….said the Spider to the Fly.
As mentioned in my last post I am going to discuss the scholarship of the premise article in this post. But before that I want to clarify my previous
The post on lobbies does NOT refer to the Israeli lobby but rather to the general functioning of lobbies, the framework of lobbies, the process of
lobbying, the role of lobbies in passing legislation and the limits set upon lobbies. I have tried to present the workings of a lobby with fair
perspective, to bring forward the "other" side that many are unaware of, especially with respect to the positives that lobbies have accomplished,
take the case on international landmine legislation etc that has achieved fruition due to the effort of lobbies.
With regards to domestic lobbies that are pro-Israel, this is common knowledge but in my post I refer to the legislation that prevents foreign
governments from entering into the domestic electoral process along with a case of such an occurrence. I have forgotten to mention one fact in my
previous post, which is the abolition of soft money transfers to political parties by lobbies after the year 2002. The post is meant to give a
foundation on understanding the needs and the workings of lobbies and their results in congress and the senate, which is essential to the proper
understanding of the need and goals of any interest group, particularly the Israeli lobby.
The very nature of the pro-Israel sentiment would make classifying it as a mere 'interest group' to be inappropriate and misleading, as the nature
of the sentiment does not revolve around any singular objective but rather deals with a holistic perspective that encompasses both domestic and
Israeli issues. But which have a great influence on international policy particularly the Middle East as the domestic attitudes always tend to make
their way into American foreign policy. It would be correct however to say that the level of support is indeed unique. But let us not pass judgement
hastily on this; as the machinations of the biased few. Let us see it for what it truly is; which are the strong ideological, emotional, religious,
sociological, political and economic ties that a large number of Americans have with the people of Israel. This isnt confined to the Jews exclusively
but in fact applies more to the large percentage of non-Jews that are engaged in various relationships with the people of Israel. It is these people
who through their extensive interaction have come to sympathize and support the Israeli cause and more importantly willing to exercising their
'influence' to work towards what they feel are their mutual interests. Then there are the religious groups that are have whole communities in
thrall- considered vote banks! – that see Israel and its people in the biblical context. All these ‘domestic’ factors influence congressmen and
senators in DC to treat Israel as much more than an ally. The lobbies only reinforce this picture in their minds, making American policy swing towards
popular domestic mandate.
Well, I have read the entire report that makes up the premise for this thread and the ensuing enquiry into the pro-Israel lobby done here. All those
who have taken the liberty to go through the report you would find that it is only 30 odd pages while the introduction and the extensive references
and appendix of previous books, editorials, articles, etc comprises a good 40 pages making up the bulk of the study. To the initiated this study from
a notable Harvard professor would certainly come as a shock not for the topics it broaches but rather to the utter and complete digression from the
principles of scholarly study.
I have read numerous academic reports in the past, which I confess are mostly technical nonetheless conforming to the generally accepted standard of
academic study, have yet to come across such a deliberate and devious attempt at scholarship!! Scholarship which sadly had been held great
credibility prior to this disgraceful sham. This study reeks not only of prejudice but also of unethical intellectual subterfuge. The authors try to
prey upon emotions and also cleverly employ a tactic of selective and incomplete dissemination of facts coupled with skewed opinion in order to
beguile the reader into believing it to be the truth and in their best interests. It is in fact bullying him intellectually into accepting the
author’s perspective without question or giving any giving any chance to objective analysis. There is not a shred of academic objectivity into the
matter and nor are they bound by ethics of scholarship. In short, this study is but a ploy by the authors to beguile to uninitiated regarding Middle
eastern history and Israeli politics. This isnt the first report/study that has come to show that the pro-Israel lobby has great influence as these
authors would have you believe, nor is it the first attempt by scholars to editorialize fact and try to stir up controversy in order to garner
I might sound to be extremely pro-Israel here but those who have actually read the study and know Israeli-Arab history can easily point out the
blatant inaccuracies of the study not to mention the amount of deception used by the authors to deceive the reader. It is primarily this
underhandedness in scholarship that I detest and what I find most repulsive here. I will
Here is some of what I talk about :
THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
The United States also comes to Israel’s rescue in wartime and takes its side when negotiating
peace. The Nixon Administration re-supplied Israel during the October War and protected Israel from the threat of Soviet
Though the individual sentences are correct when they are take alone but together they completely contradict each other. For anyone who is aware of
the Nixon administrations attitude with regards to Israel would hardly imagine it as one that was anything short of a reluctant support. Also after
their initial ‘opinion’ they add to the paragraph they continue the above sentences with the negotiations that the US-Soviets had to bring the
situation under control as advocacy of the Israelis. Then suddenly jump to the Oslo Peace accords that were again forced upon Israel. As by 1993
Israel had already acquired dominance over the neighboring Arab States and had effective control over the West Bank and Gaza thereby not something
that was only a technicality for the Israelis and face saving measure for the Arabs.
