« "Obama on 'The Daily Show'" CSM | Main | Stewart for president! »

29 October 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

William R. Cumming

Not Sophie's Choice but the choice of Sophists?


Successive USG have operated a thinly disguised shell game: Pretend to "oppose" settlements while unflinchingly supporting Israel.

Now that American power is waning, our government hopes that its decades of dishonesty will not be noticed by the Arabs--as distinct from their useless Sunni kings.

And we wonder why China is making inroads everywhere.


Expect to be emptying your pockets, taking your shoes off, and having your wife frisked every time you board a plane for the foreseeable future.


this is from the website jeremiahhaber dot com...the magnes zionist.

excellent reading on this issue.

"Israel’s “Arab Problem” – Part One
Zionism was intended to solve Europe's "Jewish Problem," the supposed inability of the Jews to assimilate and become equal citizens of the European states. In the late nineteenth century, which saw the rapid rise of nationalism and political anti-Semitism, some European Jews, especially in Russia and Poland, considered their main nationality to be Jewish (and were considered to be such in some of the multi-national empires), and even later, when the age of empire ended, they distinguished between their citizenship and their nationality in their own self-consciousness."


Is being Jewish a nationality? And if so, where did their nationality originate? And why bother with the Hebrew religion if the Jews are a nationality?

In recent years this has confused me. Or is it just a way to obfuscate and confuse the whole issue?

As I have stated here before, using the bible to settle land disputes is really antiquated and doesn't work for this Irish/Swiss kid.

A sincere response is really appreciated dear commenters.


Two issues with this piece:

"When the British issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917 its real purpose was not to give the Jews a homeland, but to bolster British ability to fight the Germans."

That is not the real background. Britain urgently needed money to continue the war and the Rothschild bankers demanded signing of the Balfur declaration to extend Britains credit line. Most of the Rothschild family were eager Zionists and the bought land in Palestine and financed a lot of the first Zionist state structures there.

"the question of Israel’s soaring construction of Israeli settlements on the disputed land of the West Bank."

That is Zionist propaganda. The West Bank land is not disputed at all. All international law says it is Palestinian land and that Israel has no rights to it. That is also the official position of every government in this world except Israel's current one.

To call this "disputed" is taking the Zionist site.


Jackie: A book you might find useful is Michael Stanislawski's "Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism from Nordau to Jabotinsky".

For some, Jewish is a nationality, for others a religion, for some it is both and to separate them is to harm both.

There were early Zionists of all stripes. Some were about the religion, most, in fact, were secular and were concerned with a state. Israel, increasingly, is about the fusion. (When there was no state, the fusion at a state level was impossible.)

Fusing nationalism and faith, however, has very severe and unavoidable repercussions. It immediately leads to legal inequalities within the state based on birth as belief, and acts to restrict belief to birth. There is neither equality among people nor true freedom of belief.

To claim that Israel is of necessity a Jewish state is to enforce that fusion.

That America, internationally, now completely defends and acts to enforce a fusion of state and religion in Israel is an historical mistake of gigantic implications and consequence. I am surprised that America didn't have the intellectual vigour and moral strength to have withstood such a self-destructive act, one that is contrary to the very deepest beliefs on which the USA was founded.

RAISER William

Very informative summary historical overview of the development of Israel. Thanks. Always good to be reminded of context.

I particularly appreciated the statements attributed to Rothschild.

I did have to frown a little at your early statement about: "...the reluctance of Zionists to share the Land of Israel... " What about the Palestinian reluctance to "share" the Land of Palestine?

Clifford Kiracofe

1. Jackie,

for historical reference, this online encyclopedia resource is useful:


see also the reference for Chazars in the Jewish Encyclopedia:

2. b,

British policy in its modern phase in Palestine began under Palmerston in 1839. The strategic concept was to get a foothold there and back Turkey against Russia.

By WWI era, oil became a factor in British strategic planning. Thus, the objective of Haifa as a port through which Iraqi oil could be obtained.

