The Israel Lobby: How Important Is It?
An address by Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review, given at the University of Oregon in Eugene, on November 3, 2007. Weber was introduced by Orval Etter, a retired professor and founder of the Pacifica Forum, which had invited Weber and organized the meeting. (A report on the meeting is posted here.)
The other week Orval Etter sent me a copy of an article entitled "The First Casualty" that he had written in 1951 -- fifty-six years ago -- for the newsletter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. / 1 In the piece he pointedly criticized the official and generally accepted view of America's role in World War II.
I was impressed, and even moved, to read his essay because in it he cited and highlighted the work of prominent revisionist historians of those years, including William Henry Chamberlin and George Morgenstern, writers who had greatly influenced me in my own youth and development, and whose writings I have helped, over the years, to publish, distribute, and promote through the Institute for Historical Review.
But as I read Orval Etter's article, I was also saddened to reflect how, in many ways, the intellectual climate in our country is worse today than it was when that essay was written. If more people, and especially our political leaders, had taken to heart the words of William Chamberlin, of George Morgenstern, and, yes, of Orval Etter, our world, and our nation, might have been spared so much of the pain, suffering, death and destruction we've seen during the past half-century -- in Vietnam, in the Middle East, and, of course, right now, in Iraq.
During the past five decades, the insights and warnings of those dissident writers have instead been all but buried in a cacophonous storm of deception, lies, and hateful propaganda that has made possible the catastrophic conflicts of our era, including the tragedy of Iraq.
Along with that storm of propaganda has come a climate of "politically correct" intimidation -- a broad effort to smear and silence dissident voices. As part of that campaign, the bigots have been at work in recent months trying to shut up Desmond Tutu, Norman Finkelstein, Jimmy Carter and, on a much more modest level, your speaker here this afternoon.
Behind the emotional rhetoric about "hate," the arguments of those who don't want you to hear what I have to say are the same arguments used by bigots throughout history. They insultingly suggest that they are astute and perceptive enough to see right through my supposedly fallacious and hateful presentation -- even without actually listening to what I say -- but that you are not smart enough or discerning enough to be able do so.
To the bigots and would-be censors, I say this: In an open and democratic society, people should be encouraged to hear and evaluate conflicting points of view, to make up their own minds about the merit, or lack of merit, of even very controversial and emotion-laden perspectives.
The United States is, by far, the most important and consistently steadfast supporter of Israel and its policies. For years American political leaders of both parties have routinely and emphatically pledged their loyal commitment to Israel and its security. For decades the US has, uniquely, provided the Zionist state with crucial military, diplomatic and financial backing, including more than $3 billion each year in aid.
This unparalleled level of support for Israel is strikingly reflected in the United Nations. In the UN Security Council, the United States, time and time again, has vetoed resolutions critical of Israel's policies, resolutions that have support from nearly the entire world community. Likewise in the UN General Assembly, the United States and Israel have, time and time again, been on one side, and virtually the entire rest of the world has been on the other.
On October 21, 2003, for example, there was a vote in the UN General Assembly on a resolution condemning Israel's so-called "security barrier," a grotesque thing, parts of it larger and more formidable than the Berlin Wall, that Israel has built on occupied Palestinian territory. Supporting the resolution were 144 countries, representing nearly the entire world's population. Twelve countries abstained. Just four countries opposed the resolution. They were: Israel, the United States, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. The latter two member states, small island countries in the Pacific ocean with a combined population of 180,000, are utterly dependent on the US.
And on December 9, 2003, the members of the UN General Assembly considered a resolution re-affirming the principle of Palestinian sovereignty. It received the backing of 142 states, including all the nations of Europe and South America. In this case as well, just four countries voted against the resolution: Israel, the US, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
This reminds me of a story. A senior citizen whose brain didn't work as well or as quickly as it once did, was driving on the freeway when his cell phone rang. He answered it, and heard his wife urgently warning him, "Charles, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on the freeway. Please be careful!" Charles immediately replied: "Honey, it's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"
Well, like Charles, the state of Israel, along with George W. Bush and Israel's other supporters in the US, insist that everyone else is recklessly going the wrong way.
