Mondoweiss: ‘Why is Israel’s interference in American politics not subject to a congressional probe? Because it’s so successful.’

I find Mondoweiss a challenge to read and to simultaneously keep my equanimity. The website challenges my assumptions about the moral superiority of the Jews and of the Jewish state.

I can’t think of any Middle Eastern country I would rather live in than Israel. I can’t think of any people I would rather belong to than Jews. I can’t think of any life I’d rather live than the Orthodox Jewish one.

Still, it’s good to read challenges like this one:

Link:

The other day, I asked a longtime Democratic Party insider who is working on the Russia-gate investigation which country interfered more in U.S. politics, Russia or Israel. Without a moment’s hesitation, he replied, “Israel, of course.”

Which underscores my concern about the hysteria raging across Official Washington about “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential campaign: There is no proportionality applied to the question of foreign interference in U.S. politics. If there were, we would have a far more substantive investigation of Israel-gate.

The problem is that if anyone mentions the truth about Israel’s clout, the person is immediately smeared as “anti-Semitic” and targeted by Israel’s extraordinarily sophisticated lobby and its many media/political allies for vilification and marginalization.

So, the open secret of Israeli influence is studiously ignored, even as presidential candidates prostrate themselves before the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both appeared before AIPAC in 2016, with Clinton promising to take the U.S.-Israeli relationship “to the next level” – whatever that meant – and Trump vowing not to “pander” and then pandering like crazy.

Congress is no different. It has given Israel’s controversial Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a record-tying three invitations to address joint sessions of Congress (matching the number of times British Prime Minister Winston Churchill appeared). We then witnessed the Republicans and Democrats competing to see how often their members could bounce up and down and who could cheer Netanyahu the loudest, even when the Israeli prime minister was instructing the Congress to follow his position on Iran rather than President Obama’s.

Israeli officials and AIPAC also coordinate their strategies to maximize political influence, which is derived in large part by who gets the lobby’s largesse and who doesn’t. On the rare occasion when members of Congress step out of line – and take a stand that offends Israeli leaders – they can expect a well-funded opponent in their next race, a tactic that dates back decades.

Well-respected members, such as Rep. Paul Findley and Sen. Charles Percy (both Republicans from Illinois), were early victims of the Israeli lobby’s wrath when they opened channels of communication with the Palestine Liberation Organization in the cause of seeking peace. Findley was targeted and defeated in 1982; Percy in 1984.

Findley recounted his experience in a 1985 book, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, in which Findley called the lobby “the 700-pound gorilla in Washington.” The book was harshly criticized in a New York Times review by Adam Clymer, who called it “an angry, one-sided book that seems often to be little more than a stringing together of stray incidents.”

Enforced Silence

Since then, there have been fewer and fewer members of Congress or other American politicians who have dared to speak out, judging that – when it comes to the Israeli lobby – discretion is the better part of valor. Today, many U.S. pols grovel before the Israeli government seeking a sign of favor from Prime Minister Netanyahu, almost like Medieval kings courting the blessings of the Pope at the Vatican.

During the 2008 campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama, whom Netanyahu viewed with suspicion, traveled to Israel to demonstrate sympathy for Israelis within rocket-range of Gaza while steering clear of showing much empathy for the Palestinians.

In 2012, Republican nominee Mitt Romney tried to exploit the tense Obama-Netanyahu relationship by stopping in Israel to win a tacit endorsement from Netanyahu. The 2016 campaign was no exception with both Clinton and Trump stressing their love of Israel in their appearances before AIPAC.

Money, of course, has become the lifeblood of American politics – and American supporters of Israel have been particularly strategic in how they have exploited that reality.

One of Israel’s most devoted advocates, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, has poured millions of dollars in “dark money” into political candidates and groups that support Israel’s interests. Adelson, who has advocated dropping a nuclear bomb inside Iran to coerce its government, is a Trump favorite having donated a record $5 million to Trump’s inaugural celebration.

Of course, many Israel-connected political donations are much smaller but no less influential. A quarter century ago, I was told how an aide to a Democratic foreign policy chairman, who faced a surprisingly tough race after redistricting, turned to the head of AIPAC for help and, almost overnight, donations were pouring in from all over the country. The chairman was most thankful.

The October Surprise Mystery

Israel’s involvement in U.S. politics also can be covert. For instance, the evidence is now overwhelming that the Israeli government of right-wing Prime Minister Menachem Begin played a key role in helping Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1980 strike a deal with Iran to frustrate President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to free 52 American hostages before Election Day.

Begin despised Carter for the Camp David Accords that forced Israel to give back the Sinai to Egypt. Begin also believed that Carter was too sympathetic to the Palestinians and – if he won a second term – would conspire with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to impose a two-state solution on Israel.

