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23 March 2012

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Medicine Man

Who wrote this piece? Col. Lang?

turcopolier

MM

David Habakkuk pl

Medicine Man

Ah, thank you.

DanM

A fascinating analysis. I find particularly persuasive the idea that this ingrained "the gentiles can never be trusted" attitude is in the end deeply corrosive to the long-term survival of a Zionist Jewish identity -- what a grim and forbidding way to live.

This video of Beitar Jerusalem fans chanting "death to arabs" at a Jerusalem shopping mall recently (Haaretz reports that Arab cleaning staff were assaulted and the police declined to make any arrests) shows where this is all heading.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=d3_dty1oSz4

The far right is gaining strength, "liberal" Jews in Israel grow increasingly worried.

Contingency plans? My Israeli housemate (a graduate student at Harvard) is the great-grandson of German Jews who emigrated to Israel before the Holocaust. He is truly "Israeli," by language, cultural affinity, and habit, as much as I am an American. He served his time as an intelligence officer in the IDF. Yet he had out his German passport a few days ago, getting it renewed.

LeaNder

two points:

And the Israeli government has been encouraged along this disastrous course by similarly stupid American fellow-travellers like Goldberg himself, and all the Perles, Wolfowitzes, Haasses, and Beinarts.

Beinart is carefully trying to disentangle himself from the imperialist's embrace, no matter what one thinks of the prince. This may be indicative of a larger changing ground.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/zionsquare.html

Having explained that 'many Israelis think the Iranians are building Auschwitz',

In spite of Sheldon Adelson's help in perception-management via his free newspaper:Israel HaYom no Israeli majority supports a strike.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Adelson

Polling: Israelis Wary Of A Unilateral Attack On Iran
http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/03/09/441275/israelis-wear-unilateral-attack-on-

So king Bibi faces more imponderables, there is not enough support on home ground. as to America, would I find it easy to trust someone, I rang rings around with my address to congress? Thoughie, ain't it. The guy might look for a chance to take a revenge? No?

Jake

"Some Israeli officials, he suggests, 'believe that Iran's leaders might choose to play down the insult of a raid and launch a handful of rockets at Tel Aviv as an angry gesture, rather than declare all-out war. I'm not endorsing this view, but I was struck by its optimism. (A war game held by the U.S. military this month came to the opposite conclusion, according to the New York Times: A strike would likely lead to a wider war that could include the U.S.)"

"I was struck by its optimism" ... I am glad that Habakkuk was struck by the optimism of the statement. It only scared the living shit out of me!

Walrus

Thank you Mr. Habakkuk for a fascinating analysis.

There a certain human activities where a reputation for being slightly crazy and unpredictable is helpful. Statecraft is not one of them.

JohnH

Goldberg (and presumably Israeli leaders) have indeed NOT thought this through. What will happen if Israel were to inveigle the United States into a military action that most likely would result not only in stratospheric energy prices but also a debilitating quagmire for the United States. And all of this on behalf of a Jewish state. How would Israel benefit from the ensuing wave of anti-Semitism throughout the industrialized world? Their lust for war does beg the question of whether the Israeli leadership is rational.

And, assuming that they are rational and understand their limits, how do Netanyahu and his cohorts benefit from the hysterical threats? Are they simply media hounds, who consider that there is no such thing as bad publicity? Do they get perverse pleasure from watching their allies squirm? Are they trying to divert attention from something dastardly that they are perpetrating under the "attack Iran" noise? Or do they simply think that Israelis how so few common bonds that can all agree on nothing but the Jewish Holocaust and the Iranian threat, the absence of which remove the country's sense of its own nationhood?

Since it's hard to envision any scenario where Israel comes out ahead, you have to conclude that seriously disturbed people are running Israel, people who have nuclear weapons are their disposal.

LeaNder

second try, no idea if it already worked last time.

And the Israeli government has been encouraged along this disastrous course by similarly stupid American fellow-travellers like Goldberg himself, and all the Perles, Wolfowitzes, Haasses, and Beinarts.

