JEWISH TRIBAL REVIEW RESPONSE TO THE NATIONAL POST'S MICHAEL NEWMAN CONTROVERSY
The notorious email exchange with Mr. Neumann, is now Canadian national news. Our archives of earlier Neumann-related material is here.
Canada's huge National Post newspaper has embarked on an attack of Jewish philosophy professor Michael Neumann, seeking to have him fired. (Here's his response to the National Post). The cited reason is Neumann's email exchange with this web site. Why is this obscure email exchange by the Jewish Tribal Review with professor Michael Neumann so very newsworthy? National news in Canada! The ironies within the current National Post /Michael Neumann controvesy are quite amazing.
The issue of Mr. Neumann's personal ethics is not central in all this. Far more importantly, and which the National Post attack on Neumann underscores, is broader "Jewish" ethics (particularly with regard to racist Israel) and the issue of contention The Jewish Tribal Review originally had with Mr. Neumann from the very start: Judeocentric Jewish power and influence in popular culture. Neumann denys its extraordinary importance in shaping modern culture and seeks to lay blame for a range of problems elsewhere.
And here he is, dangling at the mercy of this quite astounding power that he claims doesn't even exist! A power which he STILL CAN'T NAME explicitly, for fear of getting into even deeper trouble. Michael Neumann: victim of a phantom.
The deciding factor in our decision to post the Neumann's email exchanges at this web site was, in fact, his dismissal of our position and others: that Jewish/Zionist influence has taken way too much hold in popular culture. After our exchanges, he even decided to publish an article at the online "leftist" journal Counterpunch to denigrate the legitimacy of a critical investigation of Jewish power. We responded to his article, here. Counterpunch would not publish this rebuttal.
Mr. Neumann now finds himself in a dilemma which centers around that what he denies: the vast reach of the Jewish lobbying and propaganda groups. That which he declares does not exist has come to silence the Jewish dissenter against the Jewish Collective.
Mr. Neumann is indeed Jewish. But that doesn't protect him from "Jewish power" and the long arm of Jewish censorial punishment. Neumann is -- at least on the point of Israel -- a renegade to Jewish convention. Even a Jew can be accused of "antisemitism!" This is in Jewish tradition the Jewish heretic: the "self-hating" Jew.
So why does Mr. Neumann suddenly find himself in so much trouble? Because a Jewish reporter, Jonathan Kay, at Canada's National Post decided that it was newsworthy to attack Neumann's reasonable position about racist Israel. And apparently it is very useful to impugn Neumann with his email exchange with the Jewish Tribal Review.
Now, what IS the National Post? Who controls it? And why would it have such a special interest in attacking a poor Jewish professor of philosophy?
Anyone say "Jewish power?" The man who controls the National Post, Israel Asper, owns the media conglommerate CanWest Global. He seems like a caricature of a man who single-handedly wants to prove as fact the much disreputed Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Russian-based "forgery" that claimed that Jews wanted to take over the world.
Israel Asper has been slowly gobbling up much of the Canadian print media (and other media). He caused enormous outrage in Canadian journalist circles in 2001. He was condemned everywhere for his censorial dictates to the editorial pages of all his newspapers, particularly regarding Israel.
Before we get to the evidence (citations below) about Asper, what is the world view of Mr. Asper? Asper still pays homage to a form of Zionism that has been called -- quite literally, even by fellow Jews -- fascistic. (Also, here's some more background to Mr. Asper and to profound Jewish influence in the CANADIAN mass media network, generally).
Now, the indicting evidence:
Canada: CanWest 'muzzles' staff. Corporate Censorship. CanWest-owned papers across Canada have pulled and censored not only any articles which criticise the corporation, but also those that simply fail to toe its line, the principal tenets of which are support for Israel and for the government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien,
Index on Censorship, April 2002
"Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) published a report on 15 April giving a balanced but firm view of the controversy surrounding allegations of corporate censorship in the CanWest Global media conglomerate. The report made it clear that 'freedom of expression includes the right of proprietors of news organisations to publish what they want in the media they own', but condemned CanWest for trying to 'muzzle its employees'. Since absorbing Hollinger, in the largest media take-over deal in Canadian history, the corporation, run by the Asper family, owns over 130 newspapers in Canada, including 14 major metropolitan dailies and a 50% stake in one of the country's largest national papers, the National Post. CanWest Global also has a television network in Canada and media interests in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. CanWest-owned papers across Canada have pulled and censored not only any articles which criticise the corporation, but also those that simply fail to toe its line, the principal tenets of which are support for Israel and for the government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. CanWest's contempt for editorial independence was formally expressed in December 2001, when it introduced a policy of imposing three centrally-produced editorials a week on all its major publications, through its subsidiary, Southam newspapers ...In January, Halifax Daily News columnist Stephen Kimber resigned (after fifteen years on the paper) when his column criticising CanWest was spiked. Two colleagues followed suit after they were not permitted to report on the resignation. Bill Marsden, an investigative reporter for the Montreal Gazette, has been monitoring CanWest's interference and directives: 'They do not want to see any criticism of Israel. We do not run in our newspaper op-ed pieces that express criticism of Israel and what it is doing in the Middle East. We even had an incident where a fellow, a professor wrote an op-ed piece for us criticising the anti-terrorism law and elements of civil rights. Now that professor happens to be a Muslim and happens to have an Arab name. We got a call from headquarters demanding to know why we had printed this.' Various international Press organisation have condemned CanWest's behaviour. According to Robert Cribb, president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, there have been many other cases of journalists on CanWest papers getting into trouble. He warned though that the real worry is the self-censorship that ensues: 'It's not the four or five we've heard about, it's about the dozens of journalists who self-censor as a result of this very public policy.' The management of CanWest remained defiant. 'I can say to our critics and to the bleeding hearts of the journalist community that it's the end of the world as they know it, and I feel fine,' declared David Asper, publications committee chairman, gleefully misquoting the REM song. The CJFE report said that media companies should defend freedom of expression because they are among its chief beneficiaries, and urged CanWest to cancel all pending disciplinary action against its employees, and to invite those who have left their posts to return to them. It also called for an Independent government enquiry look into the potential impact on free expression of media ownership concentration." [The Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Report about Asper and CanWest is here.
Canadian Media Giant Censures Editorials Deemed Critical of Israel,
Arizona Daily Star, December 29, 2001
"Canadian newspaper readers are being warned not to expect a balanced opinion from their dailies after executive orders from the countrys largest media corporation were given to run a select number of national editorials and homogenize remaining editorials across the country so as not to, among other things, reflect negatively on Israels occupation of Arab land. Recently, media giant CanWest Global Communications Corp., owned by Israel (Izzy) Asper and family, announced that beginning Dec. 12 one, but eventually three, editorials a week would be written at corporate headquarters in Winnipeg and imposed on 14 dailies, which include the Vancouver Sun and Province, the Calgary Herald and the Montreal Gazette. CanWest also owns 50 percent of the nationally distributed National Post, which will be subject to the new directives as well. Furthermore, in addition to the imposed editorials themselves, all locally produced editorial column pieces will be forced to conform to reflect the viewpoints of the CanWest Global corporation. CanWest last year became Canadas dominant newspaper chain when it purchased Southam News Inc. from Conrad Blacks holding company, Hollinger Inc., for a reported $3.2 billion Can. ($2 billion) The deal transferred ownership of the 14 metropolitan dailies and 128 local newspapers across the country."
