Israel

Philip Weiss: "The American Jewish revolution is over"

Philip Weiss is a unique American Jewish voice — a Jew without all the usual rationalizations and blind spots–at least most of them. A recent piece of his, titled “This is how the world now sees Jews,” consisted simply of this photo, with a note that it probably depicted Israeli settlers:

How the world now sees Jews

Below is a Palestinian woman whose house in East Jerusalem has been occupied by settlers. She is arguing with nationalist Jews.

Making the case for seizing Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem

The photo is from Weiss’s article, “Making the case for Zionism,” which quotes Peter Beinart in the NY Review of Books:

In the American Jewish establishment today, the language of liberal Zionism—with its idioms of human rights, equal citizenship, and territorial compromise—has been drained of meaning.

Weiss comments: “Why? Because the territorialist-nationalists have won, and from Deir Yassin to Al-Atatra to Sheikh Jarrah, they have uprooted and humiliated Palestinian women.”

The point is that Israelis are  thugs with machine guns and ethnic cleansers. More importantly, all Jews, including the organized American Jewish community which supports Israel to the hilt, have lost the moral high ground.

This is familiar territory for Weiss, but his article “Lame Specter, Blumenthal, and Kagan show — the American Jewish revolution is over” extends his critique of Jews to their role in the contemporary American elite.  The basic message is that Jews in America started out as morally aggrieved outsiders who have ultimately morphed into symbols of the worn out establishment (Arlen Specter), liars (Richard Blumenthal), and calculating achievers and hacks (Elena Kagan).

Although I am far less romantic about the Jewish left and its moral imperative of revolution against the traditional people and culture of America than Weiss is, he certainly does understand that the new Jewish elite is fundamentally corrupt. This Jewish elite consists of people like Adam Kirsch “who steps into the New Yorker and all the other magazines with an air of entitlement, and who can blame him, Jews run the important magazines, with all the passion of printing a train timetable.”

Notice that Kirsch “steps into” his job at the New Yorker — his position as the editor of an elite publication simply handed to him as part of his Jewish entitlement. No need for struggle or for particularly great qualifications. Jews have arrived.

Kagan too “stepped into” her position as Supreme Court nominee. Her only qualifications are being Jewish and knowing the right people. The entire passage bears quoting:

Kagan is the ultimate sign that our brand is finished. She is the best of breed, as they say at Westminster. According to this Times profile, she comes out of the same hothouse I came out of, in her case the Upper West Side. Achievement, liberalism, and no partying. Arguing at the dinner table. Presumably no physical life. [Interesting comment on what it means to be Jewish. On the other hand, there’s that famous photo in the WSJ of her playing softball.]

Kagan’s world is the Jewish success world, she stepped into it like Kirsch did. She loved the hothouse. She emulated Felix Frankfurter, who didn’t stand for much either, and is pals with Sarah Walzer,daughter of Michael Walzer, the political theorist and Jewish parochialist. She went to Jeffrey Toobin’s wedding, she was picked by Larry Summers at Harvard around the time he was saying that divestment was anti-semitic. Eliot Spitzer, Ted Weiss and Elizabeth Holtzman were among her backers. She clerked for Abner Mikva, a Chicago macher who backed Obama.

It’s a Jewish world — a world where being in the right circles counts far more than genuine talent. Kagan, the Harriet Miers of the Obama Administration, simply “steps into” her position in the top court in the land.

This reminds me of Jews as an elite in the Soviet Union, where a nascent Jewish elite motivated by moral fervor  and hatred unleashed by their exclusion under the Czar morphed easily into a corrupt, nepotistic elite that was hostile to the traditional people and culture of Russia. A report to the Soviet Central Committee reminds me of Kagan’s route to success: “They gather around themselves people of the same nationality, impose the habit of praising one another (while making others erroneously believe that they are indispensable), and force their protégés through to high posts” (see here, p. 78). Another report, from 1942, noted that elite cultural institutions “turned out to be filled by non-Russian people (mainly by Jews)” (see here , p. 51, ff). For example, of the ten top executives of the Bolshoi Theater—the most prestigious Soviet cultural institution—there were eight Jews and one Russian. Similar disproportions were reported in prestigious musical conservatories, the Soviet Academy of Science Institute of Literature, and among art and music reviewers in elite publications. Ethnic nepotism, not IQ, is the only way to explain these disproportions.

