On the Creeping Anti-Semitism Watch

|

Washington Post columnist and former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson takes a hard look at The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by Harvard's Stephen Walt and University of Chicago's John Mearsheimer and finds creeping anti-semitism. According to Gerson, Walt and Mearsheimer argue that the

"Israeli government and pro-Israel groups" have shaped President Bush's "grand scheme for reordering the Middle East."

As a former Bush insider, Gerson doubts that the "Israel lobby" had much influence on Bush Administration policy. He does offer what I think is a very nice rejoinder to the assertion by Walt and Mearsheimer that

"the U.S. has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel"

Gerson retorts that statement is

the equivalent of arguing that Britain had a Nazi problem in the 1930s because it was so closely allied with Czechoslovakia.

Gerson goes on to ask why Americans and our country's policymakers tend to support Israel. To wit:

Perhaps many Americans actually prefer Israel's flawed democracy to the aging autocrats and corrupt monarchies of the region.

Yes.

Perhaps they root for a reliable ally that is surrounded by nations still committed to its destruction.

Yes.

Perhaps many Americans recall that the Jews, just six decades ago, lost one-third of their number to genocide and believe that this persecuted people deserves a secure home and sanctuary.

Yes.

Perhaps Americans understand that anti-Semitism was the greatest source of evil in the 20th century and is not dead in this one.

Communism was the greatest source of 20th century evil, but anti-semitism was a pretty close second.

Gerson ends:

Every generation has seen accusations that Jews have dual loyalties, promote war and secretly control political structures.

These academics may not follow their claims all the way to anti-Semitism. But this is the way it begins. This is the way it always begins.

True, all too sadly true.

Whole Post column here.


Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

204 responses to “On the Creeping Anti-Semitism Watch

  1. “These academics may not follow their claims all the way to anti-Semitism. But this is the way it begins. This is the way it always begins.”

    I don’t know anything about these academics but that’s the way an awful lot of slippery slopes begin.

  2. Without The Jews we wouldn’t have The Comedians.
    So in that respect Hitler’s victims had the last laugh.

  3. the equivalent of arguing that Britain had a Nazi problem in the 1930s because it was so closely allied with Czechoslovakia.

    Britain didn’t arm and defend Czechoslovakia. That’s rather a well-known point, and makes the Israel comparison inapt. Unless you’d care to argue that the US has treated Israel the way Chamberlain treated the Chechs.

    A better analogy would be, “Britain had a terrorism problem largely – nice omission of the word largely, Mr. Gerson – because it was so closely allied with Poland.”

    Which is, oh, what’s that word? Oh, yeah: TRUE.

    The Nazis eagerly sought a peace deal with the British throughout the 1930s, and only turned on them after they (officially) rose to Poland’s defense. Even after that, the Germans still attempted to work out an armistice with the British, right up until the invasion of France in 1940.

    This is rather well-known history.

  4. Perhaps objecting to the degree and the type of support we give for a foreign nation (in this case Israel) isn’t inherently anti-semitic?

  5. …”the U.S. has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel”

    Gerson retorts that statement is

    the equivalent of arguing that Britain had a Nazi problem in the 1930s because it was so closely allied with Czechoslovakia.

    Perhaps. Then again, both statements might also be true. And if they are true then one reasonably asks whether the problem in question is worth the price of supporting the Israelis or the Czechs.

  6. Right. Any criticism of Israel or suggestion that pro-Isreal lobbyists influence our policies in the Middle East makes me an anti-semite.

    Sounds like “shut up and take it” to me.

  7. joe,

    Well, the Czechs were really France’s ally in the 1930s. France had at the time cobbled together an alliance with a number of Eastern European nations to provide a suitable counter-weight to the Germans. They did this largely because of the rather moronic policy of both of Britain and France towards the Soviets.

  8. All true, Syloson.

    And yet, Gerson jumps to some imaginary alliance with Britain.

    And picks the Czechs, rather than the Poles.

    There is a species of Very Serious Person in Washington for whom the war cry “Chamberlain-Munich-Czechoslovakia-Britain-Antisemitism!” is the foreign policy equivalent of “DEMAND KURV!” It’s the answer to every question.

  9. Being Jewish, I tend to get… annoyed… when people equate criticism of Israel with Antisemitism. It’s something that too many of my fellow Jews subscribe to. Heck, I’ve been yelled at by members of my own family for doing it.

  10. Allow me to deconstruct this bullshit:

    “the equivalent of arguing that Britain had a Nazi problem in the 1930s because it was so closely allied with Czechoslovakia”

    Czechoslovakia didn’t take German lands by force and constantly violate international law.

    “Perhaps many Americans actually prefer Israel’s flawed democracy to the aging autocrats and corrupt monarchies of the region.”

    The trouble is, it’s the US government who actively props many of these goons. And to call Israeli democracy flawed is a massive understatement as the majority of people under the control of the Israeli state have no representation in the Knesset.

    “Perhaps they root for a reliable ally that is surrounded by nations still committed to its destruction.”

    The Arab states have long offered normalized relations if Israel returns to the ’67 borders.

    “Perhaps many Americans recall that the Jews, just six decades ago, lost one-third of their number to genocide and believe that this persecuted people deserves a secure home and sanctuary”

    But not by victimizing people who had nothing to do with the Holocaust

  11. Andrew,

    Well, it probably depends on how one views Israel. Is it a “normal state?” Or is it the salvation of a paticular people?

  12. “Anti-Semitism!” is used as an easy slapdown for very justified criticism of our support of Israel. It is also true sometimes. You have to look at each case, and in some you’ll see strains of conspiracy/OMG!ZOG! shit, even if it is subtle. When I see that, I tend to think Eric Cartman.

  13. Some of Pat Buchanan’s anti-Zionist shtick creeps me out.

  14. So Gerson’s denying that AIPAC and Christian dispensationalists don’t have an effect on American foreign policy? Then he might want to inform those groups that they’re wasting tons of money.

  15. Being Jewish, I tend to get… annoyed… when people equate criticism of Israel with Antisemitism. It’s something that too many of my fellow Jews subscribe to. Heck, I’ve been yelled at by members of my own family for doing it.

    My rabbi was declared persona non grata by the Jewish Exponent for doing it. Gets to me, too.

  16. Chicago:
    Perhaps objecting to the degree and the type of support we give for a foreign nation (in this case Israel) isn’t inherently anti-semitic?

    QFT!

  17. While it may be true that Americans “prefer” Israel’s democracy to its Arab neighbors, and that they “root for” Israel in its problems with those neighbors, I’m not sure why those preferences or rooting interests should translate to billions of dollars in aid each year and active taking of sides in matters that probably aren’t our business. I don’t recall hearing any arguments for spending lots of money and exercising our military power in support of Armenia, which also is a small democratic country that has troubled relationships with its neighbors whose population suffered genocide in the past century.

    The real question is whether it is in our national interest to support Israel. I think that there are arguments in favor of that proposition, and also arguments that we shouldn’t really care about it (from a national interest perspective). But unfortunately we can’t have that conversation in this country, because even to raise the issue is to invite charges of slippery-slope anti-Semitism.

  18. My mom took me to see Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion, and Mel Gibson says you are snakes, and you are liars. And if the Road Warrior says it, it must be true.

  19. The Nazis eagerly sought a peace deal with the British throughout the 1930s, and only turned on them after they (officially) rose to Poland’s defense. Even after that, the Germans still attempted to work out an armistice with the British, right up until the invasion of France in 1940.

    This doesn’t even include Rudolf Hess skydiving into Scotland in Mid-1941 to cut a deal.

  20. I think Bill nailed it. The origins of the problems Israel has have less to do with anti-Semitism and more to do with how the modern version of it was founded (theft by the U.N. with the 1948 Partition).

    I’m no fan of anti-Semites or conspiracy loons, and I certainly don’t think the Israelis should be forced to give the land back to the Palestinians, same as I don’t want the U.S. government forcing me to give back my home to the native Americans who used to live there (two wrongs don’t make a right). But that said, however, I don’t think there’s a valid reason to continue to intervene on the Israelis’ behalf or get ourselves tangled up in every dust-up the Israelis have in that area. We should let them sort out their issues with their neighbors on their own…something they’ve demonstrated many times that they’re more than capable of doing.

  21. Seriously, Bailey ought to be ashamed of himself. He is smart enough to know better than to so heartily endorse this nonsense–and from Michael Gerson no less!

    Here is the original London Review of Books essay Walt and Mearsheimer published on the subject. Judge for yourself whether it embodies creeping anti-Semitism.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html

    “No discussion of the Lobby would be complete without an examination of one of its most powerful weapons: the charge of anti-semitism. Anyone who criticises Israel’s actions or argues that pro-Israel groups have significant influence over US Middle Eastern policy – an influence AIPAC celebrates – stands a good chance of being labelled an anti-semite. Indeed, anyone who merely claims that there is an Israel Lobby runs the risk of being charged with anti-semitism, even though the Israeli media refer to America’s ‘Jewish Lobby’. In other words, the Lobby first boasts of its influence and then attacks anyone who calls attention to it. It’s a very effective tactic: anti-semitism is something no one wants to be accused of.”

  22. “the equivalent of arguing that Britain had a Nazi problem in the 1930s because it was so closely allied with Czechoslovakia”

    Actually Briton had a nazi problem because they were clostly related to Belgum.

  23. Missing from many of these discussions are those pro-Israel types who support a Jewish homeland so that “those people” will live over there instead of here.

    Is it accurate to consider these people anti-Semites?

  24. Or do they escape the label because they are pro-Israel?

  25. But not by victimizing people who had nothing to do with the Holocaust

    Wrong! In fact the Grand Mufti if Jerusalem actively recruited for Hitler, was a guest at the Eagles Nest and helped raise SS units of Muslims volunteers.

    It would help if you did a wee bit of research before making such blanket statements.

    Muslim jew-hatred pre-dates the rise of the Nazis by a long way. It is not just a reaction to the state of Israel or its behaviour.

    I hear plenty of criticism of Israel from Jews and non-Jews alike…none of whom get accused of anti-semitism. Its a nonsense to think that anyone who criticises Israel is called and anti-semite. Not believing that Israel has a right to exist does make one wonder if there is hatred of Jews involved however.

  26. If you criticize the Israli Government or it’s foreign policy you are a NAZI.

  27. I do not perceive that debating what the nature of our relationship with Israel should be is the problem; it is the belief that the so-called ‘Zionist-evangelical alliance’ has a majority and primary influence on our foreign policy. Beneficial and detrimental reasons exist for being allies with Israel–as they do for NATO, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan–PAKISTAN–but nobody argues that our relationships with these regional or national allies is because of some vast and secretive ‘social democratic-Arab-Islamic nationalist-Confucian-yakuza’ conspiracy. Our relationship with Israel, for better or for worse, has actual political or security considerations, not undue influence from any inflated special interest or lobby.

  28. Sorry to open the ol’ can of worms, but what about “The Passion of the Christ” was anti-semitic? I didn’t see any suggestions that the Jews as a people were evil… unless the gospels are anti-semitic as well..

  29. I agree with most of Ron’s posting, but Gerson’s argument, which Ron thinks is clever, that saying “the U.S. has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel” is like saying that “Britain had a Nazi problem in the 1930s because it was so closely allied with Czechoslovakia” has taken a proper pounding. Attempts to make one to one comparisons between “the terroists” and Nazi Germany are beyond banal, and Ron ought to know it.

  30. A lot of our terrorism problem has more to do with our support of the Saudi Royal family than it does with our support of Israel. That was certainly Bin Ladin’s main bitch. He wants to overthrow the Saudi Royal family and re-establish a world wide Caliphate. Yeah, he would like to destroy Israel and kill all of the Jews but that would only come later. His first objective is to wipe out the Saudi Royal family.

    It seems pretty stupid to think that if the US stopped supporting Israel it disentangle itself form the area. Israel could disappear tomorrow with all its pesky Jews and the US and the world would still depend on the middle-east for oil. That is why we care who owns Kuwait and whether some nut is running Iran or Iraq, oil. Not that we want to still or some such nonsense, but that we want to buy it and all that money we spend goes into someone’s pocket and we can’t very well buy it if the region is completely unstable. It is in pursuit of that stability that has gotten the US entangled in the middle-east over the last half century not the support of Israel. People bitch about the 1967 war but the US wasn’t even Israel’s ally then. Israel’s main protector and ally in the 1960s was France. When the Israelis destroyed the Jordanian and Egyptian air forces on the ground in 1967, the IAF was flying French Mirages not F4s. We have terrorism problem because we have an oil problem. If the Mideast’s oil reserves were in South America rather than where they are, Europe would still have a terrorism problem because it has huge numbers of unassimilated Muslims but it would be a problem that the US looked on sympathetically from afar.

  31. Randolph Carter,

    Depends on the Gospel in question.

  32. I, personally, support Israel for all of the reasons Bailey quotes. Democratic government (though flawed). Nasty dictatorships for enemies. Emerging from the ashes of the gas chambers. The whole deal.

    Heck, I even support giving them aid for those reasons.

    But I gotta tell you, the Piper just sent his daughter to Bennington, I don’t have any ones in my wallet, and I wanna hear some Skynard, goddammit!

  33. what about people who don’t particularly give a shit about israel either way?

    what do we call them?

  34. I have trouble believing that a good reason for our continued support of Israel is that many people really do believe that the Jews are a chosen people – it says so in the bible.

    But I’m just an anti-semite, so I should be ignored. :/

  35. True dat, Sy.

    And, as a matter of fact, Gibson didn’t base his Passion on “the gospels.”

    He based it on one gospel, the one most commonly singled out for its anti-semitism, and the only one not written for a Jewsish readership. Matthew, I think – the one where the Jews, at the trial of Jesus by Pontius Pilate, shout as one, “Let his blood be on us and our children.”

    But wait, it gets worse.

    He didn’t just read the gospel itself, by the interpretations of that gospel by a medieval nun also known for her visions of cannibalistic Jews with dripping fangs killing Christian children.

  36. dhex,

    How about “eh-ti-semites?”

  37. “Perhaps many Americans recall that the Jews, just six decades ago, lost one-third of their number to genocide and believe that this persecuted people deserves a secure home and sanctuary.”

