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The root cause of the conflict is the Israel lobby

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The good thing about Secretary of State Pompeo’s declaration that the U.S. does not regard settlements as illegal is that it is a naked expression of the power of the Israel lobby in U.S. policy making. Even the Associated Press chalked the decision up to Trump’s biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson.

For 20 years Sheldon Adelson has been pouring money into Republican politics to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and he has succeeded. Trump has proved to be Adelson’s “perfect little puppet” (to quote the president on Adelson’s former favorite in 2015), giving the casino mogul everything on his wish list, from moving the embassy to Jerusalem to recognizing the Golan annexation to tearing up the Iran deal. “A huge check from Sheldon Adelson” and winning Jewish votes in Florida, is how Thomas Friedman explained Trump’s actions a few weeks ago. Adelson has more power than the Secretary of State, writes Tim Egan of the Times.

Some say Trump does all this for the evangelical vote. “A cynical play for evangelicals,” and not Jews, David Rothkopf said of the settlements reversal. This may be comforting but it’s not true. If the settlements were such a winner for evangelicals, Trump would have announced the change two weeks earlier, before the Kentucky and Louisiana governor’s elections– when he pulled out all stops to win. Read Trump’s desperate speeches to rallies in those states to try and get Republican candidates to victory. In each speech he mentions Israel/Jerusalem once, in a boilerplate line. Compare it to adoption, abortion, health care, the military — where Trump goes on and on. The fact is that Christian evangelicals don’t really care that much about Israel, as a former Israeli consul in California, pointed out a year ago:

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.

Let’s be clear, selling out US policy on Israel to donors did not start with Trump and Republicans. Hillary Clinton pandered to pro-Israel contributors in her 2016 campaign. She attacked the boycott movement so as to please Haim Saban and other donors, and promised to take the U.S.-Israel relationship to “the next level,” so as to change the script from the Obama years– when we only gave Israel 3.8 billion a year plus.

To understand Israel’s outsize place in U.S. politics, reflect that the Ukrainian assistance that is now the subject of impeachment hearings is less than one-tenth of the amount we give Israel.  And that Ukraine’s President Zelensky would do anything for a White House visit so as to gain legitimacy, but rightwing strongman Benjamin Netanyahu had countless White House visits even in the Obama White House, and then Hillary Clinton promised to meet Netanyahu in her first month in office. A promise Trump fulfilled, greeting Netanyahu at the White House in February 2017.

The Israel lobby, pro-Israel influencers, mostly Jewish, have been a factor in our political life since Harry Truman folded on his own opposition to a Jewish state in part because he needed $100,000 from political backers Abe Feinberg and Ed Kaufmann – a huge sum in 1948–for a whistlestop campaign trip through the midwest when his campaign was broke. “Democrats had to worry not just about the Jewish vote, but also about fundraising from wealthy Jewish contributors,” John Judis wrote in his book “Genesis.”

Obama spoke to Netanyahu more than any other foreign leader even though he didn’t like him, surely because he was dependent on the pro-Israel Jewish community. Obama called the wealthy Chicago liberal Zionists who gave him his start “my cabal.” His foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes writes frankly about the “Jewish donors” to the Democratic Party who had Netanyahu’s back after Netanyahu lectured Obama for saying a peace deal must be based on the ’67 lines:

Netanyahu’s smack at Obama 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. 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…”

So Obama backed down on the ’67 lines, and then Netanyahu spoke to Congress to try and stop the president’s Iran deal, the kind of access to American politics a foreign leader can only dream of, and Chuck Schumer voted against President Obama on the deal and still ascended to leadership of the Senate. Because he had the lobby on his side.

I bore myself repeating these items. (And God help the reader!) But I have to because most observers accept the antisemitism redlines echoed lately by Bernie Sanders: you are not to speak of an outsize Jewish role in politics. So few write about the Israel lobby, though they know it to be a significant force. P.S. It appears that the AP removed its reference to Sheldon Adelson’s role in the settlements decision. (Original quotation here.)

This is not just a domestic political question, it’s a foreign policy problem. The Israel lobby is the root cause of the Israel Palestine conflict.

Consider the two other main causes of the conflict. 1, Israeli settlement/colonialism (or in Zionist terms, the effort to liberate European Jewry from persecution by establishing a Jewish homeland in historical Palestine). 2, Palestinian resistance to 1. Neither of these historical forces would still be a source of serious conflict 71 years after Israel’s establishment were it not for the lobby. Without the blind support of the United States, Israel would have made a deal a long time ago. The country would have followed through on the historic Palestinian concession of 1988 followed by the Arab Peace Initiative of 2001, and accepted partition of the land on highly favorable terms (Israel gets 78 percent). Without U.S. support, Israel would have been internationally isolated and would have grabbed the deal.

The Israelis have been able to continue to devour the land only because the United States supports the occupation in international fora, and gives Israeli a diplomatic umbrella against any storm, due to blind bipartisan political backing here.

Political work in western capitals is a fundamental component of Zionism (which is a reason criticizing the lobby is redlined). Zionism began as a European lobby: Theodor Herzl’s dream was one he brought to the highest chambers in Europe, from the Pope to the Sultan to the Czar to the Kaiser, as well as to skeptical Jewish leaders in London. Israel’s establishment depended on Louis Brandeis among other Jewish leaders lobbying the British cabinet and the White House for the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

Thirty years later, Israel required western support to become a country (Eddie Jacobson famously prevailing on his old friend Harry Truman to meet Chaim Weizmann after he had shut the door to him). After the wars of 1967 and 1973, that reliance was institutionalized in American Jewish life. “We Are One!” a Zionist historian titled his book on the relationship of American and Israeli Jewry.

Zionism became the ironclad ideology of American Jewish institutions. “[Israel] is a country we send buses to and planes to, and money too, and we feel like it’s our home too,” Aibgail Pogrebin put it at Temple Emanu El in September. New York Times editorial page editor Max Frankel saw it as his duty to protect the Jewish state 40 years ago; and foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman says he still sees that as the newspaper’s duty today.

Or as Anshel Pfeffer put it in Haaretz: “the most significant joint endeavor of America’s Jews [is] six decades of unswerving support for the Israeli government of the day.”

