The AIPAC Statement We Need But Have Not Gotten (Yet): Netanyahu Government Needs to Remove Daylight Between US & Israel

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Obama Netanyahu 2009.jpgI have written the mock press release below partly as farce and partly as hope for the kind of statement that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) might eventually issue in response to the provocative and disconcerting posture of the Israeli government this past week.
This note is fiction and modifies an official AIPAC press statement issued at 9 pm tonight as its base.
AIPAC is urging the US government to be cautious in its statements and actions with Israel, when I feel that it is the Israeli government that is out of line.
I mean no disrespect towards AIPAC and its members in this commentary — but it is time I believe for AIPAC supporters to realize that decisions that we heard this week about expanding settlements in East Jerusalem are fueling and helping Iran’s regional pretensions — not undermining them.
To be fair, I have pasted the official and correct AIPAC statement on the extended page.
I also want to encourage commenters on this blog to remain civil and fair-minded. I think that there are different portals through which people look at this stressful and complicated situation. My views are well-known and have been presented consistently over the last several years.
It’s time for other Americans who support Israel to realize that the zero sum approach that is being forced by parts of the Netanyahu government is actually significantly harming Israel’s long term interests. I know that there are senior officials in Israel’s Knesset, Foreign Ministry, and even in its military and intelligence services that agree with the perspective I am sharing here.
Prime Minister Netanyahu may not be able to help his position — but it’s time that the Obama administration changes the situation.
Netanyahu became Obama’s Khruschev by demonstrating the President’s weakness over the settlements issue in the first round.
Like Kennedy and Khrushchev’s second tussle which led to a nuclear crisis, I fear that to gain his global standing, Obama will have to turn this worsening crisis with Israel and Netanyahu into a pivotal moment for US foreign policy — but I don’t know yet whether the President and his national security team have the vision and strategic capability to pull off something that leaves Israel, the US, and the Middle East in a better place.
– Steve Clemons

[This was written by Steve Clemons and is NOT a REAL press statement by AIPAC.]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2010
AIPAC CALLS RECENT STATEMENTS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ISRAEL
“A MATTER OF SERIOUS CONCERN”
URGES NETANYAHU ADMINISTRATION TO WORK TO IMMEDIATELY DEFUSE THE TENSION WITH UNITED STATES

The Netanyahu Government’s recent statements and posture regarding major settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the calloused disregard for the impact of these actions on Israel’s relationship with the United States are a matter of serious concern.
AIPAC calls on Prime Minister Netanyahu to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the U.S. government.
The United States is Israel’s closest ally in the Middle East. The foundation of the U.S-Israel relationship is rooted in Israel’s fundamental strategic interest, shared democratic values, and a long-time commitment to peace in the region.
Those strategic interests, which most Israelis acknowledge and share with the U.S., extend to every facet of Israeli life and its relationship with the United States.
Unfortunately, a relationship that has generally enjoyed vast bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people is now eroding because of the Israeli government’s tendency to allow short term concerns and the incrementalism of its expansion in Occupied Territories to undermine its own long term security interests, its core relations with the US, and the security and safety of American men and women deployed today in the Middle East.
The Netanyahu government should make a conscious effort to immediately move away from actions that would further undermine any prospects for Israel-Palestine peace and a two state solution. While Israel complains about unilateral deadlines directed at the Jewish State, it is time for Israel to ante up on the peace process and demonstrate that it has the maturity to demonstrate that it will cooperate with and not undermine US basic, fundamental, and strategic interests.
The escalated rhetoric of recent days reminds how much substantive work needs to be done — and how absent the Israeli government has been — with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors.
Israel’s provocative decision and announcement that it will greatly expand East Jerusalem settlements — followed by revelations of tens of thousands more in process but as yet unannounce — undermine the chances of securing normalization with Arab neighbors and only add to Iran’s growing strength and powers of persuasion in the region.
We strongly urge the Netanyahu government to work closely and privately with the Obama administration, in a manner befitting strategic allies, to address these issues between the two governments.
The strategic patience of the United States is being irresponsibly tested by Israel today, and it is time for all well meaning supporters of this relationship and of global stability and peace to encourage significantly more responsible behavior from the Israeli government in reigning in issues like settlement expansion that make a once seemingly unconditional relationship necessarily “conditional.”
As Vice President Biden said last week in Israel,

“The cornerstone of the relationship is our absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israel’s security.” But with this kind of commitment also come mutual responsibilities.
“Bibi, you heard me say before, progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the United States and Israel. There is no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security.”
But Bibi, you need to fix the space that is growing — and fix it now.

It is time for Israel to fill that gap and to join President Obama’s efforts to generate a new equilibrium in the Middle East that assures Israel’s interests and security and that finally provides for a viable, stable State of Palestine.


This is official release from AIPAC tonight:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2010
AIPAC CALLS RECENT STATEMENTS BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
“A MATTER OF SERIOUS CONCERN”
URGES OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO WORK TO IMMEDIATELY DEFUSE THE TENSION WITH ISRAEL

The Obama Administration’s recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel are a matter of serious concern. AIPAC calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State.
Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East. The foundation of the U.S-Israel relationship is rooted in America’s fundamental strategic interest, shared democratic values, and a long-time commitment to peace in the region. Those strategic interests, which we share with Israel, extend to every facet of American life and our relationship with the Jewish State, which enjoys vast bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.
The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests.
The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done to with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors.
We strongly urge the Administration to work closely and privately with our partner Israel, in a manner befitting strategic allies, to address any issues between the two governments.
As Vice President Biden said last week in Israel, “The cornerstone of the relationship is our absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israel’s security. Bibi, you heard me say before, progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the United States and Israel. There is no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security.”
– Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note

Comments

222 comments on “The AIPAC Statement We Need But Have Not Gotten (Yet): Netanyahu Government Needs to Remove Daylight Between US & Israel

  1. Sweetness says:

    Questions writes: “A little side note on charges of “firsterism” and
    what it leads to.”
    Don’t bother ‘em with history, Q, or matters of principle, or
    thinking through anything.

    Reply

  2. questions says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/20/arts/20muscatine.html?ref=obituaries
    “Student unrest at Berkeley in the 1960s created a new role for Mr. Muscatine, who had begun teaching at the campus in 1948. During the Free Speech Movement, as students staged sit-ins and demonstrations to protest restrictions on political speech on university property, he played a leading role in mediating between students and the university administration.
    His sympathy for student demands over free-speech issues came from hard experience. In 1949 he and 30 other professors, invoking the principal of academic freedom, refused to sign an anti-Communist loyalty oath then newly required by the State of California. Mr. Muscatine was fired and regained his job only after the California Supreme Court ruled that the oath was unconstitutional.
    After the immediate crisis on campus had subsided, Mr. Muscatine was asked to lead a faculty committee charged with proposing educational reforms at the university. “Education at Berkeley,” published in 1966, quickly became known as the Muscatine Report and attracted widespread attention for the boldness of its plans to encourage nontraditional courses and break down interdisciplinary barriers.”
    ******
    A little side note on charges of “firsterism” and what it leads to.

    Reply

  3. DonS says:

    Nadine, instead of being indirect, please come right out with your feelings and, if ad hominem enough, perhaps we shall be rid of you on this blog.

    Reply

  4. nadine says:

    “Are you so narcissistic that you actually think your views on the Israel-Palestine conflict are objective while the views of those who have a different point of view are controlled by a propaganda machine?” (WigWag, to DonS)
    Yes. He is. He cannot understand American’s affinity towards Israel as a self-made democracy or a fellow state with Judea-Christian values, as these are not his values.
    So, it must be all those Jew-vibes that 3% of the country manages to control the other 97% with. No other explanation is possible, right?
    This is just what the Arabs tell themselves everyday. The Jews must control America, they reason, because there’s no other explanation for why America supports Israel, or so they think.
    It’s part of the ongoing alliance between the Left and radical Islam.

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  5. DonS says:

    “Wig writes: “it’s time for crippling sanctions on Iran and it’s time for Obama to stop sucking up to the Palestinian leadership. Sucking up? How so?” (Sweetness)
    This is a disconnect that puzzles me too but my guess would be that, in this area, Wigwag is emotionally unable to see it otherwise.
    “As far as nuclear weapons go (and sanctions), I think nukes are only good for creating a MAD situation. As soon as they’re used, all bets are off, including for the country that uses them. So, at this point, except maybe for the US, but probably not even for us, the use of nukes is tantamount to suicide.
    “So, if nukes are only “good for” creating MAD, then the only way to prevent their spread is a reverse MAD. IOW, MAD is a kind of nuclear embrace in which all sides have their hands around the others’ throat(s). The only way to reverse this is for all sides to agree to get rid of them simultaneously. (Sweetness.)
    Right, to the letter. And it has been this way for decades. And we could probably attribute the momentum that keeps the nuclear weapons paradigm going to a very large subset of the military industrial complex. There are protocols extant and that could be established that solve the nuts and bolts of implementing ‘simultaneous’ disarmament.
    One wonders how loudly the right wing noise machine in the US would object to nuclear disarmament on the grounds, say of first step towards ‘world government’ or some such clap trap. But with the demise of the Soviet block, and the economic symbiosis with China, nuclear sabre rattling has lost much of its pseudo patriotic edge.

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  6. Sweetness says:

    A few comments:
    • Using Polls: All sides use the polls that support their position and discard the ones that don’t. Polls are notoriously unreliable and open to all kinds of manipulation, especially in the way questions are formulated and what gets left out.
    At MOST polls tell you what “the people” think or feel, but they don’t say anything about what is “right” or what the government SHOULD do. If I’m not mistaken, the Founders didn’t envision a country run by leaders who polled the citizens to figure out the right thing to do. In fact, they were afraid (some of them anyway) of the ignorant opinions of the unlettered masses.
    Wig, if the Germans, Austrians, Poles, Ukrainians, and Lithuanians had been polled in the 1930s, 40s…and AFTER…and the Turks at the turn of the century…and North Carolinians any time before, say, 1970…I’m CERTAIN you and I would rip up those polls and throw them in the rubbish.
    So, polls tell us NOTHING (or very little) about what US policy should be. If you disagree with this then consistency would dictate that you accept (and abide by) the findings of all the polls with which you disagree. Agreed?
    • I have no doubt that a majority of Americans “support” Israel and prefer to the PA or Hamas. For all kinds of obvious reasons–and they are right to, by and large.
    • There is no doubt that a grave injustice was done to the Palestinian people in the founding of Israel and its aftermath. Wig, you and I agree that Israel treats the Palestinians abominably; you’ve written as much. It goes without saying that Israel should find a way to stop this and compensate the Palestinians for this injustice. How can anyone disagree with this if they are interested in more than “realism” and are pursuing “justice” (as all Jews are commanded to do “justice, justice…” and Israel is the “Jewish State,” no?)
    • The fact that a grave injustice was done to the Palestinian people in the founding of Israel doesn’t mean (to me) that Israel’s founding was itself an unjust act. Sometimes, two rights or two just acts collide. It’s not impossible. In fact, when I survey the list of states, there’s probably more moral justification for Israel’s existence than just about any state I know of.
    After all, what moral justification does the mere occupation of land bring with it? Half the time, occupiers are simply the most recent tenants. Is the length of occupation determinative? If so, how long is “long”? And why can’t current tenants share with others…if the need is great enough?
    Seems to me that a people that’s been oppressed, evicted, and killed–and otherwise told they don’t belong–for centuries–are morally due a place where they know they “belong” and have a fighting chance of defeating their enemies.
    • Every time someone says “it’s high time Obama do X” I want to laugh. He’s been in office a year and a half. He’s faced more problems all at once than ANY president since FDR and a polarized, hurting citizenry armed with a 24-hour news cycle and the cheapest, most powerful communications medium in history. I think the guy is doing pretty well, all things considered.
    Wig writes: “it’s time for crippling sanctions on Iran and it’s time for Obama to stop sucking up to the Palestinian leadership.”
    Sucking up? How so? He withdrew his first real act toward IP peace, with the settlement fracas. How did THAT amount to sucking up?
    If we say that resolving this conflict and settling this longstanding injustice is a moral imperative–and how can a Jew not?–then it seems to me that a values-based foreign policy, rather than one guided by “realism,” would dictate that Obama do “the right thing” and keep trying to get these two parties to make peace. This isn’t “sucking up”; it’s doing what’s right, despite the odds.
    Remember…”You are not required to complete the work, yet you are not allowed to desist from it.” Pirkei Avot 2:21
    Realists are the ones who desist…
    To paraphrase Rummy, “You make peace with the partner you have, not the one you’d want to have…”
    As far as nuclear weapons go (and sanctions), I think nukes are only good for creating a MAD situation. As soon as they’re used, all bets are off, including for the country that uses them. So, at this point, except maybe for the US, but probably not even for us, the use of nukes is tantamount to suicide.
    So, if nukes are only “good for” creating MAD, then the only way to prevent their spread is a reverse MAD. IOW, MAD is a kind of nuclear embrace in which all sides have their hands around the others’ throat(s). The only way to reverse this is for all sides to agree to get rid of them simultaneously.
    Sanctions, as far as I can see, mostly lead to pain for the poorest and most vulnerable. There are always ways around them if the country has something valuable to barter (like oil). And, as we saw with Iraq, it doesn’t seem to do the trick. The country sanctioned feels more threatened, more humiliated, and less likely to join the family of peaceful nations. South Africa is the poster child for the effectiveness of sanctions, and it’s not clear how well they really worked there, even though many have strong opinions on this point, including Desmond Tutu. One of the great Jewish South African anti-apartheid activists felt they did not and were wrong, because they hurt the wrong people.
    This is one reason I opposed BDS for Israel.

    Reply

  7. marcus says:

    Does anyone think (like I do ) that POA is actually a POS ( piece of shit ) ?
    The line starts at the right-please take a number.

    Reply

  8. DonS says:

    I said nothing about my own views as being objective. Actually didn’t even say my own views (unless you consider referring to the factually established Israeli carnage in Gaza is somehow untrue). I’m simply pointing out the Israeli centric views that you espouse trump all pretense of American centric views.
    As to haters and bigots, well you have made your bed and lie down with some of the most well established haters and bigots. You and your ilk love to point out the inhumanity, the repressive, reactionary status of ‘the other side’ to some how bolster the case for Israel. Talk about intellectual maturity of an infant.
    The zionist propaganda machine rolls on.

    Reply

  9. WigWag says:

    “Sorry, DonS but you’re not a trusted source when it comes to interpreting American policy issues regarding the mid east. Your mind is firm in the grasp of the haters and bigots.”
    Yes, DonS, the sentence I wrote above is idiotic but it is no more idiotic than the statement you wrote.
    You speak of “trusted sources.” Trusted by whom? The dimwits who share your views in the comment section of this blog? The majority of the American people? The Europeans? The Israelis? The Palestinians? The other Arab nations? The Chinese? The Indians? The South Ossetians?
    Are you so narcissistic that you actually think your views on the Israel-Palestine conflict are objective while the views of those who have a different point of view are controlled by a propaganda machine?
    You may be retired, DonS, but your comment reflects the intellectual maturity of an infant.

    Reply

  10. DonS says:

    Thanks for interpreting Nadine, but the “American people” you refer to and, in this instance, find Congress suddenly and accurate reflection of, are the result of the slick manipulation of the zionist propaganda machine, of which you know much.
    The adminstration, particularly the state department, are up against the propaganda machine that promotes Israel’s short term interest over long term viability. And the zionist propaganda machine certainly could care less about the interests of the US or how many of our nationals and service people are put in danger and killed by radical influenced by Is/Pal as General Petraeus has acknowledged.
    Sorry, but neither you nor Wigwag are trusted sources when it comes to interpreting American policy issues regarding the mid east. Your minds are firm in the grasp of the zionist propaganda machine.

    Reply

  11. nadine says:

    The wedge that Wigwag refers to is between the American people and the President. This is an administration that is jamming down a healthcare bill that people don’t want by 2 to 1, but he says we are too stupid to know what we want, and we’ll like it after he forces it down our throats.

    Reply

  12. DonS says:

    “It will be interesting to watch how Netanyahu plays this. Personally I think he should go on the attack against the Obama Administration. If he does, is there any doubt that Congress and the American people will take his side instead of Obama’s?” (Wigwag)
    Nothing is ever “black or white”, you say. Eh?
    Now who is it who ‘hates America’, as your Limbaugh clone Nadine puts it? It’s one thing to dagree with a policy, but another to prescribe that a foreign nation should go on the “attack” against the adminstration — drive a further wedge between the Congress and the President. And you wonder why some call you an Israel Firster?

    Reply

  13. nadine says:

    Most Americans don’t hate America the way Left does and don’t agree that America is the font of all evil. Thus they don’t have the Left’s impulse to join forces with anybody else who hates America, which is what DonS is displaying.
    How else can you possibly explain the alliance between a Left which claims to be for women’s rights, gay rights, human rights etc. and Islamist theocratic fascists who are for none of these things, who are terrorists besides? What do they have in common? Ans: they both hate America.
    If you remember back 15 years ago during Oslo, it was important for liberals to pretend to themselves that there was a difference between Arafat and the terrorists. The NYT spent a good ten years telling us that Arafat was a peacemaker with no connection to the suicide bombers. Even after the Israelis raided Arafat’s office and produced purchase orders for suicide bomb belts with Arafat’s signature on the them, the NYT kept up the story.
    But now, liberals have “progressed” to admitting, yeah okay, they may be terrorists, but we should “engage” with them anyway, see if we can give them what they want, enter some pretense that appeasement will moderate radicals who are following the orders of Allah. That has never has worked once, but it’s a cover story that sustains the left-Islamist alliance.
    What was the old joke? “A liberal is a man who is too open-minded to be on his own side”? It’s not a joke anymore.

    Reply

  14. WigWag says:

    “Wigwag, you reveal this from Boxer and if it were a surprise.” (DonS)
    I wouldn’t call it a “surprise,” DonS, I would call it “evidence.”
    It just demonstrates how popular Israel is amongst all segments of the American public, even the left which some people suggest has become increasingly disenchanted with Israel if not downright anti-Semitic.
    It also suggests the depth of unpopularity of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and all things Palestinian.
    What will be interesting to watch is if the revulsion that Americans have for the Palestinian position on the Middle East spreads to Europe.
    I actually think we see the preliminary signs of this already. Three weeks ago, Geert Wilders and his anti-immigrant party won a major election victory in Dutch bi elections. Last week, Jean Marie La Pen and his far right political party did stunningly well in local French elections. How did La Pen revive his Party? He dropped most of his anti-Jewish rhetoric and focused on French hostility towards Muslim immigration to France.
    Do you doubt that the hostility towards Muslim immigrants that is exploding amongst native born Europeans is likely to translate into far less sympathy in Europe for the Palestinian cause?
    I guess time will tell.
    Most Americans think it’s the supporters of Palestinians who are ethically challenged. They think it’s supporting the Palestinian cause that’s “morally myopic,” DonS, especially when it comes to supporting the world-view of Hamas. The principles of that organization are repugnant; the decent thing to do would be to eradicate that organization, not negotiate with it. The Palestinian Authority itself is only marginally better.
    Nothing is ever black and white in this world, DonS. When it comes to the Middle East there’s plenty of barbaric behavior to go around; Israelis are guilty of it; Palestinians are guilty of it; so are the Sunni Arab nations and Iran.
    But most Americans have concluded that overall, the Israelis are the good guys and the Palestinians are the villains.
    This is one of those cases where most Americans are right.

    Reply

  15. DonS says:

    Wigwag, you reveal this from Boxer and if it were a surprise. Boxer and Feingold, for all their liberal credentials, not unlike the schism that afflicts some other liberals, virtually always come down foursquare on the reactionary side where Israel is concerned. It is a defect in thinking that they have apparently never been able to rectify and does them no credit. But the checks keep rolling in, and they keep their big donors happy. That plus a myopic moral sense when it comes to Israel. I note, too, the hypocrisy of liberal-lovers who give such as Feingold and Boxer a pass because they are darlings of the liberal set on most issues.

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  16. WigWag says:

    Don’t look now, Mr. President, but it appears that one of the most liberal members of the United States Senate has decided that your approach to the recent dust-up with Netanyahu is counterproductive, wrong-headed and unsustainable.
    Barbara Boxer, one of the five most liberal members of the Senate, has joined with Johnny Isakson, a conservative Republican senator from Georgia to tell the Administration that they better back-off before their incompetence makes things even worse.
    What’s remarkable is that what started out as a monumental blunder by the Netanyahu government has done nothing to erode support for his positions in the United States Congress, but has instead resulted in a public display of Congressional disgust with the positions of the Obama Administration.
    Here’s some of what Boxer and Isakson have to say in their letter addressed to Secretary of State Clinton,
    “Despite your best efforts Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been frozen for over a year. Indeed in a reversal of 16 years of policy, Palestinian leaders are refusing to enter into direct negotiations with Israel. Instead they have put forward a growing list of unprecedented preconditions. By contrast, Israel’s Prime Minister has stated categorically that he is eager to begin unconditional peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
    We also urge you to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds that tie the United States and Israel together and diligently work to diffuse the current tensions.”
    Here’s the link to the full letter,
    http://peacenow.org/images/BoxerIsaksonHRC03.29.10.pdf
    How long has it taken for the United States Congress to repudiate Obama on his temper tantrum? Of course, Boxer is taking the lead in all of this because she’s up for reelection. She knows that siding with Israel is not only the right thing to do; it’s what her constituents want. How many Californians have positive feelings about Israel? How many have positive feelings about the Palestinian Authority? How many have positive feelings about Hamas? Do more Californians think Israel is a nation on the verge of becoming an apartheid state or do more Californians think that the Palestinians are led by thugs who remind them of precisely the same enemies in the Islamic World that the United States is fighting?
    It will be interesting to watch how Netanyahu plays this. Personally I think he should go on the attack against the Obama Administration. If he does, is there any doubt that Congress and the American people will take his side instead of Obama’s? Who really believes in either the Obama Administration’s approach to the Middle East or has sympathy for the negotiating position of the Palestinian Authority other than a few increasingly marginalized leftists or what Walter Russell Mead calls their bigoted or dumb realist colleagues?
    Unfortunately, my real guess is that instead of attacking Netanyahu will fudge; make a few concessions that won’t amount to anything and allow the Obama Administration to save face.
    I guess we will know by next week. That’s when AIPAC will be holding its largest convention ever. 7,500 delegates are expected to attend and they will all be making congressional visits. It looks like they will be taking two messages with them; it’s time for crippling sanctions on Iran and it’s time for Obama to stop sucking up to the Palestinian leadership.
    Just four months from now Christians United for Israel will be holding their convention in Washington, D.C. Several thousand CUFI delegates will be delivering the same message. Unlike the AIPAC delegates, the CUFI delegates will be making the point that they believe it’s the Palestinians, not the Israelis who should be prohibited from building in Jerusalem.
    The next several months should be very interesting for observers of the Israel-Palestine dispute.
    I wonder in what direction the Congress is going to move on all of this during the upcoming congressional election campaign and what will happen to the congressional position on the Israel-Palestine dispute when there are more Republicans in both Houses of Congress than there are now.
    As 2012 approaches, I wonder how the President is going to explain his temper tantrums and his various other mistakes like giving the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a bigot like Mary Robinson.
    It should be great fun to watch.
    One more thing; speaking of liberal Senators, even the second most liberal senator has now called on the Administration to back off. That would be Russ Feingold.
    We’re still waiting to hear from Bernie Sanders.

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  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its amazing watching Wig-Wag, the Israel firster, demolish questions’ bullshit about the various Israeli lobbies not being as powerful as they OBVIOUSLY are.
    What Wiggie doesn’t realize is that she is only underscoring the insidious and corrosive influence this batshit crazy little racist country of Israel has on our politicians. I don’t feel “hopeless” when Wiggie gleefully points to another whore for Israel. I just get angrier, and more vocal in steering people towards sites and sources that offer an alternative to the Hasbara effort. Nary a day goes by that I am not able to interest someone or another in visiting sites such as “In Gaza” or the “Palestine Note”.
    Keep it up, wiggie. Number one, you are rubbing questions’ and his ilk’s faces in their own line of crap, and number two, you are affirming what many of us have said for years now, that Congress is comprised of bribed, blackmailed, and intimidated whores who are scared to death to oppose these bloodsucking vampires that compose the vast majority of the various Israeli lobby groups.

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  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I’m a bit curious.
    If anyone here finds Marcus’ comments honest, interesting, or informative, please speak up, will you?

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  19. marcus says:

    How stupid is this; A bunch of americans who`s country is currently occuping two muslim countries,who`s army has recently killed untold numbers of muslims who`s president bows to the most corrupt arab dictator BOWS!(never imagined that I would ever see that!) this same bunch has the nerve to blame israel`s doings for stirring up anti-american fellings
    This is an inversion of reality of psychotic dimensions.
    BTW; no amount of bowing or capitulation to arab terrorism by your commander in cheif is going to save you from this war your in it up to your necks

    Reply

  20. WigWag says:

    Here’s an interesting statement from Kendrick Meek (D-FL) about the recent contretemps between the Obama Administration and the Netanyahu Government. It looks like Meek thinks Netanyahu is right and Obama/Clinton are wrong.
    Here’s what Meek said,
    *What started off as an internal, domestic disagreement within the Israeli government has turned into an unnecessary international dispute complicated by some undiplomatic language from U.S. administration officials. Opponents of peace, nations and terrorist organizations that wish to do harm to Israel will always seize an opportunity to create a wedge between our nation and Israel. They seek comfort watching these recent events unfold. To give our enemies the false impression that the United States and Israel disagree on fundamental issues within the region sets the peace process back.*
    Of course, Meek is running for the Senate and his likely opponent, Republican Mark Rubio, has issued a statement even more damning of the Obama Administration. At the recent C-PAC convention Rubio called the Obama Administration’s approach to the Middle East “disgusting” and jokingly suggested that Obama’s lead Middle East advisor was probably Reverand Jeremiah Wright.
    Rubio is running against Charlie Crist (who, if I’m correct, Steve Clemons ridiculed on the HBO television special “Outrage” about closeted gay politicians). Crist, who is way behind Rubio in the polls, called the Obama Administration’s reaction to the Jerusalem announcement, *hysterical.*
    What is surprising is how the Democrats in Congress are almost as vitriolic in calling the Obama Administration out as the Republicans are. Barbara Mikulski’s (D-MD) statement illustrates this perfectly. She said,
    *The greatest threat to the security of the United States and Israel does not come from what Israel is building; it comes from what Iran is building. Israel is America’s treasured friend and ally. We are bound together by shared values and interests.*
    Of course, Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) comment says it all,
    *The appropriate response was a shake of the head – not a temper tantrum. Israel is a sovereign nation and an ally, not a punching bag. Enough already.*
    There are two major reason that the Obama Administration’s approach to the Middle East keeps getting shot down; (1)appeasing Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world achieves nothing. If anything, they are even more recalcitrant than the Netanyahu Government and that’s saying alot; (2)a policy of bending over backwards to make a broken Palestinian government look salvageable while at the same time pressuring the Israeli Government to do things it doesn’t want to do is not politically sustainable in a nation that likes Israel and dislikes Palestinians.
    What percentage of Americans has good feelings about the Palestinian Authority? Wasn’t it around ten percent in the recent Gallup poll? Doesn’t that place the Palestinians right near the Taliban and the Iranians amongst groups that the American public detests?

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    I am wondering once again if Obama is creating more openings for internationals to sling some more weight in I/P.
    Is the US/Obama attitude right now more than just reaction to Israel’s latest insult?
    Did the Israel insult and the ensuing attention to the CENCOM report present a way for Obama to give another signal on his strategy of a US/International united front or two/power fronts on Israel and I/P?
    An opportunity presented itself. We knew it would.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0319/Quartet-host-Russia-A-new-broker-for-Israel-peace
    Quartet host Russia: A new broker for Israel peace?
    Amid a US-Israel flap, some see an opportunity for Middle East Quartet host Russia to become a bigger player in Israel peace talks. Moscow has strong ties with both Israelis and Palestinians.
    Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
    , Correspondent / March 19, 2010
    Moscow
    As the Middle East Quartet met in Moscow today amid high US-Israel tensions, some see an opportunity for host Russia to return as a key player in Israel peace talks with the Palestinians.
    Unlike the cold war past, when the Soviet Union backed the Arabs and the US supported Israel, experts say that Moscow and Washington appear to be increasingly on the same page about the way forward in managing the long-running conflict, and the present situation offers a fresh opportunity to work together toward a common goal.
    Russia, which has forged good relations with Israel in the post-Soviet period, still maintains strong links with the Palestinians, which might prove useful in nudging them toward the bargaining table.
    “Israel has no fear that its main friend, the US, will ever abandon it, but the Palestinians worry very much about being isolated,” says Viktor Kremeniuk, deputy director of the official Institute of USA-Canada Studies in Moscow. “The Palestinians need to feel that someone is in their corner, and Russia is well-positioned to play that role.”
    Voice of America..
    Middle East RSS Feed
    Israel Tightens Security as Quartet Demands Settlement Freeze
    Robert Berger | Jerusalem 19 March 2010
    Israel has imposed a security clampdown in Jerusalem amid new demands from the international community to halt settlement expansion.
    Because of the restrictions, some Palestinians held prayers on the streets as armed Israeli soldiers looked on. There were sporadic, low-level clashes in East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank.
    The United States has demanded that Israel cancel the construction project so peace talks can resume. The demand was repeated in Moscow at a meeting of the Quartet of world powers mediating the Middle East conflict: the U.S., European Union, United Nations and Russia.
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:…………

    Reply

  22. questions says:

    OT, but really interesting research into legislative term limits:
    http://media.wayne.edu/2010/03/08/twelveyear-study-by-wayne-state-faculty-shows
    and….
    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/03/throw-all-bums-out-bad-idea.html#comments
    538 doesn’t seem to have a permalink set up, so this is the link to the comments. Scroll up for the post.
    The counterproductive aspects of some of our simple fixes are so interesting!