Begin’s contempt for Carter was not even a secret. In a 1991 book, The Last Option, senior Israeli intelligence and foreign policy official David Kimche explained Begin’s motive for dreading Carter’s reelection. Kimche said Israeli officials had gotten wind of “collusion” between Carter and Sadat “to force Israel to abandon her refusal to withdraw from territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and to agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

Kimche continued, “This plan prepared behind Israel’s back and without her knowledge must rank as a unique attempt in United States’s diplomatic history of short-changing a friend and ally by deceit and manipulation.”

But Begin recognized that the scheme required Carter winning a second term in 1980 when, Kimche wrote, “he would be free to compel Israel to accept a settlement of the Palestinian problem on his and Egyptian terms, without having to fear the backlash of the American Jewish lobby.”

In a 1992 memoir, Profits of War, former Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe also noted that Begin and other Likud leaders held Carter in contempt.

“Begin loathed Carter for the peace agreement forced upon him at Camp David,” Ben-Menashe wrote. “As Begin saw it, the agreement took away Sinai from Israel, did not create a comprehensive peace, and left the Palestinian issue hanging on Israel’s back.”

So, in order to buy time for Israel to “change the facts on the ground” by moving Jewish settlers into the West Bank, Begin felt Carter’s reelection had to be prevented. A different president also presumably would give Israel a freer hand to deal with problems on its northern border with Lebanon.

Ben-Menashe was among a couple of dozen government officials and intelligence operatives who described how Reagan’s campaign, mostly through future CIA Director William Casey and past CIA Director George H.W. Bush, struck a deal in 1980 with senior Iranians who got promises of arms via Israel in exchange for keeping the hostages through the election and thus humiliating Carter. (The hostages were finally released on Jan. 20, 1981, after Reagan was sworn in as President.)

Discrediting History

Though the evidence of the so-called October Surprise deal is far stronger than the current case for believing that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign, Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. media have refused to accept it, deeming it a “conspiracy theory.”

One of the reasons for the hostility directed against the 1980 case was the link to Israel, which did not want its hand in manipulating the election of a U.S. president to become an accepted part of American history. So, for instance, the Israeli government went to great lengths to discredit Ben-Menashe after he began to speak with reporters and to give testimony to the U.S. Congress.

When I was a Newsweek correspondent and first interviewed Ben-Menashe in 1990, the Israeli government initially insisted that he was an impostor, that he had no connection to Israeli intelligence.

However, when I obtained documentary evidence of Ben-Menashe’s work for a military intelligence unit, the Israelis admitted that they had lied but then insisted that he was just a low-level translator, a claim that was further contradicted by other documents showing that he had traveled widely around the world on missions to obtain weapons for the Israel-to-Iran arms pipeline.

Nevertheless, the Israeli government along with sympathetic American reporters and members of the U.S. Congress managed to shut down any serious investigation into the 1980 operation, which was, in effect, the prequel to Reagan’s Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal of 1984-86. Thus, U.S. history was miswritten. [For more details, see Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative; Secrecy & Privilege; and Trick or Treason.]

Looking back over the history of U.S.-Israeli relations, it is clear that Israel exercised significant influence over U.S. presidents since its founding in 1948, but the rise of Israel’s right-wing Likud Party in the 1970s – led by former Jewish terrorists Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir – marked a time when Israel shed any inhibitions about interfering directly in U.S. politics.

Much as Begin and Shamir engaged in terror attacks on British officials and Palestinian civilians during Israel’s founding era, the Likudniks who held power in 1980 believed that the Zionist cause trumped normal restraints on their actions. In other words, the ends justified the means.

In the 1980s, Israel also mounted spying operations aimed at the U.S. government, including those of intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard, who fed highly sensitive documents to Israel and – after being caught and spending almost three decades in prison – was paroled and welcomed as a hero inside Israel.

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What Is Conservatism? By Ofir Haivry and Yoram Hazony

LINK.

“Anglo-American conservatism is a distinct political tradition” coming from certain DNA. It doesn’t work as well for other DNA.

“The challenges facing the Anglo-American tradition are now” as always coming from those with different DNA who take up residence in Anglo lands or threaten to invade such lands. Nature, red in tooth and claw.

“The emergence of the Anglo-American conservative tradition can be identified with” Anglo DNA. Other DNA cannot create the rights of Englishmen.

“Living in very different periods, these individuals nevertheless shared common ideas and principles” but most of all they shared DNA.

“…these men as having founded the tradition they were defending.” No, they were expressing their DNA and the society created by such DNA.

“Where does the tradition of Anglo-American conservatism begin?” With Anglo-Saxon DNA.

“…the English constitution is the one best suited for human freedom” because it fits with Anglo-Saxon DNA, the type of people who make bonds primarily on morality, not kinship.

“Fortescue emphasizes that the laws of each realm reflect the historic experience and character of each nation” which spring from DNA.

