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TX congressman who expressed concern about Gaza deaths undergoes ‘healing process’ and will fly El Al to Israel

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I just listened to Jeffrey Goldberg’s attack on Walt and Mearsheimer’s book the Israel Lobby back in 2007 at Yivo, the Jewish historical center in New York. Goldberg said that the book was in line with the anti-Semitism of Charles Lindbergh and represented an assault on Jewish political enfranchisement.

Well that was 7 years ago. Now the Forward understands what a great story the Israel lobby is, and Nathan Guttman has done first-class reporting on the tsunami of attention freshman congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso got this summer when he was one of eight congresspeople to oppose the $225 million emergency funding to Israel during the Gaza massacres. In “How the Israel Lobby Set Beto O’Rourke Right,” Guttman three times mentions donor pressure on O’Rourke.

Critical local press coverage included a public comment by one of his own Jewish donors to the El Paso Times that in voting as he did, O’Rourke “chooses to side with the rocket launchers and terror tunnel builders” of Hamas.

And in my favorite line in the piece:

He reached out to Jewish donors and friends who were more than happy to start the healing process.

That would get your attention. O’Rourke explains that he only voted against the funding because he felt it was rushed and irresponsible, and hadn’t considered the political repercussions. Now he’s going to be flying to Israel! The process that Guttman describes reminds me of the education of Judge Richard Goldstone. First he worried about civilian casualties. But in the end he worried more about his standing inside a small rightwing Jewish community (South Africa establishment Jewish community).

But since then, behind the scenes, what has followed is a long process of mutual outreach and hours of hashing out differences, until the final act, which is now in the works: an El Al flight to Tel Aviv on the pro-Israel lobby’s dime.

“He’s a good guy, but he didn’t know how the Jewish community would react,” said Daniel Cheifec, executive director of the Jewish Federation of El Paso. “Now he knows that this community is not going to be very happy if he screws up again.”…

“I really don’t understand how he makes his decision,” Rabbi Stephen Leon of Congregation B’Nai Zion, a local synagogue, told the El Paso Times even before The New Yorker piece [by Connie Bruck] picked up on the pushback. “It’s a great, great disappointment to the Jewish community here. We had meetings with him prior, to talk to him about the importance of Israel, and the way he voted makes very little sense.”

El Paso, a city with a 70% Hispanic majority, has a relatively small Jewish community, estimated at 4,000, amid a population of some 862,000. But Jews are well represented on O’Rourke’s donor list, with local businessman Stephen L. Feinberg among the top contributors to his campaign.

O’Rourke, in a Facebook posting, tried to explain his vote. “I could not in good conscience vote for borrowing $225 million more to send to Israel, without debate and without discussion, in the midst of a war that has cost more than a thousand civilian lives already, too many of them children,” he wrote…

Hours after the controversial vote, O’Rourke launched a damage-control campaign that proved to be effective. He reached out to Jewish donors and friends who were more than happy to start the healing process.

A meeting was arranged with a group of 10 pro-Israel local leaders, including key members of AIPAC, along with heads of the local synagogues and of the Jewish federation…

After the first meeting came another and then a third one. In between, pro-Israel activists sent O’Rourke articles explaining Israel’s position. O’Rourke also met with the Israeli consul general to the Southwest, Meir Shlomo, and invited federation leaders to meet with him in Washington when they come to the capital for the Jewish federations’ General Assembly in November.

Those who care about the 500 children killed in Gaza have our work cut out for us. And it’s important to identify what is in the road. This article is clear about that: the Israel lobby, the aging American Jewish establishment with its religious attachment to a Jewish state. There are many ways to counter that power. My own way is organizing inside the enlightened idealistic American community, which includes many many Jews– crucially.

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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25 Responses

  1. Kay24
    Kay24
    October 5, 2014, 1:50 pm

    Sounds like a brainwashing trip to me. Making sure those who have fallen on the way, and not drunk the zio cola, gets the full treatment in zio land.

    There goes one voice who did see a little sense initially, but now on the dark side.

    The power of AIPAC and the subservience of our leaders. Oy vey!

