“Has Obama betrayed Israel?” Henry Siegman


"Is it not high time for Israel’s public to wake up to Netanyahu’s deceptions? The countries that voted for this Security Council resolution are not anti-Semitic outliers. They included every major democratic country that belongs to the Security Council. Not one of them voted for the Zionism is Racism resolution, to which Netanyahu so demagogically compared this resolution. Are UK Prime Minister Theresa May or German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose foreign minister warmly welcomed the Security Council’s action, anti-Semites? It was only yesterday that Netanyahu boasted of his friendship with Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, who voted for the resolution. Are they now Israel’s enemies?

If there has been a betrayal in this latest chapter of America’s relations with Israel, it is Netanyahu who has betrayed President Obama."  Henry Siegman


I used to work with Siegman in his peace mongering expeditions across the ME and NA.  I have a lot of respect for him.  He is an ordained rabbi, whatever ordained means in this context.  He was a US Army chaplain in the Korean War.  He volunteered for deployment to Korea with the Eighth Army.  He has relentlessly pursued justice for the Palestinians because as an ardent Zionist he thinks that if there is not justice Israel is doomed in the long run.  I haven't talked to him for a long time but this is vintage Siegman.

IMO there will be neither peace nor justice in the Holy Land.  IMO there is not enough good will between the sides to make a peace in which neither side can claim to have vanquished the other.  I have been saying that that for twenty years or so.  There was a Camelot moment when Ehud Barak was PM and Teddy Kolleck was mayor of Jerusalem when it seemed to be just barely possible that there might be a peace without victors, but the revisionist Zionists like Bibi and Naftali Bennett rallied and that moment passed. 

I was recently tasked by someone I trusted with the crime of "approaching anti-Semitism"  in my 2 November, 2016 post. "Marc Rich, Clinton and Israel."

"A plague o'both their houses."  pl  



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153 Responses to “Has Obama betrayed Israel?” Henry Siegman

  1. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    What, in your estimation, is the probability or possibility of a cease-fire deal along the lines of the 99-Year HAMAS offer?

  2. Larry Kart says:

    I agree with Siegman wholeheartedly. But what of Trump and Bibi, now and down the road? Is Trump’s recent “We’re with Bibi and the settlements all the way” stance and his choice of ambassador to Israel merely a matter of positioning vis-a-vis Obama and the “”We’re with Bibi all the way” etc. wing of the GOP? Or what?
    Given that many here look on Israel askance (as, at the very least, the client state that thinks it’s in charge) and also regard the president-elect in a generally positive light, how do they see this seeming anomaly playing out?

  3. turcopolier says:

    Zero. The Israelis do not want a truce with Hamas. pl

  4. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    IMO the likudniks are making a big mistake if they expect Trump to be a subservient gentile. His “friendliness” will last until they cross him. pl

  5. Margaret Steinfels says:

    I see that Kerry tried to neutralize the usual dismissal of Netanyahu’s policies:
    “And the truth is, the extraordinary polarization in this conflict extends beyond Israelis and Palestinians. Allies of both sides are content to reinforce this “with us or against us mentality” where too often anyone who questions Palestinian actions is an apologist for the occupation and anyone who disagrees with Israeli policy is cast as anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.”

  6. Larry Kart,
    We just don’t know what Trump will do. Yes, he’s making all the right “I’m with Bibi” noises now. But if the deal is everything to Trump, I imagine the billions we’re handing over to Israel for nothing in return have got to bother him. If he thinks the Iran deal is a gyp, the Israel deal must truly stick in his craw. Trump could be bullshiting Bibi, just like he bullshits everyone else. OTOH, if Bibi just strokes Trump’s oversized ego hard enough, he might end up with another loyal lapdog. We won’t know for at least another month.

  7. doug says:

    Bibi’s hysteria is, IMO, quite intentional but not directed at Obama. It’s to establish dominance over Trump by serving as a warning. It’s a raw display of political power.
    Trump’s primary focus is domestic. Bibi is moving to enlarge the options Israel has in their handling of the Palestinians, as well as other ME players in return for enabling Trump’s domestic policy. Trump is cool with that as long as it doesn’t get in his way domestically.
    Trump is already looked askance at by most of the political and FP establishment. He’s being put on a short leash re Israel and, if he becomes too obstreperous which is unlikely, he will have a short reign.

  8. Terry says:

    Trumps love of dealmaking, his ego, and the challenge and fame of a peace settlement might make for an interesting combination. Interesting times. If he goes there. he will want to shake up both parties before proposing a deal.

  9. Patrick D says:

    IMO the likudniks are making a big mistake if they expect Trump to be a subservient gentile. His “friendliness” will last until they cross him.
    One of my initial thoughts about the abstention and the reaction was that Trump will likely come to appreciate the recent precedent.

  10. Nancy K says:

    I agree they do not want peace. They want the entire area and they want us to go after Iran for them. Are you so sure Trump will not be controlled by Israel, many of those he is choosing to advice him are Israel firsters. Friedman could not be more right wing.

  11. Larry Kart says:

    I would agree that Trump’s “friendliness” toward Bibi and Co. calls for inverted commas, as does his “friendliness” toward any interest group, but how do you see Bibi and the Likudniks crossing Trump? In terms of policy, if not in terms of ego, they seem to be on the same page.

  12. Jack says:

    Reading the vitriol of all the Israel Firsters is fascinating. According to their logic then the 14 countries that voted for the UN resolution are all anti-Semitic including UK, France, Russia and China.
    Is the abstention by Obama a payback for Bibi dissing him? In your opinion why did Kerry go out on a limb yesterday? And how do you interpret Trump’s tweets noting the “perfidy” of Obama?

  13. Jack says:

    IMO, Israel wants annexation and an expulsion of all Muslims. They already have the Palestinians in little Bantustans. Maybe they’ll revive the idea that Muslims should be in Jordan and Egypt.

  14. Brad Ruble says:

    Like him or not Barack Obama is the President of the United States. Netanyahus contempt for Obama and America in general, should upset anyone whom considers themselves an American. Watching him gloat on 60 minutes says all you need to know about the American political establishment.
    I hope you are right, but if he gets away with what he does now, what could he do to upset these people.

  15. Lemur says:

    I can’t speak for others who are Israel skeptics and Trump supporters, but I would resolve the seeming inconsistency this way.
    You cannot get elected in the US without being pro-Israel Now if non-whites like Keith Ellison who view Israel as an extension of the European ‘white oppressor’ succeed in their bid to takeover the reigns of the Democratic Party from the Jewish-WASP elites, that may no longer be true for the left side of the spectrum. (I for one am highly amused to see the to see the coalition of the fringe commence a civil war). But for Republicans with a large contingent of (white) Zionist evangelicals in their base and 50 odd years worth of neoconservative brain-washing, the calculus won’t change on the right side. Moreover, since Jews make up a disproportionate and highly influential compliment of the elite, for now one either needs the assent of the Zionist or liberal Semitic faction to become President. Since a right wing candidate will NEVER receive the endorsement of liberal Jews (‘its anudda shoah’), support for Zionism is non-optional.
    IMO, Trump probably privately supports the ‘liberal’ two state solution, but he’s playing these people off against one another. And while he may wax eloquent about ARE GREATEST ALLY, if you look closely his Zionism is strictly limited to the Palestinian issue. Israel’s regional agenda championed by the neoconservatives has been trashed. What about Trump’s hardline approach to Iran? That’s a legitimate counter-proposition against Trump’s Unconventional Anti Zionism. Yes, he’s attacked the deal but ultimately he was just bloviating, once again to assuage the residual neoconservative paranoia about Iran residing in Red States. And as Assad himself pointed out, if the Russian-American relationship is stabilized, everything else will fall into place. Consider: If Trump reaches an understanding with Russia, he’s automatically reached an understanding with Iran on all but the nuclear issue, which is mediated by contract now anyway.
    By vehemently taking the Zionist side, Trump will force a split between liberal and Zionist Jews on the Israel issue. By the end of Trump’s term(s), Israel will have lost all support except from a conservative American faction/demographic. Conterminously, their regional agenda will have been squashed.

  16. jonst says:

    Col, or anyone, do you any opinion on the broad generalization making its way around, that there is a growing split, particularly on campuses, between a less supportive, or increasingly hostile, for that matter, base of the Democratic Party, versus the leadership in the Congress that is hoplessly enamoured with Israel?
    Do you think it possible that younger Dems will turn away from Israel? The BDS movement will gain some traction in the US? Especially given the knee jerk response that if ‘Trump is for it, I’m agin it’? Leaving aside the sound notion that you at least raise, paraphrasing you; ‘I would not count on Trump too much if I were Israel’.

  17. BraveNewWorld says:

    And on the reverse side Trump is being hailed as the new Messiah in all of the Israeli papers except Haaretz. The second he says no, just once, they will turn on him like wolves and as you mentioned that will not go well for them.
    Netanyahu has been telling a story in Israel for the last few years that he has the green light for more settlements from every one from the GCC to the UNSC. The rest of the story is that no one was requesting any longer that they do a deal with the Palestinians. That just blew up in his face. He is now being investigated for taking bribes and corruption in relation to the latest submarine deal and some corvettes they ordered. When ever Bibi has gotten into real trouble his go to move has been to start a fight with some one to distract the people. If either of these issues get mileage after the holidays it is time to take cover.

  18. turcopolier says:

    I am surprised that so many of you do not understand the meaninglessness of Trump’s “business development” technique and negotiating positions. He will say anything, anything to compromise your position and get you to say you love him and then he will screw you(not the nice way) when you cross him or do not give up your interests to him. IMO Ivanka and her hubby should consider some nifty real estate down on the Gulf of Aqaba for use after the intra-family fight with daddy’s ego. pl

  19. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In case of Jordan: once the Islamic Republic of Palestine is established on the current territory of Jordan, the liberation of all of Palestine will be written into its constitution.
    Next, the nascent Islamic Republic of Palestine, will seek help from the Resistance Axis to defend herself against Israel….
    In my opinion, Israelis are fools to not see this scenario as an actual possibility…

  20. Matthew says:

    Col: As evidenced by Trump’s truce with Paul Ryan! Very conditional.
    Trump’s transactional nature is strangely reassuring. The “idealists” have been killing us.

  21. Eliot says:

    “We won’t know for at least another month.”
    I wonder.
    If he truly is an Israel firster, then he is going to give them enough rope to hang themselves.
    – Eliot

  22. kooshy says:

    Colonel Lang, I wish,someone could explain and precisely define what will be considered/constitute anti-Semitism, how different and how broader is anti-Semitism, to that of anti black anti Asian anti Martians, anti Iranian, or is there any difrrence between anti-Semitism, with anti Zionism. One really need to know how close one can get without ” approaching” it’s borders. I think Jewish people owe non Jew Americans and other no Jewish world citizens a real clear difination so the non Jews can understand thier limitations.

  23. Larry Kart says:

    Colonel, TTG, and others: I understand about the supposed meaninglessness (as in lack of content) of Trump’s “business development” technique and negotiating positions. and that “he will say … anything to compromise your position and get you to say you love him and then he will screw you (not the nice way) when you cross him or do not give up your interests to him.” What I don’t see is any likely circumstance down the road where his interests (which again are largely devoid of content here?) and those of the Israeli Right will not coincide. Or perhaps, taking a step back, what do you think Trump’s interests (if any) re: Israel (or re: those matters that impinge on Israel) are that differ enough from the interests of the Israeli Right that Trump will demand that the Israeli Right “give up their [interests} to him”? The answer may be simple; it may be complicated, but again if it has to do with interests rather than merely or essentially with Trump’s need to periodically (as we used to say in the jazz world on the ’50s) “whip game” on other parties just for sake and satisfaction of doing so, I’m stumped.

  24. FourthAndLong says:

    They want annexation and much more. Most people have given up on the Israelis long ago. I’m Jewish on my father’s side, and my paternal relatives, very establishment people raised to be Jewish are too fed up with them for words. They are ethnically Jewish quasi-Borg but ardently anti-Zionist, or better, ardently anti-the present Israeli Government.
    The ideology of Netanyahu’s father was admittedly fascist, a word I hate to use since it’s been so abused as to be meaningless by now. The ‘iron wall’ ideology or some such thing. And to think that his father was one of the fore most scholars on the Spanish Inquisition. Albert Einstein warned the world about Begin and the Likudniks in the 50’s just before he died, calling them outright criminals.
    The Colonel is fortunate to have known someone like Seigman, just as I have been fortunate to know Jews who cannot stomach the Israeli status quo and have the courage to speak out, though speaking out is the hard part for many as it can be a career ender and worse. But it barely needs saying that there are many Jews who are 180 degrees from Seigman, and it might do people some good to have been a fly on the wall, as it were, and speak to such people in confidence as I have– at one time they believed I was Jewish. Their thoughts don’t bear dwelling on, but they are as racist and intolerant as anything out of the mouth of the klan or Carl Paladino.
    Certainly the US Intel community knows all about such things given that they are able to listen to telephone conversations of world leaders. I’ve often wondered if some of the animosity that Obama has felt for Netanyahu isn’t in large part due to his listening in to certain things.
    Many American Jews are troubled IMHO not only by what they perceive as an unethical and politically unwise Israeli policy, but because their upbringing taught them to identify with the Jewish people, and when they found that they could no longer continue to do so they became unmoored, lost, like the ‘stranger in a strange land’ who is ‘no one’ according to Bram Stoker.
    More and more people, Jews and non Jews, have given up on Israel and see accurately that they will never change course of their own initiative. In fact ‘give them enough rope and they will hang themselves’ is the only advice on offer from people who once labored tirelessly at peace proposals. But that is old news.

