Pro-Israel Lobby attacked by Harvard Dean for excessive influence in government

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Pro-Israel Lobby in US Under Attack

    WASHINGTON - (UPI) - Two of America's top scholars have published a searing attack on the role and power of Washington's pro-Israel lobby in a British journal, warning that its "decisive" role in fomenting the Iraq war is now being repeated with the threat of action against Iran. And they say that the Lobby is so strong that they doubt their article would be accepted in any U.S.-based publication.

    Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, author of "The Tragedy of Great Power Politics" and Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard's Kenney School, and author of "Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy," are leading figures American in academic life.

    They claim that the Israel lobby has distorted American policy and operates against American interests, that it has organized the funneling of more than $140 billion dollars to Israel and "has a stranglehold" on the U.S. Congress, and its ability to raise large campaign funds gives its vast influence over Republican and Democratic administrations, while its role in Washington think tanks on the Middle East dominates the policy debate.

    And they say that the Lobby works ruthlessly to suppress questioning of its role, to blacken its critics and to crush serious debate about the wisdom of supporting Israel in U.S. public life.

    "Silencing skeptics by organizing blacklists and boycotts -- or by suggesting that critics are anti-Semites -- violates the principle of open debate on which democracy depends," Walt and Mearsheimer write.

    "The inability of Congress to conduct a genuine debate on these important issues paralyses the entire process of democratic deliberation. Israel's backers should be free to make their case and to challenge those who disagree with them, but efforts to stifle debate by intimidation must be roundly condemned," they add, in the 12,800-word article published in the latest issue of The London Review of Books.

    The article focuses strongly on the role of the "neo-conservatives" within the Bush administration in driving the decision to launch the war on Iraq.

    "The main driving force behind the war was a small band of neo-conservatives, many with ties to the Likud," Mearsheimer and Walt argue." Given the neo-conservatives' devotion to Israel, their obsession with Iraq, and their influence in the Bush administration, it isn't surprising that many Americans suspected that the war was designed to further Israeli interests."

    "The neo-conservatives had been determined to topple Saddam even before Bush became president. They caused a stir early in 1998 by publishing two open letters to Clinton, calling for Saddam's removal from power. The signatories, many of whom had close ties to pro-Israel groups like JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) or WINEP (Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy), and who included Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, William Kristol, Bernard Lewis, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, had little trouble persuading the Clinton administration to adopt the general goal of ousting Saddam. But they were unable to sell a war to achieve that objective. They were no more able to generate enthusiasm for invading Iraq in the early months of the Bush administration. They needed help to achieve their aim. That help arrived with 9/11. Specifically, the events of that day led Bush and Cheney to reverse course and become strong proponents of a preventive war," Walt and Mearsheimer write.

    The article, which is already stirring furious debate in U.S. academic and intellectual circles, also explores the historical role of the Lobby.

    "For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centerpiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel," the article says.

    "The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread 'democracy' throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized not only U.S. security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the U.S. been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state?" Professors Walt and Mearsheimer add.

    "The thrust of U.S. policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the 'Israel Lobby'. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. interests and those of the other country - in this case, Israel -- are essentially identical," they add.

    They argue that far from being a strategic asset to the United States, Israel "is becoming a strategic burden" and "does not behave like a loyal ally." They also suggest that Israel is also now "a liability in the war on terror and the broader effort to deal with rogue states.

    "Saying that Israel and the U.S. are united by a shared terrorist threat has the causal relationship backwards: the US has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel, not the other way around," they add. "Support for Israel is not the only source of anti-American terrorism, but it is an important one, and it makes winning the war on terror more difficult. There is no question that many al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, are motivated by Israel's presence in Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians. Unconditional support for Israel makes it easier for extremists to rally popular support and to attract recruits."

    They question the argument that Israel deserves support as the only democracy in the Middle East, claiming that "some aspects of Israeli democracy are at odds with core American values. Unlike the US, where people are supposed to enjoy equal rights irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity, Israel was explicitly founded as a Jewish state and citizenship is based on the principle of blood kinship. Given this, it is not surprising that its 1.3 million Arabs are treated as second-class citizens."

    The most powerful force in the Lobby is AIPAC, the American-Israel Public affairs Committee, which Walt and Mearsheimer call "a de facto agent for a foreign government," and which they say has now forged an important alliance with evangelical Christian groups.

    The bulk of the article is a detailed analysis of the way they claim the Lobby managed to change the Bush administration's policy from "halting Israel's expansionist policies in the Occupied Territories and advocating the creation of a Palestinian state" and divert it to the war on Iraq instead. They write "Pressure from Israel and the Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical."

