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Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer, a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post, is co-author of the forthcoming book, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Middle East Quarterly, Moment, the New Leader, and bitterlemons.org (an Israeli/Palestinian e-zine). Before moving to Israel in 1994, he served as an adviser in the United States Congress to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committees. He is also on Twitter. Close.

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer is a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post. more »

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Israel Lobby Not Powerful Enough

From the point of view of the peace process and of American interests, the U.S. should be more “pro-Israel,” not less.

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All Comments (118)

Rick:

Question for the group:

Why does the US continue to give the Israelis billions of dollars in foreign aid each year, even though we can’t afford it and have to borrow the money from the Chinese (plus interest)?

I don’t know either unless it’s because AIPAC owns our congress, senate and executive branches of government.

Rick:

From today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/19/AR2007111900213_pf.html

Olmert acts to bolster Abbas before meeting

By Jeffrey Heller
Reuters
Monday, November 19, 2007; 8:29 AM

“JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought wide Arab support on Monday for a U.S.-led peace conference by agreeing to release 441 Palestinian prisoners and reaffirming a pledge not to build new Jewish settlements....

Olmert did not say in earlier remarks to his cabinet if he would freeze construction within existing settlements in the occupied West Bank, as sought by the Palestinians and the United States. A senior Palestinian negotiator, latching on to the uncertainty, called Olmert's comments "nonsense."...

In addition, settlers have set up several dozen hilltop outposts without government approval.

Olmert repeated at the cabinet session a long-standing promise to remove the outposts, but again set no date.

In a gesture to Abbas, he also won cabinet approval to release 441 Palestinian prisoners, a government official said.

All were members of Abbas's Fatah faction "without blood on their hands" and could go free as early as Friday after a review of a release list by a ministerial committee, the official said. Abbas had wanted 2,000 freed...

SAUDI PARTICIPATION

Saudi Arabia, which has not said whether it would attend the November 26-27 conference, had demanded a "freeze of settlements" before the meeting. It was unclear whether Olmert's remarks would go far enough to persuade Riyadh to participate.

"What Olmert announced today is nonsense," senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. "Olmert has to understand he either declares a full settlement freeze in all occupied areas including East Jerusalem, or it's nothing."

The road map calls for a freeze to "all settlement activity," including "natural growth," a reference to building in existing settlements to accommodate growing families.

"If Olmert does not halt 'natural growth' then nothing has changed," said Nabil Abu Rdainah, an Abbas aide.

About 270,000 Jewish settlers live among 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians. The World Court has branded all settlements on land captured by Israel in a 1967 war as illegal.

Abbas's chief negotiator said Israeli and Palestinian teams had failed to make progress on a pre-conference joint document that would address in general terms core issues such as borders and the future of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

In a surprise announcement, Olmert's office said the prime minister planned to go to Egypt on Tuesday for talks with President Hosni Mubarak.

His trip appeared to be part of efforts to ensure broad Arab participation in the Annapolis meeting, a launching pad for formal talks on Palestinian statehood. Arab League foreign ministers meet in Cairo on Friday to decide whether to attend...

tootoo:

I just googled this and this is what the last sentence in Wikipedia said:
:''In a January 2006 interview, the Brotherhood's leader, Ali Bayanouni, "said the Muslim Brotherhood wants a peaceful change of government in Damascus and the establishment of a 'civil, democratic state', not an Islamic republic."[14]"
Now let's look at Israel's year 2006 and compare shall we!

William, San Antonio:

@Garak

Very good! If you or anyone else is interested in understanding how militant Arabs can be dealt with compassionately, simply Google:

Assad Hama Muslim Brotherhood

Garak:

Of course The Lobby isn't powerful enough. It will be powerful enough only when the national anthem of the US is Israel Uber Alles. Only then will The Lobby be satiated.

We all know the song:

Israel, Israel uber alles
Kill some Pals and steal their land
Crush their houses
Shoot their children
Bomb their cities
Kill them all!

Israel, Israel uber alles
America must bow to us!

Rick:

Yeah, but the sun will burn out in a few more billion years.

William, San Antonio:

@Rick

In the most serious tone possible: You are most welcome.

...but, I just got a new Dell, have beaucoup bandwidth and am not going away until everyone agrees with me.

Rick:

Yep, I get it. Israel may be doomed, or it may be the future financial capital of the world. Who knows - point well taken?

Thanks for the friendly discussion.

William, San Antonio:

@Rick

"Israel is doomed"

In one sense that is true. Israel means "he who contends with God". If you take "contend" in the sense of competing then "Israel" is doomed. How can we compete with the Almighty? If you take "contend" in the sense of struggling or wrestling, then perhaps not. But, now, I am fodder for those who would content with frothing mouth that religion has been injected in the conversation. We can't have that, now can we?

In a more secular sense, say on the world stage, consider this: The economic center of the world has, over the last few centuries, shifted from Amsterdam to London to New York - from East to West. It would seem that if we take that paradigm to heart and also note the unrelenting rise of China, the next likely shift would be to Hong Kong or Shanghai. After all, America is doomed, isn't it? But, I would contend that China is out given the nature of many of the comments on this blog. The next economic center of the world should be Tel Aviv! Well, in someone's world that makes perfect sense. "Tel" means hill as in a mound of accumulated ruins and "aviv" meaning spring as in the season of renewal. So, the accumulated financial ruin of the world "springs" alive, fresh and renewed in Tel Aviv. And, what scenario could more perfectly fit the prefabricated image of Jews as the money-grubbing kings of the world! There you have it. The most perfect prognostication possible about the future of the world.

But, we are not seers, and that bit of Alice in Wonderland makes at least as much sense as anything that I've I read recently, if you catch my drift.

Rick:

Definitions of amanuensis on the Web:

stenographer: someone skilled in the transcription of speech (especially dictation)
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Amanuensis is a Latin word adopted in various languages, including English, for certain persons performing a function by hand, either writing down the words of another or performing manual labour. The term is derived from a Latin expression which may be literally translated as "manual labourer".

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanuensis

You are very smart William, but unfortunately you are temporarily fertummult.

Rick:

“Anti-Jew, anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist or whatever - they are distinctions without a difference. They all either directly are or facilitate Jew hatred for people with an absolute right to live in their ancient homeland and defend the right to do so”

Sorry William, the Jews were kicked out of Palestine almost two millennia ago. The land has been occupied by Muslims since that time, tending their flocks and orchards and farming the land to support their families. No one has a right to take it from them after abandoning it for such a long time.

“The fact that such a tiny group of people could engender such irrational scrutiny most perfectly makes the point that Jew hatred is a definable mental disorder worthy of the DSM.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders

“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is an American handbook for mental health professionals that lists different categories of mental disorder and the criteria for diagnosing them, according to the publishing organization the American Psychiatric Association. It is used worldwide by clinicians and researchers as well as insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and policy makers. It has attracted controversy and criticism as well as praise.”

No, I think it is my duty as a citizen to challenge those actions of my government which I do not agree with. We must focus on the heinous crimes that our government is perpetrating on the innocent and defenseless people of the Middle East in our lust for oil. This is the riveting issue of our age. It would be insane not to give it our utmost attention.

Israel is doomed. We cannot and should not continue to support her illegal existence forever. The ancient civilizations of the neighborhood will simply wait her out.

The Palestinians do not have the resources to defeat Israel, let alone the U.S., but the Arab League of Nations most certainly does. With the price of oil at $100 per barrel and rising, and our national debt at $10 Trillion and rising (much of it owed to China), we will not remain a super power for long. It is a shame that we squander our wealth and young peoples lives foolishly in ill advised and unnecessary wars in the region, when this same effort would have given us energy independence from Middle East oil by now. That is just a fact of life, but it won’t last for long. How long will it last, 10, 50, 100 years – who knows; but Israel’s days are numbered.

Wiliam, San Antonio:

I apologize for the typographical errors in my posts. My amanuensis is on maternity leave.

William, San Antonio:

@Rick

Anti-Jew, anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist or whatever - they are distinctions without a difference. They all either directly are or facilitate Jew hatred for people with an absolute right to live in their ancient homeland and defend the right to do so. The fact that so many would contest this point makes my point. The fact that such a tiny group of people could engender such irrational scrutiny most perfectly makes the point that Jew hatred is a definable mental disorder worthy of the DSM. The fact that a country the size of a Texas county could attract such diseased discontent is even more worthy of exposure. The Jews are certainly not perfect, but the level and volume of the hateful rhetoric spewed at them from Bali to Baltimore is in no way commensurate with principle or reason. It is unfounded and senseless and every time that I see or hear this non-sense, I will name it for what it is.

tootoo:

Supposedly, we were all jews, then Christ came and there were Christians then Mohammed came and there were muslims.....so.........let's all revert to judaism and all of us will be God's chosen. Then we can decide who gets what.

Rick:

BTW, the link sensor nailed me on the last post for too many links. That last reference was:

http://www.pass.to/glossary/gloz4.htm

“Ver derharget! - Get killed! Drop dead! (Also "ver geharget)”

And William:

You are fercockt!

Just kidding, I love you baby.

And I'm no anti-Semite. I am anti-Zionist, and don't tell me that there is no difference. One means Jew hater; the other means hater of land grabbing genocidal maniacs.

Rick:

Hello William,

Thanks for the post. It’s amazing what one can learn on these sites. I take it that:

“...Kick their jihadi tuches until they all do tchuva or ver derharget...” means:

Kick their Jihadi arses until they repent or drop dead.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.sbjf.org/sbjco/schmaltz/yiddish_phrases.htm

“TUCHES: Backside, arse, "tuches lecker" means arse kisser, one who shamelessly curries favor with superiors.”

http://kohelet.org/go/web/to/kohelet/rhoffman/10Mishpatim.htm

“A case can be made for Moses having created the Golden Calf, rather than Aaron:

1. When Moses scorned the gold which the other Hebrews were collecting as reparations from the Egyptians (thus giving the Egyptians a chance to do tchuva), he was not giving the Satan its due...

The main sin of visiting mourners is diverting a person from his or her pain.

If you can’t feel pain, you’re like a barren woman. Rachel and Sarah began teaching tchuva from their barrenness...

The main source of Moses’s pain is his inability to communicate. In his incarnation as Noach, he convinced not a single person to do tchuva. Moses’s disability was that he was too good. He was teaching the people how to be compulsive, not how to be free...

Our greatest gift is our deficit. The purpose of the world is to do tchuva. Tchuva is returning a lost spark to G*d. It made Esther’s face shine. The other candidates for the coveted position of wife to the drunken wife-killer had to use oils and makeup, but Esther was radiant without using any cosmetics.

Unify pain and simcha to do tchuva.”

“Ver derharget! - Get killed! Drop dead! (Also "ver geharget)”

William, San Antonio:

@Rick

"Of course the Neocons and Israeli Lobbyists were prime instigators of our disastrous invasion of Iraq." Translation: The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world since the beginning of time - a typical anti-Semitic rant.

My solution for the Islamo-fascist problem is to solve it the good, old-fashioned American way: Kick their jihadi tuches until they all do tchuva or ver derharget then give the rest of them distressed Levi's with side-pockets large enough for their entire complementary Elvis CD collection.

Rick:

Saul Singer:

“The surprising truth, however, is that from the point of view of both the peace process and even more fundamental American interests, the U.S. should be more "pro-Israel," not less. The basic reason for this is that the Arab war to destroy Israel is a subset of Islamo-fascist jihad against the West. It makes little sense for the U.S. to be neutral in such a struggle, just as the U.S. could not be neutral as Nazi Germany proceeded to gobble up Europe.”

Get real! The only fascists are the US/Israeli invaders/occupiers who have used the world’s most powerful war machine to keep the Palestinians under the Israeli Jackboot living in squalor, to control their food, water and energy supplies, and to allocate to each Israeli the same amount of water as four Palestinians.

This is the root cause, along with our illegal preemptive invasion and occupation of Iraq, for any Muslim retaliation against the West. Of course the Neocons and Israeli Lobbyists were prime instigators of our disastrous invasion of Iraq.

Mr. Singer argues that we should be even more pro-Israel to expedite the submission of the Palestinians and Islamic Jihadists in general.