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Within the Cult of Shoah, Jews occupy the same position as Ahl Beyt occupy in Islam and specially the Descendants of Imam Hussein among Shia Muslims.
    They are especial people who are beyond reproach or criticism – in an abstract manner.
    Like when one is in the market in Iran and one over-hears that so and so is a seyyed and the shopkeeper says: “Please Ma’am, pray for me too.”
    The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is trying to muzzle Free Speech there in case of Jews; I suppose she is thinking that she is protecting them.
    I think Iran also has some laws against insulting the Prophet and the Household of the Prophet but I am not sure.

  26. FourthAndLong says:

    kooshy, that is a very fair question, and nearly impossible to answer given the hackles aroused by an honest attempt at doing so.
    I’m not particularly a fan of Tom Friedman who writes opinion pieces for the NY Times but he can easily be mistaken for a very intelligent and clear thinking man at times. He has several times addressed your question and articulated superbly that one can legitimately find fault with Israeli policies without being an anti-semite at all. In fact just the opposite. To steer someone away from a borderline policy or action shows concern for them. Just as a person can find fault with US policies without hating Americans. As Tom used to say: “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.’
    Theoretically that is a fair attempt at an answer. But not in practice. In practice anyone advising Israel (read ‘zionist’) to adopt remedies vis a vis the West Bank or many other issues, WILL BE ATTACKED. Verbally at least. You can count on it. It is as real and plain and the nose on my face. At this stage of the game this reality should be acknowledged as in fact it often is on the opinion pages of world journalism weekly monthly and yearly. You may love Jews, be Jewish yourself, be married to a Jew, how some ever, but if you criticize Israel and do so beyond the four walls ceiling and floor of a remote dungeon you must expect to be attacked. AND NOT ON THE MERITS OF YOUR CRITIQUE OR PROPOSAL, but in one of the most condescending ad-hominem fashions known to man — YOU WILL BE SMEARED AS AN ‘ANTI-SEMITE.’
    ‘Anti-semite’ once had a legitimate enough meaning, namely as a label for people who detested Jews in much the same way that African American were detested by bigots. (Forget that many people aside from Jews are in fact ‘semites’ — that was simply a case of poor and incorrect usage that stuck). But in an operative or functional sense ‘anti-semite’ has (incorrectly) come to mean anyone who criticizes Israeli policies. ‘Anti-Zionist’ might be more appropriate, but that is a distinction not worth making because ‘anti’ is simply too loaded a term. Avoid use of rhetoric altogether. State why or how a given policy is unwise, unfair or whatever.
    So if a person cares to wade into the arena of ME politics as regards Israel, they must do so with their eyes open, knowing they will become an object of public scorn and ridicule bordering on and too often exceeding slander by an exceedingly wide margin.
    Very potent emotions are involved. Frustration and hatred roil scarcely beneath the surface.

  27. turcopolier says:

    larry kart
    His ego is his motivation. pl

  28. Keith Harbaugh says:

    “IMO the likudniks are making a big mistake if they expect Trump to be a subservient gentile. His “friendliness” will last until they cross him. pl”

    I hope you’re right, but I doubt it.
    The reason?
    His daughter, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner.
    And his their-sired grandchildren, being brought up as Jews.
    One of the few areas in Trump’s life in which he has shown consistency
    is his evident devotion to the well-being of his children.
    Would he be willing to betray the support Ivanka and Jared have given him?
    He will be caught between supporting them versus doing right for the larger American interest,
    truly between a rock and a hard place for him.
    On that, I have sympathy for him.

  29. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Your characterization of Trump is right on target. What is curious is that Obama’s and Kerry’s actions re Netanyahu and now earlier today tripling down on the the sanctions against Russia are setting Trump up to be the good cop who’ll ride in come January 20. Trump must be salivating at the opportunity to pry some concessions out of Bibi and Vlad. Can’t help wondering how far he’ll get.

  30. turcopolier says:

    keith harbaugh
    “His daughter, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. And his their-sired grandchildren, being brought up as Jews.” Now that sounds anti-Semitic to me. pl

  31. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Re: “I’m not particularly a fan of Tom Friedman who writes opinion pieces for the NY Times but he can easily be mistaken for a very intelligent and clear thinking man at times.”
    I considered suing you, FourthAndLong, for causing a wine spew. But instead I’ll attempt to elicit revenge in kind by providing this link to the Thomas Friedman Op/Ed Generator:

  32. Realistically, the dispossession of the Palestinians that got under way in the 20’s is not reversible. Like the conquest of Tibet it’s one of those tragic events that can’t be remedied. I don’t think we could ever look for absolute justice in the case of Palestine because the return of Palestinian property to its original owners would entail so much disruption, and almost certainly so many deaths, that the remedy would be as bad as the injury.
    Therefore there has to be some settlement hammered out that would leave the Jews of Israel in place. It’s impossible to say what such a settlement would look like but the right of return or compensation in lieu would probably have to be an element, as would the acceptance by the Israelis of equal treatment for other religions. Some such settlement would perhaps look like the South African post-apartheid settlement, except that there would need to be a security guarantee backed up with international policing to avoid what’s happening to the poorer South African Whites happening to Israeli Jews.
    That isn’t going to happen any time soon. The arbitrating power here is the United States. It’s difficult to arrive at an estimate of the size of the Christian Zionist voting bloc in the US but the figures usually given go from thirty to fifty million. Whatever the precise figure, a voting bloc of that size guarantees a pro-Zionist US Administration. Maybe Christian Zionism will lose its hold on the Christian Right, or the increasing Hispanicisation of the US will diminish the weight of that voting bloc. Maybe US power in the ME, or its financial ability to subsidise Israel, will diminish. But these are all maybes and the position now is that Israel is not merely a country of eight or nine million people, but a protege of a much larger country, and that with the most powerful military in the world backing it up.
    That puts off for the present any workable settlement. Zionism will call the shots for some time to come. That must be accepted.
    What we need not accept is Ultra-Zionism. Within Israel itself there are strong voices raised against Ultra-Zionism, not least those of the many senior figures in the IDF who have already called for a retreat from the current extremist policies. And I don’t think that younger Jews outside Israel are best pleased when they hear such nonsensical talk as the “Yinon Plan” or see the Israeli authorities openly voicing their support for ISIS, or when they hear of the treatment meted out to the Palestinians living in Israel or in the occupied territories.
    Opposition to Ultra-Zionism is therefore realistic now. There is increasing support for it in Israel, in the States, and in Europe. That surely is the way to go, rather than waiting for ever and a day until some permanent settlement can be arrived at.

  33. aleksandar says:

    Ending this war will be a milestone in History.
    I guess Trump (and his ego ) see that as the only challenge in international affairs “worth it “.

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Israel has no options in the Middle East to enlarge except war.

  35. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, I agree, “Very potent emotions are involved” – religious sentiment, in fact.

  36. Larry Kart says:

    Kooshy: A complex subject, and many books have been written about it. But IMO one of the hallmarks of anti-Semitism is attributing negative (and typically conspiratorial) traits to Jews en masse. Thus, while it’s quite possible to be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic, some who are anti-Zionist also tend to reach for/invoke a fair number of familiar anti-Semitic tropes in the course of their opposition to Zionism.
    One the one hand, take the Colonel’s often expressed views of the nature and (shall we say) limitations of the Israeli national character, especially in regard to the thinking and behavior in recent years of its military and political leaders and its armed forces. Yes, he paints with a broad brush at times, but his views are based on years of detailed reality-based experience and IMO are not in the least anti-Semitic.
    A trickier (or if you prefer, more delicate) proposition is the often expressed claim that the news media
    in the U.S. is controlled by Jews (and conspiratorily so, it is often claimed). Yes, the Sulzberger family owns the New York Times, for what that’s worth, and I’m sure that some of the stances the NYT takes spring (non-conspiratorily I would say) from the family’s sense of identity and from the fact that the paper is addressing, at least in the greater NYC area, an audience that shares that identity in some sense and to a greater degree than the audience for a paper in Houston, or Seattle, or Little Rock, or Chicago would. Aside from the cachet that the NYT has or would like to think it ha — and that cachet in my view has long been on the wane — I see nothing unnatural or conspiratorial in the Sulzbergers being who they are and, up to a certain limited point on certain issues, seeing the world in part through the lens of their identities. Don’t we all do this to some degree? How could one not?
    BTW, and FWIW, I spent 25 years as a writer and editor at the Chicago Tribune, from 1977 to 2002. In all those years, not one Jewish employee of the paper ever occupied a position of executive power, even served as a so-called section editor. Did this bother me, did it seem unfair? Well, the most prominent Jewish Tribune employee of that time, my friend the late film critic Gene Siskel, for sure was very exercised by it. But my point of view was that the paper had a long connected history in terms of shared values and the social pools/backgrounds from which its executives tended to emerge/ be drawn from, and if the executives it chose could do their jobs reasonably well and fairly and if one of them chose to hire Jewish me to do my job there, I had no problem with the lack of “representation,” so to speak, of Jews at the executive level. By contrast, I and many others felt that in in a city with the demographics of Chicago, the paper, for its own good as a newspaper that was obliged to reflect and respond to the needs of its community, needed to have more African-Americans voices at the executive level. And over time, more such executive voices were chosen/arrived.
    Sorry for the digression above, which was an attempt to inject some sense of the flux, the ebb and flow of varied social realities and frameworks, into this. But other than the NYT, what substantial news organizations in the U.S. are owned/controlled by Jews? Any of the TV or cable networks? (The IMO reprehensible Chris Matthews of MSNBC was a creature of GE’s Jack Welch, no Jew he. Rupert Murdoch? Nope. And Jews owning or running media organzations to conspiratorial ends?) Jews in Hollywood, yes, but isn’t Tinseltown, like the Chicago Tribune, pretty much a creature of its own history and development? And while a good many films try to sell liberal values from time to time, I don’t recall this as being insidious, nor do I think that such films outweigh or (more important) tend to be as commercially successful as any number of blow things up, blood-and-guts “entertainments.”
    Back to the IMO crucial to anti-Semitism en masse ascription to Jews of dark negative traits and conspiratorial puppet-master behavior. Thanks be, it’s been a good while, at least in the U.S., since the “blood libel” days — that is, the belief that Jews kill and use the blood of Gentile children to make matzoh for Passover — but that particular shared societal fantasy led to the deaths of many Jews in my grandfather’s time in Russia. And the Jew as an almost literal, subhuman social bacillus — we don’t need to spell out what that led to.
    You ask about anti-Semitism versus anti-Asian, anti-Black, anti-Iranian, etc. thinking and behavior. Without doubt, there is some en masse ascription of negative traits to all deeply disparaged groups. But I wonder if many of these ascribed negative traits typically include the conspiratorial puppet-master strain that is IMO so much a hallmark of anti-Semitic thinking?
    Sorry if all or some of the above is a bit scattered, but I did want to respond sooner rather than later and just ran with what came to mind.

  37. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Trump does not have to do anything to maintain his support among Israelis – “Israeli Right”, in my opinion, is a distinction without merit.
    He is “Not Obama” and that is sufficient.
    Unless the Israelis try to trick him or do something under-handed or keep on nagging him about Iran, Trump will leave them alone to do as they please.

  38. Keith Harbaugh says:

    See http://www.jta.org/2016/03/11/news-opinion/politics/all-three-gop-rivals-continue-to-criticize-trump-for-neutrality-on-israeli-palestinian-talks
    That article includes the following three paragraphs (emphasis added):
    Trump replied that
    there was no one “on this stage that’s more pro-Israel than I am,”
    citing his role as Grand Marshal of the 2004 Israel Day parade in New York, which prompted some laughter in the audience.
    “I have a lot of — I have tremendous love for Israel,”
    he continued.
    “I happen to have a son-in-law and a daughter that are Jewish, OK?
    And two grandchildren that are Jewish.”

    Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump is married to Jared Kushner, a scion of another real estate development family.
    Again, those three paragraphs are from an article published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
    A well-known font of anti-Semitism 🙂

  39. Ante says:

    It seems to be really difficult for people to shift from the diplomatic language of ‘concern’ ‘deep concern’ ‘stern concern’ ”consterned cisterns’ to Trump’s language of the high-salesman. Between all the bluster, fluffing, and bluffing, is language that frames things exactly as he wants them to be framed. That’s how you sell, and he will sell. What exactly the goods are, I don’t know

  40. Will says:

    Oh Babak- The Resistance Axis is largely secular and Shia in orientation even tho the SAA is largely Sunni. I doubt they would co-operate with a Salafa-fascist Islamic Republic of Palestine.

  41. Razor Edge says:

    An insiders definition of anti-semitism may help:

  42. jdledell says:

    I am not only Jewish but also a dual US/Israeli citizen due my living in Israel during the early 80’s. My grandfather was Irgun directly under Begin’s command.My relatives live mostly in the West Bank and are radical settlers in some of the most radical settlements like Bat Ayin, Kiryat Arba and Itamar.
    My grandfather thought the Jews should have a homeland in Israel and fought for that ideal before and during the War of Independence. My grandfather killed his share of British as well as local arabs. His specialty was fertilizer bombs. By modern definitions he was a terrorist.
    As a result of severe disagreements with General Yigal Allon who favored conquest of the West Bank while giving arabs limited autonomy, most Israelis and for a time even Ben Gurion favored this approach. My grandfather thought this would eventually mean Israel would lose it’s place as a Jewish homeland, thus he left Israel for the U.S in 1949. He felt as everything he fought for was a lie that Israel was on a path to be a regular grubby and greedy state like many others in the world.
    I have followed in my Grandfather’s footsteps desperately trying to turn the ship of Israel from it’s present path. A true Zionist would never jeopardize Israel as the Jewish homeland, something very special to Jews. Israel currently is risking becoming a bi-national state with it’s aggressive settlement policies. Unfortunately, I have a number of relatives who are trying to put Allon’s plan into effect by moving to the settlements.
    It will be interesting on my next trip to Israel (I go a 2 or 3 times a year) to be confronted by the Shin Bet at the airport to be questioned about this, as well as other comments I’ve made on BLogs since my last October visit.