I explain all this in my book Dark Crusade: Christian Zionism and US Foreign Policy (London: Tauris, 2009).

Robert R. Rock

Those of us who are too familiar with the utterances of Tom Friedman appreciate his penchant to shoot from the hip, in order to coin some new catchy designer expression of questionable wisdom.
The entire "peace process" has no solid foundation. Is there at least an agreement on the definition of terms? How about something as fundamentally basic as the meaning of the word "peace" or "Palestinian State".


Jackie, Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom has written several columns over the years addressing that question of nationality. Search the archives on his website for "Jewish state" and I think you'll find some clear and sensible answers. Here's a recent example:


As to using the Bible to settle a land dispute, I concur, although I would say that if one wants to appeal to the Bible then let's at least be fair. God's covenant, sealed with the promise of the land, was with "the seed of Abraham." And Abraham had two sons, the eldest of which was Ishmael. The younger son, Isaac, was the favored, but Ishmael was not disinherited, but given a lesser share according to Jewish laws of inheritance. The intent, according to Scripture, would seem to be that all the sons of Abraham would share the land; not that it would belong exclusively to the descendants of Isaac, as so often claimed by "settlers" (land-grabbers).


Middle East Peace? Now there is a contradiction in terms..

William R. Cumming

ONce again the US should never support or appease those that refuse to support the concepts embedded the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. To do otherwise is slow-motion suicide or our Democracy (Republic)! As far a I am concerned the Hemlock has already been drunk with respect to the Middle East and Israel and the followers of Islam.

Sidney O. Smith III

Prof. Kiracofe

Glad to see you back. One reason I enjoy your insights so much is that you appear to have "left behind" (oblique rapture reference) the anachronisms of tiresome pre 9-11 labels such as Democrat and Republican. Clearly, you have taken your analysis into uncharted territory. And as your latest book establishes, you certainly have done so for something greater than promotion within conventional group think of academia. So your contributions are significant, imo.

With that in mind, while trying to identify historical patterns and trends in our US foreign policy, I, like so many others, want to place the role of the America First Committee in its proper context. Justin “War Eagle” Raimondo weighed in yesterday.


If I remember correctly, you have a less favorable view of the AFC.

Since I respect both your work as well as that of War Eagle Raimondo, do you have any comment to make about Raimondo’s latest?

May as well create a cognitive dissonance on the role of the AFC in US history!

Clifford Kiracofe

Sidney Smith, thanks for the kind words. Been extremely busy with teaching at two schools this Fall.

Glad you liked my recent book. Some friends hope I will do another with a broad US foreign policy/strategic focus. But I'm semi-retired and that's several years work. My perspective is not partisan politics/party oriented as my commitment (and oath) is to defend the Constitution.

Briefly, I think our War with Spain in 1898 was a strategic error. This is the point at which the Wall Street-based US imperial faction became a decisive factor in modern US foreign policy. The Election of 1900 had Imperialism/Anti-Imperialism as a major theme. I believe vigorous public debate between those with contending perspectives on our foreign policy to be a good thing.

Once can speculate that WWI could have been brought to a close in 1916 and thus no US involvement and AEF, no Bolshevik Revolution, no Mussolini, no Hitler, etc.

As to WWII, I am aware of the Libertarian perspective and Raimundo is certainly a bold and lively character.

However, I think it became a strategic necessity for us to enter WWII. Certainly not to defend British imperial interests, but rather to defend our own global position. I think the Fall of France was a shock to Americans and it woke many up to the European situation and nightmare which may have seemed so far away.

Glancing at a world map, IMO a Nazi dominated Europe and a Japanese militarist dominated Asian "co-prosperity sphere" would have left us very vulnerable indeed squeezed betwen two giant fascisms. Not a few influential Brits wanted to align with Nazi Germany...then where would we have been?

Circles in the US on Wall Street etc. were pro-Nazi as the historical record shows. Some "Isolationists" were just isolationist in general while others were pro-Nazi in philosophy.

