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Don’t accept the rules for how to criticize the Israel lobby

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A maddening element of the Ilhan Omar controversy is all the experts offering instruction on The right way and the wrong way to criticize the Israel lobby. Why must someone who sees a dreadful faction working to skew US policy-making walk on eggshells when attacking it? Do the Parkland students hold back about their target lobby? Do advocates for abortion rights issue rules of rhetorical niceness when they see the enemy gathering across the Supreme Court plaza?

Oh– but you are talking about Jewish influence.

Actually we have made that distinction: we are talking about Zionist influence.

Oh, but don’t you see, 92 percent of American Jews are Zionists. The overwhelming preponderance of the community. So you are taking on a Jewish interest, our right to a state in our “ancestral homeland” (to quote liberal Zionist lecturers Batya Ungar-Sargon and Tom Friedman).

I don’t accept the restrictions. I think the Israel lobby is a baleful influence that has helped to make the Middle East a violent neighborhood and to involve the U.S. in quagmires; and so we need to talk about it. It’s too important not to. And if you accept all the rules, it means you will never really take on the lobby out of fear of saying the wrong thing about money or allegiance and being labeled an anti-Semite. Which is sort of the point, right?

Here, for the faint of heart, is my quick list of instances in which the Zionist lobby skewed US foreign policy at the highest level, going back to Israel’s creation.

1. Truman and the recognition of Israel.

In recognizing Israel, Harry Truman reversed FDR’s promise to the Saudis not to do so, and overrode his own conviction that religion and state should never be joined.

John Judis’s book, “Genesis: Truman, American Jews and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict” says that American Zionist pressure was essential to formulating Truman’s approach. As I wrote in a review:

The core of his investigation is surely the moment in mid-1948 when Truman wanted Israel to stop taking more land by military force beyond the UN’s Partition lines and was “disgusted” by the Israeli refugee policy, saying that Jews had turned their own narrative on its head by denying Palestinians the right to return. But Truman folded on these impulses, Judis says, in part because he needed $100,000 from political donors Abe Feinberg and Ed Kaufmann – a huge sum in 1948–for a whistlestop campaign trip through the midwest in September 1948 when his campaign was broke and Thomas Dewey was threatening to make him a one-termer.

Those Zionist donors got “unmatched access to the White House,” Judis writes. Israel advocates came and went in the Truman White House and, aware of the State Department’s opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state, dug in whenever it was necessary.

Many of Truman’s meetings on the issue were dominated by political considerations, something Judis says is impossible to imagine taking place in meetings over, say, the Berlin crisis. Indeed, a number of administration officials were actually part of the nascent Israel lobby, and spouting Islamophobia.

Some of these advisers are White House officials, some are members of the Jewish agency, some occupy a “gray area” in between, it hardly matters. Ben Cohen was both advising the Jewish Agency and serving as an American representative to the UN; Robert Nathan was an economist in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations and also working for Chaim Weizmann in Palestine; Max Lowenthal was “a proverbial backroom operator… a fixture at the White House, even though he had no formal position and did not have an office.” Part of Louis Brandeis’s circle of Zionists, Lowenthal drafted memos that went directly to Truman. One said that opposing partition would put the United States “in the ridiculous role of trembling before the threats of a few nomadic tribes.”

2. Kennedy and the refugees.

In 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy overcame Zionist apprehensions about his approach to the Middle East– because of his father’s alleged anti-Semitism and because Hubert Humphrey was far better known and liked — by courting US Jewish leaders. Though Kennedy was privately offended by their demands.

The “key incident in the Kennedy wooing,” per Melvin Urofsky’s Zionist book, “We Are One!” was a meeting in New York after the Democratic convention in July 1960 led by the man who had helped finance Truman’s whistlestop tour. Seymour Hersh tells the story in “The Samson Option”:

“[Governor Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut said] ‘I told Kennedy I was going to get in touch with Abe Feinberg, who I thought was a key Jew. I arranged a meeting [with Kennedy] in Feinberg’s apartment in the Hotel Pierre and we invited all the leading Jews.’ About twenty prominent businessmen and financiers showed up.

“… The group agreed on an initial contribution of $500,000 to the presidential campaign, with more to come.

“Kennedy was anything but grateful the next morning in describing the session to Charles L. Bartlett, a newspaper columnist and close friend. He had driven to Bartlett’s home in northwest Washington and dragged his friend on a walk, where he recounted … the meeting the night before. ‘As an American citizen he was outraged,’ Bartlett recalled, ‘to have a Zionist group come to him and say: “We know your campaign is in trouble. We’re willing to pay your bills if you’ll let us have control of your Middle East policy.’” Kennedy, as a presidential candidate, also resented the crudity with which he’d been approached. ‘They wanted control,’ he angrily told Bartlett.

“Bartlett further recalled Kennedy promising to himself that if he ever did get to be President, he was going to do something about it”–a candidate’s perennial need for money and resulting vulnerability to the demands of those who contributed…”

Urofsky says that Kennedy reversed the policy of the Eisenhower administration and quietly abandoned Palestinian refugees without saying so.

[As president, Kennedy] recognized that in such areas as refugee repatriation, Arab-Israel negotiations, and plans to divert Jordan River waters for large-scale agriculture and power projects, all of which had become extremely sensitive matters thanks to Eisenhower and [former Secretary of State John Foster] Dulles, no government in Israel could survive which conceded as much as some of the State and Defense departments analysts demanded. What Kennedy did, much of it through [Kennedy lawyer Myer] Feldman, was to signal Israel on how to distinguish between rhetoric and action….

[A]lthough the American government publicly called on Israel to settle the refugee problem and joined in the United Nations censure of Israel after the 1962 retaliatory raids on Syria, the Administration also increased foreign aid, quietly buried a number of potentially dangerous anti-Israel proposals, and entered for the first time into a long-term military-assistance program.

BTW, Kennedy also sought to have the American Zionist Council register as foreign agents with the Department of Justice. Justice and AZC battled for years over this demand. In 1962 the AZC lost, and was required to register – and the AZC vanished, and AIPAC took its place! So the Kennedy administration was questioning the lobby’s allegiance, something Ilhan Omar would be slammed for more than 50 years on.

3. Lyndon Johnson and Israeli nukes.

Kennedy had angrily demanded inspections of Israeli nuclear facilities to make sure Israel wasn’t making a bomb. Lyndon Johnson let the Israelis slide. Israel got the bomb. And it is reasonable to conclude that Johnson gave in on the matter because of his dependence on the Israel lobby.

Johnson came to understand that nuclear nonproliferation “made for bad politics,” Seymour Hersh wrote, because it alienated the Jewish community. “By 1968, the President had no intention of doing anything to stop the Israeli bomb,” Hersh says. So Johnson ultimately suppressed intelligence reports that Israel was becoming a nuclear power.

