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Polite Ways of Calling Someone a Jew-Hater

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Posted on Oct 23, 2006
Israel Debate

Report co-author John Mearsheimer

The authors of the ultra-controversial “The Israel Lobby” report face off in a panel discussion against several of their detractors. It’s a civil exchange, but, to paraphrase J-Lo: “Don’t be fooled by the suits that they got / They’re still flame-throwers from the block.”


Scribe Media:

Last March, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt published an article in the London Review of Books. Entitled “The Israel Lobby: Does it Have too Much Influence on US Foreign Policy,” it drew swift charges of anti-Semitism in the editorial pages of American newspapers.

... Those attacking Mearsheimer and Walt suggest the duo outline a nefarious Jewish cabal with a stranglehold on American Mideast policy. Think smokey back rooms; think political and media domination; think subtle and sneaky manipulation of the unsuspecting, innocent gentile. Think historical stereotype.

Mearsheimer, Walt and their defenders counter that they neither suggest a cabal nor a monolithic Jewry driving the American body politic. Instead, a close alliance of disparate groups form a capital “L” Israeli Lobby that distorts US interests in the region. While this is lead by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Lobby includes Jews and Gentiles alike:

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The above debate centers around these two perspectives as the panelists move among issues such as US-Israeli relations, the Middle East peace process, the origins of the Iraq War and Israeli settlement policy to name a few.

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By chris, March 17, 2007 at 11:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Aipac is the unregistered agent of a foreign power thats what makes it different.  Anyone congressmen, senators, Bush and Cheney who make Aipac their bread and butter are clearly putting the interests of a foreign nation ahead of the interests of their own nation.  Where treason prospers none dare call it treason.

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By Spinoza, October 24, 2006 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just watched the entire presentation and I found it useful if frustrating, as in all debates nothing of any depth gets said.  Further I was nostalgic for Cooper Unions Great Hall. I spent many hours as a kid going to lectures there mostly by radical thinkers.  It is one of the institutions that makes New York City great.

Just some comments:

Though Ben Ami’s position was logical I don’t think it was correct. “THE ISRAEL LOBBY” broadly understood is an evil right wing force in this country.

I mean by this the water shed year, 1968, was the year that many Jews began the process of becoming active right wingers.  With the Ocean Hill Brownsville teachers strike in N Y C a significant and important section of the leadership class of American Jewry who before considered themselves socialists and liberals became neoCons:  As they described themselves, “mugged liberals” and many others became what Edward Herman so elegantly described as the cruise missile left, right wingers who still called themselves leftist.

It is not true that the Jewish lobby was a unified violently nationalistic movement before 1968.  There was pride in Israel and a appreciation of the Kibbutz movement as a high water mark of human achievement. There was no militantly racist anti Arab sentiment amongst Jews and there was optimism that peace was obtainable. There was not a hard line Israel lobby and what existed was left wing.

  Oceanhill Brownsville was the slap in the face. Jews as leftists were very active and supportive of the civil rights movement but as resentment grew in the Black community against what was labeled white paternalism, anti-Jewish sentiment became very pronounced. The Black Nationalists, Black Muslims, Black Panthers all started to express anti-Jewish sentiments and the fight over control of the NY school system became a crucial issue. The issue of Ocean Hill Brownsville was the Black demand for local control of school districts.  At this historic time Jews for the first time had became dominant in the school system. The Jews were considered the enemy. The leadership of the United Federation of Teachers was in the hands of mostly Jews from the Socialist Party, The party that was very active in the Civil Rights struggle. Over time the view became that the Jews were on their own. No one else would defend them. Blacks showed no sense of reciprocity. Fuck them and everyone else. Slowly Jewish Nationalism became a right wing movement that was much more tightly aligned with Israel and mostly its right wing. David Horowitz was an early star of this movement. The aim of this new right wing was to agitate for a complete identification of the USA with Israel. Israel became the only salvation for Jews. When the American “Whites” became anti-Semitic than the Jews could and would move to Israel. There they would fight the rest of the World like at Masada to the last man, woman and child.  It is this aspect of the Jewish Lobby that is not widely understood.

