Western Jews Revolt Against Zionist Bully Tactics

 
The next stage of this campaign, as noted by British activists, will be to inform Western Governments that pandering to these organizations, which only represent Zionists, a minority, will only alienate the "Jewish vote", since a vast majority of Jews oppose the policies being promoted by these Zionist organizations.

Jewish coalition calls for open debate on Palestine

A COALITION of prominent Australian Jews, including the philosopher Peter Singer, publisher Louise Adler and Robert Richter, QC, has sparked a furore in the Jewish community by announcing it will challenge what it sees as extreme pro-Israeli bias among Jews in Australia.

The group, Independent Australian Jewish Voices, has been criticised by some Jewish authorities for calling for more open debate on Israeli's treatment of Palestinians.

The organisation yesterday launched an online campaign to have "alternative voices" heard in the media. One organiser claimed many Australian Jews were "basically brainwashed" into unthinking support for Israeli government policy towards Palestine.

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, a major think tank, said the group was dangerous and unrepresentative.

"Some of the individuals are clearly committed to the delegitimisation of Israel," said Colin Rubenstein, the executive director of the council.

"They're simply using their Jewish ethnic background. It is clearly a small number of Jewish-born individuals who make their Jewishness known while they are being critical of Israel," Mr Rubenstein said.

A visiting British author, Melanie Phillips, last week nicknamed the group "Jews for Genocide", according to the Australian Jewish News. Phillips, who wrote Londonistan, a book criticising elements of the British Muslim community, could not be contacted to verify the claim yesterday.

Ms Adler, Melbourne University Press chief executive, a signatory to the group's petition, said she was outraged by the council's references to "Jewish-born individuals" when commenting on the group.

"When you are classified as Jewish-born or not, or who is a legitimate Jew - I don't want to use this analogy but you can only go back to the Third Reich," Ms Adler said.

"That criticism of Israel is automatically assumed to be anti-Semitism just equates to a way of shutting down debate. In Australia, in the early 21st century, we should be able to be more mature than that."

Mr Rubenstein said the coverage received by the group "made a nonsense of the claim that they are somehow suppressed or silenced".

The organisation is modelled on a similar Jewish group launched last month in Britain that includes the Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter, the comedian Stephen Fry and the filmmaker Mike Leigh.

Peter Slezak, one of the Australian project's founders and a senior lecturer in history and philosophy at the University of NSW, said supporters wanted "to stand up and let it be known that we have the right to question Israeli policy, that we believe in fair treatment of Palestinian people as well as Israelis."

Professor Slezak, whose mother survived the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II, said he had received a death threat at the weekend after his views were presented in the Jewish media.

"There are people out there in the community who respond to this dog whistling, these references to Jewish-born and so on," Professor Slezak said. "There are simply a lot of people in the community who have basically been brainwashed over the years."

He conceded that the group's views represented a minority of Australian Jews, but said many were "quietly disturbed" by outspoken support for Israeli actions.

The organisation, which opened a website with 120 signatures yesterday, is supported by a list of prominent Australian academics and activists, including the Greens MLC Ian Cohen, the UTS lecturer Eva Cox and the La Trobe University professor Dennis Altman.

It hopes to gather thousands more signatures in coming days, hold forums and encourage further debate about Israel's actions.

www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/03/05/1172943356185.html

Jews worldwide are finally beginning to revolt against the bully tactics of the Zionists, and their willingness to hijack Jewish organizations for their own political purposes.

This is the result of Zionist "Emergency Cabinets" being placed in control of the most of the formerly Jewish organizations throughout much of the West, creating powerful Zionist Lobbies, instead of organizations acting for the good of the Jewish communities in those countries. These efforts, while exonentially altering Government policies (exposing the effect Lobbyists have on politicians), have alienated and angered Jews throughout the West.

The next phase will be to inform politicians the world over that pandering to this relatively-small number of Extremists will only alienate the "Jewish vote", as most Jews oppose the policies of aggression and instability being pushed by these Zionist organizations.

Criticizing Israel is not an act of bigotry

Jewish people can help avert the catastrophic effects of Israeli behaviour, but only by openly opposing it.

>by Jason Kunin
February 27, 2007

A grassroots revolt is underway in Jewish communities throughout the world, a revolt that has panicked the élite organizations that have long functioned as official mouthpieces for the community. The latest sign of this panic is the recent publication by the American Jewish Committee of an essay by Alvin H. Rosenfeld, entitled Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism, which accuses progressive Jews of abetting a resurgent wave of anti-Semitism by publicly criticizing Israel.

This is the latest attempt to conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism in order to silence or marginalize criticism of Israel. This approach is widely used in Canada. Upon becoming CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bernie Farber declared that one of his goals was to “educate Canadians about the links between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.”

It is misleading for groups like the CJC to pretend that the Jewish community is united in support of Israel. A growing number of Jews around the world are joining the chorus of concern about the deteriorating condition of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories as well as the inferior social and economic status of Israel's own Palestinian population.

