The Third Degree – Behind the ‘Rise’ in Anti-Semitism

March 21, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

In the UK, charges of anti-Semitism are tearing the Labour Party asunder. In the States, similar developments are stirring in the Democratic Party. All the while, the power of the Jewish lobby in the West, and the intractable conflict in the Middle East, raise questions that demand serious attention. How are such matters to be discussed in a febrile atmosphere when suspension or no-platforming awaits those who stray even marginally out with the narrow bounds of “allowable opinion”? To explore these issues, and many more, three UK Column stalwarts interview Gilad Atzmon, writer, musician, philosopher and commentator on Jewish identity politics. Join them, if you dare, as Gilad gets “The Third Degree”.

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It’s Not ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Question the Influence of AIPAC in American Politics

It’s Not ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Question the Influence of AIPAC in American Politics

ROBERT BRIDGE | 14.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

It’s Not ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Question the Influence of AIPAC in American Politics

Freshman Democrat lawmaker Ilhan Omar triggered an earthquake in Washington that split the political aisle when she touched the forbidden third rail, which is any discussion of the pro-Israeli lobby’s influence on the US political system.

During a bookstore event hosted by Busboys and Poets, Omar told the assembled guests: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why it is okay for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy.”

Judging how she prefaced the remark, with a lengthy discussion about “the stories of Palestinians” and how she was being regularly accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ to end all debate on the decades-old standoff, it was clear what lobbying group Omar was referring to.

It was the second time in as many weeks that Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslims to serve in Congress, was accused of allegedly espousing anti-Semitic comments.

In early February, Omar had responded to a tweet by journalist Glenn Greenwald who said it was “stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

Omar responded, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” followed by a musical emoji.

When pushed by another Twitter user to say who she thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, Omar responded simply, “AIPAC!”

In fact, Omar was wrong. AIPAC does not raise funds for candidates. But its members do, with the group’s powerful endorsement.

On March 3, Omar tweeted to her fellow Congresswoman, Nita Lowey, that she should “not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee…”

Such complaints have been heard before.

In 2014, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney told Press TV that her campaign funding suddenly went “kaput” after she refused to sign a “pledge of allegiance” to Israel while she was in office.

“I refused to toe the line on US policy for Israel,” she said.

On another occasion, in 2006, academics John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt published a paper in the London Review of Books, entitled “The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy.” In it, the authors discussed the influence of pro-Israel organizations in the United States, with primary emphasis on AIPAC, which they described as “the most powerful and well-known.”

Omar’s string of remarks quickly sparked similar debate, but this time inside of the Democratic Party. This demonstrated the potential future impact of a new generation of multiethnic lawmakers, many of whom, as Muslims, are increasingly frustrated by the Israeli-Palestinian crisis and their inability to discuss it.

Omar, however, was quickly upbraided by senior Democrats.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) called out the freshman lawmaker, saying her “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive… and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”

Although Omar did offer contrition, she refused to budge on “the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics,” mentioning the NRA, fossil fuel industry and AIPAC. It seems like a fair criticism, all things considered.

Following the high-profile fallout, the House Democrats passed, with remarkable alacrity, a House Resolution that condemns anti-Semitism as “hateful expressions of intolerance…and anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities.”

The resolution, while intended to tamp down messages of hate, conspicuously failed to mention Omar’s purportedly anti-Semitic remarks, focusing its attention instead on “white supremacists” and “white nationalists,” who were not even remotely mentioned by Omar during her bookstore comments, thus prompting 23 Republican lawmakers to reject the resolution.

The partisan smashup helped to deflect attention away from the main point of contention with regards to Omar’s claim, which on the face of it does not sound radical: Does the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC), as well as the other powerful lobbying groups, hold too much sway over US foreign policy? Should AIPAC be ranked as an agent of a foreign power working on behalf of Israeli interests in the US?