“English common law is in accord with England’s historic experience” and its DNA. Such law won’t work as well for other DNA.

Dinesh D’Souza wrote in 1995 about Samuel Francis:

A lively controversialist, Francis began with some largely valid complaints about how the Southern heritage is demonized in mainstream culture. He went on, however, to attack the liberal principles of humanism and universalism for facilitating “the war against the white race.” At one point he described country music megastar Garth Brooks as “repulsive” because “he has that stupid universalist song, in which we all intermarry.” His fellow whites, he insisted, must “reassert our identity and our solidarity, and we must do so in explicitly racial terms through the articulation of a racial consciousness as whites… The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people.”

Kevin MacDonald writes:

…David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s
Seed: Four British Folkways in America1 has shaped the way I see American
history and much else. He provides a compelling account of how
the four main British-derived groups (Puritans, distressed Cavaliers,
Quakers, and Scots-Irish borderers) differed and their struggle for
dominance in America. To me as an evolutionist, a big part of the attraction
is that Fischer roots these cultural differences in the distant
past. Thus the tendencies of the two main groups, Puritans based in
East Anglia and the Cavaliers in Southeast England, go back to the
murky period of English prehistory. These types (Puritans relatively
egalitarian, Cavaliers elitist and hierarchical) are very strong cultural
differences and thus likely to be influenced by ethnic-genetic differences.

Fairness and Freedom continues his comparative approach, this time
comparing two different British-derived societies, New Zealand and
the United States. The basic thesis is that New Zealand political culture
is much more infused with “an abiding concern for fairness” (p.
14), while the U.S. is more focused on an ideology of individual freedom.

Interestingly, until the mid-20th century and then doubtless because
of Western influence, there are no words for fairness in languages
apart from English, Danish, Norwegian, and Frisian. Moreover,
the words for fair and fairness have no Greek or Latin roots, but
are nevertheless traceable to an Indo-European origin where they appear
only in the above group of Northern European languages…

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Zionism As White Nationalism

It amuses me when Jews proclaim themselves as not white, when from the perspective of people of color, Jews embody white privilege.

One can also think of white nationalism as white zionism.

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Portland Food Activists Call Israeli Restaurant Appropriative

Stories like this make my head hurt.

Mexican food is my favorite food. Does that mean I should only eat it in restaurants operated by Mexicans?

Forward: …a restaurant called Shalom Y’all sits in the problematic “Appropriative Business” column. Its owner is listed as John Gorham, its cuisine, “Multiple Middle Eastern Cuisines.” The suggested alternative: a Lebanese establishment, Al-Amir Restaurant.

According to the spreadsheet’s “Criteria for Appropriation” guide, the “Appropriative Business” column is for “[r]estaurants or food carts selling non-European international cuisine owned solely by white people who were not born or raised in the country or region from which the restaurant’s cuisine originates.” As per Shalom Y’all’s website, Shalom Y’all specializes in “Israeli street food.” Ron Avni, one of the partners, important enough to be featured on the restaurant’s About page, “grew up in Israel” and “moved to the USA shortly after completing the mandatory Israeli army service.” If a co-owner is Israeli, as is the cuisine, surely the criteria for making the list aren’t met? It would seem that either spreadsheet’s creators missed that key detail, or they’re making an out-of-context political point about Israeli cuisine.

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Jewish Survival Strategies: An Interview with Gilad Atzmon

Aedon Cassiel writes:

Editor’s Note: This interview was recently conducted by e-mail between Aedon Cassiel and Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon’s latest book, Being in Time: A Post-Political Manifesto, is being released tomorrow (May 24).

In your work, who do you consider yourself to be speaking to? If you don’t have a specific audience in mind, then my question is: if only one group of people could hear your message, who would you choose, and what would you have them do about it?

This is important to me. I do not intend to speak to people of any specific persuasion. I am not an activist and have zero interest in political involvement. I am engaged in an intellectual search. Jews fascinate me – their troubled history, their survival strategies, their overrepresentation in media, politics, banking, the Manhattan Project, the list of the one hundred worst landlords in New York City, academia, and their dominance in political lobbying. I am trying to identify the cultural roots at the core of all that. In short, I am interested in the metaphysics that forms the Jew rather than the Jew himself. I am after culture and ideology.

The final third of Being in Time focuses on the idea of “controlled opposition” – specifically, on the idea that Jews tend to both lead and manage criticism of Jews, even of criticism promulgated by other Jews, which has the effect of pushing non-Jews out of the sphere of the debate. Are your efforts another form of attempting to create a controlled opposition? Why or why not?

Thanks for raising this crucial point. If Jewish survival strategy is as sophisticated as I try to suggest, then you and others must take extra caution with Jewish ideologists and ideologies. And yes, I suppose this applies to me, too. My work must be subject to criticism, including the criticism the book itself applies, and hopefully it will stand the test of reflexivity.

