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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Times’

Lessons for the World from a New Gaza War

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Update: A few sirens went off in Tel Aviv around 6:30 PM, November 15—not the whole system or the one outside my window but those a few blocks away—and didn’t stay on very long. Then there were two loud but short booms, the sound of anti-rocket missiles being fired. Rumors followed. This being the age of social media people insisted that something must have happened because somebody in California said so. Some people said with certainty that a rocket hit in this or that place, one claimed he saw the smoke from a building that had been struck. In the end, it was announced that a rocket from the Gaza Strip had been shot down far to the south. The atmosphere was reminiscent of 1991 when three dozen Iraqi rockets did hit Israel, one of them a few blocks from my home, and anti-missile batteries could be heard nightly firing at incoming missiles from Iraq.

Of course, there’s nothing funny about a war. Less than an hour’s drive to the south people are under fire. There are casualties on both sides, including civilians. This is a serious matter, made no less so by its relative familiarity. Yet there is a difference between the horrors of war and imagining away a conflict, an inescapable situation, because one wants to do so. Only by confronting the reality can there be the best possible response to a crisis. Wishful thinking or ignoring real conflicts makes things worse.

The new war between Hamas and Israel has a lot of important lessons for international diplomacy and U.S. policy today. It once again shows that a country, especially one faced by a hostile adversary who cannot be turned away by words or compromises, has limited choices. And in that case a government must do what it must do.

A key to the problem of Western comprehension of international realities is admirably summarized by a New York Times editorial on the subject:

“No country should have to endure the rocket attacks that Israel has endured from militants in Gaza, most recently over the past four days. The question is how to stop them permanently.”

Now the answer to that question is simple to understand if not easy to implement. The attacks can only be stopped if Hamas is removed from power and replaced, given contemporary circumstances, by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA is certainly no prize but that’s a reasonable goal for what is often referred to as the international community.

Yes, Hamas won an election in 2007 but then it staged a violent coup, threw out the opposition, and has thus governed as an unelected dictatorship. It has no legal basis since Hamas never accepted the Oslo accords agreements. Hamas is also a terrorist group. And it daily voices not only its opposition to Israel’s existence but also advocates—and teaches the children of Gaza to carry out some day—the commission of genocide against all Jews.

So the answer to the Times’ question is a no-brainer, right? In fact, of course this response is not what the Times has in mind. Instead, the newspaper and like-minded people present the following list:

–Israel should negotiate with Hamas. Great idea but an impossible one because of a factor Western leaders, academics, and journalists often do not take seriously nowadays: ideology. Hamas means what it says, intends to continue the violence for years in the belief it can win total victory, and is indifferent to the sacrifice of its own people. So in this case negotiations are not an option.

–If there is a comprehensive Israel-Palestinian peace there would be no more war. Actually even if such an agreement were to be reached—which is impossible because the PA won’t make one—Hamas would step up attacks in an attempt to destroy the agreement.

The PA could not make a deal that would include the 40 percent of the Palestinians who live in Gaza. And Hamas would try to overthrow the PA in the West Bank and might even succeed. Then Hamas, perhaps with the Fatah people who allied with it, would have a fully sovereign state to use as a platform for an intended war of genocide against Israel.

Who is Alex Clare? And Why Do I care?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Who is Alex Clare? He is a British pop singer with a top ten single entitled Too Close. He is the ex-boyfriend of Amy Winehouse. And he is an observant Jew.
How – one might ask – does an Orthodox Jew hook up with someone like Amy Whitehouse, a mega popular Grammy award winning Jewish singer who was anything but observant? And who had a history of drug addiction and alcohol abuse that eventually caused her death?

He doesn’t talk about his relationship with her. But a Times of Israel article does reveal that he has only been observant for about 5 years. Which might explain how their relationship both began and ended.