Mearsheimer and Walt certainly thought so. In their paper, they quoted a 1997 article in Fortune magazine, which asked members of Congress to name the most powerful lobbies in Washington. AIPAC was ranked second behind only the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), but ahead of the AFL-CIO and the National Rifle Association (NRA). The authors were quick to point out, however, that there was nothing inherently wrong about the way AIPAC operates. “For the most part, the individuals and groups that comprise the Lobby are doing what other special interest groups do, just much better.”

How much better? Well, consider that in 2016, during a breakdown in relations between the Obama White House and Israel over the question of nuclear talks with Iran, AIPAC helped persuade the Republicans to let Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address a joint session of Congress – without the foreknowledge of then President Barack Obama. As a thought experiment, try and imagine the same privilege being extended to any other leader in the world. The reason it is difficult to imagine is because it’s never been done before precisely because it’s unconstitutional.

“Democrats accuse Boehner of ambushing the president as the Republicans push – with the backing of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington – to strengthen sanctions against Iran,” as the Guardian reported.

Another example came with the push for war against Iraq following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 against the United States. An article in the Forward admitted that as “President Bush attempted to sell the … war in Iraq, America’s most important Jewish organizations rallied as one to his defense.” As Mearsheimer and Walt pointed out, this lobbying influence on behalf of war did not flush with the opinion of the US Jewish population.

“Samuel Freedman reported just after the war started that a compilation of nationwide opinion polls by the Pew Research Center shows that Jews are less supportive of the Iraq war than the population at large, 52% to 62%. Thus it would be wrong to blame the war in Iraq on “Jewish influence,” the academics argued.

Indeed, as Paul Waldman argued in The Washington Post, in the United States today, “a ‘supporter of Israel’ is much more likely to be an evangelical Christian Republican than a Jew.”

Whatever the case may be, the essence of the question remains the same: Does AIPAC, as well as many other lobbying groups, wield too much power in the US political system? The question cannot be casually brushed aside as ‘anti-Semitic,’ any more than questioning the power of Big Pharma, for example, could be dismissed as ‘anti-Doctor,’ or the power of the NRA as ‘anti-Cowboy.’ It makes no sense, and unfairly accuses people who are asking legitimate questions of the most loathsome charges.

With the face of the American political system changing along ethnic and religious lines, it is critical that such issues with regards to political influence get a fair hearing.

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Jewdas vs. Atzmon

March 14, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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BY Eve Mykytyn

Jewdas has put forth a call to “shut down Atzmon.” Their facebook headline proclaims that they intend to “stop Nazi apologist Jazz.” I had not realized that music could be ‘Nazi apologist.’ Perhaps Atzmon improvised Wagner’s ‘tunes?’ Why do a group of self proclaimed left wing activists attempt to control the music at a jazz venue? Apparently Jewdas has decreed that Atzmon’s crimes are so heinous that they are entitled to dictate to other Londoners what music they may listen to.

Created in London more than a decade ago, Jewdas describes itself as “radical Jewish voices” who see themselves as at odds with most of Britain’s mainstream Jewish organizations. The group claims to oppose capitalism and racism and is critical of Israel and its treatment of Palestinians. Last year, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn was denounced for celebrating passover with Jewdas because, according to the New York Times, Jewdas’s name, [a play on Judas] and antics, “risk stoking age-old myths and hatreds that have led to anti-Semitic violence.”

A visit to Jewdas’ web site is instructive. Jewdas is obsessed with antisemitism. “Antisemitism, like all racism, is poison and must be defeated.” Jewdas claims that the secret to ending antisemitism is for Jewish institutions not to “ally themselves with the rich and their political parties.” It seems that Jewdas differs from the ultra Zionist Committee Against Antisemitism only in tactics.

Watch Jewdas fabricate ‘antisemitic’ quotes:

The version of history put forth by Jewdas is remarkably judeo centric claiming that Jews were what maintained the nobility and are now what protects the wealthy. Mendi Medem writes “[in the past] antisemitism was encouraged in order to direct the public’s attention away from its exploitation, today antisemitism is vilified in order to divert public support away from the best chance for better living than we’ve had in decades.”  To Jewdas, antisemitism is the penultimate discrimination, used first by the nobility to protect themselves from the masses apparently by arranging it so that the peasants would attack the Jews rather than the nobility; and is now used now to  “control the conversation: as long as we (the public, that is) are reading and thinking about antisemitism, we’re not thinking about class oppression.” I guess they pity the poor who somehow don’t know they are poor because they are thinking instead about antisemitism.

