Was the Recognition of Israel Contrary to U.S. National Interests?





Dr. Judith A. Klinghoffer is a senior research associate in the department of Political Science at Rutgers University, Camden. She was a senior Fulbright fellow in Denmark and is the co-author of International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights and the author of Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences. She runs the HNN blog, Deja vu.

The infamous working paper of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt is based on the assumption that American policy towards Israel, unlike its policy towards the rest of the world, is subverted by a powerful Jewish Lobby (it was thus capitalized in the London Review of Books which published a short version of the paper) in a manner which is contrary to American national interest. The problem with this assumption is that those who undertake a close study of the facts reach very different conclusions. A close study of the period of the Kennedy presidency led Warren Bass to doubt the effectiveness of the lobby. My study of the 1967 period led me to conclude that not only was the Lobby ineffective in influencing American foreign policy, but that it was used most effectively by Lyndon Johnson to influence Israeli foreign policy. Benny Morris, on whose work Mearsheimer and Walt rely heavily, also suggests examining the facts. But Vincent Ferraro thought he had a winner. In a recent posting the H-Diplo listserv, he wrote:

Dear Colleagues, I would encourage comments from diplomatic historians on the Mearsheimer/Walt paper. I am a political scientist and have always been intrigued by the debate over US recognition of Israel in 1948. I have reviewed the documents in the Truman Library on the matter, but have never fully understood why Secretary of State Marshall was unsuccessful in persuading a clearly ambivalent Truman to hold off American recognition of Israel.

While I have strong reservations about the conclusions in the Mearsheimer/Walt paper, I have no doubts that the issue of how domestic politics influence foreign policy is an important one. This is an issue that would be well served by an informed reading of the historical record. A thread on this topic would be most welcome.

In other words, Ferraro seemed to argue: “I know all there is to know on the subject and Truman’s refusal to listen to Marshall makes no sense to me in terms of American national interests.” To understand better the basis of his conclusion, I wrote:

As I have not read those documents, I would be most grateful if Vincent Ferraro would start the conversation by explaining the reasons he believes Marshall should have been successful in convincing Truman not to recognize Israel.

Vincent Ferraro responded thus:

In response to Professor Klinghoffer's request for information about Secretary of State Marshall's opposition to recognition, one can look to the records of the meeting on 12 May 1948 in the Oval Office. Clark Clifford presented a compelling case for recognition. Marshall responded by indicating that if recognition occurred, then he (Marshall) would not vote for Truman in the next election (this to Truman's face). Marshall's opposition seems to have been based on his appreciation for the growing significance of oil in the region, not merely for the United States (ARAMCO had been created the previous year), but also for American allies. His view, clearly shared by the British, was that recognition of the state of Israel would compromise those concrete interests.

In political science, the conflict seems to have been between ideals and interests, and in this case, ideals seem to have won out. This outcome is not in and of itself unusual, but, given Truman's very high regard for Marshall, it is an outcome that needs to be explained in greater detail. I hasten to add that I do not believe that this outcome is only explained using the Mearsheimer/Walt framework--indeed, in my own mind, the moral case for recognition was sufficient. But whenever a state compromises very real, tangible interests, the decision must be examined carefully.”

Indeed, it must. So I’ll try to do just that in an expanded version of my subsequent H-diplo posting. Luckily, the May 12 oval office meeting is described in great detail in Clark Cliffford’s autobiography, Counsel to the President. In it Clark Clifford, indeed, presented a compelling case for recognition and it had nothing to do with votes. Indeed, I find the short shrift given to his main arguments most surprising as they proved so prescient and the arguments of his opponents so unfounded.

According to Clifford, at the heart of the Marshall, Lovett and Loy opposition was the belief that it would be impossible to establish a viable Jewish state which would be able to withstand the assault of Arabs without American help. Marshall said that if the"Jews got into trouble and 'came running to us for help . . . .They were clearly on notice that there was no warrant to expect help from the United States" (Clifford, p.10). He thought the Jews were wrong to believe they can handle the Arabs by themselves.

In the end, Marshall got his way. The New York Post's Observer wrote on July 8, 1948:

The President said: “It was one of the proudest moments of my life at 6:12 P.M.; Friday, May 14, when I announced the recognition of the new State of Israel by the Government of the United States.” This he wrote a few days ago, in a public message to the Zionist Convention in Pittsburgh.

If President Truman feels that way, he can treat himself to an even greater moment if he will declare, before the sun goes down today, that should the war in Palestine be resumed on Friday he will lift the embargo on arms for the State of Israel. Recognition of Israel is a pious declaration, the value of which depends upon whether or not the President takes the next step: Will he lift the blockade clamped down by the United States on the country invaded by Arab aggressor nations, or will he not?

The British, who keep vast stores of ammunition in the Middle East, have already announced that if fighting in Palestine is resumed they will go on supplying the Arab countries with arms of all descriptions. This, with the American embargo, and British money subsidies of Arab military establishments means simply that the aggressors are furnished arms on free delivery, while the defenders are denied arms even for cash. If this is the policy the President of the United States is inclined to follow, then he will lay himself open to the question whether he has acted in good faith in recognizing Israel.

In what is going to emerge as a common presidential pattern, to get votes Truman professed himself a great friend of Israel, but in reality did very little to aid her. It was Soviet and East European help, especially Czech weapons sales, that helped create the all important facts on the ground, not American recognition. (In fact, while the US was the first country to recognize Israel de facto, the USSR was the first to recognize it de jure).

The second objection Marshall expressed was to what the Secretary of State called the"behind the barn" (Clifford, p.10) deal Golda Meir was in the process of cutting with King Abdallah of Jordan. It would keep the monarch out of the fighting. Why? Possibly because the Saudis have always feared the Hashemites, who have a competing claim to Mecca and Medina.

In addition, between the American UN vote and the recognition, Rusk told me he made a last ditch effort to cut an Israeli-Saudi deal. I believe it took place before the famous oval office meeting. Rusk said that he took over an entire floor in the Waldorf Astoria. He and his team settled in the middle suit while the Jews and Saudis took the suites on either side of the Americans. In the ensuing negotiations, the Israelis agreed to delay creating the state, provided the Saudis agree to let 100,000 Jews enter Israel. These were Holocaust survivors trapped in displacement camps in Europe. No, they could not go back to where they came from: those who tried were attacked by the people who have taken all their possessions and wanted to keep them. As the constant haggling over stolen art demonstrates, they still do.

Rusk said he thought that was a reasonable agreement, but the Saudis turned it down."The Jews," said the Saudis,"will bring into Israel 100,000 pregnant women." Rusk gave up. I am surprised that there is no trace of these negotiations in the archives.

Actually, the first Clifford argument seems to be a reference to the negotiation. Clifford pointed out that the fighting had already begun despite the fact that the Yishuv had not yet declared a state."Dean Rusk stated that a truce could be negotiated within two weeks. But this goal is not in sight" (Clifford, p.11). In other words, the realities on the ground should be acknowledged. I believe this to be a rather realistic argument.

His second argument is just as realistic:

Trusteeship, which State supports, presupposes a single Palestine. That is also unrealistic. Partition into Jewish and Arab sectors has already happened. Jews and Arabs are already fighting each other from territory each side presently controls. (Clifford, p.11)

The third argument had to do with Cold War realities. American vacillation as compared to Soviet steadfastness was a public relations disaster handed to Truman courtesy of Marshall’s State department. The US supported partition only to reverse itself two months later. Truman expressed in his diary sentiments not unfamiliar to other presidents:

The State Dept. pulled the rug from under me today. I didn't expect that would happen. In Key-West or en route there from St. Croix I approved the speech and statement of policy by Sen. Austin to U.N. Meeting. This morning I find that the State Department has reversed my Palestine policy. The first I know about it is what I see in the papers! Isn't that Hell! Now, I am placed in a position of a liar and double-crosser. I never felt so in my life...

There are people on the third and fourth levels of the State Dept. who have always wanted to cut my throat. They've succeeded in doing so. Marshall's in California and Lovett's in Florida...

What is not generally understood is that the Zionists are not the only ones to be considered in the Palestine question. There are other interests that come into play, each with its own agenda. The military is concerned with the problems of defending a newly created small country from attacks by much larger and better trained Arab nations. Others have selfish interests concerning the flow of Arab oil to the U.S. Since they all cannot have their way, it is a perfect example of why I had to remember that 'The Buck Stops Here.'

The Soviets were sure to recognize Israel and by doing so first, the US could regain some of the high ground. This, too, is a point a political scientist would acknowledge as valid. State may have been enamored by Ibn Saud, whom one American ambassador described"as every inch a desert king" (in the documentary"The Secret Files: Washington, Israel and the Gulf.") but it was impossible to tell the world that 200,000 Jewish refugees should languish in European displacement camps just because the Saudis wished it.

Fourth, Clifford said that the Yishuv was about to create a state"which complied with the provision for democratic government outlined in the U.N. resolution of November 29" (Clifford, p.11). Indeed, the Palestinians should have done the same.

Fifth, Clifford noted that Jews have been waiting for 30 years for the fulfillment of the Balfour Declaration and Trusteeship will postpone that promise indefinitely. I would add that while the Declaration did not promise a state. It did promise a homeland and it was the legal basis for the mandate. At the very least, it implied a place to which Jews could go when threatened with annihilation. That promise was broken at the worst of times. Indeed, by breaking that basic promise, the British forfeited their right to the Mandate. Any Trusteeship would face the same problem. Jewish refugees had a right to go to their promised homeland and, in the end, only a Jewish state could secure that right for them.

Sixth, Clifford argued that the US had"a moral obligation to oppose discrimination as that inflicted on the Jewish people. Alarmingly, it is reappearing in the Communist-controlled Eastern Europe. Jews must have their homeland" (Clifford, p.12). It must be recognized that the existence of Jewish displacement camps could not be ignored or set aside. Those opposed to the creation of the Jewish state, Time Magazine for example, argued that the creation of Israel will not solve the problem because there is not enough room for all the Jews. After all, how could 600,000 Jews absorb hundreds of thousands of refugees? In this, as in other things, the opponents were proven wrong. It was not easy, but it was done. It is interesting that Israel does not get any credit for that enormous achievement. Ironically, this debate is taking place in the shadow of Ahmadinejad's call to send Jews back to European displacement camps.

Clifford's final argument is the most impressive:

I fully understand and agree that vital national interests are involved. In an area as unstable as the Middle East, where there is not now and never has been any tradition of democratic government, it is important for the long range security of our country, and indeed the world, that a nation committed to the democratic system be established there, one on which we can rely. The new Jewish state can be such a place. We should strengthen it in its infancy by prompt recognition. (Clifford, p.12)

If Marshall was annoyed, it was in part because Clifford's assessment conflicted with the evaluation of the JCS which in May 1948 indicated that 100,000 American troops would be needed to implement partition. Truman said a number of times that 500,000 men may be needed to create a Jewish state.

In any case, Clifford turned out to have been right and Marshall wrong. The little Truman did to enable the creation of the Jewish state can not be presented as the fruit of a powerful lobby. American Jews did their best but their power was rather limited. Nor did they try to enhance that power by withholding their votes from Truman. Instead, they did what Jewish leaders would do again and again, especially for Democratic presidents: they presented him in the best possible light while doing their utmost to help Israel absorb the enormous waves of refugees that she was busy gathering and resettling.

As the Soviets realized, and Foggy Bottom did not, the American Jewish community was a major American strategic asset when it comes to its relations with Israel. Soviet support and Jewish leftist leanings (for hundreds of years their worse enemies came from the right) should have led to the creation of Soviet ally in the Middle East. But it was not to be. As Soviet diplomats told Nahum Goldmann prior to the partition vote, they anticipated an Israeli turn to the West because the large Jewish communities living there would provide financial support for the Jewish state. Moreover, the Soviets anticipated that their aid to Israel would generate good will towards them in the US (Klinghoffer & Apter, Israel and the Soviet Union, 14).

But what about oil? Here Daniel Yergin’s account in The Prize is most instructive. A few days after Ben Gurion established Israel, Ibn Saud reportedly indicated that “he may be compelled , in certain circumstances, to apply sanctions against American oil concessions . . . not because of his desire to do so but because the pressure upon him of Arab public opinion was so great that he could no longer resist it.” “A hurriedly done State Department study, however,” Yergin goes on, “found that, despite the large reserves, the ME, excluding Iran, provided only 6% of the free world oil supplies and that such a cut in consumption of that oil ‘could be achieved without substantial hardship to any group of consumers'” (p.526). A well conceived American policy would have taken steps to preclude a future in which Saudi kings would develop an ability to hold the West hostage.

Unfortunately, the only real American realists were found in the military. It stopped viewing Israel as a strategic liability, begun seeing it as a strategic asset and recommended a policy commensurate with that notion. As a result it stopped producing papers arguing against American support for Israel and producing papers on “U.S. Strategic Interest in Israel.” The JCS 1684/28 written on March 7, 1949 and quoted in Michael Palmer (Guardians of the Gulf, p. 56) includes the following:

Existing JCS policy on this subject appears now to have been overtaken by events. The power balance in the ME has been radically altered. At the time the State of Israel was forming, numerous indications pointed to its extremely short life in the face of Arab League opposition. However, Israel . . . has demonstrated by force of arms its right to be considered the military power next after Turkey in the Near and ME.

Palmer goes on to describe how JCS reports began to focus on the advantages to the US of having a strategically located base in Israel. In a May 1949 report they recommended that U.S. policy should be directed at securing Israel's Western orientation (which, given US and USSR policies, should have been far from secure), promote reconciliation between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and make sure that Israel would be included in regional defense pacts.

The trouble was that such JCS reports -- informed as they were by strategic American national interests -- did not find favor amongst the Arabists (see Robert Kaplan’s book Arabists for the ideological and religious basis of their policies) who ran Foggy Bottom. They refused to accept the reality of Israel’s existence or do anything to promote the peace by telling Israel’s Arab neighbors that Israel was here to stay. Nor would they do anything to promote in any shape or form the international acceptance of the Jewish state. The opposite was true. This came to the fore in 1966 when Lyndon Johnson pressured Israel to send her flag to Vietnam and it was revealed that South Vietnam had not established diplomatic relations with Israel. To defend themselves, the South Vietnamese revealed that they did not because State told them not to. I am sure they were not the only ones.

Moreover, Foggy Bottom fought tooth and nail any attempt to promote peace in the Middle East. In December 1961 Washington was directly responsible for the defeat of an African-sponsored UN resolution calling for direct peace talks between Arab states and Israel under UN auspices. This happened just months after John Kennedy promised Jewish leaders who helped elect him that he would reverse this virulent State policy. Shortly thereafter the president made an official commitment to Egyptian president Gamal Abd’l Nasser to put the Arab-Israeli dispute “on ice.” The first president to make peace in the ME an American foreign policy objective was Lyndon Johnson and he did so after the Six Day War. Foggy Bottom made sure he did nothing to implement the new policy just as I expect it does its utmost to make sure that George W. Bush’s diplomats would do little to implement his policy of democratization of the Middle East.

Palmer writes:

In September and October 1949, the National Security Council . . . established the basic outlines of American Middle Eastern policy for the next four decades. . . . The US had to engage in 'impartial' but 'constructive leadership' to promote pro-Western ties . . . . Regarding the Palestine problem, the NSC argued that Israel and its neighbors had to reach an accord on their own and that the Arabs were unlikely to welcome Israel into any Middle Eastern defense structure. (560.)

In other words, there was a foreign policy debate was between JCS and State in which the idealists in State won. American Jews supported the JCS policy and at times tried to get around State by appealing directly to Congress and the President. The Arabist American foreign policy elite sought to discredit them by accusing them of dual loyalty and their supporters of putting the Jewish vote above US national interest.

Thus many of the same men who did their best to keep out of the US as many Jews as they could during and after the Holocaust, complained when David Ben Gurion called on American Jews to immigrate to Israel. Consequently, the easily intimidated president of the American Jewish Committee, Jacob Blaustein, asked David Ben Gurion to sign a document affirming that “Jews of the United States, as a community and individuals, have only one political attachment and that is to the United States.” Blaustein asked Israeli PMs to reaffirm the 1950 declaration in 1961, 1963 and 1964 but not between 1952 and 1960 when their friend Dwight Eisenhower was in charge.

Here is an example of the manner in which warnings to American Jews were delivered: In 1966 when Ben Gurion, then a mere Knesset member, called for the “strengthening of the bonds between Diaspora Jewry and the State of Israel,” his call was immediately brought to Blaustein’s attention by none other than McGeorge Bundy. Ben Gurion did not “vitiate” their attached agreement, Blaustein wrote, though he went further than Blaustein would have liked. Bundy agreed and added: “Just the same, if there is a difference between Blaustein and Ben Gurion, I think I would be on the Blaustein side!” (Judith Klinghoffer, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East, p. 23) I cannot but wonder whether anyone knows of similar exchanges between American officials and citizens of other nationalities or religions. Note, that at the same time the CIA had reportedly organized AFME, an anti-Israeli pro-Arab lobby.

Be that as it may, State also made sure that Truman did not disappoint the Saudis for long. In 1950 Ibn Saud wrote a letter to Truman in which he focused not on the creation of Israel but asked for the US to protect him from the Hashemites. Oil and the Dahran air base, he argued should insure US interest in his kingdom. Harry Truman responded thus (Yergin, The Prize, 427, 28):

I wish to renew to Your Majesty the assurances which have been made to you several times in the past that the United States is interested in the preservation of the independence and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia. No threat to your kingdom could occur which would not be a matter of immediate concern to the United States.

Interestingly, this guarantee was unknown to the American people, was never ratified by Congress and never leaked. Moreover, world perception to the contrary, similar assurances were not given to Israel. Hence, while American soldiers repeatedly fought and died for Saudi Arabia, they did not do so for Israel. More to the point, it is difficult to argue that the US foreign policy designed by the Arabist foreign policy elite has been successful. The opposite can be argued and is currently being argued. Indeed, Condi Rice announced in Cairo her intention to change the six-decade old US foreign policy. What do her opponents do? They get Mearsheimer and Walt to write a paper accusing Jews of disloyalty. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, if you forgive my French.


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omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Williams

Of course I could be mistaken but not in the case you indicate namely:

"Omar is mistaken --Israel is not likely to disappear any time
soon -- she was far weaker in the 1960s and survived. Today she
is the foremost military power in the Middle East. "

I am fully aware of its present autonomous strength ("regional super power")and the US/Israeli strategic alliance that is its virtual lifeline.
Neither do I expect its early demise for I have clearly indicated (post # 89335 )that:

"I am neither gloating nor expecting victory in the coming few years but have absolutely no doubt that the demise of Zionist Israel is historically predestined .)"

An all American AnIsLob would be the only effective way to cut AIPAC to size but I see no room in it for Arabs and/or Moslems.(I have indicated that much in my post #89185 in which I refer to the W&M report controversy as an"internal American affair")

The Israeli drain on American political, economical and moral standing should, will, ultimately mobilize enough true Americans to make up the force needed to achieve the task.



omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007



Mr. Friedman
You start your post with a very wrong premise and the rest is, inevitably, more dross!
I never maintained, neither in this post nor any where else, that:"...you (I) believe that it is Israel which divides Arab governments from the US."
Arab governments, far from being at a distance from the US, submit, in different degrees of servility, to the US.
Ditto the great majority of the governments of Moslem nations.
My recurrent reference to the Arab/Moslem world in no way includes them.
It is invariably the peoples and the nations of the Arab/Moslem world that I always refer to.

Furthermore except for these governments the whole situation in the ME would have been very different from the present submissive and supplicating attitude with which Israel, and the USA, is being met by them!

My reference is always; to the peoples of these nations who have shown, whenever the opportunity arise through free elections or change of regime, where they stand on the issue of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

An interesting aspect of the situation is that with the passage of time, and contrary to Zionist and US expectations, the pro Palestinian anti Zionist camp has grown substantially in both intensity of dedication to the Palestinian cause and geographical reach.
What started in the twenties as a limited Palestinian Arab cause soon became, in the fifties, a pan Arab cause that developed in the nineties into a ME cause, witness Iran and Turkey (the former close friends of Israel and the USA) and is presently developing and maturing rapidly into a pan Islamic central cause; read about the farthest reach of Islam: Indonesia.
A 1.2-1.3 billion human community that is soon turning into an avowed violent anti Israel anti US block! That is the size of the human community that the USA have needlessly antagonized by recognizing and empowering Israel.

This is a far as the nations of the Arab/Moslem world are concerned; not their governments.

How long these governments will hold these nations in check is another question.

What I delineated above is the magnitude and geographical reach of this camp.
I sincerely hope that you will not retaliate with a rant about “terror” and “Islamofascim”; it would be irrelevant to the point we are discussing; the effect of US policies of recognizing and empowering Israel on US interests!
Should you reread my initial post on the subject (#88126) with this explanation in mind you may reach different conclusions.
Two other points in your post are worthy of consideration and comment:
1-You state:” I see other Arab governments influence by Ba'athist ideology which hope to create a pan-Arab empire. The US stands in the way of that program so,…. Of course, Israel also stands in the way of that objective….” about which, except for the silly term “empire” I agree completely.
Both Israel, geographically and politically, and the USA , politically, have posed major, but not insurmountable, obstacles to Arab Unity.
That is something we recognize fully and is a basic constituent of the public anti Israel anti US stand of the overwhelming majority of Arabs.(Reread if you wish my earlier post “The Meaning of Israel” it had something to say on the subject.)

2-You end your post with the usual “plaintive” call for “compromise”: “Now, people can side with a barbarian cause - i.e. HAMAS' cause - or they can side with those willing to compromise.”
2.1- Hamas, if “barbarian at all, is much less of a “barbarian” than the racist State of Israel whose air force destroyed with guided missiles RESIDENTIAL buildings in Nablus and Gaza killing all its inhabitants of women, children and old people.

2.2-No amount of “compromise” with Zionist Israel will ever resolve the conflict and lead to peace!

At Oslo Arafaat did the “unthinkable compromise” he ceded 72% of historical Palestine (versus 52% according to the UNGA Partition resolution) and recognized the state of Israel in its pre 1967 borders!
What did that get him?
Where did that take him?
Israel, for now, wants all of Palestine and complete Palestinian submission.
Witness the annexation of Arab East Jerusalem after extending its borders, the endless confiscation of lands, the building and expansion of Settlements and the ongoing saga of the Wall which, before closing circle, has already devoured 12% of the area of the West Bank.
Israel DOES NOT WANT a genuine political resolution of the conflict; only an Israeli imposed solution and that would be an “interim settlement” until it resumes its expansionist march.
But you should always keep in mind that the Arab/Moslem world, defined above, is getting ready for the long haul ….





omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
To start with let us be very clear about terms.
The disappearance of
the "nation/state" of Israel will mean just that; the dismantling of the Zionist nation state as an exclusively, or predominantly, Jewish state to which the indigenous Palestinian people is denied his right to return to his homeland and regain his properties.

It does NOT mean "wiping out " the Jewish community presently residing in Palestine, "throwing them in the sea" or any such nonsense!

It would, most certainly, involve the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their homeland and the repossession of their legal properties as documented in British, pre Israel, records and archives.

What would that mean?

First and foremost it would mean:
*Justice is done and the huge injustice inflicted on the Arab Palestinian people redressed.

*Aggression repulsed and undone by denial of its reward.

*An alien aggressive expansionist body decommissioned and deactivated.


What would be gained?

*Each and every item above is, per se, a national and universal "gain" by legal, human and ethical standards

*A much more stable ME, substantially strife and nuclear weapons free, with its efforts and resources dedicated to development and human progress.

*Removal of a major cause of the festering Arab/Moslem-Judeo/(West)Christian polarization and threat of " clash of civilizations" and the disastrous results it would entail for all.

*Retrieval of the physical, land, continuity of the Arab nation.

That is, as briefly as possible, what it would mean, entail and what would be gained by ALL.

I hope you will not revert to the old argument that Israel is not the cause of instability and strife in the ME or of Arab/Moslem-Judeo/Christian polarization.
I grant you in advance that it is not the ONLY cause but it is, most certainly, the most major and predominant cause of the hell that its existence in Palestine created for its indigenous inhabitants, the Arab nation and the peoples of the ME and the ever worsening relations between the Arab/Moslem and the Judeo/(West)Christian worlds.

The issue therefore is, Mr Friedman, NOT who rules Palestine, as you would like to portray it, as much as who is indigenous to Palestine and entitled to live in it, who is culturally indigenous to the region ,who is the alien colonialist invader and what his conquest entailed on basic inalienable human ,cultural and national rights.


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Kobachev
For a short while I thought you were, after all, capable of a polite dialogue!

However your childish question "Are you beginning to understand?" and your equally inane characterization "..like other befuddled fanatics out there, " show that you are, definitely, NOT capable of such a thing.

Back to substance: there is, need I say (?), a huge difference between "understanding” something and "agreeing” to it and "accepting" its veracity, truthfulness and the truthfulness of the conveyor of that idea/emotion.

I can find no better example than to quote your friend and fellow Zionist Mr Friedman's dictum (post # 88587) above which reads:

"The Zionists are the best friends that Arabs ever had. Had the Arabs accepted the Zionists with open arms, the Arab regions would, today, be thriving. They might even be the world's dominant force."

I believe I DO understand every single word, every paragraph, all the sentences in that gem and the "cumulative" idea behind them!

Does understanding all that makes it "agreeable" and "acceptable"? Is it veracious? True? Genuinely held as such by its conveyor?

You have been in all your posts purposely confounding all Arabs and Moslems with your perverted understanding of what a Jihadist is; banking on the ignorance of the majority and their anticipated negative reaction to and revulsion of the term and all its derivatives.( Do you recall your irrelevant reference to "Dhimitude" when American interests were discussed somewhere above?)

That is childish, at least here at HNN, and is descriptive but is not meant as insulting.

There is an insidious racist vein in everything you write and post by trying to malign a society’s values while pretending to respect its culture and implying that “values” can be imported, or, better still, imposed.
Are not values the everyday expression, the worldly real life manifestations, of culture?

But that does NOT surprise me coming as it does from a dogma that believes in "God's chosen people" and the extra legal and extra moral prerogatives that endows them with together with the right, or allowance, to plunder, rape and exploit the “goyim”!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

There are two ways to answer Klinghoffer's question:

"Was the Recognition of Israel Contrary to U.S. National Interests?"

The first would be a resounding YES and to show WHY it was and still is.
The second would be to rephrase the question to read:

"Was the Recognition of Israel Beneficial to U.S. National Interests?"

I would rather respond to the second mode than the first for two reasons:

A-The USA having actually recognized the state of Israel has not only helped a great deal to entrench it as an aggressive, racist destabilizing implant, thus aggravating the problem that its existence poses to the region and the world at large, but because the NEGATIVE outcome of that recognition on US interests is daily unfolding in a manner that the American public, hitherto practically insulated there from, will feel increasingly.

B-The way Klinghoffer’s formulated her question is not only intentionally deceptive but, more importantly, runs contrary to the way a question on national interest should be asked.
Such a question, if correctly asked, should seek to identify and quantify the benefits incurred from a certain act and not evaluate the absence of a negative outcome.

Klinghoffer, however, who is not primarily interested in incurring benefits to US interests as much as to Israel's chose that particular formulation which serves better her purpose...and mission.

I contend that far from bringing any benefits to US interests, the US hasty recognition of Israel (instead of a vigorous effort to implement the UNGA Partition resolution) has incurred great LOSSES and permanent DAMAGE to long term American interests that have been compounding for the last half century and will continue to be until the USA reappraises its whole Middle East policy.
The reasons are there for everybody to see; through its recognition that developed over the years, under Zionist pressures and influence, into a strategic alliance that has empowered Israel into the status of regional super power, the USA :

1-Has incurred the deep felt enmity of the public 1.3 billion Arab/Moslem world which correctly regards Israel as the aggressive and racist outcome from the Zionist colonialist movement that led to the dislocation, dispossession and disfranchisement of their fellow Arab nationals and Moslem coreligionists!
Contrary to US official expectations, which foresaw an initial negative reaction that would soon die out, this enmity has been deepened, spread wider and taken highly violent forms that threaten not only American interests but American lives!
Note worthy in this respect is that the antagonistic ME, earlier confined to the Arab states, has expanded to include Iran to be joined soon by Turkey; the two previous major regional allies of the USA.

2-Immensely contributed to the instability of the Middle East in whose stability the USA and Western Europe has an essential political and economic interest.

3-Has involved the USA in unnecessary and counter productive major regional costly wars, as presently in Iraq, that threaten to escalate into more far reaching conflicts with untold repercussions as with the present Iran/US conflict.

4-Has led to the drastic radicalization of political Islamism and the deepening
Arab-Moslem/Judeo-Christian world wide polarization currently underway.

5-Has confirmed, to the third world in Asia, Africa and South America , the USA as an imperialist power in alliance with a colonialist racist state out to dominate and exploit the riches of the ME to the greater benefit of US oil companies.

Conversely what did the USA achieve, in terms of interests and international standing, what BENEFITS were gained by recognizing and empowering Israel??

The answer to Dr Klinghoffer’s question:
"Was the Recognition of Israel Contrary to U.S. National Interests?"
would be, if only American interests are the deciding factor, an unqualified “YES”!

And the answer to the alternative, more correctly phrased, question:
"Was the Recognition of Israel Beneficial to U.S. National Interests?"
would be, if only American interests are the deciding factor, an equally resounding “ABSOLUTELY NOT; it was, is, deeply detrimental to American long term interests”!

The worst thing about the whole situation, for both the Arab/Moslem world and the USA is that it will get mush worse and will lead to more untold losses to both sides until……




omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Kovachev!
If that is everything you have to say it is perfectly OK with me!

However, WHY do not you try to answer the question:

"What Did America benefit from the Recognition and empowerment of Israel?"

That would be slightly harder than ranting about "Islamofascism" and "mullahs"!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman

You create an issue where none exists.

I was very categorical about "people":

"It does NOT mean "wiping out " the Jewish community presently residing in Palestine, "throwing them in the sea" or any such nonsense! "

I was equally categorical about who is the unindigenous ALIEN colonialist invader :

"...the Zionist nation state as an exclusively, or predominantly, Jewish state "!

Playing around with the meaning of "indigenous" will not change the meaning nor the intent of my words.

You asked me what would be gained by dismantling the state of Israel.
I told you what.

Then you ramble on with your, by now, well known explanations, justifications and total blindness to the welfare of others.

Most significant among which is your assertion:
" Justice for Palestinian Arabs can surely be provided without them returning."

So, once again you decide for the Palestinians what "justice" is.
Once again you persist in denying the Palestinians their right to Self Determination.

That is where we irrevocably part ways.

The Palestinians should,and will, decide their future ; Israel will NOT decide for them what is "justice" nor where they should live.

It is their inalienable human right to live in their homeland!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman.
With your total blindness to the dictate of history and to modern history, ie the history of the last 15 centuries, you always capture my imagination as a typical dogma/confession hypnotized sample/victim.

I guess by Zionist standards, all equally fallacious and misleading, you would be an anachronistic/reactionary Zionist.

I find it interesting that you did neither fault nor dispute my definition of what Israel is:

“Israel is the output from the colonialist Zionist conquest of Palestine that led to the dislocation, dispossession and disfranchisement of the majority of its indigenous Palestinian Arab people in their homeland and, literally, SUPPLANTING them with aliens, mostly of East European provenance, selected and assembled according to a purely racist/confessional criterion: their Jewish faith and, presumed, common ethnic origin!

"Israel" is the nation of aliens that is living on an other people's land, dwelling in his houses and using his means of livelihood for its own exclusive use while always denying its indigenous people his right to return to his homeland and regain his possessions."

Your earlier attempts were JUSTIFICATIONS never refutation of the objective undeniable historical facts outlined above.

I find it equally note worthy that you chose to bypass your proposed and hoped for "universal superiority" of a Jewish-Arab/Moslem alliance.." to milk the world" you should have added but,understandably, refrained!

At best and with the best of intentions and good will, an intrinsically misguided and foolish approach whenever Zionism is the other party, the interpretation of your dream would be :Jewish intelligence, international relations , money and know how would be the catalyst of an Arab revival that would make the two of them
"masters of the world"!

Well for one thing we do not need that catalyst and secondly we have no ambition to be "masters of the world" or " the world's dominant force." as you put it!

You refer to what future generations would think.

I believe it will boil down to two major points:

A-An alien aggressive body was planted in the heart land of the Arab/
Moslem world Palestine , survived for ....years then disappeared after causing huge suffering to all involved.

B-Its disappearance was historically and culturally preordained because of its total non integrability in the region being alien, racist and aggressive.

Neither you nor I will be around to witness that day but I have absolutely no doubt that that is what will happen as it did to the Crusaders in Palestine and the Arabs in Spain.


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Kobachev
Palestine is part of Syria in the sense that ,say, Georgia is part of the Southern states of the USA or the Dordogne is part of France!
One thing does not nullify the other nor erase its identity.(Do you begin to understand? Simple enough.)
I am happy I made you laugh; my point, however, was: what kind of reception will he, Dr Sayyid, receive from a Pakistani audience if he dares repeat the inanities he so courageously voices in the USA, to the warm applause of the Friedmans and Kobachevs
Did he ever publish that in his homeland ? (If yes, indicate.) That is the real test of his importance; for many expatriates ,unfortunately, sing the tune they believe the audience would like to hear! You sound old enough to know that!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Clarke
You state :
"The first is the rhetorical trap of his own making whereby he cannot refrain from incessantly invoking the mind-numbing, conversation-torpedoing and historically anachronistic phrase "Zionism" to describe all sorts of phenomena of recent decades that are in fact quite independent of the 19th and early 20th century movement to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine."

If by this sentence you mean "Zionism" is no longer a contemporary issue as an active political force then I have to disagree with you.

It is very much so in Israeli politics where political parties and candidates stress their Zionist credentials while detracting from their rival's.
It is equally a very contemporary issue, affiliation and political motive force internationally.
Fukuyama in his recent critique of the neoconservative movement mentioned categorically the "Zionist" background and mind set of its early developers/advocates!
Re W&M , not that I do not care about it, but being an internal American issue I would rather watch Americans battle it out between themselves.
It shows how "American" some of them are!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Williams
Thanks


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007


When Mr Friedman had this to say (post #88587):
"The Zionists are the best friends that Arabs ever had. Had the Arabs accepted the Zionists with open arms, the Arab regions would, today, be thriving. They might even be the world's dominant force."

I thought he was indulging himself in black humour and wanted to display his latent talent on the HNN Forum.

I considered telling him that much and that I am not fond of this genre then reconsidered and decided to ignore him and his latest witticism.
But the man seems to be serious for not much later he had another gem which indicates that he is not being witty. Namely (post #88638):

"Omar,

I reiterate my point. Were the Arabs to have worked with the Zionists, the Middle East could have been closer to a paradise."

Obviously he seems to be totally sincere but equally ignorant of what Israel is TO THE ARABS in spite of my earlier brief description of it (What is Israel?).

To remind him:
Israel is the output from the colonialist Zionist conquest of Palestine that led to the dislocation, dispossession and disfranchisement of the majority of its indigenous Palestinian Arab people in their homeland and, literally, SUPPLANTING them with aliens, mostly of East European provenance, selected and assembled according to a purely racist/confessional criterion: their Jewish faith and, presumed, common ethnic origin!

"Israel" is the nation of aliens that is living on an other people's land, dwelling in his houses and using his means of livelihood for its own exclusive use while always denying its indigenous people his right to return to his homeland and regain his possessions.

However there is more to Mr Friedman's two posts than his complete subversion of the meaning of "friends" and "paradise" as commonly used and understood by normal human beings!

There is that old, discredited
"colonialist" rationale and the yearning : "we", the Jews, being monied and intelligent and with the know how we have and "you", the Arabs, with the resources you have can make a terrific combination to the advantage of both. Etc, etc. etc

That is really very much the same old, false and bankrupt argument ,first made by the Zionist movement in the nineteenth century and repeated here in the year 2006 AD by Mr Friedman , that earlier led Britain to India, France to Algeria and the Dutch to South Africa etc etc in the sixteenth ,seventeenth and eighteenth century AD.

That is Mr Friedman's understanding of the meaning of "friendship" and "paradise" as was the friendship of, say, the Spanish with the "Indians" and the "paradise" they made for them in South America.
Looking further into Mr Friedman's gems there is more to it than the crass colonialism of yore.
There is, also, a sinister(racially based?) vision of universal supremacy :"They (the Jews and the Arabs) might even be the world's dominant force"..(Paradise Lost!)

IS IT the subconscious revival of the old
"masters of the World" dream and designs?

Mr Friedman sometimes talks too much for his own good and I, for one, welcome that!



omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

When Mr Friedman had this to say (post #88587):
"The Zionists are the best friends that Arabs ever had. Had the Arabs accepted the Zionists with open arms, the Arab regions would, today, be thriving. They might even be the world's dominant force."

I thought he was indulging himself in black humour and wanted to display his latent talent on the HNN Forum.

I considered telling him that much and that I am not fond of this genre then reconsidered and decided to ignore him and his latest witticism.
But the man seems to be serious for not much later he had another gem which indicates that he is not being witty. Namely (post #88638):

"Omar,

I reiterate my point. Were the Arabs to have worked with the Zionists, the Middle East could have been closer to a paradise."

Obviously he seems to be totally sincere but equally ignorant of what Israel is TO THE ARABS in spite of my earlier brief description of it (What is Israel?).

To remind him:
Israel is the output from the colonialist Zionist conquest of Palestine that led to the dislocation, dispossession and disfranchisement of the majority of its indigenous Palestinian Arab people in their homeland and, literally, SUPPLANTING them with aliens, mostly of East European provenance, selected and assembled according to a purely racist/confessional criterion: their Jewish faith and, presumed, common ethnic origin!

"Israel" is the nation of aliens that is living on an other people's land, dwelling in his houses and using his means of livelihood for its own exclusive use while always denying its indigenous people his right to return to his homeland and regain his possessions.

