Let’s not forget that lots and lots of so-called Christians have completely confused loyalty and support for the common interests of their fellow citizens with the Zionist project.

        They have never been to Israel, no know nothing about Judaism, let alone the history of Zionism, but believe that they must die for the foreign country, Israel. This can also be said for self-identified American Jews.

        This confusion is a freaky phenomenon is current US culture. Just listen to the rhetoric of our elected officials and the preaching inside a Mid-West mega “church.”

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      January 26, 2014, 6:37 am

      @ Biorabbi

      …the dual loyalty charge is not new…

      The question isn’t “is the charge new” the question is “is the charge true” and this time, in many cases it obviously is.

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 26, 2014, 1:57 pm

        The charge, in fact, is not “dual loyalty”. Faulty thinking and sloppy grammar. It is that of loyalty to a foreign power rather than the legally required one.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        January 27, 2014, 7:23 am

        Very true.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 26, 2014, 9:34 am

      >> I bring up these points not to silence any debate …

      …but merely to hint that anyone who chooses to entertain or to engage in these debates is, at the very least, borderline anti-Semitic.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      January 26, 2014, 9:38 am

      Biorabbi,

      How would you answer the point that any group of people in any nation that is obsessed, aggressive, chauvinistic, belligerent, bullying, etc. about the ethnic nationalism of a foreign government (as Jewish Zionists like Michael Makovsky clearly are) will naturally arouse suspicions among their neighbors about their loyalty to the nations in which they live?

      How much aggressive lobbying and agitation for the interests of a foreign government would Israel tolerate among its citizens? (The answer: very little.)

      Stop to think: how conspicuous is the level of your own ethnocentrism and ethnic nationalism compared to that of most Americans? Let me assure you: it is highly conspicious. Most Americans are not ethnic nationalists.

      To deal effectively with the dual loyalty charge you need to start wrestling honestly with the factors that have energized this issue — including the behavior of Jewish neoconservatives, who have worked relentlessly to push the United States into self-destructive wars against Israel’s enemies — and against the best interests of Americans.

      Trying to paper over this controversy with accusations of antisemitism will only inflame it further.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      January 26, 2014, 10:04 am

      Biorabbi,

      How many Americans — including numerous American presidents — have been attacked by pro-Israel activists and militants during recent decades — as Michael Makovsky attacked Stephen Walt in the video above? How do you think they will respond to those personal attacks, which have been motivated by a passionate attachment and conspicuous *loyalty* to a foreign government — Israel?

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      January 28, 2014, 8:07 am

      Bio rabbi, you are projecting. And “loving” a country — an abstract construct — is bizarre. Like a fetish. Why not just love your friends, family and people.

      As citizens of a country we have legal obligations associated with our citizenship.

      When, for example, the Israeli IDF recruits American citizens (who must be Jewish) it is understandable that fellow citizens are troubled, even disturbed, by such a lack of loyalty to their own citizenship that they join foreign armies.

      I would not call an American citizen signing up for foreign fighters and lobbing the US Congress to fight Israel’s enemies “dual loyalist,” but rather Americans who are loyal only to Israel.

      I am sure many Americans who are Jewish would agree, and are just as disturbed by all this “love” and loyalty to Israel first. We should all be.

  28. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    January 26, 2014, 2:17 am

    annie writes, something is not anti semitic if its true.

    False. That is not true. If I stand on a street corner and recite all the crimes committed by Jews and none of the crimes committed by anyone else, this is probably still an example of antisemitism. (Insert Arabs or blacks or Latinos or Chinese in that sentence and you will see that it is true, although the term would be hatred rather than antisemitism.)

    If something is true and put into context then it is probably not an example of animus, but an attempt at analysis. But quite often animus is animus even if it is true.

    (The argument here about dual loyalty is besides my point. The point I am making is specifically, “if something is true it is by definition not antisemitic.” which is false.)

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 26, 2014, 9:41 am

      >> If something is true and put into context then it is probably not an example of animus, but an attempt at analysis. But quite often animus is animus even if it is true.

      Does this apply to every truth that is put into context, or is it only when it comes to Jews that truth – regardless of its context – can never be animus-free?

    • American
      American
      January 26, 2014, 10:18 am

      ”If I stand on a street corner and recite all the crimes committed by Jews and none of the crimes committed by anyone else, this is probably still an example of antisemitism. ‘…yonah

      The only reason people point out crimes by Jews is because you wont own up to you own wrongdoing. You claim everyone is evil but you.
      When gentiles or non Jews put as much effort into accusing, vilifiying, demonizing and blaming Jews as you do the entire world of non Jews then you can complain.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        January 27, 2014, 6:48 am

        When you recite “all the crimes committed by Jews” to everyone else’s exclusion, you imply that these are Jewish crimes. And when you justify this to a presumably non-criminal critic on the grounds that “you wont [sic] own up to you own wrongdoing,” you absolve me of having to call you an antisemite. You took care of that all by yourself.
        As for answering me, I’ll save you the effort. I’m a Zionist.

