JEWISH THOUGHT ON AMERICA, ISRAEL, IRAQ, WAR , ANTI- SEMITISM THE FUTURE OF AMERICA
AND OTHER SUBJECTS
Until a better system makes itself known new material will be added at the bottom of these columns or succeeding pages.
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Jonathan Tobin, executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent stated in March, 2003 that most Jews favor the war but are advised to keep quiet about it for good reasons.
More Kaplan, 7/8/03, popular Iraq war and war with Iran.
(scapegating of jews)
Leslie Susser of Jewish Telegraph Agency describes capture of Saddam as a benefit to Israel
Stephen Steinlight, retired National Director of The American Jewish Committee, describes financial basis of Jewish political power and the forthcoming gradual demise of this power.
Mr Steinlight says jews are concerned with rising Muslim presence from current immigration policies.
He further notes that with the consolidation of other immigrant blocs such as Asians and Hispanics, Jews cannot expect to see America continue to send 80% of it's foreign aid to Israel
Mr. Steinlight brings his scholarly dissertation to a close by observing that Jews should not be afraid to "pursue their interests" in dealing with the rising Muslim influence arising.
Ron Kampeas, writing for the Jewish Telegraphic Association in September, 2005, describes the discomfiture of passionately anti Iraq war jews protesting the war beside groups who accuse Israel of being the dog that wags the American tail and the real cause of the war.
Robert Kagan, in the Washington Post of 9/12/05 remarks that a rading of professional journals now reveals that no more than 6 or 7 people ever supported going to war. He then quotes various persons who pushed war then.
New York Post,3/11/03. Anti war people are politically psychotic
RICHARD COHEN, Washington Post, March 13, 2003. Offensive but not anti-semetic opposition to the war
Doran Behar and Karl Skorecki of a Haifa medical center discover that four women are the ancestors of 40% of living Ashkenazim.
By Caroline B. Glick Jan. 23. 2006, Jewish World Review.
William Kristol and Lawrence Kaplan's book
The War Over Iraq: Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission
eloquently makes the case for war and :
"...the idea that Saddam Hussein is the preeminent danger to world civilization."
ISRAEL ECONOMY UP IN 2004. Neal Sandler, in Jerusalem
Amnon Barzilai, Haaretz. China and Israel reestablishing weapons cooperation following resolution of Phalcon episode
Mathew E. Berger, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 23, 2003. Jewish groups discuss keeping their support of the war quiet. .
ISRAEL FEARS U.S. RESOLVE IN IRAQ.Lislie Susser, Jewish Telegraph Agency, 4/15/04
Charles Krauthammer, published every week in every important American newspaper, has supported regime change in Iraq from the beginning and strongly criticises those who call for American withdrawal from Iraq on two main grounds: 1. America must continue to threaten and perhaps attack middle eastern governments that are hostile to the United States and Israel; 2. If America withdraws from Iraq it will become a base for more deadly attacks in the future and a magnet for those who hate America and Israel.
He said, on January 24, 2003, before the March 20 invasion:
"The window of legitimacy having closed, delay has no upside. There will be no talking our way out of the opposition of France, Germany and the others. The only tonic for that opposition will be an American victory that changes the landscape of the region." He was talking about the upcoming March 20, 2003 invasion of Iraq which engendered the adjacent March 20, 2003 message of Ariel Sharon.
Mr. Krauthammer's January 24, 2003 column is the culmination of his remarks on numerous occasions. In his February 1, 2002 Jewish World Review column he stated:
"But Iran is not a ready candidate for the blunt instrument of American power, because it is in the grips of a revolution from below. We can best accelerate that revolution by the power of example and success: Overthrowing neighboring radical regimes shows the fragility of dictatorship, challenges the mullahs' mandate from heaven and thus encourages disaffected Iranians to rise. First, Afghanistan to the east. Next, Iraq to the west.
Which brings us to Iraq. Iraq is what this speech was about. If there was a serious internal debate within the administration over what to do about Iraq, that debate is over. The speech was just short of a declaration of war.
