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The Pro-Israeli Lobby
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Dan
2009-02-25 23:24:04 EST
THE PRO-ISRAEL LOBBY
Edward S. Herman



The previous two articles in this series pointed up the extremely
racist and abusive character of Israeli policy toward Arabs, and the
simultaneous virtually unconditional U.S. support for Israel and
enormous pro-Israel (and anti-Arab) bias of the mainstream media and
intelligentsia. There is considerable dispute over the reasons for this
bias and policy tilt. The two most prominent explanations are Israel's
strategic value to the U.S. and the power of the pro-Israel lobby;
others include western guilt and sympathy for the Jewish people as a
result of the holocaust, and anti-Arab racism. I will review briefly
these alternative explanations, but will devote most attention to the
power of the lobby, which I consider of primary importance.


Western Guilt

As an explanation of western support for Israel, guilt over the
holocaust and sympathy with the victim people is a non-starter. Guilt
rarely if ever affects national policy, which is almost always grounded
in more earthy considerations. Concern over the holocaust victims never
extended so far as to allow significant numbers of Jewish survivors to
emigrate to the U.S. after World War II, nor did it lead to extensive
prosecutions of the holocaust managers and beneficiaries. Large numbers
of these, including major death merchants, were protected and put to use
in the Cold War. The question may also be raised, why should there be
such guilt related to the holocaust and neither to black slavery and
subsequent discrimination against blacks, nor to the destruction of the
indigenous Indians? And why shouldn't there be guilt over western
connivance in the expulsion of Palestinians from their homelands and
victimization in 27 years of occupation?

Guilt, in short, is easily managed, and can be brought into play
effectively by those powerful enough to mobilize it for their own purposes.


Anti-Arab Racism

Another possible source of the bias against the Palestinians is
racism. This factor is more important than "guilt," but I don't think it
deserves heavy weight either. Palestinian racial types are variable and
overlap with those of Jews. There is also great variability in
Palestinian culture, much of it overlapping with that of the West. If
Palestinians and Arabs are looked down upon today, and if racist
stereotypes are expounded with impunity by Martin Peretz, Fouad Ajami,
Hollywood, and the culture at large, this racism is mainly an effect and
reflection of interest and policy rather than a causal factor.

Arabs who cooperate with the West, like the Saudis, Mubarak, and
Fouad Ajami are not subject to racial epithets and stereotypes. This
suggests that if other Arabs were more tractable and responsive to
western demands they would cease to be negatively stereotyped.
Scapegoating is a function of power and interest. Unfortunately for the
Palestinians and many other Arabs, they have little economic or military
muscle and stand in the way of powerful interests. It is still ironic
and horrifying that Jews like Podhoretz, Peretz, and Kissinger, and the
organized Jewish establishment, should be in the forefront of racist
derogation and dehumanization of Arabs: doing to others what was done,
with such terrible consequences, to their own in-group.


Israel As Strategic Asset

A more compelling analysis explains the policy tilt and bias in
terms of Israel's value to the U.S. as a strategic asset. Most important
in this view, Israel serves U.S. interests as a western-oriented enclave
and proxy military and political force in the Middle East. It has also
made itself available as a surrogate in covertly supporting regimes
difficult for the United States to support directly and openly
(Duvalier's Haiti, Guatemala in the years of mass murder, Argentina,
Chile, South Africa, Zaire, etc.)

There is an important truth in this line of argument. If Israel's
interests were in real conflict with that of core U.S. power interests,
or could not be reconciled with them, there is little doubt that support
for Israel would be weaker. But conflict may be pasted over by an
artificial and strained reconciliation, that employs an inferior
political strategy based on a pre-ordained priority accorded one party.
If core U.S. interests call for access to and control over Middle East
oil, has the pro-Israel policy served this end well? Israel has no oil,
and is disliked and feared by the oil rich Arab states. Support for
Israel has brought not peace and stability to the region, but
polarization and a string of wars. The U.S. policy led to the
organization of an Arab-centered oil producers cartel and the embargo
and damaging price increases of 1973. There is no reason to believe that
a more even-handed U.S. policy that forced a peace settlement wouldn't
have been equally or more effective than the one followed. Arguably, the
U.S. was lucky to maintain hegemony through the turmoil that resulted
from a policy of aggressive support for the Arab states' enemy.