    "Thanks to the lobby, the United States has become the de facto enabler of Israeli expansion in the Occupied Territories, making it complicit in the crimes perpetrated against the Palestinians," and conclude that "Israel itself would probably be better off if the Lobby were less powerful and U.S. policy more even-handed."
     
  2. The study referred to the pro-Israel lobby as a source of real concern.

    Here are excerpts from the study:

    For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centerpiece of U.S. Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only U.S. security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the U.S. been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the U.S. provides.

    Instead, the thrust of U.S. policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.

    Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing that given to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976, and is the largest recipient in total since World War Two, to the tune of well over $140 billion (in 2004 dollars). Israel receives about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, roughly one-fifth of the foreign aid budget, and worth about $500 a year for every Israeli. This largesse is especially striking since Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to that of South Korea or Spain.

    Washington also provides Israel with consistent diplomatic support. Since 1982, the U.S. has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members. It blocks the efforts of Arab states to put Israel’s nuclear arsenal on the IAEA’s agenda. The U.S. comes to the rescue in wartime and takes Israel’s side when negotiating peace. The Nixon administration protected it from the threat of Soviet intervention and re-supplied it during the October War. Washington was deeply involved in the negotiations that ended that war, as well as in the lengthy ‘step-by-step’ process that followed, just as it played a key role in the negotiations that preceded and followed the 1993 Oslo Accords. In each case there was occasional friction between U.S. and Israeli officials, but the U.S. consistently supported the Israeli position. One American participant at Camp David in 2000 later said: ‘Far too often, we functioned . . . as Israel’s lawyer.’ Finally, the Bush administration’s ambition to transform the Middle East is at least partly aimed at improving Israel’s strategic situation.

    This extraordinary generosity might be understandable if Israel were a vital strategic asset or if there were a compelling moral case for US backing. But neither explanation is convincing. One might argue that Israel was an asset during the Cold War. By serving as America’s proxy after 1967, it helped contain Soviet expansion in the region and inflicted humiliating defeats on Soviet clients like Egypt and Syria. It occasionally helped protect other U.S. allies (like King Hussein of Jordan) and its military prowess forced Moscow to spend more on backing its own client states. It also provided useful intelligence about Soviet capabilities.

    The first Gulf War revealed the extent to which Israel was becoming a strategic burden. The U.S. could not use Israeli bases without rupturing the anti-Iraq coalition, and had to divert resources (e.g. Patriot missile batteries) to prevent Tel Aviv doing anything that might harm the alliance against Saddam Hussein. History repeated itself in 2003: although Israel was eager for the U.S. to attack Iraq, Bush could not ask it to help without triggering Arab opposition. So Israel stayed on the sidelines once again.

    Beginning in the 1990s, and even more after 9/11, US support has been justified by the claim that both states are threatened by terrorist groups originating in the Arab and Muslim world, and by ‘rogue states’ that back these groups and seek weapons of mass destruction. This is taken to mean not only that Washington should give Israel a free hand in dealing with the Palestinians and not press it to make concessions until all Palestinians (fighters) are imprisoned or dead, but that the U.S. should go after countries like Iran and Syria. Israel is thus seen as a crucial ally in the war on terror, because its enemies are America’s enemies. In fact, Israel is a liability in the war on terror and the broader effort to deal with rogue states.

    ‘Terrorism’ is not a single adversary, but a tactic employed by a wide array of political groups. The terrorist organisations that threaten Israel do not threaten the United States, except when it intervenes against them (as in Lebanon in 1982). Moreover, Palestinian ‘terrorism’ is not random violence directed against Israel or ‘the West’; it is largely a response to Israel’s prolonged campaign to colonise the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    Pressure from Israel and the Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical. Some Americans believe that this was a war for oil, but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. Instead, the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure. According to Philip Zelikow, a former member of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, and now a counsellor to Condoleezza Rice, the ‘real threat’ from Iraq was not a threat to the United States. The ‘unstated threat’ was the ‘threat against Israel’, Zelikow told an audience at the University of Virginia in September 2002. ‘The American government,’ he added, ‘doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.’

    On 16 August 2002, 11 days before Dick Cheney kicked off the campaign for war with a hardline speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Washington Post reported that ‘Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.’ By this point, according to Sharon, strategic co-ordination between Israel and the U.S had reached ‘unprecedented dimensions’, and Israeli intelligence officials had given Washington a variety of alarming reports about Iraq’s WMD programmes. As one retired Israeli general later put it, ‘Israeli intelligence was a full partner to the picture presented by American and British intelligence regarding Iraq’s non-conventional capabilities.’