Canadian Publisher Raises Hackles, Washington Post, January 27, 2002
"Late last year, columnist Stephen Kimber says, the editing of his writing became more and more inexplicable. It wasn't so much dropped commas or the introduction of errors. Sometimes he would open the newspaper, the Halifax Daily News, and find that his opinions had been removed. 'I put up with that for a while, then I began to censor myself,' said Kimber. 'I would remember, 'No, I'm not supposed to write about that.' Kimber had been writing his column without such concerns for 15 years. But things changed, he said, after CanWest Global Communications took over his newspaper and 135 others last summer. In December, the company announced that all 14 of its big-city newspapers would run the same national editorial each week, issued from headquarters in Winnipeg, and sometimes written at CanWest papers around the country. Any unsigned editorials written locally at the 14 papers, the company said, should not contradict the national editorials, which covered such subjects as military spending, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and property rights. The decision provoked immediate complaints from journalists across Canada, who say its effect goes far beyond the editorials, imposing control on columnists and reporters as well. In the United States, the National Conference of Editorial Writers, whose members include Canadians, joined in, saying the decision was 'likely to backfire with readers who are accustomed to editorials on national and international subjects that take account of the diversity of views in their communities.' Many journalists say the company is breaking age-old traditions that keep reporters and columnists independent of the publications' owners. CanWest and its owners, the [Jewish] Asper family, deny that the policy restricts freedom of expression in this way. All they are doing, they say, is exercising the legitimate prerogative of owners to influence a limited part of their publications, the editorials ... CanWest controls a major newspaper in every major city outside of Toronto."
[Montreal] Gazette Reporters Protest National Editorials,
Straight Goods, December 14, 2001
"For two days last week, many reporters at The Gazette in Montreal removed their names from the articles they wrote. It was a protest against the decision by Southam News to force all of its 12 major metropolitan newspapers to run 'national editorials' written at the Winnipeg corporate headquarters of parent company CanWest Global Communications Corp. The first was published last week. Another is to run next Thursday. Credibility is the most precious asset a newspaper possesses. When the power of the press is abused, that credibility dies. We believe this is an attempt to centralize opinion to serve the corporate interests of CanWest. Far from offering additional content to Canadians, this will practically vacate the power of the editorial boards of Southam newspapers and thereby reduce the diversity of opinions and the breadth of debate that to date has been offered readers across Canada. CanWest's intention is initially to publish one national editorial a week in all major Southam newspapers. This will eventually become three a week. More important, each editorial will set the policy for that topic in such a way as to constrain the editorial boards of each newspaper to follow this policy. Essentially, CanWest will be imposing editorial policy on its papers on all issues of national significance. Without question, this decision will undermine the independence and diversity of each newspaper's editorial board and thereby give Canadians a greatly reduced variety of opinion, debate and editorial discussion. Editorial boards at each newspaper exist to debate public policy issues, reach a consensus and then present the reasoning to the public. They are designed to be largely free of corporate interests. This crucial process of journalistic debate is undermined by editorials dictated by corporate headquarters. We believe this centralizing process will weaken the credibility of every Southam paper. Last week's first editorial, for example, calls on the federal government to reduce and eventually to abolish capital-gains taxes for private foundations. Who would blame a reader for thinking the editorial simply serves the interests of the foundation run by the Asper family, owners of CanWest and Southam?"
The CanWorld Chill: 'We Do Not Run in Our Newspaper Op Ed Pieces that Expression Criticism of Israel,' Electronic Intifada, December 11, 2001
"The 7 December 2001 broadcast of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's As It Happens [online link included] uncovered a disturbing example of corporate and political interference in freedom of the press. The program reported on a new editorial policy directive from CanWest Global, a leading Canadian media conglomerate, that impairs readers' ability to make up their own minds about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among other issues. As It Happens reported that over two dozen journalists at the Montreal Gazette have pulled their bylines to protest a new policy imposed by the newspaper's owners, Southam Newspapers Inc, which is owned by CanWest Global. The new policy requires the company's main local newspapers to run editorials written at headquarters in Winnipeg by Southam Editor-in-Chief Murdoch Davis. Bill Marsden, an investigative reporter at the Montreal Gazette, noted that up to 156 times a year -- about three times a week -- the editorial would be imposed and that the remainder of locally-written editorials would be required to reflect the viewpoints and stances taken by the paper's corporate headquarters ... ...[O]n July 31, CanWest announced its acquisition of all of the major Canadian newspaper and Internet assets of Hollinger Inc., including the metropolitan daily newspapers in nearly every large city across Canada and a 50% partnership interest in the National Post." [The owner of CanWest Global, which owns a huge percentage of Canadian newspapers, and the second largest Canadian TV network (as well as some media venues in Ireland, New Zealand, and other countries), is avid Zionist Israel Asper].
Robert Fisk: Journalists are under fire for telling the truth,
by Robert Fisk, The Independent (UK), December18, 2002
"Let us forget, for a moment, that Fox News's Jerusalem bureau chief is Uri Dan, a friend of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the author of the preface of the new edition of Sharon's autobiography, which includes a revolting account of the Sabra and Chatila massacre of 1,700 Palestinian civilians and Sharon's innocence in this slaughter. Then Ted Koppel [also Jewish], one of America's leading news anchormen, announced that it may be a journalist's duty not to reveal events until the military want them revealed in a new war against Iraq. Can we go any further in journalistic cowardice? Oh yes, we can. ABC television announced, a little while ago, that it knew all about the killing of four al-Qa'ida members by an unmanned 'Predator' plane in Yemen but delayed broadcasting the news for four days 'at the request of the Pentagon.' So now at least we know for whom ABC works ... In Canada, the situation is even worse. Canwest, owned by Israel Asper, owns over 130 newspapers in Canada, including 14 city dailies and one of the country's largest papers, the National Post. His 'journalists' have attacked colleagues who have deviated from Mr Asper's pro-Israel editorials. As Index on Censorship reported, Bill Marsden, an investigative reporter for the Montreal Gazette has been monitoring Canwest's interference with its own papers. 'They do not want any criticism of Israel,' he wrote. 'We do not run in our newspaper op-ed pieces that express criticism of Israel and what it is doing in the Middle East...' But now, 'Izzy' Asper has written a gutless and repulsive editorial in the Post in which he attacks his own journalists, falsely accusing reporters of "lazy, sloppy or stupid" journalism and being 'biased or anti-Semitic'. These vile slanders are familiar to any reporter trying to do his work on the ground in the Middle East. They are made even more revolting by inaccuracies. Mr Asper, for example, claims that my colleague Phil Reeves compared the Israeli killings in Jenin earlier this year which included a goodly few war crimes (the crushing to death of a man in a wheelchair, for example) to the 'killing fields of Pol Pot'. Now Mr Reeves has never mentioned Pol Pot. But Mr Asper wrongly claims that he did. It gets worse. Mr Asper, whose 'lazy, sloppy or stupid' allegations against journalists in reality apply to himself, states in the address to an Israel Bonds Gala Dinner in Montreal, which formed the basis of his preposterous article that "in 1917, Britain and the League of Nations declared, with world approval, that a Jewish state would be established in Palestine". Now hold on a moment. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 did not say that a Jewish state would be established ... At no point, of course, does Mr Asper tell us about Israeli occupation or the building of Jewish settlements, for Jews and Jews only, upon Arab land. He talks about 'alleged Palestinian refugees' about as wrongheaded a remark as you can get and then claims that the corrupt and foolish Yasser Arafat is 'one of the world's cruel and most vicious terrorists for the past 30 years'. He concluded his speech to Israel's supporters in Montreal with the dangerous request that 'you, the public, must take action against the media wrongdoers'. Wrongdoers? Is this far from President Bush's 'evildoers'? What in the hell is going on here? I will tell you. Journalists are being attacked for telling the truth, for trying to tell it how it is. American journalists especially. I urge them to read a remarkable new book published by the New York University Press and edited by John Collins and Ross Glover. It's called Collateral Language and is, in its own words, intended to expose "the tyranny of political rhetoric."