However there is more to Mr Friedman's two posts than his complete subversion of the meaning of "friends" and "paradise" as commonly used and understood by normal human beings!

There is that old, discredited
"colonialist" rationale and the yearning : "we", the Jews, being monied and intelligent and with the know how we have and "you", the Arabs, with the resources you have can make a terrific combination to the advantage of both. Etc, etc. etc

That is really very much the same old, false and bankrupt argument ,first made by the Zionist movement in the nineteenth century and repeated here in the year 2006 AD by Mr Friedman , that earlier led Britain to India, France to Algeria and the Dutch to South Africa etc etc in the sixteenth ,seventeenth and eighteenth century AD.

That is Mr Friedman's understanding of the meaning of "friendship" and "paradise" as was the friendship of, say, the Spanish with the "Indians" and the "paradise" they made for them in South America.
Looking further into Mr Friedman's gems there is more to it than the crass colonialism of yore.
There is, also, a sinister(racially based?) vision of universal supremacy :"They (the Jews and the Arabs) might even be the world's dominant force"..(Paradise Lost!)

IS IT the subconscious revival of the old
"masters of the World" dream and designs?

Mr Friedman sometimes talks too much for his own good and I, for one, welcome that!



omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Kobachev
You are, hopelessly I must add, trying to wiggle out of a bad situation you put yourself in.

Back to your very words:

"The point is that the Arabs within the region called "Palestine" by the British did not see themselves as distinct people, as "Palestinians," but as Arabs hailing from different regions."

OIB:Bad imagination and make believe .
Palestinian Arabs ( the overwhelming majority of the people living in Palestine since the Islamic conquest in the Seventh century AD) always considered themselves as Palestinian Arabs as much as Syrian Arabs in Syria , and Egyptian Arabs in Egypt. That is: Arab as to national identity and cultural heritage, Palestinian as to the specific homeland in the Arab nation they dwell.

To make it easier on you to digest, Texan Americans ; Americans that dwell in Texas!



"Since most were recent migrants from what is now Syria, and since Syria had dreams and pretensions (which were eventually spoiled by the French and the British) they wanted to be part of a Greater Syria. "

OIB: nonsense with absolutely no basis in history , facts or logic.

Does being part of Greater Syria, by uniting Palestine with Transjordan,Lebanon and Syria makes them disown their homeland and relinquish it to Aliens?

Palestine was never depopulated, populationless, in modern times .

Invading armies did cross and recross but the basic Arab national character of the population was unchanged since the Islamic conquest; the majority being always Arabs living, dwelling Palestine.


"The "Palestinian" identity was re-defined and pushed after Egypt's and Jordan's defeat and loss of Judea, Samaria and Gaza after holding on to them for merely 19 years. Even though what became Jordan was also part of what was once designated as Palestine, Arafat knew better than to push that one."

OIB:Back to your nonsense ( you refer to 1967) the identity of Palestinian Arabs never changed, both Moslems and Christians, since the Islamic conquest. Think of American Texans; being Texan does not disqualify them as Americans nor being Americans makes Texas devoid of national identity and an easy prey to ALIENS!

Did the Texans accession to the United States mean they gave up on Texas.

Seldom did an exercise in self blinding, self comforting or outright fabrication of history , reach this level of absurdity to justify the unjustifiable as has been your stand Mr. Kobachev .


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

PK:”Actually, quite an easy question("Was the Recognition of Israel Beneficial to U.S. National Interests?" )to answer. I'm surprised that you set yourself up for this.”

PK:” Israel is the only competent strategic ally in the region. The US has never had to defend it by stationing its forces there or by shedding blood of its own soldiers, unlike the story with Europe, Asia, Africa and the Moslem ME. “

OIB: By having this one and only “strategic ally” in the ME the USA alienated and turned the whole area, previously a friendly and a natural ally, into its implacable enemy; that is counterproductive and bad politics.
You tell me, Mr Kovachev, how many allies and how many enemies the USA has now in the ME; where none existed in the past or had reason to be!
Unless, of course, you mean that by helping to establish and empower Israel the US established its own “imperialist out post” to dominate and exploit the region in which case I would agree with you!
That, however, is, ultimately, equally counter productive and bad politics; there is no place for “imperialism” and “imperialist outposts” in this world any more.
Consider what is going on now in your next door neighbour, South America, and you will see and understand that!

PK:”Then there is the phenomenal economic and technological alliance between US and Israel. Israeli ingenuity in the high-tech sector, in military technology, in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, engineering, medicine, theoretical and applied sciences, etc., etc., is responsible for millions of jobs in the US. “

OIB: The particulars of US/Israeli economic activity show the exact opposite of what you claim.
It shows how much Israel has benefited from the USA, not the reverse, and considering the hundreds of billions “140 billions US dollars (in 2004 dollars).” according to the Walt & Mearsheimer study there is little doubt who profited from whom.

The 140 billion US dollars is, however, “official” (government to government) aid only; if you add to it the untold billions of “public” aid and donations it would be the height of absurdity to claim that the US benefited “economically” from Israel or that “…(Israel) is responsible for millions of jobs in the US. “ !

For your edification I post the pertinent paragraph from the said study:

“Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing that given to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976, and is the largest recipient in total since World War Two, to the tune of well over $140 billion (in 2004 dollars). Israel receives about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, roughly one-fifth of the foreign aid budget, and worth about $500 a year for every Israeli. This largesse is especially striking since Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to that of South Korea or Spain.”

Any rational unbiased BUT American centered analysis would indisputably conclude that “Israel” was, is, a bad American investment both politically and economically!

It is, also, striking to note that some American “citizens” still weigh things the way they do with the interests of another country their primary concern and America’s a far, down the line, second which leads them to uphold, or applaud (Mr. Friedman), such ridiculous claims and is, by itself, a real problem!









omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Re: The Correct Question Is: "Was the Recognition of Israel Beneficial to U.S. National Interests?" (#88204)
by Peter Kovachev on May 2, 2006 at 8:29 AM
Mr. Baker,

I note 4 salient features in your attempt at rebuttal.

PK: You've failed to come up with a single example of a good thing to come out of the "lands of Israel's enemies." Tip: give up on that one, it's very hard to fake it.

OIB:Good things come out of amicable relations; bad things, in the absence of amicable relations, come out of antagonistic, adversarial relations!
Axiomatic..right?
The good things that would have come from friendly Arab/Moslem-US relations would have been, inter alia:
*Closer , longer term and more stable economic cooperation to the benefit of both parties.
*Closer, longer term, stable and more sincere, ie not born out of fear or blackmail (as for some regimes), political relations.
*Closer, longer term and more open, the only precondition for success, educational and cultural , including inter religious, relations.
Good ,i.e. non antagonistic, relations are a reward by themselves and for the the endless opportunities they offer for more fruitful human interaction and cooperation.(Do I have to tell you about the rewards of friendship ?)

PK: "The notion that the Muslim world could be a "friendly and a natural ally" to the US or the West is laughable."

OIB:No it is NOT although the main Zionist thrust for the last hundred years has been to convince the West and the Christian world that it is.
I can not identify a single major domain , in the post colonialist era, where the respective intrinsic interests and basic devotions of these two major human communities are irreconcilable!
From an Islamic stand that was resolved fifteen centuries ago when the Prophet said:"Lakum dinakum wa lana din= you have your religion and we have ours" and followed that with:"Ina afdalukum ind ALLAH attkakum= the most favoured, amongst you all, by GOD is the most pious amongst you all."
Zionism has realized long ago that it cannot achieve its colonialist designs in Palestine and then confront the inevitable reaction of the Arab/Moslem world on its own; it had to have the West as its ally.
Eversince that it has launched a tireless covert and overt campaign to convince the West that its confrontation with the Arab/Moslem world is "preordained" and inevitable.

It is neither!

It had, however, met with some success with the neocons and the fundamentalist evangelist Christian Churches but none with mainstream Christian Churches which have seen through and rejected their designs.
You should recall, understand and digest the significance of the Catholic/Anglican/Protestant ;Episcopalian and Presbyterian etc in the US/Greek and Roman Orthodox/Coptic solid front of main stream Christian Churches and the anti Zionist Rabbinates that saw through the war on Iraq as a Zionist-neocon/Fundamentalist project condemned it and refused to support it!



PK: Your calculations from some "said study" is a familiar deception. ALL foreign aid assistance by the US comprises of about 1% of the annual budget. The Export-Import Bank reports a return of $20 to every $1 spent on foreign aid. This is largely thanks to productive countries like South Korea, Israel, the emerging "new Europe" and parts of Asia ... not to bottomless holes like Egypt and Jordan, or the Palestinian Authority.

OIB:That 20 to 1 correlation ( first time I come across it!) must be an average figure.
However if you seriously imply that the USA made a return of 140*20= 2800 billion dollars from Israel you must find a way to substantiate it with Israeli specifics..otherwise it would a laughing matter for all except, of course, for the American tax payer whose social security and health benefits have been considerably curtailed by the Bush/Wolfowitz administration!

PK: Your definition of what an "American centred" approach would be is the classical definition of dhimmitude: compliance and servitude based on fear imposed through threats and violence. It hasn't worked for anyone on the planet.

OIB:Inanely absurd interpretation of a plain English expression!
How did you manage to bring in "dhimitude"?

"American centered" means with American interests AT THE CENTER , not secondary, not tertiary!



omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Kovachev
I note with satisfaction your statement:

"Good relations are possible and should only be possible between nations and peoples who hold similar values (by which you mean share the same culture). "

I think this is short sighted, bigoted ,insidiously racist and, most importantly, NOT conducive to inter cultural exchange, cooperation and peaceful coexistence in world that desperately needs that!

However coming from a self confessed Zionist it was to be expected and did not surprise me at all.

By the way no insult meant, or attempted, by stating that you are a Zionist; it is a reference to your dogmatic back ground and motive force.
Now whether you are a Jew or not is of NO interest to me.

Zionism is the enemy NOT the Jews nor Judaism.



omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007


Mr Kobashev
Faisal ibn (=son of) al Hussein ( the great grand father of the late King Hussein of Jordan) was king of Syria then Iraq, not Jordan.He could have said that and possibly more for a throne which he received from the British!
His descendants, particularly his son Ghazi, in Iraq did not agree with him nor did they enjoy it for long.
AS to Tashbih Sayyid and his Ph.D;you can keep him as your favourite pet and make him say more and dance to the tune you choose !
One more vocal gun for hire; so what ?
We are not the first nation to have traitors !
The important thing : is he representative of anything of value or future?
Dare he repeat that in his own native land; Pakistan I presume ?


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Kobachev
It seems there is no end to your counter logic and anti rational rationalization!
How on earth did you reach the bizarre conclusion that if something is part of another another thing it nullifies it.
How does Palestine being part of greater Syria nullifies Palestine? With your peculiar logic greater Syria being part of the Arab nation nullifies Syria etc etc.
Does the fact that,say, Georgia is part of, or "belongs" to, the USA nullify Georgia and makes it unAmerican and legal prey to marauders from, say, Korea or Indonesia?
Before German unity there was a German Prussia ; with Prussia part of Germany there is still a German "Prussia"!
To simplify it further: does "Peter" being part of the Kobachevs negate the existence of "Peter" as an individual human being and a Kobachev???
I can not make it simpler!Sorry!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Williams
Reading you makes me wonder whether to laugh or cry!
It is not the tail wagging the dog ; it is the tail becoming the dog and the dog becoming a shrunken tail!
Where can I read more from you?


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman!
A question for a change: how many of the professors you quoted in your post # 89286 are Jewish?


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
A question for a change: how many of the professors you quoted in your post #89286 are Jewish?


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
1-Thanks for the info.

2-Man being what he is "Religion" can be in some cases the cause of a culturally induced political predisposition or bias.

It is particularly so with Jews when it comes to Israel and with Moslems, but I feel to a lesser degree, when it comes to Islamism or Jihad.
To pretend otherwise is not realistic.


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Kovachev
I note and appreciate your inial cool tempered reply; hopefully NOT for the last time.
Back to substance!
The subject of the discussion is: "Was the Recognition of Israel Beneficial to U.S. National Interests?"
You have attempted to change that to "Who contributed more , presumably to science and technology, the Arab/Moslem world or Israel?"
To wit:
PK:"For example, to my challenge for you to find a single example of good to come out of the Arab/Islamic ME, all you/ve provided is a lot of fluff. " and "Ditto for Israel's contributions in science and technology. The list is quite staggering." and then you made your pointless challenge !

I ignored it as irrelevant to the subject.

I have pointed out in my opening post
a short list enumerating and identifying the exact areas in which the USA incurred severe damage to its political standing and interests because of its alignment with the colonialist Zionist dogma and its subsequent empowering of its aggressive , racist offspring Israel.

You have failed to respond to any of the specific charges made.
I construe that as an admission or ,at least, as an attempt to change the, unwelcome, subject: the effect of US policies on US standing and interests.

However the most notable thing about your post above is your very strong implication that:" good relations between different nations and cultures are NOT necessarily a good thing."

I unequivocally disagree with that.

I strongly believe that :
"Good relations between different nations and cultures ARE NECESSARILY good for the nations and cultures involved for the opportunities they offer in all human domains as much as they are a PREREQUISITE, a PRECONDITION, for an orderly world in which different nations and cultures peacefully coexist and cooperate to the greater benefit of all."

If you chose to call that "fluff" it would be more of an indication of the aggressive, racist doctrine that motivates you and yours , Zionism, than any thing else.

The rest of your post is the usual mouth frothing customary rant against the Arabs, Moslems and Islam that we have all come to expect from you and I will not address it.

The discussion was about American interests that you, understandably, are NOT interested in nor worried about.


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Kovachev
I note and appreciate your inial cool tempered reply; hopefully NOT for the last time.
Back to substance!
The subject of the discussion is: "Was the Recognition of Israel Beneficial to U.S. National Interests?"
You have attempted in your post #88243 to change that to "Who contributed more , presumably to science and technology, the Arab/Moslem world or Israel?"
To wit:
PK:"For example, to my challenge for you to find a single example of good to come out of the Arab/Islamic ME, all you/ve provided is a lot of fluff. " and "Ditto for Israel's contributions in science and technology. The list is quite staggering." and then you made your pointless challenge !

I ignored it as irrelevant to the subject.

I have pointed out in my opening post(#88126)a short list enumerating and identifying the exact areas in which the USA incurred severe damage to its political standing and interests because of its alignment with the colonialist Zionist dogma and its subsequent empowering of its aggressive , racist offspring Israel.

You have failed to respond to any of the specific charges made.
I construe that as an admission or ,at least, as an attempt to change the, unwelcome, subject: the effect of US policies on US standing and interests.

However the most notable thing about your post(# 88243) above is your very strong implication that:" good relations between different nations and cultures are NOT necessarily a good thing."

I unequivocally disagree with that.

I strongly believe that :
"Good relations between different nations and cultures ARE NECESSARILY good for the nations and cultures involved for the opportunities they offer in all human domains as much as they are a PREREQUISITE, a PRECONDITION, for an orderly world in which different nations and cultures peacefully coexist and cooperate to the greater benefit of all."

If you chose to call that "fluff" it would be more of an indication of the aggressive, racist doctrine that motivates you and yours , Zionism, than any thing else.

The rest of your post is the usual mouth frothing customary rant against the Arabs, Moslems and Islam that we have all come to expect from you and I will not address it.

The discussion was about American interests that you, understandably, are NOT interested in nor worried about.


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr. Williams (post #89287) shows a deeper understanding of the Arab/Israeli conflict than we are accustomed to on this Forum.
For once we have a nonpartisan, I certainly am, point out things like:

"The problem that existed then exists today: Israel is the narrow chokepoint between the two major divisions of the Arabic world: Egypt and North Africa vs Syria, Iraq, Iran. What alternate transportation route is there?"

And reaches the inevitable conclusion that:

"So you have a recipe for endless war. Israel may wax and wane – as her neighbors press forward and retreat. But she will never be at peace."

This seems to have led Mr. Friedman to despair and, for the first time to my knowledge, he realizes the anomaly of the situation and doubts the viability of a Zionist nation state of Israel in Palestine:

"Israel will or will not survive." (in his post #89290.)

The rest of the paragraph:” But, its population is satisfied with its lot." is meaningless bravado and his, Friedman's, assertion: "And the Israelis well know their problems." more of a self comforting but delusional wishful thinking than rational hard thinking!
(I am neither gloating nor expecting victory in the coming few years but have absolutely no doubt that the demise of Zionist Israel is historically predestined .)
To Mr. Williams’ I would add two other reasons why Israel will never have peace, and will ultimately explode or implode:
-Its total cultural, economical, social and hence political unintegrabilty (nonintegrability ) in the region and
-the impasse in which it finds itself now: either "regional superpower" or no power at all!

As "regional superpower" Israel's situation is unsustainable in the long term. Efforts to sustain it at any cost will ultimately impose on its people an unbearable load.
Hence Mr. Friedman's:
"And the Israelis well know their problems." can not realistically be projected into history where its destiny will be settled....after causing huge pain and loss to all but not least to the Israeli people .

Zionism preaching and implementing a Jewish "nation state" in Palestine was a bad idea at the wrong place!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

I do but NOT as much as the claustrophiliac, self pitying ,all others hating, enemy everywhere imagining and endlessly demanding Jews!

The syndrome of a minority that insists on remaining a minority but with privileges and prerogatives from all!!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

I challenge you Mr Friedman and your Mr Karsh to cite the names, their publications with dates, of the Arab "opinion makers" that would substantiate your ridiculous assertion that:


" The issue As historian Ephraim Karsh notes, to large numbers of Muslim Arabs - especially opinion makers -, Spain's defeat of Andalusia is an historic wrong that needs to be righted. Such people are serious when they say that."

This is a total figment of a sick imagination , a barefaced shameless lie and another attempt to transform the Arab/Moslem-Zionist conflict into an Arab/Moslem-Christian conflict .


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Having quoted him you should at least know some names!
Or is it blind repetition and name dropping?


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

You are wrong about there being no traps here. You are in two of them, too. Your first trap is basically the same as Baker's second. Your second is your worship of Morris.

Despite my misgivings based on your past references, I took a look at Morris, and his piece is indeed meaningful as a counterpoint to M&W. Unlike Klinghoffer, his article is intended to counteract M&W rather than make up fables about it. But by no stretch does it constitute a serious and openminded critique of M&W. It is indeed rather like M&W in that it contains more than a few deliberate ommissions and exaggerations.

It is a trap, though, to think Morris rebuts M&W. 95% of what Morris does is catalogue the ommissions in M&W. Most of these are valid points, the ommission of which by M&W weakens their article considerably, but these points of Morris still amount to the classic "criticizing the author for the article he did not write". Only at the end, and with considerable sloppiness ("To the best of my knowledge this is a lie"!!) and considerable bias, does Morris bother to address some of M&W's points.

Your claim that M&W are espousing a conspiracy theory is absurd. You cite no evidence for this claim (did you even ever read their article ?), nor does Morris, for example, make any such claim. I can only conclude that you are once again parroting propagandists instead of doing your homework.

The bit about Germany getting more aid from the U.S. than Israel is yet more AIPAC horsecrap, of which you seem to have inexhaustible supplies. Germany is a NATO ally of the U.S. America does not give it money to steal land from Poland and set up settlements there and then slaughter women and children in retaliation for any violence committed by Poles against Germans. If you are going to abuse the English language by calling the salaries of American soliders stationed on German soil "aid to Germany" then you might as well call the costs of educating Americans who volunteer on Israeli kibbutzes "aid to Israel."


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Your bias is as extreme as that of Mr. Baker, and needlessly obnoxious, Mr. K. I see now why you are so loudly yet feebly dismissive of Mearsheimer and Wolf. Theirs is a clarion call against the incessant self-centered BS coming from the likes of you.

"Isreali" was a "self-invented" term adopted by Jews who had meekly "accepted" domination of others for centuries. Your warped prejudice against Palestinians mirrors the refusal of many of them to countenance a permanent Jewish state in the Mideast, and is as utterly bereft of basic morality and fairness, and as fully steeped in rancid hypocrisy.

People actually living in that part of the world do not have the luxury of your absolutism, except those who think they will go to paradise stealing land, building ugly-as-shit "settlements," killing children and blowing up cafes in Tel Aviv. Your pitiful attempt to paint one half of that folorn crowded melange of talented but hyper arrogant outcasts white and the other as black is asinine and totally alien to any genuine interest of the USA, Canada or any other country on this side of the world.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Because those are where the internationally recognized borders are.

The "Isreal Lobby", something of a catch-all for American traitors + American dupes + Israelis of the fanatical terrorist-settler persuasion, would sacrifice

1. America's security

2. Israel's security

3. The chances for democracy in the Arab Mideast

4. The cause of nuclear non-proliferation (e.g. Iran)

5. Huge amounts of American tax dollars

All for the sake of pretending that there is no border to Israel, in order to facilitate Fascist-Jewish nut-case settlers building ugly fortresses at will on the other side of that border, using land and water stolen from the Palestinians.

Kowtowing to these terrorist and killers is a disgrace that will shame Israel and America for years to come.
It is quite comparable to the coddling of Saddam in the '80s, of the Pakistan nuclear thieves and the Taliban in the '90s and the Saudi camel-herders for decades.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

DW,

Lots of interesting thoughts here, but
when it comes to dirty money in political campaigns, as I think you have mentioned more than once here, AIPAC is by far not the only player in town, not even the biggest of that large crowd. Surely the solution there lies more in political campaign reform and better citizen education, than in some magical voodoo anti-AIPAC.

Nor is AIPAC superhuman, just super-conceited, super-selfish and super-stubborn. No Israeli Lobby forced Dean to howl like a drunken frat rat on national TV, for instance. He is a smart man and I would have voted for him in 2004 had he not choked before I had chance to, but I am not sure he is up to facing down Karl Goebbels Rove next Fall (assuming KR is not conducting his strategies from a jail cell by then).


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

"Morris, like me, thought that M & W alleged a conspiracy. Morris states that explicitly."

Where ? "Explicitly" and exactly ?

We know you can cut and paste even if you suffer from reading and memory disabilities.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Friedman, you need professional help.


Morris saying that

"the pro-Israel lobby is not the conspiratorial tail that wags the American dog"

[Morris, as quoted by Friedman in comment #89155 immediately above]


is NOT the same thing as


Morris saying that

“M & W alleged a conspiracy. Morris states that explicitly.”

[Friedman comment #89116 three posts above)



This is roughly the 20th instance over the past year or two where you have wasted my time, and those of other HNN posters with your inability to read properly, do basic math, follow simple rules of logic, or remember what you have posted a day or two earlier.

Without addressing all of our various human weaknesses, let’s talk again after you have signed up for tutoring to help you overcome your reading comprehension difficulties. It will be to your benefit as well. You will be less likely to fall in traps like the one Morris set for you, and other careless or pre-brainwashed readers, in his article.

PKC


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Okay, I get it now. Klinghoffer spins fables about this article being about a "Jewish lobby," and Kovachev pretends that there is a universal knowledge of a text longer than what most Americans probably read in a week, and is afraid to provide the link. It is hard to cry wolf if you then allow the audience to see that there is no wolf.

The M&W article is one-sided, and contains little new information, but it is quite thorough, careful, authoritative, and damning. Kovachev and Friedman should read it carefully, hold their fire, and hang their heads in shame, as no doubt many Jews, like those writing letters of support to the London Review of books, have done already.

I don't doubt that there is a solid and authoritative rebuttal to M & W somewhere out there. If HNN were not twisted and slipshod on this subject it would post a side by side comparison of both articles. THAT would be a fair and informative discussion. Instead, here we have the 88th rant-fest put on by Mr. Baker versus the Klinghoffer apologists (who ought to know better than to line up blindly behind a second-rater). Whatever else professors Mearsheimer and Walt may or may not be, they are not sloppy wannabes like Klinghoffer.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

True partition along the "green line" border of Israel, which is the border in every Atlas ever published in the last 55 years in New York, Washington, London, Tokyo or Timbuktu, and which is the basis of endless UN resolutions and peace plans, and the peace treaties signed by Sadat, Begin, Hussein of Jordan, Rabat, Arafat, etc. etc.... THAT would be just indeed.

The positions you have taken, Mr. Friedman, in countless posts in past months (that there are no Palestinians only Jordanians, that there is no border, except when some clown in Israel tells you there is, that without settlements built all over the West Bank, Israel's very existence is in grave peril, etc.) THAT, by contrast, is not just at all, nor consistent with common sense. It IS consistent, however, with the biased brainwashing that AIPAC and other non-American traitor groups, and its henchpersons like Klinghoffer and Pipes, spew out incessantly and which partisans such as yourself (except when dealing with Baker, which somehow leads you away from your normal extremism) swallow unthinkingly.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

You have lost me, DW. I can see that Rove is in deep doo-doo for exposing CIA agents. I can see that even half-brain-dead couch potatoes in the fake bible belt are starting to discover the word competency, apply it to the current White House and realize subconciously that they are in the Antonym portion of the SAT test. I see a lot of juicy details of varying relevance in your many recent posts. What this all might have to do with reducing the power of the "Israel Lobby" is not clear, however. Time to cut to the chase, if there still is one.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I wonder what the H you think you are talking about, Mr. K.

"You folks" ???

What: Anyone who criticizes Israel is Nazi? What do we do then with so many Jewish Nazis attacking us from all sides? Barricade ourselves in the Warsaw ghetto?

Sounds like a pretty good example of an asinine conspiracy theory to me.

But count me out of that one, and any other silly examples you might try to foolishly tar me with.

You will search (or pretend to recall) in vain any example of my ever embracing ANY conspiracy theory in my many HNN posts on this page or any other.

Blind propagandizing, fanatical one-sideness and deep denial are much in evidence in discussions of Israel and U.S. Mideast policy. M&W show signs of all three in their article. The targets of their article (aside from the straw men in their midst) are even more richly rife with those human foibles. But only in the most inane forms of paranoia do propaganda, brainwashing, and reflexive bias, all of which are in abundant evidence in the tiresome writings of faux historians like Klinghoffer and her underemployed apologists here, have anything inherently to do with "conspiracy theories," whether by Israelis, about Israelis, in spite of Israelis, or any other group.

The "jolly discussion" with Baker is a good example of why inherently biased propagandists are not the best ones to lead discussions on these topics.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The diplomatic history here is interesting, notwithstanding the paucity of dates and proper citations, but the non-historian author fails make any historically important point with it.

Practically every country in the world recognizes practically every other country in the world. Israel is an exception for a multitude of reasons. It is not recognized by a number of Arab states and groups due to factors which are not likely to be usefully illuminated in any discussion between partisans of the two sides (here or in any other back and forth propaganda barrage on any other forum). None of this changes the basic reality that in the long, tortured yet important 60 year history of the Arab-Israeli conflict(s), American recognition of Israel has been an utter non-issue for the last 58 of those years.

This article is a good example of why many people think that the whole field of history is fundamentally irrelevant.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Don W.,

I am not with you on gun control or on proposals for Stalinist border controls, but thanks, in your plethora of posts on this page, for naming the names of the traitors, hypocrites, dishonest propagandizers, and spineless hangers-on in the Isreali Settler Lobby. Nice to have a few facts presented once in a while, for a change.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Since the "cooky allegations" were not spelled out in any useful detail, only that the (since we aren't told what they are, actually, let's call them) ARGUMENTS of Mearsheimer and Walt are BASED [among how many other "bases" ?] on

"American policy towards Israel, unlike its policy towards the rest of the world, is [when? today May 1, 2006, throughout the past 60 years, intermittently in between) subverted by a powerful Jewish Lobby"

there is no discernable "rebuffing" going on here on the part of this demonstrably NON-historian, not even of a half-way recognizable straw man.

I am not an expert on Mideast history (neither is Klinghoffer, but that is beside the point) and I have no independent knowledge of what Mearsheimer and Walt said in their "working paper." They may be the looniest bunch of loony birds to ever hit the cyberwaves, for all I know. I am, however, extremely doubtful that this piece here will ever be considered the definitive rebuttal to their article, whatever it may actually be.

I am not quite sure what to make of the fact that Klinghoffer peppers her article with links, but doesn't give us one to Mearsheimer and Walt. A curious form of "rebuffing" at best.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

M&W do indeed sound highly credible and sincere (thanks for the post, Don W.) and it is to your lasting discredit Mr. K, that you attempt in your plethora of empty posts here to snidely and childishly dismiss them out of hand, rather than honestly and soberly discuss their many vital, often sensible, and no infrequently eminently debatable points.

Klinghoffer, by contrast, a proven fraud and phony, had little reputation left to squander.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

For "gamesmanship" of a most blatant sort, there is no better example here than the original article by phony political scientist, fake historian, and pretend American Klinghoffer.

One cannot discuss the "substance" of the critiques of Mearsheimer & Walt "levelled" here, because there is no substantive critique of Mearsheimer and Walt offered either in that original propaganda-based evasion of an article or in the nearly 150 comment posts crowding this page, which are marked instead by various forms of adhominen attacks on M&W by hypocrites whose ultimate recourse seems to be to childlishly accuse others of precisely their most egregious faults and failings.

The substantive critiques -by writers such as Herf, Markovits, and Szanto - are referenced only indirectly by the May 11 London Review of books letter reply of Mearsheimer and Walt cited in the first post in this thread. If ad-homenists Klinghoffer, Kovachev and Friedman knew what they were talking about instead of just making snide pot shots and repeating pre-fab propaganda from the lobby that is the subject of Mearsheimer and Walt's orginal article, THEY would have brought up these substantive critiques 130+ posts ago, and not left it to Williams to do their homework for them. Their sole offering, the Morris piece, amounts to a catalogue of omissions, and is not a proper point by point analysis and critique. As usual, moreover, there was no mention of how that Morris piece was discovered (because it came from Israeli extremist propaganda websites, maybe?).

Mr. Williams is shrill and may have questionable underlying motives, but he is able to look up facts and draw his own conclusions from them, not just repeat propaganda, understands that America's interests cannot automatically be identical to those of any other country, and is spot on in his classification of the Klinghoffer apologists' behavior here with that of willing dupes from the most ignorant regions of the Bible belt who are suckered by phony preachers time and again.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Chomsky is a professor of linguistics.
Not political science, not history.
"Not scholarly": what ever has been on HNN ?


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Don,

Mr. F. is by far not the most obnoxious poster on HNN, nor the most pigheaded (except on matters related to the Mideast) but he is probably the most prolific recycler of propoganda intended for brainwashees. In this particular instance, he is too blind to his own prejudices to be capable of realizing that Morris' carefully crafted vague innuendo about conspiracy theories was tailored made for dupes such as him to misinterpret and misconstrue it, and indirectly slander M&W by rote repetition of propaganda.

Whatever their motivations, M&W were even craftier, however. Their case is built on a long chain of historical facts. Critics can nitpick pieces of it, and question the underlying selection bias in the examples it presents, and point to some general shortcomings of a non-fatal nature, but they cannot dismiss out of hand the whole thing, without resorting to the most devious sorts of BS, nor can they completely escape association with the pack of howling crybabies (see many posts here) who cannot fathom having their putrid, stinking, moth-eaten security blanket taken from them.

M&W are being attacked by denial, false attribution, and innuendo on this page for two reasons, in my judgment (1) the psychological and or cognitive inability of some posters here to think clearly about the subject and (2) because there is no feasible persuasive overall critique of M&W. Those two have exposed a nude emperor. And it's about time.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I did not and do not say I knew or know "little about the ME conflicts." Crude false attribution is a cheap HNN trick to which posters of your calibre rarely stoop. I wonder why in this case?

Since you are, by your claim, among the glorious unanimous minus one group of non Polar literates to have read M&W (which by that definition implausibly includes the millions of literate Americans who could find either their native country or the Arctic Circle on a map of the world only with difficulty if at all), I look forward to your (1) clear, (2) authoritative and (3)unbiased summary of their article, e.g. a summary with three features conspicously absent from Klinghoffer's dubious tangentiality.

I'll wait 24 hours for your reply, before googling M&W myself. I have a life outside of HNN to keep me busy in the meantime.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Montezuma also greeted Cortez with open arms.

I agree that there have been many opportunities squandered by Arabs in dealing with Israelis. But the same goes for Israelis, and as M&W make clear (despite the silly attempted denials here) still goes today for their lobbyists in Amerifca.

Naive statements from long ago offer little guidance.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

As you should know by now, Mr. F., my "passion" is rescuing history from propaganda-mongers, not any particular region of the world. Some regions have been, however, much more prone to that affliction than others. It would be easier for me and everyone else here to learn more about the Mideast (though I never said I was an ignoramous about it either, and dont' believe I am) if HNN were to feature historians like Bernard Lewis on the subject instead of slipshod, 2nd rate polemicists like Klinghoffer.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Whether Caspar the Knife Weinberger, for example, was Jewish, Jacobin, or Jehovah's Witness is of little relevance here. But here below (in its entirely since the link is rather dubious) is an column written by a self-identified Jew writing in a newspaper with at least some slight history of Jewish families in its ownership and on its editorial staff, and this piece has tremendous bearing on the ultimate issues involved on this page.

There are a number of interesting points in this piece, utterly ignored in the hundreds of HNN sponsored pieces by Klinghoffer, Pipes, etc. such as:

"the Israel Lobby in the United States harms Israel's true interests."

Mainly, though, it is useful because it sheds light on the weird behavior, on this particular page, of author Klinghoffer and commenters Kovachev, and Friedman. And why poster Williams is shredding them right and left. It even explains, I think, the rather odd obliqueness of commenter Baker.

Some people find it discomforting to realize that the emperor has no clothes, e.g that America has allowed certain, ultimately not very friendly, factions within another country tremendous leeway in telling it what to do internationally.


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/19/opinion/19judt.html?pagewanted=2&;ei=5088&en=309d2e3dc279ff48&ex=1303099200&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

A Lobby, Not a Conspiracy

By TONY JUDT

Published: April 19, 2006


IN its March 23rd issue the London Review of Books, a respected British journal, published an essay titled "The Israel Lobby." The authors are two distinguished American academics (Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago) who posted a longer (83-page) version of their text on the Web site of Harvard's Kennedy School.

As they must have anticipated, the essay has run into a firestorm of vituperation and refutation. Critics have charged that their scholarship is shoddy and that their claims are, in the words of the columnist Christopher Hitchens, "slightly but unmistakably smelly." The smell in question, of course, is that of anti-Semitism.

This somewhat hysterical response is regrettable. In spite of its provocative title, the essay draws on a wide variety of standard sources and is mostly uncontentious. But it makes two distinct and important claims. The first is that uncritical support for Israel across the decades has not served America's best interests. This is an assertion that can be debated on its merits. The authors' second claim is more controversial: American foreign policy choices, they write, have for years been distorted by one domestic pressure group, the "Israel Lobby."

Some would prefer, when explaining American actions overseas, to point a finger at the domestic "energy lobby." Others might blame the influence of Wilsonian idealism, or imperial practices left over from the cold war. But that a powerful Israel lobby exists could hardly be denied by anyone who knows how Washington works. Its core is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, its penumbra a variety of national Jewish organizations.

Does the Israel Lobby affect our foreign policy choices? Of course — that is one of its goals. And it has been rather successful: Israel is the largest recipient of American foreign aid and American responses to Israeli behavior have been overwhelmingly uncritical or supportive.

But does pressure to support Israel distort American decisions? That's a matter of judgment. Prominent Israeli leaders and their American supporters pressed very hard for the invasion of Iraq; but the United States would probably be in Iraq today even if there had been no Israel lobby. Is Israel, in Mearsheimer/Walt's words, "a liability in the war on terror and the broader effort to deal with rogue states?" I think it is; but that too is an issue for legitimate debate.

The essay and the issues it raises for American foreign policy have been prominently dissected and discussed overseas. In America, however, it's been another story: virtual silence in the mainstream media. Why? There are several plausible explanations. One is that a relatively obscure academic paper is of little concern to general-interest readers. Another is that claims about disproportionate Jewish public influence are hardly original — and debate over them inevitably attracts interest from the political extremes. And then there is the view that Washington is anyway awash in "lobbies" of this sort, pressuring policymakers and distorting their choices.

Each of these considerations might reasonably account for the mainstream press's initial indifference to the Mearsheimer-Walt essay. But they don't convincingly explain the continued silence even after the article aroused stormy debate in the academy, within the Jewish community, among the opinion magazines and Web sites, and in the rest of the world. I think there is another element in play: fear. Fear of being thought to legitimize talk of a "Jewish conspiracy"; fear of being thought anti-Israel; and thus, in the end, fear of licensing the expression of anti-Semitism.

The end result — a failure to consider a major issue in public policy — is a great pity. So what, you may ask, if Europeans debate this subject with such enthusiasm? Isn't Europe a hotbed of anti-Zionists (read anti-Semites) who will always relish the chance to attack Israel and her American friend? But it was David Aaronovitch, a Times of London columnist who, in the course of criticizing Mearsheimer and Walt, nonetheless conceded that "I sympathize with their desire for redress, since there has been a cock-eyed failure in the U.S. to understand the plight of the Palestinians."

And it was the German writer Christoph Bertram, a longstanding friend of America in a country where every public figure takes extraordinary care to tread carefully in such matters, who wrote in Die Zeit that "it is rare to find scholars with the desire and the courage to break taboos."

Page 2 of 2)

How are we to explain the fact that it is in Israel itself that the uncomfortable issues raised by Professors Mearsheimer and Walt have been most thoroughly aired? It was an Israeli columnist in the liberal daily Haaretz who described the American foreign policy advisers Richard Perle and Douglas Feith as "walking a fine line between their loyalty to American governments ...and Israeli interests." It was Israel's impeccably conservative Jerusalem Post that described Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, as "devoutly pro-Israel." Are we to accuse Israelis, too, of "anti-Zionism"?


The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. London Review of Books, March 23, 2006.

