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American Jews are ‘vibranium’ from Wakanda to protect Israel — Greenblatt

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on 31 Comments

There’s been a lot of talk lately in Jewish circles about US Jews losing faith in Israel and the dangers that poses to Israel. Here is a statement earlier this year that no one has picked up, from Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL, emphasizing the vital nature of that bond: American Jews are vibranium mined in Wakanda for Israel, or Bitcoin or Ethereum, a “natural resource” you don’t want to “squander” or “sub-optimize.”

“Vibranium” is a component in the armor of superhero Black Panther, who hailed from Wakanda, that made him impervious to many weapons. Vibranium was coined in 1966 by the late Stan Lee, who died this week.

Greenblatt spoke to an Israeli security thinktank last January and began by saying that American Jews are “confused and upset” by many trends in Israel, from the destruction of the two-state ideal to the bar on women’s access to the western wall to growing intolerance toward dissidents in Israel.

They are confused and upset about the perceptions of a changing democratic atmosphere in this country. Again whether you agree or disagree is not my point, the optics of trying to pressure the independent media, the optics of trying to pressure an independent judiciary don’t play very well…

And I think it could get worse. Something I’ve talked to a few people about over the last 24 hours is the situation with the African refugees. Now I’m going to say this and some people might not like to hear it, because there are strong feeling among the Israeli body politic. If you think things are not good today between American Jews, most of whom are progressive, and Israeli Jews when you start physically deporting African refugees, who seem like the dreamers in the U.S., young people who by dint of their parents’ decisions, have grown up in this country, who speak fluent Hebrew– when you start physically picking them up and sending them over the border back to South Sudan and Rwanda, all the while you don’t do the same to Ukrainians and eastern Europeans who overstay their visas– Guys, this is not going to end well…

I think Israel has the most unique, extraordinary asset in its hands, which is the support of the diaspora and American Jewry. This is a natural resource than is more precious and more unique. It’s like vibranium that you can only mine in Wakanda. And it has more value than Bitcoin or erethreum, but it is a natural resource that you will squander and you will suboptimize and that won’t always be there if you don’t manage it well.

This statement is yet another testimonial to the power and importance of the Israel lobby by a member of the Israel lobby. Lose this “natural resource” and you lose your protection in the international arena, Greenblatt is saying. And of course the corollary is the lobby thrives in darkness, you shouldn’t publicly acknowledge the lobby’s power, because that fosters resentment and/or scrutiny. So Greenblatt says this in Tel Aviv, to an Israeli audience.

The ADL’s mission is fighting anti-Semitism and other bigotries, but it mixes that job with advocacy for Israel, right or wrong. It was during this appearance that Greenblatt accused non-Zionist Jewish groups JVP and IfNotNow of being anti-Semites, and the flip side of white nationalists.

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31 Responses

  1. marc b.
    marc b.
    November 14, 2018, 12:05 pm

    “And of course the corollary is the lobby thrives in darkness . . .”

    i’m confused by all these metaphors. so is the lobby a cartoon alloy or a mushroom?

    • JohnSmith
      JohnSmith
      November 14, 2018, 1:22 pm

      No, no, no–it’s a skin fungus. Doctor: “Oops, look like there’s a spot of Zionism on your leg.” “Eew, yuck, get it away!” “Just use this ointment and soon you’ll be right as rain.”

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      November 15, 2018, 10:37 am

      @marc b., et al

      Greenblatt’s comments further demonstrate the panic that is enveloping the Zionists.
      They realize that the entity known as “Israel” is losing favor with ever growing numbers of Americans who were once its greatest supporters. They, especially youth, including Jews, are rapidly comprehending that “Israel” serves no positive purpose for America. Indeed, it is a major economic and geopolitical liability, a millstone around their necks kept afloat with their taxes (about $12 million per day) and tax deductible donations from individuals and organizations. Its fascism and racism directed against the indigenous Palestinians for 70 years, including brutal/illegal occupations, theft of land and resources, massive ethnic cleansing and in general, accelerating violation of hard won international human rights law are creating justified enemies of America. Inevitably, the U.S. will set “Israel” adrift. History is replete with examples.