Whatever one thinks of Prince Beinart, he is trying to disentangle himself from the embrace of the lovers of empire and WWIII/IV promoters. That may well be indicative of larger shifting grounds.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/12/why-zion-square.html


Having explained that 'many Israelis think the Iranians are building Auschwitz',

It seems that in spite of Sheldon Adelson's support in perception management via his free newspaper, there is no majority in Israel for a unilateral strike against Iran. How are Bibi's ratings?
http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/03/09/441275/israelis-wear-unilateral-attack-on-iran/

So king Bibi may well face more imponderabities than Obama's absolute reliability. Would you trust someone, you ran rings around by addressing congress? If I were him, I wouldn't. And what about the rumors Bibi wants to dethrone Obama? Not helpful either.

greg0

A good and thorough explanation of the situation. I won't be expecting this in-depth analysis from our news media.
My only hope is that if and when events overtake US military and politicians, that it isn't the media jocks that "are in the saddle and ride mankind".

jdledell

David - My compliments are an extremely perceptive analysis. For a Goyim, you do a pretty good job of understanding Jews(LOL). There is only one additional factor I would add to gain some understanding of Bibi. It's the effect on Bibi of his 100 year father, Benzion.

Benzion is a formidable personality with an overpowering hatred of arabs. He was a buddy with Jabotinsky and has always been a VERY outspoken advocate of Greater Israel. His concept of Greater Israel has always included the Sinai, Lebanon up to the Litani river, parts of Syria and Jordan. This is the environment Bibi grew up in.

When I lived in Israel in the 1980's Benzion was a frequent speaker at various events as well as on TV talk shows. I heard enough to get ill when he opened his mouth. The short version of his philosophy is Jewish supremacy. He vehemently opposes a two state solution and advocates perpetual domination of the arabs with forceable transfer if they act up.

It is widely accepted in Israel that Bibi cannot implement a two state solution until his father dies, if then. I've seen the two of them together on a stage and Benzion dominated his son, even when he was PM the first time. I am sure, given Benzion's attitude that he is pushing Bibi hard to bomb Iran. It would not surprise me if he is telling Bibi to use nuclear weapons on Iran. If Benzion were PM, there is no doubt in my mind that he would not hestitate to lay complete radioactive waste to Iran and sleep well that night.

Again, David, thanks for all the work you put into your analysis.

Babak Makkinejad

David Habakkuk:

The American leaders and their English counterparts as well as those in France, Germany and elsewhere in Europe are conveniently hiding behind Jews, Israel, and Israeli-first-ers etc.

The fact remains that the near war crisis early this year – which could have caused a disaster for Iran, the United States, the Middle East, and the world - as well as the similar near war crisis in 2006, owed its existence to the decisions of the US (and UK, etc.() leaders.

They pursued coercive diplomacy with respect to Iran that was going to lead to war. This was a massive miscalculation by US, UK and other leaders.

In 2007, the US NIE on Iran saved the day.

In 2012, Mr. Obama, an instigator of the most recent crisis in the first place, had to publicly defuse the near war crisis by himself.

It was not Israeli leaders that brought the world to the edge of potential disaster; it was the leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, and assorted other European leaders.

They forced the Iranians to state that they are ready for war.

Israel had nothing to do with it.

May be the lone sane Englishman by the name of Jack Straw can be sent to Iran to negogiate a deal with Iranains.

No other Western politician can credibly do so - and certainly not that hussy called Baroness Ashton.

Pirate Laddie

As usual, a first rate piece of analysis. Coming from across the pond, it's understandable that Brother Habakkuk has a handle on the dynamics of "being Jewish in the UK" as well as how Anglo-Saxon culture relates to their presence. I fear the situation in the US is somewhat more complex, malignant even.
First, there's a constant "holding forth" of the Holocaust as a teaching device for the edification and chastisement of the goyim. Perhaps if the psychic capital of the event had been invested in an interest bearing account, rather than being trotted out to pay the day-to-day bills of over zealous Zionists, there might be more "goyish guilt" to tap into.
Next, there's the highly dangerous cultivation of the "Rapture scenario." Many evangelical Bible thumpers orgasm over the fulfillment of scriptural promise, justifying the resources Zionists invest in their cultivation. Left unsaid is the "end of days" that entails the virtual destruction of the Zionist state (and most of its Jewish folk) just before the return of the Messiah who was, after all, rejected by the Chosen People. The term "mixed emotions" comes to mind.
Bottom line; evangelical support for Israel is driven by a desire to be Raptured out of an increasingly bad situation, a desire that is quite sanguine about the anticipated Shoan Mark II (G*d's will & all that.)
A growing "Christian Dominionist" voice in the US military (OK, mainly the AF, but they're players, right?) adds another unsavory ingredient to this witches brew, and further complicates the role of "civilian governance" in these increasingly complicated times.