The damage that is done by America's fear of anti-Semitism when discussing Israel is threefold. It is bad for Jews: anti-Semitism is real enough (I know something about it, growing up Jewish in 1950's Britain), but for just that reason it should not be confused with political criticisms of Israel or its American supporters. It is bad for Israel: by guaranteeing it unconditional support, Americans encourage Israel to act heedless of consequences. The Israeli journalist Tom Segev described the Mearsheimer-Walt essay as "arrogant" but also acknowledged ruefully: "They are right. Had the United States saved Israel from itself, life today would be better ...the Israel Lobby in the United States harms Israel's true interests."

BUT above all, self-censorship is bad for the United States itself. Americans are denying themselves participation in a fast-moving international conversation. Daniel Levy (a former Israeli peace negotiator) wrote in Haaretz that the Mearsheimer-Walt essay should be a wake-up call, a reminder of the damage the Israel lobby is doing to both nations. But I would go further. I think this essay, by two "realist" political scientists with no interest whatsoever in the Palestinians, is a straw in the wind.

Looking back, we shall see the Iraq war and its catastrophic consequences as not the beginning of a new democratic age in the Middle East but rather as the end of an era that began in the wake of the 1967 war, a period during which American alignment with Israel was shaped by two imperatives: cold-war strategic calculations and a new-found domestic sensitivity to the memory of the Holocaust and the debt owed to its victims and survivors.

For the terms of strategic debate are shifting. East Asia grows daily in importance. Meanwhile our clumsy failure to re-cast the Middle East — and its enduring implications for our standing there — has come into sharp focus. American influence in that part of the world now rests almost exclusively on our power to make war: which means in the end that it is no influence at all. Above all, perhaps, the Holocaust is passing beyond living memory. In the eyes of a watching world, the fact that an Israeli soldier's great-grandmother died in Treblinka will not excuse his own misbehavior.

Thus it will not be self-evident to future generations of Americans why the imperial might and international reputation of the United States are so closely aligned with one small, controversial Mediterranean client state. It is already not at all self-evident to Europeans, Latin Americans, Africans or Asians. Why, they ask, has America chosen to lose touch with the rest of the international community on this issue? Americans may not like the implications of this question. But it is pressing. It bears directly on our international standing and influence; and it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. We cannot ignore it.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

And even Israel lovers thought the article was brilliant. You are again doing what you reflexively accuse me and others of doing: judging a piece to be worthless because you disagree with the conclusion.

THIS is why we need historians to debate these issues intelligently and in an informed historical context. Klinghoffer publishes her juvenile propaganda here because her stuff is too shoddy to make it into something like London Review of Books.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Because he disagrees with your brainwashed predispositions, this does not make him a lunatic. Israel has a very mixed grab bag of public officials in its cement mixer government, but lunatics are not part of the slurry.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

1. I am always right.

2. If am not right, then I will talk about something else. And since I am always right, I will be right about that something else. Therefore I am always right.

3. If somehow I am not right about that something else, then anyone who points out that I am not right, must be wrong. Because, you see, I am always right. So, since the person criticizing me is wrong, therefore I am right.

4. See, I told you I was always right.

5. I may not be good at math, but I read scores or thousands of articles or hundreds or billions of books, and always peruse the great diversity of opinions available on David Horowitz's website, so I know more than you do. (Just in case you doubt that I am always right).

6. If I forget what I wrote 2-3 posts ago and blatantly contradict myself, that is because you don't know how to read. If you don’t believe what I say then you need to do your homework and try to google your way to the source of my statement. Which will always be right even if I can’t remember why or where I think I may have read it.

7. If you think I have made a simple error in logic, that is just your opinion. Which must be wrong, because it suggests that I am wrong. But my opinions are always right. Because I am always right. See point 8 above. Therefore, this proves that I am always right.

8. If you think I am going around in circles here and am suffering diarrhea of the mouth, you are wrong, and you are engaging in ad-hominen attacks against me, and you should read more of the same books I do, so you won’t know so much less than I do. Anyway, even if some of this if wrong, I am still right. Because I am always right.

9. See, now have I proved that I am always right and you can never prove otherwise, because I will always come after your post and prove than I am always right. Because I am always right.

10. Therefore I am always right.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Friedman, you have even less of leg to stand on than usual. M & W is anything but a "cheap shot." I would not call even Klinghoffer a "cheap shot", but her stuff cannot hold a candle to these guys. They -not she- are the subject of controversy -pro and con- inside and outside of Israel.

Their article is very long, and very comprehensive, and mostly well-founded. Some of what they say is exaggerated and the overall piece is certainly quite selective. And I do not know what the motives behind it may be. But if this is "garbage" then Klinghoffer and a good deal of what else you find on HNN is pure excrement. But that is by your standards: which are clearly as straight as a twisted knot. Israel is not what it once was, and it is long past time for America to wake up and see that, and for spineless politically correct hypocrites in Washington DC to stop their servile and idiotic pandering to the long dead myth of Israel The Always Right and Always Top Priority not matter what.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Don't be any more ridiculous than you usually are, Friedman. I never heard of "my friend" Judt, until I did my very first google on M&W a few minutes ago.

You are misattributing in your attempt to see clothes on the naked emperor.
I am sure Jodt has "heard" of Slovakia and dozens of other places you will never bother to learn about. He does not say Israel is THE ONLY "anachronism."

I am not saying I agree with this particular probably-out-context quote which you have dredged up, by the way. I am saying that you are once again making up fantasies to rationalize your paranoid prejudices.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Cole, an articulate if not entirely unbiased historian, used to be on HNN quite regularly, and providing thereby a useful antidote to the talented but unhistorical hatemongering of Daniel Pipes and the much more feeble neo-essays of his sidekick Judith Klinghoffer. But now he is gone, and HNN has become very one-sided on everything pertaining to the Mideast.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. F.,

Some of your points here are valid. There ARE holes in some of M&W's arguments. You are also correct to say that this is advocacy not scholarship (as is Klinghoffer). But you can't leave it there, you have to clutch at straws to try rationalize your previous hyperbolic one-sided denuciations. Among the resulting delusions:

"Israel fits the pattern of most of the states which the US supports."

This is silly. The U.S. supports Pakistan but does not give over half of its foreign aid and military aid to Pakistan. Howard Dean would not have been subject to the pathetic hyena attack against him had he called for a "balanced approach" to the Pakistan-India feud.

Your lone citation for your dubious and extreme view of M&W, the quote by Mr. Morris, also borders on the ridiculous. M&W are anti-Israel, and quite strongly so. That does not automatically make them Arab propagandists. If I criticize Arafat as I have done maybe a hundred times on this website, that does not mean I am a pro-Israeli propagandist any more than the many Palestinians who also criticized Arafat. You might call our Mr. Baker here an Arab propagandist. I would not, but certainly he is closer to that than M&W. Only once in their article, that I can see, do they use "Zionist" in the sweeping unhistorical polemical and kneejerk way that he too often does and that Arab propagandists routinely do.

There are multiple facets to this complicated set of issues. That is why so many different aspects are coming out in the comment threads. That is also why Klinghoffer's attempt here to malign M&W by misrepesenting and caricaturing their article, while utterly failing in the most asinine and sophmoric way to give the slightest hint as to what it is really about, is so outrageous and so pathetic.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. Williams,

1. You evidently do know your Adolf. And it is wise to read primary sources once in a while.

I think this passage explains Hitler's Anti-Semitism better than the usual worn-out tales about a possible Jewish great-grandmother or catching the clap from a Jewish prostitute. If rhetoric is one's great gift and it fails because of incurable deceit and dishonesty on the part of one's opponents, then one is likely to edge closer towards the edge of a slippery slope above "final solutions." This is not a justification for going down such a evil slope, of course, but it is an explanation that has been underreported, possibly for reasons of fear similar to those discussed by Judt (see below).

2. I don't "hate" Friedman. I do wish, though, that he would learn to stop chasing his tail so much. Here is the latest approximate tally of comments from this page (including this post):

Noonan 1
Thomas 1
Baker 18
Clarke 25
Kovachev 30
Williams 50
Friedman 62

TOTAL 187

And what have we learned here from the number one poster?

That he likes the comments of Klinghoffer and Morris that push his buttons?

I would, for example, rather solve the riddle of the sphinx than try to unravel the "logic" of Friedman's "argument" about Pollard.




Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The ever-valiant Mr. Baker is stuck here in two traps.

The first is the rhetorical trap of his own making whereby he cannot refrain from incessantly invoking the mind-numbing, conversation-torpedoing and historically anachronistic phrase "Zionism" to describe all sorts of phenomena of recent decades that are in fact quite independent of the 19th and early 20th century movement to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Whether one approves or disapproves of that movement or any sub-element of it, and how the whole or pieces of it compare with Christian crusades or Moslem conquests of by-gone centuries has little bearing, for example, on the incompetent Bush administration's default policy of being a rubber stamp for whoever runs Israel.

The second trap was set by Klinghoffer and has been renewed many times by Kovachev (with occasional assistance and provocation by Friedman and Williams). Instead of addressing the
Mearsheimer and Walt article, Klinghoffer constructed a mythical version of it and proceeded to obliquely slay a series of phantom dragons. She changed, with the subsequent reinforcement of Kovachev, and without substantive objection from Baker or Williams, the M&W question "Do lobbyists for pro-Israel policies have a disproportionate and unhealthy influence on U.S. policy?" into "Was it in the U.S.'s interest to recognize Israel?"

The answer to BOTH questions is: OBVIOUSLY YES. It is an indication of the extreme bias and prejudice of most of the posts here that they repeatedly and rotely seek to deny one or the other of the two simple common sense truths that (1) America should recognize other countries from North Korea to Canada to Israel to Iceland, in order to conduct diplomacy, trade, and other basics of international existence, and (2) Israel does not deserve the lion's share of American foreign aid, nor 95% of all UN vetos ever cast by America, nor immunity from criticism for the crimes committed against Palestinians, nor excusal from the responsibility to allow the existence of a Palestinian state just as it insists that its existence be recognized.


N. Friedman - 5/20/2006

Who could have had reason to do such a thing?

Basically the entire world.


Don Williams - 5/19/2006

The Starr report has an entry that Clinton told Monica in March 1997 that he though her phone was being tapped by a foreign embassy. Who could have had reason to do such a thing?

See http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/10706/format/html/displaystory.html


Don Williams - 5/19/2006

eom


Don Williams - 5/19/2006

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil "


N. Friedman - 5/19/2006

I certainly agree that there are distinctions in US and Israeli interest, just as there are between US and UK interests.

And religious nuts are just that, nuts. On the other hand, millennia of history shows, I think, that Christians are not going to be neutral about Jews. Jews play to large a role in Christian theology - both the role regarding the death of Jesus and the view of Christians that Christianity supercedes Judaism - that the absence of Christian support for something Jewish means hostility from Christians. I also think the same goes for the non-religious children and grandchildren of Christians. So, I do not think that Western society is capable of the sort of detached view that might make sense.

By the same token, I think you also suffer from your upbringing, whether or not consciously. I think you are pre-disposed to see issues which are not really anything.

Hence, Netanyahu met with people in the US who support his view. That is not exactly consistent with his holding to the view that Clinton was his nemisis or that Clinton needed to be weakened. He certainly knew that the Clinton administration was vehemently pro-Israel, far more so than the then presumed prospects from any Republican.

So, I do not think your theory makes any sense. He was not going to try to do anything to Clinton by means of a kid from LA who was no one's idea of Miss America.



N. Friedman - 5/19/2006

Don,

I question your thinking but not your sincerity. I also accept your apology.

If I might be so bold, I think you have taken such a far leap from the evidence that even you present, much less what any reasonable examination of the facts fairly permits, that you should consider that you have allowed your own biases to interfere with your good judgement.

You might consider some of Friedrich Nietzsche's words:

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."

To prove a conviction is quite senseless; rather, it is important to prove that one has a right to be so convinced. Conviction is an objection, a question mark, a "challenge." (A very popular error: having the courage of one's convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one's convictions! ! !)


You need to think about your convictions and see how they cloud your thinking and good sense.


Don Williams - 5/19/2006

I would note that honesty compelled me to be blunt in my comments. It was not my intent to speak badly or unfairly of you. If I did at any point, I apologize and ask for your forgiveness.


Don Williams - 5/19/2006

From the same Vanity Fair article at
http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/printables/051128roco02?print=true/

----------
"But this intrusion of End Times theology is of deep concern to Israelis who are not as hawkish as Netanyahu. "This is incredibly dangerous to Israel," says Gershom Gorenberg, a Jerusalem-based journalist and the author of The End of Days, a chronicle of messianic Christians and Jews and their struggle with Muslim fundamentalists over the Temple Mount. "They're not interested in the survival of the State of Israel. They are interested in the Rapture, in bringing to fruition a cosmic myth of the End Times, proving that they are right with one big bang. We are merely actors in their dreams. LaHaye's vision is that Jews will convert or die and go to hell. If you read his books, he is looking forward to war. He is not an ally in the safety of Israel."

Far from being a Prince of Peace, the Christ depicted in the "Left Behind" series is a vengeful Messiah—so vengeful that the death and destruction he causes to unconverted Jews, to secularists, to anyone who is not born again, is far, far greater than the crimes committed by the most brutal dictators in human history. When He arrives on the scene in Glorious Appearing, Christ merely has to speak and "men and women, soldiers and horses, seemed to explode where they stood. It was as if the very words of the Lord had superheated their blood, causing it to burst through their veins and skin." Soon, LaHaye and Jenkins write, tens of thousands of foot soldiers for the Antichrist are dying in the goriest manner imaginable, their internal organs oozing out, "their blood pooling and rising in the unforgiving brightness of the glory of Christ."


Don Williams - 5/19/2006

There is a broad gray area on the boundary between supporting Israel and supporting America. I am even in that gray area --in that I agree with supporting Israel to some extent as an ally and I would oppose an attempt by the Arabs to destroy her.

Somewhere in that grey area is a line --where one crosses over from loyalty to America to being disloyal to America. And well-meaning Americans can debate and argue over where that line is.

But the Christian Zionists are different. These are people who betray American not by accident or by misunderstanding, but because of sheer stupidity. A recent (Dec 2005)
Vanity Fair describes that nature of these morons.

Part of the article describes how the Lewinsky affair helped Netanyahu fight pressure from President Clinton to make peace. See
http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/printables/051128roco02?print=true/

An excerpt:
--------------
But Evangelicals have also played a role in disrupting the peace process. "I was ambassador for four years of the peace process, and the Christian fundamentalists were vehemently opposed to the peace process," says Itamar Rabinovich, who served as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. between 1993 and 1996, under the Labor governments of Rabin and Shimon Peres. "They believed that the land belonged to Israel as a matter of divine right. So they immediately became part of a campaign by the Israeli right to undermine the peace process."

No one played that card more forcefully than Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, who as prime minister used the Christian right to fend off pressure from the Clinton administration to proceed with the peace process.

On a visit to Washington, D.C., in 1998, Netanyahu hooked up with Jerry Falwell at the Mayflower Hotel the night before his scheduled meeting with Clinton.

"I put together 1,000 people or so to meet with Bibi and he spoke to us that night," recalls Falwell. "It was all planned by Netanyahu as an affront to Mr. Clinton."

That evening, Falwell promised Netanyahu that he would mobilize pastors all over the country to resist the return of parts of the occupied West Bank territory to the Palestinians. Televangelist John Hagee, who gave $1 million to the United Jewish Appeal the following month, told the crowd that the Jewish return to the Holy Land signaled the "rapidly approaching … final moments of history," then brought them to a frenzy chanting, "Not one inch!"—a reference to how much of the West Bank should be transferred to Palestinian control.

The next day, Netanyahu met with Clinton at the White House. "Bibi told me later," Falwell recalls, "that the next morning Bill Clinton said, 'I know where you were last night.' The pressure was really on Netanyahu to give away the farm in Israel. It was during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.… Clinton had to save himself, so he terminated the demands [to relinquish West Bank territory] that would have been forthcoming during that meeting, and would have been very bad for Israel."


Don Williams - 5/19/2006

1) The only thing Netanyahu needed was Clinton weakened , distracted, and needing the friendship of the Israel Lobby -- so that Clinton would be forced to drop his demands that Netanyahu withdraw from the West Bank.

2) That situation would have been achieved by Clinton's infidelity alone, given the threat from the Republicans.

3)To use a Mafia analogy, if you arrange to have a businessman's leg broken, you don't need to say anything when you later hand him a crutch. You don't need to negotiate the price of the crutch, you don't need to point out that the crutch can be taken away, you don't need to point out that the person who broke
the leg was Italian, you don't need to point out that the businessman's other leg can be broken. The situation's obvious.

4) The night before Netanyahu met with Clinton re the Peace Talks, Netanyahu met with some of Clinton's bitterest enemies -- Christian fundamentalists like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson .
A few days --one? --later , the Monica Lewinsky story was news.

5) When Newsweek's editors decided to not run the story, Bill Kristol --one of the most prominent leaders of the Israel Lobby -- went on a Sunday morning talk show and noted that Newsweek was holding the story==putting enormous pressure on the Newsweek editors to release the story lest they be scooped by rivals. Around that time, someone gave the story to a minor blogger named Matt Drudge.

6) Here is how the New York Times described the meeting --which was opposed by a number of Jewish leaders, by the way:
---------
The Rev. Jerry Falwell said Tuesday that he and several leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention had told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that they would mobilize evangelical churches to oppose steps to give up any more territory to the Palestinians.

To get out the word on Israel, Falwell said, "There are about 200,000 evangelical pastors in America, and we're asking them all through e-mail, faxes, letters, telephone, to go into their pulpits and use their influence in support of the state of Israel and the prime minister."

Netanyahu, who met with the evangelical leaders in Washington on Monday, is tapping a vein of support among evangelical Christians at a time when Israel is under pressure from both the Clinton administration and some American Jewish groups to break an impasse in the peace efforts.

But in courting conservative Christians on this trip, Netanyahu has apparently angered President Clinton, who was said to be outraged to hear that Netanyahu had met privately with Falwell.

Falwell has used his television program to sell a widely discredited videotape that accuses the president of peddling drugs and being involved in the death of Vincent Foster, the former White House deputy counsel who committed suicide.

Asked about Clinton's reaction at a news conference Tuesday, the White House spokesman, Mike McCurry, said, "It would be sufficient to say that the prime minister is probably aware of concerns that the president might have on some aspects of that."
--------


N. Friedman - 5/19/2006

Don,

Talk is cheap. As the article I cite indicates, there is a lack of any political demands related to the occupied territories; rather general attacks on Zionism and the Jews; and no specific demands such as withdrawal from Arab lands or the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Again, it is easy for him to say that he hates Israel. It is a different thing to make Israel his central focus. In fact, Israel was not a major focus for al Qa'eda. That is a fact.

And, having not made Israel a central, it is reasonable to believe that he had more important fish to fry than Israel.


Don Williams - 5/19/2006

a)Bin Laden had explicitly stated in multiple interviews with
US TV networks in 1998 that US support of Israeli agression was
grounds for an Islamic Jihad against the USA..


b)After the Sept 11 attack, Bin Ladin expressly cited US sales of
weapons to Israel as the reason for the Sept 11 attack.

c) We've talked about this before several months ago and I provided numerous citations to support my arguments.

See
http://hnn.us/comments/85027.html ,
http://hnn.us/comments/85028.html ,
and http://hnn.us/comments/85029.html


Don Williams - 5/19/2006

An attractive blond would not have lasted 1 hour in Hillary's White House -- Monica slipped under the radar.

Every bar in the South has a chubby girl who likes to "party" --Bill Clinton would have felt it was old home week when Monica showed up in the skimpy dress at the White House party.



While CIA case officers get months of training, actual spies often get little --because the concern is keeping the time they are involved in illegal clandestine activity to a minimum. Monica would have needed little to no training. She didn't need to periodically transfer data/communicate with with an Israeli officer. She didn't need a cover story. She would have needed little or no training or direction.


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

We should know why Clinton was distracted. That is true. But, that does not mean we need to consider theories that make no logical sense.

Consider, Don, the number of people involved in what occurred to President Clinton. The probability that all would go correct, as planned - and, here, I am assuming your theory were true - is, for all practical purposes, zero. Which is to say, the Israeli would have to be the dumbest people on Earth to employ a scheme which required too many things to go just right. Things never go just right with that many people involved.

An untrained kid from LA would have to be protected and could not squeal under pressure. That is not something for a kid from LA. It is for a professional.

Clinton would have to defend himself according to plan. Ken Starr would have to play along. So would the Republican party, including its wing that hates Israel.

Linda Tripp would have to be dealt with somehow. Then, there is Monica's lawyer who would have to let Monica continue her deception.

And they would have to know in advance what questions would be asked by Paula Jones' attorneys. They would have to have known that Clinton would dissemble so poorly during his deposition. These last points sort of make your theory rather impossible.

The be all and end all of the Monica affair was the desire of Clinton's Republican enemies to destroy him. No stone regarding that effort was left unexamined, including the cigar.


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

She was an intern, not a secretary.

Why, Don, pick someone - how to put this gently - who does not turn heads? How did they know that the President would find her attractive?

You write: "Monica was a WOMAN! From Los Angeles!
What kind of "training" do you think she needed?"

It takes a lot of training to keep quiet if the goal was to create a scandal. That is not something trusted to a kid from LA. The theory is stupid and makes no sense.

Again, Don, you have an obsession.


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

Hillary Clinton herself said that the stress of the two year Lewinsky investigation and subsequent impeachment distracted Clinton away from dealing decisively with Al Qaeda and Bin Laden. Even though Richard Clark was calling louding for action.

So we should KNOW --not guess -- if those results were the outcome of a covert op by a foreign country launched for selfish reasons.

This was a major failure of Bill Clinton in his responsibility as President. I'm sure he saw the possibility on the Tree of Possible Outcomes. Monica was moved out the White House to the Pentagon. I would be curious to know if she kept here SCI clearance at her new job --because such clearances requires the holder to take counterintel polygraphs. I suspect the last thing Clinton wanted was Monica hooked up to a polygraph.


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

When Israeli nuclear technican Mordechai Vanunu fled to Great Britain and started talking about Israel's nuclear weapons program, the Israeli government knew it dare not snatch him in the UK.

So they set up a honey trap -- a girl who lured him to Italy where the Israelis snatched him and shoved him under a rock for 18 some years.

And That op was executed perfectly on the fly at short notice -- not something that could be planned out at leisure.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordechai_Vanunu


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

Hmmm. Assuming Monica was working for the Israelis, her job was to infiltrate the White House. But her Daddy's campaign donations took
care of that-- it sure as shit wasn't her secretarial skills.

Once there, she was supposed to flirt with and seduce a man known for screwing anything with hair on it--the uglier the better. Plus give him oral sex.

Monica was a WOMAN! From Los Angeles!
What kind of "training" do you think she needed?

ha ha ha ha ha ha You crack me up, Mr Friedman.


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

Regarding your point 1. The trouble with your theory is that no spy agency is so good. There was too much happenstance for your theory to be remotely possible. Your assertions about Ms. Lewinsky make no sense. So, I take them for what they are, namely, nonsense derived from an obsessive mind.

Why would the Israelis risk so much on Ms. Lewinsky? How did the Israelis know what the US government would investigate Clinton? How could they take the risk that the investigation would not go beyond Israel's immediate goal? How could they be so sure that Clinton would not turn on them in order to save his presidency?

How do you know she was not working for the Republican party? Also, how could the Israelis be so sure that Kenneth Starr play along? Where did Monica get her training as a spy? Why would Linda Tripp play along? Why would all of the newspapers play along?

Your theory is rather simple minded. I stand by my earlier statement.

Regarding your point 2. You have not said anything of importance.

Regarding your point 3. None of the above. I am saying that your theory makes phony connections.

Regarding your point 4. You make no point. As you say, most Jews were loyal. Some were not only loyal. From that point, what is a rational mind to conclude?

There have been many spies in US history. You have noted that there were some Jewish spies. So what? Is your point that no Jews can be trusted because 8, out of several million people, spied? In short, your assertions are bigotted nonsense.

Regarding point 5. So far as I know, Mr. Pollard belongs in prison. He was found guilty of breaking the law. Unless the allegations are untrue, he is certainly where he should be.

He may have caused serious damage to US security - although spy agencies say such things rather easily so there is no way really to know for sure, but it certainly is a reasonable supposition -. Absent strong evidence to the contrary, I take the word of officials who say he caused serious harm to the US.

So far as I am concerned, that is the be all and end all of the matter.




N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

I guess I have trouble with your theories. It is commonplace for people to indicate that Arabs want to destroy Israel. Such is also Israel's contention. And, no doubt the Jihadis would like to do that as well.

As for Israel being the cause of 9/11, I note that the Jihadis did not leave a statement indicating what they had in mind. Presumably, if Israel were the issue, they might have been less shy. And, after the attack, bin Laden or his spokesperson might have said explicitly what he had in mind and what he demanded. But note: there are only endless demands which, in reality, cannot be met as they would require the West to commit suicide.

Anyone no list of demands accompanied the attacks. Instead, al Qaeda asserted different things, depending on their immediate view of what was pragmatic to say. On the other hand, careful analysis of al Qaeda's long history prior to 9/11 makes it doubtful that Israel was a primary issue to al Qaeda. According to the Saudi paper Arab News:

There is a wide gulf between telling the facts and taking advantage of a terrorist attack. Soon after last month’s terrorist outrage in the United States, the general tone of the Arab media and intellectuals was that the tragedy was an overreaction to unfair American support for Israel’s repression in the occupied territories or, in other words, it was an act of revenge. This theory of reaction or revenge has very obviously not been endorsed by the claims of Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization which is being linked to the attacks.

In the huge number of publications circulated by the Qaeda over the past seven years never have I seen any reference to a political demand related to the occupied territories. Of course, though the publications contained general attacks on Zionism and the Jews, the Qaeda never made specific demands such as withdrawal from Arab lands or the establishment of a Palestinian state.


"Qaeda, Arab intellectuals on different wavelengths," by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, Arab News, August 14, 2002. Which is to say, your theory is thinly based.

Now, the aims of al Qaeda and their ilk are not a great mystery. They want to re-create the 7th Century glory of Islamic civilization including re-creating the Caliphate which would rule according to Shari'a law and they aim, long term, to extent their power accross the globe. That is why Israel was deemed only marginally significant to them. Israel is, as they say, a petty state. And people intent on a global Jihad are not centrally concerned with something petty.



Don Williams - 5/18/2006

than you show about me. Consider some of your comments:

1)Re the disasterous impact of Monica Lewinsky on the Middle East Peace talks, you say that was
" not due to Ms. Lewinsky's religion. That much you I can say for sure."

No, we can't say for sure. We don't know if Monica's religion and its history led her to sabotage the Middle East peace initiative. In fairness to both Israel and US national security interests, we should know but we don't.

When the Lewinsky affair exploded, the possibility of it being a "honey trap" --a hostile intelligence operation --should have been investigated strongly, given what was at stake.

Lewinsky should have been bugged out the wazoo, followed continuously, and her past contacts investigated thoroughly. She should have been interviewed under oath and pressured to take a polygraph. Extreme measures were justified because she had a TS/SCI clearance and worked in the White House. The question should have been settled --yes or no.

None of the above was done, to the best of my knowledge. In my opinion, because AIPAC would have raised a howl. So we don't know.

2) Re your comment "Now, you do not even show what Ms. Lewinsky has to do with Ms. McKinney. Nor could you as your assertion is nuts. They are unrelated events. "

The relationship -- as I clearly noted above -- is that they were both comical examples of how the plans of powerful entities can trip over the accidental and random acts of minor people.

3) Is your example of Dingell's survival meant to show that AIPAC only attacks politicans who are weak or stupid? In which case, are you praising AIPAC's forbearance or intelligence?

4) A culture of disloyalty is to be censured because it only takes one person to do great harm. Millions of Jews were loyal to the USA in 1945 -- a number of them gave their lives in military service. But it only took 8 to hand the detailed design of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.

In the 1980s, It only took one --Jonathan Pollard -- to cause great damage to our security.

5) So where do you stand on this issue? As an American, I mean.


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

A few weeks after Sept 11, I had already noticed a number of anomalies -- obvious lies being told and obvious truths being suppressed.

See , for example, my October 2001 article "What the News Media are Not Telling You" in SmirkingChimp.com --

here: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?thold=-1&;mode=nested&order=0&sid=3620

The above site is sometimes slow.
Someone also posted a copy of my article here:
http://www.vex.net:99/pipermail/wclp/2001-October/001152.html

At the time, I largely held Big Oil and Big Defense responsible --I judged that their agendas were driving Bush.

I noticed the Israel Lobby only when I started noticing that Bush was acting in risky and potentially destructive (politically) ways --ways clearly contrary to the US national interest.

I was curious about what was motivating President Bush and I also wondered why the Democrats were remaining totally silent when they should have been yelling their heads off, assuming at the time that the Democratic leadership cared for the country.


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

I do not claim to be a spokesperson for anyone other than me.

Jewish World Review reflects the views of its editors and has nothing to do with me. The same for The Forward.

Ms. Lewinsky's background had nothing to do with President Clinton's policies. The scandal surrounding her relationship with that president may have affected his policy on a great many things - or not. But, that is not due to Ms. Lewinsky's religion. That much you I can say for sure.

On the other hand, your interest in noting nonsense (i.e. her religion) has a great deal to do with your theories. Otherwise, you would not insist on showing things that (a) are inherently irrelevant, (b) are not shown by the articles you cite and (c) amount more to an obsession by you.

Now, you do not even show what Ms. Lewinsky has to do with Ms. McKinney. Nor could you as your assertion is nuts. They are unrelated events.

As for Ms. McKinney, she gained or lost votes due to numerous factors, not a single factor. Perhaps you might consider that a multi-term member of Congress has to do a lot of silly and dumb things - and consider that she continues to do them (having been in the news just recently) - that her constituents were willing to consider dumping her. By way of example, John Dingell holds views which are not known to be particularly friendly to Israeli hawks. Yet, he gets returned to office over and over and over and over again.

On your theory, however, if there is a Jew involved, that means that the Jew is most influential or most decisive or has the most impact. Perhaps the Jewish community should be flattered, if only some of your assertions were true. But, your theory is not true. It is a nutso theory based on a confusion and a distortion of evidence, including the evidence you bring forward.


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

and Not as a person -- but rather at the hilarious conflict between your ignorance of many things and your self-appointed role as spokeman for World Jewry.

I make a joke in passing about Clinton and Monica. You ignore the primary facts I present about the attacks on Cynthia McKinney and seize on my Monica comment to hint at anti-Semitism.

I then present the FACTS about how her actions destroyed Clinton's push to make peace between the Israelis and Palestinians -- because it made it impossible for Clinton to continue to pressure Likudite Nethayanu to make concessions.
You respond by extending your judgment to making me a "nutso" anti-Semite.

I then present several articles from the Jewish World Review stating the very same thing I had said -- articles showing that Monica's disasterous impact on Clinton's peace plan had been widely discussed and acknowledged in Israel -- to cheers by the Likudites and to groans by the leftists. And that the Israelis themselves discussed whether Monica saw herself as Esther -- someone who used sex to save the Tribes of Israel from a threat.

Rather than realize that you are now looking like a fool, you continue to
harp on my "assertions" about your "religion".

It is not I who argue that Judaism justifies the malign acts of the Israel Lobby -- on the contrary, I would argue the reverse.

It is members of the Lobby who justify their acts on the basis of Judaism. The mob who destroyed McKinney and her father in 2002 were
not random strangers arguing for action on the basis of American values -- they solicited donations by proclaiming themselves Jews leading the charge against an enemy of the "Jewish Community". Look at the articles in the Jewish magazines I cited.

We are not discussing the Republicans or the vast right-wing conspiracy --
we are discussing M&W's article about the malign influences of the Israel Lobby. It is I, not you, who have pointed out the role of non-Jewish Christian Zionists in that Lobby and the influences of other power groups.

I have been first to acknowledge --as M&W acknowledged --that many American Jews do not support the Israel Lobby and its fanatical advocacy for what it sees as Israel's best interests.

You cannot have it both damn ways -- people cannot use claims of membership in "the Jewish Community" to justify and motivate acts and then avoid accountability for those acts by saying that challenges are "anti-Semitic".

I have no problems with Jews per se -- I have problems with American Jews who think their religion and ties to Israel justify acts of disloyalty to the United States.

In closing, what did Monica have to say?

""We are fans of President Clinton and admire his positions and policies concerning Israel. Clinton is very positive toward Israel and the Jews, and Monica and I are Jews," Monica Lewinsky's lawyer William Ginsburg told Israel's largest newspaper YEDIOT AHARONOT on Monday.

Adding his own personal comments, Ginsburg further raised the central importance of Israel: "I am torn because I fear for the fate of the presidency in our democracy, and I don't want the president to resign. Who knows who will come after Clinton and how he will deal with Israel."

Ref: http://www.middleeast.org/archives/1999_01_15.htm


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

Why do you keep making assertions about my religion, Mr. Williams?

Perhaps, we should scrutinize your faith and ask whether Ms. Paula Jones and you share a faith? Perhaps, Ms. Jones was a secret agent of someone of your religion? That, basically, Don, is what you assert about Judaism and Jews. It is stupid, prejudiced, insulting and unbecoming of the bright person you appear to be.

Another point. The issue with Ms. Lewinsky had nothing to do with her religion. And, the article does not suggest otherwise. It had to do with the scandal distracting the president's attention. And, had the President Clinton picked on a different intern - and then got caught - the Republicans would have been all over him for that.

Perhaps, you should say that because of Republican pressure intended to advance Republican the political agenda, Democrats, including Jewish Democrats, closed ranks with the President - which is what the article says. That would, if the article's analysis is correct, be true. Your theory, however, is too stupid for words.

Which is to say, your point makes my point. You are obsessed with things Jewish.


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

Why do you keep making assertions about my religion, Mr. Williams?

Perhaps, we should scrutinize your faith and ask whether Ms. Paula Jones and you share a faith? Perhaps, Ms. Jones was a secret agent of someone of your religion? That, basically, Don, is what you assert about Judaism and Jews. It is stupid, prejudiced, insulting and unbecoming of the bright person you appear to be.

Another point. The issue with Ms. Lewinsky had nothing to do with her religion. And, the article does not suggest otherwise. It had to do with the scandal distracting the president's attention. And, had the President Clinton picked on a different intern - and then got caught - the Republicans would have been all over him for that.

Perhaps, you should say that because of Republican pressure intended to advance Republican the political agenda, Democrats, including Jewish Democrats, closed ranks with the President - which is what the article says. That would, if the article's analysis is correct, be true. Your theory, however, is too stupid for words.

Which is to say, your point makes my point. You are obsessed with things Jewish.


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

Why do you keep making assertions about my religion, Mr. Williams?

Perhaps, we should scrutinize your faith and ask whether Ms. Paula Jones and you share a faith? Perhaps, Ms. Jones was a secret agent of someone of your religion? That, basically, Don, is what you assert about Judaism and Jews. It is stupid, prejudiced, insulting and unbecoming of the bright person you appear to be.

Another point. The issue with Ms. Lewinsky had nothing to do with her religion. And, the article does not suggest otherwise. It had to do with the scandal distracting the president's attention. And, had the President Clinton picked on a different intern - and then got caught - the Republicans would have been all over him for that.

Perhaps, you should say that because of Republican pressure intended to advance Republican the political agenda, Democrats, including Jewish Democrats, closed ranks with the President - which is what the article says. That would, if the article's analysis is correct, be true. Your theory, however, is too stupid for words.

Which is to say, your point makes my point. You are obsessed with things Jewish.


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

I meant to say "I suspect that Mr Friedman is actually an Arab with a
wicked sense of humor who is giving us a hysterically funny caricature"


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

What difference does my background make to your argument?


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

I suspect that Mr Friedman is actually an Arab who is giving us a
hysterically funny caricature.


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

See "Monica Lewinsky: A Contemporary Queen Esther? " in Jewish World Review
at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0398/monica.html
-----
"In some Jewish circles, Monica is being referred to as Queen Esther, who was the prettiest girl in Persia and won the beauty pageant, becoming the queen of the realm. She whispered into the ear of her king words that undid Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Single-handedly, though the hand might not have been the pertinent body part, she saved the community from tragic disaster. So, to the Jewish right-wing, Monica Lewinsky is a real Purim pussycat.

But if this were really so, Monica as Esther would have had to tell Bill Clinton not to follow through on the Oslo peace accords and to soften his attitude toward Netanyahu-the-Good, who has the best interests of the Jewish people at heart as he tries, with might and main, to follow through on his promise to Daddy to stall the peace and drive the compromisers into the sea. "


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

Having to get the news from a goyim?
EIGHT YEARS after the fact?

From Jewish World Review:
--------------
"How Monica Lewinsky and her dress destroyed the Middle East Peace Accords

WASHINGTON --- Sitting in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel here, the famously quick- tongued Yossi Beilin seemed, for once, almost at a loss for words. What, after all, do Israeli socialists know about cocktail dresses?

One thing, it turns out: that they distract Washington's attention from urgent problems around the world.

"It's simply surreal," said Dr. Beilin, a leader of Israel's opposition Labor Party.

"To think that the greatest power on earth is out of commission because of Monica Lewinsky's dress -- it's one of the most surreal episodes in history."
...
The reason is simple. In times of crisis, Presidents fall back on core constituencies.

For a Democrat, that begins with Jews. "The last thing the president wants to do at a time like this is offend his best friends," said a Washington political activist, noting that Clinton was spending the weekend as Steven Spielberg's houseguest.
...
Now, sources say, the president's closest political advisers are vetoing pressure [on Israeli PM Netanyahu.]

"He won't lose support from Jewish liberals if he doesn't pressure Israel," says a source close to the White House.

"But he will lose support from conservatives if he does pressure Israel. So politically there's nothing to be gained from pressure."

The bottom line, Dr. Beilin and like-minded Jewish activists maintain, is that Monica Lewinsky once again has the last word in Middle East diplomacy.

Last January this prompted jokes about Monica as Queen Esther, giving herself to save her people.

