Talking About Israel

By Philip Giraldi
Source

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recent article by Andrew Sullivan in the New York magazine considers how one might discuss the issue of Israel and its powerful domestic lobby without being accused of anti-Semitism. Sullivan is a keen observer of the dynamics of American political power and the article pretty clearly lays out why the relationship with Israel is poison for the United States, but he cautions that words matter and one has to be careful about the packaging surrounding any critique of the Israel Lobby and its American Jewish supporters.

Sullivan begins with:

“Let’s get this out of the way first: Using the phrases ‘all about the Benjamins’ and ‘allegiance to a foreign country’ when referring to the Israel lobby in D.C., as freshman Democratic representative Ilhan Omar recently did, is anti-Semitic. It should be possible to criticize Washington’s relationship with Israel without deploying crude and freighted language like this.”

And that is precisely where some critics of the Israel-America relationship might have a problem with observers like Sullivan as what for him passes as “crude and freighted” is for others frankness. Okay, “all about the Benjamins” is slang and the implication is that Jewish money is what has corrupted American politics and the media to stifle any honest discussion on Israel-Palestine and to skew U.S. government activity in the Middle East so that it favors what Israel perceives to be its own interests. This process operates right out in the open with Israel-firster Jewish billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban respectively serving as principal donors for the Republican and Democratic parties.

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This flood of Jewish money into foreign policy generation has done incalculable damage to the actual interests of the United States as Sullivan, to his credit, makes clear in his article. The point is that politics in America is all about money and Ilhan Omar was quite right to make that connection. Most congress-critters do not love Israel because they honestly like the hordes of lobbyists that it is able to send their way. In fact, many of them privately complain about the pressure, but they do love the campaign donations and the lucrative sinecure jobs in the financial services industry that come with their retirements. And they also know that if they cross Israeli interests while in office they will soon be unemployed.

And as for the “allegiance to a foreign country,” how else does one describe doing everything possible to favor a foreign state at the expense of the nation where one lives? Sullivan himself provides ample evidence in his article that the one-way relationship with Israel inflicts major damage on the United States and that the enabling of that process comes from a disciplined and well-funded lobbying effort that operates at all levels of government and also through the media. Is that not allegiance to a foreign country?

After expressing the “thou shalt nots” regarding Israel, Andrew Sullivan pulls no punches in his article, which should be read in extenso. He writes “The basic facts are not really in dispute. A very powerful lobby deploys the money and passions of its members to ensure that a foreign country gets very, very special treatment from the U.S.” and then goes on to detail exactly how Israel is a major liability to America. He discusses the $3.8 billion it receives annually in spite of the fact that is a wealthy country, its failure to support U.S. foreign policy objectives, its unwillingness to curtail a brutal occupation of the West Bank, its humiliation of President Obama because he entered into an agreement with Iran, and its nearly complete subjugation of Congress, congressional leaders and the White House.

Sullivan fails to mention how Israel also spies on the United States, steals U.S. developed technology and benefits hugely from beneficial trade agreements that kill American jobs. And there are also the “suspected but not proven” issues like Israel’s role in 9/11, its apparent manipulation of Jewish American officials in the Pentagon to start the disastrous 2003 war with Iraq, and its current clandestine agitation for Washington to attack Iran. Jewish billionaires also are the prime sources of “charitable” contributions that feed the illegal settlement outposts on the West Bank populated largely by fundamentalist Jews whose prime mission is to make the lives of their Palestinian neighbors so miserable that they will emigrate. That is sometimes referred to as ethnic cleansing. Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, and David Friedman, the key components of the Trump Administration Middle East “peace” team, are all passionate about Israel and have all supported the illegal settlements. Friedman, in particular, has sought to eliminate the word “occupation” from official U.S. government descriptions of the Israeli activity in Palestinian areas.

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And then there is the Israeli predilection to use unarmed Palestinian demonstrators for target practice and to bomb schools and vital infrastructure in Gaza, which once upon a time most Americans would have considered war crimes or crimes against humanity. Sullivan does mention how Congress is willing to pass legislation to restrict freedom of speech if such speech involves criticism of Israel, noting that the very first bill to come up in the Senate after the recent shutdown was supporting the punishment of those who advocate nonviolent boycotting of Israel. He might have added how Israel’s friends at state and local levels are pushing to rewrite world history texts to eliminate any references to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. And holocaust study is becoming mandatory in many U.S. school systems without any suggestion that the standard narrative might be in large part bogus. And then there are the holocaust museums springing up like mushrooms at the taxpayers’ expense. Is it all driven by money and enabled by the power that money buys to propagandize for Israel? And is it maybe just a bit of allegiance to a foreign country? Yes indeed, thank you, Ilhan Omar, for saying so.

All of this warm and fuzzy feeling about Israel did not happen by magic. By one estimate there are 600 Christian and Jewish organizations in the United States that have at least part of their agendas the promotion of the relationship with Israel. Christian Zionists are formidable in numbers but the money, as well as the political and media access that drive the so-called Israel Lobby process, is Jewish. The directors and presidents of those organizations meet regularly and discuss what they can do to help Israel. How does one describe such collusion? Some might prefer to call it a conspiracy.

So how should one view the dystopic nature of the relationship with Israel? No one has ever described it better than America’s first president George Washington. In his Farewell Address he 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…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.”

Andrew Sullivan concludes with some optimism and also a warning, which should be heeded: “Can our current controversy lead to a less inhibited debate? I sure hope so. Will that actually happen? All I can say is that AIPAC will wield all the power it can muster to prevent it.” It is, to be sure, AIPAC versus all decent Americans and one has to hope that this time the voice of the people will be heard in defense of the actual interests of the United States of America rather than those of Israel.

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This Is How AIPAC Really Works

This Is How AIPAC Really Works
by M.J. Rosenberg

An AIPAC and Capitol Hill veteran explains the lobby’s tactics of reward and retribution.

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US. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (right) join hands as they take the stage to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, on March 1, 2015. (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

One thing that should be said about Representative Ilhan Omar’s tweet about the power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (more commonly known as AIPAC, or the “Israel lobby”) is that the hysterical reaction to it proved her main point: The power of AIPAC over members of Congress is literally awesome, although not in a good way. Has anyone ever seen so many members of Congress, of both parties, running to the microphones and sending out press releases to denounce one first-termer for criticizing the power of… a lobby?

