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‘Al Jazeera’ examines Jewish constellation of lobby elites, and marginalized ‘universalists’

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Marwan Bishara

Marwan Bishara

Marwan Bishara has an excellent piece up at Al Jazeera about the Israel lobby titled, “Palestine as an exclusively Jewish issue in the US: Are Palestinians only relevant by what they mean to Israel…?” Bishara’s target is the monopolization of the issue of Palestinian rights by US Jewish organizations, in which the debate runs the gamut from J Street to AIPAC, one flavor of Israel support versus another.

Bishara’s piece is frank and calm about the power of Jews inside the establishment– “to their credit,” he says–while emphasizing that not all Jews are on board with Israel. Again I’d ask, how many American mainstream publications are anatomizing our establishment in this manner, let alone giving a microphone to anti-Zionists?

Here’s the beginning of his piece, liberal Zionists versus conservative ones:

A Jewish-Jewish debate has heated up in recent years in the United States with new critical voices of Israel taking centre stage….

But confining the US debate on Palestine and the Arab world to a mere intra-Zionist debate is counterproductive. It’s narrowly defining and largely dictating the larger debate over US policy towards the Arab-Israeli conflict.

It renders the Palestinians relevant only by what they mean to Israel, not for who they are or how they are related to the larger Arab or Muslim worlds.

Bishara relates the American Jewish rise to the power of the lobby:

Instead of migrating [to Israel, American Jews post ’67] provided indispensable support, financial, political and even strategic.

To their credit – the estimated 4 million Jews, who emigrated to North America from Europe between 1860 and 1960, and their descendants have emerged as powerful and influential actors throughout the American establishment, and hence their position carried huge weight over their main issue of interest, Israel/Palestine.

Here’s his interesting claim that only two times has an American nationalist perspective interrupted the Israel lobby view in D.C. He writes that Washington has become ever more responsive “to domestic Jewish influence.”

The only two exceptions to this rule came first in 1991 when the George Bush administration insisted that Israel freeze all settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories in order to convene the international conference for peace. And in 2010, when General David Petraeus reportedly warned that the Palestinian issue was “fomenting anti-American sentiment due to the perception of US favouritism towards Israel”.

Bishara says the battle between “organized American Jewish elites” is fed by growing embarrassment by Israel’s behavior:

The US turn to the left and Israel’s further turn to the right after the 2008 elections, have polarised the organised American Jewish elites and put pressure on moderate Jewish voices to be openly critical of Israel and distance themselves from the extremist policies of the Netanyahu government.

The new split has reinvigorated the political debate between these Jewish moderates who demand that Israel end its occupation and its illegal settlement construction in order to allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the radicals, who demand that the Palestinians embrace Israel as a “Jewish state” and relinquish their rights over Jerusalem and Palestinian right of return, even before a final negotiated settlement is reached.

Bishara breaks away from the elite duality to notice the rise of Jewish progressives like the ones at Jewish Voice for Peace:

But it’s the secularist Jews who don’t necessarily identify themselves as Jewish per se, that have adopted the most uncompromising and moral position on Palestinian rights.

Agree with them or not, these courageous “universalists” identify with the Palestinians as victims of dispossession and oppression, unconditionally. They see the cause of Palestine as an extension of the struggle for freedom from colonialism and war.

Their compass is truly universal and their prism is ethical not ethnic.

But they remain a minority on the margins of the US establishment and outside the influential Jewish organisations.

Bishara hastens to assure us that he doesn’t count Jews; but he concludes that the Jewish presence in the Establishment, for instance Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross as negotiators for peace, has played a role in preventing a solution.

The result is an utter failure of two decades of peace process and a diminished US credibility in the Middle East.

Soon after failure of the Camp David negotiations in 2000, I remember reading that Palestinians, like other Arabs before them, felt that the US delegation was divided between Labourites and Likudniks, in reference to Israel’s own centrist and rightist political parties.

Indeed, one keen observer went as far as noting that while the US delegations mediating the first Camp David summit between Israel and Egypt were all Christians with the exception of then US Ambassador to Israel, the later Camp David Summit with the Palestinians in 2000 featured a US delegation that was compromised of only Jewish friends of Israel with the exception of President Bill Clinton.

This piece accepts the profound and unsettling core difficulty of any honest discussion of the Israel lobby– that it’s a theory of Jewish influence. Conservative Jewish influence, I say; but that’s what we’re talking about inasmuch as Zionists have had a hammerlock on US policy in the Middle East. This is why I insist on carrying on a Jewish discussion as part of my work even when folks say I’m narcissistic. We’re not about to see an end to the Jewish presence in the American elite, or for that matter an end to American elites. I see a need to transform that Jewish presence, to embrace Palestinian human rights the same way we support civil rights here. And it’s happening, Jewish life is changing, and Al Jazeera reports it.

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93 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    Kathleen on April 23, 2014, 2:49 pm

    “I see a need to transform that Jewish presence, to embrace Palestinian human rights the same way we support civil rights here. ”

    That is the way the majority of dedicated human rights activist have seen this issue for decades. Good thing this discussion is taking place in the Jewish community.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on April 23, 2014, 4:13 pm

      @ Kathleen
      It won’t matter unless “this discussion” takes place in the 98% Gentile American community. The proof is in the current pudding, for many decades now, and no matter whether we have a Democratic or GOP government. My experience its that most Americans hold “universalist ” ethical/moral values, whether Christian-derived, or secularly derived, e.g., from the Declaration of Independence, or from both resources. The problem is the Lobby buys US Congress and next POTUS. And the 5 corporation mainstream media spreads the hasbara.

      Americans simply don’t get any objective factual or historical information from our government or mainstream media; it’s all the Israeli narrative in the very controlled “breaking news” and US regime policy documents.

      You can easily attack the gun Lobby, but not the Israel lobby. You can easily attack the US government, but not the Israeli government.

      It’s really an absurdity until you factor in the power of singularly-focused huge political campaign donations where there’s no such competition, and the fact most Americans have no interest or clue about US foreign policy in the first place, and they are necessarily focused on basic economic issues.

      Things will change only when there is a “price tag” on rubber-stamping Israel. At present, and for decades now, there is, to the contrary, a price tag on criticizing Israel, one that only a few very rate US politicians(or media mavens) have risked paying. They all paid the price.