The YouTube video of his hit song (below) has had over 32 million hits so far. How observant is he? From the Times article:

Raised in a secular home, Clare hooked up with Chabad after studying in Jerusalem.
While on tour, Clare relies on daily religious practice to navigate a music world that provides no end of temptation. He studies the Tanya, a work of Hasidic philosophy by the founder of the Chabad movement, and the Talmud tractate Brachot…

Clare said his team helps him keep certain religious laws: For example, his bodyguards help ward off the mobs of screaming teenage girls — and there are many — so that nobody touches him, since he adheres to religious laws of modesty which forbid touching women.

“I know clubs and concert halls are not the best place for a nice Jewish boy, but everyone has their life choices and this is mine,” he said. “It’d definitely be different if I was a Satmar Hasid. They’d probably disown me.”

Clare says that he did lose a record deal opportunity because he refused to play on Sukkot and tour over the holidays. But he says these are small prices to pay, and even with sacrifices made, a little faith can go a long way.

This is truly an amazing story. Just like going OTD fascinates me, so too does becoming observant. In both cases there is a radical departure from one’s past that involves sacrifices. Difficult ones albeit different ones.

I haven’t written about Chabad in quite some times. Things seemed to have quieted down. But those who have been reading this blog for awhile will know about my issues with them. Not the least of which is their belief that at the very least their now deceased Rebbe can in theory rise from the dead to become the Messiah.

That belief varies among various Lubavitchers between a mere possible but unlikely occurrence to an actual devout belief that this will indeed happen. Although these beliefs are being mostly kept in the closet by the mainstream, they are still there.

In fact there are still some pockets of Lubavitch that are not shy about proclaiming the Rebbe’s messiahship either. You may occasionally see one of their homes or vehicles displaying a yellow Rebbe/Moshiach flag. This is especially the case in Israel with signs saying the Rebbe is Moshiach being seen all over the place. But their mainstream leadership has been doing a good job of marginalizing them. At least in America.

Even with all these problems, they must be given a huge amount of credit for their outreach work. Their Messianic beliefs do not seem to affect that. No one does it like Lubavitch. And according to the Times article they seem to be the ones responsible for Clare becoming observant. My hat is off to them.

Why do I care? Because when a high profile entertainer becomes a practicing Jew, it makes an impression. Of those over 32 million mostly young eople who have listened to his YouTube video some of them are Jews. And some of those may very well be motivated to seek their own roots. And that is not a small thing.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Debt Ridden NY Times Squeezing Writers, Golden Parachuting CEOs

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Is it time to say kaddish for the New York Times?

Investors in the paper may already be doing so.  The last time they received a dividend was in late 2008.

The NYT, considered by many to be the global paper of record, has incurred more than $300 million in net losses since 2005, and its advertising revenues have been declining for five consecutive years.

In fact, the paper’s own financial report made headlines when its third quarter revenues were so much worse than expected that the value of its shares plummeted 22 percent, its biggest one-day drop in at least thirty years.  Investors were warned to expect dismal news for the next quarter, as well.

But while the newspaper industry as a whole has been in a funk for years – with Internet news, blogs, and other ’round the clock news sources available—many for free—there are elements of the NYT‘s precarious financial position that make it unique.

The most significant is the stench of hypocrisy hovering over the differences in the way the NYT handles its executives versus its writers.

Remember how the New York Times lionized the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street vigilantes?  What a shock to learn about the barrels-full of money it has thrown at even departing bigwigs, while keeping its proletariat writers at stagnated pay levels, and, in the words of its own union leaders, trying repeatedly to “decimate their health plan.”

For nearly two years, the daily writers at the New York Times (whose union members are represented by the Newspaper Guild of New York), have been working without a contract. Those approximately 1100 workers have repeatedly been met with what they have described as “draconian” efforts to force not only pay cuts and alterations to their health and pension plans, but also forced, unpaid, increases in their work week.

In fact, less than two weeks ago, on Oct. 8, approximately 400 NYT reporters staged a brief walkout because the sides were so far apart and the writers felt increasingly under siege.  In a video interview during that walkout, a member of the union talks about the paper’s hypocrisy.  In a July editorial, the Times attacked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for his anti-union activity, saying:

“Labor, so long in decline in the private sector, is also losing its clout in states and cities, unable to match or withstand the unfettered bank accounts of industry. The people who kept Mr. Walker and his policies in power are just getting started.”

