Posts Tagged Zionists
There is a huge debate going on at the moment in the blogosphere about the term “Israel Firster”, which it turns out was made popular by neo-Nazis and spread through the antisemite network before making it into mainstream discourse. From what I gather, the whole debate started when Ben Smith wrote in Politico about the controversy in the Democrat party surrounding the Centre for American Progress (CAP). CAP is a think tank with close ties to Obama and a marked antipathy towards Israel (emphasis added):
The daily battle is waged in Media Matters’ emails, on CAP’s blogs, Middle East Progress and ThinkProgress and most of all on Twitter, where a Media Mattters official, MJ Rosenberg, regularly heaps vitriol on those who disagree as “Iraq war neocon liar” (the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg) or having “dual loyalties” to the U.S. and Israel (the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin). And while the Center for American Progress tends to walk a more careful line, warm words for Israel can be hard to find on its blogs.
… Another recent column on the CAP website, one of several to prompt behind-the-scenes outrage from the powerful pro-Israel group AIPAC, featured Eric Alterman accusing AIPAC of campaigning for war in Iran, which Alterman described as its “big prize.”
Over at Media Matters, Rosenberg, a former AIPAC staffer turned apostate, labels American Israel hawks “Israel-firsters” and recently blasted Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, for pushing a sanctions on Iranian civilian aviation that would be “the most ugly expression yet of this country’s almost bizarre obsession with punishing Iran, its people along with its government.”
The debate that I have been following closely began when Salon writer Glenn Greenwald tried to elicit from Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg a confession that he (Goldberg) swore to put Israel first when he joined the Israeli Defence Forces. Goldberg’s response was an understandable “I don’t think I did that but so what if I did? It was 25 years ago”. Unperturbed, Greenwald still attacked Goldberg for his alleged victimisation of the poor guy, who keeps being “silenced” by people who don’t like his opinions.
Jeffrey Goldberg, who plants himself in the middle of every one of these orgies of anti-Semitism accusations, trotted out every trite accusatory line from the tired neocon playbook to attack me explicitly as an Israel-hater and, he strongly implied, as an anti-Semite (none of these accusations are accompanied by a single word I’ve said or even a link to anything I’ve written).
… As I said, these attacks are as boring and clichéd as they are predictable: every person who deviates from orthodoxy on Israel and opposes these neocon smear campaigns is automatically subjected to them. Israel-hater. Anti-Semite. Self-hating Jew. Etc. etc. I’m boring myself even summarizing it.
That Greenwald even wrote this is very revealing of his character. Goldberg is not widely liked amongst the more right-leaning of Israel’s supporters. For instance, here’s him writing to the Israeli PM, advocating for a withdrawal from the West Bank and calling Avigdor Lieberman an “international embarrassment”, hardly the orthodox pro-Israel line:
… Yes, risking your coalition means you would have to induce Tsipi Livni’s opposition Kadima party into the government, but now seems as good a moment as any. At the very least, you’ll gain a foreign minister who isn’t an international embarrassment. And you might convince at least a few settlers — those outside the security fence, especially — that it would be best for them to move back to Israel and reinvigorate Zionism.
It is hard to see how Goldberg could possibly wage a “smear campaign” against “every person who deviates from orthodoxy on Israel” when he himself deviates from said orthodoxy and is not generally one to self-deprecate.
The irony of Greenwald automatically labelling people “neocons” for not agreeing with his anti-Zionist orthodoxy while at the same time claiming that anyone who disagrees with the pro-Israel orthodoxy is automatically labelled “antisemitic” is apparently lost on Greenwald, but not on Spencer Ackerman.
If what Rosenberg and the others on the left want is a debate—by which I understand them to mean a debate about the wisdom of a war with Iran, and about the proper role of the U.S.-Israel relationship—great. The left, I think, will win that debate on the merits, because it recognizes that if Israel is to survive as a Jewish democracy living in peace beside a free Palestine, an assertive United States has to pressure a recalcitrant Israel to come to its senses, especially about the insanity of attacking Iran.
But that debate will be shut down and sidetracked by using a term that Charles Lindbergh or Pat Buchanan would be comfortable using. I can’t co-sign that. The attempt to kosherize “Israel Firster” is an ugly rationalization.
As Goldberg notes, the truly concerning point about the “Israel First” moniker is explained by Adam Kirsch in Tablet. Kirsch points out that the discourse surrounding supporters of Israel has changed over the past few years, largely thanks to the much-criticised The Israel Lobby by Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer. While Walt and Mearsheimer did not create the idea of a “pro-Israel Lobby” controlling US foreign policy, they definitely introduced it into the popular lexicon, giving a new way for antisemites and their sympathisers to speak of the age-old Jewish conspiracy in a slightly less transparent way than pointing at the ZOG (Zionist-Occupied Government).