Rumours of war Conflict in the Middle East has come to Canada, with Izzy Asper's National Post criticizing the CBC's coverage of the battle between Israelis and Palestinians,
Ottawa Sun, January 12, 2003
"The relentless Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a deep quagmire, and Canadians fear it. A recent polling of readers by the Globe and Mail [in Toronto] named Israel, not Iraq or North Korea, the world's most dangerous hot spot by a goodly margin. Such an apprehension helps explain the federal government's reluctance to discuss it, much less deal with it: Why jump into bottomless antagonism? But the Liberal government, and the other political parties, may be dragged into it if the Asper media empire has its way. In a recent, frank epistle in his National Post, Canwest Global chairman Israel Asper wrote of his love for his namesake. To him, Israel is a moral beacon to the world. So it is not surprising that since he took control of the Post from Conrad Black the paper has taken an ever-tougher line against Israel's enemies and, accordingly, the CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Company] has become one of them. The Post now regularly harries the CBC for its 'biased' Middle East reporting. Leading the charge is Norman Spector, a former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney who was rewarded for this service with Canada's ambassadorship to Israel. Spector's attachment to the Jewish state seems every bit as strong as his employer's, and if his columns are a guide, the Asper campaign against the corporation will continue to escalate. Last Wednesday Spector implied the CBC coverage fuelled anti-Semitism of the sort voiced by David Ahenakew, the former First Nations chief. Asper, Spector, and the Post accuse the CBC of mollycoddling terrorists by refusing to use that word to describe the organizations which back attacks on Israelis ... Asper has previously called for the Chretien government to rein in the CBC, arguing the PM himself was being treated unfairly by the Mother Corp. The Post has just been in front of a successful campaign to have the government ban Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based radical party that sponsors attacks on Israel. If the CBC does not back down, can a demand for Ottawa to make it do so be far behind? ... While Asper is a lifelong Liberal, his agitating on this issue is far from welcome. Hezbollah had few friends here, yet the government was reluctant to act. Why? Because it feared the issue might generate a national concern over the rights and wrongs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with who knows what consequences for our vaunted multicultural diversity. Support for Israel in Canada seems to have been slipping in the last few years as its military might, including nukes, and televised images from the intifada -- slingshots vs. tanks -- have undermined the notion Israel is simply a noble little nation surrounded by relentless, powerful enemies. Those who accuse the CBC are further undermined by their very staunch support for the Bush administration's plans to topple Saddam Hussein -- which Canadians seem to favour less and less. And it seems to me the notion that Canada must support Israel because it is the front lines of the global war on terror is being more and more rejected in Canada as simplistic, and bullying. Finally, and vitally, the CBC, unlike Hezbollah, has many friends. The anger voiced and pressed by Asper and Spector is no sham. For them the issue truly is black and white. In taking on the CBC and insisting theirs is the only legitimate interpretation in line with history and democratic values, they seem to be overreaching. And it may rebound on them and on Israel."
Canadian Media Giants Announce Landmark Convergence Deal,
Canada Newswire, July 2000
"[Israel Asper's] CanWest Global Communications Corp. today announced the largest transaction in the history of the Canadian media industry. CanWest, owners of Canada's most popular national television network, Global Television, has agreed to acquire 100% of the principal metropolitan operations of the successful Hollinger newspaper chain in Canada, together with all of its Canadian Internet properties, its magazine group, most of the community publishing operations and a 50% interest in the National Post. The merged company will have complete and unparalleled national and local coverage in both electronic and print media, plus the canada.com network, a leading group of national and local Internet sites ... With the addition of the Hollinger properties and the 50% stake in the National Post, CanWest will become Canada's most comprehensive multiple platform media company, with a strong national and local profile in news, publishing, conventional and specialty television and the Internet, as well as in the production and international distribution of television entertainment programming and feature films. - CanWest will have the largest electronic and print information and news gathering capacity in Canada, with more journalists, editors and news gathering personnel than any other media operation in the country."
Dateline Winnipeg, Economist, March 15, 2002
"[Izzy Asper is] Canada's most powerful media mogul ... Mr Asper controls the country's most profitable television network and a chain of more than 100 newspapers across the country, which he bought 18 months ago from Conrad Black. But he has resisted moving the headquarters of his company, CanWest Global Communications, to Toronto, Canada's media capital. The company remains in Winnipeg, 2,100km (1,300 miles) to the west. As a result, Mr Asper has brought jobs to the city, as well as being a generous donor to local causes. But there is a more controversial aspect to Mr Asper's devotion to making Winnipeg great again. All of his family's papers, from British Columbia to Newfoundland, are now obliged to print company editorials, on national and international issues, written in Winnipeg. No subsequent deviation from the line they set is allowed in the local papers, which include the market leaders in most of Canada's big cities. This has provoked howls of protest, and not just because the papers concerned were used to substantial editorial independence before the Aspers took control. Canada is a country of several distinct regions. But ownership of its media is now highly concentrated. And nobody has as much control over what Canadians read and watch as the Aspers. Mr Asper has strong opinions. He is a former leader of the Liberal Party in Manitoba, and a friend both of Jean Chrétien, Canada's prime minister, and of Israel. Journalists fear that there is now no room for dissenting views: one columnist has been fired, another suspended and several stories killed because they expressed points of view the Aspers disagreed with."
Is Asper alone is in his grab for power? More about the increasing Jewish dominance of the mass media: here (online citations list) and here (WHEN VICTIMS RULE chapter about Jewish prominence in the mass media.)
We, at the Jewish Tribal Review, are ethical. Israel Asper, the National Post, and the web of Judeocentric intrigue that leads us all to world war, is NOT. We invite any reader to investigate our web site's evidence against the claims of any Judeocentric propaganda organ.
For Mr. Neumann's part, the eminent teacher and philosophy professor is falling deeper and deeper into quicksand, learning something even a grade-school kid knows: one lie leads to another in order to cover up the earlier ones. In his desperate defense, Neumann now calls this web site both "ingenius" and "insidious." (He also, in a panic, alludes to it as being "racist." Anyone is free to inspect this website. The only thing having to do with "racism" at the Jewish Tribal Review is the scholarly examination of JEWISH racism). It would be in everyone's best interests (including the Palestinian's) if he stopped his squirming dissimulation before the Jewish Tribunal and just named what's REALLY insidious: the "Jewish Power" circle (from Asper to the Canadian Jewish Congress) that seeks to destroy him -- in the name of racist Israel -- as a Jewish blasphemer.
A fable for our times? Organized Jewry even eats its own to protect its veiled supremacy, racism, and ethnocentrism.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 3:43 AM
Subject: ISRAEL IS AN INNOVATOR IN THE SEARCH FOR SQUEAKY CLEAN SADISM...
What's So Bad About Israel?
In view of Israel's relentless missile attacks and assassinations of
Palestinian militants in recent weeks which are meant to torpedo the US Road
Map whilst blaming the Palestinians for it with the help of Bush and his
Administration, this splendid article which compellingly describes Israel's
crimes and tactics based on blatant lies and deceit is being circulated
"It is this ability to command respect despite the most public outrages
against humanity that makes Israel so exceptionally bad. Not that it needs
to be any worse than 'the others': that would be more than bad enough. But
Israel does not only commit its crimes; it also legitimates them."
--Jewish Professor Michael Neumann
What's So Bad About Israel?
by Michael Neumann
July 6, 2002
It's hard to say what's so bad about Israel, and its defenders--having
nothing better to use--have seized on this. Some do so soberly, like Harpers
publisher John R. MacArthur, who thinks Israel comes off no worse than the
Russians in Chechnya, and much better than the Americans in Vietnam (Toronto
Globe and Mail, May 13th, 2002). Others do so defiantly. True, Israel has
taken the land of harmless people, killed innocent civilians, tortured
prisoners, bulldozed houses, destroyed crops, yada yada yada. Who cares?