An important book that examines the sources and consequences of US support for Israel was published earlier this year. Entitled The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, it was written by John Mearsheimer, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, a professor of international affairs at Harvard. / 2 This carefully written, judiciously worded and copiously referenced work -- with 355 pages of text and 106 pages of notes -- quickly found a place on the best seller lists of The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
The book is an expansion and refinement of a detailed paper issued in March of 2006, which generated wide interest and spirited discussion. / 3 Quickly, and predictably, the paper and its authors came under fierce attack from Zionist leaders and organizations -- a response that underscored one of the authors' main points. But the critics have been outnumbered by those who have welcomed this work as a landmark event and as an important breakthrough.
The authors lay out a compelling case that unswerving US support for Israel is harmful to American interests, and that the main reason for this support is the tremendous power of what they call the Israel lobby. Mearsheimer and Walt detail the terrible human and monetary cost to Americans of permitting Israel, and the pro-Israel lobby, to manipulate US Middle East policy.
Almost nothing in the Walt-Mearsheimer paper or book is new or original. Its main point about the dangerous role of the Israel lobby is well understood by informed men and women around the world who closely follow political affairs and history. The paper and the book are significant because they were written by two scholars of eminence and stature.
Here's some of what they write: / 4
"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 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 US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history...
"The Israeli government and pro-Israel groups in the United States have worked together to shape the administration's policy towards Iraq, Syria and Iran, as well as its grand scheme for reordering the Middle East. 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."
"... the United States has a terrorism problem in good part because it has long been so supportive of Israel."
"... Israel's 1.36 million non-Jews are de facto treated as second-class citizens."
"Although we believe that America should support Israel's existence, Israel's security is ultimately not of critical strategic importance to the United States. In the event that Israel is conquered ... neither America's territorial integrity, its military power, its economic prosperity, not its core political values would be jeopardized ... "
Uri Averny, a prominent Israeli writer who has also been a member of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, reviewed the Walt and Mearsheimer book in a recent column. Avnery wrote:
"There are books that change people's consciousness and change history. ... It may well turn out that ... The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is just such a book ... The two professors take the bull by the horns. They deal with a subject which is absolutely taboo in the United States, a subject nobody in his right mind would even mention: the enormous influence of the pro-Israel lobby on American foreign policy ...
"Each of these assertions is backed up by so much undeniable evidence and quotations from written material (mainly from Israeli sources) that they cannot be ignored. Most of these disclosures are nothing new for those in Israel who deal with these matters. I myself could add to the book a whole chapter from personal experience."
Along with Avnery and many others, I warmly welcome the publication of this book. I challenge any fair-minded person to read just the chapter on Israel's invasion last year of Lebanon, and the role of the US and the Israel lobby in that invasion, without a feeling of rage over America's support for and complicity in the Zionist state's criminal rampage of Lebanon.
The Walt-Mearsheimer book is much more than a penetrating analysis or persuasive critique of a particular lobby. It is implicitly a damning indictment of the American social-political system. I challenge any caring American to read this book without feeling shame over the leadership of this country, and disgust over the immorality and corruption of the compliant politicians of both major parties.
The focus of the Mearsheimer and Walt book is, appropriately, the role of what they call the Israel lobby in determining US policy in the Middle East. But this focus greatly understates and, unfortunately, misrepresents the problem. The impact and influence of this lobby or power is much greater, more insidious, and more dangerous, than that of any mere "lobby." Far beyond determining US policy in the Middle East, it has a profound impact on every aspect of American social, political and cultural life.
Mearsheimer and Walt take care to avoid any criticism, or even much mention, of organized Jewry. Perhaps they do so because they believe that this is the most effective way to educate the public, or because they believe that this approach may deflect accusations of anti-Semitism. But everyone who is familiar with the issue understands, I think, that the key, critical factor behind the problem here is organized Jewry, or what I prefer to call Jewish-Zionist power. It is more accurate, and honest, I think, to speak instead of "the Jewish lobby," or, as I prefer to put it, Jewish-Zionist power.
