Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

Silent Right

How Jewish conservatives blew it on Iraq and Iran

Print Email
Gen. David Petraeus testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command and former commander of the multinational force in Iraq, next month will receive an award from the American Enterprise Institute named for Irving Kristol, the so-called godfather of the neo-conservatives. Petreaus made his name with the 2008 surge of U.S. forces in Iraq, for which the AEI takes some credit; the organization’s website describes resident scholar Frederick W. Kagan as “one of the intellectual architects of the successful ‘surge’ strategy in Iraq.” As the general who appeared to validate the Bush Administration’s ambitious nation-building scheme in Iraq, Petraeus earned the adulation of Jewish conservatives. “It took Lincoln three years to find Sherman and Grant. It took George Bush three years to find Petraeus,” Norman Podhoretz wrote in his bestselling book World War IV.

And so, it was perhaps not the best time for reports to emerge that Petraeus had blamed Israeli intransigence toward the Palestinians for endangering the lives of American servicemen in the Middle East—at a reported Pentagon briefing early in March and again in congressional testimony on March 16. Jewish conservatives—including Max Boot—quickly scampered to defend Obama’s top Middle East commander.

This is a grand miscalculation, I believe, on the part of the American Jewish community’s conservative wing: While the Obama Administration works to prevent Israel from attacking Iran’s nuclear capacity, Jewish conservatives are battling over whether they were right in 2005, when they urged the United States to take responsibility for Iraq’s political future.

Foreign Policy blogger Mark Perry, a former adviser to Yasser Arafat, reported on March 13 that Petraeus prepared a briefing for Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen warning “that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CENTCOM’s mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, [and] that Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region.” Before a Senate committee on March 16, Petraeus said, “Clearly the tensions on these issues [with Israel] have enormous effect on the strategic context in which we operate in the Central Command’s area of responsibility.”

Perry’s report provoked a cagey half-denial by Petraeus to The American Spectator on March 25. “There’s a 56-page document that we submitted that has a statement in it that describes various factors that influence the strategic context in which we operate and among those we listed the Mideast peace process,” the general said. “We noted in there that there was a perception at times that America sides with Israel and so forth. And I mean, that is a perception. It is there. I don’t think that’s disputable. But I think people inferred from what that said and then repeated it a couple of times and bloggers picked it up and spun it. And I think that has been unhelpful, frankly.”

Yet as the Washington Times’s Diana West observed on March 25, the paragraph supposedly taken out of context by “bloggers” says substantially what Perry and others said it did:

Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile Al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizbollah and Hamas.

Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League blasted Petraeus’s Senate testimony as “dangerous and counterproductive.” He added, “Whenever the Israeli-Arab conflict is made a focal point, Israel comes to be seen as the problem. If only Israel would stop settlements, if only Israel would talk with Hamas, if only Israel would make concessions on refugees, if only it would share Jerusalem, everything in the region would then fall into line.”

It is one of the stranger man-bites-dog stories in the recent history of Jewish politics in the United States: Abe Foxman, a strident liberal and erstwhile Obama supporter, denounces a Pentagon official for putting Israel on the spot, while Obama’s neoconservative detractors insist that the incident never happened. Some of Petraeus’s admirers in the conservative Jewish camp excuse his remarks on the grounds that he has no choice but to repeat the Administration’s position. That would seem to provide all the more grounds to attack him.

Of course what Petraeus actually said or didn’t say is much less damaging to both U.S. and Israeli interests than the undisputed fact that the 100,000 American troops in Iraq have been tasked with the mission of supporting a government that may soon be headed by an overt ally of Iran, Ahmad Chalabi. “We are proposing the creation of a regional alliance among Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran,” the onetime neoconservative favorite wrote in The Wall Street Journal on March 5. As Joshua Muravchik, an erstwhile Chalabi supporter, wrote in a mea culpa on the World Affairs blog, “An alliance of this kind is designed to push the United States from the region and pave the way for Iranian and/or Islamist hegemony.”

Iran has gained political ascendancy in Iraq through intensive subversion efforts. According to senior military sources cited by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius on February 25, “The Iranians allegedly are pumping $9 million a month in covert aid to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a Shiite party that has the most seats in the Iraqi parliament, and $8 million a month to the militant Shiite movement headed by Moqtada al-Sadr.”

Petraeus’s opinions about the Middle East carry less weight than those of his boss, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, who has been warning against an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear capability for the past year. In a March 16, 2009, interview with Charlie Rose, Mullen said: “What I worry about in terms of an attack on Iran is, in addition to the immediate effect, the effect of the attack, it’s the unintended consequences. It’s the further destabilization in the region. It’s how they would respond. We have lots of Americans who live in that region who are under the threat envelope right now [because of the] capability that Iran has across the Gulf. So, I worry about their responses and I worry about it escalating in ways that we couldn’t predict.”

A rough translation of Mullen’s remarks into civilian political language is that the quixotic notion of building democracy in the Middle East led the United States into an Iranian trap.

