539 comments posted · 2 followers · following 0

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - No Time for Silence on... · 0 replies · -2 points

What's the point here? Isn't it the case that only anti-semites believe these organizations are influential? If they aren't influential, why would the White House beg them to lay off on the sanctions issue?

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - The PA’s Revealing S... · 2 replies · -2 points

It is praiseworthy that Israeli hospitals are treating some Syrians.

But I don't see Israel taking in any Palestinians, as Jordan and Lebanon are in vast numbers. There are, of course, reasons for that reluctance. But if you are sitting on land that belonged to those folks, or their parents and grandparents, it is a bit much to sit in judgment of others.

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - The PA’s Revealing S... · 1 reply · -3 points

I have no doubt that some Syrians are being treated in Israeli hospitals, which is a good thing.

But I don't see Palestinians, even ones married to Israeli citizens, being admitted to Israel for humanitarian reasons, not even people over 65, who can't reproduce and aren't likely to strap bombs to themselves. What I see is the gradual uprooting of Palestinians.

There are reasons why the Israelis don't take in Palestinians, and I don't want to thresh that old straw in a combox. But Lebanon and Jordan have a huge burden, and have taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria. If anyone is to judge them, or even Abu Mazen, let it be someone other than the Israelis, who justly or not are living on land that used to belong to the ancestors of the present Palestinian refugees.

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - The PA’s Revealing S... · 2 replies · -9 points

Oh, good grief! Crocodile tears.

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - Dems: Maybe We Should ... · 1 reply · +2 points

It probably wouldn't have helped if they had read the bill. Only the old-fashioned among us expect that, anyway.

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - Nothing Legitimate Abo... · 1 reply · -7 points

I would say "strongly influence" rather than "control." Many factors influence foreign policy. In this particular area, the Israel Lobby is a pretty significant one.

My problem is that critics of our policy are anathematized if they notice the influence.

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - Nothing Legitimate Abo... · 0 replies · -10 points

No. I think the polls are correct. There's a generalized sympathy for Israel, that is greater than for their opponents. However, this generalized sympathy does not translate into political clout particularly, because for very few voters is our Middle East policy, or foreign policy generally, an important motivator, unless we are at war.

Nor do I suggest that the Israel Lobby is omnipotent, which is nearly what they would have to be to secure the release of a man who spied for a foreign power for money. The fact that organizations would advocate for this shows how immune to criticism and ridicule they believe themselves to be.

The fact remains that the Israel Lobby is extremely influential, and its influence is founded less upon votes than upon money, organization, and effective propaganda than upon some groundswell of support from the rubes.

Using First Amendment rights to advocate for a cause is allowed in this country. What's strange is to succeed and to voice outrage when your critics describe your success . . .

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - Nothing Legitimate Abo... · 9 replies · -21 points

This is rather disingenuous. Jews are a rather small part of the electorate, and they are a predictable bloc vote for the Democrats. Even among that portion of the electorate, Israel is way down on the list of salient issues. It is to be doubted that even the dispensationalist evangelicals vote one way or the other because of Israel policy.

Jews, on the other hand, are disproportionately represented in the financial and political élites, and provide a disproportionate amount of political contributions. The notion that US policy on Israel is due to some popular will and not to organized élite and money influence is a nice propaganda trope, but it doesn't pass the plausibility test.

It reached the point that before Obama did his 180 on Syria, he begged the Zionist groups to help him with Congress, full-court-press style. It's not because he thought they had no organizational ability or influence.

It's all First Amendment-protected stuff. The Zionist organizations boast about their influence when they're raising money, but when it's part of the debate, anyone who points the same thing out gets tarred as antisemitic.

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - The Anti-Israel Peace ... · 0 replies · 0 points


Whether or not the 2-state solution talks are a fool's errand, why should you expect even a semi-Quisling Palestinian leader like Abbas to say nice things about Israel?

10 years ago @ Commentary Magazine - Turkish Jews Begin to ... · 0 replies · 0 points

Of course not, but Jewish polemics against antisemitism usually ignore Jewish behavior entirely.

The entire Jewish community didn't develop the polio vaccine, either, but there's a certain amount of boasting for that sort of thing.