Johnson was surely way too close to two Israel lobbyists: Arthur Krim, the chair of the Democratic National Finance Committee, and Krim’s wife Mathilde, a scientist and socialite who had lived in Israel and who, like many other members of the Zionist lobby, was not Jewish. The Krims held Johnson so tight he couldn’t even wriggle. They had a room in the White House and built a house on Lake Lyndon B. Johnson in the Texas hill country so as to be near the LBJ ranch. Johnson stayed at the Krims’ house in New York, and in the runup to the ’67 war, Mathilde– was a “key channel” for the Israelis to signal their plans to Johnson and to get signals in return, Helena Cobban writes:

The huge role that Mrs. Krim played in 1967 is well-known to everyone who has seriously studied US-Israeli relations at that time. After all, she was an integral part of a well-oiled pro-Israeli influence movement at the heart of the US political system, and the DC-Tel Aviv signaling process that she was part of worked strongly in Israel’s favor to transform not just the Middle East but the whole shape of global politics.

In his book on the 1967 war, former Time correspondent Donald Neff said that the Krims’ influence swayed American policy: Johnson “left himself more open to a passionately partisan voice than was prudent or even healthy during the accelerating crisis.”

For instance, the Saturday before the war began, the Krims were Johnson’s company at a fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, intended in part to shore up his support in the Jewish community. Arthur Krim hosted the fundraiser; and Johnson sat between Mathilde Krim and Mary Lasker, another huge contributor to the party. The legendary fundraiser Abe Feinberg was there, and served as a conduit for the Israeli war plans, reports William Quandt in his book Peace Process.

And yes: LBJ looked the other way over the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967.

4. Jimmy Carter versus American Jewish groups that sided with a rightwing Israeli PM

Carter repeatedly put pressure on Israeli leaders to freeze or stop settlements so as to allow the possibility of Palestinian political autonomy in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Those leaders refused to budge, and American Jewish organizations stood by the rightwing government of Menachem Begin. In his recent book on Carter, former aide Stu Eizenstat, who would later serve as Hillary Clinton’s liaison to Netanyahu, describes the special role of the lobby in language that makes Ilhan Omar’s “allegiance” statement look very reasonable indeed.

[There is a] special triangular relationship among Israel, the America Jewish leadership and the Congress… effectively applying pressure on the presidency to modify U.S. policy to Israel’s benefit. This is unique in the annals of diplomacy. There are other countries, such as Britain, that have a favored relationship with the United States but exert their influence through traditional diplomacy rather than relying heavily on a domestic American constituency and lobbying Congress. For a vulnerable, small country like Israel, surrounded by enemies, perfecting this unusual brand of political diplomacy was essential. While it existed to a limited degree before the Carter administration, it was honed to much greater use during our term in office. Since then it has only grown in dimension and intensity to be one of Washington’s most effective lobbies.

Carter was to discover this through painful experience.

When Carter announced a summit on the Middle East with the Soviet Union without consulting US Jewish groups, a political firestorm occurred, “orchestrated” by Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Eizenstat says. “The American Jewish leadership went into open war against the president in ways rarely seen before or since.”

In October 77 Dayan told Carter, “I think you have a problem on your hands, Mr. President. And I can perhaps help you out with it.” Eizenstat says Dayan could only have been so brazen because he had the lobby on his side.

This was an amazing intrusion into domestic politics by a foreign minister, even from a friendly country. But it had clearly been based on Israel’s assiduous cultivation of American Jewish groups and Congress, and left no doubt how closely Middle East policy is intertwined with domestic politics…

It is difficult to imagine the foreign minister of any country being as blunt to the leader of its major benefactor…

Carter continued to insist on opposing settlements, and when he did so at the U.N. in spring 1980, the move revived Ted Kennedy’s primary challenge, thanks to the lobby. That challenge helped damage Carter, who lost to Reagan in the fall.

5. George H.W. Bush calls out the lobby.

The late President Bush opposed settlements ferociously, and a political legend has developed that the opposition caused him to lose the ’92 election. Even Tom Friedman has espoused that view:

[A]s you know, President Bush the first stood outside the White House one day and said I’m one lonely man standing up against the Israel lobby. What happened as a result of that… is that Republicans post Bush I, and manifested most in his son Bush 2, took a strategic decision, they will never be out pro-Israel’d again. That they believe cost them electorally a lot.

David Steiner, the former president of AIPAC, recalls making Bush pay for his stance, in a secretly recorded phone call in October 1992, as Bush ran for reelection.

Steiner: I met with [U.S. Secretary of State] Jim Baker and I cut a deal with him. I got, besides the $3 billion, you know they’re looking for the Jewish votes, and I’ll tell him whatever he wants to hear. . .Besides the $10 billion in loan guarantees which was a fabulous thing, $3 billion in foreign, in military aid, and I got almost a billion dollars in other goodies that people don’t even know about. Do you think I could ever forgive Bush for what he did September 12th a year ago? What he said about the Jews for lobbying in Washington?

6. Bill Clinton and Israel’s lawyers.

AIPAC’s Steiner said he had “full confidence” that Clinton loved Jews more than Bush and would extend the loan guarantees despite the Israeli settlements.

We gave two employees from AIPAC leave of absences to work on the campaign. I mean, we have a dozen people in that campaign, in the headquarters… In Little Rock, and they’re all going to get big jobs. We have friends. I also work with a think tank, the Washington Institute. I have Michael Mandelbaum and Martin Indyk being foreign policy advisers. Steve Speigel—we’ve got friends—this is my business.… [I have] full confidence that we’re going to have a much better situation. He’s got Jewish friends. A girl who worked for me at AIPAC stood up for them at their wedding. Hillary lived with her. I mean we have those relationships. We have never had that with Bush. Susan Thomases, who’s in there, worked with me on the Bradley campaign. We worked together for 13 years. She’s In there with the family. They stay with her when they come to New York. One of my officers, Monte Friedkin, is one of the biggest fund-raisers for them. I mean, I have people like that all over the country…

He’s going to be with us…. he said he’s going to help us. He’s got something in his heart for the Jews, he has Jewish friends. Bush has no Jewish friends.

Clinton allowed settlements to continue and though he tried to bring off a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, he ultimately blamed the talks’ failure on the Palestinians. And Aaron David Miller would admit later that the U.S. was biased. “For far too long, many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations.” In fact, the lead negotiator for the White House, Dennis Ross, has embraced that role: he told a synagogue audience three years ago that American Jews “need to be advocates for Israel,” not Palestine.

7. George W. Bush and the neoconservatives.

Bush determined never to be out-Israel’d again, per Tom Friedman; and he appointed many neoconservatives to his Cabinet including several signatories of letters by the Project for a New American Century, which said that Israel’s war is our war, and which pushed for war with Iraq. Bush bragged that the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute was his brain trust– 20 appointments!

Three Bush appointees, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and Richard Perle, had collaborated in 1996 on a plan for Benjamin Netanyahu titled A Clean Break, which called for putting the Palestinian issue on ice and helping to end Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Feith — a Pentagon official who later earned the appellation “the dumbest fucking guy on the planet” — had also helped found One Jerusalem, which sought to stave off the peace process in the wake of Clinton’s Camp David initiative. The group was supported by Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife Miriam backed Israeli settlements and promoted Islamophobia. As Connie Bruck reported for The New Yorker, Adelson tried to foil the peace process inside the administration at every turn.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was organizing a major conference in the United States, in an effort to re-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and her initiative had provoked consternation among many rightward-leaning American Jews and their Christian evangelical allies. … A short, rotund man, with sparse reddish hair and a pale countenance that colors when he is angered, Adelson protested to Bush that Rice was thinking of her legacy, not the President’s, and that she would ruin him if she continued to pursue this disastrous course. Then, as Adelson later told an acquaintance, Bush put one arm around his shoulder and another around that of his wife, Miriam, who was born in Israel, and said to her, “You tell your Prime Minister that I need to know what’s right for your people—because at the end of the day it’s going to be my policy, not Condi’s. But I can’t be more Catholic than the Pope.”

