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Controversy over 'anti-semitism' and FdCA statement

category mashriq / arabia / iraq | imperialism / war | other libertarian press author Monday January 05, 2009 19:16author by Anarkismo Editorial group Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

These was an extensive controversy on Anarkismo over one small section of the FdCA statement on Gaza. This thread preserves the discussion of this which has been moved from the original thread as its no longer relevant to that thread.

Re-wording of statement

The statement originally published contained a grave error in wording and, while it was a minor part of the statement as a whole, gave rise to some controversy. This error has now been rectified.

Nestor McNab
for FdCA International Relations



The paragraph which was changed originally read
"As far as the USA is concerned, there is no doubt. Apart from the important strategic and territorial alliance that Israel represents for American imperialism in the Middle East, it also has to deal with the powerful US Jewish economic lobby, which is strong enough to bring about a stong influence on US foreign policy. And what is happening today comes across as a clear warning to the president-elect, Obama."

In the corrected version of the statement (see http://www.anarkismo.net/article/11133 ) it reads
"Apart from the important strategic and territorial alliance that Israel represents for American imperialism in the Middle East, it also has to deal with the powerful US pro-Israel lobby, which is strong enough to bring about a strong influence on US foreign policy. And what is happening today comes across as a clear warning to the president-elect, Obama."

The comments below are obviously the discussion on the first version.

Link esterno: http://www.anarkismo.net/article/11133
author by Django - Anarchist Federationpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 20:34Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Frankly, I'm apalled that anarchists would sign a statement that includes this:

"As far as the USA is concerned, there is no doubt. Apart from the important strategic and territorial alliance that Israel represents for American imperialism in the Middle East, it also has to deal with the powerful US Jewish economic lobby, which is strong enough to bring about a stong influence on US foreign policy."

This is indistinguishable from something you'd expect from the extreme right. I'm shocked that anarchists would abandon class analysis for anti-semitic conspiracy theories.

author by Steven. - libcom.orgpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 20:55Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I would just like to echo Django's statement, that I'm also shocked and appalled by this statement.

That something like this might have been written by one crank in a group would be worrying, but for it to be signed by two organisations and then further signed and distributed by another is quite frankly unacceptable.

Conspiracy theories about Jews controlling US foreign policy anti-Semitic, racist and most importantly complete and utter nonsense.

They have nothing to offer working people apart from more division and mystification.

I think that the people who wrote, posted up and helped disseminate this statement should retract it immediately and have a good long think about their position, and where it comes from.

(Following another poster on Libcom raising this, it has been discussed on a thread about anti-semitism on the left in our forums, link below)

Link esterno: http://libcom.org/forums/theory/does-libcom-support-ary...11975
author by a/c militantpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 21:39Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

...and the fact that it has been endorsed by Israeli members of Anarchists Against the Wall is proof of this supposed "anti-semitism"?

author by andrewpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 21:50Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

It's always depressing to see 'communists' who are so obsessed with point scoring that their first reaction on reading a document is to scan it for something to disagree with and then distort that piece and discuss it in a way that suggests that have not read, never mind understood, the rest of the document.

Lets deal with the distortions first - the statement does not say as Django lies in his title that "Jews control american policy?" - true to form Steven repeats the lie in his piece with his observation that "Conspiracy theories about Jews controlling US foreign policy anti-Semitic, racist and most importantly complete and utter nonsense." This trick of someone creating a lie and then someone else quickly repeating it as truth is typical of the methods of debate used by sectarians and unfortunately not only tolerated but encouraged on libcom.

The statement does refer to a US-Jewish lobby that has a " stong influence on US foreign policy" "Strong influence does not mean the same thing as 'control" as both the sectarians above know well. It is also hardly a 'conspiracy theory', the existence of a range of religious and national based lobbies in Washington DC is hardly a secret. Would reference to an 'Irish American' lobby with "strong influence" on USA policy in Ireland prove an anti-Irish agenda or would it likewise simply be a statement of fact?

Of course there is one straw for our sectarians to clutch at here. The use of the word 'Jewish' rather than Israeli in front of lobby. The problem for them with that argument is that Jewish rather than Israeli is the self-description used by one of the two main lobby groups, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Maybe the sectarians at libcom could write to them suggesting they rename themselves. But don't stop there, you also need to contact the Jewish Council for Public Affairs with your rebranding suggestions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conference_of_Presidents_o...tions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Council_for_Public_...fairs

Clearly there are lobbies in the USA that self-describe as Jewish and that attempt to influence US foreign policy. There is perhaps room for argument as to how successful they are but certainly that discussion can only take place when libcom withdraw that slur.

Having dealt with the sectarian lies, distortions and straight forward stupidity lets ask a final question. Would the actual FdCA attitudes towards Jews be better understood by the sectarianism we see above? Or by looking at their real concrete work with people of Jewish background living in Israel? Here we are talking of organising speaking tours and fund raising for Anarchists Against the Wall as well as their members translating and circulating statements on a regular basis? Are we too really believe that someone could honestly look at these facts and conclude the FdCA are 'anti-semetic'?

author by jhaaglundpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 22:01Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Andrew, while there might be self-identifying "Jewish" lobbying groups, the suggestion that they have a strong influence on US foreign policy is, frankly, ludicrous. I'd also like to know why, if the statement refers to these sorts of organisations, it referred to a "Jewish *economic* lobby"? In what sense do these groups hold any particular economic power?

You can dismiss criticism as "sectarian" all you like, but personally, I'd be deeply uncomfortable with being in an organisation that signed a statement with that left in.

author by Andrewpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 22:12Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I'd nothing to do with drafting the statement so I'm not going to suggest that Israeli lobby would not have been a safer term to use to escape this sort of predictable sectarian nonsence. I've already explained why it is ridiculous to seize on the use of one word rather than another as 'anti-semitism' in particular when you include the broader context of the FdCA's work with Israeli anarchists. Or as someone else has pointed out a number of members of Anarchists Against the Wall have decided to also sign the statement.

author by Ilan Shalif - AAtW / ainfospublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 22:12author address Tel AvivSegnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

The Django comment first inflate the following paragraph and than puncture the baloon.

