Monday, March 30, 2015

Why Is the GOP More Jewish than the Jews?

Peter Baker had a great article in the NYT about how Republican support for Israel has become unquestioning and an essential element of any candidate's foreign policy platform.  It was pegged to former Secretary of State Jim Baker's speech to J Street, the moderate Jewish lobby, in which Baker was just slightly critical of Israel.  He was pilloried by virtually every Republican in Washington.  Jeb Bush had to disavow Baker's remarks, despite the fact that Baker was one of George H.W. Bush's most loyal supporters and had already been designated as an advisor to Jeb.  It sounds as if failure to support Israel 100% is treason against the US.  The article attributes this attitude to several factors:

- A greater sens of solidarity in the fight against Islamic extremism sinc 9/11
- A resulting increase in evangelical Christan support for Israel,
-The influence of wealthy Jewish political donors like Sheldon Adelson, and
- The GOP tendency to oppose anything Obama does, including feuding with Netanyahu.

The article points out that the current Republican attitude is much different from that of previous GOP leaders, who were more questioning of Israel, including Presidents George H.W. Bush, Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, as well as Secretary Colin Powell, and NSC chair Brent Scowcroft.  Even Ronald Reagan angered Israel by selling AWACs to Saudi Arabia, and by supporting a UN resolution condemning Israel for bombing Iraq's Osirak nuclear reacator.

The article points out that traditionally Jews have supported the Democratic Party, while Protestants have been Republicans.

The article quotes George W. Bush's White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, on Bush's strong support for Israel.  It says Fleischer is now a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition's board of directors.  Fleischer said, "Being pro-Israel is a no-brainer, absolutely moral issue to take inside the Republican Party."

No Iran Agreement Likely Worse than a Bad Agreement

Tom Friedman's last op-ed, "Look Before Leaping," in the NYT laid out pros and cons of a nuclear agreement with Iran.  However, I don't think he sufficiently recognizes the downside of a possible war if we don't get an agreement.  John Bolton's recent op-ed in the NYT, "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran," shows that there is sentiment for attacking Iran, in almost any case, deal or no deal, but the chances of a military attack on Iran certainly are higher if there is no agreement than if there is no agreement.  If there is no military attack, Iran's obligations under the standard Non-Proliferation Treaty agreements would allow it to develop its nuclear capability up to the last few steps required to build an atomic bomb.  In addition, the other parties to the negotiations -- Russia, China and the Europeans -- are unlikely to maintain sanctions if the deal fails, removing much of the pressure on Iran to bow to Western demands.

Friedman focuses mainly on whether an agreement is likely to bring Iran into the community of civilized nations and thus reduce its trouble-making in the Middle East.  He finds arguments on both sides, probably correctly.  But turning Iran into a responsible member of the international community is not the only issue.  There are also those atomic bombs to worry about.  Unfotunately, I think this makes Friedman's analysis faulty, and I worry that it is faulty for a reason.

Tom Friedman's analysis may be colored by the fact that he is Jewish.  It may simply be that he is under tremendous pressure from other Jews to support the Israeli line that any Iran deal is terrible and that the only solution to the Iranian nuclear problem is to bomb Iran.  I respect Friedman for his long reporting on the Middle East and his personal neutrality in the Arab-Israeli conflict.  He did exemplary reporting from Lebanon and Israel for the New York Times.  That's why when I detect even a little pro-Israel bias in his column, I suspect that he is under tremendous pressure.  I don't worry about Friedman so much as a do about all the other reporters and policy makers in Washington who have less integrity than Friedman.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Attacks on Anti-Semitism, the Last Refuge of a Scoundrel

I am very disappointed in David Brooks’ last column in the New York Times, “How to Fight Anti-Semitism.”  Samuel Johnson said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”  Similarly, screaming “anti-Semitism” is the last refuge of a racist Jew.  Jews are virulent racists who have created an apartheid state in Israel, but who then smear any critics with taunts of anti-Semitism.  Netanyahu won the Israeli election by race-baiting Israeli Arabs, and scaring racist Jews into believing that Arabs might actually have some power in Israel.  Israel declares itself a Jewish state, which by definition would have no Arabs.  Israel is for Jews only, and pretty much only for Ashkenazi Jews, who look down even on Sephardic Jews. 

