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View Diary: Egypt Liveblog: Sub-Diary #23 (378 comments)

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  •  I prefer the term "stakeholder" (2+ / 0-)

    If one says that the Israel lobby controls US policy, he is accused of being an anti-Semite, because "control" sounds too Elders of Zion-ish.  I prefer to say that the lobby has become a stakeholder in both the Democratic Party and GOP.  Our 2-party system is terribly vulnerable to such a stratety.  Consider all the lobbies too powerful for public opinion to beat: the war profiteers, the insurance companies, the investment bankers.  They all bought a stake in the leadership of both parties.  Israel did it on the cheap by guilt-tripping otherwise liberal Democratic Jews and cynically allying with Christian extremists in the GOP (who seem to admire Israel's growing apartheid bent and aspire to it as a model for dealing with America's Negro Problem).

    Just stop to think about all the other stakeholders in both our political parties, and how immune they are from normal partisan bickering, and how much harm they've done to our society, and you certainly won't be an anti-Semite anymore- you'll be a raving Bolshevik.

    •  I had a discussion with a friend of mine.. (2+ / 0-)

      I'm Jewish, and a liberal Zionist in the 'I support Israel's existence but not its policies' frame (this is a real stance, to people who may not accept that)

      My friend--a fellow research student--is very, staunchly pro-Palestinian.  She's from Greece, and like me was studying in London (I'm back in the U.S. now).  We had this whole discussion about US foreign policy, and she brought up the whole 'well, Jews really control your government' meme.  To which, as you would expect, I criticized her, and attempted to draw the distinction between an overly influential right wing/pro-Israel lobby and the generally left wing, fairly reformed, majority of the Jewish population in the U.S.

      It was lost on her...and I'm not surprised--because these distinctions really are lost in a lot of the discourse about Judaism, Israel, and the I/P conflict in Europe.

      Your framing of these groups as 'stakeholders' is, I think, a better way of depicting the situation....lobbyists and interest groups of all sorts have influence.  But no particular ethnic groups 'owns' or 'controls' the government.

      •  The really tricky, important thing is to explain (0+ / 0-)

        (or even to thoroughly understand) both the differences between the organizational mouthpieces of the Israel lobby (AIPAC, CPMAJO, the ADL) and the larger Jewish-American community, and their connections to each other. There are some very big differences between these two, for example in support for the invasion of Iraq. On the other hand, CPMAJO, whose leaders at the time editorialized for the Iraq invasion, and which now seems to be mainly devoted to neocon foreign policy such as fearmongering about Iran (most of their press releases in 2009 were about Iran's nuclear program), still claims the membership of what looks like a very comprehensive list of American Jewish community/cultural organizations. (Why haven't more of them withdrawn their support of CPMAJO?) So it seems to me it would be wrong to claim a complete division between Israel lobby and American Jewish opinion on foreign policy issues, just as it would be wrong to call them identical. A more precise and succinct formulation of the connection between these things would go a long way towards taking the heat and confusion out of these discussions.

        A lot of what I hear about the state of discussion in Europe is upsetting though, I'm sadly not all that surprised to hear that a European actually believes that Jews control much of the US gov't.

        proud to be a pro-democracy kossack

        by bicycle Hussein paladin on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 05:21:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  no...that's true...they're certainly not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bicycle Hussein paladin

          fully dissociated.

          For example, there are a lot of conservative (even reform) Jews who tend to vote democratic but retain a lot of the anti-Muslim sentiment typically characteristic of the American Right (or Likud, for that matter).  I know several.

          Ultimately, most people don't understand the inherent complexities of other ethnic groups (or even their own, for that matter) you have these monolithic groupings that mask really important distinctions...

    •  That's a good formulation. (0+ / 0-)

      The Israel lobby is a major stakeholder in US foreign policy towards the Middle East. I completely agree about the "controls" language, it sounds way too Elders-ish. I don't think people should avoid the term "Israel lobby" for that reason, doing so shuts down a much-needed discussion about American politics and culture.

      proud to be a pro-democracy kossack

      by bicycle Hussein paladin on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 05:10:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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