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description in this column
Benyamin Netanyahu on war
Ariel Sharon on
first day of Iraq war.
Israeli ambassador, Daniel Ayalon, says U.S. invasion of Iraq was not enough. Overthrow of Saddam helped create
great opportunities for Israel but is not enough. Have to change regimes in Iran and Syria as well.
Moshe Arens on China
on going to war and the future if
America withdraws from Iraq.
Joseph Lieberman on need for the war.
William Safire argues for the war in 2002.
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
Kaplan. Premature withdrawal from Iraq would be devastating to the cause of
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
retired National Director of The American Jewish Committee, describes financial basis of Jewish
political power and the forthcoming gradual demise of this power.
He describes the effect of demographics and immigration on the future power
of American Jews.
He dissects the meaning of
his observation that non European immigrants see Jews only as "the most
privileged and powerful Americans"
emphasizes that immigration encourages the balkanization that results from
identity politics and the politics of grievance.
Mr Steinlight says jews are
concerned with rising Muslim presence from current immigration policies.
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
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.
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
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
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."
UP IN 2004. Neal Sandler, in Jerusalem
U.S. Young Elites hostile to
Israel- see it as a burden to U.S.says recent
survey by The Israel Project.
Amnon Barzilai, Haaretz. China
and Israel reestablishing weapons cooperation following resolution of Phalcon episode
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
Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, addressing the Anti Defamation League, on
Monday, April 28, 2003, said the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein helped create great
opportunities for Israel but it was “not enough”. He said “It has to follow through. We still
have great threats of that magnitude coming from Syria, coming from Iran”. He did not see any “aggressive military
campaign” but suggested steps to delegitimatize the
Iranian regime by economic sanctions and polititcal
pressure. Governments should not allow
visits by Iranian leaders and should not visit Iran. He said that seventy percent of the
Iranian population is really ready for regime change and “They have tasted,
they have been experiencing before democracy and Western cultures and they
are yearning for it?. He also advocated economic
sanctions against Iran and Syria.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 enemy of our friend
By Moshe Arens
Moshe Arens relates in the Sivan 15, 5765 (June 22, 2005)edition
of Haaretz .com how, on March 16, 1992, as Israel's defense
minister, U.S. secretary of defense Dick Cheney. told him:
"We have information from reliable intelligence
sources that you are transferring technology and materiel from the Patriot
batteries supplied to Israel by the U.S. for its defense to the
Mr. Arens showed the Defense Department that the allegations
had no basis in fact and further stated that:
"The episode was a reminder, if one was needed, that the U.S.
government took a very serious view of the unauthorized transfer of U.S. technology,
especially to China, which was perceived in Washington as potentially
hostile. I had to admit to myself that although the charges were totally
untrue, the U.S. had reasons to be suspicious because in the past there had
been allegations that some Israeli systems that included a few U.S.
components had been sold to China."
Mr Arens relates that it was smooth sailing with the US on the subject
of Israeli arms sales until, without warning, the U.S. objected
to Israel's agreement to sell China Phalcon AWACS aircraft with
Israeli radar equipment superior to that in use by the United States.
The Ehud Barak government promptly accepted the U.S.
demand, the sale was canceled, and Israel eventually paid $350 million
dollars to China.
Mr. Aron further explained that Washington's demands
have now gone from an understandable condition that U.S.
approval be obtained before any Israeli systems containing U.S. components
are sold, to a position that U.S. approval is required for all Israeli
military sales. This disagreement is a new low point in Israel's
relations with the United States.
