Glenn Greenwald picked up this gem from Instapundit Glenn Reynolds:
If I were the Israelis, not only would I bomb Iran, but I’d do so in such a way as to create as much trouble for China, Russia, Europe and the United States as possible.
You know that if any Democrat or progressive were to say “If I were [some foreign country] I would do whatever it took to create as much trouble for the United States as possible” none of us would ever hear the end of it. It would be thrown up in our faces every time we said we were just as patriotic as they were.
But if a righties says it, IOKIYAR. Especially when the foreign country is Israel.
Recently the Obama Administration has been clearly and solidly opposed to more Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem, and this has put many a rightie’s panties in a twist. (Worthy of note: A majority of Israelis think President Obama’s treatment of their country is “friendly and fair.”)
I honestly don’t understand the thing with Israel and U.S. righties. I get that there’s a fundamentalist Christian connection and a powerful Israel lobby that owns a lot of U.S. lawmakers. But even rank-and-file righties who aren’t overly religious and who aren’t being paid under the table think knee-jerk loyalty to the government of Israel is part and parcel of what it takes to be a patriotic American. They’ve come to believe that America’s and Israel’s interests are identical, and if they aren’t it’s America that’s in the wrong. I can only assume their hatred of Palestinians overrides their love of country.
Back in 2002 then congressman Dick Armey said, “My No. 1 priority in foreign policy is to protect Israel,” and nobody blinked. I remember watching and hearing him say this on television, on one of the political talk shows (Chris Matthews, I think, but I can’t swear to that), and I sat and waited for the more-than-obvious follow-up question — isn’t our no.1 priority to protect the United States? — and it was not asked. Nor was there even a trickle of WTF? commentary after. Weird.
Go figure. Various members of Congress have declared that they will vote against health care reform in America because Obama is for it. At the same time, Israelis enjoy universal (and compulsory) health care. Is it apparent that the welfare of the Israeli people is more important to those members of Congress than the welfare of their fellow citizens?
Amongst the righties that surround me winning a fight is a very admirable accomplishment. They loved the Six Day War and every subsequent bit of violence is just the Six Day War all over again.
“isn’t our no.1 priority to protect the United States? â€” and it was not asked”
At the risk of sounding like an anti-Semite tin-foil hat, the media in this country is solidly in bed with the Israel first crowd. I can’t remember the last time anything remotely critical about Israel has been discussed or reported in depth by a major American media source, it just does not happen. This is a country that has built a wall across its major cities, denies basic food, water and medical care to Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied territories and as official policy practices apartheid. Even many of my liberal friends have made the statement that Israel is the â€œonly democracyâ€ in the Middle East, last time I checked a democracy does not require a certain ethnic or religious pedigree in order to vote, hold public office or even become a citizen. The Israeli lobby and Israeli interests in this country have for years convinced a good portion of us that any critical analysis of Israel equals anti-Semitism. Defending Israel no matter the costs matches up very well with the racism against Arabs and the Christian fundamentalism that unfortunately influences a majority in this country. Unfortunately that’s just the way it is and I don’t see it ever changing.
Kelly makes a good point, plus most righties are scared stupid over anything Muslim or Arab.
I suppose the main driver is the overwhelming dominance of AIPAC, JINSA, and the AEI in American politics, Israel demands the U.S. kiss the ass, then pass gas and laugh; it’s that simple.Eric Cartman incarnate. Until the aid is cut off, this behavior will continue, but I don’t think many ,if any American politicians will buck the system. Being anything but a lover of Israel is political death.
We can’t blame the right alone; Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are huge supporters of Israel, and there is a film clip of Biden being interview on Shalom T.V. stating he is a “zionist”.
Only a complete imbecile would advocate an Israeli attack on Iran; there is the tiny problem of the Shanghi Treaty Organization to be dealt with, among other things.
I don’t understand why the American right is so supportive of a socialist, non- Christian regime like the Likud party.
I’ve observed the same blindspot among wingnuts: the confusion, conflation, and downright inability to separate Israel’s interests from our own. My theory about this, is that they see Israel as being on the front line for a whole host of our supposed enemies, IOW the chickhawk rationale – Israel is fighting them over there so we don’t have to. I think that’s part of it, but it goes deeper than that, into recesses of wingnut unconscious that I’d rather not waste time with.
Incidently, this is one minor reason why I’m glad Hillary isn’t President. Even though American Jews generally repudiate Israel’s far right (from what I’ve seen of polls), she tended to kowtow too much to this constituency during the 2008 election (and after all, this is a big constituency inNew York). Although I felt her husband made good strides in trying to bring peace to the Middle East, I’m not sure she would’ve demonstrated the independence from Israel that Team Obama is presenting.