What else is new?
I completely sympathize with this point of view. The appetite for
world-class atrocity may be adolescent, but it belongs to an adolescence
that many of us never outgrow. The facts are disappointing. Even compared
with post-Nazi monsters like Pol Pot or Saddam Hussein, the Israelis have
killed very few people; their tortures and oppression are boring. How could
these mediocre crimes compete for our attention with whatever else is on TV?
They couldn't; in fact they are designed not to do so. Yet Israel is a
growing evil whose end is not in sight. Its outlines have become clearer as
times have changed.
Until sometime after the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel's sins were
unspectacular, at least from a cynic's perspective. Israel was born from an
understandable desire of a persecuted people for security. Jews immigrated
to Palestine; acquired land by fair means or foul, provoked violent
reactions. There ensued a cycle of violence in which the Jews distinguished
themselves in at least one impeccably documented and truly disgusting
massacre at Deir Yassin, and probably many more that Jewish forces succeeded
in concealing. The new state accorded full rights only to its Jewish
inhabitants, and defeated its Arab opponents both in battle and in a
propaganda campaign that effectively concealed Israeli racism and
aggression. It was said then, as now: what's so bad about that? The answer
is, nothing. Of course the perpetrators of these crimes deserve no state,
but only punishment: what else is new? Isn't this the normal way that states
Israel's pre-1967 crimes, then, are not a part of its special evil, though
they did much to create it. The past was glorified, not exorcised. Both
Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, indisputably responsible for the worst
pre-1967 brutalities, went on to become prime minister: the poison of the
early years is still working its way through Middle East politics. But the
big change, post-1967, was Israel's choice of war over peace.
Sometime after 1967, Israel's existence became secure. It didn't seem so
during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, but soon it became clear that Israel would
never again be caught with its guard down. Its vigilance has guaranteed, for
the foreseeable future, that Arab nations pose no serious threat. As the
years pass, Israel's military advantage only increases, to the point that no
country in the world would care to confront it. At the same time, and to an
increasing extent, Palestinians have abandoned any real hope of retaking
pre-1967 Israeli territory, and are willing to settle for the return of the
In this context, the Israeli settlement policy, quite apart from its
terrible effect on Palestinians, is outrageous for what it represents: a
careful, deliberate rejection of peace, and a declaration of the fixed
intention to dispossess the Palestinians until they have nothing left. And
something else has changed. Israel could claim, as a matter of self-interest
if not of right, that it needed the pre-1967 territory as a homeland for the
Jews. It cannot say this about the settlements, which exist not from any
real need for anything, but for three reasons: to give some Israelis a cheap
deal on housing, to conform to the messianic expectations of Jewish
fundamentalists, and, not least, as a vengeful, relentless, sadistically
gradual expression of hatred for the defeated Arab enemy. In short, by the
mid-1970s, Israel's crimes were no longer the normal atrocities of
nation-building nor an excessive sort of self-defense. They represented a
cold-blooded, calculated, indeed an eagerly embraced choice of war over
peace, and an elaborate plan to seek out those who had fled the misery of
previous confrontations, to make certain that their suffering would
So Israel stands out among other unpleasant nations in the depth of its
commitment to gratuitous violence and nastiness: this you expect to find
among skinheads rather than nations. But wait! there's more! It is not just
that times have changed. It also has to do with the position Israel occupies
in these new times.
Though we might wish otherwise, the political or historical 'location' of a
crime can be a big contributor to its moral status. It is terrible that
there are vestiges of slavery in Abidjan and Mauritania. We often reproach
ourselves for not getting more upset about such goings-on, as if the lives
of these far-off non-white people were unimportant. And maybe we should
indeed be ashamed of ourselves, but this is not the whole story. There is a
difference between the survival of evil in the world's backwaters and its
emergence in the world's spotlight. If some smug new corporation, armed with
political influence and snazzy lawyers, set up a slave market in Times
Square, that would represent an even greater evil than the slave market in
Abidjan. This is not because humans in New York are more important than
humans in Abidjan, but because what happens in New York is more influential
and more representative of the way the world is heading. American actions do
much to set standards worldwide; the actions of slave-traders in Abidjan do
not. (The same sort of contrast applies to the Nazi extermination camps:
part of their specialness lies, not in the numbers killed or the bureaucracy
that managed the killing, but in the fact that nothing like such killing has
ever occurred in a nation so on the 'cutting edge' of human development.)
Cultural domination has its responsibilities.
What Israel does is at the very center of the world stage, not only as a
focus of media attention, but also as representative of Western morality and
culture. This could not be plainer from the constant patter about how Israel
is a shining example of democracy, resourcefulness, discipline, courage,
toughness, determination, and so on. And nothing could be more inappropriate
than the complaints that Israel is being 'held to a higher standard'. It is
not being held to one; it aggressively and insolently appropriates it. It
plants its flag on some cultural and moral summit. Israel is the ultimate
victim-state of the ultimate people--the noblest, the most long-suffering,
the most persecuted, the most intelligent, the Chosen Ones. The reason
Israel is judged by a higher standard is its blithe certainty, accepted by
generations of fawning Westerners, that it exists at a higher standard.
Other countries, of course, have put on similar airs, but at least their
crimes could be represented as a surprising deviation from noble principles.
When people try to understand how Germans could become Nazis, or the French,
torturers in Algeria, or the Americans, murderers at My Lai,
[... or intellectuals became Marxists, added by F Töben]
it is always
possible to ask--what went wrong? How could these societies so betray their
civilized roots and high ideals? And sometimes plausible attempts were made
to associate this betrayal with some fringe elements of the
society--disgruntled veterans, dispossessed younger sons, provincial
reactionaries, trailer trash. If these societies had gone wrong, it was a
matter of perverted values, suppressed forces, aberrant tendencies, deformed
dreams. With Israel, there is no question of such explanations. Its
atrocities belong to its mainstream, its traditions, its founding ideology.
They are performed by its heroes, not its kooks and losers. Israel has not
betrayed anything. On the contrary, its actions express a widely espoused,
perhaps dominant version of its ideals. Israel is honored, often as not, for
the very same tribal pride and nation-building ambitions that fire up its
armies and its settlers. Its crimes are front and center, not only on the
world stage, but also on its own stage.
What matters here is not Israel's arrogance, but its stature. Israel stands
right in the spotlight and crushes an entire people. It defies international
protests and resolutions as no one else can. Only Israel, not, say,
Indonesia or even the US, dares proclaim: "Who are you to preach morality to
us? We are morality incarnate!" Indonesia, or Mauritania, or Iraq do not
welcome delegations of happy North American schoolchildren, host prestigious
academic conferences, go down in textbooks as a textbook miracle. Characters
on TV sitcoms do not go off to find themselves in the Abidjan slave markets
as they do on Israel's kibbutzim.
Israel banks on this. Its tactics seem nicely tuned to inflict the most harm
with the least damage to its image. They include deliberately messy surgical
strikes, halting ambulances, uprooting orchards and olive groves, destroying
urban sanitation, curfews, road closures, holding up food until it spoils,
allocating five times the water to settlers as to the people whose land was
confiscated, and attacks on educational or cultural facilities. Its most
effective strategies are minimalist, as when Palestinians have to sit and
wait at checkpoints for hours in sweltering cars, risking a bullet if they
get out to stretch their legs, waiting to work, to get medical care, to do
anything in life that requires movement from one place to another, as likely
to be turned back as let through, and certain to suffer humiliation or
worse. Israel has pioneered the science of making life unlivable with as
little violence as possible. The Palestinians are not merely provoked into
reacting; they have no rational choice but to react. If they didn't, things
would just get worse faster, with no hope of relief. Israel is an innovato
in the search for a squeaky-clean sadism.