Nonsense! The Muslim world will simply wait for the U.S. Empire to founder on its inability to get its dependency on Middle East oil under control, and be bankrupted by the oil producing nations.

My solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict:

1. Declare a no fly zone over the region.

2. Demand that Israel destroy all planes, tanks and nuclear weapons. If they refuse, we do it for them.

3. Stand back and say: “O.K. boys and girls, have at it.

William, San Antonio:

Most of the posts on this topic are either just plain silly, incoherent or the product of willing ignorance. That’s unfortunate for WaPo and all those who take a moment to add serious comments. Some, however, cross the line and Daniel Brown’s fall in that category.

His claims about the Jewish prayer, the Kol Nidrei, are examples of classic, text book anti-Semitism. A brief account of the history of this libel can be found on Wikipedia at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kol_Nidre

Excerpts from this article include:

“…this prayer has often been employed out of context by antisemites [sic] to support their claims that Jews cannot be trusted.”

And more completely:

Use by anti-Semites

Kol Nidrei has been used by antisemites to cast suspicion on the trustworthiness of an oath taken by a Jew.[3] This charge was leveled so much that many non-Jewish legislators considered it necessary to have a special form of oath administered to Jews ("Oath More Judaico"), and many judges refused to allow them to take a supplementary oath, basing their objections chiefly on this prayer. As early as 1240 in the Disputation of Paris, Yechiel of Paris was obliged to defend Kol Nidrei against these charges.

Counterpoint

Rabbis have always pointed out that the dispensation from vows in Kol Nidrei refers only to those which an individual voluntarily assumes for himself alone and in which no other persons or their interests are involved. The formula is restricted to those vows which are between man and God alone; they have no effect on vows made between one man and another. No vow, promise, or oath which concerns another person, a court of justice, or a community is implied in Kol Nidrei. According to Jewish doctrine, the sole purpose of this prayer is to give protection from divine punishment in case of violation of the vow.

Five geonim (rabbinic leaders of medieval Babylonian Jewry) were against while only one was in favor of reciting the prayer. Even so early an authority as Saadia wished to restrict it to those vows which were extorted from the congregation in the synagogue in times of persecution ("Kol Bo"), and he declared explicitly that the "Kol Nidre" gave no absolution from oaths which an individual had taken during the year.

What Mr. Brown is doing is to repeat lies propagated in the 13th century.

Daniel Brown:

Also Linda Kramer made a point. How can you be "God's Chosen People" when the Kol Nidre allows you to break any personal vows you made to god? I mean if you can break any vow you have made to god how can I expect you to keep your word to me? Lies and deceit.

I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Revelation 2:9

Thats in the bible is that true also?

Daniel Brown:

You say some very confusing things. Amerikkka is very Pro-Israel. People in the Amerikkan government have been in Israel more then they have been to New Orleans. Amerikkka needs to be more Anti Israel. I do not feel that the Jewish people even deserve the state of Israel. Also I feel that the Jewish community has taken to long to realize the national rights of the Palestinian people. I can give you an example how Amerikkka is Pro Israel enough. Amerikkkan health care system is flawed, our police, teachers, fire fighters, and also doctors need more money in certain areas of Amerikkka. That fact that Amerikkka can find it to give Israel another 30billion dollars shows they are to much Pro-Israel.
http://www.wrmea.com/html/us_aid_to_israel.htm
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/17/world/middleeast/17israel.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
I know it may sound harsh but Amerikkka needs to pull away from Israel. It makes no sense to help Israel anymore. They have done horrible things. And whatever has befallen them they asked for on their own.

Anonymous:

The US recently agreed to a 25 percent increase in its military and defense aid to Israel, to 30 billion dollars in the next 10 years. I believe that it's not nearly enough. Since 9/11 Americans have experienced firsthand the real costs of the Muslim war on civilization - something Israelis have had to live with on a daily basis since 1948.

The terrorist attack of September 11 alone cost New York about 95 billion. The price tag for the "war on terror" since 9/11 has been about 843 billion. I used quotation marks purposely to denote the euphemism "war on terror". What the term really implies is the war against the never ending Jihad - the Islamic murder campaign begun in 622 AD. Whatever the cost may be to protect us from these exploding barbarians, it will be paid.

Joseph:

"There is an intrinsic sense of goodness and fair play in most Americans that will always bind us to the Jewish people."

... as long as we are kept ignorant of Israel's policy of slow ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank, and as long as we are kept ignorant of the fact that we give $4-6 billion per year to Israel, making a country the size of a large city our biggest recipient of foreign aid in the world, while in the meantime we offer almost nothing to areas in the world, far more impoverished than Israel, that could use aid to fight problems that, unlike Israel's, are actually tractable, such as combating tropical diseases. Yes, as long as we are kept ignorant, as the profoundly dishonest William from San Antonio intends that we be kept, we will always be bound to Israel, or at least to the facade that has been presented to us as being Israel.

William, San Antonio:

After reading all 105 posts, I found only 4 that were coherent: Peter Varden, Benjamin, Sam and Daniel. The remainder I found devoid of rationality or morality or both. To those four I would say please don't be distressed, the bulk of the comments are not representative of the vast majority of the American people. There is an intrinsic sense of goodness and fair play in most Americans that will always bind us to the Jewish people.

Leslie White:

Okay, so Singer starts off by saying that the whole issue is anti-Semitic and that any academic discussion of the Israeli influence on US foreign policy must be racist.

AND THEN he goes on to pile on a bunch of racist comments against Arabs as a way to convince us of the righteousness of Israel in a war against all these violent Arabs, whom he compares to the Nazis!

He even throws in the new "islamo-fascist" term all the right-wingers have started using.

I, too, live in Israel, and understand the issue of "security" but I am against the occupation, and I'm against the idea that violence will somehow bring about a solution. Let's take the example of Gaza. It is a tiny, isolated spot, and Israel still can't manage to stop the rocket attacks from militant groups there. The IDF has killed hundreds of people in Gaza all along insisting that the purpose of their missions is to stop the rockets. They've imposed a harsh economic blockade that is hurting the most vulnerable people. And now they want to cut off the electricity supply to Gaza. All of this is collective punishment, destroying lives, and only making people angrier. If you declare a people your "Enemy Entity" they will become your enemy. And guess what - the rockets haven't stopped, nor have the Israelis gotten Gilad Shalit back, another of their stated purposes. All this for nothing.

So. I think the US should stop funding these actions, stop writing the blank checks, stop standing next to Tzipi Livni at press conferences, etc. We don't need blood on our hands as well, we have enough places to devastate on our own.

Gary Gevisser:

Are you aware of a not so top secret Israeli Military Intelligence report that says the following:

Immediately following the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Al Quaida will launch a series of attacks on the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait that in the next instant will paralyze the US economy.


Gevisser@sbcglobal.net

John Smith:

Mr Signer as many Israelis want Americans to assume that our interests are always aligned and to mutual benefit. The threat to Israel is not to its existence but to its hold on the West Bank and the settlements there. There is no benefit to American citizens for our governments support of this occupation. It is detrimental to the US strategically and economically, and that is why the influence of the Israel lobby is an issue, and one that America needs to re-evaluate. What's in it for America?

Joseph:

Mr. Singer, it's an interesting fairy tale you tell. I hope you have the sense not to believe it yourself.

ribs_corn:

“A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.”
(George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796)
__________________________________________________

Linda Kramer:

I was always under the impression that the term "Semite" referred not only to Jews, but also to Arabs and other ancient "tribes" from Southwest Asia. Am I wrong? How does being sick to death of the current Israeli lobby and those treasonous Neocons who got us into the current quagmire translate into being antisemitic? I actually have some Jewish relatives and I even like some of them. That doesn't mean, however, that I think Israel ought to have such influence over our foreign policy. What have they done for us lately? And that "God's chosen people"? Give me a break. How does anyone expect to win an argument with that sort of logic? Do people actually believe that garbage? But then, I'm a Buddhist. What do I know?

index_on_censorship:

"DANIEL" writes out of ignorance of Israel.

Daniel writes: "In Israel, on military operations, there are more journalists then soldiers! Each one dissecting, judging, and condemning".

BS! Two such Israeli "Journalists" passed away lately. Uri Dan, of Maariv and Yeshayahu Ben Porat of Yediot. The obituaries told that both were MOSSAD AGENTS, not real journalists.

What is the truth then? - That Israeli public opinion is manipulated by AIPAC-type "Journalists". Thus the Zionist press, Zionist politicians support Israel's invasion of Lebanon, and sowing 4.000.000 U.S. made cluster bombs in an area of some 40 X 10 miles. When the ISAF, equipped with F-16s destroyed residential areas in Dahiya/Beirut, they were mainly applauded by Israeli "Jews".

The change -in public opinion - occurred when it became clear that Israel has lost the war, and only then! Just as the change in American public opinion occurred when Cheney & Bush got stuck in the Iraqi QUAGMIRE.

Daniel must realize that Jews and Israelis who seek a change, write many of the negative comments to Singer’s piece. Do not accuse us of Anti-Semitism; we love Semites - Arabs and Jews - and WE LOVE PEACE most of all. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!

Russ Siler:

It is ridiculously obvious that Mr. Singer is writing to those people who either have never visited Israel-Palestine or whose visits were carefully controlled so that they neither saw evidence of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands nor the immense illegal settlement blocks gouging gigantic chunks of Palestinian land from the West Bank--including Arab East Jerusalem. To readers who have experienced the wider context, his adroitly-crafted phrase "Israel's desperate desire to help create a peaceful Palestinian state" contradicts virtually every aspect of the reality there.

As to his contentions regarding "the Arab war to destroy Israel," let him encourage the nation of Israel to withdraw completely, including all those people whom they have settled on confiscated Palestinian land, to the 1949 Armistice Line [the Green Line]. The world would then see just how quickly such a move would lead to full acceptance of the nation of Israel by the Arab world. Even though such a move would leave Palestinians with a mere 22% of Historic Palestine, they would willingly settle for that for a truly independent state. Such steps would accomplish far, far more toward Israel becoming a full partner in the Middle East than will all the guns, planes, walls/fences, and roadblocks that American dollars can buy.

s.g.briggs, new orleans, la.:

It is highly unlikely that"the Arab desire to destroy Israel is a subset of the Islamic Jihad against the West" since that desire ante-dates the jihad by over a hundred years. The Arabs have been resisting the theft of their land by the Zionists since that process started in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Everybody, not just the Arabs, should refuse to accept as normal an ethno-confessional state(i.e. a state based on ethnicity and religion, with the rights of non-members of the ruling group severely curtailed, both formally and informally). Further it is a state which exists in its current form because it was a gift to the Jews from the European powers who had stood by and allowed the Holocaust to happen;the Arabs paid for the sins of the Europeans It doesn't take a lot of chin-stroking and windy discourse on the old anti-semitism bromides to explain Arab hostility.On this basis it is hard not to conclude that we are far too biased towards Israel and that the moral as well as the strategically sound thing to do would be to move towards at least a strictly neutral position in the Israeli-Arab struggle.

netzen:

Eric Wemmelman said:
"The Jews are God's chosen people, therefore they have every right to occupy the land known as Israel"

I say:
I am god's chosen man, therefore I have every right to occupy Eric Wemmelman's house which is known as mine

(I may just have to write some web pages to prove it !)


Byron Heppner:

Hmmm....Israel has an interesting way of showing it's "desperate desire to help create a peaceful Palestinian state". I would have thought that ignoring the UN by continuing to build illegal settlements on Palestinian land, confiscating land illegally, destroying Palestinian farmland for "security" walls, and unilaterally cutting up what land the Palestinians have with settler-only roads would be perfect methods for preventing the establishment of a peaceful Palestinian state. And this is not to excuse any Palestinian outrages, but it's laughable to say that Israel is desperately pursuing peace with the Palestinians.

ctmont:

I lived and ran my business in a Jewish neighborhood for almost twenty years. I have lots of Jewish friends, and Jews have always been numbered among the best of my business associates, both suppliers and customers. I haven't got an ounce of antisemitism in me, but I am definitely NOT pro Zionism.