So now we are looking at a Supreme Court that is one-third Jewish–another disproportion that can’t be explained by Jewish IQ but reeks of ethnic nepotism. The ADL will of course attempt to squelch anyone who talks about the new Jewish elite publicly. But as time goes on, it’s going to be more and more apparent who runs the US.

Fundamentally, White Americans have to wrap their minds around the fact that this new elite is corrupted by nepotism,that it supports policies like massive non-White immigration aimed at the racial dispossession of Whites, and that it has no moral standing, most obviously because of the gap between its moral posturings in the US versus the reality Israel as a an aggressive, ethnonationalist state.



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Alison Weir at UC-Irvine

It’s Israel Apartheid Week at the University of California-Irvine. I went to see Alison Weir who runs  IfAmericansKnew.org. She gave a great talk, a beautiful combination of data and emotionally compelling comments on her personal experience as a witness to the plight of the Palestinians–very moving.

When  it comes to the data, she is at her best in showing how the US media is corrupted by its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict–an issue that extends far beyond the Middle East to include everything related to multiculturalism in America, including coverage of the Kagan nomination. She presented data on the New York Times, the San Jose Mercury News, and National Public Radio. NPR is particularly interesting because it is often the target of pro-Israel activist organizations like CAMERAPro-Israel groups have sought to boycott NPR and have pressured it financially. (Corroborating Alison’s work, just today Mondoweiss posted another devastating critique of NPR–this time “on the month-old Israeli ‘military order’ that allows the IDF to deport any Palestinian inhabitant of the West Bank it defines as an ‘infiltrator,’ simply for lacking the paperwork that the Israeli government itself refuses to issue”–Arizona on steroids. But don’t expect American Jewish organizations to get worked up about it even though they are unanimously against the Arizona law.)

And here she lists all the journalists writing for American publications (one hesitates to call them American journalists) who cover the conflict but also have family ties to Israel or have served in the Israeli army (some may still be in the IDF). Two particularly struck me:

• A previous [New York]  Times bureau chief, Joel Greenberg, before he was bureau chief but after he was already publishing in the Times from Israel, actually served in the Israeli army.

• Media pundit and Atlantic staffer Jeffrey Goldberg also served in the Israeli military; it’s unclear when, how, or even if his military service ended.

Weir is optimistic that things are heading in the right direction. She thinks that more and more Americans seem aware of the situation in Israel. The Israel Apartheid week and the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions are high-profile efforts on college campuses. Outside the lecture hall was an elaborate display of anti-Israel cartoons and an apartheid wall that had been around to a number of campuses.

Apartheid Wall
Apartheid Wall; Universities are listed on bottom
Mock Israeli tank
Mock Israeli tank
Latuff Cartoon on display
Latuff Cartoon on display

It made me think that my current TOO article on John Mearsheimer may have been too pessimistic. Let’s frame it at its most hopeful: If the Israel Lobby loses its control of the political process in the US, it would mean that Jewish power in general loses. And that would have major implications for a wide range of issues, from immigration to the legitimacy of assertions of White identity.

One thing that struck me was that almost all the ~150  students who came to her talk were Arabs. The women wore scarves, and almost everyone wore a black anti-Israel tee shirt, so the meeting had the air of a uniformed, homogeneous, almost military group, with a couple of White outliers like me. Her talk was sponsored by the Muslim Students Association. It was preceded and followed by the reading of a passage from the Koran in Arabic, followed by an English translation. The event was held in the campus Cross-Cultural Center which has offices for all the ethnic activist student organizations. Immediately following her talk, the MECHA activists set up their meeting, presumably to denounce what’s going on in Arizona. (MECHA and all the other student ethnic lobbies and leftist groups are co-sponsors of Israel Apartheid Week. Hostile Jews have turned up at some of the IAW events, especially Norman Finkelstein’s talk, but I felt cheated by not witnessing any shows of Jewish hostility. They evidently pick their targets, and Finkelstein as a “self-hating Jew” is certainly high on their list.)

