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Great Research and Analysis!,
This review is from: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (Hardcover)"The Israel Lobby" asserts what almost 40% (per the authors) of Americans recognize - that Israel is one of the main causes of anti-Americanism, that the U.S. provides Israel with extraordinary material and diplomatic support, and that many policies pursued on Isral's behalf jeopardize U.S. national escurity.
Documentation is not wanting for these claims. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid since WWII, amounting to some $154 billion (2005 dollars), and about $500/citizen today. Since 1982, the US has vetoed 42 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members - and this does not even count those that did not come to a vote because of a U.S. veto threat. At the same time, the Israel lobby is also credited with pushing the U.S. away from Syria (had been providing al Qaeda intelligence post 9/11 and Iran (had supported U.S. airmen rescue efforts in Afghanistan, and offered an opportunity for a major agreement at the time Iraq fell).
This extraordinary support might be justified if there were some great moral reason or security need involved. Our military has not been able to use Israel as a base in either Gulf War, nor could we ask it to help for risk of triggering a calamity in the region. Further, the U.S. has a terrorism threat in common with Israel because of our support for that nation. Thus, Israel is far from an asset to the U.S. As for moral argument, Israel's past and present conduct involving continual abuse of the Palestinians after stealing their land offers no moral basis for preferring it over the Palestinians.
So how do we explain our extraordinary support for Israel? The answer, claim the authors, is the Israel lobby. AIPAC is the most powerful and best known; however, prominent Christians have also been involved - eg. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Gary Bauer and numerous politicians believe Israel's rebirth is the fulfilment of biblical prophecy and support its expansionist agenda. One leading Israel lobbyist even bragged that he could easily get 70 U.S. Senators' signatures upon a napkin.
Senator Charles Percy's ouster in 1984 (for insensitivity to Israeli issues) has become the most visible example of the Israel lobby's influence. Although they make up only 3% of the population, it is estimated that their donations comprise 60% of Democrat donations, and their voters turn out in high percentages.
Influence is not limited to just elections. The Israel lobby also influences key appointments (eg. George Ball was not appointed Sec. of State because Carter knew he would be opposed), monitors professors' comments, newspaper editorials, etc. Neoconservatives, on the other hand, are pushed by the Israel lobby because of their support for strong U.S. action in the mid-East - most recently for taking action against Iran.
"The Israel Lobby" also provided recommendations. 1)Israel should be treated like a normal state. 2)The U.S. should strongly pursue an end to the Palestine-Israel conflict. 3)Campaign finance reform is essential to a more balanced debate on Israel - eg. public campaign financing. 4)Open debate should be encouraged. (The authors have been precluded from several speaking engagements due to Israel lobby pressure. Also note the adverse reaction to President Carter's book on the Israel-Palestine conflict.)
Kudos to the authors for shining light on this major problem.
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Showing 1-10 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 31, 2007 7:11:45 AM PDT
J. cassidy says:
Jews comprise approximately 1.8% of U.S. population -- not 3%. Overall, this is an excellent review. It should also be noted that American aid to Israel does find its way back to U.S. Jews to be used for campaign contributions to buy influence and back politicians who support Israel and who will vote more money for Israel!
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2007 6:02:30 AM PDT
Ilene B. Kent says:
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2007 8:07:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 1, 2007 8:08:29 PM PDT
R. Barbour says:
Enough with the tired big lie propaganda "Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East". Gaza had free democratic elections in early 2006 when a Hamas government was chosen by the democratic electorate. The only problem is the Zionists, AIPAC, and their beholden amen corner in the US congress didn't like the outcome. When it comes to democracy, you cannot pick and choose which election outcomes you like and don't like. They all speak for themselves and must be honored.
So the irony here is this: There was a good chance, a decent chance for democracy in Gaza, but it was Israel, and the Israeli influenced US that thwarted this democracy.
Let's face it. What Israel really fears is democracy. It's easier to pay off a few corrupt dictators to be friendly to Israel (eg. Egypt and Jordan), than to convince the citizenry of an Arab country to get along with Israel. This is the entire reason that democracy is stiffled by the Israeli-US axis in the Middle East.
So please, stop with the tired old line about "the only democracy in the Middle East". Perhaps you can substitute the word "democracy" with the word "hypocrisy". Then your slogan might begin to ring true.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2007 5:07:44 AM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2007 10:53:51 AM PDT
R. Barbour wrote: "Enough with the tired big lie propaganda 'Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East'."
