The ‘Jewish lobby’

Check this letter on today’s page:

Hollings speaks truth about Middle East
    I agree with former Sen. Ernest Hollings on his answer, as stated in the June 15 State, to James T. Hammond’s question, “How do you think our policy in the Middle East should change?” Sen. Hollings said, “Settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and 80 percent of the problems will disappear.”
    In order to solve a problem, all facts must be truthfully presented. As long as it is considered anti-Semitic to state true but politically incorrect facts about Israel, it is impossible to solve the Middle East problems. If we want to solve these problems, get rid of the Jewish lobby (the biggest lobby in Washington), and get the facts on the table.

I bring it up to suggest that Mr. Norton should check out this piece in Foreign Affairs that I mentioned previously. It makes it pretty clear that U.S. support for Israel — whatever you may think of it — has long been based in widespread support among NON-Jews in this country. Argue that this nation should take a harder line on Israel if you like. But to complain about the "Jewish lobby" is to miss where most of the support of current policy is coming from.

22 thoughts on “The ‘Jewish lobby’

  1. David

    I’d like to know exactly what the “true but politically incorrect facts about Israel” are which Mr. Norton thinks need to be stated, but can’t because they’re anti-semitic.
    Whenever I hear anyone say something like this my Spidey senses immediately start tingling. I find that what this kind of statement generally ends up demonstrating is not that there are a lot of negative facts about Israel known by the general public that need to be said but can’t be…it usually ends up demonstrating that the individual person who BELIEVES that there is a bunch of negative stuff about Israel that can’t be said is really the anti-semite.
    I think Mr. Norton himself probably has a lot of negative things to say about Israel but finds that he can’t because he’s afraid people might discover that HE is the anti-semite. And somehow I have have very serious doubts about whether the things Mr. Norton would say are actually “facts.”

  2. Lee Muller

    The article in Foreign Affairs avoids direct discussion of the issue, just as Brad Warthen claims that Mr. Norton did. That magazine, like Mr. Warthen, has unlimited space. Mr. Norton only had 100 words.
    A lot of Americans believe the myths about global warming and support policies against drilling for oil in ANWR because of the environmental lobby. That broadbase of support was created by lobbying and propaganda. It doesn’t mean the lobbying and propaganda campaign is irrelevant.

  3. David

    I’d still like to know what Mr. Nortons’ “facts” are. And I’d also like him to explain precisely how he believes the “huge jewish lobby” is so successfully stifling and hiding these facts.
    Maybe he’ll discover this blog and explain himself here, where he has enough room to say whatever he needs to in order to make his case. I hope he does. Until then, I am very suspicious that Mr. Norton is the real anti-semite, and that his set of “facts” aren’t really facts at all.
    Just sayin. David

  4. Walt Hampton

    Mr. Norton is probably aware that an “anti-
    Semite” is anyone who says or does
    anything the Jews don’t like!

  5. Phillip

    Brad, what you (and the Foreign Affairs piece to which you refer) say about the roots of US support for Israel is true. There is a corollary to that, however, which in its own way undermines Mr. Norton’s finger-pointing at “the Jewish lobby” as well…as shown in a 2007 Zogby poll, among other sources, Jewish-Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of an independent Palestinian state, and in significant numbers do not always agree with certain policies carried out by the state of Israel.
    Mr. Norton might also do well to remember that it was just last week that Secretary of State Rice called out Israel in pretty strong terms on the matter of new settlements in disputed territories.
    When one is talking about uncritical support for Israel within the US from non-Jews, one has to look especially toward the Christian right, particularly the fundamentalist wing that is anticipating the “Rapture”. That certainly has driven a lot of the far right support for Israel.
    While AIPAC is an extremely powerful lobby, and while historically there is truth to the charge of anti-Semitism often having been leveled at those who have dared criticize Israel, I think these are waning factors today. Certainly the responsibility for the Palestinian question’s continued irresolution cannot be laid solely at the feet of a “Jewish lobby.”

  6. David

    Israel has as much right to exist and flourish as does any other country. From this right flows the obvious right and duty to defend itself.
    Todays’ “peacemakers” demand endlessly that Israel give up land to secure peace with her neighbors. The land she gives up is then immediately used by her neighbors as launching pads for missile attacks and marshalling areas for new raids and incursions against Israel.
    Please note that I haven’t mentioned the word “rapture” once. I support Israel because it is the right thing to do. It is as right to support Israel as it is to support my own country. I support Israel not because of some wierded out religious framework as Phillip suggests. I don’t deny that many do support her on that basis, but I don’t think as many do as Phillip believes.
    And after all, it’s still the right thing to do. David

  7. Ad Watch Two 2008

    *Pro-Islamic Nuances Again Cover Billboards*
    There are two new and ominous billboards in Lexington County touting the New Amsterdam — possibly a counter to the Fitna movie’s warnings — and a preconditioning for a desired head-in-the-sand/naive stance on Islamic culture.
    1. Augusta Road toward Lexington High School
    2. Hwy 378, just south of I-20 before Southeastern Freight entrance.