So even though I was cheered by the thought that more people are becoming aware of what’s going on in  Israel, it was depressing to think that the anti-Apartheid doings are basically just another ethnic lobby. These students identify with the left, and I rather doubt they would be sympathetic to my view that they really shouldn’t have been allowed into the US in the first place. And they would be rather hostile to the idea that Whites have interests too.

I felt like a foreigner viewing someone else’s show. Outside the lecture hall, I felt like a foreigner even more. Despite the fact that UC-I is in the heart of Orange County (formerly considered a bastion of White Republicanism), spotting a White student was almost a rarity.  Whites officially make up around 23% of the students at UC-I, well below their proportion in the state. UC-I is often called the University of Chinese Immigrants, but Chinese were not particularly noticeable. It was all manner of non-Whites, from every part of the world.

Just walking around campus the percentage of Whites seemed to be far less than what the university says. The official statistics are based on freshman enrollment, and I suspect that a lot of White freshmen decide UC-I is not the place for them and transfer to some other university.

It was actually rare to see a White student. When I got into the student union, there were 2 or three Whites in a total of about a hundred. Four White guys later came in and sat together–probably at least implicitly realizing that their association was based on their race. But it was eerie how Whites stood out because of their minority status–almost like being in Hong Kong or Karachi and noticing a few stray Americans.

Like the Palestinians, I had the feeling of being displaced. Only I very much doubt that the Arab students who were involved in the Israel Apartheid Week would sympathize with my feelings.

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Kevin MacDonald: Dr. Lasha Darkmoon's latest

Kevin MacDonald: Whenever Lasha Darkmoon sends me something to post I get a bit of an anxiety attack. On one hand, I know that her articles draw huge interest from readers. Her articles on Jewish influence on art struck a real chord, leading to dozens of emails to her and two later articles that summarized some of the comments — many from artists grateful that someone had finally put a finger on the problem.

On the other hand, she seeks to have impact an an emotional level that is at times unsettling and may be seen by many as “over the top.” Her latest articles (see here and here) definitely push the envelope — beginning with the illustrations from Dees that appear at the top of each article. I cringed at both, especially the one that graces the top of the second article and only left it in after special pleading from Lasha. It’s not my style, certainly. But then I said to myself: Is it really wrong or inaccurate? Comparisons between Israel and Nazism are common these days, and this website has many examples (particularly by Edmund Connelly and me)  where the future is depicted as a brutal dystopia in which Whites are victimized by the emerging non-White coalition. Dees, who is a graphic genius, is simply depicting it in a very powerful way.

So as I went through the article, I tried to make sure that what she writes is accurate but to allow her to present her emotional appeal, toning it down and eliminating quite a bit of material that I thought was needlessly offensive.

One example that got the editorial ax: The famous quote from T.S. Eliot: The rats are underneath the piles./The Jew is underneath the lot. Maybe I should have left it in, but that’s the kind of anti-Jewish comment that I find unhelpful, even if it is comes from a great poet. In the absence of a real analysis, it just lends itself to being rejected out of hand as merely an expression of prejudice — as, of course, it has: Here’s a review of a recent book on Eliot titled: “‘Underneath the lot’: An incredible mind, for sure, though touched by blatant prejudice.”

But I left in the section where she depicts the horrific crimes against Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom — even though she thought I would remove them. Probably most TOO readers have heard this crime discussed, but Darkmoon’s treatment hits home emotionally in a way that I have never seen.

Will readers be upset? Perhaps. But the mainstream media does exactly the same thing in sensationalizing crimes by Whites against non-Whites — and particularly the crimes against Jews committed in WWII. And if one really has an image of this crime in your mind, the result will be a righteous anger that will motivate people to challenge what’s going on. This, of course, is exactly why such crimes against Whites are completely ignored by the media.