The neocons pushed for the Iraq war with a storm of books, Netanyahu pushed for the Iraq war in Congress. And AIPAC pushed for war, writing:

As long as Saddam Hussein is in power, any containment of Iraq will only be temporary until the next crisis or act of aggression.

The book The Israel Lobby of 2006 and Tom Friedman agree, the war would not have happened without that pressure. Here’s Friedman’s analysis, paraphrased by Ari Shavit in Haaretz:

Is the Iraq war the great neoconservative war? It’s the war the neoconservatives wanted, Friedman says. It’s the war the neoconservatives marketed. Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite. Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

Friedman– who has countered Ilhan Omar by saying, “I am devoted to Israel as a Jewish democracy” — himself supported the Iraq war and said that the purpose of the war was to smash up something in the Arab world because of suicide bombers in Tel Aviv:

The real reason for this war—which was never stated—was to burst what I would call the “terrorism bubble,” which had built up during the 1990s.

This bubble was a dangerous fantasy, believed by way too many people in the Middle East. This bubble said that it was OK to plow airplanes into the World Trade Center, commit suicide in Israeli pizza parlors, praise people who do these things as “martyrs,” and donate money to them through religious charities. This bubble had to be burst, and the only way to do it was to go right into the heart of the Arab world and smash something—to let everyone know that we, too, are ready to fight and die to preserve our open society.

8. Obama caves on the settlements.

Barack Obama took Jimmy Carter’s line at the beginning of his presidency: The settlements must stop. But in the end settlements thrived under Obama– literally thousands of settlement units were added. Indeed, as he started his run for reelection in 2011, Obama reversed himself on settlements, vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution opposing them. And when he dared to suggest that the ’67 lines should be the basis of partition, he was lectured by Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House in ways reminiscent of Dayan humbling Jimmy Carter.

New construction of settlement houses under Obama’s watch, 2016. Ofra settlement, occupied West Bank (Photo: Philip Weiss)

ndeed, at almost every turn in his foreign policy, Barack Obama was painted into a corner by Netanyahu with the engaged support of the organized Jewish community, his former top foreign policy aide documented.

To be sure, Obama managed to get the Iran Deal despite the opposition by the conservative Israel lobby and Netanyahu. But a, he depended on crucial support from wealthy liberal Zionists– whom he once characterized jokingly as his “cabal”— and b, party leaders opposed him on the deal and Hillary Clinton would need to distance herself from Obama.

At crucial points, in a foreshadowing of the attacks on Ilhan Omar, Obama was attacked as an anti-Semite for knocking the influence of “donors” on the Senate, and for impugning the loyalty of Israel advocates when he said it would be an “abrogation of my constitutional duty” to side with Israel rather than the U.S.

9. Trump has been Adelson’s puppet.

Donald Trump said back in 2015 that Marco Rubio would be Sheldon Adelson’s “perfect little puppet” if Rubio won the Adelson primary– the battle to get the casino mogul’s money– but after Trump won the nomination and the Adelson primary, gaining over $100 million in backing, he became that perfect puppet himself, abandoning the isolationist policies he had mouthed during his campaign.

The tilt began before he assumed office, when Trump’s transition team approached the Russians about supporting Israel in defiance of President Obama’s last-minute opposition to settlements at the U.N. Former national security adviser Mike Flynn may soon go to jail for lying about that call.

In due course, Trump would destroy the Iran deal and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and appoint Adelson favorite John Bolton as national security adviser.

To be clear, Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam have said their “biggest mission” is to protect Israel. Adelson has also said that he wished he had served in the Israeli army, not the U.S. one. Adelson called on Obama to nuke Iran, not cut a deal.

New York Times columnist Timothy Egan says that Adelson is more powerful than the secretary of state, “controlling” U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Eli Clifton asserted that three pro-Israel billionaires influenced Trump to trash the Iran deal.

[T]oday’s unpopular announcement may have been exactly what two of Trump’s biggest donors, Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, and what one of his biggest inaugural supporters, Paul Singer, paid for when they threw their financial weight behind Trump. Marcus and Adelson, who are also board members of the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition, have already received substantial returns on their investment: total alignment by the U.S. behind Israel, next week’s move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and the official dropping of “occupied territories” to describe the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

10. Nancy Pelosi’s allegiance to the lobby.

The Speaker of the House has been one of Ilhan Omar’s leading critics following Omar’s criticisms of the lobby.

Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said that Israel’s creation was the greatest achievement of the 20th century, and she told an Israel lobby group that the Capitol will crumble before the Congress falls out with Israel. Maybe, just maybe this is about the Democratic Party’s dependence on Jewish Zionist donors? Today AIPAC announced that Pelosi will be groveling later this month.


****

Every one of my allegations of influence is an interpretation based on facts: I’m connecting dots. Others may well connect the dots differently (and leftwingers will say that Israel reflects U.S. global interests). I’d argue that the sum and substance of this record is that the Israel lobby is essentially the foreign ministry of Israel in the capital of the most powerful country in the world and it exists, as it has stated itself, to make sure that there is no daylight between the US government and Israel. And if you think that has ever meant changing Israeli policy, I have a bridge to sell you.

It means shifting U.S. policy.

If you believe this is the pattern, as I do, then why wouldn’t you throw yourself into opposing it? And why would you ever fight with one hand behind your back? That’s what the lobby wants.

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

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69 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    March 15, 2019, 10:44 am

    A maddening element of the Ilhan Omar controversy is all the experts offering instruction on The right way and the wrong way to criticize the Israel lobby. Why must someone who sees a dreadful faction working to skew US policy-making walk on eggshells when attacking it? …

    Oh– but you are talking about Jewish influence. …

    Only if – as Zionists do – one anti-Semitically conflates AIPAC with all Jews and all Jews with AIPAC.

    … Oh, but don’t you see, 92 percent of American Jews are Zionists. The overwhelming preponderance of the community. …

    It’s a shame that so many Jewish Americans choose:
    – to be hateful and immoral supremacist hypocrites;
    – to conflate their hateful and immoral ideology and its colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist construct with all Jews; and
    – to advocate, engage in, support and/or defend acts of injustice and immorality committed by a foreign country against non-Jews in (geographic) Palestine.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 15, 2019, 10:57 am

      || eljay: … committed by a foreign country against non-Jews in (geographic) Palestine. ||

      Correction: …committed by a foreign country against the non-Jews in and from (geographic) Palestine.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 15, 2019, 1:12 pm

      “Oh, but don’t you see, 92 percent of American Jews are Zionists.”

      Yes, and that percentage is sure to increase even further as the number of American Jews declines.

