Wednesday, December 14, 2005


2 Thoughts:

Blogger Demotiki said...


I didn't get the chance to read the entire thing, but it is an interesting argument. I have been following the I/P ever since I was a kid and I remember all of the climb-downs our leaders had to make when faced with the opposition of American Jewish groups. The basic problem is this, there is a strong and well organized lobby for Israel, and there is virtually no lobby for Palestine. What self-serving politician is going to stick his neck out for the Palestinians?


Wednesday, December 14, 2005 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I thought I'd post this to show that I do read "the other side."

I think the author overstates his case, but the key point is that regardless of the level of power of any one interest group, it can't dominate without convincing, somehow.

Like 9/11 is constantly used (convincingly to many, but not me) to cover for any and all Bush admin malfeasance, so, too, is the Holocaust used to cover for any and all Israeli governmental malfeasance. Obviously, this kind of priviliging of some folks' past tragedies is more convincing than other folks' -- and I think the key has to do with race and religion as much as anything else.

There really isn't all that much anti-Semitism in the US -- not at least at the institutional levels you found not too long ago. I think images of the Holocaust went a long way toward that, and that's a good thing.

However, and this is the real danger, the abuse of the Holocaust to forgive or conceal the crimes of the Israeli government can't last forever, and will definitely cause an anti-Semitic backlash. People don't like being manipulated, especially when their better feelings are being manipulated.

And, of course, you have to throw in the interest of the theocons in Israel, and so forth.

Having said all of that, as opposed to the situation in the early 1980s Alexander Cockburn described, and which I remember, namely that to even breathe a word about a Palestinian state was anti-Semitic, is no longer the case. That's progress, and hopefully it will lead to even more progress, as soon as we get rid of the neocons.

I might mention that the anti-Castro lobby and US interests coincide as well. It's hard to be totally anticommunist and make an exception for Cuba, regardless of whatever power the anti-Castro lobby has over Florida's electoral votes -- and I'd love to know exactly what that power is, quantitatively.

We like white people, even Jews, more than brown people. Judaism is more closely associated with Christianity than Islam, to say the least. Rising Christian fundamentalism takes total support of Israel as an article of faith, of it's own volition. They are ascendant, obviously. And neocons see full-spectrum-dominance of the US as also helping Israel. That goes a long way toward explaining how a small group of American Jews (not all by a long shot) could gather the traction necessary to pull off the uncritical support of Israel we've seen.

No, one isn't automatically an anti-Semite if one criticizes Israel or AIPAC or any other group of Jews. However, one isn't necessarily not anti-Semitic, either. As usual, it's a case-by-case situation, and while I really have no idea whether this author is anti-Semitic or not (I rather doubt it), I have a very hard time, having read a lot of Chomsky, seeing him as somehow "soft on Israel."

I need more documentation than this provides, and I think Ed Said probably would have noticed, don't you think? They were very close friends, after all.

Dershowitz weilds the anti-Semitism weapon often and well. Yet even he is for a two-state solution. Interesting.

Monday, December 19, 2005 12:13:00 PM  

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