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      October 5, 2014, 3:26 pm

      Brainwashing? Maybe, but what goes on inside his head is beside the point. What matters is that he publicly renounce any doubts about Israel’s actions and policies and America’s support for them, that he publicly humiliate himself and swear eternal obedience to the Zionist Powers that Be, and that those Powers publicly demonstrate their power, thus to intimidate any other politicians who might forget their place.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 5, 2014, 2:29 pm

    Denis Staunton has a great piece over at the Irish Times on the situation hasbara finds itself in outside Israel . I wonder for how long more the rich bots in the State can control the narrative.
    Israel is really nuts.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/israel-and-palestine-the-new-war-for-hearts-and-minds-1.1945547

    On July 23rd, two weeks into Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, Brazil condemned what it called a “disproportionate use of force” and withdrew its ambassador from Tel Aviv for consultations. Israel’s general consul in São Paolo politely expressed his disappointment, adding that Israel had a right to defend itself against missiles being fired into its territory by Hamas.
    Back in Tel Aviv, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor was a lot less sanguine. “This is an unfortunate demonstration of why Brazil, an economic and cultural giant, remains a diplomatic dwarf,” he said. “The moral relativism behind this move makes Brazil an irrelevant diplomatic partner, one who creates problems rather than contributes to solutions.”
    Israeli president Reuven Rivlin would later apologise to Brazil’s president, Dilma Rouseff, for the “dwarf” slur. But Palmor wasn’t finished. Later that evening, in an interview on Brazilian TV, he dragged up Brazil’s humiliating defeat by Germany in the World Cup semi-final two weeks earlier.
    “Israel’s response is perfectly proportioned in accordance with international law,” he said. “This is not football. In football, when a game ends in a draw, you think it is proportional, but when it finishes 7-1 it’s disproportionate. Sorry to say, but not so in real life and under international law.”

    During the same week, Israel’s embassy in Dublin tweeted a picture of the Palestinian flag superimposed with a picture of Adolf Hitler and the words “Free Palestine now!”. A few days later the embassy took down four images from its Twitter feed, including one featuring the capital’s statue of Molly Malone covered in a traditional Muslim niqab with the caption “Israel now Dublin next”.

    Other images in the sequence included the Mona Lisa wearing a hijab and carrying a large rocket and Michelangelo’s David wearing a suicide bomber’s explosive belt.
    These were only the most striking in a stream of bizarre tweets from the embassy that continued long after the Gaza ceasefire in August. The Irish Times was a regular target, sometimes dubbed The Palestinian Times, The Hamas Times or Pravda. One of the newspaper’s columnists was compared to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister,
    and a female journalist was dismissed as a “hackette”.

    Much of the coarseness and low humour was unremarkable by the standards of social media generally. But the shrill tone was highly eccentric for a diplomatic mission, reminiscent of the public style of Iran under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Venezuela in the days of Hugo Chavez.

    Daniel Levy, a political analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations was a member of the Israeli negotiating team with the Palestinians under prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak. He believes the new Israeli tone is deeply counter-productive.

    “I actually think that this is indicative of a deeper malaise, which is that the longer the occupation goes on and Israel has to justify the unjustifiable, the deeper the moral erosion that goes with that, the deeper you get into the territory of denialism and just being disconnected from reality,” he says.
    So I’m sure stuff like that gets lots of positive likes and reinforcement, but they lose contact with the fact that people – even your average punter who might, under circumstances where you’re not quite as mad, might be willing to take on board some of your arguments, you’ve totally lost them. “I think this is what’s going on. I think there’s a deepening of the detachment from reality, a deepening of the denialism and they’re just doubling down on a failed policy and just digging themselves deeper into a hole, which I find quite sad. They become their own worst enemies sometimes.”

    • amigo
      amigo
      October 5, 2014, 3:05 pm

      Seafoid, I read that too .

      The Irish times recently featured 5 or 6 articles(in as many days), by Lara Marlowe which she penned from Gaza .She focused mainly on the devastation the zionists visited on Gaza.That did not go down too well with the usual pro Israel crowd here in Ireland but add those reports to this one by Staunton and it is beginning to look like the folks at the Israeli embassy have lost their clout at the IT.

      None too soon after years of having to swallow Mark Weiss,s and his predecessor –Horowitz,s (his “Christian “name escapes me) propaganda straight from TA.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        October 5, 2014, 3:08 pm

        Amigo

        they went too far insulting the IT and now it’s payback time.
        Clowns at the Israeli embassy.
        Now the IT doesn’t even refer to Israel as “Jerusalem”

    • amigo
      amigo
      October 5, 2014, 3:41 pm

      “But the shrill tone was highly eccentric for a diplomatic mission, “IT-

      So much for “Civility” eh.