As an Ashkenazi Jew, David Brooks is part of their propaganda machine, getting the talking points for his column on anti-Semitism from Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Dermer.  He is just spreading hatred.  Atlantic Magazine writer Jeffrey Goldberg, also a Jew who served in the Israeli Defense Forces like David Brooks’ son, got the same message from the Jewish/Israeli hierarchy: smear non-Jews with the anti-Semitism epithet.   It’s all part of an orchestrated Jewish/Israeli campaign of race hatred. 

If Jews weren’t so racist, why would they be so easy to pick out by people who are terrible terrorists?  If Jews just lived as ordinary people, they would not be so easy to identify and attack.  They don’t want to be part of a society mainly consisting of people whom they consider inferior to them.  Their contempt for other races makes them easy targets.  By playing the anti-Semitism card, Brooks and Goldberg reveal themselves as racists.  Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Dermer have both figuratively spit in the face of the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  As an American I take offense at that.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Netanyahu Encourages American Disloyalty

I am disappointed in Netanyahu’s election, and suspicious of how his statements were handled by American news media.  Just before his election, he said that he would not support a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.  Then after he was elected, and his comments had produced a strong unfavorable reaction in the US, he told Andrea Mitchell that he could accept a two-state solution.  First, it seems suspicious that the gave this interview to Andrea Mitchell, a Jew, who at least in this interview revealed herself as a Jew first, a journalist second, and an American third.  Netanyahu clearly chose her as a friendly means for getting his new statement out to the public with minimal questioning by the interviewer about why he completely reversed himself overnight on an  issue that fundamentally affects Israel’s future existence.  Other Jewish journalists, including the NYT’s David Brooks, picked up and defended his new statement, I believe using talking points probably circulated by Israeli Ambassador Dermer.  They explained the Netanyahu statements as not being contradictory because before the election he was saying that a two-state solution was impossible “at this time,” and later that a two-state solution might be possible at some other time, although what time he was referring to in either case was not clear.

I don’t believe that Netanyahu would ever willingly accept a two-state solution at any time, but I also believe that at some point some Israeli leader may have no choice but to accept it.  But I don’t currently see when that would ever be.  At the moment I am more concerned that many American Jews in influential positions appear to be disloyal to the United States and more loyal to Israel.  I include in this group former American Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, who is actually Australian, and no qualification to be American Ambassador to Israel, except that the moved here and headed up a bunch of Jewish interest groups.  He clearly is a Jew first, with little loyalty to either Australia or America.  And of course, the two most recent ambassadors from Israel to the US, were American citizens, born in the US, before they renounced their American citizenship to become Israeli Ambassadors.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Netanyahu and Greater Israel

I am terribly disappointed by the election in Israel.  With the victory of the right-wing, Netanyahu and Likud, Israel will become more obsessed with destroying its Muslim neighbors militarily, and it will become more of an apartheid nation as it increases discrimination against Arabs and other non-Jews in Israel.

