Saturday, September 1, 2007

Terra Incognita Issue 3

Terra Incognita
Issue 3
A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
Jerusalem, Israel

Website: http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com/


August 30th, 2007


Here are this week's three articles below and attached. The full articles appear below these short abstracts.

1) Communal responsibility is practiced by Bedouins and many other people. An examination of a number of cases shows that communal responsibility would decrease violence in society by holding entire community’s responsible for the actions of some members of those community’s.

2) Mearsheimer and Walt are back. Their ‘working paper’ is being published as a book. It is worthwhile to take time and re-visit their most extreme arguments and examine them in detail to show how completely wrong they are.

3) Christiane Amanpour recently hosted a CNN six hour special called ‘God’s Warriors.’ It’s central thesis was that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are essentially the same. They all have fundamentalists. They all commit violence. But can these religions really be compared? Why not include Hinduism and Sikhism?



1) In praise of communal responsibility
August 27th, 2007
Seth J. Frantzman

In December of 2006 the burned body of Mika Dabab, an Ethiopian girl was found in the Bedouin town of Rahat in southern Israel. She had been seen the night before at a club with her Bedouin boyfriend and some of his friends. She was the daughter of immigrants from Ethiopia. She was 16 years old. When friends and family in the community of Kiryat Gat found out they were saddened. The police investigated the matter and arrested the boyfriend. That was the end of it.
On July 11th, 2007 Valentina Dombayev, a 24 year old Russian immigrant to Israel was found murdered by the side of the road near Ashdod. She had been kidnapped with a friend of hers, Elena Zaorov, and handcuffed, placed in the trunk of a car and taken to the desert and murdered. The murderer, her husband Iyad Sami, an Arab of Ramallah was arrested.
In a separate case beginning in April of 2005 six Bedouin men from the village of Bir Al-Maksur in the Galilee began gang raping women from nearby Jewish towns. First in Kiryat Yam, then Kiryat Ata, Kiryat Bialik and finally in Carmel. The raped women were 13, 16, 19 and 25 respectively. The case, like the others, is apparently still in court.
On Sunday, August 26th, 2007 it was reported that the mayor of Rahat, Talal al-Karnawi had claimed that “if rumors about Mahmoud’s death turn out to be true it might inflame the public.” Mahmoud al-Karnawi, evidently a member of the mayor’s Hamula or clan, was killed in crossfire between the Israeli army and Islamic Jihad militants in Tulkarm on the West Bank. The mayor of Rahat was expressing an age old Bedouin tradition of holding those responsible for the killing communally responsible. Therefore it is not the individual IDF soldier that shot the boy(or the Islamic Jihad member), it is Israel in general and Jews in general who are responsible. In the Bedouin world such things, even accidental deaths, are solved by communal feuds and finally through Sulhas or Hudnas: truces between families, clans or tribes. These traditions and their elaborate ceremonies go back thousands of years. Many other cultures in the world have similar traditions, long since buried, of holding people communally responsible for murder.
Unfortunately the Russian community of Lod where Dombayev was from, or the Ethiopian community or Kiryat Gat, where Dabab was from no longer have these traditions. The Ethiopians used to, when they lived in Ethiopia, but they have drunk from the poisoned chalice of western culture and they no longer do.
But some people still cling to such ancient customs. In Kiryat Yam on the night of March 11th, 2006 three Bedouin men arrived in a car. Jalal Tawili, a Bedouin from Tamra, got out and opened the back door for his Russian girlfriend who the three men were dropping off. It was 2am. The Russian girl was 17. Tawili was 20 and his friends were 21. According to Tawili, who is a soldier in the Israeli army, a group of young men from the neighborhood appeared. They asked the Bedouins to turn off their music because “we don’t speak Arabic here.” Then a ‘whole group of young men came out with chains and clubs.’ While the third Bedouin fled, the Tawili brothers were beaten with chains and bats and clubs. Both had to receive extensive hospital care. The Tawilis couldn’t distinguish between the men who beat them and most other Jews in Israel. Tawili knew his girlfriend was ‘Russian’ and he probably assumed that the Russians of Kiryat Yam were like the Russians in Lod or the Ethiopians in Kiryat Gat. They didn’t care what was done to their community. Kill their women, rape their women, they won’t care. But Tawili wasn’t aware that Zalman Shazar Street, where the attack took place, is inhabited by immigrants from the Caucuses known as Kavkaz. These mountain people happen to have a shared sense of communal responsibility. The media, as is it nature, referred to the attack as ‘racially motivated.’ But the Kavkaz didn’t react the way they did out of racism. Racism does not exist among tribal people who have no concept of race outside tribal and communal affiliation. The Kavkaz reacted communally to what they perceived was an assault on their community’s honor. The shear arrogance of a Bedouin to bring home a teenage girl at 2am in the morning and play his music so as to wake them up offended their sensibilities.
Perhaps the Kavkaz connected these Bedouin to the Bedouin gang who had raped a girl from the town in April the year before. The media that reported the Kiryat Yam beating didn’t connect these two events. But some communities in the world don’t like it when people from other communities come and rape their women, or burn them, or handcuff them and place them in a trunk of a car and murder them in the desert. Sometimes those people react violently with chains and bat and clubs. The modern world and particularly the West abhors this type of communal action and places it under the category of ‘racism.’ The papers described the beating of the Tawilis as a ‘lynching.’
But one must ponder the question: do Bedouin from Tamra still go to Kiryat Yam to fulfill their sexual desires? Perhaps word has spread quickly, as it usually does among Bedouin, that Kiryat Yam, or at least Zalman Shazar street is not the place to court underage girls. Lod or Kiryat Gat are better targets. After all, everyone knows the Ethiopian and Russian men who live there will never raise a fist if you murder their daughters. Rahat Mayor, Talal al Karnawi said it best in July of 2007 when he noted that “We in the Beduin[sic] sector do not encourage romantic relations between Beduins and Jews as well. It hurts our families just like it hurts the Jews. It causes a lot of difficult problems and internal conflicts which often end in violence.” Maybe the media will call him racist. But then the media should ask why Bedouins don’t usually rape or murder other Bedouin women, even from neighboring villages. They know the violence it will bring down upon their houses should they transgress the communal laws of stability. Not so with their Israeli neighbors. Not so in the Western world. That is one reason violent crime and rape is so common in Westernized cities.