However careful Mearsheimer and Walt may be in presenting their case, the facts they present make this quite clear. For example, the authors quote from a letter by Howard Friedman, president of the main pro-Israel lobbying group, AIPAC, sent out in July 2006 to supporters during Israel's invasion of Lebanon. In the letter, Friedman boastfully declared: "Look what we've done! ... Only ONE nation in the world came out and flatly declared: Let Israel finish the job. That nation is the United States of America -- and the reason it had such a clear, unambiguous view of the situation is YOU and the rest of American Jewry." / 6
United States support for Israel did not come about because Americans are markedly more intelligent, humane or enlightened than, say, Norwegians, Japanese or Irish. No, the US-Israel alliance is, rather, a consequence, a result, of the Jewish-Zionist grip on American political and cultural life.
This intimidating power is not a new or recent phenomenon. In 1978, Jewish American scholar Alfred M. Lilienthal wrote in his detailed study, The Zionist Connection: / 7
"How has the Zionist will been imposed on the American people?... It is the Jewish connection, the tribal solidarity among themselves and the amazing pull on non-Jews, that has molded this unprecedented power ... The Jewish connection covers all areas and reaches every level. Most Americans may not even sense this gigantic effort, but there is scarcely a Jew who is not touched by its tentacles...
"The extent and depth to which organized Jewry reached -- and reaches -- in the U.S. is indeed awesome ... The most effective component of the Jewish connection is probably that of media control ... Jews, toughened by centuries of persecution, have risen to places of prime importance in the business and financial world... Jewish wealth and acumen wields unprecedented power in the area of finance and investment banking, playing an important role in influencing U.S. policy toward the Middle East ... In the larger metropolitan areas, the Jewish-Zionist connection thoroughly pervades affluent financial, commercial, social, entertainment, and art circles."
Although Jews make up only about two or three percent of the US population, they wield immense power and influence vastly more than any other ethnic or religious group.
As Jewish author and political science professor Benjamin Ginsberg has pointed out: / 8
"Since the 1960s, Jews have come to wield considerable influence in American economic, cultural, intellectual and political life. Jews played a central role in American finance during the 1980s, and they were among the chief beneficiaries of that decade's corporate mergers and reorganizations. Today, though barely two percent of the nation's population is Jewish, close to half its billionaires are Jews. The chief executive officers of the three major television networks and the four largest film studios are Jews, as are the owners of the nation's largest newspaper chain and the most influential single newspaper, The New York Times ... The role and influence of Jews in American politics is equally marked ...
"Jews are only three percent of the nation's population and comprise eleven percent of what this study defines as the nation's elite. However, Jews constitute more than 25 percent of the elite journalists and publishers, more than 17 percent of the leaders of important voluntary and public interest organizations, and more than 15 percent of the top ranking civil servants."
Two well-known Jewish writers, Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, pointed out in their 1995 book, Jews and the New American Scene: / 9
"During the last three decades Jews [in the United States] have made up 50 percent of the top two hundred intellectuals ... 20 percent of professors at the leading universities ... 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington ... 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the 50 top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series."
The influence of American Jewry in Washington, notes the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post, is "far disproportionate to the size of the community, Jewish leaders and U.S. official acknowledge. But so is the amount of money they contribute to [election] campaigns." One member of the influential Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations "estimated Jews alone had contributed 50 percent of the funds for [President Bill] Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign." / 10
A prominent French Jewish writer, Alain Finkielkraut was moved to write in 1998, in an essay published in the prestigious Paris daily Le Monde:
"Ah, how sweet it is to be Jewish at the end of this 20th century! We are no longer History's accused, but its darlings. The spirit of the times loves, honors, and defends us, watches over our interests; it even needs our imprimatur. Journalists draw up ruthless indictments against all that Europe still has in the way of Nazi collaborators or those nostalgic for the Nazi era. Churches repent, states do penance..." / 11
Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said during a speech in Boston in 2002: "But you know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the US], and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic ... People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful - very powerful." / 12
In Britain, a veteran member of the House of Commons candidly declared in May 2003 that pro-Israel Jews had taken control of America's foreign policy, and had succeeded in pushing the US and Britain into war in Iraq. Tam Dalyell, a Labour party deputy known as "Father of the House" because he is the longest-serving Member of Parliament, said: "A Jewish cabal have taken over the government in the United States and formed an unholy alliance with fundamentalist Christians ... There is far too much Jewish influence in the United States." / 13
Just a few weeks ago Vanity Fair magazine came out with a list of what it calls "the world's most powerful people" -- a list of one hundred top movers and shakers -- media moguls, bankers, publishers, image makers, and so forth, who determine how we view ourselves and the world, and who, in so many direct and indirect ways, shape our lives and the destiny of humanity. As a leading Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, reported, more than half of those on the Vanity Fair list of top power brokers are Jewish. / 14
Americans have already paid a high price for the US alliance with Israel. This includes tens of billions of dollars in economic and military aid to the Jewish state, the cost of the Iraq war and occupation, now hundreds of billion of dollars, and the deaths there of more than three thousand Americans. Directly and indirectly, America's "special relationship" with Israel has also generated, around the world, unprecedented and still growing distrust, fear and loathing of the United States.