    Reply

  23. samuelburke says:

    “US Department of Justice Asked to Regulate AIPAC as a Foreign
    Agent of the Israeli Government
    WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The US
    Department of Justice has been formally asked to begin regulating
    the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as the foreign
    agent of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A 392 page legal
    filing presented by a four person IRmep delegation in a two hour
    meeting with top officials of the Internal Security Section
    substantiated the following case for AIPAC’s immediate
    registration:”
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-department-of-
    justice-asked-to-regulate-aipac-as-a-foreign-agent-of-the-
    israeli-government-88190712.html

    Reply

  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Questions cites the results of the poll, then asks what “it means”.
    Perhaps it “means” that the poll found that “49% think that the building should stop AS PART OF A PEACE DEAL WITH THE PALESTINIANS and only 14% think a peace deal is SOMEWHAT LIKELY and only 2% think it’s VERY LIKELY”
    Damn, I’d hate to think like this jackass does.

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/19/jon-stewart-glenn-beck-parody_n_505329.html
    15 glorious and amazing minutes of Jon Stewart on Glenn Beck. He nails it.

    Reply

  26. questions says:

    Ummm, if 49% think that the building should stop AS PART OF A PEACE DEAL WITH THE PALESTINIANS and only 14% think a peace deal is SOMEWHAT LIKELY and only 2% think it’s VERY LIKELY then…
    49% think it should be part of a deal that only 16% think is in the realm of possibility.
    So what does this poll really mean? Hard to say, in my view at any rate.

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Americans are more pro-Israel than ever before”
    Thats a quote from the ISRAEL FIRSTER, Wig-wag. who has managed to become as full of shit as Nadine is.
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/israel_the_middle_east/49_say_israel_should_stop_building_settlements_as_part_of_peace_deal
    49% Say Israel Should Stop Building Settlements As Part of Peace Deal
    Wednesday, March 17, 2010
    Israel’s insistence on building new settlements in disputed Palestinian territory has heightened tensions with the United States. Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters think Israel should be required to stop those settlements as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% of voters disagree and believe Israel should not be required to stop building those settlements. Another 29% are not sure.
    Seventy-five percent (75%) agree, however, that the Palestinians should be required to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as part of a peace deal, although that’s down six points from last June. Only six percent (6%) disagree with that. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.
    But 73% also think it is unlikely that there will be lasting peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis in the next decade, consistent with findings in previous surveys. This includes 19% who say it is not at all likely.
    Fourteen percent (14%) say a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians is at least somewhat likely, with just two percent (2%)who believe its very likely.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “As for your views, if you disagree with my characterization of your views, you could simply say, “Well, questions, I actually don’t think that the I/P situation has led/will lead to terrorist attacks against the US” or, “hey questions, you have my view wrong. Here’s what I actually think…” or whatever. But no, you just call me a bigger asshole than ever”
    Been there, done that. It doesn’t work with you. Your mind is going 24/7 on how to be contary to the obvious, and how to build mansions out of straw. I’ll just stick with the asshole bit. Its honest, and it fits.

    Reply

  29. DonS says:

    from a rather substantive MSNBC story:
    On Wednesday Netanyahu had to apologize for remarks by his brother-in-law in a radio interview in which he described President Obama as an “anti-semite.” Netanyahu said he completely rejected the remarks by his wife’s brother, Hagi Ben Artzi.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35928291/ns/world_news-mideastn_africa/page/2/
    Can I have my $3 Billion check back please?
    Or is this just the equivalent of the crazy brother, e.g., Billy beer, now deceased, in the attic?

    Reply

  30. DonS says:

    “Yet behind that question there lurks an even larger one: Is the progressive militarization of U.S. policy in the Greater Middle East — entrusting ever more authority to proconsuls like Gen. Petraeus and flooding the region with American troops — contributing to peace and stability? Or is it producing precisely the opposite result?” (Bacevich)
    Yet behind this question lurks and even bigger one; can the US continue to disproportionately skew its resources towards the military sector and not ignore needs at home to the detriment of fundamental soundness, and the increasing emergence of political polarization and instability?
    If Petraeus can show some insight, surely other power possessors can notice that the impetus for military action comes not inexorably from a defined enemy that requires a military response, but to a huge degree from a mindset that prejudices and defines the enemy, but moreso, that defines the major response as a military exigency.

    Reply

  31. DonS says:

    “Calling someone a traitor for not lining up priorities the way you do is not the least bit generous.” Questions, you really need to read more carefully; Sweetness brought in the notion of ‘treason’ for examination.
    As my intentions will be so difficult for you to divine from my words from now on, I suggest you simply avoid the problem.
    Ta.

    Reply

  32. Sweetness says:

    Questions: “But sadly, the Palestinian situation is not the last
    vestige of claimed moral justification for violent jihadism against
    the West. Read Pape for many more justifications. Read bin Laden
    on US troops in Saudi Arabia — which is what got him going in the
    first place. Think about ME energy issues, the pressure that energy
    policy puts on the Saudi government is an outside force of the sort
    Pape identifies as problematic.
    “Palestinian self-determination is an end in itself, and it should be
    defended that way. As for what it will bring us instrumentally, I
    don’t think we should make any assumptions at all.”
    Pretty much my take. But I do think this is getting things moving.
    If it results in a Palestinian state, great. We’ll then get to see what
    falls out of that and what doesn’t. And where everyone ends up…

    Reply

  33. Paul Norheim says:

    I agree with Questions that the I/P conflict is not the “last vestige”
    of claimed moral justification. But it is certainly on the Top Five
    list.
    Except for that, I think Bacevich’s article was excellent – also his
    last words of warning re “progressive militarization of U.S. policy.”

    Reply

  34. questions says:

    “That said, the United States has a profound interest in redressing the long-standing grievances of the Palestinian people — not with expectation that Islamic extremism will thereby vanish, with Muslims everywhere falling in love with America, but in order to strip away every last vestige of claimed moral justification for violent jihadism directed against the West.”
    But sadly, the Palestinian situation is not the last vestige of claimed moral justification for violent jihadism against the West. Read Pape for many more justifications. Read bin Laden on US troops in Saudi Arabia — which is what got him going in the first place. Think about ME energy issues, the pressure that energy policy puts on the Saudi government is an outside force of the sort Pape identifies as problematic.
    Much as I really like Bacevich and respect his work a lot, I’m not so sure about this piece.
    Certainly, Palestinian self-determination is an end in itself, and it should be defended that way. As for what it will bring us instrumentally, I don’t think we should make any assumptions at all.

    Reply

  35. questions says:

    If we could understand your intentions separately from the words you choose, then “arcane” connotations might not matter that much. But insofar as your words are really the only guide to your intentions, and indeed you confirm your enjoyment of suggesting treason/psyops/innuendo, I would guess that you actually do mean to suggest not merely bad thinking but borderline treason on the part of anyone who doesn’t prioritize the way you do.
    And, no, it’s not curmudgeonly — a curmudgeon is vaguely acceptable in a generously grumpy way. Calling someone a traitor for not lining up priorities the way you do is not the least bit generous.
    ****
    Paul, enjoy the keyboard. Haven’t sat at the piano in ages (not that I’m particularly good at it. I started as an adult so the coordination is on the weaker end of things. Lots of sound, and some fury as I misread a note or can’t get my finger to the right key in time…. But it’s fun anyway.) Maybe you’ll inspire me to put Pape down (not “Papen”) and pick up the repertoire book for intermediate piano students (most of which is too damned hard. Ok, sometimes there are too many notes!)

    Reply

  36. Carroll says:

    Now the dust is settling, here’s a pretty clean and clear article on the Patraeus statements.
    Solon
    Editor:
    Updated: TodayTopic:
    Israel
    Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010 17:20 EDT
    How Petraeus could swing thinking on Israel
    His belated recognition that U.S. and Israeli interests aren’t always intertwined has particular impact
    By Andrew Bacevich
    AP/Cliff Owen/SalonGen. David Petraeus, commander of United States Central Command, may or may not have asked to add the West Bank and Gaza to the 4.6 million square miles of land and sea comprising his Area of Responsibility (AOR).
    Writing in Foreign Policy magazine’ s “Middle East Channel,” journalist Mark Perry reports that he did. Petraeus, leaving himself plenty of wiggle room, says it’s not so.
    This much is certain, however: Gen. Petraeus, easily the most influential U. S. officer on active duty, has discovered the Holy Land. And his discovery is likely to discomfit those Americans committed to the proposition that the United States and Israel face the same threats and are bound together by identical interests.
    With regard to the plight of the Palestinians, Petraeus says that this is emphatically not the case. Here, he believes, U. S. and Israeli interests diverge — sharply and perhaps irreconcilably.
    In a lengthy statement offered to the Armed Services Committee earlier this week, Petraeus ticked off a long list of problems in his AOR — AfPak, Iran, Iraq, Yemen — and then turned to what he called the “root causes of instability.” Ranking as item No. 1 on his list was this: “insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Middle East peace.” Petraeus continued:
    The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.
    These judgments are not exactly novel. Indeed, they are commonplace, even if they remain in some quarters hotly contested. What is striking is that Petraeus, hardly a political naif, should have endorsed them — and that he chose to do so at a moment when U. S.-Israeli relations are especially fraught.
    What are we to make of this?
    It seems increasingly clear that a thoroughgoing reappraisal of the U. S.-Israeli strategic partnership is in the offing. Much of the credit (or, if you prefer, blame) for that prospect belongs to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of the famous (or infamous) tract “The Israel Lobby.”
    Whatever that book’s shortcomings, its appearance in 2007 injected into discussions of U.S.-Israeli relations a candor that that had been previously absent. Convictions that had been out of bounds now became legitimate subjects for discussion. Prejudices were transformed into mere opinions.
    Out of this candor has come a rolling reassessment, with the ultimate outcome by no means clear. That David Petraeus, hitherto not known to be an anti-Semite, has implicitly endorsed one of Mearsheimer and Walt’s core findings — questioning whether the United States should view Israel as a strategic asset — constitutes further evidence that something important is afoot.
    Those most devoted to maintaining the status quo in U.S.-Israeli relations have shouted themselves hoarse in denouncing views such as those to which Petraeus himself subscribes. Whether they will now turn on the much-esteemed general remains to be seen.
    Yet shouting hasn’t worked and won’t. It’s far too late for that. Better to acknowledge the facts — Petraeus states them with admirable clarity — and then deal with the implications. Israeli wariness about creating a genuinely sovereign Palestinian state is entirely reasonable. The same can be said for Israel’s determination never to betray any sign of weakness.
    That said, the United States has a profound interest in redressing the long-standing grievances of the Palestinian people — not with expectation that Islamic extremism will thereby vanish, with Muslims everywhere falling in love with America, but in order to strip away every last vestige of claimed moral justification for violent jihadism directed against the West.
    To pretend that this divergence of interests does not exist or does not matter — or to sustain the pretense that the fraudulent “peace process” holds out any real prospect of producing a solution — is the equivalent of allowing a sore to fester. The inevitable result is to allow infection to spread, with potentially fateful consequences.
    Here in the ninth year of the Long War, with U.S. policy toward the Islamic world one long record of folly and miscalculation, what we need is more candor, not less.
    How long the United States can tolerate the denial of Palestinian self-determination is one question demanding urgent attention. Yet behind that question there lurks an even larger one: Is the progressive militarization of U.S. policy in the Greater Middle East — entrusting ever more authority to proconsuls like Gen. Petraeus and flooding the region with American troops — contributing to peace and stability? Or is it producing precisely the opposite result?
    Let a thousand flowers bloom

    Reply

  37. DonS says:

    Agree, my involvement in this discussion has nothing to do with semantics.
    Agree, content of “Israel firster” is fluid.
    Agree, as per prior post, firster may carry some arcane baggage for some people.
    Disagree it is not useful since, as I stated previously, it is a perjorative term, in my view, and characterizing the stance of those who I call firsters (that’s me, not anyone else) in a perjorative manner is exactly what I intend. I can also discuss relative substance, thank you very much.
    The AIPAC is so very good at psychological warfare, innuendo, and capturing the colorful perjoratives, I am not about to disarm myself verbally. It’s pretty small potatoes.
    If that makes me a curmudgeon, others have noted that as well!

    Reply

  38. Sweetness says:

    DonS writes: “They are a group. They are loosely organized.
    They are virtually monolithic in thought . The presume to
    arrogantly appropriate the mantle of patriotism. So if we can’t
    use ‘firster’, and even ‘neocon’ might be suspect (though I’m not
    implying you say this), are we totally bereft of using a word of
    opprobrium to describe a category, group, or class of
    individuals — reasonably clearly identified — who undermine
    US strategic interests? If not ‘firster’, what?”
    Good thoughts. I don’t have much time to respond (perhaps
    also a good thing-:) But my goal (and perhaps Questions’,
    though I won’t speak for her) is NOT to have the discussion
    descend into a matter of semantics. Actually, it’s the opposite.
    The goal is and should be to talk about things that are REAL, like
    guiding principles and policies and actions instead of labels.
    “Neoconservative” is different from “Israel firster” IMO, and here’s
    why. The neocon label denotes a set of principles, however easy
    to define, that have policy implications. One might be using
    hard US power to democratize the MIddle East. (I’m taking it
    from their point of view.) Not all of their principles have to do
    with Israel, but some do.
    Anyway, you can argue with a neocon. You can say you think his
    philosophy is wrong or bad and give your reasons. You can
    argue with the policy prescriptions that come out of it and give
    your reasons.
    But, to me, Israel Firster doesn’t have much content. Sure, it
    means the person puts Israel’s interests before the interests of
    the US. But I think it’s really hard to define that, to give it
    meaningful content.
    Does giving foreign aid put another country’s interests before
    our own? During the Gulf War, when Israel hunkered down with
    gas masks and took a couple of SCUDS without retaliating so
    that the US could pursue its vital oil interests in Kuwait and Iraq,
    did that constitute American Firsterism? Or was that just what
    friends do for friends who’ve help them?
    Point is, I don’t think the label helps you decide whether a policy
    is the right thing to do. It fogs up the discussion by suggesting
    that one party is a traitor to his country…or on the way to
    committing treason.
    Jesse Helms, Carroll’s former senator, might well say, “Yes,
    foreign aid does put other countries first and it’s wrong and
    unAmerican to use American tax dollars that way.” He would
    have said that participation in the UN gives other countries veto
    power over the US. Now, you and I would say, “Pshaw!” and give
    all kinds of reasons why it IS in the US’s interests to give foreign
    aid. And sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is to
    take care of the other party.
    And that’s a fine argument to have.
    But it wouldn’t ADD anything to Helms’s argument to label you a
    “UN Firster.” All that does is label you a quasi traitor to your
    country. It’s conclusionary; it doesn’t prove the point or settle
    anything. And I think the same thing is true of Israel Firster.
    So–and I apologize for not doing a better job here–throwing
    around the label Israel Firster is, in fact, the semantic way out of
    having to argue the hard points. It makes the argument about
    semantics rather than about actual policies. It’s conclusionary
    rather than being descriptive or persuasive.

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    Sorry Questions, I got provoked by your first post, and wrote a
    reply before seeing your second one, where you actually provide
    arguments, instead of authoritarian references to mute facts.
    I may post more on this discussion later, but no more books in
    the coming days: I’ve just received my new piano keyboard, and
    prefer to study the manual, find out how to connect it to my
    software instruments etc. and play music.

    Reply

  40. Paul Norheim says:

    “But “personally I believe” is not the stuff policy is made on.”
    Questions, are you suggesting that policy is made on raw data?
    I base my opinion on arguments; on hundreds of documented
    statements from the radical groups in question which tend to
    confirm this position, as well as relevant historical parallels.
    You know very well that the nature of the beast makes both
    positions impossible to prove with 100 % certainty. The data
    itself – from Papen or others – proves nothing. Zilch. Nada. It
    has to be interpreted, and to dismiss my arguments as just
    some random subjective belief – in opposition to the hard facts
    Papen provides – does not make much sense on this issue.
    When I prefer to say “personally I believe”, based on arguments,
    I expect to be met with arguments, not with an overwhelming
    load of mute facts as proof that your position is correct.
    Policy is among other things based on judgements and
    assumptions, interpretations of statistics and so forth. To
    pretend that policy is made of objective facts, as opposed to
    judgement, arguments, and interpretations is just stupid – and
    you are not so foolish that you buy that.

    Reply

  41. Carroll says:

    Posted by questions, Mar 18 2010, 2:26PM – Link
    >>>>>>
    So the whole 10,000 word discussion about firsters is about it’s meaninglessness?
    We must be having a Macbeth breakdown… ‘full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

    Reply

  42. pontius says:

    “Jerusalem (all of it) belongs to the jews and anyone denying this is a liar.”
    What say we string ‘em up eh Marcus?
    The ad hominem policy of this blog prevents accurate portrayal your odious being. Filthy cur would, however, be accurate and within bounds.

    Reply

  43. marcus says:

    If Jerusalem is indeeed importent to the international community (I cannot understand why it would be to a primarily secular west); It is the jews who imbued it with this importence. Judaism is the foundational religon of both christianity and islam,Jerusalem was founded by jews it replaced a stone-age cannanite village. Jerusalem (all of it) belongs to the jews and anyone denying this is a liar.

    Reply

  44. questions says:

    Carroll, we are trying to use well the language we have. And to say that illegal is to undocumented as firster is to whatever we stick here misses the point.
    The real point is that “firster” might not have any meaning at all.

    Reply

  45. questions says:

    And by the way, symbolic roles don’t matter unless those symbols turn into action. What Pape is trying to deal with is suicide actions. Being pissed doesn’t lead to suicide actions except in certain rational, patterned and fairly predictable circumstances.
    LOTS of people are pissed in lots of ways. BUT, intensity of violence doesn’t lead to suicide bombing, and religion doesn’t lead to suicide bombing, and distant irritation doesn’t lead to suicide bombing. What the data show, thus far, is that suicide bombing comes in limited circumstances related to territorial conflict. Nationalism, a feeling of success (whether or not it’s based on actual success), and territorial irritation are the strategic issues involved. The next section is on the social logic, but I haven’t read it yet.
    Feel free to use his data base, read his book, disagree, read it against W and M, and have the two argue at each other, e-mail him and maybe get a response…. And then post on the topic as well. I’d love to have some reading company.

    Reply

  46. questions says:

    “Personally I think events in the I/P conflict, as well as the
    invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, have a very
    significant symbolical role for many militant Islamists today, ”
    And that’s the problem.
    Personally I think — is not the way to set up policy.
    Pape’s data might be too limited to be useful. Relevant critique. Pape’s interpretation might leave out reasonable explanations. Relevant critique. Pape notes that stopping recruitment of the next generation of suicide bombers is really important. Relevant note.
    But “personally I believe” is not the stuff policy is made on.
    I recommend you read the book and see if you agree or disagree with my reading. I recommend I actually finish the book, which I haven’t yet, and see what else he covers.
    There’s some really interesting stuff on “effectiveness” of terror and how hard it is to figure out quite what effectiveness means in terms of the coercion of behavior. It’s a really interesting book. And he’s a far more competent researcher than I am. So don’t take my word for it, pick up a copy.
    And Nadine, I think there’s lots more to say about the presentation of self as strong issue — there’s some nuance to be worked out. Will post as I have more coherent things (always relative, I guess, around here) to say.

    Reply

  47. jtmagee says:

    might as well dump this news nugget here since chertoff’s mother was founding member of the mossad.
    “PROBE OF CHERTOFF URGED”
    What is Chertoff’s new gig? “The Chertoff Group.” Chertoff now represents companies, many of which do business with the United States government.
    Morford is also in the private sector now. He is chief compliance officer for Cardinal Health, Inc., a Fortune 20 corporation. Reports say Morford is earning his keep. Morford is being credited with successfully reducing Cardinal Health’s delinquent tax assessment of over $600,000, down to a manageable $50,000. After all, Morford has connections.
    Chertoff is not much different. One of the Chertoff Group’s clients is a company named Rapiscan. Rapiscan is in the money. Rapiscan makes full-body scanners to protect our airplanes from terrorists.
    The trouble is when Chertoff was chief of Homeland Security, Homeland Security started buying scanners from Rapiscan for $160,000—that’s right, for each one. In fact, in 2008 alone, Rapiscan got $26.5 million from Homeland Security—and $41.4 million from all government agencies combined.
    Numbers prove that the Chertoff Group is becoming the most high-powered and deep-pocketed national security consulting firm in the United States. According to insiders, Chertoff took full advantage of the attempted attack on Northwest Flight 253 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known as “the crotch bomber.” Chertoff claimed America needed full-body scanners to prevent these types of disasters. Chertoff wanted funding on a large scale, and Chertoff got it.
    If that’s not enough to bomb your crotch, it was recently announced that “11 major airports will begin using full body scanners and plan to buy 1,000 of the machines over the next two years.”
    Think about it. Chertoff was a big supporter of full-body scanners when
    he was the top dog at the Department of Homeland Security. Yeah, right, who’s kidding whom? Chertoff should be investigated. If this isn’t a classic case of conflict of interest and is not a crime, I don’t know what is.
    The truth is, there’s some rumbling about Chertoff’s actions in this matter—but who will question it? Chertoff should be subpoenaed by a grand jury, and his involvement with this Rapiscan contract should be scrutinized and investigated.
    I say Chertoff used his power, contacts and influence to make huge personal gains from the sale of these 1,000- plus body scanners at a price of $160,000 each. Chertoff allowed our borders to be wide open while demanding full body scanners.
    Beam me up!

    Reply

  48. Carroll says:

    ROTFL…are we trying to rewrite language now?
    The argument over the “firster” term reminds me somewhat of the time I saw a poster called a bigot for referring to ‘illegal’ immigration as ‘illegal’ immigration. The other poster said illegal was a “racist term” and they were “undocumented” not illegal.
    Nothing wrong with calling Israel firsters ‘firsters’ or American firsters ‘firsters’ if they indeed are.
    What else would they be called? Country “fans’ as in sports fans?
    The argument over using firsters to apply to Israel loyalist also reminds me of the column Robert Fisk did in the UK Independent some time ago about ‘changing language’. Originally Israeli ‘settlements’ were referred to as ‘colonies’ by the European press. Israel realizing the negatives of describing them as colonies,..i.e…’colonization’.. started pressing the media to use the term ‘settlements’ instead of colonies.
    ‘A rose by any other name is still a rose’ saying probably came from similar disputes over terms.

    Reply

  49. Paul Norheim says:

    “Petraeus’s statement above is partially contradicted by Pape’s
    data”
    What do you base that statement on, Questions?
    It’s true that Petraeus’s statements are not clearly supported by
    Pape’s data (the ones you referred to on the Pape thread), but
    before you can conclude that they are (partially or fully)
    contradicted by his data, you have to interpret them.
    According to Pape’s data, Al Quaeda usually targets Americans
    and Westerners, not Jews or Israelis. Why? Because this is solely
    a territorial issue?
    Or because Hamas and Hizbullah (and, by proxy, Iran), target
    Israel, and therefor Al Quaeda focus their efforts and resources
    on targeting America and Americans?
    Personally I think events in the I/P conflict, as well as the
    invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, have a very
    significant symbolical role for many militant Islamists today,
    similar to the role of the Viet Nam war had the political left in
    the Western world 40 years ago. If you look at the radical
    movements of those days, there were many local variations and
    factors motivating them – huge differences from Washington to
    Paris to Berlin to Stockholm. But they had a lot of things in
    common that truly transcended the local context, among them a
    revolt against the establishment, the older generation, Western
    hypocrisy etc. etc. And Vietnam was also a common factor, as
    symbol of all this.
    Take the Rote Arme Fraction, the Baader-Meinhof leftist
    terrorists: they explained their actions within the German
    context as a revolt against a generation that somehow
    continued the fascism of the Hitler era. But they also saw their
    actions in a global context of imperialism and capitalism, where
    Viet Nam played a huge symbolic role (and some central
    members of the group got guerilla training by the PLO in the
    Middle East, and sent money to them from bank robberies etc.)
    This is also the case within several local Maoist groups, for
    example in Scandinavia at that time. They all had a local, as well
    as an international dimension.
    I think there is sufficient evidence to say that the same goes for
    Iraq, Afghanistan and the I/P conflict in the minds of many
    Islamist groups. And that is what they themselves say as well.
    This is not supported by, nor is it contradicted by Papen’s data.
    As you often point out, Questions, data must be interpreted.

    Reply

  50. nadine says:

    So, if somebody actively tries to destroy US power and influence around the globe in the interest of fostering an international system, what do you call them?

    Reply

  51. questions says:

    POA, you don’t express “glee” you just call Obama an “empty suit.” The glee, by the way, is directed at a few posters here, not at the state of the country. And it’s from a PUMA and they will forever feel glee at any Obama shortcoming. And the entire Republican party is feeling glee at any loss the pres. experiences. It’s politics in its normal functioning. We celebrate the failures of those we dislike even at the cost of spiting ourselves. People are funny that way. Pick a new source of outrage, please. This one doesn’t really work.
    Petraeus’s statement above is partially contradicted by Pape’s data, but the possibility of future recruitment is an issue. That there are real action-oriented ties between I/P and a-Q attacks on the US is so far simply not supported by Pape’s data. Suicide terrorism is inspired by local land issues, not by distant conflicts. Please read the stuff I typed in on the Pape thread if you want a sampling.
    As for your views, if you disagree with my characterization of your views, you could simply say, “Well, questions, I actually don’t think that the I/P situation has led/will lead to terrorist attacks against the US” or, “hey questions, you have my view wrong. Here’s what I actually think…” or whatever. But no, you just call me a bigger asshole than ever. Wow, that really disproves my suggestion that maybe you think there’s a connection. And since you toss in the Petraeus thing, that seems to suggest that my earlier characterization of your beliefs is accurate.
    When Steve challenged Pape on the Petraeus statement, Pape dodged the question for some reason. Maybe he thinks it’s too loaded and he’ll be stuck tangling with THELOBBY with his colleague Mearsheimer. Or maybe he didn’t want to disagree with his host, but he most definitely disagrees in his book. I would think this latter to be the better read because his book doesn’t support Petraeus’s view. Now I know Petraeus is now sacred text because he can be used to attack Israel and that’s the real goal, but I don’t think the research supports Petraeus for now. Of course, there may well be information he has that I, and more especially Pape, don’t have, so this has to be provisional.
    But go ahead and keep exploding and expleting and excreting. It’s very convincing.