Mr. Arens, after further discussion, stated:
" The over two billion dollar a year U.S. military
assistance to Israel has on occasion been mentioned as a justification for
Israeli acceptance of that kind of U.S. control. If this is the case,
Israel would do better forgoing this aid, which in any case inflicts
collateral damage on Israel's defense industry and brings in its wake large-scale
U.S. military assistance to Egypt, leading in turn to a substantial
increase in Israel's defense expenditures." On this subject he
" In such discussions, Israel must show respect for
U.S. strategic concerns and the U.S. should understand Israel's vital need
for a viable advanced defense industry that cannot exist without sales
Association writer Ron Kampeas, in September, 2005 describes
the predicament of passionately anti war Jewish protesters allied
with vituperative anti-Israel sentiments being expressed by other anti war
protesters. Jews attending rallies express unhappiness at appearing
alongside placards contending that Israel is the dog that wags the American
Mr. Kampeas observes that before the war the Reform, Conservative and
Orthodox streams each came out in support of the war's objectives - the
removal of Saddam and the weapons of mass destruction - but stopped short
of endorsing the war outright. Spokesmen for these groups now decline to
discuss that position other than referring to their pre war statements.
Much Jewish effort is going into criticizing the treatment of
prisoners and staying away from the political issues surrounding the
ROBERT KAGAN in the
9/12/05 Washington Post observes that reading
current professional jurnals reveals that only 6 or 7 people ever supported
going to war with Iraq. He describes a September 20, 2001 letter to
President Bush arguing that "...any strategy aiming at the
eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort
to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq." signed by himself and
others, including Eliot Cohen, Stephen Solarz and Martin Peretz.
He more explicitly cites a March 11, 2003 Washington Post column by
Richard Cohen castigating President Bush for citing unproved arguments -
links to al Qaeda, imminent Iraqi nuclear program - and the alienation of
America's traditional allies. However Richard Cohen goes on in this piece
to conclude that "war is bad, very very bad" but it is necessary
to go to war anyway. Kagan concludes by saying he agreed with
Cohen's judgment and call for war in 2003 and still does.
JOHN PODHORETZ: New
York Post, March 11, 2003. Mr. Podhoretz
begins his piece with a statement: "Craziest of all, however, is the
logic of those who have decided to man the front lines in the anti-war
He says they have convinced themselves the war is not about ridding the
world of weapons of mass destruction now in the hands of Saddam. He cites
their arguments: it is about oil; revenge for Saddam's assassination
attempt against Bush the elder; Bush dominating the planet with his cowboy
fantasies; "Or it's about a bunch of Jews in and around Washington
secretly manipulating stupid goyim into letting Israel commit genocide and
get away with it.: He reiterates that George W. Bush is
"grappling:" with Iraq out of very high motives - to
defend the American people and the world. He concludes with: "The
inability of those who dislike him to grant him even that much is a mark of
how politically psychotic they have become."
3/13/2003 WASHINGTON POST:
Mr. Cohen begins by reciting that a staple of the intenet is that
pro-Israel Jews are behind the coming Iraq war and that this argument has now
been advanced by Rep. James Moran of Virginia. Mr. Cohen relates that Rep.
Moran was attending an anti-war rally at a church when a Jewish woman in
attendance inquired why there were not more Jews at the meeting. Moran is
quoted as saying: "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish
community for this war in Iraq, we would not be doing this. The leaders of
the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the
direction of where this is going and I think they should."
Mr. Cohen's discussion of the genesis of the war includes his
observation that the Clinton administration had far more Jews in important
jobs than does the jpro-war Bush administration. He says :" in all the
White House and Cabinet I can identify only one Jew- Ari Fleischer, the
president's press secretary. I guess he is the one who is pushing the
United States to war."
Mr. Cohen says it is preposterous to think that George would pay
attention to the Jewish community, which mostly votes Democratic, over the
conservative Christians who support him and support the war "102%,
with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent."
Mr. Cohen goes on to state that Jews are politically potent
"...and no one knows it better than a member of Congress". He
notes that Jewish activism and prominence in political life is a fact. He
goes on that one reason, among many, that athe United States is
"almost uniquely pro-Israel" is that American Jews - the Jewish
community - make their weight felt. He then observes that "Moran, who
at times has been highly critical of Israel, knows this better than
almost anyone." (The Democratic leadership in Congress immediately
punished Moran by taking away his deputy whip position in the party
Mr. Cohen's last paragraph includes a characterization of the anti
semite as possessing "...an immunity to facts or logic,..."