Over the course of many years, I heard Jewish friends talk about the pressures they are under to fork up $$$ for the various Zionist organizations. Many of these are linked directly to lobbying groups in Washington. Many Jewish business people are all but held hostage to donate to organizations that they really can't afford to give to, let alone agree with.

One can't go into detail when making a comment in this venue, but I can assure you that many in the Jewish-American community wish they had never heard of Israel. The strong Zionists in the community bully everyone around them with threats against one's business and of course, social position.

I believe that the congress of the U.S. has proven, once again, that many Jews are great business people and know how to grease the wheel. Of course this isn't to suggest that non-Jewish special interest groups aren't adept at buying our representatives. Our government has dishonored itself over and over again, taking lobbyists' money and doing their bidding.

Democracy is a wonderful political concept, but I'm afraid that we're really bending.

cas:

And of course, Guiliani promised AIPAC war with Iran if elected--to boisterous cheers in the room. One could argue that such thinking is putting the intersts of others ahead of those of the US.

Turning away in disgust:


Right, right, Mearsheimer and Walt are racists and conspiracy theorists. And never mind the fact that you prove them right by saying so.

Life is too short to argue about things like this. The Israel lobby is too entrenched and too powerful. So I, like so many others, am forced to live in quiet, sneering resignation while my tax dollars are wasted in support of a country that is not a real democracy (see Arab citizens of Israel, treated much like black people were treated in this country in 1955) and that is of no particular strategic usefulness to the US.

One thing, though. You say that the US has never openly endorsed a two-state solution, and that this is evidence of how the Israel Lobby is in fact "not powerful enough." Mearsheimer and Walt state that when Hillary Clinton expressed her support for the idea, then-President Bill Clinton openly disagreed and stated that her comment did not reflect the policy of his administration. Why? Because he was pressured to do so by the Israel Lobby.

Kent:

Let's keep a sense of proportion here. Israel's economy dwarfs that of its neighbors. Its military likewise outclasses the militaries (even combined) of surrounding states. It has nuclear weapons and missile submarines. It is in no danger of being destroyed.

It does seem legitimate to question Israel's seriousness in pursuing peace when they are creating facts on the ground in the West Bank that will make the land for peace formula unworkable. Yes, anger over Israel in the Arab world is driven by much more than the actual facts of the conflict. Much greater harm has been inflicted on Arabs by their own governments than by the Israelis. Morocco has occupied the Western Sahara against the will of its inhabitants since 1973 and who ever hears about that? Hama, Halabja etc. But the fact remains that the conflict is a focal point of Arab anger, we in the United States have become associated with Israel and are paying a price for it. Yet it seems clear that the Israelis are content to go on building settlements and pretend that they can have their cake and eat it too. I don's see why we should go along for the ride. It is not as if Israel was founded on a remote Antarctic peninsula and then discovered by the Arabs who decided gratuitously to hate and make war on it. It was founded through the confiscation of land and the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians in 1948. There is legitimate ground for grievance on the part of the Palestinians. Far too many Palestinians seem unwilling to compromise and of course they should not and will not be allowed to reconquor the land they lost. But Israel seems to be undermining the possibility of the compromise solution that is on the table: (contiguous) land for peace.

Finally, I get a bit tired of the comparison between Islamofacism and the Axis of the Second World War. Germany and Japan were advanced industrial and technological powers who posed a serious challenge to the rest of the civilized world. The Arab/Islamic countries, simply stated, are not. The Islamofacists are bent of world conquest. This is plain from their writings. But they are not capable of it. This is an important difference. So let's back away from the doomsday rhetoric.

MH:

To prove that the Israeli lobby wields too much power, I think it's instructive to point out that several groups have tried to lobby on capitol hill for the palestinian side, only to be asked to leave before the meeting was even underway. In fact, it is virtually impossible for a pro-palestinian group to even be granted a meeting with a congressman when the topic to be discussed is israel/palestine.

And the issue is never that they are being disruptive or unprofessional. In each case to my knowledge, the lobbying group was entirely professional. In fact, in one example that comes to mind, the meeting was going well until the discussion turned towards the conflict at which point the gentlemen were asked to leave.

To me that proves that congress doesn't even want to be seen with the opposition, let alone be seen discussing or debating their position. If that is not proof enough of the fact that the israeli lobby yields more power than we should all find acceptable, then I don't know what is.

PaulM:

Great post, the subject is rarely visited. The subject is alway met with an attitude of how dare you. The truth of the matter any politician can end his career if he does not support Israel and Israeli policies in America.

Does the Israel lobby have too much influence over U.S. decisions?

------> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=966

.

Daniel:

These comments are so depressing. Using the blog as a gauge, it would seem the entire Washington Post readership is venomously anti-Israel. Most of the comments are emotional, with no base in fact – of history or current events. Most people seem to question Israel's right to exist.

You people have little idea what are the facts on the ground. You have never visited Israel, or the Arab world, and yet you demonize Israel from the belt-way armed with the Washington Post and the New York Times.

When these same Islamic fundamentalists attack America, you have no qualms about carpet-bombing villages (i.e. Afghanistan) or sending in hired guns to shoot up towns. Interesting now that many of you blame Israel (ie. Jews) for pushing these wars. If Israel acted this way, it would be front-page news for weeks on end. In Israel, on military operations, there are more journalists then soldiers! Each one dissecting, judging, and condemning.

The reason anti-Semitism comes up – just look around this blog. Why would any Jew not feel fear – look around at this mob. Ranting that is so fundamentally disconnected from reality. I could deconstruct so much of the factually incorrect information being spread around this blog but the true issue is between the lines.

Many of these comments flat out say that “Islamo-fascists” exist because of Israel! I love that people complain about using the “anti-Semitism card” yet then go on to rant about power, control, manipulation, conspiracy, etc. More conspiracy theories about Jewish power. In this day and age, anti-Semitism often uses anti-Israel as a cover. It just replaces “Jew” with “Israeli.”

Chaotician:

The simple truth is that legally and morally, peoples forced to leave their homes because of wars of aggression or for that matter even defensive wars have the right to return to their homes when the hostilities end! Israel has instead claimed their need for defense overrules decency, international law, and any gratitude for being given lands that belonged to other peoples!

Look at any ME map and you will see the changes these wars have made and their simply is no basis for the Jews to be given any of the lands they have conquered by war! The Germans, the USSR, and the colonial powers were all stripped of lands by conquest; why are the Jews being treated as if they are special and have no obligations under international law??

I might accept the occupation of the original lands provided by the UN in 1948; but there is no justification for condoning the lands taken by war. That means the 1967 borders are no more legitimate than the occupation of the rest of the Palestinian lands; they must give back all occupied lands to become a "good" citizen of the world, let the arabs forced from their lands by the initial occupation of the lands "given" to the Jews to share return; and stop their state sponsored terroism...period! Anything less is not acceptable.

Ethan:

Well they are impostor and always will be, and the only thing that keep them there is the almighty USA. All the original Israelites are already here in the US (slavery) I know nobody want to hear this but it history and it hasn't been the same since the Romans came in conquered some 2000 years ago. True historians do not even want to touch this issue because it ugly and to many people will be shamed. So instead of telling the truth well keep them right there and Israel. What to gain from this I don't know there no oil in the country no resource that USA might gain maybe strategic balance perhaps and a future war that sure to come from all these lies.

After world war 2 USA would have been in a better position if they would have given them the state of Washington in called it The new Zion. This is a religion crisis that has no ending IN PEACE as long as we play (GOD)

Instead of giving them all these weapons lets them give them resources that they can share with there surrounding foes like Build new school, hospitals, access to better water and waste water facilities, shelter and housing
the president had just signed a bill to give Israel at least 400-500 billion and defence funds to avoid a conflict with Iran were just fueling the fire for something to pop off. That money can help allot of surrounding hostiles to become a little more tolerant for now. but that is not the final answer, there is none, but it beats all that money going directly to US defence contractors. It is better to take a lamb to a sword fight than a sword.

This may not get posted because the truth may not always be heard

nadabrain:

The fact that the Washington Post/Newsweek referred to Jerusalem as a part of Israel, when in fact it is disputed territory, shows the subtle influences of the Israeli lobby in the United States.

david gallardo:

The majority of comments that have been posted at the time that I am writing this recognize that the "pro-Israeli lobby" works against the interests of America. Are all those people anti-semites? Of course not! They are American citizens whose first loyalty is to AMERICA.

rodney@oshareview.com:

Sorry Mr. Singer you have the cart before the donkey. When Israel no longer had unlimited support for taking Palestinian lands, making a proposed Palestinian State into it private manual labor pool, etc then there will be a time for Peace. Think about projects that Israel could to NOW that would help the Palestinians think of the Israelis as sincere to obtaining peace with them. As of now, the only government projects are to wall them off, deny compensation and allow illegal settlement to continue.

Don't you worry; however, the population demographics will eventually settle the outcome. Pity Israel will be a single state, probably non-Jewish, when it had a chance to secure a meaningful peace as a Jewish state.

Sincerely


Rodney M. Stine

Ed:

Let's ask a fundamental question ... What are the roots of Islamo-facism? I'd argue a primary one is Israels expulsion of Palestinians in 1948, its discrimination against the Palestinians who managed to remain inside the Green Line, its territorial expansionism after 1967 and the seeming unending state-sponsored crimes against Palestinians. These are things the United States should never stand for. No, the Israeli lobby is far too powerful, it has corrupted our core values.

miguel:

The incestuous relationship between the U.S. and Israel is not only obscene but it is very dangerous for America. The Untied States should have long ago normalized relations with Israel, treated them as any other state, and insisted that if they wanted money they would have to work quid-pro-quo in America’s best interests - like anybody else has to do. Which in this case means the settlement of its issues in the region. It will take decades to wash off the stain of association with Israel’s duplicity and moral failure, and decades for our duplicity and moral failure to wash away, as well.

The fact that a First World, technological country with a nuclear arsenal and the strongest military in the MidEast, populated with a scant 6 some-odd million, should receive over $3 billion a year in tax-payer ‘Aid’ and grants - far more than anybody else in the entire world gets - should be ample evidence of the perverted nature of this relationship, and the extraordinary power of the Lobby. Of course they attack anybody who suggest such a thing even exists! Wouldn’t you, if you were them?

On Singer’s text, it is nothing but tired, stale, and endlessly repeated justifications. More interesting to me is that underneath the words, and in-between the specious logic and glaring omissions, reside the staggering power of ego, bias, and illusion, and it is quite humorous to read in those words the insistence of these attributes demanding their due; surreptitiously, of course. Bias, illusion, and ego are clamoring for recognition to such an extent, in fact, that for any perspicacious reader they totally sabotage Singer’s position, playing the quiet hurricane to the matchstick house of Israeli excuses and faux reasonableness. Great stuff; do what all hilarious buffoons do and call Leno immediately.

Anonymous2:

Hey! Arm the Palestinians too with planes and tanks and missiles and we'll have peace overnight in the mid-east.

Aah! Now to go solve world-hunger...so much to do, so little time...

Publius:

It has been a great sadness in my life to have been forced to watch my beloved United States government continually take sides with enemies of democracy in the defense of democracy. I start with Iran, where we overthrew a legitimate government to install our puppet. In the defense of democracy. Was it Argentina where we overthrew a legitimate government, or was that Chile? Remember Reagan's refusal to wash our hands of apartied? Now, we prop up an emerging facist in Pakistan. All in the defense of democracy.

Now comes Mr. Singer who suggests that Palestinian refugees should forgive the violent takeover of their homes by Zionist settlers several generations ago and agree to just walk away. If someone showed up at Mr. Singer's doorstep and forced his family his house at gunpoint, I don't think that he'd be so eager to forgive. Isn't that the whole point of Zionism? Never forgive those who take your homeland?

So, who should we support in the mideast? Which side has the moral high ground? Israel, who claimed their land by force and removed its native population at the point of a gun? Palestinians, who kill children and other innocents at random? Which side is the more democratic? Neither side is clean, and neither is without pity. I think the US should take no sides and, instead, should bring its considerable influence to bear on all sides. Would Isreal have more incentive to accept peace if the US withdrew its support without it?

