on Pro-Israel Lobby Met With Silence
March 24, 2006
WASHINGTON — In the face of one of the harshest reports on the pro-Israel
lobby to emerge from academia, Jewish organizations are holding fire in order to
avoid generating publicity for their critics.
Officials at Jewish organizations are furious over "The Israel Lobby and
U.S. Foreign Policy," a new paper by John Mearsheimer, a top international
relations theorists based at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, the
academic dean of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In
their report — versions of which appear on the Kennedy School Web site and in
the March 26 issue of the London Review of Books — the scholars depict
"the Israel lobby" as a "loose coalition" of politicians,
media outlets, research institutions, Jewish groups and Evangelical Christians
that steers America's Middle East policy in directions beneficial to Israel,
even if it requires harming American interests.
Despite their anger, Jewish organizations are avoiding a frontal debate with
the two scholars, while at the same time seeking indirect ways to rebut and
discredit the scholars' arguments. Officials with pro-Israel organizations say
that given the limited public attention generated by the new study — as of
Tuesday most major print outlets had ignored it — they prefer not to draw
attention to the paper by taking issue with it head on. As of Wednesday morning,
none of the largest Jewish organizations had issued a press release on the
"The key here is to not do what they probably want, which is to have
this become a battle between us and them, or for them to say that they are being
silenced," said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference
of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. "It's much better to
let others respond."
Pro-Israel activists were planning a briefing for congressional staffers to
be held Thursday. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering releasing a letter
in response to the new paper, congressional staffers said.
Some of the arguments made in the new paper are reminiscent — both in
content and style — of ones routinely found on virulently anti-Israeli Web
sites, both on the extreme right and on the extreme left, pro-Israel activists
said. For example, Mearsheimer and Walt argue that "the main driving force
behind the [Iraq] war was a small band of neo-conservatives, many with ties to
Likud"; Israel "is becoming a strategic burden" on the United
States and "does not behave like a loyal ally"; "the U.S. has a
terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel, not
the other way around," and that in Israel, "citizenship is based on
the principle of blood kinship." The paper argues that "thanks to the
lobby, the United States has become the de-facto enabler of Israeli expansion in
the Occupied Territories, making it complicit in the crimes perpetrated against
Like no other lobby, Mearsheimer and Walt argue, pro-Israel forces have
"managed to divert U.S. foreign policy as far from what the American
national interest would otherwise suggest." The tentacles of that lobby,
the paper argues, reach far into Washington think tanks from the liberal-leaning
Brookings Institution to the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute.
It argues that pro-Israel views pervade the editorial boards of the liberal New
York Times and the conservative Wall Street Journal.
The study left pro-Israel activists fuming, albeit behind the scenes.
"The truth is that this really wouldn't be worth spending any time
discussing if not for the fact of where these people are located and what their
reputations are," said Ken Jacobson, associate national director of the
Anti-Defamation League. He pointed out that the paper contains no new
revelations or insights, is riddled with factual errors and makes arguments that
the ADL is accustomed to dealing with from extremists on the margins of
America's political arena. Jacobson said that he had prepared a rebuttal to the
study, but for the time being it is only being used for internal ADL purposes.
"In these kinds of things you're always trying to debate how important
will it be in terms of the impact, if you give it more attention," he said.
"The amount of attention we will give it will depend on how it plays
out" in the public domain.
At least one leading pro-Israel luminary, Harvard Law School professor Alan
Dershowitz, author of "The Case for Israel," is attempting to confront
Walt and Mearsheimer. He has challenged the scholars to a debate; the two,
prodded by Harvard's campus newspaper The Crimson, accepted, "under the
Mearsheimer and Walt also seem to be resisting further publicity.
"I don't have an agenda in the sense of viewing myself as proselytizing
or trying to sell this," Mearsheimer told the Forward. "I am a
scholar, not an activist, and I am reticent to take questions from the media
because I do believe that this is a subject that has to be approached very
carefully. You don't want to say the wrong thing. The potential for saying the
wrong thing is very great here."
Mearsheimer was hosted on National Public Radio Tuesday for a full hour, to
talk about Iraq, but did not make any mention of the controversial paper he
co-authored. "To have a throwaway line or two on public radio to promote
yourself is a bad idea," he told the Forward, following his NPR appearance.
"I prefer to take the high road, although that is not always easy."
Since publication, Mearsheimeradded, he and Walt also turned down offers from
major newspapers, radio and television networks to lay out their thesis.
The abstract of the report posted on the Kennedy School Web site appears to
soft-pedal Mearsheimer and Walt's argument. It states that the authors argue
that America's commitment to Israel is "often justified as reflecting
shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives," though in fact
the report works to undercut the notion of Israel as a dependable ally that
shares the values of the United States.