FB Ali

A comprehensive and excellent review of the issue. A few random comments:

The possibility that these threats are either some Machiavellian scheme or Netanyahu being a 'windbag' is discounted by the considerable number of former senior Israeli intelligence and military figures who have come out publicly against such a venture. One presumes they would be in a position to assess whether the threats were mere bravado.

I agree that it is very reassuring that the US military appears to recognize the dangers of getting involved in such a war. However, their reluctance would not count for much if political considerations compelled Obama to take the US into war in Israel’s support, or if there were US casualties caused (actually or ostensibly) by an Iranian response.

Unfortunately, such initial reluctance would not act to temper the military’s actions once they went in (even though Obama might well wish that). Their tendency to use the full force available to them is likely to ensure that “the consequences for the United States – and also Western Europe – would be dire, if not indeed absolutely catastrophic”.

As David has pointed out, the Iranian response to an Israeli attack could well be critical to the outcome. It is difficult to make any reasonable assessment of the chances that it would be ‘strategic’. The Iranian regime also has internal imperatives, and may believe it cannot afford to give an impression of weakness by moderating its riposte. Just as the Holocaust overshadows and warps Israeli policies and actions, the influence of religion has a large effect on those of the Iranian ‘theocracy’. In both cases, rational considerations may be swamped by such ‘ideological’ beliefs.

David Habakkuk

Jake,

'I was struck by its optimism' was a quotation from Goldberg, not my observation. However, although I very much agree with F.B. Ali that one can hardly count on a limited Iranian response to a unilateral Israeli attack, if the Israeli government is remotely rational, the possibility that escalation cannot be assumed would be grounds for caution. If the Israelis are being Machiavellian, they would have to pretend to find the limited response scenario one of 'optimism', even though it scared the living daylights out of them. However whether the Israelis are rational is precisely the issue.

David Habakkuk

LeaNder,

It may indeed be that Beinart deserves more indulgence than I was showing him. My impatience arises in part from the conviction that his attempt to rescue the 'two state solution' is too little, too late.

But it also relates to the mentality revealed in a quote from Beinart's Daily Beast article:

On the one hand, Jews delight in our newfound power. What could be more exhilarating for a people that seven decades ago were impotent to stop the Holocaust than seeing a Jewish state with nuclear weapons and an American Jewish community capable of making politicians pander in the most obsequious of ways? What is the AIPAC Conference if not a celebration of our own Purim-like transformation from terrifying weakness to intoxicating strength?

There are certainly some British Jews who might share this mentality -- though in their case it is largely a vicarious identification with American Jewish power. However, when I think back to the two Jews I with whom I had contact who made it over here in 1939 -- Peter Stern of Prague, who I knew slightly, and Peter Ganz of Mainz, who I knew quite well -- they would be turning in their graves.

Both were fine scholars, and civilised men, and would have viewed this kind of intoxication with power with revulsion and foreboding.

David Habakkuk

jdledell,

Thanks for the compliment, which is much appreciated.

What you say about Netanyahu's relationship to his father is most interesting. A frightening aspect may be that a weak man, attempting to live up to the demands of a tyrannical father, may do unpredictable things.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

I do not think that the British government has been 'hiding behind' Jews or Israel. As to the risks of the courses adopted, I would agree with you. The explanation, however, is that those in charge of British foreign policy do not know what they are doing.

On the ineptitude of British -- and European -- foreign policy, a discussion of Iran between the former British diplomat Peter Jenkins and George Kenney is interesting.

(See
http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/12845/mutually_assured_madness )

David Habakkuk

F.B. Ali,

I hope I did not sound too optimistic about the possibilities of controlling escalation.

What did however strike me was that when I followed up your link to the NYT report of 'Inland Look', it seemed to me possible that one of the points about the report was to signal a message both the Iranians and the Israelis.