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By WW, October 24, 2006 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Race, ethnic, age, gender and skin color prejudice still exists in all pockets of the world.  Ignorance and greed, which are the root of this pathology, still unfortunately abound.  We see it in formal religion, in business, politics and everywhere.

However, as I perceive the argument that these two men are making is irrespective of ethnicity, rather they are trying to highlight the difference between means and ends.  Israel (Jews) deserves their own country.  But by any means?  And at what cost?

By the logic of these people who scream “anti-semitic” whenever anyone dares even mention a dissenting remark about Israel’s actions or some portion of Jews’actions, then a parent who comments unfavorably about their child for stealing an apple because they are hungry is “anti-child”.  Isn’t it possible that the parent loves the child and believes in the objective (to not be hungry), but disagrees with the means by which she achieves her objective?  Can no one see the simple logic of this that even a child could see?

The only explanation I can give to those people who blame as “anti-Semitic” those individuals who have no bias or prejudice toward Jews in general, but are opposed to the MEANS and COST at which Israel (Jews) achieve their objective of having their own land is one thing: ego defense mechanism.  Externalizing blame is a common one.  It is used often by people with certain personality disorders. It is a pathology, incidentally, that is pervasive in the Bush fold and in the rabid Bush followers.

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By dave frasier, October 24, 2006 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What intelligence did we receive from Israel concerning Iraq prior to the Iraq invasion?
Was the information accurate?

As an ally that spies on USA , harbors U.S. criminals, receives 2 to 3 billion dollars a year in welfare one of their great values is intelligence concerning the Middle East.

Other than killing Muslims for us, what is the value of Israel?

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By Spinoza, October 24, 2006 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>>It is this idea that ALL Jews & Israelis are the SAME, and that they ALL want the U.S. to take actions that will help Israel at America’s expense that borders on the anti-Semitic. (Don’t forget that people aren’t always consciously aware of their prejudices.) <<<<


Robin the problem is that the right wing scum claim they speak for all Jews and all Israelis.  Further they are promoting a very racist anti Arab ideology I suspect that most/many Jews are upset that they are portrayed as neo Nazis by these people—-The friends of such scum as Pat Robinson, Jerry Falwell and Netanyahu.

  Fortunately or unfortunately Jews are very influential in our society and it is in fact leading to an increase in anti-Semitism.  The Likudnik influence in the White House is very noticeable.  Jews have to face up to the facts that exist in our society.  It is true that up till the 70’s most Jews were on the left and voted 85% for the Democrats. Now the vote for the Democrats are down to 75% and that is not a left wing vote.  The Democrats are to the right of the Republicans with regard to Israel with a few exceptions.

Though it is true that many many Jews, in fact, most all of the Jews I know think Israel is wrong about what it is doing, that is not the view presented to the public. Unfortunately people are not judged by the quality of their thoughts but by who their parents are.  Until we end this practice people have to be “race” conscious even when there is no such a thing as a Jewish race. The right wing scum are a definite liability to most Jews.

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By Jack Hilift, October 24, 2006 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why does anyone(everyone) who disagrees with Isreal (Jewish) policies have to be thrown the anti-semite race card? We can disagree with many others but never get the response like when we disagree with Isreal!

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By Israeli-Occupied American, October 24, 2006 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In Comment #33012, Robin writes:

“I don’t doubt that there are right-wing Jewish groups that lobby the government to promote their opinions (which I happen to disagree with) about what is best for Israel.  They do NOT, however, represent ALL Jews or ALL Israelis. “

Exactly. That is why pointing out the fact that the AIPAC-led, right-wing Israel lobby controls our foreign policy is not anti-Semitic or even anti-Israel. That’s also why George Soros is trying to start a new, more liberal, pro-Israel organization to counter AIPAC’s right-wing lock on US mideast policy.

(Of course, then there’s the separate question of why the US should put any other nation’s interests - whether as construed by liberals OR by rightists - eternally at the top of its list of policy priorities….)

