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24 January 2009


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G L Penrose


Yes, Ross is stupidly wrong for the position. Unless, unless, Iran is Obama's reeducation camp for neo-cons whom he can't politically ignore. Here's hoping.



Another dual nationality question: I recall that a person eligible for American citizenship who was also eligible citizenship of a foreign country, as in the case of a child born here to no-citizens, could claim dual citizenship until the age of 18. After that, he had to declare one or the other. When did that change and who was responsible?


to J,

I'm actually a bit confused: given your strident attitude (I'm trying to be patiently objective...), wouldn't you prefer to have Dennis Ross as the envoy to Iran so that Iran's intransigence can be explained as a reaction to his purportedly extreme but secretive prejudices in favor of Israel?

Seriously (?), you have taken "dual citizenship" to "dual loyalties" to "lobbying" without one iota of proof: should Juan Cole register as a lobbyist simply because he can make a cogent presentation of the interests and motivations of Middle Eastern countries and their inhabitants?

Just to be clear, Dennis Ross is not as objective as some others who are often tied to US-Israeli relations, but he is far from an unmitigated apologist for Israel as some have become...

to Babak et al.,

It saddens me to concur with your conclusion that none of the mainstream leadership in Israel seems to be willing to face the reality of the stark and tragic options that they will face going forward.

I still have little doubt that the secular leadership (Barak, Livni, Peres, etc.) would be willing to deal with the Palestinians, including Hamas, if they would not then be forced to confront the hard core elements of the population, especially in the settlements and in the IDF.

Frankly, as that was reflected and amplified in the striking Sixty Minutes interview that someone referred to earlier in this thread - I watched it, too, and was struck the dispirited voice of Bob Simon at the end...


There is IQ and then there is judgment. The Hellenes made a distinction b/n philosophy and sophistry. Moshe ben Maimon (Maimomedes) lambasted the Kalamists (Arabic for the wordy philosophes).

Netanyahu and Dershowitz probably have verbal IQ's of 160 or so, b/ in my opinion lack the Hukimah or Chakimah (wisdom) to see the consequences of the actions. They can play a good middle game of chess b/ ignore the end game.

There are all kinds of intelligences. Just b/c a person is endowed w/ high a verbal or math IQ that allows him to dominate in gov't does not mean he has the wisdom, judgment, empathy, or basic humaness to be a whole person.

Olmert, fool that he is having allowed himself to be set up Blagovich style, can at least see and pronounce that the settlements (which he cheer led for many years) are a dead end. Banuyamin Netanyahu still can't see it.

Jimmy Carter said it again in so many words the other day.

W/o a two state sol'n, Israel-Palestine b/c of the Bantustans will become a civil rights issue like South Africa and not a security issue like AIPAC has always cast it. On that event, Goodbye Eretz Yisrael Yehudiey.


interesting... I did not know this.


In the early 1960's Israel funneled $5 million (more than $35 million in today's dollars) into US propaganda and lobbying operations. The funds were channeled via the quasi governmental Jewish Agency's New York office into an Israel lobby umbrella group, the American Zionist Council. Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigations and hearings documented funding flows, propaganda, and public relations efforts and put them into the record. But the true fate of the American Zionist Council was never known, except that its major functions were visibly shut down and shifted over to a former AZC unit known as the "Kenen Committee," called the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (or AIPAC) in the late 1960's. The following chronology provides links to images of original Department of Justice case files released on June 10, 2008 under a Freedom of Information Act filing.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

'Their activities in Gaza & the West Bank are not those that are conducive to peace; rather they are indicative of a leadership that is certain of its strategic superiority as well as its utter indifference to the Arab World, the World of Islam, and indeed the global audiences.'

I would agree emphatically that the activities of the Israel leadership in the West Bank and Gaza are not conducive to peace. But I am much less confident that 'certain of its strategic superiority' is right, or indeed 'utter indifference' the appropriate description.

Certainly, as Ian Lustick stressed in his recent 'Abandoning the Iron Wall' paper, we have seen the replacement of the traditional aspiration that Israel could come to be accepted on the basis that it was not going away, by the demand that there should be formal acceptance of its right to exist, and indeed, its right to exist ' 'as a Jewish state'.

But does this reflect confidence? It may rather, as Lustick argues, reflect 'a fundamental withdrawal of many Israeli leaders, and much of Israel as a whole, from the realities of the Middle East and from a commitment to engage and change those realities, whether through force or diplomacy.'

The concomitant of this, according to Lustick, is 'an image of the Arab/Muslim world, and of the Palestinians in particular, as irrational, brutal and violent, imbued with intractably anti-Semitic hatreds fortified by deeply anti-Western Muslim-fundamentalist fanaticism.'

These are not perceptions which give any grounds for confidence about the long-term prospects for the survival of a Jewish state in the Middle East. But equally, they provide real grounds for fearing that if indeed Israel does founder, it could do in catastrophic ways.

(See http://www.mepc.org/journal_vol15/Lustic.pdf.)


All Israel's options today are indeed 'stark and tragic' -- perhaps they always have been. I do not find it difficult to see how the temptation to try to retain permanent control of the West Bank after 1967 was irresistible. But there always was a fundamental tension between attempting to colonise the newly conquered areas, and retaining the option of trading land for peace. And once the colonisation started, it created powerful political lobbies making abandonment of the settlements difficult.

Precisely because of this, the only thing that could have -- and just possibly still could -- produce a solution, would be effective U.S. pressure. But the only thing that could produce this would be if the Israeli lobby really faced up to the 'stark and tragic' choices.

Instead, its members commonly prefer to bury their heads in the sand, and accuse people who try to have a serious discussion of these issues of anti-semitism.

Babak Makkinejad

David Habakkuk:

Thank you for your comments.

I think that no country has an intrinsic right to exist - states are established by the force of arms and so maintained. Asking for Palestinians or Arabs or Muslims to accept the right of Israel to exist (as a Jewish state) is just stupid. Did Tibet have a right to exist (as a Buddhist) State? Or Sikhim? Or USSR?

I know this is not your opinion but this asinine formulation shows up so many times that I believe it ought to be rebutted.

Israel Lobby Archive

Breaking news about Ross and Israeli government funding through the Jewish Agency.


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