It is true that Israel and the pro-Israeli lobby geared well into
the demands and policies of U.S. militarists and the Reagan
administration in the 1970s and 1980s. Israel did serve the surrogate
function, and it and the lobby supported aggressive strategies and the
arms race, and shared common interests with the
military-industrial-complex and were warmly admired by ideological
hard-liners. This was, I believe, of greater importance in generating
support for Israel in dominant U.S. circles than their supposed service
in Middle East policy.

With the fall of the Soviet Union and the downturn in the arms
budget, the compatibility of interests of Israel and the domestic MIC
has become more problematic. Competition between U.S. and Israeli arms
manufacturers is tending to replace joint efforts to enlarge and share
the pie. Elements of the Pentagon and contractors resent Israel's power
over U.S. political life, and this has manifested itself in the
treatment of Pollard, the recent controversy over claims of illegal
Israeli transfers of Patriot technology to China, and other cases. This
growing conflict of interest may eventually reduce the power of the camp
urging generous support for the "strategic asset."


The Pro-Israel Lobby

Another important reason to doubt the importance of Israel's
strategic asset role in explaining the pro-Israel policy and
intellectual bias is the character and evident impact of the pro-Israel
lobby. If scores of Democratic politicians take large sums from the
lobby, and speak and vote in ways consistent with its demands, we may
reasonably doubt whether this political behavior results from a
considered judgment of Middle East issues. Long-time Democratic
congressman (and economist!) Clarence Long acknowledged to Paul Findley
that "Long ago I decided that I'd vote for anything that AIPAC [American
Israel Public Affairs Committee] wants. I didn't want them on my
back....I made up my mind I would get and keep their support." Long, of
course, rationalized his submission and could not comprehend why David
Obey would raise questions about the level of Israel's aid. A colleague
chided Long: "Maybe he's thinking about our own national interest."

The lobby's power is manifested, first, then, in the virtually open
submissiveness of a large number of legislators. The lobby can muster
remarkable numbers in support of Israeli interests in general or on any
specific issue: in 1989, after Secretary of State Baker at an AIPAC
convention, called upon Israel to awaken from its dream of the Greater
Land of Israel, "the Israeli lobby showed who rules the town by making
95 Senators and 235 congressmen sign a declaration of support of Israel"
(in the words of Alon Pinkas, in the Israeli publication Davar[June 28,
1991]).

Second, the lobby's power is shown by its ability to maintain
Israel's huge claim on the foreign aid budget, which remains at
approximately $4 billion a year--untouchable and undebatable--even in a
period of serious budgetary pressures and neglect of large domestic
constituencies. Even Israeli commentators wonder at the phenomenon and
ask whether this may not eventually backfire: speaking of the pressures
on U.S. politicians in 1991 to provide a $10 billion guarantee to help
absorb immigrants to Israel, Ben-Dror Yemini noted in the journal
Al-Hamishmar, that "the U.S. is full of poverty-stricken and downtrodden
people who don't have an AIPAC, but still want to obtain something for
themselves." They may be legitimately angry at the ability of the lobby
to obtain generous benefits for relatively affluent foreign refugees,
"which they may or may not interpret in their own minds in the light of
some tenets of malignant anti-Semitic nonsense."

Third, George Bush greatly antagonized the Israeli lobby and its
media spokespersons by trying to tie the $10 billion loan guarantee to
Israeli restraint on further settlements in the occupied territories.
The resultant reaction was, I believe, an important factor in his
defeat, second only to the economic stagnation. Clinton, by contrast,
promised Rabin there would be no cuts in the Israeli grants, and
redefined the "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza as merely a matter
of "disputed territory." As with Clarence Long, the Clinton
administration finds it the better part of valor to give the lobby
whatever it wants.