"Jews control american policy?

Frankly, I'm apalled that anarchists would sign a statement that includes this:

"As far as the USA is concerned, there is no doubt. Apart from the important strategic and territorial alliance that Israel represents for American imperialism in the Middle East, it also has to deal with the powerful US Jewish economic lobby, which is strong enough to bring about a stong influence on US foreign policy."
[/quote]
Frankly, I'm apalled that Django have problem with interpreting the text:
"Apart from the important strategic and territorial alliance that Israel represents for American imperialism in the Middle East,"
means that this is the main factor....

The following is often bragged in Israeli media:
"it also has to deal with the powerful US Jewish economic lobby, which is strong enough to bring about a stong influence on US foreign policy."

It is well known that rich capitalists of the US Jewish community contribute much more than others to political candidates. There is a strong Jewish lobby EIPAC that succeeded to replace local and national members of congress - mainly when forces were near even.

In addition, it is not by chance the percentage of Jews in Bush but also in Clinton administration was high.

The socioeconomic position of Jews in US society is not the same as that of the afro-americans....

I am not sure the description of the Jewish lobby for Israel as of "powerful US Jewish economic lobby" capture all its qualities... but for sure their willing to put huge amount of their money in the service of pro Israeli politics help Israel to have its way.

This is indistinguishable from something you'd expect from the extreme right. I'm shocked that anarchists would abandon class analysis for anti-semitic conspiracy theories.

You will not hear that from the extreme evangelist right of US as they are holding hands in their help to Israel - the jews for national motivations the Evangelists for religious one.

Link esterno: http://ilanisagainstwalls.blogspot.com
author by jhaaglundpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 22:23Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Can you not see how the suggestion that Jewish capitalists in the USA are a part of some "Jewish community" that shares a particular interest in the US supporting Israel could be interpretted as a wee bit anti-semitic?

What's next? Claims that the National Black Police Association proves that there is a "powerful black lobby" in the UK controlling policing?

author by andrewpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 22:48Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Nice to see you have a least the decency to retreat on what has been claimed to the more legitimate grounds of interpretation. Yes of course a phrase taken in isolation is open to all sorts of interpretations but the phrase is not in isolation, it is in the context of the rest of the statement, the political work of the FdCA and has been pointed out the fact that the statement is both signed and being circulated by members of the only organization of anarchists of Jewish background in the region. This suggests your interpretation is not only wrong but uncharitable to say the least.

Likewise you seize on Ilan's post as if this was further proof of something. You may be unaware but the fact that he is an anarchist of Jewish background who live in Tel Aviv and whose first language is Hebrew might suggest that putting a lot of weight on the words he uses in his second language to demonstrate anti-semitism is odd to say the least. It does of course allow you to avoid actually answering the argument he makes, again something that is uncharitable to say the least.

author by Class Strugglepublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 23:09Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Django is just a young kid finding his feet in the world murky of class struggle anarchism, so his indiscretions i feel come from his political immaturity.

Steven on the other hand is just a libcom nutter.

2 point scoring points made.

On a more serious note the phrase in question could be miscontrued (perhaps deliberately so, to take the spotlight away from the comdemnation of the israeli state and into petty sectarian infighting) as such anything that takes away from the strengths of the document should be looked at carefully, or at least clarified, not least to stop nutty end of the class struggle spectrum getting on their high horse.

author by dpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 23:20Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

"It is well known that rich capitalists of the US Jewish community contribute much more than others to political candidates. There is a strong Jewish lobby EIPAC that succeeded to replace local and national members of congress - mainly when forces were near even.

In addition, it is not by chance the percentage of Jews in Bush but also in Clinton administration was high."

How is this anti-semitic 'ZOG' bullshit acceptable?

Seeing United States foreign policy in the middle east as controlled by Israel - or worse, by a nefarious "Jewish lobby" - is mystifying and incorrect at best and anti-semitic populism at worst. Why is this irrational view so widely held on the left?

author by dpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 23:22Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

"Nice to see you have a least the decency to retreat on what has been claimed to the more legitimate grounds of interpretation. Yes of course a phrase taken in isolation is open to all sorts of interpretations but the phrase is not in isolation, it is in the context of the rest of the statement, the political work of the FdCA and has been pointed out the fact that the statement is both signed and being circulated by members of the only organization of anarchists of Jewish background in the region. This suggests your interpretation is not only wrong but uncharitable to say the least.

Likewise you cease on Ilan's post as if this was further proof of something. You may be unaware but the fact that he is an anarchist of Jewish background who live in Tel Aviv and whose first language is Hebrew might suggest that putting a lot of weight on the words he uses in his second language to demonstrate anti-semitism is odd to say the least. It does of course allow you to avoid actually answering the argument he makes, again something that is uncharitable to say the least."

This is the same as replying "I have black friends" when someone accuses you of racism. Clearly, people of color can be racist, Jews can be anti-semitic, women can be sexist, etc. Your comment also assumes that the people commenting against this article are not Jews.

author by Django - Anarchist Federationpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 23:34Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Theres nothing sectarian or "immature" about finding a statement which claims that Jews hold a strong "economic" influence over US policy repulsive. Andrew seems to want it both ways - US policy is a part of its strategic, imperial aims. Fine, I agree. But if that is the case the "economic" power of American Jewry is utterly irrelevant. Either it is a product of real material factors (the need for bourgeois states to assert themselves on the world stage), or it is a product of murky designs of the "Jewish economic lobby". I'd suggest Andrew's claim that the authors aren't claiming exactly what they are - that Jews use economic pressure to contol US policy - is much closer to a "lie" than my "sectarian" reading.

Even if it wasn't anti-semitic, it remains completely inaccurate. Noam Chomsky has written extensively on this, with plenty of evidence. See 'What We Say Goes' or 'Perilous Power' for examples. Some of his examples of how the 'lobby' is unable to subject US interests to the Israeli national interest are summarised here (http://libcom.org/blog/the-death-israeli-lobby-29092008), for instance the US reigning in Israeli trade relations with China and attempts to develop its hi-tech armaments industry through sales to US rivals.Or the recent reigning in of Israel's plans to bomb Iran by the US.