And yet, the NYT writers have been stonewalled for nearly two years, with management doing its best during that time to wring out still more concessions from them.

At the same time that the Times has been refusing to increase salaries or benefits by even a minimal amount, it has been throwing multiple millions of dollars at its top executives, past and future, this year alone.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. is the great-grandson of the founder and owner of the New York Times Co.  He is the Chairman of the board of the NYT and its publisher.  Sulzberger appointed Janet Robinson CEO of the paper in 2004. Robinson had spent nearly twenty years rising through the ranks on the business side of the paper, and was long viewed as a quiet complement to her boss.

Although the NYT is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, it is, essentially, a family-owned business, and in addition to rapidly declining corporate financial health, alleged competition from family members in executive positions led to Robinson’s abrupt ouster in December, 2011.

And while the NYT allowed the door to hit her backside on her way out, the bundle of dough they threw after Robinson must have made for a somewhat softer landing.  Her severance package amounted to nearly $24 million — more than the company earned in the previous four years.

But that’s not all the paper has given away to bigwigs in the last year.  The new CEO, Mark Thompson, is about to slide into place in early November, with his path greased by a total pay package of $10.5 million.  That package includes a signing bonus worth as much as $4.5 million.

Thompson’s new annual salary is an increase from what he made at his last position, as the director general of the British Broadcasting Corp.  His role in that position was to cut jobs and save money through office and plant consolidation.  That reputation isn’t likely to make him a hit with staff writers.

The NYT  announced this week, just days before Thompson is set to come on board, that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Newspaper Guild.  Nothing, it has been repeatedly stressed, is yet set in stone, let alone laid out on paper, concerning this agreement.  Nevertheless, the Guild’s president Bill O’Meara, wrote that “the agreement preserves the workers’ pensions, protects medical benefits and boosts compensation.”

Interesting that an agreement — no matter how tentative — would have been entered into before the new CEO arrives.  Given Thompson’s past experience, it is hard to imagine he was hired to do more than continue his practice of slashing costs.  The union probably should have gotten the terms in writing before agreeing to allow the issuance of a press release announcing the deal.

So Robinson and Thompson get millions of dollars. Robinson was paid to get out, while Thompson will be paid to make the lowly writers miserable enough to get out.

And this, from an October, 2011 NYT editorial rhapsodizing over the Occupy Wall Street mission:

Income gains at the top would not be as worrisome as they are if the middle class and the poor were also gaining. But working-age households saw their real income decline in the first decade of this century. The recession and its aftermath have only accelerated the decline.

Research shows that such extreme inequality correlates to a host of ills, including lower levels of educational attainment, poorer health and less public investment. It also skews political power, because policy almost invariably reflects the views of upper-income Americans versus those of lower-income Americans.

Tell that to the union. And perhaps the members will say kaddish.

So What Did Obama Call the Benghazi Attack?

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Since the debate there’s been a lot of analysis as to whether the President designated the attack on the U.S. embassy in Bengahzi, Libya, an act of terrorism.

Throughout most of his speech on September 12th, Obama did call it an “attack” and then later in the speech after discussing the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he said:

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourned…. As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it…  No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.

So it wasn’t clear that he was referring to the Benghazi attack as a terror attack or whether he was speaking about the 9-11 attacks or both. The New York Times reported this morning that on Sept. 13th, at a campaign speech, Obama had said:

And we want to send a message all around the world — anybody who would do us harm: No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world….

As they didn’t give the context of the statement, we are left to trust them that he was talking about Benghazi.

Then for about a week, administration officials described the attacks as part of a protest-riot against the the U.S. over the “Innocence of Muslims” video which got out of hand. As Romney attempted to point out during the debate, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice called it “a spontaneous, not premeditated attack response” which was attended by “some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons.” (Here’s a link to a catalogue of quotes from the administration about the attack from the Times).

CNN points out that when he was on “the View,” Obama was asked about how Hillary Clinton had called the attack an act of “terrorism” and whether that was the case. Obama responded saying, “we’re still doing an investigation….”