A fourth manifestation of lobby power is its ability to keep a lid
on public discussion and exposure of Israeli abuses (e.g., torture, aid
to terrorist states, cross-border terrorism of its own in Lebanon,
illegal buildup of a nuclear arsenal). This even extends to covering up
the massacre of U.S. military personnel. In 1967, following careful
surveillance of the plainly marked U.S. intelligence vessel the USS
Liberty, the Israelis attacked the ship repeatedly, killing 34 U.S.
sailors and wounding 171. The Israelis aimed to sink the ship,
apparently to prevent its intelligence gathering and reporting of an
Israeli invasion of the Golan heights which took place the next day.
Following the attack, there were delays in coming to the stricken
vessel's aid, based on orders from Washington. Subsequent investigations
involved a steady cover-up of the unquestionable fact of the
deliberateness of the attack; the official and public line was "tragic
error." The captain of the ship was eventually given a congressional
medal of honor, but quietly, and only after it had been established that
Israeli officials would not object. Admiral Thomas Moorer claimed that
the Johnson administration covered up this crime strictly "for domestic
political reasons. I don't think there is any question about it."

The basis of the lobby's power is political resources,
intelligently and aggressively deployed, strong media and pundit
representation and support, a well developed and powerful system of
grassroots activism, and the absence of any seriously contesting
opposition. Affluent Jews have responded generously in support of
pro-Israel lobbying groups, especially in times of perceived threats to
Israel. The leading U.S. lobbying group, AIPAC, with an annual budget of
some $15 million in the early 1990s, is widely thought to be the most
influential lobbying body in the country. There are more than 60
pro-Israel PACs, most of them closely linked to AIPAC, whose resources
(supplemented by individual contributions) has made this collective the
largest dispenser of single-issue money in U.S. politics. It is deployed
aggressively and with sophistication, and its threat terrifies
politicians, especially Democrats. They have seen what happens to a
Charles Percy or Paul Findley, among many others. According to political
analyst Stephen Isaacs, the Democratic National Committee gets about
half of its money from Jewish sources, and he reports one non-Jewish
strategist as saying: "You can't hope to go anywhere in national
politics, if you're a Democrat, without Jewish money." Republicans have
been less dependent on this source, but many of them (and their
Christian right supporters) have been keen on Israel because of its
harsh policies and support of U.S. militarism.

The lobby has benefited greatly from the sizable contingent of mass
media pundits who aggressively push the Israeli foreign office and AIPAC
line--George Will, William Safire, Charles Krauthammer, A. M. Rosenthal,
and others. The rest of the mainstream media only rarely depart from the
official U.S. line, which is basically strongly supportive of Israel,
even if occasionally calling for small changes and symbolic gestures.
Media adherence to the line is reinforced by the strength of the lobby's
grass roots base and its activism. AIPAC has an estimated 50-60,000
active supporters, and the Jewish communities nationally have several
hundred thousand more who follow the news, write letters and make phone
calls to editors and reporters, and attend meetings where Middle East
issues are addressed. They constitute a tremendous and effective flak
machine that greatly constrains free speech and the scope of debate in
this country.

As one illustration, when one of the officers injured in the
Israeli attack on the Liberty, James Ennes, published a book on the case
in 1980-- The Assault on the Liberty --he was under immediate and steady
attack from Israeli officials, AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, and
the grass roots activists, who would not tolerate a challenge to the
official lie that the Liberty attack had been a mere unfortunate "error"
and that there had been a major cover-up. Hecklers at his speeches
called him a liar and anti-Semite, and when Ennes was announced as a
guest on a talk show in San Francisco, the station got 500 protesting
letters, and the show was inundated by hostile phone calls, including
threats of physical harm to the author. His book became hard to get as
his publisher, Random House, backed away from it.