The worse things get for the Palestinians, the more violently they must
defend themselves, and the more violently Israel can respond. Whenever
possible, Israel sees to it that the Palestinians take each new step in the
escalation. The hope is that, at some point, Israel will be able to kill
many tens of thousands, all in the name of self-defense.
And subtly but surely, things are changing still further. Israel is starting
to let the mask drop, not from its already public intentions, but from its
naked strength. It no longer deigns to conceal its sophisticated nuclear
arsenal. It begins to supply the world with almost as much military
technology as it consumes. And it no longer sees any need to be discreet
about its defiance of the United States' request for moderation: Israel is
happy to humiliate the 'stupid Americans' outright. As it plunders, starves
and kills, Israel does not lurk in the world's back-alleys. It says, "Look
at us. We're taking these people's land, not because we need it, but because
we feel like it. We're putting religious nuts all over it because they help
cleanse the area of these Arab lice who dare to defy us. We know you don't
like it and we don't care, because we don't conform to other people's
standards. We set the standards for others."
And the standards it sets continue to decline. Israel Shahak and others have
documented the rise of fundamentalist Jewish sects that speak of the greater
value of Jewish blood, the specialness of Jewish DNA, the duty to kill even
innocent civilians who pose a potential danger to Jews, and the need to
'redeem' lands lying far beyond the present frontiers of Israeli control.
Much of this happens beneath the public surface of Israeli society, but
these racial ideologies exert a strong influence on the mainstream. So far,
they have easily prevailed over the small, courageous Jewish opposition to
Israeli crimes. The Israeli government can afford to let the fanatical race
warriors go unchecked, because it knows the world would not dare connect
their outrages to any part of Judaism (or Zionism) itself. As for the
dissenters, don't they just show what a wonderfully democratic society
Israel has produced?
As Israel sinks lower, it corrupts the world that persists in admiring it.
Thus Amnesty International's military adviser, David Holley, with a sort of
honest military bonhomie, tells the world that the Israelis have "a very
valid point" when they refuse to allow a UN investigative team into Jenin:
"You do need a soldier's perspective to say, well, this was a close quarter
battle in an urban environment, unfortunately soldiers will make mistakes
and will throw a hand grenade through the wrong window, will shoot at a
twitching curtain, because that is the way war is."(*) We quite understand:
Israel is a respectable country with respectable defense objectives, and
mistakes will be made. Soldier to soldier, we see that destroying swarthy
'gunmen' who crouch in wretched buildings is a legitimate enterprise,
because it serves the higher purpose of clearing away the vermin who resist
the implantation of superior Jewish DNA throughout the occupied territories.
It is this ability to command respect despite the most public outrages
against humanity that makes Israel so exceptionally bad. Not that it needs
to be any worse than 'the others': that would be more than bad enough. But
Israel does not only commit its crimes; it also legitimates them.
That is not a matter of abstract moral argument, but of political acceptance
and respectability. As the world slowly tries to emerge from barbarism--for
instance, through the human rights movements for which Israel has such
contempt-- Israel mockingly drags it back by sanctifying the very doctrines
of racial vengeance that more civilized forces condemn. Israel brings no new
evils into the world. It merely rehabilitates old ones, as an example for
others to emulate and admire.
Michael Neumann is a professor of philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, Canada.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(*)BBC, "Expert weighs up Jenin 'massacre'", Monday, 29 April, 2002, 14:31
GMT 15:31 UK,
Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 2:56 AM
Subject: [shamireaders] Blankfort's reply to Neumann
Jeffrey Blankfort to Michael Neumann:
Re: Blame Yourself: American Power and Jewish Power By MICHAEL NEUMANN
Sometime around the 1940s or 1950s it was cool to talk about the capitalist power structure, and in the 1960s to speak of a white power structure. In both cases one could say, in annoying-geezer talk, "Now that was a power structure!" Because if you looked at what the capitalists or the whites controlled, well heck, it was everything! And as a measure of just how everything it was, both the capitalist and the white power structure contained the entire Jewish power structure. Has something changed? Have the white folks been dethroned by the Jews?
First, American Jews are, for the most part, "white folks," and are treated us such. When was the last time some one was stopped by the police for "driving while Jewish."
Talk of a Jewish power structure is increasing at two levels. In the nether regions of the internet, there's more about Jewish control of the US' Israel policy, or perhaps of the US itself. Higher up, one hears about a Jewish lobby, or a Jewish-Israel lobby, or, more often, about mean-spirited, unpleasant people who control the government, and who, it is said or coyly suggested, are Jews.
There is inconclusive but considerable evidence to support these claims. Jews loom large among the high ranks of government policy advisers, and in influential non-governmental policy organizations. Most media push a Zionist line; many are owned by Jews. And there are well-documented cases of senators and congressmen who have learned to regret, come election time, wavering in their support for Israel. Some suggest that Jewish pressure groups had a role in the downfall of Bush the First.
It is clear that American Jews are deeply involved in the formation of US policy towards what they call the Jewish homeland, the self-styled Jewish state of Israel. It is also clear that the interests of Israel are not identical with those of the United States. This naturally raises questions about the ultimate loyalties of these policy-makers, so the collection and distribution of such evidence is quite justified.
But another question arises: evidence for what, exactly? To my mind, it is evidence for the enormous, disgraceful complicity of American Jews in Israeli crimes, a complicity which includes very serious sins of omission throughout the Jewish left. The evidence also supports the notion that Jews have considerable political influence. But it does not support the claim that Jewish power somehow amounts to Jewish control of America or Americans, or even of American foreign policy. Whether or not the claim is antisemitic, it is annoying, because it lets the real culprits for American policy off the hook. Their identity is no dark secret. They are the Americans.
Only the far right claims "Jewish control of America," so that is a straw man, as is the generalization that Jews control "American foreign policy" beyond that of the Middle East.
The notion that Jews control America stems from a couch-potato school of political analysis. If your world is the TV screen, the Jewish-control theory makes some sense, because Jews really do pervade the entire range of your remote. And if you should look at the newspaper during commercials, you may find something similar. But contrary to popular belief, the sinews of reality are not found in the media. They reside in armies, oil fields, auto plants, factories, farms, mines, forests, oceans, roads and airports. Here the Jews do not prevail, nor do they prevail even in the financial world. Even in the media, their power is exaggerated.
Jews like Charles Hurwitz of Maxam and David Fisher, owner of the GAP, are two of America's largest owners of forests. However, the suggestion that auto plant owners have more clout than owners of the communications industry is simply a reflection of a pre WW2 mindset. I notice that you don't mention corporate real estate where Jews are dominant. As for their power in the media being exaggerated it is anything but. Here is enough of a sampling to indicate that it is not:
First of all, Sumner Redstone (nee Murray Rothstein) owns $8 billion dollars worth of Viacom, which gives him controlling interest in CBS, Viacom, MTV worldwide (Brian Graden, president) , and most recently bought Black Entertainment Television and proceeded immediately to cut down its public affairs programming. The president of CBS is Leslie Moonves, the great nephew of David Ben-Gurion.
Michael Eisner is the major own of Disney-Capitol Cities which owns ABC. David Westin is the president of ABC News. Although it has lost viewers, Nightline host Ted Koppel is a strong supporter of Israel. Lloyd Braun is chair of ABC Entertainment. And there is the perennial Barbara Walters.
Neil Shapiro is the president of NBC News. Jeffrey Zucker is the head of NBC Entertainment and Jack Myers has some important post there, as well.
Murdoch of Fox is not Jewish, Mel Karamazin, the president of the
corporation is, as is Peter Chernin, the second in command at
Murdoch's News Corps.
Sandy Grushow is chairman of Fox Entertainment, and Gail Berman is president. Murtdoch has received numerous awards from various Jewish charities.