AEC:

The very words cause many people to grin at what appears to be simply a play on words. No one reads about such people in european authored history books and there are only a few references to "Ethiopian Jews" in white Jewish sources. Yet Black Hebrews have existed since biblical times. In fact, they are the original or proto-typical Hebrews.

Their story begins with the Patriarch Abraham (2117-1942 B.C.), a native of the Sumerian city of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia. Archaeological discoveries have proven that the earliest inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia were members of the "Brown Race," i.e., the Negroid branch of humanity.


It has been confirmed that the ancient Sumerians were akin to the modern Black Dravidians of India. The Sumerians also had an affinity with a people known as the Elamites, the very first Semitic group mentioned in the Bible (Gen. 10:22). The Elamites were a black-skinned and woolly-haired people as the colorful glazed artwork on the royal palace walls of the ancient Persian city of Susa clearly show.Thus Abraham, the native of Sumerian and the founding father of the Israelite nation, was a black man. The black racial origins of the Patriarchs is not based on mere conjecture, it is in complete agreement with the picture one gets from examining the identity of the earliest inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia.


This truth is grossly neglected, suppressed, and distorted in most European and American historical texts which are flavored with race prejudice. Fortunately, however, there are enough well authored and highly researched works by Black historians that challenge the Eurocentric revisions of history and correct the various erroneous views regarding the ethnic identity of the Hebrews.


Biblical history relates that the descendants of Abraham, namely Jacob (Israel) and his twelve sons and their wives, 70 in all, migrated from Canaan to Egypt around the year 1827 B.C. During their sojourn in Egypt the Children of Israel multiplied from being a family of 70 souls to a nation of over 3 million people at the time of the Exodus which took place in 1612 B.C.


This astounding number of people in so short a time can only be adequately explained by intermarriage between the family of Jacob and the native Egyptian populace. It is an established fact that the ancient Egyptians were a black African people. Thus, even if the Hebrews were not black before they arrived in Egypt, which is unlikely given Abraham's background, they were definitely black by the time they left Egypt under Moses


The biblical Hebrews were indistinguishable from native Egyptians and Ethiopians. The Bible is full of examples which demonstrates this, and even ancient secular historians remarked of the physical appearances of the Hebrews. The historian Tacitus, for example, stated that it was a common opinion among the Romans that the Jews "were an Ethiopian race." In Roman times PalestinianIsraelites were classed among Black Africans because it was almost impossible to tell them apart.


Hence, the Eurocentric notion of the Black Hebrew as a kind of Johnnie-come-lately in Hebraic history does not accord with the facts. On the contrary, the historical record is abundantly clear that the majority of white European Jewry are not Hebrews in the biological sense but are actually the descendants of converts to Judaism during Greco-Roman and Mediaeval times. Professor Roland B. Dixon states emphatically that: "The great majority of all Jews [Ashkenazi] to-day are 'Semites' only in speech, and their true ancestry goes back not so much to Palestine and Arabia as to the uplands of Anatolia and Armenia, the Caucasus and the steppes of Central Asia, and their nearest relatives are still to be found in these areas to-day" (Racial History Of Man, p. 175).


Caucasian Jews are not the lineal descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nor do they constitute a separate race but rather a religious fraternity which adheres to the ethnic tradition of a people whose origins are inextricably linked to Black Africa.


But if the original Hebrews were black where are their descendants in the world today? Are all black people Hebrews? The answer to the latter question is obviously no. The Israelites were only one of several black people existing in ancient the ancient world. Nevertheless, it is certain that the ancient Hebrews customs and practices who's legacy orginated in Africa, were adopted by that of white Jews in Europe. Very little is heard about the hundreds of thousands of Black Hebrews living in various parts of the world such as Africa, Asia, India, Arabia, the Caribbean islands, South America, and North America.


The history of Black Hebrews in North America is perhaps one of the most important chapters in US history which has yet to be fully written. The ancestors of African Americans came from West Africa during the era of slavery. That particular region of Africa was once home to a number of Black Hebrew tribes that migrated from North and East Africa over many centuries. In speaking of these migrations, Dr. Yoseph A. A. ben-Yochannan writes that: "In North Africa, just before the period of Christianity's legal entry into Rome - due to Constantine "the Great" conversion in the 4th century - there were many Hebrew (Jewish) 'tribes' that are of indigenous African (the so-called 'Negroes') origin.


These African Jews, as all other Romanized-African of this era, were caught in a rebellion in Cyrene (Cyrenaica) during 115 C.E. against Roman imperialism and colonialism. This rebellion also marked the beginning of a mass Jewish migration southward into Soudan (Sudan or West Africa) along the way of the city Aer (Air) and into the countries of Futa Jalon and Senegal (Sene-Gambia) which lie below the parabolic curve of the Niger River's most northern reaches, where the City of Tumbut (Timbuktu, Timbuctoo, etc.), Melle (Mali) presently stands." ("African Origins of the Major Western Religions," 1970, p. 76).

Dr. Ben goes on to relate that Black Israelite immigrants from northern and eastern Africa merged with indigenous groups in western Africa to become the Fulani of Futa Jalon, Bornu, Kamen, and Lake Chad. They also formed the parent-stock of groups such as the Ashanti, the Hausa, the B'nai Ephraim (mentioned in earlier posts), and the Bavumbu (Mavumbu or Ma-yomba). All of these groups suffered tremendous population decreases during the years the Atlantic slave trade was in operation, others were completely eliminated.

Thus, every so-called African American has Israelite ancestry in their family tree whether he or she knows it or not. Even in the very crucible of slavery the descendants of West African Hebrew captives in America struggled to keep their heritages from being obliterated by forced assimilation and acculturation. Their distinctive traditions became submerged in Christianity but always remained a part of the oral tradition via the so-called Negro Spirituals which praise the memory of ancestors and kinsmen like Moses, David, Joshua, and Daniel.

Since the African-American conviction of having Israelite ancestry antedates the Civil War it is not surprising that the earliest Black Hebrew congregation to be established in North America was founded in the 1880s in Chattanooga, Tennessee by F. S. Cherry (the group later moved to Philadelphia). Cherry was a railroad worker and seaman who was fluent in both Yiddish and Hebrew. He adamantly preached that so-called American Negroes are really the lost sheep of the House of Israel whose true legacy was stolen from them during slavery. He urged his hearers to investigate their history in order to rediscover this truth and reclaim their heritage.

In 1896, a man by the name of William S. Crowdy established another Hebrew congregation in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1899, Leon Richlieu established the Moorish Zionist Temple in Brooklyn. To date there are literally hundreds of uncharted Black Hebrew congregations in North America. They do not exist because of an aversion for mainstream American Protestantism or an attraction to white Jewish culture. As stated earlier, Black Hebrews have always been in the world; and they repudiate the notion that they are usurpers of the heritage of white Jews.

The great proliferation of Black Hebrew groups occurred after World War I during the Great Migration of Blacks from rural areas in the South to urban centers in the North. There were at least nine Black Hebrew congregations in New York in the early 1900s, one of which was founded by a West Indian named Arnold Josiah Ford called "Beth B'nai Abraham Congregation." In 1918, another West Indian born Israelite named Wentworth Arthur Matthews founded the "Commandment Keepers," and emerged as one of the leading Black Israelite rabbis in Harlem. Born in 1892 of African Hebraic parentage in Lagos, West Africa, Matthews moved with his family to St. Kitts in the West Indies before coming to America in 1911.

Branches of the "Commandment Keepers" exist in many American cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Chicago, Ohio, Virginia, and New Jersey. In 1965, the "House of Judah" was founded by William Lewis in Wetumpka, Alabama. The group later purchased a twenty-acre tract near Grand Junction, Michigan where they practice a communal life-style. Black Hebrews feel that by reclaiming their Israelite identity they have also recovered an important part of their ancestral heritage. They hold to the conviction that their "Hebrewness" is directly traceable to their African forebears of Israelite extraction who were brought to this country during slavery. They are cognizant and proud of their non-Hebrew African heritages but like many other people with mixed backgrounds they opt to give certain of their forebears a more pronounced place in their identity.

Black Israelite groups in America are decentralized and varied in ideology.Unlike white Orthodox Jews, Black Hebrews reject the Talmud, a collection of commentaries, as being on a par with the Bible and so they do not conform to rabbinical judgments which emphasize the need of conversion to Talmudism in order to be considered "truly" Jewish.

Since the Bible recognizes patrilineal as well as matrilineal descent, Black Hebrews (like Reform Jews) do not place any special significance on having a "Jewish" mother as do Orthodox Jews. Another major reason why the Talmud is rejected is due to its role in creating the so-called Hamitic Myth which is the doctrine that teaches that all black-skinned people are the cursed descendants of Ham in the Bible.

It was the promulgation of this erroneous myth, passing under the guise of "Jewish" talmudic scholarship, which provided the moral pretext for European slavery of Africans. The Talmud was not the product of ethnic Hebrews but of proselytized Babylonian sages who worked on editing it from the 3rd to in the 6th century A.D. It should not be used as the litmus test on Hebrew identity, particularly since it was of men who were clearly prejudice of Blacks, Israelites or otherwise.

A major dilemma facing many Black Hebrews who wish to settle in Israel has to do with the Talmud and the fact that conversion is a mandatory prerequisite for gaining Israeli citizenship. The Black Jews from Ethiopian were not allowed to immigrate to Israel until they agreed to undergo a ceremonial conversion to white Judaism (which was tantamount to a denial of their own Hebrewness) and embrace the Talmud. However, many Ethiopian Jews, particular in the aftermath of the recent blood scandal in Israel, are seriously rethinking their decision to adopt the Talmud because it has not given them equal status with other white Israelis.

Ethiopians Jews occupy the bottom rung of Israeli society today because they are black and are not considered "true" Hebrews because of their blackness. American Black Hebrews wanting to join their Ethiopian brethren feel that the Israeli Law of Return is unjust because it forces recognition of a racist text (the Talmud) in order to be considered eligible for citizenship It is truly ironic that the descendants of the original Hebrews are not considered to be Hebrews even in their own land because they happen to look like their distant forebears.

Johnson, Boston:

Mr. Singer, you make a compelling argument that the US should be more pro-Israel than it already is and that is a dangerous push to make. You obscure the basic consideration to be made here: that is the right of millions of Palestinian to freedom that we take for granted.
Israel is sort of like digging its own grave because of its failure to understand that you can never deny Palestinians the right to move freely, pursue their daily activities without having to show a pass, and right to their ancestral land. America was built on the concept of freedom and if we support a country that denies other people this basic right, we are essentially disowning this reality.
I feel sick to my stomach just listening to our political leaders making a pledge to protect Israel and preserve its security. In reality, it should be none of our business because Israel is an independent entity and can solve its own problems just like every other country. As to whether the Arabs are after the West, you again fail to convince any reader here because the Arabs resent the fact that the West was behind the creation of a country that is keeping their fellow Arabs under siege. If America stop vetoing objective UNSC resolutions and look out for its own security, the Arabs will not have any beef with America. It is that simple. To phrase it in a manner you will understand: blind support of Israel is the reason why Arabs are resentful of West. Nothing more nothing less.
I don't even want to vote for these candidates trying to reach the Whitehouse because they feel like they have to come out and state in uncertain terms of how they feel that they should support Israel. It is a shame and many Americans feel used to support a country determined to keep Palestinians in ghettos. Freedom is a basic human right and Palestinians deserve it.

MacKenzie:

The first sentence of your post is emblematic of most Israeli apologists. You start with an ad hominem attack against those that you perceive as your adversaries. You are always light on reasoning.
As far as your statement that the U.S. is not pro-Israel enough, the U.S. must look to its own interests first and foremost. The fact is that they don't coincide. Because of its favorable treatment of Israel, the U.S. has found itself alienated from the rest of the Middle East. Surely this is not in the U.S.'s best interests.

If one objectively looks at the policies of Israel that are eerily similar to that of South Africa's decade's long apartheid and even amazingly, Germany's pre World War II attempt to take territory from its neighbors based upon ethnic and racial standards, that it is not in the U.S.'s interests to back Israel as aggressively as it does.

