Saturday, August 02, 2008


Recently each of the candidates for President of the US went before AIPAC, the unregistered lobby for a foreign government, Israel’s lobby in the US, and each stated that he/she would give Israel total support as a favored ally and almost anything else Israel asked for.

The spectacle each of our Presidential candidates promising to yield to the wishes of a foreign power becomes especially alarming to those of us who want peace and withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the Palestinian West Bank when one examines the past and present policy positions of Israel:

· Israel lobbied to get the United States to attack Iraq in the Gulf War in 1990

· Israel lobbied to persuade the United States to invade Afghanistan in Iraq in 2002.

· Israel lobbied to persuade the United States to invade Iraq in 2003

· Israel is at this instant lobbying to induce the US to bomb or invade Iran

· Israel lobbies against any cut in funding for the Iraq War.

· Israel lobbies against any cut in US troops in Iraq and against any timetable for withdrawal.

· Israel continues the steady addition of new Jewish settlers in the West Bank, even during peace negotiations, and after “agreements.”

· Israel opposed every two state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict so far proposed.

· Israel lobbies for ever more monetary aid, loan guarantees, and armaments for Israel

· Israel urges and compels the US to veto all UN Resolutions that require Israel to comply with International Law

· Israel opposes peace groups in the US and labels them naïve

· Israel opposes any US brokering, intervention, or even handed mediation of the conflict with Palestine

American Jewish voters do not support these objectives, but when AIPAC tells them to vote for or against a particular candidate, these Jewish voters then tend to vote as AIPAC suggests. We therefore must inform ourselves about the true extremely hawkish objectives of AIPAC. We voters who seek peace will have to investigate Zionist candidates for public office very carefully. The power of AIPAC is eroding. Time Magazine writer Joel Klein is now challenging AIPAC and its goal of attacking Iran.

We seek here to unravel and confront the complicated influences of Israel on voters. We hope voters will consider our analysis. We also seek to immunize our selves against the inevitable and false charges that we are “anti-Semitic” or that we are“self-hating Jews.”

In taking these extreme hawkish positions, Israel is politically allied in the United States with the Military Industrial Congressional Complex, the Christian Right, the Neocons, the Republicans, and Bush and Cheney. A candidate or office holder or voter thus cannot be heard to say that he/she opposes the policies of Bush and Cheney, when that same person supports Israel.


The Israel Lobby for purposes of this discussion is AIPAC, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, although there are many other satellite Jewish groups with which it works in tandem that constitute the Lobby. AIPAC is controlled by a “Gang of Four” being 3 conservative Republican hawks, Robert Asher, Edward Levy, Meyer Mitchell, and Larry Weinberg, a conservative Democrat. AIPAC’s Director is Howard Kohr, a conservative Republican. AIPAC is mainly funded by very wealthy Wall Street lawyers, stock brokers, heirs to family fortunes and real estate developers, including at least one on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans.

AIPAC gets its power by using the money of very wealthy right wing Zionist American Jews to elect or to defeat candidates for public office. In the last 25 years AIPAC has been responsible for the defeat of the following Members of Congress and Senators because they suggested even-handed treatment of Palestinians, failed to support AIPAC sponsored resolutions, or were critical of some of the acts of Israel: Senator J. William Fulbright; Senator Charles Percy; Congressman Roger Jepsen; Congressman Pete McCloskey; Congressman Paul Findley; Congressman Earl Hilliard; Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. When Adlai Stevenson III ran for Governor of Illinois after serving as U.S. Senator until 1981, AIPAC worked actively to defeat him. Elected officials are thus terrified of AIPAC. Criticism of Israel or sympathy for Palestinians has become the “third rail of American politics.” The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles in a series of articles about AIPAC dated 10-28-05 raised the question: “Who is afraid of big bad AIPAC?” and answered: “Nearly everybody.” In Congress, every person, Democrat or Republican, with one or two exceptions votes the way that AIPAC requests. AIPAC drops its financial support and supports an opponent of any elected official who seeks to oppose illegal settlements, or who seeks an even handed brokering of peace, or who supports a viable state for Palestine.[1]

Since the votes and the power of American Jews who follow the recommendations of AIPAC now affect the safety, peace and security of every human on the planet, how and what American Jews think, believe and vote becomes the business of all of us. We hope that American Jewish Voters, recognizing the failure of current policies to bring peace and security for any of us, Israelis included, will consider this analysis and critique it.