    They deserve a secure home and santuary at the expense of having land taken away from others to give to them? And how secure is that land for them? They would be more secure by living in democratic countries like the US, Western Europe, Australia, Canada, etc.

    “Gerson goes on to ask why Americans and our country’s policymakers tend to support Israel.”

    Because we have a common religious heritage.

  38. Alarm bells went off in late 99 when Richard Pearl travelled to Austin to meet with then Governor Bush. His Father, James Baker, and Brent Scowcroft warned him not to get in bed with the NeoCons. They would destroy his Presidency. I think the evidence is in. The NeoCons destroyed the White House, the GOP, and will be responsible for electing Ms Hilly in 2008.

  39. “what about people who don’t particularly give a shit about israel either way?

    what do we call them?

    Semi-semetic?

  40. what about people who don’t particularly give a shit about israel either way?

    what do we call them?

    Smart.

  41. One more observation: Support for Israel may well provoke anti-Americanism in the Middle East, but largely because it is used by authoritarian regimes as a way to divert attention from how they oppress their own populations. In other words, whatever the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians has almost zero effect on the economic, social and political backwardness of Arab countries. In fact, Arab regimes blaming Israel is a pretty good parallel with Hitler’s claims that all the Germans’ problems were the result of the machinations of international Jewry.

    Blaming Israel and anti-Americanism is merely a way of blaming outsiders for the problems caused by repressive authoritarianism at home. In addition, another and I think more potent source of Arab anti-Americanism is our support of Arab monarchs and dictators.

  42. Andrew Ian Dodge

    Good points. Some people get carried away with some unjustified romanticism in sympathizing with the Palestinian* cause to be sure. Arab hands are far from clean.

    I just watched a Frontline(?) program on modern Arab history recently. The nazis made major inroads into various Arab nationalist movements in the 30s and 40s*. The Iraqi Baath Party was almost slavishly modeled on the Nazi Party according to the narrative.

    Mind you those movements were also secular as well and ran afoul of the clerics but sometimes exploited religion for the sake of maintaining power.

    Of course much of the pro-German sentiment was motivated more by anti-Western/European feelings than by positive sympathies for the nazis. Much the same as the fifties thru seventies ties to the Soviets were hardly due to Communist leanings.

  43. “But I’m just an anti-semite, so I should be ignored. :/”

    And a Nazi.

  44. If we are going to be subjected to Michael Young and Totten spewing non-libertarian crap and Bailey smearing legitimate critics of Israel could reason magazine just ignore the middle east — y’all do a much better job on domestic issues, cultural stuff and the occasional update from Burma.

  45. How close is Gerson to another Bush loyalist, Doug Feith?

    Did they work together to shape the intelligence coming out of the CIA that the administration used to justify the Iraqi war?

    Are they working together again to “Goebbelize” the message against Iran?

  46. Andrew Ian Dodge,

    That’s some very fascinating history about the 1940s.

    It doesn’t justify stealing the land of peole who never met the Mufti of Jerusalem, in 1997.

  47. “His Father, James Baker, and Brent Scowcroft warned him not to get in bed with the NeoCons.”

    Now Brent Snowcroft is betting that Bush doesn’t attack war because he doesn’t think Bush is that stupid. Time will tell.

  48. joe,
    Thanks for the info, I did not know about the.. uh… revealed truth of vampiric baby-eating Jews that inspired Gibson. Also, I’m probably most John-familiar when it comes to gospels.

    On the more relevant side of things, I think that unless you support Japan, both culturally and militarily, your are anti-Japanese, and want to wipe the Japanese people off the face of the earth. I mean, come on, they’re Shinto’s chosen people! Amaterasu picked them!

  49. Ron Bailey,

    Terrorism and various radical notions would likely be coming out of the middle east no matter what we do. We’re dealing with the long-tailed consequences of a number of issues eminating from and directed toward the region.

    In addition, another and I think more potent source of Arab anti-Americanism is our support of Arab monarchs and dictators.

    I don’t think it is that important.

  50. About thirty percent of our total foreign aid goes to Israel which as a population of about 7 million, or somewhat over 1/1000th of the world’s population. It certainly seems like someone would have to be “pro-Israel” to continue this trend of massive foreign aid that has been going on since 1948.

    As for this:
    “the U.S. has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel”

    Why don’t we just see what Osama has to say?

    ***

    While seeking Allah’s help, we form our reply based on two questions directed at the Americans:

    (Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?
    Q2)What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?

    As for the first question: Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple:

    (1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.

    a) You attacked us in Palestine:

    (i) Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its*price, and pay for it heavily.

    ***

    Now I certainly don’t agree with or have any sympathy for bin Laden or al Queda, but clearly our support of Israel is a factor and it’s not anti-semitic to say so. The world’s number one terrorist says it is.

    It’s ridiculous that any time anyone examines anything regarding our relationship with Israel or Israel’s policies they are labeled as anti-semitic… oh, okay, or on “a slippery slope” on the way to becoming anti-semitic (read: you guys are right on the line and we–the non-existent pro-Israel lobby– are keeping an eye on you!)

  51. the equivalent of arguing that Britain had a Nazi problem in the 1930s because it was so closely allied with Czechoslovakia.

    I don’t have much to add to the comments that others have already made about this line. Gerson comes across as one of those people who tries desperately to fit everything into a WW2 framework. That’s bad enough when the topic is U.S. foreign policy, but it’s downright alarmist when anti-Semitism is the subject.

  52. Go back to the Glory Days of the NeoCons. 9 days after 9/11 40 of them took out a full page ad in the NY Times demanding Bush attack not only Iraq, but Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. None of which were responsible for 9/11.

    Then in early 2003, now disgraced NeoCon hit man David Frum wrote a piece trying to read out of polite company people like Robert Novak, Pat Buchanan, Lew Rockwell, Justin Raimondo and various others. All needed to be purged because they didn’t support invading Iraq.

    In Nov of 2008 when the GOP gets destroyed, they need to purge the NeoCons.

  53. “Terrorism and various radical notions would likely be coming out of the middle east no matter what we do. We’re dealing with the long-tailed consequences of a number of issues eminating from and directed toward the region.”

    Where were the acts of terrorism against us from the Middle East before we starting meddling there?

  54. Mr. Bailey you are WRONG sir.

    Gerson may be a great propagandist, but I’m calling bullshit here.

    Please read to Harvard study for yourself. Gerson’s selective passages are a pathetic attempt to divert attention from the very valid points of the study.

    Here is the WHOLE REPORT without filtered commentary:

    http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011

    Read for yourself. And decide if it’s Anti-Semetic or not.

    Especially Jewish Americans should read it as it distinguishes different Jewish factions, Jewish Americans, Israelis etc…

    Andrew on this board has the best point. I say those who try to commingle Judaism (as an ancient tradition, religion, and a people and their cherished customs) is FAR different from the Zionist quasi relgious/quasi socialist government of Israel. One is Political and has done many questionable things, but Judaism is a faith and a tradition that should not sully its hands with the doings of the state of Israel.

    Israel is at the heart of mistrust of people of Middle East not due to Anti-semetism as some contend. It is looked upon as a European colony built on the premise of a European Genocide whose perpetrators seem to have not paid much of a price yet, Palestinians, as tacticaly dumb as they are have a legitimate grievance as they see newly immigrated Russians, Czechs and Ethiopian immigrants who claim to have at least one Jewish grandparent (the bar for determining if one is Jewish enough to be awarded Israeli citizenship) have more rights, property or personal, than a Palestinian Christian or Muslim who have lived in that land for many generations.

    Calling for the state of Israel to treat ALL OF HER CITIZENS regardless of race, creed, or religion isn’t anti-semetism. Nor is calling Iran to treat her minorities (including Persian Jews) as equal being anti-Persian. It’s just right.

  55. “In addition, another and I think more potent source of Arab anti-Americanism is our support of Arab monarchs and dictators.”

    “I don’t think it is that important.”

    It was important enough for an anti-American revolution to come about in Iran in 1979 after our propping up of a tyranical dictator for 26 years.

  56. “the equivalent of arguing that Britain had a Nazi problem in the 1930s because it was so closely allied with Czechoslovakia.”
    That is just so deluded. When attacking the Brits did the Nazi’s over and over proclaim that they were doing so because of the backing of the Czechs by the Brits? Cause the terrorists site this over an over as to why they hate the U.S. In today’s Washington Post we learn that the US assisted Israel via intelligence sharing in it’s most recent strike on one of its neighbors (Syria). The Arab world noticed that the cluster munitions being dropped on Lebanon were often US made…They can readily see the dozens of UN Security Council resolutions that we usually single handedly opposed and vetoed for Israel concerning their Arab problems…The idea that they hate us for our support of Israel is not only not far-fetched, it’s the most plausible answer one can think of. It fits with empirical facts and common sense knowledge of human nature…

    “Every generation has seen accusations that Jews have dual loyalties, promote war and secretly control political structures.”

    Actually any nation with a lot of immigrants is going to have this, as it is human nature for people to identify not only with their home nation but also ethnic heritage. The last two charges are clearly fallacies of equivocation: most critics of the Israel Lobby do not claim that “Jews” in general started this or that war or “secretly control political structures” but that several pro-Israeli (and a narrow definition of “pro-Israel” at that) lobbying groups have a great influence on Middle East Policy. The latter is simply true.

    “Support for Israel may well provoke anti-Americanism in the Middle East, but largely because it is used by authoritarian regimes as a way to divert attention from how they oppress their own populations.” That is crazy. Ron, do you really think that if Arab nations became deomcracies overnight they would excuse Israel’s occupation of what used to be Arab lands? In fact, the more they learned on this subject probably the madder they would get…

  57. “Support for Israel may well provoke anti-Americanism in the Middle East, but largely because it is used by authoritarian regimes as a way to divert attention from how they oppress their own populations. In other words, whatever the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians has almost zero effect on the economic, social and political backwardness of Arab countries. In fact, Arab regimes blaming Israel is a pretty good parallel with Hitler’s claims that all the Germans’ problems were the result of the machinations of international Jewry.”

    Whatever Arab regimes may say about Israeli-Palestinian relations, the fact remains that Muslims in the Middle East are going to be deeply invested in the plight of their co-religionists. The future of Jerusalem vis-a-vis a two-state solution, for example, is a topic that Muslims aren’t likely to dismiss even if the Arab governments do.

    I’d also like to know if Bailey really thinks it’s healthy for the U.S. to support the Israelis on issues like the settlements on the merits.

  58. Rattlesnake Jake,

    I guess that depends on what one means by “we.” If by “we” you mean the unsettling and downfall of the Ottoman Empire* by the British, French and (very tangentially) Americans, then yes there has been meddling.

    But then again, I’d argue that encountering “modernity” itself has been a core part of the radical reaction by various elements in the Musulm world.

    *Not that I am any great defender of the Ottoman Empire.

  59. Rattlesnake Jake,

    So is American meddling necessary or sufficient (or both) in your mind?

  60. as they see newly immigrated Russians, Czechs and Ethiopian immigrants who claim to have at least one Jewish grandparent (the bar for determining if one is Jewish enough to be awarded Israeli citizenship) have more rights, property or personal, than a Palestinian Christian or Muslim who have lived in that land for many generations.

    Therein lies the solution. All Palistinians should claim to have a Jewish grandparent. End of problem.

    Are they required to remain Jewish? What kind of proof is required?

  61. This article is a load of crap. US policy for to long has been pro-Israel. Why are we still sending huge amounts of money in aid and sending them money for their military but not requiring them to use it any of it to buy US produced military goods. What have we really gained from Israel other than the hate of its neighbors. When I was in High School I sent a letter about all the aid Israel received from the US for my Govt class to three US Congressmen. I was one of the few people who did not recieve a reply.

    I am so thankfully that my Hebrew Grandmother turned down an invitation to move to Israel. I doubt that my relatives that died in Concentration Camps would be full of praise about what has come about since their deaths.

  62. Deron, I’m assuming you’re joking.

    But to be Jewish the “natural” way (for Israeli immigration anyways) is to have performed your Bar Mitzvah (confirmed in writing by a officially recognized Rabbi)

    Or if you are a convert to Judaism you must also have written proof from a fully bona fide Rabbi.

    And you kinda need to stay Jewish, your citizenship is not a right and can be revoked.

    Bonus: if you become a super orthodox Jew you don’t have to serve in the military either. (the whole thou shall not kill thingie in the commandments)

    If you’re planning to emigrate, i suggest Tel Aviv over Jerusalem. Less crazies.

  63. “Support for Israel may well provoke anti-Americanism in the Middle East, but largely because it is used by authoritarian regimes as a way to divert attention from how they oppress their own populations. In other words, whatever the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians has almost zero effect on the economic, social and political backwardness of Arab countries. In fact, Arab regimes blaming Israel is a pretty good parallel with Hitler’s claims that all the Germans’ problems were the result of the machinations of international Jewry.”

    It’s kinda tough throwing something out like that under a post suggesting that criticism of Israel is the root of all antisemitism, but that parallel to Hitler’s false claims would make better sense if “international Jewry” had actually been responsible for the partition of Wiemar Germany.

    Interesting parallels there nonetheless. Occupation does things to people. I’ve sometimes wondered what might have happened if the French hadn’t occupied the Ruhr Valley.

  64. Perhaps many Americans actually prefer Israel’s flawed democracy to the aging autocrats and corrupt monarchies of the region.

    “Flawed democracy”? Try “Apartheid State”. Why is only Israel able to call everyone racist for opposing them when the very foundation of their government is racist? Fuck them. I don’t give two shits that they’re Jewish, but they can rot in hell with all of the rest of the shit states in the ME.

  65. “But then again, I’d argue that encountering “modernity” itself has been a core part of the radical reaction by various elements in the Musulm world.”

    By setting an example with our democratic, capitalistic system, many countries want to immitate us, but when we meddle in their affairs, they feel we are pushing our system off on them.

  66. “So is American meddling necessary or sufficient (or both) in your mind?”

    Neither

  67. Conflating support of Israel’s specific policies in reference to the Palestinians who’s grandparents lived in Palestine prior to world war II with support of the existence of Israel and/or support of Jewish identity and rights around the globe trivializes the very real anti-semitism of some of our allies, such as the ones who financed 9/11 and still provide the majority of support for Al Queda, Saudi Arabia.