In praise of communal responsibility
August 27th, 2007
Seth J. Frantzman

In December of 2006 the burned body of Mika Dabab, an Ethiopian girl was found in the Bedouin town of Rahat in southern Israel. She had been seen the night before at a club with her Bedouin boyfriend and some of his friends. She was the daughter of immigrants from Ethiopia. She was 16 years old. When friends and family in the community of Kiryat Gat found out they were saddened. The police investigated the matter and arrested the boyfriend. That was the end of it.
On July 11th, 2007 Valentina Dombayev, a 24 year old Russian immigrant to Israel was found murdered by the side of the road near Ashdod. She had been kidnapped with a friend of hers, Elena Zaorov, and handcuffed, placed in the trunk of a car and taken to the desert and murdered. The murderer, her husband Iyad Sami, an Arab of Ramallah was arrested.
In a separate case beginning in April of 2005 six Bedouin men from the village of Bir Al-Maksur in the Galilee began gang raping women from nearby Jewish towns. First in Kiryat Yam, then Kiryat Ata, Kiryat Bialik and finally in Carmel. The raped women were 13, 16, 19 and 25 respectively. The case, like the others, is apparently still in court.
On Sunday, August 26th, 2007 it was reported that the mayor of Rahat, Talal al-Karnawi had claimed that “if rumors about Mahmoud’s death turn out to be true it might inflame the public.” Mahmoud al-Karnawi, evidently a member of the mayor’s Hamula or clan, was killed in crossfire between the Israeli army and Islamic Jihad militants in Tulkarm on the West Bank. The mayor of Rahat was expressing an age old Bedouin tradition of holding those responsible for the killing communally responsible. Therefore it is not the individual IDF soldier that shot the boy(or the Islamic Jihad member), it is Israel in general and Jews in general who are responsible. In the Bedouin world such things, even accidental deaths, are solved by communal feuds and finally through Sulhas or Hudnas: truces between families, clans or tribes. These traditions and their elaborate ceremonies go back thousands of years. Many other cultures in the world have similar traditions, long since buried, of holding people communally responsible for murder.
Unfortunately the Russian community of Lod where Dombayev was from, or the Ethiopian community or Kiryat Gat, where Dabab was from no longer have these traditions. The Ethiopians used to, when they lived in Ethiopia, but they have drunk from the poisoned chalice of western culture and they no longer do.
But some people still cling to such ancient customs. In Kiryat Yam on the night of March 11th, 2006 three Bedouin men arrived in a car. Jalal Tawili, a Bedouin from Tamra, got out and opened the back door for his Russian girlfriend who the three men were dropping off. It was 2am. The Russian girl was 17. Tawili was 20 and his friends were 21. According to Tawili, who is a soldier in the Israeli army, a group of young men from the neighborhood appeared. They asked the Bedouins to turn off their music because “we don’t speak Arabic here.” Then a ‘whole group of young men came out with chains and clubs.’ While the third Bedouin fled, the Tawili brothers were beaten with chains and bats and clubs. Both had to receive extensive hospital care. The Tawilis couldn’t distinguish between the men who beat them and most other Jews in Israel. Tawili knew his girlfriend was ‘Russian’ and he probably assumed that the Russians of Kiryat Yam were like the Russians in Lod or the Ethiopians in Kiryat Gat. They didn’t care what was done to their community. Kill their women, rape their women, they won’t care. But Tawili wasn’t aware that Zalman Shazar Street, where the attack took place, is inhabited by immigrants from the Caucuses known as Kavkaz. These mountain people happen to have a shared sense of communal responsibility. The media, as is it nature, referred to the attack as ‘racially motivated.’ But the Kavkaz didn’t react the way they did out of racism. Racism does not exist among tribal people who have no concept of race outside tribal and communal affiliation. The Kavkaz reacted communally to what they perceived was an assault on their community’s honor. The shear arrogance of a Bedouin to bring home a teenage girl at 2am in the morning and play his music so as to wake them up offended their sensibilities.
Perhaps the Kavkaz connected these Bedouin to the Bedouin gang who had raped a girl from the town in April the year before. The media that reported the Kiryat Yam beating didn’t connect these two events. But some communities in the world don’t like it when people from other communities come and rape their women, or burn them, or handcuff them and place them in a trunk of a car and murder them in the desert. Sometimes those people react violently with chains and bat and clubs. The modern world and particularly the West abhors this type of communal action and places it under the category of ‘racism.’ The papers described the beating of the Tawilis as a ‘lynching.’
But one must ponder the question: do Bedouin from Tamra still go to Kiryat Yam to fulfill their sexual desires? Perhaps word has spread quickly, as it usually does among Bedouin, that Kiryat Yam, or at least Zalman Shazar street is not the place to court underage girls. Lod or Kiryat Gat are better targets. After all, everyone knows the Ethiopian and Russian men who live there will never raise a fist if you murder their daughters. Rahat Mayor, Talal al Karnawi said it best in July of 2007 when he noted that “We in the Beduin[sic] sector do not encourage romantic relations between Beduins and Jews as well. It hurts our families just like it hurts the Jews. It causes a lot of difficult problems and internal conflicts which often end in violence.” Maybe the media will call him racist. But then the media should ask why Bedouins don’t usually rape or murder other Bedouin women, even from neighboring villages. They know the violence it will bring down upon their houses should they transgress the communal laws of stability. Not so with their Israeli neighbors. Not so in the Western world. That is one reason violent crime and rape is so common in Westernized cities.