I was struck by the following paragraph:

The initial Israeli attack was assessed to have set back the Iranian nuclear program by roughly a year, and the subsequent American strikes did not slow the Iranian nuclear program by more than an additional two years. However, other Pentagon planners have said that America's arsenal of long-range bombers, refueling aircraft and precision missiles could do far more damage to the Iranian nuclear program -- if President Obama were to decide on a full-scale retalation.

It seemed to me possible -- no more than that -- that the sources who had been involved in the exercise were happy to undermine what would be everyone's natural assumption -- that if U.S. armed forces were once drawn in, they could be relied upon to 'use the full force available to them'.

MRW

Good piece, Habakkuk.

You wrote of "The empowerment of Jews...would...come...into question" in England, and a possible recurrence of anti-Semitism, though not necessarily.

And you pointed out "What would certainly be at issue would be that it would no longer be natural to assume that a Jew could be, for example, Foreign Secretary, without the question of where his or her prime loyalties lay being raised."

Your country has a population of around 51 million. Ours is six (6) times that…and 15% are either un- or underemployed. We hear from power pundits here constantly that America supports Israel 100% (not true, people keep their mouths shut so they aren't Helen-Thomas'd). That support, however, is 3,000 miles wide and an inch deep among the Joe Six-Packs. If Israel attacks, and gas goes to $10/gal+plus, food through the roof because of the cost of transportation, and average folk can't afford milk for their kids or to drive to work, support for Israel will evaporate vocally. In plain language without filigree. American Jews will call it anti-semitism. The rest will call it righteous and ridiculous.

If the consequences are even more dire, and the situation becomes catastrophic (WWIII, bombs on our shores), you can count on anti-semitism here--take it to the bank--because Israel's actions will be seen as anti-gentile in the extreme after all the help we've given it, and all Jews will be blamed as a result (since all Jews are considered citizens of Israel). I'm already hearing the mutterings of it (started a year ago) from ordinary folk who can't understand why Obama had to meet with Netanyahu nine times during our financial crisis; each one of those visits takes up one month in Presidential preparation time, before and aft; or "Why do Jews get all this attention? They're 2%. Obama promised to deal with immigration." The spectacle of those 29 standing ovations have had a consequence and will have many more, and Israel never saw it coming. Dempsey is one.

This is the problem when you silence dissent, as AIPACADLJDL do for a living, and the problem when Americans succumb to the shaming. You get festering resentment that will surface full-blown with the right trigger. (There was a consequence to ruining Helen Thomas, Octavia Nasr, and Rick Sanchez.) This is something Goldberg either doesn't have a handle on or chooses not to consider--his swing-his-dick blog exemplifies it--and neither do all the Jewish Richelieu's with White House, congressional, and media access. They're in a fantasy bubble pissing on decades of gentile goodwill, and after two wars this decade people are getting tired of it. (You got trauma? See a shrink & take your meds.) Cries of victimhood and persecution are going to fall on deaf ears should the hoi polloi start rumbling. Complete disinterest. Not even the Rapture rats could counter the mood change.

PS. jdledell: The New Yorker's David Remnick wrote recently he couldn't stand to be in the same room with Netanyahu Pere because of his extreme ugly racism.

rjj

@Pirate Laddie on evangelicals ...

In The Triple Alliance of The Chosen, The Elect, and The Saved, are evangelicals allies or clients? Hard to believe these missionary operations [US ministries and broadcasting networks] are maintained solely by donations from parishioners and listeners. The great wave of mass enthusiasm has gone by.

LeaNder

David, first, sorry for spamming the comment section, but it was more easy a while back to see if your comment was accepted. Now I sometimes need to enter a security code, sometimes not and the comment simply vanishes. As you, I found the discussion highly interesting, just as I was fascinated by jdledell's earlier contributions.

Even if my comment didn't give the impression, I absolutely agree with your critique of Peter's positions. What I appreciate is the debate he opens up for a more mainstream audience. His example shows how difficult any move in the right direction is. Watch the fierceness of the attacks from the right or ironically "liberal" Zionists establishment like Goldberg.

Both Peter Stern of Prague, Peter Ganz of Mainz] were fine scholars, and civilised men, and would have viewed this kind of intoxication with power with revulsion and foreboding.