DORAN BEHAR and KARL
SKORECKI of Technion and Ramban Medical Center in Haifa, Israel
in an online article of the week of January 9, 2006 in the American
Journal of Genetics, postulate that genetic markers show that forty
percent of living Ashkenazic Jews are descended from four women who lived
in the middle East 2,000- 3,000 years. These findings suggest that ancient
Jewish emigres took wives with them much more commonly than had been
thought. It was generally believed that the men took local wives and
continued the Jewish line through them but this mitochondrial DNA
demonstrates otherwise. David Goldstein and colleagues, of Duke
University, as reported in a circa January 14, 2006 New York Times
article by Nicholas Wade, have suggested that each Jewish community was
founded by immigrant Jewish men who took local wives and converted them to
Judaism after which there was no further intermarriage with non-Jews. .
Lawrence Kaplan, in
the July 8, 2003 WS Journal, discussing the '04
election, noted that the economy will be very important but quotes a Kerry
advisor. Chris Lehane, who said the national security issue trumps the
economy in these words:
"To get to that issue, you need to satisfy [voters']
expectation and desire that you can handle national security." Mr.
Kauffman disposed of this issue in these words:
"Alas, with the
exception of Joe Lieberman, John Edwards and the Democratic Leadership
Council, the party has done a pitiful job of satisfying that expectation.
The failure could exact a steep price from Democrats on Election Day. Polls
still show that a majority believes the war in Iraq was justified, that the
administration did not mislead the public, that
Mr. Bush has handled the situation in Iraq well. They even reveal a
willingness to contemplate military action against Iran and North Korea that puts voters ahead of the
Bush team itself. Not surprisingly, then, despite the economy, the
president still enjoys approval ratings of 60% plus. If the Democratic
Party intends to run against a popular war, its leaders might wish to
recall the lesson of a Democrat (George McGovern) who ran against an unpopular
war. He lost 49 states. "
Mr. Kaplan, a
senior editor at The New Republic, is co-author of "The War Over Iraq" (Encounter Books,
2003). Before coming to The New Republic, he was
executive editor of The National Interest, the foreign policy
journal published by Irving Kristol.
By Caroline B. Glick
Golden Globes and recent events in Hebron have shown us
that being anti-Jewish is ‘in’
| It's official: Anti-Semitism is
"in." The decision to award the Palestinian film Paradise Now the
Golden Globes Award for best foreign film tells us that Palestinian terror
against Israelis has become so acceptable that it is now Hollywood kitsch. The sight of the Jewish
American diva Sarah Jessica Parker, of Sex in the City fame, excitedly
announcing that a film which glorifies the mass murder of Jews in Israel was the big winner for 2005
only served to demonstrate how deep this trivialization of evil now runs.
Lawrence Kaplan in the March 14, 2004 Jewish World Review emphasized that the war is principally due to Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush not to Jewish intellectuals such as
"Leaving aside for
a moment Hollywood's reading of Straussian
political theory, there is the small matter that the principal architects
of the war — Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and
the president himself — had in all likelihood barely even heard of Leo
Strauss before James Atlas penned a piece in The New York Times last
year explaining who he was (the piece clearly made an impression on
Robbins, who quotes from it). As for the neoconservatives themselves,
despite Robbins's assertion that Irving Kristol
studied under Strauss — Robbins appears to be confusing Irving, who is well
into his 80's and in any case attended City College, with his son Bill — what, if
any, debt they owe him remains questionable at best. Nor, if they do owe
such a debt, is it at all clear that it is a pernicious one. Strauss's
experience as a Jew who escaped the pogroms of his youth and the Holocaust
that engulfed his contemporaries made him uniquely sensitive to the dangers
of tyranny. Which, in turn, made him ... a liberal.
He believed deeply that, as Atlas points out, "to make the world safe
for the Western democracies, one must make the whole globe democratic, each
country in itself as well as the society of nations." If this is the
stuff of conspiracy, then American presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Bill
Clinton clearly couldn't keep a secret. "
Synopses & Reviews
As the crisis with Iraq
continues, Americans have questions. Is war really necessary? What can it
accomplish? What broad vision of U.S.
foreign policy underlies the determination to remove Saddam Hussein? What
were the failures of the last couple of decades that brought us to a
showdown with a dictator developing weapons of mass destruction? What is
the relationship between war with Iraq
and the events of 9-11?