It thus addressed the central war question today: After Afghanistan, where do we go from here? Stage Two, now in progress, is the reaching for low-hanging fruit: searching for terrorists in the Philippines, Bosnia, Somalia; pressuring former bad guys like Yemen (or Sudan?) to repent.
But this is all prologue. Stage Three is overthrowing Saddam Hussein. That will require time and planning, during which Stage Two goes forward and gets the headlines. But between this year's State of the Union and next year's, the battle with Iraq will have been joined."
Mr. Krauthammer has an unmatched record for predicting events that involve Israel. He has recently turned to the anti war movement rising in the United States with his September 30, 2005 column in Jewish World Review where he had this to say:
"Maureen Dowd of the New York Times claims that Sheehan's "moral authority" on the war is "absolute." This is obtuse. Sheehan's diatribes against George Bush -- "lying bastard"; "filth-spewer and warmonger"; "biggest terrorist in the world" -- have no more moral standing than Joseph Kennedy's vilification of Franklin Roosevelt. And if Sheehan speaks with absolute moral authority, then so does Diane Ibbotson -- and the other mothers who have lost sons in Iraq yet continue to support the mission their sons died for and bitterly oppose Sheehan for discrediting it.
The antiwar movement has found itself ill served by endowing absolute moral authority on a political radical who demanded that American troops leave not just Iraq but "occupied New Orleans." Who blames Israel for her son's death. Who complained that the news media went "100 percent rita" -- "a little wind and a little rain" -- rather than covering other things in the world, meaning her.
Most tellingly, Sheehan demands withdrawal not just from Iraq but also from Afghanistan, a war that is not only just by every possible measure but also remarkably successful. The mainstream opposition view of Iraq is that, while deposing the murderous Saddam Hussein was a moral and even worthy cause, the enterprise was misconceived and/or bungled, too ambitious and unwinnable, and therefore not worth expending more American lives. That is not Sheehan's view. Like the hard left in the Vietnam War, she declares the mission itself corrupt and evil: The good guys are the "freedom fighters" -- the very ones who, besides killing thousands of Iraqi innocents, killed her son, too.
You don't build a mass movement on that. Nor on antiwar rallies like the one last weekend in Washington, organized and run by a front group for the Workers World Party. The WWP is descended from Cold War Stalinists who found other communists insufficiently rigorous for refusing to support the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Thus a rally ostensibly against war is run by a group that supported the Soviet invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan, the massacre in Tiananmen Square, and a litany of the very worst mass murderers of our time, including Slobodan Milosevic, Hussein and Kim Jong Il. You don't seize the moral high ground in America with fellow travelers such as these.
For all the Vietnam nostalgia at the Washington march, things are different today. In Vietnam it could never be plausibly argued that Ho Chi Minh was training commandos to bring down skyscrapers in New York. Today, however, Americans know that this is precisely what our jihadist enemies have pledged to do.
Moreover, Vietnam offered a seeming middle way between immediate withdrawal on the one hand and staying the course on the other: negotiations, which in the end did take place. Today there is no one to negotiate with, no middle ground, not even an apparent plausible compromise. The only choices are to succeed in establishing a self-sufficient, democratic Iraq or to call an abject retreat that not only gives Iraq over to the tender mercies of people who specialize in blowing up innocents but also makes it a base of operations for worldwide jihad.
The very fact that Cindy Sheehan and her WWP comrades are so enthusiastic for the latter outcome tells you how difficult it will be to turn widespread discontent about the war into a mainstream antiwar movement."
Charles Krautheimer has has been prescient so far and he predicts that an American withdrawal from Iraq will make it a base of worldwide jihad operations. He predicted that we would go to war with Iraq and predicted the time within a couple of months.
Mr. Krauthammer may be again in the prediction business with his January 3, 2003 column where he said:
"When the secretary of state goes on five Sunday morning talk shows to deny that something is a crisis, it is a crisis. The administration has been downplaying the gravity of North Korea's nuclear breakout, and for good reason. For now, there is little the administration can do. No point, therefore, in advertising our helplessness. "
Mr. Krauthammer went on to point out that:
" there is no overestimating the seriousness of the problem. If we did not have so many of our military assets tied up in the Persian Gulf, we would today have carriers off the coast of Korea and be mobilizing reinforcements for our garrison there."