    Reply

  52. DonS says:

    Sweetness, I follow your arguments about the twist and turns using the term ‘firster’ because of a variety of historical and logical pitfalls.
    I would say, too, that I am an internationalist at heart but practically recognize the reality of the nation state paradigm. On a personal level I am quite aware of the historical period of anti Semitism in America before WWII. On the one hand, that is why my parents brought me up in a Christian tradition, so afraid was my mother of the history and prospects as a Jew. On the other hand, it’s why my non Jewish grandmother took to pronouncing the family (German) name to sound as if it were French due to the anti German feeling that emerged.
    The lessons of WWII should have been learned when it comes to the cancer of anti Semitism. Of course, prejudice never seems to go away.
    So I’m sorry if the history and implications that you cite with regard to using the term “firster” strike you as out of bounds. I personally would apply the term to any person or set of people, e.g., neocons, who appear to sell out the strategic interests of this country to any other country. If it strikes you that the use of the term comes too dangerously close to evoking anti Semitism, I would have to wonder just what you think about the message of AIPAC and its ilk which is freighted with the hair trigger threat of using Anti Semitism as a cudgel.
    I do not jump to the ‘treason’ assumption, and even the anti American accusation is fraught with its own nasty MaCarthyite baggage. So your implication of “witch hunt” and “word police” is one I can resonate with.
    Regarding your noting the implications you see of the Mondoweiss formulation of exposing ‘firster’ tendencies before they advance to treason — and that Jews would be the obvious targets – that of course is a scary notion. But, you know, I do not think simply calling someone a firster isn’t the biggest problem. The problem is the subversive actions of themselves. Some Jews may be overly sensitive to name calling due to history.
    And while I appreciate the slippery slope argument of, e.g., normalize ‘firster’ and the next thing you know, you scrutinize Jews before employment, if we look at the percent employment of Jews in influential positions, I think we have to admit we are far from that circumstance. On the other hand I find the individuals I mentioned in my above post, and many others I might consider firsters, loathsome and subversive individuals to America’s strategic interest. And, truth be told, I don’t care a fig a bout what their religious affiliation is. In fact, to me, the neocon mentality, for example, is unrelated to anything vaguely religious in its best sense.
    David Brooks had a column years ago when he tried to raise the neocon/Jew/anti-Semitism linkage; he later had to back down and tried to claim he was just trying to be joking.
    They are a group. They are loosely organized. They are virtually monolithic in thought . The presume to arrogantly appropriate the mantle of patriotism. So if we can’t use ‘firster’, and even ‘neocon’ might be suspect (though I’m not implying you say this), are we totally bereft of using a word of opprobrium to describe a category, group, or class of individuals — reasonably clearly identified — who undermine US strategic interests? If not ‘firster’, what?

    Reply

  53. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If Pape is right and POA et al are wrong about the I/P situation’s relationship to al-Qaeda, whom would you prefer to be making policy?”
    Define my position if you are going to include me in your strawman horseshit. I swear, you become a bigger asshole with each passing week.

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel is empowering al Qaeda, Petraeus warns
    by Paul Woodward on March 16, 2010
    As erupting violence in Jerusalem suggests a third intifada may soon take hold, the CENTCOM commander Gen David Petraeus, testifying before the US Senate Armed Services Committee today, gave a grave warning about the wider impact of a conflict that has been the epicenter of Middle East hostilities ever since the creation of Israel.
    In issuing his warning, Petraeus — arguably the most influential even if not the highest ranking member of the US military — was reiterating a statement he made almost a year ago. The only difference between what he said in April 2009 and what he said today, was that he now acknowledges al Qaeda is being strengthened by the conflict.
    He now says:
    http://armed-services.senate.gov/statemnt/2010/03%20March/Petraeus%2003-16-10.pdf
    The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR [CENTCOM's area of responsibility]. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.
    If such a statement was being made outside the American political arena, it could be regarded as a rather bland expression of what has long been utterly obvious. Yet from the lips of a celebrated general, regarded by many as a potential future president, these words come as a bombshell.
    Neoconservatives and the Israel lobby have worked hard and long to obscure the deeply corrosive regional impact of a conflict that successive Israeli leaders have either been unwilling or seemingly incapable of resolving. Others, who earlier said what Petraeus now says, have either been dismissed as poorly informed or worse, branded as anti-Israeli or by insinuation, anti-Semitic.
    No such charge will stick to Petraeus. Indeed, if the Israel lobby was so foolhardy as to try and go after an American general who sometimes gets treated like a latterday Eisenhower, the lobby will be at dire risk of being visited by its own greatest fear: being branded as anti-American.
    http://warincontext.org/2010/03/16/israel-is-empowering-al-qaeda-petraeus-warns/
    So why do “they” have to call Petraeus “anti-semitic” to be correctly labeled as “anti-american”? Committing constant and ongoing espionage against the United States’ interests does not qualify them for such a label? Siding with the foreign nation that “they” represent, in direct opposition to the President Of The United States does not qualify them for such a label?
    Look at the words of our resident “ISRAEL FIRSTERS” here in the comment section of TWN. Expressing glee at seeing our President humiliated, and discounting Petraeus’ obvious conclusions, they jump onboard with AIPAC’s criticism of our President, with nary a backward glance.
    Yes, these people, and the parasitic organization they support, are definitely “anti-american”. Of this there is no question.

    Reply

  55. questions says:

    DonS, it isn’t about making me happy and it isn’t about POA’s favorite lines about obfuscation (why does the internet LOVE that word?!)
    The goal is really good policy and if the discussion moves in ways that make the world better then that’s an amazing thing. You don’t make the world better by using unexamined loaded phrases as if they were cucumber slices (to pick a new veggie).
    The assumptions that hide under “firster”, the missing information all around the freakouts about Israel, these don’t move policy. They just show that people aren’t really reflecting on what they say.
    Accepting W and M on face value without a close reading of the text — this doesn’t exactly move policy either.
    If you go to the Freeper comment section (which I don’t but every now and then a dailykos diary will copy/paste a big chunk), you see all sorts of unexamined rhetoric about the end of everything. Let’s see: Obama is a socialist, HCR is a government takeover, death panels, I just saw something about a conference call with Hensarling in which constituents were worried about “Chinese abortions,” I talk to Fox-afflicted people who have all sorts of assumptions like this — it’s all unexamined rhetoric that leads to bad bad bad policy.
    When I see similar over-the-top bad rhetoric here, I comment that the rhetoric is unexamined, that the following 3 or 5 or 50 problems seem to be lurking. And how dare I point this out, according to many here.
    The fact is, policy needs to be crafted based on real issues in the world, not based on hidden false assumptions and out and out mistakes, and the desire for an easy life of casual postings about wicked people without whom we’d all be better off.
    If Pape is right and POA et al are wrong about the I/P situation’s relationship to al-Qaeda, whom would you prefer to be making policy?
    If Nadine has something right about the relationship between Hamas’s Arabic rhetoric and the likelihood of success of Israeli pullbacks, wouldn’t you want to have that taken into account? (Judging by Pape, it’s not so clear Nadine has this right, but it needs to be considered at any rate.)
    The fact is that policy is hard. Compromise is painful. And trying to figure out what makes sense and what doesn’t, what stands up to reason and what fails, takes a certain amount of humility in the face of facts and arguments. Now, maybe my tone is a violation of the niceties of internet posting where what serves as an argument is calling out “Jackass” or “too many words” or “gee, I just don’t get it” and maybe I should let it all go.
    But I won’t! Because “jackass” isn’t an argument. And a string of uncontextualized posts isn’t an argument. And “too many words” is one of the dumbest fucking things anyone could say. In my humble opinion! (The only one who can vote me off this island, clearly, is Steve. So far he’s been pretty damned tolerant of my use of his bandwidth. But if you have some major issue, take it up with him. I’m here on his sufferance.)
    Do I think, DonS, that you’re in league with Beck? I don’t know. Do you feel like you have some eliminationist tendencies? Do you think the world is better off with a class of people’s being removed? If so, well, that would seem to be Beckian or Beckesque. Or Becksterism.
    Beck wants to destroy the progressive cancer that is rotting away the soul of America (while selling gold and seeds to us all). Do you want anyone eliminated?

    Reply

  56. Sweetness says:

    Carroll writes: “So if you want me to roll over and play dead intellectually or not poke and challenge the more hypocritical of you on things related to Jews/zionist politically or historically because of my emotional feelings about the Jew’s past…sorry, that isn’t going to happen.”
    Carroll, I’d never ask you to “play dead intellectually.” My point is that you are already doing that on your own.

    Reply

  57. DonS says:

    So what would make you happy Questions. If we all obfuscated and watered down our rhetoric to the point of a physics text? That way, by gosh, we wouldn’t be falling into the same linguistic traps as Glenn Beck, who is a really nice guy, I’m sure, except he uses the bully’s dictionary of phrases? Actually, maybe you’re suggesting that we simply tweak our view a little bit and we’d feel more comfortable with Beck, or commenting at Powerline. ;)

    Reply

  58. questions says:

    A sampling of Glenn Beck via C and L:
    ” Beck: I was, way back then, I said that America could never be destroyed from the outside. I remember the day that I said it because it was September 11th, and people were freaking out, and I was on my radio program and I said, militarily there is no equal, don’t worry, if the world tries to attack us, and we’ve decided we’re not going to bother with smart bombs, we’d control the world in a heartbeat, but that’s not who we are.
    Don’t worry. The only way to destroy America is to rot it from the inside — collapse our system from the inside. It’s got to be one of us that brings us to our knees.
    When I said that, I was trying to give hope to people. But I didn’t have the full truth, because little did I know that there were people, our own countrymen, who are already here who are on the inside who actually want to do that — bring our country to its knees. That’s insanity.
    … Progressives — progressives are the ones that say you’ve got to rot America from the inside. You have to be inside in order to bring her down. It has been the plan the whole time. Make progress — baby steps. Well, progress from where to what? From the Constitution to a democracy. We’re not a democracy.
    So now that it’s happening, why is America surprised? They’ve been clear for a hundred years. Radical progressives are infecting America! By deceiving unsuspecting people on their true intentions!”
    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/beck-steps-eliminationist-attacks-pr
    ******
    Look closely at the rhetoric Neiwert posts for our reading pleasure — the rot from within, some of our own people’s betraying us, they are an infection, it’s not outsiders who threaten us; rather it’s our very own people, knees….
    Anyone want to read the rhetoric around here through Beck? See any parallels? I sure do.
    And that, Paul, is the reason I worry about all the loaded terms tossed around here like so many radish slices in a salad.

    Reply

  59. questions says:

    Sweetness, 1:47 a.m. — beautiful post, thanks. Maybe you could respond to Paul in my stead, and then POA’s honey threat won’t come to fruition.
    And as for 2:13, what faults? (insert a large number of smiley emoticons)
    Paul, I think you already know my response to your post.

    Reply

  60. Sweetness says:

    Carroll writes: “I once had a long time exchange with a US Jew who had served in the IDF in Israel and became a I/P peacenik because of that experience but was still a believer in the US supporting Israel right or wrong. He would say often that he was both an American and Israeli equally and justified that position by saying the US and Israel had the same interest. I would argue with him that the US and Israel didn’t have the same interest, that it was impossible for two foreign countries to have the exact same interest. That there would eventually be a conflict in our interest and asked him how he would feel about that and handle it when that happened. I even argued at one point that it would most likley be US military stragety in US interest that would seperate the US and Isr. He would always, always reply that would never happen.”
    This is an interesting comment. It sets up a stark either/or choice–a sort of George Bush, you’re either with us or against us that is often cover for a bunch of unexamined assumptions.
    (This is why I like Questions’ contribution here, despite whatever her faults may be. She likes to dig into these things, instead of rush past them.)
    If I were the US/IDFer, I would have no problem in aligning US and Israeli interests in the case of Iran. It is clearly in both country’s interests NOT to have a war with Iran, and that is the position I’d fight for. If either country went to war with Iran, I’d oppose it in the same way I opposed the US war in Vietnam. And to the degree that both countries are locked in this anti-Iran embrace, I’d oppose that, too.
    In the case of Petraeus’s briefing, the same thing applies. It’s clearly NOT in Israel’s interests to increase the danger to America’s troops. As an Israeli, I would oppose any of my government’s actions that had that effect, intended or not.
    The unexamined assumption here is that one has to be “for” one’s country right or wrong. But there were, in fact, Germans who were against the regime and fought with the allies “against” (but really for) their own country in the war. The other unexamined assumption is that, when two country’s interests collide, there is necessarily a rupture–one that requires their citizens to choose sides!–that severs an otherwise fruitful relationship.

    Reply

  61. Sweetness says:

    Don S says, “Whoa, ‘firster’ = treason. That’s death penalty territory. Actually I think you have it backwards: being a ‘firster’ makes on a candidate for considering treason. If treason is already proven, ‘firster’ would be about the least harmful thing you could say about the individual.”
    Well, almost I guess.
    I would say that it is difficult to use the term “Israel firster” with any real meaning. The only case where it makes sense to me, really, is in a case where someone has committed treason.
    True, if you’re a TRUE internationalist and non-nationalist, you might feel it was your duty to “betray” your country in the service of humanity as a whole. Perhaps the Rosenbergs and other communists felt this way. They divulged state secrets for a higher, more noble purpose. Dan, being a anti-nationalist, might have some sympathy for this position.
    (I doubt many people here would go along with this. At heart, they’re nationalists and feel deeply about “their country.” After all, that’s what gives this discussion about firsterism its resonance. If you’re not a nationalist, then who cares about “firsterism”?)
    Without going there…but why shouldn’t we go there…
    I’d say that, minus treason, an “Israel firster” is an American who has a certain set of views about what America’s interests and priorities are and should be. Other people disagree with them. On a case by case basis, I’d say I probably agree with those “other people” a lot of the time.
    That’s an argument worth having on the merits.
    But the problem with the term “Israel firster” is that it allows the speaker to imply treason and unAmerican-ness without actually having to show that treason has been committed. It’s a version of the witch hunt. A form of thought policing.
    Mondoweiss had a quote I should have saved that was quite revealing, and I can’t remember it exactly. Basically, the person was saying is that if you let a “firster” commit treason, it’s way too late. You have to get him when he first reveals himself to be a “firster.” But then who are the potential “firsters?” Jews, of course. So before you allow a Jew to hold a position of importance in government, you really have to scrutinize him or her extra carefully to see if you can detect the first buds of “firsterism.”
    I guess the other thing that bothers me about the term is that Jews were accused of essentially the same thing before Israel existed. Ton Karon, the anti-Zionist, sports the moniker rootless cosmopolitan quite proudly. Well, in fact, this term, as you know, was used by Stalin to accuse Jews of disloyalty to the USSR. “Jew firsterism.” No loyalty to anyone but themselves was the charge. Now, I guess those RCs could have said they were loyal to “humanity.” But that’s a hard case to make, especially when the RCs are propounding actual policies and doing things like giving away state secrets.
    Jews were accused by a national icon, Lucky Lindbergh, of being disloyal to America because they were arguing (so it was said) for America’s entry into the fight against Germany. In hindsight, of course, few people disagree that it was the right thing to do to fight the Nazis. But at the time, it was controversial until Pearl Harbor hit.
    So, I guess I like to stick to the facts or the policies or the specific actions. Are they right or are they wrong and why? Obviously, this doesn’t solve the problem entirely, and you still need a way to make those determinations, and folks are going to disagree.

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Protecting Israel’s Lawlessness with Spying and Smear Campaign
    By Naomi Klein – March 17th, 2010
    A while ago, the Reut Institute, arguably Israel’s most influential think tank, published a very controversial report about “hubs of delegitimization.” It attempted to equate tactics of non-violent resistance—like the growing movement to use Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to force Israel to comply with international law—with a military campaign to destroy the state of Israel.
    Most worrying, the report explicitly urged Israeli intelligence agencies like Mossad to take unspecified action against peace activists using entirely legal methods: “Neither changing policy nor improving public relations will suffice…Faced with a potentially existential threat, Israel must treat it as such by focusing its intelligence agencies on this challenge; allocating appropriate resources; developing new knowledge; designing a strategy, executing it.” The think tank also called on the Israeli government to “sabotage network catalysts” – defined as key players in the “delegitimization network.”
    The Reut report identified several cities with active Palestinian solidarity communities as “hubs” in this supposed network, one hub being my own city of Toronto. Another is the Bay Area, home of the indispensible and courageous Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Cecilie Surasky, JVP deputy director, has an overview of the Reut controversy with lots of links. In it, Surasky succinctly undercuts the entire premise of the attack: “What groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) seek to delegitimize is the occupation and massive inequality and human rights violations committed against Palestinians, not Israel itself.”
    Recently, I’ve gotten a taste of Reut-style “sabotage” myself. Last month, Eran Shayshon, a senior analyst at Reut, was invited on CBC radio to explain why he singled out Toronto in the report. Shayshon proceeded to equate the non-violent human rights movement with Hamas and Hezbollah and made several false and damaging claims about me, including the claim that I oppose Israel’s right to exist and oppose a two-state solution. There is no basis for this, as JVP called out in its response, “Reut Institute Report Lies About Naomi Klein.” You can listen to the inflammatory CBC audio interview here.
    What follows is going to seem like a lot of detail and he-said-she-said. But keep in mind that Reut has openly called for covert tactics to be deployed against groups and individuals using legal, non-violent methods to advocate for justice. The goal, according to the Jerusalem Post, is to “establish a ‘price tag’ for attacking Israel and punish boycotters.” In other words, they are trying to shame people into silence, which is why each one of their lies needs to be countered.
    So here goes the he-said-she-said, starting with my brief response to http://www.mondoweiss.net, one of my favourite websites, which has been closely covering the controversy:
    Continues….
    http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2010/03/protecting-israel-s-lawlessness-spying-and-smear-campaign
    Would it be anti-semitic of me to point out that the Israeli right is rapidly becoming the scum of the earth?

    Reply

  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, Paul, are you turning into a masochist?
    The invite you just gave to questions is akin to spreading honey on your front door in an effort to keep the bears away.

    Reply

  64. Paul Norheim says:

    True to her moniker, Questions questions. In her view, every
    assumption, even the seemingly most obvious one, deserves
    scrutinizing examination.
    Occasionally, her questions seem really out of place and just
    annoying, if you ask me. A parody of the mal apropos
    questioning method would be if I said: “Hey DonS, you throw
    around words like “factual description”, “imagination”,
    “satisfaction”, “slow evening”, without bothering to define those
    words. Do they actually make any sense? Definitions, please,
    and read up on Plato.”
    But in most cases, she does not just question things randomly.
    Among other things, she often asks us to define political
    influence, to give evidence of the influence of AIPAC. These
    questions have a certain direction.
    And now, she makes demands that the commenters define
    “firsters”, “national interest”, and questions the meaning of
    those words.
    As a non-American, I naturally prefer to tread carefully in these
    territories. But since her demands and questions are not
    randomly picked this time, while most commenters seem to
    have no problem with these words, I am tempted to ask:
    Why are you asking?
    Why exactly these questions now?
    Guessing other people’s motives is generally not a good thing.
    But usually when people insist on asking certain questions, we
    have no problem realizing why they ask. With Questions, it’s
    often not so. I think she deserves a “why” once in a while.
    A well-intended interpretation could perhaps run along these
    lines:
    Number one. Questions (and other American Jews) fear the
    potential development of mutual suspicion, where words like
    “dual loyalty”, “firsters”, “traitors”, “patriotism”, “national
    interest” and so forth are easily thrown around as the first
    warning signals of a poisonous atmosphere, with worse to come
    in future times of crisis.
    (And one could reply that those who fear such a development
    would be wise if they also criticized those Israel-defenders who
    systematically accuse every Israel-critic person of being an anti-
    Semite, because this strategy is part of the condition creating a
    hostile, suspicious atmosphere.)
    A second, relatively well-intended interpretation is that
    Questions permanently confuses a political blog with a
    philosophical seminar, or simply doesn’t accept the ordinary
    discourse on a political blog.
    A third interpretation could be: Questions is incurable. She
    really wants to question everything all the time, and sees no
    reason why the rest of the commenters should not comply to
    this urge, regardless of the context.
    Number four: These are actually not questions, but merely
    reflexes, born out of all kinds of anxieties and automatic
    defense mechanisms – fear of the fate of Israel; fear of
    unpredictable consequences on our complex and crisis-ridden
    planet etc. etc.
    Number five: Deliberate obfuscation. Fog.
    Number six: Unknown unknowns.
    Number seven: A combination of any or all the suggestions
    mentioned above.
    My bet would be a mix of number one, two, and four.
    (As to number five, that may not be the intention, but frequently
    the effect.)
    But perhaps this is somehow related to my first suggestion,
    Questions?

    Reply

  65. Carroll says:

    “US Trade Representative concerns that AIPAC was tactically “divulging” classified information supplied by US industries opposed to AIPAC lobbying initiatives. (Link Removed)”
    I saw this a while back either at one of the ME think tank or at the FAS.org site in the declassified section.
    Basically the story was that US industries had complained to the FTC about Israeli theft of their intellectual property and supplied the FTC with sensitive company information in order to illustrate their case.
    The information they gave the FTC was stolen by AIPAC or given to them by someone at the FTC..FURTHERING …exposing US companies intellectual and trade secrets.

    Reply

  66. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I removed a number of links from the following so that it would post. I strongly suggest you click on this link and examine the full body of links contained in the article.
    Unless you’re questions, in which case I would simply suggest you pull your head out of your ass, THEN click on the link.
    And stop this asinine kick you are on about “What is an Israel-firster?”
    Ya think maybe an “israel firster” might be any asshole that supports an Israeli organization that commits regular acts of espionage, theft of classified material, and crimes that undermine the security of the United States?
    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/prnewswire/2010/03/10/prnewswire201003101051PR_NEWS_USPR_____DC68258.html
    New FBI Files Alleging AIPAC Theft of Government Property and Israeli Espionage Released
    03.10.10, 10:59 AM EST
    WASHINGTON, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Declassified files detailing an FBI investigation targeting the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are now available on the Internet. AIPAC was investigated after it acquired and circulated classified government information provided in strict confidence by US industry and worker groups opposed to AIPAC sponsored economic legislation.
    The 50 pages now available as portable document files (PDF) include:
    FBI reports of Israelis circulating classified documents in the US Congress, “compromising” the authority of the U.S. President. (Link Removed)
    US Trade Representative concerns that AIPAC was tactically “divulging” classified information supplied by US industries opposed to AIPAC lobbying initiatives. (Link Removed)
    Reports from the International Trade Commission that AIPAC and Israeli operatives “usurped” US government authority and that an Israeli intelligence service operative was working undercover on AIPAC’s staff: (Link Removed)
    Internal Department of Justice prosecutorial opinions that “theft of government property” had occurred: (Link Removed)
    An FBI director order that the Washington Field office give the AIPAC investigation top priority after Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was caught on video surveillance stealing classified US national defense information: (Link Removed)
    FBI special agent interviews of Israeli minister of economics Dan Halpern who claimed diplomatic immunity. Halpern admitted passing classified US documents to AIPAC but refused to name his source: (Link Removed)
    FBI special agent interviews of AIPAC’s former director of legislative affairs detailing how he made copies of the classified documents for AIPAC’s lobbying use after being ordered to return them to the US government. (Link Removed)
    FBI interviews of key AIPAC employees involved in handling the classified US government information (full document listing): (Link Removed)
    Continues…..

    Reply

  67. questions says:

    Pejorative directed at isolationism, not directed at bad historical judgment. When you make up parallel constructions, you don’t get to choose which part you want parallel and which part you don’t. The analogy fails.
    If you want to get at the bad judgment of the neocons who think that remaking Islamic countries so that they are more like us, then read Pape and use his data. He shows quite clearly in the book that the neocon project is misdirected. And he does it without namecalling. Amazing feat!
    What stands out about the America First Committee is the money and geographic safety they felt, the isolationism that the safety led them to, and the left-right coalition.
    The neocons do not feel safe, they are not isolationists, they might not all be rich (I don’t know) and there isn’t much of a left-right coalition there. They do, however, have a kind of bad judgment — BUT NOT the bad judgment that the America First Committee showed. In fact, the bad judgment of the neocons is diametrically opposed to the bad judgment that the America First Committee showed. There’s no parallel. So the hearkening back is false.
    And since the more literal meaning I was discussing above also makes no sense, the term really just should be dumped.

    Reply

  68. Carroll says:

    mondoweiss.com
    The other half of W&M speaks…
    John Mearsheimer: The lobby can’t hide the fact it is siding with Israel against the US president
    by Philip Weiss on March 17, 2010
    John Mearsheimer at LRB says one great thing about the contretemps is that it has forced the lobby out into the open, taking a stand against the US president and still claiming that it is operating in the American interest:
    Siding with Israel against the United States was not a great problem a few years ago: one could pretend that the interests of the two countries were the same and there was little knowledge in the broader public about how the Israel lobby operated and how much it influenced the making of US Middle East policy.
    But those days are gone, probably for ever. It is now commonplace to talk about the lobby in the mainstream media and almost everyone who pays serious attention to American foreign policy understands – thanks mainly to the internet – that the lobby is an especially powerful interest group.
    Therefore, it will be difficult to disguise the fact that most pro-Israel groups are siding with Israel against the US president, and defending policies that respected military leaders now openly question.
    This is an awful situation for the lobby to find itself in, because it raises legitimate questions about whether it has the best interests of the United States at heart or whether it cares more about Israel’s interests. Again, this matters more than ever, because key figures in the administration have let it be known that Israel is acting in ways that at best complicate US diplomacy, and at worst could get Americans killed.
    The crisis will undoubtedly simmer down over the next few weeks. We are already hearing lots of reassuring rhetoric from the administration and Capitol Hill about ‘shared values’, ‘unbreakable bonds’ and the other supposed virtues of the special relationship. And the lobby is hard at work downplaying the importance of the crisis. For example, Congressman Gary Ackerman, a fervent supporter of Israel, described recent events as a ‘mini-crisis, if even that’. Michael Oren is now denying – rather late in the game I might add – that he ever said that relations between Israel and the United States are at a 35-year low. He claims to have been ‘flagrantly misquoted’. And to show how Orwellian the lobby can be, Israel’s supporters are also trying to make the case that Biden too was flagrantly misquoted and indeed, he never told Netanyahu that Israel’s policies were putting American troops at risk.
    This concerted effort to rewrite history and generate lots of happy talk about the special relationship will surely help ameliorate the present crisis, but that will only be a temporary fix.”
    I once had a long time exchange with a US Jew who had served in the IDF in Israel and became a I/P peacenik because of that experience but was still a believer in the US supporting Israel right or wrong. He would say often that he was both an American and Israeli equally and justified that position by saying the US and Israel had the same interest. I would argue with him that the US and Israel didn’t have the same interest, that it was impossible for two foreign countries to have the exact same interest. That there would eventually be a conflict in our interest and asked him how he would feel about that and handle it when that happened. I even argued at one point that it would most likley be US military stragety in US interest that would seperate the US and Isr. He would always, always reply that would never happen.
    Well, it has happened in a semi-large way.
    Maybe he has fallen to one side on another or is trying to walk the netural highwire on it. Events can make people have to make choices and live with whatever the ramifactions of their choices.
    That the Lobby/pro Israel groups made the wrong choice doesn’t really surprise me. I believe like Mearsheimer they won’t be able to walk this one back and their power will decline in congress because Israel will decline further in public opinon.

    Reply

  69. Carroll says:

    mondoweiss.com
    The other half of W&M speaks…
    John Mearsheimer: The lobby can’t hide the fact it is siding with Israel against the US president
    by Philip Weiss on March 17, 2010
    John Mearsheimer at LRB says one great thing about the contretemps is that it has forced the lobby out into the open, taking a stand against the US president and still claiming that it is operating in the American interest:
    Siding with Israel against the United States was not a great problem a few years ago: one could pretend that the interests of the two countries were the same and there was little knowledge in the broader public about how the Israel lobby operated and how much it influenced the making of US Middle East policy.
    But those days are gone, probably for ever. It is now commonplace to talk about the lobby in the mainstream media and almost everyone who pays serious attention to American foreign policy understands – thanks mainly to the internet – that the lobby is an especially powerful interest group.
    Therefore, it will be difficult to disguise the fact that most pro-Israel groups are siding with Israel against the US president, and defending policies that respected military leaders now openly question.
    This is an awful situation for the lobby to find itself in, because it raises legitimate questions about whether it has the best interests of the United States at heart or whether it cares more about Israel’s interests. Again, this matters more than ever, because key figures in the administration have let it be known that Israel is acting in ways that at best complicate US diplomacy, and at worst could get Americans killed.
    The crisis will undoubtedly simmer down over the next few weeks. We are already hearing lots of reassuring rhetoric from the administration and Capitol Hill about ‘shared values’, ‘unbreakable bonds’ and the other supposed virtues of the special relationship. And the lobby is hard at work downplaying the importance of the crisis. For example, Congressman Gary Ackerman, a fervent supporter of Israel, described recent events as a ‘mini-crisis, if even that’. Michael Oren is now denying – rather late in the game I might add – that he ever said that relations between Israel and the United States are at a 35-year low. He claims to have been ‘flagrantly misquoted’. And to show how Orwellian the lobby can be, Israel’s supporters are also trying to make the case that Biden too was flagrantly misquoted and indeed, he never told Netanyahu that Israel’s policies were putting American troops at risk.
    This concerted effort to rewrite history and generate lots of happy talk about the special relationship will surely help ameliorate the present crisis, but that will only be a temporary fix.”
    I once had a long time exchange with a US Jew who had served in the IDF in Israel and became a I/P peacenik because of that experience but was still a believer in the US supporting Israel right or wrong. He would say often that he was both an American and Israeli equally and justified that position by saying the US and Israel had the same interest. I would argue with him that the US and Israel didn’t have the same interest, that it was impossible for two foreign countries to have the exact same interest. That there would eventually be a conflict in our interest and asked him how he would feel about that and handle it when that happened. I even argued at one point that it would most likley be US military stragety in US interest that would seperate the US and Isr. He would always, always reply that would never happen.
    Well, it has happened in a semi-large way.
    Maybe he has fallen to one side on another or is trying to walk the netural highwire on it. Events can make people have to make choices and live with whatever the ramifactions of their choices.
    That the Lobby/pro Israel groups made the wrong choice doesn’t really surprise me. I believe like Mearsheimer they won’t be able to walk this one back and their power will decline in congress because Israel will decline further in public opinon.