People here may think Steven is a "libcom mental", but I'm very glad that this kind of anti-semitism wouldn't be defended by self described anarchist communists on there. And dismissing his views on these grounds is far, far more sectarian than anything either I or him have written. Or people who don't know me describing me as a "kid" for that matter.

author by Mick - Common Cause, Ontario, Canadapublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 23:35author email commoncauseontario at gmail dot comauthor address P.O. Box 347, Station E 772 Dovercourt Rd. Toronto, ON, Canada, M6H 4E3Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I think the critique of that small part of the statement is fair comment, I agree that it's poorly worded and would have been better to use something along the lines of "Zionist lobby").

That said, I think that taking that out of context of the entire statement, which explicitly calls for solidarity between Palestinians and anti-Zionist Israelis, and saying that the statement is anti-semetic is at best a poor reading of the statement. In fact, it's the only time the word "Jewish" is used in the statement at all.

While I'll stand behind the statement as a whole and think that most people can understand what the statement is trying to get across with it's analysis of how a powerful organized zionist lobby influences US politics, I think we should edit the wording and replace "Jewish" and "Economic" with simply Zionist. I've made the edit on Linchpin.ca and our pdf and would urge comrades at FcDA, ZACF, AATW, and anarkismo to do the same.

Now perhaps we can get back to the massive bombing campaign and ground invasion by Israel that has killed hundreds and wounded thousands of people in Gaza? Surely that is the real issue that we should be discussing and not a poorly worded phrase on a leaflet?

Unless of course your goal is to obscure opposition to the horrific attacks by the state of Israel against Palestinians as being anti-Semitic as much of the pro-zionist lobby continually does.

Link esterno: http://linchpin.ca/
author by Django - Anarchist Federation publication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 23:40Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Additionally, saying that ethnic Jews can't make anti-semitic arguments is about as profound as saying that women can't have sexist views about women, or black people can't hold racist views about other blacks. Its like saying Anne Coulter can't have bigoted views about feminism because she's a woman.

author by andrewpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 23:55Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I called your comment sectarian because
1. You lied about what had actually been said (your use of the word control)
2. You then used that lie to label the FdCA as anti-semitic despite the fact of the rest of the statement and their political work.

Either your an idiot and truly believe that their use of Jewish rather than Israeli overrules the rest of their work.

Or you chose to ignore the context in order to make a very intense attack on another organisation.

If its the first fair enough but the second is very clearly a sectarian attitude.

I really don't care what your religion or religious background might be. I do think it is relevant that the ONLY organised grouping of anarchists in the region not only failed to see the 'anti-semitism' in the statement but a number of members decided to sign it. Throw that into the mix with the rest of the facts and it confirms that your original claims of anti-semitism are just sectarian nonsence.

BTW in case its not clear (although I've already stated it above) I agree with Mick that more care with the phrasing of the statement would not have provided the opening these sectarians have so eagerly seized on.

author by shockedpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:04Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

"I really don't care what your religion or religious background might be. I do think it is relevant that the ONLY organised grouping of anarchists in the region not only failed to see the 'anti-semitism' in the statement but a number of members decided to sign it."

One of whom also said "In addition, it is not by chance the percentage of Jews in Bush but also in Clinton administration was high". Sorry, but if you're going to ignore this being just ever so slightly dodgy, perhaps might not be best placed to be declaring what is or isn't either anti-semitic or sectarian...

author by Andrewpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:22Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Could you explain exactly what the problem is with an Israeli anarchist pointing this out?

I think there is a serious problem here in that the Israeli states very successful policy of labelling all criticism of Israeli influence as 'anti-semitic conspiracy' shuts down conversation in this sort of ridiculous way. I mean clearly there is an Israeli lobby and that lobby has an impact on US foreign policy (otherwise why would it bother) yet it seems now that even an Israeli Jew is not allowed to say this for fear of being labelled an anti-semite by some anonymous internet hero.

Personally I think the influence of that lobby does get over stated, particularly in US Liberal circles where it enables people to avoid the fact that US Foreign Policy uses Israel rather than the reverse. But labelling any mention of such a lobby as anti-semetic regardless of context is PC craziness of the highest order,

author by still shockedpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:36Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

"Could you explain exactly what the problem is with an Israeli anarchist pointing this out?"

Exactly the same thing that's be wrong with anyone else "pointing this out"?

I'm aware you might be locked into defend against the sectarians mode, but come on. Saying there are lots of Jews in the US government because of Israel isn't just a neutral little factoid to be pointed out.

author by Roguepublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:36Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

The phrasing is very unfortunate. Rather than try to justify it, why not just edit it out? One does not need to be actively anti-semetic to unintentionally phrase something in an anti-semetic way.

Also, I do not think that "Anarchists Against the Wall" signing onto the statement somehow proves that the phrasing is A-OK. They do not speak for all Jews, and are capable of being incorrect.

author by dpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:48Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Editing the statement to say "Zionist lobby" does not make it any more correct, just less in-your-face anti-semitic. Editing the nasty stuff out also seems like a good way to protect the authors without getting to the root of their ideas.

Is it not fair to assume that the authors of the statement meant exactly what they wrote? In that case, this is a much bigger problem than something being "poorly worded'.

author by dpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:51Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Mick wrote - "which explicitly calls for solidarity between Palestinians and anti-Zionist Israelis..."

Why is "anti-Zionist" highlighted for Israelis but "anti-nationalist" not noted for Palestinians? Or for that matter - where is class analysis in any of this? There can be no solidarity on a national level - only on a class basis.

author by andrewpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:55Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I'd think it would be smart for the organisations who signed it to use a clearer wording but thats a decision for them.

