Category Archives: israel

Media Malfeasance Open Thread

The corporate media, as many of us have noted time and again, is a total disgrace. They covered up for the unqualified fraud George W. Bush, they shoehorned the unqualified fraud Barack Obama into office, and they are now covering for the patriarchy’s newest tool (pun most definitely intended) in an ever-more desperate and transparent manner.

Many on the left insist that the Israel lobby runs American foreign policy. Ever since 9/11, who actually runs it has been painfully clear.

Wuv, Twue Wuv

Wuv, Twue Wuv

and now:

American dependency on foreign oil is, indeed, a national security issue. Given that 15 out of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi Arabian, as is Osama bin Laden, why did we invade Iraq? Afghanistan I understood, because bin Laden and his Al Qaeda cadre were actually there at the time. But once the 9/11 mastermind escaped into the mountainous area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, it boggled my brain that the media was able to sell the neo-con, oil-centric agenda of an Iraq invasion at all. Even worse, the media never held BushCheney to account for allowing Osama bin Laden to escape in the first place, and in 2002, when Bush made the mind-boggling statement that he was not that concerned about bin Laden, we dissenters heard nothing but crickets from our teevees.

Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia (also called “Bandar Bush” because of his close ties with the Bush family) was privy to the plans for the Iraq invasion. In fact, he saw them before Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, did. Can anyone say the same about Ariel Sharon? And before the election of 2004, Bandar promised George that he’d lower oil prices to make the American economy seem strong, in order to help Bush win a second term.

When the media lies, we all lose.

This is an open thread.

Cross-posted at Partizane

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Good News Monday!

I’m under the weather and too busy to breathe, but…this news made me cry.

A confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that his government would support a division of Jerusalem, which is reportedly a key component of an Israeli-Palestinian declaration to be made at a U.S.-sponsored Mideast peace conference next month.

As part of recent negotiations between the sides, Deputy Vice Prime Minister Haim Ramon has proposed turning over many of the Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Ramon said the Palestinians could establish the capital of a future state in the sector of the city, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war.

In return, Israel would receive the recognition of the international community, including Arab states, of its sovereignty over Jewish neighborhoods and the existence of its capital there, Ramon said.

On Monday Ramon said even hawkish elements of Olmert’s coalition, like Cabinet Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party, would back such an Israeli concession. The centrist Labor Party would also support the proposal, Ramon said.

One of the most shameful legacies of the Bush Administration has been its refusal to do anything to resolve the problems in Israel. There were some half-hearted efforts at the beginning – remember the “road map?” – but essentially, all has been quiet on the Chimp front for the entirety of his presidency. But as the article suggests, the Deciderer has changed his strategy. The United States has finally become involved, and all of a sudden, progress appears to be happening.

If you really want to fight a “global war on terrorism,” get to the root cause. With the exception of Al-Qaeda, most of the groups we designate as terrorists – Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. – are active because of the existence and actions of the Israeli government. Whatever side you are on in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, resolving it takes the impetus for these groups away. A sane administration would realize that.

But we all know that an administration that prides itself in not talking to “evildoers,” that is seriously considering using nuclear weapons on a country that has not attacked us, that invades and occupies countries for their natural resources, that exists mostly to move wealth from the poorest to the richest in America…well, how long is it till 2009 again?

ZOMG! Teh Joooz Are Taking Over the World!!!111!!!

That’s what I hear every time people say things like “Israel is running our foreign policy” and “We’re in Iraq because Israel wants us there.”

I admit, as a Jooo who lost relatives in the Holocaust, I’m probably oversensitive to anti-Semitism. But I’m also oversensitive to over-simplification. (Note…the title of my blog.) And this type of statement, if not intentionally anti-Semitic, is certainly guilty of being simplistic to the point of ignorance.

I find that what people typically mean when they say “Israel” in this context is in fact, AIPAC, the powerful lobbying organization that purports to represent Israeli interests. What it really represents is neo-conservative interests, of course, which currently reflects the severely right-wing alignment of the Israeli government.

Unfortunately, some people assume that all American Joooz and Israeli citizens automatically support the policies promoted by AIPAC. (Although I love AmericaBlog, I had to stop commenting there because this assumption is rampant in the community.) The reality is quite different, as this excellent article by Allan C. Brownfield states.

Beneath the appearance of continuing power and influence, it is becoming increasingly clear that AIPAC does not in fact represent the views of the constituency in whose name it claims to speak, the American Jewish community. Rather than supporting AIPAC’s embrace of the war in Iraq, a recent Gallup Poll placed the American Jewish community at the top of the list of “major” religious groups opposed to the war. The Reform movement—the largest synagogue denomination in the U.S.—has gone on record in opposition to the war. According to Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Judaism, his group’s resolution fairly reflects the Jewish community’s attitude toward the war. “It is not us that are out of step with American Jews,” he said.

AIPAC’s role is coming under increasing scrutiny, spurred in part by the debate initiated by Professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt in their in-depth 2006 study of the Israel lobby, which originally appeared in the London Review of Books (and was reprinted in the “Other Voices” supplement to the May/June 2006 Washington Report). Mearsheimer and Walt argued, among other things, that AIPAC had encouraged the U.S. to adopt policies that were neither in the American national interest nor in Israel’s long-term interest.

[snip]

In its March 17 issue, The Economist of London devoted a full page to a discussion of the “changing climate” facing AIPAC: “The Iraq debacle has produced a fierce backlash against pro-war hawks, of which AIPAC was certainly one. It has also encouraged serious people to ask awkward questions about America’s alliance with Israel. And a growing number of people want to push against AIPAC.…AIPAC’s ace in the hole is the idea that it represents Jewish interests in a country that is generally philo-Semitic. But liberal Jewish groups retort that it represents only a sliver of Jewish opinion. A number of liberal groups have started to use their political muscle—groups such as the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Americans for Peace Now and the Israel Policy Forum. These groups scored a significant victory over AIPAC by persuading Congress to water down a particularly uncompromising bit of legislation, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, which would have prevented any American contact with the Palestinian leadership…The growing activism of liberal Jewish groups underline a worrying fact for AIPAC: most Jews are fairly left-wing. Fully 77 percent of them think that the Iraq war was a mistake compared with 52 percent of all Americans…”

Personally, I think there should be a law against any group that lobbies our government in the interests of any other government, AIPAC included. But in any case, it’s extremely unfair to think that AIPAC represents the true opinions of Israeli or American Jews. And considering the other voices that were clamoring for the war in Iraq – including those of the Saudi Royal Family and the multinational corporations thirsting for Iraqi oil and no-bid contracts – it is also unfair to attribute our presence solely to AIPAC or Israel.