Ilan:

As an American, a Jew, and as someone who supports Israel, I find it offensive to call AIPAC a pro-Israel lobby.

The policies and viewpoints touted by the AIPAC leadership are harmful to the State of Israel, to America, and to the region.

I would argue that most supporters of AIPAC don't fall in line with AIPACs right-winged agenda.

If you're looking for a pro-Israel group, you should take a look at Americans for Peace Now, the Israel Polic Forum and even the American Task Force on Palestine.

Supporting a two-state solution, equal treatment of all Israeli citizens, the freedom of self-determination for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and peacful regional relations -- now that's pro-Israel.

Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine, Pro-Peace.

Yishai Kohen:

Time to face facts: The American PEOPLE support Israel- and have CONSISTENTLY from 1948.

In EVERY poll; Pew, Gallup, Zogby, and on and on.

It isn't just the "elites", it isn't just the Republicans- or the Democrats, it isn't just the "right-wing Christians".

It's America.

The Arabs cast their lots with the Soviet Union. Many of them had cast theirs beforehand with Nazi Germany (including the leader of the would-have-been "Palestinians", Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was a close ally of Hitler). At the same time, Israel chose to ally itself with those with whom WE have more in common, including the United States.

By the way, look at JINSA's board and scroll through the members:

http://www.jinsa.org/about/adboard/adboard.html

General after general, admiral after admiral. Supporting Israel. Remarkable.

Like it or not, it isn't a "top-down" type of support. That's how it works in the Arab/Muslim world with their kings, dictators, and emirs.

It's widespread American support- across the board, and American policy simply flows out of this.

IDEA:

HERE'S AN IDEA

Shouldn't we all call our Senators and ask them to read this blob to catch American sentiment?

Wouldn't it be nice if Americans instad of AIPACers spoke to their legislators for once?

Vic:

TO: YOUR CONSCIENCE 8:15 11/12

PLEASE GIVE YOUR QUOTES A WIDER AUDIENCE.

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO READ THIS.

(Not that they don't know...all the chat rooms, in all venues, show the disgust Americans have for Israel. The AIPAC bribed leaders we have need to have their faces fubbed in it.

For Singer:

Do you really think that screaming
anti-semetic at everything and everybody matters at all? Doesn't even carry a backlash any more.
People just sick of it.

PS. Singer worked for AIPAC when he was a "consultant' in congress. How stupid you think we are?

Jeff:

The rape of American taxpayers is bad enough...

Tbe hatred of the world because of our support of the savage actions of Israel is very dangerous.

It's worse.

If Israel was anything but a corrupt, greedy
money grubbing mess...most people think now a failed state...

But the Lobby continues to grab power. Good to see some discussion, finally. We have Walt and Mearsheimer to thank, as history will show.

Vario:

Whenever I read something by Sneering Singer I am reminded that fully 2/3s of Americans believe Israel had something to do with 9/11.

AT THE LEAST, the zionnists and neocons (scratch one, find the other) took full advantage of it and helped trick us to war Iraq. The jews still unabashedly screem for US bombs over Iran. Their dearest wish.

And just last week AIPAC's boy, fronted by
Lieberman, Specter, Schumer, Feintstein, etc., was made attorney general. Glaring.

And who doesn't think AIPAC's hold on congress, even the new democrats, isn't the reason we can't get out of Iraq?

And note the big new push to help the Jewish mayor of New York! buy the American presidency.

John:

Hillarious

007:

Oh, yeh? Is Israel as pro-America?
If so, how come USA is not allowed to have military bases in Israel? That ought to calm you people down with your security story, no?

The fact is that Israelis don't want a full and final settlement to any thing...they want to keep the soup boiling, to borrow a Yiddish phrase. And, the other writer in PostGlobal has said it right: the original idea of a safe country for Jews has flopped and in fact Israel is the only place where Jewish and Arab blood is the norm.

Garret:

Like most reasonable people, I support a two state solution in the Middle East. Saul Singer argues that peace will happen if the US is more pro-Israel, rather than less. I disagree with this view, but its a perfectly acceptable position.

However, I am completely opposed to the slightly crude point that Palestinians=islamo-fascism=Nazis. The expression islamo-fascism is a misleading and manichean one. It is not by adding the well-known threat of fascism to the less well understood one of Islamic terrorism that we are going to make more sense of the latter, far from it. Undoubtedly, Islamic terrorism is a threat, but it is a fragmented one, not a huge monolithic bloc as suggested by Saul Singer.

Martin Brod:

AIPAC had given generously to Tom DeLay- not illegal.
AIPAC gives generously to people in our Congress who
say what is good for Israel is good for the United
States (e.g. Nita Lowey, (D-NY)- also not illegal.
AIPAC's influence has kept the pump primed to supply many billions for munitions to Israel- not illegal.
AIPAC charges anyone who suggests that the Settlements
on the West Bank are illegal are either anti-semites or a self-hating Jews- that is also not illegal.
We have presidential debates where a candidate's position regarding the United States role
as broker regarding a "two state solution" Has ever been asked. Not illegal.
I have not heard one presidential candidate offer their solution to this decades old problem that has
cost the United States tens of billions of dollars
and cost us dearly in world opinion, not to mention
the wrath of hundreds of millions of muslims.
Has anyone picked up the smell of AIPAC and the neocons in how this has come to pass?

jdledell:

Mr. Singer - I am a fellow Jew with a long association with Israel as a result of having 35 relatives living in West Bank Settlements. I have been going to Israel at least annually for the last 41 years since my sister made alyiah in 1966.

I would be FAR FAR more supportive of Israel if it wasn't for the expanding territorial claims that Israel keeps making on what the world considers Palestinian land. The arabs do not have any specific territorial ambitions in Israel proper(the right of return will NEVER happen) but Jews certainly do in the West Bank. By what right does Israel have to keep Ariel and Ma'ale Adumim? Since Oslo, the population of Jews in the West Bank has doubled. Does that sould like a peaceful move to anyone?

My relatives made aliyah and or moved to the West Bank to establish "facts on the ground". After the Wye River agreement was signed they were amoung the first to heed Netanyahu and Sharon's call to "Take the hilltops".

The entire settlement enterprise has been accomplished with both overt and covert government help. The whole idea is for Israel to be able to keep as much land and water resources as they can when an eventual peace agreement is reached. Israel has NEVER wanted a VIABLE Palestinian state - they only want a vassel state as a source of cheap labor.

I love Israel and want to be buried there but I cannot continue to support Israel as long as it has these unjust territorial desires.

denis:

Israel is the fascist state here, not the Muslims or some paranoid fantasy about "Islamofacsists." Name any other country in the world that has a Third Reich-like racial/ethnic test for citizenship, as Israel does.

The fascist Iaraeli lobby, with its vast financial resources, bribes and intimidates US lawmakers into supporting policies that work against the interests of US citizens by making enemies of people who would otherwise be friendly or neutral. A good definition of treason, Saul. Go ahead and fling your lies about "anit-Semitism" these are plain facts anyone can see.

MikeL:

The Israeli Lobby is probably the most Powerful in the US even exceeding the Power of most of Our 50 States. The Lobby has tremendous Power to block the Press, control funds to campaigns and in many ways is a Government within a Government. You have been effective in getting the US to block action against Israeli Illegal and Immoral actions at the UN, Palistain and Lebanon come to mind, You get Weapons at cut rate prices paid for with Our Tax dollars, You make sure that Your Nuclear Weapons are never mentioned by a US Official. The list is endless, all as a direct result of the Israeli Lobby. If We were to do more for Israeli's I suppose We could send more Troops to the Middle East or remove all the Arabs and turn it over to You because there isn't much else left We havn't done. Isreal is a beneficary of the US Taxpayer without having to contribute a dime and the unholy relationship has cost the US dearly. What Israel needs to do is become a Partner in the Middle East instead of a constant belligerant, quit building walls like the old USSR and behave like a responsable Nation instead of hiding behind the skirts of the US. You need to wake up to the fact that Your treatment of Arabs is akin to the Holocost, You just use a slow Tortue method on Your victims where the Germans used a faster method but the results are the same.

ABe:

Boooooooooooooooooo.......rubbish describes it.

There is a big difference between being Jewish and the doctrine of Israel which is a war-war bunch of lunatics suffering from psychotic episodes.

The "anti-Semite" phrase forgets one big thing: Arabs and Jews are both Semites and from the same race in history. Those that run Israel are mostly Ashkenazi European Jews that have hijacked religion for their crazy military games.

Greg Cunneen:

I am neither pro-Israel nor pro-Palestinian. Neither am I anti-Israeli nor anti-Palestinian. Regardless, there is a simple test of whether a solution in the Middle East is fair and just.

Any statement that is made that references Israelis and Palestinians is neutral if and only if those terms are interchangeable and the meaning of the statement is exactly the same.

The so-called Israel lobby in the US is so lopsided in its pro-Israel opinions that it is highly unlikely a fair and just statement would ever be spoken. Equally, I am no doubt there is a strongly pro-Palestinian lobby in Arab and Muslim countries. One does not cancel the other; they are both grotesque.

Darwin26:


The first step is for the USA to stop giving Israel any money. NONE. To Arm the Palestinians with Nuclear arms and see how fast Isreal loses it's impudent and imperialisitic jingoistic mindset on the Palestinians.
Of course the above is not likely or possible but it does address the total lopsided situation.
Lopsided situations must have a level playing field in order to establish Peace and Justice.
Finally, permanently preventing the AIPAC from setting foot, talking, pushing, demanding their senseless lies and innuendos and MONEY with American politicians under penalty of death would be sufficient for me.

Moses Proposes:

Moses proposes that according to his Singer's own description of himself, he acts against the true interest of Israel: TO SURVIVE as a State in the Middle East. Had AIPAC or the Extreme-Rightist "Jerusalem Post" worked "for Israel" - they would have ENCOURAGED ANY PEACE PROCESS, instead of fight it.

andy o'donnell:

I read above that "The Jews are god's chosen people"
(Reminds me of Theo White writing on Nixon in The making of the president. President Nixon was an intellectual. He said so himself.)If that claim is true then they have a right to settle where ever they want on Planet earth!Everybody move over,right now.

Ari:

Saul writes, "...accept Israel's desperate desire to help create a peaceful Palestinian state."

They actually do desire a Palestinian state.

One that is fractured, has no economic viability, has no water resources, has no control of it air waves (I'm not talking about an air force; I'm talking about communication channels.) has no control of its underground aquifers, has no international borders, and so on...

Oh, yes. Israel wants a Palestinian state, but what kind do they want?

Mike :

A few years ago, the New York Times ran a story about how some families from India suddenly found their Jewish roots and claimed that they were members of a lost tribe of Isreal. Many such people settled in ileagle settlements on the West Bank. The Isreali government had no choice but to send in the army to gaurd these settlements.

Isreal usually is in the top 5 countries that recieve U.S. foriegn aide. This money goes to support military activities sometimes is permitted by international law, and sometimes isn't.

Thomas Friedman wrote an interesting op ed piece about Isreal, in which he claimed that the most valuable natural resource the Isrealis have is their education system and their youth, as the country is not blessed with oil.

Meanwhile back in America, schools can be hit or miss in the quality issue, infrastructure is falling apart or is not safe, and yet our counrty doesn't allocate the funds to fix these internal problems, rather it spend billions and billions of dollars to support another country's millitary that starts a new war every 2 or 3 years with its nieghbors.

Baqi Barzani:

Israeli manipulation in the US economy and politics and her military capability is way overestimated. Both Israel and her opponents retain interest in disseminating such propagandas. Israel’s major interest is alarming her Arab neighbors. And as for her opponents, they want to portray Israel offensive.

A two-state solution is the only viable alternative. Both sides equally must be willing to make some territorial compromises in order to reach a tangible conclusion. Also foreign interference should totally be cutoff. Peace for all.

macgriffith:

Anyone, Jew, Muslim, Christian, who believes that God chose a people and, furthermore, who believes that God gave them a piece of real estate (for example, the West Bank), is simply not smart enough to have a conversation with.