There are Jews of all races, and skin colors, so the Jews are technically not a race. There are atheistic Jews, so Jews do not all have the same religion. The Bible and the Torah speak of Jews as a “tribe.” Some Jews speak of themselves as a “clan.” Jews are a group of people, spread around the world, who share the following attributes:

· A Jewish mother (or a Jewish maternal grandmother)

· A shared fear, (according to Gilad Atzmon) imbedded in ritual and belief, existing for over 3000 years that Jews as a group, tribe or clan, will not survive. (Note this fear is apparently not just a fear of individual death. It is a fear that the Jewish tribe will cease to exist.) Thus to maintain the group, Jews oppose marriage with non-Jews, and keep Kosher, eating only prescribed foods and not eating forbidden foods.[2] This fear was graphically compounded by the Holocaust that added a nightmarish current reality to this long standing inner fear.

· A group memory and history of Christian hatred of Jews ever since the Crusades and of pogroms where Christians slaughtered Jews, mirrored in many Jews by a secret reciprocal hatred of Christians.

· Jews love Israel. Thus no matter what Israel does, an overwhelming preponderance of Jews love Israel. This love of Israel is at the inner subjective level of faith and of non-debatable religious belief. It is like super-patriotism. (and thus subject to easy manipulation) The maintenance of Israel has become a powerful secular religion, reinforced religiously by right wing fundamentalist Jews, by Zionists, and by those Jews who greatly profit from the market economy. This manipulation makes use the fear that Jews may not survive. It is also rooted in flat out prejudice:

· Jews believe that they are God’s “chosen people.” Thus they are “one up,” exceptional, better than, superior to, all other people on the planet. It follows that Jews tend not to believe the secular political axiom that all men are created equal nor in the religious concept that God created all people and loves all people equally.

Important comment on the foregoing characteristics of the tribe of Jews:

While it is not technically correct to call Jewish people a race, the above tribal characteristics, discrimination on the basis of tribe membership is just as evil. These discriminations are: the belief of Jews that they are chosen and superior, the evils of love of self, prejudice against others, privileges and a State for Jews only, and abuse of others such as Muslims. The very core of racism is the denial of equivalent humanity. It is thus accurate to view Israel as racist and accurate to state that Israel maintains apartheid regarding non-Jews. Israel does this as a tribe and not as a race. Many Jews do not see Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims as equally human.


Someone said: “Psychology is the study of lies that we tell ourselves and others.”

Israel, AIPAC, and most Jewish people tell themselves a host of lies and Israel uses many techniques to impose these lies on us in the Western World as well.

Joel Kovel, a Jew, a former psychoanalyst, and author of many books including Overcoming Zionism[3] provides the insights that follow: Jews who love Israel inevitably have an inner conflict of the following, perhaps repressed truths:

· The basic true purpose of Israeli Zionism was and still is the capture of ever more land to be held only for Jews. This is Israel’s real policy today. It has always been governed by Zionists with this objective.

· The basic beginning truth about the state of Israel is that the land was stolen by Zionist Jews from Palestinians who had occupied the land for centuries, often using terror. Despite the ongoing Jewish obsession with being the victim of Nazi terrorism, three of Israel’s first prime ministers were themselves terrorists in the sense of having commanded major military and paramilitary operations in Palestine whose purpose was to sow a climate of fear and panic among Palestinian civilians so as to cause them to flee. These three are Menachem Begin, Ytizhak Shamir, and Ariel Sharon. These terrorists are honored by Jews. The captured land that resulted from this terror is gratefully accepted and even worshipped.

· The Jewish people accurately see themselves as having a powerful and honorable ethical tradition of loving kindness, compassion, and a “universalist” caring for all humans, not just Jews.

Most Jews thus have an inner conflict that Kovel calls a “Bad Conscience.” It is locked within, unexamined, and denied, and therefore all the more powerful. This Bad Conscience exists because of unsatisfactorily resolved conflicts in the minds of Jews.

Kovel says:

“Broadly, we see on the one side, the powerful ethical component to Judaism, and on the other, the commission of dreadful crimes, and the honoring of those who have done so. These incompatible elements need to be arranged so that the national project (of building and maintaining a Zionist Jewish State) can go forward….”

