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15 August 2015

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Will

Schumer is small fry. It's the big fish Netanyahu that muwt be punished. Has Obama grown a pair. Highly unlikey?

"The remarkable thing, therefore, is not that the American government is now, ever so meekly, defending American interests. It is that, where Israel is concerned, its meekness is still so extreme.

Weapons still flow into Israel; the IDF, the Israel Defense Forces, is still on the American gravy train. And calls for a nuclear free Middle East – in other words, for removing Israel’s two to four hundred nuclear weapons – though rising around the world, and especially in the region, are still greeted by silence in Washington.

There will be activity around this issue at the United Nations this fall. Will the United States for once not take Israel’s side? Don’t count on it."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/14/aipac-headed-for-defeat-but-thats-not-why-its-bad-for-the-jews/

turcopolier

Will

OK just roll over, play dead and take it with a smile. pl

different clue

With the very greatest of all due respect to Will, I would say that Schumer is an important political operative in this field. He is, after all, a U S Senator with one of only 100 votes which actually decide some of these matters in a legally binding way.

It would be good to remove Schumer from his position of power and influence. Perhaps voting citizens in the other States which have DemParty Senators could call or write their Senators ( and DemParty Apparatchik offices also) to say that if Schumer is made Minority Leader, they will never vote for another Democratic candidate for the Senate. Enough such people reaching enough such Senators might convince the other DemParty Senators that their own political careers are in jeopardy unless they prevent Schumer from becoming their Minority Leader. Perhaps special pressure could be directed against Reid of Nevada. He is supposed to be ego-identified with the visible fortunes of the Senate Democrats and if he felt he would be blamed by history for allowing a further attrition of Dem Senator ranks by permitting Schumer to take over the leadership, he might exert himself to direct the Minority Leadership elsewhere.

(But if people are going to tell their officeholders that they will never vote Democrat for Senate as long as Schumer is Minority Leader, they have to really mean it and really follow through. I have heard that politicians can smell an empty threat the way dogs can smell fear.)

And such an attempt to deny Schumer the Minority Leadership might visibly weaken and destabilize him enough within New York to where other DemParty officeseekers might mount a primary challenge to his own next election. AIPAC would of course defend him with floods of money and propaganda. This is where an ACAPAC (American Counter AIPAC Public Affairs Committee) would be useful to direct floods of money and propaganda against Schumer while building floodwalls and earplugs against the floods of money and propaganda coming from AIPAC.

annamaria

Pro-Israel Campaign Contributions to U.S. Congress Legislators:

http://maplight.org/us-congress/interest/J5100/view/all

Top Senate Recipients

Mark Kirk $561,019
Mitch McConnell $479,173
Robert Menendez $341,170
Cory A. Booker $333,376
Lindsey Graham $279,150
Kirsten E. Gillibrand $276,237
Sherrod Brown $272,551
Bill Nelson $258,700
Tim Kaine $256,020
Charles E. Schumer $249,599
Gary Peters $244,691
Benjamin L. Cardin $237,093
Ron Wyden $234,531
Barbara Boxer $223,279
Harry Reid $218,058
Claire McCaskill $212,671
Jeanne Shaheen $190,799
Richard J. Durbin $182,250
Tammy Baldwin $180,980
Debbie Stabenow $167,852
Martin Heinrich $158,373
Christopher A. Coons $147,974
Robert P. Casey, Jr. $142,475
Dianne Feinstein $140,541

see more...

BabelFish

Uncle Chuck took this oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

I do not see that it also includes 'Shamar of Israel', which he includes as one of his official duties. He did this in discussing his thought process on the treaty, declaring it to be one of the very important things he had to consider regarding the treaty. His demand for acceptance of this obvious conflict with this duties as an American are as bad as Hillary's airy blow offs of her continuing unethical actions.

Nancy K

The problem is also AIPAC, Adelson, Singer and the other deep pockets that buy our Congress on both sides of the aisle. I phoned and emailed Schumers office and asked him to support the Iran agreement and reminded him that he was a Senator of the US not Israel. I didn't expect it to do any good but feel I must try. I also did the same to my own Senators and Rep here in NC, but of course they are firmly in the NO camp. They all truly disgust me. Hillary seems to be for it as does Bernie Sanders. Who knows what will happen.

Margaret Steinfels

Schumer is up for re-election in 2016. He is an ego-maniac. If he thought he might lose his seat, I wonder if he'd change his mind about the Iran agreement. I've told him I won't vote for him. Other New Yorkers here should do the same.

As for making aliya (and in my plan joining the Knesset): Even with Schumer's sharp elbows, I wonder if he'd survive all the elbows there.