I don’t understand the appeal of Israel for right-wing Republicans.  It may be the brotherhood of one right-wing party for another.  Republicans may hate Iranians because of the old 444-day hostage crisis, but do they also have a reason to hate Palestinians?  It may be the appeal of militarism; the Republicans want to fight somebody, and the Israelis can tell them somebody to fight.  However, these days Jews by and large don’t fight for America.  Even NYT columnist David Brooks’ son served in the Israeli military, not the American military.  So, the Republicans will be sending non-Jewish, mostly Christian, boys and girls to fight the Iranians for Israel, if it comes to that.  Of course they will say it’s for America, but right now and for years to come, Iran poses no significant military threat to the United States.  It does pose a serious threat to Israel, in part because of the millennia of racial and religious hatred between Persians and Jews.  The US is a relative late-comer to this culture of hatred.  In addition, there is the question of Jewish political contributions.  At least some of the Republicans are motivated by the desire for the huge political contributions that rich Jews like Sheldon Adelson can make, as illustrated by the pilgrimages that potential Republican presidential candidates make to kiss Adelson’s ring.  It is even more reprehensible if Republicans send Christian boys and girls to fight and die in combat in order for the candidates to rake in Jewish political contributions.  There is also the possibility of Republicans wanting Jewish votes, but it’s not a big population in comparison to the entire United States; however, Harry Truman recognized Israel so quickly over the objection of his Secretary of State because he wanted the Jewish vote, and it worked; he beat Dewey.  The main organization building the Republican-Jewish connection is AIPAC, which attracts leaders of Jewish community organizations, Christian evangelical leaders, and Republican politicians.  I don’t understand how it works, except for money.  AIPAC has tons of money, which it distributes to support right-wing Israel interests, and Republican politicians may be addicted to it.  But if they send Americans to fight and die for AIPAC money, it strikes me as bordering on treasonous.

On the other hand, there are the Jews who are Democrats.  It seems like the majority of Jewish politicians are liberal Democrats, with whom I probably agree more closely on policy issues than with my putative kinsmen, the white, Christian, Southern Republicans.  Furthermore, Israel appears (or appeared before last night) to be more evenly split between right-wing, apartheid zealots and easier-going moderates who might be open to peace with the Palestinians.  So, Jewish-American politicians and Israelis themselves tend toward being more moderate than the main Jewish political organization, AIPAC, and the main hawks in Congress, conservative Republicans.   I don’t know where Jews stand in their innermost thoughts.  Certainly the Holocaust cannot be ignored in their thinking, but if they really care about the Holocaust, how can they oppress the Palestinians the way that they do.  Gaza is not unlike the ghettos that Hitler forced the Jews into during World War II.

The Jews may not have a “final solution” to the Palestinian problem like Hitler had to the Jewish problem, but Netanyahu’s renunciation of the goal of a two-state solution is certainly worrying.  He has continued to build Jewish settlements on Arab land, and he has strongly encouraged European Jews to move to Israel.  This may indicate that Israel is still expanding; it has no intention of returning to the borders established by the UN after World War II.  Netanyahu’s goal is some kind of greater Israel.  (It sounds terrible, but does Israel desire “lebensraum” like Germany did before World War II?)  He appears to believe that Israel needs more land and more Jewish population to avoid being overwhelmed by the Jews in and around Israel.  Right now, Iran is the greatest threat to this “greater Israel” ambition.  Israel has to some extent co-opted the main Sunni states, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to support Israel.  So, the Shiite states present the greatest threat, and Iran is the leader of the Shiite states.  Netanyahu may not be so worried about Iran’s future nuclear capability as he is about taking Iran down a rung now, to limit its power in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, etc.  Screaming about the Iranian nuclear program is way to drum up support for an attack on Iran, or at least strong diplomatic pressure on it.  That serves Netanyahu’s goal of building a greater Israel by presenting Iran with an array of enemies in the West who believe they are trying to limit Iran’s nuclear program, when in fact they are mainly meant to limit Iran’s current strategic leverage on Israel.

If this is the case, Secretary of State Kerry may think he is engaged in the noble goal of trying to limit Iran’s nuclear program, but in fact he is an agent for Jewish efforts to limit Iran’s strategic power, with or without nuclear weapons.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Netanyahu, Iran and the NPT

The US has weakened its ability to restrict Iran’s nuclear program using the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  The idea behind the NPT when it was created in 1970 was to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  Countries that had no nuclear weapons promised not to develop them, but they were allowed to engage in peaceful nuclear activities.  Five countries that already had nuclear weapons could keep them if they were grandfathered under the treaty, although they undertook to eventually eliminate them.  The countries allowed to have nuclear weapons were China, France, Russia, Britain, and the United States.  Although India, Pakistan, and Israel are all known to have nuclear weapons, they are not parties to the NPT.  North Korea also has exploded nuclear devices and has had sort of an on-again, off-again relationship with the NPT.  Iran is a party to the NPT. 

