That thought came to mind last week when Newt Gingrich took the Republican competition to grovel for Jewish votes — by outloving Israel — to a new low by suggesting that the Palestinians are an "invented" people and not a real nation entitled to a state.
Grovel for Jewish votes? You mean for all the 6,190 in Iowa or the 10,170 in New Hampshire? Considering only about 25% of Jews tend to vote Republican, their impact on the GOP nomination fight is minimal so Newt really has no reason to "grovel" for Jewish votes. Would it be that much of a shock that he actually believes what he says? Even a member of the Palestinian Executive Committee said the exact same thing in 1977:
"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism."
Anyway, back to Friedman:
This was supposed to show that Newt loves Israel more than Mitt Romney, who only told the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom that he would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because "I don't seek to take actions independent of what our allies think is best, and if Israel's leaders thought that a move of that nature would be helpful to their efforts, then that's something I'll be inclined to do. ... I don't think America should play the role of the leader of the peace process. Instead, we should stand by our ally."
That's right. America's role is to just applaud whatever Israel does, serve as its A.T.M. and shut up. We have no interests of our own. And this guy's running for president?
Thomas Friedman has a problem with standing by your friends now? Also, what exactly is wrong with having a US Embassy in Jerusalem? It was even the capital of Israel before 1967, unless Friedman believes ALL of Jerusalem is occupied territory?
As for Newt, well, let's see: If the 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians are not a real people entitled to their own state, that must mean Israel is entitled to permanently occupy the West Bank and that must mean — as far as Newt is concerned — that Israel's choices are: 1) to permanently deprive the West Bank Palestinians of Israeli citizenship and put Israel on the road to apartheid; 2) to evict the West Bank Palestinians through ethnic cleansing and put Israel on the road to the International Criminal Court in the Hague; or 3) to treat the Palestinians in the West Bank as citizens, just like Israeli Arabs, and lay the foundation for Israel to become a binational state. And this is called being "pro-Israel"?
I'd never claim to speak for American Jews, but I'm certain there are many out there like me, who strongly believe in the right of the Jewish people to a state, who understand that Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood yet remains a democracy, but who are deeply worried about where Israel is going today. My guess is we're the minority when it comes to secular American Jews. We still care. Many other Jews are just drifting away.
Yes because of people like you who claim to support Israel but are actually giving aid and comfort to the people who want to murder every last one of us. Secular or non.
I sure hope that Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. The real test is what would happen if Bibi tried to speak at, let's say, the University of Wisconsin. My guess is that many students would boycott him and many Jewish students would stay away, not because they are hostile but because they are confused.
Here is where the anti-semitism comes in. The "bought and paid for by the Israel lobby" line is pretty similar to some of the vile rants by Patrick Buchanan as well as the usual suspects of neo-Nazis and radical muslims. In 1991, Buchanan called Congress "a Parliament of Whores incapable of standing up for U.S. national interests, if AIPAC is on the other end of the line." Is this any different than what Friedman just wrote? I think that the vast majority of Republicans and most Democrats would still support Israel regardless of money given how close an ally it is and how it is under assault by the same people who murdered thousands of Americans on our own soil.
Also, how is the University of Wisconsin a better test that elected officials from both parties? The University of Wisconsin is not exactly known for its political objectivity, instead being rife with the left wing political brainwashing that is occurring on many college campuses.
It confuses them to read that Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who met with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia last Wednesday, was quoted as saying that the recent Russian elections were "absolutely fair, free and democratic." Yes, those elections — the ones that brought thousands of Russian democrats into the streets to protest the fraud. Israel's foreign minister sided with Putin.
Israel doesn't have the luxury of other western countries to wag their finger moralistically at those they deem to be unworthy. Israel needs all the help it can get. And if they hadn't received the support they did from Stalin during their War of Independence, they might not even be around today. If Avigdor Lieberman's statements give Israel one bit of intelligence on its enemies or keeps one weapons system out of the hands of Iran, it was worth it. I don't think Russia's democrats were waiting with baited breath to hear if Lieberman supported them.
It confuses them to read that right-wing Jewish settlers attacked an Israeli army base on Tuesday in the West Bank, stoning Israeli soldiers in retaliation for the army removing "illegal" settlements that Jewish extremists establish wherever they want.
God forbid Jews build homes in Israel without first going to an arcane and heavily bureaucratic permit process! While I don't think IDF soldiers should be stoned by other Jews (they are just draftees after all), the policy of uprooting Jews is quite despicable.
It confuses them to read, as the New Israel Fund reports on its Web site, that "more than 10 years ago, the ultra-Orthodox community asked Israel's public bus company, Egged, to provide segregated buses in their neighborhoods. By early 2009, more than 55 such lines were operating around Israel. Typically, women are required to enter through the bus back doors and sit in the back of the bus, as well as 'dress modestly.' "
Does it really confuse them? Just about every store in Israel is closed on Jewish religious holidays and every Saturday on the sabbath. And everyone knows that. Israel has theocratic elements but it is still the most liberal country in the entire middle east. "Dress modestly" doesn't mean Burkha.