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Don’t blame the Israel lobby on Christians and Republicans

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Let’s say your neighbor’s barn burned down and she came to you and said she’d seen your son running from the barn, and you talked to your son and he said, Well I got the rags and kerosene but Jimmy Jones got the matches; and you went back to your neighbor and said, You really need to be talking to Jimmy Jones, leave my family out of it.

That would of course be the height of irresponsibility, but it is the stance of a lot of Jewish writers when anyone mentions the Israel lobby. They say, Don’t blame the Jewish establishment; it’s Christian evangelicals who drive U.S. policy.

Bret Stephens said it the other day in the New York Times: American Jews have “wealth without political power.” Paul Waldman said it in the Washington Post: Ben Cardin and other Democratic senators were serving a rightwing agenda in pushing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (which was pushed by a leading Jewish organization, AIPAC).

Michelle Goldberg adopts that stance today in the New York Times: talk of AIPAC’s influence “smacks of anti-Jewish bigotry,” let’s talk about evangelicals.

The late Amos Oz laid down a similar smokescreen in his book “Dear Zealots.” There is no Jewish component to the lobby:

Apart from the settlers and the American Christian zealots who back them, the whole world is united in opposing Israel’s taking over the West Bank lands and controlling their Palestinian residents.

I know why writers shy away from blaming the Jewish establishment for the Israel lobby. They are afraid that any acknowledgment of Jewish influence will lead to more anti-Semitism and persecution of Jews. But a journalist’s job description is to tell the truth about important events, and the truth is that the Jewish portion of the Israel lobby, AIPAC and the big Zionist donors, play an essential role in our politics.

Ido Aharoni, a former Israeli ambassador, said last November that Christians are no rival to Jews politically when it comes to Middle East policy.

“The number of evangelical Christians who are deeply involved and interested in the geopolitics of the middle east is very small. Very small. Believe me, I know this community well…. I lived in southern California, I dealt with them for many years. I can tell you that the vast majority of them are interested in theology and not in politics.

“Yes on paper there are 70 million evangelical Christians in America. How many truly are interested in the settlements and this and that? The numbers are not very high. The number of evangelical Christians who are interested in our political conversation is very very small…

“Most evangelical Christians support Israel, and that support has nothing to do with politics… There is a very small group. You will not find them at the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and you will not find them at the AIPAC conference.”

More significantly, evangelical Christians have no influence over the Democrats who have supported the Israeli occupation and the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza; Jewish groups do. If evangelical Christians did have such influence, then Democrats would be for Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, against gay rights and abortion rights, and against stem-cell research. But Dems are oppositional to evangelicals on those questions.

Consider these examples of the Democrats and the Jewish Israel lobby:

–AIPAC reaches out to Democratic candidates; and it scripts the Middle East policy of congressional campaigns before they have campaign managers, just so they can get money from the “Jewish community,” says the head of Emily’s List.

–The 29 standing ovations for Netanyahu in the Congress in 2011 — when he was lecturing Obama on settlements — were led by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was then head of fundraising for the Democratic Congress as the party chair and who shares a large donor with Netanyahu.

–At that time, Obama, facing reelection, went back on his vow to stop the settlements and vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolution against settlements. His former aide Ben Rhodes says that Obama felt pressure from “Jewish donors.”

“Netanyahu’s smack at Obama [the lecture] came just as the 2012 presidential campaign cycle was cranking up, and it succeeded in igniting a firestorm of criticism… A number of congressional Democrats distanced themselves from the speech [in which Obama said the ’67 borders were the basis for negotiations]. I was given a list of leading Jewish donors to call to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides. It was far too painful to wade into these waters with no prospect of success. Netanyahu had mastered a kind of leverage: using political pressure within the United States to demoralize any meaningful push for peace just as he used settlements as a means of demoralizing the Palestinians…”

–Ben Cardin, Robert Menendez and Chuck Schumer defied their Democratic president on the most important foreign policy move of his administration, the Iran deal, and Schumer was only promoted inside the Democratic Party for doing so!

–Haim Saban– one of President Obama’s biggest donors, and one of the biggest supporters of Birthright and the Israeli army right alongside Sheldon Adelson on the right– was one of Hillary Clinton’s advisers during the 2016 campaign and pressed her to issue a statement against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and to say publicly that she would take the Israel relationship to a whole new level with Netanyahu, and put the Obama friction behind. Do you think that has anything to do with Chelsea Clinton landing on Ilhan Omar the other night?

–The leading Democratic Party thinktank, the Center for American Progress, hosted and fawned over Netanyahu even after he had defied President Obama on his signature foreign policy achievement, the Iran Deal, in order to get a big pro-Israel blue-state donor.

–Last year Stu Eizenstat wrote a book about Jimmy Carter saying that leading American Jewish organizations, working alongside Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, got Jimmy Carter to yield on settlements. Still, Carter never dropped the issue entirely, even as his political guru typed out a long memo to him saying that 60 percent of campaign funds on the Democratic side come from Jews and that money is pro-Israel.

The Jewish portion of the Israel lobby surely has influence among Republicans too. Trump moved the embassy and tore up the Iran Deal at least as much for the sake of his biggest funder, Sheldon Adelson, who is Jewish and proudly attended the unveiling in Jerusalem, as he did for Christian Zionists. Senator Lindsey Graham said when he ran in the Republican presidential primaries in 2016: “I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding.  Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding.”

(Cartoon: Carlos Latuff)

Of course you are never allowed to adduce these facts in the mainstream media, especially not now in the wake of the public shaming of Rep. Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite for stating a plain truth: AIPAC and financial considerations sway the Congress on Middle East policy. “Can you explain to me why people are so upset about the Muslim congresswoman’s comments about Israel?” a friend who is married to a Jew writes to me from overseas. “As far as I can tell, she said that the US supports Israel because the Jewish lobby spends a lot of money in Congress. Isn’t that a factually accurate statement?”

I told him the evangelicals also play a role; but I find this whole discussion deeply demoralizing. It’s been 13 years since the publication of the Israel lobby paper by Walt and Mearsheimer, and we all seem to have gone backwards.  Everyone is denying plain truths.

Jewish writers go along with the denial because they don’t want Jews to be held responsible for the occupation, or for Israel’s slaughters. But that’s intellectually dishonest. And spiritually desolate too. You will notice that Palestinian rights and lives count for absolutely nothing in this discussion. Palestinians are supposed to live under subhuman conditions forever, and wait for the peace process rather than push for their rights. Ali Abunimah and Glenn Greenwald, two writers who have done as much as anyone to move the American left on BDS, have both been insistent on talking about the lobby because they wish to address power.

What does it say about American Jewish life that four Jewish Zionist writers for the New York Times lately justified the massacre of unarmed Palestinian protesters? It says to me that Jews are facing a great reckoning. Our collective memory is one of powerlessness and victimization. But it has kept us from coming to terms with the reality, our own privilege. Everyone sees it. We don’t.

Thx to Adam Horowitz, James North and Donald Johnson.

Philip Weiss

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

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103 Responses

  1. Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 12, 2019, 4:28 pm

    “I know why writers shy away from blaming the Jewish establishment for the Israel lobby. They are afraid that any acknowledgment of Jewish influence will lead to more anti-Semitism and persecution of Jews.”

    So acknowledging what everyone knows – that Jews have political influence massively out of proportion to their numbers – is going to lead to ‘persecution’ of Jews in the US?

    I don’t think so.