Somehow, I don’t think the reaction would have been the same if she had tweeted that Congress still supports the ethanol subsidy because the American Farm Bureau and other components of the corn/ethanol lobby spend millions to keep this agribusiness bonanza going (which they do). Or that if she had opposed the ethanol subsidy, she would have been accused of hating farmers.

That’s American politics; the only difference between all the domestic lobbies that essentially buy support for their agenda is that AIPAC is working for a foreign government, a distinction but not much of a difference when the goal is to maintain a status quo that is not necessarily in the national interest.

What did Omar tweet that was so terrible, anyway? Actually it was two tweets that produced the unsettling but oh-so-telling coming together of President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in common denunciation of the first-term member of Congress. Omar’s crime: daring to suggest that campaign contributions orchestrated by AIPAC play a large part in achieving bipartisan support for anything proposed by the Israeli government and/or its lobby, AIPAC.

This is, of course, something everyone knows and which even a former president of AIPAC once admitted in a conversation that was recorded by an interlocutor. In fact, as early as 1988, 60 Minutes did a segment on how AIPAC divvies up the money. (Moreover, I, as an employee of the lobby from 1973 to 1975 and 1982 to 1986, repeatedly and personally witnessed the whole process of funding and defunding, which is anything but a secret within the organization. Additionally, I spent close to 20 years as a legislative assistant to Democratic House and Senate members and saw AIPAC’s tactics of reward and retribution from that vantage point too.)

Officially, of course, AIPAC does not engage in political fundraising; it would be illegal for it to do so, and the lobby is vehement on the point that it doesn’t. And it is true that, to my knowledge, it does not directly raise money to support or defeat candidates. But that is just a technicality. Political fundraising is a huge part of AIPAC’s operation. One of the three top positions in its massive Washington, DC, headquarters is that of political director, who runs both the Washington political operation (his annual salary is over $450,000) and deputy regional directors around the country. Here is how AIPAC describes what these officials do, as described in a “help wanted” description for a Los Angeles deputy regional political director:

  • Help track House and Senate races in the region
  • Assist with planning and executing local Congressional Club events and Congressional Club components in local events
  • Attend and assist in regional events
  • Establish and maintain contact with House and Senate campaigns to assist in the scheduling of candidate meetings and facilitate the submission of position papers
  • Solicit financial support for AIPAC’s Annual Campaign
  • Conduct candidate meetings
  • Research, track and record FEC and polling data
  • Work with colleagues to increase pro-Israel political participation in the region (Solicit Congressional Club commitments)
  • Assist with AIPAC legislative grassroots mobilizations
  • Assist with scheduling and organizing of caucuses in the regions and lobbying appointments during the AIPAC Policy Conference
  • Assist with the integration of AIPAC’s activist bases in the Jewish and Outreach communities
  • Promote participation at local and national AIPAC events including regional events and national political training conferences
  • Research, gather and deliver information requested by pro-Israel political activists
  • Other duties as assigned

Not mentioned is what all the information is used for: political fundraising. That means making sure that pro-Israel PACs know what to do with their money. And making sure that individual donors know what to do with theirs. That is why AIPAC has a large national political operation. If it were not in the money-distribution business, it would simply rely on its legislative department to lobby for and draft legislation for members of Congress. Nor would its political director make a half-million dollars a year. In short, AIPAC’s political operation is used precisely as Representative Omar suggested.

Again, I know this because I witnessed it over and over again. I sat in AIPAC staff meetings at which the political director discussed whom “we” would be supporting in this campaign and whom “we” were going to “destroy” in that one. I also sat in on meetings at AIPAC’s huge annual policy conference, attended by as many as 20,000 AIPAC members and virtually the entire Congress, at which fundraising pitches were made.

AIPAC, of course, denies that anyone raises money at its policy conference. And it’s true. No one does… in the official AIPAC rooms. However, there are also the side rooms, nominally independent of the main event but just down the hall, where candidates and invited donors (only the really wealthy donors get the invites) meet and decide which candidate will get what. This arrangement is almost a metaphor for the whole AIPAC fundraising operation. The side rooms are nominally not AIPAC, so AIPAC can deny that any fundraising takes place at their conference. But in fact, they are the most exclusive venues in the country for candidates to raise money in the name of advancing the AIPAC cause.

AIPAC denies fundraising precisely the way Captain Renault in the film Casablanca declared he was “shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on” in his establishment. As he is saying it, one of the club’s crooks hands him a wad of cash, saying, “Your winnings, sir.”

Same with AIPAC: “We don’t donate to campaigns. Here’s your check.” Or, more usually, a bundle of checks that are not traceable back to AIPAC because, on paper at least, they come from individuals who like a candidate’s stand on Israel or Iran sanctions (as told to them by AIPAC’s political operatives).

So enough about AIPAC’s fundraising denials, which insult the intelligence of anyone who hears them. Except, check this out: Political activist Ady Barkan describes how a congressional candidate he worked for scored $5,000 from an AIPAC representative just by promising to support AIPAC’s pet issues. Easy money!

Back to Representative Omar. The first tweet, which resulted in ominous storm clouds over her head, was her response to a journalist who asked, by tweet of course, what accounted for such fierce defense of a foreign country by US political leaders even if it meant attacking the free-speech rights of Americans. Omar responded, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” breezily referring to $100 bills. This was bad enough, suggesting that campaign contributions plays a part in AIPAC’s success at garnering support for legislation that reads like it’s written by the Likud Central Committee.

But that was nothing compared to the monsoon of invective produced by her response to a reporter from the Jewish newspaper Forward, Batya Ungar-Sargon, who (again in a tweet) disingenuously asked Omar who she thought is “paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.”

Even before Omar responded “AIPAC!” Ungar-Sargon had resorted to the lobby’s (and its media friends’) favorite tactic when exposed or criticized: charging Omar with anti-Semitism; specifically, for using what Ungar-Sargon described as an “anti-Semitic trope.” That opened the floodgates for the full “she’s an anti-Semite!” onslaught. One by one, other Jewish organizations weighed in (AIPAC is designated by virtually all the mainstream Jewish organizations as their official lobby, and they invariably jump when AIPAC tells them to). And then AIPAC’s congressional enforcers weighed in, led by Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, who has been AIPAC’s man on the House floor for decades, Pelosi, and others. They all said the same thing: that Omar’s tweet was anti-Semitic, with many adopting Ungar-Sargon’s characterization of Omar’s words as “an anti-Semitic trope,” by which they seem to mean using the words “Jewish” and “money” in the same tweet.