Israel lobbyists themselves extol Jewish political power in the U.S. as Israel’s lifeline for money and arms and diplomatic protection. “I have no qualms about pointing out that the American Jewish community is almost certainly the most influential minority community in the history of the U.S., and possibly in the history of the world,” says Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum. “American Jews have worked hard to make it so, and have built a network of outward-facing institutions that protect this privileged position.” While Times opinion editor Bari Weiss warns in her new book that the left wing of the Democratic Party is “actively hostile to Jewish power.” Among progressives, she writes, “the very idea of Jewish power must be abjured.”

A core precept of the lobby is that American Jews who feel queasy about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians need to keep their mouths shut. On my first visit to Israel, my mother’s best friend told me that American Jews were yoredim, or lower, than the Jews who had like her made aliyah, going up by moving there. A refrain inside the Israel lobby, echoed even at the J Street conference this year, is that We Jews live in comfort in America, while Israeli Jews are on the front lines and their kids serve in the army. Our job is to support Israel in the most powerful country in the world.

For 40 years or so this has meant that the lobby has kept Republicans and Democrats from any criticism of the settlement project. George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter both learned that they would be foiled if they tried to make the settlements an issue, and there is evidence that both Carter and Bush ascribed their truncated leases on Pennsylvania Avenue to that political error. Bill Clinton ran to Bush’s right on settlements in ’92, and won, and all Democratic candidates for Congress learned in recent cycles that the way to raise money from the Jewish community was by getting a position paper from AIPAC, the rightwing Israel lobby.

Sheldon Adelson has plenty of counterparts in the Democratic Party. I was in the audience in Cairo in 2009 when Obama, who had not yet visited Israel, thrillingly declared to the Muslim world that the settlements must end. The president had J Street at his back. Then he and J Street folded under political pressure, including a Netanyahu speech to Congress, defying Obama on settlements, when the multiple standing ovations were “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby,” as Tom Friedman said.

So the settlements went on, and Obama broke his word and vetoed an anti-settlements resolution at the U.N. “just as the 2012 presidential campaign cycle was cranking up,” to quote Ben Rhodes.

Yes– Obama abstained on an anti-settlements resolution at the U.N. at the very end of his presidency, a move that Trump sought to thwart as president-elect by reaching out to the Russians; but Obama’s abstention was an afterthought, and it was said he wouldn’t have done it if Hillary Clinton had won– Hillary Clinton, whom Obama had hired as secretary of state by reaching out to her through a lead Israel lobbyist, the head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who supports settlements night and day. Though liberal Zionist groups are hardly any better, doing all they can to block pressure on the settlement project.

This exercise of power has had real impact: Israel has acted with complete impunity with respect to world opinion on its occupation for more than 50 years, knowing that it can keep expanding illegal settlements and collect ten times what the Ukraine does in military aid from the U.S., even as it destroys the possibility of a Palestinian state, something the U.N. voted to create 72 years ago and which Oslo reaffirmed. Not surprisingly, the Israelis often sound entitled. Netanyahu says “America is a thing you can move very easily.” While his political rival Moshe Ya’alon explains that Israel is the “strongest power in the region” because of “our spirit and our knowledge” — and no mention of American support.

The importance of the lobby to Israel is why so much is at stake today in the growing American Jewish alienation from Israel. The Jewish community is small, and to maintain influence it has had to speak in one voice. So if the Jewish community splits, that’s a big deal. It is why Democratic Majority 4 Israel sprung up after the election to Congress last year of three Israel critics, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, in an effort to keep the Democrats from moving left on the issue (as Michael Fischbach reminded us). It is why Israel lobbyist Daniel Gordis lectures American Jews that we have a “responsibility” to support Israel (oh and we need Israel because it keeps us Jewish). It is why anti-Zionist Jews are completely marginalized from official Jewish life: they can undermine a crucial consensus.

It’s too late. The lobby is in its twilight. It depends on older Jews like Sheldon Adelson and Tom Friedman, who really, really love Israel. Young Jews are lukewarm/skeptical/appalled by a religious state that persecutes a minority in their name, and the Democratic base is becoming openly critical as women and people of color play a larger role in the life of the party. J Street is taking over from AIPAC in the centrist leadership of the Democratic Party, and an earnest debate over Israel is beginning at last. A democratic process will replace a corrupt/rigged one. And only then, after the lobby is broken, can the conflict end.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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54 Responses

  1. Donald on November 26, 2019, 3:56 pm

    I agree with most of this, but would probably quibble with parts if I read it again more closely. Don’t have time. But this part I think is frankly silly. Or rather, Carter’s opinion here, if he holds it, is silly—

    “and there is evidence that both Carter and Bush ascribed their truncated tenure in the White House to that political error”

    I am old enough to remember that election and Carter’s position on Israel is way, way down the list of the reasons he lost to Reagan. The world doesn’t revolve around Israel. (Both its friends and some of its critics seem to think it does, but it doesn’t.) If anything, the Camp David agreement was thought of as one of the great accomplishments of his Presidency. He lost because of the Iranian hostages and because inflation was about 12 percent and interest rates were about 20 percent or so. And then there was the Russian invasion of Afghanistan which he said took him by surprise. He was made to look weak. There was the incident with the rabbit.

    I like Carter as an ex-President (he was responsible for arming the Indonesians in East Timor, so he has blood on his hands like all Presidents) and he got some unfair treatment at the time, but of course he is going to find some reason why he lost that makes him look good. He isn’t going to say that he lost control of the economy and the Iranians made him look bad (possibly with Republican help).

    Don’t really know about Bush I.

    • James Canning on November 27, 2019, 11:28 am

      George HW Bush pushed hard for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and he did in fact attribute his defeat in 1992 partly to blowback from the Israel Lobby.

    • genesto on November 27, 2019, 1:02 pm

      Carter’s percent of the Jewish vote declined from 71% in 1976 to only 45% in 1980. While this alone wasn’t enough to swing the election to Reagan, it certainly played a part, very possibly enough of a part to tip the scales towards Reagan.