      • brenda
        brenda on April 24, 2014, 9:08 am

        “It won’t matter unless “this discussion” takes place in the 98% Gentile American community…. Americans simply don’t get any objective factual or historical information from our government or mainstream media; it’s all the Israeli narrative in the very controlled “breaking news”

        I am in total agreement. You get much better journalism, you get the entire nuanced story from the Israeli press — and I’m not just talking about Ha’aretz. If Americans could read ‘the news’ from Israeli mainstream media, like The Times of Israel or The Jerusalem Post they might have a clue. They might wake up from the trance.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen on April 24, 2014, 2:37 pm

        Just listen to the people who are calling into Cspan’s Washington Journal about this issue. Far more knowledge, facts about the history, demanding Reps cut off aid to Israel. Awareness is growing.

        Write letters to your local papers, call into local and national radio and news programs, distribute information from IF AMERICANS KNEW …website everywhere you can. Call your Reps and ask them to cut off aid to Israel. Keep pushing

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 7:46 pm

        Fascinating comment on our times.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 2:29 pm

        Sad fact of the matter is that honest discussion in US news media, of Israel/Palestine, is simply suppressed very effectively.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen on April 24, 2014, 4:08 pm

        Way more open than it used to be. Of course can easily be another case of too little too late. One person, one vote, one state..looking like the only possible solution

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 6:59 pm

        Perhaps decades from now, one state could work. If it could work today that would be fine with me.

  2. Balfour
    Balfour on April 23, 2014, 4:49 pm

    “Instead of migrating [to Israel, American Jews post ’67] provided indispensable support, financial, political and even strategic. [to Israel]”

    Isn’t this the definition of a fifth column?

    • RoHa
      RoHa on April 23, 2014, 9:29 pm

      “Isn’t this the definition of a fifth column?”

      If they were supporting Israeli takeover of the US, then, yes, “fifth column” would be a fair description.

    • JeffB
      JeffB on April 23, 2014, 9:59 pm

      @Balfour

      Isn’t this the definition of a fifth column?

      A fifth column requires the action be against the primary state not just for another cause. So for example Americans who are huge supporters of classical music aren’t a fifth column because the United States is not opposed to classical music. In much the same way Americans who are huge supporters of Israel aren’t a fifth column because the United States is not opposed to Israel. Now were Israel a genuine threat to the United States were they enemies and of somewhat equal power, then those softs of actions would be a 5th column.

      • American
        American on April 23, 2014, 11:26 pm

        Oh, I would say “fifth column” definitely describes the zionist in the US.

        ‘fifth column’
        Article Free Pass
        Written by The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica

        ”fifth column, clandestine group or faction of subversive agents who attempt to undermine a nation’s solidarity by any means at their disposal. The term is credited to Emilio Mola Vidal, a Nationalist general during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). As four of his army columns moved on Madrid, the general referred to his militant supporters within the capital as his “fifth column,” intent on undermining the loyalist government from within.

        A cardinal technique of the fifth column is the infiltration of sympathizers into the entire fabric of the nation and, particularly, into positions of policy decision and national defense.”

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 24, 2014, 9:46 am

        @American

        What have Jews done to undermine America’s solidarity? Against which external enemy: Russia, North Korea, China… have Zionist been on the other side subverting the USA from within for the benefit or Russia….

        Your problem is that you think Israel should be an enemy and thus want to treat it as one. If Israel isn’t an enemy then cooperation isn’t 5th column activity it is just normal cooperation. The same thing that happens when Canadian raw materials are shipped to USA factories for processing.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on April 24, 2014, 9:27 pm

        Your problem is that you think Israel should be an enemy and thus want to treat it as one.

        Your problem is that you think Israel is a friend because it has Congress by the cohones and AIPAC buys them off.

        It’s much like the terror cult the MEK. They were listed as a terror organization for decades, but because they became useful against Iran and had huge funds to bribe politicians to lobby for them, they were de listed.

        That doesn’t stop them being a terrorist group.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on April 24, 2014, 5:48 am

        In much the same way Americans who are huge supporters of Israel aren’t a fifth column because the United States is not opposed to Israel.

        It is when they influence America’s leaders to adopt policies damaging to America’s interests, which is what the lobby does. Of course, this same interest group works overtime to hide this truth from the American public.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 24, 2014, 9:47 am

        @Shingo

        It is when they influence America’s leaders to adopt policies damaging to America’s interests, which is what the lobby does.

        That’s what needs to be proven. For a fifth column it isn’t supposed to be a matter of public debate but rather quite clear cut. If it is debatable then it isn’t a fifth column. So for examples Americans who believe in stronger trade and cultural relations with Europe aren’t a fifth column even though some disagree.

      • Hostage
        Hostage on April 24, 2014, 4:10 pm

        If it is debatable then it isn’t a fifth column

        It isn’t debatable that Israel used US citizens to illegally transfer nuclear materials for its own use and classified satellite, submarine propulsion, and missile technology to China and Russia that undermined US security. Have you been living in a cave?

      • Shingo
        Shingo on April 24, 2014, 9:29 pm

        That’s what needs to be proven.

        It has already been proven. Just ask David Patreaus.

        For a fifth column it isn’t supposed to be a matter of public debate but rather quite clear cut.

        It is clear cut, but you insist it’s a matter of public debate .

        So for examples Americans who believe in stronger trade and cultural relations with Europe aren’t a fifth column even though some disagree.

        How does stronger trade and cultural relations with Europe damage US interests?

      • on April 24, 2014, 7:23 am

        Israel is not a genuine threat to the USA? I don’t know how you could arrive at such a conclusion.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 24, 2014, 9:48 am

        @Giles

        What assets of the United States does Israel threaten to take? What USA lands does Israel lay claim to? Etc…?

      • pjdude
        pjdude on April 24, 2014, 12:27 pm

        No one is claiming they are going to invade so your silly little straw man isn’t going to work. But the fact is israel consistently undermines us security with its intelligence operations( ie spying) and other covert actions. To pretend otherwise is to intentionally ignore facts.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 7:44 pm

        The goodwill of many people in the Middle East, was lost to the American people thanks to Israel.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on April 24, 2014, 9:30 pm

        What assets of the United States does Israel threaten to take?