Jamie Kellner is chair and CEO of Turner Broadcasting.
Walter Issacson is the News Director of CNN which also has Wolf Blitzer, host of Late Edition, Larry King of Larry King Live, Paula Zahn, and Andrea Koppel, Ted's daughter.
Jordan Levin is chairman of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Howard Stringer is chair of Sony Corp. of America.
Robert Sillerman is the founder of Clear Channel Communications,
Ivan Seidenberg is chairof Verizon Communications
Terry Semel, former co-chair of Warners is CEO of Yahoo.
Barry Diller, former owner of Universal Entertainment, is the chair of USA Interactive.
Joel Klein is chair and CEO of Bertelsmann's American operations, the largest publishing conglomerate in the world.
Mort Zuckerman, the Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, owns US News and World Report and the NY Daily News.
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. publishes the NY Times, the Boston Globe and a host of other publications.
Marty Peretz publishes the New Republic, which is unabashedly pro-Israel, as is
William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard.
Donald Graham, Jr. is the chair and CEO of Newsweek and the Washington Post.
Michael Ledeen, of Iran-Contra fame, edits National Review.
Ron Rosenthal is the Managing Editor of the SF Chronicle and Phil Bronstein is the Executive Editor.
David Schneiderman owns the Village Voice and a number of other "alternative" weeklies.
Columnist William Safire, Tom Freidman, Charles Krauthammer, Richard Cohen, Jeff Jacoby, are among the most widely syndicated columnists.
There are a number of widely syndicated talk show hosts such as Michael Savage (ABC) on more than 100 stations, Michael Medved, 124 stations, and Dennis Prager who has an Israeli flag on his website. Others include Ron Owens, Ben Wattenberg, and former ZOA official Jon Rothman, all in San Francisco on ABC.
In Hollywood, which was founded by Jews, there is of course, Stephen Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Kranzberg of Dreamworks, Eisner of Disney, Amy Pascal, chair of Columbia, and many, many more.
For the intellectuals, we have NPR, with pundit Daniel Schorr and weekend hosts Scott Simon and Liane Hansen, Robert Segal, Susan Stanberg, Eric Weiner, Daniel Lev, Linda Gradstein (a well-known speaker at pro-Israel events) covering Jerusalem, Mike Schuster (whose soft-ball interview with Ariel Sharon after Sabra and Shatila should have brought him before the court of Hamarabi). Brook Gladstein.
And that's just for starters. From the boss to the delivery it's an impressive list. While they certainly can't be put in the same box when it comes to Israel, they more or less guarantee that there will be limits to any criticism they may make of Israel.
The exaggeration comes from looking only at the activities and assets of Jews, which is a bit like looking at Paris and saying, correctly, that it contains a large number of Arabic-speakers: yes, but what about the French-speakers? It is not just that there are other powerful lobby groups like the Christian coalition. It is also that one needs to ask: what proportion of the "petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining" sectors of the economy--the list is from an almanac--is owned or controlled by gentiles? I await a table with two columns,
Jewish control non-Jewish control
sector1 xx yy
sector2 zz vv
arranged by market capitalization of firms or by some other significant indicator of control, which indicates that Jews dominate in any sector. Until then, I can't help noticing that most of the captains of industry I hear about aren't Jewish. They have many times more dollars to spend than the Jews have put into influencing US policy.
I find it curious that you exclude the media, but Jews dominate the telecommunications industry, as well, although, again, your question has very little do with the setting of Middle East policy in which pro-Israel interests encounter little corporate opposition. What is more significant is to look at the list of donors to the major political parties that can be found on the Mother Jones website (see Mother Jones 400). This list is overwhelmingly dominated by Jews, eight of the top 10 and 13 of the top 20, almost all to the Democrats. Haim Saban, an Egyptian-born Israeli, was fifth on the 1999-2000 list, with $1,250.000. Last year, he gave $7 million to the Democrats, the largest single donation in the party's history. Please don't tell me that there is any Gentile capitalist he can't play poker with.
One might reply: ah, but the Jews control such crucial elements of American life. This is another couch-potato hypothesis, that media control is all. The claim would be that, despite non-Jews and like Ted Turner, Steve Chase and Rupert Murdoch, Jews control enough of the media to control our minds and their decisions.
The inherent implausibility of this hypothesis has two components. The first is that it must postulate Jewish control over all the gentiles in a position to have some media influence of their own. Oil company execs, agri-business magnates and lumber potentates must have succumbed to the subtle messages of Seinfeld re-runs and become incapable of pursuing their own interests, unable to withstand Jewish media despite all their riches. If so, one can only marvel at the merciful generosity of the Jews, who appear from the goodness of their heart to have left non-Jews with an inexplicably enormous remnant of power and wealth.
Again, you introduce irrelevant arguments in what seems to be a desperate attempt to disapprove the influence of Jews. You create the hypothesis that you destroy. Your dismissal of the significance of Jewish control over most key aspects of US media, without mention to the racist images of the Arabs that have become increasingly prevalent in film and television, is extraordinary. By injecting Seinfeld reruns into the discussion, your argument borders on the ludicrous.
The second implausibility lies in the presupposition that Americans are deluded media slaves. (Saying this to a leftist is like telling Virginia there is no Santa Claus.) Briefly--the issue is too large to cover here--media bias does not take the form of censorship as often as many love to think. The mainstream media, for instance, provide more than enough information to build a conclusive case for Israel's criminality, and no one has to stick to the mainstream media. Equally important, the media may at times play a role in forming opinion, but at least as often they are anxious or happy or simply so unoriginal as to reflect opinion. Perhaps the reason so many people believe what the media tells them is that the media tells them what they already believe.
And where, pray tell, do they get those beliefs? How it works was stated clearly in a sports column by Selena Roberts in the January 8th New York Times. She was interviewing Doug Williams, who was one of the first black quarterbacks to break the barriers in the NFL that saw potentially great black quarterbacks who had starred in college being shifted to running back because they were not considered intelligent enough to play quarterback, and even now, those who have broken the colour line will be lauded for their "mobility" or their "athleticism" and not for their "mental capacity."
"It's the people who have the mike," said Williams, "The networks lead perception." As this is true of sports, so it certainly is when it comes to reporting the news and crafting opinions.
Finally, there is a huge difference between media influence and media control. SUV ads may make some men (and perhaps some women) fantasize that they have a large penis, and desire to purchase 4-wheel proof of this, but it never makes them actually believe they have a large penis. Similarly, teenagers know that smoking won't make them as cool as Joe Camel, and that cigarettes aren't risk-free fun. No guy thinks that drinking Pepsi really gets you a shot at Britney Spears. So the idea that Jewish influence in the media could turn us into helpless robots is simply a non-starter.
Again, you have created a straw man. No one is saying that.
Were Jewish media influence as important as many would have us believe, the Jews have had done with it a long time ago. Israel would already have wiped out or expelled every single Palestinian. A Zionist US government would have suppressed all anti-Israel material as 'hate literature' or terrorist propaganda, overthrown every pro-Palestinian Arab government, and used American troops to deal with the consequences. That this hasn't happened is symptomatic of a deep incoherence within the view that Jews don't control everything, but only the crucial things. If the things were really crucial, Jews really would control everything after all.
Your arguments are seriously off the wall. You are taking the most outrageous statements from the right-wing, classical anti-Semites, lumping them together with those who have made a more sophisticated analysis. Your statement also assumes there is one Jewish position, even one Zionist position on the Middle East which you know is not the case. The Clinton administration was dominated by liberal Jews who supported the idea of a truncated Palestinian Bantustan, a two-state solution that they could live with. The main opposition came from the neo-cons and the Zionist Organization fo America who support deporting the Palestinians to Jordan. Most Jews, in polls, support the former, but then, most Jews, probably two-thirds are not involved in the Jewish community or pro-Israel activities.