  43. Cee says:

    He said this before the election that Israel was wrong for not reaching a lasting peace .

  44. BraveNewWorld says:

    BDS will get little traction beyond what it has currently for a couple of reasons. First the Israili’s have been doing a great job of painting it as being equal to the Nazi party. Second governments at all levels have been passing laws to make it illegal to boycott or even divest of Israeli products. In effect making it a crime to not buy Israeli over American. How constitutional any of that is questionable at best. But only rich people have legal rights.
    As for younger Americans turning away from Israel it has been going on for a few years now. The biggest factor in determining how much support you have for Israel is age followed by left/right. The Israelis are fully freaked about it.
    They have another bigger problem as well. American Jews tend to be more liberal thinking reform Jews than their Israeli counterparts who are generally more orthodox. In fact Israeli Jews tend to think of American Jews as not really being Jews which really burns a lot of American Jews. The big problem being that American Jews are getting sick and tired of their Israeli cousins smearing the name of their religion. It isn’t the Jews of America where Israelis get their support from, it is the Christians who for some reason turn a blind eye to what the Jews are doing to their faith in Israel.

  45. Jack says:

    The only Islamic state that could happen in Jordan is one that will resemble Abu Bakr’s caliphate. The Palestinian identity will be subsumed in such a state. The Palestinians are hosed for the next couple decades. There is no political force in the Middle East currently that can strong-arm the Israelis to sue for peace.
    The Palestinian bantustans will keep getting squeezed until there will not be much left in the next couple decades.

  46. Larry Kart,
    Certainly, Rupert Murdoch is not Jewish. However, at least in Britain, rather important players in his unrelenting championship of neoconservative causes are.
    From an October 2004 interview with Irwin Stelzer in the ‘Guardian’:
    ‘Few passers-by would have noticed the lone figure slipping discreetly through the front door of Number 10. Fewer still could have guessed what was on the agenda with the Prime Minister. According to media reports at the time, the visitor was delivering a message from his master. And for Tony Blair it turned out to be a Corleone-style horse’s head in the bed.
    ‘The visitor was Dr Irwin Stelzer, the American economist widely defined as Rupert Murdoch’s emissary, secret agent and representative on earth. To some this makes him a devil incarnate. Peter Oborne, political editor of the Spectator, wrote that Stelzer “stands in the same kind of relationship to Murdoch as Suslov did to Stalin”. Chris Patten, the former EU commissioner, remarked: “I wouldn’t sup with Irwin Stelzer if I had a spoon a yard long.”’
    (See https://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/oct/17/citynews.politics .)
    The denials by Stelzer didn’t carry much conviction for many of us then, and do not now.
    And then, a couple of columnists. One regular writer for the ‘Times’, David Aaronovitch, came from what we in Britain call a ‘tankie’ family. In his memoir, ‘Party Animals’, he tells us that his father wept at the death of Stalin, and his mother stuck with the CP after 1956.
    (See https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/10/david-aaronovitch-communist-memoir-party-animals-the-times-interview .)
    At Oxford in the early ‘Seventies, Aaronovitch was a notorious student agitator. More recently, he was a leading cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq, the most catastrophic British foreign policy mistake since 1939, and after the patent ‘false flag’ at Ghouta in August 2013, asked Mehdi Hasan ‘Do you seriously doubt that the Syrian government used chemical weapons two weeks ago, Mehdi?’
    (See https://twitter.com/DAaronovitch/status/374895045645586433 .)
    Another columnist is Daniel, now Lord, Finkelstein. From a profile by Peter Oborne, then the chief political commentator of the ‘Telegraph’:
    ‘From 2008 onwards Mr Finkelstein became a significant part of the enormous blob that incorporated the Cameron Conservative party, a powerful group of orphaned Blairites, and the Murdoch empire. As GQ magazine once put it: ‘Nothing happens at The Times without his input.’
    (See http://www.spectator.co.uk/2013/09/daniel-finkelstein-lord-of-journalism/ .)
    Both Aaronovitch and Finkelstein also write for the ‘Jewish Chronicle’.
    In October last year, in response to remarks by the veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman on the influence of Jewish donations on Tory Party policy towards Israel, Finkelstein wrote a piece entitled ‘Foolishness of Kaufman’. It ended:
    ‘Jewish business people most often donate to the Conservative Party because they are business people, not because they are Jewish. If Kaufman knew even the slightest thing about these people or had met any of them, he would realise that.
    ‘He would also realise that it is preposterous to believe a party’s foreign policy is for sale to donors. Gerald Kaufman was once his party’s foreign affairs spokesman. Did he sell his policy? Who to?
    ‘The other ludicrous assertion is that the Conservative Party shows no interest in the plight of Palestinians. Nonsense. Simply nonsense.
    ‘Gerald Kaufman’s comments are outrageous and it is quite right that community leaders have demanded disciplinary action. The comments are clearly antisemitic. I think it is worth adding they are also idiotic.’
    See https://www.thejc.com/comment/columnists/foolishness-of-kaufman-1.61799 .)
    The actual truth is that Sir Gerald Kaufman was a lifelong Zionist who spent many years trying to stop the Israelis committing suicide. Now however I think he has given up the task – and is more concerned to stop Zionists taking Jews in Britain down with them in the ‘Götterdämmerung’ to which they appear to be headed.

  47. Will2.71828 says:

    sorry about that, the computer forgot that i am now will2.718
    just noticed something about euler’s number, e, though irrational & transcendental it has an unexpected repetition: 2.718281828459045
    Look at that 1828 twice!

  48. LeaNder says:

    Without doubt, there is some en masse ascription of negative traits to all deeply disparaged groups.
    Larry, anti-Jesuits, anti-Hugenots, anti whatever religious dissenters over times? Anti-liberal? … I agree there are many overlapping themes, but there are also differences.
    Yes, he paints with a broad brush at times, but his views are based on years of detailed reality-based experience and IMO are not in the least anti-Semitic.
    Agree, but I may even appreciate Pat’s “broad brush” occasionally. Since I feel a little uncomfortable with what feels like a basic ‘philosemite’ versus ‘antisemite’ juxtaposition? Can’t think of a better way to put it. This separation may at times cause non-Jews to either control/censor their thought or more or less seriously overstep rigid red lines … with whatever basic themes. Maybe even sometimes without evil intention??? Or purely antisemitic intention?
    The “conspiratorial puppet-master strain” no doubt was a powerful political weapon in the hands of the Nazis on a more limited basis Russia too. It’s no a more prominent event in the history from religious to racial to current antisemitism. And apparently well sold in the ME.
    The Bern Trial is interesting: I can see the problems of finding the fitting law to challenge the fiction in court, I can also easily imagine it was necessary at the time to produce a colorful Masonic counter narrative. But why uphold it so long against better wisdom or research? That’s a bit of a puzzle. Read Hadassa Ben-Itto’s fictive rendering, that was sold as the most recent search on the topic. Admittedly part of my irritation resulted that I didn’t expect some type of fictive rendering.
    What I am struggling with, admittedly–maybe its the inner German antisemite in me?–is that it is supposed to remain till eternity. Exists for 4000 years? Nothing can ever change? I may be too much of a liberal, believing in some type of process, however slow. Not in any straight lines ahead though. But somewhat believe in reason versus emotion within limits. …
    Notice, I am not a fan of, what feels to me, Phil Weiss’ obsession with proofing “the Lobby” thesis, by diligently collecting of data within his narrow focus. Focus can be a problem sometimes, if you are too fixated at one aspect only.
    But I am also highly critical of Israeli politics or history. Should I be careful and add as German aware of my countries guilt?… One no doubt can look at the book on “the Lobby” as simply another variation of the devious string-pullers meeting secretly on a graveyard in Prague to plan their schemes. Only by now a more professionalized updated version?
    The Bern trials are a central event in the puppet-master-narrative’s European history. While it is easy to understand that to counter a fiction, you need a counter-narrativem in this case, a “colorful” Russian-secret-service-agent and a French-Masonic-Lodge. …. But why uphold it, against better wisdom? Doesn’t it make the fiction even more attractive? The more color you add? (Michael Hagemeister’s question)
    I appreciated his research in Basel or on the Bern trial documents. He helped me a lot in my larger struggles with the topic. They still have his site online there. There are links to three of his articles in English. I would recommend his article on the Bern trial witnesses:
    What seriously worries me as liberal, maybe?, is the basic assumption that antisemitism or its precursors and variations in time and space is here to stay. Paradoxically Israel may help in this context. Please, don’t misunderstand.
    Here is an Israeli scholar, whose work I appreciate a lot too. Since he isn’t rigidly focused on the division (I versus you – we versus them) but focuses on exchange, the communication of ideas beyond Ghetto walls. Within limits even at that time there was some limited routes in the exchange of ideas. And that feels pretty realistic to me.
    No time to proofread. Other matters await my eyes and hand. Take care.

  49. dmr says:

    I would phrase it more bluntly and with pardonable cynicism. The case is hopeless: in no way susceptible to repair or amendment. A few moth-eaten protectorates the Israelis can live with and the Palestinians can die in: that is what Palestine will consist of.
    Even the estimable Mr Siegman can see this, I daresay.

  50. turcopolier says:

    larry kart
    Perhaps you and jdledell should discuss whether or not from his point of view my brush is excessively broad. pl

  51. kooshy says:

    Once I read Colonel’ post, he being accused of “approaching anti-Semitism” which really to me was a new term or better yet, a newly extended border, like a new settlement post further out, reducing/limiting the space for criticism one may had of Israel/Jews policies. But, the real reason I brought this up, rhetorically asking this question and comparing it to other “Anti-whatever” was, once you say something against other races, let say blacks, you are not accused of being against blacks alone in specific term, but you are accused of being a racist, which generally means you are against all other races except presumably yours. But this is not the case with Jews or Israelis, in this case if you are against, or say not even favorable to Jews or Israel, you will not be accused of being a racist, but rather you will be accused of being Anti-Semitic. Why the difference.

  52. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Boys and girls where are you/we going with this conversation. Is there any more to it? The Col laid it out straight enough..maybe time to put ‘our’ sandpaper back in the box. All, have a great 2017 and keep the pinochle game going.

  53. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Do not forget the immense contributions of France, Germany, Italy, and England to what became, overtime, a religious war.

  54. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think if and when an Islamic Republic of Palestine is established on the territory of Jordan, every single Muslim government in the world would come to her assistance.
    Her inevitable wars with Jewish state will be frequent and with each war, more weapons, more aide, more money would be transferred to it. Men will volunteer from all over the world to participate in Jihad to liberate Al Quds.
    Any Muslim government that shows any whiff of reluctance to help Palestine and Jihad will be deemed un-Islamic and overthrown; her wars with Israel will cause the disappearance of the Gulfies.
    As the wars teach Palestinians and Arab of Islamic Republic of Palestine how to fight, they become bloodier. There would be constant raids across the Jordan river.
    And as the war persists over decades, like the one in Lebanon that began in earnest in 1982 and continues to this day, Fortress West and the Shoah Cultists would continue to proffer aide and succor to Israel – further damaging the relationship of the Fortress West and the World of Islam; eventually no Euro-American can set foot in a Muslim country without armed guards and no West-friendly Muslim government is left in the world.
    It could come to pass that Arab-Muslim Armies break through Israeli defenses at the 1967 Cease-Fire Line. At which point things could really go South; a nuclear attack by Israel against Amman – the temporary capital of the Islamic Republic of Palestine – cannot be ruled out.
    At that point, World War III will become a distinct possibility as nuclear forces all over the world will go on state of alert. Pakistan issues an ultimatum, demanding surrender of Israel. The Fortress West threatens Pakistan with nuclear annihilation….

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not think so, likely it would be one created by Ikhwan.

  56. Larry Kart says:

    Sorry — when I said “broad brush” I didn’t mean excessively broad. Perhaps I should have said “sweeping”? OTOH, I of course tend defer to the vastly experienced realist you are when it comes to Israel and the ME in general, and I also take account of the more than a few more than irritating, even ugly and threatening, encounters you’ve had with Israeli security forces over the years when you, by their lights, ventured off the “reservation.” Similarly, I wholly believe your accounts of the various successful attempts over the years by Israeli operatives in the U.S. to enlist the support and often illegal co-operation of U.S. politicians and government officials and the refusal of alerted U.S. security agencies under both Democratic and GOP administrations to take action on these matters. OTOH, does this last surpass what I might call the “gambling at Rick’s” standard”?
    Not too far off topic I hope, but speaking of sub rosa hugger-mugger, what do you think of this post from Josh Marshall?:
    “One of the most interesting explanations I ever read of the CIA’s behavior after the Kennedy assassination came from, of all people, Norman Mailer.
    “Mailer thought that the CIA resisted any probing of its possible role in the assassination not because they were involved but because they couldn’t be certain they weren’t. In the early 1960s, the CIA was tied up with so many sketchy players and bad guys (certainly in the swirl of the mob, anti-Castro emigres, the Texas far-right and left-wing moles) that they couldn’t be totally sure it didn’t somehow connect back up to them. They didn’t want to find out. Certainly they didn’t want anyone else to find out.
    “Whether this was true as a factual matter or not I don’t know. But as a theory it provided a plausible explanation of odd behavior, a shrewd take on human and bureaucratic nature while, all while making no outlandish factual assumptions.
    “An interesting ‘innocent’ explanation of Trump’s behaviors with regards to the Russian hacking is similar.
    “Say you’re Trump.
    “You have nothing to do with this. You know nothing about it. But think about all the crooks and gamers and sleazeballs around your campaign. There’s Manafort, Stone, Page … all their associates, not to mention your business associates with ties to Russian organized crime. (Stone publicly said he had some sort of a backchannel to Wikileaks.)
    “If you’re Trump, how confident are you that a real investigation wouldn’t turn up anything weird? Probably not very.”