        Israel HAS taken bomb grade fissile material, US intelligence (ie. Pollard), nuclear triggers, US intellectual property (see the hundreds of patent violations), and military technology.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 2:08 pm

        Israel obviously poses various threats to the national security interests of the American people. If Israel got rid of its nukes, this would help ameliorate the problems.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 24, 2014, 3:24 pm

        @James

        The criteria isn’t security risks but rather full on enmity. Most every country which is meaningfully worth allying with poses some security risks.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 6:56 pm

        @JeffB – – The fact Israel is “friendly” toward the US tends to obscure the dangers to national security interests of the American people, posed by Israel.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on April 24, 2014, 9:20 pm

        The criteria isn’t security risks but rather full on enmity.

        Who’s criteria are you referring to? Your own?

      • pjdude
        pjdude on April 24, 2014, 12:24 pm

        Um israel is a threat to the us

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius on April 24, 2014, 1:53 pm

        ” In much the same way Americans who are huge supporters of Israel aren’t a fifth column because the United States is not opposed to Israel. ”

        That’s daft.

        Relations between nation states aren’t set in stone. Every country has the potential to be both ally and enemy of another country. Japan was a great threat to the US in the 1940s, but now Japan and the US are close allies. Iran and the US were also close allies up until 1979, but now the US sees Iran as part of an ‘axis of evil’. And while Israel may have the US (or rather its political elite) by the short and curlies right now, that could – and probably will – change.

        So given that every nation has the potential to be an enemy to another nation, surely the best policy is for citizens, especially those with the power to influence state policy, to look to the interests of their own nation, not that of foreign states. How many Israelis seek to advance the interests of the US above those of their own nation, at a guess?

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 24, 2014, 3:14 pm

        @Maximus

        The question was the definition of fifth column. The definition does not assume a permanent state. Rather the definition realizes that when the state A is allied with state B cooperation is a good thing while when state A is enemies with state B cooperation is a bad thing. As long as Israel and the USA are friendly Jews are not a fifth column. It is that simple.

        Jews in the USA because the USA and Israel are allies are advancing the interests of the United States. You may not like that the fact that the USA and Israel are allies but that doesn’t change the situation nor the definition of fifth column.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on April 24, 2014, 9:20 pm

        Jews in the USA because the USA and Israel are allies are advancing the interests of the United States.

        Meir Dagan has already debunked this myth, admitting that Israel is a liability.

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia on April 24, 2014, 10:33 pm

        I like the way your musical chair is being rearranged . After Iraq, it would be Iran,Syria,Libya,Somalia and Yemen . Saudi Arab was on the Pearle’s lists . The janitors rearranging the chairs are Wolfowitz, Kagan, Amitay, Krauthahhmer, Satloff, out of the offcies of WINEP,AIPAC,ADL and OSP.
        BTW Americans know when they hear the music and appreciate when they listen., reject when they dont like – the way an informed decision works .
        This 5th columns are pervasively invisible like Carbon Monoxide and forces the messages always with room for deniability .If known of the impact, American will demand warning signs and alarms installed and will ban the musicians .

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 25, 2014, 12:02 am

        The janitors rearranging the chairs are Wolfowitz, Kagan, Amitay, Krauthahhmer, Satloff,

        Deputy Secretary of Defense, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court / former Solicitor General, openly a lobbyist on policy matters, a well known journalist and a lobbyist … That is our government / extended political culture not people subverting our government.

        A fifth column requires some degree of subterfuge. These people were all pretty open about their opinions and participated in the system as Americans. You just don’t agree with them.

  3. Citizen
    Citizen on April 23, 2014, 4:53 pm

    This morning, on the cable TV Turner Channel Remember him, and why he’s now out of the picture?), they ran Fort Apache, a Hollywood story of how a stupid US Cavalry officer (played by Jane Fonda’s daddy with fake gray streaks in his hair) meet his demise and the total massacre of all his (Irish born immigrant) cavalry because he didn’t listen to John Wayne’s wisdom about the Apaches? At the very end, the Wayne character has replaced the Fonda character as leader of the US cavalry, and he’s shown telling the mainstream press journalists how great the Fonda character was as a courageous American leader of US forces? There’s nothing more cynical than that movie. And, unfortunately, to this day, the lesson has not been learned by the American public.

    BTW, if memory serves, Petraeus did not mention to Congress what was documented in his brief case at his feet: That the US rubber-stamping of Israel was causing great harm to America, and would continue to do so, if not checked. And you, of course, recall that the 9/11 Commission edited its original main motive placement at the same feet, turning into a generic “all US foreign policy has (negative)” blowback. And some of you know, the main motive of 9/11 attackers, Israel First US policy, remains intact within the body of the 9/11 report, despite the generic summary ending of motive.

  4. sydnestel
    sydnestel on April 23, 2014, 5:10 pm

    “I see a need to transform that Jewish presence, to embrace Palestinian human rights the same way we support civil rights here. ”

    Phil, who’s the “we” here?

    • Citizen
      Citizen on April 23, 2014, 8:40 pm

      @ sydnestel
      Who isn’t the “we” here?

  5. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield on April 23, 2014, 6:25 pm

    “To their credit – the estimated 4 million Jews, who emigrated to North America from Europe between 1860 and 1960, and their descendants have emerged as powerful and influential actors throughout the American establishment.”

    Obviously, only a minority of the 4 million can have become powerful members of the American establishment. Even on the loosest definition, the American establishment surely cannot consist of more than 100,000 or so individuals, many of whom are not Jews (even granting that the Jewish presence is disproportionately large).

    On the other hand, I hope that Mr. Bishara does not really mean it when he says that the “success” of American Jews in getting into the establishment is “to their credit.” How can that be squared with his praise of those who give up any prospect of getting into that establishment by taking an ethical stand? Perhaps he is bending over backward to say nice things about Jews in the forlorn hope of not being branded an anti-Semite?

  6. ThorsteinVeblen2012
    ThorsteinVeblen2012 on April 23, 2014, 7:30 pm

    “I see a need to transform that Jewish presence, to embrace Palestinian human rights the same way we support civil rights here.”

    Perceiving Jews as uniformly supporting civil rights here ignores the fact that there were many Jews on the other side of the civil rights issue. There were Jewish storeowners in the South who supported, participated and profited from Jim Crow too.

    • JeffB
      JeffB on April 24, 2014, 9:52 am

      @ThorsteinVeblen2012

      Perceiving Jews as uniformly supporting civil rights here ignores the fact that there were many Jews on the other side of the civil rights issue. There were Jewish storeowners in the South who supported, participated and profited from Jim Crow too.