20 The problem with Mearsheimer and Walt
Seth J. Frantzman
August 19th, 2007

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is to be released on September 4th, 2007. This is the book version of the John J. Mearsheimer and Stephem M. Walt’s working paper published at Harvard. John Mearsheimer is the Wendell Harrison Professor of Political Science at Chicago, and the author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. Stephen Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. His most recent book is Taming American Power: The Global Response to US Primacy. Their essay can be located in full at the London Review of Books, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html.

Their thesis is wide ranging but it is worthwhile to deal with a few of its most strident accusations.

America helps Israel harm Palestinians

Mearsheimer and Walt write:
“Between 1949 and 1956, for example, Israeli security forces killed between 2700 and 5000 Arab infiltrators, the overwhelming majority of them unarmed. The IDF murdered hundreds of Egyptian prisoners of war in both the 1956 and 1967 wars, while in 1967, it expelled between 100,000 and 260,000 Palestinians from the newly conquered West Bank, and drove 80,000 Syrians from the Golan Heights…During the first intifada, the IDF distributed truncheons to its troops and encouraged them to break the bones of Palestinian protesters. The Swedish branch of Save the Children estimated that ‘23,600 to 29,900 children required medical treatment for their beating injuries in the first two years of the intifada.’ Nearly a third of them were aged ten or under…Thanks to the Lobby, the United States has become the de facto enabler of Israeli expansion in the Occupied Territories.”

This is a strange accusation given the fact that America is also a close ally of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and many other countries that use less than peaceful methods in dealing with dissidents and terrorists. Egypt, for instance, rounded up 3,000 Bedouin in the Sinai, subjecting some to electric shocks, after bombing took place in Sharm el Sheikh. If American policy was based on forcing the allies of America to have American standards in dealing with enemies all of America’s allies that are not in Europe would have to be dropped. Oddly enough Mearsheimer and Walt do not argue for such a sweeping moralistic policy.


Influence on Congress

Mearsheimer and Walt write “a key pillar of the Lobby’s effectiveness is its influence in Congress, where Israel is virtually immune from criticism…Here is one example: in the 1984 elections, AIPAC helped defeat Senator Charles Percy from Illinois, who, according to a prominent Lobby figure, had ‘displayed insensitivity and even hostility to our concerns’.”

The idea here is that the Lobby is all powerful in American elections. One wonders how this is possible. Outside of areas with large Jewish concentrations, such as New York or Florida, how would it be possible for the tiny minority of Jews, who are only five percent of America, to influence elections to the degree they are accused of. Mearsheimer and Walt admit that many Jews don’t even support the Israel Lobby, so that means that 1% of the American people are able to pick and choose which candidates win and lose. This is a pretty extraordinary conclusion, especially when one recalls all the other lobbies working to elect politicians, such as the labour lobby known as the AFL-CIO, which possesses more money and more voters than the Israel Lobby.

Influence on the Press

Mearsheimer and Walt write that “ ‘Shamir, Sharon, Bibi – whatever those guys want is pretty much fine by me,’ Robert Bartley once remarked. Not surprisingly, his newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, along with other prominent papers like the Chicago Sun-Times and the Washington Times, regularly runs editorials that strongly support Israel.”