In a world where uncritical support for Israel is becoming less and less tenable due to the expanding human rights disaster in the West Bank and Gaza, leaders of Jewish communities outside Israel have circled their wagons, heightened their pro-Israel rhetoric, and demonized Israel's critics. These leaders imply that increased concerns about Israel do not result from that state's actions, but from an increase in anti-Semitism.

Despite this effort to absolve Israel of responsibility for its treatment of Palestinians, Jewish opposition is growing and becoming more organized. On February 5, a group in Britain calling itself Jewish Independent Voices published an open letter in the Guardian newspaper in which they distanced themselves from “Those who claim to speak on behalf of Jews in Britain and other countries (and who) consistently put support for the policies of an occupying power above the human rights of the occupied people.” Among the signatories of the letter were Nobel-prize winning playwright Harold Pinter, filmmaker Mike Leigh, writer John Berger and many others.

This development follows the emergence of similar groups in Sweden (Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace), France (Union Juive Francaise pour la paix, Rencontre Progressiste Juive), Italy (Ebrei contro l'occupazione), Germany (Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost), Belgium (Union des Progressistes Juifs de Belgique), the United States (Jewish Voice for Peace, Brit Tzedek, Tikkun, the Bronfman-Soros initiative), South Africa, and others, including the umbrella organization European Jews for a Just Peace and the numerous groups within Israel itself.

In Canada, the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians (ACJC) has been founded as an umbrella organization bringing together Jewish individuals and groups from across the country who oppose Israel's continued domination of the West Bank and Gaza.

Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic, nor does it “bleed into anti-Semitism,” a formulation that says essentially the same thing. Some genuine anti-Semites do use Israel as a cover for maligning the Jewish people as a whole, but it is fallacious to argue that anyone who criticizes Israel is anti-Semitic because anti-Semites attack Israel. There are some anti-Semites who support Israel because they are Christian fundamentalists who see the return of Jews to Jerusalem as a precondition for the return of Christ and the conversion of Jews to Christianity, or because they are xenophobes who want to get rid of Jews in their midst. Anti-Semites take positions in support of and in opposition to Israel.

It is wrong to criticize all Jews for Israel's wrongdoings, yet Israel's leadership and its supporters in the Diaspora consistently encourage this view by insisting that Israel acts on behalf of the entire Jewish people.

This shifts blame for Israel's crimes onto the shoulders of all Jews. But Jewish critics of Israel demonstrate through their words and deeds that the Jewish community is not monolithic in its support of Israel.

Defenders of Israel often argue that Israel is forced to do what it does — to destroy people's homes, to keep them under the boot of occupation, to seal them into walled ghettos, to brutalize them daily with military incursions and random checkpoints — to protect its citizens from Palestinian violence. Palestinian violence, however, is rooted in the theft of their land, the diversion of their water, the violence of the occupation, and the indignity of having one's own very existence posed as a “demographic threat.”

To justify Israel's continued occupation and theft of Palestinian land, the state and its defenders attempt to deny Palestinian suffering, arguing instead that Palestinian resentment is rooted not in Israeli violence, but rather in Islam, or the “Arab mentality,” or a mystical anti-Semitism inherent in Arab or Muslim culture. Consequently, pro-Israel advocacy depends upon on the active dissemination of Islamophobia. Not surprisingly, engendering hatred in this manner inflames anti-Jewish sentiment among Arabs and Muslims. None of this is a recipe for making Jews safe.

Jewish people can help avert the catastrophic effects of Israeli behaviour, but only by taking a stand in opposition to it.

Jason Kunin of Toronto is a member of the administration council of the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians. This article was written with help from other council members, including Cy Gonick and Dr. Mark Etkin, both of Winnipeg, Andy Lehrer of Toronto, Sid Shniad of Vancouver and Abraham Weizfeld of Montreal.

www.rabble.ca/news_full_story.shtml;

Poll: Attachment of U.S. Jews to Israel falls in past 2 years
Steven M. Cohen - Forward, Opinion
March 4, 2005

The attachment of American Jews to Israel has weakened measurably in the last two years, a recent survey demonstrates, continuing a long-term trend visible during the past decade and a half.

The weakening is apparent in almost every measure of Jewish connection to Israel except for interest in travel to Israel, which showed a slight uptick, and a handful of others that were unchanged. Respondents were less likely than in comparable earlier surveys to say they care about Israel, talk about Israel with others or engage in a range of pro-Israel activities.

Strikingly, there was no parallel decline in other measures of Jewish identification, including religious observance and communal affiliation.

The survey found 26% who said they were "very" emotionally attached to Israel, compared with 31% who said so in a similar survey conducted in 2002. Some two-thirds, 65%, said they follow the news about Israel closely, down from 74% in 2002, while 39% said they talk about Israel frequently with Jewish friends, down from 53% in 2002. Those who talk about Israel frequently with non-Jewish friends dropped to 23% this year from 33% in 2002.

Those who had donated to an Israel-related charity during the previous 12 months dropped to 40% in the current survey from 49% in 2002. Attendance at an Israel-related program dropped to 22% from 27%.