    Reply

  70. DonS says:

    “Maybe I am missing some other parallel that someone could explain, or maybe it’s just the sound people are echoing and not any kind of meaning, but the echo doesn’t really seem to serve the position well.” Questions)
    You’re missing a lot. Whether anyone could explain it to your satisfaction is a matter beyond my imagination. Are you in intentional ‘obfuscation’ territory, or is it just a slow evening?
    Think of it this way. “Israel firster” is not just a factual description or allusion, it is also a perjorative term. Let you imagination run.

    Reply

  71. DonS says:

    I think Dan K is right in his historical reference, and the “Israel Firsters” is a spin on that. But I also think that it is a perjorative term outside of some provable standard. And rightly it should be perjorative since it describes a serious imbalance in judgment.
    You, Sweetness, go quite far in your consideration of the implications:
    “Instead of using labels, the correct approach, IMO, is to look at each policy and decide, on its own merits, whether it’s right or wrong and why. If someone commits treason, then he is, in effect, an X Firster and not an American Firster. Aside from that, I can’t make sense of the label. ” (Sweetnes)
    Whoa, ‘firster’ = treason. That’s death penalty territory. Actually I think you have it backwards: being a ‘firster’ makes on a candidate for considering treason. If treason is already proven, ‘firster’ would be about the least harmful thing you could say about the individual.
    I humbly suggest such names as Doug Feith, Richard Perle, David Wurmser, Bill Kristol — for starters — as those who have poured forth a body of influence based on considering what would be good for Israel, first. One may argue that their judgment of what is good for the US and for Israel is inextricably intertwined. That would be a leap of logic that applies to no other pairing of countries, so totally, on the planet.

    Reply

  72. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel’s Lobby Imposes Crippling Sanctions on America — Again
    by Grant Smith, March 12, 2010
    The Israel lobby’s campaign against US and international corporations doing business with Iran is gearing up this week. The tip of the spear is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee sponsored expansion of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996. If signed into law by president Obama, the legislation would institute onerous new monitoring to ensure exports never enter Iran, along with mandatory divestment from and penalties for any corporations discovered doing business in Iran. A new type of “office of special plans” at the Treasury Department that AIPAC and its think tank lobbied to create by executive order in 2004 is also on the warpath. Stuart Levey, the head of the office of “Terrorism and Financial Intelligence” is traveling to Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman “pointing out that they face dramatic risks by doing business with Iran.” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon finished a long set of meetings urging the US National Security Council to impose harsh sanctions on Iran.
    The New York Times started the week with a list of corporations doing business in Iran and their US government procurement revenues. Most companies on this list long ago appeared on hit lists compiled by AIPAC for quiet divestment campaigns in state legislatures across the country. The New York Times ominously highlights in red any company that may be a “possible violator of the Iran Sanctions Act.” National Public Radio’s Scott Simon, after reading it, was apoplectic. He fretted aloud on the air whether US companies and subsidiaries on the target list were “betraying their country’s national security interests.”
    What should Americans make of this drive to label all companies doing business with Iran unpatriotic smugglers? First, they should consider the source of the multi-tiered Iran sanctions drive. Then, they should start getting angry.
    The proto Israel lobby was born in the cradle of a real arms theft and smuggling operation [pdf] that relentlessly preyed on the United States in the 1940s. Violating US arms export controls and bans on weapons transfers to the Middle East, this network certainly did “betray national security” — but managed to establish a small state in Palestine. The Director of US Central Intelligence judged that “U.S. national security is unfavorably affected by these developments and that it could be seriously jeopardized by continued illicit traffic in the implements of war.” That was an understatement, but none of the financiers of the arms smuggling network ever faced any consequences. When The Pledge, a tell-all book about the smuggling network, was published in 1970 the Department of Justice received public protests about the vast unpunished arms smuggling. The Internal Security Section duly wrote and internally circulated a 9-page book report about the people, dates, and crimes committed. The Chief of the Foreign Agents Registration Unit then responded to one protester that any arms smuggling prosecutions would be barred by the statute of limitations, though he did forward complaints to the FBI and State Department.
    The Israel lobby further developed the ethos that “no crime for Israel would be punished in the US” when it allegedly stole and smuggled US weapons grade uranium from NUMEC, “an Israeli operation from the beginning” according to CIA Tel Aviv station chief John Hadden. A secret nuclear arsenal would allow Israel to initiate “The Samson Option” pulling down the entire world if it were ever threatened — a capability judged worth all the stealing and law breaking.
    Isaiah L. Kenen, a propaganda officer for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in New York in 1948, made it his business to infiltrate Israeli government mandates into US political party platforms while dodging Department of Justice orders that he register and conduct his business openly as an Israeli foreign agent. Like AIPAC this week, Kenen even used the New York Times as a trumpet in his November 2, 1961 Near East Report to deny that Dimona was a nuclear weapons plant. Six weeks after the DOJ cracked down with its final Foreign Agent order on Kenen and company in 1963 after a massive (Israeli-funded) stealth propaganda and lobbying campaign that rivaled the one currently unfurling in the US, Kenen was forced to abandon his American Zionist Council front for the Israeli government, and incorporated AIPAC in Washington, DC. AIPAC went on to stage a full assault on US governance — from attacking the sanctity of our electoral process to trafficking in classified national security information — all to acquire unprecedented power on behalf of its foreign principals.
    The most relevant example of AIPAC-Israeli government tag-team law-breaking went on display this week in the form of 49 declassified FBI files. In 1984 71 major US corporations and worker organizations said “no” to an earlier AIPAC economic power grab (a demand to lower all US import barriers to Israeli products while allowing Israel to continue blocking US exports). Israeli minister of economics Dan Halpern stole [pdf] a US government document containing proprietary information and business secrets supplied by US industries most opposed to the Israel Lobby’s economic power grab. Halpern passed it to AIPAC, which made great use of it to undermine the entire advice and consent process. Douglas Bloomfield, AIPAC’s top lobbyist, even made an illicit copy of the classified document after AIPAC was explicitly ordered to return it to the US government (rather than ever do time in jail, Bloomfield now fantasizes about militarily playing the United Arab Emirates off Iran).
    The aftermath of this earlier economic crime against US industry has now become clear. By locking many US products of export quantity out of Israel, the trade agreement has delivered an $80 billion dollar cumulative deficit (adjusted for inflation) to the US since enacted. In contrast, last year all other (legitimate) bilateral agreements with such countries as Singapore and Morocco actually produced a $86.33 billion total trade surplus to the US. AIPAC’s trajectory clearly indicates it is a true believer of Julius Caesar’s dictum “If you must break the law, do it to seize power, in all other cases observe it.” But does such ill-gotten might make right?
    continues…..
    http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2010/03/11/israels-lobby-imposes-crippling-sanctions-on-america-again/

    Reply

  73. questions says:

    POA, Dan wrote “rendering” — doesn’t that refer to writing?

    Reply

  74. Paul Norheim says:

    Dan, thanks for the link. The photo was taken from the
    Nordlandsbanen (Trondheim-Bodø, built by the Germans during
    WW2), the railroad I always used when visiting my parents for the
    Christmas holidays in Northern Norway. Ah yes, now I remember
    that in those days I frequently got a glimpse of high ranking
    American officials laying in the snow, scattered, splattered,
    humiliated. I assume the railroad company was secretly run by
    Mossad.

    Reply

  75. questions says:

    I’m reading up a bit on the America First Committee — what an interesting group of people. Just starting with Wiki for now, but I’m interested in learning more…. (I probably had a Texas-approved history book!)
    There really seems to have been a sense that the globe was not spherical (this is an allusion to Kant’s Perpetual Peace essay in which the sphericality of the globe is actually significant. A non-spherical globe means that we don’t bump into each other around the bend as we scatter across the (flat) planet trying to get away from each other.)
    Lots of midwestern money families involved in it. And according to Wiki, Pearl Harbor did it in. The midwesternness of it is especially geographically interesting. Where else in the country can you be further from both oceans and feel REALLY safe from outside influence?
    I’m trying to get my brain around a parallel with the I/P situation. The America First crowd felt safe with 2 oceans on either side, didn’t think Europe was our concern, any involvement we have with other countries is bad for us. The charge of Israel First seems to bear no parallel at all to any of this, unless there’s some kind of ironic echoing that I’m missing out on.
    Israel Firsters, if they paralleled the America First people, would, first (!), be Israeli, second, would want out of the occupation, and third, wouldn’t be asking the US for support. Firstism is isolationism, not involvementism.
    It makes no parallel sense to call Lieberman et al., “Israel firsters.” Rather, one should call the anti-Lieberman crowd “America Firsters” and then one would be open to the same charges of ridiculous self-serving ignorant, likely racist, and foolishly isolationist claptrap. I’d run away from the whole term at this level, people!
    Maybe I am missing some other parallel that someone could explain, or maybe it’s just the sound people are echoing and not any kind of meaning, but the echo doesn’t really seem to serve the position well.

    Reply

  76. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Your “writing” is fine. Its your bizzarre obsfucations that are “confused and scattershot”.

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010
    US Department of Justice Asked to Regulate AIPAC as a Foreign Agent of the Israeli Government
    WASHINGTON, March 17, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —-The US Department of Justice has been formally asked to begin regulating the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as the foreign agent of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A 392 page legal filing presented by a four person IRmep delegation in a two hour meeting with top officials of the Internal Security Section substantiated the following case for AIPAC’s immediate registration:
    AIPAC is a spinoff of an organization already ordered by the DOJ to register as an Israeli foreign agent. In November of 1962 the American Zionist Council was ordered by the Attorney General to begin filing disclosures as an Israeli foreign agent under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act.
    continues…….
    further excerpt;
    Espionage related FBI investigations in 1984 and 2005 reveal AIPAC’s ongoing stealth foreign agency activities. Declassified FBI files released on the Internet last week reveal that in 1984 AIPAC and the Israeli Ministry of Economics were investigated for jointly obtaining and circulating classified US economic data to obtain favorable trade benefits for Israel. In 2005 Pentagon Colonel Lawrence Franklin pled guilty and two AIPAC employees were indicted for obtaining and circulating classified US national defense information to Israeli government officials allegedly in the interest of fomenting US action against Iran.
    AIPAC’s executive committee consists of the original member organizations of the AZC in addition to newer members. The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the umbrella group of AIPAC’s executive committee, is housed in the same New York office as the World Zionist Organization – American Section, a registered foreign agent that is heavily involved in illegal settlement expansion according to Israeli prosecutor Thalia Sasson.
    Coninues.
    http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/department-justice-asked-regulate-aipac-foreign-agent-israeli-government/

    Reply

  78. questions says:

    “I don’t care about grammar” — now I’m really offended (insert smiley emoticons (several) here.)
    Thanks Sweetness. If you could translate everything I write so that Dan can understand it, that would be a great service! He definitely has a hard time with my writing style. Even right above, he finds my writing “confused and scattershot.” Oh well.

    Reply

  79. Dan Kervick says:

    questions, I don’t think my words needed to be “translated”, since my words were clearer and more direct than your confused and scattershot rendering.

    Reply

  80. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sweetness, Mar 17 2010, 3:49PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well you still haven’t asked me ‘nicely” but you half way tried so I’ll respond anyway.
    First you and others hurl the anti Semite slur too easily and always have. Criticism of Israel or even of the Jews is not verboten. If you want to make criticism of the Jews or Israel or questioning of and challenging ideas related to Jews and Israel then questioning and challenging of everyone else has to be verboten also. That’s the way it works. With me. If you don’t like that then you have to stick with those that won’t challenge anything you say or believe and ignore me.
    And actually I have been very sympathetic to the Jews. When reading, seeing, hearing, learning about their persecution in Germany I alternate between horror, feelings of wanting to roll back time and stop it and furious outrage. I feel the same outrage about discrimination against Jews as I feel about the black man who had to hold his hat in his hand for the white boss man and beg for a job. I despise beyond words the ‘humiliation’ of any human being and put the people who do that that on the same level as abusers of helpless animals. ‘If’ I had my way there would be zapped out of the universe.
    This is how I ‘emotionally’ feel about what happened to the Jews and all discrimination.
    ‘Intellectually” and real world politics I have
    the same criticism of Jews or zionist as I have of other groups, individuals, interest, whose tactics, motives or political use of claims I question or don’t agree with.
    No I haven’t had to endure anything you describe..I haven’t lost a job for being gentile, …I haven’t suffered, been beat up, run out of town, had my house desecrated or any of the things you or your family suffered due to anti semitism.
    The only anti gentilism I have experienced is your type on here that comes I suppose from resentment or frustration that I haven’t been subjected to this things, that perhaps I should be because I can’t possibly understand your angst until I have suffered the same thing myself.
    As you said being called a bad word by people I don’t know is meaningless and doesn’t impact my life in any way…except for the ‘principle’ of it.
    Here’s how it works out. Am I sorry about what happened to you and other Jews? Of course. Can I feel your pain like you want me to? No but I can ‘imagine’ it.
    So while you and the Jews that suffered Hitler and discrimination have my ‘emotional’ sympathy and compassion that doesn’t control my intellectual questioning or thinking on the related subjects.
    They are two separate things.
    So if you want me to roll over and play dead intellectually or not poke and challenge the more hypocritical of you on things related to Jews/zionist politically or historically because of my emotional feelings about the Jew’s past…sorry, that isn’t going to happen.

    Reply

  81. Sweetness says:

    Questions: “I recommend finding other, more nuanced, ways to
    talk about the issue, not to bury it under an avalanche of words,
    but rather to characterize it in a fair and reasonable way that
    encourages discourse instead of silencing it.”
    I think you’re right to keep questioning the legitimacy and
    meaning of these terms. They represent sloppy thinking and
    often hide more than they reveal (even while people use them as
    revelatory).
    They’re a little bit along the lines of mob rule. Dan’s right,
    “firster” does harken back to the America First Committee, which
    cropped in the forties before our entry into the war. Gore Vidal,
    Gerald Ford, the future Justice Potter, Sargeant Shriver and
    Lindbergh were members, but the latter was its icon.
    Lindbergh made one or two famous speeches in which he
    warned the Jews and the British not to push for America’s entry
    into the war out concern for their own parochial interests.
    Things would go badly for them if they did. Sort of what Carroll
    threatens from time to time.
    Even though the Jews had no country of their own as Jews (or,
    there was no “Jewish country”), they were suspected–as they
    had been down through the ages–of being in it for themselves
    and, in effect, traitors to their “host” country, America. After all
    this was a European war and none of “our” business. Here’s the
    clip from “lucky”:
    “It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the
    overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in
    Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race.
    No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone
    the persecution the Jewish race suffered in Germany. But no
    person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy
    here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy,
    both for us and for them.
    “Instead of agitating for war the Jewish groups in this country
    should be opposing it in every possible way, for they will be
    among the first to feel its consequences. Tolerance is a virtue
    that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it
    cannot survive war and devastation. A few farsighted Jewish
    people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the
    majority still do not. Their greatest danger to this country lies in
    their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our
    press, our radio, and our government.[4]”
    Lots of things seem clear in retrospect that were very murky at
    the time when the past was still the future. Today, hardly
    anyone questions the correctness of our entry into WWII, so this
    example is dismissed as irrelevant.
    Anyway…
    Instead of using labels, the correct approach, IMO, is to look at
    each policy and decide, on its own merits, whether it’s right or
    wrong and why. If someone commits treason, then he is, in
    effect, an X Firster and not an American Firster. Aside from that,
    I can’t make sense of the label. The fact that others can, I think,
    is more a product of group think than anything else.

    Reply

  82. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Future construction plans for Jews in East Jerusalem
    11/03/2010
    There are tens of thousands of housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem in various stages of planning in the planning system. Some estimates speak of 50,000 housing units, including many plans that have not yet passed the initial stages of planning in the local planning committee. In fact, the number also includes ideas for plans that have not yet reached advanced discussion, as well as plans for which various developers have done nothing more than opening planning files. Past experience shows that in Israel, many plans for settlements are awaiting the appropriate political opportunity to be implemented, so any stage of promotion of a plan should be of a worry to those who wish to get to a two states solution.
    continues…….
    http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=66&docid=4597
    Note the date on this Peace Now piece. Are we to believe Biden, Hillary, and Obama were unaware of these stats and projections? Perhaps the issue isn’t settlements with these cowards, perhaps its their egos that Israel bruised.
    If Israel hadn’t of been so public with their announcement of further illegal expansion during Biden’s visit, Biden woulda just done the appropriate amount of slobbering, and crawled on out of there without incident.
    Obama and Biden’s ego will heal. But the Palestinians will never get their land back. Or a state to call their own. Why do I suspect that such premises cause Hillary to smile?

    Reply

  83. DonS says:

    Questions, usually I dont care about grammar, and misspell a lot myself, don’t proof well. etc. But when the meaning is unclear, I ask.

    Reply

  84. questions says:

    On your first [sic], I’m not sure. There’s a possessive to go with the gerund (our being) or there’s the object of the preposition (I don’t remember either of us — being ….) I assume the possessive wins out over the preposition, but I’m not 100% sure. Feel free to look up the construction and let me know. I suppose the better thing to do would have been to avoid it. But when one posts….
    As for the other [sic], the word should have been “but” not “by.” Thanks for catching it! Proofing still misses things.
    The point of putting the phrases in the same sentence is “charged with” — some people here have been charged with anti-semitic leanings, but I don’t remember that that charge has been made against Sweetness or me, and yet both of us have criticized Israel’s behavior and both of us would like policy shifts.
    Thanks for the response, and for the grammar checks.

    Reply

  85. DonS says:

    Wig wag, none of this Congressional tut-tutting is surprising. It would be surprising if Congress unanimously backed up an adminstration which had been affronted. But, like I say, where’s the surprise.
    But I’m not sure how you get from 44 (brave)members of Congress to “virtually the entire United States Congress . . .” AIPAC math no doubt.
    All that is missing is your phony concern that the President , having ‘shot himself in the foot’, isn’t really hurt. I’m sure, as usual, you wish him the best. LOL.

    Reply

  86. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Apparently we won’t have to wait until Hillary’s “Yes you can screw me” speech at the AIPAC convention to watch her snap her kneepads back on.
    Israel has announced another three hundred units will be built in East Jerusalem, on top of the 1600 that insulted poor little pathetic “I am a zionist” Biden. Hillary’s response? Nary a peep, except a brief statement on how devoted we are to “Israel’s security”.
    I see the family of Tristan Anderson has finally got these murderous pieces of shit in Israel to re-open their investigation into the attempted murder of their son.
    http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/shooting-of-us-human-rights-activist-to-be-reinvesigated-by-israel/
    They did it on their own, with no help from this gutless and inept Secretary of State. Seems the original police investigation in Israel was a complete joke. Gee, who coulda guessed?
    You’d a thunk our Secretary of State might have a thing or two to say about the Israeli Gestapo shooting an American citizen in the head, then covering it up with a bogus and laughable charade of an “investigation”.
    But nope, Hillary reserves her indignation for those times that Israel fails to properly respect the slobbering statements of adoration that one of our “statesmen” crawls over to Israel to deliver in his typically mewling and subservient manner of groveling. How dare they be so insensitive.
    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/
    psst… voices calling loud
    March 16, 2010
    Today, the latest in growing demonstrations in the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone”, demonstrators again protested this lethal Israeli ban (shoot to kill threat) which renders roughly 30% of Gaza’s best agricultural land off-limits and under which in August 2009 the UN’s OCHA reported 33 Palestinian civilians (among them 11 children) had been killed and another 61 civilians (among them 13 children) injured. From January 18 2009 to September 15 2009 alone, ISM reported 7 civilians (among them 4 children) killed and 28 (among them 8 children and 2 women) injured by Israeli soldiers in the border regions.
    Bearing in mind that the Israeli assaults on farmers and civilians in the border regions have continued, and that these assaults occur far beyond the 300 metres that Israeli authorities say make up the “buffer zone” [the actual off-limits area veering up to 2 km in some areas], those protesting weekly have serious, valid concerns.
    Further keeping in mind that Gaza has been under complete siege for over 1000 days, and near-complete siege since soon after Hamas was elected in early 2006, the issue of a no-go zone in a very tiny Strip is an issue affecting the safety of Palestinians, but also their ability to produce food, and even to scavenge ruins for useable construction materials, the siege banning even those materials needed to re-build after Israel’s 2008-2009 massacre of Gaza.
    continues……..

    Reply

  87. WigWag says:

    Wow, when I checked last night 24 Congressmen and Senators had signed statements criticizing the Obama Administration for ratcheting up the rhetoric on Israel. I just checked again and now, less than 24 hours later, the number of statements criticizing the Administration from members of Congress is 44. I wonder how many it will be tomorrow. I wonder how many it will be by next week. I noticed that the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post both had editorials basically suggesting that the President was an idiot.
    If all these statements were from Republicans it might at least be understandable; but Democrats seem as anxious to distance themselves from the President as Republicans are.
    Once again, the President has lost his way on the Middle East; his approach will get no where. It certainly won’t bring about the result that he desires.
    When vitutally the entire United States Congress thinks your policy is hogwash and when most of the American people think you’re siding with the bad guys instead of the good guys, it’s time for some deep reflection. But I guess that people convinced of their own messianic status don’t feel the need to reflect very often.
    Or maybe Obama is just dumber and less in control of his faculties than many of us thought.
    Either way, it’s remarkable how the President has shot himself in the foot once again.
    To paraphrase Paul Simon, the President is watching his hope for a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians, “slip sliding away.”

    Reply

  88. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And by the way, please note, POA, that DonS is actually engaged in a discussion about all of the terms that get thrown around here. You haven’t accused him of animalistic behavior”
    Maybe he’s one of the horses.
    But to engage your convoluted and steady stream of horseshit is futile. If someone says something means one thing, you will most assuredly say it means another, whether you believe it or not.
    Frankly, questions, we need not banter on this. You know what I think of your overcomplicated mental masturbation. Its not like we haven’t been on this hike before.
    Carry on, if you can find a direction that doesn’t intimidate you too much. I’d watch those y’s in the road if I was you, you never know what unknowns might become known in some sinister and unforseen manner. But then again, if that now known unknown hadn’t of reared its ugly unintended consequence, who is to say the as yet unknown on the road you didn’t take might not have been worse, a truly horrific known unknown? Can’t be too safe, now, can we?
    Lets hear some more prattle about how AIPAC is just like any other effective lobby. Perhaps Hillary will wanna speak at the National Tobbacco Growers Convention, and cheer as Congress sends a few billion in aid to all the growers. After she shoves the evidence of a link between cigarrette use and lung cancer under the rug.

    Reply

  89. DonS says:

    “I would consider myself a critic of Israel, and I would consider Sweetness one as well. I don’t remember either one of our [sic] being charged with anti-Semitism. (Questions)
    Agreed, as far as I remember (if I understand and can discern what ‘being charged’ connotes? Just kidding). (though I’m not sure I understand your inclusion of the phrases “critic of Israel” and “charged with anti-Semitism” in the same thought unless you are trying to distinguish yourself from the class of critics who are anti-semites . . . or something.
    But also, most of the regular posters here, not all, know that overt ‘anti-Semite’ is a dodge, except where that becomes the gravamen of the exchange. Occasional commenters throw an incendiary slur now and then, kind of piling on to help the team.
    Maybe it’s not the critical stance itself, by [sic] the way in which the criticism is done?” (Questions)
    This may always be the case, but more likely where roles, habits and presentations become known, even predictable.
    My view is that the presentation and underlying strategy of the more closely (Israeli) affiliated government surrogates, most notably AIPAC, rely largely upon evoking the anti-Semitism meme as the emotional hook to their message and appeal, and power. Not every audience has goes through the trial by fire as those on the TWN comment section, and are much more manipulable. That’s not a view based on personalities; it’s based on my considered view of the psychological mechanisms at work.

    Reply

  90. questions says:

    Number 5 translated — Joe Lieberman loves Israel so much (the thing that firsts him) that when he manages the collapse of the US (which is taken from your satire), he’ll just happily move to Israel (which people have suggested he do since he loves Israel first and has sacrificed the US for his FIRST LOVE.)
    The point of all of the numbered points is that I seriously doubt there are very many people who put Israel so FIRST that, well, Israel is first.
    Even W and M put some ink to the point and note that patriotism is not being called into question. So really, I recommend avoiding the phrase because it’s not descriptive of much of anything at all, and it makes rational discourse much much harder.
    It’s unclear what should ever be FIRST — family, lover, hometown, baseball team, favorite bar, family cemetery plot, ancestors, city, nation, country, genetic relatives, the poor, women and children, ancestral lands…. Our identifications are always varied and murky and they sometimes conflict. The movie Failsafe plays with this point, as does any movie in which someone turns in a family member or fights for country or runs away from a fight or frees a political prisoner, or imprisons someone. Antigone also deals with divided political and personal loyalties.
    But note that there’s some nuance in the discussions, some sense that it’s just not the easiest thing, and that we all have divisions in our souls. So, again, the Israel Firster language is overly simplified, poisonous to discourse, and really really unnecessary.
    I recommend finding other, more nuanced, ways to talk about the issue, not to bury it under an avalanche of words, but rather to characterize it in a fair and reasonable way that encourages discourse instead of silencing it.
    And, after rereading your last paragraph, no I don’t think that any of these “organizations” would always put Israel FIRST if the US were, say, about to fall off a cliff. But who knows. In fact, I would imagine that the US appears to most people to be a strong vibrant capable nation able to take a hit in the gut occasionally and therefore is not at all threatened by, say, sending aid to Israel. In fact, most foreign aid still directly benefits the US. The numbers I saw for Israel were 75% spent here, 25% freed up. Unusual, but still it’s a lot of money spent in the US. So the program still puts putative US interests FIRST.
    Again, use some nuance?
    Thanks for the response.

    Reply

  91. questions says:

    And by the way, please note, POA, that DonS is actually engaged in a discussion about all of the terms that get thrown around here. You haven’t accused him of animalistic behavior.
    In fact, defining terms actually matters. Language matters. DonS seems to have some law background of some sort. I think he gets it.
    Give it a try, POA. Or go back to the Anus of America.
    *****
    DonS, thanks for this. It’s an interesting way to put the problems. And I think it’s what the admin is actually trying for with the new Americans Against Drunk Israelis campaign. Can we draw lines so that we show the parts we support and the parts we don’t?
    Nadine points out routinely one issue which, only if correct, has to be dealt with and that is, if we criticize and weaken Israel’s negotiating position we might end up in a less good situation than we already are.
    When the 2 sides negotiate, they both need reasons to compromise. Pre-Axelrod game theory suggests that compromise isn’t likely without communication, and foreign policy theory suggests that communication that is trustworthy isn’t likely without hand-tying. Thus far, the game seems to run *betray – betray – betray -betray * with not a lot of cooperate moves. When there’s cooperation (ceasefires that last a while) one side or the other finds a button to push because both sides KNOW that the other will betray soon. It’s always better to be the first to betray.
    So there’s this structure in place that makes certain cooperation highly unlikely and therefore makes betrayal the rational decision.
    In all of this mess, the US tries to push for Israeli cooperative moves, but Israel feels certain betrayal will be the next Palestinian move. And hence, Israel responds with betrayal.
    Exiting the game is the move we need to encourage. Hurling invective on a blog doesn’t help that strategy. And lumping together all sorts of disparate views doesn’t help. The beauty of Pape’s work is the use of data, the unlumping of terrorism and the actual look at instances of it rather than the assumption that we already know everything there is to know.
    So maybe the thing to do is to disaggregate the lumped categories and see if there’s anything to, ummm, see. Does anyone hold a position that works? What spaces are there for negotiation? What happens if one side or another is strengthened? Are there times of more cooperation rather than less? What are the chief characteristics of those times? I absolutely don’t do work like this, but I’m sure someone could could come up with all sorts of interesting charts and graphs that might suggest pictures of when cooperation and defection happen on both sides. Maybe out of that, someone could find some interesting policy prescriptions.