    Let’s be realistic here: Writers shy away from acknowledging this not because they’re worred about Jews being ‘persecuted’ but because they are – rightly – worried that they’ll be smeared as antisemites and their career will be over. And that is not an unrealistic fear, as we see all the time.

    • RoHa on February 12, 2019, 9:15 pm

      In short, not because they fear persecution of Jews, but persecution by Jews.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 13, 2019, 5:15 am

        Pretty much. Jews have never been ‘persecuted’ in the US. Discriminated against, yes, but then so was everyone who wasn’t a WASP. But Jews in the contemporary US do hold a large amount of power and are not afraid to use it. That may not be PC but it is a fact.

      • Abe Bird on February 14, 2019, 11:08 am

        One shouldn’t blame anyone for the support of Israel among broad and diverse circles, from left and right, whites and blacks, in America. One should simply understand that many Americans have not yet lost their rationality and desire to explore the truth, and therefore their hearts and minds call them to support Israel.

        Money is not the motive for the support, but the outcome. It is legal and moral, as other lobbies operate in Washington, including the pro-Palestinian and pro-Islamic ones, who receive money not only from American tycoons but also from the Arab Gulf and Muslim billionaires.

      • eljay on February 14, 2019, 12:04 pm

        || Abe Bird: … One should simply understand that many Americans have not yet lost their rationality and desire to explore the truth, and therefore their hearts and minds call them to support Israel. … ||

        Yup, the best way to “remain rational and explore the truth” about I-P is to start with  the facts   a belief in the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality  emotion-driven support for Israel.

        Thanks for the laugh, Abe.  :-)

      • annie on February 14, 2019, 1:16 pm

        if people’s hearts and minds called them to support israel why do you think aipac is reinforcing an anti semitic trope by giving politicians money? bad optics and totally unnecessary. you don’t have to pay politicians to follow their conscience and do the right thing. plus, to reiterate, it reinforced the anti semitic trope.

        imagine how different it would be if all the people so upset w/what omar said directed their lectures at the lobby instead and said, you’re hurting us, please stop. then everything would be solved. politicians would vote just as they are now (because it’s certainly not money motivating them, hearts and minds!)

      • hophmi on February 14, 2019, 2:26 pm

        “if people’s hearts and minds called them to support israel why do you think aipac is reinforcing an anti semitic trope by giving politicians money? bad optics and totally unnecessary. you don’t have to pay politicians to follow their conscience and do the right thing. plus, to reiterate, it reinforced the anti semitic trope.”

        AIPAC doesn’t give politicians money, but the notion that contributing to a campaign is “contributing to an antisemitic trope” if it’s done because a candidate supports a strong US-Israel relationship is a clear example of blaming the victim. Annie would never suggest that CAIR contributing to Ihlan Omar is playing into Islamophobia.

      • Mooser on February 14, 2019, 8:08 pm

        ” It is legal and moral, as other lobbies operate in Washington”

        Perhaps contributions to AIPAC are legal, but I’m pretty sure transferring money to support continued illegal enterprise like settlements and outposts is illegal. Of course, the contributions to AIPAC might help with that, too.

      • RoHa on February 14, 2019, 9:27 pm

        “you don’t have to pay politicians to follow their conscience and do the right thing. ”

        Thanks, Annie. That line gave me a chuckle.

      • RoHa on February 14, 2019, 9:30 pm

        “It is legal and moral,”

        Zionists don’t know that legal and moral are not the same thing. Is it really moral to – in effect – bribe politicians to do what you want?

      • MHughes976 on February 15, 2019, 4:55 am

        I agree that any massive flow of political money from Jewish sources plays or risks playing into the stereotype of the corrupting Jew. Perhaps CAIR risks playing into the stereotype of the fanatical Muslim, though the risk does not seem very great from merely offering Omar full support. I think Annie is asking ‘why take that risk?’ I think that there are many reasons – of course that it seems like the right thing to do is probably one of them in both examples. I think that the Zionists actually relish the prospect of accusing – so often and so successfully done – of accusing the likes of us of not just playing into but of fully believing in stereotypes against Jews.
        I don’t fully agree with the idea that there is no point in paying people to act according to conscience. I remember Antony Andrewes, who lectured on corruption in Ancient Greece and had been an intelligence officer in WW2, so presumably knew some dark corridors, saying that politicians usually take bribes to do what they would have done anyway. Acting in conscience may be nice – virtue own reward and all that – but acting in conscience and getting paid is even nicer for most people and an extremely good way of silencing any nagging inner voice of doubt – those ‘questions of doubt’ that Martin Luther King found troubling but never got off his chest. The basic problem is the acceptable nature of the money in public opinion. That is because most people have accepted the mistaken moral view that supporting Israel is defeating Hitler and above all that supporting Israel is God’s work, the Bible still being Book no. 1.

      • annie on February 15, 2019, 9:33 am

        Annie would never suggest that CAIR contributing to Ihlan Omar is playing into Islamophobia.

        of course not. but it’s not a racist trope to reference muslims and money is it? that distinction is reserved solely for the jewish community last i heard.

        you can’t have it both ways hops, raging on about jewish tropes and then reinforcing that very trope by running a powerful nationwide fundraising campaign to influence politicians while silencing critics with accusations of antisemitism. oh wait, i guess you can if you’re a total hypocrite.

        AIPAC doesn’t give politicians money

        please, spare us. https://www.thenation.com/article/aipac-omar-israel-congress-anti-semitism/

        it does not directly raise money to support or defeat candidates. But that is just a technicality. Political fundraising is a huge part of AIPAC’s operation.

        (more at the link)

        but the notion that contributing to a campaign is “contributing to an antisemitic trope” if it’s done because a candidate supports a strong US-Israel relationship is a clear example of blaming the victim.

        what victim? aipac? israel?

        again, you can’t have it both ways hops, raging on about jewish tropes and then reinforcing that very trope by running a powerful nationwide fundraising campaign to influence politicians. and if our politicians all lined up to supports a strong US-Israel relationship without those funds, why give them money to do so? there would be no need for a lobby.

        more from M.J. Rosenberg:

        That’s American politics; the only difference between all the domestic lobbies that essentially buy support for their agenda is that AIPAC is working for a foreign government, a distinction but not much of a difference when the goal is to maintain a status quo that is not necessarily in the national interest.

        like war with iran is not in our national interest, at all.

      • Jethro on February 15, 2019, 2:08 pm

        It is legal and moral, as other lobbies operate in Washington, including the pro-Palestinian and pro-Islamic ones, who receive money not only from American tycoons but also from the Arab Gulf and Muslim billionaires.

        The way the Israel lobby operates should not be legal; it should be registered under FARA because it is the agent of a foreign entity.

        Therefore, it is immoral, as it subverts the current (admittedly weak) system meant to circumscribe foreign intervention in US affairs.

    • annie on February 12, 2019, 10:08 pm

      Writers shy away from acknowledging this not because they’re worred about Jews being ‘persecuted’ but because they are – rightly – worried that they’ll be smeared as antisemites

      exactly, took the words right out of my mouth. everybody’s a bunch of cowards afraid of getting in the line of fire.

      and while i don’t think all this crap is coming down because of christian zionists or republicans, none of this could be taking place if non jews said, unequivocally, just stop. it’s not only greed and keeping their privileged jobs, it’s cowardice. and behind that cowardice is this little thought that you can’t stand up to jews who are running this inhumane fiasco, and tell them to back off. where does that even come from? well, i can! it’s morally wrong and i’m going to keep speaking out.