  57. Larry Kart says:

    Anti-Semitism unto eternity and as a cynical means to influence/beat up on the Goyim to boot? I sure hope not. In fact, that last point is especially interesting to me because I’ve long believed that the IMO crucial fantasy components of genuine (and typically conspiracy-oriented) anti-Semitism tend to profoundly corrupt the thinking and behavior of all who delve into it from whatever “side” and for whatever reasons, including Jews who attempt to use the crimes of the past to further their present and future interests.
    A perhaps absurd analogy pops into my head. Assume that you find yourself among some attractive-to-you women. You are inclined to have sex with them and are willing to make use of almost any wile, engage in any act of deception, to reach that goal. And sex with those women would in fact be satisfying to you to some significant degree. But you’re not a total monster or jerk, and among those women are some whom you feel you could love and be loved by in return. And in feeling this, you also know that all your wiles and acts of deception are almost automatically ruled out as options for you, that instead there is only one way to approach such a woman — with an honest and open heart. By the same token, you also know that in with such a woman any attempt to use wiles or act deceptively in order to bed her will profoundly corrupt YOU and probably destroy any chance that you and she might have had to live a good life together.
    Back to the main track. Nonetheless, anti-Semitism does still survive. I think I’m pretty good at detecting and, so to speak, “grading” its presence, at not going crazy when I do detect it, and I’m certainly not inclined to, as they used to say in the post-Civil War U.S., “wave the bloody shirt,” if only (but not only) because I know how corrupting doing so would be to ME. We all have some investment in keeping things reality-based, and (per my analogy above) leaving ample room for the relatively free flow of genuine human affection and solidarity when the circumstances of life permit it.

  58. jld says:

    “No time to proofread.”
    Don’t worry it doesn’t make any difference anyhow.

  59. BraveNewWorld says:

    As Ya’alon stated before he was pushed out. If the IDF withdrew to within the 67 borders the majority of the settlers couldn’t run fast enough back to Israel.
    I would have to take exception to the idea that it is OK to continue to destroy the Palestinians lives because that is the way it has always been and we can’t upset the settlers because they have always been pampered. The bulk of the settlers do live withing the 2 big blocks and Abbas has stated over and over that he is willing to do a reasonable deal to swap them, just as he has said that he doesn’t expect all the Palestinians that have the right to return to Israel, he is OK with Palestine being unarmed … . Every step of this conflict has been worked out already with 2 exceptions J’lem & The Israelis actually leaving Palestine.
    The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their capital and are willing to guarantee Jewish access to the Wall. The Israelis aren’t willing to give up an inch.
    The Palestinians want the IDF to leave the West Bank and that has never been a part of any agreement including Camp David. So from the Israeli stand point the Palestinians could have a state but it would still be under a brutal military occupation by the Israelis. Obama flew almost the whole Pentagon to Israel to work out a deal with the Israelis to replace the IDF with NATO peace keepers in the case of a deal being reached. Netanyahu blew him off saying Israel would always maintain a military occupation of Palestine.

  60. trinlae says:

    As a theologian who has worked with rabbinical students, regarding the statement
    “He is an ordained rabbi, whatever ordained means in this context,” I would like to suggest that
    regardless of the state of his personal, social, and clerical lines of social and ethical accountability, his familiarity with the Torah/Hebrew Bible, Talmud, Mishna, and commentaries attest to a familiarity with millennia of drama across the lands and peoples populating modern Israel and territories that counts for something if not cultural historical integrity alone.
    One day, hopefully soon, the stewards of ME history from “all sides” (and faiths and genders) may outnumber those who can only accept a world in which their own desires and voices overpower pesky instruments such as the 4th Geneva Conventions and its progenies. Interreligious collaborations could have more enertial staying power than the politically fickle oligarchs!
    ARTICLE 49 [ Link ]
    Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.
    Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.
    The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.
    The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as they have taken place.
    The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.
    The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
    (commentaries available at https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/1a13044f3bbb5b8ec12563fb0066f226/523ba38706c71588c12563cd0042c407)

  61. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Shah of Iran – Jews Control America – 1976

  62. Babak Makkinejad says:

    All things are permitted in Love and War.

  63. Larry Kart,
    I do not think you have any understanding of what, for want of any better word, I can only call ‘the new anti-Semitism’.
    This is NOT a recurrence of the ‘old anti-Semitism’ – which is happening, but is a secondary phenomenon.
    Indeed, the ‘new anti-Semitism’ is developing largely among people who are either traditionally not anti-Semitic, or indeed traditionally philo-Semitic – sometimes very strongly so.
    Its source is quite simple. Time and again, we are told that Jews are a ‘people’ entitled to ‘self-determination’. (And this is not simply by ‘hardline’ Zionists – Peter Beinart goes on and on about it.)
    So, finally, we have to shrug our shoulders and say: Yes.
    But, for the ‘new anti-Semite’, this has a very simple logical implication.
    If Jews are a ‘people’ in the sense that, say, the French, the Germans, or the Poles are, then it is fine for them to live here.
    However, we do not have French, or Germans, or Poles, sitting in parliament, writing columns in the ‘Times’, ‘Guardian’, ‘FT’, etc, and doing so in support of the interests of their own ‘people’, and, essentially, using bribery and moral blackmail to inveigle people of influence to act in the interests of France, Germany, or Poland.
    So, to be blunt, we want a very significant section of the British press and broadcast media to resign. Likewise, we want ‘BICOM’ disbanded, as also the various ‘Friends of Israel’ groups in Parliament.
    Nothing in this implies anything like the ‘old anti-Semitism’.
    Indeed, if Jews want to identify as British, and see this country as their home, we like it. And if they are caught in an impossible situation, torn between different loyalties, this is something we can easily understand and for which we can have sympathy.
    What we cannot stand and will no longer tolerate is 1. Jews who seem clearly to place their loyalty to Israel above their loyalty to this country, but still want to play a shaping role in our affairs, and 2. people who adjust reality so as to pretend that the interests of Israel as defined by Netanyahu and his ilk and those of this country are identical.
    (One further very caveat is that, as I must admit, we tend to mildly prefer it if Jews ‘marry out’. We are the diametric opposite of the Nazis. They had a horror of ‘miscegenation’. We beam in approval, when Jews marry English, Welsh, or indeed Catholic Irish boys and girls.)

  64. Will2.71828 says:

    There is already an Palestinian Islamic State, and is not doing all that well. The largest open air concentration camp in the world- the tragedy of Gaza and Hamas. Hamas, originally sponsored by the Israelis as a foil to the secular PLO, took over the strip and even won elections in the West Bank until overthrown. At one time Qatar and Turkey backed the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) offshoot while the Saudis were critical of the political Islam. The Saudis, indeed, helped overthrow Morsi. When Morse collapsed, Hamas, became isolated again. From what I read, the Saudis have warmed up to MB, and this has caused a frost b/n them and the Egyptians.

  65. Larry Kart says:

    Another notable aspect of anti-Semitism at its most pernicious was/is what historian Saul Friedlander has called “redemptive anti-Semitism” — the belief, especially crucial in Hitler’s thought (or “thought”) and its eventual full implementation beginning in 1941, that it was the Jews who (conspiratorily /andor merely by existing as they did, as a kind of subhuman social bacillus) were blocking the full realization/redemption of (in that case) the Aryan people. Take care of the Jews and all would be solved/resolved/cleansed/even exalted.
    Interesting to think about the relationship between that (I would say) fantasy and the also IMO crucial belief in the Jews as conspiratorial puppet-masters. If I had to say which was the chicken and which the egg here. I would say that the sufficiently broad-based redemptive need/drive probably comes first — that without its simmering underlying presence, its aura of deep-seated spiritual/social dissatisfaction, there would be no particular need to identify an external or somewhat external group/agency as the crucial cause of one’s society’s failure to be as it ought to be.
    Lover of classical music that I am, I’m certainly not prepared to throw Wagner out with the bathwater or claim that there is a direct causal link between Wagner and Nazism, but a look back at “Parsifal” along these “redemptive” lines may be instructive.

  66. Keith Harbaugh says:

    You ignore the strenuous efforts of American Jews to obtain support for Israel.
    To those who think that to make such claims is “anti-Semitism”,
    I invite you to consider the following news article:
    Here are its opening paragraphs:

    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York ordered agencies under his control on Sunday to divest themselves of companies and organizations aligned with a Palestinian-backed boycott movement against Israel.
    Wading into a delicate international issue, Mr. Cuomo set executive-branch and other state entities in opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or B.D.S., which has grown in popularity in some quarters of the United States and elsewhere, alarming Jewish leaders who fear its toll on Israel’s international image and economy.
    Mr. Cuomo made his announcement in a speech at the Harvard Club in Manhattan to an audience including local Jewish leaders and lawmakers, describing the B.D.S. movement as an “economic attack” on Israel.
    “We cannot allow that to happen,” the governor said, adding that, “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.”

    I don’t see Christian Zionists or the Christian Right pressuring people to oppose the BDS movement.
    Indeed, when the mainline Presbyterian denomination in the U.S. (PCUSA) considered supporting BDS,
    it was Jewish groups who pressured them to not support BDS:
    Again, a quote from the article cited (emphasis added):

    Large American Jewish organizations lobbied the Presbyterians furiously to defeat a divestment vote,
    their most determined campaign yet in the 10 years the Presbyterians have considered such a step.
    More than 1,700 rabbis from all 50 states signed an open letter to the Presbyterian voters,
    saying that “placing all the blame on one party, when both bear responsibility, increases conflict and division instead of promoting peace.”
    In a last-ditch tactic on Thursday, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, leader of the Reform movement (the largest branch in American Judaism), addressed the assembly and offered to broker a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and the church’s two top leaders so they could convey their church’s concerns about the occupation — on the condition that the divestment measure was defeated.

  67. turcopolier says:

    In Catholic teaching ordination involves the laying on of hands in the apostolic succession. Is this true in Judaism as well? as for your other somewhat dimly connected remarks about forced evacuations, I would suggest that military becessity and their own desires governed the removal of some 35,000 jihadis and their civilian sympathizers from east Aleppo. pl

  68. turcopolier says:

    I do find the oft stated desire of the Israelis to sit down in face to face negotiations with the PA to be amusing since the Israelis have massive powers of destruction and policing on their side as well as loathsome self-serving politicians like Cuomo while the PA have IEDs and knives on their side. pl

  69. elaine says:

    Colonel & Babak or anyone who is a scholar or student of Islam,
    Please expound on Sura 5:21 & Sura 26:59
    Is the opinion that these Suras have been abrogated? If so please give a reference.
    I’m very confused as they appear to give the land of Israel to the Jews. I hope not
    to offend anyone with my question, I’m very curious. I’ve wanted to ask this question for a long time & thought this thread may be an appropriate venue.

  70. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    Your comment implies that I am anti-Israeli. I am not. I don’t give a damn about either side. there is, however, a great irony in the fact that I was for seven years the principal liaison between the Pentagon and IDF general staff intelligence. They had no complaints about that at all. In fact my home office is littered with plaques, gifts, etc., that are tokens of their “love.” It is true that after I retired from the US government I was often in Israel on church business or business business and on occasion just by being there was the object of the kind of “love” with which they treat ordinary folk. For me, they were just doing their job however brutally they saw their job. As for Trump and the Russian “hacking,” I know quite well that both the US and Israel, often together, collect signals intelligence data and then use it and other levers to try to influence the outcome of foreign elections. So, I am unimpressed with the supposed perfidy of the Russians in this. Both Natanyahu and Putin are busy sucking up to Trump. it is the mad leftist children in the media and the even more mad hyper-nationalist in the Congress who are really ridiculous about this. IMO McCain and his office wife are absurd. pl

  71. turcopolier says:

    Unless you are a Muslim, what possible difference can it make to you if it says in the Qur’an that God gave Palestine to the Jews? Do you think God is a real estate agent? pl

  72. “I would have to take exception to the idea that it is OK to continue to destroy the Palestinians lives because that is the way it has always been and we can’t upset the settlers because they have always been pampered.”
    As you and DMR above state the future for the Palestinians is very bleak. It has been for the past sixty or seventy years. We in England should be very conscious of this because this was the legacy we left behind us. “Cut and run” seems to have been the motto of the British Empire after the War and nowhere was the shuffling off of responsibility more contemptible or the consequences more disastrous than in the Holy Land.
    That was then. Now it’s the American Administration that has the say, and that Administration is constrained by electoral reality. I do not assert that the Palestinian problem can’t be addressed because we can’t upset the settlers. It can’t be addressed because of the American Christian Zionist voting bloc. That voting bloc means that the Israelis have at their disposal the military and economic power of the United States and the Palestinians don’t. It’s unlikely that a fair deal could emerge with that disparity of power.
    Therefore the Israelis hold the trump cards at present. What I was hoping to point out was that having to accept that fact doesn’t mean we have to accept concealed ethnic cleansing, a near apartheid state, or the atrocities to which civilians are being subjected. Nor should we accept the expansionist hopes of some Israeli politicians. That Christian Zionist voting bloc does mean we must all accept that the Palestinians aren’t going to get a reasonable deal at present; it needn’t mean we must accept what I have characterised as Ultra-Zionism.

  73. Ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Thanks for the link. Fascinating hypothesis. Do you know whether the author, Israel Shamir, is related to the former prime minister?

  74. Henshaw says:

    Add to that a muesli spew in Canberra. Perhaps we have the makings of a class action.

  75. falkonimaya@yahoo.com says:

    For God’s sake (If she/he exists and is willing to interfere with Humans, which is a good question to ask), how about we ignore religion in all this and simply accept the fact that The Palestinians (and everybody else) have their right to elect their leaders and have their homeland somewhere (while accepting the fact that other people – like Jews and Israelis, also have the right to have a homeland – never, ever, granted by Palestinians! So how about Quid-pro-Quo, Palestinians, this will greatly improve your chances. We share the world, are don’t you know this truth?