A. Pols

Col.
I am totally on board with you on this, also on the flock of dual national staties and other public policy wonks in high places. Yet I fear nobody will be punished in the near future for this sort of behavior..These people own us.

JohnH

Lieberman was a classic case of how Democrats manage obnoxious Senators. Connecticut Democrats did their part in getting rid of him by defeating him in the primary, only to have him re-elected to the Senate as an Independent. Then, to add insult to injury, the Senate leadership welcomed him back and rewarded his bad behavior by giving him the chairmanship of Homeland Security. In 2008 Lieberman thanked them by endorsing McCain.

I don't hold out any hope that Senate Democrats can deal with Schumer's obstreperousness. Such ill-conceived and self-defeating accommodation and appeasement is all too typical of today's Democratic Party.

Imagine

Former Iranian MPs in Exile Urge Congress to Approve Iran Nuclear Deal
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jahandad-memarian/former-iranian-mps-in-exi_b_7992382.html
sane and well-written. Pls spread the word.

The Beaver

Will

Have you heard Samantha Power lately?
The same one who has said at her Senate confirmation :
"I will stand up for Israel and work tirelessly to defend it" at the United Nations.

May be Rabbi Boteach will yet influence her again
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/will-samantha-power-be-th_b_7736048.html

Will

Of course Schumer should be punished, b dont count on it. Durbin has thrown in the towel. If the dems regain the senate, traitor Schumer will not be fourth in the prez succession. Thankfully, that goes to the president pro tempore

Tyler

Schumer tried to shove through yet another amnesty to wreck this country.

THAT is when he should have been punished.

David Habakkuk

All,

As the Colonel's 'better half' – as we might say in England – pointed out, a great deal depends on American Jews.

And here, I think, the piece by Andrew Levine to which 'Will' linked brings up a critical issue.

It is necessary for Jews to be clear as to how far they believe a revival of anti-Semitism in the contemporary world is a major danger, and if so, what are the probable causes.

One view was put forward by Jeffrey Goldberg in the article he published in the 'Atlantic' in April, under the title 'Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?' The interpretation of recent signs of recurrent anti-Semitism put forward by Goldberg is well-summarised in his quote from a Jewish novelist resident in Britain, Howard Jacobson: 'the Holocaust didn't satisfy.'

(See http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/03/is-it-time-for-the-jews-to-leave-europe/386279/ .)

An alternative explanation, put forward in the Levine piece, is that anti-Semitism was largely dead in the contemporary West, until leading Israeli figures, and many of the most influential American Jews, decided to behave as though they were auditioning for key roles in an anti-Semitic propaganda film.

A more measured version of the argument that an American Jewish identity that focuses on unconditional defence of Israel is bad alike for American and Israeli Jews was made by Norman Birbaum almost a decade ago, in an article in the 'Nation' entitled: 'Is Israel Good for the Jews?'

(See http://www.thenation.com/article/israel-good-jews/ .)

An excerpt:

'Domestically, the chief allies of American Jewry were once the liberal Protestants; the modern Catholics, whose great achievement was the Second Vatican Council; and progressive secularists. Now organized Jewry has an alliance with those who were not so long ago embittered anti-Semites. The Protestant fundamentalists think the founding of the Jewish state means that the conversion of the Jews is imminent. Suppose the fundamentalists demand that US Jewry anticipate the end of time by beginning their conversion now? Some have welcomed the Lebanon crisis as the initiation of Armageddon. In the meantime, they combat the pluralism of the public sphere, which is indispensable to enduring rights for Jews in the United States. America is in serious danger of becoming a nation defined not by citizenship but by bargains among struggling ethnic and religious communities, united in an impossible project of global domination. Will Nobel prizes and business acumen, and seventeenth-century biblical imagery of America as a New Israel, protect the Jewish minority as our imperial project disintegrates? Its end could generate the domestic deprivation and tension conducive to renewed anti-Semitism.'

Larry Kart

I don't see whatever rise there might be in anti-Semitism in the contemporary West or in the U.S. in particular as a cause of great worry -- as in, "another Holocaust is waiting to happen."OTOH, I don't see that whatever rise in anti-Semitism there might be in the contemporary West is significantly caused by "leading Israeli figures, and many of the most influential American Jews, deciding to behave as though they were auditioning for key roles in an anti-Semitic propaganda film."

Why do I think so? The phrase "auditioning for key roles in an anti-Semitic propaganda film" points to, I think, my answer. There is, I think many of us can agree, no anti-Semitism that does not rely on and more or less spring from propagandistic tropes and fantasies about who Jews are and how, by and large, they behave or will behave unless they are carefully monitored and dealt with in ways that few if any other peoples are. The trope of the Jews as a social bacillus, if you will, often with conspiratorial trimmings thrown into the mix.