    Just because someone believes that Israel has increased its own dificulties by it treatment of the descendants of the people who lived in “Israel” prior to WWII and were not Jewish does not constitute anti-semitism.

    However, printing government pamphlets that say Jewish Rabbis use the blood of palestanian youths in the baking of holiday pastries, as the Saudi’s did, is anti-semitism.

  68. It seems to me that a lot of this is irrelevant to the terrorism question.

    If we accept the work of Robert Pape and the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism, the primary cause of terrorism is occupation by a foreign (democratic) nation. So Israel has its own terrorist problem, and the United States has its own terrorist problem. And beyond the fact that both groups of terrorists are Muslims, those two groups of terrorists are clearly distinct and independently caused.

    Beyond terrorists’ own propaganda efforts, there is no reason to believe that American support for Israel affects anti-American terrorism. Which means we should be able to discuss American support for Israel independent of American terrorism concerns.

  69. True, supporting Arab dictators and monarchs may also be a source of ant-Americanism in the Middle East. But I hear a lot of people seem to suggest that Egypt, for example, is better non-democratic because then they would fight a war with Israel. Thus, we have to support Muburak. So in a way the two are intertwined.

  70. the author’s pitch that criticism of Israel is a “gateway drug” kinda thing that draws its users to antisemitism seems a bit disingenuous to me

    the word “Israel” is not interchangeable with the word “Judaism”

    there’s more than enough room to take issue with the welfare case that the nation of Israel represents to US taxpayers without having to yell “Jews!” along the way

  71. “the U.S. has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel”

    Late to the party here, I know, but uhm, isn’t this true on its face? Everytime a bomb goes off and an Islamist claims responsibility, our “policies in Israel and the Middle East” come to bear, somewhere within.

  72. How is this in any way consistent with a libertarian viewpoint?

  73. Actually doesn’t saying you have to agree with Israel policies and never question them or you are an anti-semite use the same exact argument that if I don’t support Bush and the war in Iraq I must hate America?

  74. Rudolf Hess skydiving into Scotland in Mid-1941 to cut a deal.

    Wasn’t Rudolf Hess considered a bit… oh, how do I say… a few crayons short of a full pack? Nothing Rudolf Hess did was endorsed by the German high command– that I know of. My understanding was that Hess was pretty much off the reservation at that point.

  75. Being Anti Israel is NOT being Anti-Jewish.

    Many Jews feel that Israel is goin about it all the wrong way.

  76. Many Jews feel that Israel is goin about it all the wrong way.

    Ignoring the middle east, and all the history.

    What’s the right way to create a state devoted to serving a single ethnic or religious group? Isn’t there an inevitable conflict in such a scheme?

  77. Perils of Parallels

    I don’t know where it’s written that EVERY current event must be explained by citing a historical parallel and replacing the individuals from that parallel with current ones.

    I think its awfully condescending to the reader to assume that they can not comprehend or grasp the nuances of the current situations. And must be spoon-fed simplistic examples for which enough movies have been made for people to relate to.

    Unless you’re trying to hide something do an analysis on it’s own.

    That being said, I will be citing Star Wars extensively to explain world politics. All politicians as the following Archetypes for politicians and leaders:

    Darth Vader: Clear Brutish Evil
    Palpatine, Clever Kniving Master Strategic Evil
    Padme: Pure Uncorruptable Trickable Soft Goodness
    Leia’s Perky Combative Clever Good
    Jar Jar: Retarded Annoying Accidental Political Appointee Disastermaker
    and
    Lando: Kniving Womanizing Mercenary Good or Evil based on who pays better.

  78. Everytime a bomb goes off and an Islamist claims responsibility, our “policies in Israel and the Middle East” come to bear, somewhere within.

    Yep, guess that would be cuz of that FIFTY BILLION we’ve forked over to Egypt since 1979.

    Dam Jews.

  79. When a country support Isreal, it is in affect supporting GOD’s choosen people. They will then receive the blessings of GOD. For those that don’t, will receive the opposite. It’s in the Bible.

  80. I find it distressing that it is impossible to even *discuss* our foreign policy with Israel without people flinging around charges of anti-semetism.

    Stop hiding behind the holocaust, come out and have a fruitful conversation. Because eventually, changes of being anti-semetic will produce the same eye-rolling as when Al Sharpton starts yammering on about how racist white america is.

    You demean the term “anti-semetic” by using it inappropriately.

  81. Ron Bailey posting an endorsement of some incoherent bullshit argument for a position he agrees with?

    I can’t believe it!

    </sarcasm>

  82. “”Perhaps many Americans recall that the Jews, just six decades ago, lost one-third of their number to genocide and believe that this persecuted people deserves a secure home and sanctuary”

    The jews were victimized by Nazis, but didn’t millions of people fight the Nazis and hundreds of thousands die in the process. What happened was horrible and should not be minimumized or forgotten, but shoud we base our policy on guild for what one of our enemys did.

  83. Seriously, he needs to get his transhumanist buddies working on a gene therapy to restore the capacity for critical thinking. I can’t imagine Ron could have gotten where he is now without such capacity, but with some of the absolutely brainless nonsense that he quotes approvingly, I’m not sure it’s still there.

  84. Anti-Semittism is only part of the problem. Don’t forget all the self-hating Jews who criticize Israel and question the Bush administration’s slavish support of anything israel does.

  85. Thanks to the wisdom of the posters on this thread, I think I’ve figured something out.

    If I regard Jews that live in the United States as the descendents of pigs and apes, then I am an anti-semite.

    However, if I regard Jews who live in the mid-east as the descendents of pigs and apes, then I am a legitimate critic of Israel.

    Thanks everyone!!!

  86. I for one think it would have been smart for England to stay out of WW2. Hitler had no desire to fight them, and Stalin would have been able to handle Hitler without them as well. I think we would still have terrorist problems without Israel, but I also think the principle of non-intervention is just as good an idea in that area as anywhere else.

  87. If I regard Jews that live in the United States as the descendents of pigs and apes, then I am an anti-semite.

    However, if I regard Jews who live in the mid-east as the descendents of pigs and apes, then I am a legitimate critic of Israel.

    Who the hell is saying a word about apes or pigs?

  88. Maybe somebody is writing anograms.

  89. Bailey’s contention that the high levels of Arab resentment towards Israel is due to manipulation by their autocratic governments can be easily tested: look at polls of Arabs in free-er states like Europe, Canada and the U.S. What do you think we’ll find Ron? I’m betting that Arabs in free states are nearly as upset over our support for Israel as Arabs in non-free states.

  90. Cesar, I don’t know, but I can’t say I’m not disappointed that “Narniaman” didn’t bring up talking beavers.

  91. Luckily that’s not my real email address. teh internets is hard.

  92. “When asked what issues were most likely to affect their votes, Arab-Americans as a group placed the economy, health care, terrorism/national security, education, foreign policy and Iraq in that order, in percentages that mirror the US electorate as a whole. But, unlike most of the rest of the electorate, nearly three-quarters of Arab-American voters ranked “Israel-Palestine” as an issue that would figure “very importantly” in their choice.”
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/FD30Aa03.html
    Must be our autocratic government producing that fixation, eh Ron?

  93. Narniaman-perhaps you could learn that you seem to have the reasoning ability of a descendant of a pig or an ape. Has anyone here cast a general aspersion on ” the Jews that live in the Middle East?” Or is criticism of the policies of the Israeli government (actually opposed by some of the “Jews who live in the Middle East” and elsewhere) the same thing?

  94. TGGP,
    “Stalin would have been able to handle Hitler without them as well.”

    Are you serious? You realize that had England stayed out of the war, there would have been no Lend-Lease supplies going to USSR. And Germany with just one front, against an un-supplied USSR would clearly have had defeated the Soviets. And then turned to the British.

  95. Narniaman

    In The Horse and His Boy, I gather you played the back half of the former?

  96. You do realize that the military aid given by the U.S. to Arab nations is at the same level as the military aid given to Israel, right?

  97. UN. Israel, 1948. Libya, 1951. Yeah, while we’re at it, I think we should kick the Libyans out of North Africa too.

  98. Perhaps many Americans actually prefer Israel’s flawed democracy to the aging autocrats and corrupt monarchies of the region.

    We had Mearsheimer and Walt in to see the editorial board the other day. Here are some of their comments. One part that didn’t make it into the highlights was when I asked them about this very topic, albeit without all of Gerson’s froth and demagoguery. To wit:

    Tim: There’s another side to this, though, and I appreciate your question earlier about, if you wanted a political future would you strongly criticize Israel. I wasn’t aware of the Brezinksi episode you mentioned, and certainly we all live in 24-hour horror of Alan Dershowitz.

    Stephen Walt: Jimmy Carter is another example.

    Tim: Yeah, but you know, the American people support Israel, in their hearts, and how convinced are we that they had to be argued into that position?

    Susan Brenneman: That’s my question too, and does this book look at the kind of grassroots culture, that we all grew up believing Israel was our brother, sister, you know?

    Stephen Walt: Well [to Mearsheimer], I’ll, I’ll add anything that you leave out.

    John Mearsheimer: There’s no doubt that if you look at American public opinion, Americans support the existence of Israel and think that Israel is a net plus. No question about that. But it’s largely a myth that there is broad and deep support for Israel in the American body politic.

    Stephen: It’s, it’s I think a myth that the American people want the United States to give it unconditional support.

    John: Well let me unpack the argument. Uh, I mean, I believe that one of the reasons that the lobby works so hard to, to shape the discourse in a pro-Israel direction, and is so concerned about people like me and Steve is in large part because they understand that the support is not that broad and not that deep. As Steve pointed out, we’re talking about support for the present policy – we’re not talking about support for the existence of Israel. And as Steve pointed out, we’re talking about support for the existing policy. Let me say a few words about that.

    The Pew Foundation has done polling between 1993 and the present, asking people whether they favor the Palestinians or the Israelis. And although it’s clear that most Americans favor the Israelis over the Palestinians, only once in that entire period have more than 50% of Americans said that they favor the Israelis over the Palestinians. In most cases you find a huge chunk of people favor neither side. It’s also clear from some polls of the Pew Foundation that a large number of Americans, over 70% of foreign policy people understand that one of the principle causes of global discontent with the United States is Israel. So American elites are well aware that this has gotten us into a lot of trouble. Unconditional support. And again, the American people are not as kneejerk as one might think, in their support for this, uh, present relationship.

    With regard to the depth of the commitment, it’s quite clear if you look at poll data that most Americans don’t support the existing policy of unconditional aid and our one-sided policy in favor of Israel over the Palestinians. In fact polls show that roughly three-quarters of Americans believe that the United States should favor neither side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Including an Anti-Defamation League study from 2005; that’s three-quarters of the American people who believe that the United States should favor neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis in settling that conflict. And this runs contrary to what the actual policy is. And one final point on this: 60% of Americans, according to a Pew survey, favor withholding aid from Israel if it resists U.S. pressure to settle the conflict with the Palestinians.

    So again, the point here is not that the American people want to jettison Israel, or that Americans don’t have respect for Israel, or that Americans don’t believe the United States should work to ensure the survival of Israel. That’s not in doubt, and it’s certainly not in doubt with regard to me and Steve. The point is that the idea that the American people are demanding that we give Israel unconditional aid because they’re so deeply attached to it does not mesh with the available poll data.

  99. “The Arab states have long offered normalized relations if Israel returns to the ’67 borders.”

    Do you mean the borders that existed immediately BEFORE the Arab world decided to destroy Israel from every direction? This is what passes for wisdom and fairness from anti-semites.

  100. Dear marcvs,

    “Flawed democracy”? Try “Apartheid State”. Why is only Israel able to call everyone racist for opposing them when the very foundation of their government is racist? Fuck them. I don’t give two shits that they’re Jewish, but they can rot in hell with all of the rest of the shit states in the ME.”

    Thanks for sharing your brand of frothy-mouthed, bug-eyed, end-stage BDS, morally-equivocating, anti-semitism and impotent rage with the rest of us…it’s truly breathtaking.

    By the way, how’s everything on Neptune these days?

  101. Ron Baily’s and Reason’s credibility just went down a couple of notches for printing this nonsensical piece of propoganda.

    Isn’t Ron Baily the Science correspondent anyways???

    The Pro-Israeli must be getting desperate if they’re paying off Science correspondents to push forward their agenda.

  102. This whole thread is a crock of shit.

    If Muslims really cared about their fellow Muslims getting slaughtered they would’ve hated Saddam Hussein.

    But they love him. Because he shares their race and faith. The Arabs are a tribal people, they hate westerners and especially Jews and when those westerners and Jews are dominating economically and culturally it eats away at them.

    Polls show that the Palestinian Arabs are just as anti-European as they are anti-American. Sorry, seven million Jews are not to blame for the problems of a billion Muslims.

  103. Chalupa, I’m pretty sure the Shia Arabs hated Saddam. And the Kuwaitis. And the Saudis. Oh yeah, and this guy did as well.

  104. Ok, and the other 90%?

  105. Ok, and the other 90%?

    Well, you’re the one who thinks most Arabs are religious nuts. So the other 90% probably hated him, too.

  106. Well, Ron, so far on this thread you have been accused of being both anti-Isreal and a member of the pro-Isreali lobby.

    Looks like you’re going to have to move to one of those cities under the ocean that Katherine was talking about in her post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  107. The Syrians also hated his guts. Nevermind the share the “Ba’ath Party” label, the Syrian and Iraq branches of that party were about as friendly as Stalinists and Trotskyites are to each other.

  108. I never said they were logical. Only tribal and crazy.

  109. joe,

    You are getting a lot of love over at grylliade.

    _____________________

    I believe that Jesse Walker encapsulated what a lot of us were thinking.

    _____________________

    Ron Bailey,

    As a former Bush insider, Gerson doubts that the “Israel lobby” had much influence on Bush Administration policy.

    There are of course at least two ways to look at Gerson’s position as a former Bush insider, right?

  110. I think the greatest source of evil in the 20th century was anti-capitalism, of which anti-Semitism was one symptom – and not the largest. c.f.: Mao, Pol Pot, and the Sendero Luminoso.