      That’s fine. Those people were rare exceptions. Saying Jews did X doesn’t mean all Jews but rather Jews collectively. The same way that when we say “America invaded Iraq” that’s not falsified by finding one American in Saddam’s army.

      Jewish groups and Jewish institutions were mostly in favor of civil rights and worked for them. Jews played a huge role in the civil rights struggle. There was nothing on the other side counterbalancing that in terms of Jews.

  7. James Canning
    James Canning on April 23, 2014, 7:55 pm

    Great piece. And what a comment on the state of affairs that obtains: one Jew, amidst the number of Christians, on US team during Egypt-Israel negotiations at Camp David; next time around, Bill Clinton is the sole Christian and rest of US team is all Jews! Pathetic, and dangerous.

  8. James Canning
    James Canning on April 23, 2014, 7:57 pm

    I think Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross do deserve credit for helping Israel to continue its insane illegal colonisation programme in the West Bank, during Obama’s presidency.

  9. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned on April 23, 2014, 8:30 pm

    Bishara and Al Jazeera have done a good job. But I’m going to pick a fight about one point. Bishara writes…

    The only two exceptions to this rule came first in 1991 when the George Bush administration insisted that Israel freeze all settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories in order to convene the international conference for peace. And in 2010, when General David Petraeus reportedly warned that the Palestinian issue was “fomenting anti-American sentiment due to the perception of US favouritism towards Israel”.

    There have been other exceptions besides the two listed by Bishara. (1) For example, Israel designed and built (with US help) their own fighter plane, the Lavi fighter. But after development, the plane never went into production. Only two prototypes were built. Why not? Because the Israeli plane would have competed with US warplanes in the world market. (2) Right now, Netanyahu is not helping the US in the Ukraine (for whatever his reason). (3) Way back in 1956, in the Suez crisis, Israel allied with France and the UK to attack Egypt. But then the US and USSR forced Israel to give back the Sinai peninsula to Egypt. (British and French power in the Middle East never recovered). (4) The Jonathan Pollard spy scandal. Pollard remains in prison. (5) The eruption of the AIPAC spy scandal (Rosen/Weissman), although in the end, the outcome was different from the Pollard case.

    I have written before that the US ruling class and the Israeli ruling class think that their interests are parallel, at least for the most part and in the long run. However, there are exceptions, some of which are listed in the previous paragraph. Bishara could have compiled a longer list of exceptions, not just two.

  10. doug
    doug on April 23, 2014, 8:43 pm

    These are my observations. There are many Jewish Americans that are disturbed by the trends in Israel but few of them are active in opposing them. Amongst the wealthier who are generally older, there is some fear that things will boomerang and they will be blamed and possibly even be subjected to pogroms. History has long tentacles and, in this case, is quite toxic to change. The Jewish Right is taking full advantage but in many cases is quite caught up in the same mindset.

    Younger Jews have, in general, just disconnected with Israel. It is just easier. The fear, palpable amongst many of their elders, isn’t there except as a distant abstraction. Disconnect keeps family harmony. They may offer hope as many will become future elites but it will be a long, slow process.

  11. Hostage
    Hostage on April 23, 2014, 10:28 pm

    Off topic breaking news: Despite the fact that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are joining the PLO (you know, the organization that has formally recognized the state of Israel for more than 20 years) Israel and the US have the chutzpah to put a negative spin on the Palestinian reconciliation agreement. Most of these are never destined to be implemented anyway.

    FYI, the Netanyahu regime itself has concluded two agreements with Hamas since 2007, but won’t allow the PLO/Fatah to conclude one. It isn’t as if Israel hasn’t already proven that it wants settlements, instead of peace.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.587007
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4512703,00.html

    • Hostage
      Hostage on April 24, 2014, 8:16 am

      PA official says Hamas accepted two-state solution: Wednesday’s reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas recognizes the existence of Israel and is based on the two-state model, says Jibril Rajoub. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.587047

      • hophmi
        hophmi on April 24, 2014, 10:58 am

        Well, that’s nice. So when are we going to hear it from a Hamas official? You trust Rajoub now?

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 2:14 pm

        Hamas as part of previous unity government endorsed 2002 Saudi Peace Plan. Surely you know this.

      • Hostage
        Hostage on April 24, 2014, 2:44 pm

        Well, that’s nice. So when are we going to hear it from a Hamas official? You trust Rajoub now?

        JJ Goldberg noted a long time ago that the Hebrew Press already heard it from Abbas himself. He reported that Hamas political secretary Khaled Meshaal had accepted the two state solution and recognition of Israel as a condition for joining the PLO. http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/148473/does-hamas-joining-plo-mean-it-accepts–states/

        The real question ought to be why Netanyahu can negotiate with Hamas over the mutual release of prisoners and a cease fire, but poor old Abbas cannot?

    • brenda
      brenda on April 24, 2014, 9:01 am

      The April 23 agreement in Gaza appears, on paper, to be a total Hamas capitulation to the PLO and Abbas.

      Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/04/fatah-hamas-reconciliation-merger-palestine-peace-talks.html#ixzz2zo9QYfRo

      This reported from the horse’s mouth, long time Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab. He writes an interesting analysis.

      This will go over well with the Europeans. Palestinian Authority has longstanding practice of non-violence non-retribution policy towards Israel. Israel greeted the news of peaceful reconciliation Palestine political parties by bombing Gaza.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 2:19 pm

        BiBi Netanyahu opposes any unity deal between Hamas and Fatah. This suggests how important and necessary such a deal is.

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder on April 24, 2014, 10:00 am

      The Haaretz article by Barak Ravid is brilliant. I like it’s verbal force.

      Who was it that wrote a review about Max Blumenthal on Haaretz?

      As aside: I figured out what triggers the Israeli ads in a new browser window I recently get. I have managed to slip in under the radar of the new powerful approach of luring some of the 6 (weren’t it 10 once) free articles a month subscribers to put their money where their interest is. Without offering a book by another Haaretz writer apparently. Maybe they listen? I told them I do not want to hear about the Iranian threat. ;)

      Does this mean Haaretz is once again in dire straights economically? I wouldn’t be surprised, attempts to use ads could be a desperate measure to get at least some income via advertisement. …

      • brenda
        brenda on April 24, 2014, 2:29 pm

        could you go back over that again please, Lea? Is it 6 articles per month with a subscription to Ha’aretz? Or is it how to get past the firewall without any subscription?

        el Cheapo here anxiously awaiting your response.

