Posted in Jewish Community, Jewish State, tagged Abe Foxman, AIPAC, Anti-Semitism, Becket, Benjamin Netanyahu, David Duke, Gaza, Gilad Atzmon, human rights, Israel, Jewish State, Jews, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Middle east, Occupation, Palestine, Palestinians, Peter O'Toole, pro-Israel, Richard Burton, West Bank, Zionism on March 19, 2013 |
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“How can the Jews, of all people do this?”
The West Bank Separation wall, covered with graffiti
I hear this too often when discussing the dispossession and occupation of the Palestinian people. It’s a tiresome line. Sure, I understand that on the surface this seems a reasonable question. But one doesn’t have to look very far to see that it isn’t.
Oppression and suffering don’t necessarily lead to a greater sensitivity to these things. We see this on a personal level, as well as on a larger scale. The victim of child abuse may well grow up to become an abuser. The victim of sexual abuse may also react to such an experience by repeating it on someone else. Many such people do not repeat the cycle, but many do.
Similarly, some large groups of people face discrimination and then bring it to others. Puritans faced discrimination in Europe, came to “the New World” and visited worse upon the native population, on slaves, and as time went on, on various other ethnic groups. Power changed hands at different times in Eastern Europe, and discrimination against one group or another continued to flourish. Shi’a have faced great discrimination in the Muslim world, and this has not brought about an egalitarian government in Iran. Hutus were once the majority treated like a minority in Rwanda. The Nazis rose to prominence on the strength of wounded German pride after years of economic deprivation in the wake of the First World War. The examples are legion. (more…)
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Posted in Barack Obama, Bibi Netanyahu, US-Israel Lobby, tagged Abe Foxman, ADL, AIPAC, Israel, Israel Lobby, John McCain, Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Netanyahu, Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama on November 9, 2011 |
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Originally published at LobeLog
In an embarrassing moment, Presidents Barack Obama of the United States and Nicolas Sarkozy of France didn’t realize their microphones were turned on as they commiserated about having to deal with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The political backlash, which should be a concern for an Israeli leader, is already starting to hit Obama.
“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.
“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.
But rather than Israel being concerned that world powers, the US and France, find their leader an obnoxious presence, it is portrayed even here as a problem for the President. (more…)
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Posted in United States, US-Israel Lobby, tagged Israel, Palestine, human rights, international law, pro-Israel, Middle east, J Street, AIPAC, Obama, Occupation, Netanyahu, Israel Lobby, Two-state solution, ADL, Abe Foxman, Anti-Semitism, Flotilla, Jewish State, John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, Thomas Friedman on September 21, 2011 |
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My latest piece for Babylon Times, hosted by Souciant, reflects on the NY Times’ Thomas Friedman surprisingly confirming the words of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer in their book The Israel Lobby.
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Posted in United Nations, United States, US-Israel Lobby, Barack Obama, tagged Israel, United Nations, Middle east, AIPAC, Obama, Israel Lobby, Abe Foxman, John Mearsheimer, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Walt on March 8, 2011 |
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Back in 2007, when John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt released their book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, I disagreed with many parts of their thesis. Most of the criticisms at the time attacked the authors as anti-Semites or made straw man arguments about points the authors were not making. Thus, Christopher Toensing of MERIP and I put together an article responding to Walt and Mearsheimer in what I think was a more rational manner. I later issued an update to that article.
While not agreeing with the Walt/Mearsheimer thesis, I disagree at least as much with the two major alternatives: what I’d call the Foxman thesis, and what I’d call the
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of the controversial book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy
Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League wrote a book in response to Walt and Mearsheimer which offered very little beyond the same straw man arguments and insinuations of nefarious motives about the Israel Lobby authors. But Foxman’s case, separate from his critique of Walt and Mearsheimer, is that the Israel Lobby, as symbolized by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) simply educates the public and Congress but is only one of many lobbying groups and, in the end, American Middle East policy was based on a careful analysis of American interests, which, to Foxman, are usually identical to Israeli ones.
Professor Noam Chomsky, well-known critic of American and Israeli policy, contends that the Lobby is very powerful as long as it goes along with extant US policies. That is, it does not play a significant role in determining those policies, but does close off debate and discussion about it.
When I wrote my own response to Walt/Mearsheimer, I was living and working on this issue in California. Having now spent three years in Washington, and having been at hundreds of meetings with Congress members and their aides, and State Department and White House staff, it’s very clear that AIPAC is always the 800-pound gorilla in the room. (more…)
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