  76. Jack says:

    I am amused by Trump’s tweets mocking Obama and our MSM. By repeatedly calling Putin smart, he’s implying that Obama has been dumb. Which is rather apt considering that foreign policy outcomes under Obama-Hillary-Kerry has been a big loser.Contrast that with Putin’s accomplishments. The neocon wing of the GOP establishment and the R2P wing of the Democrats are going to get increasingly hysterical this coming year. I’m very interested to see the dynamic between Trump and McCain and his office wife.

  77. Larry Kart says:

    Thanks for the correction.

  78. LeaNder says:

    Keith, with all due respect:
    Again, those three paragraphs are from an article published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
    For his competitors–I counted three, who hadn’t a Jewish son-in-law, converted daughter and grandchildren brought up in the Jewish faith on offer–that must have been no doubt a bit frustrating. Although they too tried to do there very, very best. And on many matters they fully agreed with him.
    I am with Pat on this. In fact the same thought passed my mind. On the other hand, I surely was as aware of these facts as you are. But is it a valid argument? Better then his declaration to move the embassy. Whose idea was that? Jared? Necessarily? Or maybe Netanyahu’s? What do you think?
    Question: Who was considered the better choice for Israel from what was publicly stated, Clinton or Sanders? Who of the two is Jewish? …

  79. steve says:

    Why would any upcoming friction between Trump and Bibi be considered a betrayal of his family? I believe that a majority of American jews dislike Likud and its policies, as well as quite a few Israelis. And, yes, I understand that Ivanka and her family are orthodox and no doubt support Israel, but that still doesn’t mean that Likud is particularly popular.

  80. Edward Amame says:

    The GOP is totally behind Bibi/Likud, the Dems split on Bibi/Likud with the Dems’ incoming Senate minority leader totally with Bibi/Likud. People here think Trump’s gonna go rogue on Bibi/Likuda? Great, we have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale too!

  81. Edward Amame says:

    No need to force a split that already exists. The new Senate Minority Leader is staunchly pro-Bibi. The Dems are absolutely not of one mind on the subject of Bibi’s Israel.

  82. Larry Kart says:

    I’m somewhat puzzled by your post, perhaps because I don’t live in Great Britain.
    Why the heck would there be “French, or Germans, or Poles, sitting in parliament, writing columns in the ‘Times’, ‘Guardian’, ‘FT’, etc, and doing so in support of the interests of their own ‘people’”? Only, I would think, if a) there were sufficient numbers of people from such groups living in Great Britain and/or b) if the members of such groups in GB felt a sufficient sense of group identity and interests; and c) if they felt that the behavior of the British government or British society as a whole would have a significant impact on those interests.
    All the things mentioned above, I would guess, might apply to some Jewish citizens of Great Britain — leaving aside your imputations of British Jews “using bribery and moral blackmail to inveigle people of influence to act” on their behalf. (About this I have insufficient knowledge to judge, but I would think that those who give way to “moral blackmail” are themselves not blameless for doing so, unless the “cost” on their part were crushing — please enllghten me on that).
    Also, I can think of at least two fairly substantial subgroups within British society who probably feel free to vigorously advance their own (should we say “special”?) interests? as they see them — British Muslims, British Hindus, Britons of West Indian background, and British citizens who have strong ties to Northern Ireland. Are those who speak on behalf of those interests (if there are such) in the media and elsewhere regarded as you say British Jews are under the “new anti-Semitism”?
    What you seem to be saying is that in Britain there is only one acceptable socio-political standard — “to identify as British, and see this country as their home.” Now I admit that there probably are dimensions to what it means “to identify as British” that I as an American don’t fully understand. But I’m struck by your linkage of identification as British with seeing “this country as their home,” versus I think the not untypical in the U.S. more pluralistic or just more shaggy relationship between the fact the U.S. is one’s home, that one is a citizen of this country, and one’s ability to maintain significant ties to other sorts of identity — racial, political, religous-cultural, regional, ties to one’s people’s country of origin,
    etc. Is there, I wonder, a fairly firm sense you can give us of what it means “to identify as British,” one that I could measure against the shaggier but I would say still quite meaningful sense that many Americans have of what it means to be American.
    As for “we tend to mildly prefer it if Jews ‘marry out,’ I don’t mean to be offensive and appreciate that “mildly,” but why is it the business of that “we” who any British Jewish citizen choses to marry? Who is keeping track and why? Are the marital police keeping a similar watch with similar preferences for “marrying out” on the behavior of Britain’s Muslim or Hindu populations?

  83. Larry Kart says:

    Great — I’ll take his word for it.

  84. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Not in perpetuity…

  85. Cortes says:

    I would add that the availability of dual or multiple citizenship guarantees bad behaviour. Short term gung ho Zionist fanatics happy to behave atrociously towards neighbours then find compelling reasons to move “back home ” have caused more than a little mayhem. In my view.
    Also worthy of note, naturally, is that the most passionate and cogently argued essays about Zionism are almost invariably by Jews. Perhaps it’s like being a sentient RC in company of adepts of Opus Dei…as a thinking member of the human race you have to try to balance the fellow feelings against the growing awareness of being schmoozed by nutcases.

  86. elaine says:

    Colonel, I don’t think of God as a real estate agent, however I do imagine He’s
    interested in countries, groups of people & the well being of His creation. I
    arrived @ this conclusion after reading the Bible.
    I don’t think one must be a Muslim to be interested in comparative religion.

  87. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You wrote:
    “that having to accept that fact doesn’t mean we have to accept concealed ethnic cleansing, a near apartheid state, or the atrocities to which civilians are being subjected.”
    I think those horses have already left the barn.

  88. turcopolier says:

    Ah, you have read the Bible. Do you consider the Bible to be a historical document? pl

  89. jonst says:

    The Dems base might, repeat, MIGHT, be split on actual, and practical, positions on Israel. The Dem leadership, in the Senate, and House, is of one mind on Israel. Give them anything their little hearts desire. Where is Jim Baker, or Eisenhower, when we need them? Those were the last political types to tell Israel no, and then to show them actions that displayed no meant no.

  90. LeaNder says:

    Nonetheless, anti-Semitism does still survive.
    Yes it does. Obviously, traditions don’t vanish …
    Cynical response: i wish I were Jewish, it might have helped early to ignore stupid people.
    Random narrative from my memory/associative narratives box:
    In my earliest times here in Cologne, I mentioned in a short chat with the property manager where I had shopped.
    You know, that’s a Jew?. Her question, shocked me. I never ever had encountered it before. On the other hand it sent a clear signal, how best to deal with her. She older then me, retired late, not too long ago, is pretty ill now, but was always well informed, thus the best source on details around here you could imagine. But obviously you had to take care what you told her. …
    rumor, conspiracy, people … I found a self-experiment in the larger gray-literature-field and its respective more or less obsessive ‘soldiers’ and interests quite interesting. It left traces, more then books could have. That may have been why I was pretty fascinated by the first article by Michael Hagemeister I stumbled across on the web. He looked beyond the usual “academic”, into popular literature. Some better, some useless. On the other hand he found much repetition on the academic side, something I too had seriously struggled with before.

  91. Edward Amame says:

    Leadership is out of touch with the Democratic caucus on the issue of Israeli settlements. Hence we saw what happened to early favorite and Sanders’ ally Keith Ellison’s run for chair of the DNC. There is also lingering anger over Bibi’s meddling in the 2012 election when he more or less made his and Likud’s alignment with the GOP official. And over his meddling with Obama’s Iran deal.

  92. Edward Amame says:

    Bibi’s behavior during the elections in 2012 and the Iran nuclear deal sure made things easier for the anti-settlement wing of the Democratic Party in Congress. Hence Sanders’ ally Keith Ellison’s run for DNC chair.
    Not sure “turning away” from Israel is what is happening, at least in Congress, BTW. It is probably better described as redefining what it means to be pro-Israel and that doesn’t necessarily translate into being pro-Likud and/or pro-settlement.
    IMO, after what came flying outta Trump’s mouth and twitter feed regarding the UN vote, it looks to me like any 2 state solution is now toast. THAT may make things much more difficult for the Schumer wing of the Dem Party concerning Israel and its settlements.

  93. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Neither Israelis nor Palestinians wish to share anything with each other; in my opinion.
    The Palestinians might be willing to accept an Israel within the 1948 partition plan borders; but, I think, that would be the extent of their generosity.
    In the United States, as I mentioned earlier, the Cherokee Nation still remains dispossessed; you would be in a much stronger position to argue for “sharing” if the Cherokee were to be restored to their ancestral lands that had been negotiated and ratified by the United States.
    In my opinion, the most politically possible course of action, in my opinion, remains the 99-Year Cease Fire deal offered by HAMAS – in which the Israelis are not interested.
    Analogous cease-fire deals such as in Kashmir, on the Korean Peninsula, between Russia and Japan, between Fortress West and Iran have kept the Peace – aided by nuclear weapons.
    The Western Fortress, had it not been so dedicated to the Cult of Shoah, could have forced Israelis to accept that. But that will not happen either.
    This war will continue and as it continues, it expands and sucks more people into it. You already see eddies of that war in Europe.
    I think people like war – specially religious wars in which they surmise that the Deity is on their side.

  94. Larry Kart says:

    “Ah, you have read the Bible. Do you consider the Bible to be a historical document?”
    Obviously, there is a huge and probably forever unknowable amount of leeway there — depending in part on the relative antiquity of the particular text(s) involved, the often dauntingly-complex-to-decode uses to which those who inscribed those texts meant to put them (in fact, a scholarly case has been made that when it comes to much of the Torah, those who wrote down what they did during the Babylonian Captivity were so far removed from the ancient traditional sources of what they wrote that they themselves were devoid of any intent but transcription), not to mention the antiquity and likely sheer fabulousness of many of the “events” described themselves — but the Bible has NO historical significance? Do you think, for one, that there was no historical Jesus?

  95. FB Ali says:

    The two verses of the Qur’an that you referred to are contained in the stories of Moses and Pharaoh. The Qur’an contains many tales of the ancient prophets; these are not by any means prescriptive (neither is every word of the Qur’an prescriptive, in spite of what certain people believe).
    If you are really interested in understanding what the Qur’an says and means, you might read this brief piece:

  96. steve says:

    Yes, but the Russians got caught, and they got caught in close time proximity to what they did. So while I largely agree with you that this is not that big of a deal, and it certainly shouldn’t change our election results, I think their getting caught so quickly runs against the rules. In the Cold War both sides worked through proxies for the most part. We avoided direct confrontation. You could start all the wars you wanted, distribute weapons, etc. as long as you worked through a proxy. In this case, it seems to me that the rule has been that both sides were interfering in each other’s elections, but it had to be done fairly indirectly, and you don’t get caught until well after the election is over. If we find out that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC two years after the election, who cares?

  97. LeaNder says:

    Thanks, jld, glad you are are still around.
    I left far worse traces around here. Reduced to muttering, never looked back. Sometimes not easy to challenge people in the possession of the “whole truth”, if your perception is somewhat astray or not perfectly aligned. 😉

  98. Similar sentiments have been expressed here too:-
    The linked article quotes from a fine speech by a former British ambassador to Israel, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, but I’m sceptical about the claims made in the article about pro-Zionist lobbying or influence peddling. UK foreign policy follows closely that of the US and it’s that perhaps, rather than any particular lobby, that determines UK policy on Israel.
    In any case is the influence of the Israeli lobby the decisive factor in the States? Leading politicians can get consultancies or hospitality or help with election costs from many sources. It’s not as if they’re short of offers. But they still have to get votes. I don’t believe they’d throw in their lot with any particular lobby unless there were votes to go with it. If the Christian Zionists number forty million or so then it’s difficult to see how American politicians can avoid responding to them, lobby or no lobby. The Scofield Bible has far more clout than AIPAC, though maybe not the visibility.
    But whether it’s the Christian Right or the Israeli lobby that sets US foreign policy there’s no avoiding the fact that that policy is pro-Zionist and that’s unlikely to change soon. All that still doesn’t mean we have to live with Ultra-Zionism. The more sensible Israelis won’t have it. Why should we?

  99. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    If you are addressing me, I know of no non-Biblical evidence for a historic Jesus other than the single reference in Josephus. I think that Christianity as it came to be, developed from a Jewish messianic sect who under Pauline and other late Roman Empire influences absorbed the elements of many other religions of the period; The mystery religions, Gnosticism, Mithraism, etc. The texts of the four canonical Gospels are the result IMO of a gradual weeding and editing that resulted in a canon that could be imposed as an empire wide religion. pl

  100. Larry Kart says:

    Re: the Christian Right in the U.S., the one time I visited Israel our tour guide, a former IDF officer, was pointing out the area where the battle of Armageddon was supposed to take place. I asked him how he dealt with/responded to tours of Evangelical Christians (there were many such, he had said) when they made clear their literal belief in Armageddon. He said, ‘I tell them “When the Messiah comes, we’ll ask him if he’s been here before. If he says, ‘Yes,” you win; if he says, “No,” we do.” “And how do they respond to this?” I asked. “The same way you did; they laugh.”
    BTW, perhaps backing up David H’s post about pervasive and undue pro-Israeli influence on and in British government circles, what about Theresa May doing Jose Greco* on John Kerry’s face yesterday?
    * Phrase comes from an old Lenny Bruce routine. Greco was a Flamenco dancer, often on the Ed Sullivan Show, who danced out fierce rhythms while wearing substantial shoes with taps attached.