      • annie
        annie
        March 15, 2019, 2:40 pm

        where did that 92% statistic come from. isn’t that just rhetoric?

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        March 15, 2019, 3:59 pm

        RE: “where did that 92% statistic come from. isn’t that just rhetoric?” – annie

        SEE: “Most American Jews say you can support Israel and criticize its government” | By Ron Kampeas | timesofisrael.com | 19 October 2018

        [EXCERPTS] JTA — A poll commissioned by a new group founded by Jewish Democrats, the Jewish Electorate Institute, found that Jewish voters favor Democrats over Republicans, 74-26 percent. . .

        . . . The breakdown shows that a majority of American Jews do not perceive criticism of Israeli government policies as inconsistent with support for Israel: 32% say they are supportive of Israel and its government’s policies; 35% are supportive of Israel and critical of some government policies; and 24% are supportive of Israel and critical of many of its government’s policies [for a total of 91% of “American Jews” being “supportive of Israel”, with 59% also being critical of Israeli “government policies” – JLD].

        That’s a majority of 59% who say they are comfortable supporting Israel and also criticizing its government. (Also, 92% of voters [Jewish voters, I assume – J.L.D.] say they are supportive of Israel, belying the noise generated by fringe anti-Israel groups who say they are more representative of where Jewish Americans are heading.) . . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – https://www.timesofisrael.com/most-american-jews-say-you-can-support-israel-and-criticize-its-government/

        SURVEY FOR the Jewish Electorate Institute by The Mellman Group, Inc | October 16, 2018 (see page 4) —http://mellmangroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/18mem1016-f2-JEI.pdf

        P.S. ALSO SEE – https://twitter.com/nookyelur/status/1085616221188288512

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        March 15, 2019, 4:17 pm

        P.P.S. So, it appears that they are equating being in support* of Israel with being a Zionist.

        * though possibly also being critical of Israeli government policies

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 15, 2019, 4:41 pm

        To save you time here’s a link to the poll itself. http://mellmangroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/18mem1016-f2-JEI.pdf

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 15, 2019, 4:45 pm

        Notice: the poll was designed to reflect the Jewish electorate. Jews who oppose Israel might be less likely to vote, so there may be some bias in looking at likely voters rather than the general Jewish population.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 15, 2019, 5:14 pm

        You mean all those American Jews who move to Israel to join the IDF and/or become settlers in Israel’s OT?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 16, 2019, 11:44 am

        “where did that 92% statistic come from. isn’t that just rhetoric?”

        “Annie”, it’s better than rhetoric! It’s a percentage!

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      March 15, 2019, 4:29 pm

      Here’s where I saw that number: https://www.timesofisrael.com/most-american-jews-say-you-can-support-israel-and-criticize-its-government/
      “That’s a majority of 59% who say they are comfortable supporting Israel and also criticizing its government. (Also, 92% of voters say they are supportive of Israel, belying the noise generated by fringe anti-Israel groups who say they are more representative of where Jewish Americans are heading.)”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 16, 2019, 12:00 pm

        (Also, 92% of voters say they are supportive of Israel…)

        Ah, the good old Times of Israel, and its loco parentheses.
        And naturally, “are supportive of” should be construed to mean, well, what?

  2. David Green
    David Green
    March 15, 2019, 11:15 am

    ” Others may well connect the dots differently (and leftwingers will say that Israel reflects U.S. global interests).”

    And they would be right.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      March 15, 2019, 8:11 pm

      Yeah, right. Thanks, Noam.

      “However, in the last decade, the professor’s flaws have become glaring. His descriptions of our freedom seem more irrational than ever, his advocacy of compliance increasingly strident. His lectures are so predictable and tedious that they sometimes seem generated via algorithm. Chomsky is as famous as he is because he’s always demonstrated power-serving biases—as early as 2009, Seaumas Milne observed that “He describes himself as an anarchist or libertarian socialist, but often sounds more like a radical liberal.”* But Chomsky, too, has evinced a major rightward slide under Obama.

      For instance, Chomsky used to explain how American imperialism could destroy a country and this would still produce benefits for the wealthy classes who dominate US policy. He theorized this as minimal vs. maximal goals: a totally subservient neo-colony may be the maximal goal, but the minimal goal of a failed state still squelches what Parenti calls “the threat of a good example” and warns other countries not to displease the wealthy whose interests Washington represents. In an interview from 1982, for example, he says “I think the chances of the US meeting its minimal goals, namely just preventing any constructive nationalist revolutionary movement from taking power and being able to do anything, that minimal goal I think the US can and probably will achieve. The maximal goal of installing the kind of government we succeeded in installing in Guatemala in 1954 may not succeed.”1 He explained the US destruction of Vietnam in similar terms. This may be a vulgarized version of a Marxist critique of imperialism, but it’s illuminating commentary because it still has at least one foot in the world of radical, class-based analysis.

      In contrast, under the previous president, Chomsky moved away from this good radical analysis and has pushed a class-free image of the US as a blundering giant, an “empire of chaos” as he calls it, destroying countries on accident mostly due to lack of knowledge. “The chaos and destabilization are real, but I don’t think that’s the aim,” he said in 2015. “Rather, it is a consequence of hitting fragile systems that one does not understand with the sledgehammer that is the main tool, as in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere.” As is increasingly the case as he gets worse, Chomsky does not explain why his previous framework of “minimal vs. maximal goals” does not apply. Readers are meant to believe that post-2009 wars are the first instances of American imperialism which did not benefit the ruling class. Iraq, prosecuted by the Bush junta, “is a different story: ‘Iraq is a country (the United States) wanted to invade,’ because of its resources and strategic location in the middle of the world’s biggest oil-producing region.” Iraq is a confusing case, though, since back in 2005, Chomsky said that the “minimal vs. maximal goals” framework did not apply to Iraq, so we can’t be sure what exactly the professor wants us to think about that country’s destruction.”

      Well, one might consider Israeli interest in promoting the destruction of Iraq.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      March 17, 2019, 2:50 pm

      The chaos in the Middle East brought on by the foolish US invasion of Iraq in 2003, is in large part the fault of the powerful Israel lobby which worked hard to bring it about. This continuing chaos can hardly be described as “reflecting US global interests”.

  3. Marnie
    Marnie
    March 15, 2019, 11:57 am

    Fuck the israel lobby. Fixed it for you Phil.

  4. Qualtrough
    Qualtrough
    March 15, 2019, 12:36 pm

    You can add this huge one to the pile:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis

  5. Mooser
    Mooser
    March 15, 2019, 1:33 pm

    “And they would be right.”

    The US has shifted or ignored its “global interests” in favor of Israel for decades.

    Can you say what the “global interest” of the US in Israel consists of?

  6. hophmi
    hophmi
    March 15, 2019, 3:22 pm

    It’s another antisemitism-is-ok post from Phil Weiss.

    “In recognizing Israel, Harry Truman reversed FDR’s promise to the Saudis not to do so, and overrode his own conviction that religion and state should never be joined.”

    New standard for hypocrisy; claiming that “Zionist pressure” led Truman to override his conviction that religion and state should not be joined by keeping a promise to . . . the Saudis.