      As predicted long ago:
      In 1919, Henry Morgenthau Sr., former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, left no doubt as to where he stood on Zionism: “Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history…. The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is… a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light.” (Quoted by Frank Epp, Whose Land is Palestine? p. 261)

      Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944: “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        November 15, 2018, 3:28 pm

        So what. Israel does not need the US. Their influence in the ME is also in decline. Netanyahu’s new favorite destination is Moscow, not Washington. For good reasons. Only Putin talks to everyone, whereas the US keeps playing their ever more absurd “dictator” and “axis of evil” game. Who still be believes that Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism and destabilizing force in the region, or the biggest violator of human rights and democratic priciples? Gobbling up country after country? You have to live under a rock, like most Americans do, to still buy this rubbish

      • annie
        annie
        November 15, 2018, 4:29 pm

        Israel does not need the US. Their influence in the ME is also in decline. Netanyahu’s new favorite destination is Moscow

        ah the trials and tribulations of netanyahu, if only he had foreseen the khashoggi effect before Syrian air defenses accidentally shot down a Russian military aircraft killing 15 people in response to Israel airstrikes, on September 18th. because unlike the US stooges, putin is not a complete idiot flacky for israel and doesn’t believe netanyahu claims it was all just a mistake.

        Putin says no planned meeting with Netanyahu as tensions persist

        Yet Israeli Hadashot TV reported on Sunday that Netanyahu told his cabinet that the “the crisis with Putin is far worse than we thought.” “Putin sees the downing of the plane as a personal affront to his prestige and this is an important component in his perception of power. Therefore, this is a strategic blow that made the crisis worse,” Netanyahu reportedly said.

        published today: https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/188756-181115-putin-says-no-planned-meeting-with-netanyahu-as-tensions-persist

        more likely putin thinks israel is lying as they do routinely with impunity and he’s not happy about that downed plane and 15 dead. so yes, netanyahu’s relationship w/trump has probably been more of a liability, the kushner new deal is a flop, SA is not looking so great right now, and netanyahu finds himself on the outs with putin. so yeah, his favorite destination may be moscow because he’s not welcome there right now. it might be awhile.

      • annie
        annie
        November 15, 2018, 4:38 pm

        israel wants to be able to carry out airstrikes with impunity in syria, whenever or wherever. a week after the downed russia plane “In a blow to Israel, Russia says it will send Syria powerful antiaircraft missiles” (which they did) https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-blow-to-israel-russia-says-it-will-send-syria-powerful-antiaircraft-missiles/2018/09/24/674745b8-bffe-11e8-be77-516336a26305_story.html?utm_term=.5564aed8d98f

        so israel has had it’s wings clipped — by russia.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        November 15, 2018, 5:54 pm

        I don’t disagree with any of the points you make, annie, nor do I mind one bit if Netanyahu gets his ‘wings clipped’. I honestly don’t see much of a future for him. But Netanjahu is not Israel, and Putin has no interest in causing any more instability than there already is in the region. Does Putin care about the Khahoggi murder? He says Russia cannot afford sanctioning KSA, in other words: as long as the US is sanctioning Russia and ordering Europe to buy gas from the US, he will do whatever he damn pleases wrt KSA, and not only them, whether it messes up US policy or not. Same applies to Israel and Iran

      • annie
        annie
        November 15, 2018, 6:42 pm

        nor do I mind one bit if Netanyahu gets his ‘wings clipped’….Netanjahu is not Israel, and Putin has no interest in causing any more instability than there already is in the region

        i wrote: israel has had it’s wings clipped — by russia., so excuse me if you thought this implied netanyahu was israel, because that was not my intent. and of course i agree Putin has no interest in causing any more instability than there already is in the region, which is exactly why he sent S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria the first week of october, to prevent the little bully rogue state from spreading more havoc. for all i know it was ex defense minister liebermans’s hairbrain idea.