  111. IMHO, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer are heroic figures for writing such a piece. When the article first became public, I knew it home because the mainstream media tried to link David Duke to both men. The Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a Universty Chicago Prof to David Duke.

  112. Gerson goes on to ask why Americans and our country’s policymakers tend to support Israel.

    Well, it’s clear that the policymakers support Israel, but it’s less clear Americans do. At least a few polls indicate some ambivalence…

    When asked “Do you think the U.S. has a responsibility to try to resolve the conflict between Israel and other countries in the Middle East, or is that not the U.S.’ business?”, 39% responded “Has Responsibility” and 56% responded “Not the US’ Business”

    http://www.pollingreport.com/israel.htm

  113. “I find it distressing that it is impossible to even *discuss* our foreign policy with Israel without people flinging around charges of anti-semetism.”

    Well when that same people just lies or puts Israel in a standart that doesnt asks any other country to do and uses a venom that dont uses against anyone…

    Why would US support Palestinians that since beginning got build up by KGB, always supported Soviet Union at expenses of USA, Helped make US hostages in Lebanon, massacred hundreds of christians in Lebanon, murdered civilians in terror attacks and a Marxist propaganda machine turned now into a semi-islamit one now using childrens as weapons tools?

    Only if USA forgets everything that have been in the past.

  114. Chalupa-

    Saddam was despised by the overwhelming majority of Arabs — especially after 1991. He was somewhat popular during the Iranian war and somewhat a little supported after the neocons in this country started beating the drums of war in 2002.

    Saddam was loved because he shared a faith with the Arabs? Are you aware that baathists are inherently secular? He was oppressive of all religious people. He did oppress the Shiites more than the Sunnis. That does not make him loved by the Sunnis.

  115. It’s a simple thing. If you’re in a bar fight, Israel is who you want covering your back because they’ll stand tall and they can handle the job.

  116. Most of these comments are ridiculous. Not all criticism of Israel is met with charges of anti-Semitism. It’s not criticism of Israel per se that is the problem, but the *types* of criticism we see, particularly those criticisms which make it sound like a cabal of Jews is behind the scenes running the show. That fits with standard anti-Semitic tropes–and it also has the problem of simply not being true. The Mearsheimer and Walt report traffics in these and other arguements which reflect classic anti-Semitism. And yes, I’ve read the report in full. Legitimate criticism of Israel and its policies are fine, and are made all the time without suggestion that the critics are anti-Semitic. But the Mearsheimer-Walt report, sorry to say it, is borderline anti-Semitic.

    This idea that dispensationalist Christians influence American foreign policy is just lunatic. There aren’t that many evangelicals who are dispensationalist. Just because they read “Left Behind” doesn’t mean they believe it. And their influence on foreign policy is nil. Most people who support Israel support it for the reasons given above.

  117. I’m halfway through the Israel Lobby. They state up-front that there are many other governments that deserve criticism, but that they discuss only Israel because of the increasingly unconditional nature of it’s support from us. So much for this “double standard” argument I’ve heard here (btw-who was the fool that said that Israel and “all the Arab nations” recieve equal aid from us so it’s all equal? How many more nations and people constitute “all the Arab nations” compared to Israel? If they recieve the SAME aid then that is a great disparity).

    They actually qualify much of what they say throughout. They mention that other ethnicities try to influence policy (look at the Cuban lobby as an example of a very successful one). They mention that Israel has often had good reasons to do some questionable things and that they have powerful arguments for their existence and security to be guaranteed. That AIPAC is a very, very powerful lobby in DC is simply a fact. That Jews sympathetic to Israel and Zionism are over-represented among the media is simply a fact. It would be juvenile to deny their influence.

    It is true and understandable that Jews would be sensitive to charges that they secretly run things in politics or foriegn policy. But of course the authors explicitly point out several active Jewish organizations which work to counter the more Likudian (and yes much more effective) pro-Israeli lobby.

    Chalupa’s comments are typically racist comments (replace the word “Arabs” in his rant with “Jews” and think about it), the kind that represent REAL racism rather than equating anti-Zionism with racism. Jimmy Carter has had many a foolish moment, but does anyone really think this man is a racist against Jews? Isn’t it more probable given what we know about this man that in his trips to the Occupied Territories he just did not like what he saw? Naive, simplistic, maybe. But a racist? Come on!

    As to the discussion of dispensationalist Christians and their influence on American Foriegn Policy, we need not get into a theological debate about exactly who or what is a true “dispensationalist” because it is not necessarily a “true dispensationalist” that has kooky ideas about our policy concerning Israel. Pat Robertson, who has had considerable influence in the GOP, certainly thought that the Godly were called to oppose giving up the Occupied Territories for what he saw as Biblical reasons: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/05/robertson.sharon/
    The same can be said of Falwell who said “We believe that history and scripture prove that God deals with nations in relation to how they deal with Israel.” John Hagee, Gary Bauer, and a host of other VERY influential Christian Rightists have had similar statements (and more importantly a hand in lobbying for hard line stances that would make a Likudian blush).

  118. “It’s a simple thing. If you’re in a bar fight, Israel is who you want covering your back because they’ll stand tall and they can handle the job.” One wonders, but expects sadly, this kind of nonsense statement in a debate about Israeli policy in the US (the rest of the world is pretty clear that Israel has much to repent for, the US is very strange in it’s views on the subject, less I should think due to the efforts of AIPAC than because of the high levels of intense and un-intellectual Christianity in the US). Is this supposed to make an argument that we should stand by Israel because they fight well? Even if we get past questions like who doesn’t fight well when they are much better educated, armed and organized than their opponents (the Zionists were mostly first world citizens who squatted in the third world) we still are left with a general principle, that we should support good-fighting nations that would mean we should step up our unconditional support for any “kick ass” nation that passes the test…

  119. An interesting discussion.

    But the anti-Israel posters here resemble
    almost word for word another group.

    Their lack of clear reasoning, and purposeful
    factual misrepresentations are trumped only
    by their passion.

    The anti-Israel posters here are remarkably
    similar in tone and low intellectual
    capacity to so-called “Scientific Creationists”.

    M&W knew that their “work” was extremely
    shoddy. In point of fact, most reviewers
    easily skewer their selective representations
    of “fact”.

    And M&W’s admitted mis-representation of
    certain “sources”. To their credit M&W
    now claim they will correct all those
    numerous errors in the ‘second edition’,
    should it appear.

    Dershowitz, among others, dissected their
    original article in LRB point by point.

    M&W’s rebuttal,like almost of all those posted
    here is “You are calling us anti-Semites.” In
    point of fact, M&W even made that straw man
    argument a centerpiece of their logic, arguing
    ahead of time that ANY criticism what so ever
    of their “scholarly work” would simply by done
    by referring to M&W as anti-Semites.

    And like flys on … well YOU know, the posters
    here use that argument, and ONLY that argument
    against the well reasoned and factually correct
    counter arguments posted here.

    A more interesting question than why the
    United States Government supports Israel
    so whole-heartedly is why any European
    Government, except for Germany of course,
    does so.

    In the U.K. and France, for example, large
    majorities of citizens support the
    Palestinian/Arab side in the conflict.

    Yet those governments are almost as
    single sided in their support of Israel
    as is the U.S.

    Why is that?

    M&W only “expose” an Israel lobby here in
    the States. So why are European Governments
    so lopsided in their support for Israel?

  120. Mr Nice Guy writes:

    “Is this supposed to make an argument that
    we should stand by Israel because they fight
    well?”

    NO.

    It is because they share their knowledge
    with us so that WE fight much better. This
    is called “real politik”.

    Do you want the US Air Force to take lessons
    from the Syrians? The US Army to take lessons
    from the Egyptians or the Lebanese? Should
    we base our missle technology on Palestinian
    expertise?

    Do you doubt that the minute the US tosses
    the Israelis over board that BOTH the Russians
    and the Chinese will come acourtin’?

    Gosh, even the French seem less than
    pleased with the fruits of their lop
    sided support of the Arabs for the last
    40 years. And they were the major arm
    supplier to the Israelis between 1949 and
    1967.

    So. other than the fact that the government
    mandated crowds in Arab countries will protest
    in favor of the US, what tangible benefits
    do you anticipate if we ditch the Israelis
    the same way we ditched the South Vietnamese
    in 1975? Remembering that Israel has a rather
    well documented history of defending itself
    that South Viet Nam most certainly did not.

  121. Saddam was despised by the overwhelming majority of Arabs — especially after 1991. He was somewhat popular during the Iranian war and somewhat a little supported after the neocons in this country started beating the drums of war in 2002.

    I searched for an opinion poll on this, but haven’t been able to find one. We’ll have to go by anecdote.

    Still, there’s no shortage of polls that show that enough Arabs are insane to make any kind of mid east peace impossible. Here you go http://www.brookings.edu/comm/events/2006Lebanon.pdf.

    Anyways, my views on this are not very complicated. If one group of people that is capitalist and at home in the individualistic west fights a group of people who force their daughters to wear towels on their heads and will beat them or worse for going out with boys I want the former group to destroy the latter group.

    A culture has to have move a certain distance away from collectivism before I can have any sympathy with them as human beings.

  122. anon our Likudian shill is back (your sudden disapperance from the thread, when Jesse Walker produced an expert in the field to dispute your bogus charges, about the Likudian groups trying to hound the Palestinian archeologist out of tenure was noticed). As I remember your arguing style it was to lob a pundit like hand grenade and then when challenged not respond and simply lob another until the position you were defending (out os some seeming sense of duty) scored a “point.” Now if anything is like how creationists argue, THAT is it!

    But let’s get your lobbing started shall we? The only point I can discern in your extended haiku is that W&M’s assertion that there is a strongly influential Israel lobby that largely explains our unconditional support for Israel is somehow falsified because European governments are “almost as single sided in their support of Israel as is the U.S.?” I’m gonna save us all time and ask you to prove that. Let’s start with veto’s of UN resolutions or simply votes against resolutions that condemned Israel. How many for France or England compared to the US?
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/usvetoes.html

    Geez, that seems like a lot of 14-1 or 13-1 votes, doesn’t it? So that seems like an unmatched level of support, doesn’t it? And that’s just one indicator my myopic friend!

  123. So anon is LordActon (they are the only two with the poetic formatting problem). Interesting. More interesting that LordActon was the chosen name, obviously to appeal to libertarians, when the position being argued for is to maintain incredible amounts of foriegn aid, basically a transfer program from the taxpayers of the US to the citizens of Israel. Nice try.

    You ask what we would get with more fair treatment. I submit that first we would get to be on the morally right side for a change, which I kind of value inherently. But also it’s a demonstrable fact that Arabs hate us because of our lopsided support for Israel. As I said this can be demonstrated not only with polls of autocratic nations with whom one can try to undercut the findings (though few serious experts on the ME suggest that our Israeli-Palestine policy is anything but a central concern for the populace there, autocrat governed or not), but by polls of Arabs in free nations. But really, we only need common sense that Arabs would feel the plight of their oppressed brethern.

    You suggest that we need to support Israel unconditionally and at current levels because if we do not we will lose the strategic benefits they give us. W&M deal with this weak claim in an entire chapter. Our support for Israel made it harder to court the many Arab nations during the Cold War, and makes it hard to court their crucial support now in the WOT. Besides, Israel knows they get more from this relationship than they give, that’s why they try so hard to keep it going…

  124. Well, let’s see. You got a whole bag of states in that part of the world. All but one of them has a substantial percent of the population that regularly goes into the streets, ululates, burns American flags, and screams “Death to the Great Satan”.

    Then there’s one state that doesn’t.

    Which would you hang with?

  125. Every generation has seen accusations that Jews have dual loyalties, promote war and secretly control political structures.

    These academics may not follow their claims all the way to anti-Semitism. But this is the way it begins. This is the way it always begins.

    Except right now it is real and not “secret,” and most– by far most — American Jews oppose this powerful cabal; Glenn Greenwald is merely an outstanding Jewish exemplar.

  126. “You got a whole bag of states in that part of the world. All but one of them has a substantial percent of the population that regularly goes into the streets, ululates, burns American flags, and screams “Death to the Great Satan”.

    Then there’s one state that doesn’t.

    Which would you hang with?”

    Of course if the reason a whole bag of states “has a substantial percent of the population that regularly goes into the streets, ululates, burns American flags, and screams “Death to the Great Satan”” is that we give lopsided and unconditional support for this one nation that often acts irresponsibly and draws the disapproval of the rest of the world, then we might re-think why in the world we are bringing this on ourselves for that one nation’s sake…

  127. Chalupa-

    Still, there’s no shortage of polls that show that enough Arabs are insane to make any kind of mid east peace impossible. Here you go http://www.brookings.edu/comm/events/2006Lebanon.pdf.

    Which part of the poll do you want to discuss? This is actually more of a rhetorical question, I don’t have time to waste on you (oh, I forgot, you do not know what a “rhetorical question” is). You just did not mention which part of the poll leads you to believe that “enough Arabs are insane to make any kind of mid east peace impossible”.

    In the poll: 70% of Lebanese say that “I am prepared for a just and comprehensive peace with Israel if Israel is willing to return all the territories occupied in the 1967 war including East Jerusalem, and I believe that Arab governments should exert more efforts on this issue”, where 25% believe that this can happen peacefully and 30% believe that Israel is not willing to do so peacefully.

    I wonder what is the % of Israelis who hold the same beliefs about the Arabs?

    And how can Lebanon be a measure for the remainder of the Arab peoples? Note that the poll was taken in November, 2006 — a time when the Lebanese were still reeling from a destructive Israeli campaign in Lebanon. Just imagine how much higher up this 70% would have been if the destructive Israeli campaign in Lebanon the summer before had not taken place.

    Anyways, my views on this are not very complicated. If one group of people that is capitalist and at home in the individualistic west fights a group of people who force their daughters to wear towels on their heads and will beat them or worse for going out with boys I want the former group to destroy the latter group.

    Have you actually been to any Arab country? Have you met Arab/Muslim Americans in your life? You can not be an honest person and say something like this if you had a chance to meet a typical Muslim/Arab. I really wonder, where on God’s Earth do you live?