He then accuses North Korea of being on its way to selling nuclear weapons to all comers. He says that North Korea, once they reactivate their plutonium plant, will be months away from a nuclear device.
He points out that the United States has few cards to play in this game. We cannot bluff that we are able to fight two wars at once. Korea knows that we cannot. He goes on to explain that America's entanglement in Iraq provides the opportunity for North Korea to "brazenly go nuclear.".
AMERICA SHOULD PROVIDE JAPAN WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS
Mr. Krauthammer says the way to handle the situation is to point out to North Korea and it's sponsor, China, that North Korea is vulnerable to a withdrawal of the foreign food and aid which keeps it from collapsing and to a blockade of it's very few ports. China, which supplies a major fraction of North Korea's energy needs should threaten to withdraw that support. In the absence of Chinese cooperation he says the United States should encourage Japan to develop a nuclear bomb and should show a willingness to supply Japan with interim nuclear armaments.
THE CASE FOR TOPPLING SADDAM
Mr. Netanyahu is a leading member of Likud, the party leading Israel during the run up to the war, has been a cabinet minister and is a strong contender for Prime Minister if Likud is dominant after the election.
Mr. Netanyahu's position can be reduced to these points:
"I do not mean to suggest that there are not legitimate questions about a potential operation against Iraq. Indeed, there are. But the question of whether removing the Saddam regime is itself legitimate is not one of them. Equally immaterial is the argument that America cannot oust Saddam without prior approval of the international community."
He further pursued his call for action by noting:
"The dangers posed by a nuclear-armed Saddam were understood by my country two decades ago, well before Sept. 11. In 1981, Prime Minister Menachem Begin dispatched the Israeli air force on a predawn raid that destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. Though at the time Israel was condemned by all the world's governments, history has rendered a far kinder judgment on that act of unquestionable foresight and courage."
Mr. Netanyahu went on:
"Two decades ago it was possible to thwart Saddam's nuclear ambitions by bombing a single installation. Today nothing less than dismantling his regime will do. For Saddam's nuclear program has changed. He no longer needs one large reactor to produce the deadly material necessary for atomic bombs. He can produce it in centrifuges the size of washing machines that can be hidden throughout the country -- and Iraq is a very big country. Even free and unfettered inspections will not uncover these portable manufacturing sites of mass death."
"Though I am today a private citizen, I believe I speak for the overwhelming majority of Israelis in supporting a pre-emptive strike against Saddam's regime. We support this American action even though we stand on the front-lines, while others criticize it as they sit comfortably on the sidelines. But we know that their sense of comfort is an illusion. For if action is not taken now, we will all be threatened by a much greater peril."
"If a preemptive action will be supported by free countries and the U.N., all the better. but if such support is not forthcoming, then the U.S. must be prepared to act without it. This will require courage and I see it abundantly present in President Bush's bold leadership and in the millions of Americans who have rallied behind him."
USA WAR IS FOR FREEDOM, LIBERTY AND DEMOCRACY
Ariel Sharon, Israeli prime minister on March 20, 2003, the day the war began. (communicated by Mr. Sharon's media adviser):
Good Afternoon. Several hours ago US and allied military forces began their attack against the Iraqi tyrant, Saddam Hussein. The goal of this attack is the overthrow of a despot who possesses weapons of mass destruction. ...The State of Israel is not taking part in this war but we well understand the dangers of regimes such as that of Saddam Hussein. We well understand the dangers posed by tyrants who use terror and possess weapons of mass destruction. We recognize the threat posed by local, regional and global terror. However we are not involved in this war. "
"I hope and believe that the successful completion of the American campaign in Iraq and the uprooting of the evil terrorist regime of Saddam Hussein will mark the beginning of a new era, one that is better for our region and for the entire world. "
Senator Joseph Lieberman, on November 29, 2005, published in the Wall Street Journal and other publications his view that "Our Troops Must Stay". He said we can have a smaller military presence in Iraq by 2007 and that we are embedding a core of American and coalition troops in every Iraqi fighting unit "which makes each unit more effective and acts as a multiplier of our forces." Senator Lieberman supported the war and in 2002 sharply disagreed with Al Gore's reservations about the war, saying "I'm grateful President Bush wants to do this (in Iraq), and I don't question his motives" defending the president against charges that his advocacy of going to war was rooted in his desire to please political groups.