But that is not what Omar said. She wasn’t even talking about Israel per se. When asked whom she is accusing of buying members of Congress, Omar responded with one word: AIPAC. Period.

And here’s the thing: AIPAC is not synonymous with Jews. By its own admission, AIPAC has 100,000 members out of an American Jewish population of about 6 million. Of that number, most are Jewish but, as it proudly proclaims, many are evangelical (and other) Christians. Implying that criticizing the power of a predominantly Jewish organization is anti-Semitic is like saying that those who point to the Catholic Church’s pedophile scandal are anti-Catholic, or that condemning violent Islamist extremists is tantamount to hating Muslims. It is ridiculous. It is also clever, because it deters legitimate criticism of Israel or, God forbid, of the lobby by sending a clear message to politicians that any such criticism will cost them mightily. Watching what the lobby and its acolytes, in Congress and out, are saying about Omar would cause anyone in politics to think long and hard before saying anything at all about Israel, other than the effusive statements of praise AIPAC wants. And that is the lobby’s goal: to ensure that Congress never questions Israel about anything, that it just shuts up and keeps the billions of dollars in aid coming. And above all, without conditions, like requiring Israel to take steps to end the occupation, the blockade of Gaza, or to grant equal rights to Palestinians inside Israel and in the occupied territories.

The only thing wrong with Ilhan’s tweets about AIPAC is the seeming suggestion that money is all there is behind US support for Israel. There are many, many reasons why the United States supports the existence of the State of Israel and the security of its people. One of them has always been the Holocaust, which demonstrated that Jews do need a secure refuge because, as has been dramatically illustrated in the United States since the rise of Donald Trump, anti-Semitism remains a contagion that can infect a xenophobic population anywhere. Tell me that there is no need for a Jewish state anymore, and I’ll point to the massacre at the kosher supermarket in Paris or, even more frightening, the slaughter of 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh (the worst act of anti-Jewish terrorism in the history of the United States).

But believing that Israel has every right to exist in peace is not the same as saying that it should continue to occupy or blockade Palestinian lands or deny full democratic rights to the people who live there. It does not mean that we should enact laws that penalize people who choose to boycott Israel because they oppose its policies toward the Palestinians. It does not mean that we should continue to support members of Congress who refuse to put conditions on our aid to Israel, just as we impose conditions on other congressional appropriations, including those that go to our own states and local governments. It certainly does not mean that we have to embrace AIPAC’s number-one priority of recent years: preventing and then destroying President Obama’s nuclear pact with Iran simply because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefers to deter an Iranian nuclear bomb through war (preferably an American attack) rather than diplomacy.

No, supporting Israel has very little, if anything, to do with keeping quiet about the dangers represented by its out-of-control lobby. In fact, it more likely represents the opposite. AIPAC is bad for America, but it could well be catastrophic for Israel, if it hasn’t been already. This is something more and more Jews (particularly the young) now understand, which is why groups like J Street, IfNotNow, Americans For Peace Now, and Jewish Voice for Peace have come to the fore in recent years and have grabbed their share of the congressional turf, which was once exclusively owned by AIPAC. Joining them are the newly energized Arab American Institute and a significant new player, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, as well as various Palestinian student groups which are ensuring that Palestinian voices are heard, sometimes in concert with the progressive Jewish groups and sometimes on their own. But finally heard.

The bottom line is that despite all the congressional denunciations of Omar and the hysterical denials that AIPAC buys support for Israel with its “Benjamins,” the times are changing. On February 5, when AIPAC’s “Combating BDS” bill passed the Senate, 22 Democrats voted against it. That is a decent number, but the real sign that AIPAC’s power is on the wane is that every Democratic senator who is a candidate for president (except Amy Klobuchar) voted No. They voted No because they are seeking to win support from the Democratic grassroots, which, naturally enough, skews younger and younger, more and more progressive, and less and less white, leading naturally enough to more sympathy for Palestinians and less for Netanyahu’s Israel. That wouldn’t have happened before 2016, when Bernie Sanders embraced Palestinians and their cause as part of his coalition and not only did not lose support because of it but gained it. By 2020, it will be close to impossible for any Democrat to claim the progressive mantle while aligning with AIPAC.

For now, with the Baby Boomers still the most influential segment of the population, AIPAC is holding its own, even happily raising money over the whole Omar incident. But its future looks dim, especially its post-Trump future. And that is very good news.

 

Zionism Contradicts Judaism

Zionism Contradicts Judaism

New York historian, journalist, and lecturer, Alfred M. Lilienthal, was the leading 20th century American Jewish spokesman against the Zionist project of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. His views gained a wide audience in the United States when his essay, “Israel’s Flag Is Not My Flag,” was published in the September 1949 Reader’s Digest. The following is an excerpt from that article, which was written in the form of a letter to his mother:

The plain fact is that we Jews are not a race and we should not let the Zionists persuade us that we are. Proof to the contrary lies in Palestine, plain for all to see. You had my letter, Mother, from my Army furlough there. I was second to none in my enthusiasm for. what my co-religionists had done for a desert brought to bloom, for clean new cities rising out of age-old sand dunes. All of these wonders had come to pass while only a few fanatics talked of statehood. One evening I went to see a performance of an opera in Jerusalem. In that theater lobby you could distinguish almost at a glance the Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazic Jew from Poland, the Spanish-speaking Sephardic Jew from North Africa or Turkey, the German Jew, Jews from a score of countries all differing in dress, language, manners and mental attitudes. I had visual proof of the arguments of anthropologists. who laugh at the notion of a distinct Jewish race.

Anyone who tells me those foreign Jews are exclusively my people that I should be closer to them than to Bob McCormick, the kid on the block with whom I used to play ball: or to Nick Galbraith, who roomed next to me at Cornell; or Dave Du Vivier with whom I studied in law school that man is talking dangerous nonsense. I have also learned, Mother, that when something. goes wrong in my relations with non-Jews. I avoid the habit of thinking that it happened just because I am a Jew. Such self-pity is comforting, but it is usually wrong and therefore dangerous.