Darkmoon also did a photo essay interspersed with poetry that is a tribute to Rachel Corrie, martyr for the Palestinians (“She Died for Palestine”). Again, there was a huge positive response. I think that because the fate of the Palestinians has become a moral touchstone in the contemporary world to many across the entire political spectrum, the response was uniformly positive. (We don’t have many pro-Zionist readers.)

So I said to myself, why is this any different? TOO has posted numerous articles primarily directed at the left side of the brain — the facts and analysis that are entirely on our side. But facts and analysis only go so far in motivating people.  The fact is that we have to start screaming about what is happening, not only in Israel but in the West generally. We should have a righteous anger not only about the crimes of Israel, but about the crimes of Freud and the Frankfurt School. We have to have clear, emotionally compelling images in our memories — memories that motivate action. And Lasha Darkmoon is screaming.

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More on Dual Loyalty — Dr. Lani Kass and Gen. Norton Schwartz

Dual loyalty issues have once again arisen, this time in conjunction with Philip Giraldi’s astonishing essay on antiwar.com. Giraldi discusses the curious career of Dr. Lani Kass — formerly a senior military officer in the Israeli Defense Force, and now the  senior Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General Norton A. Schwartz. “Kass appears to have close and continuing ties to her country of birth, frequently spicing her public statements with comments about life in Israel while parroting simplistic views of the nature of the Islamic threat that might have been scripted in Tel Aviv’s Foreign Ministry.”

Giraldi notes that her appointment raises a host of issues, including the possibility that she is an Israeli spy and exactly how she managed to get security clearance. Given that the official policy of the Israeli government is to advocate a war with Iran, it is more than interesting that she has an important influence on US policy and that she is involved in Project CHECKMATE responsible for drawing up war plans. She is quoted as having what Giraldi characterizes as a “dismissive” comment on a possible war with Iran, and has the views on the Islamic threat usually associated with neocons.

The role of Kass in the Defense Department is at least as questionable as the role of Dennis Ross in the State Department. In fact, it would seem to be an even more clear-cut case because Kass was actually born and raised in Israel and rose to the rank of major in the IDF. Although she is a naturalized US citizen, she has doubtless retained her Israeli citizenship. It would more than a bit surprising if she did not retain an allegiance to Israel. And is there any evidence at all that she has allegiance to the US? When asked about possible war with Iran, she responded, “We can defeat Iran, but are Americans willing to pay the price?” — as if she is not an American.

By Stephen Walt’s criteria, therefore, Kass should not have any policy-making role on any issue that relates to Israel. A more difficult case is that of her boss, Gen. Norton Schwartz. Schwartz is also Jewish, although does not have the close ties to Jewish activist organizations like Ross or the strong connections to Israel like Kass. As reported in the Forward,

Schwartz’s Jewish identity did not go unnoticed after his appointment, particularly given the current military tensions with Iran. Press TV, an Iranian English language media outlet, wrote an article last week, titled “U.S. Names Jewish [sic — presumably an intentionally awkward translation] as Air Force Chief.”

There have long been rumors that Schwartz’s predecessor, Michael Moseley, was opposed to a military attack on Iran. The appointment of Schwartz has prompted speculation in the Iranian press and on some blogs that the Bush administration is yet again seriously considering the military option to thwart Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Unlike the vast majority of Americans, the Iranians assume that Schwartz’s ethnic identity would make a difference, and I must agree that it should raise red flags. The vast majority of American Jews have a very strong emotional commitment to Israel that may bias their judgment even if they are not consciously aware of their biases.

As I noted elsewhere,

In my ideal world, Jonah Goldberg’s op-eds and Paul Wolfowitz’s advice to presidents and defense secretaries should be accompanied by a disclaimer: “You should be cautious in following my advice or even believing what I say about Israel. Deception and manipulation are very common tactics in ethnic conflict, so that my pose as an American patriot should be taken with a grain of salt. And even if I am entirely sincere in what I say, the fact is that I have a deep psychological and ethnic commitment to Israel and Judaism. Psychologists have shown that this sort of deep commitment is likely to bias my perceptions of any policy that could possibly affect Israel even though I am not aware of it.”