The Lobby in Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, the grass roots activists of the lobby, including
members of CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy [sic] in Middle East Affairs),
the Zionist Organization of America, and others, monitor, protest, and
threaten those with different viewpoints, and have greatly affected
coverage of Middle East issues. At Penn, no posted signs for "hostile"
speakers can stay intact for an hour, and speakers like Israel Shahak
are treated to disruptions and extremely hostile questions. On local
talk shows, speakers on the lobby hit list, or otherwise perceived as
threatening, are subject to organized call-ins that include personal
insults, invective, and bullying attempts to monopolize the discussion.
All TV programs or Op Ed or news articles that depart from the lobby
party line elicit a strong response. The pressure is incessant: there is
a steady stream of letters, visits to editors to complain about
unfairness, and sometimes threats. An insider at the Philadelphia
Inquirer told one local academic that during the Senate campaign between
Arlen Specter and Lynne Yeakel--the lobby strongly favoring Specter--the
leading lobby spokesperson in the Philadelphia area faxed his comments
and criticisms to the paper daily. With negligible responses from local
Arabs, and episodic and unorganized responses from others, it is the
pro-Israel lobby that the media most fear and to which they must and do
adapt.

During the Specter-Yeakel campaign, the Inquirer 's reporter
assigned to it repeatedly pointed out that Yeakel was wealthy and was
putting money into the campaign, but never mentioned that Jewish PACs
were pouring money into the Specter camp, although this information was
publicly available. Yeakel's church had sponsored a Middle East program
in which several of the speakers had criticized Israel. The Specter
campaign took this up as showing "anti-Semitism," calling on Yeakel to
dissociate herself from the program. The Inquirer played this up as
real, never mentioning that Specter himself had been one of the speakers
on the program. The paper published a series of letters by lobby members
denouncing the church, and with ad hominem attacks on some of the church
leaders, and blatantly false statements, such as "No Jewish leader has
attempted to equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism." The lobby
leader who engaged in the daily faxing of criticisms had seven letters
and four Op Ed columns published in the paper during 1991-92. A letter
by this writer criticizing the Inquirer 's news coverage of the Senate
campaign elicited a 5-single spaced page letter of reply from the
Executive Editor, but the critical letter was not published. And replies
from Yeakel's church group, even by individuals personally attacked,
were refused publication by the paper. This cave-in and one sided policy
on the editorial page paralleled serious bias in the news department. It
is not clear that bias would not have been present without the incessant
lobby pressure, but that surely took its toll.

Freedom Fighter
2009-02-26 14:05:04 EST
In the interests of America's economic recovery, we must stop allowing
Israel to sponge off us. We simply cannot afford, economically or morally,
to continue pouring billions in military and financial aid into the mideast.

If not for our decades of support for the Zionist fanatics, the 9/11 attacks
would not have happened. The truth of this is evident whether you believe
the government's lies about how 9/11 happened, or realize that it was a
false-flag attack conspiracy in which Israel probably participated.

The Zionists living in America that have a greater allegiance to Israel than
to the country they live in should be DEPORTED. Let them go fight their own
bloody wars, and let us put AMERICA FIRST!



_ G O D _
2009-02-26 15:26:52 EST
"Freedom Fighter" <liberty@once.net> wrote
news:AJBpl.39481$4m1.19425@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
> In the interests of America's economic recovery,
> we must stop allowing Israel to sponge off us.

.....<snip>.....redundant crap has been carefully removed.......

Freedom Fighter, if you really think that Israel is sponging off
self-centered, COck-sucking americunts like you, then you're
grossly misinformed. Because, according to the facts, Israeli
residents wouldn't mind if retarded COck-sucking americunts
leave their country and never come again with their inequality
policies which they bring together with their own self-interests....
--
_____________________________________________________

I intend to last long enough to put out of business all COck-suckers
and other beneficiaries of the institutionalized slavery and genocide.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The army that will defeat terrorism doesn't wear uniforms, or drive
Humvees, or calls in air-strikes. It doesn't have a high command, or
high security, or a high budget. The army that can defeat terrorism
does battle quietly, clearing minefields and vaccinating children. It
undermines military dictatorships and military lobbyists. It subverts
sweatshops and special interests.Where people feel powerless, it
helps them organize for change, and where people are powerful, it
reminds them of their responsibility." ~~~~ Author Unknown ~~~~
___________________________________________________
--