But if The Israel Lobby has not changed American politics, it has had an insidious effect on the way people talk and think about Israel, and about the whole question of Jewish power. The first time I had this suspicion was when reading, of all things, a biography of H.G. Wells. In H.G. Wells: Another Kind of Life, published in the U.K. in 2010, Michael Sherborne describes how Wells’ contempt for Nazism went along with a dislike for Judaism and Zionism, which he voiced in deliberately offensive terms even as Nazi persecution of Jews reached its peak. “To take on simultaneously the Nazis … and the Jewish lobby may have been foolhardy,” Sherborne writes apropos of Wells in 1938.
There’s no way to prove that Sherborne’s “Jewish lobby” is the intellectual descendant of Walt and Mearsheimer’s “Israel lobby,” but the inference seems like a strong one. Wells, the term suggests, was not attacking Jews, a group that in the Europe of the 1930s was conspicuous for its absolute powerlessness in the face of the evolving Nazi genocide. Instead, he was bravely standing up to a powerful “lobby,” an organization designed to punish critics of the Jews, and whose influence was on a par somehow with that of the Nazis.
What is disturbing in the Sherborne example is the way Walt and Mearsheimer’s conception of Jewish power is projected into a historical moment when it could not have been less accurate. In France during the Dreyfus Affair, it was common for anti-Semites and anti-Dreyfusards to speak of a Jewish syndicate that secretly ruled the country. Now, in the 21st century, it has once again become possible to speak of a Jewish “lobby” that it would be foolish to cross. One of the central premises of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is that it takes unusual courage to oppose the Jews, since they use their power to ruthlessly suppress dissent in both the political world and the media. Walt and Mearsheimer place themselves on the side of the angels when they attack the Israel lobby’s “objectionable tactics, such as attempting to silence or smear anyone who challenges the lobby’s role or criticizes Israel’s actions.”
The problem with Walt and Mearsheimer is not that they are prima facie antisemitic, it’s that their theories come so close to antisemitism that genuine antisemites can use the cover of The Israel Lobby to mask their opinions. They provided a new platform for ancient conspiracies about Jews manipulating world affairs. For example, George Orwell once cited a common trope in British society in the 1940s that WWII was a “Jewish war” and Britain was only fighting it because of the Jewish Brits. This bears striking parallels to the Walt and Mearsheimer trope that the so-called “Israel Lobby” was responsible for America invading Iraq – something that was never an Israeli policy and is of questionable benefit to Israel in the first place. It also provides a way to begin questioning American Jewish loyalties to their country of residence.
For example, many of these accusatory articles accuse Haim Saban of being an “Israel Firster”, where he is painted as an American Jew who unwaveringly supports Israel and openly announces that Israel is his number one issue (for example, see Andrew Sullivan here), ignoring the fact that Saban is staunchly pro-Democrat and that he was raised in Israel and only emigrated to the US in his 20s.
There is undoubtedly a line between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism and it is important to bear this in mind. One of the easiest ways to tell whether something is genuinely antisemitic is to replace the word “Israel” or “Zionist” with the word “Jew” and see if it brings to mind any ugly stereotypes. That the “Israel Lobby” is increasingly becoming the “Jewish Lobby” should come as little surprise; it may be only a matter of time until “Jew First” becomes an acceptable epithet.
A little Cut & Paste for you all:
New Evidence about how Bin Laden managed to send emails without detection:
Holed up in his walled compound in northeast Pakistan with no phone or Internet capabilities, bin Laden would type a message on his computer without an Internet connection, then save it using a thumb-sized flash drive. He then passed the flash drive to a trusted courier, who would head for a distant Internet cafe.
And let’s remember what he felt about Israel:
The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily.
What was that again about “thumb-sized flash disks”?
He invented the revolutionary “portable hard disk”, the DiskOnKey, and sold his company for $1.6 billion, making himself tens of millions of dollars in the process. Dov Moran could have comfortably retired, written his memoirs and devoted himself to playing bridge. Instead he set out to change the world, again.
And one last thing about Dov Moran, the inventor of the flash drive:
Mr. Moran is a Co-Founder of msystems Ltd. He served as Independent Consultant in computer industry from 1984 to 1989. He served in Israeli Navy for seven years and was Director of its microprocessors department.
Well isn’t that ironic…
1. The Jews Did It
And that picture proves it.
The website compared satellite footage and imagery of the area with Israel’s outline and concluded that the main house – where bin Laden was captured and killed – is located where Jerusalem can be found on a map of Israel. The compound’s gate parallels the location of Tel Aviv, its dumping ground matches the location of Tiberias, and another building matched the location of Haifa.
2. He was a Jew anyway
At least according to the Iranian government.