We would certainly like to know the details of Schwartz’s ties with Jewish organizations and activist groups, as well as any ties that he has with Israel. (For example, Paul Wolfowitz has family members living in Israel.) The fact that Schwartz has hired Kass as his senior Special Assistant suggests that the taboo against discussing Jewish loyalty issues is so strong that they feel free to be entirely public about it. (There might be some sensitivity, however, since the Pentagon has removed Kass’s biography from its website.)

Nevertheless, a war with Iran would be very costly for the US and may well have huge long term implications for the region and the world. Surely if the government wanted to project the image that US policy was not being shaped by people with a strong personal ethnic attachment to Israel (as clearly happened in the war with Iraq), they would remove people like Ross, Kass, and Schwartz from any role in making policy.

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The Netanyahu-Obama Flap

Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the US, says that the US-Israel relationship is at its lowest ebb in 35 years. Well, maybe.  But the Israel Lobby is far from dead. Half of Congress turned out at the recent AIPAC convention in Washington, and there were  pledges of eternal support by Hilary Clinton, followed up by a host of politicians. In the conflict between the Obama administration and Netanyahu, the media was solidly lined up on the side of a foreign country.  Indeed, as Philip Giraldi notes, “The Washington Post led the charge, calling on ‘expert’ analysis of the situation from Elliot Abrams, Danielle Pletka, David Makovsky, Aaron David Miller, Daniel Curter, Martin Indyk, and Charles Krauthammer while excoriating the White House with its own lead editorials.”

Dominating the mainstream media definitely has its advantages.

Meanwhile, more than 3/4 of the House of Representatives signed on to a statement asserting “unbreakable bonds” between the US and Israel and ludicrously asserting that “A strong Israel is an asset to the national security of the United States and brings stability to the Middle East.”

We are reassured that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s commitment to put in place new procedures will ensure that such surprises [a municipal Jerusalem announcement on approval of another step towards the construction of 1,600 apartments in a post-1967 Jerusalem neighborhood during U.S. Vice President Biden’s recent visit to Israel], however unintended, will not recur.

In other words, the House is satisfied that Israel will not to make any surprise announcements that coincide with a visit of a US dignitary. But the House does not expect Israel to stop confiscating Palestinian land and building housing for Jews. Business as usual. Don’t ask. Don’t tell.

There is a long history in which Congress is far more susceptible to pressure from the Israel Lobby than the administration. Congress understands that opposition to the lobby means that their opponents will suddenly have a great deal of money donated by Jews who live outside their districts and they will have far less positive media coverage.

On the other hand, American presidents must at least make a show of promoting peace in the region, and that means putting up a credible facade to other countries. All American administrations since Carter have officially opposed the colonization of the West Bank, and this has at times led to well-publicized conflict. For example, in 1992 the first Bush administration attempted to withhold loan guarantees for Israeli housing. It backed down, with Bush famously saying “I’m one lonely little guy” up against “some powerful political forces” made up of “a thousand lobbyists on the Hill.” Bush seems to believe that his defeat in the 1992 election stemmed from this action, and I can vividly remember the sudden shift in media coverage of Bush at the time. George W. Bush’s awareness of the power of the Israel Lobby from conversations with his father may well have been a primary force in making him the most pliable president  in history to the pleadings of the Israel Lobby.

The clincher from the House statement is: “Above all, we must remain focused on the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear weapons program to Middle East peace and stability.” And therein lies the rub for AIPAC. For all its influence on Congress, it will be much more difficult to get an angry Obama and his administration fully on board with the Israel Lobby’s project of destroying Iran. The reality of the Lobby’s power even in presidential politics, as indicated by what happened to George H. W. Bush,  is doubtless sobering to the Obama administration. But it’s one thing to effectively turn a blind eye to Israeli colonization and apartheid (as, in the end, all US administrations have done). It’s quite another ball of wax to get the US to lead the charge in a confrontation with Iran after 5000 deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and a $3 trillion price tag just for the war in Iraq. This in an era where the federal deficit is already through the roof. Doing the Israel Lobby’s bidding on Iran requires a great deal of pro-active effort in getting international cooperation in the teeth of Israeli intransigence on settlement issues and the spectacle of Israel as an expansionist apartheid state for all the world to see.

