web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Lobby’

Extra Thoughts: Hagelian Dialectic

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Update: Extra thoughts that could not make the main text of “When AIPAC Went AWOL“:

(1) It is conceivable, though not likely, that Obama and AIPAC each played a Machiavellian game here: Obama expected that Hagel’s attacks on AIPAC render AIPAC less likely to impede his nomination, so as not to seem petty. Conversely, AIPAC figured that Hagel’s attacks on Israel require him to reach out to it, so as not to seem insincere in his confirmation hearings.

If these were their calculations, they have so far been borne out. AIPAC stayed mute; Hagel announced that his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign counterpart will be with Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

(2) “Hagelian Dialectic” is my fantasy title for this column, referring to the German philosopher, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and his highly elaborated dialectic theory of history (which Karl Marx subsequently drew on for his dialectical materialism). In the Hegelian schema, Israel is the thesis, Obama the antithesis and the Pentagon the synthesis.

Originally published at DanielPipes.org as an update to “When AIPAC Went AWOL,” available at the JewishPress.com.

When AIPAC Went AWOL

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Chuck Hagel’s notorious 2008 statement about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the leading institution of the pro-Israel lobby, claimed that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here [in Congress]. I’m a United States senator. I’m not an Israeli senator.”

Then a strange thing happened: no sooner did Barack Obama nominate Hagel for secretary of defense on Jan. 7, when AIPAC announced it would not oppose the former Republican senator from Nebraska. Indeed, so neutral did it wish to be on this delicate topic that its spokesman even avoided mentioning Hagel’s name, declaring only that “AIPAC does not take positions on presidential nominations.” AIPAC then kept a complete silence through Hagel’s confirmation on Feb. 26. More important, it did not lift a finger to influence the vote.

AIPAC’s initial logic made some sense: Obama, having just won an impressive reelection effort, had chosen his man and Republicans were likely to put up a merely token resistance to him, so why antagonize a soon-to-be very powerful figure and a principal player in the U.S.-Israel relationship? As my colleague Steven J. Rosen explained back then, “AIPAC has to work with the secretary of defense.” It also did not want to antagonize increasingly skittish Democrats.

Subsequently, an intense search into Hagel’s record found more ugly statements about Israel. He referred in 2006 to Israel’s self-defense against Hizbullah as a “sickening slaughter.” In 2007, he pronounced that “The State Department has become adjunct to the Israeli foreign minister’s office.” And in 2010 he was cited as warning that Israel risked “becoming an apartheid state.”

Still, the senator who spoke of an intimidating “Jewish lobby” got a complete pass from that same lobby. It makes one wonder just how intimidating it is.

Other pro-Israel organizations took a different approach. The Zionist Organization of America produced 14 statements arguing against Hagel’s nomination between Dec. 17 (urging Obama not to nominate the “Iran- & Terrorist-Apologist & Israel-Basher Chuck Hagel“) to Feb. 22 (a listing of “Ten Important Reasons to Oppose Chuck Hagel“). Not itself primarily a lobbying organization, ZOA’s calculus had less to do with the prospect of winning and more to do with taking a principled and moral stand.

In large part because of the Nebraskan’s Middle East policies of appeasing Tehran and confronting Jerusalem, Republican opposition to Hagel became much more than token. Several senators indicated to the ZOA’s Morton Klein that if AIPAC “had come out and lobbied against Hagel, he would have been stopped.” Charles Schumer (New York), indisputably the key Democratic senator on this issue, publicly cited the absence of “major Jewish organizations” as one reason why he had “no qualms” about endorsing Hagel. Still, despite the real and growing possibility of defeating Hagel’s nomination, AIPAC kept radio silence and did nothing.

Hagel squeaked through the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 12 with a party-line 14-11 vote. A vote to end debate on the nomination failed to win the needed 60 votes on Feb. 14. He finally won confirmation by a 58-to-41 vote, facing the greatest number of “no” votes against any secretary of defense (George C. Marshall in 1950 came in a distant second with 11 no’s). And so, the fringe figure who opposed even economic sanctions on Iran, the bumbling nominee who confused prevention with containment, the politician characterized by Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican of South Carolina) as “the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the State of Israel in our nation’s history” – well, he took office on Feb. 27.

As AIPAC holds its annual policy conference on Mar. 3-5 in Washington, what it calls “the largest gathering of the pro-Israel movement” (last year’s meeting had over 13,000 participants), it is hard not to conclude that the vaunted Israel lobby has focused so intently on access, process, goodwill, and comity that it rendered itself irrelevant to the most pressing issues facing Israel – Iran and the U.S. relationship.