    Israeli leaders were deeply distressed when Bush decided to seek Security Council authorization for war, and even more worried when Saddam agreed to let UN inspectors back in. ‘The campaign against Saddam Hussein is a must,’ Shimon Peres told reporters in September 2002. ‘Inspections and inspectors are good for decent people, but dishonest people can overcome easily inspections and inspectors.’

    Other neo-conservatives were meanwhile at work in the corridors of power. We don’t have the full story yet, but scholars like Bernard Lewis of Princeton and Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins reportedly played important roles in persuading Cheney that war was the best option, though neo-conservatives on his staff – Eric Edelman, John Hannah and Scooter Libby, Cheney's chief of staff and one of the most powerful individuals in the administration – also played their part. By early 2002 Cheney had persuaded Bush ; and with Bush and Cheney on board, war was inevitable.
     
  3. Could you highlight your statements in blue...? or do we need to read the news every evening with you?
     
  4. Jewish Extremists Circle Their Wagons In Hate Campaign Against Harvard Dean

    By Dr. David Duke

    Zionist media sharks have gone on a feeding frenzy against the dean of Harvard’s prestigious Kennedy School of Government, Dr. Stephen Walt, and of course, me.

    I am used to the media distortions and smears such as the inaccurate and mean-spirited epithet often used to describe me: “supremacist.” Indeed, how ironic it is for the Jewish extremists who support the apartheid state of Israel — to refer to their opponents as “supremacists”. I am no supremacist.

    Psychologists have a term for what these hypocrites do, it is called projection. Dare we forget that Israel is a nation with immigration laws based on Jewish genetics, where marriage between a Jew and Gentile is not legal, where there is practically total segregation of neighborhoods, apartment buildings, schools, even whole towns, and where even the settlements which are built upon stolen Palestinian land forbid non-Jewish residents. Israel is a land where Palestinians can be tortured while Jews cannot, where non-religious Jews from all over the planet are given cash to come and settle, but where Palestinians who were born there can’t even go back home. And they call me a “supremacist!” In actual fact the Jewish supremacists who support Israel make me look very, very moderate.

    I am used to the abuse, but Stephen Walt, dean of the most celebrated school of government in the United States, is not. A man of lifelong academic achievement and exuberant acclaim from his peers, Dr. Walt must be taken aback from the attacks.

    He committed the unpardonable sin. He simply told the truth about the proverbial gorilla in the room: the Zionist lobby and its enormous political and media power. He dared to talk about its critical role in the Iraq War, a war not fought for American interests but for Israel’s.

    The Iraq War has deeply harmed not only the 20,000 Americans already maimed or dead, but will cause untold numbers of Americans to be massacred by future terrorism spawned by this insane war. Even if America withdrew tomorrow, the costs of the war will be in the trillions of dollars and result in economic hardship for millions of Americans. It should be noted that from this war America did not get one gallon of cheaper gas and oil, only higher prices from the destabilization created by this war. The war was not about American imperialism or oil; it was about Jewish imperialism and Israeli strategic interests.

    The main promoters of the Iraq War were two Jewish extremists, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. Both are long supporters of the most rabid Zionism and the Likud Party in Israel. Perle went so far as to co-author a report for the Israeli government that called for war against Iraq. It was titled, “A Clean Break, Securing the Realm,” The title referred to Israel’s realm, not America’s. Perle and Wolfowitz and the other main cohorts of the war such as Wurmser, Feith, Libby, Abrams, Kristol and the like — couldn’t do it alone, they had allies that stretched across the incredible influence of extremist Jews in media and in government. Stuart Cohen in the CIA manufactured the WMD lies, Israel supplied much of the false intelligence. And, is it really necessary for me to mention the roll played by the incredible power of the Jewish supremacists in American media. The New York Times and the Washington Post were key elements in the creation of this war for a lie, and their staff looks like an Israeli cabinet meeting.

    Do I have to name the names in the network and cable news that promoted the war? I can. Check out the chapter from book,[1] Jewish Supremacism called Who Runs the Media?

    Perhaps our unbiased news is best illustrated by the “journalist” who has been at the heart of reporting the Mideast stories and the Iraq War, none other than the ubiquitous Wolf Blitzer. Who is Wolf Blitzer? He is the son of Holocaust survivors and formerly an official of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). This radical Jewish Supremacist is the man from whom millions of Americans are supposed to get an unbiased view of the Mideast? The fact that he would even be chosen for the job must tell even the most hard-hearted American a lot. Could you see a network hiring a PLO official to report on Israel and the Mideast?