    Reply

  92. Dan Kervick says:

    Sorry, questions, I was working all day>
    The term “Israel firster”, is a clear reference to the old America First movement and the America first attitude that characterized it. An Israel firster would be any person who attaches very high priority to the defense and promotion of the national interests of Israel, *and* who attaches higher priority to those interests than to the interests of any other country, including the United States. In short, an Israel firster cares more about Israel than they care about any other individual country, including the United States.
    With reference to your list and applying some elementary logic, we can say that there are several things that are *not* entailed by describing someone as an Israel firster:
    1. It doesn’t mean that they simply support foreign aid to Israel when there are some projects in the US that might be supported instead. The latter would only indicate that they place a high value on *some* Israeli interests, and believe those interests take precedence over the interest of *some* Americans. (Personally, I would much rather that we support an Israeli human rights organization than, say, state-subsidized psychotherapy for US investment bankers.)
    2. Clearly, your number 2, and your example of Haiti and unmet wants or needs in the US, only builds on the confusion of number 1. So that isn’t it either.
    3. Your number 3 is more of the same. Merely attaching higher value to the needs of *some* non-American than to the wants or needs of *some* American does not make one an Israel firster (or Haiti firster or Somalia firster or whatever.)
    4. I assume this one is just a joke, but attaching higher value to the national interests of Israel than to the national interests of the United States does not entail actually desiring the destruction of the United States. I attach a higher value to the interests of my son Ian than to the interests of of any other young man in my town. That makes me an “Ian firster”. It doesn’t make me a ghoul who wants to see all of those other young men dead.
    5. Number 5 seems garbled. But as far as I can tell, it involves the same mistake as number 4. If Joe Lieberman cares more about Israel than he cares about the United States, that doesn’t mean he would be “excited” to see the US collapse.
    6. Whether an Israel firster is self-deluded is an additional question that is logically distinct from the question of whether they are an Israel-firster. An Israel firster cares more about Israel than he cares about any other country. Some Israel firsters might be entirely clear about their own preferences; others might be self-deceived in various ways about their preferences.
    Care is born out in behavior, and whether or not someone is an Israel firster requires an interpretation of a pattern of behavior. But there are people and organizations in the United States who have a consistent record of rushing to defend Israeli interests and the position of the Israeli government *whenever* there is a disagreement between Israel and Washington. Now, it could be that such people believe that *whenever* there is such a disagreement between Washington and Israeli, Washington is *always* wrong about what policy would be best for the *United States*. That belief probably characterizes the mental state of *some* people. But the more likely explanation for the behavior is that these organizations and individuals simply *care more* about Israel than they *care* about the United States.

    Reply

  93. questions says:

    DonS,
    I would consider myself a critic of Israel, and I would consider Sweetness one as well. I don’t remember either one of our being charged with anti-Semitism. Maybe it’s not the critical stance itself, by the way in which the criticism is done? Maybe?
    And POA, please read carefully before pointing out any more animalistic behavior on my part. I’m actually a human, though I know you have a hard time with that. Why don’t you just go back to worrying about the American Anus or something equally useful?

    Reply

  94. questions says:

    Oh my, POA, I meant among posters here. I don’t think the regulars are quite as insane as you think. I don’t think WigWag or Nadine would feel the missed destiny of the end of the settlement movement. They both have political reasons for supporting Israel, but I don’t think either one is devoted to Greater Israel. So to call people here “radical Zionists” without explaining what you mean is something.
    I don’t bother reading Dershowitz. Is he pro-settler, or just pro-Israel and wouldn’t mind a negotiated withdrawal?
    What are the boundaries for “radical.”
    And thanks for the “jackass” thing. It’s nice to know that you’re back in form with classic arguments!

    Reply

  95. Sweetness says:

    Carroll writes: “But you (and not you alone) wanted or intuited
    Israel criticism to be about anti semitism against the Jews didn’t
    you?”
    First of all, EYE didn’t reduce all criticism of Israel to the work of
    anti-Semitism. But that didn’t mean that SOME criticism of
    Israel didn’t and doesn’t partake of a nice helping of it, either.
    Sometimes, the two streams run together.
    But, if we’re going to apply your goose and gander rule, I guess
    you must be pretty sympathetic to the Jewish situation. After
    enduring centuries of irrational anti-Semitism–and some of the
    most dire consequences–it’s only understandable that many
    Jews are pretty touchy on this point. Right?
    Even see things when they aren’t there…like when blacks pick up
    on racism that isn’t really there.
    I mean, what’s good for the salami is good for the baloney, yes?
    Maybe you get now how it feels.
    But really, when you think about it, what have posters like you
    had to endure? What sort of consequences have you suffered? I
    mean REALLY? Have you lost your job? Did you lose your
    house? Were you run out of town? Were you beaten up? Was
    your house bombed or desecrated? Those are the wages of
    anti-Semitism.
    Being called a bad word by people you don’t know? C’mon! By
    now, this “I can’t criticize Israel because people will call me an
    anti-Semite” thing is wearing a little thin.

    Reply

  96. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Gosh I’m feeling incessant today!”
    Is that what jackasses do? Feel incessant? I always wondered what all the braying was about.
    Now horses, when they niegh or whinny, you can usually quickly discern the reason.
    Then, of course, theres the dogs that bark, seemingly just to hear their own voice.

    Reply

  97. DonS says:

    Ok, that’s pretty coherent (what Carroll said).
    I would just add that the critics of the critics of Israel are quite unrelenting in their assumptions and accusations of anti-semitism. It has been a deep well of sympathy on which they have drawn, not just on this blog, but in general. I am not sure that the route Carroll is using works in the long run, but there is a real problem in the default position to criticism of Israel being ‘anti-semite’. A problem writ large in US foreign policy.
    Now I’m pretty guilty, if that’s the right word, of throwing around ‘right wing zionists’, ‘zealots’, etc, when referring to the likudniks and further right parties in Israel and their dupes, sympathizers and enablers at AIPAC and beyond. So how to differentiate between meaningful distinctions versus he said/she said?
    One distinction might be that the Israeli protection racket, I’ll just call it, is a one way street, wherein all the goodies flow towards Israel, from the US, including money, military material, and unquestioned veto power at the UN. Very little flows the other way and Isreal reserves the right to hop off the ‘cooperaton’ wagon anytime it chooses. Many would say, ‘of course’. But as an American, I can’t buy that calculus if the consequeces is harm to
    America’s standing in the world generally and specifically endangering our people and troops.
    No American government has cracked the conundrum, if it was even inclined to, of being being supportive of Israel, as just another sometime ally/friend, without becoming entangled and entrapped in its bad behavior.

    Reply

  98. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And what is a “radical Zionist” and please name some names”
    Alan Dershowitz springs immediately to mind.
    The increasing numbers of Israeli settlers that target Palestinian school children for attack would seem to fit such a bill as well.
    I’d include Nadine, but she is in a different category, as she’s just an ignorant bigot, and no matter with political, religious, or ethnic group she belonged to she’d be an ignorant bigot. Its a character defect, not an ethnic or political affiliation.
    Questions, I gotta admit that I find it hillarious that you are still throwing up a smokescreen around AIPAC and its obscene influence and power. To see you doing so, in light of recent events, underscores just how inane your longwinded obsfucations have become.
    Good God, man, have you no pride or self respect?

    Reply

  99. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sweetness, Mar 17 2010, 8:38AM – Link
    arroll writes:
    The problem is, Carroll, after reading you for quite a few years, I
    can’t figure out what you’re saying REALLY. And I’m not alone.
    It USED to be that folks would say, “The focus is on what Israel does–the immoral things it does–not on Jews
    >>>>>>>>>
    Ah Ha!..we did “use to say” that didn’t I/we/? Me in particular.
    But you (and not you alone) wanted or intuited Israel criticism to be about anti semitism against the Jews didn’t you?
    Almost everyone who has spoken out about Israel’s actions has suffered the hailstorm of anti semite slurs. And now you are shocked! shocked! that
    jewish or zionist character is also insulted.
    You figure it out..if you reduce objections to Israel to the bad character of anti semites then others are going to reduce those anti semite slurs to the jewish character.
    What?…you are surprised that someone would go after jews or zionist in the same way you have
    gone after others? You thought the ‘taboo would protect the assorted zionist/jewish activist from the slurs and abuse they heap on others?
    Welcome to the new rule:
    What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
    As I said before any time you want to ask nicely I will tell you what I ‘really’ think about the Jews/ zionist and Israel.

    Reply

  100. Sweetness says:

    Carroll quotes: “Similar rallies and protest marches were also
    held in other cities. The intensity of the Jewish campaign against
    Germany was such that the Hitler government vowed that if the
    campaign did not stop there would be a one-day boycott in
    Germany of Jewish-owned stores.
    “Hitler’s March 28, 1933 speech ordering a boycott against
    Jewish stores and goods was in direct response to the
    declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish
    leadership.
    “Prior to the escalation of anti-Semitism as a result of the
    boycott the majority of German Jews had little sympathy for the
    Zionist cause of promoting the immigration of world Jewry to
    Palestine. Making the situation in Germany as uncomfortable for
    the Jews as possible, in cooperation with German National
    Socialism, was part of the Zionist plan to achieve their goal of
    populating Palestine with a Jewish majority…continued”
    Sweetness: A couple of points should be made and questions
    asked…
    • Carroll, why do you suppose the Jews declared a boycott on
    Germany? Do your authors give any reasons?
    • Generally speaking, the Jewish boycott against Germany is
    cited FAVORABLY by anti-Zionists (Jews and non alike) because
    they say, “See? There WAS something Jews could have done
    about Hitler other than head off to Palestine.”
    • And even…the Jews could have STOPPED Hitler had Zionists
    not interfered with the boycott or drained energy from it.
    But you, somehow, want to interpret the boycott to be an
    example of how the Jews of Germany engendered anti-Semitism
    and brought Hitler’s wrath down on themselves by declaring war
    on their very own country. An example, I guess, of how the Jews
    aren’t 100% innocent victims of the Holocaust. And how some
    Jews then, just like some Jews today, are traitors to their country
    and ruin it for everyone.
    So again, why do you think the Jews called for a boycott–and
    do you think it was the right thing for them to do?
    PS: As to my new moniker–”sweetie”–I don’t mind,
    personally, but aren’t you breaking one of Walt’s rules–not to
    engage in ad hominems?

    Reply

  101. questions says:

    And what is a “radical Zionist” and please name some names.

    Reply

  102. questions says:

    It is obvious. You never did. Or Steve’s use of “firster” wouldn’t mean a damned thing.
    And incessant speculation would be joyful instead of irritating.

    Reply

  103. DonS says:

    “Ever wear a lapel button that says, “Question Authority”?
    I think that should be obvious.

    Reply

  104. questions says:

    DonS,
    Ever wear a lapel button that says, “Question Authority”? (Of course, it’s the voice of authority ordering, but hey, it’s pomo irony!)

    Reply

  105. questions says:

    DonS,
    So sorry that incessant speculation is to irritating. So sorry that “firster” is so obvious to the rest of the world. So sorry about my general density of skull. So sorry about the radical Zionists (like, umm, who? Are there any posters here who are radical Zionists? Please, OOPS!!!! define the term!)
    Gosh I’m feeling incessant today!

    Reply

  106. JohnG says:

    WW said:
    “Reading the speeches at the AIPAC convention next week should be highly entertaining.”
    Indeed, they are always highly entertaining.
    The pathetic emotional outbursts the members of the Iraqi parliament on the day that Saddam took the podium and began calling off the names of “traitors” to be marched off and excuted — those speeches were entertaining in the same sense as AIPAC Lovefest speeches are entertaining — if you like speeches based on groveling, one-upsmanship declarations of loyalty.

    Reply

  107. DonS says:

    Well, it’s true, Carroll’s focus becomes distracting, and I’m not sure what the point is. Perhaps part of the point is to attempt to counterbalance Nadine and Wigwags’ (and the occasional provocateur like marcus and jason) non stop propaganda. But I think it backfires because no one wants to go this direction. I must say I find much of Questions incessant speculation irritating too. Perhaps its for his own amusement, but it too is distracting. Like ‘what is a firster’? As great and authority as Steve Clemons uses the term so there must be some agreement as to it’s general sense, or is Questions just setting up a softball so the more radical zionists around here can have more fuel to accuse the rest of us of anti-semitism? Play both sides of the fence, in the name of intellectual rigor of course.

    Reply

  108. Sweetness says:

    arroll writes: “Now do a PN and sweetie and say that paragraph
    means I think the jewish financiers caused the holocaust. LOL”
    The problem is, Carroll, after reading you for quite a few years, I
    can’t figure out what you’re saying REALLY. And I’m not alone.
    It USED to be that folks would say, “The focus is on what Israel
    does–the immoral things it does–not on Jews.”
    But you continually go way beyond that. Anyone with minimum
    reading comprehension skills sees that.
    You’re constantly treating us to the obvious (or the obviously
    false) and calling it a news flash or a confirmation of some deep
    dark Jewish secret we’re trying to hide from everyone else.
    Carroll: “News Flash! Famous important people, like Churchill,
    said bad things about the Jews–it must be true!”
    Carroll: “New Flash! Jews think they are as pure as the driven
    snow. But I’m here to tell you…they’re not!”
    Carroll: “News Flash! Most Jews weren’t Zionist and didn’t want
    to leave their homes in Europe–ergo, Israel is somehow
    illegitimate…or something.”
    Carroll…Zionists were a minority in Eastern Europe…so were the
    Bundists…the Pilgrims were a minority of Englishmen… the Irish
    who came here were a minority of the Irish…civil rights activists
    were a tiny minority among white southerners…EVERYONE
    knows this. The Zionists know this.
    So what? What’s your point? You’re never willing to come clean.
    At this point, I can’t tell whether you’re stupid, ignorant or
    venal, or some combination of all three.
    Fortunately, people with views like yours are a minority, too.
    And I hope things stay that way.

    Reply

  109. Paul Norheim says:

    “Now do a PN and sweetie and say that paragraph means I
    think…” (Carroll to Dan Kervick)
    —————
    PN:
    Carroll, why don’t you once and for all stop distracting this blog
    with your dubious obsessions and insane historical analogies?
    The problem in 1933 was certainly not the Jews, communists,
    social-democrats and others who already at that time warned
    against Hitler. You discuss this as if the “final solution” just
    came out of the blue in 1939. However, the tendency, the
    direction, the targeting of Jews was evident long before even
    1933 (did you ever read Mein Kampf?), and became more and
    more evident through Nazi policies and propaganda in the years
    before 1939.
    Above you frame this as if German anti-Semitism during the
    Third Reich was directly provoked by those nasty Zionists from
    the American Jewish Congress boycotting German gods. That’s
    a certifiably insane statement. Hitler was originally from Wien,
    Austria, and had soaked up the anti-Semitic hatred in that town
    for decades before becoming der Führer in Berlin.
    Believe it or not, but European anti-Semtitism was not even
    caused by the birth of Theodor Herzl, but existed for many
    centuries before Zionism.
    I assume that your latest stunt is part of your argument that the
    Jews/Zionists are partly to blame morally for what happened to
    them.
    But no, this is just another manifestation of your astonishing
    lack of judgement and sense of proportions. You are distracting
    the discussions of contemporary events in entirely different
    contexts with your weird and sick analogies. You’re seemingly
    begging for regular and unregular posters to arrest you for
    anti-Semitism again and again, thus distracting thread after
    thread.
    So please keep your bizarre interpretations for yourself, will
    you?

    Reply

  110. questions says:

    Hey Dan, I know you don’t bother reading/responding to much of what I post since you have commented that you agree with POA on the fog issue, but I was wondering if you might mind answering a question from me. You write the following:
    “So far, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that the rush-to-defend-Israel bloc is picking up much steam outside the usual crowd of hard line Israeli-firsters. Even ultra-establishment figures like Friedman and Ignatius seem to be backing the administration reaction, which Friedman said was “exactly right” during the Shieffer panel Steve linked to.”
    And what I’d really like to know is, just what is a firster?
    That phrase is batted around here like, umm, a badminton birdie and I am unclear about what it means. Here are some possibilities, let me know if any hits the mark:
    1. A firster is someone who sends material support out of the US before every single USAmerican desire has been fulfilled, thus putting some other commitment ahead of even one USAmerican citizen’s desires. So if foreign aid exits the country before OA’s swimming pool is opened, this would be a horrific breach of the proper use of resources. And if I lack money for, I don’t know, a yacht, let’s say, it would be proper for the US government to yacht me before it dares send resources out of the country.
    2. A firster is someone who thinks that another country is less able to take a hit and thinks the US could manage it better. So, say, a Haiti-firster might think the US could handle sending money and/or marines to Haiti even though there are unmet wants/needs in the US?
    3. Firsters do not follow the Glenn Beck notion of Christian charity for the Great Republic of Texamerica. That is, we are supposed to run away when we hear the phrase “civil rights” in our Christian houses of worship. The point here is that one takes care of oneself FIRST and thinks about anything else much later if at all. Firsters violate this principle of charity by giving before receiving.
    4. Firsters would be thrilled to see the demise of the US!
    5. Firsters feel no obligation to anything but the thing that “firsts” them. So, for example, Joe Lieberman would be excited to see the US collapse for then he’d simply move to his “first.”
    6. Firsters engage in self-delusional thinking in which they convince themselves that they aren’t putting anything else first when in fact they are. The delusion is consciously set up to avoid the cognitive dissonance of realizing they are traitors to the crown or the Constitution. So LIEberman has constructed some elaborate self-deceptive aura in which his I-Firstness is masked in US-Firstness? But really, he’s just lying to himself and he hates our freedoms or whatever.
    I don’t know that any of these sort-of scenarios describes anything real that happens in the world. I doubt citizens who benefit from our political structures really want the end of those structures (though Carroll does seem to be somewhere between pyromania and a desire to go postal to destroy the system). I doubt that the act of giving to others before satisfying oneself is anything but a worthy action. So the very putting of another FIRST is, in fact, good rather than wicked. But around here “firsterism” seems to be considered wicked.
    Again, the whole issue of interests and priorities is assumed rather than explained, it treated with rhetorical flourishes rather than with reason or argument, and the result is emotional claptrap.
    Likely, you won’t bother responding, as that seems to be your policy towards me. But if anyone else out there can explain “firsterism” in some reasonable way, I’d be happy to read and see if I can muster a response (or 30)!

    Reply

  111. Carroll says:

    Posted by Dan Kervick, Mar 17 2010, 1:01AM – Link >>>
    Dan, please stop being an idiot.
    Contemporary US and global opposition to Israeli settlement expansion and the Palestinian defense of their homes is pertinent to the 1933 zionism that created Israel and the present day zionism
    expressed by zionist and zionism in Palestine today and so few miles away from Tel Aviv and so similar to Nazi Germany’s mentality that analogizing Zionist opposition to the latter in 1933 with Zionist promoting of the present in Palestine today is such ugly territory that every decent person should enter.
    The moronic and grotesque things you write – all variations on Carrol thinks “the Jews had it coming” theme – are incredibly damaging. You couldn’t possibly do worse damage if you were employed by Netanyahu himself.
    Got any other parroting of sweetie and wiggie you want to do tonight? NO?
    Then where do you get your history? The first mention by Hitler of the final solution was in 1939, not before 1933..unless of course you are a expert historian or were living with Hitler and know better then Ian Kershaw who is considered the foremost expert on Hitler. I will have to go dig out my book in the morning to give the exact facts but it was the begining of ’39 that Hitler threatened that if the jewish financiers suceeded in causing a world war for the nations he would exterminate all the jews to prevent the ‘bolshevising’ of the earth or words to that effect. Unrelated historians agree that was Hitler first suggestion of killing the jews instead of just deporting them.
    Now do a PN and sweetie and say that paragraph means I think the jewish financiers caused the holocaust. LOL
    You really are another one of our morality authorities who has the amazing ability to “divine” the meaning and intentions of others without asking a single question.
    May I suggest you go cheney yourself with your crystal ball? It would probably fit perfectly.

    Reply

  112. Dan Kervick says:

    Carroll, please stop being an idiot.
    If Jews supported boycotting German goods in March, 1933, they were right to do. By then Hitler – a man who had already advocated the Final Solution – had risen to the dictatorship of a new fascist state in Germany.
    Contemporary US and global opposition to Israeli settlement expansion and the Palestinian defense of their homes is a million miles away from Nazi Germany, and analogizing Zionist opposition to the latter in 1933 with Zionist opposition to the former in 2010 is ugly territory that even Foxman and Dershowitz wouldn’t enter.
    The moronic and grotesque things you write – all variations on “the Jews had it coming” theme – are incredibly damaging. You couldn’t possibly do worse damage if you were employed by JINSA yourself.

    Reply

  113. Carroll says:

    Huummm…if I were wiggie I wouldn’t be getting my giggles from the zionist declaring war on the United States.
    We all remember what happened the last time the Zionist declared war on a country. A lot of innocent non zionist Jews died for it.
    http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/zionism/jewishwar.cfm
    The Zionist War on Nazi Germany
    Most people are not aware that in March, 1933, long before Hitler became the undisputed leader of Germany and began restricting the rights of German Jews, the American Jewish Congress announced a massive protest at Madison Square Garden and called for an American boycott of German goods.
    London Daily Express
    24 March 1933
    The Daily Express (London) published an article on March 24, 1933 announcing that the Jews had already launched their boycott against Germany and described a forthcoming “holy war”.
    The Express urged Jews everywhere to boycott German goods and demonstrate against German economic interests.
    The Express said that Germany was “now confronted with an international boycott of its trade, its finances, and its industry….In London, New York, Paris and Warsaw, Jewish businessmen are united to go on an economic crusade.”
    The article went on, “worldwide preparations are being made to organize protest demonstrations.”
    On March 27, 1933 the planned protest at Madison Square Garden was attended by 40,000 protestors
    (New York Daily News headlines: “40,000 Roar Protest Here Against Hitler”).
    Similar rallies and protest marches were also held in other cities. The intensity of the Jewish campaign against Germany was such that the Hitler government vowed that if the campaign did not stop there would be a one-day boycott in Germany of Jewish-owned stores.
    Hitler’s March 28, 1933 speech ordering a boycott against Jewish stores and goods was in direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership.
    That same spring of 1933 there began a period of private cooperation between the German government and the Zionist movement in Germany and worldwide to increase the flow of German-Jewish immigrants and capital to Palestine.
    Growing anti-Semitism in Germany and by the German government in response to the boycott played into the hands of the Zionist leaders.
    Prior to the escalation of anti-Semitism as a result of the boycott the majority of German Jews had little sympathy for the Zionist cause of promoting the immigration of world Jewry to Palestine. Making the situation in Germany as uncomfortable for the Jews as possible, in cooperation with German National Socialism, was part of the Zionist plan to achieve their goal of populating Palestine with a Jewish majority…continued”
    As I have said many times the zionist are not true Jews as in religious Jews. The best way to describe them is as a cult of breakaway jews.
    The jews against zionism site explains it well.
    This statement btw ..”the majority of German Jews had little sympathy for the Zionist cause of promoting the immigration of world Jewry to..” is very true.
    I believe it was in the Kennedy Presidential Library that I read the bio and statements of a Jewish German that had been appointed Ambassador to either Lebanon or Syria by the President. And in an interview with him he talked about his background and Germany and how the middle class German Jews were repulsed by the zionist activities in Germany.
    Very interesting, I will see if I can find it again and post it.

    Reply

  114. Dan Kervick says:

    So far, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that the rush-to-defend-Israel bloc is picking up much steam outside the usual crowd of hard line Israeli-firsters. Even ultra-establishment figures like Friedman and Ignatius seem to be backing the administration reaction, which Friedman said was “exactly right” during the Shieffer panel Steve linked to.
    Something different this time around is the Petraeus factor. Even if Nadine is right, and the initial report on the Petraeus briefing was selective, clearly *something* out of the ordinary was said during that briefing, and this aroused a hubbub inside the administration and Israel. I wonder if either the Israeli intelligence on this briefing, or the White House reaction to it, weren’t responsible in part for the strange sudden trip by Biden to Israel in the first place. If Biden was there to smooth things over, that would explain why he found it particularly galling when Netanyahu’s government pissed in his face. It’s also possible he was there to work out a US-Israeli united front message for the Netanyahu visit and Aipac meeting, a courtesy which would render surprise insults and mockery especially odious and classless.
    An awful lot of Americans take their cues on Middle East security from David Petraeus. Israel’s attempts to set the Middle East agenda in the US will be severely damaged if they publicly end up in a different position from Petraeus. Petraeus testified today that he did not make a “formal request” to include the Palestinian territories under the Centcom purview, but he didn’t seem averse to elevating the I/P conflict as a US national security matter, the unresolved and contentious nature of which is interfering with US strategic goals in the region:
    http://armed-services.senate.gov/statemnt/2010/03%20March/Petraeus%2003-16-10.pdf
    We won’t know until next week if there is something truly different in the works this time around, or if the administration is just going to embarrass themselves again by backing down and bowing out.
    Israel’s US position on this particular spat is also being hindered by the incomparably obnoxious Ambassador Oren. Oren reminds me of the surly Iranian spokespeople we used to see on Nightline during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 and 1980. Usually, ambassadors are area people who are expected to like and admire the country’s to which they are posted. But Oren seems to hate or resent the United States, a level of antipathy that is perhaps only possible for an American renegade who has renounced his American citizenship.

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  115. WigWag says:

    What’s really fun is to watch the way that AIPAC is taunting the Administration. I’m not sure that’s what I would do if I was calling the shots, but hey, who can argue with their success. They obviously know what their doing.
    AIPAC has responded to the harsh rhetoric from the Administration with a little harsh rhetoric of its own. The Administration called Israel’s action a matter of “serious concern.” AIPAC has turned right around and said,
    “The Obama Administration’s recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel are a matter of serious concern. AIPAC calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State.”
    Now you have to admit that the statement is pretty balsy. After all, it was Israel that blundered by announcing the Jerusalem construction in a manner that embarrassed the Vice President. Nevertheless, AIPAC believes that it’s the Administration’s responsibility to take immediate steps to defuse the situation.
    Good for them!
    And already congressional criticism of the Administration’s behavior is pouring in. While the Democrats mostly make a few comments criticizing Israel for the timing of its announcement before remarking on how the Administration needs to dial back its rhetoric, the Republicans go straight for Obama’s jugular (figuratively speaking of course).
    It’s all really quite interesting and revealing. Here we are, just a few days from the onset of the contretemps, and we already have statements from the following criticizing the Administration: McCain, Lieberman, Brownback, Gillibrand, Cardin and Johanns; Berman (Chair, House Foreign Affairs Committee), McCarthy (CA), Bilirakis, Klein, Mack, Ros-Lehtinen (Ranking Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee), Price, Quirk, Quigley, Burton, Tiahrt, Peters, Rothman, Engel, Israel, Lowey, Weiner, Berkley, Boehner, Carney and Cantor.
    That’s 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats. By the time that the AIPAC Conference starts next week, I wonder how many statements of support they will have.
    Some of the statements are quite harsh. We have this from Shelley Berkley (D-NV),
    “The Administration’s strong implication that the enduring alliance between the U.S. and Israel has been weakened, and that America’s ability to broker talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities has been undermined, is an irresponsible overreaction. No doubt the administration’s overwrought rhetoric is designed to try to appease Palestinian politicians and convince them the U.S. is an honest partner in the peace process by seizing every available opportunity to criticize the actions of our ally Israel. That strategy also includes ignoring the myriad provocations by Palestinian leaders that make pursuing peace such a long and arduous process. Where, I ask, was the Administration’s outrage over the arrest and month-long incarceration by Hamas of a British journalist who was investigating arms-smuggling into Gaza? Where was the outrage when the Palestinian Authority this week named a town square after a woman who helped carry out a massive terror attack against Israel? It has been the PA who has refused to participate in talks for over a year, not the government of Israel. Yet once again, no concern was lodged by the Administration. And, all the while, Hamas restocks its terror arsenal and fires rockets into Israel.”
    And that’s from a Democrat. The really choice words about the Obama Administration’s inept handling of the situation come from the Republicans.
    This is what the Republican Senator from Nebraska had to say,
    “This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, making it official
    United States policy that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel…As a staff member, I helped draft this historic legislation; as a Congressman I continue to urge its enforcement. History teaches us that a divided Jerusalem leads to conflict while a unified Jerusalem protects the rights of all faiths. I urge the Administration to spend more time working to stop Iran from building nuclear bombs and less time concerned with zoning issues in Jerusalem.
    Minority Leader Boehner’s statement was also telling,
    The Administration’s decision to escalate its rhetoric following Vice President Biden’s visit to Israel is not merely irresponsible; it is an affront to the values and foundation of
    our long-term relationship with a close friend and ally. The Administration has demonstrated a repeated pattern since it took office: while it makes concessions to countries acting contrary to U.S. national interests, it ignores or snubs the commitments, shared values and sacrifices of many of our country’s best allies. If the administration wants to work toward resolving the conflict in the Middle East, it should focus its efforts on Iran’s behavior, including its pursuit of nuclear weapons…”
    I guess AIPAC knows what we all know; the Obama Administration’s reaction to the bipartisan broadside coming their way will be to do what they always do; chart an ignominious retreat. Unless their retreat is hasty they will have set back the peace process still further.
    The Obama Administration has already lost; if they dial back the rhetoric they appear to be surrendering; if they don’t Congress will make it clear yet again that the Administration’s policies have no support on either side of the aisle.
    This is an Administration that keeps shooting itself in the foot.
    Reading the speeches at the AIPAC convention next week should be highly entertaining.