Ari:

It's good to see so many people responding here. The problem is that the politicians won't listen to these well-reasoned criticisms of Israel, because of the powerful lobby.

Israel is supposedly our partner for democracy in the Middle East - but why don't they have a constitution? Israel is not a democracy at all.

Poile:

AIPAC has been listed as the most powerful lobby in the USA repeatedly. The USA has given Israel something like 85 billion since 1950. Jimmy Carter and Israeli leaders have all said that "any US politician who opposes Israel is out of a job".
Sharon said that there is nowhere in the Middle East they cant go and take what they want. Their military is as strong as any European power.
The democracy charge is a pile a of crap. The USA has prevented democracies from forming the Mid East such as Iran in the 50s and Saudi Arabia.
A stupid article. Israel knows very well that the USA is the only friend they have.

Charles Wilson:

George Washington said it best in 1796, when he warned the United States against forming permanent, entangling alliances. His words are just as true now as they were then, especially with respect to Israel.

Our first president wrote:

The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.

Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.

It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils 7 Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it.

Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more.

There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

Pakman:

Ahhh, it seems as though i am presented another opportunity to denounce incompetence and political catchphrases in one post. I would like to begin by stating, quite flatly, that the state of Israel is anything but legal. To this day, the Israeli government’s official position of the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe), where nearly one million Palestinians were expelled from their land illegally, is one based on false-truths, substantiated by a delusion that the people of Palestine were ordered by commanders of Syria and Egypt to leave from their homes. Benny Morris, a historian specializing in the 1947-1949 War found that such claims are just such; delusions. To this day the Israeli government has not accepted the responsibility for expelling Palestinian Arabs from their land illegally under the auspice of Plan Dalet. Plan D, which called for the acquisition of land promised by UN General Assembly Resolution 181, also called upon the acquisition of land beyond that which was promised by the UN (which is of course, illegal). The resolution of this issue (or lack thereof) is what renders the current state of Israel illegal. Of course, I could mention the Balfour Declaration and the fact that the creation of a Jewish homeland would not “come at the expense of legal and civil right of the existent Arab populations,” but that’s just a matter of history right? I mean, today’s “Islamo-Fascist” war to destroy Israel has nothing to do with that (give me a break, honestly). However, let me get to the most pressing issue of this post, the use of one of the most un-academic, and frankly, idiotic words I have ever heard. Islamo-Fascism, utilized by the likes of David Horowitz has somehow managed to seep into such reputable and fine establishments as the Washington Post. Someone should be ashamed… Let us take a brief look at this term. The equating of Islam to the term Fascism first began in Algeria where some observed the actions of Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb as “fascist”. From there, the term all of a sudden garnered widespread legitimacy. The very notion that Islam has anything to do with Fascism is derived from the imbecilic notion that the desires of such figures as Osama Bin Laden to establish a global regime under the auspice of Sharia somehow has something to do with Islam. From here (my head hurts already), it was somehow legitimized that since Islam harbored within it some agenda to bring the world under one law, that fascism could be validly applied to it. By that logic, there would be no apparent contradiction in saying Communist-Fascism (I hope people, by this point, can realize that anyone who uses this statement has already invalidated himself). When David Horowitz happened to grace my campus with his presence one day (I am a student at The George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs), I inquired into his use of the term Islamo-Fascism. Of course, a man of his repute and caliber in understanding Islam was overwhelming. A graduate from both Columbia and Berkeley in ENGLISH LITERATURE, Sheik Horowitz’s wisdom was unlike anything else. Not only was he not able to answer my question (which ran something along the lines as to if he had read the Quran; he hadn’t, which was frankly hilarious), but the term itself was rendered humorous when considered intellectually for more than about thirty seconds. So, to come back to your “point” Mr. Singer, the idea of Jewish homeland (although I don’t disagree with the grievances of the diasporas of 1882 in south eastern Russia) and the subsequent desire of the Arab people to disagree with its existence is not without reason. The very construct of the “Jewish Homeland” is a western construct (isn’t it ironic that NONE of the advocates of a Jewish homeland were Palestinian Jews?) introduced and promoted by western powers to absolve themselves of the guilt of their anti-Semitism. Now the weight of their hatred is in the hands of the Arab people, an uninvited consequence of a deep seated abhorrence for the Jewish people. In the end, such situations, although complex in their nature, are simplified by such vilifying terms as “Islamo-Fascism”. Frankly I’m not surprised to still see the use of this term, but I am really surprised to see it here of all places.

George Robertson:

Personally, I think it would be entirely reasonable to allow those Palestinians to return whose family roots go back prior to the British Empire establishing its Palestine mandate. They are not large in number, and I doubt seriously that many would actually want to return to live in a majority Jewish country anyway. That would at least be a face-saving token that could be offered to the Palestinians in exchange for peace, and my personal belief is that it would probably be enough to get the Saudis into the negotiations. When I was in college, I met a Palestinian whose family roots went back to 1492 when his ancestors came to Palestine after being expelled from Spain. Are you saying that someone like him could not return to his homeland? I find that assertion on your part to be ridiculous. Also, if you go far enough back, many of these "historical Palestinians" are most likely Jews who converted to Islam or Christianity over the centuries. Israel must learn how to live on equal terms with your Arab neighbors, because we in the US cannot go on draining our treasury to pay for the status quo. I fully supported Bush Senior's actions to cut-off funding for Israeli colonies. I resent my country's resources being used to support continued colonization of other people's land, no matter what your legitimate historical grievances are. Besides, even if there is a peace, it will be a cold peace- like between Greece and Turkey for most of the 20th century. Do you really think that by continuing to colonize Arab lands this will make Jewish people more safe in Israel, surrounded by enemies, than they would be in the US or even Europe? That was supposed to be the historical rationale for the UN to take the extraordinary step of partitioning Palestine into two groups so that Israel could become an independent Jewish-majority state. Arabs were willing to negotiate a peace after 1973. Kissinger conned the Syrians and Egyptians into putting UN separation forces into occupied territories, after which Israel lost all interest in further negotiations. If it weren't for Jimmy Carter, Israel would have colonized its half of the Sinai Peninsula by now, just like it has done with the Golan. I don't blame the Arabs for refusing to negotiate with Israel until Israel is willing to make meaningful concessions on land and water rights. I wouldn't either. But I also wouldn't do suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks, which, aside from the horrible atrocities that they are, have actually hurt the Palestinians more than it has helped them anyway.

Sari:

Why does the US government give Israel 3 billion in foreign aid? It was a move established by President Carter in the Camp David Accords, which were bought and paid for by the US government. The US would give Egypt 2 billion per year in aid and Israel 3 billion per year in aid to keep the peace.

You all refer to your tax dollars. Can any of you guess how much of the US budget goes to TOTAL FOREIGN AID? Less than 1 tenth of 1 percent. We are the most miserly of the developed world.

Mr. Singer makes some valid points. If many of you would take off your leftie blinders that delimit Israelis=oppressors and Palestianians=oppressed, you'd realize this whole conflict is far more complicated than you realize. Read a book and I don't mean some biased piece of tripe and drivel.

I suggest you get a copy of the History of the Arab-Israel Conflict by Bickerton and Klausner or the Arab-Israeli Conflict by TG Fraser. Both of these works attempt to be non-biased. I would say that the Fraser book has more of a pro-Palestinian bias while Bickerton and Klausner walk a more careful line by showing each side's argument.

Anonymous:

Foreign influence is truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its influence.

Alexander Hamilton, Pacificus, No. 6, July 17, 1793

Sari:

Dr Singer, you hit the nail right on the head. The US tries to walk an even hand, but, in fact, uses the dialog of the Arabs and the Palestinians. Why shouldn't the US come out for no "right of return" for the refugees? Why not make that exchange clear in exchange for Jewish withdrawal from settlements in "Judea" and "Samaria." End the debate then and there.

Blair:

This is preposterous. Any objective, fair reading of history - or even the facts on the ground today - shows that Israel has committed a grievous, historic wrong against the Palestinian people, but refuses to rectify or even admit it. Sadly, the Palestinians suffer from both miserable leadership (unsurprising, given their poverty and the occupation they're forced to live under) and the lack of a DC PR agency to compete with Israel's. Of course Israel's lobby is too powerful. You'd have to be blind or willfully ignorant to not recognize that.

There's nothing anti-Semitic about seeing that US policy is deeply flawed vis-a-vis Israel and the greater Middle East. We can both denounce anti-Semitism around the world - as we must - and at the same time recognize that our sanction of Israel's brutal and racist occupation is the most problematic, and ironically the least necessary, facet of our foreign policy.

When sheer demography forces Israel to either renounce its status as a "Jewish state" or begin deporting or disenfranchising Arabs to maintain a Jewish majority, what will our response be then? I can't wait to find out.

Audie Murphy:

The "big lie" that is repeated often, not by American analysts but by Israeli lobbyists, is that the Israeli Palestinian conflict is connected to the US fight to eliminate Al Queda and its allies. This was a clever way to make uninformed Americans think all Muslims are enemies, create the impression that the Muslim world is a monolith that hates 'freedom" and thus link Israel's problems caused by its history of pushing people off of their land linked to U.S. problems. That is propaganda. And it has worked so far.

If this writer were honest, he would admit that he puts Israel's interests before America's.

Agnes Mitchell:

The Israelis are their own worst enemies. Despite a dominant position in shaping world opinion they still don't know how to improve their public image. Why is that? They are too arrogant to understand that they live in a world they must share with others. One day the Arabs will achieve nuclear parity and that will be the end of Israel. It will then be too late to negotiate.

Somec:

What's wrong with it? Well, to began with, I don't like you because you have a big mouth. You are keep pouring water in a glass which is already full. Stupid position and provocative as the Israeli Zionist ... imported from Russia.
Do I like Israel? No. They offer no freedom unless you are jewish. I am a goyim, you know. Israel is an agressor, hiding behind the American's Zionist's protection. I wish you same you did to the Palestinian's and their homeland in several millions of population. I have the right to say all these because I am not attacking the Jewish. Zinost don't represent a semite.
So I have disagreement with people like you. And as a matter of fact, my heart alwyas out for the general Jewish population worldwide whom you, a Zionist just hurting. You don't let them to live, to be happy and assimilate. They are affraid from you and your kind. That's what wrong with it, duh.

Bob:

Is the US too pro-Israel? Damned right it is!

And I agree with other comments that there is a difference between anti-semetic and anti-Israel. I have an idea - why don't we just plop down a small country right in the middle of Israel? Crazy? That is exactly what happened in the 1940s when Israel was first created. If Israel wants to exist - fine - do it without the continual influx of money and armaments from the US that are in the ballpark of $3.5 billion annually. If you don't like that, lets move the whole of the population to Nevada. As far as I can tell, it looks like the same terrain.

I am not in favor of the US making enemies with the Arab states and people just so we can support the need for the "holy land" to be in the possession of Jewish people (and this "need" comes from both Jews and Christian bible-literalists).

On top of all this, the Palestinians are treated very poorly. How? Read Jimmy Carter's book and don't bother to attack the man's character or bring up red herrings about where he got his map images - refute point by point what he is saying and you will find that you cannot. If I lived in the discontinuous areas of Gaza or the West Bank, I would be lobbing rockets too in the name of Freedom! Get the Israeli settlements out of the Palestinian areas! Arrg!

Jim:

Goodness! Right off the bat. "The idea that Jews are too powerful is, of course, a staple of anti-Semites throughout history."

I guess that settles it. If someone thinks the Jews are too powerful they are anti-semitic. I make a distinction between an Israeli lobby and Jews. It seems you don't. What does AIPAC lobby for Israel or the Jewish diaspora? As far as I know, on average, $3B/year is sent from the US to Israel. I don't think there is funding to Jewish people in the US or France, or the Ukraine. But maybe I'm wrong.

Re: "For those who do want to study Jews, I will save them the trouble by mentioning that my wife works for AIPAC."

That makes absolutely no sense. Whether your wife works for AIPAC or not or even if she's Jewish or you're Jewish would provide zero benefit in studying Judaism or Jews.