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      October 5, 2014, 8:44 pm

      RE: “I think there’s a deepening of the detachment from reality, a deepening of the denialism and they’re just doubling down on a failed policy and just digging themselves deeper into a hole, which I find quite sad. They become their own worst enemies sometimes.”

      AS TO THE ISRAELI PSYCHE, SEE: “Is There a Way Beyond Israeli Madness?” [Will the Chosen People and the Exceptional People Go Down Together?] ~ by John Grant, Counterpunch, 8/31/12

      [EXCERPTS]

      The patient, by the name of Israel, walks into the room and instantly bursts into a tirade of arguments conclusively proving his credentials, and says that he is better than everyone else.
      – Ofer Grosbard, “Israel On The Couch: The Psychology of the Peace Process”

      The problem Americans have with Israel is that the region it exists in is in the midst of a major political sea change, while Israel is frozen in time and holding on to its militarist, right-wing policies of extending settlements in the West Bank. It’s a policy that harks back to the ideas of the British-trained militarist Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall [now augmented by the US-funded “Iron Dome” – J.L.D.], – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/military-demolishes-benefitting/comment-page-1#comment-709255, which is based on the idea a live-and-let-live policy between Jews and Arabs is impossible and, thus, Jews must militarily control and repress Palestinians . . .
      . . . How does a people turn back a racially-oriented demonization program with roots that extend back many decades? How do you ratchet down a nation’s narcissism so people are able to simply see the other as a human being? . . .
      . . . On our part, Americans and the United States need to stop being a permissive yes-man and begin to show Israel some tough love. We need more US criticism of Israel. No doubt this approach will be received with gales of cynical laughter from hardliners … but so what?
      In my mind, the Israeli narcissistic and arrogant mindset would benefit from a little Buddhist detachment, more of the posture that sees the world not of separate individual selves and egos but of human beings as part of a larger flow of life. The Buddhists call the self-obsessed, separatist state-of-mind [i.e. the “pale” of Israel surrounded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall augmented by the US-funded “Iron Dome” – J.L.D.] that Israel thrives on and defends with weapons as “the illusory self.”
      “Once one identifies with a permanent self-concept, the pride and craving adhering to this become the pivot from which an egocentric world arises,” writes Gay Watson, a psychotherapist attuned to Buddhism.
      David Loy puts it this way: “To become completely groundless is also to become completely grounded, not in some particular, but in the whole network of interdependent relations that constitute the world.”
      I’m not suggesting Israel become a Buddhist nation. The point is for Israelis, and more important Americans, to figure a way out of the worsening condition of “us versus them” to avoid the need to obliterate them and set off a war that no one really wants. The point is to re-shape our minds to make “the other” less threatening to permit talking.
      I’m not holding my breath that Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are going to become peace activists.
      But I’m done as an American being a silent stooge while Israeli militarist madness fuels hatred and sets the stage for war.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/31/is-there-a-way-beyond-israeli-madness/

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        October 5, 2014, 8:46 pm

        P.S. FROM JOEL KOVEL, 1-20-13:

        [EXCERPT] . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, [Thomas] Friedman [probably like your typical Israeli business leader – J.L.D.] assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.
        The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

        SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/israel-nominaton-hagel.html

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        October 6, 2014, 2:40 am

        How do you ratchet down a nation’s narcissism so people are able to simply see the other as a human being?

        Education
        But you have to spend enough money on it

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb34jE-Uf6k

        “Low on tolerance, high on ridicule
        Even the infirmary’s inhospitable
        Assembly required
        Metal detectors seeming unjust
        but inspired
        by shots fired
        Terms like zero-tolerance and lock-down
        Aging out, if you ask me, does not sound
        Like education
        But I suppose that’s a cause and effect’
        When the city spends more on incarceration”

        Or YESHA

        Regarding “Low on tolerance, high on ridicule”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/.premium-1.611822

        “The greatest threat to the teacher is that there will be noise – that someone will complain, that an argument will break out, etc. That danger looms especially large in subjects that interest young people, such as sexuality, ethnicity, violence and racism. Teachers lack the tools to cope with these issues, so they are outsourced, which only emasculates educational personnel even more.”
        • In general, there is a whole series of subjects that are not recommended for discussion in schools, such as the Nakba (or “catastrophe,” the term used by Palestinians to denote the establishment of the State of Israel), human rights and the morality of Israeli army operations. This was one of the reasons for the warnings issued by Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev during the fighting in the Gaza Strip about “extreme and offensive remarks.” • “Values and outlooks are acquired in a lengthy process of identification with ‘significant others,’ such as teachers,” Harpaz explains. “This means that every aspect of the schools – patterns of teaching, evaluation methods, curricula, the physical structure and the cultural climate – has to change in the direction of becoming far more dialogical and democratic.”
        “Our leaders are so fearful of criticism, but they don’t understand that critical education is what generates close ties and caring. We get angry at those we love.”