    A culture has to have move a certain distance away from collectivism before I can have any sympathy with them as human beings.

    Shows the caliber of your personality. Collectivist and racist!

    Why in the world do I waste my time on you!

  128. Mr Nice Guy writes:

    “I submit that first we would get to be on the morally right side for a change, which I kind of value inherently.”

    Hamas is the morally right side?

    So you suggest throwing your opponents out of windows is morally right? Launching unguided missles on civilians is morally right? Ignoring election results and taking power by a coup d’tat morally right? Murdering gays because of their sexual orientation morally right? Forcing women to wear Burhkas morally right? A group whose charter document calls
    for the destruction of an entire religous
    group morally right?

    You have a very strange sense of “morally right”.

    Then this paragon of morality writes:

    “… Besides, Israel knows they get more from this relationship than they give, that’s why they try so hard to keep it going…”

    So if we completely turn our backs on Israel,
    what will they be getting?

    Bubkes!

    And so the Israelis will support us while we dismantle their state and give get nothing in return from America? Are you really that stupid or did mommy let you stay up past your bedtime?

    M&W seem to think that the Israelis are so weak that they won’t possible work with our adversaries if the support THEIR adversaries. In the next breath M&W argues that the Israelis only resort to the use of violent force to solve their problems. Can’t they make up their minds which lie they want to use?

    Again I ask, what TANGIBLE benefits, other than siding with the very same that supported Hitler during WWII, do we get if we suddenly throw our support to Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al Quds etc?

  129. anon:

    Again I ask, what TANGIBLE benefits, other than siding with the very same that supported Hitler during WWII, do we get if we suddenly throw our support to Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al Quds etc?

    M&W never suggested that. In fact quite the opposite. They believe (as someone up the thread already mentioned) that while they are critical of the lobby, they are for US support of Israel — just not outright support in a twisted way that goes against US interests in the region.

  130. iih wrote that:

    “M&W … are for US support of Israel …”

    Does Mr. Nice Guy know that? Then M&W are supporting the immoral side, according to him.

    But I thought M&W said that Israel was immoral and our support of it causes the US all sorts of problems in the world? If that is true, how can they possibly be in favor of continued US support of such a rouge nation?

    IF M&W suggest we should support Israel in spite of all it’s treachery, why did they bother writing a book?

    A few short weeks after the 1967 War Levi Eskol offered the entire Sinai, Gaza and West Bank back to the Arab States.

    I will leave it as an exercise for you students to research and report back on what was the Arab League response.

  131. Oh my word, anon actually admitted his pathetic attempt to chime in under a different (and more ‘libertarian’) name.

    And then he did EXACTLY what I said he would in my 10:20 post, lobbing the “point” in his initial post (10:40) that other nations have similar levels of support for Israel, then when immediately confronted by me to prove it and provided with actual counterfacts, he simply SHIFTS gears (11:16) and lobs his next “point;” namely Hamas is bad! Jesus, to be pathetic and predictable…You really should take a look at what shilling for Israel has done to you my friend! But it does have that effect…

    For fun let’s look at your recent nearly hysterical rant.

    1. I don’t have to defend Hamas. My position is not that Hamas is right. In fact, I find Hamas to be a bunch of thugs. My position, and W&M’s as I read it, is that it is immoral for Israel to rule over 3 million people without their consent. That’s a fundamental premise of our democracy (consent of the governed) and of moral right. Hamas’ wrongs don’t justify Israel’s wrong in opressing the Palestinians.
    2. Your rant about the Israeli’s getting nothing, and will they support us while we dismantle their state (is conditioning our support dismantling? what a sense of entitlement!), and then the Hitler comment (Hitler is dead my friend, it happened a few decades back), are more incomprehensible than ever for you anon. So incomprehensible in fact that I won’t suggest a counterargument or observation since I’m not sure you or I know what argument you’ve put forward there…


  132. In the poll: 70% of Lebanese say that “I am prepared for a just and comprehensive peace with Israel if Israel is willing to return all the territories occupied in the 1967 war including East Jerusalem, and I believe that Arab governments should exert more efforts on this issue”,

    We’ve had this discussion before. 30% of Lebanese do not want Israel to exist at all.

    We’ve went back and forth on this before. Not all Arabs support terror, maybe not the majority do depending on how you define the word. Just enough do.

    Have you met Arab/Muslim Americans in your life?

    Besides my mother, father, sister, brother, cousins, uncles, aunts and a few classmates, nope. I’m semi-fluent in Arabic and watch Al-Jazeera weekly. I know the collectivist, irrational, paranoid, envious Arab mind first hand.

    When the Arabs want to join the civillized world I’ll be first to applaud. For now, fuck them.

  133. Remember kids, always preview first.

    In the poll: 70% of Lebanese say that “I am prepared for a just and comprehensive peace with Israel if Israel is willing to return all the territories occupied in the 1967 war including East Jerusalem, and I believe that Arab governments should exert more efforts on this issue”,

    30% of Lebanese do not want Israel to exist at all.

    We’ve went back and forth on this before. Not all Arabs support terror, maybe not the majority do depending on how you define the word. Just enough do.

    Have you met Arab/Muslim Americans in your life?

    Besides my mother, father, sister, brother, cousins, uncles, aunts and a few classmates, nope. I’m semi-fluent in Arabic and watch Al-Jazeera weekly. I know the collectivist, irrational, paranoid, envious Arab mind first hand.

    When the Arabs want to join the civillized world I’ll be first to applaud. For now, fuck them.

  134. “A few short weeks after the 1967 War Levi Eskol offered the entire Sinai, Gaza and West Bank back to the Arab States.”

    So the Israeli’s thought it right to give the lands back, but when the Arab’s didn’t take the offer right away they then, for decades, just said “oops, too late?” Now that is moral diplomacy!

    Of course the Israeli’s were going to keep some of the land even under this offer (illegal under international law and immoral under any civilized system of morality), right anon (slipped your mind?)? And the very fact that this offer ever made it to the Egyptians and Syrians is disputed by many historians, right?

    Also, if you would hit your inhaler and take a breath, you’d see that I’m not saying that Israel is the “immoral side.” I’m not “choosing sides” as you are. I am arguing that we must often condition our aid to Israel, and when it comes to the Occupied Territories Israel is plainly on the immoral side. On other issues they do quite well.

  135. “30% of Lebanese do not want Israel to exist at all.”
    And for decades, and even now, a sizable portion of Israeli’s do not want a Palestinian state to exist. Do you dispute that Chalupa? Does that mean Israel is a bunch of uncivilized people?

    Chalupa I reiterate that your comments are the epitome of racism: the generalization of bad traits to an entire people. Why not Grand Wizard rather than Chalupa?

    Your father and mother are Arab-americans? So you are too. I guess that makes you like the racist black guy character on Chappelle’s Show.

  136. But I thought M&W said that Israel was immoral and our support of it causes the US all sorts of problems in the world? If that is true, how can they possibly be in favor of continued US support of such a rouge nation?

    I did not say that (may be MNG said that, so may be he should answer). According to M&W’s interview with On Point, they would probably utterly deny such a ridiculous statement.

    IF M&W suggest we should support Israel in spite of all it’s treachery, why did they bother writing a book?

    May be they do not support Israel, but they are not for its destruction either — just reading the original paper and based on interviews they gave (e.g., On Point’s). Come on, look, if you care about someone, you sometimes have to correct that friend if you believe that s/he is not doing the right thing. And M&W do not believe that the lobby and the right-wingers in Israel are doing the right thing. As they said in the On Point interview, they believe that the right-wing neocon policies in the US and Israel are harmful to both nations.

    A few short weeks after the 1967 War Levi Eskol offered the entire Sinai, Gaza and West Bank back to the Arab States.

    I will leave it as an exercise for you students to research and report back on what was the Arab League response.

    What does this have to do with the topic at hand? Diversion?

    anon — I do not know if you’d believe me, but here it is anyways. I think and believe that Israel has absolute right to exist, especially after the very poisonous relation that exist between Jewish and Arab populations nowadays. Israel’s existence is fact. I also believe that the blame does not solely fall on Israel. Hypocritical Arab regimes are to blame, too. Their failures is a cause of radicalization. But so is some Israeli and US policies in the region. I think people like M&W just wish to correct one part of the bigger problem. Another part that I am all for is to (peacefully/culturally) try to propagate democracy and liberty in the wider ME. Examples may include stopping US financial and military assistance to corrupt Arab regimes, and the US should increase its efforts in the promotion of homegrown secular democratic movements (e.g., kifaya and other movements in Egypt) in the region.

  137. Let me tell you, my friend, I grew up in a family that thought nothing of taking a female relative to a doctor and looking up her vagina to see if she’d been with a boy. And they are urban Christians, therefore of the most liberal class.

    Westerners who have never had family members willing to use violence to control their sex lives or mentally tortured as kids for showing any inclination towards original thought wouldn’t understand.

    I’ve read about traditional Chinese and Indian people too and it seems psychologically similar to what I’ve experienced. The exitences of a civillized state like Israel or America is a precious thing that needs to be defended and is too easily taken for grand.

    Call it racism, but I’d be more than glad to see all the traditionalist, collectivist cultures of the world destroyed.

  138. Any one care to mention the Saudi lobby?

    The Chinese lobby?

    Besides, given the choice would American sailors prefer to have liberty in an Egyptian port or an Israeli port?

  139. I’m all for fixing one part of the bigger problem.

    We can start with Iraq and work our way out from there.

  140. So the “free minds” magazine endorses the idea that any discussion, even a dry academic discussion, of the Israel lobby is taboo, because it may lead to America literally becoming Nazi Germany (any day now)?

    America has a sordid history of slavery, and anti-black racism is still widespread, and yet “Reason” and others have no problem rebeling against political correctness and frankly discussing sensitive issues that the NAACP would prefer not be discussed.

    Why so brave when discussing issues that (some) blacks are touchy about and so timid when discussing issues that (some) Jews are touchy about?

  141. The Palestinians have a nice start towards a state in Gaza.

    Currently it is in a state of war with Israel.

    So that worked out really well.

    ====

    It really comes down to this. The Jews have outsmarted Americans to act against their own self interest. Dupes and sheeple. However, if that is true there is no hope anyway.

    And you know. People just hate being outsmarted by Jews.

    ==

    The other possibility is that America is acting in its self interest and some people disagree. Fine. Its a free (more or less) country.

    Fortunately Ron Paul is polling what? Under 1%?

    The Dems can’t even get their anti-war proposals passed in a Congress where they have a majority? One side or the other has done its political sums wrong. I wouldn’t bet against Congress critters. They know which side their bread is buttered on.

  142. So the “free minds” magazine endorses the idea that any discussion, even a dry academic discussion, of the Israel lobby is taboo, because it may lead to America literally becoming Nazi Germany (any day now)?

    While I agree that Bailey is way off base here, he is just one guy who writes for reason expressing his personal opinion on the blog.

  143. we give lopsided and unconditional support for this one nation that often acts irresponsibly and draws the disapproval of the rest of the world, then we might re-think why in the world we are bringing this on ourselves for that one nation’s sake…

    What? The Fifty Billion Dollars we’ve given Egypt since 1979 doesn’t count in the lopsided equation? Not counting the money we’ve flushed in the rest of the ME?

    Besides, I haven’t seen any Jews blowing themselves up in caberets or sidewalk cafes lately while taking 50-250 innocent civilians with them. When you think of suicide bombers, the Star of David just doesn’t immediately come to mind.

  144. to the anti-zionists;

    Do you think Israel ought to go back to the ’67 borders or relinquish itself entirely? If the latter, as some way-up poster said, you should give your home to the native Americans. If the former, just to clarify, do you think they should give back the Golan Heights, a great perch for shelling Israeli villages? Israel’s neighbors have historically shown little compunction in engaging in decidedly ignoble tactics, e.g. suicide bombing, attacking on Yom Kippur, so it seems unreasonable to me to ask Israel to give em away.

    The most confusing thing to me, though, is how little importance most people seem to place on what the place is actually like. Political dissent is widespread, gays and women are treated like human beings, they have elections, they win shitloads of Nobel prizes.

    And before your mouth gets overly frothy on the subject of Israel’s misdeeds, it’s instructive to try to compare the current state of the USA with that of Israel. We had ONE terrorist attack (a horrific tragedy and very large-scale, goes without saying, but still, only one; we’re comparatively safe) six years ago, and look what our government has done. Invaded two countries, suspended habeas corpus, secret prisons, torture, tens of thousands of innocent civilians killed as a direct or indirect result of American actions.

    Ok, now let’s morph our situation into Israel’s. First off, make our country the size of New Jersey. Surround our country with hostile, larger countries. Instead of one enormous terrorist attack, our country is suicide bombed/ car bombed on a daily basis at times.

    You get the picture. It’s simply unreasonable to expect the government of a country in Israel’s position to be a paragon of virtue. I mean, do you think the USA would be any better? Seems to me it’s a matter of human nature. However, that’s not to say I give Israel a moral blank check. It’s undeniable that they have done unethical/evil things, things that were not in any way necessary to the country’s survival. What I’m arguing is that these base acts are an expected consequence of thrusting an initially free society into a highly dangerous and vulnerable position: security is prized over liberty and both sides suffer.

    I do agree that the USA shouldn’t support any country unconditionally. Israel often deserves rebuke, and when it is the case, our government ought to say so.

  145. Not even looked at the threads, but assuming rick barton has a strongpoint established re: de joos


  146. Besides, I haven’t seen any Jews blowing themselves up in caberets or sidewalk cafes lately while taking 50-250 innocent civilians with them. When you think of suicide bombers, the Star of David just doesn’t immediately come to mind.

    Here is a Palestinian girl singing, celebrating the suicide of her mother…http://youtube.com/watch?v=cqHUdwePfbM

    You can make the case that the Palestinians have been through some shit. But so have Sudanese blacks and Iraqi Kurds (and European Jews).

    Can anyone find a Sudanese mother, or a Kurdish one saying her greatest joy in life would be to see her kids become suicide bombers?

    Show me anything as sick from any other culture as the video I linked to above. Until, I see something I’ll continue to believe that there is something uniqueley wicked and evil about the Palestinians.