You might want to brush up on the political definitions of fascism. Many people have concluded that Islamo-fascism was merely a word created to conjure up images of Hitler and Mussolini.

It's a fiction to think that the Islamo-fascist jihad can be "defeated". Let me break it to you gently. There isn't anyone that can surrender in your Islamo-fascist jihad.

It's also a fiction that it's in US interests to be pro-Israel. Frankly, it doesn't make any difference to the US, one way or another. Maybe it's the right "moral" thing to do, but whether Israel exists or not doesn't matter to the US. So we'll miss buying Dead Sea salts at obscene prices in our shopping malls.

I'm not sure I could think of another country that could lay down a million cluster bombs on civilians and not have the US object. I have a hunch that neither you or your wife care that much since you think that the US be more pro-Israel. You think maybe the US should have helped drop another million cluster bombs on Beirut? Can you name any other country on the planet that has received more US aid than Israel over the last 50 years?

As an aside. Did Israel ever lift a finger to stop any genocide or ethnic cleansing anywhere in the world? Did the IDF drop into Cambodia to stop Pol Pot? Did the IDF stop the genocide in Rwanda? Has Israel even sent a dozen IDF soldiers to ANY UN Peacekeeping mission any where in the world? No. In fact, Israeli law prohibits the use of the IDF for any purpose other than the defense of Israel. Occasionally, Israel will indicate that they could change the law, but they don't.

It would be a nice gesture if Israel would not use US cleared people to commit espionage, e.g., J. Pollard. Or is that what friends are for?

Jim

Don:

"There is a big difference between thinking that pressing 'both sides' hard for concessions will produce peace, and pressing the Arab/Palestinian side to end its war and accept Israel's desperate desire to help create a peaceful Palestinian state." I gather Mr. Singer believes there is right only on the Israeli side. What arrogance! Whatever right Israel may have had in 1967 to occupy the West Bank and Gaza on security grounds, it soon became clear that the purpose of the occupation was not to protect Israel within its generally accepted borders, but to promote the colonization of the West Bank by Israeli Jewish settlers, a colonization that required the existence of an apartheid regime in "the territories" complete with chekpoints, segregated roads, fences, property confiscations, and the brutal suppression of the indigenous population by soldiers and thuggish settlers alike. It is a situation which the whole world, including, initially, even the United States, condemned as illegal. All the time Israel's apologists and lobbyists in this country insisted (along with our gutless politicians) that "the territories" were disputed.

Now, according to Mr. Singer, Israel desparately desires to make peace with a Palestinian state. The question is what kind of state. Israeli policy for years after 1967 was to control the water resources of the conquered territories largely for the benefit of its own citizeens and to hold out the offer of a limited autonomy in isolated West Bank cantons to an impoverished Palestinian population, who would be responsible for the welfare and education of their population (thus relieving the Israelis of their responsibility as an occupying power under international law) without the means to create a functional economy. An Israeli bureaucrat once famously remarked that you could call such a Palestinian entity a state, or you could call it fried chicken. If the Israeli government is prepared to offer anything more than "fried chicken" to the Palestinians at this time, then why are they refusing to discuss substantive issues at Annapolis? I believe that the Israelis are prepared to offer, at most, a Four Canton solution (Northern West Bank, Southern West Bank, Jericho enclave and Gaza strip) with Israel firmly in control of the borders, thus continuing to block the creation of an economically viable Palestinian state.

Your Conscience:

Credence nor credibility is garnered for those who will not remove the plank from their own eye.
There is another side of …, as always ...
Examples of Hate Speech

1. "There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies ­not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy." Israeli president Moshe Katsav. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2001

2. "The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more".... Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time - August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000

3. " [The Palestinians are] beasts walking on two legs." Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the Beasts". New Statesman, 25 June 1982.

4. "The Palestinians" would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls." " Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

5. "When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle." Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.

6. "How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to." Golda Meir, March 8, 1969.

7. "There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed." Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969

8. "The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war." Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha'aretz, 19 March 1972.

9. David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister): "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121.

9a. Ben Gurion also warned in 1948 : "We must do everything to insure they ( the Palestinians) never do return." Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. "The old will die and the young will forget."

10. "We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves." Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.

11. "Every time we do something, you [Shimon Peres] tell me America will do this and will do that... I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it. " - Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio. (Certainly the FBI's cover-up of the Israeli spy ring/phone tap scandal suggests that Mr. Sharon may not have been joking.

12. "We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours." Rafael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces - Gad Becker, Yediot Ahronot 13 April 1983, New York Times 14 April 1983.

13. "We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return" David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948, quoted in Michael Bar Zohar's Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 157.

15. "We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai." David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

16. "We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." Israel Koenig, "The Koenig Memorandum"

17. "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population." Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969.

18. "We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'" Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

19. Rabin's description of the conquest of Lydda, after the completion of Plan Dalet. "We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters" Uri Lubrani, PM Ben-Gurion's special adviser on Arab Affairs, 1960. From "The Arabs in Israel" by Sabri Jiryas.

20. "There are some who believe that the non-Jewish population, even in a high percentage, within our borders will be more effectively under our surveillance; and there are some who believe the contrary, i.e., that it is easier to carry out surveillance over the activities of a neighbor than over those of a tenant. tend to support the latter view and have an additional argument:...the need to sustain the character of the state which will henceforth be Jewish...with a non-Jewish minority limited to 15 percent. I had already reached this fundamental position as early as 1940 [and] it is entered in my diary." Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency's Colonization Department. From Israel: an Apartheid State by Uri Davis, p.5.

21. "Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them." Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

22. "It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism,colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands." Yoram Bar Porath, Yediot Aahronot, of 14 July 1972.

23. "Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly." Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine,Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.

24. "One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail." -- Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, Feb. 27, 1994 [Source: N.Y. Times, Feb. 28, 1994, p. 1]

USS Liberty:

It would be a big help if American jews were pro American but as long as it's good for israel, it's good enough for them and to hell with the United States.
Time to wash our hands of that parasitic little country and start doing what's right for America.

Read about the israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American servicemen and wounded 171. With allies like that, who needs enemies?

http://buchanan.org/blog/?p=859

Your Conscience:

WHY I DON'T SUPPORT ISRAEL GOVERNMENT

$3,000,000,000.00 + Annually of US tax dollars going every year to a country that brags that it can take care of itself in the middle east

no peace since we started supporting them. Isn't welfare supposed to diminish over time?

Your Conscience:

According to Singer examples of "ANTI-SEMETIC"


- suggesting that when the Israeli Army drops a 2 ton bomb on an apartment complex and kills 25 civilians (including women and small infants), that this is not a very good idea or policy.
- daring to say that Israel should abide by UN resolutions calling for it's withdrawal from territories it illegally invaded.
- calling their invasion of lands they don't own "illegal".
- sympathizing with suffering endured by Palestinian civilians - even if you still denounce actions of actual terrorists which make up about .0001% of the Arab population.
- criticizing Israel under any circumstance.

If you're guilty of any of these actions, then you obviously must be against all Jewish people.
your article is an afront to anyone with two brain cells or chooses not to drink from the PNAC neocon kool-aid.

Sam:

It is in America's interest to support Israel because right and wrong are not rhetorical slogans but objective realities and according to objective reality the Arabs are just plain wrong, morally. It is wrong to take ambassadors hostage. It is wrong to use your children as human shields and to force them to become suicide bombers. It is wrong to bomb pizza restaurants. It is wrong to treat the female half of humanity with the abominable brutality that only Muslims still condone. It is unfortunate that Arabs (and most Europeans) are not able to percieve the difference between right and wrong. But it is nevertheless America's duty to prevent the Arabs' stone-age immorality from destroying a modern civilized nation like Israel. America can be sure that supporting Israel will pay off because in the long run good wins and evil loses. In five hundred or five thousand years, the Arabs' descendents will read their history books and thank God that America rescued them from a life in the inhumane, primitive culture the Arabs are currently afflicted with.

anon1:

"There is no Palestinian 'right of return' to Israel, just like there will be no right for Jews or Israelis to move to a future Palestinian state... such a statement would be a truly symmetrical and "even-handed" position"

the first is a right to "return", the second is a right to "move". they are not symmetrical.

Susan W.:

Well, there's one thing that the state of Isreal has proven begond a doubt: for all the talk of Jews being "God's chosen people" (which I actually used to believe)they've shown for the last 50 years to be just as greedy, self-serving and intolerant as the rest of us.

Eric Wemmelman:

The Jews are God's chosen people, therefore they have every right to occupy the land known as Israel.

Peter K-l:

It took the author exactly one sentence to claim that anyone critizising Israeli interests is an anti-semit. Well, I say to you, you are anti-democracy.

Peter Vardon:

The US spent vast blood and treasure for the liberty of Europe (twice – three times if you include the vast expense of the Cold War), S. Korea, S. Viet Nam, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo and now Iraq but critics don't blame national lobbies for our sacrifice for those countries.

No Americans have died for Israel and little treasure has been spent relative to the amount expended for our other foreign commitments. The public supports Israel because of the morality of the cause – a small embattled people that face extinction by Arab and Islamic fanatics.

Thanks, Saul for your thoughtful piece. I’ll continue to support Israel and only support political candidates that do also.

Peter Vardon:

The US spent vast blood and treasure for the liberty of Europe (twice – three times if you include the vast expense of the Cold War), S. Korea, S. Viet Nam, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo and now Iraq but critics don't blame national lobbies for our sacrifice for those countries.

No Americans have died for Israel and little treasure has been spent relative to the amount expended for our other foreign commitments. The public supports Israel because of the morality of the cause – a small embattled people that face extinction by Arab and Islamic fanatics.

Thanks, Saul for your thoughtful piece. I’ll continue to support Israel and only support political candidates that do also.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

You write the nonsense that you write and then you wonder how come most mainstream Americans are now condemning almost every Isreali dealing with the Palestinians, why even Jimmy Carter accuses Israel of worse crimes than apartheid.

Go on, push your extremism to its limits and stand by to watch the catstrphe befall you worse than anything that has so far happened to Kasrav, to Ehud Olmert, to America's Iraq policy, and to the neocons' dollar policy.

Good speed with your extremism -- I can't wait to see you reap the results.

ASL3676:

As a Jew I am embarassed by the constant attempts by pro-war advocates and pundits such as Saul Singer and his AIPAC buddies to paint anyone who doesn't agree with them to be anti-semitic.
This kind of empty rhetoric is unworthy of Singer and his ilk. Demonizing those you disagree with is the last refuge of those with a lack of ideas.
STOP THE NAME CALLING AND TELL US YOUR IDEAS FOR ACHIEVING PEACE !!!

Meisner:

THERE IS A TREASON TRIAL GOING ON IN THE COUNTRY AGAINST AIPAC FOR GOD'S SAKE.

AND THE CHARGE IS ESPIONAGE (PASSING HIGHLY CLASSIFIED US INTELLIGENCE ON IRAN TO ISRAEL), AND YOU WANT TO BET EVERY ONE OF THOSE 2 LOBBYISTS WILL GO SCOT FREE? BECAUSE APPARENTLY THEIR DEFENSE IS, "OTHER PRO-ISRAELI POLITICIANS" (INCLUDING MANY CABINET MEMBERS OF GEORGE W. BUSH'S ADMINISTRATION) WERE DOING IT TOO!

MAYBE ITS TIME TO TRY THE ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION FOR TREASON!

MEMO TO DENNIS KUCINICH: ADD THIS TO YOUR IMPEACHMENT CHARGE!!!

ibrahim mahfouz:

re not powerful enough.
A person has to be an idiot not to see that the AIPAC lobby is effective enough to hurt the vital interests of the American people. Linking the Palestinians' struggle against the Israeli occupation with the Muslim extremists Jihad is just another naive attempt by some friends of Israel to discredit the Palestinian legitimate struggle for independence.

Monte Haun:

Ah, the rising expectations of Bush and the Jews that renders any solution to problems impossible.

Now that a solution to the North Korea nuclear program is at hand, Christopher Hill is escalating the demand to enrichment, which everyone knows is not going on there.

Now that President Twiggy, is coyly backing away from accusations of Iranian production of weapon grade uranium, he is now saying,"'..ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon". Obviously impossible unless he intends burning Iran's libraries and killing their scientists.