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        October 6, 2014, 4:07 pm

        RE: “How do you ratchet down a nation’s narcissism so people are able to simply see the other as a human being? Education But you have to spend enough money on it” ~ seafoid

        ■ MY COMMENT: True, but for the most part the Likudnik government of Israel controls the education of its people (and is trying to cripple foreign-funded NGOs).

        ● SEE: “Academic claims Israeli school textbooks contain bias” ~ By Harriet Sherwood, guardian.co.uk, 8/07/11
        Nurit Peled-Elhanan of Hebrew University says textbooks depict Palestinians as “terrorists, refugees and primitive farmers”

        [EXCERPT] Nurit Peled-Elhanan, an Israeli academic, mother and political radical, summons up an image of rows of Jewish schoolchildren, bent over their books, learning about their neighbours, the Palestinians. But, she says, they are never referred to as Palestinians unless the context is terrorism.
        They are called Arabs. “The Arab with a camel, in an Ali Baba dress. They describe them as vile and deviant and criminal, people who don’t pay taxes, people who live off the state, people who don’t want to develop,” she says. “The only representation is as refugees, primitive farmers and terrorists. You never see a Palestinian child or doctor or teacher or engineer or modern farmer.”
        Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has studied the content of Israeli school books for the past five years, and her account, “Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education”, is to be published in the UK this month. She describes what she found as racism– but, more than that, a racism that prepares young Israelis for their compulsory military service. . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/07/israeli-school-racism-claim

        VIDEO of interview with Peled-Elhanan (08:48) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t91McXHxiXY

        ● ALSO SEE: Is Change possible in Israel? (VIDEO, 07:49) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIj0l6C5VqE
        Prof. Haim Bresheeth tries to answer this question – why can some Israelis change, and support the Palestinian cause, but change seems elusive in Israel? Should we wait and hope for such change?

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        ■ MY SECOND COMMENT: The Likudnik government of Israel (along with the right-wing U.S. casino mogul Sheldon Adelson) also has a high-degree of control over Israel’s media.

        ● URI AVNERY ON THE SORRY STATE OF THE ISRAELI MEDIA/PRESS, AND HOW THE ISRAELIS HAVE BEEN “BRAINWASHED”:
        “Israel’s Weird Elections”, by Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 1/04/13:

        [EXCERPTS] . . . The Israeli media are already to a large extent neutralized, a creeping process not unsimilar to what the Germans used to call Gleichschaltung. [SEE: Gleichschaltung @ Wikipedia – J.L.D. ]
        All three TV channels are more or less bankrupt and dependent on government handouts. Their editors are practically government appointees. The printed press is also teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, except the largest “news” paper, which belongs to Sheldon Adelson and is a Netanyahu propaganda sheet, distributed gratis.
        [Naftali] Bennett repeats the ridiculous assertion that almost all journalists are left-wingers (meaning traitors.) He promises to put an end to this intolerable situation. . .
        . . . In the coming four years, the official annexation of the West Bank to Israel may become a fact. . .
        . . . If the government continues on its present course, this will lead to certain disaster – the entire country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River will become one unit under Israeli rule. This Greater Israel will contain an Arab majority and a shrinking Jewish minority, turning it inevitably into an apartheid state, plagued by a permanent civil war and shunned by the world.
        If pressure from without and within eventually compels the government to grant civil rights to the Arab majority, the country will turn into an Arab state. 134 years of Zionist endeavor will come to naught, a repetition of the Crusaders’ kingdom.
        This is so obvious, so inevitable, that one needs an iron will not to think about it. It seems that all major parties in these elections have this will. Speaking about peace, they believe, is poison. Giving back the West Bank and East Jerusalem for peace? God forbid even thinking about it.
        The weird fact is that this week two respected polls – independent of each other – came to the same conclusion: the great majority of Israeli voters favors the “two-state solution”
        , the creation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and the partition of Jerusalem. This majority includes the majority of Likud voters, and even about half of Bennett’s adherents.
        How come? The explanation lies in the next question: How many voters believe that this solution is possible? The answer: almost nobody. Over dozens of years, Israelis have been brainwashed into believing that “the Arabs” don’t want peace. If they say they do, they are lying.
        If peace is impossible, why think about it? Why even mention it in the election campaign? Why not go back 44 years to Golda Meir’s days and pretend that the Palestinians don’t exist? (“There is no such thing as a Palestinian people…It is not as though there was a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away. They did not exist.” – Golda Meir, June 13, 1969) . . .

        ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/04/israels-weird-elections/

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        ■ MY THIRD COMMENT: The Likudnik government of Israel is also working to further separate/segregate Palestinians from Jewish Israelis (and now even Christian Palestinians). As Jonathan Cook rercently put it: “Successive Israeli governments have carefully engineered the structure of Israeli society to ensure that Jewish and Palestinian citizens, the latter comprising a fifth of the population, are kept in separate linguistic, cultural, educational and emotional worlds… Today most Israeli Jews rarely meet a Palestinian, and especially not one from the West Bank or Gaza.”

        ● SEE: “Israeli Supreme Court upholds law allowing housing discrimination against Palestinians”, by Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss.net, September 18, 2014
        LINK – http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/allowing-discrimination-palestinians#sthash.79epI9nf.dpuf

        ● FOR THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS SEPARATION/SEGREGATION, SEE: “Rich People Just Care Less”, By Daniel Goleman, N.Y. Times, 10/05/13

        [EXCERPT] . . . In politics, readily dismissing inconvenient people can easily extend to dismissing inconvenient truths about them. The insistence by some House Republicans in Congress on cutting financing for food stamps and impeding the implementation of Obamacare, which would allow patients, including those with pre-existing health conditions, to obtain and pay for insurance coverage, may stem in part from the empathy gap. As political scientists have noted, redistricting and gerrymandering have led to the creation of more and more safe districts, in which elected officials don’t even have to encounter many voters from the rival party, much less empathize with them.
        Social distance makes it all the easier to focus on small differences between groups and to put a negative spin on the ways of others and a positive spin on our own.
        Freud called this “the narcissism of minor differences,” a theme repeated by Vamik D. Volkan, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, who was born in Cyprus to Turkish parents. Dr. Volkan remembers hearing as a small boy awful things about the hated Greek Cypriots — who, he points out, actually share many similarities with Turkish Cypriots. Yet for decades their modest-size island has been politically divided, which exacerbates the problem by letting prejudicial myths flourish.
        In contrast, extensive interpersonal contact counteracts biases by letting people from hostile groups get to know one another as individuals and even friends.
        Thomas F. Pettigrew, a research professor of social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, analyzed more than 500 studies on intergroup contact. Mr. Pettigrew, who was born in Virginia in 1931 and lived there until going to Harvard for graduate school, told me in an e-mail that it was the “the rampant racism in the Virginia of my childhood” that led him to study prejudice.
        In his research, he found that even in areas where ethnic groups were in conflict and viewed one another through lenses of negative stereotypes, individuals who had close friends within the other group exhibited little or no such prejudice. They seemed to realize the many ways those demonized “others” were “just like me.” . . .

        ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/05/rich-people-just-care-less/

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        October 6, 2014, 4:37 pm

        Dickerson

        I agree with your analysis. Israeli Jews are not educated to think. They are IDF fodder.

        “the issue is larger than “are there dollars to educate our children? “. The issue is “do we want to educate our children”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqB-wf49Xsc

        I don’t understand how Israeli parents are not outraged.

  3. amigo
    amigo
    October 5, 2014, 2:44 pm

    “We had meetings with him prior, to talk to him about the importance of Israel, and the way he voted makes very little sense.”Leon.

    The more one reads stories like this , the more one hates Israeli interference in the affairs of sovereign nations.

    The irony is that , they are serving to destroy Israel in it,s present form.Laughable .

    Israel,s FM lie-berman summoned Sweden,s ambassador for the low chair treatment .I just hope the ambassador leaves even more determined ,(thanks to lieberman,s grasp on diplomacy) and continues his efforts by lobbying the other EU fm,s to follow suit.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      October 5, 2014, 3:07 pm

      What is appalling is the arrogant attitude they have towards the US. They keep dictating terms to us, and even teaches us what their misguided notion of American values are. I linked this in another article, but worth linking it here, too. Who the heck does Bibi think he is to treat the US like this? How would they take it if Obama criticized them and tried to tell them what “Israeli values” are? This is a monster that Congress has made.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.619308

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      October 5, 2014, 3:23 pm

      The Swedish ambassador is long beyond giving any respect to Lieberman the bouncer’s ranting.
      It’s great to see Sweden breaking EU ranks on this.