It is dangerous, indeed, because it is precisely the sort of paranoia and us-against-the-world mentality upon which the very dangerous little state of Israel is founded. Take it from Lilienthal, as bad ideas go, this Israel foolishness has to be just about the worst.

The sentiments that Lilienthal expressed in that article, I dare say, were also the sentiments of a very large proportion of American Jews at the time. It is certainly the sort of sensible approach to the Israel issue that I encountered among the first group of Jews that I rubbed shoulders with in graduate school at the University of North Carolina, 1968-1972. In my first year I shared an apartment with two of them and my office mate was also Jewish for most of the time I was there. Several other of my student colleagues in the economics department were also Jewish, as were a few of my professors. Almost all of them were sort of standard left-liberal in their politics and as a consequence their sentiments probably leaned naturally toward the plight of the native Palestinians. The one exception was a professor for whom I was a teaching assistant for one semester, and I was amazed by his extreme Zionist, Israel-first attitude. It was really a brand-new experience for me, and I frankly found it shocking. My thought at the time—which I dared not express to him—was that he was really living in the wrong country. In fact, his son, he told me, was planning to emigrate to Israel. From my admittedly very small sample, I got the impression that his views were that of a quite small minority of American Jews.

Perhaps Lilienthal’s best known book is the brief little 1969 volume, What Price Israel? The reviewing customer, Herbert Fleschner, of Washington, DC, sums it up very well:

This highly intelligent, well-educated man was Jewish. He was strictly against the creation of the State of Israel and said that it would spawn great problems in the Middle East. So it has. The Zionist creators of the State of Israel operated by lies, deception, trickery, subterfuge, and even harassed their own Jewish people in order to force them to immigrate to Palestine. They even had the power to manipulate the delegates of the United Nations who made recommendations for this situation at that time. Enter King David Hotel Bombing into your search engine, and you will discover Menachem Begin, former Prime Minister of Israel, was a Zionist terrorist, who masterminded this bombing, resulting in the death of a great number of people, including the British High Command whose job it was to keep law and order under the British Mandate. An excellent read for those of you who are not afraid to discover the truth. Remember, Lilienthal was Jewish.

He might also have suggested a search of “Menachem Begin Deir Yassin Massacre” to get a bit more of the flavor of the terrorist role that Begin played in the creation of the state of Israel. One of the better articles one comes up with is “Deir Yassin: The Massacre that Sparked the Nakba” by Britt Wilkins on Counterpunch.

The Zionist Connection II

One can also learn quite a bit about Deir Yassin and its foundational importance to Israel in Chapter Five, entitled “What Palestinians?”, of Lilienthal’s 1978, 904-page magnum opusThe Zionist Connection II: What Price Peace? The flavor of that book is well-captured by the opening of his 24th and penultimate chapter, which is headed by a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.”

In a controversial 1970 Commentary article, Robert Alter raised a most basic question:

Does a Jewish state belong in an area where, even as late as 1947, the majority of the population was Arab? How can Israel be imagined, even in the most diffuse sense, as a continuation of the moral heritage of Judaism if its existence depends upon a manifest historical injustice? (link added)

That Judaic heritage is clear and unmistakable and has been unwavering. Where Zionism is particularist and segregationalist, Judaism has been universalist and integrationalist. Judaism, like its offspring monotheistic faiths, Christianity and Islam, has always represented a moral choice, a spiritual link between man and his Creator in whose ethos there is little room for narrow chauvinism. Whereas Zionism staked its claim to a land that had not belonged to Jews for 2,000 years, Judaism’s power to survive has always depended on its being unrelated to any particular geographic tract. The Jews were chosen by the Lord neither to possess a specific piece of land nor to be favored over others of his children. They were selected for the task of spreading the message that there is one and only one God.

In exchanging their birthright for the “mess” of statehood, and staking the future of American Judaism on the roulette of power politics, Jewish leaders surrendered to the noxious dualism of religion and nationalism.

Fifty years ago, these same Jews had vigorously opposed being classified with Italian, Germans, Czechs, French, etc. on an ethnic basis rather than with Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Muslims, etc., as a religious community. But with the triumph of the Zionist revival in Palestine, the ethnicity of the Jew elsewhere shifted; and without protest the subtle transmutation from Jewish Americans, a religious grouping, into American Jews, an ethnic-national entity, was accomplished. (link added)

To conceal the dual national attachment, the link with Israel was passed off as a religious tie, the worship of Israelism increasingly supplanting Judaism. It was much simpler to write a check to the UJA, and pleasanter than to attend synagogue services. The new idolatry had no time for immutable principles and universal values. Jews accepted situations they otherwise would have rejected, but now welcomed in the name of Israel. (link added)

Opposed to violence and war, Jews accepted Israel’s acts of military might and aggression. Opposed to union of church and state, they accepted such a unity wherever Israel was involved. Long dedicated to integration into the body politic, they moved toward separateness and segregation. Judaistic tradition had placed its followers alongside those who struggled against the limitation of human and civil rights. In the name of Israelism, they sanctioned the suppression of Palestinian Arab civil and human rights within Israel proper and in the occupied territories. Expressed another way, Jews have come to lose their own traditional universal, human ethos through their identification with Israelism. Intellectual and staunch defenders of Israel Arthur Waskow noted pertinently, “and it’s not just politics the Jewish institutions want to avoid; it’s God, too. Try talking of God to a rabbi!—he’s too busy trying to raise money for Israel or the synagogue mortgage.”

Many people might be surprised to learn that today there are still quite a few people who call themselves Jews who think like Lilienthal did. They, like he, would agree that modern-day Israel exemplifies the sort of behavior that the prophets of the Old Testament deplored among the descendants of Abraham. The largest organized group of such people call themselves Neturei Karta. The following is from the “About Us” section of their web site:

The true Jews are against dispossessing the Arabs of their land and homes. According to the Torah, the land should be returned to them.

Neturei Karta deplore the systematic uprooting of ancient Jewish communities by the Zionists, the shedding of Jewish and non-Jewish blood for the sake of Zionist sovereignty and the Neturei Karta favor a peaceful transition from the present Zionist rule to a non-Zionist entity.

According to Judaic Law the Torah has the last word. There is no such thing as a majority of Jews who happen to be Jewish by birth who can alter Torah Law in any way. In fact even the greatest rabbi or as Maimonides writes, “even the greatest prophet” [referring actually to an authentic prophet], has no right to distort or amend even one letter of the Torah.