“He was just a puppet controlled by the Zionist regime in order to present a violent image of Islam after the September 11 attacks,” he said, adding that the al-Qaeda leaders assassination proves he had “an expiration date” forcing the US to kill him. ”Bin Ladens death reflects the passing of a temporary US pawn, and symbolizes the end of one era and the beginning of another in American policy in the region,” Kosari said.
3. I guess he’s a cat person…
Some Palestinian preacher.
Preacher: “Today, the dogs of the West are rejoicing at the killing of one of the lions of Islam. Today, the West rejoices at the killing of one of the lions of Islam. We say to them, from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, from the heart of the Caliphate, which, Allah willing, is soon to come: Dogs should not rejoice at the killing of lions. A country of dogs will always remain a country of dogs, while a lion remains a lion even after it is killed.
“We will not forget all the crimes being committed by these American dogs in all the Muslim countries.
“Even if a lion is killed, the nation of one billion Muslims will give birth to hundreds of millions of lions.
“We say [to President Obama]: You said yourself that you personally gave the order to kill Muslims. Know that the day will soon come when you find yourself hanging from the gallows, next to little Bush, and next to all your cronies involved in the killing of Muslims.”
4. The Jews loved it
Well, at least one Young Adult Chabbad rabbi did.
Is It Okay to Celebrate Bin Laden’s Death? – The Big Picture
What is so terrible, after all, about celebrating the death of a wicked evildoer? Why would you even think it decrepit to rejoice that a man who himself rejoiced over the demise of thousands of others, and connived ingeniously to bring destruction and terror across the globe, should now be removed from it? Is it so horrible to feel happy that the world has just become a better, safer and happier place?
No, it’s not. That’s perfectly legit. On the contrary, someone who is not celebrating at this time is apparently not so concerned by the presence of evil upon our lovely planet. Those who are outraged by evil are carrying now smiles upon their face. The apathetic don’t give a hoot.
This is just stupid. The London 2012 Olympics logo above is supposed to read “2012″, but according to some, the top-left “2″ looks like a “z”, the “1″ looks like an “i”, the “0″ is obviously an “o” and if you tilt your head to the right, the second “2″ is kind of like an N.
So by Iranian thinking, the sign is:
z O rather than 2 0
i Z (sideways N) 1 0
And this is enough to warrant a boycott of the games.
Iran has made an official complaint over the logo for next year’s London Olympic Games, because the design is considered to be a “disgraceful” reminder of the word “Zion”.
In a letter posted on the website of state-backed Iranian Students News Agency, the National Olympic Committee of Iran said that unless a new logo was designed “the presence of some countries in the games, especially Iran” could be called into question.
Back in the cold war, Amrica and the USSR boycotting each other’s Olympics sent a strong message. Both countries had very strong teams and their absence was very much felt.
Iran, on the other hand, won only 2 medals at the 2008 games. Their absence would make very little difference to anything, except to make them look like idiots.
Why am I not surprised? It had to be those damn Zionists, always plotting to bring down the Muslims!
But that’s ok, because Khatami knows how to deal with them – “harshly and in a legal manner”. I wonder what they could possibly mean by that.
Note: doesn’t this kind of undermine all these claims of Israel propping-up dictators? Those Iranians need to think about the implications of what they’re saying.
Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami Accuses America and the Zionists of Being the “Real Instigators” of the Riots and Calls to Deal with Oppositionists “Harshly and in a Legal Manner”
Following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, which aired on IRINN, the Iranian news channel, on February 15, 2011.
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami: The Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qom,1 which exists only on the Internet, appears only in order to publish communiqués denouncing [the regime]. They caused this battle by initiating this fitna.
We say to the Americans and to the Zionists that we consider them to be the real instigators of the fitna. We will never forget who the main enemy is. We continue to shout passionately: Death to America, death to Israel.
Crowds: Death to America, death to Israel!
Death to America, death to Israel!
Death to America, death to Israel!
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami: We, the clergy, explicitly say that we demand that all the rioters be dealt with harshly and in a legal manner – especially Mousavi and Karroubi.
And this is not the first time! Apparently, the protestors were caught eating KFC – proof that they were in league with not only Hizballah and Hamas, but also the CIA and Mossad. Pretty nefarious, right?
Tens of phone calls have been received by the television channel, whereby callers made the smart point that they had seen the protesters eating from KFC, and that this was proof that they have foreign agendas. They seem to believe that no one can eat from the American chain without being an agent of foreign forces.
It has filled people’s minds with thoughts of hidden agendas – the agents of Mossad, Hezbollah, and CIA allied for the first time in history to take the Egyptian regime down. I do not know how Mossad has allied with Hezbollah and Hamas, but the media insists that this has happened.