The giant loophole that the US created for India under the NPT the US determination not to make an issue of Israel’s nuclear weapons makes it hard to demand that Iran cease all nuclear activities, as Israel wants and as the US sometimes demands, depending on who is speaking.  In the mid-2000’s, the US under George W. Bush basically gave India an exemption from the NPT, saying that the US would cooperate normally with India on nuclear matters and India could keep its nuclear arsenal.  The US generally protects Israel’s nuclear arsenal from international diplomatic pressure.  Meanwhile, Pakistan and North Korea have successfully resisted international pressure to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.  Since America has basically given a pass to four countries with nuclear weapons, it is hard for it to say that it will go to war and destroy Iran’s nuclear program, which so far has not egregiously violated the NPT safeguards. 

Right now, today, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is a greater threat to the United States than is Iran’s nascent nuclear program which so far has not one nuclear weapon.  Pakistan is full of terrorist sympathizers in Waziristan and other territories that pose more danger to the US military in Afghanistan than to Israel.  Hence, Israel says, “Don’t worry about Pakistan; Iran is the bad country because it holds more animosity toward Israel.”  Jews want American gentile soldiers to die fighting in Iran to increase Israeli security.  Netanyahu spoke to Congress because Israel cannot defend itself against Iran and thus wants America to fight Iran for it.  Let the Jews fight their own battles. 

Furthermore, when nuclear powers have negotiated nuclear disarmament they seek mutual reductions in nuclear weapons.  Israel wants Iranian nuclear disarmament, but Israel is unwilling to negotiate over its own nuclear arsenal.  Israel says we are allowed to have nuclear weapons, but Iran is not.  What is the basis for this assumption?  Is it because the Israelis consider themselves God’s chose people, while Iran is not.  Israel is demonstrating its extreme race hatred, directed at Arabs as well as Persians.  Should the US be leading negotiations, which at bottom are fueled by race hatred?  Why should Netanyahu be allowed to spew race hatred before the US Congress and be cheered for it?  What’s wrong with this picture? 

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Netanyahu's Speech

Bibi Netanyahu gave an excellent speech to the American Congress, but it was at its core full of race hatred.  Clearly Jews hate Persians, and their hatred is reciprocated.  Iran wants a nuclear program that would enable it to build a nuclear bomb sometime in the future, and Israel wants to prevent that by all means, including war.  But what Bibi really wants if for gentile American boys and girls to fight that war, rather than Israeli Jews.  Jews don’t fight for America, even with America fights Israel’s wars, as in Iraq, who “weapons of mass destruction” posed a much greater threat to Israel than to America.  High ranking American Jews like Paul Wolfowitz, Scooter Libby, and Doug Feith were happy to send Christians to fight and die for Israel in Iraq.  Now Bibi wants a new cohort of American Christians to fight and die in Iran. 

There’s nothing new about this.  Anglophile Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to join Britain in the War against Hitler, but despite his love of the British, he did not do it until Japan invaded the US.  In this case, Bibi wants to stir the US to go to war before there is any direct threat to the US.  The Iranian government hates the US, and has hated it for years, certainly since the US overthrew the Iranian government and installed the Shah.  Iran reciprocated by destroying Jimmy Carter with the hostage crisis and installing Ronald Reagan as President, illustrated by its release of the hostages as soon as Reagan was elected.  Reagan thanked Iran by doing the Iran-Contra deal, giving Iran some weapons it could not get otherwise. 

In his speech, Bibi said that Israel can defend itself.  Let it do so.  We don’t need any more American gentiles to die in Israel’s Middle East wars.  Meanwhile we have American Jews deserting America for Israel.  The last two Israeli ambassadors, Ron Dermer and Michael Oren, were born in the US and renounced their US citizenship.  Many young Jewish Americans serve in the Israeli military, two prominent ones are Chicago mayor Raum Emanuel and NYT columnist David Brooks’ son.  Netanyahu has appealed to Jews in Europe, particularly in recently attacked France in Denmark, to leave Europe and move to Israel.  He implies that Jews cannot be loyal to any country but Israel.   