Israel also declined as a component in the respondents' personal Jewish identity. When offered a selection of factors, including religion, community and social justice, as well as "caring about Israel," and asked, "For you personally, how much does being Jewish involve each?" 48% said Israel mattered "a lot," compared with 58% in 2002.

Just 57% affirmed that "caring about Israel is a very important part of my being Jewish," compared with 73% in a similar survey in 1989.

The drop from 1989 appears consistent with a widely noted, long-term generational decline in attachment to Israel. However, generational change is unlikely to explain the dramatic shift during the last two years, which appears to reflect responses to current events in the Middle East.

Tellingly, as many as 37% agreed that they were "often disturbed by Israel's policies and actions," while another 30% were not sure. Just 33% said they disagreed, 4% of them "strongly."

The survey was conducted between December 14, 2004, and January 15, 2005, and included a representative national sample of 1,448 American Jewish households. It was sponsored by the Jewish-Zionist Education Department of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Nearly all respondents were 25 or older and identified as Jewish by
religion. The sample's demographic and Jewish identity characteristics closely resembled those of respondents identified as Jewish by religion in the United Jewish Communities' 2000-01 National Jewish Population Survey. Seventy percent said they attend a Passover Seder, 42% claimed synagogue membership, and 20% said they keep separate dishes at home for meat and dairy. Questioned on denomination, 9% identified themselves as Orthodox, 36% as Conservative and 40% as Reform.

While most expressions of emotional attachment declined from 2002, some travel-related indicators edged upward. There was a slight climb in respondents who said they planned to visit Israel in the next three years, from 12% to 15%, just outside the margin of error. A larger jump emerged in the number claiming to having encouraged someone to visit Israel, from 19% to 24%.

Some indicators of pro-Israel identification were virtually unchanged from the earlier survey. These include the proportions that made an effort to buy Israeli-made products (30%), and those who write to someone in Israel (19%).

The findings reflect an apparent reversal of a trend noted two years ago, when Palestinian terrorism reached a peak in 2002. At the time, many Israelis complained that although American Jews expressed heightened concern for Israel because of the violence, they were less inclined to visit. Now, it seems, concern has dropped, while readiness to visit Israel has increased.

American Jews traditionally profess a high degree of attachment to Israel. The intensity of that attachment varies considerably, however, ranging from warmth to deep passion, while a small group professes indifference or outright discomfort.

When asked how often they feel proud of Israel, the sample showed considerable range, with 28% answering "always," 38% "often," 29% "sometimes" and 5% "never." Half said they are often or always "excited" by Israel, and 12% said they are never excited by Israel. Slightly more than one-third said they are often or always "engaged" by Israel, while 47% said they are sometimes engaged and just 18% said they are never engaged.

At the same time, a sizable proportion expressed at least some negative feelings toward Israel. More than two-thirds said they are at least sometimes "disturbed" by Israel's policies or actions, and nearly as many said they are "confused." Almost half said they are at least sometimes "ashamed," and fully 39% said they are at least sometimes "alienated" by Israel.

Only 13% said they are "sometimes uncomfortable identifying as a supporter of Israel," with an additional 14% "not sure."

About two-thirds of American Jews view "many" or "most" Israelis in positive terms as "peace-loving," "democratic" and "heroic." But more than 40% see many Israelis as "chauvinist" and "militarist."

When offered sharply critical characterizations of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, more respondents disagreed than agreed. However, substantial numbers were unsure. Thus, by 60% to 11% the sample rejected the assertion that "Israel persecutes a minority population," with 29% not sure. Similarly, by a 65% to 13% margin, they rejected the notion that "Israel occupies lands that belong to another people," with 22% not sure. A narrower margin, 43% to 20% (with 37% unsure), rejected the proposition, "When dealing with Palestinian civilians, Israeli soldiers often engage in unnecessary brutality."

While disagreement with the criticism outnumbered agreement in every instance, the percentage that "strongly" disagreed was lower in each case than the percentage that simply disagreed. Moreover,
when agreement with the criticism was combined with "unsure," it emerged that those who rejected the criticism outnumbered those who did not reject it by a narrower 3-2 majority, and one criticism —
army brutality — was rejected only by a plurality. The patterns point to a rejection of critical views of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, but they hardly amount to consensus, let alone unanimity.

Amid good feeling toward Israel, Israelis and Israeli policies, then, there are signs of doubt, hesitation and qualification. All might inhibit or restrain passionate feelings and expressions of support for Israel.

If the results point to a softening of attachment to Israel, they also point to a major inhibition to travel to Israel, which is commonly seen as an important antidote to detachment. The survey asked respondents, "If you were to travel to Israel, how concerned would you be about your safety?" Almost half, or 46%, were "very concerned," and an additional 42% were "somewhat concerned." Just 10% said they were "not concerned," and 2% were not sure.