While the paper has generated little attention in the mainstream media or
policymaking circles, it has produced a buzz within the academic community and
among advocates on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Palestinian
activists and Arab affairs scholars sent the article to many people by email,
but the controversy rarely strayed beyond the realm of Internet blogs.
Several editors, foreign affairs reporters and columnists for major American
newspapers contacted by the Forward did not know about the study. They didn't
sound especially interested when told about the report's findings.
"We might take a look at it, to see if there is any interest from a
lobbying point of view," said David Meyers, managing editor of Roll Call, a
Washington-based publication that covers Capitol Hill. A senior editor with one
of America's largest daily newspapers, who asked not to be quoted by name, said:
"We don't get excited about academic papers unless they tell us something
new, and this one doesn't."
Given the relatively low publicity, pro-Israel activists said they are not
worried about the short-term impact of the study. The main concern voiced by
pro-Israel advocates was that the study would become a major archival resource
on the role that American supporters of Israel play in shaping the government's
Middle East policy.
"We live in a Google age," said Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi, a public
relations expert who heads The Israel Project, an organization devoted to
improving Israel's image in the media, "and in this age things like this
can take a life of their own."
Bushwhacker now, has no way
out, but a staged Terror attack with MASS Casualty...MASS
Then once again the Bloodlust
will be awakened in the Judeo-Apostate masses hearts to attack the blamed
nations and peoples
- State After State
By Sam Parry
- George W. Bush's admission
that he expects to leave the Iraq War mess behind for his successor to
clean up underscores why he is facing a historic collapse in polls
across the country, with tracking surveys now showing him with net
negatives exceeding 20 percentage points in more than half the states.
- According to SurveyUSA.com,
which tracks Bush's approval ratings in all 50 states, Bush's support in
the March readings plunged to double-digit net negative numbers even in
some staunchly Republican states: -12% in South Carolina, -17% in
Indiana, -18% in Virginia, and -19% in Tennessee. In Bush's home state
of Texas, public disapproval topped approval by 14 percentage points.
- All told, Bush - dragged
down by the Iraq War, his inept Katrina response and the exploding
federal debt - has higher disapproval than approval numbers in 43
states. Bush is at -10% or worse in 37 states; -20% or worse in 26
states; -30% or worse in 13 states; and a staggering -40% or worse in
- The March readings show
Bush with positive numbers in only seven states (and then by mostly
narrow margins): Nebraska +1%, Mississippi +2%, Oklahoma +2%, Idaho +3%,
Alabama +5%, Wyoming +7%, and Utah +13%.
- While SurveyUSA.com's
averaging of the numbers for the 50 states fits with recent national
surveys showing Bush with about 35% approval and 60% disapproval - a net
negative of 25 points - the state-by-state numbers highlight the
pervasiveness of Bush's political troubles.
- Electoral Fears
- The dismal numbers also
help explain why some Republicans, facing elections this November, are
shying away from Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who suffers even
lower ratings than Bush.
- Plus, over the past half
year, Bush has shown little ability to rebound. His national numbers
have been low since last summer's Katrina debacle reinforced doubts
about his administration's competence, which already had taken a beating
over the Iraq War. Those concerns now have mixed with growing suspicions
about his honesty.
- Still, despite last year's
post-Katrina slump, Bush retained favorable numbers in many "red
states" that he carried in 2004. In most months, he was even or in
positive numbers in at least 10 states, though in November 2005 the
number of plus or break-even states slid to six.
- Even then, however, Bush
enjoyed robust numbers in the reddest "red states" - with a
+21% bulge in Utah and +20% in Idaho. There were also fewer extremely
negative numbers in November, with Bush at -10% or worse in only 15
states, compared to 37 such states now.
- By March 2006, Bush's
public support had crumbled across the country. Even among his seven
favorable states, his edge was within the polling "margin of
error" in four of them, meaning that Bush might be down to as few
as three states still favoring him. In Election 2004, Bush carried those
same seven states by margins ranging from +20% to +46%.
- The seven remaining
pro-Bush states also are lightly populated, accounting for only 16.5
million people or less than 6% of the U.S. population in the 2000
census. They have just 39 electoral votes.
- Bush's plunge in the polls
has been perhaps most dramatic in the swing states of Florida and Ohio,
where Bush claimed his controversial victories in Election 2000 and
Election 2004, respectively. Bush now gets a net approval rating in Ohio
of -30% and in Florida -22%.
- In other swing states of
Election 2004, Bush's net ratings are -23% in Nevada and New Mexico;
-24% in Missouri; -25% in Colorado; -27% in Iowa; and -28% in Arkansas.
- Narrowed Options
- Given the depth and
breadth of this political collapse, it's hard to envision how Bush can
rebuild his standing between now and November, short of some major
external event, such as the death or capture of Osama bin-Laden, or a
breakthrough in the Iraq War, or the nation rallying around him because
of some new military or terrorist crisis.