      • hophmi on February 12, 2019, 11:18 pm

        First of all, it is Simple Simon nonsense to suggest that the only reason the US has a positive relationship with Israel is money.

        Second, all one need do is look at the huge rises in antisemitism in the UK and France, where a large percentage of the community has been driven out by the high level of antisemitism, including several murders, to understand the risks of the Jew-blaming that you people pathologically underplay.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 13, 2019, 5:18 am

        Yup.

        Plus, Jews can resort to the good old ‘antisemitism’ canard to stifle criticism. Evangelicals and Republicans can’t. Nobody would hesitate to criticise either of the latter groups or allude to their influence in political life in America – quite the contrary. But do the same for Israel or the Zionist lobby and you’re looking at grovelling apologies and/or the end of your career.

      • Misterioso on February 13, 2019, 9:08 am

        @hophmi

        Bull crap!! What you refer to as “antisemitism” in Britain and France is for the most part increasing disgust and anger with Zionist Jews for their well documented and accelerating monstrous crimes committed for over 70 years in historic Palestine against the essentially defenseless indigenous Palestinian Christians and Muslims.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 13, 2019, 10:10 am

        Tell me more about how ‘ a large percentage of the community has been driven out by the high level of antisemitism’ in the UK. As someone who lives there, I’m not aware of this. Of course, we have high-profile Jews going to the media telling us they ‘consider’ leaving, but just as with all those high-profile folks who were going to leave the US when Trump got elected, or were going to leave the UK because of Brexit, most of them seem to be staying put.

      • genesto on February 13, 2019, 2:59 pm

        Go down the list of discriminated groups in the US and I’m sure you will find Jews nowhere near the top. I believe, and I think the facts support this, that people of color, Muslims, women, and gays face more discrimination than do Jews.

        I hope no one takes this as an anti-Semitic remark. But, if I’m wrong here, I’d like someone to tell me why and where.

      • Talkback on February 13, 2019, 4:55 pm

        genesto: “I hope no one takes this as an anti-Semitic remark.”

        Why do you bother as long as you don’t defame Jews as such?

        genesto: “But, if I’m wrong here, I’d like someone to tell me why and where.”

        Again, why do you bother? Did you ever read an explanation that was less irrational than an antisemitic statement? They just use the same defamation tactics.

      • Keith on February 13, 2019, 6:06 pm

        HOPHMI- “… the risks of the Jew-blaming….”

        How about ongoing anti-Gentile paranoia?

        “In every generation, they rise up against us to destroy us. Yes the hatred towards the Jews came here as well, to the Land of the Free. By the way, not only recently, in the last week, we are witnessing a progression in which in the last decade, every year, there are more anti-Semitic attacks than the previous one. Not only in Europe but also here in the United States.” (Yaakov Hagoel, Vice Chair WZO, 11/5/2018) https://www.azm.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Yaakov-Hagoel-Remarks.pdf

        Yaakov Hagoel’s Zionist inspired fear and hatred of non-Jews is apparent for all to see. And yes, sectarianism can have ugly consequences and sectarianism is the essence of Zionism.

      • hophmi on February 14, 2019, 2:32 pm

        Typical Mondoweiss. Rising antisemitism in France is: 1. Maximus: “It’s just anti-Zionism. The shooting of a rabbi and four schoolchildren in Toulouse was just anti-Zionism, right? Ilan Halimi was slaughtered because of anti-Zionism, right? 2. Misterioso: Antisemitism is “not really happening.” Actually, the UK is catching up to France. Aliyah has skyrocketed in the past few years. 3. Genesto: “I believe, and I think the facts support this, that people of color, Muslims, women, and gays face more discrimination than do Jews.” We are actually the most targeted group for hate crimes according to the FBI. 4. David Duke, I mean, Keith: Jews hate others and are responsible for their own persecution.

        Mondoweiss is a travesty. Phil Weiss is a travesty. Annie is a travesty.

      • Talkback on February 14, 2019, 4:24 pm

        hophmi: “Mondoweiss is a travesty. Phil Weiss is a travesty. Annie is a travesty.”

        You remind me of a ghost driver who calls everybody who is driving in the correct direction a ghost driver. Lol.

      • Mooser on February 14, 2019, 4:52 pm

        “Typical Mondoweiss”

        Actual quotes unnecessary.

        “Mondoweiss is a travesty. Phil Weiss is a travesty. Annie is a travesty.”

        Okay-doke, Padre Fournier, I’ll start collecting wood.

      • Keith on February 14, 2019, 6:19 pm

        HOPHMI- “We are actually the most targeted group for hate crimes according to the FBI.”

        Of course you are. That was the whole purpose of creating the category. It is how a group with a RELATIVELY low incidence of crime can claim to lead in incidence of HATE crime. A few examples would be nice. A swastika on a synagogue a “hate crime,” an unarmed Black gunned down by police not even a crime. We see how this works.

        I located a chart which showed a 2015 murder rate of 2.6/ 100,000 for whites, 4.9/100,000 for Hispanics, and 20.9/100,000 for Blacks for an overall average of 5.7/100,000. How does the “most targeted group for hate crimes” correlate with the murder statistics? https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/08/10/african-american-homicide-rate-nearly-quadruple-national-average-11680

        HOPHMI- “David Duke, I mean, Keith: Jews hate others and are responsible for their own persecution.”

        A typically dishonest strawman indicating a total lack of intellectual integrity. And you, like Yaakov Hagoel, wear you anti-Gentilism on your sleeve. Have you always considered non-Jews your eternal enemy? An enemy who in every generation rises up against you to destroy you?

      • Mooser on February 14, 2019, 8:23 pm

        “where a large percentage of the community has been driven out by the high level of antisemitism”

        Yup, antisemitism, must be. I can’t think of any other reason why anybody would be “driven out” of the Jewish community.
        Must take one heck of a level of anti-semitism to ‘drive’ all those Jews away.

      • Mooser on February 14, 2019, 8:26 pm

        “Have you always considered non-Jews your eternal enemy?”

        Only the wrong ones. The right non-Jews, on the other hand, are our friends now.

      • annie on February 15, 2019, 10:01 am

        it is Simple Simon nonsense to suggest that the only reason the US has a positive relationship with Israel is money.

        well, i would never suggest that. primarily because it implies “the US” has a positive relationship with Israel, which i fundamentally do not agree with and know i am not alone.

        “the US” implies the people, all of us, not just congress or the state department. and while i’m sure there are many people in the US who have positive feelings about israel and consider them an ally, i don’t think they speak for the majority anymore (the public, not the congress, and the gap between the two is where that lobby money matters).

        back to that M.J. Rosenberg article: https://www.thenation.com/article/aipac-omar-israel-congress-anti-semitism/

        the real sign that AIPAC’s power is on the wane is that every Democratic senator who is a candidate for president (except Amy Klobuchar) voted No. They voted No because they are seeking to win support from the Democratic grassroots, which, naturally enough, skews younger and younger, more and more progressive, and less and less white, leading naturally enough to more sympathy for Palestinians and less for Netanyahu’s Israel. That wouldn’t have happened before 2016, when Bernie Sanders embraced Palestinians and their cause as part of his coalition and not only did not lose support because of it but gained it. By 2020, it will be close to impossible for any Democrat to claim the progressive mantle while aligning with AIPAC.

        more evidence there is no unification surrounding the idea “the US” has a positive relationship with Israel, not when the grassroots is opposed. hence, i would not suggest otherwise, because, unlike our politicians, i don’t think the grassroots can be bought.

        for a truthful understanding of where the US stands on israel, stop aipac. only then will you get an honest look at american support for that little oppressive apartheid state pushing us into another destructive war against our national interest.