    Dr. Walt and his co-author Dr. Mearsheimer ran into that incredible network of Jewish extremists so ensconced in the American landscape of media and politics.

    Take a close look at the most recent Sun article attacking Walt, Mearsheimer and, of course, me. Walt is smeared simply because I have said the same things that he says in the report. The attacks against Walt go far beyond what the media calls McCarthyism. In the halcyon days of the McCarthy era, academics and media were attacked for their own associations with Communist groups. McCarthy never went so far as to attack someone simply because a Communist expressed agreement with him. If we go down that road, one can find discredited people who support every politician or point of view. It is the cheapest of cheap shots.

    In the convoluted world of Jewish extremist character assassination, Walt is attacked and besmirched because I agreed with what he says. When the character assassination is complete against Walt, some other poor schmuck in the future will be attacked because Walt publicly agreed with him.

    And who is doing the attacking in the New York Sun article? First off, the reporter who originally called me was Mr. Gerstein. I don’t think Gerstein is an Irish name. The Sun, like so many leading American newspapers have a staff that would feel right at home in Tel Aviv.

    And in the latest article who do they quote to disprove all of Walt’s assertions in the paper?

    Well they headline, “Kalb Upbraids Harvard Dean over Israel.” Who is the Kalb in question? Well, it’s none other than Marvin Kalb. Must I point out his deep roots in the Jewish community? Kalb doesn’t much refute what Walt says, he simply makes the oblique and insidious attack by demeaning the academic standards of the report.

    Then the NY Sun article goes on to quote none other than Dennis Ross, former American envoy to the Mideast. Ross is another Jewish extremist, who informs the Sun’s readers that the report’s authors displayed “a woeful lack of knowledge on the subject.”

    Then the Sun reporter quotes Jewish extremist Mortimer Zuckerman attacking the report. Finally, the article quotes Daniel Pipes who accused the report of “sloppiness, carelessness, fantasy.”

    Pipes, of course is another Jewish supremacist who has advocated that Israel should put the whole Mideast under Israeli military subjugation. And, as a side note, Pipes is a close friend of fellow Jewish supremacist, Flemming Rose, the man who fanned the flames religious war by purposefully publishing the Mohammed cartoons in his Denmark newspaper.

    The NY Sun’s attacks on Dr. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer actually validate everything that these academics wrote in their report exposing the Israel lobby and their power over government and media. These vicious attacks also validate everything that I have written on the subject as well.

    The American people must have government that works on behalf of the American people, not a powerful, extremist special interest group with loyalty to a particular minority ethnic group and the foreign nation it supports. The same is true in media. How are we to know the truth unless we have a media and an academia that is free and unbiased?

    Dr. David Duke

    http://www.davidduke.com/index_print.php?p=502
     
  5. Yes, you need to read the news with me.....

     
  6. New sheriff in town?
     
  7. I must admit that I am of two minds about this issue. The authors are no doubt correct that there is an enormously powerful jewish lobby that orchestrates the funneling of shocking amounts of tax money to Israel and that Israel does not always, or even often, act in our self-interest. No doubt life would be easier for us in the arab world if we dropped our ties to Israel and left them to fend for themselves. And Israel discriminates against Christians, maybe not as much as say Saudi Arabia, but it is certainly not receptive.

    On the other hand, we need to face realities. We are in a worldwide struggle against islamofascism. This is a political movement that operates under a veneer of religiousity. It relies on violence and intimidation and is not only hostile to our basic freedoms, but openly advocates the overthrow of our government and every other western government. Israel is Fort Apache in this struggle. To abandon it now when we could really use their help strikes me as foolish. Plus, doing so will not help us with the islamofascists. They would regard it as merely another sign of our weakness.
     
  8. The authors miss the point that many Evangelical leaders are Zionists themselves. They pray every day that the middle east breaks down into armageddon thereby hastening the return of Christ. You can see them on TV every night foaming at the mouth and screaming;

    " THE RAPTURE COMETH, O' LORD THE RAPTURE COMETH"

    The authors have more to worry about than the Zionist lobby. It is called religious fundamentalism, or Brain Rot. These are who run our government these days.
     
  9. interesting thread... thks
     
  10. fhl

    fhl

    You're extremely ill informed as to what christians believe.
     
    #10     Jun 27, 2007