WILLIAM SAFIRE, a long established editorial columnist, in his October 7, 2002 column argued forcefully for war. He emphasized that the two reasons for the war - 1. The destruction of Iraq's present and future weapons of mass destruction and 2. " 'Regime change'_to overthrow Saddam Hussein, liberate the Iraqi people and remove the threat of terrorism against the U.S." were inseparable and must both be accomplished.
Mr. Safire concluded this column with a reiteration of his prior published report that the German minister of defense had told the German cabinet that President Bush's motive in attacking Iraq was to win support from the American Jewish lobby. He mentioned the existence of three sources who were present at the cabinet meeting in refutation of the defense minister's denial.
JONATHAN TOBIN a widely respected columnist in the Jewish press had much to say about the war in his March 28, 2003 Jewish World Review article.
He recounted how during the months and weeks before the beginning of the war the "word coming from national American Jewish organizations to their constituents was clear: Stay out of it"
He noted that few Jewish groups ignored this directive and that keeping a low profile on the war became "something of an obsession" in much or most of Jewish organizations.
In fact a pro Bush administration rally on March 23, 2003 by the Zionist Organization of America led to criticism by Jewish leaders as "using bad judgment".
Mr. Tobin explains this conduct on the basis of fear. He notes that for all the "chest pounding pride that many American Jews rightly exhibit about Jewish accomplishments and acceptance in this country" they are afraid to talk about the war.
He noted that many but not all American Jews support President Bush's aims but are unwilling to talk about that publicly because they fear anti-Semitism which is on the rise in anti war Europe. Many European intellectuals despise President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon and Americans. Robert Novak and Pat Buchanan base their opposition to the Iraq war on the idea that the war is here more for the sake of Israel than for the sake of the United States, citing the Jewish contingent in the Bush administration.
Mr. Tobin notes that the Anti Defamation League was cautious in the beginning but now is supporting the war and stating that "The need to stop Hussein is clear".
Mr. Tobin states that Israel will suffer if Saddam Hussein wins the war and that if the United States wins more than just Israel will benefit. Mr. Tobin's final call to action is an eloquent one:
"American Jews, who have always played a leadership role on important policy questions, cannot falter now. Contrary to the opinion of the anti-war crowd, you don't have to be Jewish to oppose terror and support democracy abroad. But it shouldn't stop you from speaking out if you are. "
KAPLAN, a senior editor of
The New Republic, had his say on recent efforts to get America out of
Iraq when his December 23, 2005 Wall Street Journal article made these
Mr. Kaplan castigated a Jewish group currently advocating American withdrawal from Iraq because they do not recognize that the clear result of an American withdrawal would be "Iraq's transformation into a den of terror."
Mr. Kaplan emphasizes that Israeli officials were lukewarm about the war from the beginning, and much more concerned about Iran.
Mr. Kaplan cites a recent Yeshiva University poll revealing that two thirds of American Jews are against the war on the way to reaching his apparent conclusion that an American pullout from Iraq would be disastrous for Israel and that most American Jews are and were against the war and want us out of Iraq. He remarks that Reform Jewish leaders have put their cliches about social equality and domestic spending above the interests of Judaism itself.
Leslie Susser writes regularly for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and on 12/18/2003 described Israeli jubilation at Saddam's capture. He went on to describe this event as putting more pressure on the Palestinians to seek an accommodation with Israel. The Israeli stock market rose 3% that day and Israeli analysts noted that this event could pressure Syria to seek a peace agreement and enhance Israel's strategic position. If Saddam's capture leads to a significant reduction in attacks on U.S. and allied forces and a more stable pro-American Iraqi regime the benefits for Israel could be enormous Mr. Susser said. .