      • annie on February 15, 2019, 10:12 am

        “We are actually the most targeted group for hate crimes according to the FBI.”

        gee ya think? maybe because the FBI doesn’t include who they target in their calculations. because unlike mosques, last i heard the FBI wasn’t investing their own resources into spying on synagogues!

        you can’t make these kinds of blanket statements while completely ignoring the systemic racism embedded in our system. look at the fed funds invested in ICE! you don’t see the government rounding up israelis who have overstayed their visas, separating families and keeping their kids in cages.

        now that’s my idea of a hate crime. but you won’t see that in the FBI’s calculations will you? Nor does the FBI include the people getting gunned down in the streets by cops as a “targeted group”, ie: black people.

        wake up hops. in relation to the most targeted members of our society, the american jewish community is basking in privilege — even with anti semitism on the rise since trump.

        p.s. i find it rather amusing i’m called a “travesty” in the context of not acknowledging rising antisemitism when i was just arguing with keith (in several comments) about this very topic the other day: http://mondoweiss.net/2019/02/definitely-benjamins-financial/

        you don’t think a slaughter in a synagogue, nazis marching in the streets and zionist leaders meeting with neonazis is evidence of hard data, i think it is.

        no wonder you stayed out of that conversation. /s

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 15, 2019, 11:48 am

        “Actually, the UK is catching up to France. Aliyah has skyrocketed in the past few years.”

        Citation needed.

      • Mooser on February 15, 2019, 2:06 pm

        “Citation needed.”

        “Hophmi” don’t need no “citation”, everything he says is certifiable.

      • Walker on February 15, 2019, 8:00 pm

        According to hophmi:

        all one need do is look at the huge rises in antisemitism in the UK and France, where a large percentage of the community has been driven out by the high level of antisemitism

        According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, as reported by the Jerusalem Post on 10/14/18:

        Jewish immigration to Israel fell slightly in the first eight months of 2018 . . . The numbers from France fell by 31 percent compared to the corresponding period last year, to 1,862 newcomers . . . immigration to Israel from the United Kingdom rose, by 7 percent to 371 newcomers

        Those numbers amount to about a tenth of one percent of the UK Jewish population, and about three tenths of a percent of the French Jewish population.

        So hophmi is wildly dishonest. OTOH hophmi typed his post in about 20 seconds, while it took me over 20 minutes to produce this. That’s how trolls win.

        https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Aliyah-numbers-fall-in-2018-despite-increase-from-Russia-and-UK-569347

      • Mooser on February 15, 2019, 10:51 pm

        “Go down the list of discriminated groups in the US and I’m sure you will find Jews nowhere near the top.”

        “Genesto”, the Jewish community was assured by America’s First President, George Washington , that they would face no legal discrimination in the US!! (Take your pick of the links)

        Isn’t that just a teeny-weeny bit different in kind from the experience of African-Americans, Native Americans, and many others?

      • Keith on February 16, 2019, 12:26 am

        WALKER- ” So hophmi is wildly dishonest.”

        It has always been thus and will continue to be so. And Hophmi considers you an anti-Semite for mentioning it.

    • Misterioso on February 13, 2019, 9:22 am

      @Maximus Decimus Meridius, et al

      The above photo of Hillary Clinton brings to mind the following:

      https://www.mondialisation.ca/the-clintons-earned-over-3-5-million-in-paid-addresses-to-pro-israel-organizations/5507562

      Mondialization.ca Feb. 11/16 by Par Sarah Lazare and Max Blumenthal

      “The Clintons Earned Over $3.5 Million in Paid Addresses to Pro-Israel Organizations”

      EXCERPT:
      “Bill Clinton said he ‘would grab a rifle’ and fight for Israel during a paid speech. Bill and Hillary Clinton are under increasing scrutiny from the mainstream press over paid speeches they have given to big banks in exchange for millions of dollars. According to CNN, the couple has earned a total of $153 million in lecture fees from companies and organizations affiliated with the financial industry.

      “But the media has been conspicuously silent about the large sums the Clintons have raked in from paid addresses to pro-Israel organizations, including the Jewish National Fund (JNF), which directly participates in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and Bedouin citizens of Israel. An evaluation of Hillary Clinton’s public disclosures from 2001 to 2015 shows that she and Bill, and their daughter, Chelsea, have earned roughly $4 million in speaking fees from pro-Israel organizations, including the JNF and organizations allied with the right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The vast majority of these documented payments—$3,599,999—have gone toward the Clintons’ personal income, and up to $450,000 has been funneled into the Clinton Foundation.

      “Ramah Kudaimi, membership outreach coordinator for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, told AlterNet, ‘It is the right of voters to know what every single candidate earns in speaking fees, whether from banks or pro-Israel groups that engage in oppressive policies against Palestinians. It is the voters’ right to know if we have candidates running to be president who plan to continue horrific U.S. policies that make us all complicit in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights.'”

  2. Stephen Shenfield on February 12, 2019, 6:43 pm

    “Jews have political influence massively out of proportion to their numbers.”

    Which Jews are we talking about?

    Wealthy Zionist Jews definitely have political influence way way way out of proportion to their numbers because they efficiently mobilize their wealth to maximize their influence. The same can be said of some wealthy Gentiles, e.g., the Koch brothers.

    The Jewish electorate has political influence somewhat but not massively out of proportion to its numbers (due to its high level of participation and its concentration in certain important areas like New York).

    We anti-Zionist Jews have virtually no political influence, unfortunately — at least not yet.

    Do we have to conflate all these categories into ‘Jews’ in general?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 13, 2019, 5:12 am

      I think it’s a bit tiresome to have to add ‘not all Jews’ to every comment.

      Obviously there are poor Jews and anti-Zionist Jews. But that doesn’t change the fact – and it is a fact – that Jews as a class have political influence entirely out of proportion to their numbers. That’s true in the US, and in the UK and to some extent in other Western countries too.

      • Egbert on February 13, 2019, 8:49 am

        It is a fact that the population of all US Jews forms a small proportion of the total US population. If poor Jews and the anti-Zionist Jews are excluded, then the proportion of Jews able and willing to influence the US in favor of Israel is even smaller. That makes their influence even more disproportionate.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 13, 2019, 10:15 am

        @Egbert

        It’s arguably even more extreme in the UK where only about 0.4% of the population is Jewish, yet they are highly represented in business, the arts, politics and media.

        Don’t get me wrong: I don’t begrudge Jews their success. Most of them were not privileged when they came to the UK or US, and have done well through their own efforts. But it’s daft to pretend that Jews are not highly represented in certain influential professions, or that their presence has no influence whatsoever on said professions and their policies. If, say, Arabs formed less than half a % of the population yet were hugely over represented in the media and politics, would we really be saying that it was a slander to claim that might just influence these areas?

      • Mooser on February 13, 2019, 12:05 pm

        “I think it’s a bit tiresome to have to add ‘not all Jews’ to every comment. Obviously there are poor Jews and anti-Zionist Jews”

        But why did G-d, in His infinite wisdom, decide to make me both?

      • Stephen Shenfield on February 13, 2019, 9:58 pm

        MDM: “Jews as a class have political influence…”

        But why regard “Jews” as a class? Suppose a large proportion of the politically influential were red-haired. Would you then aggregate the red-haired people with and without political influence as a class and say: “Red hairs as a class have political influence out of all proportion to their numbers”?