Rabbi Blau stated shortly before his death that the acceptance by the United Nations of the Zionist state as a member state constituted a grave injustice to the Jewish people. Neturei Karta hope that this great error will be corrected at the earliest opportunity. The Neturei Karta regret that the Zionist state has usurped the holy name of Israel and that the Zionists so often pretend to speak in the name of the Jewish people and assume the right to act on our behalf. Only those rabbis who have not been affected or influenced by the poison of Zionism, can be considered the spiritual leaders of today’s Jewry.

The world must know that the Zionists have illegitimately seized the name Israel and have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people!

The United States really ought to be just about the last place where the Zionist ideology should resonate. The foundational premise for the creation of the state of Israel in the heart of the Arab world is that Jews are discriminated against in countries where they are minorities and in danger of even worse things happening to them, and therefore they must have a state of their own. Nowhere is this premise more absurd than in the United States, which has especially been a land of opportunity for Jews. The statement submitted to the Versailles Peace Conference at the end of World War I by a group of prominent U.S. Jews was, as a consequence, quite representative of Jewish sentiment in the country at the time:

As a future form of government for Palestine will undoubtedly be considered by the approaching Peace Conference, we, the undersigned citizens of the United States, unite in this statement, setting forth our objections to the organization of a Jewish State in Palestine as proposed by the Zionist Societies in this country and Europe and to the segregation of the Jews as a nationalistic unit in any country.

We feel that in so doing we are voicing the opinion of the majority of American Jews born in this country and of those foreign born who have lived here long enough to thoroughly assimilate American political and social conditions. The American Zionists represent, according to the most recent statistics available, only a small proportion of the Jews living in this country, about 150,000 out of 3,500,000. (American Jewish Year Book, 1918, Philadelphia).

At the outset we wish to indicate our entire sympathy with the efforts of Zionists which aim to secure for Jews at present living in lands of oppression a refuge in Palestine or elsewhere, where they may freely develop their capabilities and carry on their activities as free citizens.

But we raise our voices in warning and protest against the demand of the Zionists for the reorganisation of the Jews as a national unit, to whom, now or in the future, territorial sovereignty in Palestine shall be committed. This demand not only misrepresents the trend of the history of the Jews, who ceased to be a nation 2000 years ago, but involves the limitation and possible annulment of the larger claims of Jews for full citizenship and human rights in all lands in which those rights are not yet secure. For the very reason that the new era upon which the world is entering aims to establish government everywhere on principles of true democracy, we reject the Zionistic project of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”.

Zionism arose as a result of the intolerable conditions under which Jews have been forced to live in Russia and Roumania. But it is evident that for the Jewish population of these countries, variously estimated at from six to ten millions, Palestine can become no homeland. Even with the improvement of the neglected condition of this country, its limited area can offer no solution. The Jewish question in Russia and Roumania can be settled only within those countries by the grant of full rights of citizenship to Jews.

We are all the more opposed to the Zionists, because they, themselves, distinctly repudiate the solely ameliorative program. They demand and hail with delight the “Balfour Declaration” to establish “a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”, i.e., a home not merely for Jews living in countries in which they are oppressed, but for Jews universally. No Jew, wherever he may live, can consider himself free from the implications of such a grant.

Leading British and French Anti-Zionists

That very cynical war measure known as the Balfour Declaration, designed to enlist world Jewry on its side by promising other people’s land to the Jews, hardly had the overwhelming support of British Jews, either. The one Jewish member of the British cabinet at the time, Edwin Montagu, was, in fact, about as anti-Zionist as Lilienthal, as we see from his observations here:

Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman. I have always understood that those who indulged in this creed were largely animated by the restrictions upon and refusal of liberty to Jews in Russia. But at the very time when these Jews have been acknowledged as Jewish Russians and given all liberties, it seems to be inconceivable that Zionism should be officially recognised by the British Government, and that Mr. Balfour should be authorized to say that Palestine was to be reconstituted as the “national home of the Jewish people”. I do not know what this involves, but I assume that it means that Mahommedans and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine. Perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test.

Montagu’s prediction was absolutely accurate with respect to what Zionism has meant for the Muslim and Christian residents of Palestine. The consequent rise of ill will toward Jews in other countries that he foresaw, however, has been forestalled by something that he could hardly have envisioned, that is the creation of the “Holocaustianity” religion, which we shall discuss later, and by the sheer power of money to control public opinion.

Perhaps the most prominent Jewish political figure in France at the time of the Dreyfus Affair around the end of the 19th century was Chamber of Deputies member, Joseph Reinach. His crystal ball at that time with respect to the prospects for Zionism might have been a bit faulty, but he took a similar view to Montagu’s in an article in the newspaper, Le Figaro:

The sole result of this campaign, which in any case is destined for a pitiful failure, would be to give the impression…that those Frenchmen who belong to the Jewish faith are subordinating the idea of the fatherland to I cannot imagine what sort of solidarity which existed in a vague way during barbarous times, which was prevalent no doubt at the origin of civilized societies, but which in modern societies is an anachronism.

Unfortunately, that vicious anachronism is ruling the roost these days. Lilienthal attributes its pivotal rise in the dominant world power coming out of World War II, the United States, to the wave of Jewish immigrants in the early part of the 20th century from Eastern Europe, where they were accustomed to living in a separate “state within a state.” They brought with them, in a word, the ghetto mentality. They might have been virtually all descendants of Khazarian converts to Judaism and not blood heirs to ancient Israel, but they bought heavily into the tribal “chosen people” idea. Arch-Zionist Alan Dershowitz unintentionally revealed the controlling mentality on Fox News in an interview. My grandmother, born in Poland, always wanted to know, he said, “Is it good for the Jews?”

It is not said, but what is implied, is that nobody else and nothing else counts for anything. That is the precise opposite of the universalist sentiment that Lilienthal extols in the Judaism that he embraces, but, unfortunately, it tends to represent the Judaism of the shtetl that so many 20th century immigrants brought with them to the United States.

The Zionist success in the U.S. has also been made possible by the strategic use of money. A case in point, as we learn from Lilienthal, is the transformation of the Jewish-owned New York Times from anti-Zionist to pro-Zionist. They were among the last holdouts in the early 1940’s until succumbing to a massive boycott from their major advertisers, without whose support they would have gone out of business. From that time on they have been little more than propagandists for Israel, just like all the other heavily Jewish-controlled major news organs.