The authors don’t at anytime mention the many SR-71’s that flew over Israel taking pictures of damage to Israeli tanks and equipment during the
October war, so that Nixon was sure that the Israelis were not given any ‘undue’ advantage. Nor does it mention that Nixon’s re-supply was not
solely due to his compassion for the Israeli people but rather for the genuine fear that Egypt and Syria would take over the State of Israel thus
handing over the Suez to the Soviets giving them a stranglehold over Western shipping and the Mediterranean in general. The authors also fail to
present the backdoor diplomacy that Kissinger and the Soviets had, also the reluctance of Nixon to get involved due to the situation in Vietnam, the
failure of intelligence form both the Israelis and American intelligence, not to mention the deep politics behind the war. I would also like to point
out the fact that it was the US that saved Egypts 3rd Army and the Syrians from disgrace, defeat and death when the Israelis finally fought back and
took back lost ground (See Ariel Sharon’s campaign here!). Can I also mention that the Israelis lost nearly 2200 soldiers and had 5600 injured which
would be equivalent to 500,000+ American lost or wounded when taken in perspective with our respective populations then. I would also like to mention
that America was not alone in supplying the war as the Soviets had been supplying the Egyptians and the Syrians as well .The Authors make no mention
of this too.
I could potentially go on and on but here is a very good and balanced study on the war taken from NSA documents speaks of all what I have said and
much more. This is what they have to say about the war:
The October war had a fundamental impact on international relations not only by testing the durability of U.S.-Soviet détente but also by compelling
the United States to put the Arab-Israeli conflict on the top of its foreign policy agenda. The threat of regional instability, energy crises, and
superpower confrontation, made a U.S. hands-on role in the region inescapable…….
So do we believe that the authors of the Pro-Israel lobbies Study “don’t know” this angle to the Yom Kippur War even though they are Ph.D’s in
History and hold titles of Professor in some of the most reputable institutes in America if not the World?
THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
Israel’s strategic value during this period should not be overstated, however Backing Israel was not cheap, and it complicated
America’s relations with the Arab world. For example, the U.S. decision to give Israel $2.2 billion in emergency military aid
during the October War triggered an OPEC oil embargo that inflicted considerable damage on Western economies.
This statement is yet another gem that its naivity for authors of such calliber is simply shocking. Firstly, the reason that the oil embargo was
applied by the Arab oil producing states was because of massive American airlifts of military equipment
to the Israelis just like the
Russians were doing with the Egyptians. Secondly, OPEC didn’t impose embargo’s on oil but only Arab oil producing nations. Lastly, the embargo was
placed only on the US and not on ‘Western Economies’.
Surely professors in the field of international studies know that there is a difference between OPEC and oil producing Arab states, a huge difference
and also must know about the machination by the Arab states with regards to Yom Kippur War. Like for example, the war was started by Egypt’s
on the Israelis while the peace settlements was still going on after the 1967 war in the UN. Also the results of this war which
the authors claim as ‘costly’ for America to support Israel in fact worked in favor of the aggressors like Egypt and Syria with Israel’s
withdrawal from the Sinai and returning to pre war borders. This however doesn’t carry much significance to the authors as they have concluded the
results of the war before any actual study.
The oil embargo on the US was yet another tactic employed by Sadat to coerce America into forcing Israel to give up its claim over the disputed area
of the West Bank. Such an embargo was premeditated by the Arabs and was NOT a reactionary measure as the authors would have us believe. This has been
shown to be the case in the study shown below, which BTW is credible academic work.
With diplomacy stalemated, during 1972 and 1973, Sadat believed that the military option was necessary to secure U.S. political intervention and to
facilitate negotiations. To bring U.S. influence on Egypt's side, he was willing to make a separate arrangement with Israel over the Sinai, although
he would keep his flexibility secret from leaders of other Arab states. To make the military option workable, that is to disperse Israeli forces
during war, Sadat realized that he needed partners. A non-military ally was King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, who promised to use the oil weapon against
the United States.
THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
Even if Israel was a strategic asset during the Cold War, the first Gulf War (1990-91) revealed that Israel was becoming a
strategic burden. The United States could not use Israeli bases during the war without rupturing the anti-Iraq coalition, and it
had to divert resources (e.g., Patriot missile batteries) to keep Tel Aviv from doing anything that might fracture the alliance
Here again we have fact and opinion deceitfully blended to give a picture that is far from the truth. For starters by merely reading the passage we
can ask ourselves why is an ally that was not allowed to participate a ‘burden’? For sending a couple of Patriot missile batteries to
Israel, in exchange for Israel’s marked pacifism here despite being attacked repeatedly by Iraqi-Scuds despite no provocation on its part? Can we
truly call this Israeli attitude a burden for the US ?
Or is it that the anti-Iraq coalition countries,[like Saudi Arabia -recognizes Israel, Jordan -recognizes Israel and Kuwait- at that time was itself
was in no position to be choosy] were so against the idea of Israel participating that they threatened to back out from the fight even though Saddam
was actively attacking them? To the reasonable and the initiated such arguments are dismal at best especially for alleged academicians.
Would we be biased in imagining that Israel was genuinely concerned about Iraq with Saddam Husseins unparalleled military build up & with Iraqi
Sunni’s baying for Israeli blood, taking into account Iraq’s previous hostility towards Israel in general? Would it be wise on our part to forget
that despite the ‘pro-Jewish’ lobbies apprehensions regarding the Iraqi build up, the USA didn’t act against Iraq until they attacked Kuwait and
took over more than half of the world’s oil supplies, which are in OUR own interests?