The Lobby is accused of controlling the American press. Mearsheimer and Walt even accuse the Israel Lobby of controlling the New York Times because, in their opinion, the Times is not critical enough of Israel. This is an interesting accusation that hinges not on evidence, but the mere perception that the Times does not apparently share the deep critique of Israel that Mearsheimer and Walt have. But by this logic the Times is also owned by the Chinese and the Saudis because it only criticizes these countries rarely. Furthermore most pro-Israel groups believe the Times is actually stridently anti-Israel. How to reconcile the two opinions?


Influence on education and free speech

Mearsheimer and Walt complain that during the Second Intifada “the Lobby moved immediately to ‘take back the campuses’. New groups sprang up, like the Caravan for Democracy, which brought Israeli speakers to US colleges…A classic illustration of the effort to police academia occurred towards the end of 2004, when the David Project produced a film alleging that faculty members of Columbia’s Middle East Studies programme were anti-Semitic and were intimidating Jewish students who stood up for Israel…the Lobby’s campaign to quash debate about Israel is unhealthy for democracy.”

The argument here is that since there are pro-Israel groups on campus and because one of those groups made one documentary that therefore the Israel Lobby controls thought on American college campuses. Just to give a very obvious example, the University of Arizona has at least four groups that actively protest against Israel. The Arizona Daily Wildcat, the campus newspaper often carries anti-Israel columns in its oped section. If the pro-Israel lobby was so successful then logically these wouldn’t exist. Furthermore the faculty at Harvard even considered divesting Harvard’s endowment from companies that do business in Israel. They never once, in the history of Harvard, considered divestment from any other country. Columbia University has invited the Iranian President, Ahmadinjed, to speak at their campus. Mearsheimer and Walt and still employed at their campuses, along with other notable anti-Israel professors such as Chomsky and Finkelstien. The very existence of the Mearsheimer and Walt working paper, which is not based on any original research, is evidence of the existence of the very debate that Mearsheimer and Walt would have us believe is being ‘quashed’.

Anti-Semitism

According to Mearsheimer and Walt the Lobby also destroys debate by calling opponents of Israel ‘anti-Semitic’; “No discussion of the Lobby would be complete without an examination of one of its most powerful weapons: the charge of anti-Semitism.”

It is interesting that the charge of ‘anti-Semitism’ is a ‘weapon’. By making this claim the authors obviously want to shield themselves from just such a charge, by claiming that any charges of anti-Semitism are used to ‘silence debate’. It is a brilliant rhetorical device, like the above one, that first makes the claim that X is being ‘quashed’ and therefore we need more X. Then the argument proceeds by claiming that anyone who supports X is accused of racism and therefore cannot be a racist because it has been shown that the accusation of racism is a weapon to quash the debate of X. Thus two things are accomplished; people believe that there needs to be more condemnation of Israel in order to ‘speak out’ against the quashing of democratic debate and that one must in fact condemn Israel in order to prove that free speech still exists. They can condemn Israel and the ‘Jewish lobby’ in the most shrill tones because now they have ‘proven’ that any accusation of being anti-Jewish is merely a device used to silence them. In fact, by this logic, being anti-Jewish would be a method of exercising free speech. Its odd that the very same logic doesn’t pertain to complaining about Jesse Jackson and the ‘black lobby’.



The Role of the Lobby in Fomenting Terrorism

The most damning accusation of Mearsheimer and Walt is that support of Israel is the root cause for terrorism: “In the autumn of 2001, and especially in the spring of 2002, the Bush administration tried to reduce anti-American sentiment in the Arab world and undermine support for terrorist groups like al-Qaida by halting Israel’s expansionist policies in the Occupied Territories and advocating the creation of a Palestinian state…It increases the terrorist danger that all states face – including America’s European allies. It has made it impossible to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a situation that gives extremists a powerful recruiting tool, increases the pool of potential terrorists and sympathizers, and contributes to Islamic radicalism in Europe and Asia.”

This is an especially brilliant argument in light of the fact that Bin Laden specifically noted that he opposed the basing of American troops in the Muslim Holy Land, Saudi Arabia. Since it would be difficult to blame America it makes more sense to blame Israel. By this logic one should have blamed Poland and England for dragging America into war with Nazi Germany. After all it was America’s support of the U.K that encouraged the Fuhrer to declare war on America. In fact the argument should be taken one step further, it was actually the Jews that are to blame for American involvement in the Second World War since Hitler’s hatred of Jews led him to power and to invade Poland and thus to bring the U.K into the war and thus to bring the U.S into the war. Therefore, just like today, the Jews are to blame for bringing America into war. The logic should be taken further. American support for capitalism caused Communist countries such irritation that it caused them to encourage revolutions against American allies. The Jews are behind much of American capitalism, and therefore the Jews were to blame for the Cold War, since without the Jewish capitalists and their banks, America could have allied herself with the Soviet Union.