- Across the Internet, there
has been open speculation by Bush critics that he might cynically launch
a new war against Iran to bolster his numbers - or that Republicans will
resort to widespread electoral fraud to keep control of Congress.
- But the realistic options
for Bush turning his predicament around seem to be narrowing as he loses
support even in his strongest political strongholds. Plus, the likely
course of events in the Middle East and domestically do not seem to
- At his press conference on
March 21, Bush acknowledged that the continuing bloodshed in Iraq had
drained his political capital. He then blurted out that the issue of
whether to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq would be decided by
"future presidents and future governments of Iraq."
- This comment marked one of
the few times Bush has given a clue about how long he expects the war to
- But the suggestion that
his successors will have to make the hard decisions on extricating U.S.
troops reinforces Bush's image as a feckless son of privilege who rushes
into projects, flounders and then gets bailed out by others. [See
Consortiumnews.com's "The Bush Family 'Oiligarchy'" or Robert
Parry's Secrecy & Privilege.]
- Bush's critics also are
sure to accuse him of dragging out the war - and getting thousands of
more Americans and Iraqis killed - in part to avoid having to take
responsibility for his own mistakes. By extending the war until 2009,
Bush's supporters also may be hoping to blame whoever succeeds Bush for
- While this strategy of
palming off the Iraq disaster on a future President might make some
sense for the political legacies of Bush and his neoconservative (Talmudic)
allies, it's unlikely to help Republicans in this November's elections.
- GOP candidates will face a
choice of either distancing themselves from the President (and risking
alienating Bush's hard-core backers) or tying themselves to Bush (and
having voters opt for a more independent candidate).
- Still, even with Bush's
low poll numbers, the chances for a Democratic sweep of the House and
Senate don't appear high, given the limited number of
"competitive" seats. But political analysts can't rule out an
electoral tidal wave, like the one in 1994 that overwhelmed the
Democrats and carried the Republicans to majorities in both chambers.
- Whatever the outcome in
November, however, Bush's personal reversal of fortune over the past
several months has been extraordinary.
- For a "wartime"
President who celebrated his Second Inaugural with high-blown rhetoric
only 14 months ago - and who once enjoyed 90% approval ratings - to be
clinging to positive ratings in only seven states represents a political
flameout not seen in Washington since the Watergate scandal drove
Richard Nixon from office more than three decades ago.
- Plus, Bush's supporters
can't just point to their man's unpopularity among "liberal
elites" in Hollywood or Manhattan.
- With another new poll
showing more and more Americans judging him an "incompetent"
and a "liar," Bush also is losing the backing of millions of
Middle Americans in states like Texas, Ohio and South Dakota.
They will have their shemborg
War, They will attempt to restore eretz Itsrealhell Babylon Proper.
They Must put bushwhacker into
a corner, so he will come out like a rabid treasonous cowardly dog that he is
As America reaches the third anniversary of President Bush's decision to
invade and occupy Iraq, there is for the first time the unsettling realization
brought about by the clarity of acts that emerges only after the passage of time
that something horrible has happened.
This awakening of collective awareness on the part of the American people is
reflected not only in the numerous polls which show President Bush's popularity
plummeting to all-time lows, largely because of the war in Iraq, but also the
collective shrug of the shoulders on the part of the one-time cheerleaders for
the war in Iraq -- the mainstream American media -- when covering the hollow
rhetoric of the President as he tries to rally a nation around a cause that has
long since lost its allure.
No amount of flowery language and repeated pulls at the patriotic
heartstrings of America, no repeated assault on the senses and sensibilities
through repetitious referral to the events of 9/11 can jump start a second phase
of the kind of mindless nationalistic fervor that greeted the erstwhile Cowboy
President when he first herded a compliant America down the path of war with
Iraq three years ago.
Looking back on the string of unfulfilled objectives, broken promises,
squandered dreams, shattered bodies and eviscerated lives that was and is the
war in Iraq, one thought emerges plain and clear. This isn't simply a result of
bad governance. This is criminal.
Bad governance is telling the American people that a war with Iraq would be
concluded in a manner of months, and would cost the American taxpayer less that
$2 billion, when in fact the war has gone on for three years now, with no end in
sight, and over a quarter-trillion dollars have been expended, with untold
billions more to be spent.
Criminal governance is the fabrication of a justification for war (weapons of
mass destruction), hiding the President’s true intentions from the American
people and the Congress of the United States (Bush signed off on the Iraq war
plans in late August 2002, and yet continued to publicly state that no decision
for military action had been made), and shredding international law by waging an
aggressive war of pre-emption void of any United Nations Security Council
resolution authorizing such actions.