Zionist Jews “patch over” these incompatible conflicts by various untruths: lies about the origin of Israel, outright denial of historical facts, claims that the Palestinian land was unoccupied, claims that the Palestinians are evil, subhuman and undeserving, claims that God gave the land to Jews as God’s chosen people, claims that maintaining Israel is an implementation of God’s will, claims that the Holocaust justifies this permanent special treatment of Jews, claim that Jews are innocent victims of Palestinians, and a claim by Rabbi Lerner’s that the Palestinian people did not welcome Holocaust victims as they should have.

These “patch overs” do not really relieve or heal the inner conflict. The pressure and the pain of the conflict is temporarily relieved by aggression, hate, lies, denial, thinking of the victims as sub human and evil, and thinking of them as fit only to be exterminated or taken care of by Muslim nations. With these “patch overs,” there can be no mutual recognition of common humanity, no reconciliation, no forgiveness, and no “making things right.” Instead the unresolved bad conscience moves in the opposite direction toward hatred and aggression and makes things constantly worse. It creates more and more millions of Muslims and Arabs who hate Jews and hate Israel. It leads to the repetitive cycle of retaliatory suicide bombings by young women and by massive retaliatory collective hate and collective punishment by Jews

These attitudes and beliefs of human beings become especially dangerous when they are imbedded in the policies of a nation-state, Israel with its attendant flag and patriotism, a modern army, F-16 Jets and a store of 200 nuclear bombs.

Kovel says:

“Since we are talking about a moral dimension here, it is important to identify this patchwork as a species of collective conscience, that is to say a device to define, organize and guide the morality of a nation state, with its needs for legitimacy.”

Israel is desperately anxious to be seen as a legitimate democratic state at least in the eyes of its ally and patron, the United States. Its “legitimacy” is founded on lies. The United States right wing shares the same lies, so there is little hope for right winger voters. However we voters in the US who are not right wing fanatics are simply brainwashed. Israel is no more a legitimate democratic modern state that South Africa was before the end of apartheid, and no more a legitimate democratic state than was the Confederate States of America before and during the Civil War. We are also intimated by the unremitting false charges of that we are anti-Semitic and that we are self-hating Jews.


The actual processes involved in manipulating fear were brought to our attention by Thandeka who is associate professor of theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School. She wrote an article entitled ‘The Confidence Man” that appeared in the magazine Tikkun in the May/June 2004 issue. According to Thandeka, three scholars, including W. Russell Neuman, conducted studies to determine which emotional attitudes are the most powerful in politics. They found that anxiety was the most powerful determinant of how a person would vote. These three scholars wrote a book, Affective Intelligence and Political Judgment published in 2000 by the University of Chicago. One of the scholars, W. Russell Neuman became an advisor to President Bush and works on information and security technology policy at the White House. According to Thandeka, it works as follows:

A controlling elite group:

1. Takes an issue that causes anxiety among some voters (Note: Like “terrorism,” 9/11 or “fear that Israel will be driven into the Sea” or fear of anti-Semitism)

2. Amplifies and augments this fear turning it into a high anxiety issue for most voters

3. Presents a candidate who guarantees hope and who promises that he will end the threat by massive military power

4. Gains new political capital from voters because of this new confidence in the leadership ability of the politician to end the threat

5. The candidate of the power elite wins the election but the candidate does not reduce the threat. He augments it because it serves him and the power elite. He then privatizes public works, give tax relief to the rich, and in all ways serves the interests of the power elite.

It is a con game on all of us played by the powerful elite.

It is apparent from the right wing manipulation of 9/11, terror, anthrax threats, airline security threats, the true facts about the Iraq War and the like that this technique is very successful in the United States. It is also apparent that right wing, fundamentalist, wealthy elite groups in Israel and the US manipulate and augment the fears of Jews to gain votes for pro war candidates in both Israel and the United States.



Thousands of Jews choose to leave Israel each year.

Israel is no longer a promising democratic paradise of Kibbutzim, socialist enterprises, and a state that benefits all Jews:

Education and health care have been privatized.[4]

One in three children is hungry.[5]

State owned enterprises have been privatized and nineteen very wealthy families now control Israel. As Roni Ben Efrat wrote in Challenge on May 28, 2008, Mammon now dominates Israel.