    “The neocons pushed for the Iraq war with a storm of books”

    And we’re going to keep mentioning only Jewish names like Der Sturmer so that we can pretend that the President and Vice-President were not Christians.

    “The late President Bush opposed settlements ferociously, and a political legend has developed that the opposition caused him to lose the ’92 election”

    It was definitely not the recession or the tax hike. It was the Joos.

    “And yes: LBJ looked the other way over the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967.”

    Always bring out the original pro-Palestinian conspiracy theory…

    It’s so sad that Phil seems so dedicated to proving beyond any doubt that anti-Zionism is antisemitic.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 15, 2019, 3:35 pm

      || hophmi: It’s another antisemitism-is-ok post from Phil Weiss. … ||

      Let’s see…

      || … “In recognizing Israel, Harry Truman reversed FDR’s promise to the Saudis not to do so, and overrode his own conviction that religion and state should never be joined.”

      New standard for hypocrisy; claiming that “Zionist pressure” led Truman to override his conviction … ||

      Phil says Zionist, you anti-Semitically conflate that with Jews.

      Anti-Semitism tally
      Phil: 0 | hophmi: 1

      || … “The neocons pushed for the Iraq war with a storm of books”

      And we’re going to keep mentioning only Jewish names like Der Sturmer … ||

      Phil doesn’t mention “Jewish names” in his article, but you anti-Semitically conflate neocons with Jews.

      Anti-Semitism tally
      Phil: 0 | hophmi: 2

      || … It’s so sad that Phil seems so dedicated to proving beyond any doubt that anti-Zionism is antisemitic. ||

      But as you so eloquently demonstrate it’s got nothing on the anti-Semitism of Zionism.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      March 16, 2019, 9:21 am

      Like an antisemite hophmi translates everything into “the Joos”. Is this some kind of internalized antisemitism? Or blocked out”self-hatred”? It must be pretty hard to be a Zionist.

      But to laim that Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty is a “pro-Palestinian conspiracy theory” is like saying that the Holocaust is a pro-Zionist conspiracy theory.

      You were really trying to write a racist comment, weren’t you, hophmi?

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      March 16, 2019, 10:58 am

      @hophmi

      For your much needed edification:

      To be brief:

      Additional evidence that if he had not died, Roosevelt would have stood up to the Zionists and most likely prevented the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine is provided by David Niles, a pro-Zionist American naturalized Polish Jew who served as the advisor to the Roosevelt White House regarding Zionist concerns at the time. In 1962, he declared: “there are serious doubts in my mind that Israel would have come into being if Roosevelt had lived.” (Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews and the New American Scene, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, 1995 p. 121)

      From the very beginning of his presidency Truman was pushed into the Zionist camp by David Niles who had retained his position as chief advisor to the White House on Zionist concerns. Niles (and later, special presidential counsel and ardent gentile Zionist, Clark Clifford) worked in tandem with Eliahu Epstein, head of the Zionist Organization’s Washington office to keep the president on course by constantly emphasizing the importance of the Jewish vote and reminding him that he could only be assured of it by supporting Zionism. (Epstein later adopted the Hebrew name Elath and became Israel’s first ambassador to the United States).

      According to James Forrestal, Truman’s future secretary of defense, Niles and Clifford were “the principal architects of Truman’s pro-Zionist policy that was based on ‘squalid political purposes [even though] United States policy should be based on United States national interests and not on domestic political considerations.'” (“Diary Entry for October 21, 1948, by the Secretary of Defense Forrestal),” FRUS 1948, p. 1501)

      “By direct order of the White House, every form of pressure, direct and indirect, was brought to bear by American officials upon those countries outside the Moslem world that were known to be either uncertain or opposed to partition. Representatives or intermediaries were employed by the White House to make sure that the necessary majority would at least be secured” (Welles, Sumner “We Need Not Fail” Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1948, p. 63.)

      James Forrestal, then U.S. Secretary of Defense: “The methods that had been used….to bring coercion and duress, on other nations in the General Assembly, bordered closely onto scandal.” (Millis, Walter [Ed.] “The Forrestal Diaries ” [New York: The Viking Press, 1951] p. 363)

      Unfortunately for the Middle East, the outcome of the 1946 congressional elections convinced Truman that if he wanted to secure the Jewish vote he would have to become the unwavering champion of a Jewish state in Palestine and wholeheartedly support partition.

      “On November 22nd, 1947, the UN rejected the partition of Palestine. A second vote, four days later, also rejected partition, so Truman asked that the final vote be delayed for three days, until after Thanksgiving. Truman had entered the White House only on Roosevelt’s death in 1945 and needed American Zionist support to win the 1948 election. Over the next few days, he bullied five of the weaker UN members into changing their vote. That is how partition was passed on November 29th, 1947.” (James Bowen Irish Times 8 December 2007)

  7. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 15, 2019, 5:00 pm

    Tying one’s hand behind one’s back. Was John McCain tying one hand behind his back by not calling Barack Obama disloyal to America? Obviously one sees this as wisdom rather than tying one hand behind his back.

    The fight against the Israel Lobby is going to be a prolonged one and a choice of strategy and tactics might be wise here. This “tying one hand behind one’s back” seems to reveal a mindset without a game plan. (We got to hit him with everything we got. We got to call them every name in the book. They deserve it. That’s the only way to win.) Sounds like a pep talk and not a plan. You oughta have a game plan.

    (I don’t know if a wider audience will be needed to accomplish this goal of reducing Aipac to a manageable size, but I have to warn you, that: “The Zionists defeated Carter in ’80” and “The Zionists defeated Bush in ’92” sounds like you’ve got a screw loose. That might not help in selling your point. I think clarity in what an alternate policy would look like is also rather important, not just cutting off aid to Israel, but clarity of what the US wants the Middle East to look like. This is tricky, because you want to attract leftists who have one vision for the Mideast: (unicorns and rainbows, if you ask me) and realists who have a different vision for the middle east, I’m actually not sure what their vision is at this point. Do the realists favor Saudi Arabia over Iran? Do realists like Lebanon’s situation? Do realists see Sisi of Egypt as a good guy or a bad guy? So you might have to divide teams: some antizionists reflecting the leftist vision and some antizionists reflecting the realist vision. You need a game plan, not just rah, rah, ree, kick him in the knee!)

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 15, 2019, 5:20 pm

      You have a point regarding the Middle East players you named. Personally, I think the US best interest is to be friends with Iran and Syria.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 16, 2019, 4:30 am

        Besides being enemies of Israel, what do you like about Iran and Syria? And what is the overall goal for the US in the region? It used to be (Carter doctrine) the free flow of oil. Then it evolved into something called- Fighting terrorism, which is a much less clear goal. What do you think should be the goal? And how do Iran and Syria fit into it? And what of the enmity between Iran and everyone else in the region?

      • annie
        annie
        March 16, 2019, 7:54 am

        what of the enmity between Iran and everyone else in the region?

        you mean like turkey, syria, iraq, lebanon..

        Then it evolved into something called- Fighting terrorism, which is a much less clear goal.

        first we had to incite the terrorism so we could fight against it. it does sound more moral than just stealing oil and empowering israel tho, doesn’t it?