  8. Amsterdam Watch

    Check out this comment from the “Denver Post” article re: Denver Police Shootout 6/23/08
    “Why can’t things be like over in Amsterdam, a wonderful place, people are happy and everyone’s mellow! 8)”
    Hey Buddy,

  9. Brad Warthen

    I don’t know what y’all are talking about, but I do know what Elvis Costello said:

    New Amsterdam it’s become much too much
    Till I have the possession of everything she touches
    Till I step on the brakes to get out of her clutches
    Till I speak double dutch to a real double duchess

    Who can improve upon that?

  10. Lee Muller

    All silliness, all the time, from our editor.
    Brad, try just once to discuss illegal immigration without emotion, sloganeering, name-calling, and lame jokes.

  11. Mike Cakora

    I thought that the Jewish lobby was the area just inside the entrance of the Jewish hotel.
    That said, we can’t expect a Papist like Brad to be fully forthcoming because he takes orders from the Pope and B16 is in league with Bush in the Middle East.
    So be afraid and if you kill the chicken, let the monkey watch.

  12. Herb Brasher

    Phillip, evangelicals in general are increasingly stepping out of subservience to a political system. See, for example Colin Chapman’s more balanced treatment of the Palestinian issues in Whose Promised Land?.

  13. Michael Rodgers

    Brad, et al.,
    I found the interviews on Worldview back in September 2007 to be quite interesting. The host Jerome McDonnell spent two days examining the “special relationship” between the US and Israel.
    On the first day, he interviewed the co-authors of the controversial bestseller, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
    On the second day, he interviewed a Spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    Michael Rodgers

  14. JC

    Israel is a friend only to itself. They are the problem and the solution, and here we are today. For all the do-gooders out there who support Israel ‘because it’s the rght thing to do’, it’s so easy to be supportive…until, let’s say, the US actually has to get its hands dirty by actually participating in some conflict. Probably won’t happen, but you can bet that if it did, all those right-thing-to-do-ers would probably rethink their Israel stand.

  15. HP

    We’re ready, willing, and able to get our hands dirty in continuing to stand for Israel, the apple of God’s eye.
    Don’t kid yourself.

  16. David

    Wrong JC.
    If we can get our hands dirty fighting a non-existent hoax/scam like global warming, or even a very real threat like terrorism, we can certainly get them dirty defending and supporting our eternal friends in Israel.
    We just can, and by Gods’ grace, we will. We spend a lot of time, talent and treasure in this country doing things that aren’t really very important in the big scheme of things, but support of Israel is NOT one of them. Deserting Israel would be a huge and fatal mistake.
    And, supporting them is STILL the right thing to do, whether you happen to like that turn of phrase or not.

  17. Phillip

    Indeed, David, supporting Israel (its right to exist and its security) is the right thing to do. But supporting an independent Palestinian state is also the right thing to do. And that brings us back to square one, where we have stayed for many years.

  18. David

    I don’t know exactly why Palestinians don’t have an independent state right now, as it seems to me that if this were really a high priority for the people best able to make it happen (surrounding Arab states), it would have already happened. But be that as it may ~ OK, I’ll bite…Palestinians ahould have an independent state. But NOT at the expense of Israel.
    The dirty little secret is that surrounding Arab states don’t really WANT an independent Palestine because if they did there would be one already. Arab states really only want the issue kept alive to be used as a battering ram against Israel.
    In any case, whatever happens to Palestinians in NO way alters the rightness of the US commitment to Israel.

  19. Phillip

    True, David…the Palestinians have been abysmally served by most of the Arab nations surrounding Israel. But of course Palestinians would turn your earlier statement around to say that the creation of Israel came at the expense of Palestinians.
    And in the final analysis, US support of Israel is a moot point if somehow the process cannot move beyond the “whatever happens to Palestinians” stage. There will be no peace, neither for Israel, nor for the Palestinians, nor for the Middle East on a larger scale. This goes back to Hollings’ original point. How we get there seems impossible to determine. But recall that most of central Europe had been at war with each other on-and-off for hundreds and hundreds of years, whereas now that seems hardly imaginable.

  20. Lee Muller

    Now Central Europe has been re-Balkanized by Clinton’s arming of the Muslims in Bosnia. About 35,000 of those fighters went to Afghanistan, where Bush had to rub them out, but a significant number remain in Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania and Serbia, terrorizing Christians and Jews.
    The two destabilizing forces in the Mideast now are Iran and Syria. If we continue turning the screws down on them, the Palestinian problem will mostly be resolved, with just some final cleanup of Hamas and the other terrorists who pray for the election of Barak Obama.

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