As for the Israeli ‘burden’, though they didn’t support the Gulf War directly, they did provide valuable intelligence & logistical support to
the US. This is what Tariq Aziz said after the first Gulf War to Frontline:
Q: What was the calculation in firing the Scud missiles at Israel?
Aziz: Well, Israel was part and parcel of the military aggression against Iraq. They did not participate directly, openly, but they provided all
support to the aggression against Iraq so.
Q: Did you hope to provoke them into retaliating to split off the Arab zone?
Aziz: No, we didn't think that they will do anything in the sense of ground attack because if they have to fight on the ground, they have to
cross Jordan. That makes it difficult for them….the Americans avoided that. Had Israel entered a ground confrontation with the Iraqi troops, the
results of the conflict would have been different.
Q: So why do it then...a gesture of defiance?
Aziz: Well, when you are attacked by an enemy, you attack your enemies, that's natural eh? Israel acted as an enemy to Iraq at that time. It
participated fully,…….. Israel provided many many logistics, you see to the preparation of the war, before the war and during the war, so why
don't you hit them if you can? We had the capability, we did it and it was not a surprise….
THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
The terrorist organizations that threaten Israel (e.g., Hamas or Hezbollah) do not threaten the United States, except when it
intervenes against them (as in Lebanon in 1982). Moreover, Palestinian terrorism is not random violence directed against Israel or
“the West”; it is largely a response to Israel’s prolonged campaign to colonize the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Let us take the first sentence in which the authors claim that “ terrorist organizations..(HAMAS) do not threaten the US…”, which is both
correct and incorrect on how it is taken. It is true that HAMAS does not carry out terrorism in the US or attacks the US directly but what the authors
have failed to show is that Palestinian militant organizations have killed more than 53 American citizens and at least another 83 have been injured
by terrorist acts in Israeljohnshadegg.house.gov...
" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow"> Study of
Americans killed by Palestinian Terrorism-U.S House of Representatives
Also, by the first sentence do the authors imply that the US turn a blind eye to acts of terrorism that have killed thousands of people in an allied
nation just because they do not affect us directly ? Why then did the US extend support to the British during WW2, to the French, to South Korea, to
the numerous other allied nations that have faced aggression and have had to contend with it. The US doesn’t physically participate but rather seeks
to bring the two sides together at the same time condemning terrorism, is this a sign of American bias towards the Israelis ? From what I know of
history, Israel has had to bend to US dictums many times in the past even against its wishes or the security of its citizens. The granting sovereignty
to the PA and signing a peace deal with a known terrorist Arafat , pull out from Gaza etc, they have undeniably done a lot of that is expected of
Coming to the second sentence, this again is totally deceptive statement. Granted that the Palestinian terrorism is indeed a product of Israeli
control of the West Bank but to claim that it is not random is absurd. Firstly, the very acts of terrorism that Palestinians terrorists have employed
have been things like, shootouts, suicide bombings, rocket attacks of Jewish settlements etc all towards Israeli civilians and not directly on the
IDF. Though there have been attacks on IDF bases, the majority of attacks have been towards Israeli civilians with random acts of violence towards
them. I am sure any reasonable person wouldn’t hesitate to call bus bombs, attacks of cafes and sporadic shoot-outs as “random” acts but
unfortunately the authors of the study prefer to term these as ‘not random’ because that would make it easier to arrive at their conclusion.
THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
…..saying that Israel and the United States are united by a shared terrorist threat has the causal relationship backwards:
rather, the United States has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel, not the other way
There is no question, for example, that many al Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, are motivated by Israel’s presence in
Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians…….
This statement makes up one of the central argument against the pro-Israel stance of the US. Granted that many terrorist do find US support to Israel
to be point of contention between the United States and the Arab World. But terrorism directly against America which is a very recent phenomena
(started in the 90’s) while compared to the US-Israel relationship (goes back to the late 60’s). To say that American support to Israel is a main
cause for the terrorist movement against the United States would be to say that the Arabs were either unaware or not concerned about the US-Israel
relationship for nearly 30 years. Or that America’s insistence on Israel to grant autonomy to the PA, the sign peace accords with Arafat in the 1990
and the PA in 2000 or America generous aid to the PA(BTW America is the largest contributor of aid to the PA ) are against the interests of the
Palestinians and the Arabs in general. This however defies logic, as the above have only improved the lives and the standing of the PA and have
helped expedite the peace process.
Terrorism towards the United States has surfaced after the First Gulf war during 1990. The presence of ‘non-Muslim’ forces in the Islamic
heartland was seen as desecration of Islam for most of the hard-liners and as an insult to Arabs for not being able to protect their ‘holy-land’
and having to depend on ‘kafirs’. Apart from this the attitude of the Al-Saud family with respect to the US and also other Muslim nations towards
the US was seen as American perversion to the religion of Islam. These terrorists are not fighting against the state of Israel solely but rather to
‘cleanse their land’ from Western “perversion” and thereby build a pan-Arab caliphate with the disposal of the US from the Middle East as
their primary objective.
Osama bin laden has expressed this time and again and according to the Council on Foreign Relations:
www.cfr.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow"> Osama Bin-Laden Background Q&A
When did bin Laden begin to consider the United States his enemy?