THANK YOU. I'm so sick of hearing that lie.
And even if it were true, SO WHAT? The United States isn't even a true democracy, but a "representative republic". Polls indicate the average American wants out of Iraq and has wanted it for two years, but is anything changing? Of course not.
And polls indicate that 62 pct of Israelis want to end the 40-year-old illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, which was outlawed in 1967 by UN Resolution 242. Are the majority of Israelis getting what they want? NO. Everytime a political leader moves to end the occupation, he's assassinated (Yitzak Rabin) or falls "mysterously ill" (Ariel Sharon, comatose to this day).
Something is dreadfully wrong over there, and American tax dollars are subsidizing it to outragous levels, thanks to AIPAC.
Thanks to these gutsy authors and others like them - Norman Finkelstein, President Jimmy Carter - for finally standing up and speaking out.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2007 1:39:00 PM PDT
The legal status of the territories taken by Israel in 1967 is not unambiguously clear. The 'West Bank' held at that time by Jordan was not recognized as part of Jordan by most nations. These 'disputed territories' are the historical homeland of the Jewish people and were never part of a Palestinian state. Their historical significance relates primarily to the Jewish presence there. There is now a considerable civilian Jewish minority in these areas, and many believe their possession is vital to Israeli security.
The picture as usual is much more complex than is made out by those who for some reason feel a deep need to hate and condemn Israel.
Reading many of the comments here I have the sense that we are not dealing with material of political analysis, but rather of collective psychosis.
Posted on Sep 3, 2007 10:36:39 AM PDT
Dear Mr. Pragmatist,
You totally ignore the intelligence aid Israel has given and continues to give to the United States.
You totally misread the nature of the Syrian and Iranian regimes if you believe they could cooperate truly with the U.S. One of the major goals of the Iranian regime and they say it night and day is to bring down the U.S.
You wrongly accuse Israel in relation to its many decade struggle with the Arab world. the Palestinian Arabs have been offered peace- agreement five times, a state of their own five times and they have always refused it. There is no symmetry at all between their use of every kind of terror possible against civilians and Israel's efforts to defend its own people while causing as few as possible injuries to the other side. Israeli soldiers have lost their lives because of the policies of restraint in these situations.
On the whole your reading of the situation is simply not 'fair and true to reality'.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2007 11:25:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 9, 2007 11:29:25 AM PDT
Black Kaweah says:
And the fact is, it really isn't a democracy when full rights of citizenship, especially as regards land ownership, is reserved exclusively for Jews.
"During the last three years we have seen many signs that the most basic democratic norms are disappearing. Arabs suspected of links with terrorism have had their Israeli citizenship taken away. Arab MKs have been stripped of their parliamentary immunity. Openly racist opinions, political programs and bills-particularly projects for ethnic cleansing of the occupied territories and of Israel itself-have gained legitimacy.
"This development could take place quickly, without leading to a major crisis, because Israel has always had an idiosyncratic conception of democracy. Democracy for Israelis has always been restricted to two things: predominance of the majority over the minority by means of elections and the acts of the executive branch being based on laws adopted by a parliamentary majority (AIC Special Reports, winter 1986). This is obviously a rather meager conception of democracy, which completely neglects the concept of rights. Contrary to what has often been claimed, the fact that Israel has never had a constitution is not the sole responsibility of the religious parties. The real reason is that Zionist politicians have never been capable of writing a real democratic constitution, guaranteeing equality of all citizens and fundamental rights independent of the will of the majority. Israel has always been defined not only as a Jewish state (and democratic state, according to the hallowed formula) but also as a country in a state of emergency due to several decades of war. The state of emergency is so deeply rooted in Israeli political culture that neither peace with Egypt nor peace with Jordan nor the joint Declaration of Principles with the Palestinians has been able to put it in question."
So, a "democratic" country with no constitution, and no "final borders" - unlike any other country in the world that I am aware of - to leave an open door for the "Eretz Yisrael" crowd.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 16, 2007 6:04:23 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 16, 2007 6:08:04 PM PDT
How can you mindlessly repeat this crap? It makes me embarrassed to be Jewish. We need to accept that Israel has destabilized the Middle East, giving Arab peoples a reason to externalize their anger and allowing dictatorships to flourish. I don't know which is worse, Jews like yourself who call any criticism of Israel hatred and prejudice, or the anti-Semites here demon9zing the Jews -- I beleve one feeds upon the other.