Jewdas even addresses its exclusively Jewish membership, without, of course, acknowledging that a biological test for inclusion is, by definition, racist.  Apparently a nonJew can be admitted as an ‘honorary Jew’ if they take the tongue in cheek test to discover if they have a ‘Jewish’ soul. In other words, only Jews are allowed but maybe with the joking inclusion of nonJewish wannabes. This does not seem like left wing, the people vs the capitalists ideology to me, but then I did not pass their test.

So what has Atzmon done to earn Jewdas’ wrath? Atzmon writes that identity politics are anathema to the true left. According to Atzmon, by dividing us into biologically determined identity groups, the new left has diverted the causes that should be those of the left: decent education, housing, jobs and healthcare for all.  It is clear that Atzmon opposes groups like Jewdas who form their membership by race.

Jewdas can’t take on this argument. Are they, self-proclaimed radicals. going to oppose a decent living for all?  Certainly not, although you would be hard pressed to find political arguments for such equality on their site. Instead, Jewdas reverts to the shibboleth of “Nazi apologist.” An earlier version of their facebook page accuse Atzmon of Holocaust skepticism (my wording, not theirs).

Atzmon is neither a Nazi apologist nor a holocaust denier. I’m not familiar with the unidentified work of Atzmon’s in which he apologizes for the Nazis. Perhaps in making such a claim Jewdas itself should identify their source. As for ‘holocaust denier’ Atzmon has simply made the point that the holocaust, like all historical crises (slavery, Armenian genocide, Rwanda, etc. etc.)  should be open to intellectual examination.  In fact, the more we can actually study the holocaust for real the more likely we will be able to avoid repeating its horrors.

Jewdas has somehow tried Atzmon, found him guilty of disproven, unspecified or imaginary crimes, and sentenced Londoners to have to put up with Jewdas protests in order to listen to jazz. Community activist Boaz Ben Hanoch, justifies harassing the music venue, claiming, “The Vortex hails itself as a community venue but by hosting, promoting and giving a platform to Atzmon who mixes his politics with his music, the club is supporting his beliefs.” Hanoch’s statement is first and foremost a statement in opposition to free speech rights, providing a platform does not constitute agreement, but in any case his claim that Atzmon mixes politics with music is simply wrong. I assume Hanoch has not heard Atzmon in concert, the only thing remotely to do with Jewish in his music act is a penchant for bad jokes.

When asked why he doesn’t simply report Atzmon to the police for ‘hate’ speech,  Hanoch claims Atzmon disguises his ‘hate’ speech in a mysterious code.  Hanoch noted: “ Gilad is a master of the art of shrouding a lot of what he says in psychobabble. It’s not easy to pin him down in those kinds of contexts.” Perhaps Hanoch’s problem stems not from an inability to pin Atzmon down, but rather from Hanoch’s failure to read or understand Atzmon’s work.

My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

Denote

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar: The Shameful Attack that Backfired

Global Research, March 13, 2019

What happened to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was troubling. On the one hand, because she dared to challenge the way supporters of Israel have worked to silence debate on US policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she became a victim of incitement, and the target of legislation meant to shame her. At the same time, however, the heavy-handed tactics employed against her by some pro-Israel members of Congress backfired, exposing new fault lines in the US-Israel relationship.

The weapon of choice utilized by Omar’s opponents was to demonize her as an anti-Semite. Her “sin,” it appears, was her continued umbrage over the double-standard that exists in American policy toward Israel and its treatment of Palestinians.

During Israel’s assault on Gaza, for example, she criticized the failure of the US media to pierce through Israeli propaganda and see what was actually happening to Palestinians in that impoverished strip of land. Once in Congress, she was deemed to have “sinned” again when she challenged the power of AIPAC to intimidate politicians and silence debate on Israel/Palestine.