In the 1980s, bin Laden disdained America for its alliances with Israel and moderate Muslim states, but it was the Gulf crisis that crystallized
his hatred. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, bin Laden wanted Arab veterans of the Afghan war to help the Saudi army defend Saudi Arabia. He saw
the arrival of American troops to confront Saddam—and the continued U.S. military presence in the Gulf after the war—as a violation of the
sanctity of Muslim territory.
The above clearly shows what I am referring to. Also it is after 9/11 that Al-Qaeda has started to attack Israeli civilians like the dual bombings in
Mombasa, Kenya 2002( news.bbc.co.uk...
" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Source ) because it sees Israel as America’s ally. In essence
the same networks that once worked only against the Israelis and many other local causes have now been joined together by the Al-Qaeda. Here is a
study regarding this mentality:
www.cfr.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow"> Council on Foreign Affairs - The Protean Enemy
Why do religious terrorists kill? In interviews over the last five years, many terrorists and their supporters have suggested to me that people
first join such groups to make the world a better place -- at least for the particular populations they aim to serve. Over time,….. , terrorism can
become a career as much as a passion. Leaders harness humiliation and anomie and turn them into weapons. Jihad becomes addictive, militants report,
and with some individuals or groups -- the “professional” terrorists -- grievances can evolve into greed: for money, political power, status, or
Consider, for example, Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ). EIJ’s original objective was to fight the oppressive, secular rulers of Egypt and turn the
country into an Islamic state. But the group fell on hard times with the arrest of their leader in the United States…Thus in the early 1990s, Ayman
al-Zawahiri decided to shift the group’s sights from its “near enemy”…… -- to the “far enemy,” namely the United States and other
The example above shows clearly how the situation has worsened through the influence of Al-Qaeda and tightening the noose around terrorist
organizations. American activity that has been beneficial to the Arab world has always been seen criticaly be it the development of the Arab world
through Western investment in their oil resources or protecting their holyland against occupation. The situation in Israel has been there since before
WW2, 9/11 has little to do with America’s support for peace in Israel in the last 3 decades. (BTW the twin towers attack is supposed to be in
retaliation for the bombings of the Towers in Lebanon, which inspired Bin-Laden to give the go ahead for a similar attack on NYC).
I would also like to include this insightful study regarding the real reasons for Anti-Americanism in Arab Society;
Although anti-Americanism is genuinely widespread among Arab governments and peoples, however, there is something seriously misleading in this
account. Arab and Muslim hatred of the United States is not just, or even mainly, a response to actual U.S. policies -- policies that, if anything,
have been remarkably pro-Arab and pro-Muslim over the years. Rather, such animus is largely the product of self-interested manipulation by
various groups within Arab society, groups that use anti-Americanism as a foil to distract public attention from other, far more serious problems
within those societies.
www.cfr.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow"> Article from ForeignAffairs.org
THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
Neither America nor Israel could be blackmailed by a nuclear-armed rogue, because the
blackmailer could not carry out the threat without receiving overwhelming retaliation. The danger of a “nuclear handoff” to
terrorists is equally remote, because a rogue state could not be sure the transfer would be undetected or that it would not be
blamed and punished afterward.
This statement make little sense because the 1967 war was started because the of the general distrust that exsisted betweent the arab states and
Israel and the Yom Kippur war was the result of the 1967 Six-day war. The alleged Israeli military superiority over another state has little to do
with the actual causes in both these cases, it was aggressive Arab rhetoric coupled with Israeli paranoia that started the Six-day war and thus led to
the Yom Kippur war.
As regards to the “handoff” I would like to point out the case of Pakistan which despite running a nuclear “Wal-Mart” at the “Baghdad
Market” for WMD’s has not been penalized nor been blamed. What is to say that these rouge state could not acquire this technology with the massive
funding and networks from the Al-Qaeda to use it against the US or its allies ? Nothing from past experience says that rouge states cant get access to
WMD’s undetected. As for punishment, just look at the case with respect to Iran, North Korea etc, what has the UN/IAEA or the US been able to do to
“punish” these states ? NOTHING!!
Also the “rouge” states in question doesn’t need to carryout threats directly with the large number of terrorist organization in the region more
that willing to take part in the process thereby distancing themselves from any attacks and pleading innocence making any retaliation difficult and
internationally unacceptable. The Israelis know this and so do the Arabs, that is the problem.
Organizations like Al-Qaeda claim that they have nuclear weapons for use incase they were to be used against them.
THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
Apart from its alleged strategic value, Israel’s backers also argue that it deserves unqualified U.S. support because:
1) it is weak and surrounded by enemies,
2) it is a democracy, which is a morally preferable form of government;
3) the Jewish people have suffered from past crimes and therefore deserve special treatment, and
4) Israel’s conduct has been morally superior to its adversaries’ behavior.
On close inspection, however, each of these arguments is unpersuasive.
This is the central logic that the second part of the study deals with. Instead of dealing with individual paragraphs I will deal with each point. The
authors present each point under a separate heading and present their arguments against each of the above points, points that they believe are the
reasons the pro-Israel lobby presents for the need of America’s continued support of Israel. I would like to point out the fallacies in each of
their arguments and show their blatant editorialization of fact in order to obfuscate the truth and promote prejudiced views. I will stick to the same
order as shown above.