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 28, 2014, 10:52 am

        >> When you recite “all the crimes committed by Jews” to everyone else’s exclusion, you imply that these are Jewish crimes. And when you justify this to a presumably non-criminal critic on the grounds that “you wont [sic] own up to you own wrongdoing,” you absolve me of having to call you an antisemite.

        When you recite “all the crimes committed by non-Jews” to everyone else’s exclusion, you imply that these are non-Jewish crimes. And when you justify this to a presumably non-criminal critic on the grounds that “you won’t own up to you own wrongdoing,” you absolve non-Jews of having to call you an anti-Gentile.

        >> As for answering me, I’ll save you the effort. I’m a Zionist.

        No sh*t, Sherlock.

    • biorabbi
      biorabbi
      January 26, 2014, 10:34 am

      I deal with the Jewish dual-loyalty charge by placing it in it’s proper context… that of an ancient stereotype against Jews. How many Jewish neoconservatives are there? Did Jews vote Bush before or after Iraq? Did Jews vote against Obama since he opposed the Iraq war?

      Do they contribute to society, to medicine, culture, arts or are they just cosmopolitan characters with dual loyalties. I believe what an individual does should not cast allegiance of the group… Jew, Muslim, or Christian. I love Israel and I love my country the United States.

      At the very least, lets drop the pretense and stop with the ‘pioneering work’ of those who ‘develop’ the dual loyalty charge. They are not pioneers but historical followers, recycling tropes which stigmatize Jews as a group, not as individuals.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 28, 2014, 12:30 pm

        “I deal with the Jewish dual-loyalty charge by placing it in it’s proper context… that of an ancient stereotype against Jews”

        Then you are a fool. Anyone who does understand that we are talking about loyalty to another State and cannot see how that is different than an ancient stereotype is not actually thinking, but reacting. You are, in fact, acting in a bigoted manner, because you are requiring — at the risk of being called and antisemite — that Jews be given a pass for their loyalty toward israel when no other person would be given such a pass. If I believe that every American must hold no loyalty to any other State except the US, be they Canadian, Jewish, Hindu, French or otherwise, it would, in fact, be antisemitic to say, “But it’s okay for Jews to be loyal to israel.” That’s complete BS and your attempt to preemptively smear those with whom you disagree is bush league nonsense.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        January 28, 2014, 1:54 pm

        Biorabbi,

        You seem to be saying that since the charge of dual loyalty has often been used by those with anti-Semitic motives, it should never be used at all. Anti-Semites, like David Duke, frequently glom on to any argument that is critical of Israel or of some Jewish groups. The fact they do does not mean that all criticisms of Israel or of particular Jewish groups (or Jewish individuals) is per se anti-Semitic.

        I think it is indisputable that the charge of anti-Semitism is overused, often to deflect valid criticism of Israel and/or of Jewish groups. Does that mean that the charge of anti-Semitism is never valid and should never be used? Of course not.

        The irony here is that you are using a logically flawed argument that employs the same excessive use of the anti-Semite canard in order to deflect attention from valid claims of dual loyalty. Your association of anti-Semitism to any and all charges of dual loyalty should no more be an argument against valid claims of anti-Semitism than a valid claim of dual loyalty should garner an automatic charge of anti-Semitism.

        There is a common response to arguments on MW, even by more thoughtful, more liberal Zionists like you. That is to deflect any argument against Israel, or against a pro-Zionist group by either arguing that the conduct being complained about is no worse or less worse than the conduct of other countries, or that the motive of the commenter is either anti-Semitic or associated with historical forms of anti-Semitism, or both.

        What I rarely see is a thoughtful response to the substance of the complaint against Israel or against a particular Zionist group or organization. The underlying essence of this form of deflecting response seems to be that the conduct of Israel and all Zionist groups or organizations is above criticism.

        It would be nice if commenters like you focused more on the validity of the conduct being complained about rather than attempting to deflect the argument away from what you apparently feel should be immune from criticism and/or is being made for anti-Semitic motives.

        Is the deflecting the argument approach all you have left? Do you no longer feel you can effectively respond to the substance of arguments that criticize Israel’s conduct or the conduct of Zionist groups or organizations?

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        January 29, 2014, 4:23 pm

        @ biorabbi

        “I deal with the Jewish dual-loyalty charge by placing it in it’s proper context… that of an ancient stereotype against Jews.”