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 16, 2019, 8:31 am

        || wondering jew: … And what is the overall goal for the US in the region? … ||

        The overall goal for the Middle East should include peace, stability, justice, equality and the general well-being of the countries and the people of the region.

        This is the goal I support.

        America’s goal for the Middle East is to f*ck it up, tear it down and re-shape it to suit the needs and desires of America and Israel.

        This is the goal Zionists support.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 16, 2019, 7:52 pm

        @eljay
        Bingo.

    • Donald
      Donald
      March 16, 2019, 12:30 am

      These are good points.

      My impression about realists like Andrew Bacevich is that they think we should not be so wedded to countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel that we end up supporting policies that are immoral for no good reason. Also, we should be on better terms with Iran. We should not have tried to overthrow Assad or Gadaffi. We just created chaos and there was no self defense justification for our policies there. In general, we should not be running around the world intervening. Or that is my impression of the type of realist I like to read, but there are others of a more militant interventionist frame of mind. I think people used to call Kissinger a realist, but he was the militant intervening type.

      I am guessing most realists would probably favor a 2ss since it is the solution most people claim is realistic. Whether that is true is a separate question.

      As for strategy, I am decent at criticizing and worthless at strategizing.

      I agree that the Carter post a few weeks back was, um, implausible. I am old enough to remember stagflation and the hostage crisis and how Carter was seen, fairly or not, as in over his head. Also the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan made him look weak. Israel policy was pretty far down the list of factors— if anything, his Camp David agreement was seen as one of his few foreign policy triumphs.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 16, 2019, 8:19 pm

        Seems to me carter was really weak on his depth of understanding of Zionism & his Christian POV helped not at all, but confused him.

      • Donald
        Donald
        March 16, 2019, 11:16 pm

        Possibly so, citizen— I was only talking about how Americans judged him at the time and most thought Camp David was a great accomplishment.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 16, 2019, 2:42 am

      “Was John McCain tying one hand behind his back by not calling Barack Obama disloyal to America? ”

      I am told that Songbird McCain knew about being disloyal to America.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 16, 2019, 8:21 pm

        OK , let’s start with McCain’s daddy screwing up an objective view of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.

  8. Kay24
    Kay24
    March 15, 2019, 9:23 pm

    Within this great nation of ours:

    You can criticize Saudi Arabia, their violence against the civilians in Yemen, their human rights abuses, and Bin Salman’s order to kill a journalist, and it is okay, and not considered anti Muslim.

    You can criticize the NRA, it’s lobbies, the massacres by deadly weapons, and their influence over Congress, and it is considered okay.

    If you criticize Israel, its war crimes, the occupation, the land grabs and illegal settlements, the killing of innocent civilians, AIPAC and it’s influence over Congress, YOU ARE CALLED ANTI-SEMITIC.

    Something is horribly wrong with this picture.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      March 15, 2019, 10:59 pm

      @Kay24

      The thing I find wrong is that anyone cares about the meaningless accusation of being antisemitic. There was a time when that was potentially significant. Now? No, zionists have destroyed all meaning of the term in their drive to sideline all opposition to their grandiose plans and dreams.

      When Israel and zionists become aa group/individuals who actually support equality and oppose war crimes and crimes against humanity then it may become meaningful again.

      Until then, so be it. I have no guilt in opposing supremacism, murder and mayhem as generated by zionists who support the crimes in the establishment of Israel or support, participate and propogate the crimes in sustaining what resembles a crime gang and not a nation.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        March 16, 2019, 7:52 am

        I agree. People are getting desensitized to that anti-semitic accusation, because it has been overused and abused. People should be free to criticize Israel, it’s endless crimes, the occupation, land theft, and also it’s lobbies in the US, just like they criticize other nations, and even their own nation.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      March 16, 2019, 6:07 pm

      I’d estimate over 95% of the complaints of “anti-Semitism” in the news today are in fact complaints about anti-Zionism. The people who make these complaints must know this, and are deliberately lying.

      We have here a case study in which many educated, affluent people are choosing to step onto the public stage and deliberately lie to the whole world. This is a phenomenon that deserves in-depth study. It is creating extreme social dysfunction, including needless wars with their attendant massive suffering. The main controlling factors appear to be financial rewards and threats, and deep childhood brainwashing.

      Certainly the people engineering this phalanx of liars deserve the harshest of punishments. Their capacity to keep the mainstream media quiet about this OBVIOUS lie PROVES the extreme degree of their pathological influence on society.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        March 16, 2019, 8:04 pm

        It sounds like crying “wolf”, which is a pity, because there is real anti-semitism around the world, and people may not know the difference. In the US it is used to silence criticism, and intimidate those who show courage and speak out, like Rep. Omar.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 16, 2019, 8:22 pm

      Yes

  9. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    March 15, 2019, 9:29 pm

    Very useful survey. Thanks, Phil.

    Obviously, there’s lots more evidence that could be cited, including, as you mention, about the Liberty. And not just about how LBJ reversed JFK’s insistence on inspection of Israel’s nuclear facilities, but also about how the Israelis got the bomb in the first place, as documented by Seymour Hersh, Grant Smith, and others.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      March 16, 2019, 12:46 am

      I agree. And the hidden nature of these influences reminds me of how the mob operates.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        March 17, 2019, 10:43 pm

        @jwalters

        I personally feel their is a very strong and legitimate comparison between zionism and organized crime in terms of the structures in place and tactics used. It’s difficult to see Israel as anything but the fruits of organized crime.

  10. Keith
    Keith
    March 16, 2019, 12:30 am

    PHIL- “Actually we have made that distinction: we are talking about Zionist influence.”

    Zionist or Jewish Zionist? Surely the Christian Zionist influence on the discussion has been minimal, their role to offer support and little else.

  11. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    March 16, 2019, 11:41 am

    Phil, Great article. Nice resume of presidents and their discontents with Zionist pressure.

    The curious thing, to me, is this: all the other BIGs, BIG-PHARMA, BIG-DEFENSE, BIG-BANKS, BIG-OIL (think of the world dying because the USA has been forbidden to react sensibly to GWCC!) have also put guns to the heads of all USA presidents, and we don’t hear (at least not in this essay) of their discontents at this. And few stand up on their hind legs and denounce the system of lobbying and campaign financing that makes all this nastiness possible.

    So maybe, just surmising out loud here, the presidential anger you mention in the essay at AIPAC et al is actually antisemitic in the following sense: that the presidents should have been angry at ALL the pressure groups that twisted them around their fingers and allowed their anger to find (small, quiet) expression only w.r.t. AIPAC (regarded as representing “the Jews”).

    But so what? AIPAC is still despicable, NOT BECAUSE BUT EVEN IF many or most of its members are Jews. And NRA is still despicable even if most of its members are (who knows?) Baptists. And so on.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      March 16, 2019, 6:25 pm

      Good point. Putting aside political politeness, I’d say any Senator denying the VAST scientific consensus on climate change is working for criminals.

      Also, these various big industries are not as independent as they appear on the surface. A few dominant stockholders behind the scenes can put their people on interlocking boards of directors, making these major industrial profit centers different tentacles on the same octopus. e.g. https://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com/p/war-profiteers-and-israels-bank.html

      We see this clearly in the mainstream media today. Despite nominally different owners, it acts in unison to cover up Israel’s horrific crimes. That quite simply cannot be mere coincidence.