Thanks for giving us the names. I used to buy in a little Jewish shop were many still spoke German, when I lived in London in the 70s. ... I didn't dare to speak German myself at the time. ;)

Concerning power, when I read your title "hubris and nemesis", I thought concerning hubris, didn't we experience it already during the Bush years down to the single average Joe we met on the net? Over here mediawise represented by the http://www.achgut.com/dadgdx/index.php/dadgd/authors/#autoren>Axis-of-Good. Only 15 years ago I was puzzled by a pair of raised eyebrows I faced when praising a special article by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henryk_Broder>Hendryk Broder,which I still think was brilliant, but on the other hand the submitted designs for the Holocaust memorial in Berlin handed him the material to ridicule on a plate. I was still a firm Hasbara at the time. The responses of the Bush administration to 911 and the "hybris" I seemed to encounter everywhere changed that dramatically. Broder, by the way, was involved with another Jewish German author, I highly respected up to this point, in polemics against the building of a Mosque here in Cologne, not too long ago, joining the extreme right. Suddenly Arabophobia became visible I didn't want to see or understand before. Only in Bush times I realized what the raised eyebrows signified. Bush politicized me to an extend nothing did before, as it forced me to learn more about the I/P conflict. And I absolutely doubt I am the only one.

Obama may have been disappointing to the extend his slogan Change, was utopian, but if he manages to reign in Netanyahu now, then he will be another Kennedy. Besides he always said that change needs many, many boots on the ground; e.g. Pat's committee of which you are a member.;)

Back to Beinart, there is absolutely no doubt that Israel's Iron-Wall-Strategy has long ago passed it's expiration date, and yes Israel is in deep crisis. To make it visible to more people every contribution in this direction is appreciated, if only for the reason it opens up debate. Let anyone contribute to the extend he can, Beinart may well change himself in the process and learn from his critics.

Maybe I am too optimist, but I prefer to be at the moment.

rjj

@DH:

a tyrannical father who renamed himself gift of god.

might also factor into the Mileikowsky family myth dynamic one impossible-to-live-up-to-now-he's-a-dead-hero older brother.

LeaNder

There is one central meme, that occasionally passes my mind in this context. I am not sure to what extend it may be driving people. It goes something like: If the Jews are threatened, it always is the start of a threat to all of us in the long run.

Maybe it is not always, as Pat often suggests, only the purely economic advantage that drives people?

The other central meme is Antisemitism as an eternal force here to stay, it only adapts to new circumstances. Remember the latest New Antisemitism?

I read two books on the Protocols lately. In the first admittedly in spite of reading the whole book, I couldn't manage to finish reading the introduction, and here is why:
http://www.richardlandes.com/books

“The introduction is indeed a tour de force, full of strong opinions expressed by the authors in a lively and often provocative style that combines the latest in post-postmodern critical thinking with common sense analysis. Some scholarly readers might react with dismay, but I think - and I am sure many readers will agree - that the statements for the most part are not only stimulating but indeed necessary for opening up a new debate on the subject of the "New Antisemitism's" demonization of Israel which is so often discussed in hackneyed and stultifyingly mealy-mouthed terms The passage is bold in the original.

The other book is a much better resent publication edited partly by a historian, I respect a lot and a scholar of literature. It's a completely different approach. It's not feeding the myth by showing it's constant growth but carefully dissecting facts from fiction, even in scholarly literature. In this book's suggested reading list, which was advertised as the latest study on the Protocols, at least over here, was listed justifiably among the: Litarary adaptations, semi-fictional and pseudo-scientific accounts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadassa_Ben-Itto#The_Lie_That_Wouldn.27t_Die

http://www.amazon.de/Die-Fiktion-von-j%C3%BCdischen-Weltverschw%C3%B6rung/dp/3835304984/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332595188&sr=8-1

Is that why it didn't make it to Amazon.com? And aren't the Protocols the main reason, that Jewish power can be both celebrated but at the same time denied to be discussed by non-Jews?

David Habakkuk

MRW

You get festering resentment that will surface full-blown with the right trigger.

I agree, and think this a very important element in the current mess. It completely baffles me that so many on both sides of the Atlantic cannot grasp that silencing criticism of Israel by playing on guilt is a strategy liable to blow up in their faces. It is a basic lack of 'horse sense'.

But this is in no way distinctively Jewish. Much of the political and media elite on our side of the Atlantic, as yours, lives in a kind of cocoon. The widespread lack of any sense of danger, in relation to where current policies with regard to Iran could end up, is another case in point.

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