        Does Putin care about the Khahoggi murder?

        i think you misinterpreted my “Khahoggi effect” comment. what i meant was, prior to Khahoggi’s murder the saudi/israe/US/bolton/kushner anti-iran middle east plan, with saudi arabia as the “arab” face of that plan, was a tad more secure. note how israel was struggling w/how to respond to that event (dan shapiro wrote about it, lots of people did). now that plan is not so secure because associating with crown princes who chop up bodies is less popular than it was back in september.

        so my comment re Khahoggi pertained to netanyahu, and israel, not putin. i meant that instead of just one geostrategic alliance going belly up (so to speak) he’s now got sort of a 2 pronged diplomatics kershuffle going on. and putin has been coordinating quite well w/iran in syria. as i’m sure you know, russia is the superpower we compete with in the ME. so as the shining neocon anti-iran trifecta juggernaut (IS/US/SA and dubai to a certain extent) loses a little of its luster, it shifts the balance of power between russia and the US… favoring russia. so this is why israel may want to kiss up to russia right now and in contrast, likely why israel thought they could afford to shit all over this balance of power just a couple months ago.

      • annie
        annie
        November 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

        as for putin and SA, he got concessions over syria, as did erdogan, which makes strategic sense. regardless what anyone says about putin, he’s a smart man. he could run circles around netanyahu anytime. the diplomatic virtues of those two leaders are as contrasted as the landmasses of their respective countries. (maybe that’s not worded right, but you get my drift).

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        November 15, 2018, 6:19 pm

        another perspective on Netanyahu, from Gideon Levy:

        “In his black jacket, Marshall Lapid would brief his forces: kill, destroy, obliterate, demolish. The nation would cheer and the “leftist” media would be ecstatic – the united chorus of war. Fifty days of elation, of horrific killing in Gaza and anxiety and rockets in Israel, leading nowhere. This is what Lapid meant this week when he said that “this is the right time to employ force.”

        Imagine Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay as prime minister. “Quiet is bought by deterrence, not with money,” he wrote this week, as any run-of-the-mill right-winger could have written. Imagine opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who lashed out in a similar way: “Deterrence is created through military strikes,” and “exchange the Hamas leadership for people who cooperate with us.” Imagine Ehud Barak, who quipped that Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, was “humiliating Netanyahu.”

        “Imagine the former military chief of staff, Benny Gantz, who held his silence; imagine Avigdor Lieberman, who resigned, or Naftali Bennett, who made threats. Imagine a nightmare. Not one of the demagogues on the left or right (as if there were a difference) offered anything but death and destruction. They simply wanted to placate the media, which has become more bloodthirsty and bellicose than ever, and the public, which only wanted to see dead Gazans, the more the better, with their houses destroyed as much as possible.

        Only one person stood up to this surging dark wave without faltering; we must honestly say so and praise him – the prime minister blocked another war with his body. It has been proved yet again that Benjamin Netanyahu is the most resolute war-hater among the country’s leaders. We should reiterate that, whatever his motives, the result suffices to command respect. Due to him no blood was shed. We can’t make light of this, we can’t help but give him credit.

        This time he even explained his policy – in Paris on Sunday and next to David Ben-Gurion’s grave on Wednesday. He spoke about the futility of war and the unpopularity of avoiding that path – the epitome of a leader’s statement. If a politician not named Netanyahu talked like that, we’d melt with pleasure. He spoke and he acted. No one praised him, and he’ll pay for it.”

        https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-we-must-give-credit-to-netanyahu-he-blocked-another-war-with-his-body-1.6655158

        Reminds me a bit of Trump who has been praised loudly by his fiercest critics on the left as. soon as he threw missiles into Syria, also potentially provoking a confrontation with Russia. “ Beauty of our weapons “ etc. Are they completely out of their minds? Is their some secret plot that tries to get Putin to retaliate against Israel, and then call the whole Western alliance to arms to defend poor Israel, the only democracy in the ME, against the dictator Putin defending the dictator Assad? It’s all very strange and sickening

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        November 15, 2018, 7:22 pm

        Thanks for the clarification, annie. Again, I see the situation very much like you do. Given that Assad is unlikely to go anywhere, the unilateral annexation of the Golan Heights and whatever else Israeli strategists were hoping to grab from a disintegrating Syria, no longer looks like a plausible prospect. But Eretz Israel also has substantial ancient land claims in Saudi Arabia, doesn’t it? So if Saudi Arabia implodes over the Khashoggi affair, a big chunk of Saudi desert to store military hardware – a huge israeli military base – may be welcome. I read somewhere that 50% of Israel within the Green Line is taken up by the military. Don’t remember where and maybe that’s an exaggeration. Transfering their stuff to the desert would free up considerable space for housing and other civilian purposes. And if KSA could be forced to give up total control of the holiest places of Islam, this may make the Iranians and Turks very happy, among others. The Saudis get to keep their oil and a state, and security guarantees. Lots of potential here