  101. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    “the Bible has NO historical significance?” IMO the Old Testament is basically folklore, the recorded traditions of a people’s experience of godliness. pl

  102. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I have heard that there are archeological evidence for the Book of Judges.
    I think no archeological evidence for the Book of Kings, Book of Daniel, and Book of Esther have ever been found.
    Still, people talk as though the Kingdoms of David and Solomon did really exist.

  103. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Well, he had friendly relations with Israel.

  104. turcopolier says:

    larry kart
    All kinds of strange things are said. I think the evangelical belief that the place of crucifixion and burial is outside the walls near the Arab bus stop is particularly good. Apparently Chinese Gordon thought that as well. The archaeology about the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is IMO pretty solid. On one occasion I was in the basilica and listened to an Israeli tour guide tell some English speakers that the all the Christians do is fight with each other and the Israeli government maintains the building and re-furbishes it. I tapped him on the back and told him that I belonged to the RC group that did all of that and that I thought he ought to knock off the crap. pl

  105. Larry Kart says:

    “the recorded traditions of a people’s experience of godliness.” Exactly. But recorded traditions, however high they may be in fanciful matter, ARE recorded traditions, not probably or wholly ex post facto invented B.S. Further, as Babak posted, when it comes to some latter-day “events” in the Old Testament, there is some supporting archeological evidence. About, say, Abraham and Isaac, not so much.

  106. Larry Kart says:

    Sorry if I’ve already posted this. If I have, delete it please:
    As to the historical reality of Jesus, I like the position taken in this book and in this review of it, which I elicted when I was Book Editor at the Chicago Tribune:
    Though both the author and the reviewer are believing Christians, they seem to me to be reasonably scrupulous historians as well.

  107. Larry Kart,
    Precisely because how these matters work out in Britain and the United States may be similar, or different, it seemed to me sensible to be blunt about what I think is happening here.
    In relation to Brexit, my SWMBO and I watched the British political élite do something close to committing hara-kari, because they were incapable of paying attention to the things which people think but do not necessarily say. We wondered whether their American counterparts would learn any lessons, but they patently didn’t.
    In a post-mortem on the ‘Remain’ campaign, my sometime London Weekend Television colleague Peter – now Lord – Mandelson, explained that their pollsters told them that economics was the be-all-and-end all, and that immigration wasn’t really an issue.
    When we discussed this with old friends who know much more about British politics than we do, their reaction was contemptuous – ‘he could have gone out into the street.’
    You may ask what this has to do with anti-Semitism. I will try to explain.
    What the ‘Remain’ campaign and Hillary Clinton’s had in common was the premise that the only real opposition to their ‘modernising’ agendas came, as it were, from old white working class men who hadn’t quite managed to die out yet. (Give them time!)
    In the British case, this could not have been more wrong. Intimately involved with the ‘Brexit’ referendum was a massive collapse of confidence in an élite political consensus which was essentially neoconservative and neoliberal. The precise nature of the dissatisfaction, and what people want done about it, vary enormously – this is ancient chaos – but it is very widespread.
    At issue are three distinct, but related, elements of this consensus:
    (1). The enthusiasm for ‘régime change’, originally by invasion, now more often by subversion, which is seen as having caused chaos, Islamic terrorism, refugees predominantly from Islamic nations flooding into Europe;
    (2). An enthusiasm for open borders and ‘multiculturalism’, which taken together with the preceding item, is held to involve a mushrooming of essentially unassimilable populations, together with terrorist attacks – to which ‘illberal’ solutions clearly have problems, but ‘liberal’ solutions ones are patently not an adequate answer;
    (3). Economic policies which involve exposing both the working and much of the middle class to the full rigour of market forces in a globalising economy, while their effect is to reward, and protect, a corrupt plutocracy.
    As a simple matter of fact, influential Jews have championed (1), (3), and to a lesser extent (2).
    The palpably massive intellectual shifts that are happening are very evident if one reads the most highly recommended comments on articles on the ‘MailOnline’ and ‘Financial Times’ sites. On the latter, a commenter who regularly gets most recommendations, using the name ‘MarkGB’, has set up his own blog.
    A specimen piece commented on a reaction by the paper’s chief economics commentator, Martin Wolf, to the election of Donald Trump – and is entitled ‘Martin Wolf gets his blame in early.’
    (See http://www.markgb.com/blog/2016/11/10/martin-wolf-gets-his-blame-in-early )
    The ‘arsonist predecessors’ to Trump listed by MarkGB are Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Bill Clinton, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. If my memory serves me right, all of these apart from Clinton are Jews, as is Martin Wolf. Of course, it is possible that this is MarkGB revealing his underlying antisemitism. There are alternative explanations.
    I could go through the same exercise with (1), and to a lesser extent (2).
    What is also the case is that many of the most incisive critics of the neoconservative/neoliberal consensus are Jewish. However, in the United States as also in Britain, it seems, with Jews, that there is an inverse correlation between intelligence (genuine ability to think, as distinct from ability to shine in exams, or make money) and influence.
    On this, a useful contrast is between the treatment of Britain in an article entitled ‘Unmaking England: Will immigration demolish in decades a nation built over centuries?’ published by Benjamin Schwarz in the ‘American Conservative’ in January 2016, and a piece entitled ‘Is it Time for The Jews to Leave Europe?’ published in the ‘Atlantic’ by Jeffrey Goldberg in April 2015.
    (See http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unmaking-england/ ; http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/is-it-time-for-the-jews-to-leave-europe/386279/ .)
    In a number of passages which reveal his complete lack of serious interest in the actual condition of Jews in Britain, Goldberg writes:
    ‘When I met with Cameron in January, on his most recent visit to Washington, D.C., he expressed, with something close to Valls’s passion, a fear for the future of Britain’s Jewish minority. “The Jewish community in Britain has been there for centuries and has made an extraordinary contribution to our country,” he said. “I would be heartbroken if I ever thought that people in the Jewish community thought that Britain was no longer a safe place for them.”’
    Actually this is complete BS, as becomes apparent if one contrasts Goldberg’s reflections with those of Schwarz – as I noted in comments on the article, he gets important parts of the history wrong, but as an act of engagement with a culture not one’s own, this is impressive.
    As is implicit in Schwarz’s discussion of the immigrant contribution to British life, there is most certainly an ‘extraordinary contribution’ by Jews to this country. By far the larger part of it, however, did not come from members of some long-established ‘Jewish community’, but from refugees from the disasters of continental European history.
    (Very many of them were open-minded and intellectually curious people who, like Schwarz himself, took advantage of the opportunities that being genuinely ‘multicultural’ offers. Such people would have been appalled by Goldberg.)
    As such, it included people who represented every kind of response to the great opportunities, and extraordinary dangers, opened up for Jews by the processes associated with ‘modernisation’ in post-1789 Europe. An unfortunate part of this was that we imported ‘commie rats’ like Sam Aaronovitch and Ralph Miliband, whom we could well have done without. And, due to unfortunate accidents, the children of such people have come to exercise disproportionate influence – and are as silly as their parents, simply in different ways.
    However, some of the extraordinarily diverse cultural wealth we imported is evident in Schwarz’s list of immigrants. I could multiply that several times over, easily. But precisely what they did not constitute is Lord Finkelstein’s notion of a ‘community’, enforcing ‘discipline’ on those who question its Zionist enthusiasms. And an unsurprisingly corollary was that very many of the most interesting Jews ‘married out’.
    And this is precisely the problem. We are now left with a ‘Jewish community’ which defines its identity in terms of the kind of Zionist ‘narrative’ which is the basis of Jeffrey Goldberg’s article: a myth of ‘exile and return’, which can only be sustained by postulating that antisemitism is an eternal, timeless, urge of the ‘goyim’.
    Such a vision quite clearly cannot provide any basis for a durable Jewish presence in the Middle East – and will lead naturally to revival of antisemitism in Europe. So it could be ‘lose, lose, lose’: there may be nothing left of Jewish identity at all, at the end of all this.
    And these are difficulties with which intelligent British Jews – who, almost by definition, are distanced or distancing themselves from the ‘community’ – are attempting to grapple.
    If you want some grasp of the issues involved, you might try reading Gilad Atzmon or Robert Cohen.
    As to Atzmon, he is by origin something of an Israeli ‘deplorable’, and by temperament an intellectual ‘bar room brawler’ (he is inclined to use the ‘rabbit punch’ when the stilleto might be more effective.) But the fact that he often goes way over the top does not diminish the importance of what is saying. A good start is http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/obama-netanyahu-esther.html .
    As to Cohen, he is a lot of things Atzmon is not: an Orthodox Jew, although married to an Anglican Minister, and a sweet, gentle and kindly man – also someone who has a very good knowledge of English life. (It helps to have started out in BBC local radio.)
    Good starting points here are posts entitled ‘OMG! I’ve just renounced my right to Jewish national self-determination’, ‘Reclaiming the lost Jewish voices of the Balfour Declaration’, and ‘Two years on, Scotland’s Jews concerned over Gaza – but for all the wrong reasons.’
    (See http://www.patheos.com/blogs/writingfromtheedge/ .)
    I have gone on quite long enough, but two final points need to be addressed.
    It may be that the dangers of a ‘new antisemitism’ to which I am pointing do not exist in the United States. As you note, your conceptions of identity are historically more fluid than ours. But before making a judgement on this, it might be helpful to at least spend a little time trying to understand what is happening in Britain.
    As to my remarks about preferring it if our Jewish friends and their children ‘marry out’.
    To explain the relevant history to Americans might be too difficult, I suspect.
    But, for what it is worth, a brief anecdote. Years ago, when making a programme about the break-up of ‘consensus politics’ in Britain – which was partly engineered by ‘commie rats’ like the Aaronovitches and Milibands – I spent an evening with the widow of the Labour leader of the ‘Fifties, Hugh Gaitskell.
    He was a Wykehamist – a kind of socialist that came out of British imperial culture. She was born Dora Creditor, near Riga, the daughter of a Hebrew scholar and writer. When I met her she was already somewhat gaga. She plied me with white wine, and talked about how her husband’s family had never really accepted her.
    But, precisely because she was losing her faculties, it was patently clear that she was a ‘sweetheart’, as we say in Britain. I could very easily see why he had loved her and married her.
    There are indications, signs, by which people recognise each other. She knew, instinctively, that although I came from a world closer to her husband’s, I would have no sympathy whatsoever with his family’s reservations about his bohemian Jewish wife.
    However, this cuts both ways. Some years ago Philip Weiss recalled a communication from John Podhoretz – ‘just because you married a shiksa.’
    Rarely does it occur to me to praise the superior civilisation of British culture over American. But in the – Anglo-Jewish – circles in which I move, it would be unthinkable that anyone could say that. It would be like crapping on the carpet.
    And here, it becomes relevant that we are none of us that ‘civilised’. If you tell me, as a ‘goy’, that you do not want to marry my women, then do not try to influence my ‘goyish’ politics. As Atzmon – who has the advantage of not being over-civilised – realises, that is a route to see antisemitism coming back, with a vengeance.

  108. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Some studies have been made of why America supports Israel and related topics.
    Some I have found informative are:
    Beyond Chutzpah by Norman G. Finkelstein
    The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt
    The Transparent Cabal by Stephen J. Sniegoski
    the blog Mondoweiss moderated by Philip Weiss
    All have been described as “anti-Semitic” by some.
    Caveat lector!

  109. turcopolier says:

    larry kart
    I am uninterested in the historical reality of Jesus. I am Catholic because I wish to participate in what I consider to be the main theme of Western civilization. pl

  110. Keith Harbaugh says:

    PS: Please let me add to my above post some extended but relevant excerpts (with added emphasis) from the fine Mondoweiss post
    Why Obama waited 8 years to take on Netanyahu by Philip Weiss:

    John Kerry’s closing act as secretary of state is a 72-minute speech devoted to a problem, Israeli settlements,
    that was removed from the Democratic Party platform just five months before.
    The bitter failure of the Obama administration to take on Netanyahu until the last minute is proof of the power of the Israel lobby inside American liberalism.
    The Democratic Party will support justice in the Middle East only if it takes on the forces of intolerance in its own ranks.
    That means the Israel lobby.
    You can’t defeat an enemy if you can’t name it.
    [The above is actually from the description of the post on the front page of the Mondoweiss website.]
    Obama has finally done what he wanted to do and taken on Benjamin Netanyahu and exposed his extremism.
    Why did he wait so long? The answer is simple:
    the Israel lobby was against any real action.
    Jewish Americans of my generation and older opposed any pressure on Israel.

    As Elise Labott said last night on CNN, Obama did not push the settlements/Palestinian state issue before the election
    out of deference to Hillary Clinton.
    Labott was saying, without saying it, that
    Clinton was so dependent on the Jewish establishment and large Jewish donors,
    that she could not “undermine [the] party’s fundraising capabilities” (as the National Journal says)
    by saying a word against Israel.

    Today on NPR Daoud Kuttab said very much the same thing:
    that presidents take these actions in their last months
    when they are freed of “domestic, political, lobbying” pressures.

    PS. And don’t blame the Christian right;
    they don’t tell Democrats what to say about abortion or gay rights or women’s rights.

  111. elaine says:

    Thank you Sir, that was a very interesting & thoughtful read. In it’s conclusion it asks a question of great importance for our time.

  112. elaine says:

    Colonel, Do I consider the Bible to be an historical document? In a sense
    perhaps…I’m still working on that by reading issues of The Biblical Archaeology Review…cross cultural oral traditions written down later
    sometimes by scribes with agendas & later edited by groups with conflicting agendas, these are issues that complicate.
    I do however consider the Bible to be much more than simply an historical document.

  113. Babak Makkinejad says:

    For the ideas in that essay, the author would be murdered in any number of Muslim countries.