What do you mean when you say that Jews “are certainly not a race, nor even an ethnicity”? What do you understand these two terms to mean? Is it that Jews consist of too many different unrelated groups to be fairly considered as a single collective, or do you mean to suggest that race and ethnicity are meaningless categories in general?

Despite the fact that many Jews insist that they belong to one race and share one father, it is more likely that Jews have not formed a single continuum as far as ancestry, genetics, or biology are concerned. However, it is clear to me that despite the fact that Jews do not form a racial continuum, their politics are always, and I really mean always, racially oriented.

You ask whether I believe that race and ethnicity are meaningless categories in general? Not at all. However, I am not an evolutionary scientist or an anthropologist, and the study of race or ethnicity isn’t my domain. I dig into some philosophical questions having to do with Jewish identification.

You discuss at length the sociological implications of extensive cognitive partitioning in Jewish society over time, and as a historical cause of this phenomena you talk about the practice of selective breeding in Jewish rabbinical culture. In fact, this is one of the key points to which your work repeatedly comes back. Yet, you seem to want to shy away from claiming that genetic influences are part of the explanation behind why these patterns persist. How could the cognitive partitioning in Jewish society involve genealogy without involving genes? It seems odd to specifically identify breeding patterns as being responsible for this development, and yet – as you seem to – deny that heredity is the method of transmission. What, then, do you think is the mechanism behind this phenomena’s historical persistence?

I have no doubt, as I state in Being in Time, that the European Jewish rabbinical meritocratic system can be understood as a eugenic project. I would be delighted to find out that an evolutionary scientist has decided to look into my theoretical model and produce a scientific study that would verify or refute my theoretical assumptions. Kevin MacDonald has produced the most important work on this topic to date, and the gross animosity he is subject to suggests that he is an Athenian truth-teller – a critical philosophical mind.

You prefer to talk about “ability” as a general term rather than using IQ as a specific instance or measurement of ability. What theories do you have about what is at the core of the superior average “ability” of Jews?

In my work I do not provide facts or statistics. I am raising issues and you, the reader, my listener, are the facts. I produce an interpretation or analysis of a given situation, a set of problems in our current reality, and it is down to you to examine it, play with the ideas, and eventually make a judgment.

I am troubled by IQ measurement without regard to scientific debate over how to measure IQ. “Ability” can be judged by a person’s achievements or merits. John Coltrane achieved more than any other saxophonist. I do not need to see his IQ results. Would Donald Trump score a higher result than Hillary Clinton on an IQ test? I doubt it somehow. Yet he was certainly more “able” to win the election. The reason I refer to ability is because for me, the crucial insight made by Richard Herrnstein and The Bell Curve was that they discerned that America was heading towards a cognitive partitioning. Herrnstein was an academic genius with significant ability. The Bell Curve could have saved the American people, but the book was effectually burned by the favorite “Left” icons: people like Noam Chomsky, academic fraudster Stephen J. Gould, and others. I allow myself to argue that Gould, Chomsky, and those others who trashed The Bell Curve bear direct responsibility for the dystopia in which we live. For me, the issues of the validity of IQ measurement and comparisons between races were side matters. The Bell Curve’s prophetic warnings about cognitive partitioning addressed a topic that has become the core of the oppressive reality in which we live.

Would you say that it’s rational for Jews of higher “ability” to want to keep their society focused towards increased cognitive partitioning?

I find it hard to verify whether it is the result of any conscious decision. What I argue in Being in Time is slightly different. I contend that since America and the West have evolved into cognitively divided environments, and since (Ashkenazi) Jews are accustomed to these conditions, it is hardly surprising that the Jewish Ashkenazi elite is prominent.

In the book, you frequently express a wish to see a return to manufacturing. I agree that this has to be a part of the picture, but presumably you wouldn’t advocate sending academics out to work in factories and fields, for example. So in your view, what precisely would the full dissolution of cognitive partitioning entail, in practical terms? What would we have to do, and how long would it take, and what would the main difficulties be?

I believe that the structure of society will change radically. I do not think that society needs millions of unemployed Gender Studies graduates. For society to be functional, production and agriculture must be reinstated. Higher education must be free for those who are qualified. A functional society must decide what are its primary needs, e.g., how many new doctors are needed, how many engineers, philosophers, feminist scholars, or saxophonists? Academia should be set to provide this education for free and at the highest possible level. This would mean planning. This also suggests that academia wouldn’t continue to operate as a self-serving industry. And yes, if industry, manufacturing, and production are starting to roll, we may find some very intelligent people involved. I do not see this as a negative development. Quite the opposite; society will once again be diverse for real. Isn’t that what the progressives have been promising us for decades?

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