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By Kathy, October 24, 2006 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sorry I didn’t make myself clear or perhaps Shiv just misunderstood me.  I’m not debating the “should we have these big powerful lobbyist or not”, “has it gotten out of hand”, or what money is being spread around.  I never once stated I think powerful lobbyists are a good thing.  What I was trying to say is how can John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt say the Israeli lobbyist have “too much influence” when there are many very powerful lobbyists ......and they don’t mention them?  So, it seems to me that Mearsheimer and Walt are saying even though we have big and powerful lobbyists in Washington it’s not OK for Israel to do it.  It’s plain and simple not a good argument.  My point is I give the argument no credence!  Had they argued their view without using lobbyists as the catalyst to make their point then I believe it would be a much more sensible argument .....not that I agree or disagree. 

BTW, you are arguing points to me that you have no idea how I feel or whether I’m Jewish or not.  It’s possible to be a southern Christian and think something is anti-Semitic.  You don’t have to be Jewish or of color to think someone is being a bigot.  I too know a lot of Jews.  Some feel as your friend, some feel Israel has gone too far, some feel they support Israel, as I do and support the troops, but against the war, as I am against our war (please don’t argue that with me!), some feel they acquired part of their land when attacked so why give it back?  We aren’t giving Texas back to Mexico.  Just as I have some Christian friends that are Catholic and others Protestant who think very differently about communion, statues, birth control, etc.  Although one is politics and the other religion they are subjects people have very strong beliefs about.  I respect all of them for their beliefs and opinions and feel grateful that I have a very nice group of diverse friends.  Which leads me to your question how would I feel if one of my friends said “I don’t care about America if there was no Israel?”  I’d think, WHATEVER, there is that wonderful freedom of speech working again ......and I would probably say why aren’t you living in Israel then? 

I have tried very hard to write my point of view without revealing my political beliefs on Israel because the politics of the article was not my intended argument.  However, some of your comments cause me to say I believe Israel is at great fault for not educating the world on just how their state came about because too many people feel the way you do and your facts are wrong.  I quote you, “Palistinian “terrorists” who after waiting for ~ 50 years still have no home and are humiliated daily by Israel.”  May I suggest you look up the history of the middle east and Israel before you make statements like this again.  You’re facts are wrong.  I think you will be surprised to find out that it all started after WWI, not 50 years ago, what England had to do with Israel, how much land the Jews bought from Arabs selling off their property for a profit, and how much of the Arab world hated the Palestinians until they could use them as pawns against Israel.  It’s very interesting reading. 

Shiv, truly I’m not nuts.  The only thought I give to exploding people is it’s plain and simply idiotic!

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By Robin, October 24, 2006 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Criticizing Israel is fine.  Criticizing America is fine.  This is supposed to be a democracy.  The problem is this reference to “the” Israel Lobby.

I don’t doubt that there are right-wing Jewish groups that lobby the government to promote their opinions (which I happen to disagree with) about what is best for Israel.  They do NOT, however, represent ALL Jews or ALL Israelis. 

It is this idea that ALL Jews & Israelis are the SAME, and that they ALL want the U.S. to take actions that will help Israel at America’s expense that borders on the anti-semitic. (Don’t forget that people aren’t always consciously aware of their prejudices.)

It’s not really that surprising that right-wingers of any stripe would have the major influence on this neo-con Whitehouse.  They would hardly be listening to Israeli or Jewish peace activists, would they?

(Yes they do exist.  Two examples:  Rabbis for Human Rights   Not In My Name)

