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‘NYT’ highlights AIPAC’s first failure in 30 years, as de Blasio and Hillary jump on Iran bandwagon

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Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Jeez Louise, The New York Times has published a big story on the political failure of the leading Israel lobby organization, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). The Times says AIPAC has lost for the first time in 30 years in failing to ramp up sanctions on Iran.

Its top priority, a Senate bill to impose new sanctions on Iran, has stalled after stiff resistance from President Obama, and in what amounts to a tacit retreat, Aipac has stopped pressuring Senate Democrats to vote for the bill.

Even Abe Foxman concedes the Iran sanctions have stalled, and reporter Mark Lander says that the lobby “overreached” by pillorying Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her silence re the Obama deal with Iran. And after long silence, Hillary Clinton also knows which way the wind is blowing.

On Monday, 70 House Democrats sent Mr. Obama a letter backing his diplomatic efforts and opposing new sanctions. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton added her voice to those urging no legislation.

Landler is no bombthrower, but he has the temerity to talk about AIPAC’s “rich donor base.”

Aipac officials said that their fund-raising is at record levels and that the March meeting will be the largest in its history. The group has helped secure $3.1 billion in American aid for Israel for the fiscal year

Money surely explains Wasserman Schultz’s silence (she’s chair of the Democratic National Commitee) and Hillary Clinton’s fencesitting, and an incident Landler also cites: Bill de Blasio humiliating himself to AIPAC on January 23. A few of his best friends (i.e., biggest donors) were surely in that room. I’m waiting for that reporting. But The Times mentions the long list of Jews, including many liberal Zionists, who published a letter rebuking de Blasio and saying AIPAC doesn’t speak for them. De Blasio is now inching away from that groveling speech. Capital NY:

Addressing his unannounced, closed-press speech last month to AIPAC, Bill de Blasio told Brian Lehrer this morning that he was “unabashedly pro-Israel,” but added, “Where I agree with President Obama is on sanctions. I think the deal that has been struck with Iran is an incredible first step.”…

During his speech to the pro-Israel group last month, de Blasio told AIPAC members, “When you need me to stand by you in Washington or anywhere, I will answer the call and I’ll answer it happily ’cause that’s my job.”

The Times also quotes a Connecticut Democratic Senator who says he doesn’t care about AIPAC:

[Christopher] Murphy said he was not worried about bucking Aipac. “The pro-Israel community in Connecticut knows I’m a strong supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship,” he said, “and I always will be.”

This demonstrates what we’ve pointed out here for some time: The lobby is splitting. There’s the right wing (AIPAC Iran hawks) and the liberal wing, the liberal Zionists (we wish they hadn’t built all those settlements!). But it’s not like the liberal wing is very critical of Israel; they also want it to get US billions and immunity for human rights violations. “All it takes to crush the lobby is to stand up to it,” MJ Rosenberg says. Yes, but what will take its place? Other forms of the special relationship with Israel– continued political veneration, until such time as Jewish Voice for Peace replaces J Street as the lefthand segment of the Jewish community. Till older Jewish donors, who regard Israel’s creation as a miracle, are replaced by young Jews for whom anti-Semitism is a spent force.

Here is Hillary’s letter to Sen. Carl Levin, saying she opposes the AIPAC sanctions bill and supports President Obama’s deal with Iran. Excerpt:

“I share the opinion of you and many of your colleagues that these sanctions and the carefully constructed global consensus behind them are responsible for driving Tehran to the negotiating table….Now that serious negotiations are finally under way, we should do everything we can to test whether they can advance a permanent solution. As President Obama said, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed, while keeping all options on the table. The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that imposing new unilateral sanctions now ‘would undermine the prospects for a successful comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.’ I share that view. It could rob us of the diplomatic high ground we worked so hard to reach, break the united international front we constructed, and in the long run, weaken pressure on Iran by opening the door for other countries to chart a different course.”

By the way, much of what Landler states in the Times re Congress — a 30-year run of victories, with unanimous votes– is what Walt and Mearsheimer said eight years ago, echoed by Michael Massing in the NY Review of Books. It’s taken a while for that news to get out. Walt and Mearsheimer, in LRB:

A key pillar of the Lobby’s effectiveness is its influence in Congress, where Israel is virtually immune from criticism. This in itself is remarkable, because Congress rarely shies away from contentious issues. Where Israel is concerned, however, potential critics fall silent. One reason is that some key members are Christian Zionists like Dick Armey, who said in September 2002: ‘My No. 1 priority in foreign policy is to protect Israel.’ One might think that the No. 1 priority for any congressman would be to protect America.