      Maybe a comparison can be made to the 2016 election, where Russian efforts played a part, albeit not a major part (sorry, Hillary), in swinging the election towards Trump. Similarly, Ralph Nader’s presence in the 2000 campaign certainly impacted Al Gore’s campaign, but in a minor way compared to Gore’s missteps that took him from a 16 point lead at the start of the campaign to a loss at the end.

      In summary, yes, the loss of much of the Jewish vote in 1980 was a factor in Carter’s losing but, as in the cases of the other two elections mentioned above, not a significant one that, by itself, could have cost Carter the presidency.

    • JWalters on November 27, 2019, 6:41 pm

      In Carter’s book White House Diary he describes his never ending struggles with Israeli stalling, dodging, and lying, particularly regarding settlements. He came to the blunt conclusion that they had no intention of making peace, and that they were intent on getting all the land, by whatever means necessary. And he describes watching candidate Reagan tack toward the Zionists and get their backing.

      In parallel, Carter was getting hammered by the “liberal” press, documented in The Other Side of the Story by Jody Powell. When Reagan came into office, that same press gave him a long, long honeymoon, documented in On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency by Mark Hertsgaard.

      • genesto on November 30, 2019, 3:03 pm

        Although I never read Carter’s book, I was aware of these charges by Carter.

        The Zionist lobby, at very least, wears you down if you cross them publicly and politically. At worst, it destroys your life!

    • brent on December 1, 2019, 12:38 am

      My take on Carter’s loss was along these lines. Carter had leveraged Begin in his first term at Camp David and talked about dealing with the Palestinians in his second term. Having Carter around was the last thing Israel wanted. Conventional wisdom was that if he got the hostages out, he’d win. He was belittled and hounded by media. I asked probably 45 people, “What did Carter do you would have done differently?” Not one substantive comment.

      Nightline was started as “America Held Hostage”, a nightly berating/belittling of Carter.

      Israeli intelligence, never “proven” went to Dan Casey, Reagan’s campaign manager with a deal to keep the hostages back…. an Iran Contra deal.

      The hostages were flown out of Iranian airspace during Reagan’s inaugural speech. Later Casey had a conversation with Reagan along this line. I didn’t think it appropriate to tell you about the deal, but they own us now as they can accuse us of gaining the presidency on the back of our hostages.

      The Neocons flooded in (but not at State with Wm. Rodgers). Vociferous pro-Israel appointees followed. Jean Kirkpatrick as UN Amb. Alan Keyes somewhere. Bill Bennett at Dept. of Education. Don Rumsfeld the ME negotiator. Richard Perles Asst, at Defense, Frank Gaffney and on and on. Cheney.

      On the first day of Reagan’s fourth quarter, when the leverage was neutralized, an obscure Beirut paper ran a story on Iran Contra which was front page in LA, NY and London the following morning. Reagan was corralled again.

      The Iran Contra hearings were a joint House/Senate arrangement and lasted a long time. On the final day, IdahoSenator James McClure was asking questions, trying to get to the Israeli role. Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye, chair, looked for the opportunity to close McClure down and gaveled the hearing to a close.

      In the elevator across from the hearing, I stood beside McClure and said to him, “You weren’t able to get to the Israeli role.” He responded, highly agitated, spit flying, “We DIDN’T get to the BOTTOM of it!”

      • JWalters on December 2, 2019, 7:57 pm

        Thanks for that excellent, succinct history. There seem to be MANY things that we need to get to the bottom of.

      • RoHa on December 2, 2019, 9:25 pm

        “Carter had leveraged Begin  …”
        “ …when the leverage was neutralized …”

        Sorry, Brent. I don’t understand these bits. Could you explain what you mean by “leveraged” and “leverage”?

      • annie on December 2, 2019, 11:13 pm

        Brent, I think you men William Casey who later became director of the cia. the role Casey played, in the summer of 1980, at the time i heard was attributed to h r bush (previous director of the cia), who met with iranians in paris to hold back the hostages.

        this was widely believed (whether it was bush or casey, but probably casey), known as the october surprise, but later denounced as a conspiracy theory.

        Nevertheless, several individuals—most notably former Iranian President Abulhassan Banisadr,[4] former naval intelligence officer and U.S. National Security Council member Gary Sick, and former Reagan/Bush campaign staffer and White House analyst Barbara Honegger—have stood by the allegation.

        obviously someone made a deal because as reagan was inaugurated the hostages were released.

        here’s something interesting published in the latimes 2017

        Some ‘October surprise’ conspiracies turn out to be true

        The Reagan administration and Republicans always denied that they had any back-door negotiations with Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolutionary regime during the Iran hostage crisis. Specifically, they denied that Reagan’s campaign manager, William J. Casey, traveled surreptitiously to Madrid in the summer of 1980 to meet with a representative of the ayatollah, and to suggest that it might be in Iran’s interest to stall the negotiations over the release of the American hostages. Casey allegedly intimated that a Reagan administration would resume arms sales to the Iranians.

        These allegations seemed too outrageous, too outlandish to be believed. Journalists investigated. A House October Surprise Task Force delved into the story. Two good books, Gary Sick’s “October Surprise” (1992) and Robert Parry’s “Trick or Treason” (1993), made strong circumstantial arguments that something had happened, though neither were able to prove that Casey had flown to Madrid.

        But just a few years ago, Parry discovered a damning memo in the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library. Dated Nov. 4, 1991, the memo was written by President Bush’s deputy counsel, Paul Beach, and it described the State Department’s efforts to collect documents in response to congressional subpoenas for “material potentially relevant to the October Surprise allegations.” Beach then specifically mentions “a cable from the Madrid embassy indicating that Bill Casey was in town, for purposes unknown.”

        So we now know that Casey took time off from his campaign duties sometime in the summer of 1980 to visit Madrid. For “purposes unknown.” That’s all we know: There is a 1991 White House memo about a State Department cable that was presumably dated in 1980. We do not know if Casey went to Madrid with the knowledge of his candidate. Indeed, from what we know about Casey’s love for intrigue and even skullduggery, this former spy and veteran of the World War II-era Office of Strategic Services may have initiated his own back-door channel to the Iranians without any authorization from Reagan.