As to our anonymous shocked friend your argument only makes sense if your going to go for a 'no one can ever mention anyone's background in relation to why a decision was made' approach. This is daft, its quite clear for instance that Jim Crow was enforced in the US by white cops on the orders of a white government. Or that part of the Clinton administrations interest in Northern Ireland (as again the lack of interest of Bush) was down to the Irish American lobby including Clinton's background. There is nothing special about Israeli's or Jews that means what Ilan said above can never be a point of discussion.

You seem to be arguing that 'because a fascist might say X no one can ever say x'. Well he's not a fascist or an anti-semite. He is an anarchist with a long record of activity. So your eagerness to smear him anonymously is distasteful to say the least.

Incidentally I don't know if your yet another libcomer but if so this conversation is extra weird given the long running acceptance of the use of ethnic and racial slurs there as 'humor' and the constant tendency to write off people's opinions on the basis of their nationality.

author by knightrose - anarchist federationpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:55author email manchester at af-north dot orgSegnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Whilst I'm broadly sympathetic to the main thrust of the text and think I understand what was intended when it was written, I'd have to say that the talking about "the powerful US Jewish economic lobby" is treading on dangerous territory. I would hesitate to distribute it in areas where there is a strong level of anti-semitism, for example.

All too often I hear people in Oldham (where I live) talk about Jewish conspiracies or making blanket statements about "Jews do this, Jews do that."

In any event it's probably wrong as the actions of the US seem more predicated on it's desire to maintain a strong bulwark of its own power whilst at the same time destabilising the Middle East. The US has shown the ability to support vicious regimes against world opinion before when it considered its own interests at stake.

It'd be simpler to remove the whole section from what is otherwise a useful piece. Sadly, to distribute it in Manchester/Oldham would be counter-productive.

author by Alan - Libcompublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:56Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

"Editing the statement to say "Zionist lobby" does not make it any more correct, just less in-your-face anti-semitic."

In which case, there's no Zionist lobby in Washington? (Honest question)

I get the point, that the US govt determines its own foreign policy but surely even then it's not an autonomous entity and has to pay its dues and patronage in order to guaruntee the continued support of certain sections of the US bourgeoisie.

Can this debate be had in full please, rather than Rogue's rather ridiculous attempts to 'edit it out so noone talks about anything ever'?

author by Alan - Libcompublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:59Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

"Incidentally I don't know if your yet another libcomer but if so this conversation is extra weird given the long running acceptance of the use of ethnic and racial slurs there as 'humor' and the constant tendency to write off people's opinions on the basis of their nationality."

Clearly any sort of interesting debate on this would probably require the non-continuation of Andrew's presence on this thread since he appears to only be interested in attacking other websites.

author by jhaaglundpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 01:07Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

There's a Zionist lobby in the US, there's also an anti-smoking lobby, a pro-smoking lobby, a fucking everything lobby. The only reason that the Zionist lobby appears powerful is because its demands are in accordance with what is already in the interests of the American bourgeoisie.

And bringing up the "Jewishness" of American politicians is flat-out anti-semitic. Honestly, I can't believe that it is seen as acceptable to suggest that all Jews share a common interest like that, it's one step away from "They run the banks, you know..."

author by andrewpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 01:07Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I think knightrose's post above is exactly the way to make the criticisms of the phraseology of this text. He doesn't try and ascribe dark motivations but just highlights the concrete problems with the way the authors phrased it.

author by Django - Anarchist Federationpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 01:36Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

"I called your comment sectarian because
1. You lied about what had actually been said (your use of the word control)
2. You then used that lie to label the FdCA as anti-semitic despite the fact of the rest of the statement and their political work.

Either your an idiot and truly believe that their use of Jewish rather than Israeli overrules the rest of their work.

Or you chose to ignore the context in order to make a very intense attack on another organisation.

If its the first fair enough but the second is very clearly a sectarian attitude.

I really don't care what your religion or religious background might be. I do think it is relevant that the ONLY organised grouping of anarchists in the region not only failed to see the 'anti-semitism' in the statement but a number of members decided to sign it. Throw that into the mix with the rest of the facts and it confirms that your original claims of anti-semitism are just sectarian nonsence.

BTW in case its not clear (although I've already stated it above) I agree with Mick that more care with the phrasing of the statement would not have provided the opening these sectarians have so eagerly seized on."

I thought the argument was that libcom's discussion forums are useless because of the personal insults on there. I've been pretty swiftly described as a "sectarian", a "kid" and an "idiot" on here, whilst others have been described as "mentals". The idea that criticism of anything with the house brand, however apalling it is, is all of those things is a level of sectarianism that i've only ever experienced from Trots and tankies. I'd expect better from libertarian communists. Additionally, anyone who actually knows me or has worked with me politically will know that I may be no big-tenter, but I am very definitely not sectarian.

I suggest you put your advice and actions in alignment. I described the statement that the US "also has to deal with the powerful US Jewish economic lobby, which is strong enough to bring about a stong influence on US foreign policy" as being an anti-semitic conspiracy theory, which it plainly is, and reads like something you'd get in far right literature, which it clearly does. I didn't say that FdCA is an anti-semitic organisation. Also, claiming that having "strong influence" over something is a form of "control" over it is hardly a "lie". I mean, do you honestly think that theres nothing anti-semitic about claiming that a) American Jews share the same interests as the Israeli state, and b)wealthy Jews can manipulate the actions of the government against its own interest, let alone your own view that "zionist" and "Jewish" are synonyms? Even if it were changed, the view that there is a Zionist lobby which manipulates the US in its own interests, beyond the imperial interests of the US state is plainly false.

This debacle really saddens me. I though that Platformists would be much more sensitive about this kind of thing given how Trots love to claim that Makhno was an anti-semite and the Black Guards persecuted Jews.

author by thugarchist - Personal Capacitypublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 01:37Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I certainly don't think the FdCA intended to be anti-semitic. However, the way the statement is worded plays into the cultural stereotypes of anti-semitism. For that reason I'd strongly encourage signing organizations to reword their statement.