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By shriv, October 24, 2006 at 9:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kathy seems to think that the current “if you want to get elected,you need our money, if you need our money you do our bidding” lobbying whoredom that runs Washington is a GOOD thing. Not so much.
Theoretically the U.S. is a democracy, but actually it is a capitalist society[and I’m a capitalist too,but democracy should trump money] whose sole focus is on money,money,money. Forget any idea of the ‘Shining city on the hill”, just park your ideals at the door when you come to Washington and put your hand out like everybody else.
And the businesses that she uses as examples are EXACTLY why lobbying sucks….....do you reeeeally believe that America needs ALL those drugs that we are bombarded with on t.v? More guns[and I own several], more tobacco,more drugs. This is your idea of the positive aspect of lobbying? Get a grip!!!
As to the Jewish/Israeli lobby - anybody who is paying attention would have noticed that they never hear anything approaching fairness in matters that affect Israel. Are Jews in America heavily involved in the media? Wouldnt they use that to shape Ameicas image of Palistinian “terrorists” who after waiting for ~ 50 years still have no home and are humiliated daily by Israel. People without hope respond n desperate ways. If you think strapping explosives on your chest and detonating it is an easy thing to do - YOU must be nuts!
Even in israel there is more debate,dissent and dialogue about the Palistinians and the issues than there is in the U.S.
Why- because we are constantly shown Israels’ viewpoint and nothing else. Why is there no dialogue?
Try watching LINK tv and BBC sometime and see some
different ideas about this whole mess.
The knee-jerk anti-semite response when someone doesnt agree with Israel or American Jews is easy, but is it true?
Do you have to be Jewish to be able to disagree with them or Israel?
I am comletely weary of the dredging up of “the Holocaust” everytime someone Jewish doesnt like what is said about them or something they care about. Remember Johnny Cochrans “race card”? Same thing.Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
I’m not saying there arent anti-semites….....it’s just that they’re not under every rock like you’d believe if you took every accusation of anti-semiticism to heart.
Too much influence is when you get no semblence of truth because “it” can’t be said out loud without being turned into a personal attack.
Yes- Jews have a strong and effectivve lobby and they lobby primarily for Israel. That makes me uncomfortable.Here’s why:
When JFK was running for president his opponents said that as a Catholic he would be beholding to the Pope - that was a smear. But if it was true I sure wouldnt want him as president. But this is exactly what the Jewish lobby is about - they put the interest of Israel before anything and I believe that that is NOT in Americas best interest.I have [believe it or not] a number of Jewish friends. One of them has said to me a number of times ” I’d sleep with the devil if it was good for Israel”.
When I asked her which came first in her mind -Israel or the U.S., she responded ” I dont care about America if there is no Israel” or words to that effect.
How am I supposed to respond/ feel about that?
How would you?????

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By Eddie, October 24, 2006 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is just as sad as it is amusing to find apologists for Zionist mass-murder live up to their worst caricatures by shouldering their way into every conversation on Israel armed with the “anti-Semite” label. As demonstrated already by the person who posted the earlier comment, the legions of ignorant lemmings would never discuss the substance of the thesis, but rather the impressions that they gleaned off from the various hit pieces. Anyone who can look at the build up for the Iraq war, the composition of the Defence Policy Board and Office of Special Plans, and the fact that AIPAC is under FBI investigation for espionage even as we speak, and not see the fingerprints of the Lobby is either blind, or is her/himself part of the deceptive apparatus. Its about time the Zionist zealots in the US administrations are held to account.

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By Kathy, October 24, 2006 at 4:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt make it sound like lobbyist for Israel are somehow wrong and have “too much influence” on our foreign policy.  Since when is it not ok for a lobbiest to have influence?  Isn’t that their job?  I think Mearsheimer and Walt loose their credibility, and do sound anti-semetic, arguing over Israel having “too much influence” when strong lobbying seems to be the way of our country.  How much is “too much?” Look into the Pharmaceutical industry.  Where does America draw the line of “too much influence?” Why not question the “too much influence” the NRA, tobacco, and pharmaceutical industry’s lobbyist?  Mearsheimer and Walt are asking the wrong question.

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By Jon Tate, October 23, 2006 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Before George W. Bush, I never concerned myself with Jewish conspiracy theories, relegating such ideas to morons and white power neo-nazis.  However, well before the John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt paper was posted on the Kennedy School of Government website, it became impossible for any thinking person to ignore the neo-conservative influence within the Bush Administration.  Even a cursory examination of the neo-con movement revealed powerful pro-Israel connections within the groups most outspoken proponents.  If the Mearsheimer and Walt paper did not make the point, the vitriole and plain meanness we’ve seen from Pro-Israel Jewish Americans in response to the paper has been shocking and has served only to hammer home what is now overwhelmingly obvious.

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