Walter Russell Mead: Non-Jewish Interest Groups, not "Israel Lobby" Drive Hawkish US Mideast Policy


Andrew Stewart
 

These attempts to play geopolitical Pin the Tail on the Donkey and reduce complexities to simplicity are by definition banal and replicating the internal logic of antisemitism.
On the one hand, yes, after 1967 the US found use for Israel as a strategic regional partner (alongside Saudi Arabia and Shah-era Iran) in creating a pincer to combat secular Arab nationalist currents (Nasserism, Baathism, et al).
But likewise, prior to this, the US was extremely cool on Israel, and particularly the GOP, owing to Eisenhower's rejection of the Suez invasion of 1956.
This columnist, and apparently author, are extremely selective with the facts. Until the later 1970s, the forces which have embraced Christian Zionism (Evangelical Protestants of varying stripes) were distinctly and doctrinally APOLITICAL, they thought to politicize their faith was blasphemous. These groups only really changed on that front in order to mobilize around preventing passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and then electing Reagan (which itself really had to do with Jimmy Carter's Dept of Education cracking down on continued segregation in education). The only really political right wing Church was Catholicism, and they were also very cool towards Zionism because of fraternal relations with various Oriental Orthodox Rite and Roman Rite polities that had Palestinian congregations, instead they had to be morally blackmailed with charges of antisemitism in order to gain approval of Israel.
Truman's recognition of Israel was a matter of interest convergence, the US and Ben Gurion's section of the Zionist movement both had a shared interest in Mapai gaining power as opposed to a more Soviet-friendly Knesset (the Soviets sent the Israelis weapons during the Nakba, regrettably). How much of this was an attempt to appease the liberal Jewish component of the New Deal coalition is debatable but also worthy of consideration, there was a lot of acclamation for the Northern component of the New Deal coalition and the New York Labor Party (a fusion system party) had soothed many consciences that might otherwise have been scandalized by pulling a lever for the Catholic Tammany machine.
All of these are simple components of a much larger and complex matter that cannot be simplified down a "Jewish lobby" or "American military-industrial complex." Israel used to be a majority-liberal cause in the US, with social democrats trying to suggest the kibbutz and the Israeli welfare state as a viable alternative Great Socialist Motherland.
Now it is increasingly becoming an embarrassment for liberals, partially owing to the publicity of IDF brutality (caused in no small part by internet video news breaking the old mainstream media blockade) and partially because of Netanyahu's unambiguous and shamelessly racist contempt of Obama (he would never have dared try giving an address to a joint session of Congress during the Clinton or Dubya administrations like that). Furthermore, the intransigence of the Israelis regarding settlement expansion and other matters is an annoyance for the American officials, Obama was honestly interested in normalized relations with Iran based on a neoliberal capitalist market relations system and Netanyahu/Trump's scuttling of the deal was a nuisance. US imperialism would be completely fine with a Middle East under dollar domination with a free market uniting the region, governed by collaborators like Mubarak or al-Sisi, and Israel has begun to become a stumbling block rather than an asset in that goal.


abraham Weizfeld PhD <saalaha@...>
 

 

 

JPLO : Let's have an end to the pseudo-scientific imaginary and prejudicial visions of the Israel/Israeli/Zionist/Jewish LOBBY all conflated together to provide an image to denounce as evil.

Together with the imaginary retort that Jewish Europeans are not really Jewish and have no claim to the heritage of Palestine. This RadLib & ex-CP line is pathetic in its proofs and disregards the germanic Yiddish language as if it did not exist, as well as the paternal DNA.

 

Rejecting the idea of a Jewish-led "Israel Lobby" Mead emphasizes the historical influence of American Christian Zionists and militarists in tilting America's Mideast policy toward the goals of the Israeli right… Israel’s most influential supporters in the U.S., Mead proposes, have acted often not out of sympathy with the state of Israel on its own terms, but rather out of the American national interest and in ways that accord with their own notions of Jews and Biblical prophecy.

In other words - the dog wags its tail and not the other way around!

 

https://newrepublic.com/article/167343/focus-israel-lobby-gets-us-foreign-policy-wrong-walter-russell-mead-review

 

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since 1994  by the JPLO

Jewish   People’s  Liberation  Organization

End  Zionism  &  Judaeophobia

abraham Weizfeld Phd  moderator-founder  SaaLaHa@...

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political declaration   JPLO   ( a Bundist chapter )

https://Jewish-Socialist-Bund.net/JPLO

the books

Sabra and Shatila  (1984)  2009

https://www.academia.edu/44543523/SABRA_AND_SHATILA_Edition_2009

http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000255066/Sabra-and-Shatila.aspx

The End of Zionism :  and the liberation of the Jewish People  1989

http://www.academia.edu/11243333/THE_END_OF_ZIONISM_and_the_liberation_of_the_Jewish_People

Nation, Society and the State : the reconciliation of Palestinian and Jewish Nationhood

https://www.academia.edu/40349204/VOLUME_I_SECOND_EDITION_THESIS_NATION_SOCIETY_AND_THE_STATE

https://www.academia.edu/40349264/VOLUME_TWO_SECOND_EDITION_THESIS_METHODOLOGY_OF_NATIONAL_IDENTITY  

 

The Federation of Palestinian and Hebrew Nations

https://www.academia.edu/38380122/The_Federation_of_Palestinian_and_Hebrew_Nations 

https://www.cambridgescholars.com/product/978-1-5275-1313-6  (Hbk)

 

 

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Jeffrey Masko <j.alan.masko@...>
 

Not sure I agree and perhaps another pitch for Occupation of the American Mind might be helpful. Note the bold type that indicates it is not one or another, but a mutually beneficial arrangement. The film has abridged versions, but treat yourself and watch the complete version.

Occupation of the American Mind

Polling shows strong global opposition to Israel’s illegal 50-year occupation of Palestinian land, and mounting outrage over Israel’s ongoing slaughter of unarmed Palestinian civilians who are fighting for their rights. Nevertheless, public sympathy and support for Israel within the US continues to hold strong. The Occupation of the American Mind zeroes in on this critical exception, breaking down the devastatingly effective public relations war that Israel and right-wing pro-Israel advocacy groups have been waging for decades in the US. Narrated by Roger Waters and featuring leading observers of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the film explores how the Israeli government, the US government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives and interests, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor. The result is a stunning look at how — and why — American media coverage of the conflict regularly minimizes the occupation, vilifies critics of Israeli policy, and dehumanizes the Palestinian people.


The Occupation of the American Mind is a production of The Media Education Foundation (MEF), a Massachusetts-based organization that produces and distributes educational films about the social, cultural, and political impact of American mass media.


Dennis Brasky
 

Rejecting the idea of a Jewish-led "Israel Lobby" Mead emphasizes the historical influence of American Christian Zionists and militarists in tilting America's Mideast policy toward the goals of the Israeli right… Israel’s most influential supporters in the U.S., Mead proposes, have acted often not out of sympathy with the state of Israel on its own terms, but rather out of the American national interest and in ways that accord with their own notions of Jews and Biblical prophecy.

In other words - the dog wags its tail and not the other way around!

 

https://newrepublic.com/article/167343/focus-israel-lobby-gets-us-foreign-policy-wrong-walter-russell-mead-review