Most recently, the newly elected Muslim Congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, in observing the power of Jewish money in influencing lawmakers, has illustrated the power of money in controlling the news media. They all ganged up on her, calling her anti-Semitic for noting what everyone knows is true. What is illustrated here is that she just didn’t go nearly far enough when she just blamed Jewish money for its power over Republicans. They wield the same power over American politicians of all political stripes and over the news media as well, across the political spectrum.

Why are the Democrats so Russophobic these days other than the fact that Russia is thwarting Israeli ambitions in Syria and in the Middle East generally? The card that the Zionists are predictably playing against her is what Lilienthal calls “anti-anti-Semitism.” They use it like a gun, and, says Lilienthal, “Who is strong enough to remove the gun ever-pointed at the White House by the combined hands of supine politicians, the controlled media and the Zionist lobby?” (p. 808, The Zionist Connection II) The only shortcoming in his observation is that it’s not just the White House at which it is aimed, and he implies that it is only a figurative gun.

Lilienthal also says that it is “Israelism” that has replaced Judaism as the religion of many Jewish Americans. One might say that it is just a subcategory or a supporting tenet of Israelism, but the actual faux religion that has replaced Judaism and they would have it replace Christianity and other religions as well, is what Jérôme Bourbon, the editor of the Paris weekly, Rivarol, calls “Holocaustianity”:

Not only did Professor [Robert] Faurisson by his research and famous phrase of 60 words threaten the ideological foundations of the world order issuing from World War II, but he also called in question the religion, or counter-religion, of “Holocaustianity.” It is a veritable religion, demanding respect and submission. Its false god requires a homage of adoration, a constant burning of incense before it, a flame to be lit like at Yad Vashem, flowers to be offered, and wailing to go up to Heaven, like at the pilgrimages and processions to Auschwitz and elsewhere, while people must beat their breast, crying out “Never again.”

“Holocaustianity,” taught from primary school to the end of one’s days, by television, cinema and every form of entertainment, does in fact ape all features of the Catholic religion. It has its martyrs (the Six Million), its Saints (Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank), its miracles (“Holocaust” survivors), its stigmatists (tattooed camp-inmates), its pilgrimages (to Auschwitz, etc.), its temples and cathedrals (“Holocaust” museums and memorials), its alms-giving to obtain pardon (never-ending reparation payments to Israel and to “Holocaust” survivors), its relics (camp inmates’ teeth, hair, shoes, etc.), its lives of the Saints (books by Elie WieselAnne Frank, etc.), its torture chambers (gas-chambers), its Gospel (the verdict of the post-war Nuremberg military tribunal), its High Priests and Pontiffs (Simon Wiesenthal), its Inquisition (anti-Revisionist civil law-courts), its laws against blasphemy (strictly forbidding any questioning of the “Holocaust”), its Holy City (modern Jerusalem), its preachers and guardians (all instructors and associations in politics, the media, religion, trade unions, sports and economics), its religious Congregations (World Jewish Congress, B’nai B’rith, AIPAC, etc., etc.), its Hell (for all nationalists – except Israelis! –, all revisionists, all believers in the deicide and in the New Testament replacing the Old, etc.), and its faithful (almost all of mankind).

However, not only does “Holocaustianity” ape Christianity, it also turns it inside out: instead of love, hate; instead of truth, lies; instead of forgiveness, Talmudic vengeance; instead of respect for elders, the hunting down of aged camp-guards; instead of the spirit of poverty, the pursuit of reparation payments; instead of humility, the drive to dominate; instead of sharing, the pursuit of personal gain, instead of charity, blackmail: instead of respect for others, lynching: instead of quiet and discretion, publicity and noisy accusations in the media; instead of the boundless justice of God, the brazen injustice of conquerors setting themselves up as judges of the conquered, and so on and so on. (links added)

David Martin

Why The Entire Political-Media Class Just Tried To End Ilhan Omar’s Career

By Caitlin Johnstone
Source

 

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Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has published an apology for making self-evident observations about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an immensely influential lobbying firm which, like all lobbying firms, works to influence government policy toward a specific agenda, in this case the interests of the Israeli government. She issued the apology after hours upon hours of shrill, hysterical shrieking accusations of antisemitism from the entire establishment political-media class.

If you’re lucky enough to have been away from Jack Dorsey’s insufferable hellsite for the last 24 hours I’ll type out a very quick recap of the shit show which you are free to scroll past, or read about it more in-depth by clicking this hyperlink.

It all started when journalist Glenn Greenwald criticized GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy for threatening Omar and fellow first-term Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib if they didn’t stop speaking out about the behaviors of the Israeli government, in which Greenwald said “It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.” Omar retweeted Greenwald’s post with the comment “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” meaning $100 bills. Everyone lost their shit over a topic that is associated with Jewishness being mentioned in the same breath as a comment about money, despite the self-evident fact that using money to influence policy is precisely the thing that lobby groups do.

Some blue-checkmarked whatever person named Batya Ungar-Sargon tweeted “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess. Bad form, Congresswoman. That’s the second anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted.” Omar tweeted back “AIPAC!” in response to the question, because duh, to which Ungar-Sarson responded, “Please learn how to talk about Jews in a non-anti-Semitic way. Sincerely, American Jews.” Chelsea Clinton joined in the antisemitism smears, everything blew up way worse, and Democratic Party leaders condemned Omar in unison. Omar’s name trended on Twitter for hours, and this baseless antisemitism smear is now the primary thing that she is known for by rank-and-file Americans.

Which, again, was the entire point. There is a dim, primitive intelligence which guides these Twitter outrage groupthink orgies to advance the interests of the people who participate in them, kind of like the way lynch mobs of the American south were not random acts of mob violence but deliberate acts of terrorism directed to keep Black southerners afraid of demanding equal rights. This wasn’t a random outburst, it was a political means toward political ends. This fact-free smear will be used to try and kill Omar’s re-election bid, and the damage that has been done to her reputation will serve as a head on a spike to deter any other would-be AIPAC critics on Capitol Hill in the future.

An example has been made. Who among those with access to mainstream consciousness will be brave enough to criticize AIPAC now? Will anybody? If anyone is, they’ll now be facing ten times more incentive to stay quiet than Omar was facing yesterday.