The greatest and most disturbing flaw in the reasoning of Mearsheimer and Walt is that it implies somehow that America’s true allies should be the Bin Ladens. America’s support of Israel has ‘provoked’ the terrorists and therefore America must stop her support for X simply because it makes Y unhappy. But just because certain people are unhappy with something doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that it is wrong. The KKK was a terrorist organization. According to the famous film Birth of a Nation the KKK was a reaction to the Northern support of Carpet-baggers and uppity negroes. In the 1960s the KKK was reacting to the forces of de-segregation. By the logic of Mearsheimer and Walt, since support for the Southern Blacks caused provocation to white southerners and led them to terrorism, therefore America should not have supported blacks. By always accepting the terrorist standpoint and their arguments one implicitly allies with them, and usually that means supporting the worst, most aggressive regimes against the weaker ones. Communist terrorism was based on its critique of the capitalist society, does that mean the world should have abandoned capitalism so as not to ‘provoke’ communism?












Israel encourages America to invade other countries and sacrifice lives needlessly

Mearsheimer and Walt have also made the claim that Israel is single-handedly responsible for American policy in the Middle East. Between 2000 and 2001 Ariel Sharon, Israel’s Prime Minister, was critiqued for comparing Bush to Neville Chamberlain. According to Mearsheimer and Walt “Sharon offered a pro forma apology, but quickly joined forces with the Lobby to persuade the administration and the American people that the United States and Israel faced a common threat from terrorism…The Israeli government and pro-Israel groups in the United States have worked together to shape the administration’s policy towards Iraq, Syria and Iran, as well as its grand scheme for reordering the Middle East…Equally worrying, the Lobby’s campaign for regime change in Iran and Syria could lead the US to attack those countries…On 16 August 2002, 11 days before Dick Cheney kicked off the campaign for war with a hardline speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Washington Post reported that ‘Israel is urging US officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.’ …neo-conservatives and other Lobby leaders were eager to invade Iraq…Once Baghdad fell in mid-April 2003, Sharon and his lieutenants began urging Washington to target Damascus…Israelis tend to describe every threat in the starkest terms, but Iran is widely seen as their most dangerous enemy because it is the most likely to acquire nuclear weapons.”

So what we have here is a pretty clear case of Israel and her Lobby having been responsible for every American move in the Middle East between 2001 and 2007. Furthermore Israel is directly responsible for American policy towards Iran and Syria. What Mearsheimer and Walt are arguing for is a reversal of American policy in the Middle East. But what would such a flip look like? First of all America would abandon Israel. Then she would have to abandon her other closest allies in the Middle East including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the gulf states. Then America would ally with Iran, Syria and Hizbullah. America would bring back the Ba’athist regime of Iraq under Tariq Aziz(most of the other high ranking officials have been hung). America would also have to ally herself with Mumar Quadafi in Libya and the regime in the Sudan. Now America would need to ally herself with Putin in Russia, since he is providing Iran with arms. Then America would reconcile with Chavez of Venezuela and Castro of Cuba because they are allies of Iran. All this of course is predicated on the idea that any of these countries would have America as an ally. America would need to abandon Musharref as part of her re-alignment. The first country to be destroyed from this policy would be Pakistan, which would become an Islamist state and a new American ally now that Musharref is gone. Next Egypt will fall to Islamism and its new Muslim Brotherhood government will be an American ally. Now America will run into trouble in the Middle East because her Ba’athist friends in Baghdad will find themselves at war with Iran and its Shias in the south. America won’t know who to support. The Kurds in the North, having been abandoned by America’s great policy shift, will take to arms unsettling northern Iran, Syria, Iraq and Turkey. The chaos of the region will eventually overwhelm America’s new policy and its internal contradictions and American foreign policy makers will yearn for the ‘good ole days’ when America’s closest ally was the Jewish state the Saudi Kingdom.



Without the Israel Lobby

Mearsheimer and Walt: “If [the Israel Lobby’s] efforts to shape US policy succeed, Israel’s enemies will be weakened or overthrown, Israel will get a free hand with the Palestinians, and the US will do most of the fighting, dying, rebuilding and paying.”

This brilliant line of reasoning blames America’s invasion of Iraq on Israel and blames all of the ‘fighting’ and ‘dying’ of American troops on Israel. This is nice way to excuse the fact that the most powerful nation in the world made its own choice to invade a country and then made its own mistakes in trying to govern that country. It is convenient to blame American Jews for the policy in Iraq but one wonders, how can the Jews and Israel be blamed for Vietnam. America did most of the ‘fighting, dying, rebuilding and paying’ in Vietnam. Was it the Diem and the South Vietnamese who were to blame. Sure. It wasn’t JFK and LBJ or Macnamara and Westmoreland. No. It was those ‘slopes’ in South Vietnam, those chinks who made us do it. They hoodwinked us into fighting communism. Just like in the Second World War, the British hoodwinked us into doing all the “fighting, dying, rebuilding and paying.” It’s a brilliant thesis to always blame others for one’s own mistakes. So it must be Israel’s fault. It couldn’t possibly be America’s fault. America is not an adult, its just a child, it’s the Jewish adults who played America like a fiddle.




The power of the Lobby

According to Mearsheimer and Walt “AIPAC and its allies (including Christian Zionists) have no serious opponents in the lobbying world.” No serious opponents? What about the Saudi oil lobby and its GDP that is five times greater than Israel’s? Its convenient to pretend that Israel’s Jewish lobby in the U.S is the only lobby, that makes it easy to blame the Jews for all of America’s choices, but it ignores all the other groups in America who spend 5,000 times more money lobbying than the Israel lobby. The Israel lobby isn’t even the only ethnic lobby, there was an Irish lobby that encouraged America to support the IRA and there was an Albanian lobby that helped get America involved in the Balkan wars.