Safety concerns might be the single most powerful inhibitor of Israel travel. Of those who were very concerned, only 5% were planning a trip to Israel in three years. When concerns diminished
to "somewhat," the trip planners quadrupled to 22%, and among those with no concerns, travel plans peaked at 37%.

In part, safety concerns are themselves a function of prior trips to Israel. Most of those who had never been to Israel said they were "very concerned," compared with one-fourth of those who had
been there for a short period, and just 7% of those who had been to Israel for stays of three months or longer. Safety concerns were far lower among those with greater attachment to Israel, more knowledge of Israel and the highest involvement in Jewish life.

Thus, fears for one's safety joins a substantial measure of discomfort with Israel as major challenges to advocates of Israel engagement. Yet another, equally daunting, challenge is the diminished interest in Israel among younger American Jews — another key finding to emerge from this survey, about which we will learn more next week.

Steven M. Cohen is a professor at the Melton Center for Jewish
Education of the Hebrew University.

www.palestinemonitor.org/nueva_web/infos_materials/reports/jews_israel_poll.htm

Harper And The Zionist Lobby

Is such a thing not Treasonous?

Harper has, despite the popular outcry, reversed every traditional Canadian position on Zionism's war to wipe Palestine off the map. The reasons can be found in his personal, reactionary ideology, and his close ties to the Lobby groups themselves. Perhaps it's time for this creep to disclose his financial backers?

The Power Of The Zionist Lobby Demonstrated By Lobby Groups Themselves
hamilton.indymedia.org/newswire/display/2039/index.php

The Canadian Alliance & The Zionist/Israeli Lobby
hamilton.indymedia.org/newswire/display/1822/index.php

Canadian government forming pro-Israel lobby
Global Research, February 10, 2007

Truth is indeed stranger and often more frightening than fiction.

What is extraordinary is that as the organized Jewish community in the US and abroad moves further and further towards the fascist right, its power over the US and Western governments is growing even more rapidly.

One need not argue about the validity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion while there is an ugly conspiracy unfolding before our very eyes, or at least the eyes of those willing to see.

Here in Canada alone, former Jewish organizations have had their popularly-selected boards forced out, and replaced with Zionist "Emergency Cabinets", to deal with the growing condemnation of Israeli Extremism, not by listening to critics and altering behaviour, but by Lobbying our Government, and pumping the Propaganda.

Jeffrey Blankfort

For further details see article in the Jerusalem Post below.

www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite

Canadian government forming pro-Israel lobby

Etgar Lefkovits, THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 4, 2007

The Canadian government is establishing an "Israel Allies Caucus" this week meant to mobilize support for the State of Israel and promote Judeo-Christian values amid a groundswell of Christian support for Israel around the world.

The launching of the Canadian parliamentary lobby, which is based on the formation of the Knesset's "Christian Allies Caucus" three years ago, comes less than six months after a similar lobby was established in the US Congress.

The establishment of the new pro-Israel lobby will be officially announced in Ottawa on Tuesday in the presence of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canadian and Israeli parliamentarians, including MK Benny Elon (National Union-National Religious Party) MK Orit Noked (Labor) and MK Ran Cohen (Meretz), as well as members of the Canadian-Israel Friendship League.

The event comes at a time of burgeoning relations between Israel and the largely supportive evangelical Christian community around the world.

"The launching of the Canadian Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus is a sign of things to come," said Josh Reinstein, director of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus in an interview from Canada on Sunday.

"We hope that one day every parliament and government around the world will form a sister caucus to the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus which will mobilize support for Israel around the world and promote Judeo-Christian values."

Over the next six months, similar parliamentary lobbies are expected to be established in the Philippines, South Korea, Malawi, South Africa and Finland.

Copyright Jerusalem Post 2007

globalresearch.ca/index.php

We're not alone:

American senators from joint Senate-Knesset committee arrive in Israel
web.israelinsider.com/bin/en.jsp;

Has anyone seen any coverage of this?

Groups Fear Public Backlash Over Iran

Forward Staff | Fri. Feb 02, 2007

While Jewish communal leaders focus most of their current lobbying efforts on pressing the United States to take a tough line against Iran and its nuclear program, some are privately voicing fears that they will be accused of driving America into a war with the regime in Tehran.

In early advocacy efforts on the issue, Jewish organizations stressed the threat that a nuclear Iran would pose to Israel in light of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s calls to “wipe Israel off the map.”

(But of course, it later came out that he never said such a thing, which embarassed many, while others continue to perpetuate this lie.)

Now, with concerns mounting that Israel and its supporters might be blamed for any military confrontation, Jewish groups are seeking to widen their argument, asserting that an Iranian nuclear bomb would threaten the West and endanger pro-American Sunni Muslim states in the region.

(So, they're not backing away from the push for war, just trying to re-frame their Propaganda, in order to hide their role in warmongering.)

Jess Hordes, Washington director of the Anti-Defamation League, said that the strategy of broadening the case against Iran was not an attempt to divert attention from the threats to Israel. “It is a fact that Iran is a danger to the whole world,” Hordes said. “We are not just saying it to hide our concerns about Israel.”