This looks like a case of semantics overshadowing the main point. Obama did not believe the attack was an act of terrorism. He and his administration’s initial reaction was to play down its significance of the attack. Remember, this is a President who banned the use of the term “War on Terror” in his administration. That’s the point Romney is making and that’s what the discussion should be about.

***

Here’s a good explanation of what the President was referring to when he said “act of terror” in the Rose Garden:

And here’s the debate’s moderator Candy Crowly explaining what she said:

From the Left or Right, Totalitarianism Must Not Be Excused

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

The competition may be pretty intense, but if I were asked to name the single worst idea in the twentieth century it would be the one adopted by people who believed that the response to totalitarianism was totalitarianism. The twentieth century is littered with these people: those who became fascists because they were fearful of communists, or communists because they were fearful of fascists. Both had reason to fear the other, but both ended by propelling the other and in the process sucking nearly all air out of the decent center ground.

Of course those who took the fascist cause to their heart have not heard the end of it. Even those who played no active part in the horrors of Nazism find themselves rightly excoriated if they ever acted as apologists for, or deniers of, the crimes of that wicked ideology. When Diana Mosley went on the BBC radio program, “Desert Island Discs,” and reminisced about how amusing her friend Adolf Hitler had been, it went down very badly indeed. Alas for her, had she only made the right type of friends on the other side of the totalitarian spectrum she might have gone to her grave a national treasure.

For certainly that is how the news was received in Britain after the death of Eric Hobsbawm on 1st October at the age of 95. A prize-winning and highly decorated historian, Hobsbawm was lauded in death, as in life, by colleagues from academia and the world of left-wing politics. Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair released a personal tribute. His predecessor, Neil Kinnock, reminisced about what a guru Hobsbawm had been to him while Kinnock was leader of the Labour party. The current Labour leader, Ed Miliband, himself the son of a famous Marxist, mourned, “An extraordinary historian, a man passionate about his politics and a great friend of my family.”

Britain’s main left-wing newspaper, The Guardian, cleared the front-page and much of its inside pages for the obsequies. An uncritical leader was published by the ordinarily centrist Times, and the BBC altered its broadcast schedule to make room for special programming once the news had been announced. All of which would ordinarily be rather nice to see. There are not very many thinkers, writers or historians who receive such popular acclaim, or are ever credited with practical political influence.

Unfortunately, whatever Hobsbawm’s skills as a historian – and these are certainly open to question – the ideology to which he subscribed for his entire life was one which if anything outdid even Nazism in the devastation it wrought on our planet. For Hobsbawm was a life-long Marxist and a member of the Communist Party from his schooldays and all the way through. I imagine that if Diana Mosley had been offered the opportunity to acquire and retain Nazi Party membership from 1945 right up until her death, she may well have taken it. But the popular reaction to the fact would not have been joshing. Not so with Hobsbawm. A former Labour Party speech-writer explained that, “His decision never to leave the Communist party was quixotic – prompted by loyalty to old comrades, the way he told it.” A writer in the Times recalled the dead Communist to have been – “a man of deep intellect, humility and charm” – on his only meeting with him; going on to claim that the talent the man had shown had “superseded” the ideology.

I do not see how this could be so. This man’s career was spent whitewashing, minimizing, excusing and stooging for some of the worst crimes in human history. Having been given ample years to recant his views, he resisted the call, instead holding them to the end. The system he supported prevented many people reaching even a quarter of the age he was fortunate enough to live to. But for him human life always took an – at best – secondary importance. The really crucial thing was communist ideology – surely, along with Nazism, the most bankrupt and destructive ideology the world has ever seen? Asked in a BBC television interview in 1994 whether the creation of a communist utopia would be worth the loss of “15, 20 million people,” he replied clearly, “Yes.”

It should not need to be said that this man, with his lifelong actions, teachings and propagation of a disgusting ideology would not have been celebrated had his crime been support of Nazism. Had he joined the Hitler youth voluntarily in 1933 and stayed inside fascist movements until his death; had he denied the Holocaust and said that the death of six million Jews and many millions of others would have been worth it for the achievement of the ideal Nazi state he would have died in ignominy. He would not have been celebrated in his life and he would not have been celebrated after death. Irrespective of any consideration of his works he would not have had plaudits from politicians of any stripe, let alone the leaders of political parties of the right.