- The first point deals with the demographic perspective of Israel with respect to its neighbors. The authors claim that during the 1948949 war and
the 1956 wars Israel apparently won with ease due to its “large” numbers contrary to what they say the pro-Israel lobby claims. This however is
far from the truth as firstly; the Arab states of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq attacked the Jewish nation of Israel. As a newly created state,
Israel would be hard pressed to defend itself from the regular armies of FIVE different nations with its low numbers demographically. Secondly, it had
to contend with the local fraction of the Irgun and the Stern Gang and try and build a regular force to defend itself. Lastly, the IDF would have to
contend with the local armed resistance form the local Arab Palestinians. All these would not make the victor easy by any standard, but victory was
achieved nonetheless because the Israelis managed to organize quickly and put to use western weapons to compensate for their smaller numbers. Here are
the numbers that took part in the first war:
Source for 1948-49 War
State Entry Exit CombatForces Population Losses
Egypt 1948 1949 300000 35000000 2000
Israel 1948 1949 140000 2200000 6000
Jordan 1948 1949 60000 1000000 1000
P'stine 1948 1949 50000 2250000 3000
Syria 1948 1949 300000 6000000 1000
These numbers clearly show the massive disadvantage Israel faced during its independence and as for the 1956 war that was a joint operation by the
French-British-Israel against the Egyptians for taking over the Suez Canal and restricting entry for ship from nations that weren’t to their liking.
This was against UN regulations and www.mideastweb.org... " target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">UNSC Resolution 95 was passed that proclaimed that Egypt was in
contradiction to international law. The War of 1956 was the collective contribution of France-UK-Israel and not a unilateral Israeli action. In fact
it was the US that was against the Suez War and despite this Britain and France went ahead. The armistice that was latter negotiated by the US was in
fact pro-Arab than pro-Israel, so there goes the authors claim of American bias towards Israel there.
Another point that the authors refer to is that Israel is no longer the underdog in the region with its commanding military might but what they fail
to realize is this might is a product of Arab aggression and not American support for if there was no threat by the Arabs, Israel would have been much
less militaristic. Also they forget to note that despite the military might Israel still suffers from constant attacks against its civilians and its
cities from Arab militants that are supported by all Arab states collectively. They face terror threats from all sides except the Mediterranean Sea,
with hezbollah in the north, Hamas form the West Bank and Syria, Islamic Brotherhood form Egypt etc. Demographically also they dwarf in size when
compared to the collective populace of the Arab states.
Disregarding this however, Israel today doesn’t seem interested in being considered as a “victim” but has rather sought US assistance in
maintaining the Status quo of the situation, rather than endorsing its campaign politically or militarily.
- The next point revolves around Israeli and US values of Democracy which the authors see as not ‘enough’ justification for the level of support
Israel gets. While it is true that not every democracy is treated with the same level of support Israel gets, it is important to consider that during
the Cold War, the situation was played up as the forces of Communism (UAR) were against the democratic state of Israel and in this context the US
decided to extend its support to Israel so that it may maintain dominance over the regions oil supplies. Today however this rational doesn’t seem to
take center stage but nonetheless does serve to cement ties in some way. For example the authors of the study claim that as America has numerous
allies that are dictatorships, being democratic would mean little to secure US support. This is plainly fallacious reasoning as not only does the US
seek to spread democracy and the rule of law globally, it also forms part of the core values that were propagated during the cold war to combat
communism and dictatorships. Even today, the values of democracy form an important part of US foreign policy with America’s support to Taiwan being
a prime example. Thus, the authors have again been predicated by their prejudice rather than academic scholarship.
The authors go on to claim that Israel treats its Arab citizens as second class and thus is at odds with American values of equality and justice for
all. But this is yet again far from the truth as, not only are the Arabs citizens given equal rights and privileges but they are also have reserved
seats allotted to them in the Kessnet apart from the right to own land, buy property and practice their religion freely without persecution unlike
anything that is possible in the middle east. But I wont deny that there is indeed massive discrimination against Israeli arabs by the Israeli
government and its jewish citizens. The reasons for this are understandable but in no way acceptable, because despite the Intifada and the suicide
bombings, rocket attacks from the Palestine, the Arab citizens of Israel are in no way responsible and treating them with disdain would only tend to
increase their aversion for the Israeli authority and its jewish citizens. The Israeli government realizes this as a problem and so does the Supreme
court of Israel but such a case of discrimination is present in every society in every country in the world and cannot be attributed as
‘undemocratic’ by Israel. Here is an article that speaks of the discriminations against Arabs and the governments steps to tackle this form
thewww.jewishvirtuallibrary.org...&_Culture/sikkuy2002.html" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow"> Jewish Virtual Library.
Also it is claimed that Israeli citizen ship is solely by blood kinship but this is again incorrect as according the Israeli Govt. :
Citizenship may be acquired by:
*The Law of Return
The authors conclude their argument against the democratic credentials of Israel by claiming that Israel doesn’t give Palestinians proper
‘political rights’ when they have conducted two elections and have authority over the West Bank and Gaza which Israel has allowed them to form.