Such attitudes and thinking can and should be distinguished from the views of those who regard the policies of the Israeli government in a highly negative light and similarly regard the attempts of the Israeli government and its U.S. agents and supporters to influence U.S. policy, openly or under the table. Admittedly, in the high intensity hurly burly of these relatively urgent and ugly times, anger (and fear?) can lead one to dip into the propagandistic anti-Semitic bag and its venerable, durable tropes, but doing so serves no good that I can see and arguably harms those who do such dipping as much or more than anyone else involved.

Am I dead-wrong or naive in thinking this?

rexl

Yes, he should be punished, I agree. And Jonathan Pollard should be executed.

Altoid

This is something legitimately worth worrying about, and I have been worried about it for quite some time. Cultivating the support of people whose entire religious validation requires that I and all my people perish in a lake of fire seems, well, problematic to me. Call me over-sensitive, I guess.

More broadly, I'd propose a variant of the second view that stresses a deliberate conflation and confusion by certain Israeli leaders of the interests of the nation-state of Israel with the daily lives of Jews in the diaspora. I've always thought they do it deliberately by using the terms "Israeli" and "Jew" as synonyms. That may fly as normal in domestic Israeli politics, but Netanyahu in particular has enough experience of life in the rest of the world to understand its import.

This usage ignores a wise position statement and promise of Ben-Gurion, who said “The State of Israel speaks only on behalf of its own citizens and in no way presumes to represent or speak in the name of Jews who are citizens of any other country.”

smoke

Scary column in JPost by Caroline Glick: "American Jewry’s fateful hour". Full of fear, hypocrisy, half-truths, all delineating Obama's war against Schumer and all Jews.

Exhorting all American Jews to stand united in opposition to the Iran treaty, the columnist warns vaguely, "… first and foremost, it is a fight over whether or not Jews in America have the same rights as all other Americans… Israel has other means of defending itself. If this deal goes through, the greatest loser will be American Jewry."

Doubling down in rhetoric. The subtext surely is a concern in Israel that Bibi's fight is dividing Jews in the U.S. and alienating many Americans from Israel.

confusedponderer

Well, why?

Pollard cannot be executed, however much one thinks he would have deserved that sentence in the first place, because he was never sentenced to death. To kill him now would be murder.

He was sentenced for his crimes to a lengthy prison term. He may not be released because of the severity of his crimes, and given what he did there is a case for that. But that are the legal options.

He could be traded, as many sopies have ben before, and it would even make sense if the Israelis were willing to give something in return.

Alas, they don't and, given their mentality, won't. The US wouldn't get anything out of it, and the Israelis would hold them in contempt for being so weak as to give in without gaining anything, by itself a reason to let him rot where he is.

confusedponderer

LK,
I think that Pat's concern about Bibi's pushback against the Iran deal in the US is indeed driving home the point that folks like Schumer when they do US foreign policy have not in mind what's best for the US but what's good for Israel, and that will inevitably lead to the accusation of dual loyalty.

Bibi has it made a point to call on all Jewish Americans to oppose the deal and basically judge all their political stances by asking themselves: "Is it good (as the Netanyahoo understands it) for Israel?"

The point is that Bibi by framing the qustion in those terms indeed exposes American Jews to the accusation, and that is feeding into established anti-semitic stereotypes. AIPAC's and Adelson's very overt bullying only reinforce that perception.

And risking that may even be deliberate, since in that light the mantra-like invocation of rising anti-semitism from his partisans may very well become a self-fulfilling prophecy - and to Bibi just further proof that assimilation is a mirage and that the Gentiles cannot be trusted. Come and make Aliyah already!

That aside, there is precedent for Pat's concern, as he has lined out:

Catholics were subjected to that sort of stereotyping that they put the Pope before country in the US (and that was so not just in the US, the Prussians thought much along the same lines about the primacy of the pope in Catholicism - i.e. it was a protestant thing). The US is a very protestant country still.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism_in_the_United_States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulturkampf

A starker example would be the accusations of dual loyalty levelled at Germans during WW-I - to an extent that they by and large assimilated and stopped speaking German or circulating German language newspapers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_language_in_the_United_States#Persecution_during_World_War_I

Bibi, and his demand that American Jews put Israel first is a threat to their assimilation because them adhering to his demand would, will be leading to alienation.

Bibi in his mindlessness is making such a ruckus that he is waking sleeping beasts. The US can be as ugly a place as any for minorities once riled up. Exceptionalism is no insurance against that.

confusedponderer

Altoid
iirc Norman Podhoretz said famously that 'it's their theology but our Israel'. Even when you think they are loons, and hold them in contempt for it, just hold your nose and take their support. That's what Bibi does.