And this, forgetting (as people will) the appalling Hobsbawm is the truly, seriously, deeply wrong thing.

Today, the crimes of Nazism are recognized and reviled enough for us to be confident – not wholly confident, but fairly confident – that such crimes will not be allowed to recur. Can the same be confidently said of its twin ideology?

If a Nazi had just died and the main newspapers, the national broadcaster, leading right-wing politicians and others broke out into a wave of mourning, regret and “we shall not see his like” routines, you would worry that this could come back, wouldn’t you? Most of all you would worry that no lessons at all appeared to have been learned. We do not have to imagine the dread of such a scenario, for we have just seen it. And the sight of it should freeze our blood, whether we believe ourselves on the “right” or on the “left.”

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Morsi and the NY Times Mislead Americans

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The New York Times published an interview with Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi yesterday.

Morsi made some interesting statements, like this:

If you want to judge the performance of the Egyptian people by the standards of German or Chinese or American culture, then there is no room for judgment … When the Egyptians decide something, probably it is not appropriate for the U.S. When the Americans decide something, this, of course, is not appropriate for Egypt.

I suppose this means that if they want to murder Christians we oughtn’t to judge them, while they reserve the right to attack our embassy whenever someone in the U.S. makes a video that insults them. Unfair? What else could it mean?

He said several times that the U.S. favors Israel over the Palestinians, and that this is a problem in relations between Egypt and the US. I would say two things in response: first, Egypt has never been a friend to Palestinian nationalism, except insofar as it could be used as a weapon against Israel. In 1948, Egypt established a harsh military occupation of the Gaza strip. Arab refugees were forced into refugee camps at gunpoint — by Egyptian soldiers.

Historian Efraim Karsh tells us,

[In 1948] the Egyptian government showed no desire to annex the Gaza Strip but had instead ruled the newly acquired area as an occupied military zone. This did not imply support of Palestinian nationalism, however, or of any sort of collective political awareness among the Palestinians. The local population was kept under tight control, was denied Egyptian citizenship, and was subjected to severe restrictions on travel.

In economic and humanitarian terms, the ‘plight’ of the Palestinians was far worse under Arab occupation before 1967 than after Israel took control of the territories. Karsh writes,

Under Israeli rule, the Palestinians also made vast progress in social welfare. Perhaps most significantly, mortality rates in the West Bank and Gaza fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000 (compared with an average of 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa). Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Iraq the rate is 64, in Egypt 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22). And under a systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated.

No less remarkable were advances in the Palestinians’ standard of living. By 1986, 92.8 percent of the population in the West Bank and Gaza had electricity around the clock, as compared to 20.5 percent in 1967; 85 percent had running water in dwellings, as compared to 16 percent in 1967; 83.5 percent had electric or gas ranges for cooking, as compared to 4 percent in 1967; and so on for refrigerators, televisions, and cars.

This is not to say that the Palestinians are happy being ruled by Jews, which of course is devastating for their sense of honor and Muslim sensibilities. But it does make one wonder how much Egyptians have historically cared for their Palestinian Arab ‘brothers.’

Second, it is simply untrue that the U.S. has favored Israel over the Palestinians, unless you understand this to mean that the U.S. has not (yet) supported maximalist Arab demands for the replacement of Israel by an Arab state. The U.S. has certainly pressured Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, and it is only the Palestinian desire to ‘have it all’ that has prevented a U.S.-brokered Palestinian state from coming into being.

And here is something else that is untrue:

[H]e also argued that Americans “have a special responsibility” for the Palestinians because the United States had signed the 1978 Camp David accord. The agreement called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule (my emphasis).

“As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled,” he said.