New to Washington and the “acceptable language” one should use to discuss these issues, she admitted that her word choices had been unfortunate and apologized for the pain she may have caused.

Despite her apology, she remained a target. Because she is a hijab-wearing Muslim, who was critical of Israel, the GOP sought to exploit her in their continuing effort to drive a wedge between the Jewish community and Democrats. For their part, some Democrats reacted with hyperventilated outrage. Extreme language was used to denounce Omar. Her words were described as “bigoted,” “vile,” and, of course, “anti-Semitic slurs.”

Never, in all this time, was there a critical examination of what she actually said. In fact, she never accused the Jewish community of controlling the media (unless one assumes that Israel’s ability to dominate media coverage of events occurring in the occupation can be attributed to the Jewish community). Nor did she accuse the Jewish community of using money to buy influence in Washington (unless one suggests that AIPAC speaks for and acts on behalf of the entire Jewish community). It didn’t matter, her opponents continued to call her an “anti-Semite,” and did so with such frequency that the term stuck, putting her at risk to threats of violence from bigots.

The entire affair came to a head when, at a town hall last week, Omar attempted to explain herself. Asked to address the controversy that had erupted over her advocacy of Palestinian rights, Omar’s colleague, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, spoke first noting that to her the question of Palestine is personal – her grandmother still lives in the West Bank and Congresswoman Tlaib desires that she receive equal justice and recognition of her rights to live in dignity. Reacting to what she had just heard, Omar said that she couldn’t agree with those who fight for human rights and dignity for others and yet exclude Palestinian rights and dignity. For her part, she said, the focus should be universal – leaving no one out. She then chided those in Congress who have pressed her to reject her commitment to call out Israeli abuses and ignore Palestinians rights. Because she is a Muslim, Omar said, her criticism of Israel has been automatically seen as anti-Semitic in order to silence her. Even more troubling she noted was that, as a result of the manufactured controversy over her words, the discussion became whether or not she was an anti-Semite, while ignoring “the broader debate about what is happening in Palestine.”

At that point, Omar said that she resented those who are pushing her to demonstrate allegiance to Israel. She concluded by saying that she wanted to have this conversation about “the political influence in this country that says it’s okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

The reaction to this newest “sin” was near hysteria. Without ever listening to what she actually said, some members of Congress accused her of saying that the Jews had dual-loyalty – despite the fact that she had said no such thing. They demanded that Omar be censured or removed from her committee posts. And the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee proposed a resolution that would have denounced anti-Semitism in a way that was clearly directed at the congresswoman.

What was disturbing about this proposed resolution was that none of “Whereas” clauses included had anything to do with what Omar actually said. She never accused Jews of “dual loyalty because they support Israel”; nor did she display “prejudicial attitudes” towards Jews; nor did she ever make “mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews”.

What she did do was: challenge official American, and in particular, Congressional silence on the suffering of the Palestinians; the efforts by pro-Israel groups to silence debate on this issue; and the way that some have sought to create a virtual identity being pro-Israel and American interests.

Despite the obvious falseness of their claims, Omar’s opponents in Congress plowed ahead with their proposed bill in order “to teach her a lesson.” In their remarks rebuking Omar, they unwittingly made her point. One congressman said, “Questioning support for the US-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” Another said, “there are many reasons to support Israel, but there is no reason to oppose Israel.” While still another said that Democrats and Republicans, alike, are committed to insuring that the “United States and Israel stand as one.”

It is exactly this attitude to which Omar objected when she wrote,

“I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel…I know what it means to be an American and no one will ever tell me otherwise…I have not said anything about the loyalty of others, but spoke about the loyalty expected of me.”

Because Omar has touched what some have come to say is “the third rail of American politics” she was being exploited by some Republicans and hung out to dry by some Democrats. They put a target on her back. And haters were quick to respond with frightening death threats and shameful bigoted assaults on her as a Muslim woman. There is no question that these threats against Omar were the byproduct of the sustained campaign of incitement.

It’s important to note, however, that outside of the halls of Congress a different reality was unfolding. The attacks on Congresswoman Omar were rejected by many Democrats, including progressive Jewish groups, and a debate was sparked by the issues she raised and the over-reaction to them by Congress.