The article on David Brooks’ son refers to Aliyah, the right of return to Israel for Jews.  It says that you must have at least one Jewish grandparent.  By that standard, Bill and Hilary Clinton’s granddaughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, has the right of return, although by Orthodox Jewish standards Charlotte is not Jewish, because Jewishness only comes from the mother, and Chelsea is not Jewish.  However, Charlotte’s father and his father and mother are Jewish.   So, Charlotte has three times what she needs for Aliyah.  Her grandfather, Ed Mezvinsky, a former Congressman, was convicted of 31 charges of fraud in 2001 and served five years in prison.  The Clintons are of course friendly with Jews.  Bill Clinton was roundly criticized for his pardon of Marc Rich just before Clinton left office.  Ironically Rich, a Jew, was under indictment for trading with Iran during hostage crisis.  According to Wikipedia, many senior Israeli officials, including some from the Mossad, and Dick Cheney’s Scooter Libby of Iraq War fame, urged Clinton to pardon Rich because of his assistance to Israel.  No doubt the pardon has helped the Clintons raise money from Jewish sources.  Recently there has been a lot of talk about how much money the Clintons have gotten from foreign sources; presumably some of them are Jewish.  

Monday, March 02, 2015

Anticipating Netanyahu's Speech

We will have to see what Netanyahu says in his speech to Congress.  It sounds like he will say that we must go to war with Iran if Iran does not end its nuclear program. 

Implicit in this call for an end to Iran’s program is a call for military force to destroy the nuclear program if Iran does not do so itself.  This military force seems likely to be American, perhaps aided to some extent by the Israelis, maybe some Sunni Arabs, and maybe some half-hearted Western European support.

There are a number of non-Jewish politicians who support Netanyahu, including McCain, Boehner, and a lot of conservative Republicans.  Some are legitimately concerned, but I worry that some are motivated by Jewish political contributions. In return for Jewish money these politicians are willing to send Gentile American boys (and girls) to fight and die in Iran to protect Israel. 

Iran presents some threat to the US, but not nearly as much as it does to Israel.  Pakistan probably presents more of a threat to the US than Iran does, and Pakistan already has many nuclear weapons.  Pakistan is more unstable than Iran and more opposed to American interests.  Taliban training and taking refuge in Pakistan often attack Americans and their Afghan allies in Afghanistan.  So, if we were going to send some American soldiers to die to stop a nuclear threat, it would make more sense to send them to Pakistan than to Iran.  Because of this, I worry that American Jews are incapable of judging the real foreign policy risks to America.  Jews may be willing to see America destroyed in order to preserve Israel. 

Maybe Netanyahu, or some Jewish-American politician will say something that will ease my concerns about Jews putting Israel’s interests ahead of America’s, but I am not expecting it.  I find this whole dustup over Netanyahu’s speech deeply disturbing, particularly because things seem to be heating up with Russia, but Russia is no threat to Israel; so, Jews don’t worry about a potential nuclear way, except to the extent that it may affect Jews in Ukraine.  

Nemtsov and Maidan

If Putin is behind the murder of Boris Nemtsov, it may be because he does not want a repeat of the Ukrainian Maidan Square protests in Russia.  Putin appears to have been blindsided by the speed with which the Maidan protests ousted Ukrainian Premier Yanukovych, leading to the low grade war going on now.  Putin does not want to see something similar happen to him in Russia.  By killing Nemtsov, he made sure that the Russian protests would not get out of hand. 

I don’t know whether Putin order Nemtsov’s murder, but I doubt that he was disappointed by it.  It is unlikely that it would have happened if Putin has been strongly opposed to it, or even highly concerned about Nemtsov’s safety.  Putin could have provided security for him that would have made his assassination impossible. 

The fact that Putin is so closely linked to the murder raises serious human rights issues for Russia, and security concerns for many Russians unhappy with Putin.  It will make it more difficult for the US to do business with him, in particular getting Russian cooperation on Iran nuclear matters.  There is an outside chance that Putin might be more cooperative on Iran to ease some of the pressure resulting from the Nemtsov murder.