The sentence in bold is not presented as a quotation from Morsi. It is a simple statement of ‘fact’ by the Times’ writers, David D. Kirkpatrick and Steven Erlanger. Regardless of who said it, it is quite false. The Camp David agreement called for Israel to end its military government and withdraw troops from areas of the territories where a self-governing authority is elected by the Palestinians. These conditions have been more than met with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. Elder of Ziyon comments on the text of the agreement thus:

Camp David does not say that there will necessarily be a Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza. It most certainly says nothing about a full Israeli withdrawal from the territories, only that its final status (and, by implication, its borders) will be up for negotiation after a transition period. And it explicitly says that there will be a redeployment of Israeli security forces – in order to ensure security for Israel – into locations that can only mean in parts of the territories, or else it would have just said “withdrawal of remaining Israeli forces,” period.

Indeed, the agreement also talks about joint Jordanian-Israeli patrols in Judea/Samaria!

The Campaign to Undermine American Support for Israel

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

According to Franklin Lamb in the anti-Israel website Foreign Policy Journal, the pro-Israel Community is all hot and bothered by an alleged new study:

It’s a paper entitled “Preparing For A Post Israel Middle East”, an 82-page analysis that concludes that the American national interest in fundamentally at odds with that of Zionist Israel. The authors conclude that Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with  Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community.

The existence of such a study, even in draft form, is hard to credit as no corroborating evidence has been supplied. But what is certain is that the Arabs have long wanted Israel eradicated from the Middle East and that Lamb has been a notorious shill for them. See here and here and here. The same can be said of elements in the State Department, academia and current and past administrations.

This alleged study simply amplifies Obama’s intention from day one. The New York Times reported in April 2010, that Obama Speech Signals a U.S. Shift on Middle East.

When Mr. Obama declared that resolving the long-running Middle East dispute was a “vital national security interest of the United States,” he was highlighting a change that has resulted from a lengthy debate among his top officials over how best to balance support for Israel against other American interests.

Mr. Obama said conflicts like the one in the Middle East ended up ‘costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure’ drawing an explicit link between the Israeli-Palestinian strife and the safety of American soldiers as they battle Islamic extremism and terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

To show that Obama was not alone in this, the Times buttressed his message by quoting from Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, General Patraeus and Martin Indyk. It might just as well have quoted from The Baker Report, Z Brzezinski and Secretary Clinton.

Actually this shift was a long time in coming. There have always been voices in the  administration that viewed Israel as a liability rather than an asset.

Richard Holbrooke pointed this out in his recent article, “Washington’s Battle Over Israel’s Birth,” He quotes Secretary of Defense James Forrestal who made his case for non-recognition by saying “There are thirty million Arabs on one side and about 600,000 Jews on the other. Why don’t you face up to the realities” Holbrooke concluded:

[To] this day, many think that Marshall and Lovett were right on the merits and that domestic politics was the real reason for Truman’s decision. Israel, they argue, has been nothing but trouble for the United States.

Then as now, Israel was opposed by the substantial anti-Zionist faction among leading Jews, [including] the publishers of both the Post and the New York Times.”

The problem that these anti-Zionist forces and their running-mates had, was that the American people strongly supported Israel and AIPAC was too powerful to take on. So they developed a plan to undermine AIPAC and discredit Israel.

The first salvo of which was the indictment of Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC in 2005 for espionage related charges. The case was dropped four years later but the damage had been done to them and to AIPAC. To show how politically motivated the charges were, James Kirchick wrote in WSJ,

If the offense were really criminal, half the Beltway press corps could be indicted. Mr. Franklin’s mishandling of classified documents deserved sanction, but 12 years in jail is far worse than the misdemeanor and fine meted out to former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger for stuffing secret documents in his clothing.

Then, in 2007, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by Mearsheimer and Walt, was published. Its central thesis was that, but for domestic politics, the US would have abandoned Israel long ago. They viewed the Israel lobby, AIPAC, as far too influential for America’s good. Israel was a liability rather than an asset. They totally ignored the vast power of the Saudi Lobby.

An alternative to AIPAC was needed to counter or undermine its influence, so in April 2008, J Street was formed. George Soros backed them as he did Obama.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-campaign-to-undermine-american-support-for-israel/2012/09/09/

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