And oy, those goofy right wingers. Why do they hate America?
Follow the money….
I thought I was alone….now there are 6 of you who think like I do about the U.S. love affair with Israel. Obviously, none of the people who are so gung ho for Israel have ever met any Palestinians or heard their side of the story. And I often wonder why the media cannot be more honest about this topic than they are.
Early speeches made by Al Quada leader, Osama Bin Laden, in regards to 9/11 made it clear that the interference of the U.S. in Arab-Israeli affairs was the dominant reason for hating us. Even that did not bring the powers that be or the holy media to follow up. It seems to me that Israel has not been anything in the middle east but a source of hatred and war…and look where that’s gotten us.
I am not anti-semetic or anti any ethnicity. I lived in Brooklyn in the sixties and many of the people in my old apartment building were seniors who survived concentration camps, the most awesome group of people I have ever met. I would also like to point out that many of the Israeli’s who build new settlements are American Jews. I wish I could site this information, but since I have never blogged or commented before, saving sources was not important. I would love to see more on this topic, thanks Maha, you bring so much into my life with your blogs. Peace to all, Kathleen
The Mahablog is officially neutral on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. From what I see, there are plenty of guilty perpetrators and innocent victims on both sides.
Both sides are at fault here. But, the continued beligerence of Israel makes them hard to defend. Welcome to Apartheid 2010 style…
Israel, just stop with the expansion already! It’s too “In your face!” And is guaranteed to blow back up ‘in YOUR face!”
Maha, trembling before AIPAC’s perceived might is a bipartisan aspect of US politics, although I think you are correct insofar as many in the GOP seem to approach it with a bit more gusto, possibly because of the Armageddon crowd.
Since Israel is a nation, not a religion or a race, one can criticize the political behavior of Israel without criticizing Judaism or the Jewish people. Still, there are those (looking at you, Droopy-Dog Lieberman) who intentionally blur that distinction and try to shame critics of Israel’s bad policies into silence. Sometimes it works, unfortunately. The terrible irony is that most of Israel’s bad policies hurt Israel, but zealots like Lieberman are too blind to see it.
The fact that so many of us — including myself — feel we must preface any criticism of Israel with “I’m not anti-Semite” speaks volumes. Do we do the same when criticising the policies of, for example, China? Germany? Russia, or any other nation on this planet?
Uncledad provided an excellent summary of the current situation in Israel. It conforms with what my son-in-law — a Jew — has also told me. In fact, there are even more and worse abuses of the Palistanians than we have time or space to cover here. But the real underlying question is: by what means and methods have Americans come to believe that we must support that nation, regardless of what it does?
My daughter-in-law is from Russia. “Why does the US media never mention how many Russians also went into German gas chambers?” she asks. “Why does the US media never mention how many millions of people Stalin killed to install his form of government? Why are Americans so ignorant of what has transpired in other countries?
Funny thing is, at all the family gatherings, everyone at the table is in total agreement with everyone else , regardless of whether they are Jews, Russians, Germans, Native Americans, blacks or mixed heritage. And they wonder why things that are so obvious are so ieasily gnored.
The only answer I can give them is that the world is run by “C” students..
My whole family will vouch for your daughter-in-laws story.
They all survived Hitlers Concentration Camps. A few of them got out of Stalins Gulags just in time to get captured by the Germans.
As for Israel, you become what you fear.
The US has moved closer and closer to resembling the old USSR, even though that empire died over 20 years ago.
And, sorry to say, to me, Israel looks more and more like Germany. Substitute the word “Settlements” with “Lebenraum.”
I know, I know! I just opened up a huge can of worms. And now I have to say this: I an NOT anti-Semitic!
Muldoon, I think the world is run by narcissists who think everyone else is a “C” student.I think they’re about to get a wake up call.
Gulag, you claim you are not anti-semitic, but by the tone of your comments, it is clear to me that you are anti-smurf.
Sorry all, too much flu medication……
Maha, you may already know that Canada is currently governed by a right-wing evangelical nutter by the name of Stephen Harper. Same in Canada. Our government just “announced” the other day out of the blue that ‘an attack on Isreal is an attack on Canada”… publicly they denounced the settlements in east Jerusalem but they were pretty timid about it… more to show solidarity with the USA than anything else. I think it has a lot to do with these so called christian zionists having taken over both of our countries (maybe to a lesser extent in the USA now that goober Bush is gone) but I think these people actually believe the ‘final battle” is nigh and they are just doing gawd’s work; and oh, if anything bad happens – not to worry cause the “good ones” will all be raptured up to heaven. Freakin unbelievable but sadly true that these a_holes are in charge!