Ostensibly anarchists are trying to support Palestinians against Israeli aggression. That will happen in coalition with lots of groups that anarchists have strong disagreements with. By steering away from terminology that will be used (and misused) by allies for an agenda other than an anarchist agenda this statement could both support the people in Gaza and try to make an anti-nationalist/anti-statist critique of the conflict that would generally, I'd think, fall under the call for "the leadership of ideas" within the movement of Anarkismo groups.

So like we would do in criticizing any other country in the world maybe the statement should refer to Israel, pro-Israeli lobby and remove things like "fundamentalism" which is a serious, if less offensive, mistake in the document. Israel is both religious and secular. Israeli settler colonialism is not exclusively fundamentalist (although it may include a strong component of fundamentalists) its Israeli and nationalist.

By gearing this, otherwise excellently written statement in anarchist terms, opposing the state and capitalism, rather than reiterating seriously unfortunate notions about jews and their relation to Israel... I think it would be much stronger and also allow signers to participate in coalition activities without being complicit with the anti-semitism within some of those natural allies against Israel. We would do the same, and have, when interests try to paint all Arabs as muslim fundamentalists.

author by Roguepublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 01:53Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Alan, you seem to have misunderstood me. I think that admitting you are wrong and editing your statement to reflect that is not the same as shutting down conversation. I see no connection there. I do not think the comments discussing the anti-semitism of the phrasing should be deleted. I think the conversation should continue, and changing the wording on any fliers and future publications of the statement is not going to somehow hide the original version and prevent further discussion (certainly not in the internet age, anyhow). I think the dialog around anti-semitism and anarchists is very important and I hope it continues. I also hope that the FdCA and other signers recognize the problem with the phrase and edit it.

author by andrewpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 01:56Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I broadly agree with what Thug has written.

Django you keep returning again and again to the same position, that any mention of the Israeli lobby has to be some sort of anti-semitic conspiracy theory. I've taken my time to reply to this already, I don't see anything to be gained in restating that reply especially as I actually don't think the reference is useful in the original document anyway.

Likewise I do not call you a sectarian as an insult but rather (as I have also explained) is that it is the nicer way of understanding why you have taken once phrase of a document as proof of anti-semitism (as opposed to bad phraseology) and ignored all the context that demonstrates why this is nonsense. This is sectarian behaviour pure and simple - its a method only suitable for political point scoring and it damages relations between groups and individuals. You would do well to recognise and acknowledge this rather than repeating the offence over and over.

author by mick - Common Cause, Ontario, Canadapublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 02:23Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I'm curious, is there an Anarchist Federation (UK) statement on the attacks on Gaza? Or has the AF been silent on this atrocity thus far? I couldn't find anything on the AF website.

I did see the libcom one on the Israeli CP asking the courts to allow Palestinian flags at demos in Israel and was not impressed with it. Seriously, commenting on what flag to carry or not when hundreds of thousands of pounds of bombs and artillery are pounding Gaza and killing scores of Palestinian workers?

As for editing the statement, like I said, I'm all for taking the critiques and evaluating them for what they're worth and if they're correct modifying our statement to improve it.

I think that editing "Jewish / Economic" which stresses ethnicity and religion and plays into anti-Semitic stereotypes of rich Jewish bankers is quite different that "Zionist" which is a political orientation based on the establishment and maintaining the (racist) state of Israel on the land that was formally the British mandate of Palestine.

As pointed out, there are significant christian zionist organizations in the USA that participate in organizations like the the American Israel Public Affairs Committee ( http://www.aipac.org/ )

Zionist does not equal Jewish, nor vice versa.

I think it would be a mistake to equate Zionism with Judaism as the Zionist lobby groups like AIPAC always try to do.

As far as groups like AIPAC's influence perhaps the best source is their own website where they brag about their influence. http://www.aipac.org/about_AIPAC/default.asp

Now I agree that of course Zionist lobby groups don't set US policy, but that's not the same as influencing it and to discount their organized political power is a folly. Elections are won and lost in the USA based partly (but never in whole) on the Israel question and support of Zionist organizations and voters. Politicians in areas where there's a significant Zionist voting bloc are going to take that into political calculations.

However, I think the statement is clear that it's a secondary consideration to "...the important strategic and territorial alliance that Israel represents for American imperialism in the Middle East".

Link esterno: http://linchpin.ca/
author by 888 - seasol-iwwpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 02:25Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

why are people frothing at the mouth about a minor detail in a sentence? Is this the most constructive way for slightly different tendencies to interact? Has libcom been thouroughly infected by the psychopathic pedantry of the mindset of certain left communists?

There is a jewish lobby in the US, it does have *some* (not strong admittedly) influence, although US geopolitical strategy can hardly be influenced by lobbyists in the same way that minor laws and changes in tax rates can). This statement is merely saying that it has a strong influence (which I disagree with), not that the ZOG controls everything. A major overstatement but hardly antisemitism.

author by 888publication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 02:33Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

erm, i meant pro-israeli lobby, etc.etc.etc.

author by Steven. - libcom.orgpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 03:25Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

The talk about a Jewish, or Zionist lobbying force which exerts influence over US foreign policy is a flawed idea.

This is well demonstrated by Chomsky, amongst others, and Django has listed references and a link to an informative related article he wrote.

Like others have pointed out, I find it amusing that people related to anarkismo have attacked Libcom for the rudeness of some of its posters. This seems to be an issue here as well however, with the ageist comments directed at Django, Andrew branding people "idiots", and an anonymous poster calling me a "Libcom Nutter".

Being labelled a "nutter" by an anonymous internet poster does not unduly concerned me, however. But I do think I should respond to it for the benefit of people who may not know me. It is of course preposterous, and as I have been elected to represent hundreds of my co-workers in my union, and address meetings of thousands of people I think they might be better judges of my mental state.

Back to the statement, the talk of the Jewish lobby exerting influence off (for power, or control - all synonyms) is irrelevant conspiracy.

It echoes the racist conspiracy theories of the right which talk about Jewish lobbies exerting control over US foreign policy, the media, the banks, etc.

Of course, some Jewish lobbies exist, and to talk up their own influence - this is what all lobby groups to. But governments only follow their wishes when they coincide with their own economic and geopolitical agendas.