        But I think it is now reasonable to conclude that Casey did something. The Iranians dragged out the negotiations over the release of the hostages. President Carter believed these negotiations were nearly successful in late September 1980, but suddenly new demands were made that stalled the talks. Polls showed Carter within single digits of catching Reagan until about 10 days before the election. Carter lost decisively, and the hostages were inexplicably released minutes after Reagan was sworn in as president.

        The story does not end there. Months later, Reagan’s newly installed CIA director, Casey, gave the green light to Israel to sell weapons to Iran. In retrospect, this was the beginning of the scandal that broke in 1987, when it became known that the Reagan administration had been exchanging weapons for hostages. Casey died of a brain tumor soon after the scandal broke, taking to his grave further details of this October surprise.”

      • echinococcus on December 3, 2019, 12:32 am

        Yeah, levers and leverage… they are so Americanese, Managerese subdialect, that even Mencken missed them in his magnum opus The American Language.

    • Jett Rucker on December 6, 2019, 5:45 pm

      I’m sorry you don’t have time to carefully read an article you’re commenting on.

      I don’t have time to read such comments.

  2. spadepiccolo on November 26, 2019, 6:30 pm

    “I bore myself repeating these items.”

    We’ll stop getting columns like this from Weiss — “The lobby is in its twilight” — the day “liberal Zionists” accept that owning 10 slaves means you have more in common w those that own 100 than w those that don’t own any.

    It’ll never happen. It’s nice owning a few slaves.

  3. Tom Suarez on November 26, 2019, 6:57 pm

    Thanks, Phil.
    Interesting to point out that in the 1940s, the NY Times’ editor, Arthur Sulzberger, was (in stark contrast to today!) distrustful of the Zionist project. One example from him in Oct 1946:
    The unfortunate Jews of Europe’s D.P. Camps are helpless hostages for whom [Israeli] statehood has been made [by Zionists] the only ransom … Admitting that the Jews of Europe have suffered beyond expression, why in God’s name should the fate of all these unhappy people be subordinated to the single cry of statehood?

    • Nathan on November 27, 2019, 2:04 pm

      Tom Suarez – The policy of the NY Times during the Holocaust was not to report the event. There was never a report telling of the plight of the Jews, nor was there an editorial that mentioned the singling out of Jews for such terrible cruelty. The Times printed articles from the news agencies that did mention the fate of Jews, but such articles were printed among the advertisements on page 23. I don’t think that you should be very impressed with Arthur Sulzburger’s “concern” with the fate of the Holocaust survivors. He didn’t care one bit. During the Holocaust, he was concerned that mentioning the plight of Jews might leave the impression that the American Jews have interests outside of America (i.e. they’re not really patriotic). After the war when there was talk of a possible Jewish state that would solve the plight of the DP’s, Mr Sulzburger was concerned that a Jewish state would affect the status of American Jews (i.e. they might be accused of having loyalty to a foreign country). So, suddenly, he does talk about the “unfortunate Jews”, claiming that they don’t want a Jewish state. Don’t take it too seriously. Mr Sulzburger was concerned about himself, not about the fate of others. He’s not even asking for the US government to let the unfortunate Jews into America. (BTW, the US government relaxed its immigration policy only after the founding of Israel; i.e. only once it was clear that the majority of refugees were on their way to Israel).

      • Misterioso on November 27, 2019, 3:07 pm


        For the record:

        “In 1938, a thirty-one nation conference was held in Evian, France, on resettlement of the victims of Nazism. The World Zionist Organization refused to participate, fearing that resettlement of Jews in other states would reduce the number available for Palestine.” (John Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice, as quoted in “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict,” second edition, published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East, Berkeley, California, p. 21.)

        The Jewish Agency in Palestine was very concerned about the implications of the Evian Conference. “It was summed up in the meeting [of the Jewish Agency’s Executive on June 26, 1938] that the Zionist thing to do ‘is belittle the [Evian] Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing…. We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for aid to Jewish refugees, and these collections could interfere with our collection efforts’…. Ben-Gurion’s statement at the meeting: ‘No rationalization can turn the conference from a harmful to a useful one. What can and should be done is to limit the damage as far as possible.'” (Boas Evron, Jewish State or Israeli Nation? as quoted in “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict,” by John Quigley, second edition, p. 21.)

        On 7 December 1938, during a meeting of the Mapai Central Committee (precursor of the Labour Party), David Ben-Gurion revealed his true feelings regarding the plight of German Jews: “If I knew it was possible to save all the [Jewish] children in Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second…” He attempted to explain his twisted reasoning by adding that he would make such a choice “…because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.” Ben-Gurion also expressed his fear that “‘the human conscience’ might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: ‘Zionism is in danger!'” (Tom Segev, The Seventh Million, Hill and Wang, New York, 1994, p. 28.)

        During another speech to the Mapai Central Committee on 7 December 1938, Ben-Gurion admitted that “in these terrible days of the beginning of the disaster that threatens European Jewry, I am still more worried about the elections at the [Mapai] branch in Tel Aviv.” (Segev, p. 105.)

        On 27 November 1942, the Yishuv newspaper Davar published an article that referred to the extermination of European Jews as “‘punishment from heaven’ for not having come to Palestine.” (Tom Segev, p. 98). As Ben-Gurion so callously put it on 8 December 1942, during a Mapai meeting: “‘They did not want to listen to us’ ….in their deaths they had sabotaged the Zionist dream.’” (David Ben-Gurion at a gathering of Mapai workers, 8 Dec. 1942; quoted by Tom Segev)

        That saving Jews from the Nazis was not the priority of American Zionists was clearly shown during the war. When President Roosevelt became aware of the dire circumstances of European Jews (who were thought at the time to be about 80% of the total number of refugees), he sent his close friend Morris Ernst (a key member of the Democratic party and leader of the New York Jewish community) to London during the middle of the war to see if England and the Commonwealth would join the United States and other countries in taking in a half million Jewish refugees through a generous worldwide policy of political asylum once Hitler was defeated. Roosevelt felt he could sell the plan to the American Congress if Britain agreed.