  114. FB Ali says:

    I’m glad you found it interesting, even though it was primarily aimed at Muslim readers.
    I’ve also developed the same thesis for a non-Muslim reader (ie, someone who doesn’t start with certain beliefs that Muslims generally hold). If interested, it’s at:

  115. Babak Makkinejad says:

    About inter-marriage – in the United States:
    She finds out you are from XYZ religion or country, and therefore she won’t give you the time of day.
    Known too many such cases.

  116. Croesus says:

    If you’ll pardon my insouciance, why should anyone care whether they are labeled as “antisemitic” or not?
    If what one says about another rises to the level of libel or slander, there are legal processes to remedy the harm.
    If what one says about another merely offends the community’s societal norms, then that community will react to herd that individual back into line. If what one says hurts another person’s feelings, suck it up. When I was a kid my Mother used to use a pop tune to remind us that “I never promised you a rose garden.”
    But a set of laws, or government-enforced protections for one group as against all other groups, that constrain what I may think or say about such a protected group, is abhorrent. It violates the rights guaranteed by the U S Bill of Rights.
    One is frequently cautioned that Jews deserve special protection because they have been persecuted through the ages. Rabbi Henry Abramson lectures on Jewish biographies as history; recently I heard his lecture on Heinrich Graetz, the Polish-German Jew who, in the late 1800s wrote the first encyclopedic history of the Jewish people. Graetz laid heavy emphasis on Jewish victimhood thru the ages. Graetz’s history has been the second-most popular book in Jewish life for at least a hundred years, Abramson said. “And it is great!” said the rabbi; “it gives me a firm sense of my Jewish identity.”
    But, Abramson continued, Graetz’s history has some limitations and some gaps — big gaps. Graetz held Jewish mysticism and kabalism in disdain, and did not discuss those topics; likewise, Graetz did not mention those situations when Jewish people did fall short of the heroic mark he set for them, or did commit offenses against the commonweal. There is no reason why non-Jews should be bound by the ideological biases and ethnic loyalties of a 19th century historian.
    Moreover, in a more recent history of the Jews edited by David Biale, one author provides another explanation for the prevalence of the victimhood narrative in Jewish historiography: Ivan Marcus argues that claims that Jews were “isolated from their Christian neighbors,” or persistently persecuted by them, “are not supported by the evidence nor by common sense. We will see that the assumptions of the widely accepted view are not believable.” Marcus explained further that in the relatively infrequent events in which Jews were persecuted, at the time the trauma occurred it was commemorated liturgically in hymns and prayers. Those liturgical expressions were repeated for generations after the actual event had faded from the group memory, but later historians nonetheless used the liturgies as evidence of a persistent pattern of persecution in Jewish life.
    In short, there is a great deal of complexity in the history of a group that has perdured so long, and has been present in so many and varied places and cultures (Biale’s book is titled “Cultures [plural] of the Jews”).
    The USA has adjudicated and apparently approved of, and erected government enforcement of the rights to abortion, marriage between persons of the same gender, and transgender bathroom rights.
    The next movement out of the closet ought to be government’s full protection of, and enforcement against violations of, the right to think and speak freely, and to tell versions of historical events, that may or may not be in sync with a narrative demanded by some (inappropriately, in my view) protected classes.
    The alternative is to be forced to walk down a narrow path, seeing only what one is permitted to see while remaining blind to larger realities.

  117. turcopolier says:

    “will react to herd that individual back into line.” Are you herdable? I am not. pl

  118. Medicine Man says:

    I think both of your answers wrt how Trump will handle Bibi are accurate and that at first he will be appeased by flattery and then later he will not. Assuming that Bibi handles Trump very carefully — which is not an assumption I would bank on, as Bibi is demonstrably prone to treating US leadership like lickspittles — eventually Bibi’s kowtowing will cease to be novel and his maneuvering will be taken at face value.

  119. MRW says:

    Jeffrey Blankfort, photographer, radio personality, and 45-year Palestinian activist, said when asked during a debate for a definition of anti-semitism, “If it’s true, it’s not anti-semitism.” Don’t have a link.
    In August 2002, Shulamit Aloni, former Knesset member who headed the Meretz Party*, appeared on Democracy Now! https://www.democracynow.org/2002/8/14/israels_first_lady_of_human_rights.
    When asked about anti-semitism, Aloni said, “It’s a trick. We always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring out the Holocaust. When in this country somebody is criticizing Israel, then they are anti-semitic.” She said Israel is not ready is hear criticism, so they use the anti-semitism charge to silence them, and use Jewish power in this country to make it stick.
    Listen starting at 51 min. Link opens to her segment.
    The entire segment is worthwhile for the history of the British Emergency Law of 1945 that she says Israel adopted in a “more barbaric way” and uses it now to oppress the Palestinians.
    Also, Minister Without Portfolio, Minister of Education and Culture, Minister of Communications, Minister of Science and Technology, Minister of Science and the Arts

  120. Nancy K says:

    Murdoch’s mother was Jewish, that makes him Jewish.

  121. MRW says:

    Great post, David at 31 December 2016 at 02:44 PM.

  122. elaine says:

    Thank you again Sir, Forgive my initial response of “interesting & thoughtful”, actually I’m awe struck, deeply moved by both essays.

  123. MRW says:

    “I tapped him on the back and told him that I belonged to the RC group that did all of that and that I thought he ought to knock off the crap.”
    Love it.
    I haven’t been to Israel but my family has. They said the distortions and lies they heard from Israeli tour guides was grating, and this particular group of relatives are ‘Israel right or wrong’. It became so annoying they could hardly wait to leave.

  124. elaine says:

    Babak, Re: Evidence of King David: google “The Tel Dan inscription.”

  125. MRW says:

    My graduate art history teacher in college was considered the world expert on the 17th C sculptor Bernini, creator of the Baroque style. She spent her summers in Rome, mostly buried in documents at the Vatican Library. Over the years, she had become best friends of the #1 Vatican Library director, the head poobah.
    When classes began in September, she walked into our small class of four excited and voluble as hell. She had a slide show to show us of her discoveries that summer. She couldn’t contain herself, and this was one laconic (Swiss-German?) German otherwise. That summer the Vatican director took her aside and said he wanted to show her something, which he said he was only doing because it was not her area of research.
    He took her into an area off-limits to ordinary researchers and even Vatican priests who worked at the Library, an area few entered apparently. He pulled out the ‘flats’ in a flat file–the wide drawers that hold over-sized drawings and architectural blueprints flat.
    What he showed her were the original 14th C roughs and drawings for the iconography of the Bible, drawn by scribes and artists. He told her that these young Vatican scribes and artists were charged with coming up with stories using myths that the 14th C peasants in Italy still believed in. Italy didn’t exist until the 1800s, so it was the Duchys.
    The Church feared losing its hegemony among the common folk because of the power of these pagan beliefs, and needed to take action. The young Vatican scribes and artists—they came from these countrysides—took the pagan stories the peasantry believed in and reworked them, re-interpreted them, using, or referencing, the biblical religious writings available at the time. Remember, the first real Bible wasn’t printed until a century later in 1451 A.D.
    I was raised Catholic, the only one among the four of us. I sat there thunderstruck. Seriously. Never forgot that day. The Vatican Director had allowed her to take all the pictures she wanted, and to spend time going through the flat files dedicated to this endeavor, and she had the slides. I said You mean to tell me they made it all up? She said yes. I said ALL of it? She said Yes, and spent the whole morning showing us the 3 rings of slides she’d taken. There were 60 slides in each ring.
    She made it very clear that this was not a case of illustrating text already written, but rather the Catholic Bible was subsequently written from these illustrations, by using these illustrations. The peasantry couldn’t read. They needed pictures. Sort of like a fancy comic book.

  126. MRW says:

    I think Trump is defanging Netanyahu.
    Sarah Netanyahu has sniffed on a couple of occasions that Bibi is more powerful than the President of the United States. And I’m sure he believes it as well. Freier Bibi surely knows that a prez’s only power is in foreign policy, so he spent the first three years of Obama’s first term running rings around him. If Obama had had any sense of strategy he would have told Netanyahu he would deal with Israel’s Head of State. And that ain’t Netanyahu.
    I doubt he is going to be able to get away with that with Trump.

  127. MRW says:

    God, the next four years are going to be entertaining.

  128. MRW says:

    David: the Robert Cohen article you link to is fabulous!

  129. Larry Kart says:

    And that gives decisive weight to his “Jews control America”? Better he should have been thinking about who controls Iran.
    BTW, when my beloved and wholly Jewish wife was in college — my beloved late first wife of 36 years was a gentile from Kansas — her boyfriend for a while was the Shah of Iran’s son. On their dates his rather alarming security detail was omnipresent. Perhaps they reported back to daddy?

  130. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You cannot be serious about that.
    I know it is difficult, but please accept that there is no – none, nanda, zilch, rien – evidence that could sustain the tales of Book of Kings.

  131. Larry Kart says:

    Being labeled anti-Semitic? I would say that that’s one’s own problem or non-problem, to be resolved or be left un-resolved as one wishes and as the social context in which one lives seems to require (or to not require).
    Now actually being anti-Semitic — that is, to significantly entertaini any of the longstanding and IMO crucial tropes of that stamp (e.g. ascribing dark negative traits to Jews en masse, regarding them as a subhuman social bacillus, Jews as conspiratorial puppet masters who secretly control society, etc.; the list is a long one and has varied over the course of history, but you probably get the drift) — that as I’ve said elsewhere on this long thread is a problem IMO. And it’s a problem not only because of the actual direct damage that can be done to actual others in its name but also because those who engage in such thinking (or “thinking”) tend to damage themselves by ceding significant portions of their minds and hearts to fantasy, and to dark fantasy at that. And in this, as I’ve said before, I emphatically include those Jews who try to pump up the notion that anti-Semitism is everywhere and that its presence justifies special preferred treatment toward them and their interests. That is, IMO we all have an obligation to ourselves and to our societies to behave and think as rationally, as reasonably, and as fairly as possible and to not dip into the dark waters of social fantasy.

  132. LeaNder says:

    I recall the larger journey the “self-determination” sent me into. … Like other matters I stumbled acrosss: “Terra incognita” as used from private exchanges with an Israeli American alluding to “Judea and Samaria”.
    I like David’s fervent response, but I also like your more personal reservations. 😉
    Concerning the “shiksa” passage, I recall that well too. Around that time Phil had however vaguely a project in mind about, well how to best call it: The strange encounter between a Jew marrying into the former WASP elite? Ok, not quite. The clash between two ethnic cultures in marriage?
    All I remember was that I often challenged him in the comment sections in his short attempts to define the two opposite supposedly clashing elite identities, his versus that of his wife. … Lot of that didn’t–from my own perspective–satisfactorily justify his project. Meaning nothing felt that special or unfamiliar. 😉
    My favorite among his early more personal short comments or reminiscences, was one in which he transferred himself in time and space, adopting the respective political character he might have adopted at the respective time. … That I liked a lot.
    But Larry’s struggle, to which David responds, somewhat feels like my own earlier struggles here. 😉

  133. Larry Kart says:

    Very interesting — thanks for your detailed response. I’ll need to think for a good while before I attempt an adequate response myself.
    About Jewish-Gentile intermarriage in the U.S., though, and what does or does not lead up to it, all I can say is that based on my own experience and observations, it varies greatly, depending on all sort of factors — religious background on either side ( or”side”), actual or would-be social status and what sorts of attitudes toward Jews (or Gentiles) go along with that sense of status, what generation one belongs to, even regional matters and what in terms of social history and experience lie behind them. In general, though (and to reuse a favorite term), in my lifetime such matters may well be shaggier in the U.S. than they, say, they were in Great Britain during Gaitskell’s time.
    BTW, not that he’s an utterly reliable figure in this realm — rather I would say, borrowing a phrase from the the late writer Isaac Rosenfeld, that he’s as sensitive as a burn — but when Philip Roth was living in England while he was married to Claire Bloom, at dinner parties and other social gatherings he was astonished by the volume of casual or not so casual anti-Jewish remarks that he encountered on a regular basis — these BTW not directed at him by and large but just a choral undertone of normal conversation. Maybe this was some of your “new anti-Semitism,” a response to the sorts of things you’ve mentioned, but IIRC Roth’s sense was that this something that either always had been there or, if it was re-emerging thanks to new stimuli, it definitely was RE-emerging.

  134. Larry Kart,
    I think things always were distinctly shaggy over here. As with any culture, if you look at it closely, one finds it fraught with complexities and contradictions.
    As regards Philip Roth, I think he may not have understood how a certain kind of English culture works. Not having read his books, I cannot accurately judge, but from such impressions as I have formed, I think a lot of people might have found him a kind of Jew whom they did not like.
    If this was the case, a very English strategy might have been to make casual anti-Semitic remarks, apparently not directed at him. Without some basis in underlying antisemitism, this could not have happened. But he might have failed to grasp the extent to which what was at issue was a dislike of him personally, and a certain kind of Jewishness he seemed to represent.
    Another drunken conversation I remember was with a very left-wing Birmingham councillor and his wife, about a lady called Edwina Currie – she later had an affair with John Major, who succeeded Thatcher as Prime Minister. She had been a prominent figure in Tory politics in Birmingham, and was then looking for a parliamentary seat.
    They told me that none of the local Tory parties wanted to select her, but all were resigned to the fact that she would get nominated somewhere – as eventually she did. (They appeared to regard her, with resignation, as a kind of unstoppable force of nature.)
    Involved in this was a certain kind of ‘old anti-Semitism’: which, however, was emphatically not genocidal. She was good looking when I met her, but the husband told me she had been very beautiful, which I could readily believe. Indeed, I could see her dancing to a Sephardic song.
    Actually, I really liked her, although I could see why others might not have done. But I suspect I would not have taken to Philip Roth.
    Most of the places in which my SWMBO and I have spent our lives are ones in which antisemitism has been conspicuous by its utter absence.
    Implicit in this however is a problem I did not anticipate. At different levels of British society, there has been a natural meeting between ‘indigenous’ elements and Jews, who both, in different ways, and to greater or lesser degrees, wanted to escape from the constraints of a ‘tribal’ identity. A natural result is that it has been very easy for ‘assimilationist’ Jews to assimilate.
    The effects of the ‘Shoah’ here were very strange, and indeed paradoxical. On the one hand, precisely because in the German worlds the ‘assimilationist’ tendency had been so strong, it left a residue of fear that, even if you tried to assimilate, the ‘goyim’ might still come for you. (Ironically, it is precisely in the Jews I knew who were refugees from Nazism that this fear was conspicuous by its absence.)
    The legacy of the ‘Shoah’ has also created a dangerous delusion among some Jews. For a time, it became acceptable among the ‘goyim’ that, as it were, Jews could profess ‘universalist’ creeds, and still be entitled to combine these with ‘tribal’ allegiance.
    This state of affairs could not be expected to last for ever, and is in fact becoming untenable.