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw
        October 5, 2014, 6:19 pm

        I wonder if they will give the Swedish Ambassador the treatment they gave the Turkish one, or Richard Falk who in his UN role as special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories was detained at Ben Gurion airport..”I was separated from my two UN companions who were allowed to enter Israel and taken to the airport detention facility a mile or so away. I was required to put all my bags and cell phone in a room and taken to a locked tiny room that smelled of urine and filth. It contained five other detainees and was an unwelcome invitation to claustrophobia. I spent the next 15 hours so confined, which amounted to a cram course on the miseries of prison life, including dirty sheets, inedible food and lights that were too bright or darkness controlled from the guard office.” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/dec/19/israel-palestinian-territories-united-nations.

  4. Parity
    Parity
    October 5, 2014, 4:57 pm

    As soon as I read about O’Rourke’s vote, in The New Yorker, I sent him a check. If enough of us did that while saying it was because he voted against the $225,000, he would not feel so threatened by the lack of Jewish donations. If we all pledged donate to time and money to Elizabeth Warren in a presidential campaign in which she distanced herself from AIPAC, perhaps it would give her the courage to chart an independent course.

    • Pippilin
      Pippilin
      October 7, 2014, 3:07 pm

      I sent him a check also. Your thought about Elizabeth Warren is good– don’t think it would work with Bernie, do you?

  5. Keith
    Keith
    October 5, 2014, 6:31 pm

    “El Paso, a city with a 70% Hispanic majority, has a relatively small Jewish community, estimated at 4,000, amid a population of some 862,000. But Jews are well represented on O’Rourke’s donor list, with local businessman Stephen L. Feinberg among the top contributors to his campaign.”

    What does this say about American democracy? What does this say about the gullibility of the average voter? As long as politicians know that doing the right thing counts for little, whereas, massive campaign funding counts for everything, nothing will change. The question is why the electorate allows themselves to be bamboozeled so easily.

  6. ckg
    ckg
    October 5, 2014, 7:09 pm

    O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of Beto O’Rourke’s nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself.

  7. RoHa
    RoHa
    October 5, 2014, 7:30 pm

    And when he is in Israel they will, no doubt, do their best to set him up in a (ahem) compromising situation with some young person in a hotel room well equipped with recording apparatus.

    • ckg
      ckg
      October 5, 2014, 8:25 pm

      But then Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni will arrive and say, “It’ll be as if she never existed. All that’s left is our friendship.”

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        October 5, 2014, 10:02 pm

        All it will take is one American leader, who will eventually decide to do what is right for his country, and put it above that parasitic alien one, and reveal to the nation, why exactly we are under so much of zio control, to the point they have even bragged about it. It seems the zionists operate through intimidation, and perhaps since they have established themselves well in all fields, including the media, and even Hollywood, no one dares to stand up to them for fear of losing jobs, not being elected, or being publicly called anti- semtic. The Prime Minister of zioland, announces more illegal abodes for their thugs, before he visits the White House, and after he leaves, criticizes our condemnation for their crime of land theft, calling it “un American values”, which by the way reflects how the rest of the world also feels. As if we need this alien war criminal lecturing us on our values. It sounds as if he wants our values to be based on accepting Israeli crime. I have never heard or seen any other ally treat us this way, nor wield so much power over us and our American policies. The worlds greatest superpower being controlled, and pushed around, by a disliked nation, but who can blame them, they have been given an open door to slither into every place they desire, even into congress, where they are given standing ovations, and bills written according to what the zios want, are passed unanimously faster than you can say AIPAC. The irony of it is, the American people are constantly unable to have their congress unanimously agree the same way, on bills that benefit them.

  8. travellerh
    travellerh
    October 6, 2014, 11:56 am

    I wonder who else needs to get re-educated.

  9. Helen Marshall
    Helen Marshall
    October 7, 2014, 8:05 pm

    I am very disturbed by this article, as it accepts at face value the statements by Nathan Guttman about Beto O’Rourke, leaving the distinct impression that he now disavows his vote. He is my representative and he does not!!! Did anyone think it might be a good idea to ask Representative O’Rourke for a comment before putting this out? We don’t need to believe everything that AIPAC claims!

  10. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    October 9, 2014, 3:15 pm

    And so much for integrity. Two-faced hypocrite.

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