Now the jokes are about blue dresses with white stains, about 20th century Jewish history ending right where it began, in the women's garment business.

Dr. Beilin isn't laughing. "You can make jokes about it," he says. "We can't, because we're the ones paying the price."

Ref: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0798/jj2.html


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Peter,

While you are at it, add Don's justification to your list of remarkable posts. See, http://hnn.us/comments/89649.html


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

if the vicious backstabbing Cynthia McKinney, her father, Howard Dean and
the Alabama Congressman received are ADL policy.

Maybe they will address the issue --you obviously don't want to.


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

--and trying to live up to
your expectations

1) Re AIPAC's disappointing "return on investment" on Denise Majette,
I had simply said:
------------
"--that's why McKinney's back in Congress.
ha ha ha
I haven't laughed so hard since the lawyer
asked Bill Clinton under oath if he knew a nice
Jewish girl named Monica Lewinsky."
-------------
2) Which sent Mr Friedman into a frenzy:
"Tell me, Don: What does Monica Lewinsky have to do with
the discusson? And, how does her religion or ethnicity
pertain to the discussion or, for that matter, to her
relationship with the president? I am rather curious."


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Peter,

Before you go too far with Don, read this post of his. http://hnn.us/comments/89605.html

This is nutso stuff.


N. Friedman - 5/18/2006

Don,

Do you read this stuff before you post it?


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

See

http://www.jta.org/page_view_story.asp?strwebhead=Finance%20reform:%20Good%20or%20bad%20for%20Jews?&intcategoryid=3

Some excerpts:
--------
"No law is perfect and laws have potential for unintended consequences, said Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, but he said this law should not cause great concern.

Total public financing or curtailing out-of-state money for campaigns would have been bad for the Jewish community, Forman said. "
-----
"There is concern that the national parties—the easy address for getting money from large Jewish donors—will not be so easily replaced and therefore the power of the Jewish community will be diminished.

Giving unlimited funds to a national party also allowed for Jewish influence to actually be national, as Jews from New York or other areas with high concentrations of Jews could thereby affect out-of-state races, said one leading Republican Jewish activist.

"The voice of the Jewish community will be somewhat muzzled," said the activist, who asked not to be identified.

Many agree that it will be more work to get the same $250,000 that in the past passed from one donor to a party but under the new system would have to be raised from many individuals and channeled to PACs or individual campaigns."


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

There are several reasons why AIPAC is rated the most powerful political lobby by Fortune.

1) One is that there is no countervailing, moderating power to balance it --so it can go to extremes.
2) Second , it is national in scope.
Most Congressional districts have power groups, but few of them can call in the massive amounts of wealth to defeat a Congressman that AIPAC can. That is why Congressmen of both parties are so craven in dealing with it. Look at what happened to Dean, Cynthia McKinney, her father, and the Alabama Congressman.
3) Most power groups have to be reasonable in their demands because they are vulnerable in various ways.
A corporation may push for a particular favor, but it must not throw its weight around too much because it is vulnerable to retaliation in multiple respects.
The Israel Lobby, by contrast, yells
"anti-Semitism" at even the mildest, most justified criticism.
4) Few lobbies --aside from Big Oil and Big Defense -- have the poisonous effect on the national interest that the Israel Lobby brings. Just look at the list that M&W provide above.

5) Real campaign finance reform will never happen -- the Republicans are opposed and AIPAC will ensure enough Democrats vote with the Republicans to kill any reform attempt.


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

A small sample of the hysterically funny gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair --that occurred when Denise Majette's surprise run for the Senate opened the door for Cynthia McKinney's return--
can be seen in this article from Atlanta's Jewish Times Online:
http://atlanta.jewish.com/modules.php?name=News&;file=article&sid=603

Some money quotes:
------------
"Among her many Jewish supporters, some have expressed anger, disappointment and confusion over her decision.

“I’m surprised,” said Larry Cooper, an oncologist who helped raise funds for Majette during her successful 2002 campaign to unseat 10-year Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney. “I frequently talk to her. I had no hint that this was coming down the pike.”

“I’m in shock,” added Steven Wertheim, an orthopedist who along with his wife Melinda hosted several fundraisers for Majette at their home in 2002. “I was given no advance notice.”

Wertheim, who calls Majette’s decision an “obvious misstep,” says people who this year have contributed money to what they believed would be her 2004 House re-election bid may now ask Majette for their money back.

“I think there will be a lot of people who do so,” he said.

Knowledgeable sources confirm that some Jewish supporters have already called Majette’s 4th District congressional office in Decatur demanding their money back.

Answering their concern, Majette told The Jewish Times, “It was not my intention to deceive anyone. I have honored my commitments. I have addressed Jewish concerns.

“Those who supported me will continue to have a voice in the Senate,” she continued. “I hope they will give me the opportunity to serve [there].”

That depends, say observers, on how people recover from their initial shock.

“People feel bitten in the behind by this decision,” said one person familiar with the inner workings of Majette’s office and who spoke on condition of anonymity. “And that will make additional fundraising hard for her. This is not the return on investment that anybody wanted.”

Majette, a former judge, had attracted both local and national donations from Jewish sources when she ran against McKinney in 2002. At the time, the political novice benefited from negative media attention focused on McKinney, whose pro-Palestinian sympathies cost her Jewish support (see story above). "


--------
"He says he still is bewildered by Majette’s choice. “I’ve never seen anyone do this. Most people have to have a good chance of winning to give up a safe congressional seat,” Wertheim said.

Having been blindsided by the representative it supported, the Jewish community can learn a lesson, said the source close to Majette’s office.

“The situation with McKinney was so bad the Jewish community — and other communities that supported her — thought Majette was a step forward. But they need to know the people they support.”
---------
ha ha ha
The last statement is hilarious. Cynthia McKinney had served the Democratic Party for years. Her father for decades. My understanding is the Denise Majette was a REPUBLICAN who switched parties to run against Cynthia McKInney in the DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY!

Cutting off your pecker to spite your wife eventually hurts --even if you try to convince yourself it was a highminded religious circumscission.


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

Re how Cynthia McKinney got back in, look at the article I cited. Her district, having received a shitload of money from the Israel Lobby when ONE opponent ran against Cynthia, logically figured even more money would flow in if they put up FOUR opponents against Cynthia.

But the district's plans and AIPAC's agenda ran up against Zionist ..er..
thriftiness.

The Lobby decided to wait for a Sale -- to wait for the strongest challenger to emerge and to back that one person in the runoff primary. Irritated at this haggling, the district apparently decided to end the farce and return Cynthia to Congress. hee hee


Don Williams - 5/18/2006

From http://www.rense.com/general29/mcc.htm
-------------
"Rep. McKinney's Father
By Steve Miller
The Washington Times
9-6-2

A political upstart is receiving a surge of Jewish backing in his bid to unseat 30-year Georgia state representative Billy McKinney, the father of ousted U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney.

Mr. McKinney, 75, finds himself the target of the Atlanta-area Jewish community after his most recent disparagement of Jews, which has bolstered the campaign coffers of his challenger in the Democratic primary, John Noel.

Asked about his daughter's ailing campaign the day before her defeat in the Aug. 20 primary, Mr. McKinney said, "Jews have bought everybody. Jews. J-E-W-S."
----------
So what happened? Mr McKinney, who had been a state representative for what--30 years? -- was tossed out as a barrage of money from the Israel Lobby flowed to his opponent.

Ha ha ha. I guess even paranoid people have enemies,eh?

All for making what arguably was a truthful, objective observation. Look at the the reports filed with the FEC showing the flow of money --from around the USA --to his daughter's opponent and later, to his own opponent.

Note how the Israel Lobby didn't gave a shit for Cynthia McKinney's black constituents,
didn't a shit for her 10 years of service to those constituents, for Mr McKinney's constituents, or for Mr McKinney's 30 years of service.

Given the Israel Lobby's vicious behavior, why should real Americans not hate it?


Don Williams - 5/17/2006

1) I have spent the past several years trying to housebreak our little puppy Mr Friedman
-- by rubbing his nose in his mess (posts) and occasionally smacking his
rump with a rolled up newspaper.

You can find my past posts re the Israel Lobby by going to HNN's
main page and entering "Don Williams" in the Search bar in the
upper left corner. However, I made a lot of posts about the Bellesiles
gun control affair which will probably not interest you, so add
a second search string --e.g., "Israel" or "Bin Laden"

2) Here, for example, is a post in which I discuss NeoCon Richard
Perle's patron -- Zionist Conrad Black:
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=43412&;bheaders=1#43412

NOTE: Scroll down to paragraph 9

3) You might also find my info on the Christian Zionists in the post
below that of interest . Scroll down to the post
"Well, Tom Delay certainly " or go to
http://www.hnn.us/comments/43481.html

4) The main HNN article --i.e., to which the above posts were made -- talked about the dislike felt by normal Pentagon soldiers/officials for the blatant favortism shown to the
Likud by the Neocons and is interesting if you read between the lines. See
http://www.hnn.us/articles/7582.html .


Don Williams - 5/17/2006

1) Your accusation resembles the accusations made by anti-Semites,
Mr Friedman. Both are based on deep ignorance.

2) The relevance of Jewess Monica in a discussion of the Israel Lobby, covert manipulations,etc should be obvious. She had an enormously
disasterous effect the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The only
one she screwed worst than Clinton was the Palestinians. Any intelligence operator would whistle in awe.

3) Who can forget the picture of poor Yasser Arafat waiting endlessly
to speak to the President while Monica distracted President Clinton by
playing hide-the-cigar. Remember"
---------------
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT EXCLUSIVE XXXXX SAT AUGUST 22, 1998 13:50:01 ET XXXXX

SHE HAD SEX WITH CIGAR: MEDIA STRUGGLES WITH SHOCKING NEW DETAILS OF WHITE HOUSE AFFAIR

**Warning: Contains Graphic Description**

In a bizarre daytime sex session, that occurred just off the Oval Office in the White House, President Clinton watched as intern Monica Lewinsky allegedly masturbated with his cigar.

It has been learned that several major news organizations have confirmed the shocking episode and are now struggling to find ways to report the full Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton grossout.

Media Bigfeet are trying to reconstruct one sex session that reportedly took place as Yasser Arafat waited in the Rose Garden for his scheduled meeting with the president!

-----------
Ha ha ha. A rather compelling form of diplomacy, you must agree. I would like to see Israel's Ambassador to the USA try to match that act.

4) But the real impact is shown in Clinton's memoirs. Recall how Clinton was trying to make peace in Palestine by pressuring Netanyahu into withdrawing from the West Bank in order to move the Peace
Process forward? See http://www.thisdayonline.com/archive/2004/06/28/20040628ext01.html
and search for "Netanyahu".

Well, soon Clinton was in no position to pressure anyone. Facing removal from the Presidency via the first impeachment in 135 years. All because Ken Starr had recordings
of Monica telling about her big adventure with Wild Bill. And when Wild Bill tried to finesse his testimony, Monica produced the semen-stained blue dress. Try to finesse THAT!
hee hee hee

5) Do I think this was a Mossad plot? No. Hell no. The Mossad would never have that much imagination. Not in a million years.

But someone was certainly listening to the rabbi when he told the story of Samson and Delilah, wasn't she?

6) We know the sequel. Israel played out the clock until a new US President came in --
one who showed he was willing to suck SHARON's dick if AIPAC diverted the money in the right direction. Sharon walks into Al Aqsa with hundreds of armed guards, the riots start, Arafat dies a mysterious death, and the peace talks are dead.

Sure, Olemert is currently making token gestures because Americans are starting to catch onto who's really being screwed in all this -- but in 5 years, after the Palestinans
have starved to death, Greater Israel will expand out to include the West Bank.
Then on to Babylon.


N. Friedman - 5/17/2006

Don,

Tell me, Don: What does Monica Lewinsky have to do with the discusson? And, how does her religion or ethnicity pertain to the discussion or, for that matter, to her relationship with the president? I am rather curious.

I am also rather curious regarding your interpretation of Ms. McKinney. Somehow, it was the effort of her enemies, not her statements regarding 9/11, among other things, and that of her father, which solely cost her the election on your theory.

I might add: were the influence of the Jewish lobby as great as you would have it, why is it that she was eventually re-elected? Your explanation does not wash because there was opportunity to defeat her at the primary level. And, how is it that these all powerful interests could not convince those who might run against her in the primary to drop out of it, so that she could be challenged by only a single Democrat? Your explanation is not an explanation, it is a statement of bias.

Which is to say, what you cite is basically nonsense. It is nonsense bolstered by your view that Jews are harmful to society because they hold views different from yours or, like Monica Lewinsky, someone are attractive to a president. And, when you cited to Hitler's views, perhaps you were stating your own views.


Don Williams - 5/17/2006

--that's why McKinney's back in Congress.

ha ha ha
I haven't laughed so hard since the lawyer
asked Bill Clinton under oath if he knew a nice
Jewish girl named
Monica Lewinsky.

What happened is that Denise Majette --
the neophyte Congresswoman that AIPAC installed
in Georgia to push out Cynthia McKinney --decided
that this election thing is pretty easy. After all,
you just have to cash all those checks coming
in from Florida, New York,etc.

So when Zell Miller announced his retirement,
Denise Majette jumped in immediately and announced
that she was running for his Senate seat. Which
left her House seat open for Cynthia McKinney to
scoot back in.

AIPAC shit a brick. ha ha ha
Do you know how much money AIPAC's
supporters sent to Georgia to get McKinney
out?

Wait --it gets better. A number of the AIPAC
people told Denise that they wanted their
money back!!! Which, I think is not legally
..er..kosher but was refreshingly frank.
After all , they bought her --but some of their
lawyers checked and informed the elders that ,
unfortunately, purchase of black women was
outlawed sometime around 1865.

See http://www.hillnews.com/campaign/062204_mckinney.aspx.


N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

Don,

Your remark does not address my point. I was not speaking of everyone but, rather, saying that the leadership was filled with people who were aghast about Dean.


Don Williams - 5/16/2006

From http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/12/09/elec04.prez.gore.dean/
----------
"Gore: 'One candidate clearly now stands out'
Tuesday, December 9, 2003 Posted: 10:21 PM EST (0321 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean's bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination on Tuesday, substantially deepening Dean's fast-developing drive for dominance in the nine-candidate field of would-be challengers to President Bush.

"I'm very proud and honored to endorse Howard Dean to be the next president of the United States of America," Gore said.

...
Gore said part of the reason he chose to endorse Dean was his ability to appeal to the nation's "grassroots" elements, a reference to Dean's success in organizing and raising funds on the Internet and in small voter gatherings...
.."He was the only major candidate who made the correct judgment about the Iraq war," Gore said. "And he had the insight and the courage to say and do the right thing. And that's important because those judgments -- that basic common sense -- is what you want in a president."

...
With the Dean campaign gaining momentum, a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows Dean widening his front-runner status among the eight other Democratic candidates.

The poll showed that 25 percent of registered Democrats surveyed support Dean as their nominee, with retired Gen. Wesley Clark coming in second with 17 percent. (Poll: Dean's New Hampshire lead increases)




N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

Don,

Do you actually know what happened in 1948? As for 1960, I have no idea what you are talking about


N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

Don,

Much of the Democratic leadership was aghast at Dean. Was Grossman the only person who came out strongly against Dean? No. Large portions of the party were and for a variety of reasons including the fact that it was thought that he could not win.


N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

Don,

Again, I do not see what this proves. I do not think it proves anything other than usual politics and concern for the views of voters. I trust you accept that the views of Jewish voters should be considered and that some of such voters may conclude that it is not in the US interest to appease Jihadis and their supporters.



N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

Don,

This proves that S Daniel Abraham pays for Ads. What of it? I never denied that he runs Ads. However, the fact that he runs Ads does not prove anything else.


N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

McKinney is in office despite your talk of lobby. She lost once and then came back. The reason for her loss are not all that clear.


Don Williams - 5/16/2006

pour a shitload of money into PRIMARY races in ALABAMA and GEORGIA to defeat Democratic Afro_American
incumbants.

Answer: A vicious group that repeatedly shows that it will pour its entire integrated resources from across the nation into any congressional district whose representative does not kiss AIPAC's ass.

I think M&W discusses the tactics of this group in detail in their paper -- but that's something else the defenders of the Israel Lobby would rather not discuss.

Other than on the margins of course -- hoping that nitpicking about the history of what happened in 1948 and 1960 will divert attention from what is happening today.


Don Williams - 5/16/2006

From another issue of Jewish magazine FORWARD (http://www.forward.com/issues/2002/02.07.05/news8.html )
----------
"WASHINGTON — Jews and blacks in Washington, still nursing wounds after a bruising Democratic runoff for a House seat in Alabama, are bracing themselves for fresh tensions over the August primary challenge facing Georgia Democrat Cynthia McKinney.

Like the Alabama runoff, in which Birmingham attorney Artur Davis drew national Jewish support in his successful bid to unseat incumbent Rep. Earl Hilliard, the Georgia race will pit two African Americans against one another, with Jewish money likely flowing to a challenger seen as more supportive of Israel.

Jewish donors have already begun to back McKinney challenger Denise Majette, a former state court judge from Atlanta who proudly touts a strong pro-Israel position. As one of Capitol Hill's most fervent supporter of the Palestinians, McKinney has long drawn the ire of many pro-Israel Jews and non-Jews alike.

Comments by black lawmakers reflect the disappointment and fear that the race in Georgia's Fourth District will again be seen as a proxy war between factions on both sides of the Middle East conflict."
--------
A flood of money poured in from New York to Cynthia McKinney's challenger
and she lost the primary.


Don Williams - 5/16/2006

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/articles/2004/02/16/chairman_set_to_leave_dean_camp/

"Chairman set to leave Dean camp
Says Wis. loss would trigger switch to Kerry
By Glen Johnson, Globe Staff, 2/16/2004

MILWAUKEE -- The chairman of Howard Dean's presidential campaign, Massachusetts Democrat Steve Grossman, said yesterday that he will switch allegiance to the campaign of fellow Bay Stater John F. Kerry if, as Grossman expects, Dean loses tomorrow's Wisconsin primary."
---------
Ha ha ha. What kind of campaign chairman makes a statement like that a day BEFORE a make or break election? Dean immediately told Grossman his services were no longer needed but the damage was done.

Grossman could have waited until the election was over and then left the next day. His statement only makes sense to me if I assume Grossman was trying to finish his own candidate off.
---------
Grossman had previously been President and Chairman of AIPAC -- see
http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/dean/deanorg0303.html and scroll down to Grossman

I've since wondered if Grossman was an infiltrated saboteur --and if he
did any covert damage before Wisconsin.


N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

Don,

Causality. Do you understand that word? I said that your noted Ad campaign has not been shown to be causal in the decline of the Dean campaign. Your citation does not establish such to be the case either.

I also never denied any Ad campaign.



Don Williams - 5/16/2006

From the link I gave above re
Dean's dustup with Lieberman
( http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.09.12/news.lieberman2.html )

An excerpt:
------------
"The dustup brings up issues larger than the Dean, Lieberman and Kerry campaigns, however. The anti-war Democrats who are driving the primary and who have been fueling Dean’s ascendancy represent the segment of the electorate least likely to support the strongly pro-Israel positions that are the consensus of most Jewish communal organizations.

“Clearly that’s going to be a tension for Dean,” said Kenneth Goldstein, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin. “Many of his core supporters are clearly not of the Aipac position.”

If Dean is seen to be retreating from strongly pro-Israel positions, it might foment tensions in the Democratic Party — a scenario that worries many Jewish Democrats and delights Republican strategists. Jewish voters are the most solidly Democratic bloc except for African Americans — typically, more than 70% vote Democratic in national elections, and almost 80% voted for the Gore-Lieberman ticket in 2000. The party’s pro-Israel policy is seen as crucial to maintaining this support. An organization, the National Jewish Democratic Council, exists to buttress that policy and to propagate the notion that the pro-Israel position of the Democratic Party is a settled matter."


Don Williams - 5/16/2006

1) At the forlornly named "Center for Public Integrity", there's a database
of 527 filings. Here's the one for
the "Americans for Jobs" ,described as "Democratic group running ads against Howard Dean "

http://www.publicintegrity.org/527/profile.aspx?act=dir&;sub=2&cycle=2004&id=680

Note top donor: S Daniel Abraham,
$200,000

2) See also
http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.09.12/news.lieberman2.html

3) By the way, I worked in the Howard Dean campaigns in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Delaware

And I have the next 30 years to figure out how to express $200,000 worth of rag..er irritation


Don Williams - 5/16/2006

Do you ever read Forward -- one of the major Jewish magazines?

Here's their article re S Daniel Abraham's hit on Howard Dean:
http://www.forward.com/campaignconfidential/archives/000307.php

Pretty sad when you have to get the news from a goyim.

An excerpt:
--------------
"The contribution of Slim Fast mogul S. Daniel Abraham to a group that ran negative ads about Howard Dean is raising eyebrows in Washington political circles.

Abraham, a major Jewish philanthropist, gave $100,000 to Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values, according to the Associated Press, making him one of the two biggest donors to the group.

The group ran ads attacking Dean in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, including one raising questions about his lack of foreign policy experience that showed the face of Osama bin Laden ....
..What is raising eyebrows, however, is that Abraham's longtime chief political factotum, Sara Ehrman, is an adviser to Dean...
..Ehrman, a relatively early supporter of Dean, helped him navigate the shoals of Jewish and Middle East affairs. Given her reputation as a noted dove, Ehrman's presence on the campaign helped raise suspicions about Dean among hawkish pro-Israel Democrats...
...Federal records show Abraham donated $2,000 each to Kerry, Gephardt, Dean and Senator Joe Lieberman in 2003...
...Dean spokesman Jay Carson told the Associated Press the group's ads were "some of the nastiest smear ads" in the Democratic race.
---------
Note: My understanding is that S Daniel Abraham actually gave $200,000
to the TV hit on Dean.


N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

Don,

You have not established that Israel diverted resources into costly wars. You have shown only that Israel has a strong lobby. That is a different thing. The reasons for the Iraq War are, thus far, not known and there are dozens of theories, including books by scholars.

Is it possible that protection of Israel was a reason for the Iraq war? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that it was the only reason or the most important reason? I think that to be essentially an impossibility, in my opinion.

Your favorite assertion is that the Israeli lobby caused the derailment of the Dean campaign. Is that really so? Your proof is that an Ad was run near the time of the Iowa caucus - beginning in November of 2003.

But, has that Ad been shown - or do you merely assert - that the Ad had a major effect?

My take on Dean's collapse is a bit different. In December of 2003, Saddam was captured. That led to speculation about the virtue of a Dean campaign under circumstances where Democrats were thinking, "Anyone but Bush."

Futher, party regulars thought Dean to be an unlikely candidate to beat Bush and they made that fact well known - repeatedly. Further, when other candidates began to take Dean on directly, interest in Dean began to weaken, evidently enough so that he was more vulnerable than had been considered when he was running high.

Also, according to Wikipedia: "The Atlantic Monthly's Joshua Green reported that in early January, the Wesley Clark campaign had leaked information to the press showing Dean to be 'unelectable.' Though every campaign, including Dean's, sends negative information to the press about rival candidates, Green claims the media turned against both Clark and Dean. Other insiders attribute the loss to staff and supporters inexperienced with the caucus process."

So, evidently, there were issues other than the ones you allege. In my way of thinking, the reason Dean was not chosen is that he was a terrible candidate. Yes, he opposed the war except that, in fact, he really did not. Yes, he said that we should be evenhanded on Israel but, in reality, was among the more pro-Israel candidates, not only having a Jewish wife who was a supporter of Israel but having been a longtime friend to Israel. Yes, some of Israel's friends did not like that he used the word "even handed" but, to note, so have lots of other people.

Here is a suggestion for you, Don. If it is so easy for Israeli supporters to trash a candidate, that means that it is easy for anyone to do that. While some friends of Israel have money, so do people who liked Kerry. In fact, his wife has quite a bit of money to throw around, directly and through channels.

Which is to say, yours is another conspiracy theory, full of sound and fury but, signifying (rather than nothing) your obsession with Israel.


Don Williams - 5/16/2006

M&W's List of the Malign Effects of the Israel Lobby:

1) US has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so
closely allied with Israel, not the other way around. Support
for Israel is not the only source of anti-American terrorism,
but it is an important one, and it makes winning the war on
terror more difficult. There is no question that many al-Qaida
leaders, including Osama bin Laden, are motivated by Israel’s
presence in Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians.
Unconditional support for Israel makes it easier for extremists
to rally popular support and to attract recruits.

2) The relationship with Israel actually makes it harder for
the US to deal with these states [Muslim states trying to acquire
nuclear weapons]. Israel’s nuclear arsenal is
one reason some of its neighbours want nuclear weapons, and
threatening them with regime change merely increases that desire.

3) A final reason to question Israel’s strategic value is that
it does not behave like a loyal ally.

-Israeli officials frequently ignore US requests and renege
on promises (including pledges to stop building settlements and
to refrain from ‘targeted assassinations’ of Palestinian leaders).

- Israel has provided sensitive military technology to potential
rivals[to the USA] like China, in what the State Department
inspector-general called ‘a systematic and growing pattern of
unauthorised transfers’.

- According to the General Accounting Office, Israel
also ‘conducts the most aggressive espionage operations
against the US of any ally’.
a)In addition to the case of Jonathan Pollard, who gave
Israel large quantities of classified material in the early
1980s (which it reportedly passed on to the Soviet Union in
return for more exit visas for Soviet Jews),
b) a new controversy erupted in 2004 when it was revealed that
a key Pentagon official called Larry Franklin had passed
classified information to an Israeli diplomat.

4) Israel and Israel Lobby pushed strongly for US invasion of Iraq

5) My Paraphase of long discussion: Israel Lobby sabotages objective policy making that is in
America's interest in favor of policy which is strongly and unreasonably
biased in Israel's interest and which harms America

6) If their efforts to shape US policy succeed, Israel’s enemies
will be weakened or overthrown, Israel will get a free hand
with the Palestinians, and the US will do most of the fighting,
dying, rebuilding and paying. But even if the US fails to
transform the Middle East and finds itself in conflict with an
increasingly radicalised Arab and Islamic world, Israel will
end up protected by the world’s only superpower.

7) The Lobby’s influence causes trouble on several fronts. It
increases the terrorist danger that all states face – including
America’s European allies. It has made it impossible to end the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a situation that gives extremists
a powerful recruiting tool, increases the pool of potential
terrorists and sympathisers, and contributes to Islamic
radicalism in Europe and Asia.

8) Equally worrying, the Lobby’s campaign for regime change in Iran
and Syria could lead the US to attack those countries, with
potentially disastrous effects. We don’t need another Iraq. At a
minimum, the Lobby’s hostility towards Syria and Iran makes it
almost impossible for Washington to enlist them in the struggle
against al-Qaida and the Iraqi insurgency, where their help is
badly needed.

9) There is a moral dimension here as well. Thanks to the Lobby, the
United States has become the de facto enabler of Israeli expansion
in the Occupied Territories, making it complicit in the crimes
perpetrated against the Palestinians. This situation undercuts
Washington’s efforts to promote democracy abroad and makes it look
hypocritical when it presses other states to respect human rights.
US efforts to limit nuclear proliferation appear equally
hypocritical given its willingness to accept Israel’s nuclear
arsenal, which only encourages Iran and others to seek a similar
capability.

10) Besides, the Lobby’s campaign to quash debate about Israel is
unhealthy for democracy. Silencing sceptics by organising blacklists
and boycotts – or by suggesting that critics are anti-semites –
violates the principle of open debate on which democracy depends.
The inability of Congress to conduct a genuine debate on these
important issues paralyses the entire process of democratic
deliberation. Israel’s backers should be free to make their case
and to challenge those who disagree with them, but efforts to
stifle debate by intimidation must be roundly condemned.

11) Finally, the Lobby’s influence has been bad for Israel. Its
ability to persuade Washington to support an expansionist agenda
has discouraged Israel from seizing opportunities – including a peace
treaty with Syria and a prompt and full implementation of the Oslo
Accords – that would have saved Israeli lives and shrunk the ranks
of Palestinian extremists. Denying the Palestinians their legitimate
political rights certainly has not made Israel more secure, and
the long campaign to kill or marginalise a generation of Palestinian
leaders has empowered extremist groups like Hamas, and reduced the
number of Palestinian leaders who would be willing to accept a fair
settlement and able to make it work. Israel itself would probably be
better off if the Lobby were less powerful and US policy more
even-handed.








Don Williams - 5/16/2006

In my first post, I was trying to figure out what kind of an organization (AnIsLob) would be needed to counteract the more malign effects of the Israel Lobby.

I then looked around for signs that such an entity is arising and found Joe Wilson/ Rock Creek Corporation.
I then noted the adept way in which
Joe greatly disrupted/discredited the NeoCon faction of the Israel Lobby -- a far more powerful and richer entity
than Joe's.

The basic disease is that America is being harmed because large amounts of lives, treasure and resources are being diverted in irrational ways to
the benefit of Israel at the significant expense of the US.

Joe showed the obvious -- one way to disrupt the Israel Lobby is to show Americans how they have been deceived into unnecessary wars that are costly in soldier lives and in money.




Don Williams - 5/16/2006

Several reasons why , Mr Friedman.

Because we have not lost 2000+ people
and $1 Trillion from Kurds attacking in revenge for
killings done by our client Turkey.

Second, there are not 1 billion Kurds
controlling several major oil aquifers who are sympathic to the Turkish Kurds and who are considering a long,bloody war against the USA to support the Turkish Kurds.

Other world powers not hold us morally responsible for the acts of Turkey to the degree we are responsible for Israel's actions. We did not create Turkey 60 years ago by ethnic cleansing of an occupied land. We did not sustain Turkish aggression with $140 Billion in aid and the transfer of the largest collection of F16 fighters outside the US Air Force. Turkey did not develop nuclear weapons with which to threaten her neighbors. We have not issued a 100 vetos in the UN to protect Turkey. We do not act every
day on behalf of Turkey in a way which
discredits our reputation and which repudiates the national values we proclaim.

As an ally, Turkey is an ally of great strategic value who gives us many things -- access to the Caspian oil reservoirs, a strong wall which not only blocks Russia from Europe and the Middle East but which has also been the southern ANCHOR of our containment fence around Russia. By contrast, Israel gives us nothing.

Turkey does not maintain a US domestic lobby which destroys US politicians who question it. The Turkish lobby is not the most powerful political lobby in the US.
American Turks do not have a problem with being loyal to America vice Turkey. They do not maintain a Turkey Lobby which
constantly mislead Americans in major ways so that the US government can be manipulated into wasting huge amounts of American lives, treasure,and resources for the sole benefit of Turkey.

Most important, however, is that i would never have to explain the above to a US citizen of Turkish descent.


N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

Peter,

Don thinks the Israeli lobby controls everything. Did you understand that?


N. Friedman - 5/16/2006

Peter,

I never said I oppose partition. I said that the group which calls itself Palestinian is the same group which calls itself Jordanian. Such is factual.

Now, so far as I am concerned, those involved in the dispute can set whatever boundaries they want. It is for them to work out, not your or me.

As for countless UN resolutions, none holds that the Green line is Israel's recognized, secure boundary. And UN 242 set forth a two part project, if you check the debate carefully. It was not that Israel would return to the Green line.

What was discussed was the Arab desire for Israel to evacuate the land captured and Israel's desire to hold onto land sufficient that it would have a secure boundary which would be recognized. UN 242, as Lord Caradon stated on the floor of the UN, said that the resolution was directed to meeting both sides' demands, not just the Arab demands which you now recall. And, he said he thought the resolution met both sides' requirements.

Unless Israel's demands are ignored - as you would do -, Israel had no obligation to return to the Green line. Rather, the parties were supposed to negotiate under UN tutelage - as it says in the resolution - with the idea of coming to terms on secure boundaries and recognition.

That, frankly, was the world's promise, not mine. And, while it is convenient for some - perhaps you - to forget the background and what was set down in UN 242, the resolution not only refers to secure and recognized boundaries, but so does the debate.

The Soviet ambassador, in fact, complained on the floor of the UN that Israel was not required by the Amendment - unlike the Soviet proposal - to withdraw.

I also note that you can read the debate online at the UN website.

The split is not, despite your arrogant, ignorant rant, the Green line. The split was one at a secure boundary which is recognized.


N. Friedman - 5/15/2006

Omar,

How can Zionism being non-indigenous when natives to the country - i.e. indigenous people - are Zionist? You make no sense.

Moreover, what you think is just does not sound just to me. I see no advantage to the return of people who have leaders who promise that such people will have their revenge. I see that as an invitation for civil war.

How, Omar, do you deal with the foul ideologies such as that of HAMAS which do, in fact, seek to expel the Jewish population? If you cannot answer that problem, Omar, then you have not proposed a soluation. Rather, you are merely pandering to your own ideas.

Further, my question was not directed to the advantage to Palestinian Arabs but, instead, the advantage to everyone else. Obviously, if people enter a rich, prosperous society that is well run - i.e. Israel -, such people could, in theory benefit. But that was not the question. The question is what, for example, there is in it to anyone in Europe? I see none at all. In fact, I see it as showing that barbaric tactics have benefit and that will be a lesson learned, just as Hitler supposed learned from another episode in barbarism, namely, the genocide of the Armenians.

Finally, there is no version of morality which demands Palestinian Arabs live in Israel. Palestinian Arabs are not plants taken from their soil. Demanding something that serves no practical purpose - on the theory that it is the best way to resolve the dispute, when it is clearly not - is nonsense.

The best way to resolve the dispute is by accepting partition. Then refugees and their offspring can live in the Palestinian Arab portion and the dispute will be over and done. On this, I agree with Peter Clarke.

Partition, not your theory of forcing people to give up their actual homes, is just. Your theory is merely Arab imperialism pretending to be a moral theory.


N. Friedman - 5/15/2006

Omar,

I at least follow you, without agreeing with you, until I read your last paragraph, where you write - with emphasis on the language set forth in bold print -:

The issue therefore is, Mr Friedman, NOT who rules Palestine, as you would like to portray it, as much as who is indigenous to Palestine and entitled to live in it, who is culturally indigenous to the region ,who is the alien colonialist invader and what his conquest entailed on basic inalienable human ,cultural and national rights.

If the issue is who is entitled to live in the area, that suggests that you, contrary to what you say earlier, do object to Jews living in Israel. They, in what appears to be your theory, are alien invaders.

So, that is very troubling because now you are proposing a distinction between who is legitimately in the country and those who are not. In the end, that leads to civil war so it is not a basis on which to settle a dispute.

And, the basis for that war is already stated in your post, namely, that you expect specific plots of land to be handed from their current owner to a Palestinian Arab - as if that were somehow a just thing to do -.

And, if the issue is who is indigenous, then that question is not simple as you would think, if we use words in the normal sense. Anyone born in the country is indigenous. Anyone not born in the country is not, by definition, indigenous.

That means any Jews born in the country are, by definition, indigenous while any Arab not born in the country is not indigenous. Clearly, that could not be what you really mean.

So, what you likely mean is that Palestinian Arabs - even those who have never stepped foot on the land and even those who, before Israel's war of Independence, had been in Israel as little as 2 years - are, to you, indigenous while Jews born in the country from parents who, in turn, were born in the country from parents who, in turn, were born in the country are not, on your theory, indigenous. If that is your definition, it is self-serving nonsense that anyone with a first grade education could see through.

In that the notion that Palestinian Arabs born outside of the area or those who spent little time in the area are indigenous is a disingenous position, what you most likely really mean is that the land must be Arab land. The contention that the land must be Arab land is a religious interpretation of the word, not consistent with the real meaning of the word indigenous. Which is to say, such is a self-serving position, not a position based on universal justice or fairness.

If, as you basically admit, Arabs who have never lived in the land have better rights than non-Arabs born in the area, what reason is there to think that permitting Arabs who hold such views into Israel would lead to a state where all involved are treated with dignity. In short, what you are claiming amounts to a subtefuge - perhaps one you are not conscious of but a subtefuge nonetheless.

Now, the claim that Arabs would not push Israelis out is belied by the fact that (a) even before Israel came into being, al-Husseini said basically that there was no room in the country for Jews, (b) the former leader of HAMAS is quoted as saying exactly that in The New York Times, (c) the HAMAS covenant said essentially that and Arafat said as much repeatedly. Is there some reason not to take all of such comment as serious?

I trust that you, Omar, would not push anyone out and would want reconciliation. I trust that you and I would make fast friends - were I an Israel, which I am not and have no interest in being -. But, that is different from being able to affect events where a substantial group (e.g. HAMAS and Islamic Jihad) think otherwise. So, you might take a more careful look at the positions adopted by those who claim to speak for Palestinian Arabs.

There are a number of other points. You speak of justice for Palestinian Arabs, as if only Palestinian Arabs have been wronged in this dispute. Now, if I can admit that Palestinian Arabs have sufferred, you can certainly admit that Palestinian politics have not helped resolve what ought to be a practical dispute but which, clearly due to rejectionism by Palestinian Arabs, turned into a fight about how both whether or not to divide up the land and how.

After all, prior to Israel's existence, there were many Palestinian Arabs, not to mention prominent Arabs elsewhere, who thought compromise the best approach. Such people, you will note, were mostly murdered by the gangs associated with rejectionists such as al-Husseini. It is well known that more Palestinian Arabs were killed, prior to Israel's existence, by Palestinian Arab rejectionists than in the various fights between the Yishuv community and the Arab community of the country. In fact, the rejectionists basically murdered all who disagreed publicly with them in order that there could be no compromise.

Which is to say, only self delusion can allow you to think that this dispute is all, as your comment suggests, about Israel's wrongs. It certainly is not. And not all of the justice is on the Arab side of the ledger. In reality, who is legitimately on land is determined by the land's rulers. That is the way of the world. And, you cannot blame those who, following the rules in place by the ruler, move to or live in the land. Otherwise, Omar, we can look back and recall that it was an injustice - one, if we go by your version of justice, appropriately righted - that brought Arabs to the land.