Indeed, in her speech to AIPAC Hilary Clinton pointedly noted that “We cannot escape the impact of mass communications” — perhaps a comment that the reality of Israel’s brutal program of expansion is a very hard sell to the rest of the world, especially in the age of the Internet when there is more and more leakage in Jewish control of the media in the US and elsewhere. The statement by General David Petraeus that Israeli policies oppose US vital interests in the Middle East is all over the Internet — much to the chagrin of the ADL Petraeus himself has done his best to limit the damage by disputing this account.

It’s the same for Joe Biden’s statement that Israeli policy is dangerous for the US. It’s also all over the Internet,  quoted, for example, by John Mearsheimer in his blog — despite denials by Biden that he ever said it. As Mearsheimer notes, “it is now commonplace to talk about the lobby in the mainstream media and almost everyone who pays serious attention to American foreign policy understands – thanks mainly to the internet – that the lobby is an especially powerful interest group.”

With information about Israel more available than ever, with the costs of doing Israel’s bidding ever more prohibitive, and with Israel getting ever uglier with the passage of time, the job ahead for the Israel Lobby is going to be increasingly difficult. And Israel can’t escape its ugliness. The slow motion ethnic cleansing and land grabbing, the apartheid, the vast open air prisons for 3.8 million Palestinians simply can’t be stopped by any force within Israeli society. And it certainly won’t be stopped by the Jewish Diaspora no matter how much hypocrisy that entails given its commitment to multiculturalism and its opposition to White ethnonational interests. The racialist and religiously fundamentalist right is firmly in charge in Israel, and all the Jewish demographics are on their side. The extremists, as always, will win the day. That forecasts a very bloody future in the Middle East and beyond. And here in the US, AIPAC and the ADL have a long, tough road ahead.

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Pat Buchanan is Censored by Human Events

Pat Buchanan is a national treasure — by far the most articulate and sensible spokesman in the mainstream media — or at least close to it — for a wide range of issues, from immigration, to economic nationalism, to foreign policy issues. Unfortunately, his exposure in the MSM seems to be on the wane. He still appears on the McLaughlin Group, but his former base at MSNBC has disappeared, and his exposure in the major newspapers seems non-existent. I can remember in the 1990’s when he was a regular on the LA Times op-ed page, which seems inconceivable now. (There was an LA Times column he did on the Frankfurt School at a time when I was starting to research Jewish intellectual movements. After reading his account of how the Frankfurt School undermined the family, I thought that there might be a Jewish story there. Not a bad guess. The Frankfurt School was labeled a “Jewish sect” by Gershon Scholem, and the Frankfurt School became the subject of Ch. 5 of The Culture of Critique and much subsequent writing. Thanks Pat.) Not surprisingly, Buchanan has a very long rap sheet at the ADL.

Buchanan’s latest article, “The Poodle Gets Kicked,” on the Biden visit to Israel will do nothing to endear him to the ADL. Buchanan makes an excellent case on the absurdity of supposing that US and Israeli interests are identical. The  interesting thing is that the version that appeared on the Human Events website was about half the length of the original. (See “Human Events Censors Pat Buchanan’s Latest Column” at Buchanan.org). Linda Muller, who runs Buchanan.org, suggests that this is the result of neocon censors at Human Events, and notes that the revised version leaves out any mention of AIPAC or the USS Liberty incident.