    Reply

  116. Carroll says:

    Well, the boys from JINSA are really going after Obama.
    The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs Office:
    1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 515 Washington, D.C. 20036
    March 15, 2010
    Press Release:
    JINSA Condemns Obama Administration’s Castigation of Israel
    The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs today condemned the “harsh and condescending” tone used by senior Obama Administration officials to castigate the Israeli government, in complete contravention of accepted behavior between long-standing democratic allies.
    Arab States Lose Faith in the United States Over Lack of Action on Iran, Administration Blames Israel
    JINSA Report #
    973
    March 16, 2010
    The White House’s unprecedented public rebuke of Israel is meant to divert attention from the ugly truth the Arab states are well aware of, that the Obama Administration spent more than a year “engaging” Iran and has nothing to show for it.
    Read the JINSA Report

    Reply

  117. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, Wig-wag’s loyalty is towards Israel, and she doesn’t give a shit if Israel’s leaders spit in the face of the President of the United States. In fact, Wig-wag admits enjoying it when our President is insulted in such a manner.
    Thats sure a novel way to discourage anti-semitism in the United States, isn’t it?
    I gotta admit, if all the Jews I know, live with, and have known were like Wig-wag and Nadine, I’d surely be anti-semitic.
    But fortunately I know that all Jews are not as despicably anti-American as Nadine and Wig-wag are. All races, ethnic groups, and religious factions have their fair share of assholes. Heck, if we judged people by the assholes in their midst, then ALL people would be assholes. Now what fun would that be?

    Reply

  118. WigWag says:

    Are you going to be using any of the money to defeat the health care bill?” (Dan Kervick)
    No, 100 percent of the money will be sent to AIPAC and they will use it for their pro-Israel work. I’ve never heard that AIPAC is involved in anything but foreign policy issues and I don’t believe that they have a position on health care reform one way or the other. As a matter of fact I have a refrigerator magnet hanging on my Frigidaire with AIPAC’s logo. It says, *America’s Pro Israel Lobby.* It doesn’t say anything about health care.
    The whole health care reform issue is a rather contentious one in our community. I’m a strong supporter of the pending bill even though I think that without a public option it’s a massive give-a-way to the insurance companies. I think Obama handled health care reform as dreadfully as he’s handled everything else. To my mind, when it comes to competency, Obama is little more than a Democratic version of George W. Bush.
    As for my neighbors, many are afraid that if the current bill passes it will somehow erode their Medicare coverage. Even though they’ve been promised that it won’t, many people are still very suspicious.
    On the other hand, there are alot of people where I live who have children and grandchildren who are uninsured or underinsured; those people tend to support the reform measures.
    In our community our congressmen and women are split on the measure. Supporters include: Alcee Hastings, Ron Klein, Kendrick Meek, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Robert Wexler. Opponents include: Lincoln Diaz-Bilart, Mario Diaz-Bilart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
    Naturally, the Democrats all favor the measure and the Republicans all oppose the measure. Of course, when it comes to Israel, its bipartisanship all the way. There really isn’t an ounce of difference between our Democratic and Republican House members when it comes to Israel although the Democrats are somewhat more reluctant to criticize President Obama. But when it comes to voting patterns on Israel related matters, there really is no space between arch conservative, Illena Ros-Lehtinen (who is the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affaris Committee) and the very liberal Robert Wexler (who is retiring to run a pro-Israel organization.)
    Israel is the one thing that every politician seems to agree on.
    Which is good for them, because if they didn’t, their chances for reelection would be nil.
    Aint democracy grand?
    ps: Glad to hear about all that rabble rousing, DonS. To my mind rabble rousing is always good. We can’t have too much democracy, can we? I’ll be watching carefully to see how many of our elected representatives are convinced to change their votes by all those letters coming out of those congregations in your neck of the woods.
    By the way, where do you live?

    Reply

  119. DonS says:

    Wigwag, glad to know your fund raising campaign is going well. My friends here are equally disturbed at the messages going forth from Washing and from Tel Aviv. Virtually all Jews, there seems to be a renewed commitment to write letters, give money, exhort congregations to stand against the abusive and anti humanitarian Israeli regime.

    Reply

  120. Dan Kervick says:

    “In so many ways, the Obama Administration is the gift that keeps on giving.”
    Are you going to be using any of the money to defeat the health care bill?

    Reply

  121. WigWag says:

    It’s interesting what a galvanizing effect the Obama’s Administration’s words have had on the pro-Israel community in the United States.
    Next week, in honor of the AIPAC convention, the local AIPAC chapter in my condo association in Broward County is holding a fundraiser. Usually raising money is always a little bit of a struggle; it was this year as well until the current controversy hit. Alot of people around here like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, so even though their comments were annoying, alot of my neighbors were willing to give them a pass. But when David Axelrod criticized Israel last Sunday morning on “This Week” many of us decided that we had enough. Next thing you know, the money started rolling in. Our fundraising goal was $10 thousand. I am currently visiting my grandchildren in New York but when I return I’ve been told not to be surprised if we beat our goal by over 50 percent. I haven’t seen so many mobilized people since Obama gave the Medal of Freedom to the detestable Mary Robinson.
    We’ve also heard from the Mark Rubio campaign to alert us that Rubio found the remarks coming from the Administration to be very disturbing and wrong-headed. We haven’t heard anything yet from the Crist campaign or the Kendrick Meek campaign but I wouldn’t be surprised if we do.
    One of my neighbors who is active in Christians United for Israel mentioned to me that CUFI was sending out a direct mail piece quoting Biden, Clinton and Axelrod. I don’t know if she’s right, but her guess was that it would be their most successful fundraising solicitation of the year.
    In so many ways, the Obama Administration is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Reply

  122. jason says:

    Obama and Clinton have moved closer to Syria. Also remember Pelosi’s visit to Syria. No demands on syria from clinton to stop hosting hamas and islamic jihad and to stop arming and training them. Instead Clinton and Obama have sent ambassador back to syria, given syria sensitive communication systems and airplane parts. Clinton and Obama praised Syria’s relationswhip with iran when iran and syria’s presidents dissed clinton and called u.s a colonial power. Obama and Clinton appologized to gaddafi for a spokesperson mocking him after he said we should have jihad against switzerland.
    Syrian President Bashir Assad, responding instantly following departure of the U. S. Under-Secretary of State from Damascus, invited the Iranian president to his capital. The Assad-Ahmadinjead press conference can be described most tactfully as a roast of the Obama administration. The two presidents announced removal of travel visas, meaning that Iranian terrorists are free to travel to the borders of Europe and Israel. Assad, not ordinarily known for humor, said of U.S. hopes of separating Syria from Iran that “[w]e must have understood Clinton wrong because of bad translation.” The Iranian president reliably played straight man: “The Americans are forced to leave the region, leaving their reputation, image, and power behind in order to escape. The U.S. has no influence to stop expansion of Iran-Syria, Syria-Turkey, and Iran-Turkey ties. God willing, Iraq too will join this circle.”
    This was right after Obama announced return of u.s ambassador. Obama has also given syria new plane parts and sensitive communication systems and word is Obama is offering Syria to enter IMF and gets nothing in return.
    But Samantha Power, Obama, Clinton jump on Israel at first oppurtunity and say nothing to syria. Samantha Power in 2002 said force should be used against Israel.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/03/obamas_iran_policy_collapses_t.html
    This administration sees Israel as the problem and is getting closer and closer with Syria. They put Samantha Power on the Israel file.

    Reply

  123. Charles Ward says:

    Wow, that picture of Bibo doesn’t half remind me of this guy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammerhead_(comics)

    Reply

  124. samuelburke says:

    col. Pat Lang has this over at his webpage. sic semper tyranis
    “The US/Zionist Crisis of 2010
    “The Administration should make a conscious effort to move
    away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at
    Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental,
    and strategic interests,” continued the statement.”
    “The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a
    distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done
    with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear
    weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her
    Arab neighbors.” Jewish Telegraphic Agency
    ————————————————-
    ————————————————-
    ———-
    What are those listed interests?
    “I have finally become convinced that this is a major crisis in
    US/Zionist relations. I describe the crisis in that way because
    AIPAC’s preference for Israel in this matter makes this a
    controversy not just between the Jewish state and the US, but
    also a conflict between Israel’s international supporters and the
    US. The warning contained in this AIPAC statement is largely
    directed to its agents in the Congress and the media.
    The AIPAC annual conference is impending. Natanyahu is
    coming. If he wanted to resolve this problem on any basis other
    than humiliation of the United States he would stay home, but he
    will not because that is what he wants. He wants to demonstrate
    the subordination of the US to Israel.
    What sort of reception will he get from AIPAC? AIPAC is an
    instrument of the Jewish Agency is Jerusalem. The differences
    between the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government are
    obscure and ambiguous.
    What will be the reaction of the Obama Administration to
    Natanyahu triumphally striding the halls of Congress? pl
    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/03/15/1011095/aipac-
    to-obama-defuse-tension-with-israel

    Reply

  125. Sweetness says:

    A pretty good and fair assessment…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/opinion/16iht-
    edcohen.html

    Reply

  126. Sweetness says:

    • Strange confluence between Wig and Carroll: The desire “to be right” is the chief motivation of those who write and trumps any real desire to see “the right” come to pass. After all, what else does a writer have than the ability to “be right.”
    • MartinJB: You’re right about Carroll. She’s got this Jewish tic thing going. I remember once she questioned the import of Xn Zionism because, well, she lived in Bible Belt and, heck, when she walked out the door, she didn’t see no Xn Zionists nowhere and, truth be told, didn’t see none of them big Xn churches neither!
    • Don Bacon, about provenance. From where I sit, it’s hard to know (always) who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. Maybe you’ve got a better perch. So the credibility of sources, while not definitive, counts for “something” with me.
    And actually, we all do this, including in court. Liars tend to lie, not always, but often enough to make it noteworthy.
    So, I agree, the provenance of XYZ isn’t the final word on its truth, but it’s something to consider. That’s all I really meant.

    Reply

  127. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Future construction plans for Jews in East Jerusalem
    11/03/2010
    There are tens of thousands of housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem in various stages of planning in the planning system. Some estimates speak of 50,000 housing units, including many plans that have not yet passed the initial stages of planning in the local planning committee. In fact, the number also includes ideas for plans that have not yet reached advanced discussion, as well as plans for which various developers have done nothing more than opening planning files. Past experience shows that in Israel, many plans for settlements are awaiting the appropriate political opportunity to be implemented, so any stage of promotion of a plan should be of a worry to those who wish to get to a two states solution.
    Peace Now has collected the plans that have passed the initial stages of planning in the local committee and are on the agenda of the regional committee (so that they are in a more advanced and practical stage of planning), as well as plans that have already been approved but the construction of which has not yet started. Still, there may be additional plans that we are not aware of.
    a. Plans in the planning stages in East Jerusalem:
    The planning process is a prolonged process that takes years, from drawing up plans by architects through the approval by the local and regional planning committees, until the plan is approved and materializes on the ground. The main stages of planning are approval by the local committee (at the Jerusalem Municipality); the regional committee’s approval to deposit the plan; deposit and publication of the plan for public objections; discussion of the objections; and the approval for validation. After the validation of a plan is published, one can apply for a construction permit from the Municipality and after receiving it – the bulldozers can start the works. Every approval in the planning process shows an intention of realizing the plan, and therefore every planning stage has political significance.
    Main Findings:
    Peace Now found 18 plans to build 7,094 new housing units for Jewish population in East Jerusalem, and another 1,450 hotel rooms, in different stages at the regional committee. There is another plan to build 2,337 housing units, approved for validation and waiting for official publication.
    Six of the plans are for building Jewish compounds in the middle of Palestinian neighborhoods; eight plans are for expanding existing Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and four plans are to build 4,000 housing units at Givat Hamatos – a new neighborhood planned in East Jerusalem.
    Details of the plans:
    1. Plans in the initial planning stage — after approval by the local committee and before discussion at the regional committee
    This is the first stage of processing a plan after it has been approved by the municipality’s local committee. This is the stage that the plan for Ramat Shlomo, which caused the political fracas last week, passed.
    We found at least nine plans to build 1,542 housing units and another 1,250 hotel rooms and another controversial master plan for the Wadi Hilweh area of Silwan, that includes the City of David settlement.
    The plans are both for Jewish neighborhoods built in the past like Ramat Shlomo, Giloh and Ramot, but also in new areas, some of them inside Palestinian neighborhoods, such as Nof Zion (Jabel Mukabbar), Kidmat Zion (Abu Dis), Herod’s Gate (the Moslem quarter) and Sheikh Jarrah.
    2. Plans at the public objections stage:
    This is the stage when the public is given the opportunity to oppose the plan and the regional committee hears the objections and changes the plan accordingly. Most of the plans in this stage are either awaiting publication for objection, or after being published awaiting the discussion of the objections.
    We found at least seven plans to build 4,682 housing units and another 200 hotel rooms and a mall. The plans are in Jewish neighborhoods built years ago beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem, such as Ramat Shlomo, Har Homa, Giloh and Pisgat Ze’ev. One plan is in Givat Hamatos and another is to build a hotel and a shopping center in the middle of the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Joz.
    3. Plans awaiting the last stage of discussion of validation:
    This is the last stage before a plan becomes valid, when the regional committee discusses final approval of the plan. After the approval the plan is published for validation and only after publication does it become valid.
    There are at least two plans to build 870 housing units at Givat Hamatos and another one for some 57 housing units Giloh. Which are awaiting the discussion of validation. Another plan, to build 2,337 housing units at Givat Hamatos, was approved for validation but not yet published for validation.
    continues………
    END EXCERPT.
    As “Peace Now” has continuously exposed, settlement expansion is nothing new. This dust up is ridiculous on its face. The “substance” of Netanyahu’s “insult”, if looked at in terms that resemble actual reality, has been ongoing now for some time, with nary a peep of protest from Clinton or Obama. So what did Hillary and Obama expect?
    And missing from Steve’s essay is the recent complaints from Mitchell that allegedly preceded this spat, where he complained of pro-Israeli bias from State. The “question” of “pro-Israeli bias” is non-existent. Its been obvious from the get go. The “question” is why didn’t Mitchell’s alleged complaints attract more attention? Why didn’t Steve and those like him give this story more attention, as it was certainly a precurser to current events.
    Also missing is any critique of Hillary’s tepid and embarrassing “diplomacy” that has led up to this ultimate act of arrogance on Netanyahu’s part. This so called “crisis” was completely predictable, given the weak and ineffective manner in which Hillary has dealt with the settlement issue. After all, its not as if the “insults” just began with Biden’s visit.
    Its truly disheartening seeing this power play unfold, with egos grossly displayed, and political wills going head to head while the true crux of the matter goes ignored. Its about war crimes, human rights abuses, and a people that are suffering the horrible degradation of hard handed oppression, racial prejudice, collective punishment, and deprivation of basic human needs. THEN comes the issue of this insidious and ongoing theft of their lands.
    These crimes, abuses, degradations, oppression, and land thefts did not begin with Biden’s visit. They are ongoing as we speak. They have been ongoing for decades. This hypocricy and insincere posturing over the “plight of the Palestinians” is obscene on its face. We have enabled Israel in this behaviour. We have condoned it. We have supported it at the UN. We have financed it with our hard earned tax dollars. And we have supplied the arms.
    It truly is malignant. It has been going on for far too long, and this cancer is most likely incurable. It has simply grown too large and too powerful. Obama doesn’t have the will to fight it, and Hiillary doesn’t have the desire. And Biden? You gotta be kidding me. The motor mouthed mewling little puke will boldly go where everyone before him has gone.

    Reply

  128. samuelburke says:

    “Third, at sites like these, where the hatred of Israel is non-stop,
    all the time”
    it’s criticism not hatred, and well deserved after all these years of
    abusing the hapless palestinian population.
    http://ilanpappe.com/

    Reply

  129. ali says:

    Remember, Peace is the key to overcome upon the fakness and hypocracy that have been made over policies to regulate in uni or multidimensional as or whenever possible by the policy makers or say think tanks. But instead of all these if u are good pon ur self without any religious premises then with steadfastness and with hih heart you can win some day.

    Reply

  130. nadine says:

    Maw, the CIA did tell George Bush that Saddam had WMDs. It was a “slam-dunk” case and I can show you scores of Democrats saying the same.
    But the American Military DID NOT tell Harry Reid that the Surge had failed and the War was lost. At the time Reid said it, the Surge hadn’t even begun — it couldn’t possibly have failed. It had been ordered, but it hadn’t started!
    Reid made it up, hoping for a lost Iraqi War he could pin on George Bush. Show me, if you can, the Youtube of one prominent Republican saying the Surge has failed, the war is lost.

    Reply

  131. Maw of America says:

    Nadine – Explain to me how George “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.” is different from Harry “The Surge has failed. The War is Lost!” Reid.

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  132. nadine says:

    Don Bacon, Obama was a Say-Anything candidate and now he is a Say-Anything president.
    But it’s different now, because a) the media is starting to fall out of love with Obama and b) governing is different from campaigning. Actual results matter in governing. In the campaign, Obama could promise to engage with Iran and the media told us this was a swell idea; now, even the media is starting to report that the result is a stream of insults from Iran and full speed ahead on the nuke program.
    Wigwag, cheering for Obama to fail is like cheering for the sun to rise in the East. It will happen whether you cheer for it or not. Obama is bright man with remarkably shallow ideas because he has always been “too cool for school”. Now he is in a realm where you have to do your homework to have any chance of success, and you’re likely to fail even then. Obama doesn’t do his homework.

    Reply

  133. nadine says:

    Carroll, if one minister declining to meet with another was really a crime against the humanity, you would have a police blotter with a million new crimes a day. Surely this is picyune stuff, reported only because Lieberaman is a high profile character inside Israel?
    with you, it’s always “Ah! But I was talking about the Jews!”
    Normal stuff elsewhere becomes proof of criminal arrogance from Israelis.

    Reply

  134. nadine says:

    “By failing to back the President, Vice President and Secretary of State following a brazen insult and affront to their regional credibility, Joe Lieberman is further undermining their credibility and making it much harder for US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to do their jobs. Maybe he should just spit on the President.” (Dan Kervick”
    Oh, man, suddenly the President deserves all the deference in the world, just because. Suddenly you’re worried about making a harder job for US troops in the Mideast. When Harry “The Surge has failed. The War is Lost!” Reid was actively cheering on the defeat of a US army in the field, did you tell him to support President Bush, and not make the job of US troops in Iraq harder? Harry Reid’s language was explicitly defeatist, too. Joe Lieberman is just telling Obama to stop behaving like a jackass over a bureaucratic snafu; he’s not rooting for a lost war so he can pin it on Obama.
    The next time you see Democrats scorching traditions of civility and partisanship stopping at the water’s edge, you might want to consider that what goes around, comes around.

    Reply

  135. nadine says:

    anirprof, no, I didn’t say the Perry account of the CENTCOM conference was fabricated. The word I used was “filtered”, meaning that I suspect that Perry reported what he wanted to hear, i.e. Arab complaints about I/P, and didn’t report what he didn’t want to hear, Arab fears about Iran.
    The reason I am doubtful is because nearly every other reporter from the Mideast is talking about Iran and the new strategic reality that will hit the Mideast if Iran gets nukes, and how fearful the Arab regimes are. It seems very strange that CENTCOM wouldn’t talk about Iran too, yet according to Perry, it was all I/P.
    Perry is essentially devoted to working for Hizbullah, which is an Iranian proxy. The more Arabs fear Iran, the more they are likely to fear Hizbullah. Perry wants to present Hizbullah as nice moderate Lebanese politicians. So he has reason to downplay Arab fears of Iran.
    What I am waiting for is a report of the conference from some reliable reporter.

    Reply

  136. Carroll says:

    No sooner predicted than done..again.
    Last update – 19:50 15/03/2010
    Lieberman boycotts Brazil president’s visit over Mount Herzl row
    By Barak Ravid and Mazal Mualem, Haaretz Correspondents, and Haaretz Service Tags: Israel news, Brazil
    Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday boycotted Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s speech to Israel’s Knesset to protest the visiting leader’s refusal to lay a wreath at Mount Herzl.
    Lieberman also boycotted a meeting between Lula and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claiming the Brazilian president slighted Israel by refusing the customary diplomatic visit to Mount Herzl and the gravesite of Zionist leader Theodore Herzl.
    Lula, however, is scheduled to visit the grave of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during his visit to Ramallah.
    The Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Lieberman wanted to show the Brazilian leader that Israel takes seriously his dismissal of diplomatic protocols.
    Lula earlier on Monday called for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons in a special address to Israel’s Knesset.
    “Brazil is proud that there are no nuclear weapons in Latin America and we want this to be an example for other regions in the world,” he said.
    Lula also spoke of his vision for peace between Israel and its neighbors.
    “In Brazil, 10 million Arabs live in harmony with thousands of Jews,” he said. “We hope for this to be used as a metaphor for seeking deep understanding in the Middle East.”
    Earlier, Netanyahu welcomed Lula to the Knesset and called on him to join the effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
    “I believe that the Iranian authorities represent entirely different values than you do,” Netanyahu said addressing Lula.
    Lula is also set to visit the Palestinian territories and Jordan during his Middle East trip. In May, he is expected to travel to Iran..

    Reply

  137. Carroll says:

    Well, I feel ‘entitled’ to make the defining statement about the latest Israeli insult.
    Why?
    Because I have been dead on right about everyhing I have said about Israel.
    Because I have said from day one for the past 6 years on this blog that Israel would continue it’s provoke, attack and confiscate Palestine land program, continue it’s peace talks stall game, continue to escalate it’s aggression against other countries in the region, continue it’s assassination policies, continue to violate all international laws, continue to give the US the finger and ignore the official US policy on settlements, continue to jeopardize US interest in the ME, continue all of this until they were ‘forcefully’ stopped.
    So here’s the bottom line. “If” the US does not stop Israel, they will continue to do all of the above and more and worse, including creating more chaos and a possible war with Iran.
    Now you can parse and complicate the so called complications to death, but it’s that simple. The US power will be a world joke, the US word will mean nothing, US influence will be DOA around the world and it will affect every relationship and interest we have in the universe.
    The only silver lining in that possible cloud is Israel will also be finished and the US can finally be rid of it.

    Reply

  138. Magician says:

    AIPAC should be required to register as a foreign agent, and Jews who support AIPAC should be asked the same sorts of questions that were asked of the members of the German-American Bund in the late 1930s. This has gone on for far too long.

    Reply

  139. phil smucker says:

    Obama hires a spent Lieberman to be his point man to get rid of Don’t ask, don’t tell and then he spews this kind of nonsense….. Precisely what GW warned against in his Farewell Address.
    Let’s cut the family fighting, the family feud,” Lieberman said. “It’s unnecessary; it’s destructive of our shared national interest. It’s tim…e to lower voices, to get over the family feud between the U.S. and Israel. It just doesn’t serve anybody’s interests but our enemies

    Reply

  140. Don Bacon says:

    While I skimmed over WigWag’s poll comments, there was a reminder of Obama’s flip-flop on Jerusalem.
    Obama at AIPAC, June 2008: “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.”
    This was in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, adopted on August 20, 1980, the US abstaining, which declared that Israel’s 1980 Jerusalem Law, making Jerusalem Israel’s “eternal and indivisible” capital, was null and void.
    Subsequently Obama backed off, saying that the status of Jerusalem will need to be negotiated in future peace talks.

    Reply

  141. Dan Kervick says:

    “…I enjoy watching Barack Obama humbled … watching our feckless President embarrassed and ignored is delightful.”
    Hell hath no fury like a PUMA scorned.
    Hopefully, the Secretary of State can get over it for at least a day next Monday.

    Reply

  142. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “First, I will start with an admission; I enjoy watching Barack Obama humbled”
    “I’m not entirely proud of the pleasure I take in this, but I’m not inordinately ashamed either”
    Yeah, Wigwag, it truly shows what a “great American” you are.

    Reply

  143. WigWag says:

    First, I will start with an admission; I enjoy watching Barack Obama humbled. Whether it was the Chinese who were unwilling to give him the time of day in Copenhagen; the Russians showing him the back of their hands on his trip to Moscow, the Saudis spurning his entreating to reach out to Israel or the Israelis telling him where to stick it over and over again; watching our feckless President embarrassed and ignored is delightful.
    I’m not entirely proud of the pleasure I take in this, but I’m not inordinately ashamed either. After all, critics of George W. Bush were continuously entertained by the unending series of stupid mistakes and boneheaded comments that he made; critics of Bill Clinton reveled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal; critics of George H.W. Bush got a good laugh when he vomited all over the Chinese Premier at a State Dinner in his honor in Beijing; critics of Ronald Reagan couldn’t help but giggle at Nancy’s Reagan’s dalliances with psychics. How many Reagan critics made the distasteful comment after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease that his policies suggested that his dementia began while he was still President?
    Given these precedents, my guilt is somewhat assuaged at enjoying the spectacle of watching our President reduced from giant to pipsqueak in less than 18 months.
    Second; from a substantive point of view, I think that the current contretemps between Netanyahu and the Obama Administration is largely irrelevant. If peace between the Israelis and Palestinians were really a realistic prospect instead of a fantasy, all of this might matter; but peace in the Middle East is merely the material that dreams are weaved from. Neither the Israelis or Palestinians will accept the compromises necessary for peace; neither side is particularly enthusiastic at the prospect of negotiating. If the Americans and the Europeans are interested in a deal; the rest of the world mostly indifferent and the belligerent parties not ready for compromise; only a dimwit would think peace is on the horizon. Our President and his advisors are, unfortunately, dimwits. So are those few commentators who actually think a deal is possible or that either party to the dispute can’t live without a negotiated arrangement.
    The most likely prospect is that Israelis and Palestinians will live exactly as they are now for years if not decades into the future. Israel will have ill-defined borders, suffer constant threat of attack from Palestinians and other regional adversaries and continue to confront a settler movement that is increasingly lawless and disaffected from more rational and liberal Israelis. The Israeli dream that the rest of the world will come to acquiesce to Israel’s hegemony throughout the region of the former Palestine mandate is delusional; it will never happen (at least as long as oil or natural gas matters to the world economy).
    The Palestinians will continue to remain stateless and divided. The struggle between Palestine’s largely secular nationalists and its increasingly recalcitrant Islamists will only grow worse with time and that conflict will continue to mirror the profound ideological war taking place throughout the Muslim world. Palestinians will continue to attack Israelis and they will continue to attack each other; those few rational and liberal Palestinians will not only continue to be marginalized; they will be increasingly marginalized. Palestinians will continue to be impoverished but they will remain far less impoverished than many of their coreligionists throughout the Muslim World. The Palestinian dream that the rest of the world will come to see Israel as a modern day apartheid state and somehow, by force or sweet words will force Israel to acquiesce to a binational state is not only anachronistic and embarrassingly nostalgic; it’s thoroughly phantasmagorical.
    Nothing pertinent to Israeli construction in Jerusalem and whether American administrations are, or are not, embarrassed by that construction, will make one whit of difference to whether Israelis and Palestinians reconcile; they won’t.
    Third; from a political point of view, embarrassing Joe Biden was a major tactical blunder.
    Why?
    Americans are more pro-Israel than ever before. According to recent Gallup polling a higher percentage of Americans have a favorable view of Israel than at any previous time (63 percent); a lower percentage of Americans approve of the Palestinian Authority than ever before (10 percent) and Israel is now the fifth most admired nation in the United States.
    Israeli policies have done nothing to deter this dramatic increase in American approval; after all Israel’s popularity in the United States rose in the wake of the Lebanon War and it rose in the wake of the Gaza Campaign. The neoconservative movement which now runs foreign policy in both houses of Congress is profoundly pro-Israel. America’s Israel supporters have defeated Israel’s critics and convinced Americans that while Israel is worthy of support, the Palestinians are largely an anathema to American values. Whether any particular person agrees or disagrees with that sentiment; it is hard, if not impossible, not to admit that it is the current state of American popular opinion.
    Looking beneath the numbers is revealing. Republican support of Israel has surged to the extent that the overwhelming majority of self-identified Republicans and conservatives adamantly support Israel; Democratic support for Israel has not surged, in fact it has remained flat. Almost all of the increased support for Israel in the United States has come from the Republican (or Republican-leaning) side of the aisle.
    An Israeli policy that humiliates a Democratic Administration that is still relatively popular with Democrats is bound to increase disenchantment with Israel in Democratic circles. Democratic voters won’t like it; Democratic office-holders won’t like it and Democratic activists, who are already skeptical of Israel, will become even more skeptical.
    The goal of Israel’s American supporters should be to maintain their near monopoly on support from across the broad spectrum of the American political system. Humiliating a Democratic President who is already hemorrhaging support might be fun; it might even be deserved, but it doesn’t accomplish anything.
    It’s easy to argue that nothing bad is likely to come from kicking the Obama Administration when it’s down. After all, at the AIPAC Convention next week, every Republican speaker will revel in reminding Obama and Clinton how they were in favor of a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty before they were against it. The Republicans will all come out four-square in support of Israel building in Jerusalem and will side with the Netanyahu Government against the American President on this issue.
    It is also true that Republican gains that will almost surely occur in both the House and the Senate will make the legislative branch even more pro-Israel than it already is (which is a remarkable thing to contemplate).
    Moreover, the next President of the United States will almost certainly be a Republican. It once seemed that it would take eight years to elect the next Republican; it is looking increasingly conceivable (though not quite likely) that Obama will be a one term President.
    Even in the unlikely event that the President who replaces Obama is a Democrat, there is not a legitimate Democratic contender for 2016 who is as passionate about an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement as Obama is. Whomever that President is, he will not have the good luck of Obama who got to run against a Republican Party that had been totally decimated by the eight year Presidency of George W. Bush. Whomever that Democratic Presidential candidate is, pro-Israel voters in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and elsewhere will be inordinately important.
    Despite the seeming lack of a political downside in kicking sand in this President’s face, antagonizing Democrats by making their leader look like a fool makes no sense. The President is more than capable of imploding; piling on by blatantly humiliating him just distracts people from the carnival like atmosphere that his Administration has engendered.
    Netanyahu’s approach to this blunder seems about right; improve the optics to avoid the political damage; but do whatever you want to substantively on Jerusalem construction because no matter what you do one way or the other, peace between Israelis and Palestinians won’t be happening any time soon.