Plus Israel also has been a major donor of aid to the Palestinians and has supported their attempts at democracy along with the international
community. Here is an article that speaks about the state of democracy in Palestine :
From the Book by David SchenkerPalestinian Democracy and Governance: An Appraisal
of the Legislative Council
Israel supports a PA that can fight Islamic militancy and terrorism, regardless of its stance on human rights and due process.
In Washington, policy toward the PA is largely guided by peace process concerns. Based on these concerns, Washington has been a consistent
supporter of Arafat, who Americans believe can "deliver" the peace…..Although this policy may ensure continuity and incremental progress in
the peace process, it does not take into account the established link between peace and democracy. …………In terms of the Palestinians, however,
it should be. In the PA-where the population has both a knowledge of and an appreciation for democracy-the discussion is timely and relevant.
Unlike many of the peoples of the region, Palestinians have a history in which participation, pluralism, and respect for rule of law are not alien
- This point deals the Holocaust and what the Authors claim as the excuse used by the pro-Israel lobby to get the US to support its case
unconditionally. This is when the authors get really desperate and the real shoddiness of their scholarship comes forth. They insinuate that
Israel’s founding is equally immoral and unjust as the Holocaust and therefore negates their claims of moral superiority over their enemies.
This they begin to prove this by stating the demographics of the British Mandate and show the decline in Arab numbers and the increase in Jewish
numbers as a sign of occupation. They make little mention about the Balfour declaration and the guarantees afforded to the Jews by the British but
rather try to show it as some sort of occupation. Next they show the Arabs that were ‘driven out’ by the Israelis by making this argument:
This opportunity came in 1947-48, when Jewish forces drove up to 700,000 Palestinians into exile. Israeli officials have
long claimed that the Arabs fled because their leaders told them to, but careful scholarship (much of it by Israeli historians
like Morris) have demolished this myth. In fact, most Arab leaders urged the Palestinian population to stay home, but fear of
violent death at the hands of Zionist forces led most of them to flee.
This is perhaps the best example of the authors bias and prejudice. They claim that 700,000 Palestinians were forced into exile but they don’t say
that nearly 600,000+ jews in the Arab lands were forced to flee their homes when their Arab nations decided to kick them out. Also they don’t
mention that it was the Arab states in connivance with the Palestinians leaders of that time decided to attack the state of Israel on the day of its
formation. The authors also discount the Israeli version of Arabs being asked to flee by their leaders without proving any concrete reason to do so
other that dismissing it off hand. Lastly, they call out the notorious Benny Morris as a reference and even try to call his work as ‘scholarship
that demolished myth’, which to the initiated would be incredibly funny. Benny Morris has achieved a sort of cult status in the world of historians
as a radical extremist who delves more propaganda than fact. www.meforum.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Here is an article about his bias that I think that the authors should have read before their exuberance in
quoting from his work.
Another quote that they present of Ben Gurion and claim it to be professions of guilty Israelis is this one:
.. As Ben-Gurion told Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, “If I were an Arab leader I would never make
terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. . . .
This looks like compelling evidence when presented in the fashion the authors have but, they have forgotten to mention one important point which is
that this quote is part of a conversation that reflected Ben-Gurion’s personal views to a friend. They have also not presented the entire quote so
that one may understand its meaning in the fullest possible sense. The quote above is continued with the following:
Read the entire quote www.al-bushra.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">here
…But ask me whether my son Amos, who will be fifty at the end of this year, has a chance of dying and being buried in a Jewish State, and I would
"But how can you sleep with that prospect in mind and be PM of Israel too?", Goldmann broke in.
Ben-Gurion's answer was simple: "who says I sleep"? Goldmann concluded by stating "That was Ben Gurion all over. He had told me that so as to
show me how well he knew in his heart that Israel could not exist without peace with the Arabs, but his stubborn, aggressive unbending character
prevented him from following what his own intelligence told him. The best proof of that is that having lost his grip on power his intelligence
reasserted itself; he even became a 'Goldmannite', declaring that all the occupied territories except Jerusalem should be restored.
So if one were to read the entire quote, it would be clear to see that Ben-Gurion was in fact pointing out the need for peace with the Arabs and their
attitudes towards the Israelis. Though this might mean a candid admission that the Jews were seen as occupiers, this would only mean that he
understood the attitudes the Arabs had towards the Isrealis and his admission of that fact. Rather than portraying it as the admission of guilt his
true intent was to try to explain to Goldmann the hurdles that the Jews faced in attaining peace with their arab neighbors by presenting their
attitude towards the Jews, whom they saw as foreign occupiers.
This is yet another example of the clever manipulations of the authors in order to beguile the reader into accepting their opinions rather than
drawing out a valid and objective line of reasoning. A way to perpetuate their bias.
Another quote on Golda Meir that the authors use is :
Prime Minister Golda Meir famously remarked that “there was no such thing as a Palestinian,”
This would seem to be denying the rights of the Palestinians but it is in fact to be taken from a historical perspective, as historically Palestine is
a state that the Romans named after destroying the Jewish civilization there and not contrary to popular perception the name of the Arab state of
Palestine. Also Arab leaders have themselves claimed that ‘their is no such Palestine’ and they see themselves as Syrians. It is this context that
Meir refers to rather than a sort of declaration against the Palestinians Arabs. The authors however have twisted this in order to make it seem so.