        Except of course the context you choose to put it in is very restricted. Mind numbingly biased in fact.

        No mention of the “dual loyalty” charge as applied to Catholics in many nations for hundreds of years (basically since the Reformation). For example the fact that Kennedy had to deal with accusations of “dual loyalty” to the Vatican during his election campaign.

        No mention of the “dual loyalty” charge as applied to Muslims in India since Partition and that bubbles to the surface every time there’s a problem with Pakistan.

        No mention of the “dual loyalty” charge as applied to Communists and Socialists in Western Nations during the Cold War. The name McCarthy not ring a bell?

        No mention of the internment of ethnic Germans and Japanese people during WWII thanks to the “dual loyalty” charge.

        No mention of the “dual loyalty” charge a levelled almost continuously at Palestinian Israelis by Jewish representatives and government of the state. Charges usually followed by threats of mass deportations at a level that could only be called ethnic cleansing (something Israel has proved itself more than happy to perform in the past).

        The fact that even with all these other examples (especially the Palestinian one) you insist the charge is somehow uniquely anti-semitic again just shows what a bigot you are, dismissing the travails of all other people in a vain attempt to claim some special status for Jewish experiences.

        Laughable.

  29. jsinton
    jsinton
    January 26, 2014, 7:38 am

    Wow! Wexler and Tobin look like they’re passing bricks. Rabbi Weintraub totally nails it. Rather brilliant reporting, Phil.

  30. Shingo
    Shingo
    January 26, 2014, 9:25 am

    Weintraub’s performance was stellar. It was fun to watch Wexler and Tobin ‘s faced towards the end, being made to listen to what they clearly do not want to hear. She exposes their hypocrisy and moral cowardice. The reason they don;t want to debate Walt and Meareshimer is because they would lose.

    Which beings me to Makovsky’s infufferable hypocrisy when he asks why Walt still has a job at Harvard. Did Walt play a crucial role in lying the US into a war based on false evidence, a war that has be devastating for the US as well as Iraq.

    The question should not only be why he still has any kind of job but why he ins’t in the Hague.

  31. biorabbi
    biorabbi
    January 26, 2014, 10:40 am

    Imagine if this same conversation referred to the intelligence or criminal proclivity of African Americans, or referred to Arab Americans as being a fifth column, supportive of Bin Laden. Imagine if each arrest or bad action of an Arab American or an African American led to an intellectual questioning of the entire group in question. This would be called racism. But defenders of this video say if it’s accurate, then it’s the truth. Sean and Annie, the sole distinction here is the ethnicity in question.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      January 28, 2014, 9:36 am

      Biorabbi,

      You still haven’t addressed these key points:

      Many prominent Jewish Zionists, with a passionate attachment and loyalty to Israel, played the leading role in promoting the Iraq War and are now playing the leading role in agitating for an Iran War. The Iraq War was a multi-trillion disaster for Americans. An Iran War would probably be even a greater disaster. Many of these Jewish Zionists — most of whom are conspicuously associated with the Jewish establishment — have justified their pro-Israel activism in the name of Judaism.

      We don’t see this kind of behavior among other major ethnic groups in American political life. Is it any wonder that many questions have been raised about the core loyalties of Jewish pro-Israel activists and militants? How much more damage are they likely to inflict on the United States in the coming years? They are fully responsible for bringing the dual loyalty issue front and center in American and European politics. They give the strong impression that they are using Americans and American military and economic power to pursue policies that are motivated by their singleminded loyalty to Israel and Israel only — with no regard for the American interest whatever.

      There is nothing remotely antisemitic in pointing out what is going on directly in front of everyone’s eyes. Your best move would be to acknowledge the obvious.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        January 28, 2014, 12:48 pm

        biorabbi,

        Added note:

        No reasonable person is claiming that these prominent Jewish Zionists in American politics represent “the Jews” — even though they often stridently claim to speak for “the Jews,” “the Jewish people” and Judaism. In fact, a large majority of Jews opposed the Iraq War. Let’s not confuse or mix up these two issues. Certainly most American Jews are loyal to the United States without any qualifications.

        The real issue here is this: how did this small sector of the Jewish community manage to acquire so much prominence in American culture and politics? Why have the American mainstream media given them such a conspicuous platform?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 30, 2014, 6:28 am

        @ seanmcbride
        Well said. If for, example, we look at the speech and conduct of Chuck Shermer, or Sheldon Adelson, and we detect a passionate attachment to Israel right or wrong, and a clear willingness to devout all of America’s blood and taxes to that obsession, does this mean we are saying all Jewish Americans are in their camp? No.