To sum up here: Jews wield immense power and influence in the United States. The "Jewish lobby" is a decisive factor in US support for Israel. Jewish-Zionist interests are not identical to American interests. In fact, they often conflict.
By supporting Israel and its policies, the United States betrays not only its own national interests, but the principles it claims to embody and defend. In the region, the only country that currently has a nuclear weapons arsenal, that occupies territory of its neighbors, and which is in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions -- is Israel.
In fact, if the United States were to hold Israel to the same standards that it has applied to Iraq, Serbia, and other countries, American bombers and missiles would be blasting Tel Aviv, and American troops would seize Israel's leaders and punish them for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In the years to come, the cost of the US alliance with Israel is certain to rise much higher. Today the danger is perhaps greater than ever. Israel and Jewish organizations, in collaboration with this country's pro-Zionist "amen corner," are prodding the United States into new wars against Israel's real or perceived enemies, above all, Iran. / 15
There are some who object to the power of the " Israel lobby" because it supports, or, rather, makes possible, Israel's oppression of Palestinians. Others object because they are unhappy with this or that aspect of the lobby's agenda.
But to me this seems beside the main point. Apart from the harmful consequences of this or that particular policy enforced by the Jewish lobby is the injustice and danger inherent in permitting any distinct minority group or interest to wield immense, disproportionate power and influence -- and especially in the country that is the world's foremost military, economic and financial power, and most important cultural factor. Imagine the consequences and the response, if, for example, Mormons, or evangelical Christians, or African-Americans, or the tobacco companies, were to secure a grip on the American media and on America's political life comparable to that held by Jews.
The Jewish-Zionist grip on our nation is an expression of a profound and deeply rooted problem. Such a lobby or power -- particularly one that represents the interests of a self-absorbed community that makes up no more than two or three percent of the population -- could only gain such a hold on the governmental machinery of a society that is fundamentally sick and corrupt. No healthy society would permit a small minority to gain and hold such power, and wield it for its own particular interests.
In reality, the Jewish hold on American life is far more dangerous than one that, in theory, might be held by any of the other groups I've mentioned. There are two main reasons for this:
First, Jews in America have, manifestly, a staunch loyalty to a foreign country, Israel, that since its founding in 1948 has been embroiled in seemingly endless crises and conflicts with its neighbors, and which is now an formidable military power with a large nuclear arsenal.
Second, Jews view non-Jews in a distrustful and even adversarial way. This latter remark may strike some as an overstated generalization, so I'll try to explain.
It is not merely that such great power is wielded by a small minority group, it's that it is wielded by a group that, more than any other, has a pronounced sense of separateness from the rest of humanity, and which, accordingly, views its interests as quite distinct from those of everyone else. This "Us vs. Them" attitude, this mindset that sees Jews as distinct from, and superior to, the rest of humanity, is deeply rooted in Jewish history and in the Jewish psyche. / 16
It is laid out in the Hebrew scriptures, the Torah, or, as most Christians call it, the Old Testament. / 17 In the book of Deuteronomy, for example, we read: "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth." Jews or Hebrews are also referred to as a People that Shall Dwell Alone, or, in another translation, as "a people dwelling alone, and not reckoning itself among the nations."