They were judged to be anti-Semitic because they used a capital L among other reasons.

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55 Responses

  1. jayn0t
    jayn0t
    February 4, 2014, 11:57 am

    Defeat for AIPAC? Maybe. Defeat for the Lobby? No. The argument is between politicians who think sanctions will help keep Iranians terrorized by Israel’s nuclear weapons, and those who think relaxing sanctions will do the job better. Both sides want to keep Israel hundreds of times more powerful than all its neighbors together.

    • annie
      annie
      February 4, 2014, 12:08 pm

      The argument is between politicians who think sanctions will help keep Iranians terrorized by Israel’s nuclear weapons, and those who think relaxing sanctions will do the job better.

      interesting. this indicates you think 100% of the politicians vote with their conscience and sound judgement regarding the issue instead of having their coffers in mind. if that was the case, what point would there be to have a lobby?

      Both sides want to keep Israel hundreds of times more powerful than all its neighbors together.

      again, then what purpose for the lobby?

      • jayn0t
        jayn0t
        February 4, 2014, 6:25 pm

        Annie: perhaps I miswrote – instead of “politicians who think” one way or the other, I should have written “politicians who pretend to think”. On the other hand, politicians don’t think the way normal people do. For all I know, Dick Cheney may actually believe Iraq had something to do with September 11th.. You ask “what purpose for the lobby?”:
        1. To ensure all American politicians support Israel
        2. To give the impression that some of them oppose Israel when they don’t by making shrill attacks on them

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      February 4, 2014, 1:02 pm

      Defeat for AIPAC? Maybe. Defeat for the Lobby? No.

      LOL! Talk about whistling past graveyard, would you like to see the instant replay of the so-called “Major Jewish Organizations” and AIPAC striking out on getting an authorization from Congress to use armed force against Syria?

      The Congress critters have figured out that they can just say no, and that is a defeat for The Lobby.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        February 4, 2014, 1:34 pm

        I’ll say it again. AIPAC does not win every battle it fights. You’ve set up this straw man whereby any battle AIPAC loses is some great calamity for AIPAC because AIPAC wins every battle.

        At the end of the day, we’ve had years and years of sanctions that ultimately brought Iran to the table. You’d presumably blame “the lobby” for those sanctions in the first place. If this is your POV, you’d have to acknowledge that the “the lobby” is responsible for bringing Iran to the negotiating table.

      • maz
        maz
        February 4, 2014, 2:15 pm

        LOL I was just going to say that. I guess New York Slime wants us to either forget about their support for bombing Syria, or wants to pretend that this wasn’t a politcal defeat for AIPAC and The Lobby or both.

      • jayn0t
        jayn0t
        February 4, 2014, 7:32 pm

        Quotes from the article above: “The lobby is splitting” – tactical maneuver. “until such time as Jewish Voice for Peace replaces J Street as the lefthand segment of the Jewish community.” – ditto.

  2. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    February 4, 2014, 12:21 pm

    Clinton’s letter states..” The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that imposing new unilateral sanctions now ‘would undermine the prospects for a successful comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.” that may be true, but whether new sanctions now would undermine an agreement is a purely political decision, to be made by elected officials, not an intelligence agency. Still she sees the way the wind is blowing, but she is such an opportunistic war monger, she would just as easily change tack if it furthered her political ambitions.

    • Taxi
      Taxi
      February 4, 2014, 1:14 pm

      Let us always remember that it is polls that put words in Hilary’s mouth. The lady doesn’t even get out of bed unless a poll over it has been conducted and published. And the polls are STILL saying: the majority of Americans do NOT want another war in the middle east.

      Plus, no doubt, by now she knows that her support for the Iraq war cost her the Party leadership against Obama six years ago – quite likely, the presidency too. She’s not gonna risk making the same mistake again – no sh*t she won’t!

      Because this lady is a such a horrid, craven politician, a mega pathological liar and social con merchant, I wouldn’t put any good faith in anything she says cuz she never means it. This lady always turns on a dime to further her political ambitions – because people like her have no moral principles that they truly live by and adhere to.