Which is to say, at some point, the Arab side needs to reckon with the fact that Arab history involved imperial adventures involving massive colonization. That, you surely know, is the truth. I, for one, see no basis to blame the children of the colonizers. But, I do think the claim that Palestinian Arabs can only be fertile in Israel is not reasonable or required by justice.

Now, you make a lot of points about justice and returning, etc., etc. Justice for Palestinian Arabs can surely be provided without them returning. Such is something which Palestinian Arabs want, no doubt. But there is no moral law which says that a good life can only be led in one location.

The Israelis were willing to pay 30 billion dollars in compensation to Palestinian Arabs. Such is a lot of money. And such money was to be paid despite also the legitimate claims that Jews from Arab lands, including those surrounding Israel, have against those Arab countries including countries still technically at war with Israel and hence, linked directly to the cause of the Palestinian Arabs.


Don Williams - 5/15/2006

anyone spot what they are?


Don Williams - 5/15/2006

eom


Don Williams - 5/15/2006

1)In my post above I talked about the nature of the seed --the non-Muslim
US citizen needed to start AnIsLob --and I mentioned that the Israel
Lobby has been largely unopposed with the exception of one man.

2) That man, of course, is Joe Wilson, husband of CIA officer Valerie Plame.
In 2003, As the Neocon bully was leading the mob raging down the street into the
invasion of the Middle East, Joe Wilson waited until the NeoCon Bully
reached to top of some stairs then calmly stuck out his foot and sent the
Neocons tumbling down a very steep, hard flight of stairs.

President Bush's approval rating is now at 29%, Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff
Scooter Libby and probably Karl Rove are facing trial, Paul Wolfowitz is
off at the World Bank ,and Richard Perle has not been seen for months.
All the discourse re how Bush lied us into invading Iraq started with
Joe Wilson.

3) At the recent White House Correspondents Banquet, Karl Rove could look
at the table next to his and see Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson smiling the
serene smiles of people who have just received a $2.5 million book contract.
(Talk about a host having a mean streak.)

I wonder if the intelligence world , connoisseurs of political warfare and
the coup, whistled appreciatively and wondered if Valerie was giving her
husband some informal training?

4) I also wonder if an older spook started whispering -- and if muffled
guffaws of laughter then broke out?

5) The news media keeps listing Joseph C
Wilson as "CEO of JC Wilson International Ventures"
Their ignorance is hilarious.

The transcript to this March 2003 Symposium at the Council on Foreign Relations
gave Joe Wilson's employment as "Joe is currently Senior Advisor at the Rock
Creek Corporation." Joe was there. He didn't object to this characterization.
Ref: http://www.cfr.org/publication/5763/crossing_the_rubicon.html?breadcrumb=default


Minutes to this October 2002 symposium by the Middle East Policy Council
also lists Joe Wilson as "Strategic Advisor, Rock Creek Corporation"
Ref: http://www.mepc.org/forums_chcs/30.asp

Note that Symposium managers usually ask speakers how they wish to be presented --indeed, the speaker often supplys the description of himself that goes into the program.

6) If you look at Saudi Net's list of firms doing business in Saudi Arabia, you see Rock Creek Corporation--
see http://www.the-saudi.net/business-center/links-usa.htm

7) According to the Center for Contempory Arab Studies, a member of their Board
is the President of Rock Creek Corporation --Mr Elias Aburdene . see
http://www.ccasonline.org/events/Board.htm

8) Rock Creek Corporation is what is tactfully called a "private equity firm" See
http://www.cohengroup.net/team-amb.html .

[NOTE: At this point, spooks would start glancing at each other with raised brows]

9) An October 1996 article in the Washington Business Journal notes re
Mr Elias Aburdene says:
"Franklin National Bank in Washington has hired the former head of Palmer
National Bank's international private banking unit, in an effort to attract
deposits from well-heeled foreign investors.

Since opening Sept. 1, Franklin's new international private banking division
has garnered about 50 customers and $15 million in deposits.

Elias Aburdene,

advisor to the division, headed a similar department for five years at Palmer,
which became a subsidiary of George Mason Bankshares in May.

Franklin, with $450 million in assets, has started a foreign exchange operation
to accommodate the new business. But mostly, Aburdene said, international
private banking means plain-vanilla services like checking, delivered with
personal service.

"They [international clients] are looking for intangibles -- discretion,
confidentiality, competence," Aburdene said. Clients also like to have
access to top executives at the bank, giving smaller institutions like
Franklin an edge, he added. "

10) At the mention of Palmer bank, older spooks wince and start grinning. To see why,
go to http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA/S&;L_Scandal_CIA.html
and search for "Palmer". An excerpt:

"During the Iran-Contra Affair, Palmer National was the bank of record for the
National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty, a front group run by Oliver
North and Carl "Spitz" Channell, which was used to send money and weapons to the
contras" Look at the background of the founders of Palmer to see the real comedy.]

All in all, Elias Aburdene has been around the track a few times, as they say in the
trade. Someone with rare, exquisite knowledge of exactly how to poke an
adversary in the butt with an invisible but very sharp stick.

11) The giggling among the spooks starts when the next tidbit is released, re what Elias Aburdene
does in his spare time.


Consider this blurb at the bottom of
an October 1997 article by
the "Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs" :
"National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA) President Khalil Jahshan and
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) co-chaired a fact-finding visit to the Middle East
between March 22 and April 5.

The group, which also consisted of NAAA Board Chairman George Gorayeb


and EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN Elias Aburdene

, visited Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE,
Lebanon and Syria, after which Jahshan went on his own to Jordan,
Israel and Palestine....."
Ref: Bottom of page at
http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0697/9706014.htm

12) But the roar of laughter really breaks out when the name "Mohammed Alamoudi" and "Rock Creek Corp" comes up.


N. Friedman - 5/15/2006

Don,

You greatly exagerate the influence of Israel's friends over Middle East policy. And you greatly underestimate the religious interest of Christian Zionists in Israel. And you greatly underestimate the willingness of Americans to side with people under attack.

If you want to win. Do what is done in Europe.


Don Williams - 5/15/2006

1) Omar is mistaken --Israel is not likely to disappear any time
soon -- she was far weaker in the 1960s and survived. Today she
is the foremost military power in the Middle East.

The reason is that enormous resources --money, advanced military
weaponry,etc -- are sent to her continually from the USA. The
economy of the USA is the largest in the world and the big pipeline
from the US to Israel constructed by the Israel Lobby will continue
to keep Israel more powerful and richer than her neighbors. Unless
a tournequit is applied to that pipeline.

2) On the other hand, Mr Friedman is mistaken as well. The hardest
diamond splits like a melon when a force is applied at the right
spot. The Israel Lobby is very vulnerable and if it were greatly
crippled, aid to Israel would halt and Israel would wither on
the vine like rotten grapes if it engaged in further aggression.

3) War on the Israel Lobby has to be waged by an American group --
US laws and the intelligence community carefully monitor and control
any attempt by foreign powers to influence US politics. The power of
the Israel Lobby results from the fact that is largely made up of
US citizens who are free to act widely in the US and whose political
activity is supported by US laws. It is also due to the fact that the
Israel Lobby is largely unopposed by any countervailing power, with the
exception of one individual who I will discuss later.

4) It's interesting to speculate on the nature of an American
"anti[Israel Lobby]" -- how it could be created and how it would have
to operate. (Note: the focus of the anti[Israel Lobby] is on
destroying the Israel Lobby in the USA --not necessarily being
anti-Israel. For convenience, I will henceforth refer to the
anti[Israel Lobby] as "AnIsLob")

5)First, AnIsLob would have to operate secretly in the initial stages.
The reason is that the US Bill of Rights protects against government
control of political speech but does NOT protect against powerful
private attacks to suppress speech. Some of the ways in which
members of the AnIsLob could be attacked by wealthy member of the
Israel Lobby are: (a) using business contracts and relationships to
covertly push US corporations into firing AnIsLob members (b)
Drive AnIsLob businessmen into bankruptcy by pushing US businesses
to boycott (both as suppliers and customers) AnIsLob businessmen
(c) bankrupt AnIsLob businesses and individual AnIsLob members with
contrived lawsuits

6) Hence, two, AnIsLob would have to have the financial position
and resources making it independent of economic attack,coercion or
influence by members of the Israel Lobby.

7) Arab businessmen who would like to help create and fund AnIsLob
have several obstacles. The momemt AnIsLob has to register as
an agent of a foreign power its finished. Same if it ever receives
a direct wire transfer of funds from the Middle East.

No, what Arab businessmen need to do is have strong business ties with
American AnIsLob businessmen so that money can be transferred
as part of normal business. The AnIsLob members would attack the Israel Lobby
as part of their private, political activity (protected by US law) and
with no open connection whatsoever between their business with the Middle
East and their AnIsLob activity.

8) Problem is , Arab businessmen in the Middle East do not have the
access, contacts, or information to create AnIsLob by identifying
and recruiting suitable US citizens. Once started up, AnIsLob can
handle spotting and recruitment as part of its ongoing operations.

But first, Arab businessmen need to find the initial seed -- an
American citizen strongly opposed to the Israel Lobby who is willing
to startup AnIsLob and to find/recruit an initial AnIsLob cadre. An
American citizen who is not Muslim and hence less likely to come to
the notice of FBI surveillance,


N. Friedman - 5/15/2006

Peter,

Let us assume, momentarily, your assessment. While I do not think it is a fair assessment at all, I think yours is a common view. So, I would like to explore it.

Why should the world care less about the Palestinian Arabs? Why not ignore them as a number of other groups with alleged just causes are ignored.

By way of example, the Kurds, other than as of late in Iraq - and hardly even in Iraq -, have not been able to get the time of day from the West, yet they have been the butt of the Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians and Turks for a very long time. They, in other words, have a just cause that is largely ignored.

Why the Palestinian Arabs and not the Kurds? In this regard, Morris' point that the problems faced by Palestinian Arabs are largely self-induced by their politics.


Peter Kovachev - 5/14/2006


Your make-believe history would be quite a farce, Mr. Baker, if Western media didn't actually buy it for a while. Thankfully, that is slowly changing.

No Arab voluntarily called himself a "Palestinian" until Arafat and his goons invented the nationality and began promoting after 1967. Read the 1964 PLO charter from cover to cover and tell me if the term exists anywhere in it. In that charter, also, the PLO doesn't even claim Judea, Samaria and Gaza for any fictitious "Palestinian people," simply because these were occupied by Jordan and Egypt, which robbed and ethnically cleansed ancient Jewish communities and where the Arabs, the famous "Palestinians" who didn't yet know they were "Palestinians" meekly accepted Jordanian or Egyptian tyranny. Today, you couldn't pay Jordan and Egypt enough to take those places along with their "Palestinians."

Your convoluted examples with Texas are an utter hodge-podge. Texas is a state with a history, with a population which is educated, law-abiding, hard-working and highly productive. In other words, there is no comparison whatsoever with self-invented "Palestininians" or a "Palestine."


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Omar,

Regarding the survival of Israel, it is certainly true that Israel may someday disapeer. So, that thought should be explored and then the alternatives considered.

Surely it is true that Israel is resident to a place of interest to conquerors. They come and go. The Arabs, after all, came as conquerors and now they no longer rule historic Israel. Maybe someday the Arabs will rule again. On the other hand, maybe they will not.

The claim, however, of Arabs that the land must be permanently Arab in character and rule is about as good as a Roman claim that the land must be permanently Roman or an Ottoman Turk claim to the same effect. The Arab claim, frankly, is a prejudice, not a fact. The claim can be filed along with claims made by Romans and Turks. After all, Romans, Turks and Arabs all came as conquerors.

In that Arabs are just another set of conquerors, I see no reason to think Arab rule better than Israeli rule. All of the nastly assertions you make about Israel apply, and with spades, to Arab ruled countries. So, if we stand back a bit and consider the interest of the Middle East and the land called Israel, what is to be gained, other than advantage to Arabs, from Arab rule?

Please answer the last question, Omar. Again, what is to be gained, other than advantage to Arabs, from Arab rule?



N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Take it up with Mr. Karsh.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Omar,

I find your comment rather interesting but for the content of what you say and the manner of your expression.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Omar,

I trust you also understand that Muslims have their biases about Jews and Christians and about Israel.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Omar,

Answer to your question: Answer to your question: I am not sure.

I know that Hitchens, David Gergen and Massad are not Jewish. I think one of Hitchens'parents or grandparents was Jewish but Hitchens is not. Moreover, Hitchens has edited a book with the late English language professor and anti-Israel propagandist Edward Said called Blaming the Victims.

I assume that Ruth Wisse, Eliot A. Cohen, Marvin Kalb and Samuel G. Freedman are Jewish but I cannot say for sure.

Chomsky and Dershowitz are both Jewish.

Question to Omar: Why does the religion of the scholar matter to you?


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Peter,

You write: I would, for example, rather solve the riddle of the sphinx than try to unravel the "logic" of Friedman's "argument" about Pollard.

If you would read the argument, you would understand it. As I have said before, you do not read things you do not want to see.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Don,

Israel will or will not survive. But, its population is satisfied with its lot. And the Israelis well know their problems.

Judt, by contrast, is a smug nut case. Judt fails even to acknowledge that Palestinian Arabs also have political aims. Those aims are not compatible with Israel's Jews interests, much less their lives.

Now, as for your theory, I think it is another conspiracy theory. US Middle East policy is due to a large number of factors, Israel's friends being only one factor. But, frankly, Israel's friends have every right to advocate for Israel, just like England's friends do and just like the anti-Castro Cubans do, and just like the Irish do, etc., etc.

Surely, you do not believe that the US would suddenly be loved by Arab Muslims if Israel disapeared. Is Belgium or France loved in the Muslim regions? Is Denmark loved? No European country is really pro-Israel. Most have adopted the Arab League political line - sometimes actually copying Arab League press releases -. The EU itself is actively pro-Arab. Yet, Muslim Arabs seem to hate Europeans, whether they are pro-Palestinian Arab or pro-Israel. And, evidently, large numbers of Muslims living in Europe hate Europe as well.

So, I think your theory is based on a complete misunderstanding. The issue in the Arab regions is imperialism driven by religion and culture and history. 1400 years of history attests to that. As historian Ephraim Karsh notes, to large numbers of Muslim Arabs - especially opinion makers -, Spain's defeat of Andalusia is an historic wrong that needs to be righted. Such people are serious when they say that.

Which is to say, I suggest you listen carefully to the rhetoric from the Arab Muslim regions. It is poisonous and it should be believed. It is deadly serious and it will not be placated by dumping Israel. Why? Because it is not causally connected to Israel. Rather, it is causally related to Muslim Arab history and religion and culture.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

smile


Don Williams - 5/14/2006



He is simply trying to find a way out of what he perceives
is a strategic problem for Israel. Your characterization is unfair.

I would modify one of Judt's statements however. When he says
"The depressing truth is that Israel's current behavior is not
just bad for America, though it surely is. It is not even just bad
for Israel itself, as many Israelis silently acknowledge. The
depressing truth is that Israel today is bad for the Jews"
--------
I would say that it is the Israel Lobby , vice Israel, which is
bad for American Jews.
Much as I dislike how Sharon and the Likud have taken advantage of
America, I do not blame them for the fact that our national
leaders are whores for billionaire supporters of Israel. That
is the fault of US citizens who tolerate this situation. The "Superrich
Lobby" is merely dealing with the Israel Lobby for the moment
for tactical advantage, heedless of the cost to America.

Nor, as I have noted before, do I think American Jews as a group
should be held responsible for the malign manipulations of a
few wealthy men, their politicans, and their sycophants. But I
fear they will be one day --just as 5 million innocents at
Auchewitz paid for the profit-taking at Versailles. One of the
foremost Jewish intellectuals of the 20th Century --Hannah Arendt --
noted in her deeply analytical book "Origin of Totalitarianism"
how an anti-Semitism crusade could arise in America.

Returning to Israel, Judt's overall concerns are valid. As I noted in my citation to
Tacitus, Israel's geography has always been tragic. Tacitus said
that the Jews of his time hated all mankind as enemies. What he went on to note was that the Tribes of Israel were fucked over by every
civilization that came down the pike: Egyptians, Hittites, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans,etc.

A people don't worship golden idols if armed foreigners repeatedly steal them. An invisible God is handy for people frequently carried off into slavery with no possessions. As is tracing linage via the maternal line.


The problem that existed then exists today:
Israel is the narrow chokepoint between the two major divisions of the
Arabic world: Egypt and North Africa vs Syria, Iraq, Iran . What
alternate transportation route is there?

So you have a recipe for endless war. Israel may wax and wane -- as
her neighbors press forward and retreat. But she will never be at
peace.

I have to go -- I need to get up early tomorrow. I will be back tomorrow night.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Don,

No offense, but a conspiracy is a combination or agreement of two or more persons to join together to attempt to accomplish some unlawful purpose. That is what it is in the law. That is what it is in my dictionary. That the word "conspire" has a slightly different meaning than conspiracy in common usuage does not change the matter. Secrecy can be part of a conspiracy but it does not have to be, at least as the word is used in law and in society.

As for the rest of your comment, it is a gross distortion of what I have written. I have not played games with words.

I said that there were very large numbers - perhaps I said 1,000 - of articles critical to the M & W article and noted one that was particularly good. I did not know I needed to produce them all.

I thought the Morris article to be a first rate exposition by the author on Earth that has done more than anyone else to show Israel's actual role, as opposed to your fantasy view, of what happened to Palestinian Arabs. Evidently, it bothers you that Morris does not agree with your fantasy view of history.

But I note, Morris is about as far toward the Palestinian side of what happened as one can go and stay remotely connected with facts. Some, like historian Ephraim Karsh, say that Morris is simply wrong and that the bulk of Palestinian Arabs left for different reasons, including, for example, an unwillingness to live under Jewish rule as such violated then prevailing notions of Muslim law. Such, you will note, was a big issue in Joffa, where the local Muslim cleric called on all Muslims to leave areas ruled by non-Muslims. And, in Haifa, the British removed the Palestinian Arab population by truck when the Arab leaders wanted them moved out.

Now, understanding the context of something has much to do with understanding it. M & W, like you, see the Israelis behaving badly without noticing they were in a war where, had they lost, they would have all been driven out. That is not a minor part of what occured. It is rather significant, going to the heart of the logic underlying M & W's theory.

Back to the number of criticism. According to Google, there are some 328,000 posts for the search "Walt Mearsheimer Israel" 76,100 of them also include the word "conspiracy." Someone other than I must think that they have alleged a conspiracy.

According to Wikipedia:

A number of Harvard professors have criticized the paper. Marvin Kalb, an administrator at the Kennedy School at Harvard, said that the paper failed to meet basic quality standards for academic research. [25] Ruth Wisse, a professor of Yiddish Literature and Comparative Literature, wrote, "When the authors imply that the bipartisan support of Israel in Congress is a result of Jewish influence, they function as classic conspiracy theorists who attribute decisions to nefarious alliances rather than to the choices of a democratic electorate". [26] David Gergen, a professor of public service at the Kennedy School at Harvard, wrote that the charges in the paper are "wildly at variance with what I have personally witnessed in the Oval Office over the years..." [27] Alan Dershowitz, professor of Law, wrote an extensive report challenging the factual basis of the paper, the motivations of the authors and their scholarship. Dershowitz claimed that, "The paper contains three types of major errors: quotations are wrenched out of context, important facts are misstated or omitted, and embarrasingly weak logic is employed."[28]

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Eliot A. Cohen, a professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, argues that the paper bears all the traditional hallmarks of anti-Semitism: "obsessive and irrationally hostile beliefs about Jews", accusations of Jews of "disloyalty, subversion or treachery, of having occult powers and of participating in secret combinations that manipulate institutions and governments", as well as selection of "everything unfair, ugly or wrong about Jews as individuals or a group" and equally systematical suppression of "any exculpatory information".[31]

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at MIT, asserts that he did not find the thesis of the paper very convincing. He said that Stephen Zunes (professor of politics at the University of San Francisco) has rightly pointed out that "there are far more powerful interests that have a stake in what happens in the Persian Gulf region than does AIPAC [or the Lobby generally], such as the oil companies, the arms industry and other special interests whose lobbying influence and campaign contributions far surpass that of the much-vaunted Zionist lobby and its allied donors to congressional races." [33]

Jeffrey Herf, Professor of History at the University of Maryland, and Andrei S. Markovits, Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan, have written a letter which begins as follows: [34] "Accusations of powerful Jews behind the scenes are part of the most dangerous traditions of modern anti-Semitism. So it is with dismay that we read John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt's 'The Israel Lobby.' We have known and respected John Mearsheimer for over twenty years, which makes the essay all the more unsettling. " They go on to dispute four central themes in the essay, and berate Mearsheimer and Walt for underplaying the power and import of radical Islam in international affairs.

Samuel G. Freedman, a professor of journalism at Columbia University who is referenced in the working paper, argues that the authors "misrepresent source materials to present a warped analysis beneath the veneer of scholarly detachment."[35]


That, frankly, is only some of the criticism. And note: I did not include all of what was listed even in Wikipedia.

Among Israel haters, there have been critics besides Chomsky. Take Christopher Hitchens. http://www.slate.com/id/2138741/

Also among Israel haters is Joseph Massad. http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/787/op35.htm He is also critical, claiming that US policy does not seem to be directed as M & W think. He writes:

What then would have been different in US policy in the Middle East absent Israel and its powerful lobby? The answer in short is: the details and intensity but not the direction, content, or impact of such policies. Is the pro- Israel lobby extremely powerful in the United States? As someone who has been facing the full brunt of their power for the last three years through their formidable influence on my own university and their attempts to get me fired, I answer with a resounding yes. Are they primarily responsible for US policies towards the Palestinians and the Arab world? Absolutely not.


Is that enough for you. Or, must I post more critics. There is no shortage. I bet the number exceeds 1,000. I think that what I said is true.


Don Williams - 5/14/2006

I have been waiting for an opportune moment to respond to Peter's comment above

("Mr. Williams is shrill and may have questionable underlying motives")

with a genial smack in the chops.

With a little bit of lead
in the glove to make him warily wonder just how "questionable" my motives might be. hee hee


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Don,

That is unfair to Peter. He and I are just having our usual fun with each other.


Don Williams - 5/14/2006

From Mein Kampf, Vol I, Chap 2
(Ref: http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch02.html
----------
For the Jew was still characterized for me by nothing but his religion, and therefore, on grounds of human tolerance, I maintained my rejection of religious attacks in this case as in others.

Consequently, the tone, particularly that of the Viennese antiSemitic press, seemed to me unworthy of the cultural tradition of a great nation.

I was oppressed by the memory of certain occurrences in the Middle Ages, which I should not have liked to see repeated....
...
But a Jew could never be parted from his opinions.
At that time I was still childish enough to try to make the madness of their doctrine clear to them; in my little circle I talked my tongue sore and my throat hoarse, thinking I would inevitably succeed in convincing them how ruinous their Marxist madness was; but what I accomplished was often the opposite. It seemed as though their increased understanding of the destructive effects of Social Democratic theories and their results only reinforced their determination.

The more I argued with them, the better I came to know their dialectic. First they counted on the stupidity of their adversary, and then, when there was no other way out, they themselves simply played stupid. If all this didn't help, they pretended not to understand, or, if challenged, they changed the subject in a hurry, quoted platitudes which, if you accepted them, they immediately related to entirely different matters, and then, if again attacked, gave ground and pretended not to know exactly what you were talking about.

Whenever you tried to attack one of these apostles, your hand closed on a jelly-like slime which divided up and poured through your fingers, but in the next moment collected again.

But if you really struck one of these fellows so telling a blow that, observed by the audience, he couldn't help but agree, and if you believed that this had taken you at least one step forward, your amazement was great the next day. The Jew had not the slightest recollection of the day before, he rattled off his same old nonsense as though nothing at all had happened, and, if indignantly challenged, affected amazement; he couldn't remember a thing, except that he had proved the correctness of his assertions the previous day.

Sometimes I stood there thunderstruck.
I didn't know what to be more amazed at: the agility of their tongues or their virtuosity at lying.

Gradually I began to hate them."


Don Williams - 5/14/2006

1) Because your dictionary did not spell things out in detail for you, you failed to understand.

2) If you check your dictionary under "conspire" you will see that it has the same definition as mine: that the PRIMARY definition is "to act together in SECRET" --especially when speaking of a group of people.

When then speaking of the noun derived from "conspire", your dictionary did not
bother to reiterate that a conspiracy is a group of people acting in secret
to commit "an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act." because that's already understood from the "conspire" definition.

3) Your claim that the meaning of conspiracy is set by the legal profession is an example of the legal profession's delusions and egotism.

The meaning of conspiracy has been set by 5000 years of human history and political action -- in which few (I actually can think of none) conspiracies worked without secrecy.
Obviously , not all acts committed by
members of a conspiracy are done in secret. But the plan of action -- and the agreement to work together in accord with a common plan of action -- is.

4) But again, why do you engage in nitpicking? If you think you know what Morris meant, then say so.
What specific assertions did W&M make the Morris thinks are wrong but left for others to refute??

In my opinion, You seem to constantly play chickenshit lawyer games that strike me as dishonest -- arguing endlessly about the meaning of words without simply stating what you mean, attacking minor aspects of an argument while ducking the primary issue, and stating positions that are logically irrational. Such tactics do not establish whatever point you're trying to make nor do they undermine my points. They merely make you appear to be trying to drive an honest discussion off into the weeds. Why can't we discuss what is in the national interest of our country in a more productive fashion?

5) Look above at your dozens and dozens of posts. To accomplish what? You said M&W's paper had been discredited by thousands of reviews. I asked you to produce them. You produced Bennie Morris's paper -- which addresses a small part of W&M's paper. Bennie doesn't agree with W&M's depiction of Israel's history in 1948 -- so what?

The bottom line --in spite of Bennie's rationizations -- is clear. After being gone for 1900 years, Jews wanted to establish a "refuge for Jews" in Palestine -- just as Hitler want to establish a "refuge for Germans" in Germany. The settlers of Israel used some but not all of Hitler's tactics -- military force, massacres, and terrorism to drive out unwanted human beings from land where they had resided for generations.

Israel did not drive the Palestinians into to gas ovens but instead drove them into refugee camps on barren rocky hillsides lacking in water, where the average income is less than $1600 and where the occasional crabgrass of Palestinian business that crops up is periodically mowed down by Israel tanks.

Bennie talks about M&W deceiving by omitting some facts -- but Bennie omits far more. He omits to explain why the US government aided Israel in its decades old aggression against the Palestinians, why we spent over $91 Billion when there was nothing in it for us, why we tolerated Israel's development of nuclear warheads that threaten US citizens as well as Arabs, why we should tolerate Likud aggression after it helped kill 2000+ of our countrymen on Sept 11.

Most of all, Bennie does not discuss how the USA aid to Israel has made us morally complicit in the disaster that has fallen upon the Palestinians Benny does not discuss how America is now supposed to deal with 4 million Palestinians refugees that the Israel Lobby have given us.

Maybe you think that Morris's criticism of a small part of M&W's paper discredits the paper as a whole.
To the contrary -- Bennie Morris's ducking of the main arguments, issues and facts in M&W's article tends to validate M&W's thesis.



N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Don,

The allegation in the M & W paper is:

"which Israel reportedly passed onto the Soviet Union to gain more exit visas for Soviet Jewry."

This sentence has two parts. The first part, that Israel passed on material to the USSR is, first, subject to serious doubt in Hersh's article. He say rather clearly that there were Soviet spies who had penetrated the Israelis. Which is to say, it is not even established that Israel passed on secrets.

According to Hersh: "Nevertheless, he said, it was understood that the Soviet intelligence services had long since penetrated Israel. (One important Soviet spy, Shabtai Kalmanovitch, whose job at one point was to ease the resettlement of Russian emigrants in Israel, was arrested in 1987.) It was reasonably assumed in the aftermath of Pollard, the admiral added, that Soviet spies inside Israel had been used to funnel some of the Pollard material to Moscow."

The next part of the statement - that the matter had to do with exit visas - is an accusation by an unamed source who does not claim that such occurred but only that there were suspicions or reason to believe that such occurred.

"A number of officials strongly suspect that the Israelis repackaged much of Pollard's material and provided it to the Soviet Union in exchange for continued Soviet permission for Jews to emigrate to Israel. Other officials go further, and say there was reason to believe that secret information was exchanged for Jews working in highly sensitive positions in the Soviet Union."

That, by itself, is sufficient to refute your allegation because, in fact, because what you claim was reported was not reported. What was reported was a suspicion or belief. And that is a different thing, especially in an article which also notes that it is unclear that there was even anything given to the USSR by Israel.

Now, regarding the allegation, Hersh later stated, when he was challenged regarding his accusations that his sources had "stressed the fact that they had no hard evidence — no 'smoking gun' in the form of a document from an Israeli or a Soviet archive — to demonstrate the link between Pollard, Israel and the Soviet Union..." (quoted by Jason Maoz, in an article about Hersh, published on January 22, 1999).

So, we do not have a report. We have unsubstantiated accusations which were never expressed in the manner of a report but only as accusations. And, evidently, there was never anything behind the accusations of substance. So, it is all innuendo. Of course, that is what the M & W article does throughout.

Which is to say, what Hersh says is not even supported by Hersh.

By my book, Morris is correct. We are dealing with what appears to be a lie.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Don,

My dictionary does not agree with yours.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, unabridged:


1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.
2. A group of conspirators.
3. Law. An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas.


Now, Don. I am a lawyer. The word "conspiracy" is largely known from its use in the legal field. And, secrecy is not a necessary element of a legal conspiracy although, obviously, a conspiracy can be secret. It has everything to do with agreeing to act together or in concert.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Peter,

The "probably-out-context quote" was the central thesis of his article. Read it. I gave you the cite. The article was the subject of a substantial amount of press - probably as much or more than the M & W article.

Were he to be an awake, astute observer, he would note that his theory, that nationalism is passé was on the way - and predictably by anyone awake - toward suffering one of many defeats even in Europe - where there are some who hold transnational views.

For example, his version of reality suffered a rude awakening when France and the Netherlands voted down the EU Constitution.

Moreover, the breakup of the USSR seems to have created quite a few nation states. Many of them appear to be based on religious differences. And, at the same time Jewish nationalism arose, so did Muslim nationalism among Indians (i.e. Pakistan).

In simple terms, what he thinks appears to be nearly opposite of actual trends in the world. The one place on Earth (and I am, for this post, not taking up Arab politics other than of the Palestinian Arab variety) that I know of where nationalism was ever on the decline - or someone might have thought it to be - is in Europe, with its transnational EU. But the EU is an institution which appears to be itself on the decline - although it refuses to accept the will of the people -.

Recently, the EU has taken up the idea of forcing the member states to make blasphemy and the like unlawful in order to protect religion - actually, to protect anyone from saying anything unkind about the Jihadis or what inspires them or from showing any pictures of the Prophet of Islam -. As Nick Cohen of the London Observer observes:

Their [i.e. the liberal states of the EU] contempt for plain speaking, as much as the refusal of the European Commission to accept the 'no' votes in the French and Dutch referendums on the European Constitution, shows their waning faith in liberal democracy. A backlash from Europeans who believe they have the right to speak their minds and have their votes respected strikes me as inevitable.

I think he is correct. What Judt thinks is nonsense and rather illiberal at that.


Moreover, Judt's thesis, as it relates to the Israelis - and being, in fact, grossly unfair to them - ignores the meaning of Palestinian Arab nationalism. He has no way to reconcile that notion with his thesis because, in fact, Palestinian Arabs appear to have no great interest in a state which grants equal rights to Jews. So, they have in mind the project he despise about Israel. And, with a majority, Palestinian Arabs would protect the rights of Palestinian Arabs of Muslim belief and no one else. And, by not protect, that means really not protect any rights.

Anyway, his article - the one I quote - is as full of misleading accusations as any I have read. And, his thesis is nutty.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Peter,

This is Judt:

The problem with Israel, in short, is not—as is sometimes suggested—that it is a European "enclave" in the Arab world; but rather that it arrived too late. It has imported a characteristically late-nineteenth-century separatist project into a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers, and international law. The very idea of a "Jewish state"—a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded— is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism.

I guess he has never hear of Slovakia. And he has never hear of Palestinian nationalism. Evidently, it is only Israeli nationalism which is passé.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Peter,

This is Judt's article in issue.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/16671

He is off his bean.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Peter,

Not to be too critical of you but Judt opposes Israel's continued existence. He wrote an article in the New York Review of Books to that effect. He proposes a single state - which would mean an Arab dominated stated -. And, given the current situation, that would mean a HAMAS dominated state. Yet, he is your source of objective reporting? Are you for real?

The NYT allowed a person who hates Israel to post an article. Judt, who has interesting stuff, allegedly, to say about Europe, is opposed to the concept of the nation state. It is something he claims to be passé.

If he is your idea of an objective source of information about Israel, you are smoking something.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Peter,

Now your cooking. Show me where I am in error, rather than showing me worthless accusations.


N. Friedman - 5/14/2006

Don,

The allegation in the M & W paper is:

"which Israel reportedly passed onto the Soviet Union to gain more exit visas for Soviet Jewry."

This sentence has two parts. The first part, that Israel passed on material to the USSR is, first, subject to serious doubt in Hersh's article. He say rather clearly that there were Soviet spies who had penetrated the Israelis. Which is to say, it is not even established that Israel passed on secrets.

According to Hersh: "Nevertheless, he said, it was understood that the Soviet intelligence services had long since penetrated Israel. (One important Soviet spy, Shabtai Kalmanovitch, whose job at one point was to ease the resettlement of Russian emigrants in Israel, was arrested in 1987.) It was reasonably assumed in the aftermath of Pollard, the admiral added, that Soviet spies inside Israel had been used to funnel some of the Pollard material to Moscow."

The next part of the statement - that the matter had to do with exit visas - is an accusation by an unamed source who does not claim that such occurred but only that there were suspicions or reason to believe that such occurred.

"A number of officials strongly suspect that the Israelis repackaged much of Pollard's material and provided it to the Soviet Union in exchange for continued Soviet permission for Jews to emigrate to Israel. Other officials go further, and say there was reason to believe that secret information was exchanged for Jews working in highly sensitive positions in the Soviet Union."

That, by itself, is sufficient to refute your allegation because, in fact, because what you claim was reported was not reported. What was reported was a suspicion or belief. And that is a different thing, especially in an article which also notes that it is unclear that there was even anything given to the USSR by Israel.

Now, regarding the allegation, Hersh later stated, when he was challenged regarding his accusations that his sources had "stressed the fact that they had no hard evidence — no 'smoking gun' in the form of a document from an Israeli or a Soviet archive — to demonstrate the link between Pollard, Israel and the Soviet Union..." (quoted by Jason Maoz, in an article about Hersh, published on January 22, 1999).

So, we do not have a report. We have unsubstantiated accusations which were never expressed in the manner of a report but only as accusations. And, evidently, there was never anything behind the accusations of substance. So, it is all innuendo. Of course, that is what the M & W article does throughout.

Which is to say, what Hersh says is not even supported by Hersh.

By my book, Morris is correct. We are dealing with what appears to be a lie.


Don Williams - 5/14/2006

You say:
"Don,

The word in issue is Conspiracy, not conspire. You, evidently, do not understand the difference."
-------
Again, Websters New Collegiate Dictionary

"conspiracy n. 1. The act of conspiring together "

-----------
I don't know the secret handshake , but if you have some deep Talmudic insight , please share it with me.
Soon, if you could. At present, I'm quivering and turning red in the face, about to collapse into peals of helpless laughter.


Don Williams - 5/13/2006

Explain.
Where and when was Seymour Hersh's article refuted?


N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Don,

To address your point more directly, you write: 2) There is no question that Pollard passed on classified material
to Israel.

It is also TRUE --M&W did NOT lie -- that there have been reports
that Israel passed the Pollard material on to the Soviet Union.


The existence of reports is different from the reports being true. And the reports, so far as anyone knows, are not true.

A lie is something that someone knows is not true. And anyone who examines the record knows that the "reports" you quote are not true. So, Morris is correct and you are incorrect.



N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Don,

No, Don. I thought your post ridiculous. The thrust of what Morris says is that M & W have grossly distorted the historical record. Now, you distort what Morris says. Fine. But, your point about the lie is nonsense. Morris is correct.


N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Peter,

No, we question the premise that policy in the Middle East is dictated by friends of Israel. That is such a gross distortion as to suggest dishonesty beyond imagination.

Somehow, the authors M & W, have never heard of the Saudis. Somehow, M & W have never considered that oil interests play a signficant role in shaping Middle East policy.

Now, the M & W article is a crude, deceptive piece, which uses innuendo, not fact, for its position. And the main mistake made is to suggest that the friends of Israel control US policy or control anything. They are merely one group among any.

Yes, the friends of Israel have influence. But, that influence is not decisive.

Do you deny the influence of the Saudis over US policy? Do you deny that such influences have, when the two interests have conflicted, often been more decisive? Or, do you really think that the Israelis would have ended their crackdown back in the Spring of 2002 - which ended in time for the arrival of Colin Powell - were it not for influences other than Israel. Or, do you really think Sharon wanted to stop the crackdown half-way into the operation, as he ended up doing?

In other words, the M & W theory is a crackpot theory. And, since they employ classic Antisemitic themes - that Jews control things, when, in fact, they, by any objective standard, do not -, they deserve criticism.


Don Williams - 5/13/2006

My understanding --which admittedly is not deep -- is that Israel issues
citizenship to Jews "in the Nazi sense" --i.e., based upon the Nazi Nuremberg Law defining who is a Jew.
See http://www.knesset.gov.il/laws/special/eng/return.htm . By that measure, Caspar Weinberger qualified for Israeli citizenship.

But your post is a red herring.
Note your mind's behavior -- you completely ignore the Facts I provided in my post which refuted your increasingly dead horse
--i.e., the Benny Morris article, the one article you have presented from the "thousands" you claimed are out there.

