Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Today's US election is important for Israel

I've made several posts on this blog regarding how important today's US election is for Israel. In the past few days, the Jerusalem Post has sent a couple of its top columnists out with the same message. Here is part of what Jonathan Rosenblum had to say on Friday (re-posted yesterday on the web site):
After spending several months campaigning for Senator Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut, Lanny Davis, former special counsel to president Bill Clinton, revised his lifelong view that intolerance and hate speech are more likely to be found on the Right. In a piece in The Wall Street Journal, Davis provided a sampler of the anti-Semitic attacks on Senator Lieberman posted on some of the most widely read and influential Democratic blog sites.

Lieberman was accused of supporting the war in Iraq so that American soldiers, not Israeli ones, would die. One post on Daily Kos, the most influential Democratic blog, read, "Jews only care about the welfare of other Jews... Ignore all the Jewish propaganda about participating in the civil rights movement of the '60s."

A reader at Huffington Post opined that Lieberman "cannot escape the religious bond he represents. His wife's name is Haggadah or Diaspora or something you eat at Pesach."

A post onMoveOn.org, which spearheaded the presidential campaign of Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, read: "(I)t's those GREEDY PIGS who own our mainstream media who are placing RELIGION/POLITICS (ISRAEL) and CORPORATE GREED above the best interests of the American people (peace, democracy, clean air, healthcare, etc.). As we've already agreed, most of these GREEDY PIGS are Jewish."

Fifty percent approved of this post. By contrast, only 21% agreed with a post pleading to eschew such "abhorrent anti-Semitic trash."

MUCH MORE significant than the anti-Semitic rantings, however, are the congeries of attitudes that increasingly characterize party leaders, even as they profess strong support for Israel. Those attitudes might be summed up in one word: European.

In the recent Senate hearings on John Bolton's nomination as ambassador to the United Nations, Senator John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic standard-bearer, repeatedly criticized Bolton for the fact that America is consistently the odd man out at the United Nations, and stands outside the consensus of our European "allies."

One shudders to think where Israel would be if the United States ceased to be the "odd man out" at the UN. Recall that six of those so-called European allies, including France, voted in favor of a resolution of the UN Human Rights Commission specifically legitimizing terrorism against Israeli citizens to further Palestinian liberation.

The Democrats' bible, The New York Times, editorialized during the Lebanon War that the Bush administration's refusal to join the Europeans in calling for an immediate cease-fire gave the lie to its professed multilateralism. An early cease-fire would have handed Hizbullah a huge propaganda and moral victory.

Increasingly the American Left shares with its European counterparts a naive Enlightenment belief that all problems can be solved by rational men sitting around a conference table. In that view, all men are basically interested in increasing their allotment of material goods, and all conflicts can be resolved by slicing the pie slightly differently.

In this happy world, talk is always good, and military action, unless sanctioned by the UN, is always bad. Democrats have long ago cast off the UN skepticism of four-term Democratic Senator and former UN Ambassador Daniel Moynihan. So enamored are they with the idea of the UN that they forget it maintains an entire bureaucracy devoted specifically to anathematizing Israel and portraying the Palestinians as the world's most oppressed people.
This morning, it's Caroline Glick's turn:
The current issue of Commentary magazine includes an article entitled, "Dual Loyalty and the 'Israel Lobby'" by Gabriel Schoenfeld. Schoenfeld describes succinctly the corrosive impact that the work of two political science professors, John Mearshimer from the University of Chicago, and Steven Walt from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, has had on the position of American Jewry. He then explains what the warm reception their work has enjoyed says about the political and cultural climate in the US.


Were all well in American letters these days, Walt and Mearshimer would have been shunned by intellectual and academic circles following their foray into the land of academic chicanery and bigotry. But far from being shunned, Mearshimer and Walt have become academic superstars. Just recently they signed a $750,000 book deal with Farrar, Straus and Giroux to author a book-length version of their paper. DVDs featuring their celebrity appearances at an event sponsored by the Council for American Islamic Relations at the National Press Club in September, and their "debate" with dovish and anti-Zionist Jews at Cooper Union are being advertised in The New York Times.

RATHER THAN ostracize the pair, the Council on Foreign Relations - which recently hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for crumpets and tea - referred to their paper as "hardheaded analysis."

Schoenfeld's most disturbing insight arises from his comparison of Walt and Mearshimer's diatribe against Israel and American Jewry to similar anti-Semitic arguments made by Nazi sympathizers Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford and Father Charles Coughlin in the US in the 1930s. Both then and now the genocidal anti-Semitism of America's enemies provided an excuse for scapegoating Jews as a way to prevent Americans from seeing the dangers to their own security.


After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and Hitler declared war against the US, the three were marginalized, and decried as bigoted rogues. The issue of Germany's threat was settled and the national debate moved to the constructive issue of how best to go about defeating the Germans and Imperial Japan.

IN THE case of Walt and Mearshimer today just the opposite has occurred. In the prewar 1990s, ideas like Walt's and Mearshimer's were recognized as intellectually indefensible and bigoted, and consequently were marginalized. The notion that radical Islam is an imaginary threat concocted by Israel and American Jews gained currency only after the US was attacked on September 11, 2001. That is, the notion that global jihad is the Jews' fault only became politically acceptable after Arab jihadists blew up the World Trade Center and bombed the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington.

Sadly, the popularity of Walt and Mearshimer's thesis is a consequence of a larger cultural phenomenon. Today large swathes of people throughout the Western world wish to avoid the harsh reality of global war at almost any price. This desire induces them to blame any person or group they feel is forcing them to recognize this reality. And so over the past five years we have been witness to malignant vituperations of hatred directed against President George W. Bush, the neoconservatives, and the Jews for their insistence on recognizing the reality of war.

Indeed, it is Bush's insistence on recognizing the reality of war far more than the Democrats' refusal to accept the results of the 2000 presidential elections that has fuelled the widespread, obsessive and venomous hatred that Democrats heap on the president.


RATHER THAN debate how best to win the war, the Democrats have purged their ranks of leaders like Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, who wish to engage in such a debate. At the same time they have worked to limit public discourse to a witch hunt against those they argue have conspired to delude the American people into believing they are at war, and to attacking Bush for insisting on continuing the fight.

Instead of debating how best to contend with the Iranian nuclear threat, Iranian and Syrian support for terrorists and subversion of US efforts in Iraq and a host of other salient strategic and tactical issues, Democratic leaders like Senator John Kerry mindlessly claim simultaneously that more soldiers are needed in Iraq, and that all soldiers should be removed from Iraq. Similarly, Democratic leaders argue that resources directed toward the war effort in Iraq are being diverted from the war against terror - the war they insist is a hoax.

This of course all brings us back to Israel and the Jews.

The central contention of people like Walt and Mearshimer and Democratic leaders like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Kerry and Senator Ted Kennedy is that there is no global war that needs fighting. If they understood that the US is fighting a global war, then the question of whether Israel is part of the problem or part of the solution would have been settled definitively in Israel's favor five years ago.
Read both articles.


Post a Comment

<< Home