        Some things are factual, and evidence prove so. Because ancient regime politicians in Europe blamed the sad state of affairs on all Jews to deflect criticism from themselves by providing a scapegoat for what they themselves authorized to the detriment of the peasants, does not ipso facto mean this is the accurate context for contemporary criticism of those Americans like Schumer or Adelson. or, say Bill Kristol or Krauthammer. Or Mark Kirk or Lindsey Graham.

        Using ancient anti-semitic mimes leaves out the fact of a nuclear armed sovereign state of Israel with the 4th strongest conventional military in the world, with lone superpower making sure its weapons are cutting edge.

  32. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 26, 2014, 10:49 am

    “Did Walt play a crucial role in lying the US into a war based on false evidence, a war that has be devastating for the US as well as Iraq.

    The question should not only be why he still has any kind of job but why he ins’t in the Hague.”

    Makovsky really should be at the Hague along with Cheney, Feith, Rice, Luti, Bush, Bolton, Judy “I was fucking right” Miller, Rhode, Ledeen, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Kenneth Pollack and the rest of the Iraq warmongers. Of course different degrees of guilt and involvement but they all definitely should be put on trial for war crimes

    • biorabbi
      biorabbi
      January 26, 2014, 10:57 am

      Kathleen, do the American people have any blood on their hands? Did we not vote for Bush in 2004, long after WMD was found to have evaporated into the ether? How about shipping the electorate into the Hague? How about the soldiers who tortured Iraqis? how filmed and photographed murder from helicopters? Is it only the PNAC types who should be purged from society? Just asking.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        January 27, 2014, 9:32 am

        Biorabbi,

        A very large percentage of Americans (including myself) strongly opposed the Iraq War. Jewish neoconservatives (all of them pro-Israel activists or militants with a passionate loyalty to Israel and a fierce hatred of the Arab and Muslim enemies of Israel) were the lead group that instigated and promoted the Iraq War — their fingerprints are all over that disastrous war.

        Certainly Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, William Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Robert Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, Abram Shulsky, Norman Podhoretz, John Podhoretz, Ken Adelman and many other Likud Zionists in their camp deserve much more blame for the Iraq War than the average American. And they were all obviously driven by their emotional loyalty to a foreign government and a narrow brand of ethno-religious nationalism. It is obvious that they haven’t cared less about the American interest — and they still don’t — currently they are ringleading efforts to drive Americans into a war against Iran.

        Shouldn’t it be evident that it is not in the best interest of the Jewish community as a whole to try to defend or make excuses for the behavior of Jewish neoconservatives? Or to deny that they have been motivated by loyalty to Israel and by calculations of the Israeli interest? In truth, they are not dual loyalists — they are single-minded and undivided loyalists — everything for them is all about Israel. They have cynically manipulated patriotic American symbols and themes to promote an agenda that has been incredibly destructive for Americans.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 30, 2014, 6:40 am

        @ biorabbi
        I didn’t vote for Bush and I protested attacking Iraq. I wasn’t alone by any stretch of the imagination. We didn’t ship the German electorate into Nuremberg, but tried key Nazi leaders for war crimes. Beyond that, Jewish Nazi hunters have been hunting down and putting on trial anybody who was even a lowly camp guard for nearly 70 years.

  33. hungrydave
    hungrydave
    January 26, 2014, 11:16 pm

    She’s brilliant, very calm and dignified

  34. piotr
    piotr
    January 28, 2014, 10:31 am

    A comment on Biorabbi post:

    Heraclitus — ‘No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.’

    The fact that “dual loyalty” charge was used maliciously in the past in some places does not mean that it is always wrong. What is important are the facts pertaining to the current political situation in USA.

    Indisputably, there is a number of influential politicians, think tanks and super-rich political donors that attack others for not having exclusive loyalty to Israel. Exhibit one are the recent attacks on Debbie Wasserman Schultz who (a) is an active supporter of Israel, (b) she is proud of that, (c) nevertheless she follows her President and party leader even when he has a different opinion than the prime minister of Israel.

    It definitely poses a question if it would be reasonable to fill the post of DNC leader with a person as pro-Israeli as demanded by Zionist extremist, like Chuck Schumer. For the same reason I would question if it is reasonable to have Bob Menendez as the head of DSCC and so on.

    In the context of Rav Melissa (is it a correct way of referring to a Reform Rabbi?), it is important that attacks like those on DWS are stupid acts by self-styled representatives of “organized Jewish community” and it is important that members and leaders distance themselves from such acts in spite of fear of inevitable attacks on them that will follow. This is the scope of the “dual loyalty” controversy within the political mainstream.

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