      I have no doubt in my mind that if she were to become president, she would do her best to f*ck up Obama’s deal with Rohani and go to war with Tehran, on behalf of israel and her half-jewish grandchildren to be.

      This lady loves aipac – and aipac loves Hilary. Her letter to Carl Levine is just political theater co-written and co-directed by both Hilary and aipac. Their idea is for Hilary to fight for the WH as an anti war candidate, then become a war president soon as she steps into the WH.

      • piotr
        piotr
        February 4, 2014, 10:13 pm

        “The lady doesn’t even get out of bed unless a poll over it has been conducted and published.”

        This is very unfair. A seasoned politician with reasonable budget has to use private polls and focus groups too. And look at the half-full part of the glass: HRC is a politician responsive to public opinion, so do not try to convince her, but the public. There is an additional problem that she has to look to her “base”, but her base is not that bad.

        Concerning the war mongering, you sir are fighting the previous war. These days are behind us. And the missive of HRC is exhibit one (where the opportunists go, there goes the country, the wind blows as pointed by the weathervane). It basically says that after much thought she concluded that the bill with extra sanctions on Iran, however well meant, is idiotic and would have effects contrary to the intensions of the sponsors (God bless their simple souls). Then she mentions “while keeping all options on the table”, presumably clinking her old trusty katana, but she also explains how limited those options are. Would USA so much as increase sanctions without agreement with the allies, the allies can get miffed and drop their own sanctions, meaning, Iran would resume trade with EU, and other counties, including everybody who is somebody in oil importing Asia.

        As far as “war with Tehran” is concerned, it is even hard to make a list of major things that may go wrong and keep it short, while it is damn hard to mention one little thing that can go right. This is a phantom option that never existed.

    • February 5, 2014, 8:35 am

      The Lobby still rules. They have everyone on office, everyone in the media, even the opposition talking as if Iran has a nuclear weapons program when it does not

  3. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    February 4, 2014, 12:39 pm

    AIPAC has been clamoring for war with Iran for some time now. Check out the coverage of AIPAC’s national conventions, which typically feature a ticking bomb, labelled “Iran”. Roger Cohen, writing in The New York Times in 2009 (FIVE YEARS AGO!) , has documented a long history of proclamations by Israeli officials, saying Iran is “just about” to get nuclear weapons. These proclamations go back a couple of decades, to at least 1992 (TWENTY-TWO YEARS AGO). And Cohen had the chutzpah to mention that back in the 1980’s (THIRTY YEARS AGO), Israel and the Reagan Administration sold weapons to Iran.

    Yes, this is a defeat for Israel and the Israel Lobby. No, it isn’t the first defeat. The constant clamor for war with Iran has failed. And it failed in the past.
    (Other failures: Dershowitz failed to stop publication of Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah; Smears of Jimmy Carter failed. Smears of Chomsky have failed for decades.)

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 4, 2014, 1:49 pm

      And smears of Walt & Mearsheimer failed, as well as AIPAC’s push for US to attack Syria.

      • February 4, 2014, 7:37 pm

        I do not agree with this. The smear of Walt and Mearsheimer has had a huge effect on them – thank God they already had tenure or Dershowitz would have been working to deny them – probably successfully. The lobby has totally excluded Walt and Mearsheimer from a large segment of the US media. And if Obama or any important official or government leader (or anyone of significance in the USA) ever even spoke to either Walt or Mearsheimer in public, there would be a huge outburst of Anti-Semite bosh including the usual Jewish opinion leaders like Foxman and Dershowitz. Walt and Mearsheimer are greatly respected in the professional academic societies and in foreign countries but the majority of those in the US media are either afraid to speak to them or write anything about them that is remotely positive (because of backlash from zealots) or does not fully appreciate the accuracy of their reports. And of course there are always those who merely want to suck up to the zealots. Hopefully the truth will eventually conquer.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        February 5, 2014, 6:31 pm

        Keeping Walt and Mearsheimer out of the discussion, as far as possible, does seem to be Lobby strategy.

    • Dutch
      Dutch
      February 4, 2014, 4:59 pm

      As for AIPAC’s losses: bombing Syria didn’t work, too.

      As for your historical overview: Proudly Crying Wolf since 1984.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/country-cried-wolf.html

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 5, 2014, 12:51 am

        AIPAC doesn’t work online either. Neither do the nukes.

