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These pages are an ongoing archive  of  relevant Jewish  thought and comment on  issues of the day. It is not formally organized as yet but that may come. For the present there will  be thumbnails of comment which assume the reader has sufficient interest in the topic to recognize the players and the events discussed. The comment will include thoughts from journalists, politicians, public figures and interested observers with opinions. 

Until a better system makes itself known new material will be added at the bottom of these columns or succeeding pages.







To reach a linked passage depress control and click on the desired passage 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

Krautheimer on going to  war and the future if  America withdraws from Iraq.

Senator Joseph Lieberman on need for the war.

William Safire  argues for  the war in 2002. 

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.

Lawrence F. Kaplan. Premature withdrawal from Iraq would be devastating to the cause of Israel.

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.

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"


Mr. Steinlight 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.

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.

Cool’ anti-Semitism

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

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

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


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 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.".


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 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 Chinese,"

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 concludes:

" 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 outside Israel."


Jewish Telegraphic 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 tail.

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 war.


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 movement"

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."


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 hierarchy)

Mr. Cohen's last paragraph includes a characterization of the anti semite as possessing " 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.

Cool’ anti-Semitism

By Caroline B. Glick






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The 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 Leo Strauss.

"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. "

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The War Over Iraq: Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission

by Lawrence F Kaplan


1893554694 (More details...)



Available at:


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 John McCain


"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.

Israel Economy Up

Neal Sandler, from Jerusalem for Business Week, January 10, 2005

"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.


NEW YORK, 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.

Frank Luntz, 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'"


 Luntz 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."

 Luntz 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 “emotional.”


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.

Mr. Luntz 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.

 Luntz 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 be better.

 Mathew 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 toward war.".

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. 


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.



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 it."

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.


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."


 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. "

LAWRENCE F. 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.

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
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 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 Power
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 welfare issues.      

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?"

Mr. Steinlight's wide ranging viewpoints proceed to a discussion of  modern ethnocentrism.

"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 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 Politics
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 our interests."

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Amnon Barzilai for Haaretz, February 5, 2006. Israel and China are once again forging ties in the defense and armaments field.

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.

LESLIE SUSSER, 4/15/2004, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Analysis. ISRAEL FEARS U.S. RESOLVE IN IRAQ.

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 of American deterrence could encourage Iran's nuclear ambitions and stiffen Syrian and Palestinian attitudes toward Israel.


Israel's military planners hoped for several significant gains from America's attack 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.