Archive for June, 2012


I’ll be publishing my weekly Souciant pieces on Friday, at least for a while, instead of Wednesdays, so today there’s a new one up there. I discuss the experience of MJ Rosenberg and his use of the term Israel Firsters to describe so-called “pro-Israel” advocates in the US who place Israeli interests over the US’, as most of them from AIPAC and rightward do. In my view, some of the most powerful of that crew actually are pursuing an agenda which cares about neither Israel or the US. Check it out.

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This week’s Souciant piece is up. It’s the first of what is likely to be many pieces over the next few months on Obama’s first term, his possible second one and just how bad things could be with a Republican president. In this piece, while I remind folks that things would have been much worse with McCain and will be much worse if Romney wins in November, Obama’s policy, or lack thereof, in the Middle East has been a disaster.

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This week’s Souciant article is up. In it, I look at the bigotry of the Zionism of Eli Yishai, its prominent role in Israel and Zionism not only today but historically, and how Jewish self-determination could exist without both that hate and the obsession with an artificially created and enforced “Jewish majority.”

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In response to my article today, a long-time reader commented as follows:

“What’s needed is an Eliot-Ness-type figure to bring down this AIPAC mafia. But where is one to be found in this post-heroic era?”

US elected officials treat Israel as a sensitive domestic issue, not a foreign policy matter. Must it be so?

I thought it was worth bringing my response over here, because I think this sort of thinking, while certainly based on being well-informed and thoughtful, is ultimately self-defeating and unnecessary.

My response:

I don’t think that’s what’s needed. in fact, I think that approach is part of the problem. Sure, AIPAC has done some shady things in its history. That’s also true of other lobbying groups, incidentally. But the bulk of their success is due to things that are perfectly legal–propagandizing, badgering their opponents, and directing campaign funds. Most of all, straightforward lobbying of elected officials.

Even if AIPAC was less connected to the Israeli government per se, they’d still have a lot of the effect they do. In part, that is due to the fact that they capitalize on the sorts of things I describe in the article above–American idealization, almost deification, of Israel as a military power, American anti-Muslim/anti-Arab bigotry, and the stability of Israel as a country and an ally. While Israel often spits in the face of US desires, the Israeli government knows exactly when it needs to stand by the US–usually when no one else will.  (more…)

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In the final installment of my series marking 45 years since the 1967 War and the beginning of the occupation, I look at the huge role that war played in the development of the “special relationship” between the US and Israel. The relationship has obviously been a disaster for the cause of peace and for the Palestinians, but has it really been good for Israel and the US?

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