  135. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Shah of Iran was not against Jews; he was stating some facts.

  136. MRW says:

    You’re right, Babak about “none, nanda, zilch, rien” according to an Israeli archeologist who published this article in Ha’aretz in 1999.
    Entitled: “Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho” By Professor Ze’ev Herzog, Tel Aviv University. Herzog was head of the dept, and on many of the archeological digs he writes about. He caused an uproar when he came out with this article, and all the Izzy mythmakers descended upon him. Check his bio on wikipedia. It’s impressive.
    The preamble:
    “Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel,
    archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs’ acts are legendary, the
    Israelites did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, they did not conquer
    the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon,
    nor of the source of belief in the God of Israel. These facts have been
    known for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and nobody wants to hear
    about it.”

  137. MRW says:

    Philip Roth did not understand the British aristocratic class. He, like most Americans, could not navigate the (surface) fierceness and candor of their speech on any topic. The Brits openly mocked them for it at dinner parties at one time, hooting about the American propensity to insist that everything be “nice.” I’ve had a few friends who’ve encountered it, and they returned to the US withered, hurt. Philip Roth was out of his league, and it had nothing to do with his jewishness, however much he was prone to think so. I was raised in a British boarding school; I know the drill. Roth didn’t have a clue.

  138. MRW says:

    FB Ali. Wonderful stuff!

  139. Larry Kart says:

    But the Shah’s facts are not factual: Jews do not control America. That the Shah thought so does not make it so. Let me put it this way: if they (or, if you prefer, we) do “control America,”we’ve certainly been asleep at the wheel.

  140. MRW says:

    Larry, further to my 01 January 2017 at 05:28 PM comment:
    The British upper crust engage in playful intellectual savagery. You can’t drag your Lower East Side sensibilities and bag of injustices into British upper crust gatherings and not expect the bag to be upended at your feet and sneered at. For joust, for sport. Roth was obviously incapable of responding in kind. He didn’t have the intellectual or linguistic skill to meet the challenge. It was his failing. Not the Brits’.
    Americans are still mewling about 9/11 as if it were the worst thing to befall mankind. Don’t forget the British endured the equivalent every day during the Bombing of London in WWII. Their response? A sign. “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
    The Brits were taught an intellectual fortitude that we have no clue how to engage, it was part of their national character; we had other strengths that matched it in effect. (Properly trained US Military officers, however, have it in spades, which is why I believe in a universal draft here just to toughen up our youth.) I don’t know about Britain today—David Habakkuk’s Benjamin Schwarz reference touches upon the changes—but it certainly was true of the past.

  141. Refreshingly straight talking. As a provincial deplorable a couple of points strike me:-
    1. “Rarely does it occur to me to praise the superior civilisation of British culture over American.”
    In truth, when it comes to our cultural overlay, the cultural centre of gravity has always lain outside these islands. Over the last four centuries it’s been Italy, France for a very long time, a bit of dabbling with Germany from around the mid nineteenth century on. Now it’s shifted to America and there’s little sign of it shifting back.
    2. Antisemitism. Is it worth spending time on it? Aren’t accusations of antisemitism mostly used these days as debate killers? Just a handy club to get us all to fall into line?
    If you happen to remark that the occupied territories, and Israel itself not so long ago, are one of the few places where families can be thrown out of their houses without so much as a by your leave – no compensation, no legal recourse – then such a remark, in many circles, is proof positive of antisemitism. Sharp intakes of breath all round. And if Mrs May offers to make such remarks a hate crime – who knows what she’s going to offer next time she takes tea with the Conservative Friends of Israel ?- you might even get the police coming round to have a chat about it. But does anyone really take accusations of antisemitism seriously when those accusations are deployed merely to block objection to wrongdoing?
    Because I grew up in a part of England where there was no discernible prejudice against Jews I don’t qualify in the antisemitism stakes. The background prejudice floating around in my youth wasn’t antisemitism. It was a mild form of anti-Catholicism, a prejudice that co-existed quite happily with the assertion I heard repeated every Sunday at Matins that we Anglicans were part of the Holy Catholic Church. Judaism was regarded as a good effort as far as it went though only a precursor to the real thing. A patronising attitude, it now seems to me, but scarcely hate crime. So it still seems odd to me when I see accusations of antisemitism used as an all purpose defence for whatever barbarity the Israelis come up with next. It’s not something I can relate to.
    I’m not even sure one ought to try to relate to it. Is it worth spending time on such nonsensical arguments as are commonly put forward in this area? That because our English ancestors probably came from Iberia we can pop back and grab ourselves a piece of Spanish real estate? That because of atrocities perpetrated seventy years ago and a thousand and more miles away from Palestine it’s OK to confiscate a Palestinian house? That objecting to such confiscation is “antisemitic” and the objection therefore invalid? Try such arguments as that in any Western court. The judge would think you delusional.
    Somewhere in the far reaches of the internet I once came across a cheerful bunch of lunatics proclaiming that the moon landing was filmed in a shed in Utah. It couldn’t have been done as advertised on account of the earth being flat. How would you argue with stuff as wrongheaded as that? Were you to even try to argue, that would make you part of the world-wide conspiracy of anti-flat earthers and you’d merely be proving to them your prejudice. So you don’t argue. You just walk quietly away. When we see the club of “antisemitism” being wielded to suppress objection to acts that are plainly wrong then I reckon walking quietly away is by far the best option. Reasoning only reinforces the delusion. Just oppose the wrong and leave it at that.

  142. LeaNder says:

    babbling alert,
    I’ve had a few friends who’ve encountered it, and they returned to the US withered, hurt.
    MRW, when we met I had the impression it was your own dislike. I don’t recall you referred to your friends at that point in time. 😉
    I was raised in a British boarding school; I know the drill. Roth didn’t have a clue.
    That of course seems to leave traces in some natives too. One of my friends in GB nailed his school uniform against a wall in the more private space of his flat. Considering size, the last I suppose … Hmm, he also might have been too “nice”, trusting the wrong person around the time we met.
    His parents had enrolled him for the school when he was four, I seem to recall. Seems that one was in high demand.

  143. LeaNder says:

    Larry, I like Philip Roth, a good writer. But I was a bit stunned when I stumbled across reviews of his “Plot Against America”, in the end decided to not read it.
    I am aware of US resistance against joining WWII, the treatment of ‘conscientious’ objectors, isolationism, and antisemitism in the US … but obviously I profited to from American sacrifice. Thus suddenly I was confronting a puzzle.
    Don’t misunderstand, I could also somewhat sympathize with what is basically a fear scenario..
    What seriously worried my though, was, that it seemed to pick up on the hyped up analogies with Germany, Hitler and the Nazis. Something that both startled me and made me more curious.
    Read my late historian friend Fritz Stern:
    Abroad, the successive burdens of Korea and Vietnam, which demanded the sacrifice of American lives and fortunes, were followed by the rise of an altogether new challenge, international terrorism, with the United States as its principal target.
    A nation puzzled and divided by American ascendancy following World War II was attuned to the many analogues that politicians and partisan scholars offered. It is no wonder many of these analogies focused on the most dramatic and recent world-historical disaster—the rise and fall of Hitler and his empire. In the early 1950s, left-wing alarmists saw in Senator McCarthy a Hitler and in Eisenhower, a Hindenburg. At the time, I thought this an invidious and dangerous comparison in that American political culture was fundamentally different from that of Germany. But German has been the language of politics in extremis, Weimar the symbol of democratic self-destruction, Hitler the reminder of the all-powerful, enthralling tyrant—and appeasement of him as the road to war.

  144. jld says:

    Irrespective of the Jewishness on either side I think American people are totally unprepared for British humor which is probably felt as acerbic and derogatory when it is just the proper accompaniment of the “stiff upper lip” and “cucumber coolness”.

  145. Larry Kart says:

    I don’t much like Roth’s “The Plot Against America” or any of his other latter-day “meta-historical” works of fiction. IMO that is not his metier, to say the least. Give me the Zukerman books, “Operation Shylock,” and, above all, “Sabbath’s Theater.” (BTW, a late friend of mine, himself a brilliant novelist who also was a friend of Roth’s, wrote in a review of “Sabbath’s Theater” that the deliberately outrageous main character was an instance of Roth’s gift for “preposterone.”)
    Yes, “The Plot Against America” in particular captures and extends a certain understandable hysteria that America’s Jews were prey to at that time; and while I was not yet born during Lindbergh’s America First/more or less pro-Nazi Germany heyday, it’s not easy in retrospect to properly measure the sway over a good-sized portion of the collective American consciousness of that this mega-watt glamorous suffering hero (suffering because of the kidnaping death of his son) and his also suffering for the same reason mega-watt best-selling-author wife had in the late 1930s.
    BTW, as a personal example of that infectious hysteria at work in its latter days, when I was about 10 or so, circa 1952, my parents, my sister, and I were driving up to a cabin in northern Wisconsin in the summertime. The car radio was on, and a man was talking. He was Gerald L.K. Smith, and he was spouting the most hair-raising, we need to take action ASAP against this pernicious evil, Jew-hatred stuff that you (or at least my young self) could imagine.
    At first I probably took as much account of Smith’s startling tone of voice (I think he was close to screaming) as anything else, but then I began (more or less at once) to realize that: 1) He’s talking or screaming about me; 2) He’s on the radio; he’s not some nut ranting on a street corner or in his living room, which means that what he’s saying is quite acceptable both to the management of an ordinary Wisconsin radio station and also attractive to some portion of its audience. (Why my parents left the Smith show rattle on on the car radio and without comment from them, I don’t know, but I heard it for a good while.)
    Now what I didn’t know at the time was that Smith’s heyday was in the past — that he was IIRC an offshoot of Fr. Coughlin and Lindbergh who had probably gained some new impetus from Sen. McCarthy (thus the Wisconsin venue?) and that his presence on a regional radio station in northern Wisconsin now was about his speed. Nonetheless in my combined precociousness and naivete, I was scared out of my wits, so much so that I didn’t mention the effect on me of what I’d heard to my oddly silent parents. And if I were Mr. Roth, who no doubt was quite familiar with the likes of Smith and the rest in their heyday, that experience eventually might have generated an over-heated, unsuccessful work of meta-fiction on my part.

  146. MRW says:

    Exactly, jld {02 January 2017 at 07:51 AM}
    And really stiff drinks.

  147. MRW says:

    the list is a long one and has varied over the course of history, but you probably get the drift
    Larry, you might be interested in this 7 min clip of Israel Shahak addressing that course of history in 1994, the explanation coming in the last half, and makes perfect sense as to why Jews were hated by the masses during certain periods. They did control society in service to the ruler. Tony Karon detailed the same thing in 18th and 19th C Poland:
    “Israel Shahak ..Jewish scholar / ‘anti-Semite’ on WHY Jews were persecuted”
    It’s from an hour long interview he engaged in on October 14, 1994. He was on a book tour. On November 4, 1994, he gave a much longer talk at MIT with Noam Chomsky, which I found more fascinating. He got a lot of pushback from Jewish students wearing yarmulkas during the Q&A and roared in return. Great video, imo, if you have the time and, moreover, interest, and doesn’t bore. Shahak speaks slowly and is hard to understand in a few spots. I sped him up to 1.25X using the gear in the bottom right. (We retain stuff better heard at faster speeds.)

  148. MRW says:

    he also might have been too “nice”, trusting the wrong person around the time we met.
    The niceness I was referring to wasn’t character or quality of self, which is a good thing, but rather insisting on ‘niceness’ in conversation, insisting on a veneer of politeness, and being easily offended or hurt when it isn’t. Every American kid has heard it a million times, “Oh you can’t say that, Johnny. That’s not nice.” American kids are not taught how to use their words as rapiers, for fun and games, without hurt feelings. No clue. In fact, it’s actively drummed out of them; hence, why we currently have a generation of Snowflakes in our universities who quiver and cry if you use certain words or phrases, and label some of them “micro-aggressions’, or the biggest crime” ‘White man privilege’. And their stupid parents have condoned it, if not created it.
    The adult version is PC Correctness in this country. And you only have to remember the run-up to the General Election here to see what Trump kicking that can did to so many Americans. They clawed their cheeks in horror. Some still have their fingernails embedded below their eyeballs.
    “Sticks and stones . . . .”

  149. MRW says:

    “I’m not even sure one ought to try to relate to it. Is it worth spending time on such nonsensical arguments as are commonly put forward in this area? That because our English ancestors probably came from Iberia we can pop back and grab ourselves a piece of Spanish real estate? That because of atrocities perpetrated seventy years ago and a thousand and more miles away from Palestine it’s OK to confiscate a Palestinian house? That objecting to such confiscation is “antisemitic” and the objection therefore invalid? Try such arguments as that in any Western court. The judge would think you delusional.”
    Exactly true.

  150. MRW says:

    Babak is correct. And Yes, we’ve certainly been asleep at the wheel.”

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