By week’s end, the entire effort appeared to backfire. Instead of being the “slam dunk” they expected, the proposed resolution ran into blocks. Some members objected to singling out of anti-Semitism, without also denouncing racism, sexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, etc. Others protested that Omar was being singled out and put at risk.  And a few of the more prominent Democratic presidential hopefuls (Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris) insisted that charges of anti-Semitism should not be used to silence debate on Israeli policy.

By week’s end, Congress passed a resolution denouncing all forms of hate or intolerance against any religious, ethnic, or religious community. Since it made no mention of Ilhan, it was clearly a loss for those who began the push to shame or punish her

Two final points must be made:

Firstly, Representative Omar is owed an apology. False charges and a manufactured crisis have sullied her name and put her at risk.

And secondly, it is clear that Omar’s courage has helped to open a door enabling a discussion of Israeli policy and the US-Israel relationship. While her opponents attempted to slam it shut, it seems that their behavior and incitement against her backfired stirring a debate that has helped to pry the door even further open.

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Ilhan Omar Is Just Another Victim of Zion’s Politically Lethal Sting

Ilhan Omar Is Just Another Victim of Zion’s Politically Lethal Sting

WAYNE MADSEN | 13.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

Ilhan Omar Is Just Another Victim of Zion’s Politically Lethal Sting

Freshman US Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota and a Somali-American Muslim, is not the first nor will she be the last victim of Zion’s sting. Omar is merely the latest in a long line of US politicians who have faced the onslaught of Israel’s powerful lobbying vise grip in Washington. In fact, long before there was a state of Israel, American presidents and statesmen fell victim to the power of political Zionism to retaliate against those who failed to back the concept of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East.

On March 5, 1891, President Benjamin Harrison received a visitor to the White House bearing a petition signed by 421 influential American citizens urging the president to recognize Palestine as the “restored” homeland of the Jewish people. The bearer of the petition, evangelical Christian clergyman William E. Blackstone was one of the earliest “Christian Zionists” in proclaiming solidarity with certain Jewish Zionists in support of a Jewish state in the Holy Land. Blackstone was no different than many of today’s Zionists who ensure total fealty of US administrations to Israeli policy, no matter how reprehensible it may be, especially toward the Palestinian people. Blackstone’s petition had been signed by John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, US Supreme Court Chief Justice Melville Fuller, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Thomas Reed, inventor Cyrus McCormick, co-owner and managing editor of The Chicago Tribune Joseph Medill, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Robert Hitt, and US Representative and future president William McKinley.

Blackstone, then the chairman of the Conference of Christians and Jews, wrote in his petition that the Ottoman Empire, which had control over Palestine, could be enticed into handing the territory over to Jewish control through the “funding of a portion of the [Ottoman] National debt by rich Jewish bankers.” Such a clause, today, would result in the same howls of “anti-Semitism” that are being directed at Omar because of her statement that pro-Israel lobbying groups, like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), ensure congressional support for Israel by showering members of Congress and candidates with “benjamins,” a reference to US$100 bills.

Harrison, who was president from 1889 to 1893, was polite to Blackstone and promised to give his petition “careful attention.” Harrison, who had his hands full with civil service reform, the tariff debate, the gold versus silver standard for US currency, voting rights for African-Americans in the South, a US-backed coup in Hawaii, and the death of his wife from tuberculosis, slid the Blackstone petition into a “dead file.” Harrison did name a special commission to Russia to investigate anti-Jewish pogroms taking place in the country, urging Congress to condemn the actions of the czar.

Harrison’s inaction on Palestine contributed to his defeat in the 1892 election by his predecessor, Democrat Grover Cleveland. Cleveland was viewed as a safer bet for Zionism because of his denouncement of Austria-Hungary during his first term. The Habsburg emperor refused to accept the credentials of the US Minister-designate to Vienna, John Kieley, because Kieley’s wife was Jewish.

Omar’s stance was defended by her colleagues, newly-elected Palestinian-American Muslim Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Bernie Sanders of Vermont also issued statements in defense of Omar.