The answers to these questions are found
in this timely book by two of America's leading foreign policy thinkers.
Kristol and Kaplan lay out a detailed rationale for
action against Iraq. But to understand why we must fight Saddam, the
authors assert, it is necessary to go beyond the details of his weapons of
mass destruction, his past genocidal actions against Iran and his own people, and the U.N. resolutions he
has ignored. The explanation begins with how the dominant policy ideas of
the last decade - Clintonian liberalism and
Republican realpolitik - led American
policymakers to turn a blind eye to the threat Iraq has posed for well over a decade.
As Kristol and
Kaplan make clear, the war over Iraq is in large part a war of competing ideas about America's role in the world. The authors provide the
first comprehensive explanation of the strategy of "preemption"
guiding the Bush Administration in dealing with this crisis. They show that
American foreign policy for the 21st century is being forged in the
crucible of our response to Saddam.
The war over Iraq will presumably be the end of Saddam Hussein. But
it will be the beginning of a new era in American foreign policy. William Kristol and Lawrence Kaplan are indispensable guides to
the era that lies ahead.
"Anyone who harbors doubt about the imperative of regime change
in Iraq for
the vital security interests of the United
States should read this book." Senator
"Brilliant and definitive. Kristol and
Kaplan run right at the 'narrow realists' of Bush I and the Clintonian 'wishful liberals' and break all tackles. At
stake is far more than the future of Iraq:
the authors show us why — in the age of terror, rogue states, and weapons
of mass destruction — we can only make the world safe for democracy by
finishing the job of democratizing it." R. James Woolsey,
Director of Central Intelligence 1993-95
Book News Annotation:
Co-author Kristol (editor of The Weekly
Standard) was intimately involved, along with current Bush
administration figures Paul Wolfowitz and Richard
Perle, in pushing proposals to militarily attack
Iraq and project American military power for a "New American
Century" (seen by much of the world as an attempt to establish a globally-
hegemonic American Empire). Here, working with fellow neoconservative
Kaplan (editor of The New Republic) he presents the justification
for that stance, including the idea that Saddam Hussein is the preeminent
danger to world civilization. They criticize the policies of the Bush I and
Clinton administrations as
leading to a grave crisis from which only the full implementation of the
Bush doctrine (which they helped formulate) of preemptively preventing the
rise of regional powers can extricate the world. Annotation (c)2003 Book
News, Inc., Portland, OR
Includes bibliographical references (p. 126-146) and index.
Neal Sandler, from Jerusalem
for Business Week, January 10,
"A Bunch of Blooms in the
Desert:" describes the much improved Israeli economy which had been in
the worst recession in the country's history in 2003. a
20% rise in exports was the biggest factor:" A rise in global demand
and dramatic improvement in the security situation helped real domestic
gross product to grow by about 4% in 2004. And prospects for 2005
look equally good."
Investments in startup companies rose
nearly 50% in 2004 and this interest in startups in Israel has helped Israeli venture capital firms raise
over $1.2 billion in new money. Israel has, at 1%, one of the lowest inflation rates on
the planet and better growth and low inflation has raised the shekel to it's highest rate against the dollar in three years.
This has allowed the Bank of Israel to lower interest rates and the
government has cut spending and lowered the deficit 30%.
Gary Rosenblatt, JTA, June 21, 2005 reports that a survey by a pollster
for The Israel Project, a Washington group that seeks to strengthen
Israel's image in America shows a "disturbing if not frightening"
presence of increasing sympathy for the Palestinians and placent of blame
on the State of Israel for the "lack of peace.". Mr.
Rosenblatt reports that the Israel Project report indicates tomorrow's
leaders are hostile toward Israel and that this could adversely affect
American policy tow ard Israel in the near future.