It should surprise no one that Human Events would be involved in such a clumsy version of censorship. These are the people who fired Kevin Lamb after a phone call from the SPLC. (See Lamb’s VDARE article, “The Leftward Course Of Human Events.“)

The Human Events censor seems to have been motivated to expunge statements implying extreme groveling by Biden, as in his ridiculous statement  “Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the United States and Israel.” Of course, the opposite is the case. No space means that Israel can stall peace talks forever without having to worry that the US will do anything about it. Biden should have a special place in George Orwell’s Hall of Fame.

The censor also expunged the most egregious examples where Israel has demonstrated quite clearly that it has always pursued its own interests even when they conflict with US interests — not only in the USS Liberty case, but also stealing uranium during the JFK administration, transferring US technology to China, and spying on the US. (Buchanan was being kind by only mentioning Pollard; there are many more examples; see here and here.) The Israeli policy of ethnic cleansing on the West Bank and Jerusalem is therefore part of a long list of areas where Israel refuses to modify its goals by listening to its poodle. Why should it? Nobody cares what poodles think.

The following is Buchanan’s entire column with the censored parts underlined.

Actually, Joe set himself up. From the moment he set foot on Israeli soil, our vice president was in full pander mode.

First, he headed to Yad Vashem memorial, where he put on a yarmulke and declared Israel “a central bolt in our existence.”

“For world Jewry,” Joe went on, presumably including 5 million Americans, “Israel is the heart. … Israel is the light. … Israel is the hope.”

Meeting Shimon Peres the next day, Joe confessed that when he first visited at age 29, “Israel captured my heart.”

In Peres’ guestbook, he wrote, “The bond between our two nations has been and remains unshakeable.”

He then told Peres and the world, “There is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security.”

As Peres spoke, Biden took notes. When Peres called him “a friend,” Joe gushed, “It’s good to be home.”

Even at AIPAC, they must have been gagging.

Walking around the corner to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office, Joe called him by his nickname, “Bibi,” declared him a “real” friend and said the U.S. relationship with Israel “has been and will continue to be the centerpiece of our policy.”

Then the sandbag hit.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced construction of 1,600 new apartment units in Arab East Jerusalem. Stunned and humiliated, Biden issued a statement saying he “condemned” the decision.

He then retaliated by coming late to dinner at Bibi’s house.

Netanyahu has apologized for the timing, but they are going ahead with the apartments. What are the Americans going to do about it? At this point, nothing but bluster.

Indeed, a day later, at Tel Aviv University, Joe was back at it: “(T)he U.S. has no better friend … than Israel.”

On his departure for Jordan, Ha’aretz reported that Israel plans to build 50,000 new homes in East Jerusalem over the next few years.

Biden may feel he was played for a fool, and Americans may feel jilted, but we got what grovelers deserve. And if we wish to understand why the Arabs who once respected us now seem contemptuous of us, consider that battered-spouse response to a public slap across the face.

Consider also the most remarkable statement of Biden’s first 24 hours.

“Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the United States and Israel.”

Biden is saying we are a more effective force for Mideast peace in a region where Arabs outnumber Israelis 50 to one if everyone knows we sing from the same song sheet as Israel and have no policy independent of Israel’s.

How can America be seen as an honest broker between Arabs and Israelis if there is “no space” between America and Israel?

Even with the closest ally in our history, Britain in World War II, there was space between Winston Churchill and FDR on where to invade — North Africa, Italy, France, the Balkans? — whether to beat Stalin to Berlin, Prague and Vienna, who should be supreme allied commander, even whether the British Empire should survive.

Israel keeps its own interests foremost in mind, and when these dictate actions inimical to U.S. interests, Israel acts unilaterally. David Ben-Gurion did not seek Dwight Eisenhower’s permission to attack Egypt in collusion with the French and British in 1956, enraging Ike.

Israel did not consult JFK on whether it could steal enriched uranium from the NUMEC plant in Pennsylvania for its atom bomb program.

Israel did not consult us on whether it could attack the USS Liberty in the Six-Day War, or suborn Jonathan Pollard to loot our security secrets, or transfer our weapons technology to China. They went ahead and did it, knowing the Americans would swallow hard and take it.