“I met [Chalabi] around the time of the first Gulf war,” Joshua Muravchik recounts, “and I gave him a copy of my recently published book, Exporting Democracy: Fulfilling America’s Destiny. When I saw him next, maybe five years later, he said: ‘I read your book, but I don’t think your government has.’ I was of course flattered and amused. And I was enchanted by this articulate man from that other-planet of Baathist Iraq who professed the very same democratic beliefs central to my worldview.”

The neoconservatives never appear to have noticed that the Iranian leadership was just as keen on building democracy in Iraq as they were. When the American occupation forces held the constitutional referendum in late 2005 that is the putative foundation of Iraqi democracy, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hailed it as “a great and blessed job” in an October 21, 2005, sermon. “The next important step in Iraq after the referendum is the general elections on which the occupiers are planning right now,” he said. Khamenei called for a truce in the sectarian war between Shi’ites and Sunnis, intoning, “These elements [extremists] are neither Sunni nor Shi’ite but are the enemies of both and Islam.”

Iran retained the capacity to inflict high levels of casualties on the United States throughout the Iraqi democratization campaign but chose not to use it. Instead, it withdrew some of its most exposed and volatile assets, including Muqtada al-Sadr, to Iran. The Iranians counted on the fact that the Americans would soon be gone—and that their proximity, staying power, and affinity with Iraq’s Shi’ite majority would allow the Islamic Republic to emerge as the dominant player in the country.

Were the United States, or anyone else, to bomb Iran’s nuclear bomb-making capacity, Iran has the capacity to retaliate in any number of ways—suicide bombs against U.S. servicemen, Silkworm missiles aimed at tankers in the Persian Gulf, rocket fire against Israeli cities. The consequences against which Mullen warned certainly would include Jewish lives; they might include American lives as well. Bombing Iran also might expose the weakness of an unpopular regime and make its overthrow more probable. Instability might enhance rather than detract from American influence in the region provided the United States had a government that knew how to navigate it.

Unlike the neoconservatives, who persuaded themselves that the warring tribes of a country invented by British cartographers would embrace U.S.-style democracy and become strong enough to repel the political advances of their powerful neighbor, the so-called realists prepared to accommodate Iranian hegemony over what U.S. strategists had once hopefully called the Arabian Gulf. In 2004, Robert Gates, now the secretary of Defense, and former Carter national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski chaired a Council on Foreign Relations panel on the future of Iran. They concluded:

From the perspective of U.S. interests, one particular issue area appears particularly ripe for U.S.-Iranian engagement: the future of Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States has a direct and compelling interest in ensuring both countries’ security and the success of their post-conflict governments. Iran has demonstrated its ability and readiness to use its influence constructively in these two countries, but also its capacity for making trouble. The United States should work with Tehran to capitalize on Iran’s influence to advance the stability and consolidation of its neighbors.

Gates and Brzezinski also showed understanding for Iran’s drive to acquire nuclear weapons: “Given its history and its turbulent neighborhood, Iran’s nuclear ambitions do not reflect a wholly irrational set of strategic calculations.”

This is the context in which to understand recent remarks by Mullen and Petraeus—professional soldiers handed a miserable mission by civilian authorities inspired by delusional democracy-promoting public intellectuals. They understand as well as Gates and Brzezinski did in 2004 that, given the U.S. posture in Iraq and Afghanistan, a nuclear Iran is the American exit strategy. An attack on Iran’s nuclear installations would tear down the whole Potemkin village of supposed democratization and lead to “unforeseen consequences.” The civilian leadership does not want these consequences; the public intellectuals have not begun to consider them; and in any case these consequences would lead to American casualties and ruin prominent reputations. It might be better for the world to take out Iran’s nuclear capability now—most Americans and most Israelis have told pollsters they think so—but it would not necessarily be better for Mullen.

One alternative to such nasty consequences is to encourage Iran to exercise its ambitions for regional hegemony “responsibly” and to tread lightly around its nuclear weapons program—trading the short-term appearance of stability for the prospect of a catastrophe in the medium term. This outcome was foreseeable from the beginning; the foreign policy establishment as represented by Brzezinski and Gates embraced it in 2004. “I do not believe any formal understanding is in place, but the probable outcome is that Washington will refrain from military action to forestall Iranian nuclear arms developments, while Tehran will refrain from disrupting Washington’s constitutional Potemkin Village in Iraq,” I wrote in Asia Times Online in 2005.

Meanwhile, Commentary bloggers cling to Petraeus for dear life. When the Washington Times’s Diana West dug out the noteworthy fact that Petraeus’s faculty adviser for a Princeton thesis in 1987 was Stephen Walt, of Israel Lobby fame, Max Boot shot back from his perch at Commentary, “I await West’s correction and apology for the numerous calumnies she has lodged against the most distinguished American military commander since Eisenhower.”

The Petraeus Affair has helped neutralize Jewish conservatives as a political force for the electoral season. The missteps of the Jewish right are a source of comfort to the White House. A prominent New York rabbi mused the other day that former Secretary of State James Baker said, “Screw the Jews, they don’t vote for us” while Obama says, “Screw the Jews, they’ll vote for us anyway.”