    Reply

  144. DonS says:

    tintin, it was clear. Maybe Bruce Levine is sincere in his handwringing. Maybe just another clever zionist sympathizer.

    Reply

  145. Dan Kervick says:

    By failing to back the President, Vice President and Secretary of State following a brazen insult and affront to their regional credibility, Joe Lieberman is further undermining their credibility and making it much harder for US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to do their jobs. Maybe he should just spit on the President.
    It’s no surprise that Lieberman is a hypocritical, back-stabbing weasel, but I would have thought better of McCain, who usually doesn’t go for the cheap political play when foreign policy is involved.

    Reply

  146. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., both urged the administration to ease the tone of the dispute, which they said was demonstrating disunity and weakness to steadfast allies of Iran”
    So the filthy whores are coming out of the woodwork supporting Israel over and above their support for the President of the United States and the security of our nation.
    Whatta suprise, eh? If Netanyahu doesn’t completely neuter Obama, these treasonous sacks of shit will get the job done.
    Get prepared for an epic distraction. I predict a major “terrorist attack” will be used to sweep this matter under the rug. The only question is how many Americans they’re willing to kill to get things back on script.

    Reply

  147. Tintin says:

    Hey Don, Nadine, JamesL, POA,
    you should know that this wasn’t my comment. steve posted this
    on tpmcafe and this was a comment someone else made. I did
    think it was interesting, tho, so I reposted it here. Sorry if that
    wasn’t clear.

    Reply

  148. frenchconnection says:

    US Israel criticism ignites firestorm in Congress
    McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., both urged the administration to ease the tone of the dispute, which they said was demonstrating disunity and weakness to steadfast allies of Iran.
    “Let’s cut the family fighting, the family feud,” Lieberman said. “It’s unnecessary; it’s destructive of our shared national interest. It’s time to lower voices, to get over the family feud between the U.S. and Israel. It just doesn’t serve anybody’s interests but our enemies.”
    At least eight other lawmakers have offered similar concerns, and more are expected to weigh in after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton upbraided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the housing announcement in a tense and lengthy phone call on Friday and White House officials repeated the criticism on Sunday’s talk shows.
    “It’s hard to see how spending a weekend condemning Israel for a zoning decision in its capital city amounts to a positive step towards peace,” said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. He complained that the administration was attacking a “staunch ally and friend” when it should be focusing on the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear problem.
    Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., accused administration officials of using “overwrought rhetoric” in suggesting that the east Jerusalem housing announcement threatened U.S.-Israeli ties.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100316/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_us_mideast_israel

    Reply

  149. MartinJB says:

    Carroll,
    Jewish lobby? Gimme a break. How about Israel lobby? There are a plethora of Jewish groups that do not support the actions of the Israeli government in all things and in fact work to advance peace and justice in I/P. Conversely (or something like that), there are plenty of Christians who are as rabidly Israel-crazy as the worst of the religious Zionists (anyone have relative numbers on the Jewish and Christian Israel-first camps?), and they too have a strong lobbying arm.
    Your “J/jewish” comments are just insulting.
    –MartinJB (pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-justice Jew)

    Reply

  150. DonS says:

    OT via Antiwar.com: bunker busters headed to Diego Garcia for attack on Iran.
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/final-destination-iran-1.1013151
    Maybe not so OT

    Reply

  151. frenchconnection says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1156533.html
    Iran tried to buy nuclear bomb from Pakistan as early as 1987
    By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent
    Tags: Israel news, Iran nuclear
    New documents reveal how a close ally of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei bid $10bn for ready-made weapons.

    Reply

  152. The Pessimist says:

    Let’s not get hung up on semantics nadine, it distracts from the substance of the issue. Cheerleader or follower, what difference does it make, Obama is incapable of leading any political effort whose outcome is not preordained.
    He and his politically selected cabinet have had 15 months to deliver on his inspiring campaign rhetoric. He has since caved in on every issue of substance to the American taxpayer. The wars were not ended, they were expanded. Gitmo was not closed, it was made more secret. The Israeli’s did not stop their illegal settlements, they expanded them. Single payer was not delivered, it was aborted. And I voted for him.
    Netanyahu is receiving billions of American taxpayer dollars every year while simultaneously dragging American prestige around on a leash.
    While the rest of the world either cheers wildly or turns their head in embarrassment at America’s current predicament, the American taxpayers are just as much collateral damage as are the Palestinian’s, the Iraqi’s and the Afghani’s. We pay with our money; they pay with their lives.
    At this point in his presidency I consider Obama to be a failure of epic proportions. I want my money and my vote back.
    Next time I’ll vote for Nader.

    Reply

  153. Carroll says:

    Fed up with I/P, Israel and the Jewish Lobby?
    Send the WH a message that’s it time to cut Israel loose from the USA.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
    Or call the WH comment line…202 456-1111
    Or both….you can bet the jewish groups are burning up the fax and phone lines in behalf of Israel.
    Speak up now for America. Down with Orwellington Isrmerica

    Reply

  154. Don Bacon says:

    If charged, all Israel has to say is: We’re only doing what you’re doing, only less of it. And so if there is blowback, and there is, then it comes mostly from US actions. And Israel would be correct.
    Speaking of blowback, whoever leaked this Petraeus business probably knocked him out of the 2012 presidential. Or was that the intent?

    Reply

  155. kathleen says:

    I am no fan of General David Petraeus. But if he is correct, and Israel’s intemperate actions are endangering U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, then President Obama has no choice but to back Israel off hard, according to many of the suggestions above. But funding, withdraw U.N. support and establish distance. Our own come before our allies, every time.

    Reply

  156. frenchconnection says:

    back to topic
    Israel is a country founded on a myth. A lot of the implementation is due to the Zionist part called revisionist Zionism in alliance with a religious messianic orthodoxy. This has always been the driving force of Israel despite the more pragmatic approach of some other secular parts of the movement. This has been possible due to strategic errors made by the West in the 40-50s. While Europe as mostly adopted a more balanced approched to the question in the seventies, the US has “stayed the course” mostly due to the influence of the Bible-thumping Christian Zionism.
    Myths are hard to kill and the only way Israel can pretend to justify its deeds which are widely condemned by the International community, is by sticking to them at any cost. But when you are isolated, you tend to get paranoid and lost grip of reality. The last years have been showing this : the botched attack on Lebanon, the Gaza massacre, the clusterf*ck in Dubai and now the settlements.
    This reminds very much of Milosevic’s “fuite en avant” like kind of a “catcher in the rye” theme. But nobody caught him before he fell into the Kosovo hole, that he dug for himself. It’s the natural historical course of events. The only things that worries me is that Israel’s milosevices are sitting on nukes with real projection capability (which according to some of them they could use – even against former allies -) in form of an ultimate chutzpah, if things went really bad for them. I hope that Obama has the latest on his mind.

    Reply

  157. anirprof says:

    Nadine,
    Are you suggesting the Perry piece is wholesale wrong/fabricated? On what basis?
    Perry has run a correction that CENTCOM officers say Petraeus presented his briefing to the Joint Chiefs, not directly to the WH, and even then they don’t deny that Adm Mullen then went to the White House with it. That is actually a pretty small detail in the overall story. The story is getting enough play that if it were flat out made up, you’d see CENTCOM and the Pentagon denying it, not just not commenting on it. And from what I know of CENTCOM’s thinking as someone pretty plugged in to DoD and the combatant command staffs in particular, I don’t find the claims at all surprising. Petraeus would hardly be the first CENTCOM officer to think that.

    Reply

  158. frenchconnection says:

    “Ahmadinejad is enriching uranium to a low grade under UN supervision and but he’s not calling for Israel’s destruction.”
    this is worth Nadine’s “facts”
    Iamadinnerjacket is enriching uranium to 20% of his own admission, which you don’t need to do for civilian energy production (nobody buys the “hospital” reasons)
    actually its not profitable to enrich your own uranium unless you have at least 12 plants. Barely. That’s why a country like Sweden with 12 plants doesn’t even do it. So it’s obvious that Iran has another agenda.
    the IAEA has a lot to say about Iranian non compliance (and suspicious traces of stuff that shouldn’t be there) but of course the IAEA was cool regarding Saddam but is not regarding Iran.
    And he did appeal for Israel’s destruction on several occasions, but I see it as more rethorics than an overt threat. Of course he didn’t deny the Holocaust either.
    Not dancing after Israel’s flute, doesn’t mean that the other one is Mr Nice Guy. This is the classical error of the left. Criticizing the US intervention in Vietnam (which was a defendable standpoint) made in the end the left love the VietCong and Pol-Pot. And regarding Afghanistan it’s the same tune. For some reason the left has turned the Talibans into “Afghan resistance” as if they were some French maquisards fighting the Nazis.
    unbelievable naiveté

    Reply

  159. Don Bacon says:

    “the degree of groveling” — gotta love it.
    We need a Groveling Index, like the Rapture Index.

    Reply

  160. JohnG says:

    It will be interesting to see if the WH seizes the opportunity to capitalize on this overreaching blunder of Bibi and his band of buffoons.
    It is actually quite revealing to see how aggressive AIPAC has been with their response — almost as if they are daring the WH to ratchet up the rhetoric.
    I hope (but I doubt) that the WH has the courage to do so b/c I think for once they would win the public relations battle against AIPAC by focusing on the “humiliation” and “endangering our troops” themes — both of which are patriotic themes that the general population can easily grasp. And this may indeed be a once in a lifetime opportunity — even the “AIPAC-owned” congressmen can’t stand up and attack in the face of such patriotic arguments.
    Keep an eye on HRC’s speech and the degree of groveling undertaken by the US politicians at the “AIPAC Festival”……It will be interesting to watch this play out.

    Reply

  161. nadine says:

    “Obama is not a leader, he is a follower. Obama is not proactive, he is reactive. Obama is not confident, he is insecure. His actions as president reflect his personality. He is conciliatory to his opponents to the point of self-defeat.” (Pessimist)
    Obama is not confident?! You are first to say so. Everybody else says Obama is self-confident beyond reason. Have you read Game Change about the campaign?
    I agree Obama is not a leader, but I would call him a cheerleader rather than a follower. He really thinks he can just talk people into giving up their own ideas and adopting his ideas instead. So far, abject failure does not seem to have shaken his confidence enough to make him give up or try something different.

    Reply

  162. nadine says:

    tintin, thanks for the post. As Walter Russel Mead put it recently,
    “Rule to live by, folks: when your theory of how the world works starts sounding like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, it’s time to recheck those assumptions.”
    Except the Left (and Obama, so far), will not recheck their assumptions no matter how dysfunctional their theory of the world is, or how badly it fails to predict events. Instead of considering the possibility that their model is faulty, they just look for a scapegoat.
    Of course half the posters on TWN seem to think there is nothing much wrong with the Protocols; they certainly don’t seem to believe that believing or promoting the Protocols amounts to evidence of anti-Semitism. At any rate, they cannot be got to admit that Egypt or Syria are anti-Semitic for running dramatizations of the Protocols on government TV.
    Interestingly, Mead sympathizes with Obama’s reaction to Netanyahu, though all of his commentators disagree with him. http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2010/03/15/the-israel-crisis/#comments

    Reply

  163. DaMav says:

    Obama has totally failed in his efforts to appease Iran. Remember that “deadline” he set for progress by last December? Since then, barely a whimper while Iran has all but spit in his face.
    But now he’s finally got his dander up. No more appeasement. No more apologies. Let’s go after Israel.
    This President is an embarrassment to the American people internationally.

    Reply

  164. nadine says:

    Sweetness, did you miss the Laura Rozen interview with Mark Perry? http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=11724 She is nobody’s idea of a neocon.
    Mark Perry is an apologist for Hizbullah, who has made it his business to talk to Hizbullah and explain how we should all talk to them, they are just politicians now since they took over the Lebanese government, never mind all the dead bodies or the private army or the allegiance to Iran. He even wrote a book to get the message out.
    “Hizbullah flunky” seems like an excellent shorthand to me.

    Reply

  165. Carroll says:

    Netanyahu: Israel Will Continue Building Jerusalem
    By Barak Ravid and Mazal Mualem (Haaretz)
    Published March 15, 2010.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said that Israel would continue to build in Jerusalem in the same way that it has over the last 42 years.
    “The building in Jerusalem – and in all other places – will continue in the same way as has been customary over the last 42 years,” said Netanyahu at a Likud party meeting.
    Netanyahu did not specifically address the diplomatic crisis with the U.S.over Israel’s announcement about the East Jerusalem construction.
    However, when asked by MK Tzipi Hotovely what would happen in September, when the 10-month settlement freeze ends, Netanyahu responded that construction would continue unabated.
    MEANWHILE…..
    Joe Lieberman issued a statement condemning Obama and saying the “pro Israel US congress” will proptect Israel from the Obama administration.
    He was joined by the usual suspects.
    The Jewish Republican Coalition has issued a statement also condeming Obama.
    All the Jewish groups are a twitter stressing that any differences between the US and Isr should be “Private”…secret, not aired in public.
    Obviously becuase they don’t want the public to find out we don’t have any common interest with Israel and people would get even more pissed over the billions of taxpayer money we give them.

    Reply

  166. The Pessimist says:

    Has it not become readily apparent to the knowledgeable readers of this blog, who reflexively defend Obama, that Obama’s deferential personality will prevent him from ever taking controversial actions on any issue?
    Obama is not a leader, he is a follower. Obama is not proactive, he is reactive. Obama is not confident, he is insecure. His actions as president reflect his personality. He is conciliatory to his opponents to the point of self-defeat.
    I offer that the absence of an aggressive and firm father figure in Obama’s upbringing has manifested itself to produce an individual who defers to the flight instinct over the fight instinct whenever confronted with a conflict. And I offer this analysis in both the figurative and literal meanings. Obama has no fight in him.
    Expecting Obama to go against his deeply entrenched passivism is utterly futile. Just as Bush couldn’t overcome his juvenile mentality, Obama cannot overcome his timidity. It is just simply who they are.

    Reply

  167. Paul Norheim says:

    Sorry Don,
    but I won’t involve in discussions with Nadine like I did before.
    If I do, she’ll claim that I work for her!
    Like you and others here do, Don.
    “Literally, that’s not an accusation but a fact.”

    Reply

  168. ExBrit says:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/final-destination-iran-1.1013151
    Whatever the Obama administration says it appears that preparations are underway for war with Iran.
    Bunker busters are on their way. See the article re: shipments to Diego Garcia published in the Herald Scotland.

    Reply

  169. Don Bacon says:

    Paul Norheim,
    Come on Paul, admit it, nadine is irresistible.
    “And I have stopped replying to Nadine’s comments for reasons well described by POA, NeoControll, and yourself above.”
    Posted by Paul Norheim, Feb 18 2010, 5:57PM – Link
    Again, I have no quarrel with discussing facts, only the “provenance” of sources. Dissing personal sources (for cause) is fine, but dissing quotes because they come from a particular web-site is a stretch, isn’t it.
    Personally I enjoy engaging, and I suspect you do too. It would be quite boring if we were a bunch of bobbing dolls. Thankfully there is a lot of thought diversity in the world, like it or not.

    Reply

  170. polo says:

    Aipac sucks sure, and is anti-American. But your introduction/explanation is so long and boring — real DC stuff — that its hard to keep going and even read the letter. Next time just get to the point. And don’t plan a career of satire, for sure — its exactly why Air America went bust!

    Reply

  171. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine said: “Mark Perry works for Hizbullah. Literally, that’s not
    an accusation but a fact.”
    And what is a “fact” in Nadine-land?
    This is what she referred to:
    “But Israel Matsav raises questions:
    I have been informed by insiders that the author of this piece,
    Mark Perry, is a former adviser to Yasser Arafat and is now
    director of the Conflicts Forum, which advocates talking to
    Hamas and Hezbullah. In other words, he has an agenda.”
    http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/
    Isn’t this like saying that Steve Clemons “works for Hamas”
    because he thinks Israel and the US should talk to Hamas?
    Or that I, PN, am among those who finance Hamas, because -
    hell I don’t know why she said that. But she did.
    Or…or..or… Whatever Nadine presents as “facts”.
    That’s breaking the protocol, Don Bacon.

    Reply

  172. DonS says:

    Sorry Sweetness, my comment should have been directed at Nadine’s [link] which you embedded. I eventually followed a link and got to the site.
    *************
    Of course if we were going to discount provenance based on who someone ‘worked for’ (advised, etc), what might we think about the advice, policy and work product of Perle, Wurmser, Feith, et al, after they ‘worked for’ Bibi etc. to produce ‘a clean break’? Or for that matter Emmanuel after having ‘worked for’ Israeli intelligence’? To me these show the unholy incestuous relationship, to be kind, between many American pols and Israeli pols — which amazingly causes little notice amongst the chattering class.

    Reply

  173. Paul Norheim says:

    The problem here, Don Bacon, is that it was actually Nadine who
    didn’t provide proves for the “fact” that Perry worked for
    Hizbullah – just empty claims by a highly biased source.
    Sweetness didn’t brake any written or unwritten “protocol” by
    pointing this out.

    Reply

  174. Don Bacon says:

    Sweetness,
    In line with my probably-tiresome talk about protocol today, the provenance of a quote with regard to other quotes on that source has nothing to do with the accuracy of the information itself. To tie this in to my comments on illiberality above, I was once taken to task on another liberal blog for quoting Winston Churchill from a conservative source. I should have used a liberal source for the Churchill quote, apparently.
    Why don’t we try to stick to facts, and recognize freedom of speech. There are conservatives in the world, after all. Or “conservatives.”

    Reply

  175. Don Bacon says:

    Marie-France Xavier,
    Ahmadinejad is enriching uranium to a low grade under UN supervision and but he’s not calling for Israel’s destruction.
    Please stick to facts.

    Reply

  176. Sweetness says:

    DonS writes: Sweetness, your negative reference to the credibility
    of Mark Perry doesn’t gain a lot by being linked to a website that
    features, among other notables, Pamela Geller, of Atlas Shrugged,
    does it?
    Don, I’d respond if I knew what you were saying. Nadine’s link
    didn’t work, so I looked around for it and found it on a site
    AmericanPower with the tagline I quote. MY point was that her
    quote doesn’t have a lot of credibility in my eyes given its
    provenance. If you want to take issue with THAT, we can talk.
    Otherwise, I’m missing your point.

    Reply

  177. Marie-France Xavier says:

    Mr Obama, please go ahead and stop all aid to Israel now. US aid to Israel is about 1.5% of Israel’s GDP (compare that to US recovery package of 8% of US GDP. Also Israel GDP is about 1.5% of US GDP). Israel can probably deal with that since it wasn’t hit hard by the crisis.
    But then no more joint military R&D, joint military exercises, training of US troops in Israel. And Israel might like to keep all of the territories West of the Jordan as was mandated by the British in 1917. And why shouldn’t Israel attack Iran when Ahmadinejad is enriching uranium and calling for Israel’s destruction. I guess the US might not like that (remember Iran has the second largest oil reserves in the world).

    Reply

  178. JamesL says:

    Tintin: “Third, at sites like these, where the hatred of Israel is non-stop, all the time, I have absolutely no stomach to join the fray, notwithstanding the foregoing. The reason is that–and here is what is significant–if you don’t think that people really care about justice and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians, then I have no inclination to be used by those who, in the end, care not for the survival of the Jewish State”
    You managed in a few lines to roll a few misleading things into one frumpy cigarette. Hatred of Israel is not non-stop here. Rejection of what Israel does is rightfully nonstop, because what the right wing Israeli government is doing has been nonstop. The list of Israeli government immorality, disingenuous “negotiations” and coy come-hithers to evangelical Christians, propaganda, and actions directly against the US is long and I don’t need to detail it again here. Your assertion that hatred of what Israel does equals hatred for Jews and the Jewish state is simply untrue. By this point Israel has a right to exist. But it doesn’t have a right to continue to expand any more than any other country. It doesn’t have a right to subjugate people and deny basic life support. I would like to see evidence that Irael wishes peace but I see none. I used to support Israel, but that was before Israeli expansion, Lebanon, Gaza, Gaza again, clusterweapons, the checkerboarded lilypadded West Bank, and a wall of militaristic hate running through Bethlehem and arguably throughout one of the earth’s most important religious landscapes. You may see safety in the Wall. I see Berlin. Tear down the damned wall. Jerusalem is a city of international importance and I think it is time it became an international city. Israel has become a faux ally of the US and is the major impediment of peace and stabilization in the Mid East. It is time for the US to redirect all the aid and percs it gives to Israel elsewhere where it will do some good. In its present course the Israeli government has become suicidal, which is probably what Iran’s president oft repeated misquote really meant. Nobody wants a suicidal neighbor. I wish it wasn’t so but I see no evidence that it isn’t.

    Reply

  179. Tridant says:

    Israel: We’re confiscating more Palestinian land to build Jews-only settlements. (Jim Crow wasn’t really that bad. Apartheid is fine.)
    Obama: That isn’t helpful.
    Israel: So? What you gonna do about it, black boy?
    Obama: I’ll … say so.
    Israel: How dare you, you anti-Semite. In any case, our prostitutes in Congress will keep the money and political support flowing.
    (See Chas Freeman: This time apartheid has western complicity.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/03/chas-freeman-this-time-apartheid-has-western-complicity.html#hide

    Reply

  180. la.politique says:

    ENOUGH is ENOUGH. There is a time to say NO MORE… and that time is now. Either Israel stops all the violations of Human Rights, violations of International Laws and War Crimes ( which it continues to commit with impunity, thanks to MY govt) or face the consequences, i.e. no more billions of dollars with no strings attached and no more vetoes in the UN against JUST resolutions.

    Reply

  181. DonS says:

    Sweetness, your negative reference to the credibility of Mark Perry doesn’t gain a lot by being linked to a website that features, among other notables, Pamela Geller, of Atlas Shrugged, does it?

    Reply

  182. Tridant says:

    “U.S-Israel relationship is rooted in Israel’s fundamental strategic interest, shared democratic values, and a long-time commitment to peace in the region.”
    I thought your fictional statement, Steve, would actually expose and put to rest the above fiction. “Shared democratic values,” my ass. Pray tell, what does the US share with the zionist settler-colonialist (i.e., racist) state? By your and AIPAC’s logic, the US also shared “democratic values” with Apartheid South Africa. “Commitment to peace”? The zionist state, as loaudly demonstrated this last week, is committed to its racist and exclusivist nature: land theft, and the dispossession and subjugation of the native Palestinians. These are the zionist ethos.

    Reply

  183. Tom Wojick says:

    I believe your fictitious press release is right on the money. I also
    believe that we cannot serve anyone’s interests and purpose by not
    telling the truth. For too long we, politicians and the public, have
    been fearful of telling our allies, and in particular Israel the hard
    truths. I support your words and hope our government for Israel’s
    and the world’s sake listen and respond appropriately.

    Reply

  184. RIRedinPA says:

    AIPAC might be a strong lobby but the strongest lobby in America is the military and right now the military sees Israel’s action as a threat to our troops in the field.
    We should reconsider the foreign aid we deliver to Israel, move the West Bank and Gaza to CENTCOM and out of EURCOM as Patreus wants.
    Start treating Israel in terms of realpolitiks, if there is no benefit to us either short or long term then they’re actions should have actual consequences.

    Reply

  185. Don Bacon says:

    Tintin,
    Thank you for your comment.
    As a liberal it has been my experience on blogs, including this one, that some so-called liberals are sometimes illiberal to the point of extreme verbal personal abuse which I believe is less common coming from conservatives. These so-called liberals can’t seem to abide anyone having a point of view that varies one iota from their own. They can’t stick to the issues, but must get to motivations and character.
    I support your position in this matter.

    Reply

  186. Tintin says:

    An interesting response to Steve’s memo from tpmcafe:

    Steve:
    You write:
    “I also want to encourage commenters on this blog to remain civil and fair-minded. I think that there are different portals through which people look at this stressful and complicated situation. My views are well-known and have been presented consistently over the last several years.”
    I thank you for your concern. Unfortunately, the climate that has been encouraged, endorsed, and perpetuated by most of the bloggers at this and other websites to the left of center have promoted anything but civility and fair-mindedness when it comes to matters concerning Israel and Palestine.
    Let me just tell you what that means in terms of expressing one’s views from the perspective of this Jewish American who loves the State of Israel and is concerned about its security and appreciates my country’s support. I have become genuinely reluctant and admittedly afraid to express myself.
    First, I never liked Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud Party and those to the right of him in the Likud coalition. Their 40 year emphasis on pushing settlements not focused on Israel’s long-term security makes me sick and frightens me because it is both a pretext for those who hate Israel to oppose her, and a genuine reason for people who want Israel to survive in a fair and just two state context to doubt the good faith of its leaders
    Second, this particular instance with Joe Biden pisses me off to no end because it exacerbates the concerns I expressed above, and I understand the disappointment and anger of those truly committed to Israel in the Administration. Netanyahu is a failure in my opinion and he should go.
    Third, at sites like these, where the hatred of Israel is non-stop, all the time, I have absolutely no stomach to join the fray, notwithstanding the foregoing. The reason is that–and here is what is significant–if you don’t think that people really care about justice and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians, then I have no inclination to be used by those who, in the end, care not for the survival of the Jewish State, who think it is the principal cause of America’s troubles, and who ultimately at its ugliest core, bootstrap onto anti-Jewish tropes that are older than dirt.
    I have tried to explain this on this website; I have been castigated by the principal poster on this side of the page for doing so, and have some have gone so far as to question my loyalty as an American and to suggest that I am an agent of the Israeli government for expressing my views. These people, in my opinion, have forfeited the privilege of being taken seriously, but they do cause real pain.
    But this is not about me. Ultimately, these feelings I have, I submit, will permeate the organized American Jewish community to the extent the current approach will continue to be to rub Israel’s nose into the many transgressions its right-wing government will engage in, while ignoring the most heinous actions of those who are supposed to be on the other side of the table. As I write this, for example, the Palestinian Authority–the government as opposed to radical extremists–is renaming a public square in honor of a woman who murdered thirty-eight Jews, one of whom was the American niece of former Senator Ribicoff, and thirteen of who were kids And from the so-called left, nay from the Obama Administration, is silence, loud silence in some quarters.
    Bottom-line. The result will not be good. One must earn the trust of BOTH sides of a dispute in order to be an honest broker. This is an unpopular but honest assessment from the heart. If, in the long-run, the Obama Administration believes it plays honest broker by isolating an isolated Israel, it will be perceived as anything but an honest broker in Israel, in this country, and in the minds of even the most fair-minded.
    An unpopular position I take here I know–but diplomacy is an art, it takes appreciation of nuance, and to continuously bludgeon one party when seeking to mediate a dispute will end in disaster. If the Administration loses the trust of the American Jewish community, it loses the mantel of honest broker. And if the I-P conflict is paramount as so many argue, losing the mantel of honest broker is bad for American foreign policy.
    Finally, I reiterate. All of the above is written with a loathing of the right-wing Likudniks and those to ther right who dominate the current government and a significant swath of the organized and strong American Jewish community.
    In short, at times like these their are postures to consider IF a peaceful and fair and just two-state solution is the goal. If the goal is isolating Israel and making her into an apartheid state, then none of what I say should mean anything–and frankly is not meant to impact anybody who thinks as such because I have nothing to say to such people–and lately I genuinely try not to say anything to such people because I do believe that their hearts are filled with a hate I will never permeate.