Yes, AIPAC remains a force to contend with on secondary issues; for instance it won an eye-popping 100-0 victory over the Obama administration in Dec. 2011 on an Iran sanctions bill. But (ever since the AWACS battle of 1981) it has studiously avoided antagonizing the president on the highest-profile issues, the ones most threatening to Israel. As a result, it neutered itself and presumably lost the debate over Iran policy.

The Dreaded Israel Lobby Strikes Again

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

The Israel Lobby which controls American foreign policy, but has thus far been unable to get the United States to stop funding the terrorists currently shooting rockets at Israel’s 14th largest city, has struck again as Senate Democrats voted unanimously to make Chuck Hagel the next Secretary of Defense.

The dreaded Israeli Lobby, Jewish Lobby, Israel Lobby or any other permutation of the form that you prefer, has largely kept silent during the Hagel nomination. The head of the ADL was heard to mutter something and the AJC suggested that the Senate should possibly rethink the nomination before falling silent again. As if anyone needed more proof that the Zionist Entity controls Washington.

AIPAC and all the other groups who regularly send out envelopes warning of disaster if the check doesn’t come in the mail have an amazing track record.

When Israel builds apartment buildings in its own capital, the State Department, that branch of government which Hagel claimed was an adjunct of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, denounces the provocative act of putting one brick on top of another. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia arrests Christians for celebrating Christmas and you couldn’t pay the State Department to pay attention.

Pakistan was hiding Bin Laden and still rolls in the foreign aid. Egypt’s government is torturing protesters. Libya arrested Christian missionaries in Benghazi, but still can’t be bothered to arrest those responsible for the murder of Ambassador Stevens. The Palestinian Authority hasn’t held an election in forever and is actually paying the salaries of convicted terrorists.

Meanwhile the dominant foreign policy topic is how to convince Israel to make more concessions to the terrorists. To hear them talk, East Jerusalem is the only thing standing in the way of peace in our time. And talk like that is just more evidence that the Israel Lobby really does run everything.

John Kerry, the new Secretary of State, gave Code Pink, the radical leftist Anti-War and Anti-Israel group, a pass to go see Hamas. John Brennan Islamized Jerusalem. Hagel blamed the Jewish Lobby for spoiling his milk. But what else do you expect in a Washington D.C. run by the Israel Lobby?

There are constant dire warnings that Israel is about to pull the United States into a war. The number of wars that Israel has pulled the United States into clocks in at zero. The number of wars that the Saudis have pulled the United States into clocks in at three; if you count a Saudi terrorist funded by Saudis using a bunch of Saudis to ram planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

True aficionados of the nefarious Jewish Lobby however know that the House of Saud was framed by a few thousand Jews who showed up early to wire up the towers with C4 and then punched out  before the flights arrived. That is if the planes weren’t just holograms full of passengers who never existed as part of a false flag operation against a fake terrorist group created by the CIA in a conspiracy to steal all the opium in Afghanistan.

And in the same way they know that Hagel really is an Israeli agent. Why else did the Jewish Lobby remain silent? And wasn’t it suspicious how Hagel seemed to hate Israel so much? What if Hagel was only pretending to bash Israel because his real name isn’t Chuck, it’s Chaim? What if beneath that mopey exterior that bespeaks a man who has spent his entire life watching a fly crawl across a window, beats the heart of a Semitic partisan who is just raring to begin bombing Iran as soon as he figures out how to make his executive chair go up and down?

Hagel’s triumph is a disappointment to them. It would have been better if he had gone down a martyr, his stumped visage adorning book covers alongside James Forrestal and Adlai Stevenson III as another victim of the lobby in the blue-and-white hotel. A brave truth-teller like Charles Freeman who wasn’t approved for a position chairing the National Intelligence Council for taking money from Saudi Arabia and China, and claiming that Tienanmen Square was a moderate response, but mostly because of the Israel Lobby.

There’s no question that the Israel Lobby is a truly impressive beast. Every now and then it convinces a bunch of senators to sign a letter calling for peace and a two-state solution while condemning the taxpayer supported terrorists who shoot rockets at Israeli cities. The letter doesn’t actually call for ending funding to the terrorists. It just asks the President or Secretary of State to review the situation and strongly urge the terrorists to stop shooting rockets because that endangers the future of the peace process.