Dan
2009-02-26 15:30:10 EST
Freedom Fighter wrote:
> In the interests of America's economic recovery, we must stop allowing
> Israel to sponge off us. We simply cannot afford, economically or morally,
> to continue pouring billions in military and financial aid into the mideast.
>
> If not for our decades of support for the Zionist fanatics, the 9/11 attacks
> would not have happened. The truth of this is evident whether you believe
> the government's lies about how 9/11 happened, or realize that it was a
> false-flag attack conspiracy in which Israel probably participated.
>
> The Zionists living in America that have a greater allegiance to Israel than
> to the country they live in should be DEPORTED. Let them go fight their own
> bloody wars, and let us put AMERICA FIRST!

They are stealing money from the United States in addition to the money
they get from USAID annually.

http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1047.shtml

Dan
2009-02-26 15:33:02 EST
This guy is a Jew.

Learn about Jewish atheism who they are ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheist_Jew

_ G O D _ wrote:
> "Freedom Fighter" <liberty@once.net> wrote
> news:AJBpl.39481$4m1.19425@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
>> In the interests of America's economic recovery,
>> we must stop allowing Israel to sponge off us.
>
> .....<snip>.....redundant crap has been carefully removed.......
>
> Freedom Fighter, if you really think that Israel is sponging off
> self-centered, COck-sucking americunts like you, then you're
> grossly misinformed. Because, according to the facts, Israeli
> residents wouldn't mind if retarded COck-sucking americunts
> leave their country and never come again with their inequality
> policies which they bring together with their own self-interests....

_ G O D _
2009-02-26 16:18:23 EST
"Dan" <Danwigin2@hotmail.com> wrote
news:MJKdnWTCTtfmYTvUnZ2dnUVZ_hcLAAAA@giganews.com...
> This guy is a Jew.


Why would you think so? You are taking the liberty
to label someone as a member of religious cult of
different than your own cocksucking denomination
only because one is basing his opinion upon facts?
--
_____________________________________________________

I intend to last long enough to put out of business all COck-suckers
and other beneficiaries of the institutionalized slavery and genocide.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The army that will defeat terrorism doesn't wear uniforms, or drive
Humvees, or calls in air-strikes. It doesn't have a high command, or
high security, or a high budget. The army that can defeat terrorism
does battle quietly, clearing minefields and vaccinating children. It
undermines military dictatorships and military lobbyists. It subverts
sweatshops and special interests.Where people feel powerless, it
helps them organize for change, and where people are powerful, it
reminds them of their responsibility." ~~~~ Author Unknown ~~~~
___________________________________________________
--


_ G O D _
2009-02-27 13:44:21 EST

"Dan" <Danwigin2@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:MJKdnWTCTtfmYTvUnZ2dnUVZ_hcLAAAA@giganews.com...
>
>
> Learn about Jewish atheism who they are....

.....<snip>....irrelevant crap has been carefully removed..........

According to meaning of word "Jewish," it says
about individuals' belonging to Judaic religious
cult, which isn't corresponding to your obviously
false assertion of the very individuals' "atheism,"
which implies non-participation in sectarian cult....

Therefore, regardless of how often you'll repeat
the same false assertion, if will not become true....
--
_____________________________________________________

I intend to last long enough to put out of business all COck-suckers
and other beneficiaries of the institutionalized slavery and genocide.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The army that will defeat terrorism doesn't wear uniforms, or drive
Humvees, or calls in air-strikes. It doesn't have a high command, or
high security, or a high budget. The army that can defeat terrorism
does battle quietly, clearing minefields and vaccinating children. It
undermines military dictatorships and military lobbyists. It subverts
sweatshops and special interests.Where people feel powerless, it
helps them organize for change, and where people are powerful, it
reminds them of their responsibility." ~~~~ Author Unknown ~~~~
___________________________________________________
--

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