    All dimplomatic intiatives will always fail. The only way this will end is if civillians see some real consequences for supporting terrorism like they did in 1940s Japan or Germany. Otherwise, they have the nice luxury of fanatsizing about the genocide of the Jews while at the same time having the Jews provide them their food and electricity.

    If that video, the election of Hamas, the interviews with mothers whose children became suicide bombers expaining their joy, or the dancing on the roof on 9/11 didn’t convince you that a Palestinian state would be nothing but a temporary step towards a new Holocaust I don’t know what will.

  147. Seriously, the “Great Satan” pejorative isn’t all that rational.

  148. The heck with it–let’s stop ALL financial aid to ALL countries in the ME. If Israel can’t protect itself with its own resources, then it isn’t really a viable country, is it?

  149. You demean the term “anti-semetic” by using it inappropriately.

    you demean it by spelling it incorrectly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  150. Isn’t the Israel lobby a legitimate lobby? I mean, why shouldn’t Americans who support Israel be able to lobby on its behalf? Also, there’s no law against critcizing Israel. Israel doesn’t equal Jews. Am I missing something?

  151. “The Palestinians have a nice start towards a state in Gaza.

    Currently it is in a state of war with Israel.

    So that worked out really well.”

    Well Mr. Simon, actually Gaza, and all the Occupied Territories, are, well, occupied by this foriegn army right now which prevents them from acting as an autonomous state or of having a government of which they have a role in choosing. That foreign army is Israel’s. And yes, some of them are rebelling. How startling, eh?

    “What? The Fifty Billion Dollars we’ve given Egypt since 1979 doesn’t count in the lopsided equation? Not counting the money we’ve flushed in the rest of the ME?”
    Uhh, wino, you do know that the billions of dollars we give Egypt is from an agreement we got them to sign to…not fight with Israel.

    “Besides, I haven’t seen any Jews blowing themselves up in caberets or sidewalk cafes lately while taking 50-250 innocent civilians with them.” I guess not, they got what they wanted, their own state in the middle of other people’s land. But you know, before they had that they were not above blowing up civilians (they even elected the ringleader to high office, eh?): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing

    “Do you think Israel ought to go back to the ’67 borders or relinquish itself entirely? If the latter, as some way-up poster said, you should give your home to the native Americans. If the former, just to clarify, do you think they should give back the Golan Heights, a great perch for shelling Israeli villages?”

    Nice try ace. Of course the Israeli initial taking happened a mere 60 years ago, while the US taking of the Native American’s land occurred hundreds of years ago. Both were plainly wrong, but the longer a wrong goes on the harder it is to sort out. I for one think it is getting to the point where some state of Israel will have to stay for that very reason. Ironically the Israeli leaders have long thought this same way, trying to create “facts on the ground” that will become practically irreversible over time. Mighty noble of them, eh? Your point about the Golan Heights is ridiculous. There are many current areas from which Israel could be shelled that are currently parts of another nation (look at a map dimwit), so would that justify Israel taking those lands? And you realize that if they are contigous with ANY nation that does not like them they have the same problem, right Sherlock?

  152. “Isn’t the Israel lobby a legitimate lobby? I mean, why shouldn’t Americans who support Israel be able to lobby on its behalf? ”
    Edward is right. I’ve said on this very thread and on others here that there are many ethnic lobbies, some very influential such as the Israel and Cuba lobbies, and that this is normal and understandable in a nation of immigrants. It’s the pro-Zionist side that freaks whenever someone mentions that there is an Israel lobby and that it is very powerful. In their defense, unlike Cubans for example, there is a long standing practice of accusing Jews of nefariously influencing the politics of nations in ways that favor them, and this has been used for some horrible crimes against them. So I understand the concern, I’m just not willing to suspend my awareness of empirical reality in order to protect a group’s image. All I think I or anyone can do is acknowledge the Israel Lobby exists, that it is very influential and in ways and for things I often disagree with and think are counter to America’s interests, but to also state loudly that there is nothing especially nefarious about this. My biggest beef with W&M is that they should be a bit more careful to state that this lobby, while influential, is not like a puppet master getting everything it wants. If that were true we would already have smoked Iran by now and helped ethnically cleanse the Occupied Territories. But we have’nt. There are limits to what any Lobby can do.

    I’ll also make my standard statement: the Jews are an amazing people who have contributed to world culture in unparralled ways. They have been the victims of horrible crimes. Many in the Arab world would hate them regardless of their policies and these groups should be denounced. If I had to live in a Middle East nation it would be Israel and no close second. They have more democracy, more free press, more of a sense of rights than any nation there. It’s actually easier to criticize ultra-Zionism there than here, and to their amazing credit a large number of Jews, even in Israel, oppose Sharonian policies and feel the US supports Israel too much (how many ethnic lobbies can say that?). BTW-W&M explicitly give shout outs to such Jewish groups, further demonstrating the absurdity to charges that they are anti-Semitic rather than against certain Israeli policies and our support of them.

    But they are currently engaged in an occupation that is blatantly illegal and immoral and they should be called on it. At the least we need not to support it.

  153. Mr nice guy- Your argument about the time difference between our acquisition of the USA and the Israelis’ acquisition of Israel is simply intellectually dishonest. Of course it’s true that the more time that elapses after a wrong is committed, the harder it is to redress it, but is that really the main reason why we don’t give the USA back to the Native Americans? Because it happened very long ago? Or is it possible that our reluctance to give up our country has something to do with what our country has become, what it has accomplished? Or could it also have something to do with the fact that hundreds of millions of people call this country home and it would fuck them over royally to force them to leave?

    I would say the time elapsation argument is binary in nature: once enough time has passed so that most citizens of an “illegally occupied” territory are young enough to bear no responsibility for its occupation, it’s kind of hard to call them assholes for living there; they didn’t ask for it, and as you say, it’s a helluva lot nicer than the neighboring communities.

    Your response about the Golan Heights would be logically legitimate if I had claimed its occupation to be the difference between lots of shellings and no shellings. The Golan Heights aren’t just a nice perch; they provide clear shots to Haifa, the third-largest city in the country, and the Hulah Valley, the country’s main agricultural region. Is this somehow not significant? To return to the points I made about the geographical differences between the USA and Israel which you so deftly ignored, the USA equivalent of these targets is Chicago and, say, the cornfields of the midwest plus some kibbutzes. When you live in a country as small as Israel, it’s hard to be cavalier about sworn enemies having such a convenient attack point.

  154. Bailey, this is a lame ass attempt to silence critics of our horrible foreign policy. It sounds like Rudy Julie and the Arkansas Huckster at a GOP debate after Ron Paul speaks. You’d make an excellent stand in for Chris Wallace at the next FAUX News debate.

  155. Wow. Israel is not longer a totally immoral country. Only it’s occupation of land acquired
    in 1967 is immoral. Do I detect a major shift in the argument against Israel? YES!

    Israel has always been willing to either give back the land totally or willing to trade it for other land. That is what Barak offered in 2000 under Clinton.

    It was the Palestinian Supreme Leader, Mr. Arafat who REJECTED that offer, not the other way around.

    I’m still waiting to discover a tangible benefit or two from the US switching sides on the Israel/Arab-Palestinian conflict. Nothing as of yet.

    As to the highly moral stance of the U.K. and France voting in favor of UNSC resolutions they know that the U.S. would veto, I’m sure their highly anti-Israel populations feel totally relieved.

    How very harsh of France and England to cast totally meaningless votes. They still manage to sell Israel hundreds of millions of shekels worth of weaponry each year. Explain how that isn’t supportive of the Jewish State and it’s “immoral” occupation of Palestine?

  156. Wow, the Likudniks aren’t holding up their end very well.

    To counter the accusation that charges of anti-semitism are hurled irresponsibly in discussions about our policy towards Israel, they 1) call people antisemites and 2) say nasty things about Arabs.

  157. Nice try ace. Of course the Israeli initial taking happened a mere 60 years ago, while the US taking of the Native American’s land occurred hundreds of years ago.

    sigh. i don’t know why i bother in these silly arguments with the usual monomaniacs, but… the analogy isn’t even vaguely apt. the european colonists were not from or descended from people from america. there was not a continuous population of brits in pennsylvania for several thousand years. arguing that 60 years is wrong but 200 years is right is somewhat arbitrary, dontcha think? or is there a magic number in between that serves the purposes of your imagined universal justice?

    but again, there is no significant country on earth whose people are autochthonous. not france, not germany, not spain, not the us, not ireland, not england, not china, not japan, not australia…

    maybe since the jews were descended from chaldeans, a section of iraq should be set aside for them.

  158. maybe since the jews were descended from chaldeans, a section of iraq should be set aside for them.

    Good Lord! Now THAT’S antisemitism!

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  159. Edna and Ace-The difference between 60 years (and only 40 years in the case of the occupied territories) and 200 (of course for many tribes it is much more like 300-400 (Jamestown 400 years ago]) is the difference between 2 or 1 generations and 6-12 generations, quite a difference I should think. But it’s even more complicated, as there were literally dozens of native “nations” which had their lands tossed around and they were moved several times. There is no magic number, but we are talking differences of literally hundreds of years. Ironically you seem to imply that Israel and the American conquests were both illegitimate but they age and become OK with time. I suggest both were wrong but that one is practically irreversible. In fact, as I noted above the Israeli 1948 conquest is borderline morally irreversible now. But the Occupied Territories is not. Ace’s second argument is that occupations can be justified as long as the occupiers do well in the long run, an amazing variant of the white mans burden justification for colonization of Africa and other continents (that they would be more productive users of the land and bring civilization). But then Israel is a lot like South Africa when you think about it…
    Edna engages in a bizarre argument, that as long as you are from an area, even if you and your ancestors have not been there for 20 centuries, you have the right to move back and displace current populations. What an amazing concept, could we try to apply that across the board? The citizens of Little Italy could move back to Rome and declare it an Independent State! Edna is focused for some reason on which people’s are “autochthonous” though ironically she both argues that this is criteria that justifies Israel’s Zionism (they are from there) but somehow is irrelevant for hte Palestinians! Of course no one here has made the argument that autochthonous people’s have the right of return to their ancestral lands. Instead we plainly are arguing that the CURRENT possessors of lands, the Palestinians of 1948 and 1967 deserve to not be pushed off the land they possessed at the time. Edna, you’re smarter than that but letting your tribal attachments get in the way of your brains I think…

    “Wow. Israel is not longer a totally immoral country. Only it’s occupation of land acquired
    in 1967 is immoral. Do I detect a major shift in the argument against Israel? YES!”
    Anon, it’s amazing how you slink in, lob a grenade, fail to defend it when challenged, pretend to be someone else on the thread, then when caught slink away then come back, engage in a hysterical rant involving Godwin’s Law, then slink away then come back with this goofy observation. In this or past posts have I termed Israel as a nation “immoral?” Nations DO immoral and moral things. As noted above Israel has many morally admirable properties. Their occupation is not one of them!

    First of all, your idea that Israel has been trying to give back the lands but those darned Palestinians just won’t take them back is erroneous (you really should read outside of pro-Israeli blogs). Barak’s foriegn minister Shlomo Ben-Ami said of Barak’s offer “If I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David as well.” This is because the offer, while much more generous than previous ones from Israel, came with strings attached that few leaders would have accepted (such as retaining of 10-25% of the territories [some to be retained forever, some to be given back after a few decades] which had key resources, the insertion of slits of Israeli owned lands that would have divided the territories, and limits on autonomy [such as restrictions on trade, ability to raise an army, etc). Israel’s occupation of territories through military conquest is patently illegal and immoral and the Palestinians, like any self-respecting people, asserted their right to full autonomy. Perhaps you can give me a general moral principle that justifies ruling a people by force where they have no consent in their rule? Our nation btw is based on consent of the governed being a sacred right. Why do Palestinians not deserve this human right?

    Second of all, even if Arafat wrongly rejected Barak’s offer, how does that justify not giving the land back now (or a year later, or two years later when Arafat began offering to deal again?). This is like saying that if King George offered us a form of freedom in 1775 and we turned it down then they get to keep us as a colony forever.

  160. “Support for Israel may well provoke anti-Americanism in the Middle East, but largely because it is used by authoritarian regimes as a way to divert attention from how they oppress their own populations. In other words, whatever the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians has almost zero effect on the economic, social and political backwardness of Arab countries. In fact, Arab regimes blaming Israel is a pretty good parallel with Hitler’s claims that all the Germans’ problems were the result of the machinations of international Jewry.”

    Like I said,the parallel to Hitler’s false claims would make more sense if “international Jewry” had actually been responsible for the partition and occupation of Wiemar Germany–is anyone denying that the State of Israel has occupied and partitioned Palestine?

    And honestly, I don’t understand how someone could see parallels between the occupation and partition of Wiemar Germany and the occupation and partition of Palestine and think complaints about the latter were just a bunch of empty finger pointing.

    I mean, in light of what happened afterward, in spite of Hitler’s false and twisted claims, wasn’t partitioning Germany a bad move? Wasn’t the French occupation of the Ruhr Valley a really bad move?

  161. ace’s comments about the Golan Heights are funny. First, they are funny because he mentions the very fact that negates his entire line of argument: that Israel is very small. Of course he fails to see the corollary that EVERY point in Israel is basically easily attacked from some point on their borders. Only by conquest on all three of their borders to an extent that would make even the Likudians here blush would they have the guaranteed safety that he claims the occupation of the Golan Heights would. Secondly, any fool with a map can see the distance from the Golan Heights and Haifa is roughly equal to the Southern tip of Lebanon. Should Israel get to conquer this southern end too?
    http://encarta.msn.com/map_701510802/Golan_Heights.html

  162. First: Does a “reliable ally” go and re-sell our arms to China in spite of our sanctions and the fact that that country subscribes to the philosophy you call “the greatest source of 20th century evil”?

    Second: There’s a lot of room to argue with the Israel Lobby thesis, but a slippery slope argument does not suffice. The authors specifically note, again and again, that the policies advocated by pro-Israel organizations often sharply diverge from those supported by most of American Jews. As more American Jews become less identified with Israel, it becomes more and more irresponsible and irrational to use this same old slippery slope argument that would seem to label all Jews critical of certain Israeli policies “self-hating.”