(Attacking Iran, on behalf of radical Zionism, poses a greater threat to the people of the West.)

Yet many advocacy efforts, even when not linked to Israel, carry indelibly Jewish (or Zionist) fingerprints.

Last week, Jewish groups claimed victory when the United Nations approved a resolution denouncing Holocaust denial, with Iran’s regime as the obvious target. Additionally, numerous Jewish activists are pressing in advertisements and Internet appeals for Ahmadinejad to be indicted in The Hague for incitement to genocide.

(Supporting the original article's assessments, and those of the Jews organizing against these hijacked institutions.)

In warning of possible scapegoating, insiders point to the experience of the Iraq War. Since the initial invasion in 2003, antiwar groups have charged, with growing vehemence, that the war was promoted by Jewish groups acting in Israel’s interest — even though the invasion enjoyed bipartisan backing and popular support, and was not at the top of most Jewish organizations’ agendas.

(But prominent Zionists and Israelis were instrumental in the push for war, as well as the lies and propaganda which facilitated it.)

The Iraq backlash prompted former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon to order in 2005 that his ministers keep a low profile on Iran.

Now, however, Jewish groups are indeed playing a lead role in pressing for a hard line on Iran. The campaign comes at a time when President Bush’s popularity has reached record lows and members of both parties are cautioning against a rush toward war.

(And the power of the Zionist Lobby, as well as Israel's role in the war on Islam, has become a matter of public debate.)

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, addressed the fears head-on last week in an address to Israel’s prestigious Herzliya Conference. Lamenting what he called “the poisoning of America,” Hoenlein painted a dire picture of American public discourse turning increasingly anti-Jewish and anti-Israel in the year ahead.

(But of course, this is little more than yet another attempt to characterize legitimate and informed concern as criticism, as being directed at Jews, instead of at the Zionists, where it actually has been. His excuses are the reason the Jews in the original article are revolting against these organizations.)

Hoenlein dated the trend to the 2005 arrest of two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, on charges of passing classified national security information. Hoenlein argued that the Jewish community made a major mistake by not forcefully criticizing the arrests.

(As opposed to criticizing the actions ...)

Speaking via video, Hoenlein listed several events that had occurred since then: the release of the essay criticizing the “Israel Lobby” by two distinguished professors, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer; the publication of former president Jimmy Carter’s best-selling book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”; the suggestion by former NATO supreme commander and Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark that “New York money people” were pushing America into war, and claims by former U.S. weapons inspector Scott Ritter that Israel is pushing the United States to attack Iran.

“In the beginning of the Iraq war they talked about the ‘neocons’ as a code word,” Hoenlein said. “Now we see that code words are no longer necessary.” He warned that the United States is nearing a situation similar to that of Britain, where delegitimization of Israel is widespread.

“This is a cancer that starts from the top and works its way down,” he said. “It poisons the opinions among elites which trickle down into society.”

(Not so much 'poisons' as 'frees'.)

According to Hoenlein, such critics tend not only to delegitimize Israel but also to “intimidate American Jews not to speak out.” He called on American Jews to take action against this phenomenon, saying that Christian Zionists seemed at times more willing than Jews to fight back.

(That's because Jews are waking up to the fact that they've been used and betrayed, and widespread war and aggression have been the result.)

Another instance of casting blame, less widely reported, was attributed to former secretary of state Colin Powell. In a new biography, by Washington Post writer Karen De Young, Powell is said to have put at least some of the blame for the Iraq war on Jewish groups. The book, “Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell,” claims that Powell used to refer to the pro-war advisers surrounding former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld as the “Jinsa crowd.” Jinsa is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a hawkish think tank that supported the Iraq war.

(And of course, was instrumental in pushing for it, just as it is with Iran. And again, these are not "Jewish" groups so much as Zionist Organizations.)

Thomas Neumann, Jinsa’s executive director, said he was not offended by Powell’s reference, although he was surprised that the former secretary of state would single out a Jewish group when naming those who supported the war. “I am not accusing Powell of anything, but these are words that the antisemites will use in the future,” Neumann said.

(Except that he was pointing directly at the Zionists and Israelis behind the push for war.)

Whatever worries exist about a negative backlash over Israel, they have not deterred Jewish and pro-Israel activists from publicly pressing for tough U.S. action against Tehran or invoking concern for Israel.

A particularly forceful argument for a hard line against Iran appeared this week in The New Republic, a Washington insider journal widely viewed as a bellwether of pro-Israel opinion.

(Which was just bought by CanWest, an extreme right-wing, Zionist-owned propaganda conduit based in Canada.)

The lengthy article, written by two respected Israeli writers, Michael Oren and Yossi Klein Halevi, both fellows at the Shalem Center, a hawkish Jerusalem think tank, names Iran as the main threat to Israeli survival, regional stability and to the entire world order. This theme has been echoed in publications and press releases put out by most major Jewish groups, including Aipac and the Conference of Presidents.

(Proving, once again, that the critics are right, and that a backlash against these Zionist groups is well-deserved ...)