June 21, 2005 (JTA) — Disturbing
attitudes toward Israel among graduate students at elite universities. Gary
Rosenblatt posted an article in New York Jewish Week about a recent
survey of graduate students at leading universities.
A new survey
of attitudes toward Israel among graduate students at top U.S. universities
offers a disturbing, if not frightening, picture of increasing sympathy for
the Palestinian cause and blame on the Jewish state for the lack of peace.
the pollster, conducted face to face interviews with about 150 uner
30 students in law, business, journalism and government university
courses at Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Georgetown, George Washington, Johns
Hopkins, the University of Chicago, Northwestern and UCLA
He reported that many of the students
came from homes that supported Israel but, due to their exposure to university
professors and the main stream media, they have become "impaitient" with Israel and emotionally involved with the Palestinian
position. They "rationalize" Palestinian bombing and are
seeing Israel as a "burden to the United States rather than an ally'"
reported that only a "thin line" separated anti-Israel and
anti-Jewish feelings among these "young elites". Luntz felt that these people "may not be in the
'Zionism is racism category but "they're not all that far away.
He said the students “view any U.S. support of Israel as generated by wealthy Jewish special interests
rather than as a reflection of the national interest.”
Luntz' report said, is that the generally left of
center students are so opposed to Bush that they regard his support
of Israel as "a negative factor."
observed that graduate students he surveyed don't discuss Mideast issues with their Jewish friends and regard
their Jewish friends as "indoctrinated" and "emotional".do not talk about Mideast
issues with their Jewish friends, whom they perceive as “indoctrinated” and
Jews supporting Israel seem narrow-minded and one-sided to the graduate
students whereas support for Palestine is progressive and thoughtful.
Luntz observed that many of the students recounted
changing their attitudes toward the Mideast situation during their college and post college
years as they
He noted that many of the students said
they changed their attitudes toward the Mideast conflict during their college and post-college
years as they “learned more,” in their words, from
professors, Palestinians they met on campus and the media. Their most
important source of information was the New
York Times. They also follow the BBC.
reported that the students belived the American
media is biased toward Israel, and that
Palestinians are making a greater effort toward peace than Israel.
An Israeli government official dealing
with media issues had not seen the report
but questioned its methods the intent of the project. This anonymous
official, said the the conclusions would have more weight if they were from an
objective poll or survey.
This official said the information was
assembled by Luntz in direct conversations with
the students. He said Luntz' style is to
"put his pro-Israel views upfront so that much of a focus group's
response is related to whether the participants like him or not.
This official also stated that The Israel
Project tends to find and emphasize negative
opinions on Israel in order to bolster its own fund-raising efforts,
describing itself as more effective than Israel in shaping public opinion. i
This criticism is not new, and The Israel
Project, which once worked closely with officials in the Israeli Foreign
Ministry, has seen that relationship fade in the past year or two.
Others, though, say Israeli officials are
overly sensitive to implicit criticism of their difficult work in seeking
to improve Israel’s image.
According to Luntz’s , the students
are ignorant of Middle-East history or the part of the United Nations
in the founding of Israel or that Israel is a democracy.
Half of Lunt'
50 page report is advice on countering the dire situation. He says
pro-Israel groups and individuals should express genuine recognition that
Palestinians have suffered and blame this on corrupt Palestinian leaders.
:uts felt the
closest thing to a "magic bullet" response arises from the fact
that these future leaders hate Hamas and Islamic
Jihad and don't expect Israel to negotiate with them.
feels that pro Israel argument should be that the security fence and
other Israeli measures a necessary because of the terrorist violence
of those two groups and once they are eliminated peace prospects will
Berger in March 23, 2003 Jewish
Telegraphic Agency, JTA, , discusses the numerous ramifications of
Jewish support for the war and the need to keep it quiet while supporting
continued American presence in Iraq lest there be unfavorable consequences
for Israel from an American departure from Iraq.
He notes that Jewish groups are working tirelessly
to separate the Iraq Issue from Israel and lowering their voices in support of the war.