In the book of Exodus, we read of the Jews as a people "distinct... from all other people that are upon the face of the earth." In another passage, we are told, God says to his chosen people: "This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you."
Throughout history Jews have time and again wielded great power to further group interests that are separate from, and often contrary to, those of the non-Jewish populations among whom they live. This creates an inherently unjust and unstable situation that, as history shows, never endures.
The ancient Jewish sense of alienation from, and abiding distrust of, non-Jews is also manifest in a remarkable essay published in the Forward, the prominent Jewish community weekly. Entitled "We're Right, the Whole World's Wrong," it is written by Rabbi Dov Fischer, an attorney and a member of the Jewish Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. Rabbi Fischer is also national vice president of the Zionist Organization of America. / 18 So this essay was not written by an obscure or semi-literate scribbler, but rather by a prominent Jewish community figure. And it did not appear in the some marginal periodical, but rather in what is perhaps the most literate and thoughtful Jewish weekly in America, and certainly one of the most influential.
In his essay, Rabbi Fischer tells readers: "If we Jews are anything, we are a people of history. .... Our history provides the strength to know that we can be right and the whole world wrong." He goes on:
"We were right, and the whole world was wrong. The Crusades. The blood libels and the Talmud burnings in England and France, leading those nations to expel Jews for centuries. The Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition. The ghettos and the Mortara case in Italy. Dreyfus in France. Beilis in Russia and a century's persecution of Soviet Jewry. The Holocaust. Kurt Waldheim in Austria. Each time, Europe stood by silently -- or actively participated in murdering us -- and we alone were right, and the whole world was wrong.
"Today, once again, we alone are right and the whole world is wrong. The Arabs, the Russians, the Africans, the Vatican proffer their aggregated insights into and accumulated knowledge of the ethics of massacre. And the Europeans. Although we appreciate the half-century of West European democracy more than we appreciated the prior millennia of European brutality, we recognize who they are, what they have done -- and what's what. ...
"We remember that the food they [Europeans] eat is grown from soil fertilized by 2,000 years of Jewish blood they have sprinkled onto it. Atavistic Jew-hatred lingers in the air into which the ashes rose from the crematoria...
"Yes, once again, we are right and the whole world is wrong. It doesn't change a thing, but after 25 centuries it's nice to know."
I can't resist mentioning that some of the Rabbi's remarks here are stupefying distortions of history. To speak, as he does, for example, of "a century's persecution of Soviet Jewry" is a breathtaking falsehood. For one thing, the entire Soviet period lasted 72 years, not 100. And during at least some of that period, above all during the first ten years of the Soviet era, Jews wielded tremendous, if not dominant power in the Bolshevik regime. Or perhaps Rabbi Fischer had forgotten such figures as Leon Trotsky, commander in chief of the young Soviet state's Red Army, Grigori Zinoviev, head of the Communist International, or Yakov Sverdlov, the first Soviet president. / 19
The Rabbi's essay is noteworthy not so much for his distortions of fact, as it is for what it reveals of the mentality of the man who wrote it, and of the literate Jews who published and read it -- and for what it says about our times.
For example, Fischer pins blame for "the Holocaust" -- that is, for the event that Jews routinely regard as the single most horrible crime in history, collectively on non-Jewish humanity. This view, which has gained wider acceptance in recent decades, represents a drastic rewriting of history. During World War II itself, of course, Jews did not dare say to non-Jewish Americans that they actually shared blame and guilt with "the Nazis" for murdering innocent Jews in Europe. During the war, Jews said just the opposite.
During World War II, and for about some years after, the official story, the "party line," if you will, was that responsibility and blame for the horrors of the Nazi era lay with Hitler and his "Nazi henchmen." The official story in those days was that most Europeans -- French, Austrians, Poles, Hungarians, and so forth, and even most Germans -- were victims of the evil Nazis. In recent decades the circle of guilt -- the list of perpetrators -- has grown steadily, so that not merely Hitler, or "the Nazis," or "the Germans," but now the French, the Hungarians, Poles, Ukrainians, the Vatican -- in short, all of Europe, indeed all non-Jewish humanity -- is held to be collectively responsible for this allegedly greatest of all human crimes.