The Jews in the government

Mearsheimer and Walt argue that the Jewish lobby has even infiltrated the government: “Wolfowitz is equally committed to Israel. The Forward once described him as ‘the most hawkishly pro-Israel voice in the administration’, and selected him in 2002 as first among 50 notables who ‘have consciously pursued Jewish activism’.” But one wonders where the critique is of the Ambassadors and State Department employees who have created the close alliance with Saudi Arabia over the last seventy years.

Mearsheimer and Walt assert that “not surprisingly, American Jewish leaders often consult Israeli officials, to make sure that their actions advance Israeli goals.” Where is the evidence for this? Frequently American Jewish leaders believe they know what is best for Israel. Israeli leaders are frequently far less sophisticated and far sighted as American Jewish leaders, because Israeli leaders must actually deal with the unstable politics in their country they tend to be more pragmatic, American Jewish leaders are idealists. Anyone who has studied the American Jewish leadership and its relationship with Israel has found that there are always numerous problems between the two, the latest example is the differing opinions on the Sudanese refugees. American Jews support Darfur and think Israel should take the refugees, Israelis by contrast, don’t want them. But perhaps if you live in the ivory tower like Mearsheimer and Walt you are able to convince yourself that the two groups march in lockstep, since they are all Jews they must think the same way. Not surprisingly Mearsheimer and Walt have never been to Israel or met with either Israeli government officials or American Jewish leaders.



The Mearsheimer and Walt thesis is not only wrong in the details of its accusations but it is also wrong on four major points.


1) The alliance with Israel is not against America’s best interest, it would be worse to only have Saudi Arabia and the Arabs as allies, it would not end terrorism and they would then have no balance of power in the Middle East but they could blackmail us, as Turkey has done with the ADL over the Armenian Genocide.
2) The Israel lobby is no more nefarious than other ethnic lobbies in the U.S, the Saudi Islamic lobby, the Albanian lobby, the Anglo lobby, the Irish lobby.
3) By singling out American Jews and Israel as the source of all of America’s problems, and accusing it of so many nefarious plots, and relying on the books of Chomsky and Finkelstien rather than doing primary research not only constitutes Anti-Semitism but bad scholarship. The number of things the ‘Lobby’ is said to control, from the media to political campaigns to the U.S government to being the cause of terrorism, sounds suspiciously like the ‘protocols of the elders of Zion’.
4) The study over-estimates the world-view of Israeli government officials, in a sense it ascribes to the Israeli government powers and knowledge and influence it has never had or has wanted to have. By claiming that it is the Israelis that control the ‘Lobby’ the study betrays its complete misunderstanding of the relationship between AIPAC and Israel.
5) The study forgets about the degree to which America involves itself in Israel’s foreign policy. America has told Israel if it should or should not negotiate with Syria and has ordered Israel not to sell certain types of weapons to China. If the Israel lobby controlled the United States then it would not stand to reason that the U.S would need to pressure Israel to do things. The same people who claim that the U.S is adversely controlled by the Israel lobby are the same ones who claim America should ‘force’ Israel to give up the occupied territories and ‘force’ her to make peace. This seems to be a contradiction in terms, if America is controlled by the ‘Lobby’ then it wouldn’t need to force Israel to do anything, because America and Israel would always see eye to eye.




Mearsheimer and Walt conclude that:
“Open debate will expose the limits of the strategic and moral case for one-sided US support and could move the US to a position more consistent with its own national interest, with the interests of the other states in the region, and with Israel’s long-term interests as well.” The day that America abandons its ‘one sided’ support for Israel so that it can ally itself with the Islamist and Shiite majorities of the region, and the day that America begins working for the ‘best interests’ of wealthy Gulf Arabs more than it already does and the day that America pretends it knows that the ‘long term’ best interests of Israel are, is the day that America will truly have lost her way. Perhaps the ‘long term’ best interests of Poland in 1939 were to be gobbled up by the Germans, luckily the world sided with the minority democratic state in 1939 rather than with the rising tide of the ‘other interests’ in Europe, who were dictatorships and fascists. Surely the America’s First movement wanted more open debate and an end to America’s ‘one sided’ support for Churchill’s England. FDR was smart enough not to listen.














3) Christiane Amanpour’s introduction to World Religions
Seth J. Frantzman
August 17th, 2007

“Meet God’s Warriors. On Wednesday the Jewish Warriors. On Thursday the Muslims and on Friday the Christians.”

According to Christian Amanpour Judaism, Islam and Christianity are all the same. They all produce ‘warriors of God’. These warriors are all the same in their hatred and extremism. These groups all produce terrorism and are insular and hateful. All religions are the same and they all affect the world in the same manner.