This is no different to the existence of other ethnic minority lobbies, who have their corresponding voter numbers. Racists in the UK talk of "politically correct" lobbies, "Black" or "Muslim" lobbies which exert influence - but of course anarchists or communists do not rail against these groups, because we have an understanding of how governments work to forward their agenda, and the requirements of capital and the market. At different times these may align or contradict those of particular groups, but that is an irrelevance.

Pointing of fingers at racial groups is damaging, and represents a clear departure hear from class politics - comments here highlighting the percentage of Jews in the US government I also believe are very worrying.

This is analogous to racists highlighting the number of black muggers, for example.

In both these examples, the key thing is class. Their race is irrelevant. You don't get working class Jews running the US state machinery, and you don't get wealthy black businessmen out mugging people. So making a deal about their race is playing up to a racist agenda, which has nothing to offer the working class.

author by Django - Anarchist Federationpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 03:41Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Clearly you haven't read any of my posts. I hardly think "mentioning" the Israel lobby is "proof of anti-semitism" - I posted a link to an article I wrote discussing the issue at length! The "position" I have held consistently is saying that the "Jewish economic lobby" holds "strong influence" over US policy is a conspiratorial, anti-semitic statement. Most people would recognise it clearly is, irrespective of the intentions of the writers. The document didn't refer to the "Israel lobby" (which clearly does not hold "strong influence" over US foreign policy) but the "Jewish economic lobby", very, very different concepts. If individuals don't want to damage the anarchist movement maybe they could avoid circulating documents which contain statements like this and not go crazy and see "dark plots" about damaging relationships between organisations when other anarchist communists object to it. Or maybe you just think anyone criticising anything associated with Anarkismo is "sectarian"?

As for the AF having a statement, it is in the process of writing one, but as it is a (relatively) large and democratic organisation, and as we want to be clear about what we mean, its taking a little while.

author by andrewpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 05:13Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Reading back over all my posts on this thread it is very clear that my problem is not with any criticism of the statement. I can see at least 3 if not 4 of my posts where I either point to problems or where I agree with the criticisms of previous posters.

What is also clear is that I am objecting to a particular method and motivation of criticism. And that I've spelled out my objection to that method at some length. You prefer to pretend not to have read that and to pretend I'm simply objecting to criticism. To my mind this (along with what you are saying elsewhere) confirms my original point, that your approach is one of sectarian point scoring above all else.

You could actually learn a lot by re-reading the thread and comparing your approach with Thug's. I'm not sure your criticisms are all that different what is different is your methodology.

On a second point. You need to recognise that the argument your putting forward that any discussion of the influence of the Israeli lobby is anti-semitic is a circular one in that it appears that you dismiss any discussion as anti-semitic even when the author is an Israeli Jew! I actually don't agree with Ilan but I do find the idea that he can be dismissed as an anti-semite for daring to question your repeated assertion is laughable PCness at its worst. Such a rapid retreat to a fairly nonsensical ad honeum attack suggests either a lack of confidence / knowledge on your part to answer him or once more a crude sectarianism where the whole object is to slander your 'enemies' rather than clarify the issues at hand.

author by Mick - Common Cause, Ontario, Canadapublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 07:14author email commoncauseontario at gmail dot comauthor address P.O. Box 347, Station E 772 Dovercourt Rd. Toronto, ON, Canada, M6H 4E3Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

"As for the AF having a statement, it is in the process of writing one, but as it is a (relatively) large and democratic organisation, and as we want to be clear about what we mean, its taking a little while".

Well, I think that the delay points to a flaw in the organizational and political culture and structure of many anarchist organizations in our lack to publish timely political statements on major events. Surely a major factor in Common Cause signing the FcDA statement was that it was the only statement from an anarchist-communist organization presented to us before the weekend's mass demonstrations.

Yes, the FcDA statement has a flaw in it's analysis around the US support of Israel as well as the terminology used. It was one that we sadly missed with the tight time constraints and trying to make the leaflet more directly relevant to readers in Canada.

As it stands now, Common Cause is discussing the critiques of the FcDA statement and speaking in a personal capacity I'd be interested in seeing a draft of the AF statement and if it's good perhaps Common Cause could sign and distribute it. Same goes for any other statement by an organization in the anarchist-communist tendency which have been sorely lacking thus far.

Yours for the revolution,
Mick, Personal Capacity
Common Cause (Ontario, Canada)

Link esterno: http://linchpin.ca/
author by Laure Akai - ZSPpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 07:18Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

That was a good move and I'm very glad to see that you've decided to discuss this is in an open manner.

author by Anna - An anarchist org. in Berlinpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 17:36Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I dislike this text and I strongly disagree with it's implications. It full of pure antii-imperialistic phrases like from the 1970s. In those times, the left expected progress through wars of national liberation. Nowadays, a few trotzkists still do so, but what happened in Iran has shown otherwise. The rockets from the Hamas are not mentioned with one word, the background of the mass of kids - slaughtering of gays and lesbians and women forced to get pregnant against their will - is not taken into consideration, and so on. Then, there is the old antisemitic image of the 'powerful US Jewish economic lobby' which means that the jews are rich and control the west, and again, they are mixed up with the israeli people. Then, this text supports a so-called palestinian people, not population. I don't think it's a good idea to argue in a way that can be shared by racists or other persons spreading ideologies based on ethnicity. This text is good for creating more hatred and support arab-islamist nationalism (umma) by attacking the surrounding states that they are not able to fight against israel, but not for peace or understanding. This is not against the AATW. They, of course, do good work. I'd like to see an anti-militaristic organisation like them in Gaza Strip and Westbank, things would be easier.

author by Anna - An anarchist org. in Berlinpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 18:01Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I see, the jewish lobby has already been changed by another description, but unfortunately not been deleted. The phrase of the powerful pro-israel lobby in the US is not better than the other term. It's well known as an euphemism in europe and used to avoid clear speak which can lead to a criminal complaint.

author by Redboots - NEFACpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 21:07Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

Firstly, I am glad that this article has spurred such energetic debate. To my mind it is more than clear that the FdCA is not antisemitic, however it is good to remember that people who are not intentionally antisemitic, racist, homophobic, or sexist can still make comments that support such views and it is essential for the movement to be there with constructive criticism. We all have room to grow, and we all make mistakes. I applaud the FdCA for having the maturity to take criticism and make changes.