        Ernst returned home jubilant and advised the President that Britain agreed to “match the United States up to 150,000.” Roosevelt replied: “150,000 to England – 150,000 to match that in the United States – pick up 200,000 or 300,000 elsewhere, and we can start with half a million of these oppressed people.” One week later, however, the President informed Ernst that the program had to be abandoned because “…the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won’t stand for it…the Zionist movement knows [that it] can raise vast sums for Palestine by saying to donors, `There is no other place this poor Jew can go.'”

        Ernst refused to believe Roosevelt and went about seeking the support of American Jews for the plan. Their response shocked him: “I was thrown out of parlours of friends of mine who very frankly said, `Morris, this is treason. You are undermining the Zionist movement’. [I found] a deep genuine, often fanatically emotional vested interest in putting over the [movement in men] who are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own.” (Morris Ernst, So Far So Good, Harper & Brothers: New York, 1948, pp. 172-177)

        In 1947, Representative William G. Stratton introduced a bill to the Congress aimed primarily at Jewish refugees which would have admitted up to 400,000 displaced persons of all faiths into the United States. Shamefully, however, the Stratton Bill never got past hearings of the House Foreign Affairs Committee because it was ignored by the Zionist lobby which wanted nothing to interfere with the flow of Jews into Palestine.

        The Zionist campaign to force European Jews to go to Palestine (and later Israel) after the war while doing everything possible to prevent them from finding new homes in the United States, did not escape criticism by all American Jews. The Yiddish Bulletin wrote: “…by insisting that Jewish D.P.’s do not wish to go to any country outside of Israel; by not participating in the negotiations on behalf of the D.P.’s; and by refraining from a campaign of their own – by all this they [the Zionists] certainly did not help to open the gates of America for Jews. In fact, they sacrificed the interests of living people – their brothers and sisters who went through a world of pain – to the politics of their own movement.” (Yiddish Bulletin, Free Jewish Club, May 19, 1950)

        The Zionists made it very clear to Truman that their backing would only be forthcoming if he did not impede their efforts to take possession of Palestine by allowing European Jewish refugees to immigrate to the United States. “…an aide sympathetic to Zionism [advised Truman] not to offer haven to Jewish displaced persons in the United States as this would dilute the argument that an independent Jewish state was required to absorb them.” (Prof. Charles Smith, Palestine And The Arab Israel Conflict, p. 128)

        Ben-Gurion and the Jewish Agency were preventing European Jews who had sought temporary sanctuary in Palestine during the war from returning to their homes. Britain was well aware of this and Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the United States made a point of informing Secretary of State Byrnes “that the Zionists were using every possible form of intimidation to stop Jews from leaving Palestine to go back to Europe and play their part in its reconstruction.” (FR: 1945, Vol. Vlll p. 775; cited by Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection, p. 52)

        Some American Jews publicly criticized the Zionists for using their influence to prevent the admission of Jewish refugees into the United States. Among them was Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times who called for a reversal of Zionist policy that put statehood first, refugees last: “Admitting that the Jews of Europe have suffered beyond expression, why in God’s name should the fate of all these unhappy people be subordinated to the single cry of Statehood? I cannot rid myself of the feeling that the unfortunate Jews of Europe’s D.P. [Displaced Persons] camps are helpless hostages for whom statehood has been made the only ransom.” (New York Times, October 27, 1946; quoted by Lilienthal, What Price Israel?, p. 37)

        During an interview in 1951, one of America’s most renowned theologians, Dr. Louis Finkelstein of the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan declared that he had always felt “if United States Jews had put as much effort into getting [Jewish] D.P.’s admitted to this country as they put into Zionism, a home could have been found in the New World for all the displaced Jews of Europe.” (Quoted by Lilienthal, WPI?, p. 36)

        On 2 May 1948, in a report delivered to the pro-Zionist American Jewish Conference regarding “Jewish Displaced Persons in the American Occupied Zone of Germany,” Jewish Chaplain Klausner (himself a dedicated Zionist) stated that “The Jews as a group are not overwhelmingly desirous of going to Palestine…we may predict that perhaps 30% of the people will go to Palestine.” (Lilienthal, What Price Israel? p. 260)

        Klausner concluded that the displaced Jews “… must be forced to go to Palestine…. By ‘force’
        I suggest a program. It is not a new program. It was used before, and most recently. It was used in the evacuation of the Jews from Poland and in the story of [the refugee ship] the ‘Exodus’.” Klausner went on to explain what his “program” would involve: “The first step…is the adoption of the principle that it is the conviction of the world Jewish community that these people must go to Palestine. The second step is the transmittal of that policy to the Displaced Persons. The third step is for the world Jewish community to offer the people the opportunity to go to Palestine….”

        The strategy suggested by Klausner to persuade Jews in the Displaced Persons camps to immigrate to Israel was implemented. Its tactics included: “confiscation of food rations, dismissal from work, smashing of machines sent by Americans to train D.P.’s in useful skills, taking away legal protection and visa rights from dissenters, expulsion from the camps of political opponents and, in one instance, even the public flogging of a recalcitrant recruit for the Israel Army. Trucks of the Jewish Agency were known to drive through the Jewish camps in Germany, ‘picking up’ boys and young men. Strange transports left Germany every week for France where, as a first step en route to Israel, the herded people were kept in camps established at Marseilles. In Germany’s D.P. camps, stories were spread that pogroms were taking place in parts of the United States.” (Lilienthal, WPI?, pp. 196-197)

        As they were reluctant to heed the “call of Zion,” Israeli immigration agents had to “encourage” and in some cases, force Eastern European Jews to immigrate to Israel. “The government [of Israel] made great efforts to encourage Jews in Eastern Europe to migrate to Israel. Its immigration agent in Romania reported in 1950: ‘Working through the local leadership and every reliable Jew we have met, we are urging Jews to make application for emigration and for passports.’ Agents tried to get emigrating Jews to Israel. In Poland Israeli officials would ‘send the people directly to the port, so they would not be able to stop en route,’ reported Samuel Eliashiv, Israel’s ambassador to Czechoslovakia. Israel’s consul in Warsaw, Israel Carmel, found that persuasion was difficult. ‘The awakening of the Jews in Poland will not happen by itself,’ he reported in 1949. ‘They must be motivated and organized.'” (Quigley, p. 99)

      • Tom Suarez on November 29, 2019, 6:02 pm

        Hi Nathan, yes, I have heard that about the NYT. Actually its record (which I have complete) is better than you describe it. But you are correct that early reports of the death camps did not hit page 1.
        Would you care to comment on the Jewish Agency’s reaction to early news of the death camps? Or the Jewish Conference, which “is alive,” as the the December 11, 1943 Jewish Daily Forward reported, only when it concerns Palestine, “and it is asleep when it concerns rescue work” …?