  4. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    February 4, 2014, 12:44 pm

    Her quoting the US intelligence community is significant in that it places AIPAC’s goal to enact new sanctions as directly contrary to the judgment of our own intelligence community, in addition to our President and (current) State Department. Talk about daylight between Israel and US. AIPAC/Likud have perhaps now demonstrated to the Israeli right wing that the US cannot be pushed as far as some apparently assumed it could be. This shows Israel/AIPAC is being run by a group that is increasingly out of touch. The hope is that this will weaken and isolate the right wing within Israel, helping lay the groundwork for peace. The risk is that a real effort for peace will create havoc in Israel, dissolving governments, riots, further attempted assassinations of peace-makers, a parallel disarray emerging there, as among American Jews here. A constitutional democracy is designed to survive such turmoil, to continue to perfect itself. Can the Jewish State?

  5. American
    American
    February 4, 2014, 12:55 pm

    Perhaps the biggest clue about whether or not the public started paying attention to Isr is the NYT stopped all comment sections on Israel articles.
    Public opinion got too hot for the NYT and the Lobby.
    An article like this would have gotten a hundreds+ of comments —now the last thing they want is Americans reading what other Americans have to say about I-Firstdom and Isr.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 4, 2014, 1:50 pm

      Yep. Good point!

    • flyod
      flyod
      February 4, 2014, 2:21 pm

      true. it was interesting watching the nature of the comments change over the years. it also didn’t take long for this article to “disappear ” from the front page.

  6. Krauss
    Krauss
    February 4, 2014, 12:57 pm

    In 2004, the original Israel Lobby article was published.

    In 2014, the NYT is parroting the same major themes in a neutral manner.

    A decade later to the exact year.
    The reason is very simple: they said the truth and nothing but the truth. Will the people who smeared them apologize for trying to derail their careers? Of course not. But it is still rare how quickly a book’s thesis has come to dominate the political thinking on such a sensitive field.

    The old adage that power is strongest in centers which you cannot criticize is correct, and by merely breaking the omertà, we have moved light years towards a more open and frank discussion about Israel.
    And there are no people who have been more influential in that effort than Mearsheimer and Walt. We should show gratitude towards them both.

    It’s still important to note that while the last 10 months or so have been a disaster for AIPAC in the broad sense, they are far from a spent force and this is far from over. And as you noted, J Street uses concern-trolling language and may be less militaristic, but it is fundamentally wedded to an ideology of racial supremacy just like AIPAC, only covered in flowery language that falls away as soon as there is a concrete issue of substance. (J Street even refuses to boycott settlements, going to the right of Beinart).

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      February 4, 2014, 1:06 pm

      P.S.

      The spinelessness of Hillary Clinton is a vulgar obscenity to behold. I knew she was horrible but this bad?

      The Iran/AIPAC debate should serve as a proxy to remind people how she will continue the status quo in the country if she’s elected. I’d rather have a white male genuine progressive than an establishment type like her.

      Take the comparison between Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow. Rachel, as a progressive gay woman, should be more progressive and open-minded on most issues according to received wisdom but ends up being neither. Hayes, a white heterosexual male, is to her left on almost every issue, especially on issues like I/P.

      My worry is that the liberal base gets swept away in identity politics and elects Hillary over more progressive candidates. If a woman should be president then at least allow it to be a woman like Elizabeth Warren or someone similarly liberal.

      This entire debate has been a good proxy to measure the sheer desperation of which Hillary wants to be president. And yes, she is running. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have been paying this much attention to the debate from the outside. And if she wasn’t running, why would she feel the need to clarify her position(only after the wind had turned)?