Former Senior US Official: ‘Killing Palestinians Popular in Israel around Elections Time’ (Video)

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Chas Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia under President George H. W. Bush, former assistant to former Secretary of Defense William Perry, a member of the State Department for the last thirty years and a renowned critic of Israel, told Russia Today TV in an interview that Israel’s recent Operation Pillar of Defense was a preemptive attack against civilians, which was baseless and uncalled for.

“The fact that one side commits occasional acts of terrorism does not justify state terrorism,” Freeman said about Israel’s strikes against Hamas in Gaza.

“In this case, there was not rocket fire of any consequence from the Gaza Strip prior to Israel’s inauguration of the military raid that killed the military leader of Hamas… You can’t bomb people into peaceful coexistence.”

Freeman suggested the timing of the operation was not a coincidence: “It’s popular in Israel to kill many Palestinians in Gaza…a war against Hamas wins votes.”

According to Freeman, the rabbis and settlers are to blame for Israel’s belligerent military actions. Explaining the significance of the name Pillar of Cloud by its biblical meaning, Freeman expounded: “The religious element in the Israeli armed forces, largely settler driven … religion is very much bounded up with its operations. The language of some of the rabbis during [operation] Cast Lead was simply hair-raising in terms of evoking Old Testament images of genocide against non-Jews…evoking memories of Old Testament violence raises questions… This is a typical example of what the Israelis call Hasbara, which is the control of the narrative and propaganda (it actually means simply PR – JP), and they do it very well.”

It should be noted that the names of IDF operations are generated by computer, chosen from a bank of random words, and not picked by rabbis for their religious implications. Freeman would have to explain the biblical significance of Operation Summer Rains (28 June – 26 November 2006), Operation Autumn Clouds (31 October–7 November 2006), Operation Orchard (6 September 2007), and Operation Sea Breeze (31 May 2010).

Freeman had much to say about the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. He claimed that Israel can influence staffing in the American security establishment, as a means of extending its own defense. He denied there was a similar Arab lobby, suggesting it’s a fiction of the Israel lobby’s imagination.

“The Arabs have plenty of money, but they also have no understanding of importance of institutions,” Freeman said, adding: “They don’t have a habit of sustained effort on anything…probably many of them consider it improper to buy votes, and I happen to agree with them. They are behind the times, unfortunately, every one else is doing it.”

We consulted Wikipedia on Freeman’s previous remarks regarding the Jewish state:

In a 2005 speech to a conference of the The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Freeman stated, “As long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected. Israeli occupation and settlement of Arab lands is inherently violent.”

In a 2006 speech to the annual U.S.-Arab Policymakers Conference, Freeman said that Americans allowing Israel to “call the shots in the Middle East” had “revealed how frightened Israelis now are of their Arab neighbors” and that the results of the “experiment” were that “left to its own devices, the Israeli establishment will make decisions that harm Israelis, threaten all associated with them, and enrage those who are not.”

In a 2007 speech to the Pacific Council on International Policy Freeman said that “Al Qaeda has played us with the finesse of a matador exhausting a great bull by guiding it into unproductive lunges.” He cited the 2003 invasion of Iraq which “transformed an intervention in Afghanistan most Muslims had supported into what looks to them like a wider war against Islam.” He held that the U.S. had “embraced Israel’s enemies as our own” and that Arabs had “responded by equating Americans with Israelis as their enemies.” He chared that the U.S. now backed Israel’s “efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoized Arab populations” and to “seize ever more Arab land for its colonists.”

Lies of the Anti-Lobby Lobby

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

There is a nefarious lobby that controls American policy and subordinates American interests to its own narrow interests. While representing but a tiny portion of Americans, its power is nevertheless so large that it effectively dictates decisions and prevents adoption of any policies to which it objects.

Moreover, it is difficult to find any politician willing to adopt positions contrary to those it advocates. It controls huge amounts of funds. It pressures Congress to allot endless grants and subsidies for the cause it represents. It undermines the interests of American taxpayers and consumers. Indeed, its power is not restricted to Capitol Hill. Its appendages control policy in Europe and in other parts of the globe.

I refer, of course, to the Farm Lobby.

For decades, the American consumer has been fleeced by the Farm Lobby. Agricultural policy is one of the last bastions of socialist control in America. Congress has long feared applying free market economics to agriculture lest it enrage the Farm Lobby.

Farmers are only two percent of the U.S. population, a number almost exactly the same as the proportion of Americans who are Jews.

Now if the Farm Lobby is so powerful, why is the press so devoid of any discussion of it? There are no books by ex-presidents denouncing the excessive powers of the Farm Lobby. Ostensibly respectable professors at Harvard and the University of Chicago do not churn out books and articles demonizing farmers for their lobbying efforts.