The occasion for Mr. Berger's concern is the scheduled annual policy
conference of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) in Washington to be attended by "5000 pro Israel activists" many
of whom strongly support the war and its' benefits to Israel's security. Mr. Berger quotes the president of AIPAC's statement that
"I believe that we don't have to choose between being pro-Israel and
being a patriotic American." Mr. Berger notes that ideally AIPC would
emphasize the role that Israel has played in U.S. efforts against Iraq and the job that the U.S. has done to protect Israel from Iraqi attacks.
Mr. Berger goes on to recite that some
"figures" have suggested that American Jews and Jewish
neoconservatives in the Bush administration "were pushing the country
He goes on to say that as a result, many
in the Jewish world have been trying to keep
their support for Bush's program for Iraq and Israel to a whisper, quoting an AIPAC official.
JEWISH FEARS ABOUT AMERICA'S POST WAR PLANS.
The next subject treated by Mr. Berger is
the "grave fears in the American Jewish world about the White House's
postwar plans" in view of Bush's
support for the "road map" for Palestinian-Israeli peace. Jews
are concerned abut the United States participation in the quartet that drafted the
roadmap - the U>N, the European Union, Russia and the United States. They feel it places too much pressure on Israel to make concessions.
CONCERN ABOUT CONGRESSIONAL
APPROPRIATIONS FOR ISRAEL
Mr. Berger notes that one topic on the
AIPAC agenda is very clear- support for the $ one billion of military aid
and $ nine billion of "loan Guarantees" expected to be part of a
$100 billion Iraq war spending bill. Israel had asked for $4 billion but got only 1 billion.
Nevertheless AIPAC will lobby for whatever package the Bush administration
and Israel agree to.
The "road map" is of continuing
concern to Jews and the administration has waffled on it, presenting
conflicting statements in different venues, ometimes
supporting it an other times questioning it. Berger mentionsthat
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti
Defamation League has said that "There was no need for Jews to get
ahead of the curve." on Iraq by speaking out before the President decided
whether to go to war " but now that the United States has invaded Iraq it is appropriate for the Jewish world to support
Mr. Bergman closed his discussion with
the observation that AIPAC's president, Amy Friedkin remarked:
"While we are celebrating the relationship of the United States and Israel, we need to support American troops and support
the efforts for democracy to be built in the Middle East."
Benyamin Netanyahu, former and perhaps future Israeli prime
minister. Letter to the American People, Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2002.
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
"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
He further pursued his call for action by
"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
"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
USA WAR IS FOR FREEDOM, LIBERTY AND DEMOCRACY
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. "
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
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
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
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
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
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 points:
Referring to President Bush's recent Iraq speech, he
characterized the President as being reduced to playing the "Israel
card" by pleading with Israel's supporters to admit that
"Israel's long term survival depends upon the spread of democracy in the
Middle East." Mr. Kaplan referred to pre-war allegations by Robert
Novak that this war was "Sharon's war" and quoted The Nation's position that
the people seeking war with Iraq had "articles of faith that effectively hold
that there is no difference between U.S. and Israeli national security interests."
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.
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
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
What are some of
those large vexing questions we would prefer not to speak aloud? Let's throw out a few and see how many sleepers we
can awaken. The big one for starters: is the emerging new multicultural
American nation good for the Jews? Will a country in which enormous
demographic and cultural change, fueled by unceasing large-scale non-European
immigration, remain one in which Jewish life will
continue to flourish as nowhere else in the history of the Diaspora? In an
America in which people of color form the plurality, as has already happened
in California, most with little or no historical experience with or knowledge
of Jews, will Jewish sensitivities continue to enjoy extraordinarily high
levels of deference and will Jewish interests continue to receive special
protection? Does it matter that the majority non-European immigrants have no
historical experience of the Holocaust or knowledge of the persecution of
Jews over the ages and see Jews only as the most privileged and powerful of
white Americans? Is it important that Latinos, who know us almost entirely as
employers for the menial low-wage cash services they perform for us (such a
blowing the leaves from our lawns in Beverly Hills or doing our laundry in
Short Hills), will soon form one quarter of the nation's population? Does it
matter that most Latino immigrants have encountered Jews in their formative
years principally or only as Christ killers in the context of a religious
education in which the changed teachings of Vatican II penetrated barely or
not at all? Does it matter that the politics of ethnic succession colorblind,
I recognize has already resulted in the loss
of key Jewish legislators (the brilliant Stephen Solarz
of Brooklyn was one of the first of these) and that once Jewish
"safe seats" in Congress now are held by Latino representatives?