      May she never win the election. And further, may the liberal grassroots electorate not be blinded by the Clinton hype and give her a resounding loss once again and from then on we can hopefully finally get rid of the Clintons, once and for all from our elected offices.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 4, 2014, 2:00 pm

        Scarjo said she wants Hillary to be the next POTUS, and affirmed she will join her campaign, same as she did Obama’s. Krauss, the outcome of what you fear depends most on white female voters, especially the younger ones.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 5, 2014, 12:55 am

        Rachel Maddow could have been an American Clare Balding

        http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2013/jan/11/clare-balding-interview-world-better

        “Not long before Christmas, Clare Balding was leaving an awards ceremony when she was surrounded by young female journalists out hunting for diary stories. To her irritation, all asked the same questions. Firstly: “Do you worry about your work/life balance?” Secondly: “Do you worry about your image?” She tenses as she tells me this, the only time in our interview that the temperature drops a degree. “I said, ‘Would you ask John Humphrys that, or Jeremy Paxman, or any other male presenter? You wouldn’t. The same way women always get asked about childcare. Men never do’ … I said, ‘I don’t want to be unkind, but really think about what you’re asking me, and why you’re asking it. Because you want me to play some game of stereotyping, and I don’t want to.'”

        It’s no surprise she resisted those questions. Over the past 16 years, Balding has built a career far beyond the boring stereotypes that often bind female presenters, and which therefore influence ordinary women, too. Where other women in the public eye seem to be held to stringent rules – to be remarkably thin, impossibly glamorous, happy to be the sidekick – she has always seemed to operate outside them. And it’s paid off beautifully. Before last year’s Olympics and Paralympics, she was a well known, well liked sports presenter, but last summer her skills pushed her into another league. The Games required viewers to become instantly interested in any number of obscure sports, and with her command of facts, innate enthusiasm and gentle authority, Balding drew everyone in effortlessly. She was rewarded with her first Saturday primetime series, Britain’s Brightest, which began on BBC1 last week; a rare honour for a female presenter. When her partner, Alice Arnold, was interviewed this week and spoke out about sexism in TV, “a culture that prizes looks and youth so highly”, she was able to point to Balding as someone who had broken the mould.

        We meet at her agent’s office, where she’s just finished an ideas meeting, and she buzzes hungrily between thoughts. She’s about to start presenting Good Morning Sunday as well, a topical faith and religion programme on Radio 2, which she takes over from Aled Jones later this month. The established format sounds a bit staid until Balding starts discussing it. She declares an interest in “everything!”, and gives pagans as an example. Also cults, leylines, Mormons, Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, Muslims, Hindus. During a 10-minute discussion of the programme’s potential content, she moves from the Osmond family to ancient Greece, Germaine Greer’s views on Justin Bieber, a walk she once took with a druid, everyday saints, the startling nature of 3D cinema, a depressing country song about a mastectomy, a neuroscientist’s near-death experience, and shows me a picture of her dog, Archie, a Tibetan terrier.

        “You need your editor to be demanding women’s sports coverage – whether on 5 Live sports bulletins or in newspapers. The editor needs to be looking for it and saying, ‘Make sure I have a full page of women’s sport every day. Make sure women’s sport is in the sports bulletin every hour.’ Things become important because we make them important.””

    • Rusty Pipes
      Rusty Pipes
      February 4, 2014, 1:34 pm

      Eight years later. While Mearsheimer and Walt’s project was proposed considerably earlier, it was published by the LRB in the Spring of 2006. And we do owe them a debt of gratitude. The chapters on Iran and Syria from their 2007 book give much clearer insight into our current foreign policy toward those countries than the coverage we’ve been getting from the MSM.

  7. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    February 4, 2014, 12:59 pm

    NYT listing AIPAC failures over the last few Months (i don’t count Chuck Hagel as a failure remember the donkey) is interesting, maybe they are listening to the New Yorks more prominent liberal Jews:

    In another small but telling contretemps, a group of prominent liberal Jews sent a letter last week to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, rebuking him for speaking last month at a closed-door gathering of Aipac, which they said “speaks for Israel’s hard-line government and its right-wing supporters.”

  8. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    February 4, 2014, 1:00 pm

    What this discussion does is treat the latest AIPAC legislative attempt as politics is so often treated, as a horse race, who’s winning and by how much, and so forth.

    What they’re not asking (or asserting) is the WHY. Why is AIPAC trying to screw the USA (where it lives) on behalf of Israel. This is THE question. It is the SINGLE loyalty question, and that single loyalty to Israel.

  9. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    February 4, 2014, 1:14 pm

    The sanctions will be a dead letter very shortly, Russia and Iran are negotiating a barter deal whereby Russia exchanges goods and money for half a million barrels of crude oil per day, they have told the US that this is none of their business since the unilateral sanctions have been imposed without UNSC permission, also since Russia does not need to import oil, indeed it has no facilities to do so, it is expected that the Russians will just relabel it and sell it on to other Asian customers. http://www.democraticunderground.com/11333252

    • Nevada Ned
      Nevada Ned
      February 4, 2014, 4:42 pm

      I hope you’re right about the sanctions collapsing in the near future.