In fact, the Farm Lobby is far more powerful than the so-called Israel Lobby. When was the last time you saw a congressman espousing a position deemed by the farm lobby to be hostile to farm interests? But congressmen and State Department officials take positions hostile to Israel all the time.

The State Department routinely pressures Israel to agree to adopt policies Israeli citizens oppose. The media overflows with articles demonizing the Israel Lobby and Israel itself. If the Israel Lobby is, as its critics claim, attempting to suppress anti-Israel criticism, it is doing an awful job of it.

While it would be an exaggeration to say there is no Israel Lobby at all, it would only be a small exaggeration. The main component of the Israel Lobby is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC. It is indeed a registered lobby group. Its activities are all out in the open and its rather ordinary budget is publicly scrutinized.

There are, of course, other pro-Israel groups that attempt to persuade Congress to support Israel, ranging from numerous Christian and Jewish organizations to the AFL-CIO. But that, in essence, is the whole Israel Lobby.

* * *

The Israel Lobby, to the extent that it exists, is but one of thousands of lobbing groups that promote thousands of different causes in competition with one another. Lobbying is a legitimate – indeed a necessary and beneficial – public activity in democracies.

Not only do those who whine about the power of the Israel Lobby have nothing to say about the sugar lobby and the cotton lobby, they also have nothing to say about the countless groups that lobby on behalf of Arab aggression against Israel, and sometimes on behalf of Islamofascism.

Why should the efforts of the Israel Lobby be any less legitimate than the efforts of the Armenia Lobby or the affirmative action lobby or the medical marijuana lobby or the gay marriage lobby?

The reason the Israel Lobby is demonized is that it is associated with Jews. In a country where even polite criticism of blacks, Hispanics or homosexuals is considered barbarian and uncivilized, bashing Jews has won a newfound acceptance in polite society and academic circles. Open anti-Semitism became unfashionable for a generation after World War II, but the Holocaust effect has long worn off.

The hysteria over the Israel Lobby and the efforts to paint a picture of a Zionist bogeyman in hidden control of America amount to a resurgence of the old vile anti-Semitic canards and stereotypes, some originating in the Middle Ages. The propaganda of the Anti-Lobby Lobby strongly resembles the writings, popular until the 1940′s, about a Jewish cabal – a hidden Jewish conspiracy, secretly in control of the world, pulling the levers of power from behind the curtain.

It is only a very short distance from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the websites of the fruitloops screaming about ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) to the “scholarly” denunciations of the Israel Lobby. While the language of the pseudo-scholars is civil and academic, the message is the same: the Jews are imposing their power on the rest of us and undermining governments.

* * *

To the extent that American foreign policy is pro-Israel, the Israel Lobby has little to do with it. The vast majority of Americans support Israel and see the Arabs as the real cause of the Middle East conflict and as the main source for terrorism in the world.

There is no question that American interests and Israeli interests very often overlap. In spite of decades of propagandizing by the anti-Israel Lobby and its captive media outlets, most Americans understand that Israel is the victim of Arab aggression and not the other way around, and that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where human rights, including the human rights of Arabs, are protected in a democratic regime.

Moreover, few Americans doubt that Arab terrorism and Islamofascism are the main threats today to American and world security. Americans on 9/11 experienced what Israeli Jews have been experiencing since the 1920′s. This has made it far easier for most Americans to understand, identify with, and appreciate Israel’s own defense needs regarding that same terror.

The simple fact of the matter is that the demonization of the Israel Lobby is little more than an attempt to demonize and smear Jews. That is why the Anti-Lobby Lobby is a bizarre coalition that includes the lunatic far right, neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, hard leftists, and anarchists of every imaginable stripe.

True, a small handful of anti-Israel Jewish leftists participate in the anti-Lobby Lobby, but anyone who doubts that Jewish leftists can be anti-Semitic has obviously never made the acquaintance of the species. It is a pretty sure bet that almost any leftist professor, and that includes almost any Jewish leftist professor, who spouts anti-Americanism today also despises Israel and the pro-Israel community – i.e., the Israel Lobby.

* * *

The hysteria about the Israel Lobby bogeyman is based on a non sequitur. The argument made by the anti-Lobby bunch is that if the U.S. supports Israel, then ipso facto it must be because of the Israel Lobby. But if the U.S. supports Korea, it is not because of the Korean Lobby. If the U.S. supports England, it is not because of the British lobby. If the U.S. supports India, it is not because of the India lobby. Only support for Israel is due to the machinations of a lobby.