In 2009, AIPAC went to battle stations over a House letter, signed by 54 members, urging President Obama to pressure Israel to lift the inhumane blockade of Gaza. The signatories immediately were called the “anti-Semitic Hamas 54” by AIPAC and their propaganda ciphers at Fox “News” and hate talk radio. In fact, the signatories included two Jewish Democratic members, Bob Filner and John Yarmuth.

Over the years, AIPAC has sought to bring down several politicians who, to varying degrees, criticized Israel. AIPAC, a right-wing organization, put out the word that while the signatures of “pro-Hamas” members like Keith Ellison of Minnesota, America’s first Muslim congressman; Jim McDermott of Washington state (retired); incumbent Barbara Lee of California, and Jim Moran of Virginia(retired after being stripped of House seniority committee assignments) were no surprise, others had to be punished for their criticism of Israel over Gaza. AIPAC smeared “pro-Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)” members like Representatives Carolyn Kilpatrick of Michigan (defeated); Nick Rahall of West Virginia (defeated); Eric Massa of New York (resigned amid a targeted and manufactured scandal concocted with the connivance of AIPAC loyalist Representative Barney Frank; Pete Stark of California (defeated); and Diane Watson of California (retired) and “pro-Islamic sharia” members like William Delahunt of Massachusetts (retired) and John Dingell of Michigan (retired).

America’s political road is littered with those who dared challenge political Zionism’s influence over the American political scene: Democrats and Republicans like Secretary of State and US ambassador to the United Nations Edward Stettinius Jr. (resigned as ambassador over President Harry Truman’s pro-Zionist policies); Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan (failed to secure Republican presidential nomination in 1940 and 1948); New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey (defeated in the 1948 presidential election), Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas (defeated), Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton (lost the 1964 GOP presidential nomination), Illinois Senator Charles Percy (defeated), Iowa Senator Roger Jepsen (defeated), Illinois Senator Adlai Stevenson III (retired), Stevenson’s father, Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson II and twice Democratic presidential candidate, who, in 1955, said of Israeli designs on its neighbors’ lands, “I quietly asserted that it should be the policy of this government not to permit any change in the status quo by force – and the more noisy Zionists have been denouncing me as a traitor ever since, and, frankly, I’m getting damned well fed up with it… Moreover, I’m about the only leading Democrat left with whom Arabs will still talk in confidence.” (defeated twice for the US presidency by Dwight D. Eisenhower, who the Zionists also criticized for failing to back Israel in its 1956 invasion of Sinai and the Suez Canal); President John F. Kennedy, who criticized Israel’s pursuit of nuclear weapons in heated exchanges with Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol (assassinated in 1963); Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, who, in 1986, in answer to a question that asked, “Is the Israel Lobby too powerful?” replied, “God, yes, way too powerful!” (defeated for president in 1964, retired from the Senate); Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (defeated in Senate primary); Illinois Representative Paul Findlay, who wrote an excellent book on AIPAC’s influence over American politics, “They Dare to Speak Out,” (defeated), South Dakota Senator James Abdnor (defeated), South Dakota Senator James Abourezk (retired), President Jimmy Carter (defeated), California Representative Pete McCloskey (defeated in Senate primary), Ohio Representative James Traficant (indicted and expelled from the House), Alabama Representative Earl Hilliard (defeated), Texas Representative Ron Paul (retired); Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska (retired from the Senate but faced a contentious Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense based on his comments about the power of the Israel Lobby, and Georgia Representative Cynthia McKinney (defeated).

Those who opposed the Israel Lobby and placed America’s interests ahead of Israel’s were punished politically. However, all of those who stood up to Israel’s arrogance of power in Washington represented a cross section of the American people: Democrats and Republicans, libertarians and democratic socialists, whites and African-Americans, Gentiles and Jews, and those from the Northeast, South, Midwest, and West. Saying no to bullies is an American trait that should be revered and not condemned by those who now find it sporting to take cheap political pot shots at Congresswomen Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez.