I grew up directly across the street from General Wood (1879-1969) and the Stuarts were just down the block. I remember seeing the elderly general while peddling my bicycle around the neighborhood and he would wave cheerfully.

My book covers the pro-Fascist "American Liberty League" not the AFC. The American Liberty League, and its present day successors were and are a threat to our Constitutional order, IMO.

William R. Cumming

Dr. K! Have German contributions to defeat FDR in 1940 ever been established or closely analyzed?

Even today although foreign contributions to Presidential campaigns are illegal are they also for subordinate elective positions in the Congress for example?

Sidney O. Smith III

Prof. Kiracofe

Thanks much for the clarification.


How do you say "This is my last territorial demand" in Yiddish and Hebrew?

Clifford Kiracofe

Have not heard about any foreign money to the 1940 campaign. The matter to which I refer is at a different level than Congress as it involves US business and financial elites.

As I indicated, some Wall Streeters and Big Business interests had deep connections to fascist business interests in Europe. The Bush-Walker clan were business partners of Fritz Thyssen, for example.

Some of this is explained in Charles Higham, Trading With the Enemy, The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949 (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1983). I have met the author, a veteran journalist and writer based in Hollywood. He did a good job presenting some of the basics.

Sidney Smith,
I would suggest the above noted book and also, in particular reference to your question: James Stewart Martin, All Honorable Men (Boston: Little Brown, 1950). I would strongly suggest this book. Together they present the picture from this era pretty well. Unfortunately, there are certain continuities...

Russ Wagenfeld

Did I really see Lani Kass listed as a visitor to your blog a few minutes ago?

Patrick Lang


I did not go. I don't like crowds. pl


"using the bible to settle land disputes is really antiquated"

"That America, internationally, now completely defends and acts to enforce a fusion of state and religion in Israel is an historical mistake of gigantic implications and consequence"

"I am concerned the Hemlock has already been drunk with respect to the Middle East and Israel and the followers of Islam"


Religion: the WORST of all hallucinogens. What was it a former Jew once said; "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes".

From the fryin' pan into the fire:

Add proselytizin' neo-con dreams of "spreadin' democracy in mid-east" (what DEFINITION of democracy??) & doses of modern Westphalian state-buildin' to the (already) lethal mix of racial/religious antagonisms that is the dynamics of cursed region.

Domestic violence writ large (though parties do not wish to be reminded of blood ties).

Sidney O. Smith III

Prof. Kiracofe

Thank you for the recommendations and I will give them a look. Presently, I am attempting to examine more closely the intellectual current that Weiss, courageously, has defined as “Progressive except Palestianians” or the acronym PEP.

I place this intellectual tradition in a somewhat larger context than Weiss, and I am finding it rooted in what Robert Kagan calls the American tradition of “ideological conquest” in his book “Dangerous Nation”.

Kagan of course celebrates the US as a dangerous nation. I believe it is leading us to a catastrophe.

And contrary to Kagan, I find this aspect of the American character also woven into the long history of Northern racism that has always been denied and never been properly revealed or dissected. This aspect of the American character is fully realized, today, in the Zionism of Goldberg, Chris Matthews, and others "progressives" of this ilk.

Again, thanks.


Castellio, Clifford and Rider,

Thank you for your responses.

Castellio, I ordered the book you recommended. Clifford, since I had been curious about your book already, it's on the way, also. And Rider I appreciate the links.

Robert R. Rock

"...Secretary Clinton replied that there was “no memorialization (sic) of any informal or oral agreements” and in any case, “...they did not become part of the official position of the United States government.”

The Obama's bad faith refusal to recognize the assurances President George W. Bush made to Israel in writing,"The Bush Letter", in return for Israel's good faith unilateral complete withdrawal from Gaza,was a blunder of huge proportions.
Obama and Clinton have been "protected by the enormity of their stupidity" for too long.
Let's see what happens tomorrow when we go to the polls.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Blog powered by Typepad