Of course you would be right to call this as Zionist propaganda but take a moment to examine the statement below;
Prior to partition, Palestinian Arabs did not view themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations
met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted:
“We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national,
religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.”
In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: "There is no
such country [as Palestine]! 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of
www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Source
- The last point deals with the morality of the Israeli cause and the authors attempt to show that Israel has little moral standing on which America
can base its support. The depths to which the authors stoop here knows no bounds and they in fact contradict themselves here. They begin by stating
Israeli scholarship shows that the early Zionists were far from benevolent towards the Palestinian Arabs. The Arab inhabitants
did resist the Zionists’ encroachments, which is hardly surprising given that the Zionists were trying to create their own state
on Arab lands. The Zionists responded vigorously, and neither side owns the moral high ground during this period. This same
scholarship also reveals that the creation of Israel in 1947-48 involved explicit acts of ethnic cleansing, including executions,
massacres, and rapes by Jews.
The ‘scholarship’ that the authors refer to here is none other than their champion Benny Morris, who we have already dealt with before. The
authors in their quest to propagate their prejudice have forgotten altogether the meaning of scholarship and by identifying Benny Morris as a scholar
this fact is clearly shown. To be fair , it is true that prior to the separation by the British there was a lot of friction between the Arabs and the
Jews and this led to many deaths but that does not mean that any one side is to blame. Also the claim of ‘rapes, ethnic cleansing etc’ by the Jews
is totally uncorroborated and it is only Morris’s speculations and aracana that he uses to make such claims. Morris is himself known for his
pathetic credentials that to claim his work as scholarship would truly show the shear apathy of the premise articles scholarship.
Another gem that surely must be mentioned is this argument by the author:
The IDF conducted numerous cross-border raids against its neighbors in the early 1950s, and though these actions were portrayed as
defensive responses, they were actually part of a broader effort to expand Israel’s borders. Israel’s expansionist ambitions
also led it to join Britain and France in attacking Egypt in 1956, and Israel withdrew from the lands it had conquered only in
the face of intense U.S. pressure.
The first sentence itself shows the authors bias and poor scholarship, they claims that the “IDF conducted numerous raids into its neighbors
territories in the early 50’s and these were portrayed as defensive responses”. This is true so far, lets see how they continue, “they were
actually part of a border effort to expand Israel’s borders”; now this last part is in no way corroborated nor do the authors provide any evidence
of this. It also shows how they have consistently sought to skew the facts to skew opinions. Instead of presenting the facts and then using these
facts to draw out logical conclusions they simply state their opinions right after statements of fact and hope that the unsuspecting reader will take
these opinions to be facts as well. This is NOT scholarship to say the least, more like intelligent propaganda to brainwash the unsuspecting and the
uninitiated. Also taking reality into consideration, during the 50’s there wasn’t any expansion of Israel’s borders or it settling on new land
that wasn’t part of the original mandate.
Now coming to the second sentence, this is again another whopper of a lie which claims that Israel joined France and Britain attack on Egypt with
‘Expansionist ambitions’ but this is far from the truth as we all know. I have already presented the UNSC resolution that shows clearly Egypt’s
illegal refusal of Israeli ships and its unilateral decision to control traffic on the Suez. This was the sole reason for the war and this is widely
accepted as the truth. The authors then bring in fact again to show that the US mediated and brought settled an armistice between the parties. Such
duplicity is rarely seen in articles that claim to be academic studies and that too from reputed faculty of schools like Harvard. It is this
pernicious attempts by the authors over and over again that has made publishing houses, Harvard University and many other institutions that hope to
keep their credibility intact away from this ‘study’.
Had the authors claimed that the Israelis were also guilty of using excessive force and responding extremely to situations, it would have been
understandable and logical, but instead they have chosen to adopt a more insidious method to spread their prejudice by mixing fact and opinion
Historically speaking though, what the authors say is true to some extent in the sense that there has been a large amount of excesses by the IDF
especially in Beirut and in some instance in the West Bank and to deny this would be unfair.
I could now continue in a similar fashion to expose the fallacies and the deceit in the third and last part of the study but as that would extend
this post by another 3000 words or more. But I would like to point out one interesting quote that the authors of the study have put up:
Christian Zionists like Dick Armey, who said in September 2002 that “My No. 1 priority in foreign policy is to protect
Israel”. One would think that the number 1 priority for any congressman would be to “protect America,”
Well this is certainly an interesting quote but from the quote I think that the congressman was referring to foreign policy as in, support to Taiwan,
support to South Korea etc as opposed to national security policy like combating terrorism etc. That is what I gather from that quote but the authors
would have me believe that it is not “foreign policy” but rather all policy that the Congressman is referring to. Well if one can pass off 40
pages of prejudice for fact, it would truly be a feat onto its own.
I will put this as candidly as I can in question and answer form for those who wouldn’t like to read through all that I have posted above.
Does this study present a true picture of the nature of the Israeli lobby?