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
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
Not that it is the case that our
disproportionate political power (pound for pound the greatest of any
ethnic/cultural group in America) will erode all at once, or even quickly. We
will be able to hang on to it for perhaps a decade or two longer. Unless and
until the triumph of campaign finance reform is complete, an extremely
unlikely scenario, the great material wealth of the Jewish community will
continue to give it significant advantages. We will continue to court and be
courted by key figures in Congress. That power is exerted within the
political system from the local to national levels through soft money, and
especially the provision of out-of-state funds to candidates sympathetic to Israel, a high wall of church/state separation, and social
liberalism combined with selective conservatism on criminal justice and
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
Before offering specific
recommendations about immigration policy, we should immediately anticipate
the predictable opposition and state emphatically what we are not advocating.
We are not advocating an anti-immigration position. It would be the
height of ingratitude, moral amnesia, and gracelessness for a group that has
historically benefited enormously from liberal immigration
as well as suffered enormously from illiberal immigration policies
to be, or to be seen to be, suggesting that we cruelly yank the rope ladder
up behind us. It is also, frankly, in our own best interest to continue to
support generous immigration. The day may come when the forces of
anti-Semitic persecution will arise once more in the lands of the former Soviet Union or in countries of Eastern Europe and Jews will once again need a safe haven in the United States. The Jewish community requires this fail-safe. We
will always be in support of immigration; the question is whether it should
be open-ended or not? The question is what constitutes the smartest approach
to supporting immigration?"
wide ranging viewpoints proceed to a discussion of
"Immigration Policy and Identity Politics
Our current policies
encourage the balkanization that results from identity politics and the
politics of grievance."
"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
"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
We Jews need to be especially
sensitive to the multinational model this crowd (many of them Jewish) is
promoting. Why? Because one person's "celebration" of his own diversity, foreign ties, and the maintenance of
cultural and religious traditions that set him apart is another's balkanizing
identity politics. We are not immune from the reality of multiple identities
or the charge of divided loyalties, a classic staple of anti-Semitism, and we
must recognize that our own patterns are easily assailed, and we need to find
ways of defending them more effectively as the debate goes on. Much public
opinion survey research undertaken in recent years continues to indicate that
large numbers of Americans, particularly people of color, assert that Jews
are more loyal to Israel than the United States.
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
Barzilai for Haaretz, February 5, 2006. Israel and China are once again forging ties in the defense and
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. )
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
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.
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
a few weeks earlier.
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
Israeli government sources stressed that the visits reflected a desire on China
sides to put the Phalcon controvery
to rest and to develop defense ties in the future.
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.
diplomatic relations dating from 1992, China
showed interest in Israeli military technology but was more interested in
acquiring know how than buying weapons systems.
LESLIE SUSSER, 4/15/2004, Jewish
Telegraphic Agency, Analysis. ISRAEL FEARS U.S. RESOLVE IN IRAQ.
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 of American deterrence could encourage Iran's
nuclear ambitions and stiffen Syrian and Palestinian attitudes toward Israel.
HOPED FOR SIGNIFICANT GAINS FROM THE
military planners hoped for several significant gains from America's
attack on Iraq:
The threat of hundreds of Iraqi tanks to Israel.
A domino effect on Syria
and Palestine softening their
attitudes toward Israel.
rethinking it's nuclear plans.
likewise rethinking it's nuclear plans.
Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist
organizations would exercise restraint.
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.
this happens then Israel
would have to reconsider the huge cuts in it's tank
forces that it planned after Saddam's forces collapsed.
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.
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.