And finally, after decades of rooting out every last Palestinian who does not believe Israel has a right to exist, a new demand- that Israel must exist as a Jew state. A demand already rightly denounced by nearly all the righteous nations of the World.

Monte Haun mchaun@hotmail.com

Samuel Roth:

Another pro-Israeli apologist (no a Israeli himself) asking for more of my tax dollars and American support, why am I not surprised?

This on top of the already skewed US foreign policy under Bush W, calling the now brain-dead ex-Israeli PM who massacred 2,000 Palestinians "a man of peace."

Don't believe me, just "google" how many of "our representatives" (including congressmen from Alaska and Western farm states w/ minuscule Jewish population) pander to AIPAC and speak during its annual convention in Washington DC in May.

Its time to end this treacherous "alliance" that invites Arab hatred and anger due to biased policies and hold our political crass accountable to the American people's desire to act as an objective arbiter of the dead "peace process."
If they can't do that, then don't arbitrate, its that simple....

Vaughan:

First some history.

"It makes little sense for the U.S. to be neutral in such a struggle, just as the U.S. could not be neutral as Nazi Germany proceeded to gobble up Europe."

Rightly or wrongly (OK,wrongly)the US WAS neutral as Nazi Germany proceeded to gobble up Europe. The US entered WW2 a lot later.

There is right and there is wrong and it simply cannot be right that assorted Russians, Brazilians etc can claim a greater "right" to land In Israel/Palestine than people who have a close,proved and genuine ancestory there but who lack the seal of approval of ancient religious texts.

Surely the awnser is simple. It's called "one person,one vote". Let the people decide with the vote for everyone who lived in the mandate in 1948 or who are descended from them. It's called democracy. Not quite the same as "Israeli democracy" where the government dictates who can vote.

anonymous2:

I always thought it odd that we didn't make the Arab nations our friends at the expense of Israel instead of the other way around. After all that's where the oil is and Israel really has nothing tangible to offer the US.

Guess it IS a really powerful lobby that can make us act so against our best self interest and sacrifice our troops lives in the bargain.

For those who say we ought to support Israel if only because it is a democracy, look no further than the popularly elected Hamas, the Saudi monarchy, Saddam when we supported him...I'm always surprised how people will believe their own propaganda eventually.

Benjamin:

Where do Arabs in the Middle East enjoy the highest quality of life? The most freedom? The answer is Israel. That is right. Israeli-Arabs have the highest standard of living and the greatest freedom in the Middle East.

But lets be honest, nobody really cares about how well the Israelis treat the Arabs living in Israel. But lets look at how the Jews are treated in the Arab countries. Well, actually, nearly all the Jews were expelled from the Arab countries in 1948-49. This, despite the fact that Jews had been living in the lands now controlled by the Arab dictatorships and monarchies for thousands of years (in fact even long before Muhammud). Thus, Israel exists not just as a country for refugees from Nazi oppression but as a country for refugees from Arab oppression.

Moreover, it was the Arab armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan that destroyed the first Palestinian state. In 1948 these Arab armies invaded and conquered the West Bank lands set aside by the UN for a Palestinian state.

On the issue of American support for Israel it must be remembered that President Harry Truman was the one who established the precedent of supporting Israel as part of his greater legacy (including establishing the American foreign policy that would defeat the Soviet threat as well as bring America to the forefront of a post World War II world). President Harry Truman knew what he was doing.

netzen:

These discours about Israel, which I read just too often, sound to me as the histerical shouting of a group of scared girls. For the other part, they sound as a "wolf" called too often, and thus not credible. Tirying, borying, unuseful, and egoist.

The roms, the kurds, the basques, the catalans, the tibetans, the armenians, the georgians, there are so many other peoples in the world with some right (justified or not) on some piece of land.

But in fighting and suffering, still they keep their dignity.

Israel, the rich and powerful, takes the land and fights Palestine, the small and the poor. Still not happy of this unbalance of force, Israel cries, shouts, protests, get nervous crysis and call "wolf" every three minutes.

Not credible one minute.

Why the US should support Israel, that is as corrupted (just read the Israeli news) and violent as any other country of that region ? I just do not understand why.

Glenn Becker:

It is no surprise that Mr. Singer says nothing about the Israeli establishment of hundreds of settlements on the West Bank. It is central to the decades-old determination of right-wing Israelis to prevent a viable Palestinian state.
The Israel lobby in the US represents this element of Israeli politics. It has effectively stifled all efforts by American politicians, including Republicans, e.g., the first President Bush, and several Democrats to condition American aid on withdrawal from these settlements.
Singer's article begs these questions: What policies are pro-Israel? What policies are pro-American? It is undeniable that Bush's blind support of right-wing Israeli policies regarding the occupation of the West Bank and the settlements designed to perpetuate it has been a major tool for recruitment by Al Qaeda. The efforts by American neocons like Podhoretz and Cheney to promote war with Iran risk calamity for Israel even more than for us. Only fools like Podhoretz equate Iran, a militarily weak regional power, with Nazi Germany. Once again, the neocons are using the fear of WMD's to promote a war for regime change designed to safeguard American claims on oil.
Can anyone plausibly argue that either Israel or the U.S. is more secure because of the war Bush started in Iraq? While hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Americans have died in his war, American influence among Muslims, a great asset in safeguarding Israel, has never been lower. On merit, after so many lies, the American government is not trusted or respected, by its own people or by those abroad, and Israeli security suffers accordingly.

pete murray:

Following the example of Mr Singer, I will commence by de-legitimizing his commentary. Singer is a well-known anti-Semite and his commentary should be seen in that light. The more he denies it the more he confirms his prejudice. He and his newspaper regularly condone, excuse, and attempt to justify the expropriation of the private and public property of non-Jews. The victims of this armed robbery are the Semitic Palestinians (Oh yes, the Arab peoples of the Middle East are the OTHER Semitic race, and the victims of the new anti-Semitic hysteria being whipped up by the likes of AIPAC and its neo-con and fundamentalist 'Christian' allies).
Mr Singer lives in a country which, as Mearsheimer and Walt point out, trades on its claim to be the only democracy in the Middle East while flouting the core-values held by the Western Democracies, including the US. Respect for private property rights is a fundamental US value as is non-discrimination on religious grounds. Criminal justice outcomes in Wesern Democracies are not determined according to the faith of the accused.

Of course there are other foreign lobbies in the US. One example is the Irish Lobby. For years the IRA terrorists obtained funding from nostalgic Irish Americans and the political support of Irish American politicians ensured that no pressure was brought to choke off the funds that were fuelling the carnage in Northern Ireland. That this conflict and these politicians were damaging the relationship with Great Britain and thereby a vital US interest seemed of little concern to these lobbyists. It wasn't until the State Dept. got a grip on itself and faced down this posionous lobby that IRA funds were cut off and the successful peace process came about.

We need to face down the Greater Israeli Lobby similarily. AIPAC and its like are trying to pin the blame for Palestinian violence on the unreasonableness of the nasty and brutish Palestinians for reacting to the incremental larceny of their land. Why not go down to Texas, Mr. Singer, and try stealing some land there. You might discover just how unreasonable the Texans could be in their response.

Quixo:

A more "pro-Israel" America will only bring more violence against America. American Taxpayers, citizens,troops, expats and Businesses tend to suffer the most from our unconditional support to Israel.
Becoming less "pro-Israel" is not enough. Actually, American should try a different approach, disengagement. Israel never proved to be useful to us in diplomacy and PR in the middle east. On the other hand, America always ends up cleaning the mess after Israel by making trips to middle east to pressure Arab states to be patient. America also ends up vetoing any U.N. Security Council's resolutions to punish Israel, further infuriating the peoples of our Arab ally and enemy states alike.
Actually, America has been cleaning up the mess for 6 years now and counting.

andy o'donnell:

When I read the article about the Israelie's lobby I am amazed that the issue is not faced honestly. The first question that needs to be addressed is the legitimate status of all foreign lobbies in the USA.Do the Russians, the Chinese, in fact what countries conduct the outpouring of money and moaning of their suffering and their rights that is comparable to the Israelies?
Talking of right to return is the most arrogant of baloney. Nobody has a right to return to anyplace,least of all if it is based on their own private religious beliefs which was written by themselves,two thousand years ago( I cannot help thinking of the native americans and those living on their lands as i write this).If I choose to take out citizenship of a country, that is the end of the story.I have no right to return and remove others from the land they have been living on for hundreds of years in my original country. If I do return it will be as a guest of the present inhabitants.I cannot live a life based on my private faith and demand that the world allow me to take over any place based on that faith(Mormons included).Based on that sort of discussion nobody had a right to be anyplace,period.Based on that logic everyone has a right to return to everyplace,period.
So either everyone or nobody has such a right,but you cannot have it both ways. "I have a right to return to Palestine but nobody else has such a right." Is the talk of a tyrant.

Dave:

I am all for supporting Israel - however, when Israel commits atrocities I wonder why as a tax paying citizen I should just stand by and accept it. I am not anti-semitic but I do feel the US has a right to question and if warranted cutoff funding to Israel when they are in violation of human rights. All should have the right to exist - Palestinians included...this means that the harassment at the borders should cease...The election of Hamas was due to the repressive tendencies of the Israeli govt towards Palestinians and their need for protection which they felt Fatah was not doing enough. One cannot get respect by disrespecting people...everyone must change if peace is to be achieved.

Larry Lootsteen:

An interesting look at this topic. While I am not Jewish, half my family is. My grandparents on my father's side were one Jewish and one Presbyterian. My uncle live in Israel with his family. Through many discussions, their politics seem in line with the more radical right.

My first tweak in this article came at the questions of intolerance by giving a negative view towards 'to understand anti-Semitism, study Jews'. I'm not entirely sure what the point was given the term anti-Semitism is routinely used by Jews to describe how they are abused. Are you asking that it be termed racism instead? Was that your point? If so, perhaps the Jewish community should be informed of that first since they use it the most. If that wasn't your point, what was it? Secondly, what does that semantics discussion have to do with lobbying?

I fully agree that all nations should recognize Israel. It is ridiculous not to do so. For extremist groups to say that is no surprise. They will always do so. When a nation refuses to do so, that is a problem.

My question in all of this comes with the idea that America needs to be more pro-Israel. I think it is a fantasy to believe both Israel's and America's detractors would react in the opposite direction, to suddenly realize they had better 'get on board'. Do you really think if the U.S. suddenly declared that everything that Israel wants is what they want, that the Arab world and the extremists as well would feel that they are being stepped on again? Wouldn't their reaction be in violnt opposition?

Israel is not without issue here. You can argue the choices of walls, fences and bombs are all for Israeli peace and nothing else. But Israel needs to confront her own demons here too. As we have seen again and again with the Bush Administration, black and white statements are ridiculous in a world of greys.

While I understand Israel's fears with the neighbourhood, the unilateral decision making without regard to the reactions to it does not help. There is no sense of working anything out. The simple statement that the Arab world will never accept a Jewish state is both true and false. Because there are elements on both sides. Do you suppose that blanket statements about Arabs perhaps may have the same reaction you have to blanket statements about Jews?

At the end of the day, peace can only be worked out when both sides truly want it. And from what I've seen and heard, and I have read articles from your newspaper many times, Israel wants peace on her terms and her terms alone. They are Arab elements that want peace and those that don't. There are those that want Israel to admit things that have been done as a measure atonement for stepping over the line. As should Israel expect from those same opponents.

I will be routinely given a head shake (or worse) by many in the Israeli community. What does he know? Does he know what they are capable of? Doesn't he know the history? I do actually. My question back to you is, how is this all working for you? If you think it's working fine, then good, all the best to you. But if you truly want peace, one that can be realistic and long term, something has to change.

And what does this have to do the the pro-Israel lobby? Nothing. As this article had nothing to do with it. There is no response from you as to whether that lobby holds more influence over American politics then it should or why? Perhaps you could now write an article which outlines the lobby's involvement, where they are influencing decisions, what they are looking for in return so we can decide for ourselves whether it is too much, too little or just right.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.