      • Stephen Shenfield on February 13, 2019, 10:12 pm

        But why regard ‘Jews’ as a class?

        Suppose that a large proportion of the politically influential had red hair. Would you then aggregate red-haired people with and without political influence and say that “red hairs as a class have political influence out of all proportion to their numbers”?

      • Keith on February 14, 2019, 12:12 am

        STEPHEN SHENFIELD- “But why regard ‘Jews’ as a class?”

        Let us not make a mountain out of a mole hill. Maximus’ terminology is incorrect, however, it is obvious to me that he is referring to the self-described Jewish ethnic community. I would narrow it further to the primarily Zionist organized Jewish community. Your “red-haired” analogy is fatuous. People with red hair claim no common ethnicity, nor are they organized into power-seeking groups. Methinks thou doth protest too much.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 14, 2019, 10:39 am

        Because the term ‘class’ is commonly used in sociology to refer to a group. And Jews certainly consider themselves a group, don’t they? I agree with Keith – you’re making a mountain out of a molehilll. Nobody else has any difficulty working out what I’m saying here.

      • Mooser on February 14, 2019, 11:06 am

        I have a real problem with regarding Jews as a class.
        Of course, I might feel differently if I had some, but I don’t.

      • Mooser on February 14, 2019, 5:03 pm

        “Do we have to conflate all these categories into ‘Jews’ in general?”

        I do not expect the American discussion on Zionism and the Israeli Lobby, etc. to be conducted on a higher level than the American discussion on other issues like, civil rights, racism, women’s rights, abortion, role of government, gun control, political aspects of sexual morality, you name it.
        Nobody owes us that higher level, and it’s unrealistic to expect it.

      • annie on February 14, 2019, 6:18 pm

        I do not expect the American discussion on Zionism and the Israeli Lobby, etc. to be conducted on a higher level than the American discussion on other issues like, civil rights, racism, women’s rights, abortion, role of government, gun control, political aspects of sexual morality, you name it.

        i agree. and jews are not a class. wiki:

        the term “social class” is usually synonymous with “socio-economic class”, defined as “people having the same social, economic, cultural, political or educational status”, e.g., “the working class”; “an emerging professional class”.[2]

        ask yourself, what do monsey and berkeley have in common? socially, economically, culturally, politically or educationally? not a heck of a lot if you ask me. but both have a lot of jewish people. how are they in the same “class”? they seem almost foreigners to each other. if some of them think they are in the same “group” as each other let them, but i don’t really see it in terms of class, at all.

        jews, per se, can’t be categorized as a right like civil rights or women’s rights, gun rights, gun control or you name it. whereas zionism can. all these things are interests people share or they don’t. zionists rights are not the same as jewish rights, because zionism is an interest, jews aren’t. in the US there are no jewish rights because everyone has the same rights. zionist rights only apply in israel. it’s essentially a foreign interest.

        zionists have political influence massively out of proportion to their numbers, whereas, anti zionist certainly do not, regardless of whether they are jewish or not. think about what you are trying to articulate. if you mean zionists just say zionists. i heard it’s anti semitic to use the term in the UK (weird).

        Do we have to conflate all these categories into ‘Jews’ in general?

        there are very few things i could or would say about jews ‘in general’. it’s not a term i use much because it’s usually self evident, or obvious; kids in general should get at least 8 hours of sleep. people in general need water and air to breathe. people in general like sunshine. people in general don’t like being in debt. people should just say what they mean. i would not say “in general” unless it applied to 95% of the people. otherwise i would break it down first. there are very few things i would even say about women in general.

        outside of israel and zionism, what are we really discussing here?

      • echinococcus on February 15, 2019, 1:20 am

        While any first-grader knows that groups defined by religion or tastes or (pretend-) ethnicity are not a class in the specialized, social use of a term, language usage for the phrase “as a class” definitely allows it for any groupings, including the red-haired, the stamp collectors and the Jews. The unconvinced, who perhaps never used it themselves, may sit down with a corpus for the last four centuries or so and study it.

        It has to do with “class” as a term of logic.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 15, 2019, 11:11 am

        If you object to the use of the term ‘class’, you can replace it with ‘group’ if you prefer.

        My point was that I don’t see the need to append ‘not all Jews’ to every statement concerning the political power of American Jews. If that bothers people, I take it they never read any group-based analysis of social or political affairs.

      • eljay on February 15, 2019, 11:44 am

        || Mooser: “I think it’s a bit tiresome to have to add ‘not all Jews’ to every comment. Obviously there are poor Jews and anti-Zionist Jews”

        But why did G-d, in His infinite wisdom, decide to make me both? ||

        He gave you antlers and razor-sharp wit. Call it even.   ;-)

      • Mooser on February 15, 2019, 12:01 pm

        “for any groupings, including the red-haired”

        There was a short-lived attempt to enlist red-headed people in
        some kind of league, I once read.

      • Mooser on February 15, 2019, 2:09 pm

        “He gave you antlers and razor-sharp wit. Call it even.”

        People often say I’m a man for all open seasons.

      • RoHa on February 16, 2019, 1:13 am

        The Red Headed League was disbanded once it had served its purpose, but afterwards the organisers of the League were persecuted by Victorian Imperialists.

    • YoniFalic on February 14, 2019, 4:14 am

      I study issues associated with Jewish community, class, and ethnicity.

      In the pre-modern period the Jewish community (Judenthum, Jewdom) provided the predominant European commercial-financial stratum from Iberia to Ukraine just as people of Germanic heritage provided the military-political stratum from Iberia to Ukraine. The former constituted de facto or de jure the lowest untitled element of the 2nd Estate. The latter provided the upper elements of the 2nd estate.

      The Jewish community in pre-modern Europe was primarily associated with two ethnic groups: Slavo-Turks and Ibero-Berbers, which don’t correspond to any ethnic groups associated with the pre-modern Christian community (Christenthum, Christendom). Other minor ethnic groups associated with pre-modern Judaism included Gallo-Romans and Tatars.

      Thus Marxists and other intellectuals were not incorrect to consider the Jewish community to constitute a class. The Jewish community is not an ethnic group (or ethnonationality) unless one is using Jewish community improperly to correspond to the Slavo-Turk ethnic group.

      Thus while Judaism is a religion associated with no specific ethnicity, in areas where there was only one ethnic group associated with Judaism, “looking Jewish” makes sense in ethnic terms even if a Jewish Slavo-Turk does not look like a Jewish Ibero-Berber or like a Jewish S. Arabian.

      I have to emphasize that none of the major pre-modern Rabbinic Jewish ethnic groups descended from ancient Judeans. The last Rabbinic Jews descended from ancient Judeans converted to Islam at the end of the 13th century according to Crusader records.

      • hophmi on February 14, 2019, 2:35 pm

        And still YoniFalic/Joachim Martillo, banned from Twitter for antisemitism, has not been banned from Mondoweiss.

      • Bumblebye on February 14, 2019, 4:15 pm

        Michael, do you really think you should travel this potential ‘doxxing’ route? I’m sure i’m not the only one who knows your (full) real name.

      • Talkback on February 14, 2019, 4:42 pm

        hophmi: “And still YoniFalic/Joachim Martillo, banned from Twitter for antisemitism, has not been banned from Mondoweiss.”

        I wouldn’t be surprised if you were behind this ban.

        But why aren’t you banned on Mondoweiss despite your implicit and sometimes explicit support of Zionist genocidal policy against Palestinians, including Nakba denial? And why does Netanyahu, Moshe Feiglin and the IDF still have an account on twitter?