Your statement is also ahistorical. Even if its leaders wanted to, Israel was prevented from doing what it wanted to the Palestinians during the Cold War by the presence of the Soviet Union, and currently, it is held back by its dependence on Europe for the bulk of its trade.
Jewish control was no more telling in the past than it is in the present: when they worked to turn America towards Israel, the Jews never overcame any serious opposition. The historical record shows that, far more than Jewish lobbyists or the Jewish vote, worries about communism pushed the US into an alliance with Israel. The alliance developed in lock-step with growing alarm about Soviet inroads in the Middle East.
While worries about communism, stressed by David Ben-Gurion, did get the US to lean towards Israel, it wasn't done that eagerly, and that's why (1) Eisenhower didn't hesitate in telling Israel to get out of the Sinai in 1956 and why (2) France was Israel's major source of weaponry and aid until 1967. If Neumann's last sentence were true, which it isn't, it would have been reflected in the amount of aid offered to Israel at the time, and it was paltry. One of the reasons is that until 1967, their was relatively littl interest in Israel on the part of most American Jews, Israel's economy was stangnant, and more Israeli Jews were emigrating than were arriving. So, until the triumphalism of the Six-Day War captured the imagination of American Jews, and created the fighting Zionist of Beverly Hills and Brooklyn, most Jews here, while voting Democratic, did not have Israel high ot even on their agendas.
From before 1948 on, the US was concerned to counter Soviet influence by helping BOTH Zionists AND Arabs. This was the objective of all US policymakers regardless of their religion or personal sympathy for Zionism. The Soviets initially did the same. The shifting alliances had everything to do with great power rivalries, and very little to do with the machinations of American Jews or with any concern for the fortunes of Israel.
As I recall, Secretary of State George C. Marshall as well as his immediate successors were not concerned enough about Soviet influence to help the Zionists. Marshall opposed even recognizing Israel.
In the early 1950s, Israeli-Soviet relations soured and Arab-Soviet relations prospered.
They soured before that, because Ben-Gurion and his Mapai Party were fiercely anti-Soviet and they dominated the pro-Soviet Mapalm.
But despite Zionist pressure, the US did not rush to back Israel, nor indeed the Soviets to abandon her.
What Zionist pressure? AIPAC was one man, Si Kenen. There was nothing like the lobby that exists today.
As late as 1956 the Soviet Union was supplying Israel with cheap oil to circumvent the Arab boycott, and Israel refused to supply NATO with military bases to counter a Soviet threat. The US imposed an arms embargo on Israel in 1948, and maintained it with minor exceptions until the Hawk missile sale of 1962. (Even then, according to some authorities, the sale was to be linked to the repatriation by Israel of some 100,000 to 150,000 Palestinian refugees!) The American-Israeli alliance was forged only when American attempts to keep the Arab world onside foundered.
Onside? When Neumann speaks of the Arab world, he makes it seem monolithic. US-Saudi relations were going quite well. Egypt was another matter.
The great motivator in this process was not love or fear of the Jews. It was fear of Nasser. (Who? For judaeocentric Americans, the idea that an Arab or Egyptian could put his stamp on modern history just isn't on the radar.) He sought, quite naturally, to improve his position by exploiting great power rivalries. In March 1955, he refused to join the anti-communist Baghdad Pact. A month later, at the Bandung Conference, he moved to form a neutral bloc of exactly those nations the West was trying to recruit against the Soviet Union. Immediately after the conference, he announced a sale of cotton to Communist China, a country then embroiled in a frightening confrontation with the US over Quemoy and Matsu. Next he built on barter agreements with the Soviet bloc to conclude, in September, a major arms deal whose impact was felt throughout the Arab world and beyond.
In May 1956, while the Quemoy-Matsu crisis was still smouldering, Nasser recognized China. With his modern weaponry and vigorous diplomacy, he was widely seen as the leader of the entire Arab world. The West became dismayed enough to withdraw financing for his most important development project, the Aswan Dam. In response, Nasser nationalized the Suez canal. In the 1956 Suez war, America sided with Egypt, but only to co-opt the Soviet Union, which had stated that any further Franco-British advances into Egypt would be met *by force*. This was the end of attempts by the great powers to play both sides of the street.
This contradicts Neumann's earlier statements about the strength of the US-Israel relationship that was forged back in 1948. He also neglects to note that the US opposed the British and French mucking about in the region.
The 1956 war for the first time showed Israel as a militarily capable power which could, on its own, defeat Arab forces armed with Soviet weaponry. And to the US, communist-backed Arab forces began to seem worth defeating. Nasser maintained increasingly close relations with the Soviet Union, and the launch of Sputnik in October 1957 increased American anxieties about a worldwide Soviet threat. Egypt's union with Syria in February 1958 made its ties will the USSR all the more disturbing.
By October 1958, when the Soviet Union announced it would provide financing for the Aswan Dam, the lines were clearly drawn. The Arabs, led by Egypt, were on the Soviet side, and the Israelis became the very useful proxies of the West. (One of the first services Israel rendered to the West was when, in July 1958, it allowed "a British and American airlift of strategic materials through Israeli airspace to prop up the embattled Jordanian monarchy that was being challenged by a radical nationalist uprising fomented by Egypt's Nasser."*)
That's not much of a proxy, simply allowing British and US planes to fly though its airspace. It was in 1958, that Ike sent the Marines to Lebanon to prop up the reactionary regime there. The notion of Israel as a US proxy or cop on the beat does not stand up to scrutiny. Not a single Israeli soldier has ever lifted a finger in America's behalf, and its arms deals to countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, Somoza's Nicaragua, Pincohets Chile, as well as South Africa, were essential to maintain the viability of Israel's arms industry.
This is the origin of the United States' deep commitment to Israel. Though Zionist influences were at work throughout this process, they were never decisive, and in the end it was American security concerns that cemented the US-Israel alliance. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the rationale for the alliance ceased, but the alliance itself rolls on, its inertia abetted by the disinclination of Americans to put any obstacle in its course.
This argument is simply a restatement of Chomsky's position that has been welcomed by many Jewish non-Zionists because it takes the onus off of the lobby. From a standpoint of political action, however, it has thoroughly disarmed the Palestinian solidarity movement which has never even attempted to begin a campaign at the congressional level, urging the cutting off of aid to Israel, preferring to focus, helplessly, on whoever is in the White House. At this moment in time, one must admit that the Palestine solidarity movement in the US has been an utter failure and when people are beginning to look at the root causes of that failure, among them, the faulty analysis that Chomsky has purveyed and that you have repeated, you, in effect, are dragging the movement back to repeating its errors.
None of this changes the facts that (a) Jews, either individually or through their 'leaders' or collectively or in some combination of these, play a huge role in the making of policies that consistently and blindly favour Israel, (b) anyone anywhere in government who opposes these trends seems to get dumped or ignored. To explain this it is helpful to conceive of Jewish power in America somewhat like eunuch power in the Ottoman Empire.
In the Ottoman Empire, eunuchs were of course slaves or servants, yet at times their influence was pervasive. Sometimes they became key government advisers, sometimes even generals and admirals. At times it would not have been at all implausible to suggest that eunuchs were 'running things'. But in the end, no one could take such a claim too seriously. The Ottoman Empire never looked like some great machine turning out treats for eunuchs. The eunuchs simply took a certain limited advantage of the power vacuums appeared in a decaying, increasingly ignorant and feckless ruling circle. If anyone trembled before these neutered potentates, it was only at the good pleasure of the society that bought or castrated them in the first place.
This is too absurd to require a rebuttal. I suggest that you do more research on the pro-Israel lobby before you go on any further in this vein.