  10. eljay
    eljay
    February 4, 2014, 1:16 pm

    >> Even Abe Foxman concedes the Iran sanctions have stalled …

    “Some of us see the object as being to target Iran,” said Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “We’re not out there to target the president; we’re out there to target Iran.”

    The object of the Anti-Defamation League and its national director should be to fight defamation, not to target Iran.

  11. The Hasbara Buster
    The Hasbara Buster
    February 4, 2014, 1:21 pm

    The US Congress refuses to impose further sanctions on a country that was already being subjected to sanctions for doing nothing illegal in the first place; meanwhile, that very same Congress allocates $3.1 bn to another country that is clearly violating international law. If that’s AIPAC’s defeat, it’s a pyrrhic one, if the term applies.

    If my 15-yr-old son asks for a car and an apartment and I buy him a car but not an apartment, has he failed?

  12. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    February 4, 2014, 1:24 pm

    Any chance this change of tune from some folks has anything to do with this?:
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/23/davos-iran-ready-engage-world-rouhani

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-240114.html

    The Big Kids don’t want war, they want the money Lebowski!!

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 4, 2014, 2:18 pm

      Yep, Iran is open for business, and Israel and Saudi regime want to keep the ME their fruit orchard.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      February 4, 2014, 3:22 pm

      If you liked more flattering language you could say that the realistic members of the ruling class have perceived that the revitalisation of the Iranian oil industry is necessary and that they are determined to bring it about.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 5, 2014, 12:58 am

        Sanctioning Iran was really stupid. It means they weren’t allowed to sell their oil. So now they have more oil than they would have had without sanctions.

        And oil is the oxygen of capitalism.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        February 5, 2014, 3:16 pm

        Oil prices likely are $20/barrel higher, due to absence of Iranian oil from the marketplace.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 5, 2014, 10:38 pm

        There is a big war risk premium priced in as well.

  13. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    February 4, 2014, 1:56 pm

    Hillary “As President Obama said, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed, while keeping all options on the table.” If she gets in and these negotiations fail because of Israel and the I lobbies persistent focus on undermining diplomacy the next stop will surely be Iran

    Clinton sure playing the game. She aggressively pounded on the let’s go get Iran drums all during the 2008 campaign.

    I sure am hoping and pressing Code Pink and other anti war groups to put out a call for anti war folks to put on the full court press with our Reps before the Aipac conference where there will be new efforts to push the more sanctions against Iran agenda. More pressure not less. No time to back off. Continue to call your Reps ask them to take their names off of the co-sponsorship list of SB 1881. Turn up the pressure now that this piece legislation is stalled temporarily if the I lobby has its way.

    My take is the pressure for S.B. 1881 or some similar piece of legislation will be turned up again before mid term elections just like the 2002 Iraq war resolution that Hillary Clinton voted for.

    Keep contacting your Reps and encourage others to do the same. No new sanctions against Iran

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 4, 2014, 2:19 pm

      @ Kathleen
      Yes; we have to keep up the pressure on our reps.

  14. shachalnur
    shachalnur
    February 4, 2014, 3:45 pm

    OK,there we go again.

    When was the last time Israel and Iran were at war?

    When was the last time any Israeli action killed Iranians ,or Iranians killing Israeli’s?

    Who says Israel wants to bomb Iran,or vice versa?

    Just because a second hand furniture salesman did a Wile E Coyote act at the UN?

    Did you know Iran hasn’t attacked another country for 216 years?

    Did you know that the Persians invented Chess and the World Champions are usually Russian Jews?

    This is how this kind of theatre for the pigeons is set up.

    Did anybody believe that US would be making deals,allegedly,with Iran let’s say two years ago?

    Why shouldn’t Israel have good relations with Iran,they always had,and will have in the future,unless you think this nuclear rubbish is reason for Israel to blow up half the world and herself.

    That’s for public consumption and keeps populations inside and outside Israel scared and under control.

    Today Times of Israel reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Jarid Zarif ,in an interview with German TV said about the Holocaust;

    “A horrifying tragedy occurred,and it should never occur again”.