In the Amanpour worldview there are 1.3 Billion Jews, there are 1.3 Billion Muslims and 1.3 Billion Christians. In the Amanpour worldview Jews, Christians and Muslims all commit honor killings. They all circumcise their daughters. They are all polygamous. They are all waging holy wars. This is because all religions are the same, they all have a violent fundamentalist fringe.

But there is a problem with this line of reasoning that is so common in any discussion of religious extremism and terrorism. We are always reminded when anyone speaks of Islamic fundamentalism or Islamic terrorism, that neither fundamentalism or terrorism are unique to Islam. “All religions have extremists.” “Terrorism has ancient roots.” These are the hail Marys that one must repeat over and over again in order to repent for the sin of having singled out Islam

But when you are done repenting you should reflect. Does every religion really have its ‘fundamentalists’. The Amanpour needs every religion to have its fundamentalist in order to do her program on CNN, otherwise it might look like she is singling out Islam, and thus offending Islam, and then she might provoke the same violence that the Pope did when he noted that Islam was violent. Books on fundamentalism are the same. Every book on terrorism is organized thus; Chapter 1: Jewish terrorism against the Romans, Yigal Amar and Baruch Goldstein, Chapter 2: Christian fundamentalism, the Crusades, Jerry Fallwell, abortion clinic bombing and Tim Mcveigh, Chapter 2: Islamic fundamentalism, poverty in the Islamic world, colonialism and Islam, the Israeli occupation.

This is the standard discussion of fundamentalism and terrorism. The insinuation is that not only are all the religions exactly the same but that the roots of terrorism are actually Jewish and the roots of fundamentalism are found in the Christian Crusades. All Muslim terrorism however has different roots; it is from poverty and suppression, colonialism, Israeli occupation or it is a response to the Crusades. We are always informed that ‘Muslims have a long memory and they recall the injustice of the crusades.’

But lets be honest. The book ‘Dying to Win’ by Robert Pape repeats the same canards about the Jewish Sicarri and the Christian Crusaders but it includes one tiny piece of information that bares out the facts. Pape made the mistake of including an Appendix that supposedly includes every instance of suicide terrorism between 1980 and 2004. Even if his list included only half of the Muslim suicide bombings it would still be enough to illustrate the truth. There have been no Jewish suicide bombings. There have been no Christian suicide bombings. Yet the body count from the Muslim attacks is in the thousands, 800 in Israel alone, not to mention Morocco, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia and London. But remember the three religions are the same. They are all equally fundamentalist. They all have terrorists.

Amanpour brags that she is going ‘face to face with God’s warriors’. But is she. Her footage shows the Orthodox Jew kissing his Torah. It shows the Christians at a tent revival with their hands in the air towards God. It shows the Muslims bowing down to Allah. But these aren’t ‘Gods Warriors’. These are religious people. Yes, surprise, they are people that are religious. They aren’t carrying swords. They aren’t murdering anyone.

This is apparently the great confusion. The secular leftist who desires not to offend Islam and therefore points out that there are ‘Christian fundamentalists and terrorists’ and then goes on to list Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell, Timothy Mcveigh and Billy Graham has simply missed the point. The Leftist notes that Israel is full of ‘God’s Warriors’ and mentions Yigal Amer and Baruch Goldstien, and then shows us footage of a bunch of black-clad Orthodox Jews.

But the liberal missed the point. He equates all religion with fanaticism. He says: “the Muslim terrorists come from the mosque where they meet extremists and therefore anyone who is religious is a terrorist and every religion has religious people so all religions have terrorists and they are therefore all the same.”

But all religions are not the same. Maybe its true that in the past many religions have experienced different patterns of extremism. Maybe it is true the Christians were once like the Muslims are today. The Christians used to have their Bin Ladens and their Wahhabis. Maybe that is partially true. Maybe it is true that there was a time when the Romans called the Jews ‘terrorists’ and there was another time when Jewish ‘terrorists’ blew up the King David Hotel, the headquarters of the British Mandate in Jerusalem.

But in the last fifty years the violence inherent in Islam have had no parallel in Christianity and Judaism. Two Jews who murdered together 30 people between 1990 and 2000 are supposed to represent all the Jewish religious people. Two Christians, Tim Mcveigh and Eric Rudolph, the abortion clinic bomber are supposed to represent all the secretly hidden Christian terrorists.

But how can one compare 4 people with the thousands of Islamic terrorist organizations waging wars all over the world. We are talking about thousands. Just in the West Bank and Gaza there are thousands of members of a dozen terrorist organizations. In Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Kenya, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Kashmir, Afghanistan, western China, the Philippines and Indonesia are tens of thousands of other members of terrorist organizations. And these people are not just members, they are killers. They are killing people everyday. 3,000 in the Philippines since 2003, and 2,500 in southern Thailand in the same period. 52 people in London, hundreds in Madrid. Hundreds in Turkey. Hundreds of children at the Breslan school siege in Russia. Hundreds dead in Bali in two different bombings, Fifty dead in Sinai in the course of four bombings.