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz
        March 18, 2019, 2:17 am

        Trope alarm: any description of a interconnectivity of war profiteers and of industrial – military complex that uses word: “octopus” is a code for Anti-semitism (/sarcasm).

        Mention of Israeli bank exponentially increases your supposed delinquency.

        Please banish the word “octopus” from your argument and vocabulary, on the pain of having your argument, however rational, highjacked by spurious accusations of racism. 198/214

  12. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 16, 2019, 2:27 pm

    @pablemont
    “So maybe, just surmising out loud here, the presidential anger you mention in the essay at AIPAC et al is actually antisemitic in the following sense: that the presidents should have been angry at ALL the pressure groups that twisted them around their fingers and allowed their anger to find (small, quiet) expression only w.r.t. AIPAC (regarded as representing “the Jews”).”

    Interesting vis a vis the classic only DIME, poor little eternally threatened sob etc Israel is always singled out when etc whataboutery routine. However can`t see the US AIPAC Zios employing that defence with regards to the NRA etc. After all all a lot of their supporters are gun toting right wing psychopaths. Birds of a feather.

    Still on topic. Isn`t it intrinsically Anti – Semitic to suggest that Zioland has got weapons of mass destruction ? As if !

  13. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    March 16, 2019, 3:39 pm

    Not offend the Jewish lobby??? If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

  14. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 16, 2019, 3:40 pm

    Aipac meets next week and so the focus of the anti Israel lobby is focused on next week. when “if not now” protests, part of me is drawn to them (not so much in regards to the birthright protest but the aipac protest seems a worthy antidote (or at least side dish) to the major thrust of kowtowing politicians and another round of applause for bibi). i am embarrassed by how israel has thrust itself into the news. many years ago i studied old microfilm of new york times regarding israel from maybe 1960 to 1967 and I envied those times with the rare appearance of israel on the front page or in the paper at all. after 67 that changed and so my basic instinctual response is an abhorrence of the front page news coming out of israel for the last 50 or so years compared to its early days and so i focus on 67 as being the core of the problem.

    The momentum of opinion of those criticizing Israel is not in the direction that I favor- they aim towards a place (one state) that will bring chaos, i fear, so i cannot favor it. Yet the direction of Israel I also do not favor. It is heading towards worse and worse regarding enmity and mistreatment towards the Palestinians specifically those in the West Bank and Gaza and there is no move towards improvement, but the opposite. Such opposition to Israel’s direction must result in discomfort (or worse) in regards to the photos that come out of Wash DC during Aipac conferences. As far as discomfort listening to Ilhan Omar, for another time.

    Any president who is devoted towards pressuring Israel will be ahead of the US Congress on this issue, merely from the fact that the man or woman has become president and is himself a bit beyond the regular pressures. at the beginning of obama’s presidency he felt free enough to express himself, but the party needed funding so he had to stop. that’s the way that it looks from here, so is the party independent enough of funding from people who have very distinct opinions regarding Israel that would oppose the president. my guess is that this is still iffy. and in the middle of the country where it is more republican it is also more pro israel and so those who live in the cities and only hear people who repeat the same anti israel sentiment, are not equipped to deal with the fact that in much of the country people habitually, instinctively favor israel. that may change, but it hasn’t yet changed. so there is still retail work to be done.

    those of us who favored rabin in his day now raise our eyes to washington in hopes that it will bring israel to a better place. in fact a continued occupation for the next 10 years seems more likely than change. in the short range the trump presidency worries me more.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      March 16, 2019, 6:32 pm

      “a place (one state) that will bring chaos”

      Israel has already brought chaos in spades across the Middle East.

      The blather of the brainwashed mind.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 16, 2019, 7:29 pm

      ” so there is still retail (sic) work to be done.

      Yeah you are going to have to “retail” a whole pile of shit to make people believe:

      “those of us who favored rabin in his day now raise our eyes to washington in hopes that it will bring israel to a better place.”

      ROTFLMSJAO!! Ah, the moral light of the world is looking to Washington for guidance. Try Torah instead.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      March 16, 2019, 10:16 pm

      @wilting jerk

      “when “if not now” protests, part of me is drawn to them (not so much in regards to the birthright protest but the aipac protest seems a worthy antidote (or at least side dish) to the major thrust of kowtowing politicians and another round of applause for bibi). ”

      Yeah I’m not buying that for a second. Duly noted however that, if true, none of your discomfort comes from the human rights abuses or crimes against humanity inflicted on the Palestinians from those you support. Actually you lived there for a while didn’t you? If so then let me amend that to none of the crimes inflicted by you on the Palestinians.

      “and so i focus on 67 as being the core of the problem.”

      Yeah that’s one way to deal with cognitive dissonance and avoid any self reflection or dealing with the evil that Israel has been for the last half century.

      “The momentum of opinion of those criticizing Israel is not in the direction that I favor- they aim towards a place (one state) that will bring chaos, i fear, so i cannot favor it. ”

      Nope for sure. I hear ya. Your racist beliefs outweight any other considerations and you’re worried that people are waking up to the truth.

      “in the short range the trump presidency worries me more.”

      Of course it does. And a great summation that reflects your lack of moral compass and racist core as not a single word about the victims of the political ideology you support was uttered.
      No it is not a part of a religion. It is simply a politial ideology similiar to thousands of other ideologies.

      Israel like any country has no right to exist. It exists or it doesn’t. Simple as that. No it is most certainly not a democracy of any shape or form.

      Yes it is an immoral project. Yes it is racist as it is built upon a racist core. And no it is not better than the various countries it portrays as hellholes.

      Israel will continue exist. It has nukes. It is not under any threat. Your words are intended to provide cover to one of the worst racist evils currently on this planet.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 17, 2019, 1:52 am

      Ahh! The good old days of straightforward, pure, Zionism, before 1967 and the moral uncertainties of occupation. Look at some of the high points.

      1930s – Zionist terrorists distributing bombs around Palestine.
      1940s – Slaughtering, raping, looting, and driving out Palestinians. (Keeping some as slave labour, though. https://al-awda.org/on-israels-little-known-concentration-and-labor-camps-in-1948-1955/)
      1950s – More terrorist bombs in cities in Arab countries (e.g. Operation Susannah) , hijacking a Syrian airliner, war with Egypt (in collusion with Britain and France) border raids on the neighbours, more expulsion of Palestinians.
      1960s – And still more border raids, plus shelling of Syrians in the Golan.

      Halcyon days! It was all so simple and innocent, wasn’t it?

  15. dianab
    dianab
    March 16, 2019, 5:11 pm

    “Others may well connect the dots differently (and leftwingers will say that Israel reflects U.S. global interests).”

    Can someone explain to me why the perspective that Israel reflects U.S. global interests is a “left-wing” outlook?

    • Donald
      Donald
      March 16, 2019, 11:26 pm

      Chomsky, I think, says the US really started to be an enthusiastic supporter of Israel after the six day war when Nasser was humiliated. The theory is that the US government saw secular Arab nationalism as a threat to its interests in ( dominating) the Mideast and Israel performed a useful service in knocking them down, so to speak.