Overall I liked the article personally. The impression I got was that the people uniting, and not this or that government or nation can bring people freedom and peace. I understand the criticism of national liberation, but sometimes I wonder if resistance movements having a national character is an inevitability in the here and now. The truth is that the Working people of warring national groups suddenly uniting is unlikely without massive organizing. We should support this organizing, but also support the right of all oppressed people to defend themselves. This does not mean we should support groups that preach class collaboration, nationalism etc, or are willing to use violence against civillians. But I think we also have to understand that when bombs are falling on your homes, and troops are entering your towns people will fight back. There has to be a way of supporting that without wanting nation states as an end goal. Of course we should always be arguing for the support of Anarchists/Communists and Workers movements within those situations, but we also should not be overly critical perhaps of people who are forced to counter vicious Imperialism.

I am a little unsure about the arguments over ZIonism and a pro Israel lobby. I am not clear why Zionism should be singled out as different than any other nationalism? But certainly I don't think anyone here believes that somehow people of Jewish descent control the government or what not. Clearly this is foolish. That being said I think many different groups lobby to influence governments including religious groups. I think the central issue is not identifying Jewish people with Ruling Class people of Jewish descent, all Jews with Israel, or all Jews with anything at all including religion of culture necessarily.

Solidarity,

Boots

author by mitch - WSA (per. capacity)publication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 21:34Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I think Boots pretty much said what needed to be said.

Upon reading the first draft it was pointed out to the FdCA of one major error in wording. The FdCA took that criticism seriously and addressed it. They did so in a comradely, mature and apologetic manner. While we can argue against or for other points of the statement, what is clear to me is that the FdCA was not defensive in their reaction to private, yet firm, criticism. I respect them for that.

Additionally, let's learn from whatever errors occured here, let's deepen our understanding of the role of language in expressing our criticism of the realities and what is and what is not the actual situation as it relates to Israel, Palestine and the whole of the Middle East.

As I wrote on ABC:

"... let's keep our focus on the governments and administrative organs who seek violence and counter-violence or create aparthied like conditions. As anarchists, we should be the keenest to point out the source violence, of repession and of oppression----states, governments and religious institutions. Violence will breed violence. One parent's tear is no different than anothers.

When we protest, when we raise our voice in anger, we do so against political and religious fanatics, not shopkeepers. Protest we must against all senseless violence. Protest against western imperialism, settlerism and christain fundamentalism --- each pushing their own seeeds of hate, violence and revenge.

Protest against war machines and their industrial suppliers. And protest and raise the banner for an understanding that the blood of a Jew is no different than the blood of a Palestinian.

Let's all keep our attention focused."

author by Ilan S. - AAtWpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 23:46author address Tel AvivSegnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

"Jewish economic lobby" was wrong from any angle you look at. There is no such thing as a common Jewish economic interest for a lobby to promote, nor any common economic interest for Jews or rich Jews in US.
Some rich Jews of US do not support Zionism at all or just object to the presen Israeli politics.

(I think that some of the Israeli propaganda contribute to such mistake as it claim that all the Jews in US support Israel and that all the rich ones among them use their power to help Israel.)

There are lot of Jews (and even organized Jews) in US who do not support Zionism.

There is such thing as organized Jewish community in US around religious and community centers. The pro Israeli among them have high influence on them.

There is kind of recruitment among the organized Jews for support of Israel, and there are even formal lobby for that.

Some say the influence of such lobby in certain cases is exaggerated. Some say (in Israel, and by Zionists but also by anti-semites or just rivals of Israel) that the influence is significant.

As it was clearer lately the Evangelists joined hands with the other pro-Israeli Jews and other sympathized with Israel, and their influence increased - especially when there was the rightist administration of Bush.

As for the best labeling of that lobby, I hesitate between the "pro-Zionist" and the "pro-Israel" which are both a bit of over generalization as there are both Zionists and pro-Israelis who do not support the said lobby.

For sure US use Israel and prefearing its interests over these of Israel many times. For sure there is also a kind of partnership between US and Israel with the minor partner pursuing its interests even when conflicting with these of US.

As US is not a one monolithic entity, there are opening for intervention by the pro-Israeli lobby and Israel can act in many cases with immunity in contradiction to the wish of US president or administrators.

Just two example it: 1) The decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem accepted after years the lobby invested lot of efforts in. It was clearly against US interests to even take such a decision. In spite of the success in arriving at this decission - it was not implemented and the lobby failed. 2) The commitment to stop the building of colonialist settlement in the occupied teritories was extracted from Israel in spite of the efforts of the lobby. However, in contradiction to US interests, Israel continue with the settlement and the punishments were not delivered due to God will or the lobby influence.

(May be I am wrong, but Israeli media reports on exaggeration in the wooing of Jewish organized communities by US candidates in elections.)

In the margin of the FdCA text and in spite its other flaws, it have the value of a an international anarchist move. It was first presented to the AAtW mailing list as a draft, but no one bothered to comment on in time - probably because of the busy week. we had.

(It is beyond this discussion to elaborate about the exact position of Jews and their communities in the Judeo-Christian culture and politics of the developed countries/US-Europe. You do not have to be anti-Semite or Jewish nationalist to claim it is much above the average because they are communities of city dwellers for many centuries.)

author by José Antonio Gutiérrez D.publication date Fri Jan 16, 2009 23:30Segnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

I agree with Ilan that the original use of "pro-Jewish lobby" is inaccurate and therefore the change was necessary on that ground. I believe that constructive criticism is necessary, but I reject strongly the bad faith of some people in this thread that had the nerve to claim "anti-semitism" of well proven comrades. This is insulting, pointless and seems more designed to start sterile debates (of which some anarchists are so fond of) diverting from the real issues on discussion: how we can show solidarity with a group of 1,5 million people being slaughtered with the complicity of the Western powers -that is, with the complicity of most of our governments. Funnily, some people seem to react so strongly over a matter of wording and don't devote a single word to the real catastrophe happening in Palestine and to their own responsibility on it.