How can one equate one with the other. How can one equate Mcveigh, who wasn’t even a fundamentalist, with all these Muslims. Mcveigh killed 150 people. Ok. That’s tragic. That’s terrible. But that is one day in the life of Islam. Yes, everyday somewhere in the world the number of people murdered in Oklahoma city by Mcveigh are being murdered by Muslim terrorists. Baruch Goldstein’s massacre in Hebron, horrific as it was, is a drop in the bucket compared to the Russians, Algerians, Turks, Hindus, Buddhists, Australians and Africans killed every week by Muslim terrorists.

If a day comes when Christianity, which has 2 billion adherents is committing acts of terror everywhere in the world everyday on the scale that Islam does, then it will be time to compare Christianity to Islam. When the day comes that the 15 million Jews in the world are blowing themselves up all over the world wherever they live, it will be time to compare the Jews to Islam.

Christian Amanpour is a coward. She included the Jews, who are .0001% of the world, in her report because she wanted to appease Islam. She could have included the Hindus, whose Tamil Tigers actually have killed thousands of people over the last ten years in Sri Lanka. Yes, the Hindu Tamils actually do produce suicide bombers. It doesn’t make Hinduism like Islam but at least it would be a farer comparison than the Jews. There are 800 million Hindus, so at least in numbers it could be compared. But even when it is compared one will find that there are .1% as many Hindu terrorists as Muslims. By contrast there are .000001% as many Jewish and Christian terrorists as Muslim ones. Perhaps Amanpour could have included the Sikhs, who also produced a number of famous terrorists in the 1980s, such as the Babbar Khalsa which blew up an Air India plane and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who carried out acts in Punjab in 1984. They even killed Indira Gandhi. Apparently the Sikhs, who number 25 million, are not as nefarious as the 13 million Jews whose terrorism truly threatens the world.

CNN calls Amanpour’s reporting a “groundbreaking documentary series.”

Mrs. Amanpour dons a black headscarf and runs around interviewing eloquent and friendly looking Muslims about their religion. When it comes to the ‘Jews’ she takes off her headscarf because she would never enter a religious Jewish neighborhood and dress modestly for them, and instead she makes sure to locate the most extreme Jews in Israel, Jews who barely speak English. When it comes to the Christians she mocks them, showing footage of Bible belt preachers and ‘brainwashed’ Christian children wearing chastity rings or protesting Abortion.

I call it a massive fabrication of the truth, a disgusting comparison that is so disproportionate and biased in its analysis that it should be ashamed of itself. If Amanpour wanted to do it right and devote two hours to describe ‘God’s Warriors’ among the Jews then she should have spent ten years devoting 24 hours a day to ‘God’s warriors’ in Islam. That would be proportionate and honest.

But we wouldn’t want honesty. The Jews and Christians are all terrorists, it’s a normal part of their religion, and most religious Jews and Christians are just biding their time to blow themselves up. Worst of all Jews and Christians have no excuse to be terrorists, they aren’t being occupied, they didn’t suffer colonialism, they don’t suffer discrimination, and they are rich.

Christiane Amanpour is a disgusting person, a rotten example of all that is diseased about the west and its secular media. She can spit on the Jews and Christians all she wants by equating them to Muslim terrorists and pretending that Jerry Fallwell and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef are the same as Osama Bin Laden. But one wonders, when Amanpour gets on that plane to cross the Atlantic, to crawl back to Atlanta to CNN’s headquarters, one wonders if when she is sandwiched between an overweight Orthodox Rabbi who is mumbling Tefilah HaDerech(the wayfarers prayer) and a skinny old Catholic woman clutching her Rosary. One wonders if she will notice the three Muslim men dressed in business suits settling into first class. Will she see them, their clean shaven faces, one is white, one Asian and one black. Will she notice? Will she be scared of the Rabbi and his mumbling? Perhaps it will annoy her, she will think in her head how disgusting the Jews are, how their rotten Hebrew poisons the air. She will think to herself how beautiful Arabic sounds, how romantic it is and how Hebrew is a language of the gutter. Maybe she will think, like so many secular people do when confronted with Orthodox Jews, “now I understand why Hitler killed them, these useless specimens of humanity.” While Amanpour is dwelling on how disgusted she is by being forced to sit next to the fanatical Jew, who she imagines is smushing himself against the window so as to avoid touching her, an impure women, perhaps she will not notice the Muslims and their oversized carry-on bags. They know how to treat a western woman, her body doesn’t offend them. No, she won’t notice. She won’t fear them. After all, the plane has an equal chance of being hijacked or blown up by the Rabbi, the Catholic nun or the clean shaven twenty-five year old Muslim male.

2 comments:

Tara said...

hey its tara, here is the website i was talking about where i made the extra summer cash.......... the website is here

RobertHume said...

The lack of Jewish and Christian suicide bombers is completely consistent with Pape's thesis.

His thesis is that suicide bombers are caused by occupation of land considered the homeland of the bombers by an army of a democracy with a different religion.

I don't believe any Christian or Jewish nation is under such occupation.

There are Hindu terrorists, the Tamils who are occupied by the Army of the Buddhist Singhalese.

Jews and Christians are targeted by Muslim suicide terrorists because of the occupation of the West Bank and Iraq.