    • JWalters on November 27, 2019, 7:17 pm

      On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour “declaration”, which was in a letter to Walter Rothschild, his nephew Jacob Rothschild declared that the reason his family had financed the establishment of Israel was emphatically NOT to provide a safe haven for Jews, but for “that sacred goal, the return of Israel to its ancestral homeland”. The person introducing Jacob Rothschild declared that the establishment of Israel was a righting of the wrong done to the Jews by the ancient Romans.

      Does this explains the blanket support by America’s political and press establishment for slaughtering and robbing innocent Palestinians? Not in a rational, just world. So there must be something else at play. Plausible candidates – overwhelming campaign money and controlling the corporate media.

      • MHughes976 on November 28, 2019, 3:41 am

        I’m not sure that this is a rational and just world. In any case, we should recall how ambivalent religion is, being the embodiment of certain sincere attempts to be rational and just yet so often a threat to both. The problem is partly about the Benjamins, partly about the ideologies that make the Benjamins seem to glow with moral gold.

      • RoHa on November 28, 2019, 8:04 pm

        “I’m not sure that this is a rational and just world.”

        I’m certain it is neither rational nor just.

        Some of us try to bring rationality and justice, but usually with limited success. But if we don’t keep on trying, there will be none at all.

      • Keith on November 29, 2019, 12:49 am

        ROHA- “But if we don’t keep on trying, there will be none at all.”

        The Australia man’s burden?

      • RoHa on November 30, 2019, 7:51 pm

        The burden of all people who want rationality and justice in the world.

    • Jackdaw on November 28, 2019, 12:28 pm

      Yeah, Sulzberger’s 1940’s NY Times really helped the Jews in the Holocaust.

      No wonder you like him.

  4. echinococcus on November 26, 2019, 8:31 pm

    “It’s too late. The lobby is in its twilight… Young Jews are no longer very interested, and the Democratic base is getting more openly critical of Israel…”

    … the “young Jews” continue with “liberal Zionist” genocidaires and the legendary “Democratic base” is not there to implement or steer anything; it is only there to bring votes to the imperialist, Zionist owners of the country and the party, under cover of pseudo-opposition. Is there any other reading of 70 years (just to set a limit) of history, or a single example that says otherwise?

    “… as women and people of color play a larger role in the life of the party.”
    Since when has identity politics been a problem for the imperial owners of the country? On the contrary, it’s their best weapon nowadays — to sow division.

    “J Street is taking over from AIPAC in the centrist leadership of the Democratic Party”

    There, at last, is the clear admission: we are fine once the “right” Zionist genocidaires and invaders are replaced by the initial Zionist genocidaires and invaders. J Street is in fact the representative of the old “Laborite” guard — those who know how to perfect the disappearing of the Palestinian people without attracting too much censure and without endangering the enthusiastic collaboration of the Europeans.

    “… and an earnest debate over Israel will begin at last. A democratic process will replace a corrupt/rigged one. And only then, after the lobby is broken, can the conflict end.”

    It’s hard to understand at that point. A democratic process of assistance to genocide coverup under the J-Street criminals will replace the “right wing”, the too-blatant current administration, that much is clear. What “conflict” is this ending? Is it the invasion and genocide of Palestine by invaders that you are calling a “conflict”?

    • Nathan on November 30, 2019, 11:13 am

      Tom Suarez – What is the “Jewish Conference” in the context of 1943? I can’t imagine that you read Yiddish newspapers, so I assume that you have read a book in which the Forward of 1943 is quoted.

      • echinococcus on November 30, 2019, 3:11 pm

        “I can’t imagine that you read Yiddish newspapers”
        says the arch-ignorant propaganda bot. So ignorant he doesn’t even realize how easy that is: information on Yivo spelling and a passable knowledge of German, with occasional dictionary support (in the absence of the frequently occurring familiarity directly with Yiddish.) Also, the papers are readily available in several archives, and several different documents are available in different European languages, too.

      • wondering jew on November 30, 2019, 11:40 pm

        Yiddish is written in Hebrew alphabet and translated or transliterated into other languages. It is interesting the variety of Yiddish words whose etymology is from the Hebrew. For example, tuchus or tush comes from tachat, a Hebrew word.

      • echinococcus on December 1, 2019, 12:27 pm

        Mr Fredman continues exposing deep ignorance. The presence of abundant loanwords from the liturgical language is as “interesting” as anything that is the expected, default behavior — that of Arabic in Persian or Turkish, or Sanskrit in the languages of the Buddhist area. Duh.

      • Mooser on December 1, 2019, 4:50 pm

        “Yiddish is written…/…word” “wj”

        “Yonah, my lantsmann, I’m so glad you are here to explain our obscure Yiddish ways to all the yatzmans.

  5. Misterioso on November 27, 2019, 10:56 am

    Greetings Phil.

    “The lobby is in its twilight. It depends on older Jews like Sheldon Adelson and Tom Friedman, who really, really love Israel. Young Jews are no longer very interested, and the Democratic base is getting more openly critical of Israel as women and people of color play a larger role in the life of the party. J Street is taking over from AIPAC in the centrist leadership of the Democratic Party, and an earnest debate over Israel will begin at last. A democratic process will replace a corrupt/rigged one. And only then, after the lobby is broken, can the conflict end.”

    Excellent and timely column!! Common sense tells me that Zionism will inevitably collapse. Its image in America and around the world is in accelerating decline. The so-called “light unto nations” is now seen as the devouring, expansionist monster it is and has always been. The Zionist zealots are dying off, more and more of their children are viewing “Israel” with disgust and shame as it becomes an ever heavier millstone around their necks, i.e., impossible to defend. Also, Jewish immigration to “Israel” is in free fall while emigration is soaring.