Even more absurd are the complaints from the anti-Lobby Lobby that the Israel Lobby is silencing anti-Israel criticism on American campuses. Anyone who thinks the Israel Lobby has silenced criticism of Israel on American campuses has been living on some other planet. Bash-Israel propaganda and anti-Jewish smears are extremely common on campuses in the U.S. (and Europe). Anti-Semitic student groups operate in the open on the same campuses that would ban any group attacking blacks, Asians, homosexuals or transvestites.

Countless leftist professors turn their classrooms into political indoctrination camps in which anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism are the dominant themes. They call themselves “critical” analysts, but they oppose the right of anyone else to criticize them.

Criticizing an anti-Israel critic and questioning his real agenda is not legitimate freedom of speech in leftist academic circles. University administrations are keen to adopt “speech codes” outlawing insensitivity with regard to every other imaginable group but have nothing at all to say about the anti-Jewish extremism common on their campuses.

Speaking out against anti-Semitism is a risky business even for the most senior of administrators, as Lawrence Summers found out the hard way at Harvard.

There is nothing illegitimate about criticism of Israel and its policies. I criticize Israeli policies all the time and disagree with 75 percent of the decisions made by the Israeli government. (Of course that’s because I favor free market economics and a much more forceful defense policy by Israel.)

The problem is that the bulk of anti-Israel criticism in the media and by leftist academics is motivated not by any desire to see Israel adopt polices that produce improvements in the welfare and wellbeing of its citizens, but rather by the goal of demonizing Israel, calling into question its very existence, and justifying its annihilation.

* * *

The distinction between legitimate and illegitimate criticism of Israel in the media, on campus, and elsewhere is very simple and can be differentiated using two simple litmus tests.

The first test is whether the critic is using criticism of Israeli policies and decisions in order to justify anti-Israel military aggression, jihad, and terrorism – and whether the critic concludes that Israel has no right to exist and to defend itself.

Someone who merely disagrees with U.S. farm policy is a critic. But someone who concludes that anti-American terrorism is justified, that the 9/11 attacks were legitimate, or that the U.S. has no right to exist because, in his opinion, U.S. farm policy is harmful – well, such an individual is anti-American. And a moonbat.

A related version of the test is to see what the same critic has to say about the injustices in Middle East countries other than Israel. (Usually they have nothing at all to say.)

And that brings us to the second litmus test, which is all about the double standard. Is the critic applying a standard of criticism that singles out Israel? Respect for human rights inside Israel, including for Israeli Arabs, is a thousand times better than it is in any other Middle East regime. It is far better than in any Western democracy finding itself at war. Israel never placed its Arabs in internment camps, as the U.S. did in World War II with Japanese Americans. It neither censors the press nor jails those openly supporting the country’s enemies, as Churchill did in Britain during World War II.

If a critic only denounces Israel for its human rights abuses, real or imaginary, but is silent about human rights abuses in Arab and Muslim states, he is a bigot. He is singling out Israel because Israel is a country composed mostly of Jews.

Income and wealth disparity are part of the human condition. Socioeconomic inequality exists in all countries. If a critic singles out Israel because of socioeconomic inequality and concludes that, because of this inequality, Israel has no right to exist and to defend its citizens, that critic is an anti-Semite. Pure and simple. No other country is viewed as illegitimate because of its social inequality, real or perceived.

As it turns out of course, Arabs live far better inside Israel, with higher levels of schooling, better health, and better protection before the law, than do Arabs in any Arab country. And the only place in the Middle East where Arabs enjoy freedom of speech and the right to vote is in Israel. Actually the only place in the Middle East where Arabs can freely demonstrate against Israel is in Israel. When Arabs held an illegal demonstration against Israel in Jordan a few years back, the Jordanian army mowed down demonstrators with indiscriminate gunfire.

As for the absurd “apartheid” charge, Israel is the only Middle East state that is not an apartheid regime. Meanwhile, every Arab country is, to one extent or another, an apartheid regime. Yet everyone from Jimmy Carter to the neo-Stalinists at Counterpunch denounces Israel daily for its “apartheid.”

The anti-Lobby Lobby is not motivated by legitimate concern for human rights, for American interests, or for peace. Its real agenda is little different from that of other groups and individuals screaming about Jewish plots and conspiracies, even if its rhetoric is couched in the cadences of academia and objective examination.

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/lies-of-the-anti-lobby-lobby/2007/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: