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18 June 2010

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JohnH

"The United States was the first nation to recognize Israel. Perhaps there was a conscious or unconscious feeling of guilt." Or maybe it was Harry Truman's need to get re-elected, his shortage of funds, and Abraham Feinberg's generosity.

In any case, you have to give leaders of the Jewish community credit--they know how to strategically place their resources for maximum self protection.

The story has been repeated for hundreds of years (or more). The problem is that at some point, the strategy stops working, and the whole Jewish community suffers by being too closely aligned with failed patrons and their catastrophic policies.

The largely Jewish neocon movement is closely associated with America's quagmires. When people finally start to realize that their economic well-being has been sacrificed to military adventurism, the culprits will be clearly identified as having Jewish fingerprints. Other major culprits, like the defense lobby, have taken care to be virtually invisible and will likely not be held to account.

The increasingly open discussion of Israel shows how the carefully constructed firewall is breaking down. Once it finally collapses, it will likely do so with a crash.

J

One cannot forget former Israeli Knesset Member Shulamit Aloni discussing how Israel uses the Antisemitism and Holocaust cards to tamp down any/all criticisms of the Israeli government and its agents barbaric behavior towards the Palestinians and their Mideast neighbors (don't forget Mossad's murder in Dubai, Mossad involvement with the PKK inside Turkey, etc..)

ServingPatriot

When people finally start to realize that their economic well-being has been sacrificed to military adventurism, the culprits will be clearly identified as having Jewish fingerprints.

When will this happen? Its been nine years of Afghanistan quagmire now! And yet, "the people," so easily distracted by the smallest bauble or pretty thing on broadcast TV, continue to think that solutions will appear from thin air rather than from the sweat of their efforts to govern the country. We're spending upwards of $2BILLION a week (!!) in Afghanistan, yet the people are not being buffaloed into the conventional wisdom of cutting the deficit but not cut defense! That all we need now is more tax cuts to bring in more government revenue!!!

When will the scales fall? Perhaps never. And as long as the people remain "willfully ignorant" of the costs and lack of benefits, they are never going to act to end this misadventure.

SP

J

SP, Colonel,

It appears that the Israeli Defense Forces are short manpower and are seeking recruits in our U.S.. What an irony, a foreign military that murders U.S. citizens in cold blood (June 8,1967, May 2010) seeks U.S. citizens to defend its illegal borders.

In desperate search for recruits, Israeli army targets foreigners


confusedponderer

I read that bit as well. Helmut Schmidt is a great politician, a real statesman and an astute observer. A pity there are just so few people like him out there (I also like his conditio sine qua non for interviews - either I am allowed to smoke, or no interview, period).

I think he gets it quite right vis a vis Israel. I also think Schmidt has it right when he speaks of little sympathy for the Palestinian cause in Germany at large. If there is any it's left overs from the anti-imperialist times on the far left. But Israel's brutal conduct costs them dearly among the broader population.

I think that Germany is not, in any way, obligated on the basis of what happened in the past to stand with Israel. Israel made a fresh start, after the holocaust, and now, since they act out of their free will, they are committing their own sins we cannot possibly be or rationally consider ourselves responsible for.

What we owe us is to not repeat the sins of the past in our country. That's about it.

I remember discussing Israel with a friend, and it came to the point that Jews in Israel happen to be just as perfectly capable to be vile and petty ethnic nationalists as anybody else, and the influence of Jewish groups and donors, how they bankroll lobby groups, and ultimately to the execrable Geert Wilders and his party in the Netherlands.

Germans are not comfortable to speak about things involving Jews and Israel. Anti-Semite is a hard hitting label in Germany. There is always the echo of the past, in my case, the voice of a certain uncle of mine. It is easier for me to write or speak about such things in English.

There can be no doubt that Israel and pro-Israeli groups try to generate a feeling of sympathy, responsibility or moral obligation for Israel in European politicians. Invocations of the holocaust are instrumental in that. It is no accident political leaders are routinely brought to Yad Vashem when they come to Israel.

The pitch then probably goes like that: 'It must never happen again' followed by 'which is why you need to support us against our enemies, who, just like the Nazis, want kill, us all'.

Nolens volens Palestinian opposition to Israeli land grabs becomes tantamount to an SS doctor selecting at the ramp.

But maybe there is a subjective obligation from the past - to call things by their name. When I read that article about Israeli soldiers forcing a Palestinians to play the violin for them, or the regularly reported more or less arbitrary humiliations to which Palestinians are subjected at checkpoints, I was reminded of the capricious injustices and humiliations Nazis subjected people to. By it's name it is tyranny and injustice. Sadly, it is a thing I see gaining traction in Israel. I want no part of it.

PS: As for Wilders, it's remarkable to see pro-Israeli groups funding Europe's far right, trying to turn it from being anti-Jewish to anti-Islamic. And a whole political party relying on foreign funding? Troubling. Since Wilders group is an example, are there comparable efforts under way to generate a pro-Israeli and anti-Islam movement in Germany? Or other countries for that matter.

clifford kiracofe

excellent.

I have tried to make the point that international political elites as exemplified by Schmidt have a clear understanding of the US situation. They may not display this in public, particularly as frankly as Schmidt has, but among those I have spoken with over the years officially and unofficially this is my impression.

Stern is a giant in his field and his comments here reflect, in good measure, the views of many of us in the academic community IMO.

We can see the bottom line for both, the statesman and the scholar, is the pervasive and insidious influence of the "pro-Israel" Lobby in the US.

Fred

Very interesting post.

This seems rather telling:
"schmidt: There is little sympathy for the Palestinians in Germany, I sense none. There is absolutely the will to develop sympathy for the Islamic world, but not with respect to the Palestinians, not in Gaza, not in Lebanon or the West Bank."
I don't think China feels any responsibility for Israel's security. I see a similar lack of concern for Palestinians in the US and a rather strong effort on the right to demonize all of Islam.

J, interesting story. I found this quite startling:

"The United States and Israel are friendly allies," Mr Schultz said. "I don't think there are any more problems with loyalty than if somebody volunteering in Mississippi goes to Ghana with the Peace Corps.""
Apparently a members of the Jewish faith can be inspired to help Israel but they can't comprehend how followers of Islam may be inspired in a similar fashion?

There's something similar in Jpost a couple of weeks back; focusing on drafting more ultra-orthodox members.
http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=176953

They are definitely not trying to make a unified society. When are they going to actually adhere to their own stated principles?

"THE STATE OF ISRAEL will ... foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace ...; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations."

N M Salamon

This keeps up, and escalates [such as a possible attack on Iran causing major havoc in Gulf area with subsequent destruction of oil supplies] there is a possibility that another major increase in anti-semitism will reflect unkindly on any Jew, leading to another progrom, be it organized or anarchic.

The MISTAKEN notion of equating anti-semitism with anti- ZIONISM [as Zionism is perpetrated by Israeli Gobvernment] will have very dire consequences for Jews all over the world. Pity, that the xenophobia within the Zionist Movement restricts rational behavior by this group.

markfromireland

Corrected link for Posted by: J | 19 June 2010 at 12:19 AM

In desperate search for recruits, Israeli army targets foreigners - Middle East, World - The Independent

Lb

Couldn't follow J's URL; evidently something wrong with it.

Let me start by saying I am not Jewish, nor am I anti-Semetic. More and more, however, I am anti-Zionist.

I do not believe in dual citizenship, such as Obama's chief of staff has. How can one swear loyalty to two countries? If one wants to be an Israeli citizen, leave the U.S. and go to Israel--even if too old for the IDF.

Phil Giraldi

Didn't know that Helmut Schmidt was still alive. I find it astonishing that two well informed individuals could say the following:

Schmidt: A special responsibility for the security of Israel—that strikes me almost as the duty of an ally.

Stern: I wouldn’t go that far. But consider as an example the revolting threats of Ahmadinejad, who denies Israel’s right to exist and who appears to pursue a policy aimed at Israel’s destruction. Are the Germans not obligated on the basis of what happened in the past to stand at Israel’s side in this circumstance?

Schmidt: That is correct, but I would not use the word “responsibility.”

Iran has not in fact engaged in revolting threats or questioned Israel's right to exist. The threats have all been in the oppositive direction, emanating from Washington and Tel Aviv.

LeaNder

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-u-s-israeli-warships-cross-suez-canal-toward-red-sea-1.297068


More than twelve United States Naval warships and at least one Israeli ship crossed the Suez Canal towards the Red Sea on Friday, British Arabic Language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Saturday.
...According to eyewitnesses, the U.S. battleships were the largest to have crossed the Canal in many years, Al-Quds reported.

Fred

LeaNder,

Too bad neither Reuters nor Haaretz can use Google to figure out that's not a battleship. So are the Israeli's shadowing a US carrier group like the USSR to cause trouble for the US or just to avoid being sunk by anyone else?

J

markfromireland,

thanks for correcting my url post.

J

Does anybody know what the 'legal status' of a 'foreign army' (Israeli IDF) actively recruiting on U.S. soil? I'd love to see Mr. Schultz put in a U.S. slammer for not putting up a disclaimer on his Israeli miltary recruiting -- Warning, the IDF murders U.S. citizens with impunity.

J

Phil,

What do you make of OSD Gate's latest propaganda diatribe? Who wrote his talking points, Tel Aviv perhaps?

LeaNder

Thanks, Fred, that makes sense. ...

I have to admit that I am surprised about confusedponderer's knowledge about German popular culture, or Schmidt's nicotine addiction, which is by now a running gag in German comedian circles.

