NOTE: If this is your first time here, it is very important to keep in mind that many of the ideas expressed in this blog represent older versions of myself, and not necessarily my current self. After all, we evolve, and sometimes change our minds. In the meantime, enjoy lurking around, and watch the video trailer for my upcoming book here.

CrUSAders Scold Settlement-Loving Zionists

by Drima on March 24, 2010

Let’s face it. Claiming that Jews control the US government is utter nonsense. They don’t. They do however have very significant influence through AIPAC in regard to matters related to the state of Israel, which brings me to the shift that I haven’t been alone in noticing lately. It started with this, but now it’s progressed into this:

President Obama and his aides have cast the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not just the relationship with Israel, as a core U.S. national security interest. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of the military’s Central Command, put it starkly in recent testimony on Capitol Hill: “The conflict foments anti-American sentiment due to a perception of U.S. favoritism toward Israel.”

No shit. But apparently, this observation is supposed to be some kind of new revelation. And the favoritism isn’t merely a matter of “perception.”

It’s fact. It’s real. Why can’t we just admit that?

His comments raised eyebrows in official Washington — and overseas — because they suggested that U.S. military officials were embracing the idea that failure to resolve the conflict had begun to imperil American lives.

Erm, “had begun to imperil American lives.” Really? Begun? Oh no, I think they meant, began… began to imperil them a long time ago, and today the anti-Americanism is continuing and worsening, as a consequence of the ongoing conflict.

And there’s more:

… Obama and his aides have strongly pledged support for Israel’s security — including a reiteration by Clinton when she addressed AIPAC on Monday — but they have continued to criticize its settlement policies in tough terms. Clinton notably did not pull her punches on the issue when she addressed the pro-Israel group, warning that whether Israelis like it or not, “the status quo” is not sustainable.

Clinton is right, and here’s something which strongly indicates that. More and more American Jews, especially younger ones, feel differently towards Israel than their parents.

If you want numbers, various polls document the disenchantment. Shmuel Rosner, an astute Israeli journalist who blogs for the Jerusalem Post and writes for Slate pays a lot of attention to the partisan gap in support for Israel. It has jumped dramatically of late, with 80 percent of Republicans expressing favorable view of Israel, according to Gallup, as compared with only 53 percent of Democrats. One recent study found that only 54 percent of Jews under 35 who aren’t Orthodox are “comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state” (as compared to more than 80 percent of those over 65). Among younger Jews, only 20 percent rated as “highly attached” to Israel in another poll. If you want examples of the shift in sentiment, read just about any Jewish columnist for a major newspaper. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times spent last week arguing that Biden under-reacted to Israel’s announcement about the new housing units in East Jerusalem, comparing Israel’s policies to drunken driving. Richard Cohen of the Washington Post is writing a book arguing that the founding of Israel was a well-intentioned mistake.

On top of that, we also have this.

… with Likud-Republican-religious-AIPAC supporters settling into one camp and Kadima-Democratic-secular-J-Street supporters coalescing into another. It’s hard to see this as good news for either Israel or Democrats. American liberals are an external part of Israel’s conscience, and when it disdains them, it becomes a harder and more isolated place. The support that Israel has gained from millenarian American conservatives is no substitute, in part because such allies aren’t persuasive global advocates for Israel.

This going to be fun to watch.

  • Will Netanyahu freeze the settlements and consequently piss off a big portion of his voting base?
  • Will J-Street someday replace screwed up AIPAC as the dominant Israel lobby and usher in a new better paradigm?
  • Will Obama and Biden successfully pressure Israel into doing the right thing: freezing the settlements and stopping the colonization?
  • Will Israel succeed in maintaining the status quo Clinton speaks of?

Stay tuned and find out in the next episode of, Big Daddy in the Sky Gave Me This Piece of Land, So It’s MINE!



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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew Brehm 04.13.10 at 7:36 pm

Your three points:

1. Yes, Jerusalem is an important to all three Abrahamic faiths. But the reason it is is precisely because it is the undivided capital of the Jewish people. If the Jewish capital had been any other city we would be talking about that city. So admitting what Jerusalem is is certainly not just “one point of view” or ignoring reality.

2. Yes, the holy land is important to three religions. So do we give it to the Muslims or the Christians? If we give it to either, whom exactly will we give it to? Do we give it to some terrorist group or to (more) legitimate representatives of Islam (for example the King of Jordan)? Or do we give it to one of the churches as if the Crusades had finally been won? Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem and the holy land is a compromise for the two much bigger religions which wouldn’t even exist if Jerusalem hadn’t been Jewish in the past. Jesus was a Jew and Muhammed spoke of Jerusalem as the “farthest place of worship”, Isaac’s equivalent to Ishmael’s Mecca. Everything in the three religions points to a Jewish Jerusalem. Ignoring that is ignoring reality.

3. Israel’s position towards the terrorists has nothing to do with Iran. The Iranian regime want control over as much of the world as they can. Israel and the conflict is not a tool for them but a roadblock. If Israel was beaten, either in a war or diplomatically, nothing will stand between the mullahs and total power over the region. The security goals are not shortsighted. They serve the purpose of survival (opening the floodgates would destroy Israel) and they guarantee that Israel remains powerful enough to stop Iran. If the terrorists really want peace and a (third) Palestinian state, they won’t need Jerusalem as its capital. The only reason they demand Jerusalem is because they know it will prolong the conflict if they demand more whenever Israel gives in. That’s why it is important that Israel says NO at some point, ideally at a point before the terrorists have Jerusalem and continue destroying all Jewish holy sites in the city (like Jordan began doing when they controlled it, and the PLO are much much worse than the Hashemites).

Ultimately you are right. There cannot be any long-lasting peace there. As long as people scream for the death of all Jews there obviously cannot be peace. The Jews won’t kill all their enemies and the enemies of the Jews cannot kill all the Jews. Hence there will be conflict forever (or until Israel compromises on the security goals and is overrun).

2 Andrew Brehm 04.14.10 at 12:29 pm

Plus, neither you nor I even addressed the issue of what Jerusalemites actually want.

From what I have heard and read, many Arab Jerusalemites do not want to be part of a “Palestinian” state. And I wonder how many Jerusalem Arabs would want to remain in Israel if it was safe to say so.

3 Andrew Brehm 04.15.10 at 4:56 pm

The entire issue might be moot soon:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/totten/276986

Obama is being perceived as weak by the terrorists and another war is coming, bloodier than the small conflicts we had in the last few years.

The question of whether Israel should give the Jewish capital to the terrorists or not might easily become moot when all Jewish cities are burning.

Maybe it is time to approach this issue from a different angle. Instead of demanding ever more concessions from Israel, why not fecking beat the terrorists first? Maybe there won’t be a conflict if they are taken out.

4 Charl 06.04.10 at 1:31 pm

Ten Tips for Dealing with GIYUS (Give Israel Your Unconditional Support) Group – UNCRITICAL would be a better description!).

Here is a useful set of tools for dealing with them:
http://netherworld.wordpress.com/2006/11/12/ten-tips-for-dealing-with-giyus/

5 Andrew Brehm 06.10.10 at 10:39 am

Charl,

I find that Israel supporters are rarely feared.

Do you have any tips for dealing with the much more intimidating and violent NASPAs (non-antisemitic peace activists)?

6 Andrew Brehm 06.10.10 at 10:41 am

UNCRITICAL are those who think that ten deaths among attacking islamists are not as newsworthy as 300,000 deaths in Darfur, I take it?

I assume those who simply scream the same as most people are the “critical observers”.

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