You then seize upon a very minor thread in my post --my reference to Caspar Weinberger as being Jewish. My reference to Caspar Weinberger was complimentary not derogatory and if I was partially in error re him being Jewish, it is irrelevant to my argument.

Yet you seem to hope that if you can grab a stray random thread from the blanket of my argument, proclaim loudly that the thread is a rope, and yank strongly then the blanket as a whole will unravel.


N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Don,

In your blood sense, Weinberger had "Jewish" blood - i.e. the Nazi sense -.

He, however, was not Jewish, either under Jewish law or by his own reckoning. In fact, he followed his mother's faith. That is, he was an Episcopalian.

Of course, to your way of thinking, that still makes him a Jew. Admit as much, Don. That will help us understand your position a bit better.


N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Don,

I am not going to debate nonsense. Suffice it to say that you see Jews everywhere.

Some of the Jews you see are not Jewish. In fact, Caspar Weinberger was not Jewish.

Grow up.


N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Don,

The word in issue is Conspiracy, not conspire. You, evidently, do not understand the difference.


Don Williams - 5/13/2006

Horseshit again, Mr Friedman

1) I assume that when you say "He[Morris] refers to the use of a lie",
you are referring to the following statement by Benny Morris:
---------
'On page 6, Mearsheimer and Walt assert that Jonathan Pollard, a
Jewish-American naval intelligence analyst in the 1980s, provided
Israel with classified American material, "which Israel reportedly
passed onto the Soviet Union to gain more exit visas for Soviet
Jewry." To the best of my knowledge, this is a lie.'
----------
2) There is no question that Pollard passed on classified material
to Israel.

It is also TRUE --M&W did NOT lie -- that there have been reports
that Israel passed the Pollard material on to the Soviet Union.


3) As Peter noted, Benny's use of the phrase "To the best of my
knowledge" is hilarious handwaving that one would deride in a
college freshman paper. It is equivalent to saying " I'm too lazy to look into the matter, am therefore too ignorant to voice an opinion, but I want to shoot my mouth off anyway."

4) If Benny had bothered to Google a few minutes, he would have seen the
reports to which M&W were referring.

a) In an article for the New Yorker titled "The Traitor: The Case
Against Jonathan Pollard"
(January 18, 1999, pp. 26-33), reporter Seymour Hersh stated:

"In the course of my own interviews for this account, the officials
who knew the most about Jonathan Pollard made it clear that they were
talking because they no longer had confidence that President Clinton
would do what they believed was the right thing -- keep Pollard
locked up ...Many officials said they were convinced that
information Pollard sold to the Israelis had ultimately wound up
in the hands of the Soviet Union."
Ref: http://cryptome.sabotage.org/traitor.htm

Friedman might think about why my fellow countryman -- a nice Jewish
boy named Caspar Weinberger --wrote a damage assessment report that
convinced a federal judge to ignore the prosecutor's plea bargain
with Pollard in favor of jacking up the jail and burying Pollard
under it. A decision that a nice Jewish girl named Madeleine Albright
reinforced years later when the Israelis tried to twist Clinton's
arm into releasing Pollard to them.

b)Seymour Hersh's statement was widely disseminated in other media
reports and overseas --both due to his article and because of his
interviews on TV. See
http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/news/1999/01/990111-pollard2.htm
and http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,3806750,00.html

c) If you are trying to discredit the thesis of the "The Israel Lobby", you really, REALLY do NOT want to talk about the Pollard affair.

d) It's interesting that Alan Dershowitz -- one of the most emotional attackers of the M&W paper--
tried to defend Pollard by claiming
that Pollard's material never made it to the Soviet Union. (see bottom of globalsecurity link above.)

A bizarre statement, given that it does not have Morris's handy qualifier ("To the best of my knowledge").
Obviously, not even the President of the USA nor the PM of Israel could be totally sure of this --much less Alan. Intelligence officials with high level security clearances and expertise not possessed by Alan told Hersh they thought the Soviet Union had obtained the information.

So the question is-- does Alan deliberately lie to others or does he unconsciously lie to himself? Is that how he is able to argue for extreme deference to the civil rights of OJ Simpson -- and then turn around and argue that the US government should be able to torture people?


N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Don,

You have noted only one part of what I said. In any event, Morris was referring specifically to M & W article as a conspiracy argument. Otherwise, why mention it in the article?


Don Williams - 5/13/2006

Benny Morris's allegation of a M&W "conspiracy theory" is (a) so dammn vague that even you can't define what Morris is saying --or rather, can define it in 3 different ways depending upon which is most advantageous at the moment -- or (b) obviously wrong.

Peter, check out Friedman's hilarious parsing a few lines up --starting below my post "why play word games..."


Don Williams - 5/13/2006

1) The very idea of conspiracy is SECRET manuevering.

From Websters New Collegiate Dictionary:

conspire v: 1a to join in a SECRET agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end

2) Mearsheimer and Walt explicitly stated in their article that the Israel Lobby is not a conspiracy, that it operates openly as a Lobby and does so legally. They do not allege that the Lobby acts illegally, but that what it does is wrong --from the viewpoint of what's best for America's national interest.

3) There is a much less common use of conspire -- i.e. , "to act in harmony" as in "circumstances conspired to defeat his efforts"

But that meaning is not used in the context in which we are speaking -- human political groups.

It was not the context in which you and Morris were using it either -- because then your statement would be absurd:

"M & W's thesis uses an Antisemitic [people are openly working together] theme...The use of such a theme - a big fat lie as it is - is loathsome behavior."

Activists in AIPAC, FDD etc have never denied that they operate together on behalf of Israel -- they go out of their way to make damm sure Congress understands that very point.


Don Williams - 5/13/2006

If you go to the front page of HNN and look at the far left, you will see "HNN Articles" under the list of "Departments". Click on that, scroll down to Klinghoffer article
"Was recognition of Israel..." then scroll down to bottom and click to get here as usual.


N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Peter,

Again. Morris' accusation goes beyond omissions. He refers to misuse of materials. He refers to the use of a lie. And he refers to a conspiracy theory although he leaves it to others to address.

So, in this case, you are mistaken.


N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Don,

You do not know the meaning of the word conspiracy. You claim: 1) Morris did not explicitly say that M&W claimed the Israel Lobby was a conspiracy. For very good reason.
M&W had noted that the Israel Lobby is quite open about exerting power on Israel's behalf.



The dictionary says something quite different:

con·spir·a·cy Audio pronunciation of "conspiracy" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kn-spîr-s)
n. pl. con·spir·a·cies

1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.
2. A group of conspirators.
3. Law. An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas.


A conspiracy is not less a conspiracy because it is out in the open.

In fact, a conspiracy was alleged by M & W. M & W's thesis uses an Antisemitic conspiracy theme in order to gain publicity for their policy preferences. The use of such a theme - a big fat lie as it is - is loathsome behavior.


N. Friedman - 5/13/2006

Peter,

Do you know how to make a comment that is not ad hominem? Such arguments are not valid.

Why not address the substance of those who think that the M & W article is dishonest trash which uses Antisemitic themes to attact attention. And why not address the rather substantial errors in the M & W article? And why not address the rather impossible theory addressed by the M & W article? And why not address the serious criticism leveled against the M & W article?

Then, there could be a debate, not another set of gamemenship where you, as you did above, misused a Morris quotes to have it say something Morris did not say. And, in fact, Morris did claim that the M & W article alleges a conspiracy, something which Morris believes to be too idiotic to be worthy of his time.

So, can we get real or will you continue playing the gamesmenship routine?


Don Williams - 5/12/2006

the dwarf is the Israel lobby. With a BIG hammer.


Don Williams - 5/12/2006

1) Morris did not explicitly say that M&W claimed the Israel Lobby was a conspiracy. For very good reason.
M&W had noted that the Israel Lobby is quite open about exerting power on Israel's behalf.

2) A conspiracy is hidden. There's nothing hidden about blowing Howard Dean's Presidental campaign out the water by spending $200,000 to fund anonymous, vicious , misleading TV attack ads in the Iowa primary. The only thing hidden at the time was who was behind it -- S Daniel Abraham, a billionaire advocate for Israel. That didn't come out until 3 months later when the FEC reports had to be filed. Everyone knows that the start of the primaries are when candidates are most vulnerable.

3) Howard Dean meant a lot to a lot of US citizens. So why was he destroyed simply for saying that the USA should be evenhanded in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

And why should real Americans not have deep , bitter, undying hatred for those who did it because of their loyalty to a country on the other side of the world?

4) I have deep respect for Morris --it takes much courage to speak inconvenient truths about one's country and government. But if Morris thinks the Israel Lobby does not greatly influence US Middle Eastern policy -- and COngress -- he is full of shit. The Israel Lobby is not the only special interest, as I've acknowledged. But time after time it has been rated the most powerful political lobby in Washington -- without any real opposition from a countervailing power.

When two Sumo wrestlers are engaged in a close struggle, a dwaft can easily come over and hit one of them on the kneecap with a hammer. Which means both Sumo wrestlers pay attention when the dwarf makes a suggestion.

5) Actually, Morris's statement is a vague , unclear comment which lets him avoid addressing most of the real substance of M&W's paper.


Peter Kovachev - 5/12/2006

...and they sound as sincere and credible as you!


Don Williams - 5/12/2006

Mr Friedman says that the wide dissemination of Mearsheimer and Walt's article shows there's no Israel Lobby.

I don't understand what he's talking about. I would estimate that 95% of US voters have not heard of the M&W article on the malign effects of the Israel Lobby.

For example, I searched the archives of the five TV news networks for keywords "Mearsheimer" and also for "Israel Lobby". The results:

a) abcnews.com: 0 and 0 hits

b) foxnews.com: 0 on "Mearsheimer" /
two hits on "Israel Lobby":
1) http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,188689,00.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,189779,00.html

(Very Brief mention of M&W's
article in Brit Humes's Political Grapevine, no mention
of where article was published so readers could read it for themselves
. Certainly no mention of Walt and Mearsheimer's specific points.
I can't tell if this brief blurb ever made its way to the TV broadcast)

c) nbc.com: 0 and 0

d) cbsnews.com: 0 and 0

e) cnn.com: Only 1 hit -- a link to a column by Molly Ivins

-- See http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/04/26/ivins.israelilobby/index.html

It's not clear if Molly's discussion was televised.

An excerpt from Molly's column:
"One of the consistent deformities in American policy debate has been challenged by a couple of professors, and the reaction proves their point so neatly it's almost funny.
"

Another excerpt:
"In the United States, we do not have full-throated, full-throttle debate about Israel. In Israel, they have it as matter of course, but the truth is that the accusation of anti-Semitism is far too often raised in this country against anyone who criticizes the government of Israel.

Being pro-Israel is no defense, as I long ago learned to my cost. Now I've gotten used to it. Jews who criticize Israel are charmingly labeled "self-hating Jews." As I have often pointed out, that must mean there are a lot of self-hating Israelis, because those folks raise hell over their own government's policies all the time."









N. Friedman - 5/12/2006

</b>


N. Friedman - 5/12/2006

Peter,

Regarding your comment time for 8th grade remedial reading class (#89165) at http://hnn.us/comments/89165.html :

So that the world, not just you, have no doubt that you are wrong, I compare your phony version of the quote with the actual quote:

You wrote: "the pro-Israel lobby is not the conspiratorial tail that wags the American dog"

The actual Morris wrote reads: "I will leave it to others to show what should be perfectly obvious: that the pro-Israel lobby is not the conspiratorial tail that wags the American dog."

Note that you omit the highlighted portion of the Morris sentence. That omitted portion of the sentence explains the rest of the sentence. Specifically, you leave out the words I will leave it to others to show what should be perfectly obvious:. In other words, Morris has chosen not to address the conspiracy theory asserted by M & W. Instead, he "will leave it to others to show what should be perfectly obvious."

Why would such obvious point need to be shown, Mr Peter Clarke, too brilliant for words, if such were not something asserted in the M & W Article?

To note: You are guilty of exactly the type of misuse of quotes which Morris accuses M & W of using. It is just as dishonest when you do that as when they do that.

Want to try it again? This is the millionth time you have tried to dodge my points by making phony assertions.


N. Friedman - 5/12/2006

Peter,

And so that the world, not just you, have no doubt that you are wrong, I compare your phony version of the quote with the actual quote:

You wrote: "the pro-Israel lobby is not the conspiratorial tail that wags the American dog"

The actual Morris wrote: "I will leave it to others to show what should be perfectly obvious: that the pro-Israel lobby is not the conspiratorial tail that wags the American dog."

Note that you leave out the part of the highlighted portion of the Morris sentence. That is the part of the sentence which explains the rest of the sentence. Specifically, you leave out the words I will leave it to others to show what should be perfectly obvious:. In other words, Morris has chosen not to address the conspiracy theory asserted by M & W. Instead, he "will leave it to others to show what should be perfectly obvious."

Why would such obvious point need to be shown, Mr Peter Clarke, too brilliant for words, if such were not something asserted in the M & W Article?

To note: You are guilty of exactly the type of misuse of quotes which Morris accuses M & W of using. It is just as dishonest when you do that as when they do that.

Want to try it again? This is the millionth time you have tried to dodge my points by making phony assertions.


Don Williams - 5/12/2006



If you look at FDD's Board of Advisors, you see that Another
interesting bedfellow with the Republican NeoCons at FDD is
Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel. Anyone who has followed
Mr Engel's career knows that Israel has no more faithful
..er ..friend.

Regarding Mearsheimer and Walt's article, Eliot is quoted as saying
that it is "the same old anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist drivel."
and that ","Given what happened in the Holocaust,
it's shameful that people would write reports like this."


N. Friedman - 5/12/2006

Peter,

You still have not read the comment correctly. In fact, it states what I say it states. In fact, you are taking part of the statement.

Grow up and learn to read.


Don Williams - 5/12/2006

There's rather interesting pro-Israel propaganda group in the USA called "Foundation for the Defense of Democracies".
(I first noticed this organization because of the well known rule that the more benign the name of a political entity, the more nefarious its purpose. See,e.g., "Patriot Act".)

FDD was set up with funding from billionaire (and Jewish World Congress president) Edgar S. Bronfman Sr.

FDD's first vice-President, Nir Boms, had previously been an academic liaison for the Israeli Embassy in Washington and served in the Israeli Defense Forces.

For more on FDD, see http://www.amconmag.com/11_17_03/article1.html . For some reason, I don't think Daniel Pipes' Campus Watch
--in it's pursuit of "academic freedom" -- will ever criticize the professors funded by FDD.

I also think that a short look at the "material" published by FDD will show it's nature -- see it's web site at http://www.defenddemocracy.org/

What's REALLY interesting about FDD is its Board of Directors and Board of Advisors.

Here you see the usual list of suspects -- NeoCons
Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol,
Richard Perle,etc.

Plus shameless whores like Zell Miller.

But you also see some other interesting names. Like Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer.

Senator Schumer, you may recall, strongly pushed the gun control jihad in the early 1990s that drove a large chunk of the blue-collar, union base away from the Democratic Party. Prior to Schumer's Jihad, the NRA had split its funding roughly equally between Republicans and Democrats -- now over 90% of its funding goes to Republicans.

The interesting thing about Senator Schumer is that he did more to destroy the Democratic Party than any
Republican. Not only NRA money left the Democrats. Union Leaders got a lot of flack about funding Democratic candidates as a result of Schumer's jihad. Bill Clinton has attributed Democrats loss of the Congress to Schumer's push for gun control --which in turn led to the loss of the White House.

All of which, of course, made the Democratic Party heavily dependent upon funding the billionaire supports of Israel. All of which explains why John Kerry choked and gagged in the 2004 campaign whenever he tried to criticize Bush's invasion of Iraq. It was almost as if someone was pulling a choke collar on a dog.


Don Williams - 5/12/2006

That's that the herd can become vicious when it discovers it's been played for a fool.

Anyone notice Bush's 29% approval rating?

Anyone notice Rupert Murdoch now holding fundraisers for Hillary Clinton?


Don Williams - 5/12/2006

M&W make an important point:

Many Jews are not part of the Israel Lobby.

Conversely, many members of the Israel
Lobby are not Jews -- are in fact, Christian evangelicals. See http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/03/60minutes/main524268.shtml

I grew up in the rural South and I know the scumbags who manipulate these people.

It should be noted first that many Christian ministers are sincere men of deep faith. They are humble and they are usually poor --because the money they receive they give to the poor and the sick. They don't just talk about the values of Christ --they try to live them. But such man do not own their own radio and TV programs.

Southern Christianity also has some of the worse con artists you have ever seen. Men who prey upon their congregation. Occasionally they are caught in the act -- anyone remember Jimmy Swaggert?

In my parents' hometown about 10 years ago, one such minister set up a fundamentalist cult and convinced many members of his congregation to make large gifts to his church. Including a new Mercedes for his use.
This in an area stricken with unemployment because of the collapse of the local industry.

My mom tried to warn her neighbors --to no avail. The scam finally fell apart when the "preacher" was arrested for selling pornography videos in an adjacent county.

NEVER trust a preacher who drives a Cadillac with white sidewall tires. If the preacher has a radio or TV program, put your hand on your wallet and run.

Note that Protestant churches, especially in the South, have historically been run at the local level. While that promoted religious freedom, it also gave con artists the opportunity to take over individual churches as a base --because there was not a strong hierarchy of sophisticated leaders with the power to oversee and discipline preachers.

It is no accident that Adolf Hitler built the Nazi party upon the inhabitants of the rural countryside --such people are neglected by urban elites, are easily won over by anyone who will talk with them, and are largely ignorant of what's really going on in Big Business, in the economy,and in government because they have few sources of information.
Yet their vote counts for as much as anyones.

Rural people have many virtues --deep faith and patriotism --but the essence of a con artist is to take advantage of a person's beliefs. See "The Confidence Man" by Herman Melville.

It was also no accident that the Church party of Germany allied with the Nazis and put Hitler in power -- that the Nazis were able to seize control of the Reichstag with the assistance of Church.

Some of Christian evangelical support for Israel has been brought, no doubt. Preachers who like lavish lifestyles funded by the wealthy have never "spoke truth to power" --much less to their congregations. Just look at the corrupt Church of the Middle Ages.

And I have noted the strategic interest America's superrich have in luring billionaire supporters of Israel away from the Democratic Party in order to ensure that the superrich do not have to pay off the $8 Trillion in Reagan/Bush1/Bush2 debt.

But the Neocons have also sucked up to the Christian evangelical leadership big time. See, for example, this New York Times article
regarding how New York sophisticate Bill Kristol has cultivated friendship with Gary Bauer:
http://www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/headlines02/0421-03.htm

An excerpt:
"They became such fast friends that for more than a decade their families have vacationed together at the Delaware shore"

Can anyone imagine spending a vacation with a little creep like Gary Bauer without a strong motive?


N. Friedman - 5/12/2006

Peter,

Try reading the article. This is near the top:

In order to highlight the authors' methodology and to give an accurate picture of their scholarship, I wish to focus on several historical points that they make to sustain their case. (I will leave it to others to show what should be perfectly obvious: that the pro-Israel lobby is not the conspiratorial tail that wags the American dog.)

Capice!!!


Don Williams - 5/12/2006

The latest edition of London Review of Books has Mearsheimer and Walt's replies to their critics. See
http://www.lrb.co.uk/letters.php


N. Friedman - 5/11/2006

Peter,

You clearly did not read Morris or M & W carefully. Morris, like me, thought that M & W alleged a conspiracy. Morris states that explicitly. Morris says that such conspiracy is too idiotic for any serious person to believe.

Morris, in fact, also says that M & W misstate facts to the extent of making false use of sources. He thinks that his work has been abused, with quotes and materials lifted to say things his work does not say. Such is a fair criticism by him because that is exactly what M & W do. My suggestion, go back and read Morris' article and note where he says that the conspiracy theory in the article is too stupid to require a serious response.

People of high caliber who play games with quotes in a major paper, as M & W are alleged by Morris to have done, do not care about the facts they abuse. They want to advance their agenda - which is to be expected from realists policy makers -. And, as I said, their agenda is the realist school, by which the Israeli lobby should not on their theory, even if the lobby wanted to, be able to affect US policy in any dramatic way. So, the very theory they advance is stupid, even if it were not a conspiracy theory. Their assertions do not fit their model for analysis.

I am not a big Morris fan. I merely note that the case that Israel mistreated Palestinians in 1948 does not stand apart from his work. This is because the work of other writers who have taken Morris' theory have not withstood scrutiny.

Based on what you have written, you did not read M & W. The entire point of the article is that there is a conpiratorial force called the Israeli lobby.

As for your other points, they are all trite and unimportant. The word aid refers to assistance. That is what the US does for Germany. And, note: when the US began to speak about removing troops from Germany, objection was raised that such would harm the German economy. Such objection, not surprisingly, came out of Germany which, for that reason, opposed the removal of our troops.

Which is to say, if you do not think that the US provides aid to Germany - in the real sense of the word -, then you have been, as philosophers say, seduced by grammer (i.e. the structure of language and its words). The US government can define aid one way but aid, however the government defines it, is what the US gives, rather massively, to Germany. What you are saying, with your NATO talk, is that such is a desirable policy. That is fine but to deny that it is aid is to stop thinking.

And, I might add, much of "aid" to Israel is disguised aid to the US military arms industry. Much of the aid, in addition, is in the form of loan guarantees. Perhaps, if we use a narrow enough definition, that is not aid either. In any event, yours is phony analysis that is tied to government definitions and newspaper usage.


N. Friedman - 5/11/2006

Peter,

Omar's points do not amount to falling into a trap. He holds the view of 99% of Arabs in the Middle East. It is views which are a trap, for him, for the Israelis, for the surrounding Arab peoples and for the Palestinian Arabs. It makes settlement impossible.

As for M&W, I again urge you to read the Benny Morris article I previously mentioned. http://thekupfers.typepad.com/tothepoint/2006/04/mustread_benny_.html

Among other things, his article will serve as a corrective for some of your less than intelligent accusations, where you trot out some of the same incorrect points that M & W make. Moreover, the case that Israel played a decisive role in why Palestinian Arabs left Israel depends largely on his scholarship. He claims that M & W not only misuse his writing but that they do so in a manner suggesting that they do not care about the historical record.

Now, so far as the M & W thesis, I take their conspiracy theory to be a cover story used to create publicity for their point of view. Which is to say, I suggest that they intentionally trotted out a conspiracy theory as they knew it would draw attention while, had they merely argued their case, it would have been another argument for their realist theory of statecraft.

As evidence, I note that they were clearly conscious that the article would be taken as a conspiracy theory. Such is the reason for using a disclaimer in which they say, notwithstanding the fact that the article asserts the existence of a conspiracy, that they are not asserting a conspiracy. Clearly, they thought the issue would be raised.

Further, the theory, in which the likes of Dershowitz and Perle - people with exactly opposite views on that dispute - are part of the same conspiracy, is too stupid for Harvard and U. Chicago professors to really believe. Which is to say, I think they used the conspiracy theory to advance their realist agenda.

Now, they certainly have received a wide hearing - which itself says that the conspiracy theory is nonsense while the theory that they were merely looking for a hearing and thus employed a traditional Antisemitic theme to accomplish that agenda is plausible -. But, rather interestingly, it does not appear that the public or politicians or anyone else is much impressed by their theory.

Now, according to their theory, international relations is driven by factors between states, while what goes in inside states is not decisive. That theory, which may or may not be a good one, was certainly set back with policy professionals since, on their theory, it is not possible for a lobby to do what they claim the Israeli lobby does. Somehow, I bet that such point has not helped them.

As for Israel's role in US policy, that is obviously a fair question. However, people like M & W do that idea no justice.

Now, one might note that your statement that the US gives more aid to Israel than to others is not really correct - at least if aid is counted not by its label but by the reality of what occurs. The US gives more aid to Iraq and to Germany than to Israel. In fact, the amount of aid to both dwarfs the aid to Israel.

Or, do you not consider it aid for US troops to be stationed in Germany to defend Germany from the USSR? Not even considering the cost to the US Treasury - likely tens times more out of the Treasury per year than all aid to Israel since 1948 -, the money spent by soldiers stationed in Germany is staggering, estimated, I read a few years ago, at more than $10 or more billion per year.

Now, as for protecting Israel in the UN, the real question is why Israel, not, say, Sudan - where 2.5 million people have died since 1983 and 4 to 5 million have been displaced, where there is actual slavery (with the slaves from Sudan being sold in the very countries [e.g. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen] which are most pushy in the UN to have Israel sanctioned) and where food has been used as a weapon to force people change religions, etc., etc. - gets the majority of attention of the UN. Which is to say, the US is standing up against hypocrisy which, in itself, is a good thing. Whether or not Israel deserves criticism and sanction, it certainly does not deserve the amount that comes at it from the UN.

Now, if there is to be a discussion about Israel's benefit and detriments to the US, that's a legitimate question. If the question is about an all powerful lobby preventing W & M from airing their views, M & W deserve to be criticized for doing shoddy work, playing foul, distorting facts and employing traditional Antisemitic themes - whatever motive they really have to do so -.


N. Friedman - 5/11/2006

Don,

There are strains of religion in Israel. But the country - the vast majority of its people - are secular. In this regard, Israelis are likely more secular, on average, than even Europeans. And they are certainly more secular on average than Americans.

Countries you would call secular have all sorts of features which combine the state and religion. This is particularly the case in Europe where many states have officially esblished religions. In Canada, there is a big cross which sits in the legistature for Quebec. That is not an accident or a relic either. Such is a message regarding the manner by which the society is governed.

In Israel, there are definitions needed for who will receive a preference for immigration. The country made its criteria religion based but not on whether the person believes in Judaism - which is not tested -. Such, to me, is a reasonable approach as the goal of the country is to be a place of refuge for Jews and people who choose voluntarily not to be part of the Jewish people are taking the view that they do not need Israel as a place of refuge.

Reform Jews have taken the view that the Orthodox group defines the word Jew too narrowly - meaning, that the Orthodox use their definition for purposes of trying to gain influence in society that they are not entitled to -. That is a reaonable position one could take. Your position robs Israel of its reason for being.

Now, Israel also has a non-preference based immigration policy by which non-Jews are, in fact, admitted. Such policy is not different in scope or otherwise than the policy in most Western countries. I sort of doubt, however, that too many people, other than from very poor countries, that are not Jews would want to move to a country stuck in a protracted civil war. Were that not the case, I suspect, since Israel is rather prosperous, that there would be more immigration of both Jews and non-Jews to the country.

20% of Israel's citizens, by the way, are non-Jewish. That is a rather significant percentage, more than the portions of Europe which are - take France - non-French in France or non-German in Germany. And, in Europe, there is problem even having 5% Muslim population (and where are their representatives and judges, etc.? - mostly nowhere to be found -) and, before that, a 2% Jewish population. Frankly, I see your points as all non-points. They are merely shots out of context that you apply only to Jews.


Peter Kovachev - 5/11/2006

Mr. Baker,

Just so that you know, you are running what is commonly known as a "straw man argument." And a pretty bad one, I might add. You have invented a position on my behalf and then valiantly attacked and vanquished it without any participation or prior knowledge on my part.

The point is that the Arabs within the region called "Palestine" by the British did not see themselves as distinct people, as "Palestinians," but as Arabs hailing from different regions. Since most were recent migrants from what is now Syria, and since Syria had dreams and pretensions (which were eventually spoiled by the French and the British) they wanted to be part of a Greater Syria. The "Palestinian" identity was re-defined and pushed after Egypt's and Jordan's defeat and loss of Judea, Samaria and Gaza after holding on to them for merely 19 years. Even though what became Jordan was also part of what was once designated as Palestine, Arafat knew better than to push that one.

Ultimately, people can define themselves as they wish, but that doesn't mean that the rest of the world has to take that definition as meaningful, particularly when it's based on a shallow propaganda, pan-Islamic notions and racism, as is the case where "Palestinians" are concerned. Even the UN can't agree on definitions (e.g., UNRWA vs. UNHCR) for a "Palestinian," who as things are can be the descendant of any Arab who has lived in the Palestine Mandate for 2 years. A fourth generation Jew living in Judea, Samaria or Gaza, on the other hand, cannot be called "Palestinian." These are arbitrary political designations which are so comical and racist in character, that they deserve no respect.


Don Williams - 5/11/2006

Do "most countries" make decisions on whether to accept someone as a citizen based on the judgement of their Chief Rabbi? I believe some
Reform Jews and Conservatives have argued with the government of Israel over this.

PS What about the Jew I cited who was refused admission to Israel because he converted to Catholicism?

Are you still arguing Israel is a secular state?

Yes I know Israel has a token number of nonJews -- about 1 out of 8 citizens, i believe. But they will be kept as a perpetual minority --with all the burdens of citizenship and little influence in the decisions of government.


N. Friedman - 5/11/2006

England also has a chief rabbi. Most countries with Jews, other than the US, do


Don Williams - 5/11/2006

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Return , scroll down to "Applicability"

The "Chief Rabbinate of Israel" does not sound like a secular office to me.


Don Williams - 5/11/2006

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother_Daniel


N. Friedman - 5/11/2006

Don,

Various different peoples have lived in the land now called Israel. Palestinian Arabs are a group consisting of Arabs, Turks, etc., etc. Large number of them arrived in the 19th Century, refugees from the turmoil in Ottoman Europe. Large numbers arrived in the 20th Century, some due to businesses started by Jews and some, no doubt, due to businesses started by Arabs and some under British tutelage, etc., etc. So, I do not understand your point.

The deciding factor for Palestinian Arabs - the reason they are where they are todya - was their refusal, then, as now, to contemplate the compromise which having multiple groups in a small land entailed.

As a result, large numbers of Arabs lost their homes in an unnecessary war they started and large numbers of Jews - even more than Arabs - lost their homes. That is life. The world has all sorts of groups who were pushed around and lost homes during the 20th Century.

In particular, there were millions of displaced Sudetens - forced into Germany and still, to this day, not able to return to their homes in Poland, etc. 14 million people were displaced and 1 million died in the creation of India and Pakistan. 1 or more million surviving Jews from Europe were displaced. 856,000 Jews from Arab countries were displaced.

All of that is life. Unlike Palestinian Arabs, all of these other groups agreed to be resettled or at least acquiesed in what had happened. Jews, particular, were the most displaced group in the 20th Century, with nearly all of Europe's Jews displaced and basically all Arab Jews displaced. Again, that's life.

As for converts, if Muslims want to become Jews, they would, unless it were a ruse, be permitted to move to Israel. But to be a member of HAMAS is to sign onto a party which is, for practical purposes, the Nazi party. It even has close connections, historically speaking, with the Nazi party. So, it would require a change of heart for such people to move to Israel, whether they want to call themselves Jews or Muslims. People with Nazi like beliefs, whatever their religion, should not be welcomed by the Israelis.


Don Williams - 5/11/2006

If peaceful Palestinians whose ancestors lived in Israel until 1948 -- who have a record of owning property confiscated there --want to return to Israel , can they do so as Muslims? What about if they convert to Orthodox Judaism?

No --lets go further. If the members of Hamas all converted to Orthodox Judaism, would they have the right to become Israelis-- under the right to return?




Don Williams - 5/11/2006

If peaceful Palestinians whose ancestors lived in Israel until 1948 -- who have a record of owning property confiscated there --want to return to Israel , can they do so as Muslims? What about if they convert to Orthodox Judaism?

No --lets go further. If the members of Hamas all converted to Orthodox Judaism, would they have the right to become Israelis-- under the right to return?




Peter Kovachev - 5/10/2006

"Palestine is part of Syria in the sense that ,say, Georgia is part of the Southern states of the USA or the Dordogne is part of France!"

So, you confirm that what you conveniently call "Palestine" for Western consumption, actually belongs to Syria or Greater Syria. Jordan and Egypt might disagree with you on that one. Then, of course, the Jewish homeland in the form of the State of Israel renders these fantasies and apetites irrelevant.

"...my point, however, was: what kind of reception will he, Dr Sayyid, receive from a Pakistani audience if he dares repeat the inanities he so courageously voices in the USA, to the warm applause of the Friedmans and Kobachevs?"

Obviously a nasty reception, probably involving a knife across his neck or a bomb under his car. What on earth is your point? What kind of a reception would have a democratic voice have received in Nazi Germany?

"Did he ever publish that in his homeland ? (If yes, indicate.)"

Probably not, although I'm sure that thanks to the Internet he has been read.

"That is the real test of his importance..."

Why? Appeasing Islamism is only a test of cowardice. That's why you'll be safe as long as you don't deviate from your current script.

"...for many expatriates ,unfortunately, sing the tune they believe the audience would like to hear! You sound old enough to know that!"

You make less and less sense, especially when you speak in convoluted riddles.


N. Friedman - 5/10/2006

Don,

I guess your point is not a point. Who cares what it says in the Bible? What does that have to do with things? Israel is a secular country founded by an atheist of Jewish background.


N. Friedman - 5/10/2006

Omar,

I did not refute you because it is pointless to do so. You are not interested in a serious discussion. Hence, you use buzz words like racist, etc., to make what amounts to bigotted objections to a non-Muslim government.


N. Friedman - 5/10/2006

Don,

It is difficult to understand what you mean. The founders of Israel were secular people - ben Gurion being an atheist -. They held, by and large, to the view that European society held no future for Jews - not as a religious group but as a people -. Such, you will note, was probably a well taken position, given the attrocities that occurred in Europe.

Israel - its current location - was chosen because it was thought that more Jews could be convinced to return to a place roughly part of the Jewish ancestral home than to, say, the Argentina and, at the time, many Ottoman and, later, Arab leaders were favorably disposed, for their own reasons, to a large influx of Jews such that the project of reconstituting a Jewish nation was deemed most possible in the location ultimately chosen.

As far as the Torah is concerned, I have no idea what you have in mind. Yes, it is true that ancient Israel was further inland. But, it is not true that the land further inland is of lesser innate quality. That is a nonsense argument belied by the fact that the land in which Israel wsa formed was, prior to the influx of Jews, largely a wasteland - as attested to by innumerable visitors including, as you know, Mark Twain -.

As for Benny Morris, he is the original revisionist historian of the Arab Israeli conflict. That means, he was the principle historian who set out to determine Israel's role in the fate of Palestinian Arabs during the 1948 war.

His position, other than writers who just make things up, is about as far as one can go in discussing the history of Palestinian Arabs becoming refugees. Other historians - for example, Ephraim Karsh - question his theory, arguing that most Palestinian Arabs left in order to make way for fighting against Israelis and to avoid being ruled by non-Muslims, among other things. Karsh says that Morris misinterprets internal Israeli documents, confusing, in some instances, the meaning of discussions during a number of meetings.

You will note that it is Benny Morris' work which The Nation magazine material you quote cites. So, is Morris an apologist, as you claim, or a revisionist, as The Nation article you rely upon, claims? Have your choice. either way, your argument has a problem.


In any event, your point that his writing is an apologia is - how shall I say it - bizarre. Morris is not saying things different regarding the main events of the war than he has said all along.

By contrast, I find difficult to believe The Nation article. This is because I find it difficult to imagine that "Realists," such as Walt and Mearsheimer, really ever focussed on Morris' history other than to find scraps of information by which to dislodge American foreign policy from Israel. That is their privilege.

Now, Morris goes pretty far out on the limb for someone you call an apologist. He uses the word "lie" in connection with Walt and Mearsheimer's article. That, to my legal ears, is the stuff of liable - unless, of course, what is said by Morris is true -. I have not hear Walt or Mearsheimer demanding a retraction. Have you?

Now, The Nation publishes all sorts of stuff. Some is interesting. Some is trash. An article that suggests great moral concerns by realists - i.e. people akin to Kissinger - is, to me, a garbage article. You, however, can believe what you like.

Accordingly, saying that Walt and Mearsheimer were moved sounds, to me, rather incredible particular given, as Morris says, W & M get basic facts about the history of the dispute not only wrong but they even use Morris' writings so as to give a false impression and, evidently, in Morris' view, even lie.

Taking The Nation view, for your sake, as serious, I shall note the following to you. Jews might have stayed in Europe in larger numbers. Perhaps such would have been a purer thing to do - although it would have resulted in a lot more of them dying.

Opposition to statehood, you will note, was the view held by most religious Jews, prior to Israel's creation. On the other hand, what those Jews who built Israel did to create Israel was no worse than what any other people in history have done, namely, they acted to survive. In fact, by world standards, they're behavior was rather clean. The comparison might be to what occurred in North America vis a vis the Indians.

I find it bizarre, Don, that you keep noting religion in this. Israel's creators were not religious people. Zionism was not a religious movement. Raising the Torah, a religious book, as if it has anything remotely to do with the matter is, to me, either ignorance or some form of bigotry. I am not sure which. Again, the issue was a secular issue.


Don Williams - 5/10/2006

If I look at maps of ancient Israel/Judah and at God's talk with Abraham in Genesis, it seems to me that the Israelis have it completely backwards: That the Israelis should be living on the barren rocky hillsides of the West Bank and the Palestinians should be living on the rich, fertile coastal plains. Have I missed something?

Maybe Leon Uris can explain it to me.


Don Williams - 5/10/2006

Jesus said that God does not see us as Jews or Arabs --Israelis or Palestinians. He sees us as human beings --each made in HIS image and each equally deserving of life.

That idea didn't go over too well in Jerusalem in 30 AD, did it?

Maybe you would like to tell Omar what the Torah says re Israel and what God has ordained the relations of Jews with foreigners in that land are to be.

After all, wasn't Israel founded based upon the Torah? Wasn't that why people invaded and conquered a land from which they had been absent for 1900 years? Wasn't that -- and not mundane tactical calculations --what was driving the ultimate goals of Israeli terrorist forces in the 1940s?

And if we look at the Torah, doesn't your and Benny Morris's apologias look a little ridiculous?

Of course, you may be like 99% of Americans: your picture of the founding of Israel may be based totallly upon Warner Bros movie "Exodus" which , in turn, was based upon Leon Uris's novel. Does anyone know if Leon Uris is a Muslim, by the way?