More Power to You Miss Omar

More Power to You Miss Omar

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 10.03.2019

More Power to You Miss Omar

Eric S. MARGOLIS

“Tell me who you cannot criticize and I will tell you who is your master”. (Attributed to Voltaire).

Saying anything negative about Israel has long been the third rail of US politics and media. Israel is our nation’s most sacred cow. Any questioning of its behavior brings furious charges of anti-Semitism and professional oblivion.

I keep in my bookcase a cautionary book, ‘They Dared Speak Out’ written by US senators and congressmen who all lost their positions after rebuking Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians or daring to suggest that Israel had far too much influence in the US.

Journalists learn this first commandment very early. Criticize, or even question, Israel at your own peril. Until recently, we journalists were not even allowed to write there was an ‘Israel lobby.’ It was widely considered Washington’s most powerful lobby group but, until lately, mentioning its name was seriously verboten.

Now, young Democratic stars Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a feisty congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, have suddenly broken the taboo and said what dared not be said: there is too much rightwing Israeli influence and there must be justice for Palestine.

Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have come to the defense of Ilhan Omar against the usual charges that she is anti-Semitic. So have black groups and smaller liberal Jewish groups. The Democratic Party, that once received half its financial support from Jewish sources, . Its old guard is retreating and does not know what to do beyond issuing fiery denunciations of the heretical Miss Omar. The Democrat Party split comes just at a time when it is trying to bring down President Donald Trump.

Many people seem unaware that Islam is now America’s third largest religion and may soon surpass the number of Jews. In Canada, Muslims are already the second religion.

Ilhan is not anti-Semitic. I grew up in New York and New England where vicious anti-Semitism abounded. I know real anti-Semitism when I see it. But she is quite right in charging that vast amounts of pro-Israel money have bought Congress and the media.

Sheldon Adelson, the pro-Israel casino tycoon, has given well over $100 million to the Republican Party and its leaders. This money comes from legal gambling, a sickness that preys on addicts and the unfortunate.

In the 1700’s, Dr. Samuel Johnson well defined lotteries and gambling as ‘a tax on fools.’ Such is the source of Adelson’s billions and his influence over the US political process. He is also the primary financier of Israel’s prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, who now faces serious charges of corruption.

Interestingly, Britain faces a similar political storm. Its left-leaning Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, has called for justice for the Palestinians and a viable state for them. Britain’s pro-Israel groups and media have launched furious counterattacks on Corbyn and his allies, barraging them with false accusations of being anti-Semitic. This is utter nonsense. To find real anti-Semitism in Britain you need look into the recesses of the Conservative Party. I’ve seen its ugly face.

Israel’s brutal repression of Palestinians has sparked bitter anti-Israel sentiments across Europe. Not so much in America, where media leans far over to Israel’s side and evangelical Christians have been bamboozled into believing that a Greater Israel is somehow necessary for the Second Coming.

But young Americans, and even more so Europeans, are increasingly hearing the call of justice for Palestine. They want no truck with Israel’s right-wingers, whom many leftist Israelis, including the late great writer, Uri Avnery, brand ‘fascists.’

The prescient and courageous Pat Buchanan said it years ago: the US Congress was ‘Israeli occupied territory.’ His political career was ruined.

So was my mother’s career. She was one of the first American female journalists to cover the Mideast in the early 1950’s. After extensively reporting the unknown fact that there were nearly one million Palestinian refugees driven from the new state of Israel, she was silenced by advertisers pulling ads from the papers she wrote for and, finally, threats to throw acid in my face. Her career was ruined.

So I say to Miss Omar and the other brave ladies, full speed ahead. Damn the torpedoes. Do what is good for the world and your country. Break the hold of big money over our republic.

ericmargolis.com

Do You Care That israel (apartheid state) Controls US Politicians? #BDS

Do You Care That Israel Controls US Politicians?

Seriously, do you? Because if you do care about the independence of the US government from foreign control, you need to do your part to help bring the issue to light.

Israel and its powerful lobby control many US politicians. And this lobby uses very dirty tricks to shut down the opposition.

Learn more about AIPAC and the Israeli lobby and why YOU should support the #BDS movement!

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