“The international community now has an opportunity to uphold that order,” Oren and Klein Halevi wrote. “If it fails, then Israel will have no choice but to uphold its role as refuge of the Jewish people. A Jewish state that allows itself to be threatened with nuclear weapons — by a country that denies the genocide against Europe’s six million Jews while threatening Israel’s six million Jews — will forfeit its right to speak in the name of Jewish history.”

(Yeah, yeah, yeah ... Note that it's the Zionists tossing the actual military threats about!)

Debate in Washington intensified last month when the U.S. military began to move against Iranian agents in Iraq. The spotlight has now turned to the Democratic-led Congress, with both hardliners and doves anxiously seeking to gauge lawmakers’ reactions to the crisis. Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, an outspoken critic of Bush’s foreign policy, last week introduced a non-binding resolution requiring congressional approval for any American military action against Iran. “To forestall a looming disaster, Congress must act to save the checks and balances established by the Constitution,” Byrd said in a statement when presenting his proposed resolution. In the House, Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas introduced a resolution calling on the administration to adopt the Iraq Study Group recommendations and to engage with Iran. Also in the House, the 70-member Progressive Caucus held a public forum last week on alternatives to preemptive war against Iran.

(Luckily for Israel's Extremists, the current "President" doesn't listen to these people.)

Many Democrats, however, are treading lightly. Though many favor talks with Iran — including Rep. Tom Lantos of California, chair of the House International Relations Committee — there is still no significant move in Congress toward barring the president from taking military action against Iran.

(That's because both of the absolutely-corrupt sides of The Party in DC are pretty much the same.)

Congressional sources speculated this week that Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, might take the lead on such a measure. On January 11, Biden sent a letter to Bush stating that Congress has not authorized any military incursion into Iran or Syria. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, also stressed the need for congressional approval prior to any military action.

A Democratic staffer described this week the sense of frustration Democrats are feeling over the president’s stance toward Iran. “The administration has now the worst of all worlds,” the staffer said. “It blocked any diplomatic channel with Iran and at the same time cannot generate the needed sympathy for the issue among the Russians and Chinese in order to apply pressure on Iran.”

Jewish organizational officials and pro-Israel lobbyists on Capitol Hill downplayed the possibility that Congress might play a significant role in limiting the administration’s response to Iranian nuclear ambitions. “It is very premature,” one lobbyist said. “The administration has no war plan and Congress has no plan to block such a war.”

If military action is ultimately needed to deal with the issue, it will be difficult to secure public support, because the administration “lied” about intelligence before the Iraq war, said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat.

(No need to put that in quotes. The point is not disputed.)

“The fact that the administration lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq means that if we get into a real problem with Iran and if it’s coming to a crunch there, God forbid, about nuclear weapons, it will be very, very hard for the administration to convince anybody just because they have a record of such dishonesty,” Nadler said. “The administration lied about Iraq, and one of the consequences of lying is that people don’t believe you even when you’re telling the truth.”

(And of course, the complete lack of evidence, or the fact that several lies in regards to the allegations against Iran have already been exposed, both on the part of the US and Israeli Extremists, doesn't really help the case.)

Nathan Guttman in Washington, with reporting by Daniel Treiman from New York.

www.forward.com/articles/groups-fear-public-backlash-over-iran/

AIPAC To Promote Hard Line Against Iran At Annual Meeting
www.nysun.com/article/49927

Pastor Strangelove
Texan John Hagee may not have his “perfect red heifer” yet. But he does have a huge following, the ear of the White House -- and a theory that an invasion of Iran was foretold in the Book of Esther.
www.prospect.org/web/page.ww

This man, who believes the planned war against Iran is needed to start a war between Russia, the Arab World, and the United States and Israel, in order to usher in Armaggedon, is speaking at the AIPAC Annual Meeting in DC.

A Barack-star no more

Barack Obama used to inspire nothing but sympathy and affection. But recently he's given pandering a bad name.
Ian Williams

March 6, 2007 9:05 PM | Printable version

Last week Barack Obama performed an inadvertent public service by taking two of my favorite hobbyhorses for a ride round the electoral ring. One was the corrupting power of money in presidential primaries, and the second was demonstrating that the Israel lobby was every bit as powerful as it has traditionally claimed on its website, even as it denounces anyone else who says so.

(Snip)

Obama's big advantage over Hillary has been his consistent opposition to the Iraq war, a position that is in line with most voters, most Democrats - and indeed the overwhelming majority of American Jews, who are maintaining their traditional liberal postures despite the donor-driven politics of their "official" organizations.

A Gallup meta-poll found that 77% of American Jews think the Iraq War was a mistake, compared with 52% of the general American public. Gallup's poll found that 89% of Jewish Democrats think the war was a mistake, and even among non-Democratic Jews, 65% thought so.

Indeed the official organizations are hedging over Iran: not only does their own nominal Jewish constituency not support them, but they are worried that the Jews as a whole may be seen as the cause of another unpopular war.