“Mammon in Zion

What’s happening today is Marx’s revenge. Marx taught us that ideologies often serve as a superstructure camouflaging the real issues. Today there is no more camouflage. Mammon stands before us nakedly proclaiming: ‘I am thy God, O Israel!’”

This is not a citation from a leftist visionary, but rather from Israeli attorney Yaakov Weinroth, interviewed by Gidi Weitz in Haaretz on May 9, 2008. Weinroth, an orthodox Jew and self-proclaimed Zionist, is famous for defending powerful figures accused of corruption. Is Zionism too, we wonder, an ideology camouflaging other interests? The evidence is now in the affirmative.

Zionists claim that Israel arose in order to provide the Jewish people with a national home. But decade by decade, it has become ever clearer that Israel is not a state of, by and for the Jewish people. It is rather a state of, by and for a sprinkling of families, 19 in all, whose income amounts to $70 billion — 88% of the national budget.

This budget is a stumbling block to the poor. All levels of education have been devastated. On the books there is universal health care, but many can’t afford to buy medicines. Israel’s socio-economic inequality, as measured by the UN Development Program’s Gini Index (0.0 = perfect equality), has worsened steadily from 0.222 in 1982 to 0.392 in 2005, making it the most unequal of Western democracies with one exception: the United States (Gini = 0.408).

Poverty is no longer confined to the jobless. The government has lowered the unemployment rate, indeed, to 7.6%, but there is a trade-off: working people make up 37% of the nation’s poor. The country’s much vaunted economic growth is way off kilter. It is high in high-tech, which supports very few, but scarce in traditional industries and services, where most people work.

This steady impoverishment of the population has not just “happened.” It has happened because of laws and decisions that sold the country’s assets to the 19 families at bargain-basement prices, all in the name of the free market. As Weinroth said to Weitz: ‘Power is no longer a separate entity. Money is power. Money rules all, it flows through every hidden vein of the society.’”[6]


The point of all of this is that Israel, like the United States, is now dominated and controlled by a tiny, wealthy, hawkish, Zionist power elite. Both countries are in the grip of an unregulated, out of control, market economy and an armaments industry. The resulting acts and policies of the United States and Israel are not in the best interests of most people. The power elite in both the United States and Israel uses its media power to augment our fears and manipulate our love of country and our patriotism so as to cause to vote for persons who will serve this wealthy power elite in both countries. Naturally, the power elite in Israel is allied with the power elite in the United States. So Israel is now very much like the United States. In both countries there once was the promise of democracy, but there is little now to “love.” Both countries seek to dominate lands outside their borders. Both countries rapidly create more and more terrorists by their acts and policies. Both countries officially and illegally use preventive war to implement their policies. Both countries use illegal torture as the cutting edge of their policies. Both countries are making millions of human beings desperately miserable. Both countries are actively increasing the danger of World War III. The truth is that Israel is not a safe haven for Jews. Israel is a lighted fuse that at worst will set off World War III, and at best will create millions of anti-Semitic Muslim terrorists who will be active for decades.

It is our hope that all of us can speak the truth about our plight and act together to solve our problems. Obtaining peace requires that we first deal with truth and with justice.

The key to all of this is that American Jews and all of us who are brow beaten and intimidated by charges of “anti-Semitism” and “self-hating Jew” must be wary of those who would manipulate our fears, must be realistic about what Israel is and what Israel is not.

We must encourage our elected officials to ignore AIPAC’s demands. We must encourage our elected officials to be even handed and creative about seeking a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. We must stand behind our officials who dare to take a position that AIPAC opposes, like Representative Jim Moran of Virginia. We must vote against AIPAC’s candidates at the polls when they try to defeat an elected official who is doing what is right.

Dated: August 2, 2008

Douglas R. Page This article can also be found on Doug’s
Blog at

[1] Nathan Jones, “National Capitol Insiders Vote AIPAC, Israel’s American Lobby, Second Most Powerful Interest Group in Washington,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Jan-Feb 1998, 65-66

Ari Berman, “AIPAC’s Hold,” The Nation, August 4, 2006

[2] Gilad Atzmon, “From Esther to AIPAC,” Counterpunch, March 3-4, 2007

[3] Joel Kovel, Overcoming Zionism,2007, Pluto Press, London

[6] Roni Ben Efrat, “Mammon in Zion,” Challenge, May-June 2008

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