      • Keith on February 14, 2019, 4:57 pm

        YONI FALIC- “Thus while Judaism is a religion associated with no specific ethnicity….”

        True enough, however, the secularized version of Classical Judaism known as Zionism has constructed a “Jewish” identity based loosely on Classical Judaic traditions. Hence, to the degree that Jews believe themselves to be an ethnicity and behave accordingly, broadly speaking, they are. Below is Google dictionary’s definition of ethnicity.

        “The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.” https://www.google.com/search?q=Dictionary#dobs=ethnicity

      • Keith on February 14, 2019, 5:48 pm

        HOPHMI- “And still YoniFalic/Joachim Martillo, banned from Twitter for antisemitism, has not been banned from Mondoweiss.”

        Hophmi, you are the true enemy of REAL history. Perhaps you could comment on Yoni’s comment indicating what you think is anti-Semitic? Failing that, what you think is incorrect history? I, for one, greatly appreciate the historical background which Yoni provides. Although much of what he says is new to me, those things I am aware of have been unfailingly accurate. And you are little more than a Zionist attack dog, going after folks who deviate from Zionist myth-history. You are a defender of the faith seeking to squelch deviation and dissent. And banning dissidents from the internet media outlets is the latest predictable tactic of the guardians of permissible discourse.

      • Mooser on February 15, 2019, 12:47 pm

        “And still YoniFalic/Joachim Martillo,”

        “Hophmi” , of course, is an expert on the subject. Having previously exposed the leading heretic and blasphemer.

        I have never understood how you could even come back, let alone comment on what is antisemitic, after that performance, “Hoph”.

      • echinococcus on February 15, 2019, 10:10 pm

        “a Zionist attack dog, going after folks who deviate from Zionist myth-history.”
        //
        You flatter Höpfli. Attack dogs have a minimum of bite to their bark (I know! I’m still nursing a bite wound in the calf.)

    • echinococcus on February 15, 2019, 1:38 am

      “Do we have to conflate all these categories into ‘Jews’ in general?”
      As long as the members of the general group define themselves as “Jews” (especially if they do so regardless of their actual religious practice), they do the conflating and one has consider them as a group. So we have to consider the group as a group.
      One would obviously have to exclude all those who do not consider themselves “Jews”.
      //
      It would be different with groups where the stated definition has hard, objective boundaries. For example, if a bunch of red-haired people insisted on being called black-haired even though they are not (as defined by the measurable light frequency of their hair) one is perfectly justified in refusing to see them as part of the group.
      //
      The many non-religious people who identify as “Jewish”, without being called on it, inflate the group and get conflated. No way out of that.

  3. CitizenC on February 12, 2019, 8:11 pm

    Excellent Phil. One might also ask how much Christian evangelical Zionism, such as it is, is the work of Zionists. Beginning with the Scofield Bible, whose annotations by a shady preacher with powerful friends were highly useful. And other connections that had as much or more to do with Zionist initiative as Christian.

    https://www.wrmea.org/015-october/the-scofield-bible-the-book-that-made-zionists-of-americas-evangelical-christians.html

    • Boomer on February 13, 2019, 9:40 am

      Thanks for the link. It’s an interesting piece of history with (like so much of history) continuing relevance.

  4. RoHa on February 12, 2019, 9:14 pm

    American Jews have “wealth without political power.”

    In all human history, this is the only known case of wealth without power

    • Citizen on February 13, 2019, 3:50 am

      Yes, I’m amazed anyone can say such a thing, especially given even Bernie Sanders has recently tweeted our political campaign system is nothing but legalized bribery.

  5. Maghlawatan on February 12, 2019, 9:30 pm

    American Jews have “wealth without political power.”

    It’s building up into a Götterdämmerung

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/02/12/record-million-americans-are-months-behind-their-car-payments-red-flag-economy/

    A record 7 million Americans are 3 months behind on their car payments, a red flag for the economy

    40% of Americans would not have $400 for a medical emergency

    Most US elite wealth is asset bubble and will be downsized in the next crash.

    Neoliberalism is the system and it is dying

    AIPAC and thé NRA are key pillars of the system. They will be destroyed.
    The Fed will be neutralized and kept under a short leash

    Americans will be looked after for a change . Israel is going to have to learn to fend for itself . Just to note that Israel is very vulnerable to geopolitical shifts. When the Soviet union collapsed Israel lost its Cold war raison d’etre and was forced into the Madrid Process .

    https://youtu.be/uHH5AF6Tj3U

  6. echinococcus on February 12, 2019, 10:33 pm

    “It’s been 13 years since the publication of the Israel lobby paper by Walt and Mearsheimer, and we all seem to have gone backwards.”

    Indeed. A realistic assessment of the scale of the problem is more likely to help fight it than the regular “turning point is here / victory around the corner” columns.

    • Citizen on February 13, 2019, 3:47 am

      And that realistic assessment includes the fact that the very revealing leaked AlJazeera documentary film on the same subject, the Israel Lobby, is not in our mainstream news media.

      • RayJosephCormier on February 13, 2019, 9:13 am

        Representative Omar spoke the Truth, the evidence being the hysterical overreaction. She is accused of using an Anti-Semitic trope. That’s covered in The Lobby expose. It’s the standard MO of The Lobby

        The Lobby P3: An Anti-Semitic Trope –

  7. punterweger on February 13, 2019, 8:45 am

    I totally agree with Annie. The most important thing we can do as the anti-Semitism slanders rain down increasingly is to support the targets, point out the ludicrousness of using the Protocols of Zion to silence critics in the 21st Century and to contradict the liberal Zionist nonsense spread about by Beinart (Omar is wrong and irresponsible) and M. Goldberg (Protocols). We do not need to research the history of anti-Semitic defamation before speaking out against the corruption and apartheid evil that Zionist lobbies or their state propagate.

  8. eljay on February 13, 2019, 8:50 am

    … What does it say about American Jewish life that four Jewish Zionist writers for the New York Times lately justified the massacre of unarmed Palestinian protesters? It says to me that Jews are facing a great reckoning. Our collective memory is one of powerlessness and victimization. But it has kept us from coming to terms with the reality, our own privilege. Everyone sees it. We don’t. …

    What it seems to say is many (most?) Jewish Americans are hypocrites when it comes to supporting moral ideals like justice, equality and human rights. To blame this deliberate hypocrisy on a traumatic “collective memory” seems like a cop-out: It’s not a valid excuse for African Americans (who also have a traumatic “collective memory”); it certainly isn’t one for “privileged” Jewish Americans.

    • Elizabeth Block on February 13, 2019, 10:14 am

      Jews who cannot defend Israel any more say that we shouldn’t conflate Israel and Judaism. But if criticizing Israel is anti-Semitism – if Israel represents all Jews – then all Jews are responsible for Israel’s crimes. Can’t have it both ways.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 13, 2019, 10:23 am

      I agree.

      Those Jews who have power are very well aware of that fact. Most rich and powerful people are. They are also well aware that they have the additional benefit of being able to claim unique, unquestionable victimhood in a way no other powerful group can. Power allied with victimhood. Now that’s a winning combination.

  9. punterweger on February 13, 2019, 8:51 am

    Fine article! This is just the ammo we needed against those arguing that the Israel lobby is not responsible for the Republican support of the Apartheid state.

  10. Boomer on February 13, 2019, 9:34 am

    ” . . . intellectually dishonest. And spiritually desolate too.”

    As is so often the case, you give us a courageous and eloquent statement. You are correct that we see this argument all too often. It’s a silly, transparent shell game: a way of evading responsibility, of comforting the afflictors.