  163. In their book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” Walt and Mearsheimer do indeed present evidence that “The “Israeli government and pro-Israel government groups” have shaped President Bush’s “grand scheme for reordering the Middle East.” (Which now includes an attack on Iran)

    And the evidence is overwhelming, but note that Michael Gerson doesn’t even attempt to confront that evidence head on. Rather he tries for a smear using sideways charges of racism and a weak analogy or two. And in falsely accusing professors Walt and Mearsheimer of even a “creeping anti-Semitism” he commits a too oft repeated error that exposes Jews to an entirely present anti-Semitism, and also denies individual Jews their very individually.

    If it’s anti-Jewish racism to present evidence and a case that the Israeli government and its supporters have shaped President Bush’s grand scheme for reordering the Middle East, and that case turns out to be meritorious, which it manifestly is, what are we to conclude? The racism is right after all? And Jews are bad? But those are the implications of Michael Gerson’s false contention. In his setup, and in making charges of creeping anti-Semitism, he accepts the racist premise that cuz certain Jews do something undesirable, Jews in general are to be held accountable. In this unfair thinking, individuality is ignored and supporters of the Israeli government become synonymous with “the Jews”.

  164. “However, that’s not to say I give Israel a moral blank check. It’s undeniable that they have done unethical/evil things, things that were not in any way necessary to the country’s survival. What I’m arguing is that these base acts are an expected consequence of thrusting an initially free society into a highly dangerous and vulnerable position: security is prized over liberty and both sides suffer.”
    Ace-I actually agree with you to some extent here. I’ve never argued that the Israeli misdeeds are not to some degree mitigated by the very real facts of 1. past atrocities committed against Jews 2. current threats to drive them into the sea and 3. repeated rocket attacks and suicide bombings, not to mention wars before the US bribed Egypt et al to knock it off. It’s inevitable that when a bunch of late 19th century urban Europeans squat on the land of Middle Eastern Arabs you are going to get constant trouble, and its human nature for even very find folks to respond to such trouble by doing questionable acts. Of course, it was the Zionists themselves who are responsible for “thrusting an initially free society into a highly dangerous and vulnerable position” by squatting on land that was not theirs in any sense…

  165. Michael Gerson:

    Every generation has seen accusations that Jews have dual loyalties, promote war and secretly control political structures.

    And certain Jews have probably done those things in every generation. So? The point is that this likleyhood offers no fair obsevation vis a vis Jews in general. Would we try to deny that certain WASPS have engaged in the machinations of political sonspiracy including the promotion of war and secret control of political structures? I hope not.

    With regard to the Israeli government; In the book “The Mossad” by Dennis Eisenberg, Uri Dan, and Eli Landau, the authors provide evidence of the Israeli government tactic of getting people with assumed allegiance to their native nation but with real loyalty to the Israeli government in positions of power in various nations. We may have seen this dynamic played out in the case of Richard Perle, the man at the nexus of so many neocon “pro-democracy” organizations that have a long history of advocating a US attack on Iraq. In 1970, while working for Sen. “Scoop” Jackson’s office, Perle was caught on a NSA wiretap giving classified information to the Israeli Embassy.

    http://www.amconmag.com/03_24_03/cover.html

    http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/82may/hershwh2.htm

    But, does it mean much to call even conspiracies for the benefit of the Israeli government “Jewish”? Note that the three who wrote “The Mossad” exposing this tactic of the Israeli government are all Jews. Both inside and outside Israel, opinion and political activism among Jews includes dedicated opposition to both the Israeli government and its supporters such as the neo-cons.

  166. As an answer to my question on the tangible benefits that will accrue to the U.S. if we ditch the Israelis and support the Palestinians/Arabs Mr. Nice Guy posts:

    “Anon, it’s amazing how you slink in, lob a grenade, fail to defend it when challenged, pretend to be someone else on the thread, then when caught slink away then come back, engage in a hysterical rant involving Godwin’s Law, then slink away then come back with this goofy observation.”

    It’s obvious you are unable to answer the question. Other than making people such as yourself who believe support of Hamas to be morally superior to support of Israel, there seems to be no tangible benefit what so ever.

    M&W claim to be “realists” and not “anti-Semites”, yet they, also, can claim not a single tangible benefit to such an action. Their entire logical argument is that it is bad – somehow – for the U.S. to support Israel, thus it must be because there is an all-powerful lobby controlling things behind the scenes. Their argument boils down to “It’s the Jews fault”. Highly original on M&Ws part.

    Again I ask ANYONE to answer the question, name some tangible benefits for the U.S. if we decide to support gay murdering, women hating terrorists instead of Israel?

  167. Michael Gerson:

    These academics may not follow their claims all the way to anti-Semitism. But this is the way it begins.

    In other words: “I don’t have a meritorious attack to make on their scholarship, so I’ll just wave (at least he has the decency to limit it to that) the race card.” What a sad little smear…

    This is the way it always begins.

    No, it doesn’t always at all. But when it does, it’s exactly Gerson’s anti-individualistic way of thinking that gets anti-Semitism and other racism going.

  168. The Golan Heights are a special case because they’re, well, high up, which makes them particularly convenient for attackers, as evidenced by history. Imagine if the USA were small, surrounded by hostile countries with a history of opportunistic attacks, and there were a strategically advantageous region 50 miles from Chicago where enemies liked to fire rockets at Chicago. I know it’s more pleasant not to deal in such troubling nuances, but it’s their reality.

    I didn’t say that the European conquest of Native Americans was OK because time has passed. I said that the people to blame are long dead and we now have a prosperous society inhabited by hundreds of millions of people whose lives would be ruined if they were uprooted. And who knows what would happen geopolitically if the USA disappeared. Those are the reasons why we don’t return the land to the Native Americans. The genesis of a populous, stable society whose members bear no culpability for the crimes of their forefathers is indeed a function of time, but it is those dependent variables that count, not time itself.

    Any reasonable person will admit that Israel’s creation was morally questionable. Land ownership is a thorny, ephemeral concept. Millenia ago, the Hebrews had it, then Arabs, then Brits, then back to the yids, you know the story. You can’t say definitively that the land “belongs” to any one of the groups. True, the arabs were the victims of most recent injustice by far, but one thing I hope we can agree on is that each transfer was tragic. If you punish people for things their ancestors did, you will just continue the cycle of upheaval, suffering and vengeance.

  169. anon:

    name some tangible benefits for the U.S. if we decide to support gay murdering, women hating terrorists instead of Israel?

    Sure, that’s the choice. Either our government gives our money to the Israeli government to wage a thieving and murderous occupation or it gives it to some “gay murdering, women hating terrorists”. Keeping our money in our pockets just isn’t possible in anon’s world.

  170. Nice try Nice but there have always been a significant minority of Jews in what is now Israel. Didn’t you go to Sunday School? Remember that part where the Jews were enslaved by the Egyptians? And Moses parted the Red Sea? And the Jews went…..? Where? Back home to what is now Israel.

    In 1945, Two years before the new state of Israel was created, Jews represented almost a third of the overall population of British Palestine.

    The Brits and the UN diced up the Ottoman Empire and assigned arbitrary borders creating new, different, and realigned countries all over Europe & the ME. But it seems that the only time one hears the terms “illegal occupation” and “other people’s land” is when “Israel” is also included in the sentence.

  171. Oh, and Grump, I’m with you. Just say no to foreign aid. Cut them all off and let it go where it may.

  172. What The Wine Commonsewer said:

    Just say no to foreign aid. Cut them all off and let it go where it may.

  173. Bush is Jewish?!?!

    I thought he was a Texan?

  174. Rick Barton: “Sure, that’s the choice. Either our government gives our money to the Israeli government to wage a thieving and murderous occupation or….”

    It’s not occupation. It’s LIBERATION, Hitler boy!

    It harder these days to get Jews to be murdered than when your Nazi idols put Jews in the gas chamber, so you have to deny what everyone already knows. Just because we want to destroy Israel doesn’t mean we’re anti-Semites /sarc

    And since the best defense is a good offense, I found off the web a good offense against you Ernst Rhoem wannabes, Proposed amendment to ban Islam

    Kicking the Arabs out of all of Israel!

    “Anti-Semitism is the intellectualism of STUPID people.”

    Mary McCarthy

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  175. Underzog:

    It harder these days to get Jews to be murdered than when your Nazi idols…

    You’ve repeatedly shown yourself to be a ridiculous mental midget, Underzog. Saying that I have Nazi idols is just more of the same. You’re nonsense isn’t worth the electrons it takes to post it. Although, I should be proud that someone like you opposes what I write.

    And yet more anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racist links from you. Dumb as a stump and bigoted-what a charmer you are, Underzog.

  176. …Shoulda been: “*Your* nonsense isn’t worth the electrons it takes to post it.”

  177. Anon, anyone who can look at a map can tell you that the strategic position of the United States in the Middle East would improve immeasurably if we swapped the Israeli alliance for an Iranian one.

    The realpolitik tangible benefits are obvious: a vastly less insecure position for the US in the Middle East, on the Indian subcontinent, in East Africa and Southeast Asia. That’s all.

  178. There’s nothing antisemitic about asking whether our support of any given nation is in our best interest.

    People do this in business all the time. We’re spending a lot of money on “x”, should we keep spending money on “x”? …what’s the cost/benefit analysis look like?

    I appreciate that Jewish people have had as hard a time as any in history, but there isn’t anything racist about asking whether what we’re getting for our money is worth what we’re paying.

    And I don’t see why the burden of proof shouldn’t be on the State of Israel or Egypt or any other nation that enjoys our largess. …the burden to show the American people that our generosity is well deserved.

    If all you can do when somebody asks about that is play the antisemitism card, then either your case is really, really sorry or your case would do a whole lot better if somebody other than you were making it.

    …if I went after a system that encouraged welfare queens, would you call me a racist? What a crappy argument that is!

  179. Fluffy writes:

    “Anon, anyone who can look at a map can tell you that the strategic position of the United States in the Middle East would improve immeasurably if we swapped the Israeli alliance for an Iranian one.”

    Wrong.

    Look at the map again.

    Putin and the Russians will be seriously upset with the idea we are trying to surround them. So anyone with a brain knows they would immediately ask Israel for help improving their air defense system. Huge Strategic Loss for the U.S. if that happens.

    And what will our good friends the Saudis think? They will have to wonder if we have designs on their oil fields. Do you think they’d sell us their oil for less than the market rate or double the price to make the U.S. pay for the extra weapons they will need to contain the Iranians?

    Why not do a google search on the Iran-Iraq war to see what a superb military Iran has. They battled Iraq to a draw after 8 years and over a million deaths. Do you really think learning mass suicide charges from the Revolutionary Guards would improve the U.S. Army? Their tactics consisted of sending young men into mine fields to explode the ordinance so the follow on troops wouldn’t take casualties. Are you personally willing to perform the same task for a seriously degrade U.S. military? Another HUGE strategic loss for the U.S.

    On the other hand I’m sure the Iranians would give us back our embassy. We could make Jimmy Carter ambassador. After all he was the U.S. President actually invaded Iran. Desert One was a military fiasco that was the absolute and total the fault of our 39th President.

  180. Anon fluffy has already answered your question.

    We expend enormous political capital when we support Israel over the Arabs, such as when we use our veto power to defend them over and over (this makes it harder to use for other things). We suffered greatly from the oil embargo imposed because we rushed aid to Israel to save their ass in a conflict they had where the arab nations took them by surprise. We have become vastly unpopular in the entire Muslim world (and indeed, questioned in other areas of the world) because of Israel, and we need cooperation with that world a heck of a lot more than we need it with some tiny nation like Israel. We have been attacked numerous times by enemies who explcitly cite our support for Israel as the or a major reason. It costs us billions of dollars to support Israel and pay off Arabs to play nice with them. It hurts our diplomacy on non-proliferation since Israel has nukes and will not sign the NPT. Anon, you asked for one, I gave you half a dozen. But I’m generous that way :).

    “In 1945, Two years before the new state of Israel was created, Jews represented almost a third of the overall population of British Palestine.” I’m curious how being 1/3 of the population gives them the right to have virtually all of it now…But of course that is not the issue, is it? They currently rule 3.8 million men, women and children whom are denied a voice in their own governance. Wino do you not believe that the consent of the governed is the only thing that legitmates rule?

    “And the Jews went…..? Where? Back home to what is now Israel.” Yeah…And a majority of them, especially a majority of those who declared a Jewish state in 1948, had not been there in 20 centuries. That’s a strong claim, eh? With that reasoning I could claim a state in the Garden of Eden.

    “If you punish people for things their ancestors did, you will just continue the cycle of upheaval, suffering and vengeance.” I agree the more you go back, the harder it is. But my point is that we can rectify a CURRENT wrong, the CURRENT military occupation of people against their will (and btw way Wino I have and will state again that I think all rules by military force and denials of the ruled having a consent in their rule to be wrong, for example in Tibet currently).

    I’m also just not buying your Golan Heights argument, high up or not. Syria, Egypt and Lebanon have plenty of weaponry that could hit strategic locations in Israel just fine, thank you, they don’t need the Golan Heights for that. Besides, nations don’t get to conquer the lands and peoples of other nations to feel safer…

    We won’t give back our lands to the Indians, this is true. But most Americans acknowedge we wronged them and respect them, and they have not only full citizenship rights but also have recieved some measures of reparation for our wrongs. Of course Israel extends little of this to the people they have enslaved (I say enslaved in the sense that John Locke argued that to deny any person via force autonomy over their own affairs or a voice in their rule is akin to slavery). In fact, Arab citizens in Israel often get second class treatment…

  181. not the issue….

    Nice, my entire point was a response to your implication the Jews have no right to be in Israel and that they were given someone else’s land. Historical reality: the Jews have always had a presence in Israel and comprised one third of the population at the time that Israel declared itself a nation.

    You can argue that the Brits and by extension the UN had no right to make all these arrangements, which spanned three decades and began after the first Big War. But that is no different than arguing that the US had no right to drag the Confederacy back into the Union at gun point. The fact is, that’s what happened. And the arrangement dates back 90 years not 60. Most, if not all of the ME was owned by the Ottoman Empire for 400 years. Then the Brits and the Frogs were assigned the job of carving it up beginning in 1918. They did just that.