      • annie
        annie
        November 16, 2018, 12:10 am

        But Eretz Israel also has substantial ancient land claims in Saudi Arabia, doesn’t it? So if Saudi Arabia implodes over the Khashoggi affair, a big chunk of Saudi desert to store military hardware – a huge israeli military base – may be welcome.

        of course, why didn’t i think of that.

      • guyn
        guyn
        November 15, 2018, 7:25 pm

        @Antidote

        Only a provocation by Israel could bring a confrontation with Russia. I don’t think the whole Western alliance would fly to help Israel, they would be alone, inasmuch the confrontation is limited.

        P.S. You remind me, I have to install my software Antidote.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        November 15, 2018, 11:12 pm

        @guyn

        Maybe not the entire alliance but the coalition of the willing may include Germany and Canada, not usually eager volunteers in such matters. Both countries have declared repeatedly that an attack on Israel would be considered as an attack on their own country. And they have some moral clout left.

        But a Russian/Saudi clash is probably more likely.

  2. Mooser
    Mooser
    November 14, 2018, 1:11 pm

    ” Greenblatt accused non-Zionist Jewish groups JVP and IfNotNow of being anti-Semites, and the flip side of white nationalists.”

    Of course he did! An appeal to Jewish tribal unity never fails.

  3. eljay
    eljay
    November 14, 2018, 1:59 pm

    This is a natural resource than is more precious and more unique. It’s like vibranium that you can only mine in Wakanda. And it has more value than Bitcoin or erethreum, but it is a natural resource that you will squander and you will suboptimize and that won’t always be there if you don’t manage it well.

    It’s cute how Mr. Greenblatt anti-Semitically reduces Jewish Americans to a foreign “resource” that must be “managed” to ensure that it remains available for Israel’s use.

    • pgtl10
      pgtl10
      November 14, 2018, 4:58 pm

      And piggybacking off symbols of African American pride too.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 14, 2018, 9:56 pm

        Piggyback is one person on the back of another, so surely that should be “piggybacking on symbols …”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 15, 2018, 8:40 pm

        “so surely that should be”

        “RoHa” Have you met our friend, Vern Akular? Well, hop on his back and take a ride.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 15, 2018, 9:33 pm

        Is that the Vern who doesn’t know the difference between “on” and “off”? If so, I have met him. He failed to shed any light on the issue. He didn’t know how to work the light switch.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 16, 2018, 11:46 am

        “He didn’t know how to work the light switch.”

        Vern is a great guy when you get to know him. He’s very agreeable, and won’t say anything you don’t want him to.

  4. annie
    annie
    November 14, 2018, 2:17 pm

    when you start physically deporting African refugees, who seem like the dreamers in the U.S., young people who by dint of their parents’ decisions, have grown up in this country, who speak fluent Hebrew– when you start physically picking them up and sending them over the border back to South Sudan and Rwanda, all the while you don’t do the same to Ukrainians and eastern Europeans who overstay their visas– Guys, this is not going to end well…

    what a disingenuous coward! he prefaces this by saying “I’m going to say this and some people might not like to hear it, because there are strong feeling among the Israeli body politic. ” but then he skips right over the part they won’t like to hear, that this is straight up racist. he talks about “the optics” by which he means BAD optics but can’t seem to spit it out, why is deporting black people and not ukranians bad optics? because we already know israel went out of their way to bring a million white people from russia, many of whom were not jewish, to change the demographics. because it’s a racist country with racist policies, like trumps racist immigration policies.

    and yet he has no problem denouncing the muslim ban as “plainly discriminatory, inhumane” https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-saddened-and-outraged-at-supreme-court-decision-upholding-muslim-ban but dare he say that to an israeli audience?

    ‘guys, i know you won’t like hearing ….. this is not going to end well’? total coward. or maybe he just doesn’t recognize it’s bigoted because israel is doing it. who knows. maybe it’s his own racism he just refuses see.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      November 14, 2018, 5:57 pm

      “many of whom were not jewish,”

      Well, maybe not, but let’s give them the credit- they picked it up the basics with hardly any effort at all.