Stephen Steinlight, who was for five years Director of National Affairs (domestic policy) at The American Jewish Committee has written extensively on the challenge to Jewish influence in America from the changing demographics and racial and ethnic composition of the nation. As a Fellow of the Center for Immigration Studies he published an October, 2001 article describing the effect of immigrants on the Jewish power structure in America both currently and predictably in the future. He goes into the issue on several levels.
"Posing the Sphinx Questions
Far more potentially perilous, does it matter to Jews and for American support for Israel when the Jewish State arguably faces existential peril that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States? That undoubtedly at some point in the next 20 years Muslims will outnumber Jews, and that Muslims with an "Islamic agenda" are growing active politically through a widespread network of national organizations? That this is occurring at a time when the religion of Islam is being supplanted in many of the Islamic immigrant sending countries by the totalitarian ideology of Islamism of which vehement anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism form central tenets? Will our status suffer when the Judeo-Christian cultural construct yields, first, to a Judeo-Christian-Muslim one, and then to an even more expansive sense of national religious identity?"
He goes on later in the article to describe the nuts and bolts of Jewish ascendency in the United States and the manner in which immigrants will weaken America's Jews, and Israel, in these terms:
"Facing Up to the Gradual Demise of Jewish Political
Jewish voter participation also remains legendary; it is among the highest in the nation. Incredible as it sounds, in the recent presidential election more Jews voted in Los Angeles than Latinos. But should the naturalization of resident aliens begin to move more quickly in the next few years, a virtual certainty and it should then it is only a matter of time before the electoral power of Latinos, as well as that of others, overwhelms us.
All of this notwithstanding, in the short term, a number of factors will continue to play into our hands, even amid the unprecedented wave of continuous immigration. The very scale of the current immigration and its great diversity paradoxically constitutes at least a temporary political asset. While we remain comparatively coherent as a voting bloc, the new mostly non-European immigrants are fractured into a great many distinct, often competing groups, many with no love for each other. This is also true of the many new immigrants from rival sides in the ongoing Balkan wars, as it is for the growing south Asian population from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. They have miles and miles to go before they overcome historical hatreds, put aside current enmities and forgive recent enormities, especially Pakistani brutality in the nascent Bangladesh. Queens is no melting pot!
Currently struggling to find a foothold in America, to learn English and to master an advanced technological and pluralistic culture that is largely alien to them, they are predictably preoccupied with issues of simple economic survival at the low end of the spectrum. In terms of public affairs, they are, at most, presently competing for neighborhood political dominance, government subsidies, and local municipal services.
Moreover, the widespread poverty of a high percentage of recent immigrants, an especially strong characteristic of by far the largest group, Mexican Americans, also makes bread and butter issues a far greater priority than a multifaceted public affairs agenda into the foreseeable future. No small consideration, it also arguably makes them a greater drain on the economy than a benefit, a subject of unending dispute between advocates of large-scale immigration and reduced immigration.
While the Mexicans in particular have huge numbers on their side we sometimes forget that the U.S.-Mexican border is the longest in the world between a first-world and a third-world country they have little in the way of the economic resources to give them commensurate political clout. And communal wealth formation will be a long time in coming, considering that most Mexican immigrants are peasant class. Also, compared to previous generations of European immigrants, they have been slow to naturalize, largely because so many have illegal status, thus effectively barring themselves from becoming a force in electoral politics. But the sleeping giant will surely awaken, and the sort of amnesty contemplated by the Bush administration will make that happen all the sooner. And it is a giant. Advance Census data indicate that upwards of 8 percent of Mexico's population already resides in the United States, and the growth of that community shows no sign of abating; the opposite is true. It is simply astounding to contemplate the recent historical rise in Mexican immigration. In 1970, there were fewer than 800,000 Mexican immigrants; 30 years later the number is approaching 9 million, a 10-fold increase in one generation.