Thus, in addition to thanking Barack for revealing the plutocratic perils of primaries, perhaps we should also be thanking him for inadvertently helping to show that AIPAC does not represent American Jews.

commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ian_williams/2007/03/obama_in_knots.html

When Does Opposition to Israel or the Israel Lobby Indicate Anti-Semitism?
Posted 6 March 2007

Writing for the New York Times online on March 4, 2007, Stanley Fish asked the question, "Why Does Anti-Semitism Persist?" Quoting Professor Charles Small of Yale University, Professor Fish notes, "Increasingly, Jewish communities around the world feel under threat," and he blames three words for that feeling: "Israel, Iraq and anti-Semitism."

Here's how Professor Fish explains the connection: "Much of the world has been opposed to the Iraq war from its beginning, and now after four years 70 percent of Americans share the world's opinion. Some who deplore the war believe that those who got us into it and cheered it on did so, at least in part, out of a desire to improve Israel's position in the Middle East. Those who hold this view (and of course there are other analyses of the war's origins) fear that the same people - with names like Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Abrams, Kristol, Kagan, Krauthhammer, Wurmser, [the convicted felon] Libby and Lieberman - are pushing for a strike against Iran, arguably a greater threat to Israel than Iraq ever was. Why, they ask, should our foreign policy be held hostage to the interests of a small country that is perfectly capable of defending itself and is guilty of treating the Palestinians, whose land it appropriated, in ways that are undemocratic and even, in the opinion of many, criminal?"

Well put. But, when it comes to the origins of Bush's Iraq war, readers of James Bamford's book, A Pretext for War, and Ron Suskind's book, The Price of Loyalty, know that improving Israel's position played a key role. Readers of Bamford's book also will recall his indictment of the arguably treasonous activity of three American neoconservative Jews, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser.

In their 1996 policy paper, "A Clean Break: A Strategy for Securing the Realm" - written for Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, no less! -- Perle, Feith and Wurmser recommended that Israel find pretexts for waging wars of aggression that would roll back its Arab neighbors. "The centerpiece of their recommendations was the removal of Saddam Hussein as the first step into remaking the Middle East into a region friendly, instead of hostile, to Israel." [Bamford, p. 262]

Arguably treasonous? Yes, especially when you consider the following observations by Bamford: "It was rather extraordinary for a trio of former, and potentially future, high-ranking American government officials to become advisers to a foreign government. More unsettling still was the fact that they were recommending acts of war in which Americans could be killed, and also ways to masquerade the true purpose of the attacks from the American public." [p. 263]

Bamford also devoted a few pages to Douglas Feith, noting his friendship with Joseph Churba, an associate of Rabbi Meir Kahane of the terrorist Jewish Defense League, as well as his worsening pro-Israel and anti-Arab extremism, which he brought into the Department of Defense under President George W. Bush. [pp. 278-82]

Thus, was it an accident that the Pentagon's Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group, headed by Feith (and derisively called Feith's Gestapo Office by Colin Powell), seized upon shards of evidence already discounted by the officially responsible intelligence agencies in order to claim that Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaeda? Was it mere coincidence that, by providing such bogus intelligence to justify regime change in Iraq, Feith was able to advance the centerpiece of his "Clean Break" recommendations for Israel from inside the Department of Defense?

Even worse, there's evidence to suggest that the "Clean Break" proposals shaped the Bush administration's obsession with regime change in Iraq. Consider the eyewitness testimony of former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who attended the very first meeting of Bush's National Security Council. Beyond being devoted to the Middle East, even that very first meeting was scripted.

Scripting explains why Bush would ask National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice: "So, Condi, what are we going to talk about today? What's on the agenda?" [Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty, p. 72] As if he didn't know! And Rice responded on cue: "How Iraq is destabilizing the region, Mr. President." [Ibid]

But, that's not all. According to Secretary O'Neill, Bush stated that he was going to tilt toward Israel by pulling out of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Moreover, when Secretary of State Colin Powell objected that such a pullback "would unleash Sharon and the Israeli army," Bush responded: "Sometimes a show of strength by one side can really clarify things." [Ibid] According to Bamford, it was "Clean Break" Perle and Saddam-obsessed Paul Wolfowitz, who were able to fill Bush's "sympathetic ear" with such pro-Israel ideas. [Bamford, p. 282]

To his credit, by listing "Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Abrams, Kristol, Kagan, Krauthhammer, Wurmser, [the convicted felon] Libby and Lieberman," Fish has identified many of the American Jewish neoconservatives, whose pro-Israel warmongering has brought great harm to the U.S. and Israel -- not to mention Iraq. They are, indeed, part of the powerful Israel Lobby in America.

Moreover, although Fish accurately summarizes the views of the war's critics, when he says, "The war was a huge mistake and is causing us no end of trouble at home and the world at large," I believe the war was a crime -- for which Bush and Cheney should be impeached, tried and convicted, before being subject to criminal prosecution.

I believe they deserve a Nuremberg-type trial that also would examine the supporting role played by America's neocons - Jewish or not. After all, wars of aggression are still illegal under international law.