    But explaining why this is a possible scenario and that it’s actually the powers that control US/Europe who are trying to blow up the Middle East ,is not allowed.

    So keep flapping your wings.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      February 5, 2014, 12:25 am

      shachalnur- When you include the invention of chess, I know you are writing poetry and not serious analysis. But I can’t resist: The last time Iran killed Israelis, was when the Iran supported Hezbollah killed Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, July of 2012. Or when the Iranian supported Islamic Jihad Organization blew up the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 5, 2014, 7:13 am

        ” I know you are writing poetry and not serious analysis. But I can’t resist: The last time Iran killed Israelis, was when the Iran supported Hezbollah killed Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, July of 2012. Or when the Iranian supported Islamic Jihad Organization blew up the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992.”

        So, in other words, you don’t have an example of Iran killing israelis, because neither of these cases cut it.

      • piotr
        piotr
        February 5, 2014, 8:46 pm

        Then there are Israeli mercenaries (or rent-a-terrorists) killing Iranian scientists etc.

      • shachalnur
        shachalnur
        February 7, 2014, 7:18 am

        link?

  15. James Canning
    James Canning
    February 4, 2014, 6:17 pm

    Relative wealth and power of Jews in America continues to grow, so one must hope for deeper divisions. Which in fact would be a good thing for Israel.

  16. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    February 5, 2014, 2:03 am

    Phil writes about Walt and Mearsheimer: They were judged to be anti-Semitic because they used a capital L among other reasons.

    Walt and Mearsheimer’s use of the capital L placed their LRB article (which had the capital L, which was replaced by a small l when their article was reprinted in book form) in the category of propaganda (aka advocacy journalism), just like Phil’s penchant for calling Jeffrey Goldberg a former corporal puts some of Phil’s writing in the realm of propaganda (aka advocacy journalism).

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      February 5, 2014, 7:12 am

      “Walt and Mearsheimer’s use of the capital L placed their LRB article (which had the capital L, which was replaced by a small l when their article was reprinted in book form) in the category of propaganda (aka advocacy journalism)”

      If you are reading that much into a single letter, you have some mental problems.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        February 5, 2014, 5:40 pm

        My mental problems aside, a student of propaganda might recall how Time Magazine once referred to Begin as Former Terrorist Begin. Capital letters definitely indicate a slant.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 5, 2014, 6:10 pm

        “My mental problems aside, a student of propaganda might recall how Time Magazine once referred to Begin as Former Terrorist Begin.”

        Well, the only questionable thing about that is the inclusion of the word “former” (assuming it was written before his sadly too-delayed death.)

        “Capital letters definitely indicate a slant.”

        Unless the sentence is one like, “Go help your Uncle Jack off that horse” in which the use or absence of capital letters would affect meaning, it indicates nothing other than your ability to read into things whatever you want.

      • piotr
        piotr
        February 5, 2014, 8:51 pm

        Should they write “terrorist Begin”? Indeed, why put “former”?

  17. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    February 5, 2014, 9:27 am

    Hillary Clinton “The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that imposing new unilateral sanctions now ‘would undermine the prospects for a successful comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.’ I share that view. ”

    Let us never forget that then Senator Hillary Clinton voted for the 2002 Iraq war resolution ignoring that Senator Dick Durbin who was on the Senate Intelligence Committee receiving far more information from the intelligence community voted against the 2002 Iraq war resolution. Clearly Clinton had her finger up in the wind determining which way the I lobby wind $$$ was going at that point. She made a very deadly political decision that cost her the 2008 election. Let’s not forget her warmongering statements about Iran during the 2008 campaign.

  18. piotr
    piotr
    February 5, 2014, 8:57 pm

    There was a lot of anger and paranoia after 9/11, and aptly exploited it promised a political tsunami. Democrats were bewildered what to do and GOP got two election cycles riding on the wave. That explains the disappointing performance of Democratic senators. So I am not angry at HRC. But if she runs for President it will cost me a bit. Almost anybody but her.

    Wingnut dreams of relegating the Dems to the dustbin of history had a good chance — no better tonic for power than a splendid little war — but for monumental screw-ups in policy design and executions. Any successful company must have a creative sales department, but product development has some role too. And this is current AIPAC problem (or Hasbara). Creativity is there all right, but the product …

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