Bad governance is manipulating war planning on the part of military
professionals so that we enter into a conflict with far too few troops for the
task, with no plan for how to proceed once the fighting ended and the reality of
occupation set in.
Criminal governance is violating every principle of the laws of war in the
conduct of the occupation of Iraq, manipulating the economic and political
direction of Iraq, suppressing its population, and engaging in wanton acts of
widespread murder, torture and abuse of the Iraqi people.
The fact is the war in Iraq has degenerated into one giant hate crime.
American soldiers and Marines are being thrown into a cauldron of our own
making, scalded by a conflict with no purpose or direction, with the end result
being that in order to survive these fighting men and women have dehumanized the
totality of the Iraqi people.
The ancestors of ancient Babylon have become nothing more than "sand
niggers", "rag-heads", "camel jockeys", "ninja
women" or "haji" in the hearts and minds of American fighting men
who are now killing Iraqis in ever increasing numbers. Gone is any talk of
rebuilding Iraq. We are there to destroy it. The criminal nature of the war in
Iraq is starting to become common knowledge among observers of the war.
It has long sense been common knowledge on the part of those waging it. In
Vietnam Americans were shocked by the revelations of Mai Lai and the murder of
innocent Vietnamese civilians by American fighting men. But Mai Lai is repeated
in bits and pieces every day in Iraq, with the American military occupation
slaughtering family after family of Iraqis in the name of bringing peace and
The realization that something has gone horribly wrong in Iraq, however, has
not translated into any kind of discernable action on the part of the American
people. While pundit after pundit breaks ranks with the Bush administration on
Iraq, often repudiating their own pre-war chest beating and encouragement of the
war, the fact is that the manifesto which manifested itself in the invasion of
Iraq -- the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States -- continues to
dictate the manner and nature of America's interfacing with the rest of the
world in unquestioned fashion.
Indeed, President Bush has, on the eve of the third anniversary of the Iraqi
war, promulgated a new, improved version of this manifesto, the 2006 National
Security Strategy of the United States, which re-affirms America's commitment to
the principles of pre-emptive war. In short, the President has re-certified
America as the greatest threat to international peace and security in modern
times, especially when one considers that even as America is engaged in the
brutal rape and occupation of Iraq, President Bush has his eyes firmly set on
another war of aggression in Iran.
What are the American people doing in response? There is a huge difference
between becoming aware and taking action. While poll numbers on Iraq reflect a
growing unease about the war, this unease has not manifested itself into any
discernable reaction of consequence. The Democratic Party has remained largely
mute, largely because of the culpability on the part of much of its membership
in facilitating and sustaining the Iraqi war and its underlining doctrine of
global domination by the United States.
But in the face of the near total subservience on the part of the Republican
Party in supporting the policies of President Bush no matter how illegal and
harmful they are to America and the world, the Democratic Party must shake
itself free of the doldrums it currently finds itself stuck in. The time for
passive recognition that the war in Iraq has gone bad is long past.
The time for concrete political action has arrived. The Democrats need to
recognize that the political struggle in America today is not a trivial
extension of the partisan Red State-Blue State nonsense the American media likes
to bandy about, but rather a far more serious struggle of national survival, if
one in fact defines the American nation as being reflective of the ideals and
values set forth by the Constitution of the United States.
The Iraq War, if anything, is a reflection of the total abrogation of
constitutional responsibility and process by the Congress of the United States.
As a result, the President has led a nationdown the path of illegal war of
aggression which has damaged America's reputation abroad, and its very fabric
here at home. The Republican-controlled Congress has done little to stop this
collective march towards national self-destruction, rubber-stamping the
president's illegal actions with little regard to either the rule of law or
Congress's status as a second but equal branch of government.
This must end.
The fact is that America today stands on the brink of having everything we
stand for as a nation being swept away by a power-crazed President and a
compliant Congress, both of whom are Republican. Whatever direction the
Democratic Party takes in the future, it must be with the recognition that the
hopes and dreams of saving the United States as a nation of laws founded in the
words and principles of the Constitution rest heavily on their shoulders. The
Democratic Party must become laser-like in its rejection of the war in Iraq,
resolute in condemning this war for what it is, an illegal war of aggression,and
determined in fighting for the concept of a nation governed by the rule of law
by holding President Bush accountable for his illegal actions.
In short, the rallying cry of the Democratic Party must become impeachment.
Given the magnitude of the crimes committed by the United States in Iraq under
the direction and leadership of President Bush and his administration, there is
simply no other recourse that can bring a halt to the madness in Iraq, and the
insanity being planned in Iran and elsewhere.
The remedy is clear. The question now is whether the Democratic Party is up
to the task.
Demonicrazy, Mystery Babylon MOTHER Harlot of the Earth
- Democratizing The World -
One Torture Victim At A Time
By Jason Miller