The most direct and obvious victims of Jewish-Zionist power are, of course, the Palestinians who live under Israel's harsh rule. But we Americans are, to some degree, also victims. Through the Jewish-Zionist grip on the media, and the organized Jewish-Zionist corruption of our political system, we are pressured, seduced, cajoled, and deceived into propping up the Jewish state, providing it with billions of dollars yearly and state-of-the-art weaponry, and even sacrificing American lives.
But it is also the truth that we Americans share some responsibility for all this. We have allowed immense power, affecting every aspect of our lives and our future, to be wielded by members of an ethnic-religious minority group who view the American people as future enemies and potential murderers. Put another way, Americans have permitted people who regard them with profound distrust to play a major role in determining how we live our lives, and in determining our future both as individuals and as a nation. To permit such power to pass into the hands of people who clearly do not have our best interests at heart -- indeed, do not even trust us -- is, to put it mildly, irresponsible.
I want to emphasize here that to deal candidly with the reality of Jewish-Zionist power is not, as some may claim, "anti-Semitism" or "hate." I do not wish harm to any individual, Jewish or not, because of his or her ancestry, religion or background. At the same time, we should not let smears or malicious accusations, no matter how vehemently expressed, keep us from saying the truth, or doing what is right.
A few months after the US invasion and takeover of Iraq, President Bush denounced as "revisionists" and "revisionist historians" the skeptics who questioned his claims that the Baghdad regime had an arsenal of weapons so vast and so dangerous that the US had to act quickly to attack and occupy Iraq. / 20 On that occasion, Bush was unintentionally telling the truth. Those who question government claims, particularly wartime claims, are indeed "revisionists" -- that is, thinking men and women who question dogma, propaganda and political orthodoxy.
Today, virtually the entire world is "revisionist." Regardless of what President Bush and his friends may snidely suggest, the revisionists were and are right, and revisionism -- that is, thoughtful skepticism of official claims -- is an honorable and essential feature of any free society.
In recent years, across America, and around the world, awareness of the Jewish-Zionist role in the Iraq war, of the reality of Jewish-Zionist power, and of its hold on US policy, has been growing. And this awareness, once grasped, is obvious and constantly reconfirmed with the unfolding of daily events.
The work of professors Mearsheimer and Walt is both a contributing factor, and an expression of, this growing awareness. Another contributor has been former president Jimmy Carter. In his new book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, and in statements made in connection with the book's appearance, he has spoken pointedly and critically about the pro-Israel lobby and its role in shaping US policy to support Israeli oppression and war.
Immediately following the publication of his book, the former president was predictably assailed with the usual smears, and by the usual crowd. Jewish writer David Horowitz, for one, wrote a widely-circulated essay entitled "Jimmy Carter: Jew-Hater, Genocide-Enabler, Liar," a vicious item that reflects his outlook and the attitude of many other pro-Israel activists.
As it happens, I had a run-in myself with David Horowitz when I appeared with him in December as a fellow "guest," if that's the right word, on the nationally-broadcast radio show of Sean Hannity. I won't go into details of that raucous appearance, except to mention that both Horowitz and Hannity were as ignorant and as bigoted as they were rude.
A few weeks ago, Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA's Bin Laden unit, was a guest on the Bill Maher television show. After the subject of Israel came up, Scheuer surprised the host, and many viewers, when he said: "I hope Israel flourishes but I don't think its worth an American life or an American dollar." / 21 His remark prompted a round of approving applause. It's hard to believe that even two years ago Scheuer would have made such a statement, much less that his words would have gotten such spontaneous approval.
Tony Judt, a British-born Jewish historian, author and professor at New York University, has aptly described how Israel's image and stature has fallen tremendously over the past twenty years. In an essay published three years ago in The Nation. He wrote: / 22
"Following the invasion of Lebanon, and with gathering intensity since the first intifada of the late 1980s, the public impression of Israel has steadily darkened. Today it presents a ghastly image: a place where sneering 18-year-olds with M-16s taunt helpless old men ("security measures"); where bulldozers regularly flatten whole apartment blocks ("rooting out terrorists"); where helicopters fire rockets into residential streets ("targeted killings"); where subsidized settlers frolic in grass-fringed swimming pools, oblivious of Arab children a few meters away who fester and rot in the worst slums on the planet; and where retired generals and Cabinet ministers speak openly of bottling up the Palestinians "like drugged roaches in a bottle" (former Israeli Chief of Staff Rafael Eytan) and cleansing the land of its Arab cancer (former Housing Minister Effi Eitam).