    Reply

  187. Fnord says:

    It seems obvious to me that it was Petraeus briefing that set this in motion. It seems that Petraeus is not willing to sacrifice Turkey, the UAE, Lebanon and Syria for the sake of illegal settlements composed of religious fanatics. I assume that Biden was there to deliver the message in private that enough was enough, that the alliance was under strain from the repeated offences, while at the same time showing a “united front” towards Iran. This Israel officialy and publicly bombed to death.
    “…that Obama is going to unwittingly help him by displaying a depth of animosity to Israel that he never shows to Al Qaeda or the Taliban…”
    Oh , except for calling AQ Evil in several major speeches and condoning targeted assassinations against their leaders, youre absolutely right, Obama is a great fan of AQ. As Im sure Gen Petraeus is as well. And admiral Mullen. And Im sure the Israel lobby will get Gen Petraeus fired for not setting Israels interests in front of that of the US military. Wich proves they are AQ lovers. Rightyho.

    Reply

  188. Sweetness says:

    Nevermind, N, here’s your source…
    “Commentary and analysis on American politics, culture, and
    national identity, U.S. foreign policy and international relations, and
    the state of education – from a neoconservative perspective! -
    Keeping an eye on the communist-left so you don’t have to!”
    Credible? Ahhhh…. Hmmmm.

    Reply

  189. Sweetness says:

    Nadine, your link doesn’t work…
    Mark Perry works for Hizbullah. Literally, that’s not an accusation
    but a fact. (background info linked here
    http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/mark-perry-
    hezbollah-flunky-apologist.html) I suspect a filtered account with
    the word “Iran” filtered out of it. If this briefing happened as
    described, we should be able to get confirmation elsewhere.

    Reply

  190. nadine says:

    kotz, might as well omit the word “nuanced.”

    Reply

  191. kotzabasis says:

    POA
    Nuanced thinking is not your forte.

    Reply

  192. nadine says:

    “Nadine, they’ve already telgraphed the message — friends don’t let friends drive drunk…The bigger issue is whether or not they have this right” (questions)
    Let me answer that for you: no, they don’t. Not only in the sense that I think the Obami shouldn’t react this way, but in the basic diplomatic sense that they will obtain a Mideast reaction that is opposite to the one they are trying to obtain.
    They want to encourage negotiations; they given the Palestinians the excuse they need to refuse. If the Palestinians run low on excuses, they will make more with riots, by forcing Israel to react and then condemning the reactions. The Obami want to crack Bibi’s coalition; they will strengthen it. (Again, I invite those with a different take on the situation to make their prediction, not of what should happen, but of what will happen.)
    It actually is taking the Israeli papers a while to notice what a crisis this is turning into. From the Israeli perspective, the housing announcement was routine. They’ve been building in Jerusalem, east and west, for 40 years. It is as if Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon on a new skyscraper in New York City, and it suddenly became an international incident out of the blue. I think they think Obama has a lot of nerve, telling them not to build in Jerusalem.

    Reply

  193. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, in questions covert campaign to sell the hasbarist line, he certainly has an intersting approach, doesn’t he?
    I wonder, when does Israeli/AIPAC arrogance cross the line in questions’ dangerous and confusing world of unknown unknowns, known unknowns, and unknown knowns? Yes, lets just maintain the status quo, and turn the other cheek, as we have for decades now. After all, it certainly has produced tangible results, (as we’ve seen by the past year), hasn’t it?

    Reply

  194. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hilarious.
    Kotz has had nothing but praise for Petraeus. But he chooses to ignore that Petraeus allegedly sees Israel’s intransigence and arrogance, (and our enabling of such behaviour), as a direct threat to the troops waging a war that Kotz supports.
    And ya gotta love his logic. Despite the fact that everyone KNOWS Israel has atomic weapoms, if we actually ADMIT it, Iran will press for atomic weapons of their own. So, in Kotz’s bizarro world of perverse logic, an arms race is spurred by fantasies and not by realities. If we simply refuse to recognize Israel’s arsenal, then Iran has no incentive to acquire their own arsenal. Brilliant!!!

    Reply

  195. questions says:

    POA, yoish. My concern that Israel might turn further right is not a concern for the poor settlers. Do you know how to read?! The potential for something far worse and far larger than has happened up to this point lurks under this rhetorical fight. And by the way, POA, your eliminationist rhetoric is really telling, truth be told.
    Nadine, they’ve already telgraphed the message — friends don’t let friends drive drunk. Speeches will have variations on that theme with testimony form actual Israelis instead of from the diaspora crowd. Toss in a few “tough loves” and “cruel to be kinds” and voila a speech. I think the native vs. diaspora theme is a good one to push anyway because the perspectives are wildly different as are the anxieties.
    The bigger issue is whether or not they have this right. And that I’m just not sure about. Political culture and nationalism and religionism are really tough buttons to push and the admin has hit on all of them all at once. And even more, they’re doing it to several nations simultaneously. And even even more, they doing it without a lot of shift in the payoff schemes. It’s a chaotic system that people are trying to manage as if there were no chaos. If they hit just the right tone, maybe, just maybe, Israelis will feel encouraged to take steps towards the kind of integration that they need, but if the tone is wrong, if politicians in any of the relevant countries see an opening for shit, well, we’re gonna get shit.
    And as always, I wish us all well with whatever happens and I hope my darker anxieties are just products of a fevered brow.

    Reply

  196. kotzabasis says:

    Those who recommend a reduction of aid to Israel and an open reference to its nuclear weapons by the U.S., because of an errant and arrant announcement of the Ramat Shlomo construction plans by a subordinate Israeli authority, are political and strategic dilettantes and should abstain from delving with the complex and dangerous issues of the Middle East that are beyond their understanding.
    America at this moment is losing blood and valuable resources fighting a determined and dangerous enemy, which indirectly includes Iran, having only one steadfast and unflinching ally in this fight, the state of Israel. It would be unprecedented in the annals of war that a country that was involved in war would chastise its major ally in the hope that such chastisement would appease its implacable enemies. Such recommendation should be rejected tout court for its strategic ignorance and stunning dullness. As the outcome of such proposition would only intensify and further increase the demands of the Palestinians against the Israelis and hence push the negotiations and peace process further away and with the great danger of turning it into a war process between the Palestinians and Israelis. And the second part of the proposition, the state of Israel’s nuclear weapons, will only enhance the determination of the Mullahcratic regime to acquire its nuclear arsenal. Thus the Obama administration will be totally defeated in two of its major strategic goals, i.e., to clinch a deal with the Palestinians and Israelis, and to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
    With such friends as Clemons and Kervick, why would Obama need to have enemies?

    Reply

  197. nadine says:

    “If the pressure from the US forces the fall of Netanyahu’s coalition, the big question is will Israel turn even more to the right, or a little to the left. I’ve long thought that pressure on Israel would send it rightward.” (questions)
    I checked out some Israel blogs. They were certain that bullying Netanyahu will only make Israelis support him more, just like what happened when Obama demanded the Jerusalem construction freeze the first time. Jerusalem is not a fringe issue in Israel, but a matter of national consensus. Jerusalem is no “settlement” to Israelis, but their capital city of 3,000 years.
    One difference in Israeli and American reactions is because the MSM is reporting it as “new settlement construction”. Americans don’t know Israeli geography, how should they know the difference between a new housing development inside Jerusalem and a new settlement out somewhere on the West Bank?
    “Hope I’m wrong. Hope there’s some massive leftist silent majority unconcerned with the panic version of security, unhappy with Netanyahu, and ready for change.”
    Nope, you’re not wrong. Israelis will only conclude more firmly that Obama hates Israel.

    Reply

  198. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is what Israel is doing to the Palestinians DAILY…….
    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/homes-and-livelihoods-gone-in-an-instant/
    And we turn a blind eye to it, because the media refuses to report on it. Thats OK with Washington, DC apparently. But gee golly don’t you dare “insult” Joe Biden.
    Quite telling that questions’ equivications don’t include any concern for what happens to the Palestinians in this process. Its all about politics and face. Yet, for sure, somewhere in Gaza today, the IDF jackboots will inflict misery, death, or mayhem on someone just because of who and what they are; Palestinian.
    And the AIPAC “statement” is arrogant and demanding, and actually threatening in tone. And why shouldn’t it be? Our “representatives” in DC, for decades now, have cowtowed and mewled while Isreal has swallowed up our largess and charity at a rate commiserate with their theft of Palestinian land.
    WE brought on this current situation with our years of handouts, enablings, and indifference to Israel’s crimes, human rights abuses, espionages, false flag attacks, and meddling in the affairs of our nation.
    This latest spat will be smoothed over and pushed under the rug by these cowards and turncoats in DC. We have allowed this cancer, this foreign agent, AIPAC, to grow too strong and too influential. Its malignant.

    Reply

  199. nadine says:

    questions, both Hillary Clinton and Bibi Netanyahu are scheduled to speak at AIPAC’s annual conference in Washington next week. That should be interesting.
    My impression is that Bibi has room to maneuver about this incident, but none to imply that Jewish presence in the middle of Jerusalem is illegitimate, or that any Israeli government is going to deport 200,000 Jews from Jerusalem east of the Green Line, while leaving all the Arabs on both sides in place (naturally, only Jews are deportable, just ask the commentators on TWN).
    My guess is that Bibi will make a pitch that expresses deep regret for the incident, but plays for Congressional sympathy, and that Obama is going to unwittingly help him by displaying a depth of animosity to Israel that he never shows to Al Qaeda or the Taliban. People are starting to notice the repeated bullying of American allies. The only people Obama talks tough to.
    Oh, btw, Abu Mazen named a public square in Ramallah for a terrorist who murdered 38 Israeli civilians in one day in the 1970s. This doesn’t even rise to ‘unhelpful’.

    Reply

  200. questions says:

    A couple of thoughts, more or less.
    If the pressure from the US forces the fall of Netanyahu’s coalition, the big question is will Israel turn even more to the right, or a little to the left. I’ve long thought that pressure on Israel would send it rightward. Hope I’m wrong. Hope there’s some massive leftist silent majority unconcerned with the panic version of security, unhappy with Netanyahu, and ready for change.
    Does Netanyahu have any negotiating room at all domestically? Is there a face-saving exit? Delaying the building for a long time was probably supposed to be that face-saving gesture, but that’s been rejected because the Obama admin is feeling either a lot of power or a lot of “we just don’t care.” I don’t know if it’s a great idea to force things this way, but I am ever cautious when I can see a range of consequences I really don’t like. Not everyone is so cautious, and excess caution can be a fault.
    I think AIPAC’s actual press release was muted in tone, measured, and not up to AIPAC-is-the-center-of-the-universe standards. I think this actually shows relative weakness. They didn’t condemn outright, they didn’t hit panic buttons destined to bring in large amounts of money (a pretty typical interest group response).
    “Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East. The foundation of the U.S-Israel relationship is rooted in America’s fundamental strategic interest, shared democratic values, and a long-time commitment to peace in the region. Those strategic interests, which we share with Israel, extend to every facet of American life and our relationship with the Jewish State, which enjoys vast bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.”
    This is boilerplate.
    “The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests.”
    This shows the real concern that public condemnation might actually be more of a strategic problem than the admin. realizes. May or may not be true. I certainly have concerns in this direction, but since it’s not my area of expertise, I could be wrong. But I think that the strategy of giving people room to attack you is one Machiavelli might find not in the interest of a successful prince who keeps the peace. The public/private issue is huge here. The worry about airing dirty linens should be thought through carefully.
    “The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done to with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors.”
    Again, boilerplate. Iran is an issue. Emboldening Iran is an issue. We’re likely stuck with Iran’s present leadership, but I’m not so sure that giving them rhetorical space is the smartest thing the US could do. There is clearly an attempt to change the topic. What else would you expect. Of course, the two topics, Israel and Iran, are related. Though this relationship is not foremost in AIPAC’s view of things.
    “We strongly urge the Administration to work closely and privately with our partner Israel, in a manner befitting strategic allies, to address any issues between the two governments.”
    Again, the emphasis on “private” rather than public pressure kind of makes sense maybe.
    So where’s AIPAC’s frontal assault on the structure of the US? This statement is watery, makes clear a range of concerns that have at least a little validity, and leaves a whole lot of space for AIPAC’s not getting what it wants. Now, will they privately threaten the entire Congress? How effective is that going to be for one interest group? How much real power is there? In my view, the tepid tone and trite wording of this statement speak volumes.
    On the plus side for the admin, when sunshine lights up private disputes, much good can come. Congress has an easy opening to push Israel at some level, and this might be good. So the Obama admin has the US political culture down pat. They made space for Congress to move a bit. But I wonder, to recap, if they have Israel down as well. Is there space for Israel to maneuver? And on this point, I have my doubts.

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  201. nadine says:

    “The lack of commentary on the rapidly unfolding events today from Israel’s chief defenders here and elsewhere suggests that the pro-Israel community in the US has been forced to reconsider its initial posture of unapologetic chutzpah, and is confused about how to recalibrate its position. One gets the sense that people are still waiting for the strategy memo.” (Dan Kervick)
    There was no lack of reaction, Dan. Just a weekend. AIPAC reacted much more quickly and sharply than is usual for them. Now that Obama has unmasked himself (remember how he claimed to be for an undivided Jerusalem during the campaign), it will be interesting to see if he is the Democrat who can finally make American Jews stop voting Democratic. Obama has established a pattern of bullying allies and appeasing enemies; this fits into it. Watch his fp numbers continue to crater. Most Americans have no use for this behavior.
    “If the reporting on the Petraeus briefing holds up, it is a true bombshell.”
    Mark Perry works for Hizbullah. Literally, that’s not an accusation but a fact. (background info linked here http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/mark-perry-hezbollah-flunky-apologist.html) I suspect a filtered account with the word “Iran” filtered out of it. If this briefing happened as described, we should be able to get confirmation elsewhere.
    BTW, care to make your own prediction of what happens next in I/P? Mine is Fatah-ordered riots and no negotiations at all this year.

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  202. Don Bacon says:

    The fake news release assumes that AIPAC is not an agent of Israel, whereas the real AIPAC statement provides further evidence, as if any is needed, that AIPAC is a dependable agent of Israel.
    So what’s the use of the fake statement? Thrashing around in fantasy-land serves no purpose.

    Reply

  203. Mary says:

    I loved this Steve and you whipped it out so fast!
    I hope to see a new NIE ordered up to assess all of the pressure
    points that can be brought to bear on our “special friend.” I also
    assume that diplomatic and other cover for Israel’s crimes will be
    removed in the most subtle way possible.
    I notice that Iran sanctions have been put off for another few
    months. Why should we orient our foreign policy around a “special
    friend” like this?
    Israel is about to get very lonely indeed.

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  204. nadine says:

    Carroll, a rare point of agreement about Biden. Biden absorbs whatever is the liberal conventional wisdom of the moment, then bloviates about it as if it were his own idea. One should no more look for consistency from him than from a weather vane.
    The fact that Obama seems to listen to him is just another proof of how very little Obama knows about anything.

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  205. nadine says:

    Just to make my prediction of what happens next clear: riots but no talks, neither direct nor indirect, no matter how Netanyahu responds.

    Reply

  206. Carroll says:

    I hate to do this to Steve since he’s on the right track here but he simply must get over his Biden love. Biden may have been nice and warm to him but that doesn’t make Biden ethical or smart or fair or even competent. It makes him a typical hypocritical politican.
    I remember Col Lang mentioning this a long time ago and he mentioned it again on his blog this week.
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/
    “Biden has been a faithful friend to Israel for a long time. Perhaps “mindless” friend would be a more accurate description.
    I mentioned once here that I was in Biden’s senate office on one occasion when Biden’s Zionism boiled over in a truly repulsive display of temper.
    I was there with my Arab employer to visit the senator. the Arab didn’t want anything except to meet Biden. He was foolish enough to think that an acquaintance with such people is a kind of talisman. It is not. The Arab made some pro forma positive reference to the “peace process.” Biden flew into a rage, grew red in the face and shouted that this was an insincere lie and that his guest knew that it was only Arab stubbornness that prevented “little Israel’ from living in peace. His “guest” sat through this with what dignity he could manage. I would have walked out on him if I had been alone.
    Perhaps “Joe the Gardener” has learned something from this latest experience… I doubt it. I don’t think he is smart enough for that sort of epiphany. He will continue to “carry water” for Israel and for the group of political donors who actually control him. Delaware is a small state. Such a project is quite manageable. Someone among you will inform us.”
    Biden is exactly the kind of despicable ‘I am a zionist politican’ we need to get rid of. He’s one of the main reason’s I didn’t vote for Obama.

    Reply

  207. nadine says:

    So, let’s recap: Obama is getting zero cooperation from any Arab state, the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, Turkey is turning Islamist, Syria and Iran are sniggering at us, and his solution is to pick a fight with Israel over a housing development in Ramat Shlomo, which is in the middle of Jerusalem, and is destined to remain in Israel in every solution devised to date.
    Really, it should be no more controversial for Israelis to build in Ramat Shlomo than for Palestinians to build in Ramallah.
    But Obama has decided to take his bullying of allies to a new level. No apologies accepted, he’s going to talk tough this time. He knows Netanyahu is his enemy! Ahmedinejad otoh is just someone who hasn’t been appeased enough yet.
    The appalling thing is that Biden and Obama are fool enough to think this will help a) the war with the Taliban or b) Mideast negotiations.
    The Taliban don’t give a shit about Mideast peace processing, and nothing short of bombing Tel Aviv ourselves would appear like a US change in policy to them.
    As for I/P negotiations, Obama has just absolutely GUARANTEED that the Palestinians will never come back to the table. Never! They haven’t wanted to for years, they’ve only done it when forced.
    And now they have an administration that wants to reward them for not negotiating! They are doing a happy dance and preparing new riots and bombings to up the tension as we speak. They want to make Israel do more things — like send riot police to protect worshipers at the Wall from getting stoned — that Obama will blame Israel for. One order of riots, coming up, bigger this time.
    Obama has just confirmed the Palestinians in their belief that they will get everything for nothing eventually if they just continue to “resist” instead of negotiate.
    This prediction remains the same whether Netanyahu caves to US pressure or doesn’t. If he agrees to include Jerusalem in a building moratorium, the Palestinians are encouraged, and will demand more; if he doesn’t, they have a new grievance and excuse not to return to the table.
    Wait and see. And to those who disagree I say, what’s your prediction of what happens next?

    Reply

  208. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is the blurb I posted on thursday from the AIPAC website…
    http://www.aipac.org/1680.asp#33942
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Speak at Policy Conference 2010
    Clinton will address more than 6,000 conference delegates.
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confirmed that she will address a plenary session at AIPAC Policy Conference 2010, which will be held March 21-23 in Washington, D.C. This will be her first policy address on the U.S.-Israel relationship since joining the Obama administration.
    Secretary Clinton joins a list of other dignitaries who have confirmed their attendance, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Quartet Representative Tony Blair, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Amb. Michael Oren, Col. Richard Kemp and Prof. Alan Dershowitz.
    Heres is the piece as it appears in tonight’s AIPAC site….
    http://www.aipac.org/1680.asp#33942
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Speak at Policy Conference 2010
    Clinton will address more than 6,000 conference delegates.
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confirmed that she will address a plenary session at AIPAC Policy Conference 2010, which will be held March 21-23 in Washington, D.C. This will be her first policy address on the U.S.-Israel relationship since joining the Obama administration.
    Secretary Clinton joins a list of other dignitaries who have confirmed their attendance, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Quartet Representative Tony Blair, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Amb. Michael Oren, Col. Richard Kemp and Prof. Alan Dershowitz.
    END BLURB.
    So, did Bayh bail out over this ridiculous dust up?
    I say “ridiculous” because Netanyahu has been shitting in Obama’s outstretched hand now for months. Its no secret the “settlement freeze” was bullshit. Peace Now has exposed multiple breaches of this so called “freeze”. And now Hillary and Obama’s panties are in a wad because “I am a zionist” Biden was “insulted? Hell, this entire Presidential Administration insulted THEMSELVES by allowing Netanyahu to display the arrogance he has displayed over the course of the last year without answering, strongly, in kind. What the hell did they expect? Netanyahu sautees Palistinian women and children in white phosphorous, and Congress votes to send billions more in aid. Obama presses for a cessation of expansion, and Hoyer, Cantor, Reid, and Huckabee openly and publically prostitute themselves to the Israel narrative about settlement expansion, in open defiance of their President’s stated policy advocations. Netanyahu offers some bullshit about a non-existent “freeze”, and Hillary Clinton slobbers all over herself about what great “concessions” the lying zionist bigot has agreed to. To top it all off, this mewling subservient batch of self serving cowards on the hill trip over each other trying to get to the podium so they can decry the Goldstone Report.
    Ohhhh, how awful, Israel “announced” they were handing another screwing to the Palestinians in such a manner that Hillary and Obama are FORCED to respond to because of the “insult” to Biden. Doesn’t Israel know by now that they can do anything they damned well please to the Palestinians, without protest from the United States, as long as they do it outside the range of the mainstream media radar?
    This whole thing is a joke. Apparently its A-OK to engage in crimes of an epic scale, such as the collective puinishment of an entire people, but its not OK to “insult” some boot licking loud mouth who goes to Israel, hat in hand, to heap praises on our “good friend and ally”, Israel.
    What a crock of shit.

    Reply

  209. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve, as long as you’re trying your hand at fictional statements and speeches, I’d like to see you make a proposal on what Hillary Clinton should say when she gives the Aipac keynote next week. All eyes and ears will be riveted on that speech.
    The lack of commentary on the rapidly unfolding events today from Israel’s chief defenders here and elsewhere suggests that the pro-Israel community in the US has been forced to reconsider its initial posture of unapologetic chutzpah, and is confused about how to recalibrate its position. One gets the sense that people are still waiting for the strategy memo.
    If the reporting on the Petraeus briefing holds up, it is a true bombshell.

    Reply

  210. Dan Kervick says:

    Sanctions, cutting off trade and putting US troops in the West Bank are out of the question right now. But there are two serious steps Obama could take:
    1. Reduce some aid now, and threaten to pull the rest of it over time. There is no reason in the world that an economically successful country like Israel should be the permanent beneficiary of a lavish US entitlement program. It’s analogous to corporate welfare.
    2. Break the silence about the Israeli nuclear weapons program, and make it clear that the effort to prevent Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons should be understood as part of a larger regional non-proliferation and counter-proliferation agenda. The standing US policy of pretending Israeli nuclear weapons don’t exist is completely undermining Obama’s credibility on non-proliferation. The policy is outdated, and makes us look like idiots. It’s time to make a clean break from it.

    Reply

  211. The Pessimist says:

    Obama and his junior-varsity administration are being played like fools by Israel’s government, and the Republicans are laughing their you-know-what’s off.
    The carefully developed facade that masked Obama’s lack of qualifications to be president has now been completely destroyed. It only took 15 months. There are no longer any mysteries to unravel, he really is thoroughly unqualified by every measure.
    What happened last week is the most blatantly disrespectful act perpetrated against a sitting president in my lifetime. Bar none. And the best response Team Obama has is a 42 minute phone call from Hillary to Netanyahu. Obama is publically ‘Bitch Slapped’ in front of the entire world, and his only response is to have Hillary call the bully on the phone to scold him. Are you kidding me!
    Obama has been fully exposed as a gutless patsy. After last week’s Zionist sucker-punch I can’t imagine any world leader maintaining any respect for Obama as a leader or as a man. He’s done.

    Reply

  212. Carroll says:

    This was a part of the post on the Petraeus breifing:
    “The Mullen briefing and Petraeus’s request hit the White House like a bombshell.
    While Petraeus’s request that CENTCOM be expanded to include the Palestinians was denied (“it was dead on arrival,” a Pentagon officer confirms),…”
    Now if Obama has any balls at all he will follow Patraeu’s request that CENTCOM be expanded to Palestine.
    Because I promise you Israel isn’t going to follow the latest US dictates…they will agree and then do what they always do, lie and keep on stalling and expecting to get away with it.
    I want to see the US HAWKS and ZIO NEOS who made US SECURITY their rallying cry object to Patraeu’s advice about CENTCOM.

    Reply

  213. Paul Norheim says:

    “Sunday, Netanyahu continued to consult with the forum of
    seven senior cabinet ministers over a list of demands that U.S.
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made in a telephone
    conversation Friday.
    (…)
    Haaretz has learned that Clinton’s list includes at least four
    steps the United States expects Netanyahu to carry out to
    restore confidence in bilateral relations and permit the
    resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.
    1. Investigate the process that led to the announcement of the
    Ramat Shlomo construction plans in the middle of Biden’s visit.
    The Americans seek an official response from Israel on whether
    this was a bureaucratic mistake or a deliberate act carried out
    for political reasons. Already on Saturday night, Netanyahu
    announced the convening of a committee to look into the issue.
    2. Reverse the decision by the Jerusalem District Planning and
    Building Committee to approve construction of 1,600 new
    housing units in Ramat Shlomo.
    3. Make a substantial gesture toward the Palestinians enabling
    the renewal of peace talks. The Americans suggested that
    hundreds of Palestinian prisoners be released, that the Israel
    Defense Forces withdraw from additional areas of the West Bank
    and transfer them to Palestinian control, that the siege of the
    Gaza Strip be eased and further roadblocks in the West Bank be
    removed.
    4. Issue an official declaration that the talks with the
    Palestinians, even indirect talks, will deal with all the conflict’s
    core issues – borders, refugees, Jerusalem, security
    arrangements, water and settlements.”
    More here:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1156467.html

    Reply

  214. Carroll says:

    “Obama will have to turn this worsening crisis with Israel and Netanyahu into a pivotal moment for US foreign policy”
    Cut off the US aid billions.
    Cut off trade.
    Impose sanctions.
    Make AIPAC register as what it is, a foreign lobby.
    Vote for the Goldstone report at the UN.
    All the things we should have done decades ago.

    Reply

  215. frenchconnection says:

    diffuse = aim, bestow, deposit, direct, distribute, point, radiate, scatter, shed, spatter, spray, spread, sprinkle, strew, train
    maybe they don’t to defuse the tension, but instead spread it
    or is just a freudian slip

    Reply

  216. David says:

    Well said, Steve.

    Reply

  217. Bill says:

    It is pretty hard to remain pro-Israel, when their government deliberately snubs our government, and then demands an apology from us!

    Reply

  218. charlie says:

    This is the real downside of disapora politics — you start to believe
    the AIPACs of the world can actually deliver. AIPAC does its best
    work behind closed doors. When yahoos like Netanyahu and the
    current israeli ambassador turn it into a public fight, Israel loses.
    I mean the Jewish lobby is strong, but not THAT strong.

    Reply

  219. Dan Kervick says:

    Our old friend Zathras had a great comment on Daniel Levy’s recent Middle East Channel post on this latest spat:
    http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/11/biden_netanyahu_and_papering_over_the_grand_canyon#comment-138891

    Reply

  220. JGMS says:

    Good for you Steve. Enough of this crap already. I am a life-long supporter of Israel. Grew up bilingual in Hebrew, and my half-brothers are Jewish. There isn’t a single anti-Semitic bone in my body. And so I say to my Israeli friends and their American Jewish supporters: ENOUGH. No more ‘omerta’ over the lunatics in the Israeli right wing. You insulted the USA, period. You must called them out on it. Take a look at the mirror and clean house. And please don’t trot out that clown Abe Foxman. His expertise is anti-Semitism, and this dispute has nothing to do with that. He knows nothing of US foreign relations. NOTHING.

    Reply

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