      I think there is probably some truth to this, but there is also some truth to the Lobby theory that Phil prefers. I don’t see them as necessarily in conflict. There might be factions within the US government which disagreed about Israel’s value and then the Lobby’s influence might tip the scale.

      Others get more worked up about in arguing about these two theories than I do. I think the US is an empire and it supports Israeli apartheid for one reason or another or for multiple reasons. It should stop being an empire and stop supporting apartheid.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic
        March 17, 2019, 9:54 am

        Johnson wanted Jewish/Israel Lobby support for his policy in SE Asia.

      • dianab
        dianab
        March 23, 2019, 5:03 am

        Donald, thank you for your response. My own decades-old perspective is that Israel serves U.S. hegemonic ambitions. I fail to see why the U.S. would “defer” (or “crumble”) to financial/political/emotional pressure from the Lobby if there were not something massively critical in it for the U.S. From a U.S. government perspective, it’s got to be about much more than the Benjamins. (Don’t we have lots of Benjamins of our own? And if we don’t have them, we print them.) Many thanks again.

  16. JWalters
    JWalters
    March 16, 2019, 6:46 pm

    “If you believe this is the pattern, as I do, then why wouldn’t you throw yourself into opposing it? And why would you ever fight with one hand behind your back? That’s what the lobby wants.”

    Spot on Phil. This is CLEARLY the pattern. And the perpetrators of this pattern clearly have a stranglehold on America.
    “Israel’s Stranglehold on American Politics”
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/israels-stranglehold-on-american-politics/

    This is a battle to determine if “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

  17. klm90046
    klm90046
    March 16, 2019, 7:52 pm

    When you read Ha’aretz, doesn’t it sometimes look as though you’re reading the Times of Palestine? You can criticize Israel in Israeli media more vigorously than you can in US media. Is it because there is no AIPAC in Israel?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 17, 2019, 12:59 am

      For sure. I have read that Haaretz is read by only a tiny part of Israel’s population. Is this true?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 17, 2019, 6:47 am

      I think it’s also because it’s barely read in Israel. The English language version has way more readers than the Hebrew version, probably because it appeals to ‘liberal’ Zionists in America and elsewhere who think reading it shows how terribly well-informed and oh-so-moderate they are.

      And btw it’s not nearly as ‘vigorous’ in its criticisms of Israel as is often supposed. It’s mostly lib Zio schlock.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      March 17, 2019, 9:48 am

      Don’t forget that the so called “democracy” is the only country in the democratic world where journalists and publications are legally required to submit their reporting for review prior to publication, and the only one where that censorship can be criminally enforced.

      (Criminally) enforcing censorship also seems to be a top priority of Israel’s foreign ministry and its lobbies.

  18. James Canning
    James Canning
    March 17, 2019, 12:14 pm

    I perceive a significant difference between “Zionists” in the US who think Israel should live within its borders, and “Zionists” who support Israeli territorial expansionism, even if that costs the American people fantastic sums to defend this expansion (and its accompanying oppression of the Palestinians).

  19. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 17, 2019, 1:36 pm

    @MDM
    “And btw it’s not nearly as ‘vigorous’ in its criticisms of Israel as is often supposed. It’s mostly lib Zio schlock”

    I would agree up to a point and that point is quite simply the fact that Haaretz continues to publish Gideon Levy articles and he is undisputably “vigorous” in his condemnation of what he continues to describe as an Apartheid Fascist state:
    https://mondoweiss.net/2018/03/gideon-question-crushed/

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-forces-palestinian-to-raze-his-and-his-daughter-s-homes-with-his-own-hands-1.7000958

  20. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 17, 2019, 2:51 pm

    @Donald
    “Others get more worked up about in arguing about these two theories than I do. I think the US is an empire and it supports Israeli apartheid for one reason or another or for multiple reasons. It should stop being an empire and stop supporting apartheid”

    I think it is and has been for a very longtime something way way other than “support”. Real “support” of an ally or a friend is encouraging that ally or “friend” to recognise the error of their ways. In the case of Israel only and no other country on earth the mighty US has continuously and overtly been moisturising the country`s posterior for at least 50 years arguably starting with the grotesque whitewashing of the USS Liberty Israeli war crimes against innocent American servicemen. Nothing has changed from the top down:
    https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/US-Israeli-shot-across-ICC-bow-of-potential-war-crimes-probes-Analysis-583748

    I believe that the subservience to the lobby has reached absurd and desperate proportions. The fact that Pompeo on behalf of AIPAC is threatening a host of civilised countries who support ICC War Crime probes into Israel`s barbarities stinks to high heaven.

    Things however are starting to change internationally and most importantly from the grass roots up in America itself. The pretence that “support” of Israel is vital to American interests is being exposed as a simple scam to conceal the Benjamins factor.

    And sooner rather than later with the 2020 elections coming up and US spending on its own citizenry and their needs more and more under the spotlight the question of why is this apparently wealthy little colony being gifted $3.8 Billion per annum of US taxpayers money is going to be raised.

  21. Jabberwocky
    Jabberwocky
    March 18, 2019, 1:42 am

    The Truman library is a great source of information. I especially appreciate the interview with Edwin Wright of the State Department, who gives great context to the issue of Israel’s founding:

    http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/wright.htm

    Feinberg even describes his interactions with, and bribery of, Truman.

    https://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/feinberg.htm

  22. Jabberwocky
    Jabberwocky
    March 18, 2019, 1:46 am

    There is a strong case that Kennedy’s pressure on Israel over Dimona was the reason for his assassination, with the involvement of Meyer Lansky. Jack Ruby (Jacob Rubenstein) was an associate of Lansky. The case is made in the book “Final Judgement”.

  23. punterweger
    punterweger
    March 23, 2019, 5:37 pm

    No doubt the lobby is extremely influential, and because of that Israel often gets away with actions that are against US interests as perceived by “realist” analysts. But the “realist” side is only faction of the US policy establishment, there is also the neocon-military complex that is extremely influential, and in their view Israel serves a very useful purpose. Historically, the Mideast and the Arab world harboured forces that were not under the control of US policy makers – Arab nationalist in the past and now Iran and Shia movements that support it.

    Israel is a great regional military power that can disrupt these uncontrolled elements, and that would be an important asset if it came to a military confrontation. Israel has demonstrated its capacities repeatedly, for example by striking nuclear facilities in Syria (and I believe in Iraq), and assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists. It is no accident that there is close cooperation between the US and Israeli military and intelligence apparatuses. I doubt that these close links are simply the result of the US pro-Israel lobby’s influence, would note that such long-standing close relations are hard to break. There is a reason Israel has been called a “US aircraft carrier” in the Mideast.

    It could be argued that with the demise of Arab nationalism and Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states abandoning their traditional hostility to Israel and forming closer ties the West, there is less need for reliance on Israeli military prowess. But the destabilisation of the region along with the rise of Iran and the Shia movements, as well as the renewed presence of Russian military and diplomatic influence in the region has perhaps more than made up for the change of heart of Egypt, the Saudis et al.

    I would agree with @Donald that both the lobby and “national security” considerations shape US Mideast policy.

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