That said, I feel with you. That sort of alliance is one that would make me feel uneasy also. As one evangelical put it to me, that while the Jews in Israel will die in a lake of fire, that is because they are, in his memorable phrase 'God's disobedient children', and when I mistook that as glee he corrected me and said it was simply prophecy. IMO zionist-evangelicals are crypto-antisemitic which makes their fulsome professions of love for all thinghs Israeli all the more creepy.

I think that for Bibi that conflation of Jew and Israeli that you mention is entirely deliberate because he fundamentally distrusts all goyim and thinks that a proper Jew's proper place is in Israel.

His call on American Jews to put Israel before the US makes the implications of that explicit for once: There is just one place where Jews can be safe, and it is Israel. Those who still live in the diaspora are betraying the tribe if they side with outsiders. That means ultimately that to Bibi you can be just one thing, Jew or American and not be the same thing at the same time because Israel's interests must come first.

That only goes well without dissonance for so long as one believes or talks oneself into US interests and American interests being identical. They aren't, as the Iran deal makes clear. Thus the friction.

confusedponderer

Correction: it should read "US interests and Israeli interests".

Matthew

Smoke: Even better, this piece in the JPost calls for Senator Gillibrand to be punished for her "betrayal." See http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Gillibrands-betrayal-411952

Oh, my.

Larry Kart

I agree with most everything you say, but I still don't think that there is or is going to be much of a link between anger at/resistance to Bibi's pushback agains the Iran deal and similar responses to "AIPAC's and Adelson's very overt bullying" (these, to me, are quite rational stances) and the return of what seems to me to be genuine anti-Semitism. That, as you aptly say, would require "sleeping beasts" to be awakened, and in my experience and in my understanding of history, I think of the term "beasts" in the case of genuine anti-Semitism in a near literal sense -- the emergence of irrational fantasies (and fears) on a sufficiently-close-to-mass basis as to stir dire mass action.

Bibi and his buddies may indeed want to stir up such feelings in an attempt to further their "assimilation is a mirage/Gentiles can't be trusted" prophecies, but that requires significant evidence on both those points, especially the latter, and I don't think that evidence will be forthcoming. In fact, Pat's examples of anti-Catholic prejudice in the U.S. (particularly in the 19th Century) and accusations of dual loyalty leveled against German-Americans during World War I seem to me to bolster my semi-optimistic point of view. How many Americans today entertain such feelings about Catholics, let alone German-Americans, at all or with much intensity?

Yes, this is a tense, fraught time for American Jews, but I think that the source of that tension is primarily external (Bibi's push, etc.), and I don't yet see much if any deep irrational response to that situation on the part of the rest of America. Indeed, the segment of the population where one might expect such responses to arise instead seems to be lined up behind the GOP presidential candidates' contest to see which one of them can support Bibi most fervently. In this, I suppose, there is a certain craziness that might under stress morph into something akin to its opposite, but again I don't see many people lining up behind such a flag as though doing so were a socio-political solution to perceived primal woes, which is what genuine anti-Semitism, as I see it, virtually requires.

confusedponderer

smoke,
"Doubling down in rhetoric. The subtext surely is a concern in Israel that Bibi's fight is dividing Jews in the U.S. and alienating many Americans from Israel."

The polarisation is IMO deliberate.

It's a gamble cynics like Glick or the Netanyahoo can only win. Consider:

Either they mobilise American Jewry to defeat the deal - fine - or they fail, the climate in the US will be less indulgent of Israeli excesses and their likeminded may make finally make Aliyah in frustration - all the better, Israel needs more settlers.

Schumer and Bibi use the Iran deal as a wedge issue (and so do the Republicans, albeit in an atttempt to pander for funds and votes) and force American Jews to choose betwen the US or Israel, strongly suggesting their choice outcome.

As a result American Jews are being screwed by their leaders like Schumer and Bibi or potential American disgust over their leaders excesses.

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

doesn't rhyme with:

"Is it good for Israel?"

One may paraphrase Bismarck, asking the American people whether Israel's expansion of settlements in 'Judea and Samaria' is worth the healthy bones of a single Nebraskan (arbitrary choice) private, a question that in the US context is far more to the point.

Americans may not understand the maze-like intricacies and subterfuge of the Middle East's byzantine politics, but they get that I presume. Alas, the media avoids to put it to them that way.

Stein's law says 'if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.' Bibi overdoes it. Sooner or later there will be a backlash.

Personally, I find the integration of American Jews into US life a remarkable achievement that the US can pride itself on. As I see it zealots like Schumer and the Netanyahoo are hard at work putting down the seeds that may undo that. After all, in their mind, assimilation probably is the slow death of Jewish identity, so why bother.

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