For perhaps another generation, an optimistic forecast, the Jewish community is thus in a position where it will be able to divide and conquer and enter into selective coalitions that support our agendas. But the day will surely come when an effective Asian-American alliance will actually bring Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Koreans, Vietnamese, and the rest closer together. And the enormously complex and as yet significantly divided Latinos will also eventually achieve a more effective political federation. The fact is that the term "Asian American" has only recently come into common parlance among younger Asians (it is still rejected by older folks), while "Latinos" or "Hispanics" often do not think of themselves as part of a multinational ethnic bloc but primarily as Mexicans, Cubans, or Puerto Ricans.
Even with these caveats, an era of astoundingly disproportionate Jewish legislative representation may already have peaked. It is unlikely we will ever see many more U.S. Senates with 10 Jewish members. And although had Al Gore been allowed by the Supreme Court to assume office, a Jew would have been one heartbeat away from the presidency, it may be we'll never get that close again. With the changes in view, how long do we actually believe that nearly 80 percent of the entire foreign aid budget of the United States will go to Israel?
It is also true that Jewish economic influence and power are disproportionately concentrated in Hollywood, television, and in the news industry, theoretically a boon in terms of the formation of favorable public images of Jews and sensitizing the American people to issues of concern to Jews. But ethnic dominance in an industry does not by itself mean that these centers of opinion and attitude formation in the national culture are sources of Jewish political power. They are not noticeably "Jewish" in the sense of advancing a Jewish agenda, Jewish communal interests, or the cause of Israel. And television, the Jewish industry par excellence, with its shallow values, grotesque materialism, celebration of violence, utter superficiality, anti-intellectualism, and sexploitation certainly does not advance anything that might be confused with Jewish values. It is probably true, however, that the situation would be worse in terms of the treatment of Jewish themes and issues in the media without this presence.
Supporting Immigration by
Reducing Its Scale
Mr. Steinlight's wide ranging viewpoints proceed to a discussion of modern ethnocentrism.
"Immigration Policy and Identity Politics
"The inability of government to begin to cope with the scale of the problem (whether on the side of policing borders or providing adequate social services) also strengthens the role of the ethnic enclave in addressing it. And the resultant dependence on the religious and cultural institutions within the ethnic communities for sustenance often slows or blocks acculturation, and worse. Within those tight ethnic enclaves, home country allegiances and social patterns endure, old prejudices and hatreds are reinforced, and home-country politics continue to inordinately shape, even control, the immigrant's worldview. In many cases, ethnic communal support for new immigrants or patronage of their business establishments are subject to the blessings of atavistic, unassimilated, and anti-pluralistic communal and religious leadership that frequently has a political agenda fundamentally at odds with American values."
"This is certainly the case within the Pakistani immigrant community. In many cases, the Old World political party structures, replete with their targeted, self-serving meager handouts, remain powerful."
"Breaking these patterns of control exerted by the sending country and promoting acculturation that honors the immigrant's culture and origins but principally foregrounds and nurtures American values can be achieved only by reducing the present overwhelming scale of immigration that thwarts any effort to develop practicable solutions to these problems."
"As noted earlier, cheap air fares and overseas telephone rates, and the internet permits the home country to exert a strong continuing influence on immigrants that is substantially different from what was the case with previous generations of newcomers. Many new immigrants are and remain, in effect, primarily citizens of their home countries and resident aliens in America, here merely to benefit from American resources and return income to the home country before returning themselves."
"Trendy Postmodernism Skews the Debate"
"Such thinkers not only have no problem with multiple citizenship, but they see it as an ideal, the embodiment of a higher form of global consciousness, the ultimate expression of New Age cosmopolitanism."
"The great masses of ordinary humanity across the world have no such perspective: tragically for themselves and for those who are often victimized by them, they continue to be driven by various forms of tribalism, including the most violent and extreme sort. This is true from lethal interethnic clashes in soccer arenas in every continent, and from the mass killing fields of Africa, to the killing fields of the Balkans. Ethnocentrism and has proven remarkably enduring into the new millennium; those who counted it out, who thought humanity was ready for some higher notion of fraternity, have been shown to have been utterly mistaken in their predictions. Ethnocentrism is the undisputed world champion."