      • SQ Debris
        SQ Debris on April 24, 2014, 10:52 pm

        It’s not just about being “cheapo.” Subscribing to Haaretz breaks the boycott, even if it’s only a buck. No normalization. Not a penny.

      • Hostage
        Hostage on April 25, 2014, 4:40 am

        Subscribing to Haaretz breaks the boycott, even if it’s only a buck. No normalization. Not a penny.

        If you read Kate’s daily summaries, or many of the other articles, you know that we’re clearly not boycotting Haaretz, Gideon Levy, Amira Hess, et al.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder on April 25, 2014, 6:54 am

        brenda, I mixed up topics again. In my mind too. And maybe Hostage remembers something I wrote about somewhere else concerning my laptop security, apparently.

        I’ll do it in short sentences. I had a major security issue on my laptop. For whatever reason I assumed that ads popping up in extra windows could be connected. A couple of years ago I had such a symptom. Something more serious too. I guess that is the reason, I thought it could be connected. Now I realized that feature was caused by Haaretz, or didn’t belong into my core problem. Symptoms, which I noticed for longer now but postponed. Only when it got really obvious someone was playing with me and had in fact managed to get into my laptop I acted.

        Haaretz is a minor player in the Israeli media market. They had financial troubles a couple of years ago already. I vaguely remember at one point it was supported by a Cologne publisher who also saved on the best left leaning dailies over here.

        I am a subscriber of Haaretz for much longer now, to use your term an “el Cheapo”. Meaning I could assess 10 free articles per month. As one of these subscribers I once got an add to subscribe and get a book by Ari Shavit: Does This Mean War? Top Israeli strategists debate the Iranian bomb. I wrote them a short note back. No thank you, I wasn’t interested in the Iranian threat. Admittedly I didn’t even take a closer look:

        In the summer of 2012, Iran’s nuclear program seemed to be reaching the point of no return. Long considered a life-or-death issue in Israel, the Iranian nuclear threat sparked a trenchant debate, both in Israel and abroad, after senior figures in the Israeli defense establishment openly criticized the Netanyahu government’s growing determination to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Despite grave ramifications for Israel’s national security, the discourse that emerged was often tainted by irrelevant considerations, personal agendas and spin.
        To promote a different type of discourse, Haaretz launched a series of articles, under the heading “Countdown,” in which 13 leading Israeli strategists were invited to weigh in on the issue. Though representing different perspectives, they all agreed on one thing: There are no easy answers to the Iranian question.
        As the Iranian threat looks set to dominate the agenda in 2013, this collection of all 13 conversations offers a sober, nuanced and creative approach to one of the most fateful challenges Israel has yet faced.

        Now they use another approach to get subscribers. I can still log into my account and the article opens. But an ad leading to a special offer subscription for $1 only the first month. This ad remains over the article with the article somewhat gray in the background. This doesn’t hinder me from reading, apparently, since I can scroll the page and read the article below it.

        But something else happens. The Haaretz site triggers other ads, and apparently opens an ad too on an extra window: real estate in Israel and earlier a special phone offer to call Israel at the local cell phone rate.

        Now, the first article Hostage linked to, was as I wrote absolutely brilliant since it concentrated on both Netanyahu’s and Tzipi Livni’s hypocrisy in this context. And yes, quite possibly that’s why I wondered could he also be the author that wrote a comparatively fair and well-reflected review on Max Blumenthal book. Compared to reviews in the US that is.

  12. Shuki
    Shuki on April 23, 2014, 10:35 pm

    The reason most Jews support Israel is because they recognize that ‘anti-Zionism’ is a thin veil for anti-Jewish. The handful of Jews who don’t see that are of the type that would quote an al-jazeera story about the concentration of Jewish political power in the U.S. as legitimate journalism.

    • Shingo
      Shingo on April 24, 2014, 9:24 am

      The reason most Jews support Israel is because they recognize that ‘anti-Zionism’ is a thin veil for anti-Jewish.

      If that were true, they would all move to Israel and save themselves from the scourge of anti-Jewish.

      The handful of Jews who don’t see that are of the type that would quote an al-jazeera story about the concentration of Jewish political power in the U.S. as legitimate journalism.

      Pro Israeli Jews say the same thing.
      Jews DO control the media
      http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jews-do-control-the-media/

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 1:54 pm

        How could it be “illegitimate journalism” to do a story about the enormous political power held by Jews in the US?

    • Walker
      Walker on April 24, 2014, 10:16 am

      ‘anti-Zionism’ is a thin veil for anti-Jewish.

      Actually, it’s not. But I realize this is your stock in trade, so carry on.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 2:02 pm

        I think many American Jews take great pride in the astonishing wealth and power they have achieved in the US.

    • talknic
      talknic on April 24, 2014, 11:10 am

      @ Shuki “The reason most Jews support Israel is because ..” … they’ve been fed a diet of lies for 65 years http://wp.me/PDB7k-Y#ignorance

      Step away from the Ziocaine, pick the mirror up and look into it!

    • Hostage
      Hostage on April 24, 2014, 11:52 am

      The reason most Jews support Israel is because they recognize that ‘anti-Zionism’ is a thin veil for anti-Jewish.

      If “most Jews” support the incorporation into Judaism of the racist stream of public religion employed by the State of Israel to rally national and international support for its crimes against other non-Jewish ethnic groups, then it’s imperative to name them and shame them as members of an immoral Zionist cult.

      The handful of Jews who don’t see that are of the type that would quote an al-jazeera story about the concentration of Jewish political power in the U.S. as legitimate journalism.

      Only uninformed or willfully clueless bots like yourself try to deny that prominent Jews in business or the media, including George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban, Michael Steinhardt, Charles Bronfman, Ronald Lauder, William Kristol, John Podhoretz, Jeffrey Goldberg, Michael Kinsley, and a host of others don’t throw their weight around and exercise political power or serve as opinion makers in the United States on one end of the political spectrum or the other.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 1:19 pm

        To be opposed to “Zionist” expansion of illegal Jewish colonies in the West Bank is of course not the same thing as being “anti-Jewish”, whatever that would mean.

    • James Canning
      James Canning on April 24, 2014, 2:07 pm

      Being opposed to the growth of the illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank can be seen correctly as being “pro-Jewish”, if being “pro-Jewish” means accepting the 2002 Saudi Peace Plan (with a tweak here and there).