Unfortunately, Professor Fish construes attacks on the Israel Lobby to constitute evidence of anti-Semitism. First, he summarizes the war critics's views by asserting, "The lobby that led us into [war] is a 'de facto agent for a foreign government' - Israel." Then he suggests that such criticism is anti-Semitic, because, "Members of that lobby are largely, though not exclusively, Jewish. And that's where the anti-Semitism comes in. Or does it?"

But, curiously, Fish is not content to construe attacks on the largely Jewish Israel Lobby as evidence of anti-Semitism. He also seems to believe that the attacks on the lobby - by critics who do see it as the "de facto agent" of Israel - are indistinguishable from attacks on Israel. And by implying their similarity, Fish is able to invoke a recent study, which demonstrates that "anti-Israel sentiment consistently predicts the probability that an individual is anti-Semitic." [Edward H. Kaplan and Charles A. Small, "Anti-Israel Sentiment Predicts Anti-Semitism in Europe," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 50 No. 4, August 2006, p. 548]

Moreover, Fish also is impressed with their conclusion that "Those with extreme anti-Israel sentiment are roughly six times more likely to harbor anti-Semitic views than those who do not fault Israel on the measures studied." [Ibid, p. 550]

What were the "measures studied?" Four statements/questions addressed to five hundred respondents in each of ten different European countries. Three blame Israel for exacerbating Israeli-Palestinian relations and the fourth justifies the attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinian suicide bombers. Any respondent who answers all four by condemning Israel or exculpating the Palestinians is deemed to be extremely anti-Israel.

According to Kaplan and Small, the more severe a person's anti-Israel sentiment, the more likely was the respondent to affirm anti-Semitic beliefs, such as "Jews don't care what happens to anyone but their own kind," "Jews have too much power in the business world," "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country," or deny that "Jews are just as honest as other business people." [Ibid, p. 551]

And, as their data shows, "only 9 percent of those with anti-Israel index scores of 0 report harboring anti-Semitic views, but the fraction of respondents harboring anti-Semitic views grows to 12, 22, 35, and 56 percent for anti-Israel index values of 1 through 4, respectively." [Ibid, p. 555] Thus, their conclusion: "When an individual's criticism of Israel becomes sufficiently severe, it does become reasonable to ask whether such criticism is a mask for underlying anti-Semitism." [Ibid, p. 560]

Wow! Even if we put aside questions about Professor Fish's weak links connecting attacks on the Israel Lobby to attacks on Israel and, thus, the Kaplan/Small study linking severe anti-Israel sentiment with anti-Semitism, the Kaplan/Small study still has some explaining to do.

And, no, I'm not disputing their contention that individuals who agree with disparaging generalizations about Jews are anti-Semitic. Were someone to tell me, "Jews don't care what happens to anyone but their own kind," I'd want to immediately disabuse that individual of his anti-Semitism, if he was a close friend or relative, or try to avoid his company in the future.

But, I'm troubled by the Kaplan/Small data that shows: "Even among Jewish respondents, one sees an increase in anti-Semitic responses as the anti-Israel index increases."[p. 555] Do they really mean to suggest that, if you are a Jew and you are troubled by Israel's behavior toward the Palestinians, you're probably an anti-Semitic Jew?

More significantly, let's imagine how the Kaplan/Small conclusion -- "When an individual's criticism of Israel becomes sufficiently severe, it does become reasonable to ask whether such criticism is a mask for underlying anti-Semitism." - would stand up, were Israel to do something absolutely despicable.

Let's imagine -- simply to test the Kaplan/Small conclusion -- that Israel not only acted on the "Clean Break" recommendations made by Messrs. Perle, Feith and Wurmser, but actually rolled back Arab forces by using nuclear weapons. Could the predictably enormous and relentless anti-Israel outcry that followed be dismissed as merely "a mask for underlying anti-Semitism?" I don't think so.

Getting back to reality, would the world be engaging in widespread anti-Semitism, were it to respond very negatively to an Israeli preemptive nuclear attack on Iran's nuclear facilities? Or, put another way, would Kaplan and Small ever be justified in using negative answers to the question, "Would Israel ever be justified in launching a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran's nuclear program?" to record anti-Israel sentiment as a predictor of anti-Semitism? As soon as one contemplates that question, it becomes painfully obvious that it really does matter how precisely questions purporting to measure anti-Israel sentiment are crafted. Yet, nothing found in the Kaplan/Small study demonstrates such precision.

Such, then, are the limitations of the Kaplan/Small study and Stanley Fish's embrace of it. But Professor Fish would also do well to keep one additional consideration in mind. Many of the critics (including this critic), who opposed the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq and who were disgusted by the Israel Lobby's role in promoting it, were the same critics who gladly acknowledged that the majority of American Jews opposed going to war.

Thus, one can hardly be considered an anti-Semite for excoriating the policy advanced by a handful of American Jews while applauding the policy supported by the majority of such Jews.



Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

www.walter-c-uhler.com/Reviews/Fish.html

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