On the issue of how strong this pro-Israel lobby is (which undoubtely does exist, and it does exist openly as anyone who reads the news will know), I'll leave an interesting article that I found on the Electronic Intifada:

Olmert's claims revive specter of "Israel Lobby"
Daniel Luban, The Electronic Intifada, 14 January 2009

WASHINGTON (IPS) - The US State Department fiercely denied claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert about his influence over President George W. Bush, in an incident that has stirred up old debates about the role of the Israeli government and the so-called "Israel lobby" in formulating Middle East policy in Washington.

On Monday, Olmert claimed that he demanded and received an immediate conversation with President Bush, during which he convinced the president to overrule the wishes of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and abstain from a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

In response, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack on Tuesday called Olmert's claims "wholly inaccurate as to describing the situation, just 100-percent, totally, completely not true." The State Department did not respond to an IPS request for further elaboration.

Olmert's comments were made in Ashkelon, a southern Israeli city that has been the target of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

According to Olmert, he called the White House upon hearing of the upcoming UN Security Council resolution. "I said, 'Get me President Bush on the phone.' They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn't care: 'I need to talk to him now.' He got off the podium and spoke to me," Olmert said, according to multiple media reports.

As a result of his conversation with President Bush, Olmert claimed, the president called Rice and forced her to abstain from voting on the measure, which she herself had helped author.

"He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favor of it -- a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organized and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged," Olmert said.

The Security Council resolution passed by a vote of 14 to 0, with the US the only abstention.

The US government was quick to counter Olmert's remarks. In addition to the State Department's rebuttal, a White House spokesman also denounced "inaccuracies" in the story.

Regardless of the truth of Olmert's claims, the story comes as an embarrassment to the Bush administration, which has faced criticism for its alleged unquestioning support for Israeli positions.

While most US allies in Europe and elsewhere have called for an immediate ceasefire since the Israeli bombardment of Gaza began on 27 December, the Bush administration has been unwavering in its refusal to condemn the campaign or suggest a timeline for its conclusion.

The US Congress has also expressed its strong support for Israel's actions in Gaza. Last week, both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed non-binding resolutions in support of the military campaign.

But polls indicate that both members of Congress and the public at large may be more skeptical of the Israeli offensive than the official positions of the US government would indicate.

An anonymous poll of 68 congressmen conducted by National Journal found that 39 percent of Democrats and 12 percent of Republicans felt that Israel had used "too much" force in Gaza. Nevertheless, over 90 percent of representatives voted in favor of the House resolution, which placed all blame for civilian casualties in Gaza upon Hamas.

And in late December, a Rasmussen poll found that the US populace as a whole supported the Israeli offensive by a narrow 44 to 41 percent margin. Among Democrats, 55 percent felt that Israel should have tried to find a diplomatic solution first.

The diplomatic spat over Olmert's comments, along with this alleged disparity between US public opinion and policies on Israel-Palestine, have given new intensity to an old set of debates.

Charges of pro-Israel bias have not been unique to the Bush administration. Critics also accused the Bill Clinton administration, and particularly its top negotiator Dennis Ross, of giving priority to Israeli concerns during the peace negotiations of the late 1990s.

Ross, who is rumored to be in line to become President-Elect Barack Obama's top Middle East envoy, was accused by US and Arab negotiators of not being "an honest broker" in the peace process, according to a book by Ross's former colleague Dan Kurtzer.

And in 2005, former US peace negotiator Aaron David Miller complained that "many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel's attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations."

On the US domestic scene, Congress's overwhelming backing of the Gaza offensive despite apparently lukewarm public support has been taken as further evidence for the existence of an "Israel lobby" skewing policy in a hawkish direction.

This claim was put forth by political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in a 2006 article in The London Review of Books entitled "The Israel Lobby," later turned into a 2007 book. They alleged that hawkish pro-Israel lobbying groups -- most notably the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) -- have for decades skewed foreign policy in a direction detrimental to US interests.

The Mearsheimer/Walt thesis has been extremely controversial since its publication. To critics, the thesis was simply the latest manifestation of a long line of conspiracy theories alleging covert Jewish domination of politics.

Defenders countered that the idea of an Israel lobby was not meant to stand in for Jews as a whole -- both because the policies of groups like AIPAC were unrepresentative of the more dovish views of most US Jews, and because the lobby was also made up of large numbers of evangelical Christians.

Regardless, the years since the publication of Mearsheimer and Walt's article have seen more open debate about the way that Israel policy is formulated in Washington. Relatively centrist commentators such as Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Joe Klein of Time, while taking pains to distinguish their views from those of Mearsheimer and Walt, have suggested that hawkish Jewish groups in the US political establishment are skewing Israel policy in an unhealthy direction.

As world debate over the Gaza war remains fierce, it seems unlikely that these controversies will die down in the near future.

Walt, for one, has taken recent developments as a further vindication of his views.

"[A]lthough most Americans support Israel's existence and have more sympathy for them than they have for the Palestinians," he wrote 5 January in response to the Rasmussen poll, "they are not demanding that US leaders back Israel no matter what it does. But that's what American politicians reflexively do."

Link esterno: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10189.shtml
author by nestor - FdCA - personal capacitypublication date Sat Jan 17, 2009 04:30author email nestor_mcnab at yahoo dot co dot ukSegnalare questo messaggio alla redazione

The Mearsheimer and Walt article (and later book) was well replied to in the Stephen Zunes articles, "The Israel Lobby: How Powerful is it Really?" and "The Israel Lobby Revisited", both of which are well worth reading.

The Israel Lobby: How Powerful is it Really?: http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/3270
The Israel Lobby Revisited: http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4837

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