  182. “We won’t give back our lands to the Indians, this is true. But most Americans acknowedge we wronged them and respect them, and they have not only full citizenship rights but also have recieved some measures of reparation for our wrongs.”

    In the first place, the Objectivists have the cojones not to fall for your variant of the noble savage. They thankfully don’t have guilt over the merciless Indian savages described in our DOI. In the second place, this points out the anti-Semitism of many of the Libertarians (Ernst Rhoem wannabes). The Americans may have done wrong (allegedly, I say), but that’s okay. The Jews have allegedly done what you idiots say is the same alleged wrong, but that’s not okay.

    In other words, Jews do not have the right to do what other countries — perhaps every other country has the right to do. The guy is an ignorant anti-Semite or maybe he’ll claim he’s a member of the tribe, in which case he’s a self hater (S.H.I.T. list; Self Hating Israel Threatening list).

    I will not, however, keep on the defensive with you anti-Semites. It’s time to take the offense — just like anti-Semites do all the time with the Jews.

    You guys like the Islamic terrorists so much, eh? We’ll here’s some more fun for you.

    Understanding Islam (excerpts from the link)

    “Unfortunately for Muslims, and considerably more so for the rest of the world, Islam is extremely strict and uncompromising, as to the loyalty and dedication of its members. Any revelation of Allah (through the prophet Muhammad) must be taken as a holy mandate, and can only be amended, or superseded, by another revelation. This has seldom occurred. All verses of the Koran and the Haddith urging death or subjugation of infidels are still in place. Since secular jurisprudence is practically nonexistent in the Muslim world, the inflexible code of the Shari’a rules.

    From the 7th century, and to the present, the openly stated goal of Islam is to bring the entire world into Dar Al-Islam, or the “peace” of Islam. This is a clearly defined condition under which no other system is tolerated. For Islam, any society not willing to subjugate itself, to complete Islamic authority has automatically placed itself in a state of war, or Dar Al-Harb, with Islam. Absolutely no other provocation is necessary!
    **********************************************
    In the United States, since we have only an estimated 1.5 to 2.0 million Muslims, Dar Al-Sulh still predominates but the seeds of our society’s destruction are already well sown. Any Muslim, if called upon to commit a treasonous act by his imam, against his host country, is faced with the choice of being an apostate in the eyes of his religion, or a traitor to his adopted country. Faced with this choice, many will become traitors! Regardless of any affection a Muslim might feel towards the society of his adopted country, accepting the consequences of a charge of sedition or treason, in our world-wide politically correct society, would, for most Muslims, be considerably less consequential than betrayal of Islam

    When a Muslim betrays his host country, and is discovered, he or she can count on an excellent defense team, funded by any one of several Muslim-front organizations operating within the host country. And, more than likely, unless a considerable number of people die as a direct result of the Muslim’s traitorous act, he or she, if even convicted, would not receive a death sentence.

    On the other hand, a Muslim refusing to betray a host country, would more than likely be branded an apostate, the unforgivable sin, and punishable by death! And, a Muslim cannot be expected to renounce his entire heritage, and therein, lies the danger that Muslims present to any host country. If a Muslim decides to cooperate with law enforcement, when asked to betray his host country, he or she faces certain loss of his religion, the possible loss of family and friends, and perhaps even the loss of his or her own life. But regardless of whether a Muslim takes a pro-active role in terrorist activities, it is naive to believe that Muslims terrorists would not be helped by their fellow believers.”

    The solution: throw the Arabs out of all of Israel

    “And thou shalt call him Ishmael and he will be a wildman. His hand against everyman and everyman’s hand against his.”

    Genesis 16:12

    “They’re savages. They stole our oil and use it to murder us.”

    Ayn Rand commenting upon the Islamics in her last tv appearance on the Phil Donahue show.

    Muslims should adopt Jewish practices

    Would you like to write me a letter? Go ahead and click on my name.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  183. ahhh Jeawson magazine strikes again.

  184. “The Americans may have done wrong (allegedly, I say), but that’s okay. The Jews have allegedly done what you idiots say is the same alleged wrong, but that’s not okay.”

    I’ve been hangin’ around these parts for years, and I am yet to see a libertarian claim that what we did to native Americans was okay.

    …at this point, I think you’re just makin’ shit up.

  185. Ken Shultz-Of course you are right, my whole point was that we DON’T think what was done to the Indians was right, and so by extension what Israel did was wrong. And to boot, Israel’s was recent enough for them to know better AND recent enough to fix. But I thought we were ignoring Underzog in that he is either mentally retarded or a troll king of some sort.

    Wino-“You can argue that the Brits and by extension the UN had no right to make all these arrangements, which spanned three decades and began after the first Big War.” But Israel does not exist under either the British or UN mandates does it? I think Britian/UN were wrong to grant a bunch of Europeans this land (again I need to point out it is a well established fact that the majority of the state of Israel that was declared in 1948 were recent European migrants NOT Jews from the area [of which yes there were some}). But even if we accept what they did, Israel has grabbed quite a bit of land since then through force of arms, and displaced or occupied other people’s in doing so.

  186. Speaking as an Irish-American from Massachusetts who has repeatedly voted for Ted Kennedy, let me tell you:

    our country’s policy towards England, Ireland, and the Republican movement has been influenced to a significant degree by the pro-Irish lobby in Washington.

    This has nothing to do with “dual loyalty,” but with the natural sympathy people who grow up in ethnic communities in the United States have for their kin across the ocean.

    I suppose I could rephrase “natural sympathy” as “dual loyalty” if I wanted to make it sound like I was levelling a scurrilous charge against Ted Kennedy, but I’d probably have a little trouble sleeping at night, because that would be a remarkably dishonest and underhanded thing to do.

  187. I got a very nice email from a gal who says she’s an H&R reader and also a member of this interesting and constructive looking organization:

    Brit Tzedek v’Shalom: The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace http://www.btvshalom.org/

    But she pointed out that I shoulda posted a link for the book “The Mossad” which I cited. So here’s that part agian with a link:

    With regard to the Israeli government; In the book “The Mossad”…

    http://www.amazon.com/Mossad-Dennis-Eisenberg/dp/0451158989

    … by Dennis Eisenberg, Uri Dan, and Eli Landau, the authors provide evidence of the Israeli government tactic of getting people with assumed allegiance to their native nation but with real loyalty to the Israeli government in positions of power in various nations. We may have seen this dynamic played out in the case of Richard Perle, the man at the nexus of so many neocon “pro-democracy” organizations that have a long history of advocating a US attack on Iraq. In 1970, while working for Sen. “Scoop” Jackson’s office, Perle was caught on a NSA wiretap giving classified information to the Israeli Embassy.

    http://www.amconmag.com/03_24_03/cover.html

  188. We have problems with the Islamists now. And it’s just not bitching from some Commie organizations and anti-Semites that give smears from decades ago. It’s happening now!

    To whit, Florida Muslim student indicted on explosive charges had terror past in Egypt

    I understand that a great many Libertarians aren’t patriotic and they hate Israel because of its alliance with the U.S., but one of those bombs from your Muslim heroes could explode you Libertarians and your family (homosexual or otherwise).

    Don’t be so smug that you would not be the victim of an Arab terrorist attack.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  189. “I’ve been hangin’ around these parts for years, and I am yet to see a libertarian claim that what we did to native Americans was okay.”

    Native Americans? Native Americans?

    As Objectivist Thomas Bowden said, anyone born here is a native American and no particular group has the right to arrogate themselves such a title!

  190. Reference for the PC Indian enthusiast: The Enemies of Christopher Columbus

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  191. Well, besides that, the Indians aren’t Native Americans, they all came here from somewhere else as well. The just came longer ago.

    And, as a point of clarification, I didn’t do a fargin’ thing to any Indian. Nor did any of my ancestors.

    Regardless of any of that, nobody here intends to hop on a 747 and go back to wherever Gramps came from while signing over the deed to the house to the local tribe with the big casino. Yet, that is just what some people think the Jews ought to do for the Arabs who live in Israel.

    Don’t go away mad, just go away. And don’t take the plumbing, neither.

  192. again I need to point out it is a well established fact that the majority of the state of Israel that was declared in 1948 were recent European migrants NOT Jews from the area [of which yes there were some

    The Jewish population of Israel in 1945 was 565k and in 1948 was 650k, meaning that the mass exodus from Europe after the war was about 85k and that the overwhelming majority of Jews living in Israel in 1948 were already living there at the end of the war.

  193. On Wednesday the Jewish Telegraphic Agency published a sensational story: Billionaire George Soros has initiated the establishment of a new pro-Israel lobby – a competitor to the legendary American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) – in a conciliatory, leftist spirit. A lobby that will promote peace. A story that points to an interesting
    possibility, if perhaps a bit far-reaching in
    its headline. The initiative is still in the earliest stages and some of the participants in the first meeting hastened, that same evening, to issue statements denying its content. Soros’involvement also evokes astonishment, and even suspicion: he has never been perceived as a great fan of Israel and it is not certain that he will succeed in convincing a large public that it is
    his intention to do well by it.

    But there is no mistaking the trend that is described. Among American Jews, many of whom are very liberal – definite leftists – there are those who are fed up with AIPAC’s clout and especially its policy. Wars of ego and influence also affect the attitude toward AIPAC. Snaller lobbying groups
    are trying to gnaw at it, but in the meantime without evident success. They complain, sometimes
    with justification, of its hawkishness – but they have yet to face the crucial test: the investment
    of time, resources, the establishment of a volunteer system and activists. It is possible that now,
    all of a sudden, the masses who are prepared to give of their time and energy for the sake of
    Israel, but not via AIPAC, will be found. It is equally possible that they won’t.

    And in any case, there is another problem that the leftist lobby will face: It is located to the
    left of AIPAC – but also to the left of most of the American (and of course the Israeli) public.
    Brit Tzedek Veshalom (the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace), for example, is an idealistic,
    almost revolutionary movement that is succeeding in attracting an increasing flow of young Jews to
    its ranks. It has the enchantment of youth and a kind of Beatnik-style promise for a rosy future.
    But make no mistake: its identification with the leftist streams in America, with Soros, will make
    things difficult for it in its contacts with Congress, certainly in cases when it is under
    Republican control. It will also have difficulty, undoubtedly, in contacts with the Israeli
    government. It is doubtful whether this bothers Soros.

  194. If I catch your drift correctly, I would say that, perhaps, the difference in the analogy of the Jews and the Arabs in Eretz Yisrael with the Indians and the later english settlers is that the Jews were here before the Arabs who swept into the rest of the Middle East in the 7th century (where most of them who entered the holy land succumbed to diseases and died).

    That’s is where the analogy of the the other Libertarian makes between the so-called Palestinians and the Jews falls short.

    Incidentally, the Jews were ordered by G-d to move from Iraq to Canaan. The one person who disagrees that that happened is the minimalist archeologist, Israel Finklestein, who believes that the Jews always lived in Eretz Yisrael but came up with the idea of emigration and conquestion as a way to establish legitimacy in those days.

    While Israel is certainly threatened by the Arab Islamics, 9/11 should’ve taught people that the Jews aren’t the only ones in danger.

    And those Libertarians who are anti-Semitic/anti-Israeli will not be spared either (unless they’re Muslim).

  195. As a final comment, George Soros is a self hating Jew. Along with fellow billionaire degenerates, Peter Lewis and Stephen Bing (the patron saint of strippers), they have created an anti Israeli front group.

    According to Soros, the bubble of U.S. supremacy should be popped. Also to Soros, Israel is another Nazi Germany. He’s hardly the person to create a pro Israeli organization and neither are those other two scum!

  196. Underzog:

    And those Libertarians who are anti-Semitic/anti-Israeli…

    Of course being opposed to the actions of the Israeli government is not the same as being opposed to Jews in general. But Underzog either doesn’t understand that or lacks the ethics to admit it. Note that he called George Soros a “self hating Jew” for opposing the Israeli government. Even if I was Jewish, I don’t think I’d have the patience to explain to Underzog all that’s wrong with the ridiculous use of that ugly expression in this context.

    Underzog, do you feel proud of yourself for approvingly posting racist links that advocate the removal of all Arab Israeli citizens from Israel, and also the making of Islam illegal? You’re quite Nazi-like, Underzog.

  197. Underzog,

    This is a libertarian web site in the United States of America.

    Neither the “God wants US to have this land” argument, nor the “blood and soil” argument, are going to be considered terribly compelling.

    Even if the history you’re obsessed with happened after the birth of my grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather (which it didn’t), it still wouldn’t have the slightest bearing on the questions raised on this thread.

  198. If I catch your drift correctly, I would say that, perhaps, the difference in the analogy of the Jews and the Arabs in Eretz Yisrael with the Indians and the later english settlers is that the Jews were here before the Arabs who swept into the rest of the Middle East in the 7th century (where most of them who entered the holy land succumbed to diseases and died).

    I think you overlooked the part about how most of the Jews who were in the holy land in the old days had either left before the Arabs came (say, after the revolts in 70 and 135), or had converted to Christianity by that time (and that some of those later converted to Islam).

    You also overlooked the fact that by the time the Zionist cause really caught on around the time of World War I, the West had come to accept the principle that it was unjust to displace people from the land they were inhabiting just so another, more “worthy” people could take it over. If you think it’s unfair that white North Americans got away with doing just that, but Jewish immigrants to Palestine aren’t allowed to, I’d point out that Mussolini made a similar argument about how the other European powers had seized colonies in Africa without much regard to self-determination, and that it was wrong and hypocritical to deny Italy the same opportunity in Abyssinia. In both cases, the answer is: “Tough, between the time we did those things and the time you decided you wanted to do the same thing, the rules changed, and we were grandfathered in.” (Except that the European powers eventually gave up their African colonies anyway, and the United States gave full citizenship to whatever Indians we had left alive. The question of a “right of return” for the Indians didn’t come up, since they never were actually refugees from U.S. territory. We just put them on reservations, sorta like the West Bank and Gaza.)

  199. As a final comment, George Soros is a self hating Jew.

    I guess if I were to question the desirability of the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, and were to suggest that the Act of Union of 1801 might have been a good thing, then that would make me a self-hating Irishman?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.