    It’s true, of course, that Christian Zionists exist, and in some places (like Texas) play a role. They are not the motivating force behind Zionism, but they can sometimes add heft at the ballot box. I was reared in a mainline Protestant tradition: from that perspective they seem very strange, misled, misinformed, but they aren’t evil. Not the rank and file, anyway.

    The ones I know, and most others I’m sure, are good and decent people, or strive to be. Israel isn’t really high on their agenda, but they can be roused by a leader who (mis)uses scripture as a tool to do so. I hesitate to use the phrase “useful idiots” because those unfamiliar with the historical reference might mistake it for a simple pejorative, but it comes to mind. Folks here are sophisticated enough to understand why I mention it.

    • Citizen on February 13, 2019, 11:27 am

      I’ve personally known only one, and it’s true she’s a very good and decent person, but she ipso facto rejects all critical facts about Israel by saying “there’s always a few bad apples in any bunch.”

    • Stephen Shenfield on February 14, 2019, 6:04 am

      The Christian Zionists may play an auxiliary role in the current American political context, but:

      (1) their role is starting to change as Israel now cultivates them directly rather than via the American ‘Jewish’ community, i.e., they are becoming auxiliary to Israel rather than to Jewish-American Zionism; and

      (2) in a longer historical and in particular British context Christian Zionism preceded and shaped the Jewish variety and was crucial to its success as a result of the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate. (Being from Britain I still often think in British terms and forget that this is after all an American website.)

      • Boomer on February 14, 2019, 1:45 pm

        You are, of course, correct on both points. I considered mentioning them. I’m glad you did. I don’t think they affect Philip’s point, but they are certainly relevant to an understanding of the situation we are in today.

  11. James Canning on February 13, 2019, 11:29 am

    Bret Stephens claims that rich Jews lack political power? What utter nonsense. Ludicrous!

    • John O on February 13, 2019, 12:48 pm

      Exactly. Imagine the laughter in the UK if one were to say “Rich Old Etonians lack political power.”

    • Mooser on February 13, 2019, 1:48 pm

      “Bret Stephens claims that rich Jews lack political power?”

      Yes, we lost it in the US under the following remarkable circumstances:

      Our great first President, virtuous man, when he to rule our land began was asked to try a plan whereby the Jews might best be steadied.
      So he decreed, in words succinct that Jews could flirt, or leer, or wink, but were only by religion linked!
      Jewish sovereignty is out, he inked, and our power he beheaded! Beheaded! Political power beheaded.
      And George chopped down our sovereignty, and made us ordinary citizens be! With only rights they gave to whites, ignoring our separate needs.

      • amigo on February 13, 2019, 4:14 pm

        From George Washington,s letter to the Touro Synagogue.

        “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”GW

        Someone forgot to tell the Illegal Settler criminals who make sure the Palestinians never get to sit anywhere in safety and especially near their fig /olive trees.

        I am open to correction but are not the Palestinians also the Children of Abraham.

        Take cover —-Incoming fire.

      • RoHa on February 13, 2019, 9:03 pm

        Well done, Mooser.

        As you expect, I quite agree that he was right to so decree.

      • Mooser on February 14, 2019, 6:04 pm

        “As you expect, I quite agree that he was right to so decree.”

        But he never did send one of those letters to anybody else, did he?

      • Mooser on February 15, 2019, 11:06 pm

        “I am open to correction but are not the Palestinians also the Children of Abraham.”

        Well, the African Americans, the Native Americans and so many others must not be.

        So in a nation (the US) which could stretch its “democracy” to include genocide, slavery and legal discrimination, the Jewish community was given an immediate binding assurance that they would always receive their full measure of legal rights in the US, and that has never even been challenged.

        That seems to me to be an experience not comparable to other minorities in the US whose very humanity, let alone religion or legal rights, was in question.

  12. tony greenstein on February 13, 2019, 1:01 pm

    I do have some problems with this article. But firstly nothing I’ve seen from Ilhan Omar mentions Jews. She mentions AIPAC. It is the assumption of her persecutors that AIPAC=Jews.

    Secondly no one denies that Jews are prominent in the Zionist lobby, that would be absurd. However that is NOT the reason for its success but because the interests of the lobby chime with the interests of US imperialism in the Middle East. Israel is a strong and stable settler state which is pro-US. Over 80% of Israeli Jews think the world of Donald Trump, far more than in his own country. If you are an imperialist and a racist what is there not to like about Israel?

    I also think Phil underplays the political importance of the Christian Evangelists. Not all or even more of the 70 million are obsessed with End Times and Israel’s place in it but far more are concerned than Phil suggests. E.g. the 1.4 million strong CUFI, the predominance of Evangelical politicians – Cruz, Pence etc.

    I think we should be wary of saying that Jews AS Jews have political power because that does play into the hands of antisemites. It is also wrong. What is more remarkable is that this attack on Ilhan is being driven by antisemites, Trump, McCarthy et al. We should not shy away from making this point.

    I also welcome the fact that people like Peter Beinart on the Forward have as liberal Zionists called out the racist hypocrisy of the attack on Ilhan. Apart from their appalling Opinion Editor Batya there have been some quite considered articles on the site.

    I really don’t think we need to separate out the Jewish from the non-Jewish portion of the Zionist lobby. All portions are equally wrong and reactionary.

    • Talkback on February 13, 2019, 5:05 pm

      tony greenstein: “It is the assumption of her persecutors that AIPAC=Jew.”

      Still not antisemitism. AIPAC is not “the Jew” or “Jews as such”.

    • Keith on February 13, 2019, 6:43 pm

      TONY GREENSTEIN- I think we should be wary of saying that Jews AS Jews have political power because that does play into the hands of antisemites.”

      Don’t discuss the power of Jews in the political economy because it “…does play into the hands of antisemites?” Making me what? A de facto anti-Semite? Any other groups we should be quiet about? Jews are a persecuted minority in the UK? Jews are successful in the UK but that could change in the blink of an eye? And it is wrong? Meaning incorrect? You might be an anti-Zionist, but you appear to have strong Jewish kinship solidarity. As for the power of Jews in the US political economy I provide a couple of quotes to shed some light on the truth that you seek to downplay.

      “The certifiers were the elites, beginning with rabbis and heads of the multiple mainstream Jewish organizations, especially each city’s Jewish Federation. An important vetting role was held as well by the American-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), a group closely associated with official parties in Israel. When necessary, Israeli ambassadors, counsels general and other officials would intervene with statements declaring someone a “friend of Israel.” (Tom Hayden) https://www.counterpunch.org/2006/07/20/i-was-israel-s-dupe/

      “In other words, in this article Hayden was describing, in an unusually concrete way, how the state of Israel, through its state officials and their compliant American partners, was effectively managing—exercising veto power over Democratic Party candidates, at the very least—American elections down to the level of State Assembly. In any constituency “attuned to the question of Israel, even in local and state elections,” Hayden knew he “had to be certified ‘kosher,’ not once but over and over again.” (Jim Kavanagh) https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/27/tom-haydens-haunting/

      • Mooser on February 15, 2019, 11:17 pm

        “You might be an anti-Zionist, but you appear to have strong Jewish kinship solidarity.” “Keith” to Tony Greenstein.

        “Keith”, you always know exactly the right thing to say. How do you do it?

      • Keith on February 16, 2019, 10:35 am

        MOOSER- ““Keith”, you always know exactly the right thing to say. How do you do it?”