"Jews and Identity
For Jews, it is at best hypocritical, and, worse, an example of an utter lack of self-awareness, not to recognize that we are up to our necks in this problem. This has been especially true once we were sufficiently accepted in the United States to feel confident enough to go public with our own identity politics. But this newfound confidence carries its own costs; people are observing us closely, and what they see in our behavior is not always distinct from what we loudly decry in others. One has to be amused, even amazed, when colleagues in the organized Jewish world wring their hands about black nationalism, Afrocentrism, or with cultural separatism in general � without considering Jewish behavioral parallels. Where has our vaunted Jewish self-awareness flown?
I'll confess it, at least: like thousands of other typical Jewish kids of my generation, I was reared as a Jewish nationalist, even a quasi-separatist. Every summer for two months for 10 formative years during my childhood and adolescence I attended Jewish summer camp. There, each morning, I saluted a foreign flag, dressed in a uniform reflecting its colors, sang a foreign national anthem, learned a foreign language, learned foreign folk songs and dances, and was taught that Israel was the true homeland. Emigration to Israel was considered the highest virtue, and, like many other Jewish teens of my generation, I spent two summers working in Israel on a collective farm while I contemplated that possibility. More tacitly and subconsciously, I was taught the superiority of my people to the gentiles who had oppressed us. We were taught to view non-Jews as untrustworthy outsiders, people from whom sudden gusts of hatred might be anticipated, people less sensitive, intelligent, and moral than ourselves. We were also taught that the lesson of our dark history is that we could rely on no one.
I am of course simplifying a complex process of ethnic and religious identity formation; there was also a powerful counterbalancing universalistic moral component that inculcated a belief in social justice for all people and a special identification with the struggle for Negro civil rights. And it is no exaggeration to add that in some respects, of course, a substantial subset of secular Jews were historically Europe's cosmopolitans par excellence, particularly during the high noon of bourgeois culture in Central Europe. That sense of commitment to universalistic values and egalitarian ideals was and remains so strong that in reliable survey research conducted over the years, Jews regularly identify "belief in social justice" as the second most important factor in their Jewish identity; it is trumped only by a "sense of peoplehood." It also explains the long Jewish involvement in and flirtation with Marxism. But it is fair to say that Jewish universalistic tendencies and tribalism have always existed in an uneasy dialectic. We are at once the most open of peoples and one second to none in intensity of national feeling. Having made this important distinction, it must be admitted that the essence of the process of my nationalist training was to inculcate the belief that the primary division in the world was between "us" and "them." Of course we also saluted the American and Canadian flags and sang those anthems, usually with real feeling, but it was clear where our primary loyalty was meant to reside.
I am also familiar with the classic, well-honed answer to this tension anytime this phenomenon is cited: Israel and America are both democracies; they share values; they have common strategic interests; loyalty to one cannot conceivably involve disloyalty to the other, etc., etc. All of which begs huge questions, including an American strategic agenda that extends far beyond Israel, and while it may be true in practice most of the time, is by no means an absolute construct, devoid of all sort of potential exceptions. I say all this merely to remind us that we cannot pretend we are only part of the solution when we are also part of the problem; we have no less difficult a balancing act between group loyalty and a wider sense of belonging to America. That America has largely tolerated this dual loyalty � we get a free pass, I suspect, largely over Christian guilt about the Holocaust makes it no less a reality.
At the very least, as the debate over multinational identity rises, I hope the Jewish community will have the good sense not to argue in favor of dual citizenship and other such arrangements. I would also advocate that those who possess dual citizenship to relinquish it in order not to cloud the issue and to serve the best interests of the American Jewish community and of American national unity. The recent case of the Israeli teenager who committed a murder in suburban Maryland (his victim was a young Latino) and fled to Israel, where he was permitted to remain despite attempts at extradition by U.S. prosecutors, with considerable congressional support, must never be repeated. That incident inflicted serious damage on Israel's good name, and it shapes the public's perception of Jews as people in a special category with additional rights who have a safe haven where they can escape the reach of American justice."