To put it candidly , this study is BS ! They use crappy references, cheap tricks, juvenile logic and an almost infantile style of writing to put forth
their perspective. I would think that the members of ATS with little experience on the forums would be more than capable of putting together something
much better than this sorry excuse for an academic study. Heck, I am certain that I could have made a better study would have presented the influence
of the pro-lobby much better than this so-called Harvard academician.
What do I think is the purpose of this study?
I would say that the authors wanted to get some publicity, maybe even some recognition that they feel they deserve and are not getting so they go in
for controversial subjects. Or they may have been influenced either emotionally or economically to publish a quasi study on the lobby.
Is there a significant ‘Pro-Israel’ lobby in the United States and is it influential ?
Does the pro-Israeli lobby control US Foreign Policy?
The number of issues regarding Israeli interests that crop up in the US are many and many times decisions go against the wishes of the lobby and there
is nothing they can do about it. But there are many times when the decision go in favor of the lobby also. The percentage of decisions in favor of and
those against is much narrower for the Israeli lobby than for most other lobbies. Like for every 100 decisions that deal with Israel 55 may against
what the lobby desires and 45 may go according to the lobby. This percentage of ‘successes’ is what makes the Israeli lobby so influential. This
does not mean that they have total control over congress or the Senate, the lobby couldn’t possibly have that because of the nature of the lobby.
The lobby is multi-faceted in itself and not all groups in the lobby would agree with every decision. Rather they are able to convince a majority of
politician about the benefits in supporting the individual lobbies’ perspective on an issue in the best interests for America and Israel.
Is the pro-Israel lobby’s influence against Americas Interests ?
The lobby is certainly in the interests of Israel and Israel wants to cement its existence in the region permanently. Though at times the US has faced
hardships in dealing with the Arabs, in the long term the presence of Israel- a non-Muslim and democratic nation in the middle east, is definitely
better for US interests and the world in the long run by serving as a counter balance to break the Muslim hegemony in the region.
How does we control the influence of the Pro-Israel lobby?
Lobbing as I discussed in my previous post is an essential part of our legislative process and therefore it’s presence has become almost
indispensable. The pro-Israel lobby is just good at lobbing and because a large majority of pro-Israeli Americans make it to government circles and
the centers of power this lobbing becomes all the more easy. Also the backing of religious Israel friendly groups helps to further promote the lobby.
In effect, the lobby is good because it receives support from many sides.
Its not a case of ‘If you don’t like the winners you just change the game.’ Because even thought many people don’t like politicians doesn’t
mean that we change our democracy into a dictatorship. Similarly the Israeli lobby is just good at what it does and you cant punish people for doing
their job too well !
Isn’t it true that Israel funnels money back to America to fund its lobbies like AIPAC etc ?
This is nonsense. Lets face it $3 billion for Israel today is loose change, they make much much more from trade alone not to mention the defense
contracts from nations etc. Also with so many Israeli-American business man eager to get their case heard before various congress subcommittees they
are all too willing to help fund these lobbies. Israel today really speaking has come to a point where they don’t really need to depend on America
for their continued existence but rather it is the emotional, religious, ideological and economic ties that hold the nations together.
Why does the pro-Israel lobby have so much influence in the US?
The pro-Israel lobby has great influence the same reasons there is considerable support for other regions by the US like for example support for
Ireland with regards to the IRA(due to the vast number of Irish descendants), for democratic Taiwan( due to the large number of Chinese Americans
against communist china), for democratic South Korea, for Japan etc. This support exists because of the very nature of the US as an immigrant nation
and though most would consider themselves only as Americans and keep American interests first, there is an undeniable feeling of support from American
for these countries.
They all lobby the government in some way or the other but none are as good as the pro-Israel lobby. The pro-Israeli lobby is just better than most
other interest specific lobbies at lobbing not because it uses underhanded means but because it is more coordinated than most other lobbies and is
effective with its resources. Also I would think that religious ties make up a good portion of the influence. And remember these are Americans who
support Israel not foreigners coercing American politicians.
Why hasn’t this study on the pro-Israel lobby been published by the American Media?
There have been many such studies, books and articles about the pro-Israel lobby from the US. This is not the first of its kind and neither is it
something so unique as the authors would have you believe. These studies are generally the works of those seeking attention or those with a personal
agenda that seek to come out with controversial works like these and the publishers know this. Also the people who come out with these studies
generally tend to be of rather poor scholarship as this study has turned out to be. There is also the role of the publishers who don’t want to
publish such studies because such material would tend to directly affect their profits and their credibility. With protests from the readers, interest
groups, politicians etc all bring down their profits and their credibility and thus endangering their business. But I don’t think such an excuse can
work today with the help of the Internet which has almost zero censorship of content would have been the ideal place to publish anything that the
authors may fear would not get published otherwise. But the authors in question here choose to make a drama out of this and choose rather
ostentatiously to go to England and have a press release claiming that this is due to the effects of the a pro-Israel lobby.
I wanted to post this earlier but I got sick and couldn’t spend the time needed to complete this. I did not as some have claimed read the
‘inescapable’ facts of the study and decided to not touch it.
I was however not able to complete the 40 page study completely as I have still not fully recovered. I have however presented a summary at the end to
clarify my perspective on the issue.
[edit: to correct tags]
[edit on 1-4-2006 by IAF101]