For the last two years the mainstream liberal establishment has been endlessly bleating about the need to elevate women of color to positions of leadership; then the first Black Muslim and first Somali American ever to get elected to Congress begins taking the leadership for which she was elected, and it turns out they actually meant they just wanted women with dark skin who will advance the status quo of the white imperialist patriarchy. James Clapper, the primary architect of the establishment Russia narrative, has said on multiple occasions that Russians are genetically predisposed towards nefarious behavior, and he hasn’t so much as lost his cushy CNN slot. Such displays of pro-establishment bigotry are deemed perfectly acceptable by the political-media class, but yeah, pointing to the influence of an influence firm makes you a Nazi in need of international humiliation.

Israel is a western imperialist military operation that was dropped in the heart of the most strategically crucial location on earth a few decades ago. It should surprise no one that there is a transnational political-media campaign to keep that operation going, especially as pertains to the United States, the nation with the most powerful military force in history. Lobbying, campaign donations, military and intelligence alliances are all just glue which keeps ostensibly different nations moving in the same direction in a world where separate nations don’t actually exist. In reality our world is dominated not by sovereign nations and governments, but by a transnational alliance of influential plutocrats who have no loyalty to any government or religion but rather use governments as tools to advance their agendas. Many of those plutocrats call themselves Christian, Muslim and Jewish, but really they worship nothing but the amassment of more power.

If the unipolar world order operated honestly, the nations currently labeled “United States”, “Israel”, “United Kingdom”, “Australia”, “South Korea”, “Japan” etc would all be painted the same color on the globe, and they’d all be labeled simply, “The Unipolar Empire”. There’d be the unabsorbed nations labeled “China”, “Russia”, “Iran” and so forth with their own individual colors, but the majority of the globe would be one giant smear of empire. Shoring up ever-increasing dominance over this hegemonic world order is the highest ambition that anyone can have in terms of real power, far greater than president or king, and controlling the narratives that the general populace believes about what’s going on in their world is an indispensable aspect of that power.

If you can understand this, you’ll understand why Ilhan Omar was so ferociously attacked by the political-media class today. She disrupted a crucial imperial narrative.

And really that’s all it takes to have a working big-picture understanding of large-scale power dynamics in our world. Understand that real power doesn’t acknowledge the existence of separate nations within the unipolar empire, and that narrative control is the key to wielding real power, and you’ll understand everything from wars to establishment politics to the otherwise incomprehensible behaviors of the mass media. May we all wake up from the narrative matrix and free our world from our malignant dominators.

 

Israel lobby proves Ilhan Omar’s point

IIhan Omar’s Criticism of Israel Unrelated to Anti-Semitism

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Israel is a nation-state. Criticizing its apartheid ruthlessness is unrelated to anti-Semitism. Claims otherwise turn truth on its head.

Before elected to Congress, Ilhan Omar tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

She supports vital BDS activism despite expressing “reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.” It’s the single most effective initiative against Israeli viciousness, she fails to recognize.

She’s been unjustifiably called anti-Semitic for criticizing Israel. When asked how she’d respond to US Jews offended by her views, she said: 

“I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans. My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza War, and I’m clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war.”

She should have gone further and condemned daily Israeli brutality against Palestinians throughout the territories – state terror against an entire population for not being Jewish.

Days earlier, she said “(i)t’s all about the Benjamins baby,” referring to Benjamin Franklin’s image on US $100 bills, US politicians bought by AIPAC and rest of the Israeli lobby.

Indeed! It’s how the money-controlled US political system works. Politicians are bought like toothpaste, the Israeli lobby doing a lot of the buying. 

Big money from corporations and interest groups are the mother’s milk of the deeply corrupted system, polar opposite what democracy is supposed to be.

It’s governance of, by and for the privileged few exclusively at the expense of most others. When it comes to Israel, criticizing its aggression and brutality against defenseless Palestinians is the third rail of politics, touch it and get burned.

Rarely ever does anyone in Washington go this way, nearly always paying the ultimate political price, vilified and defeated at the polls by Big Money, loads of it from the Israeli lobby.

On this issue alone, a cutting edge one, there are virtually no profiles in courage in Washington. The rarest of rare exceptions prove the rule. It’s almost the same for political anti-war activism.

The vast majority in Congress support endless US wars of aggression, color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, and political assassinations – instead of taking a strong righteous stand against them.

There’s nothing controversial about Omar’s criticism of Israel, the right thing to do, including for saying “we are finally able to have conversations that we werent really willing to” have before – “to get a different lens about what peace in that region could look like…”

Her statement is untrue. Earlier House and Senate members criticized Israel, the political careers for the few who dared shortened for doing the right thing.

Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress. They have a public platform to say and do the right things.

Omar showed weakness in pulling back from her criticism of Israel that has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, saying:

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes” – which hers were not, adding:

“My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.” 

There’s nothing to apologize for. She should have stuck to her guns with added criticism of Israel.

To her credit she “reaffirm(ed) the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA, or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”

But her statement should have been tougher, including a stand against US wars of aggression and other attempts topple sitting governments – flagrant violations of international and constitutional law.

Undemocratic Dem House minority leader Kevin McCarthy shamed himself for saying he intends investigating Omar and Tlaib – for what?

For exercising their First Amendment rights? For Tlaid saying “(i)t’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans?”

For supporting BDS activism? For truth-telling about Israel – a fascist Arab-hating police state, masquerading as democratic! For supporting right over wrong?

Former DNC chair/former National Governors Association chair on the wrong side of most all key issues Howard Dean slammed Omar for going “too far.”

She failed to go far enough. The same goes for Tlaid. On issues of right v. wrong, there’s no in between.

It’s a badge of honor to be slammed for doing the right thing, its own reward when going this way.

A Final Comment

Trump finds new ways to disgrace himself, saying “Omar is terrible, what she said. (S)he should either resign from congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

Her criticism of Israel was important. She should stand tall, revoke her apology, and keep pushing the issue in public comments and on the House floor.

She should especially call for ending all US funding for an apartheid state worse than South Africa’s – a nation responsible for the highest of high crimes of war and against humanity.

Of course, the same goes for the US in spades, waging endless wars of aggression against nations threatening no one, along with wanting all sovereign independent countries transformed into US vassal states, brute force is favored strategy.