"Israel is utterly dependent on the United States for money, arms and diplomatic support. One or two states share common enemies with Israel; a handful of countries buy its weapons; a few others are its de facto accomplices in ignoring international treaties and secretly manufacturing nuclear weapons. But outside Washington, Israel has no friends -- at the United Nations it cannot even count on the support of America's staunchest allies. Despite the political and diplomatic incompetence of the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization]... ; despite the manifest shortcomings of the Arab world at large... ; despite Israel's own sophisticated efforts to publicize its case, the Jewish state today is widely regarded as a -- the -- leading threat to world peace. After thirty-seven years of military occupation, Israel has gained nothing in security. It has lost everything in domestic civility and international respectability, and it has forfeited the moral high ground forever."
In every society, it is quite normal that most people are concerned essentially with the happiness, interests and well-being of themselves, their families, and their friends. In any society, only a small number of men and women have the wit and awareness to understand the social, political and cultural forces that shape the present and the future. Only a small minority has the soul or temperament to care about, and be seriously concerned for, the long-term health and well-being of the world, or even of their country.
Normally, and understandably, we expect -- and have every right to expect -- that our political leaders are mindful of and planning for the long-term interests of the nation. Tragically, our leaders have proven themselves grossly derelict. With very few exceptions, our political leaders -- Republican and Democrat alike -- show far more concern for their own welfare and for the outcome of the next election, than for the long-term interests of our people and the world.
That's why I believe that the work of the Institute for Historical Review is so vitally important. We seek to raise public awareness of the great issues that confront us, that impact every aspect of our lives, and which have the most profound consequences for the future. We realize, of course, that our words will reach the minds and hearts of only a few. We know that we cannot hope to match the financial resources, influence and outreach of our adversaries. We cannot hope to compete, much less offset, the great power and influence of the media giants who control most of what we read, hear and view.
Our great task is to reach those who, first, think about the present and the past, and second, who care about our future. That is, we work to reach men and women, especially younger men and women, of unusual awareness and a higher sense of responsibility -- the men and women who will be the leaders of the future, who can, and, if our children and grand-children are to live in a decent world, must assume power, replacing the failed leaders who have betrayed the people's trust.
A few of those who are here this evening have come, perhaps, out of simple curiosity, or to meet with others who are attending. But most of us are here this evening because we care. We care about what is right and wrong. We care about what is true and not true.
We care about the past and, more importantly, we care about the future. We care about the world we live in. We feel a sense of responsibility for the world we've inherited, and for the world of the future. We want to make a difference -- to make this a better world -- a world that, even beyond our own lifetimes, is more just and right.
Some of us may feel a special concern for the cause of peace, mindful of the terrible destruction, suffering, and death of war. Some may be moved by a strong concern for justice, perhaps especially for the people who have lived for decades under Zionist occupation. Some may have an unusually strong religious sensibility.
Some may regard themselves as "America firsters," or may have a special concern for the welfare and future of his or her own culture, race, or nation, while some of us may regard ourselves as citizens of the world, with feelings of responsibility for the future of all mankind.
Regardless of the particular causes or principles that most move us, that are closest to our hearts, no issue is of greater urgency than exposing and breaking the Jewish-Zionist grip on American political, social and cultural life.
As long as that power remains entrenched, there will be no end to the systematic Jewish-Zionist distortion of history and current affairs, the Jewish-Zionist corruption and domination of the US political system, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East, and the Israeli threat to peace.
We are engaged in a great, global struggle -- one in which two distinct and irreconcilable sides confront each other -- a world struggle that pits an arrogant and malevolent power that feels ordained to rule over others, on one side, and all other nations and societies -- indeed, humanity itself -- on the other.