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 24, 2014, 3:17 pm

        @james

        No being pro-Jewish means supporting the Jews in their goals and working for their betterment. Working against their goals and aiming to harm them is not being pro-Jewish. The Saudi peace plan was rejected by the Jews as asking too much, that is against their interests.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 24, 2014, 6:53 pm

        @JeffB – – The 2002 Saudi plan was fair, for both sides. A few tweaks were needed.

      • Krusty
        Krusty on April 24, 2014, 7:37 pm

        For what it’s worth, Labour MK Herzog appears to support the 02 plan, and if one were to squint, there isn’t too much of a gap between the Kerry Framework, the 02 Plan, and the Olmert/Barak offers.

        Were the current rightwing coalition to be unseated, I think a peace deal may actually be tenable, particularly if Hamas and Fatah can make their union work while abiding the existing PLO framework. I think that a lasting, durable 2 state peace would certainly be in everyone’s interests, no?

      • Shingo
        Shingo on April 24, 2014, 9:17 pm

        The Saudi peace plan was rejected by the Jews as asking too much, that is against their interests.

        Wrong.

        It was rejected by Sharon, even though it gave Israel everything it has been asking for.

        And the business community in Israel supported it as have government leaders.

        You’re also conflating what is good for the Jews vs giving Israel everything they want. An alcoholic wants the keys to the liquor cabinet, but it’s not good for them to indulge those requests.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 25, 2014, 12:04 am

        @Shingo

        Wrong.

        It was rejected by Sharon, even though it gave Israel everything it has been asking for.

        No right. Sharon was head of the Knesset. He wasn’t a dictator. His opinions were subject to democratic oversight. His party remained popular and his rejection has popular support.

        As for giving Israel everything it asked for… The saudi plan included RoR. The Saudi plan didn’t accept Jerusalem which has been annexed by Israel. It didn’t give Israel much of anything they didn’t already have.

    • Krusty
      Krusty on April 24, 2014, 7:31 pm

      “The reason most Jews support Israel is because they recognize that ‘anti-Zionism’ is a thin veil for anti-Jewish. ”

      It’s total and complete tomfoolery to think that there isn’t a significant overlap between anti-Zionists and anti-Semites. Moreover, even well-meaning observers who are anti-Zionist on principle (and I suppose are anti-Australian, etc.?) often trade in anti-Semitic language and tropes even without intending it as such. This is to say nothing of the immediate replies to your comment (“ziocaine”!? listing prominent Jews? Would anybody do this to prominent members of the LGBT community and be called anything other than homophobic?) which demonstrate something much darker.

      That having been said, it’s legitimate to discuss the existence of a pro-Israel/Likudnik lobby, though it is the beyond reason to expand and extend it to any group which isn’t explicitly anti-Zionist. It’s legitimate to discuss Sheldon Adelson’s influence. It’s certainly legitimate to advocate for the rights of Palestinians living under Occupation.

      However, it simply is not legitimate to question the very existence of a lawful United Nations member state any more than it is legitimate to question any other. The question of the necessity of political Zionism, if there ever had to be one, was settled in the last century and some Americans are very lucky to have the ability to question that (ask a French Jew, a Hungarian Jew, or a Ukrainian Jew how they feel right now.) There is a Jewish nation-state, and acceptance of that fact is the first step towards a normal and rational discourse over how to end the morally and pragmatically problematic ongoing, illegal occupation of a neighbor.

      Israel’s sovereignty within its 1967 borders has been recognized by the PLO, Fatah, and now, seemingly, by Hamas. The 2002 Arab League Initiative is clear and convincing evidence of the Jewish state’s existence. The question isn’t and shouldn’t be the ongoing existence of a Jewish state, but rather the birth of a neighboring Palestinian one – a moment that has drawn much closer with the unification agreement between Fatah and Hamas and the news that Hamas has agreed to renounce violence and recognize Israel.

      • SQ Debris
        SQ Debris on April 24, 2014, 11:19 pm

        Funny about the Krusty claim that “There is a Jewish nation-state”. The “lawful” state of Israel rules over a Jewish minority and has since 2010 if you believe Israeli demographer Sergio DellaPergola. According to the Israel National Security Project, “Jews already constitute a minority of the population living between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and their share of the total population is expected to further decline in the next several decades.” Here’s a link: http://www.israelnsp.org/what-they-say/status-quo-is-dangerous/israels-demographic-challen.html
        Israel rules over a Palestinian majority. It’s “lawful” statehood under the U.N. doesn’t change that. Nor does the U.N. definition of Israeli statehood include even an inference that the state is defined by a specific ethnicity. Krusty needs a new hobby horse to ride around the living room. As to the legitimacy of questioning the existence of a nation state, it is certainly legitimate to question the legitimacy of imaginary lines on the ground that define poverty, privilege, and oppression.

      • Hostage
        Hostage on April 24, 2014, 11:30 pm

        However, it simply is not legitimate to question the very existence of a lawful United Nations member state any more than it is legitimate to question any other.

        Nonsense. Israel is no more lawful than the South African apartheid regime was in its own territory and in South West Africa. There would be nothing wrong with refusing to accept its delegation’s credentials and keeping it from participating in the business of the United Nations, until it fulfills its obligations under the minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II). The same goes for Palestine. I’ve pointed out on many occasions that customary international law regarding termination of the international mandate, a sacred trust of civilization, was and is contingent on constitutional guarantees of equality and non-discrimination with regard to women, and religious and minority groups. Those rights are under UN guarantee and cannot be altered without the consent of the General Assembly and the ICJ.

  13. David Doppler
    David Doppler on April 24, 2014, 1:11 am

    “We’re not about to see an end to the Jewish presence in the American elite, or for that matter an end to American elites.”

    I for one feel that the notion of American elites is not a good one, nor true to American values. The Southern slaveholders were elites and they got theirs. Grant beat the shit out of them, and he was working before the war as an assistant in his family’s dry goods store. “All men are created equal” is the founding principle. “To secure the rights of the people, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.” Devotion to elitism is un-American.

    Or as Jefferson said: “There is an natural aristoi among men, signified by virtue and talent.” I don’t think he meant that it was important that people go around labeling who is elite and deferring to them as better than others, but that the most talented and virtuous would naturally rise. Don’t label them as WASPs or Jews. Label them as the most talented and virtuous. That’s the American way.