 

Baptism by Fire: Ilhan Omar and the American Zionist Juggernaut

By Michael Howard
Source

Ilhan Omar b066d

A few months ago I wrote an essay explaining why we shouldn’t expect the new crop of progressive lawmakers to stand up to Israel and its spear carriers on Capitol Hill and in the US media. The American people have had Zionist propaganda rammed down their throats for fifty years, ever since Israel embarked on its quest to rob what remains of the Palestinian peoples’ homeland. Since this end can only be achieved through terrorism (see every Israeli military campaign in history), the Zionists within and without Israel have done their level best to manipulate people into believing that their terrorism is in fact anti-terrorism: the Muslims are the terrorists, and we’re simply defending ourselves.

Depicting Palestinians, and Muslims in general, as homicidal maniacs is essential to maintaining the illusory image of Israel as a vulnerable democratic state encircled by inherently violent actors seeking its destruction—and thus one in need of ideological, diplomatic and military assistance. Hence the modest $4 billion checks Washington cuts to Israel every year. The Muslims-are-terrorists line is also useful when the US decides to spend trillions of dollars it doesn’t have invading and occupying Muslim-majority countries. “Our strategy is this,” George II said in 2007: “We will fight them over there so we do not have to face them in the United States of America.”

“Them” meaning terrorists, meaning Muslims, who hate our freedom and want to kill us all.

Don’t you see that Israel is up against a global death cult bent on tearing down Western Civilization? Pay no mind to the fact that militant Zionists—the Irgun—coined the tactic of bombing buses and large crowds in the 1930s. That was before the Zionists had Apache helicopters and nuclear bombs. Again, never mind. History is unimportant. Just listen to George II: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Here he is again: “Either you’re with us, either you love freedom, and with nations which embrace freedom, or you’re with the enemy.” Israel loves freedom. Do you?

Until recently, Ilhan Omar, freshman legislator from Minnesota, was unaware of these manufactured truths. So ignorant was she that she actually hinted that the array of pro-Israel lobby groups in Washington, led by AIPAC, give out large sums of money to political campaigns in order to influence US policy in a way that is favorable to … Israel. Obviously that’s code for, “I hate the Jews,” and Omar was duly raked over the coals for her anti-Semitism. The dressing-down was bipartisan: along with American imperialism and corporate supremacy, Israel is one topic on which the Democrats and Republicans always see eye to eye. I wonder why that is?

Omar folded like a lawn chair. No surprise there. In her weak-kneed apology she wrote: “I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.” Excuse me while I go and vomit. Omar’s accompanying tweet reads: “Listening and learning, but standing strong.” Learning what? How to stop worrying and love Zionist propaganda?

Rather than consent to being “educated” by Pelosi and Co., Omar ought to have conferred with her fellow Muslim colleague Rashida Tlaib’s, who stood firm after calling Trump a “motherfucker”—an apt description. Alas, Omar submitted to the will of Israel’s American forces. It’s a classic case of baptism by fire (Jews can substitute another ritual). Anyway, it’s difficult to fault Omar: would you want your career destroyed before it got off the ground?

Proud to have bullied into silence another potential truth-teller, the Democratic Leadership issued a sententious statement lauding Omar’s capitulation. “We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel … because we understand that our support is based on shared values and strategic interests. … Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.”

“Trope”: another word abused and ruined by the US political and media establishments.

Like all the others, the latest “anti-Semitism” scrimmage is interesting for what isn’t being said. A mildly curious person might be expected to ask, for example, what exactly the Democratic Party means by “shared values and strategic interests.” True, the United States was founded on the expulsion and murder of indigenous people, but surely we no longer count racism, mass killing and land theft—Israel’s guiding principles—among our twenty-first century values? Perhaps we do, provided non-American brown people are on the receiving end of such offenses, in which case we all have a moral obligation to boycott the Democratic Party until it disavows its support for mass murder and land theft. The “shared values” bromide is shocking for its sheer iniquity.

As to “strategic interests,” they haven’t been mutual between Israel and the US since the fall of the Soviet Union. During the Cold War it could at least be argued that Israel served as a bulwark against Communist influence in the Middle East. But even that was a stretch. Israel was always a strategic liability. Take the Gulf War. Mearsheimer and Walt write in The Israel Lobby that while the “United States and its allies eventually assembled more than four hundred thousand troops to liberate Kuwait … they could not use Israeli bases or allow the IDF to participate without jeopardizing the fragile coalition against Iraq.” Why? Because Arab states refused to align themselves with a Jewish theocracy that kills and robs Palestinians with impunity.

Assuming our government regards national security as a “strategic interest,” it’s nothing short of ludicrous to view Israel as an ally. In terms of our actual security, Israel is a foe. Don’t take my word for it. Read Osama bin Laden’s Letter to America, in which the alleged mastermind of 9/11 is sparkling clear about his motives. Addressing those Americans who wonder why he struck the United States, bin Laden states that “the answer is very simple: Because you attack us and continue to attack us.” As his first example he cites Palestine,

which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily.

Is that plain enough? Israel-Palestine didn’t merely factor into bin Laden’s list of grievances: it was placed at the top. Likewise in the case of Ramzi Yousef, who attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. Per Mearsheimer and Walt, “not only did Yousef mail letters to several New York newspapers, taking credit for the attack and demanding that the United States terminate aid to Israel, he also told the agents who flew him back to the United States following his arrest … that he felt guilty about causing US deaths.” Any guilt he may have felt, journalist Steve Coll wrote, was “overridden by the strength of his desire to stop the killing of Arabs by Israeli troops.” Yousef “mentioned no other motivation during the flight and no other issue in American foreign policy that concerned him.”

Most Americans have never heard about this because our media systematically censors anything that undermines the alternate reality they’ve carefully constructed for us. But the truth remains: by enabling Israel’s delinquency, we put a big, fat target on our backs, and we make it easy for people who think like Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to recruit masses of fanatics prepared to die in the name of their evil cause.

A question begs to be answered. Are the leaders of the Democratic Party in favor of deadly acts of terror against American citizens? If yes, then their unconditional support for Israeli crimes, and hysterical attacks on anyone who speaks against them, make perfect sense. The alternative scenario—I know, I know, a horrible anti-Semitic trope—is that AIPAC’s blood money is worth more to them than the lives of their own constituents. Either way, it seems we’re in good hands. Shalom.

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