All of which is relevent to Mearsheimer and Walt's paper by the way. In the Nation article,
Mearsheimer had this to say:
----------
Mearsheimer was hawkish about Israel until the 1990s, when he began to read Israel's "New Historians," a group of Israeli scholars and journalists (among them Benny Morris, Avi Shlaim and Tom Segev) who showed that Israel's founders had been at times ruthless toward Palestinians. Mearsheimer's former student Michael Desch, a professor at Texas A&M, recalls the epiphany: "For a lot of us, who didn't know a lot about the Israel/Palestine conflict beyond the conventional wisdom and Leon Uris's Exodus, we saw a cold war ally; and the moral issue and the common democracy reinforced a strong pro-Israel bent." Then Desch rode to a conference with two left-wing Jewish academics familiar with the New Historians. "My initial reaction was the same as John's: This is crazy. [They argued that] the Israelis weren't the victims of the '48 war to destroy the country. Ben-Gurion had real doubts about partition. Jordan and Israel talked about dividing up the West Bank together. All those things were heretical. They seemed to be coming from way, way out in left field. Then we started reading [them], and it completely changed the way we looked at these things." Mearsheimer says he had been blinded by Uris's novel. "The New Historians' work was a great revelation to me. Not only do they provide an abundance of evidence to back up their stories about how Israel was really created, but their stories make perfect sense. There is no way that waves of European Jews moving into a land filled with Palestinians are going to create a Jewish state without breaking a lot of Palestinian heads.... It's just not possible."

------------------




Peter Kovachev - 5/10/2006

It seems I somehow missed what you no doubt consider an important post, given the sea of ink you have spilled to further obfuscate matters. In turn, I'll try to be brief.

I'll pass yon your excursus on "understanding" and "agreeing," is it would be better if you were to work that one out yourself.

As for my confounding all Arabs and Muslims, that may be the case if I were that popular of a read, but I suppose you mean "compounding." Perhaps, but only in context of the subjects at hand, in which case such compounding is functionally sound. The rich regional histories and cultural variations on the topic may be fascinating in another context. In the one where we are facing popular religious movements which promote and glorify killers who fly planes into buildings, massacre tourists and strap bombs on their children to kill for the sake of killing, scholarship needs to be confined to the question of how best we can defeat and disable such a movement. As for the definition of "jihad" and the relevance of "dhimitude," those are clearly defined in all Islamist ideologies ... not to mention amply illustrated with videos of gruesome executions usually against a backdrop of pretty caligraphy in Arabic and loud recitations of Koranic verses.

As for my alleged racism, it seems to be so pervasive that after nearly a year of accusing me of it, of spotting an "insidious racist vein in everything I write," you are still unable to come up with one genuine example.

And, as always when your pretense at sophistication and gentility weakens, you come up with jolly bangers. What dogma are you alluding to, what do you interpret as Chosen People, what do you think they took from you and who has been raping and plundering you, a member of the "goyim" category, I suppose.


N. Friedman - 5/10/2006

Don,

The period you cite is the period of Jesus' life. He lived in what was the remnants of ancient Israel/Judea. He, if the Bible is any guide, did not think he was a Palestinian Arab or, in any sense, an Arab. After all, the Arabs had not invaded the area. They did not invade until many, many centuries later.

Now, the same period was one where the Romans had good reason to deny Jewish history. So, perhaps Tacitus had a motive for his view. I have no idea as I do not claim any expertise in Roman history, particularly as it relates to the land of Israel.

On the other hand, I do not make much from your quote. Tacitus seems not to like Jews. I gather you share that view, judging from the animus you show, particular with respect to the Manhattan project - not possible without Jews, you consistently fail to note while you find some Jews to have been spies for the USSR. And now, you think Jews owe something special to Palestinian Arabs because of some religious preaching in Matthew, as if his views have anything to do with today.

It does, after all, come down to religion, doesn't it, Don? Jews, in your theology, are condemned to wander the earth forever.



Don Williams - 5/10/2006

Water sources in the coastal area of Palestine have always been essential for travelers (trade caravans,etc). That's why transportation routes (and invasions) between Egypt and Syria/Iraq/Iran/Turkey have run through there since ancient times. See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/images/maps/rainmap.gif


Don Williams - 5/9/2006

And I'm pretty sure he was not an Islamic terrorist. Although one never really knows, does one?


N. Friedman - 5/9/2006

Don,

A small point but not unimportant. The land Israel is on, at least when Jews resettled the land, was closer to a wasteland than a fertile place. Today it is fertile due to hard effort by Israelis.

Appeals to history. I make the one point that the Arabs were conquerors. That is a fact. They conquered the land that is now Israel and destroyed the culture that was their, largely Christian and Jewish.


Peter Kovachev - 5/9/2006

Yes, indeed, I know the phrase, Mr. Williams. Coming from you it's a compliment .... I don't know if I would be comfortable with myself under your definition of "kulturny." Mind you, I don't actually know Russian, so while we're on the topic perhaps you can tell me if you know what "pyshniy khuy" means.

Regarding Tacitus, no I didn't of course mean that Tacitus surfed. What I meant was that the "sub" category of the antisemite, the "intellectual arm," if I can be excused for bismirching the word "intellectual," excells at sniffing out real or fake quotes from the greats to gild their feeble-mindedness with a veneer of respectability. That's hardly scholarship or even intelligence.

Your meek and pointless lesson on history might come off as deep in your circles, but far more interesting it would be if you stiffened your spine a little and committed yourself to whatever principles you have by telling us just what "lesson" do you think Tacitus teaches about the Jews today. After all, you brought that subject up.


N. Friedman - 5/9/2006

Don,

You still have not answered my question. What do you see in the material you quote?


Don Williams - 5/9/2006

Cornelius Tacitus is hardly "dredging the sewers of the Internet " -- he is one of the most prominent of ancient historians.

His writings are familar to educated people. After all, the American Republic was designed alone the lines to the ancient Roman Republic. By reading of their fate, we Americans ,perchance, obtain a glimpse of our own. Our Founding Fathers tried to design the Constitution based upon the lessons of history. But even the best watch eventually malfunctions.

I gave you a reference to an online copy of Tacitus's writing to save you the trouble of reaching up and finding him on your own bookshelf.


Don Williams - 5/9/2006

If you read the cited chapter of Tacitus's Histories, you see that he indicates that the Jewish claim to Palestine was neither longstanding nor particularly strong even in 70 AD.


Don Williams - 5/9/2006

1) One, Tacitus reminds us the dispute over this land did not arise 60 years ago --but much farther back.
That is because it has always been the crossroads -- a narrow chokepoint on the transportation routes connecting great civilizations. By sea and by land.

Plus Israel is a large chunk of the Fertile Crescent --much of the rest of the Middle East is a desert wasteland. Israel is not just " a small piece of land".

2) The reference to Tacitus was also a gentle suggestion that, if you wish to make peace with Omar, you should probably not make appeals to "history".

I could have made this point even more bluntly by citations to the history in your own holy Torah, but that would have been unhelpful and even more tactless.

3) The reference to Tacitus also points out that God once placed the Jews in the position of today's Palestinians -- and can return them to that position if he decides their
pride and indifference to the Palestinians' plight requires a lesson.

A nice Jewish boy in the reign of Tiberius Caesar made that point quite clear:
-----------
"40: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44: Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45: Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. "

--Matthew, Chap 25


Peter Kovachev - 5/9/2006

Yes, Williams, I second Mr. Friedman's question as well, so if you are planning on wiggling out again, you'll have two to nag you.

Incidentaly, here's a question. There're generally two kinds of antisemites in the world. I half-jokingly call them "doms" and "subs."

The "doms" are so filled with hate or disabled by stupidity that they are actually proud of being antisemites. They bluster and snarl and some are outright scary mothers. The "subs" make coy inuendos, act like two-bit lawyers and pretend to scholarship by dredging the sewers of the Internet for their daily fix of the F & F 's... factoids and fibbles.

So, in the spirit of your not-so-subtle question about Tacitus (about whom you know so much, I'm sure), Mr. Williams, if you were an antisemite ...purely hypothetically, of course... would you describe yourself as the fellow on top or the on the bottom?


N. Friedman - 5/9/2006

Don,

But other critics are rather more prominent than either Walt or Mearsheimer. In any event, the issue is the quality of the critique, not the status of the person making the criticism.

Now, the problem with the M&W article is that it is not good analysis and it is not based on a reasonable interpretation of Israel's history or of those in the US who support Israel. See e.g. http://thekupfers.typepad.com/tothepoint/2006/04/mustread_benny_.html Instead, the W&M Article is merely advocacy for those who would support a different policy. Having failed to convince people that their views are correct, they have resorted to an ad hominem attack, claiming that there is an informal conspiracy to prevent speech and which controls US policy. But, frankly, that conspiracy does not exist.

I below reiterate some of my views regarding the matter, which you have yet to address.

In particular, the Lobby theory of an Israeli stranglehold on US Middle East policy is belied by the numerous instances where Israel has bent to American interest, and at great cost, economic and political, to Israel.

Moreover, the theory is belied by the fact that those allegedly part of the conspiracy hold seemingly opposite views about Israel. In fact, some of those in the Lobby hold basically the same view about Israel held by Walt and Mearsheimer, namely, that Israel should cede land to allow the formation of a Palestinian Arab state. [Note: does that makes Walt and Mearsheimer part of the conspiracy, since they claim to support Israel's right to exist?] And then there is the issue that Walt and Mearsheimer have not, as they allege, been prevented from airing their views. Which is to say, there is no stranglehold on speech about Israel in the US. Anyone reading the papers knows that there is substantial discussion about Israel and some of it not all that supportive. So, frankly, the basic allegation in the M&W article is essentially advocacy, not substantive.

But, note, you took a cheap shot at me to which I made a substantive reply - no response from you. Go back and read what I wrote: http://hnn.us/comments/88522.html


N. Friedman - 5/9/2006

Don,

I think your noted historian's words are rather irrelevant to the discussion.

More important, since you raise the words, what do you think of them?


N. Friedman - 5/9/2006

Omar,

Morris' article is easier to read here:

http://thekupfers.typepad.com/tothepoint/2006/04/mustread_benny_.html


Don Williams - 5/9/2006

Re Mr Friedman's comment that "history is rather cunning", what does Mr Friedman think of the words of the great Roman Historian Cornelius Tacitus, written almost 2000 years ago? I'm thinking of Book V of Tacitus's "Histories". A short excerpt:
---------------
"This augmented the wealth of the Jews, as also did the fact, that among themselves they are inflexibly honest and ever ready to shew compassion, though they regard the rest of mankind with all the hatred of enemies.

They sit apart at meals, they sleep apart, and though, as a nation, they are singularly prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; among themselves nothing is unlawful. Circumcision was adopted by them as a mark of difference from other men.

Those who come over to their religion adopt the practice, and have this lesson first instilled into them, to despise all gods, to disown their country, and set at nought parents, children, and brethren. Still they provide for the increase of their numbers. It is a crime among them to kill any newly-born infant.

They hold that the souls of all who perish in battle or by the hands of the executioner are immortal. Hence a passion for propagating their race and a contempt for death..."

Ref: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/tacitus/TacitusHistory05.html
----------
The last two sentences sound almost as if Tacitus was describing present day Palestinians, no?


N. Friedman - 5/9/2006

Omar,

I see that I have again captured your imagination. :)

I note Hegel's view that history is rather cunning. When historians look back on the current period, maybe 300 years in the future, Israel will be remembered as the country which played the role of the trickster to Islamic society. And, for that, the Muslim regions will eventually realize their foolishness.

Now, you remind me of Israel's history. In that history is not always as simple as you might surmise and since information regarding the demise of Palestinian Arabs is largely the work of an Israeli historian, Benny Morris, it is worth considering his views. I thus suggest you read this article, which addresses your misconceptions as well as M&W's.

http://jeffweintraub.blogspot.com/2006/04/mearsheimer-walt-and-now-for-some.html

Note: the dispute is a dispute involving people with differences, not evil, racist invaders, as you would have it. In simple terms, your theory is simply self-serving, uncritical pablum.


Peter Kovachev - 5/9/2006


So, nothing, Mr. Clarke. Your observations are hardly relevant to the jolly discussion Mr. Baker and I have managed to have without the benefit of your ponderous logic. Perhaps another time.

If I've forgot to mention it, thank you for demonstrating the obvious, that conspiracy theories about Jews are just as popular with the lunatic Left as with the far Right. It must have something to do with the common oprigins. You folks should have a dance hall meeting together; I'd like to see a fine choreography of goose-stepping sieg-heils and clenched fists to the sounds of the International in the background. Oh wait a minute...that just described your average "anti-Zionist" rally!


Peter Kovachev - 5/9/2006

Mr. Baker,

I see that when you are bereft of words you quickly turn to pedantry and churlish accusations.

Perhaps your argument hinges on your own identity confusion which stems from your "palestinianism." Jordan, along with Lebanon and the Land of Israel were imagined to belong to Greater Syria. Funnily the only ones who called themselves "Palestinians" for a while were the Jews ... something that any elderly Israeli who managed to survive the riots, massacres and a few attempted wars of annihilation can show on his old British papers.

Ok, so Professor Sayyid is a traitor, as you say. I'm sure he's heard worse from your ilk. Nevertheless, you can't show that he's a "hired gun," nor that the has lied in any of his claims simply because you are making up lies out of anger. Many Muslims who have visited Israel have described it in similar terms and many Muslims thoroughly dislike "Palestinians" and laugh behind their backs. There are over a hundred thousand West Bank Arabs who are pleading for Israeli residence and thousands conspire to get married to Israeli Arabs for the same reason. Not one ... even the Hamas "ministers" in Jerusalem ... have tried to abandon their Israeli status even in protest. Are they all traitors too?

I had to laugh my head off at your "Dare he repeat that in his own native land; Pakistan I presume?" Is this the substance of your argument, a moral statement, a threat? Funny how that thin imitation of Western sophistication and progressive liberalism tends to slip from time to time to reveal the raging jihadist behind.


Don Williams - 5/9/2006

The Nation cited in passing Daniel Drezner's criticism of Mearsheimer and Walt's paper. It might help to know that Mearsheimer is a Professor of Political Science at Univ of Chicage and Daniel Drezner was an Assistant? Professor of Political Science at Chicago until he was recently denied tenure there.


Don Williams - 5/9/2006

See http://hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=45547

It is also in the New York Times archives, but you will need to spend $3 if you want to see more than the opening paragraph.


Don Williams - 5/9/2006

See http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060515/weiss

I think the economic attacks on people who raise the issue of the Israel Lobby is one of the ways in which the Israel Lobby is a threat to America.

People who honestly debate what is in America's interest should not be stabbed in the back in a vengeful fashion.

To get a picture of the deceitful nature of the Israel Lobby, look at how public opinion was manipulated after 911. As I've noted --with citations -- Bin Laden stated in several interviews with US TV networks in 1998 that the US Government's one-sided support for Israel was one of three reasons for the Muslim world to declare jihad. Bin Laden reiterated that argument after the Sept 11 attacks --in the Nov 2001 DAWN article to which I linked.

Given the 2000+ deaths we suffered on 911, given the $1 Trillion loss, and given that we were about to embark on a bitter war with Al Qaeda, the most basic concern for America's security and for the lives of her soldiers should have led us to ask: how will tolerance of Likud's aggression hurt us in the war with Al Qaeda?

To find Al Qaeda, we will need warnings and intelligence from informers in the Islamic world -- how can we get that if we support Sharon's vicious and unjust treatment of the Palestinians?
Why should we suffer any more for the Likud?

LOYAL Americans would have asked those questions. REAL Americans would not have misled US citizens -- would not have covered up the truth to present a false and misleading picture to the American people.

Yet look at how the Zionist New York Times misled its readers on Sept 23 2001 in an article "Israel as Flashpoint not Cause":
-------------
"IT probably came as something of a surprise to many Americans
that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on
Sept. 11 were apparently not about Israel and the Palestinians,
at least not directly. That conflict dominates American images of
the Middle East, and the past year has been especially bloody.
Yet President Bush made no mention of the conflict in his speech
Thursday night, and there were no indications that the architects
of the attack had American support for Israel as their primary
motivation."
----------
The last statement, of course, is a lie. A deliberate lie. I KNOW. Shortly after the article came out, I sent several letters to the New York Times pointing out that Bin Laden had repeatedly cited US support for Israel as one of the cause for Jihad.
I included citations to the TV News archives.

The Times ignored my FACTS -- because it was too busy trying to install a LIE in the mind of American voters.



Peter Kovachev - 5/8/2006

"The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement....We will wish the Jews a hearty welcome home....We are working together for a reformed and revised Near East and our two movements complete one another. The Jewish movement is nationalist and not imperialist. And there is room in Syria ["Palestine" was called Syria back then] for us both. Indeed, I think that neither can be a real success without the other."

Emir Faisal al Husseini (King of Greater Syria and King of Jordan), March 3, 1919, written at the Paris Peace Conference). Cited in Samuel Katz, *Battleground-Fact and Fantasy in Palestine,* (NY: Bantam Books, 1977), p. 55.


Peter Kovachev - 5/8/2006

Correction to dead link (due to a bracket): http://www.muslimworldtoday.com


Peter Kovachev - 5/8/2006

"Looking at the development and transformation that the land [of Israel] has gone through because of the Jewish innovative spirit, hard labor and commitment to freedoms for all times to come, I am convinced that it is true that God created this earth but it is also a fact that only an Israel can keep this earth from dying."


By Tashbih Sayyid, Ph.D., "A Muslim in A Jewish Land." The author is editor-in-chief for Muslim World Today (http://www.muslimworldtoday.com/)



N. Friedman - 5/7/2006

Omar,

I reiterate my point. Were the Arabs to have worked with the Zionists, the Middle East could have been closer to a paradise.

Instead, following the Nazi lover, namely, the grand mufti al-Husseini, the Arab side could only see Zionists as invaders. I note that quite a number of Arabs, including Arabs in historic Palestine, wanted to find a compromise. Such people were killed by the Nazi loving groups among the local Arabs. Had that not been the case, things might, perhaps, have worked out different.

You, in my mind, are the victim of propaganda. Such is how you adopt terms like racist to describe people who, by the standards of the Middle East, have brought more equality into the region than exists anywhere else in that region - by a long way -.

And note: Copts are not treated like equals by Egyptian Muslims. Not even close. Maronites are not considered equal by the Shi'a groups in Lebanon. And Lebanon is better than most other Arab region countries. The same for the rest of the Muslim regions. Each country in that region treats non-Muslims like garbage.

The Israelis must also be judged by the fact that they are in a dispute. No group treats those who would kill them with too much equality. By that standard, the Israelis have done pretty well. They allow Arabs to vote which, as we see, is pretty good by Middle East standards. And hate HAMAS as Israelis may - and correctly do -, they have not undone the election results. What Arab country has done as well, allowing a genocidal party to assume power - with the genocidal views directed at the Israeli, not at some third party.


Peter Kovachev - 5/7/2006

Mr. Baker,

I wrote: "Good relations are possible and should only be possible between nations and peoples who hold similar values," to which you appended the comment "by which you mean share the same culture." Then, with the subtlety of a foo-foo in a bathysphere, just in case anyone has missed your cumbersome illogic, you say, "I think this is short sighted, bigoted ,insidiously racist..."

Why assume that value systems and culture are one and the same thing? Yes, the two often go together, but the fact that they are two different words should have been your first clue that hey are not synonymous. Canadians and Japanese, for example, have vastly different cultures, yet share similar political and civic values. In fact, I would readily admit that in terms of civics, the Japanese are far ahead of us Canadians. I have met quite a few Arab Lebanese and Iraqi expatriates whose values and ideals are very similar to those of other Canadians. Their love for freedom and democracy is often more developed than those of the native-born here, who tend to take such things for granted. But neither they, nor most of the world for that matter, have much in common with the majority of the Gaza and West Bank Arabs who, as poll after poll has shown, adore suicidal murderers, celebrate in the streets after gruesome massacres of civilians, and are willing in principle and action to sacrifice their own children to their maniacal hatred. Good relations in this case are not only impossible, but would be outright obscene.

I should also add that where my own country of birth was concerned, good reletions between it and my new country were impossible and inadvisable until the najority there matured enough to bring about changes in values and political life.

Are you beginning to understand?

And, whatever led you to conclude that what I wrote is somehow "insidiously racist"? Do you understand the word "racist," or do you, like other befuddled fanatics out there, throw it around for(ever-diminishing) effect whenever you are unable to comprehend a statement and articulate a response?


N. Friedman - 5/6/2006

Omar,

The Zionists are the best friends that Arabs ever had. Had the Arabs accepted the Zionists with open arms, the Arab regions would, today, be thriving. They might even be the world's dominant force.

It is, frankly, the Arabs who have been foolish in all of this. And, at this point, it is the Jihad ideology which keeps the Arabs in chains.


N. Friedman - 5/6/2006

Peter,

Another good article - not a history article but a social scientist article - by a U Chicago Assistant Prof.

http://jacobtlevy.blogspot.com/2006_04_02_jacobtlevy_archive.html#114437688320082488

From the article

First quoting M&W:

The mere existence of the Lobby suggests that unconditional support for Israel is not in the American national interest. If it was, one would not need an organized special interest to bring it about.

Then the response:

This is, I think, the worst paragraph of political science I've read in many years. The best, most-justified policies don't automatically spring into being at the end of the policy-making process. An all-things-considered judgment that X is the best policy is essentially irrelevant to one's ability to predict whether or not X will be adopted. Political and policy-making actors aren't, indeed couldn't possibly be, such purely disinterested promoters of the public good that they could promote it all the time without any organized support-- even assuming that they all agreed with each other, and with M&W, about what the public good consisted of. They often need organizational and material support from interest groups even to do [what they take to be] the right thing. Free-trading Representatives still know how vulnerable they are to the organized power of protectionist lobbies, and feel safer when the pro-trade lobbies are able to rally effectively and protect them; without that protection, some of them choose keeping their seat over their principles. (And the electoral process selects for those who will make that choice.) From the fact that a policy needed a lobby to support it, one can infer nothing about the policy's justifiability.


N. Friedman - 5/6/2006

Peter,

I might suggest that you read Morris' article. It is rather interesting. It can be found at http://thekupfers.typepad.com/tothepoint/2006/04/mustread_benny_.html


N. Friedman - 5/6/2006

Peter,

I said that such was Chomsky's view. I did not say it was my view.


N. Friedman - 5/5/2006

Don,

First, I was responding to Peter Clarke when I cited Benny Morris.

Second, the comment I made is that the M&W article is not high calibre research. The Benny Morris quote makes that point.

Third,

I do generally respond with facts. In this case, the M%W article is a hatchet job, as Morris, a fairly well known historian, notes, so there are no important facts to respond to.

Fourth,

I shall note this: if the "lobby" were as powerful as suggested by M&W, then how is it that the "lobby" does not always get its way?

You point out that Israel was stopped from selling things to China. Were the lobby all powerful, Israel would always get its way. Such is contrary to what the M&W article posits. And, I might add, the contracts were for huge amounts of money so the cancellation was important, particularly for a small country like Israel. Such cancellation likely had substantial economic impact.

Regarding getting its way, if Israel's lobby were all that powerful, why would Israel have to worry about ceding land? Was not the ceding of land in Gaza to hostile Palestinian Arabs done to protect Israel's position (a) with the world and (b) with the US? I think that such is no doubt the case.

Moreover, if the US lobby were so powerful, the US would support Israel using overwhelming, Fallujah style, responses to the Intifadah in order, thereby, to crush the uprising entirely rather than finding some sort of compromise with the Palestinian Arabs. But, the US did not support such tactics but only the more limited tactics employed. And the US wants Israel to cede land, having made that rather clear on repeated occasions.

Fifth, there is also the problem that the Lobby is said to include people of completely opposite points of view. Hence, Dershowitz, who favors Israel ceding land is included with Perle and Pipes who oppose such policy and believe Israel should cede no land. Or, in simple terms, the lobby is not a united group, as suggested in the article, but a group of people with diverse opinions about Israel, with the one common factor being they support Israel's right to be.

So, as I see the matter, if people who claim Israel should return to the Green line are part of the Lobby, then it means that supporting Israel is a conspiracy. And that, frankly, means that the article is nonsense and a hatchet job.

That suggests that the Lobby consists of people who stand in the way of what M&W propose, namely, taking the Anti-Zionist position of dismantling Israel. Or, in simple terms, the article is ad hominem, not scholarship.

I also note that the scholarship of the article has been challenged. In particular, the article is in the form of a self-fullfilling prophecy. It does not propose that there are other reasons for people in the US to favor Israel. Such, you will note, is Chomsky's argument. He claims that Israel fits the pattern of most of the states which the US supports. It is also the argument of some traditional social scientists who claim that such mistake is fatal to M&W's position.

Sixth,

As I noted, the issue raised is Israel's recognition. You, by contrast, have altered this discussion to discussing the posture of US policy toward Israel.

Now, M&W claim that US policy toward Israel has harmed US policy toward the Arabs. You will note that their paper fails to advance evidence for that contention. In fact, it is an assumed in the article.

But, as the discussion on this website shows, that is not something which can be assumed. Israel's balance sheet has positives and negatives from which people can differ about what is positive and negative and, moreover, about what weight and conclusions to assign the positives and negatives. Given the length of the M&W article, to assume the most contentious point is a fair point of criticism. Such makes the article merely a piece of advocacy, not scholarship.



Don Williams - 5/5/2006

-- so what kind of attacks on Mearsheimer/Walt have you been presenting here?


Don Williams - 5/5/2006

I notice that you put up your Benny Morris quote at 9:14AM this morning.

I assume you did this in a frenzied rush to respond to my criticism --posted at 8:38 AM -- that , when all else fails, you close your eyes, drum your feet in the floor and scream
"the M&W paper has been the subject of literally thousands of article,
the vast, vast majority of which have criticized the article as
not being scholarly. ". Meanwhile, not citing one of those "thousands
of articles" much less directly refuting Mearsheimer and Walt.

Have you , by any chance, read Benny Morris's article? Do you see the errors/shortcomings?


N. Friedman - 5/5/2006

Peter,

You must be kidding. Your understanding of the report is insufficient.

Benny Morris, professor of Middle East history at Ben-Gurion University (in a detailed study of the M&W report): "Like many pro-Arab propagandists at work today, Mearsheimer and Walt often cite my own books, sometimes quoting directly from them, in apparent corroboration of their arguments. Yet their work is a travesty of the history that I have studied and written for the past two decades. Their work is riddled with shoddiness and defiled by mendacity."


N. Friedman - 5/5/2006

Don,

I do not appreciate ad hominem attacks.

I already posted this but you can read it:

Benny Morris, professor of Middle East history at Ben-Gurion University (in a detailed study of the M&W report): "Like many pro-Arab propagandists at work today, Mearsheimer and Walt often cite my own books, sometimes quoting directly from them, in apparent corroboration of their arguments. Yet their work is a travesty of the history that I have studied and written for the past two decades. Their work is riddled with shoddiness and defiled by mendacity."


Don Williams - 5/5/2006

See http://fairuse.100webcustomers.com/fuj/salon5.htm

Juan Cole is a Professor in Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the University of Michigan, although I think he is moving to Yale. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Cole
for his background.


N. Friedman - 5/5/2006

Peter,

Some criticism of the article:

Benny Morris, professor of Middle East history at Ben-Gurion University (in a detailed study of the M&W report): "Like many pro-Arab propagandists at work today, Mearsheimer and Walt often cite my own books, sometimes quoting directly from them, in apparent corroboration of their arguments. Yet their work is a travesty of the history that I have studied and written for the past two decades. Their work is riddled with shoddiness and defiled by mendacity."


Don Williams - 5/5/2006

The motto should really be "all politics is personal".

I think that Timothy McVeigh, for example, blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City not because of Waco, but because McVeigh was one of those tossed out of the Army onto the street
in the defense cutbacks of the 1990s --when Congress cut the ranks of the US Army by 40%. A bit of a disappointment for someone who endured combat in the Gulf War and won a Bronze Star.

Similarly, I think what really motivates Bin Laden is not the acts of Israel but the dictatorship the US has created in Saudi Arabia on behalf of the oil companies. Bin Laden's family had the intelligence to become rich even under that dictatorship but have hit the glass ceiling under which they chaft. They are not of the House of Saud.

They -- and millions of common Saudis-- must live with a dictatorship which takes the only wealth --the only future -- of a desert wasteland and gives it to the American companies in exchange for a cut. The oil royalities do not trickle down to the common citizen -- they trickle down to the whores and croupiers of Monte Carlo.

Of course, this has been going on for decades --the Saudi dictatorship has been supported militarily by the US government both openly and covertly.

Notice how the US press distorts the picture. The complaint is not that the "infidel Army is in the Holy Land". The complaint is that the "infidel Army in the Holy Land is protecting a pack of thieves who are stealing everything not nailed down -- with the aid of fat puppets called the House of Saud."

Of course, the media of the Israeli Lobby will not dwell on that -- as long as the US puppets of Big Oil and Big Defense continue their extreme pandering to Israel. Truly a convenient partnership.

Of course, the most powerful lobby is the "Big Money Lobby" --which will continue to loot the Social Security ?Medicare Trusts of $Trillions for its tax cuts, provided billionaire supporters of Israel can be enticed to abandon the Democratic Party -- or at least abandon any Democratic leaders who halfway believe in the principles of the Democratic Party.


Don Williams - 5/5/2006



1) Time after time, Mr Friedman ignores facts and citations I present.
Time after time, he has to turn away from asking "What is good
for America?".

2) Mr Friedman has indicated on occasion that he is Jewish. I
personally find that hard to believe. The Jews I know are a
joy in debate. I give them one fact -- they give me two.
I palm a card in logic --they laughing point it out. But they
share my belief that only a fool ignores reality. When we
disagree, we disagree on matters on judgment --not on what
the facts are.

By contrast, Mr Friedman's tactics are very simpleminded: (a)
Claim something doesn't exist (b) if you have to acknowledge it exists,
claim it doesn't matter (c) If neither (a) nor (b) works,
close your eyes, drum your feet in the floor and scream
"the M&W paper has been the subject of literally thousands of article,
the vast, vast majority of which have criticized the article as
not being scholarly. ". Meanwhile, not citing one of those "thousands
of articles" much less directly refuting Mearsheimer and Walt.

He must be a disappointment to his mother.

3) Perhaps he can drop his mental blinders if he realizes that I
criticize the aggression of the Likud -- as do many Israelis who have
just thrown the Likud out of government. That while I value Israel
as an ally--and believe the US should defend her, friendship is
a two-way street and it will be easier to deal with our real enemies
if we restrain our own lunatic Neo-Cons and if Israel restrains
the theocratic fantasies of her own right wing.


Mr Friedman should understand that what creates blinding unforgiving
hatred is deceit, contemptous manipulation, and betrayal --
especially when the deaths of thousands of our countrymen are
involved.

I know that we are talking about the acts of a few men -- many of whom are not Jewish and who care nothing for Israel. But the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s showed that the common herd
often does not make those fine distinctions. And plutocrats usually
make scapegoats to hide their crimes.


N. Friedman - 5/5/2006

Peter,

In this case, you only just read the article. Why not read some of the criticism. It is very large and it is very, very critical. The article has been accused of being trash social science by respected social scientists.


N. Friedman - 5/5/2006

Peter,

No. He sounds like a lunatic for giving the time of day to something like M&W.

It is one thing to say that the Israelis have a strong lobby in the US. They do. It is another thing to agree with the nonsense peddled by M&W. That is a garbage claim. A cheap shot.


N. Friedman - 5/5/2006

It sounds like the Mr. Levy is a lunatic.


N. Friedman - 5/5/2006

Peter,

M&W are not historians. They are foreign affairs gurus. My point about Chomsky is that even Israel haters thought the article is trash, which it is.


Don Williams - 5/4/2006

Daniel Levy "was an advisor in the [Israeli] Prime Minister's Office, a member of the official Israeli negotiating team at the Oslo B and Taba talks and the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative"

Mr Levy made a rather scathing assessment of the US Israel Lobby while discussing the Mearsheimer/Walt article in a recent
Haaretz article -- available at

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bush/haaretz.htm

An excerpt:
---------------
"Some talking points for this coming debate can already be suggested:

First, efforts to collapse the Israeli and neoconservative agendas into one have been a terrible mistake - and it is far from obvious which is the tail and which is the dog in this act of wagging. Iraqi turmoil and an Al-Qaida foothold there, growing Iranian regional leverage and the strengthening of Hamas in the PA are just a partial scorecard of the recent policy successes of AIPAC/neocon collaboration.

Second, Israel would do well to distance itself from our so-called "friends" on the Christian evangelical right. When one considers their support for Israel's own extremists, the celebration of our Prime Minister's physical demise as a "punishment from God" and their belief in our eventual conversion - or slaughter - then this is exposed as an alliance of sickening irresponsibility.

Third, Israel must not be party to the bullying tactics used to silence policy debate in the U.S. and the McCarthyite policing of academia by set-ups like Daniel Pipes' Campus Watch. If nothing else, it is deeply un-Jewish. It would in fact serve Israel if the open and critical debate that takes place over here were exported over there.

Fourth, the Lobby even denies Israel a luxury that so many other countries benefit from: of having the excuse of external encouragement to do things that are domestically tricky but nationally necessary (remember Central Eastern European economic and democratic reform to gain EU entry in contrast with Israel's self-destructive settlement policy for continued U.S. aid).

Visible signs of Israel and the Lobby not being on the same page are mounting. For Israel, the Gaza withdrawal and future West Bank evacuations are acts of strategic national importance, for the Lobby an occasion for confusion and shuffling of feet. For Israel, the Hamas PLC election victory throws up complex and difficult challenges; for the Lobby it's a public relations homerun and occasion for simplistic legislative muscle-flexing.

In the words of the Harvard study authors, "the Lobby's influence has been bad for Israel ... has discouraged Israel from seizing opportunities ... that would have saved Israeli lives and shrunk the ranks of Palestinian extremists ... using American power to achieve a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians would help advance the broader goals of fighting extremism and promoting democracy in the Middle East." And please, this is not about appeasement, it's about smart, if difficult, policy choices that also address Israeli needs and security.

In short, if Israel is indeed entering a new era of national sanity and de-occupation, then the role of the Lobby in U.S.-Israel relations will have to be rethought, and either reformed from within or challenged from without. "


Don Williams - 5/4/2006

See http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=697059
----------

The conclusion:
"The professors' article does not deserve condemnation; rather, it should serve as a warning sign. "


Don Williams - 5/4/2006

See "A Lobby, Not a Conspiracy" by Tony Judt at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/19/opinion/19judt.html?ex=1303099200&;en=309d2e34c279f148&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Some excerpts:
-----------
"Does the Israel Lobby affect our foreign policy choices? Of course — that is one of its goals. And it has been rather successful: Israel is the largest recipient of American foreign aid and American responses to Israeli behavior have been overwhelmingly uncritical or supportive.

But does pressure to support Israel distort American decisions? That's a matter of judgment. Prominent Israeli leaders and their American supporters pressed very hard for the invasion of Iraq; but the United States would probably be in Iraq today even if there had been no Israel lobby. Is Israel, in Mearsheimer/Walt's words, "a liability in the war on terror and the broader effort to deal with rogue states?" I think it is; but that too is an issue for legitimate debate.

The essay and the issues it raises for American foreign policy have been prominently dissected and discussed overseas. In America, however, it's been another story: virtual silence in the mainstream media."
-----------
"How are we to explain the fact that it is in Israel itself that the uncomfortable issues raised by Professors Mearsheimer and Walt have been most thoroughly aired? It was an Israeli columnist in the liberal daily Haaretz who described the American foreign policy advisers Richard Perle and Douglas Feith as "walking a fine line between their loyalty to American governments ...and Israeli interests." It was Israel's impeccably conservative Jerusalem Post that described Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, as "devoutly pro-Israel." Are we to accuse Israelis, too, of "anti-Zionism"? "


Frederick Thomas - 5/4/2006


Thanks for an excellent summary. I do regret that such a compelling post will inevitably be trashed by the HNN Zionists, whose basic talking points are a little shaky right now.








N. Friedman - 5/4/2006

Peter,

Coming from you, that is really high praise. Thank you.


Peter Kovachev - 5/4/2006

N,

As this is bound to be totally wasted on Mr. Williams, I thought I should tell you it's one of the best summaries on the topic I've come across.


N. Friedman - 5/4/2006

Peter,

The M&W paper has been the subject of literally thousands of article, the vast, vast majority of which have criticized the article as not being scholarly. Such is even the view of Noam Chomsky, who published an article saying that the theory in M&W's article is far fetched nonsense.


N. Friedman - 5/4/2006

Don,

Your post is pretty far astray from Dr. Klinghoffer's original post. That post concerned why the US recognized Israel. That being said, I note the following:

1. Israel's actual nuclear policy, whatever it is, is largely unknown and there are no reliable data on it; rather only speculation which may or may not be reliable -. It may be a large program or might not be.

Given the size of Israel, it is rather difficult to imagine that the program could be very large unless numerous foreign countries are actively selling nuclear weapons to Israel. Which is to say, I take reports to the contrary as, more than likely, propaganda plants.

2. President Kennedy, whatever he may have done to help Israel - and, for the record, the main suporters of Israel at the time were France and Britain (and in Britain, there is currently a row because some in Britain believe they supplied Israel with the ability to make nuclear weapons) so more than likely anything the US did was to gain some degree of leverage that France and Britain had at the time.

3. If Israel's program is the major motivation for nuclear programs in the Middle East, why is it that the most advanced program in that region, so far as anyone knows, is Iran's program which, apart from the mullahs' hatred for Israel, has no dispute with Israel?. Why not Syria? Why not Iraq? Why not Saudi Arabia? Why not Egypt? Why not Jordan?

Why, moreover, is not Pakistan, which shares a border with Iran, and which has actually threated to use such weapons - against India, not Iran - not a motivating factor of Iran? After all, Iran and Pakistan are rivals - Shi'a vs. Sunni, as it were -, not allies.