Concerning our topic. I am reading David Ohana's Political Theologies in the Holy Land.
http://www.amazon.com/Political-Theologies-Holy-Land-Messianism/dp/0415491681/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277030678&sr=8-1

Let me pick a sentence at random:
Tragic circumstances led to the fulfillment of the Zionist prophesy ...

So strictly concerning responsibility I am more on Stern's side than on Schmidt's (no big surprise, I'll probably never forgive him that he replaced Willi Brandt, no matter how silly that is), including the critical position Stern demands.

The problem is that this criticism - no matter how vague and careful - leads to the heavy assaults of "Europistan", we witnessed lately. A huge irony considering the origin of the German political coinage: anti-"Semite".

As Israel seems to be quite satisfied to rely on US support versus the rest of the world. This it felt was the ultimate source of a vicious, it felt then, internet rumor campaign against the Israeli military historian Martin van Grevald. Asked by Dutch people at the end of an interview, how they could help Israel, he answered. Something like: Thank you, Israel can help itself. That was at the height of the War on Terrorism ( the supposed start only of WWIII/IV(?) from a neocon perspective)

confusedponderer

LeaNder,
my knowledge about German popular culture comes from being a German living in Germany.

Coming from a more conservative side I prefer Schmidt over Brand. I say that while thinking that Willy Brandt's 'Neue Ostpolitik' was essentially correct.

And you mean Martin van Creveld.

LeaNder

I admittedly didn't realize that, confusedponderer.

But now your name makes perfect sense.

I respect Schmidt, but the fights with my father over: "Schmidt Schnauze" remain unchanged. just as my love for Brandt the "Vaterlandsverräter", in some camps. Not my father's though. He simply preferred Schmidt's ideas in economics.

Obviously I meant Creveld, our pleasant email exchange stopped abruptly when I suggested to him something pretty close to what I wrote above.

Phil Giraldi

J-Gates' comments that Iran could launch hundreds of missiles at Europe is pure fantasy intended to create fear. Iran doesn't have the missiles just as it doesn't have the nukes and doesn't have the technical ability even if it had both to mount the latter on the former. I worked for Gates at CIA and knew hime somewhat. I thought him to be a very smart guy who always knew which way the wind was blowing. I guess he still has that ability.

Patrick Lang

Phil

Not to be trusted IMO. pl

confusedponderer

If I was to name a reason, in my staunchly catholic family the problem with Brandt was probably that he was a godless commie, divorcee, and philanderer ... and then there was that matter with Guillaume.

Amusingly, my parents considered Schmidt to be 'the right man, in the wrong party' - and thus unelectable.

Anyway, both politicians' careers pre-date my voting life. My affinity with Schmidt comes from the interviews with him that I saw, and his calm, and thoughtful analysis and the deep historical context he provided. I concede though, that 'Die Zeit' has developed a somewhat annoying trait of censing him.

And I (as a non-smoker) like his insistence in smoking in a time of no-smoking Nazism.

LeaNder

confusedponderer, I could tell you highly interesting insider stories about how Brandt was turned into a divorcée. A friend of mine worked him very long and at the time in question too. In a nutshell: He was drunk and tricked, she left her underwear in his room to be detected. But that is just the gist of it. Keep in mind the lady is a serial perpetrator. Ruth Brandt was the far more interesting lady, I actually felt a bit sorry for him, so did my friend.

As for Guillaume every conservative would have sat the affair out. Kohl would have I assume.

I am Catholic too, but wasn't too fond of the "staunch Catholics" on my fathers side. Bigots if you ask me.

As to Vaterlandsverräter, which I first heard from a staunchly Catholic Eifel lady, the mother of a close friend, whose father had just divorced her, have you ever heard the term moser?

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/02/momzer-muffs-moser.html

J

Regarding the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, the serving U.S. Ambassador to Israel at the time was Walworth Barbour.

Does anyone recall any comments by Barbour at the time regarding Israel's murder of U.S. Military personnel? Barbour was U.S. Ambassador to Israel for 12 years 1961-1973.

confusedponderer

LeaNder,
the 'Vaterland' aspect doesn't have much to do with Catholicism as far as I am concerned. It obviously refers to what Brandt did in the war i.e. taking sides against the Nazis - and for most people at the time, Germany. Her religion and her view probably just coincided.

And as I said, that were the probable reasons for my parents to object to Brandt, and I might even do them injustice there. The emphasis is pious. I suggest we should not dwell on that point.

I myself am a more of a lapsed Catholic. And I don't mind Brandt's personal life. It's his business, not mine.

And then, I assume you're right, Kohl would have sat everything out. He has a reputation for having done just that a lot of times.

As for moser, I never heard that. If Rabin's fate, and the Hetze against Goldstone are any indication, he is probably well advised to watch his back. Best of luck to him.

As I said earlier, the ugliness of the attacks even by supposedly cultured and reasonable people like Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz strongly underlines that Jews are perfectly capable to be vile and petty ethnic nationalists. My country, right or wrong! - that's probably a view they share with your aformentioned lady.

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