He distills the call for action of his long article into a few sentences at the end:
"The experience of the immigrant under present circumstances is often disastrous and American social cohesion and notions of economic justice are seriously challenged. We should bring the numbers down to more manageable levels, do far more to integrate immigrants into mainstream American life, and inculcate the values of American civil society in immigrant communities. As Jews we also have special concerns regarding the rising Muslim presence, particularly the ascent of Islamism, and we should be unashamed in pursuing our interests."
Israel and China are showing a wish to put the Phalcon incident behind them. (That was the Israeli sale to China of Phalcon radar jets with technology superior to that of the US and Taiwan. Israel canceled the sale after the US Congress imposed a financial penalty on Israel. Israel then paid $350 million to China to back out of the deal. )
Mr. Barzilai reports that an Israeli military group recently toured Chinese army bases and that Israel-China agreement on compensation terms for the Phalcon episode has permitted the resumption of defense ties between China and Israel. As soon as compensation payments to China are completed Israel will send the Russian Ilyushin plane from which the Phalcon-type high tech warning system was removed back to China.
The Israeli military delegation including the Israeli Defense Force's chief medical officer and Israel's chief scientist for the technology planning division was in China for five days, as guests of the Chinese army. Israeli security sources described the purpose of the visit as to examine possible areas of cooperation in the future, possibly in the sphere of arms development. A group of Chinese army officers had visited Israel a few weeks earlier.
These were the first of their kind since Israel canceled the Phalcon warning system sale which the US believed could tip the strategic balance between China and Taiwan. Israeli government sources stressed that the visits reflected a desire on China and Israel's sides to put the Phalcon controvery to rest and to develop defense ties in the future.
Israeli arms sales to china began in the 80s, amid great secrecy. Foreign reports put the sales over $4 billion over those years. Israeli tank cannon, night vision equipment and a number of aeronautical subsystems were sold to the Chinese. One foreign report, denied by Israel was that the Chinese bought a prototype of the Israeli Lavi fighter plane, a project that was also stopped by America on the ground it would be cheaper for Israel to buy advanced American planes.
With diplomatic relations dating from 1992, China showed interest in Israeli military technology but was more interested in acquiring know how than buying weapons systems.
In view of the stiff Sunni and Shiite resistance to American occupation of Iraq Israel's defense establishment worries that an American withdrawal could have devastating consequences to the battle against weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. In addition, Israel would be one of the big losers says Mr. Susser. Israelis fear that a loss ofd American deterrence could encourage Iran's nuclear ambitions and stiffen Syrian and Palestinian attitudes toward Israel.
ISRAEL HOPED FOR SIGNIFICANT GAINS FROM THE WAR.
Israel's military planners hoped for several significant gains from America's attach on Iraq:
1. The threat of hundreds of Iraqi tanks to Israel.
2. A domino effect on Syria and Palestine softening their attitudes toward Israel.
3. Iran rethinking it's nuclear plans.
4. Libya likewise rethinking it's nuclear plans.
5. Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations would exercise restraint.
The Israeli intelligence analysts fear that if American deterrence in the region is weakened then the above will be reversed. In addition there is discussion of a possible Iranian intervention in Southern Iraq on behalf of the Shiites there if Iraq degenerates into a Sunni-Shiite war after American withdrawal. This could lead to a radical Shiite regime in Iraq, like the one in Iran.
If this happens then Israel would have to reconsider the huge cuts in it's tank forces that it planned after Saddam's forces collapsed.
Loss of American prestige in the area would also impact the attitudes of pro America regimes in Jordan and Egypt and weaken the effect of American guarantees to Israel.
Mr. Susser's analysis ends with the remark that most members of the Israeli government, defense establishment and intelligence community want America to maintain a military presence in Iraq in order to create a Western-leaning regime there and a more stable Middle-East.