Ehud Olmert did not consult President-elect Obama on whether to launch a war on Gaza and kill 1,400 Palestinians. Nor did Netanyahu consult us before Mossad took down the Hamas minister in Dubai.

What Netanyahu and Yishai are telling Obama with their decision to keep building on occupied land is, “When it comes to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, we decide, not you.”

And if Netanyahu has jolted Joe and others out of their romantic reveries about Israel, good. At least now we no longer see as through a glass darkly.

Israeli and U.S. interests often run parallel, but they are not the same. Israel is concerned with a neighborhood. We are concerned with a world of 300 million Arabs and a billion Muslims. Our policies cannot be the same.

If they are, we will end up with all of Israel’s enemies, who are legion, and only Israel’s friends, who are few.

And if our policy and Israel’s are one and the same, the Arab perception will be what it is today — that America cannot stand up to Israel, even when her national interests command it.

Joe’s performance before he got the wet mitten across the face only underscored the point: The mighty superpower is a poodle of Israel.

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Christian Zionism

Max Blumenthal has a post that he  claims shows that “Biden should have known that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu intended to upset his plans by Netanyahu’s appearance with John Hagee.” This refers to one of the oddest phenomena in American politics: The rabid pro-Israel activities of the Christian Zionists as exemplified by Pastor Hagee. Hagee is the ultimate Christian Zionist, using his speech before a who’s who of the Israeli government and other elements of the Israeli far right to state that Jerusalem is “the undivided, eternal capitol of the Jewish people.” He called Iranian President Ahmadinejad “the Hitler of the Middle East” and denounced the Goldstone Report as “character assassination by an unbiased and uninformed committee.”

In the audience was “Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the chief rabbi of the illegal West Bank settlement of Efrat who gained notoriety for lobbying President Bill Clinton to pardon his friend, fugitive billionaire Marc Rich. Ayalon had stirred controversy days before when he refused to meet with a US congressional delegation brought to Israel by the progressive Jewish group J Street.”

What’s amazing to me is that the point of Hagee’s speech was to tout the $58,000,000 (!) that his group of Christians have donated to far-right causes in Israel since 2001, including settler groups and a group that aims to ensure” that students in Israel are on the right path, the path of Zionism, the love of Israel, the path of solidarity.”

As it was explained to me, Hagee, believes that God actually decreed not one, but two, plans of salvation:  one for the church, which requires faith in Christ’s atonement, and another for the Jews, which does not require them to have faith in Christ at all, but is a parallel covenant that bypasses the Church and Christ completely.  They regard the creation of the modern state of Israel as nothing less than the precursor of that heavenly kingdom, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the sign of Christ’s imminent return.

Christian Zionism is a very powerful force for philosemitism in the US.  There is a fascinating history (see, e.g., here) that suggests but falls short of proof that early Zionists like Samuel Untermeyer were important in promoting and publicizing the work of C. I. Scofield whose annotated Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1909, is the basis of Christian Zionism. In any case, the above source discusses footnotes to the Scofield Bible added in 1967 that emphasize Zionist aims. For example,  “For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgment.” ” God made an unconditional promise of blessing through Abram’s seed to the nation of Israel to inherit a specific territory forever.” “It has invariably fared ill with the  people who have persecuted the Jew, well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle.” (Footnotes to Genesis 12:3)

Jews have not stood by idly on this but have actively supported the Christian Zionism movement. Beginning in 1978, the Likud Party in Israel has taken the lead in organizing this force for Israel, and they have been joined by the neocons. For example, in 2002 the Israeli embassy organized a prayer breakfast with the major Christian Zionists. The main organizations are the Unity Coalition for Israel which is run by Esther Levens and Christians United for Israel, run by David Brog. The Unity Coalition for Israel consists of ~200 Christian and Jewish organizations has strong connections to neocon think tanks such as the Center for Security Policy, headed by Frank Gaffney, pro-Israel activist organizations the Zionist Organization of America, the Likud Party and the Israeli government. This organization claims to provide material for 1,700 religious radio stations, 245 Christian TV stations, and 120 Christian newspapers.

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