No, the Jews aren't quite the eunuchs of the American Empire. But Jewish power does exist at the good pleasure of non-Jewish Americans, both in government and throughout the general population. This holds even where Jews exercise the most effective control, in Hollywood. That's why you don't see Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the widowed, retired Israeli paratrooper, raining fire and death on the leering Palestinian thugs who killed his children and gang-raped Selma Hayek, their beloved Israeli Arab nanny.
You may yet see that. But they are a little more sophisticated than what you give them credit for. There already have been any number of films (ask the ADC) that expose the Arabs in a stereotyped manner with the implication, unstated, that all Arabs are alike. I would advise you to read Jack Shaheen's "The Arab in Hollywood" to get a better understanding of the subject. As for Jewish power existing at the pleasure of non-Jewish Americans, you are playing into classic Jewish paranoia, that "it can happen here." Ironically, if this power is not challenged by what passes for the left and what passes for academia here, and there is a severe depression, it could possibly happen, but it isn;t likely.
Max Weber said that "'power' [is] the chance of a man, or of a number of men to realize their own will in communal action even against the resistance of others who are participating in the action." Whatever sway Jewish Hollywood moguls hold over their actors, elsewhere they have much influence, but little power. Jewish lobby groups constitute, not a separate power structure, but the department of Jewish affairs within the American power structure. Their will is realized, and the will of Jews is realized throughout the US government, but it is not "against the resistance of others". What resistance? By and large, American gentiles have either been pushing in the same direction, or watching from the sidelines.
The organized Jewish power structure has successfully turned the black political structure into an "invisible plantation," demonstrating the power to select or reject both men and women who might possibly become leaders in that community. The ability of the lobby to successfully target balck politicians who refuse to genuflect to their demands is a given, and the resentment this has stirred within the black community is legitimate. But this story is hardly known because even black activists are afraid to talk about publicly less they be branded as anti-semites. Three other victims of the lobby: Johnetta Cole, because she had once spoken for the Palestinians (and lost an appointment from Clinton), Lani Guinier, because she supported affirmative action (ditto for her with Clinton), and Ben Chavis, driven from the leadership of the NAACP because of his outspoken support of the Palestinians.
It is not, after all, as if America aches with compassion for the Palestinians, but has been crushed by the mighty Jews. If the Jewish lobby has defeated a few maverick black congressional candidates, it is not because mountains of American dollars have been dwarfed by even bigger mountains of Jewish shekels.
No, then please explain, for example, how Earl Hilliard and Cynthia McKinney were the only Democratic congress members to lose in the primaries.
And if non-Jewish leftists have failed to condemn the diffidence of their Jewish counterparts, it is not because the Big Jewish Money police are prowling around in black leather trench-coats. The real culprits in the story of Jewish influence in America are the people who let it all happen.
It isn't a matter of either/or but both.
These are the non-Jewish Americans who, in their opposition to Israel, are so timid that a couple of words from Alan Dershowitz would send them all scuttling like cockroaches back to their dark corners. The few who go further are not 'silenced' by Jewish power. One hears from them all the time: ask a Chinese or Iraqi or former Chilean dissident what 'silenced' means. They are ineffective because they haven't even tried to organize themselves, shrinking from the unpleasantness of offending the 'courageous' Jewish left. One thinks of the immortal words of George Carlin: "Take a fucking risk, for Christ's sake!"
Wrong, or at least partially wrong. Where is the responsibility of all those Jews on the so-called left who have successfully blocked any attempt, not only to raise the aid issue, but have blocked any mention or connection of the Middle East to the global struggle for more than 20 years, and who have blocked, as you are doing in this article, any serious exposure of the Israel lobby and now the role that Jewish neo-cons are playing and have played in writing current US policy towards the Middle East.
That Americans have let the Jews have their way doesn't mean that reporting on Jewish activities in America should stop.
It has hardly begun and already you are putting on the brakes.
But what is needed is not yet another list of the Jewish court jesters hired by the American establishment, or the groups that lobby for policies the US government anyway wants to promote.
If you consider Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Lewis Libby, Elliot Abrams, John Bolten, merely court jesters, I suggest you find another subject for your expertise. And me think, thou protesth too much.
Nor do we need more dark hints based on collections of scattered facts rather than serious comparative data. Far more revealing and just as damning would be the story of how ordinary Jews either applaud the worst Israeli crimes, or deplore them and support Israel anyway, or denounce them with rhetoric that somehow never gets around to advocating anything that would stop them. It is a story that just lies there, ready and waiting to be told.
Well, tell it then, and while that is a story, it is not the only story. And don't silence others who have something to say.
Jewish tribalism is real and strong, but it does not enslave Americans. For all its prestige, it is not something 'special' or specially powerful.
With all due respect to your expertise, you obviously have only the barest idea of what constitutes the Israel Lobby, at least the Jewish side of it, and it is definitely unique.
It is just another instance of the ordinary, vulgar racism and nationalism found all over the world. It is immoral, but not as contemptible as the whining of those who supposedly want to do something about Israel, yet are astounded to encounter Jewish opposition and slink off, muttering about 'being in the grip of Jewish power'. These people should themselves get a grip, and do something about it.
They may be contemptible but they are not nearly as problematic as academics who would lead us away from the truth by creating straw men and rebutting irrelevant arguments.
Do what? How about an experiment? It involves an unprecedented and essential first step towards real change in America's Middle East policies--actually asking for measures that would hurt Israel.
Right now, what passes for radicalism is a call to stop military aid to Israel, despite the fact that hardly any country in the world is more capable of doing its killing unaided. That this represents the most daring opposition to the American-Israeli alliance is both shameful and absurd. It all but proclaims to the whole world that even the American left would rather moan about the agony of the Palestinians than try to stop it.
At last, we reach a point of agreement!
Publishing something like the following statement would test for the presence of a backbone among American radicals:
Israel has, on many well-documented occasions, committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. It has violated international law and defied numerous UN resolutions. It manufactures chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, as well as a sophisticated technology for delivering them anywhere in the world. Its settlement policies in the illegally occupied territories endanger the continued existence of the Palestinian people. For all these reasons, Israel is a rogue state and should be treated accordingly. We therefore demand that all nations should:
-- immediately cease all assistance to Israel, military, economic, and 'humanitarian';
-- impose a total trade embargo, including a ban on all transfer of funds to Israel;
-- freeze all Israeli accounts abroad;
-- sever diplomatic relations;
-- cut air links;
-- and cut all cultural, academic, and scientific exchanges.
The United States should inform the Israeli government that any use of nuclear weapons, strategic or tactical, will be met by an overwhelming response in kind.
The United States should form a coalition including Arab and Muslim states to contain Israel along the lines of the coalition to contain Iraq during the Gulf War.
Notice how moderate this is: nothing questioning Israel's right to exist, nothing about the Palestinians' right of return, nothing about prosecutions for war crimes, no endorsement of Palestinian violence. How many leftish Jewish notables would sign such a statement?
By listing a list of maximum demands, you guarantee few signers, Jewish or non-Jewish. Who would endorse the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstance? Would you?
In fact, this list appears to be deliberate over-kill on your part. And your bringing in to the picture, as allies, the reactionary Arab regimes is, forgive me, a little suspicious. Merely stopping all aid to Israel, revoking all tax breaks, instituting severe economic sanctions, perhaps penalizing those institutions that refuse to turn in their billions of State of Israel Bonds, and no longer protecting Israel in the international sphere, would do the job, and do it very quickly.
My guess is two, at most. But how many non-Jewish notables would do so? My guess is ten, proportionately fewer than among the Jews. If so, it is a testimony, not to Jewish power, but to American insularity, laziness and cowardice.
Another straw man. Where do you keep all those bales? So therefore, do nothing. I think I understand where you are coming from.
Former Editor of the Middle East Labor Bulletin
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