        It’s a gift.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 14, 2019, 10:58 am

      “However that is NOT the reason for its success but because the interests of the lobby chime with the interests of US imperialism in the Middle East. Israel is a strong and stable settler state which is pro-US. ”

      How is a country which goes to war every few years -usually with unsuccesful results – ‘stable’?

      And how, in concrete terms, is Israel a material asset to the US? It has never once provided material aid to any of America’s many wars in the region, yet the US has come to Israel’s rescue many a time. Its intelligence agencies are grossly overrated, as is its army. It impedes mending or relations with a vastly more important country with potential to be America’s most valuable ally in the region – and I’m talking aout Iran.

      If Israel were such an obvious asset to the US, you’d wonder why they bother with all that expensive lobbying.

      “I think we should be wary of saying that Jews AS Jews have political power because that does play into the hands of antisemites. It is also wrong.”

      Well, firstly I disagree that it’s wrong. Jews as Jews certainly DO have political power. The very fact that we’re not allowed to say so – something you seem to support – underscores this.

      But these things will always be a matter of debate. For you to say we can’t have this debate “because that does play into the hands of antisemites” is very faulty reasoning. Should we not discuss terrorism by people from the Middle East as that also feeds into negative stereotypes? Looks like we’re back to ‘tropes’ again.

    • annie on February 16, 2019, 11:02 pm

      no one denies that Jews are prominent in the Zionist lobby, that would be absurd. However that is NOT the reason for its success but because the interests of the lobby chime with the interests of US imperialism in the Middle East.

      if the reason for the lobby’s success was because the interests of the lobby chime with the interests of US imperialism in the Middle East, the lobby wouldn’t need to engage in fundraising. it’s precisely because (lots of) people believe the relationship is not in the US best interest that the lobby can’t rely solely on advocacy and writing legislation. the whole system of lobbyists paying off politicians is to guarantee those politicians will vote in a lobby’s best interest.

      americans don’t vote in lockstep in favor of imperialist politicians. but there’s a reason those politicians vote in favor of imperialistic goals once they are in office. and a lot of that reason is money. that is one of the BIG reasons for the lobby’s success, and the threat of a lobby backing an opponent in the next election if you don’t do their bidding.

      the vast majority of lobbyists have imperialist goals. not all our politicians start out that way. the ones who don’t have those goals often can’t complete with the ones backed by the billionaires.

      elections are an industry in this country, a money fueled industry. one that should be shut down.

      • RoHa on February 17, 2019, 1:05 am

        “elections are an industry in this country, a money fueled industry. one that should be shut down.”

        Exactly what I’ve said before. Your elections don’t do you any good. Have done with them, and make me your King.

      • annie on February 17, 2019, 1:38 am

        the industry RoHa, not the elections!

  13. Jeff Klein on February 13, 2019, 3:25 pm

    Of course, there is a long history of Christian Zionism – in fact preceding the major growth of modern Jewish Zionism – but it has only recently become a political force in the US and elsewhere with the active participation of Israel and important Jewish-Zionist supporters, organizers and funders.

    One could note the Christians United for Israel, the major organizational center for this work had a Jewish rightwing DC lobbyist and later executive director, David Brog; CUFI Action Fund’s Communications Director, Ari Morgenstern, previously served as a Press Officer at the Israeli Embassy.

    Here is a list of CUFI’s major funders according to the public interest investigations organization Powerbase:

    Adelson Family Foundation | God’s Hand Extended | IDT Charitable Foundation | Marcus Foundation | Milstein Family Foundation | MZ Foundation | Newton and Rochelle Becker Foundation | The Stanford and Joan Alexander Foundation

  14. genesto on February 13, 2019, 3:29 pm

    The more I think about the Omar brouhaha the more convinced I become that this represents a major victory for us (minus Hophmi, of course). Not only has she brought the debate re: the overarching influence of the Israel lobby in American politics into the mainstream conversation, she has put all of the pro-Israel, Democratic lapdogs in Congress on the defensive. Since they’ve chosen to attack her as an anti-Semite for talking about the power of AIPAC, they all have to be very careful about showing their devotion to this super agent of the Israeli government. I bet that a lot more will think twice about attending AIPAC conferences or publicly espousing their unquestioning devotion to the Jewish state, lest they be exposed for the hypocrites they really are.

  15. JWalters on February 13, 2019, 5:32 pm

    A well-packaged collection of important points in a thoughtful and thorough article, thanks.

    I would add that the “collective memory of powerlessness and victimization” is also well-stoked by the not-so-powerless cult leaders who profit from predatory crimes. The following articles tell different parts of the story.

    “Why I left the cult”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/10/why-i-left-the-cult
    “It’s time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/american-recognize-duped
    “The Israeli police state”
    https://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-police-state/7049
    “Rabbis want to criticize Israel but fear donors (and NYT buries the news)”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/rabbis-criticize-donors

  16. CitizenC on February 13, 2019, 6:03 pm

    Israel is not a “strategic asset” but a strategic nemesis. Israel doesn’t serve but has decisively influenced “US interests” as post-Cold War US foreign policy shows. Israel has been integral, from the 1991 Gulf War, to the “dual containment ” of Iran and Iraq, to 9/11 and its aftermath to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, to the current antagonism against Iran and its allies. All of which has been a strategic debacle. As Mearsheimer and Walt said.

    In the 1940s the US military and diplomatic establishments were overwhelmed by the nascent Israel Lobby.

    Truman and Israel
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2006/06/03/truman-and-israel/

    Which hasn’t stopped a Chomsky acolyte from trying to impose the “strategic” view on the 1940s

    Dying to Forget the Israel Lobby
    https://questionofpalestine.net/2016/04/21/dying-to-forget-the-israel-lobby/

    Israel exerts a quasi-sovereign power in the US thru its lobby, far overshadowing the evangelicals

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 14, 2019, 11:28 am

      Yup. Said much the same thing above.

      It’s obvious how Israel benefits from the ‘special relationship’, though the reverse isn’t so obvious at all. Same goes for Israel’s ‘relations’ with the UK and other Western powers. If these countries benefitted so greatly from being buddies with Israel, why are Israel’s supporters so anxious to silence all debate on the issue?

  17. echinococcus on February 14, 2019, 5:25 pm

    Keith,

    What exactly would be “the common national or cultural tradition”, in this case, as distinct from religion? There isn’t any.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 15, 2019, 12:05 pm

      Indeed. I think it is more correct to refer to Jews as a group of ethniciities, rather than one ethnicity. After all, at the start of the last century when large numbers of European Jews emigrated to the US, the sophisticated, well-integrated German speaking ‘Mitteleuropa’ Jews wanted nothing to do with the uncultured (as they saw it) Ostjuden of the shetels, and certainly would not have considered them their ethnic kin.

      And that’s just European Jews. The differences with Arab and other Jews were even more extreme, to the point where many considered them barely Jews at all. Zionism was always a project by and for European Jews. It was only when the Holocaust so radically decimated their numbers that they deigned to include their Arab brethren.

      I too have asked what a Jew from, say, Isfahan has in common with a Jew from Chicago – other than religion. I’m still waiting for a reply.

      • echinococcus on February 15, 2019, 9:53 pm

        “I think it is more correct to refer to Jews as a group of ethniciities, rather than one ethnicity.”
        //
        Well said, thank you.
        //
        Even more correct would be, perhaps, “people who profess and practice a certain religion, no matter their ethnicity.”
        //——————
        boilerplate txt: MW, when are you going to “unfix” your quoting and archiving system? The old one was good enough.

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