    I remember in DC 35 years ago there was a popular restaurateur written up in the Post who divided people into four classes: lions, tigers, monkeys and dogs. The first group were the major Kennedys, and a few others, the tigers were movers and shakers in a class below – the most influential lawyers, etc., he considered himself a monkey, someone there to amuse the lions and tigers, and everyone else was a dog.

    Washington & New York are all about elitism, the recognition of which becomes an excuse for abuse of power. Jefferson said America was a nation of shopkeepers, and that the average man on the street could quote Latin. That is the ideal – people who consider themselves ordinary, but who are educated, engaged, and the backbone of America. As Admiral Halsey said, “there are no heroes out here. Just ordinary men facing extraordinary challenges.” Fuck elitism.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on April 24, 2014, 10:56 am

      @ David Doppler

      I feel the same way: fuck elitism. Near the end of last year, the CBO issued a document, with graphs, showing three straight decades of the rising income gap. How does that fit in with your comment, which I ditto? Between the real and the ideal, falls the shadow. (T S Eliot, if memory serves.)

    • American
      American on April 24, 2014, 11:19 am

      David Doppler says:

      ”Fuck elitism’>>>>

      Ditto. Look at what the elites are today and you can see that ..” that the most talented and virtuous would naturally rise”…..isnt the case any longer.
      Crass money buys crass elitism today and today’s elite in most spheres are crass.
      We could call the 20th century the ‘Century of the Locust.’
      Remains to be seen what we will call the 21th century.

    • James Canning
      James Canning on April 24, 2014, 2:05 pm

      George Washington and the other members of the plantation class in Virginia deeply believed in the notion of an “elite”, or “elites”.

  14. brenda
    brenda on April 24, 2014, 9:38 am

    “an American nationalist perspective”

    Phil, to me this is the operative phrase. This is exactly what is missing in the US “debate”. It is framed as “Israel vs. Palestine”, and within that framework a huge majority of Americans will root for Israel (thanks to assiduous, persistent and truly excellent propaganda) That is how Israel would have us perceive the situation, something between Israel and Palestine. As if we have no skin in the game.

    A few years ago, when I commented at Huffington Post occasionally I was confronted by a typical pro-Israel supporter as being on the side of Palestine. “Not at all. Although I have sympathy for the underdog, Palestine, I’m rooting for the United States” — I didn’t have much of a following at Huffington Post….

    “A Jewish-Jewish debate has heated up in recent years in the United States with new critical voices of Israel taking centre stage…. ” — and one side of that debate is expressed at Mondoweiss. But even within that one side, the “new critical voices”, look at the falling out among the various critical voices. I know this is typical of lefties in general, not just critical Jewish voices towards Israel. When lefties make a firing squad they form a circle… what I’m saying is, please give us more on those AIPAC fluckers and less on poor old MJ Rosenberg, even if he did attack you. A lot of these guys, MJ, Finkelstein etc, they fought the good fight, they’re having a conflicted breakdown when actual peace with Palestine is on the horizon — but none of this will have any relevance to the ultimate outcome of the I-P situation. Meanwhile, we’ve got a serious challenge to US democracy going on related to political intrusions from a foreign country.

  15. radii
    radii on April 24, 2014, 9:51 am

    how to view and solve I/P ?

    ethics not ethnics

    I like it

  16. American
    American on April 24, 2014, 2:40 pm

    Here is an AMAZING interview with Abe Foxman.
    What is amazing about it is how much of what Foxman says in this Jew to Jew inteview is different than what he says thru his ADL megaphone to gentiles and the US public media.
    Extremely interesting that he gets and says the tribe ‘is not better or superior to any other group’ but cant really afford to let that bit of truth take hold in Jews or in the others world or Jews will be at risk.
    This is probably as good a look at what some, at least, Jews say to each other about the tribe as you are likely to find.
    Here are some tidbits to give you an idea of how wide ranging this interview was.

    Q&A With Abe Foxman, Head of the Anti-Defamation League
    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/156613/abefoxman-qa?all=1

    ”How do we balance the drive for assimilation with the interests of our community? That’s the Catch-22 of the ADL. We make America as user-friendly to Jews as possible. So, who’s worried about Jews wanting to be Jews? But that’s been the struggle in American Jewish life for as long as I can remember.”

    (On the holocaust funds embezzlers)
    ”I’m still looking for any kind of honest larger-scale institutional accounting, or even outrage and disgust, on the part of the Jewish leadership. The absence of that kind of response has convinced me that these cases are only symptoms of a deeper rot.
    OK, well, David. Number one is that we’re not immune. We’re not better than anyone else, we’re not worse than anyone else. We’re not immune. I think that struck me when Rabin was assassinated: Words don’t only impact elsewhere. They impact on us too. We’re not immune from corruption, or from murder. So, number one, it shouldn’t shock us. It should shock those who think that we’re better, but we’re not.”

    (On the holocaust reparations)
    ”Listen, I was opposed to it . My father was a Revisionist, and he and Begin were opposed to it, in principle. Because no amount of money could buy forgiveness. And if you look, I was one of the few who wrote and said so. Because I was concerned that if a man came down from the moon and asked, “What is the Holocaust about?” they would say it’s about Jews and money—that we skewed the last chapter of the Holocaust for money.”

    ( on the ‘high preist’ and now the money moguls still leading the tribe)

    Q: Look, we’re a community that’s always run on the principle there are the gadolim (High Priest), right? It’s not a democracy.
    Foxman: Right.

    ”And one more thing, David. Jewish life was never a mass movement. We always survived on a ma’aser, a tenth. It was always a tenth of our people who kept the flag. Now, maybe we’re in a generation of Jewish ‘moguls’. Maybe they’re the tenth. And it makes some of us uncomfortable. But we’ve never been a mass movement.”

    (on the US and Israel)
    ”The issue now is that national security interests are perceived differently. There are still a lot of common goals: We want Iran to not have nuclear weapons. But how you get there is very, very serious and significant, and that’s where the differences are. And so,what worries me about 2014? It’s the differences that exist. They are not cosmetic—they are serious.
    America is moving to disengage. America is moving in an isolationist direction. That’s not in the best interest of the Jewish people nor Israel. When America was engaged, we got Soviet Jewry out. When America was engaged, we got Syrian Jews out. When America was engaged, we got Ethiopian Jews out. And if America becomes disengaged and we have to God forbid get Jews out—and you can name the five countries that you and I understand—who’s going to be there? You know, that gives me sleepless nights. So, the dependency of the Jewish people and Israel on this one wonderful country is both the good news and the bad news.”