    BTW, Your reference to Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban brings to mind the following reminder.

    Sheldon Adelson, largest private financial contributor to Trump and the Republicans, and Haim Saban, top private contributor to the Democrats have both called for Iran to be bombed. Adelson has actually called for an attack “with an atomic bomb.”

    Sheldon Adelson:
    Short video, Oct. 25, 2013, discussion between rabid Zionists, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Sheldon Adelson.
    Adelson declares – “Attack Iran with an atomic bomb”

    Haim Saban:
    Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Nov. 9/14

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — “Haim Saban, a top Democratic Party donor and backer of Hillary Rodham Clinton, slammed President Obama’s Iran strategy and advised Israel to bomb the ‘living daylights’ out of Iran if a nuclear deal with the major powers endangers Israel.

    “If Obama strikes a ‘bad deal’ with Iran in nuclear talks under way and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assesses it as a deal that would put Israel at risk, ‘I would bomb the living daylights out of these sons of bitches,’ Saban said Sunday at the first conference of the Israeli American Council, an advocacy group he is helping to fund.”

  6. James Canning on November 27, 2019, 11:24 am

    The Israel Lobby indeed has steadily fostered more and more illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights, trampling on international law and undermining the national security interests of the US.

  7. Rusty Pipes on November 27, 2019, 2:24 pm

    The hagiography around Clinton’s appointment as Obama’s SOS may stem in part from The Lobby pushing Dennis Ross for the job (he certainly was resentful about the lesser, circumscribed role he was offered in the administration). Obama may have thought it would be more tactful to let Hoenlein act as a go-between with Clinton instead.

  8. Ottawa observer on November 27, 2019, 3:04 pm

    Hey Phil, i think you overplay the role of the lobby and ignore America’s geo-strategic reasons for supporting Israel.
    Most of the world depends, to a significant degree, on the energy resources of the middle east. Israel is a key element in the US strategy to control that asset.
    As long as this remains the case, the US will support Israel. IMHO.

    • echinococcus on November 27, 2019, 11:51 pm


      Observe from this side of the border: “America’s geo-strategic reasons for supporting Israel” are plain and simple that the owners of Zionism are also part of the owners of this country. No, they don’t live in Palestine — they are used to better conditions. Oil is just a “nice if”.

  9. pabelmont on November 27, 2019, 9:16 pm

    Phil, you’re right about the I/P problem being the Big-Money supporting Zionism in American politics, and probably also right that most of that money comes from people who think of themselves as Jews. Sure. So what I call Big-Zion (as I call other things Big-Oil, Big-Banks, Big-Defense, etc.) — meaning AIPAC and friends — is part of the “follow the Benjamins problem” of USA politics. A far-reaching problem also responsible, it seems to me, for the refusal of ALL national USA gov’ts (and most MSM) to do anything meaningful about the Climate Catastrophe.

    I disagree that the end of Big-Zion is near. Old money-bags live forever and some have kids who agree with them. Also, Israel has big commercial and military connections with so many countries that the UNGA and UNSC not only cannot but also will not tackle I/P. Just as they pretty much also do not tackle Climate.

    Maybe climate change will somehow change things for I/P. But if so, Palestinians are poorer than Israelis and so will suffer more.

    I am not hopeful.

    But your major thesis is nonetheless correct.

  10. Jackdaw on November 28, 2019, 12:57 am

    No, my son.

    The root cause of the conflict is that one hundred years ago, the Arabs pulled their knives and drew ‘first blood’.

    The rest is just history.

    • RoHa on November 28, 2019, 7:57 pm

      The root cause of the conflict is that more than one hundred years ago the Zionists decided to create a Jewish state in Palestine. By that decision they declared themselves enemies of the people of Palestine.

      They quickly followed up their declaration by action. They bought land from Syrian landlords and drove off the established tenants. That made their enmity obvious.

      • Jackdaw on November 30, 2019, 1:32 am

        Bloody Jews brought the massacres on themselves.


        Don’t you see what you’ve become?

      • MHughes976 on November 30, 2019, 4:19 pm

        The first incident in a conflict is not normally considered its root cause. Austrian bombardment of Belgrade may have been the first incident of WW1 but wouldn’t be considered its root cause. Root causes lie deeper than first incidents. To identify the Jewish – well, it was by no means endorsed by all Jews – proclamation that ‘this land is ours’ was the root cause of the continuing conflict is not to say that the first violent incident was started by people who were Jewish, though it probably is to say that that proclamation, in its various forms and wordings, created hostility between such Jewish people as intended to act upon it and those non-Jewish residents as feared it. I say ‘probably’ because some might argue that a proclamation of that kind could be made without arousing significant hostile feelings, but I would find it hard to think of an example where this was so. I think that the Jewish pioneers, as Netanyahu likes to call them, knew that they were rousing some quite significant hostility and resolved to endure and overcome it by any means necessary. Even if you say it was all justified, it was the necessity of history, it was self-determination, it was the will of God – it was still the rousing of hostility.

      • RoHa on November 30, 2019, 7:55 pm

        Those who start a conflict, and those who support them, bear much of the responsibility for the suffering caused by the conflict.

        This applies to Zionists too, even when they are the ones who suffer.

      • RoHa on November 30, 2019, 8:05 pm

        “some might argue that a proclamation of that kind could be made without arousing significant hostile feelings”

        The Zionists did not just make that proclamation. They began acting on it. Does driving the tenant farmers off their farms, under threat of violence, count as violent incidents?

      • Talkback on December 3, 2019, 12:30 pm

        Jackdaw: “Bloody Jews brought the massacres on themselves.”

        It was actually bloody Jews who brought the massacres unto the Nonjews of Palestine to acquire land through war and terrorism and a majority through massacres and expulsions.

        Of course that’s what you support unless something similaror even worse would happen to Jews. Is that your lesson from the history of Jewish persecution?

    • andrew r on December 1, 2019, 12:55 am

      Herzl has been caught at least twice on paper wishing he could invade Palestine.

      “In the first excitement I wanted to write to Eulenburg and make proposals in case it was true. Germany would then have to welcome a Jewish settlement on Cyprus with delight. We would rally on Cyprus and one day go over to Eretz Israel and take it by force, as it was taken from us long ago.”