This struggle is not a new one. It is the latest enactment of a great drama that has played itself out again and again, over centuries, and in many different societies, cultures and historical eras. In the past this drama has played itself out on a local, national, regional, or, sometimes, continental stage. Today this is a global drama, and a global clash.
It is a struggle for the welfare and future not merely of the Middle East, or of America, but a great historical battle for the soul and future of humanity itself. A struggle that calls all of us -- those here this evening, and men and women across the country and around the world -- who share a sense of responsibility for the future of our nation, of the world, and of humankind.
1. O. Etter, "The First Casualty...," Fellowship (Fellowship of Reconciliation), Dec. 1951, pp. 1-6.
2. J. Mearsheimer and S. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007).
3. J. Mearsheimer and S. Walt, "The Israel Lobby," London Review of Books, March 2006.(http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html ; http://www.ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/lrblobby.html )
4. The first two quotes here are from "The Israel Lobby," published in the London Review of Books, and the last quote is from p. 338 in the book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.
5. Uri Avnery, "Two Knights and a Dragon," Oct. 3, 2007.( http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1191620414 )
6. J. Mearsheimer and S. Walt, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (New York : 2007), p. 329.
7. A. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978), pp. 206, 209, 212, 218, 228, 229. See also: M. Weber, "A Look at the `Powerful Jewish Lobby'."(http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/jewishlobby.shtml)
8. B. Ginsberg, The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (Univ. of Chicago, 1993), pp. 1, 103.
9. Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews and the New American Scene (Harvard Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 26-27. See also: Jonathan J. Goldberg, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment (Addison-Wesley, 1996), pp. 280, 287-288. See also pp. 39-40, 290-291.
10. Janine Zacharia, "The Unofficial Ambassadors of the Jewish State," The Jerusalem Post (Israel), April 2, 2000. Reprinted in "Other Voices," June 2000, a supplement to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
11. Alain Finkielkraut, "Mgr Stepinac et les deux douleurs de l'Europe," Le Monde, Oct. 7, 1998, p. 14. Quoted in: R. Faurisson, "Paying Tribute to Jewish Power," The Journal of Historical Review, Nov.-Dec. 1998, pp. 11-12. Posted at: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v17/v17n6p11_Faurisson.html
12. Address by Desmond Tutu in Boston, April 13, 2002 (http://www.thewitness.org/agw/tutu.050802.html)
13. F. Nelson, "Anger Over Dalyell's 'Jewish Cabal' Slur," The Scotsman (Edinburgh), May 5, 2003; M. White, "Dalyell Steps Up Attack On Levy," The Guardian (London), May 6, 2003.
14. N. Burstein, "Jewish power dominates at 'Vanity Fair'," The Jerusalem Post (Israel), Oct.12, 2007 (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1191257286817&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull)
15. M. Weber, "Behind the Iran Crisis: The Israel Lobby's Campaign for War," March 24, 2007 (http://www.ihr.org/news/0704_weber.shtml)
16. Prof. Kevin MacDonald has examined this subject in detail in three books: A People That Shall Dwell Alone (Praeger, 1994), Separation and its Discontents (Praeger: 1998), and, The Culture of Critique (Praeger: 1998).
17. The four biblical quotations here are from Deuteronomy 7: 6, Numbers 23: 9, Exodus 33: 16, and Deuteronomy 2: 25. See also: Deuteronomy 6: 10-11, 14: 2, 23: 10-20, 33: 29, Genesis 27: 28-29, Isaiah 60: 10-14, 61: 5-6, Joshua 24: 13, Psalms 2: 8.
18. Dov Fischer, "We're Right, the Whole World's Wrong," Forward (New York), April 19, 2002, p. 11. (http://www.forward.com/issues/2002/02.04.19/oped3.html)
19. See: M. Weber, "The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's Early Soviet Regime," The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1994.(http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v14/v14n1p-4_Weber.html)
20. Bush on June 16 and June 17, 2003.
21. Michael Scheuer on the Bill Maher show, Sept. 21, 2007.
22. Tony Judt, "The Rootless Cosmopolitan," The Nation, July 19-26, 2004, p. 34. (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040719&c=6&s=judt)