4. What makes you think that the motives for countries to obtain the bomb are not primarily internal reasons, namely, to advance such countries' interests over other countries in the region? And, what reason is there to think that Iran's motives are not to become the most powerful country in the Gulf, and hence greater influence than, say, Saudi Arabia?

Note: countries which claim defensive intentions often have and/or also have offensive intentions. In fact, such is a rather normal thing.

5. The USS Liberty incident is ancient history. Presumably the US government was satisfied that the attack was either an accident, was due to negligence or is explained by the fact that a country in a perilous war chose not take any chances on the intentions of a nearby ship engaged potentially in espionage that might be helpful to Israel's enemies. Which is to say, the powers who make decisions seem to be convinced that there is rather less to the incident than you claim.

6. You assert that the reason why Dean's popularity fell is an advertisement paid for by a person who supports Israel. Does the polling show that such advertising was the cause of Dean's decline? Or, was it the incredibly stupid things Dean repeatedly said which, in the end, caught up with him? And, given that Iowa is a caucus state, is it not possible that Dean lost because he was insufficiently good at organizing his followers?

7. The evidence that Bush invaded Iraq because Iraq is Israel's enemy is thin and rather unlikely. No doubt Israel was thrilled to see Iraq gone but that was not because Saddam was Sharon's enemy. Saddam was paying people $25,000 per person willing to become a shahid (i.e. martyr) for massacring Israelis. So, Israel's concern about Saddam was rather well justified. But, the evidence that the US did Sharon's bidding, as opposed to a coincidence of interests, does not follow.

More than likely, the main goal of the US was, as George Friedman has written (based on discussions with inside people in the Pentagon and armed forces) was to place an army in a strategic area outside Saudi Arabia and Iran in order to influence both countries to reign in their radical Jihadis. Such was admittedly, especially but not only with 20/20 hindsight, a mistake but it was Bush's mistake, based on advise he received from his top advisors, Ms. Rice, Mr. Rumsfeld and, perhaps, Mr. Powell.

8. It is true that there are rich supporters of Israel who support Democrats. And that is also true for Republicans. But, it does not follow that the absence of such people would convince voters to support candidates who oppose Israel.

According to polling data, the vast, vast majority of Americans support Israel. And they, most likely, do so because the two countries share a similar pioneering heritage and because the two countries face the same enemies and because both countries are democracies.

9. Lastly, there is no evidence whatsoever that Israel proliferates nuclear weapons. You cite China but Israel had no serious relations with China when China developed the bomb back in the 1960's. And China did not, evidently, need Israel's knowhow to build the bomb.

The countries most interested in the bomb - apart from long standing nuclear powers - at this point appear to be Muslim countries and countries with disputes with Muslim countries.

You can be sure that Israel would not help any Muslim countries with anything remotely related to nuclear power. The Israelis, after all, are not morons.

That leaves India. Israel's arms connection with India began long after India developed nuclear technology. Recall that India's first nuclear test was on May 18, 1974, which India called a "peaceful nuclear explosion." Israel did not even have diplomatic relations with India at the time and the countries were hostile toward each other. Diplomatic relations were established in the 1990's.

In short, what you have written is a fantasy.


Don Williams - 5/4/2006

CIA Officer Michael Scheuer also
makes the following points in his book "Imperial Hubris"

1) "The fundamental flaw in our thinking about Bin Laden is that
"Muslims hate and attack us for what we are and think, rather than what we do." Muslims are bothered by our modernity, democracy, and sexuality, but they are rarely spurred to action unless American forces encroach on their lands. It's American foreign policy that enrages Osama and al-Qaeda, not American culture and society."

2) The U.S. was attacked on 9/11 and will continue to be attacked because of a number of distinct grievances:

U.S. government supports Israel and is indifferent to the Palestinians
U.S. and western troops on the Arabian Peninsula
U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
U.S. support of countries that oppress Muslims such as Russia, India and China
U.S. pressure on Arabs to keep oil prices low
U.S. support for tyrannical governments


Don Williams - 5/4/2006

Mearsheimer and Walt are not alone in
the criticism of the Israel Lobby -- especially among those who devote their lives to defending this country.

In "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terrorism",
p. 226, Michael Scheuer --a 22-year CIA veteran who ran the
Counterterrorist Center's bin Laden station from 1996 to 1999 --
bitterly condemmed the Israel Lobby:
------------

"Israel. There is certainly not a more difficult or dangerous issue to debate in the field of postwar US foreign policy. The American political and social landscape is littered with the battered individuals --most recently the
president of the United States --who dared to criticize Israel, or , even
more heretically, to question the value to US national interests of the
country's overwhelmingly one-way alliance with Israel.

Almost every such speaker is immediately branded anti-Semitic and consigned to the netherworld of American politics, as if concerns about US national security are prima facie void if they involve any questioning of the US-Israel status
quo.

Surely there can be no other historical example of a faraway, theocracy-in-all-but-name of only about six million people that ultimately controls the extent and even the occurrence of an important portion of political discourse
and national security debate in a country of 270-plus million people that prides itself on religious toleration, separation of church and state, and freedom of speech. In a nation that long ago rejected an established church as inimical
to democratic society , Washington yearly pumps more than three billion taxpayer dollars into a nation that defiantly proclaims itself "the Jewish state" and a democracy --claims hard to reconcile with its treatment of Muslims in Israel,
its limitations on political choice for those in the occupied territories,
and the eternal exile it has enforced on those camped in the refugee diaspora across the Levant.

At the UN and other international fora, the US Government stands four-square, and often alone, with Israel to free it from obeying UN resolutions and nonproliferation treaties; with US backing, Israel has developed and deployed weapons of mass destruction at the pace it desires.

Objectively, Al Qaeda does not seem too far off the mark when it describes the US-Israel relationship as a detriment to America.

['the close link between America and the Zionist entity is in itself a curse for America. In addition to the high cost incurred by the US Treasury as a result of this alliance, the strategic cost is also exorbitant because this close link has turned the attack against America into an attack against the Zionist entity and vice versa. This contributes to bringing the Islamic nation together and pushing it
strongly to rally around the jihad enterprise.']

One can only react to this stunning reality by giving all praise to Israel's diplomats, politicans, intelligence services, US-citizen spies, and the retired senior US officals and wealthy Jewish-American organizations who lobby an always amenable Congress on Israel's behalf. In an astounding and historically unprecedented manner, the Israelis have succeeded in lacing tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to the tiny Jewish state and its policies; as Anatol Lieven has written, the Israelis
have been so successful that Israeli nationalism "for many Americans has become deeply entwined with their American nationalism." "


Peter Kovachev - 5/4/2006

Life in the basement has its disadvantages, Mr. Williams, one of them is ignorance of the goings-on in the great big world outside. Canada has been in the thick of it in Afghanistan and no one but the old fuddy-duddies calls the Inuit "Eskimos." As for Passage sovereignity issues, our respective foreign affairs services and the international courts will just have to hammer that one out without you.


Don Williams - 5/4/2006

My son does not reach draft age for another year. If there are signs the neocons plan to send him to the Middle East, I plan to send him up to your country-- comfortable in the knowledge that the only war Canada will engage in over the next 50 years is beating up some Eskimos -- after first plying them with liquor of course.

I am aware , of course, of your Prime Minister's hilarious claims to assert Canadian "sovereignty" over the new Northwest Passage opened up in the Arctic by global warming. But I'm sure the US Navy will quickly deal with those glorified fishing boats that Canada laughingly calls "capital ships".


Don Williams - 5/4/2006

Read and judge for yourself:
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html

I personally think that putting out documented facts about the acts of the Israel Lobby -- including the money sources behind the public faces of the Lobby --
damms them far more effectively than policy debates.

See the links in my post "Mr Baker is right ..." above.


Peter Kovachev - 5/3/2006


To wit:

"The US government has not just recognized Israel -- the US Government CREATED Israel."

Israel gained independence in 1948 after successfully resisting Britain and repulsing numerous attempts by Arabs to massacre the Jews. The US had had nothing to do with that.

"And supported Israeli aggression against Muslims."

When? The US has pressured and continues to pressure Israel with cooky and grandious presidetial "peace plans" which invariably result in Israeli deaths.

"With $91 Billion in past aid..."

For all I know the aid estimate here is bogus, but nevertheless, let's assume it's substantial. The US has wasted and continues to waste a lot more money and blood to recipients who, unlike Israel can never be counted on.

"...with the sale of advanced weapons like the F16 fighters and Apache Helicopters."

The US provides loan guarantees and aid to many nations for the sale of military materiel. Israel is the only country which has been able to assist in and in some areas to lead in weapons R & D.

"Israel has never had any motivation to make peace..."

Israel has all the motivation to make peace; conflict costs lives and hurts the economy. Any semi-intelligent being is aware of that. It can be...and has been...argued that it's the US that has all the motivation to maintain the conflict, which serve the weapons industry. The example used for this argument is that the US backs with arms sales both Israel and some of its real and potential enemies, like Egypt the Saudis and Jordan.

"...while its wealthy supporters in the US destroy any politician who trys to speak up re the AMERICAN national interest."

This is a extraordinarily stupid claim for which examples are required. Extraordinarily stupid claims require extraordinarily good examples.

"Politicians receive huge amounts of money from the Israel Lobby but where is the benefit to US citizens?"

What is the "Israel Lobby"? I realize creeping dementia can affect people's memory, but would it be AIPAC, the B'nai Brith, the Boy Scouts? Anyway, polititians receive huge amounts of money from all of the hundreds of lobbies and the process is overseen and controlled by US laws. Lobby groups can represent nations, citizens or businesses. If you have an issue with lobbies, change that system, rather than sounding off like a low-brow antisemite.

"The US does not even have a significant military base in Israel."

The US ha NO bases in Israel. It doesn't NEED to have expensive bases as in Europe and elsewhere, because it trusts Israel's integrity and ability to uphold that flank. The US maintains supply depots in Israel and has had an understanding with every Israeli government about unconditional use of air space, existing bases and ports. Such an arrangement doesn't even exist with NATO members who have refused the US use of bases or overflight rights.

"Where is the harm? We have no real reason to quarrel with the Islamic world --if not for Big Oil, Big Defense, and the Israel Lobby == who have brought disaster upon the US time after time while pursuing their selfish goals."

I suppose the knuckles-to-the-ground websites you got this idea from have a better way of articulating this inanity, so if you want to pursue it, perhaps you can pretend you know what you are talking about and plagiarize some of their drivel. We won't be able to tell.

"At least Al Qaeda is an open enemy."

LOL! So how come you haven't found them?

"A worst enemy is the ones among us to use lies and deceit to manipulate us into unnecessary bloody wars where we have no real interests. Meanwhile , the aggressive "hawks" of the Israel Lobby are careful to never get within a 1000 miles of an active battlefield."

Is this a puzzle of some sort? What "enemies among us" are you refering to? The rats and snakes that crawl on the wall at three in the morning after you and your friends run out of brewskees?

"At least Al Qaeda --unlike Fox News and the New York Times -- does not mount misleading national propaganda campaigns under the guise of "news" -- or stifle the national debate by hiding the malign acts of the Israel Lobby."

Bully for Al Quaida. Your continued admiration of them has been noted. And only a political illiterate can see any resemblance between Fox News and the Grey Lady.

"Instead, we suffer 2000 dead on Sept 11 -- and the loss of $1 Trillion."

And that's because of Fox News, the New York Times, the "Israel Lobby," the Boy Scouts or the rats and snakes on the walls? It couldn't be Al Quaida, because they are just straight-shootin' good ole boys, right?

"And advocates of Israel like the New York Times covered up WHY that attack occurred."

I have little background in dealing with delusional thinking and plain old idiocy, so I'll just leave this claim for someone with a clinical experience to tackle. Please say it wasn't you who wrote this howler, and I'll suspend disbelief only because my ego couldn't handle realizing, two-thirds down a post, that I'm responding to a serious twinkie case.

"We suffer 2300+ dead in Iraq -- plus thousands more crippled for life -- and the loss of at least $300 Billion. While the advocates for Israel cover up the malign political agendas involved."

And what's Israel got to do with the Iraq invasion? How does it benefit? It has neither been invaded by them, like Kuwait; did not have to fight them, like Iran; and is not seriously threatened like the Saudis. So, what "malign political agendas" did the Elders of Zion, I mean the advocates for Israel, cover up and how on earth did you, of all people, think your way past this "cover-up" ?

"The Arab threat to Israel is going to be a minor issue compared to the what will happen to the Israel Lobby when American citizens finally learn the truth."

Pretend you are like your Al Quaida heroes, instead of a TV version of a clever lawyer and try to be straight with us. Are you threatening pogroms, massacres, genocide?

"Question for the posters here: If one of the parents who have lost sons in Iraq picked up a deer rifle and blew Richard Perle's brains out, would that be a healthy political development for the US?"

Question for you: Does the FBI know about you and your wet-dreams about an assassination of a US government official?







Don Williams - 5/3/2006

1) The US government has not just recognized Israel -- the US Government CREATED Israel. And supported Israeli aggression against Muslims.

With $91 Billion in past aid, with the sale of advanced weapons like the F16 fighters and Apache Helicopters.

With tolerance for Israel's development of 80+ nuclear weapons -- weapons which are not only a threat to the US but which have also spurred Middle Eastern countries to pursue nukes in order to deter the Israeli threat-- thereby creating an additional threat to the US.

Israel has never had any motivation to make peace while its wealthy supporters in the US destroy any politician who trys to speak up re the AMERICAN national interest. Why should Israel make peace when its economy and military expenditures is subsidized by $3 Billion plus in US aid every year?

2) Politicians receive huge amounts of money from the Israel Lobby but where is the benefit to US citizens?

The US does not even have a significant military base in Israel.

3) Where is the harm? We have no real reason to quarrel with the Islamic world --if not for Big Oil, Big Defense, and the Israel Lobby == who have brought disaster upon the US time after time while pursuing their selfish goals.

At least Al Qaeda is an open enemy. A worst enemy is the ones among us to use lies and deceit to manipulate us into unnecessary bloody wars where we have no real interests. Meanwhile , the aggressive "hawks" of the Israel Lobby are careful to never get within a 1000 miles of an active battlefield.

At least Al Qaeda --unlike Fox News and the New York Times -- does not mount misleading national propaganda campaigns under the guise of "news" -- or stifle the national debate by hiding the malign acts of the Israel Lobby.

4) Instead, we suffer 2000 dead on Sept 11 -- and the loss of $1 Trillion. And advocates of Israel like the New York Times covered up WHY that attack occurred.

See http://hnn.us/comments/85638.html and http://hnn.us/comments/85028.html

5) We suffer 2300+ dead in Iraq -- plus thousands more crippled for life -- and the loss of at least $300 Billion. While the advocates for Israel cover up the malign political agendas involved.

See http://hnn.us/comments/85635.html

6) The Arab threat to Israel is going to be a minor issue compared to the what will happen to the Israel Lobby when American citizens finally learn the truth.

Question for the posters here: If one of the parents who have lost sons in Iraq picked up a deer rifle and blew Richard Perle's brains out, would that be a healthy political development for the US?


N. Friedman - 5/3/2006

Omar,

I guess I do not see your point. Foreign policy is not conducted to please foreign populations. The Arab Muslim population is, accordingly, irrelevant - except to the extent that they fly planes into our buildings and blow up our people. And, even then, their relevance is rather trivial as they have little say in whether Arab governments sell the US oil. And, so far as the Arab regions are concerned, if the Arabs run out of oil, the US will care not one wit about what even Arab governments think, much less their populations.

And it is rather far from clear that Israel's disapearance would alter the trajectory of the Arab Muslim regions one iota. It is, on the other hand, always possible that Israel's existence played a role in the re-stimulation of interest in Jihad.

But, more important than Israel, the Jihad mentality finds its roots in religious revival and the religious revival is clearly not due to Israel. The revival is due to the failure of more secular ideas to take deep root among a sufficient number of Muslims. And that may, in part, be due to the failure of secular political programs to advance the political aspirations of Muslims.

On your theory, Oslo could never have borne fruit since there is no settlement with Israel that would satisfy you. So, it is irrelevant anyway.

Now, was recognition of Israel beneficial to US interest? The answer is "Yes." Israel helped the US advance its agenda to checkmate the USSR. So, it was clearly beneficial as, in the end, Israel peeled Arab support away from the USSR. In particular, Israel peeled Egypt, a major Arab country, from the Soviet orbit.

Further, Israel helped secure oil for the US as it was an island of stability in the region. Israel, along with Iran and Turkey created more stability than was otherwise possible.

Lastly, helping Israel was the moral thing to do. Palestinian Arabs may have been the losers in the process but, frankly, they did much to make themselves into losers. The multiple failures to compromise - the same failure that later occurred during Oslo - have kept Palestinian Arabs living in drek far more than anything the Israelis could manage to do.

Now, your contention is that Israel created hatred for the US. I do not think that is quite true. I think that there was substantial hostility in Arab countries one way or the other. That hostility needed to be channeled somewhere. Had Israel not existed, the hostility might have landed on the countries which were selling the US oil and that would have been a bad thing for the US. So, if anything, Israel served as a lightning rod onto which hostility lands and, as a result, delayed the day of reckoning for the US.

At present, of course, the hostility runs to the US. But, it also now runs to Europe, which is pro-Palestinian. So, it is not clear that a pro-Palestinian policy has any benefit. In fact, I see none as Palestinian Arabs and Arabs more generally do not make any significant contribution to anything, other than in creating techniques to blow people up.


Don Williams - 5/3/2006

For those not in the know, Judith Apter Klinghoffer is one of those Americans who have been long time advocates for Israel. Which is probably why her article misleads the readers by ignoring several major facts.

1) President Kennedy betrayed major American national security interests when he allowed Israel to continue with development of nuclear weapons. Those weapons are as much a threat to the USA as to Arabic countries.

Plus there is now no USA control over Israel proliferation of nuclear and missile technology. We have had quarrels with Israel over technology transfers to China --those transfer we have managed to discover, that it.

Plus Israeli nuclear weapons have been a major motivation for other Middle Eastern countries (Iraq, Iran etc.) to try to develop nuclear weapons -- which is also a major threat to US national security.

But Kennedy was willing to betray US security for the sake of campaign donations from the Israel Lobby.

2) Similarly, Lyndon Johnson refused to avenge the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty and the deaths of US sailors.

Another prime example of how Bush and Rove have put the Democratic leadership on the horns of a strategic dilemma.

Democratic leaders like John Kerry cannot criticize Bush for extreme whoring to the Likud because Democratic leaders have whored for Israel for decades.

Bush smirks whenever ignorant members of the Democratic base try to criticize his takeout of Sharon's enemy --Saddam Hussein .

Unlike ignorant Democratic rank and file, Bush knows that the Democrats are largely financed by billionaire supporters of Israel. Bush knows that at least some of those billionaires -- Haim Saban, S Daniel Abraham,etc -- are no longer shoveling out millions to the Democrats as they have done in past elections.

Bush also knows that not only is the Israel Lobby one of the most powerful political lobbies, it is also one of the most vindictive. Consider , for example, how Howard Dean's Presidential campaign was killed in the Iowa primary by an expensive barrage of anonymous TV ads after Howard suggested that the US should be "even-handed" in the Israel-Palestinian dispute. Ads largely funded by S Daniel Abraham.


Peter Kovachev - 5/3/2006

Mr. Baker,

You are repeating yourself, only with a greater number of words and more complex obfuscations. I will, then, repeat myself too, hopefully with greater clarity.

The benefits of US' close relationship with Israel cannot be understood without looking at the actual benefits and trying to project what benefits, if any, would have materialized if the US had sided with Israel's enemies. I argue that not only would there have been none, the relationship would have been costly and harmful.

To support this contention I first refered you to the phenomenal benefits to the US which the friendship with Israel has wrought in the areas of security, high-tech industries, medicine, research, agriculture, trade and manufacturing.

Then, to show what a disaster it would have been for the US to go with Israel's enemies, I used the example of Europe which, in the hope that it would get favourable oil deals and would be spared of Arab terrorism, signed a whole lot of agreements and "understandings." These in many ways mimic the mediaeval agreements of dhimmitude which some European states and principalities on the peripheries once signed. Dhimmitude involving semi-independent political entities historically involved payments of of ransom and tribute and opening the doors to Muslim colonization. The EU achieved its dhimmi status through political and financial support to those Arabs who now re-invented themselves as "Palestinians," and by inviting a huge, unsustainable influx of impoverished and unwanted people from the Muslim world. The word "Eurabia" is not a mocking invention of the neo-cons; it was coined by the European and Arab architects of this proposed "Mediterranean civilization."

That this formula did not work should be clear to everyone. Europeans are still paying through their teeth for their fuel and terrorism in Europe is a far bigger problem than in North America. A "by-product" of this arrangement has also been loss of intellectual freedoms; the opinions I have expressed so far would have landed me in court and possibly jail in any of the EU countries.

Now that you seem to have dropped the veiled threats over non-complience with Muslim desires and appetites, your only argument for siding with Israel's enemies is "good relations between different nations and cultures..." I called it fluff, because while it's a nice general pabulum, it's inapplicable to the current discussion. Good relations are possible and should only be possible between nations and peoples who hold similar values. As history and daily news reports show us again and again, this is not the case between the West and the bulk of the Islamic world.

And as for your attempt to insult me with the word "Zionist," you have chosen the wrong target. To me the term is a badge of pride. While I'm neither a Jew, nor an Evangelical Christian, I fully support the existence and well-being of a Jewish state in its historical homeland. I surely hope that this makes me a Zionist, at least by the broader definition.


Peter Kovachev - 5/3/2006

Mr. Baker,

You are repeating yourself, only with a greater number of words and more complex obfuscations. I will, then, repeat myself too, hopefully with greater clarity.

The benefits of US' close relationship with Israel cannot be understood without looking at the actual benefits and trying to project what benefits, if any, would have materialized if the US had sided with Israel's enemies. I argue that not only would there have been none, the relationship would have been costly and harmful.

To support this contention I first refered you to the phenomenal benefits to the US which the friendship with Israel has wrought in the areas of security, high-tech industries, medicine, research, agriculture, trade and manufacturing.

Then, to show what a disaster it would have been for the US to go with Israel's enemies, I used the example of Europe which, in the hope that it would get favourable oil deals and would be spared of Arab terrorism, signed a whole lot of agreements and "understandings." These in many ways mimic the mediaeval agreements of dhimmitude which some European states and principalities on the peripheries once signed. Dhimmitude involving semi-independent political entities historically involved payments of of ransom and tribute and opening the doors to Muslim colonization. The EU achieved its dhimmi status through political and financial support to those Arabs who now re-invented themselves as "Palestinians," and by inviting a huge, unsustainable influx of impoverished and unwanted people from the Muslim world. The word "Eurabia" is not a mocking invention of the neo-cons; it was coined by the European and Arab architects of this proposed "Mediterranean civilization."

That this formula did not work should be clear to everyone. Europeans are still paying through their teeth for their fuel and terrorism in Europe is a far bigger problem than in North America. A "by-product" of this arrangement has also been loss of intellectual freedoms; the opinions I have expressed so far would have landed me in court and possibly jail in any of the EU countries.

Now that you seem to have dropped the veiled threats over non-complience with Muslim desires and appetites, your only argument for siding with Israel's enemies is "good relations between different nations and cultures..." I called it fluff, because while it's a nice general pabulum, it's inapplicable to the current discussion. Good relations are possible and should only be possible between nations and peoples who hold similar values. As history and daily news reports show us again and again, this is not the case between the West and the bulk of the Islamic world.

And as for your attempt to insult me with the word "Zionist," you have chosen the wrong target. To me the term is a badge of pride. While I'm neither a Jew, nor an Evangelical Christian, I fully support the existence and well-being of a Jewish state in its historical homeland. I surely hope that this makes me a Zionist, at least by the broader definition.


Peter Kovachev - 5/3/2006

Good point! And of course, Germany isn't listed as an official recipient US foreign aid. Funny how quiet the Germans are about all that. Perhaps Mearscheimer and Walt can do a piece on Germany's bratwurst-mongers' and biergarten-owners' lobbies.

I have a cheaper solution: Instead of military bases, a cordon of scrap metal merchants and fuel black-marketeers to "guard" the Fulda Gap.


N. Friedman - 5/2/2006

Peter,

I think that Germany is the biggest recipient of aid. While it is not called aid, it is exactly that.

We do not even have a logical reason for the aid. We have, I believe, tens of thousands of troops protecting Germany from the USSR! That is multiple billions of dollars invested by the government. And, I might add, the soldiers spend money in Germany which provides substantial economic aid to Germany.


Peter Kovachev - 5/2/2006

Thank you for the lengthy reply, Mr. Baker. Alas wordiness can't replace substance. For example, to my challenge for you to find a single example of good to come out of the Arab/Islamic ME, all you/ve provided is a lot of fluff. To wit:

"Good things come out of amicable relations; bad things, in the absence of amicable relations, come out of antagonistic, adversarial relations!" A little too long to fit into a fortune cookie, but ok for a tabloid horoscope.

"Closer , longer term and more stable economic cooperation to the benefit of both parties." With oil being the only product of use or interest, there is no evidence that friendly countries pay lower prices for it.

The rest of your enumeration is a repetition of the above. Not one concrete example; I told you not to bother looking because you won't find one.

A good thigh-slapper is your "Do I have to tell you about the rewards of friendship ?" Actually yes, please tell me about the rewards of friendship with Islamist countries. As in the gratitude for keeping Egypt alive, defending the corrupt Saudis and the weak Gulf states, stopping genocide of Muslims in former Yugoslavia, and not to mention the billions in aid.

I like also the line about how a beautiful love-relationship between Islamic countries and the West has been destroyd by "Zionists." High-jackings, terrorism, murder of Hindus and Christians, draconian laws, suppression of minorities and genocides in Africa are of course all "Zionist" plots.

As for international aid figures, there is plenty of material on the internet...how about starting with the source I cited? Ditto for Israel's contributions in science and technology. The list is quite staggering.

Why you brought up "mainstream" churches into the debate is anyone's guess. If "mainstream" means those churches with rapidly dwindling memberships, even there you won't find a unified front, as there is a substantial split on the Arab-Israeli conflict between the leadership and the membership.

Lastly, I brought up "dhimmitude" in relation to the prescription you repeatedly prescribe for the West; drop Israel and be nice to Muslims and you'll have peace from terrorists. I call this blackmail and I offer a more realistic alternative: Bring the Islamist regimes to their knees, defeat terror, lose the dependence on oil ASAP, and the whole issue will become just a bad memory within a decade.


Peter Kovachev - 5/2/2006

Correction, then, you said "I am not an expert on Mideast history." That is admittedly substantially different from "little or nothing" in terms of wording. I went with the coloquial meaning of the "I'm not an expert" line, which usually translates into "I know bubkes," if you'll allow me to use a Yiddish word I learned recently. My interpretation or paraphrasing was influenced by my readings of your previous posts on ME issues. Still, mea culpa; I hope this admission has made your day.

No need to wait for my "assignement," as it won't arrive in this universe. Try the primary source itself and then read up on the many excellent reviews and critiques, which by now I'm sure number in the hundreds. I appreciate you're a busy fellow, but in the time it took you to write nothing in who knows how many words, you could have been half-way through the M & W piece.


N. Friedman - 5/2/2006

Peter,

Mr. Lewis is, I believe, in his 90's. Somehow I doubt he wants to spend his time arguing with people like you and me.

Whether an article is posted by an historian or not or even by a renowned historian, the articles are all pretty short articles. And short articles are all polemic in the deepest sense. Which is to say, I think your criticism is unfair as it misunderstands the nature of HNN.

If you take the website for what it is, the opinions expressed are those running in intellectual circles. In that regard, whether the writer is an historian or a political scientist or a scientist or a philsophy professor, etc., etc., the articles do what they are suppose to do - and that is not to illuminate the mysteries of the past. Rather, the articles are mostly about the present. And, frankly, historians seem to have no better guess about the future than anyone else.



Peter Kovachev - 5/2/2006

Incidentally, Mr. Baker, the largest recipient of US foreign aid is or shortly will be Iraq. It will, according to a Forbes artyicle, dwarf total foreign aid expenditures. See http://www.forbes.com/2003/09/08/cx_da_0908topnews.html

After Israel, Egypt is next largest recipient. In other words the largest recipients of US foreign aid are two Arab nations. Perhaps you can list all the commercial, military, technological or cultural benefits, or even just any touchy-feely goodwill the US has received from Iraq and Egypt?


N. Friedman - 5/2/2006

Peter,

The M&W paper has been so widely circulated that it requires no link. You can find it on the LRB website - in its short version - and its long version is available, if I recall correctly, on the Harvard U. cite.

Ms. Klinghoffer responded rather well to some of the points made by M&W. The paper, by the way, has been roundly criticized as bad scholarship even by pro-Palestinian Arab writers such as Noam Chomsky - not that his word is important - as well as by numerous writers who note the poor methodology employed and the lack of objectivity of the writing. The authors basically forced factoids and facts to fit a theory they hold, namely, that there is the equivalent of a conspiracy by which the media, other opinion makers, congress, president and public support Israel rather than M&W's preferred course of action.

As for not being an expert on the Middle East, it is a topic which consumes your posting time. We, in particular, have had endless posting matches on the topic. Now, I do not claim to be a Bernard Lewis but I have read an awful lot about the Middle East. You should consider the importance of actually learning about the region which so consumes you.


N. Friedman - 5/2/2006

Omar,

The problem with your analysis is that you believe that it is Israel which divides Arab governments from the US. I do not see that at all.

I do not think that any Arab governments think the Palestinian Arab issue is worth the time of day, whether or not such governments hope Israel falls off the map. The key word for such government vis a vis Israel is hope as they are not sufficiently interested in the issue to do anything but talk and send occasional money. But consider, Israel has given far more money to Palestinian Arabs than most, if not all, combined Arab governments.

I see some Arab governments seeking to sell the US oil including Saudi Arabia which, as you may know, has no kind words for Israel. I see other Arab governments, such as Jordan, which hope to modernize their countries which, in turn, means trying to have a good relationship with the US.

I see other Arab governments influence by Ba'athist ideology which hope to create a pan-Arab empire. The US stands in the way of that program so, not surprisingly, Syria and, before the invasion, Iraq fit that pattern. Of course, Israel also stands in the way of that objective so Ba'athist ideology is rather nasty about Israel.

But then I ask myself, what becomes of being pro-Palestinian Arab. What benefits does such bring to Europe? The only one I can think of is that Palestinian Arab terrorists - the one thing which Palestinian Arabs seem to have expertise in - tend to stay out of Europe. But, then again, Palestinian Arabs have not, thus far anyway, conducted terrorist attacks in the US.

I should add, that the philo-Arab attitude in Europe seems to have been a delusion for Europe. Hence, Europe has large immigrant populations of disenchanted people who have leaders demanding that Europe become more like the backward thinking countries of the Arab League. And, terror seems to be as much of a problem, if not more at this point, in Europe as in the US. So, frankly, there is no pay-off for the pro-Palestinian attitude in Europe which is why the election of the HAMAS lunatics has been noticed in Europe. Funding for the Palestinian Arab Jihad is way down. As is public support for the Palestinian Arab cause, because the cause has ceased being understandable, instead revealing the murderous, backward directed agenda underneath a once polished front.

Now, people can side with a barbarian cause - i.e. HAMAS' cause - or they can side with those willing to compromise.


Peter Kovachev - 5/2/2006

Mr. Clarke, it seems you are the only literate chap south of the Arctic Circle who hasn't read the M & W paper...or even who knows how to find it; you claim not to understand Prof. Klinghoffer's article; and by your admission you know little about the ME conflicts...and yet you managed to develop a strong opinion which, unfortunately, you can't articulate clearly. Let's hope that this exercise has at least improved your typing speed.


Peter Kovachev - 5/2/2006

Mr. Baker,

I note 4 salient features in your attempt at rebuttal.

1) You've failed to come up with a single example of a good thing to come out of the "lands of Israel's enemies." Tip: give up on that one, it's very hard to fake it.

2) The notion that the Muslim world could be a "friendly and a natural ally" to the US or the West is laughable. At best, countries can be expensively bought-off to comply with a few demands, but I can't think of one reliable ally...oh yeah, like everything else, that too must be the fault of the Jews. The EU, which has been offering its posterior like a good dhimmi for decades has received nothing but headaches in return: A flood of hopeless and hostile paupers, sharia, arrogant "religious leaders," terrorism and the vilest forms of antisemitism, homophobia and mysogeny not experienced since the rise of the Nazis. And Europe still pays world prices for oil!

3) Your calculations from some "said study" is a familiar deception. ALL foreign aid assistance by the US comprises of about 1% of the annual budget. The Export-Import Bank reports a return of $20 to every $1 spent on foreign aid. This is largely thanks to productive countries like South Korea, Israel, the emerging "new Europe" and parts of Asia ... not to bottomless holes like Egypt and Jordan, or the Palestinian Authority.

4) Your definition of what an "American centred" approach would be is the classical definition of dhimmitude: compliance and servitude based on fear imposed through threats and violence. It hasn't worked for anyone on the planet.


Paul Noonan - 5/1/2006

..of course it was the right decision. The Cold War, not the Middle East, was the fulcrum of US foreign policy. No one could say, "Well, the USSR is going to collapse in 43 years, so it doesn't really matter if Israel winds up being a Soviet client." (An outcome, as the article points out, that was a real possibility.)


Peter Kovachev - 5/1/2006

Mr. Clarke, perhaps you skipped the first paragraph where the author indicates that she is responding to a set of cooky allegations recently made by Walt and Mearscheimer. As antisemitic and profoundly idiotic as their and their fellow-travellers' contentions may be, they need to be rebuffed by competent historians.


Peter Kovachev - 5/1/2006

I still can't believe he walked into that one. Perhaps he'll come back with the argument I think you once jokingly came up with, about how the Pals who like to claim they all owned all the orange groves and will one day claim they developed all the high-tech industries. I still guffaw at that one.


N. Friedman - 5/1/2006

Peter,

touché!!!


Peter Kovachev - 5/1/2006

Actually, quite an easy question to answer. I'm surprised that you set yourself up for this.

For the US, Israel is an advanced, modern democracy with like-minded people. Their high levels of education, intelligence, ethics and productivity resemble that of the US. Israel is the only competent strategic ally in the region. The US has never had to defend it by stationing its forces there or by shedding blood of its own soldiers, unlike the story with Europe, Asia, Africa and the Moslem ME.

Then there is the phenomenal economic and technological alliance between US and Israel. Israeli ingenuity in the high-tech sector, in military technology, in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, engineering, medicine, theoretical and applied sciences, etc., etc., is responsible for millions of jobs in the US. Next time you get on your cell phone or eat a cherry tomato remember where they were developed. (The cherry tomato and a number of other agricultural products and growing technologies were developed in the "settler" greenhouses of Gaza, the same ones that were looted for their plate glass and wire and the ones that have been now converted to launching pads for rocket-propelled trash cans.) I once saw a table that showed how Israel contributes more to science and technology within a single week than the Moslem world has contributed since the late Middle Ages.

And as a Canadian, Im glad that our new government has broken with the grovelling "palestinianism" and "arabism" of the old corrupt administration and that it's reinvigorating its political, cultural and economic ties with Israel.

Now, can you show me what Israel's enemies have contributed to the rest of the world? We all know about pretty rugs, figs, millions of impoverished migrants, dicators, fanatics, genocide and terrorists. Oil doesn't count, since it merely happens to be under their feet and even then they are unable to extract it or do anything useful with it without help.


Peter Kovachev - 5/1/2006

Actually, quite an easy question to answer. I'm surprised that you set yourself up for this.

For the US, Israel is an advanced, modern democracy with like-minded people. Their high levels of education, intelligence, ethics and productivity resemble that of the US. Israel is the only competent strategic ally in the region. The US has never had to defend it by stationing its forces there or by shedding blood of its own soldiers, unlike the story with Europe, Asia, Africa and the Moslem ME.

Then there is the phenomenal economic and technological alliance between US and Israel. Israeli ingenuity in the high-tech sector, in military technology, in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, engineering, medicine, theoretical and applied sciences, etc., etc., is responsible for millions of jobs in the US. Next time you get on your cell phone or eat a cherry tomato remember where they were developed. (The cherry tomato and a number of other agricultural products and growing technologies were developed in the "settler" greenhouses of Gaza, the same ones that were looted for their plate glass and wire and the ones that have been now converted to launching pads for rocket-propelled trash cans.) I once saw a table that showed how Israel contributes more to science and technology within a single week than the Moslem world has contributed since the late Middle Ages.

And as a Canadian, Im glad that our new government has broken with the grovelling "palestinianism" and "arabism" of the old corrupt administration and that it's reinvigorating its political, cultural and economic ties with Israel.

Now, can you show me what Israel's enemies have contributed to the rest of the world? We all know about pretty rugs, figs, millions of impoverished migrants, dicators, fanatics, genocide and terrorists. Oil doesn't count, since it merely happens to be under their feet and even then they are unable to extract it or do anything useful with it without help.


Peter Kovachev - 5/1/2006

BTW: Your veiled threats of what amounts to looming world destruction unless we give in to the mullahs, imams and an assortment of popinjays in ill-fitting suits, bedecked uniforms and over-sized sunglasses is quite humorous. Saber-rattling is cheap, but when push comes to shove, the Islamists don't seem to want to part with much of their money to help out their "Palestinian" pets.


Peter Kovachev - 5/1/2006

That's quite a hefty serving of steaming baffle-gab to say, "US recognition of Israel is bad because it upsets the Arabs," Mr. Baker.

And allow me to suggest an ending for your last sentence: ...until a coalition of democracies gets off its duff and decisively defeats and disables Islamofascism through political, economic and military means.


N. Friedman - 5/1/2006

Dear Ms. Klinghoffer,

This is a very impressive article. Very good.

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