      To Max Nordau: “Let us accept the chance offered us to become a miniature England. Let us start by acquiring our colonies! From them we shall launch the conquest of our homeland.”
      (“A Man Alone: The Life of Theodore Herzl”, 244)

      Also, he met with German officials including Kaiser Wilhelm attempting to acquire a protectorate over Palestine, which would’ve meant military occupation. (Detailed in “Germany, Turkey and Zionism” starting on p. 60)

      If Herzl had gotten anything concrete off the ground beyond the JNF, it’s almost a certainty the Zionist movement would’ve skipped the Balfour declaration and gone straight to the Nakba.

  11. Jackdaw on November 28, 2019, 1:01 am

    ‘The Real Reason Americans Support Israel: And It’s Not AIPAC.”

    Phil needs to stop listening to his bi-coastal ‘woke’, liberal elites, and go into America’s heartland and talk to real Americans.

    • bcg on November 28, 2019, 9:03 am

      @Jackdaw: Did you actually read the Tablet article? In a nutshell it says the reason Americans support Israel is because of various bible-nuttery, Christian theology and a pinch of sympathy for another settler-colonialist state. (Did I miss the Holocaust guilt part?)

      As for the American heartland, Jackdaw, I can assure you that there are plenty of people there who are becoming acquainted with the apartheid-like features of the Zionist State.

      • Jackdaw on November 28, 2019, 9:53 am


        Take note of the fact that many Americans support Trump in spite of his crimes and misdemeanors, and many Americans similarly support Israel in spite what her (alleged) crimes and misdemeanors.

        Wake up.

      • Mooser on November 28, 2019, 12:09 pm

        “Wake up.” “Jackdaw”

        Yeah! Evil and criminality always works for the Jews. As goes the right, so goes the all-rightnik! That’s the ticket!

        And write back when Israel forms a government.

      • eljay on November 28, 2019, 1:41 pm

        || Jackdaw: … Take note of the fact that many Americans support Trump in spite of his crimes and misdemeanors, and many Americans similarly support Israel in spite what her (alleged) crimes and misdemeanors.

        Wake up. ||

        1. It’s cute how accusations against Trump are real crimes while Zionist Israel’s decades-long and on-going spree of deliberately- and unapologetically-committed (war) crimes is merely “(alleged)” wrong-doing.

        2. It is truly disturbing how you Zionists take great pride:
        – not in being as good as the best; but,
        – in being less bad than the worst.

      • MHughes976 on November 29, 2019, 5:57 pm

        It’s pretty clear that there exists a moral system – at least a set of ideas about right and wrong – which is based loosely, in some ways carelessly, on the Bible and which makes Zionism a force for good to the whole human race, thus makes the lobby seem rather sacred and its money cleanest of clean. The rather anti-intellectual people like Pence, who (just like the vulgar Netanyahu) embarrass the educated and fastidious among their Jewish audience, are only part of the story. Many very different types of Christian, American and other, come into the picture – liberals like Archbishop Welby, moral leaders like MLK, distinguished theologians like Krister Stendahl.

      • eljay on November 29, 2019, 8:43 pm

        || MHughes976: It’s pretty clear that there exists a moral system – at least a set of ideas about right and wrong – which is based loosely, in some ways carelessly, on the Bible and which makes Zionism a force for good to the whole human race … ||

        There does seem to be some bizarre notion that the religion-based identity of Jewish somehow transforms the people who choose to embrace it into something supernatural or other-worldly. The fact – as disappointing as it may be to Jewish supremacists and their supporters and enablers – is that a “Jewish” person, regardless of his actual (and not Zionistic) homeland, is nothing more than an ordinary person who is entitled to the same rights as every other person in and of his actual (and not Zionistic) homeland.

      • RoHa on November 30, 2019, 12:06 am

        “It’s pretty clear that there exists a moral system …which makes Zionism a force for good to the whole human race,”

        Do you mean “which makes Zionism seem to be a force for good to the whole human race”?

        I cannot see Zionism providing any good for the human race.

      • MHughes976 on November 30, 2019, 4:38 pm

        Sorry, RoHa, I should have put ‘seem’ earlier in the sentence. I would say to eljay that the notion of special rights of conquest, which you and I might find bizarre, rests on the prevalent interpretation of the Bible. I know I keep harping on this, but I think that this founding Christian document still has influence, more than many admit, and the claim that the children of Israel have an inheritance, supported by divine mandate, in the land of Canaan is never more than a quarter inch below the surface of all versions of Zionism – and sometimes right on top and in our face. Those of us who call ourselves Christians but interpret the scriptures differently are called ‘supersessionists’, which is being made to sound like the gateway drug to anti-Semitism. I half expect the IHRA to publish a definition of it. There are other, perhaps more abusive, words for Jews who think differently.

      • Mooser on December 1, 2019, 4:55 pm

        BTW, I don’t think Israel will form a government. An extended ‘interim’ period, and the diffusion of responsibility and accounting which goes with it, may suit Israel very well for a while to come.

  12. Citizen on November 29, 2019, 2:31 pm

    Wayback Machine :The Complete Unexpurgated AIPAC Tape discussing who’s best for Israel, Clinton, Bush, or Perot? Orchestration of Zionist Benjamins has not changed in 2019: (Nothing has changed!)

  13. Rich Forer on December 3, 2019, 12:30 pm

    I agree with most of the article but not with the assertion that the Israel lobby is the root cause of the “conflict.” If it were we should not be able to ask and answer, “Why did the Israel lobby come into being?” If we keep asking why there is a “conflict” (I do not consider the problem between Israel and the Palestinians a conflict, which implies that both sides are, more or less, equally responsible) we go further and further back in time to the creation of Israel, the partition plan and the deceitfulness that allowed its passage,, Holocaust, pogroms, Crusades, etc., etc. I consider the root cause of the conflict and of suffering to be the attachment to a presumed limited and mortal identity and to the beliefs and images that emanate from and reinforce that presumption. If one looks at virtually all conflicts through the lens of that phrase I believe they will have a clearer understanding of why the conflict began in the first place.

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