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew on April 24, 2014, 11:37 pm

      American implied that the word gadolim was translated by the Tablet publication as high priest. Tablet did no such thing. That is American’s translation. a poor translation. Gadol means big, and in yiddishized Hebrew Gadolim means the leaders of the Jewish community particularly those who are learned in Jewish texts.

      • American
        American on April 25, 2014, 9:43 am

        yonah fredman says:

        April 24, 2014 at 11:37 pm

        American implied that the word gadolim was translated by the Tablet publication as high priest>>>>>

        American did not ‘imply’ the definition— American got the def. from this:
        http://www.torah.org/learning/beyond-pshat/5764/yomkippur.html?print=1‎
        Human dignity means to live as Hashem wants the human being to live. ….. had more than 300 Kohanim Gadolim (High Priests) officiating over this period.

        Now run along pipsqueak and tend to your real chores……you are way behind in your Famous Anti Semites of the day postings.

  17. JeffB
    JeffB on April 24, 2014, 4:13 pm

    @Hostage

    It isn’t debatable that Israel used US citizens to illegally transfer nuclear materials for its own use and classified satellite, submarine propulsion, and missile technology to China and Russia that undermined US security. Have you been living in a cave?

    The USA Jewish community wasn’t involved in those activities generally and didn’t approve of them. It is that community that the fifth column charge is being leveled at not Israel. Israelis aren’t part of a USA fifth column because they aren’t American.

    • Shingo
      Shingo on April 24, 2014, 9:22 pm

      The USA Jewish community wasn’t involved in those activities generally and didn’t approve of them.

      You’re conflating Jewish community with pro Israeli activists. The same activists who insist that Jews are not Jews unless they condone the activities.

      It is that community that the fifth column charge is being leveled at not Israel.

      American citizens acting on Israel’s behalf. So yes, they are part of a USA fifth column because they are indeed American, or at the very least, dual citizens.

    • Hostage
      Hostage on April 24, 2014, 10:44 pm

      The USA Jewish community wasn’t involved in those activities generally and didn’t approve of them.

      You’re dissembling. For example, Jonathan Pollard and Arnon Milchan were members of the Jewish community and were personally responsible. There’s plenty of evidence that both men enjoy broad support from the Jewish community too.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on April 24, 2014, 11:42 pm

        As far as approval for subterfuge of Milchan because it achieved nuclear capabilities for Israel, which a broad portion of the community supports, that is a reasonable assertion. But who knows what Jonathan Pollard achieved? I know here at Mondoweiss you know it all, but there is not a broad section of the Jewish community that knows what Pollard stole or did not steal and so how can their support for Pollard be anything other than “he’s suffered enough”. also define broad support. 20% or more? 10% or more? certainly it must be at least 10% to be considered broad support. (probably I’d prefer 30% or more to be considered broad support.)

      • Hostage
        Hostage on April 25, 2014, 12:15 am

        But who knows what Jonathan Pollard achieved? I know here at Mondoweiss you know it all, but there is not a broad section of the Jewish community that knows what Pollard stole or did not steal and so how can their support for Pollard be anything other than “he’s suffered enough”.

        The fact is that Pollard supplied a signals intelligence manual and high resolution satellite images that revealed US capabilities. http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB407/

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on April 25, 2014, 12:40 am

        Hostage- You asserted that Pollard has broad support from the Jewish community. Are you asserting that this broad support asserts that he did nothing wrong? And again, what is broad support?

        I assert that you are throwing the term “broad support” around very promiscuously.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on April 25, 2014, 2:43 am

        But who knows what Jonathan Pollard achieved?

        Enough damage that some called for the death sentence.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka on April 25, 2014, 12:15 pm

        “But who knows what Jonathan Pollard achieved?… there is not a broad section of the Jewish community that knows what Pollard stole or did not steal and so how can their support for Pollard be anything other than ‘he’s suffered enough’.”

        That, in an of itself, is damning of the Jewish community. If they don’t know what he stole and what damage he did, they have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not he’s “suffered enough.” So on what basis are they decided other than the fact that he’s, like them, Jewish??

      • JeffB
        JeffB on April 24, 2014, 11:50 pm

        @Hostage

        You’re dissembling. For example, Jonathan Pollard and Arnon Milchan were members of the Jewish community and were personally responsible. There’s plenty of evidence that both men enjoy broad support from the Jewish community too.

        Arnon Milchan is Israeli he can’t be part of a fifth column since he isn’t an American. As for Pollard there is no evidence his activities have broad or even significant minority support from the Jewish community in America. Pollard is an Israeli obsession and one that the American Jewish community mostly hasn’t supported.

  18. JeffB
    JeffB on April 24, 2014, 11:52 pm

    @Shingo

    JeffB: Your problem is that you think Israel should be an enemy and thus want to treat it as one.

    Shingo: Your problem is that you think Israel is a friend because it has Congress by the cohones and AIPAC buys them off.

    Yes I think the policy of the United States is determined by the elected government of the United States. Imagine that.

  19. Hostage
    Hostage on April 25, 2014, 3:44 am

    I assert that you are throwing the term “broad support” around very promiscuously.

    What you don’t get the hasbara talking points via RSS feed? Pollard is a regular cause célèbre among the major Jewish organizations who have started a propaganda war against the US government on his account. They have made, not just his release, but the pardon of this POS criminal a formal part of Jewish community activism and outreach, e.g.:
    B’nai Brith President: “Pollard Potential Dreyfus II”
    http://www.jonathanpollard.org/1998/030698b.htm
    ADL’s Foxman: Pollard incarceration verges on anti-Semitism
    http://www.jta.org/2014/01/28/default/adls-foxman-calls-pollards-incarceration-on-the-verge-of-anti-semitism
    Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called Tuesday for the urgent release of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard during the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in Jerusalem.
    http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Shapiro-Sharansky-differ-on-Pollard-at-GA-331541
    The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations calls for Pollard pardon http://www.jta.org/2008/12/05/news-opinion/united-states/pres-conf-calls-for-pollard-pardon
    The Spy Who’s Locked Into the Cold: It’s time to release Jonathan Pollard.
    http://www.aish.com/ci/s/48899682.html
    https://www.aishfl.com/links/ See Pollard under the heading “Jewish Activism”