  5. pgtl10
    pgtl10
    November 14, 2018, 5:01 pm

    Two things I find interesting:

    1. He talks about optics. It’s not bad what Israel does. It just looks bad.

    2. He talks about how kicking out African migrants looks bad. However, kicking out Palestinians? Who cares.

    ADL the “civil rights” organization folks.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      November 15, 2018, 10:49 am

      @pgtl10, et al

      “It’s not bad what Israel does. It just looks bad.”

      Speaking of “bad.”

      https://israelpalestinenews.org/is-israel-turning-a-blind-eye-as-israeli-scammers-swindle-victims-in-france-us-elsewhere/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=accc9fa3-0b4c-475c-a187-1e52f2f96a19

      If Americans Knew Blog, Nov. 14/18
      “Is Israel turning a blind eye as Israeli scammers swindle victims in France, US, elsewhere?”
      By Alison Weir

      EXCERPT:
      “Investigations reveal a pattern of Israeli officials stone-walling efforts to stop the perpetrators of massive financial swindles in various countries, from Europe to the US to the Philippines… While some Israeli reporters work to expose the scams, a new one is already underway.”

      “French and Israeli media report that a group largely made up of Israelis scammed 3,000 French citizens out of approximately $20 million. Most of the stolen money is in Israel, but Israeli authorities are reportedly failing to cooperate with France in prosecuting the scammers and retrieving the money.

      “This is the latest of numerous examples of Israeli officials stone-walling international efforts against the perpetrators of massive financial swindles around the world, according to Israeli investigative journalists and others. These scams have brought estimated billions into the Israeli economy, propping up a regime widely condemned for human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing against indigenous Palestinians. Together, the stories paint a picture of a government that seems to be turning a blind eye to – and even protecting – scammers.

      “A Finance Magnates analysis reports that one of the swindles alone has brought in over a billion dollars and employs 5,000 people. And a new scam, described below, may help what is predicted to be ‘the next major driver of the Israeli economy.’”

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 15, 2018, 8:08 pm

        I’m pretty sure that denying the right of Israeli crooks to swindle the rest of us is anti-Semitic.

      • gamal
        gamal
        November 15, 2018, 9:08 pm

        “crooks to swindle the rest of us is anti-Semitic”

        At one time it was anti-Labour to object (Lord Kagan, the Gore-Tex tycoon)

        “Last year, after investigation began into his affairs, Kogan went into hiding in Israel with his secretary and was quoted in the Israeli press as claiming he was the target of a witch hunt against associates of Wilson. He left Israel for the continent and was extradited from France in the summer”

        Anti-semitism in France even then. He returned to the Lords after a short prison term and suffered no loss of status, Wilson loved him and modeled his famous overcoat ad nauseum, Labour has changed.

        https://www.jta.org/1980/12/15/archive/lord-kagan-jailed-for-10-months-faces-massive-fines-for-stealing-from-his-own-company

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 15, 2018, 10:17 pm

        I remember dear old Harold and his Gannex mac, and Lord Kagan.
        Considering the membership of the Lords, a mere prison term for embezzlement is hardly a reason for loss of status.

        It was a fairly minor theft, especially when compared with Cap’n Bob Maxwell’s rip-off of the company pension funds.

        (You will remember that he was on his yacht in a dead calm sea, and “fell over the three-foot high guard rail at the back in the middle of the night”. No-one heard or saw anything. A body was later found in the sea, and declared to be his.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 16, 2018, 1:35 pm

        “Considering the membership of the Lords, a mere prison term for embezzlement is hardly a reason for loss of status.”

        He was no member of the common throng. He is all nobleman, gone wrong!

  6. RoHa
    RoHa
    November 15, 2018, 8:25 pm

    Two facts to bear in mind.

    Wakanda is a fictional country, invented for a comic book. It does not exist, and no country like it has ever existed.

    Vibranium is a fictional substance. It does not exist.

  7. RoHa
    RoHa
    November 15, 2018, 8:26 pm

    But do not draw any conclusions from those two facts. It isn’t allowed.

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