Some liberal Jewish leaders, though, are not as docile as the White House thinks they are. The ADL’s Foxman told Haaretz on March 20 that Obama’s mistreatment of Israel “might become a political football,” that is, a reason to ditch already beleaguered Democratic candidates in the November elections. “The majority of the American Jewish community is not happy with settlements,” Foxman explained. “But it also isn’t happy when the U.S. president tells the Israeli prime minister what to do. I think that in the beginning the president received advice that if you take the settlements issue public you don’t have anything to lose, because the American Jews don’t like settlements, and the Israelis as well, and this is a win-win. But the American Jews don’t like the American administration dictating to Israel what it should or shouldn’t do.”

It is clear to the mainstream Jewish leadership that they have profound differences with the Obama Administration and that they may have to choose between support for Israel’s security and their traditional liberal agenda in domestic politics. But the fight over Obama’s Israel policy will be fought out within the Jewish liberal mainstream because the politically conservative wing of the Jewish community has painted itself into a corner. There it sits, nursing its wounded reputation. The menu for the American Enterprise Institute’s dinner for Petraeus hasn’t been announced. I recommend crow.

David P. Goldman is a senior editor at First Things and writes the “Spengler” column for the Asia Times.

Print Email
carlos says:

You write as if Bush was waiting for the conservative US Jews to tell him what to before he invaded Iraq. Do you think he cared about that?
As far as Iran goes the US administration is making the same mistake that all American administrations make: they think everyone in the world thinks the same. For instance if the Palestinians have refused offers of a state it’s not because they aren’t interested in a state and would rather destroy Israel than have a state of their own, it’s because the offer wasn’t good enough, so we’ll pressure Israel into making a better offer.
I hope that the US won’t learn the lesson of appeasing Iran by having a suitcase nuclear bomb go off in Times Square.

Let’s also recall that the neo-conservatives backed and encouraged the invasion of Iraq, and that removed the counter balance to Iran, allowing for the first time the full emergence of Iran as strong contender for leadership in the region. Till Saddam had been toppled, Iraq managed to contain Iran. And that invasion based upon…???what? Now look what we have

Fingerman says:

You fundamentally misinterpret Petraeus’ remarks. He never said “Israeli intransigence” is endangering American security. Mark Perry said he said that. Petraeus did say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the tensions it creates do make America’s job in the Middle East more difficult. Big difference. The first is blaming Israel. The second, and correct, formulation is saying that the conflict is a problem–an fairly noncontroversial statement that doesn’t blame Israel, but says that solving the problem would be beneficial. The only way one would think that Petraeus’ actual statement (the one in the testimony quoted above) is blaming “Israeli intransigence” is if you think that “Israeli intransigence” is the main problem in the Middle East.

I’m having a hard time even buying the premise of this article:

“As the general who appeared to validate the Bush Administration’s ambitious nation-building scheme in Iraq, Petraeus earned the adulation of Jewish conservatives.”

It is true that some Jews, conservative or not, and some conservatives, Jewish or not, came to admire General Petraeus. I myself am one of them, but it would be a fallacy to assume that this was because he “appeared to validate” the Bush administration scheme in Iraq. Petraeus merely helped to save it from sure disaster (and it’s unclear if this was merely a short-term tactical success). In any case, the scheme was as bad as previously believed.

Perhaps this is minor, however: that neoconservatives (again, Jewish or non-) have been badly discredited and must remain silent is not really arguable.

Annette Smith says:

Interesting and thoughful article. As a liberal Jew who has mixed feelings about Obama’s approach to Israel, I found this very helpful. Thanks.

Fingerman gets it exactly write in clarifying what Petraeus said and didn’t say. If the neoconservatives rushed to defend Petraeus, it was because the anti-Israel Left, including Walt, was citing the general as confirmation of their world-view — namely, that support for Israel is a liability for the United States. Foxman is no neo-con, but he too sensed that Petraeus’ remarks about Arab perceptions were “unhelpful.” Unfortunately for Max Boot and Foxman, Petraeus was 100% correct: “The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel.” Now the question is, what do you do about it? A leftist would say you dump Israel, a neocon would say you ignore the Arab street, and a moderate might say: all the more reason to move toward a negotiated settlement towards two states, insuring security and autonomy for both sides.

Houyhnhnm says:

General Petraeus is not Commander in Chief. We still do have civilian control of the military. Obama is in control, (he certainly made a big point of it in Afghanistan) so we don’t really know what Petraeus thinks, nor Ms Clinton over at State for that matter.

For this argument against the neocons to be valid Mr Goldman, you would have to demonstrate that Obama would not have been elected without the neocon opposition. Otherwise it appears to be an early rant against the possibility of a Republican future for the General.

Enrico Schaladnich says:

Petraeus phones IDF chief to reassure him comments spun out of context.

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=171814

Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the US Military’s Central Command (CENTCOM), telephoned IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on Wednesday night to reassure Israel that comments attributed to him regarding supposed Israeli intransigence were spun out of context.

Last week, Petraeus testified before the Senate’s Armed Services Committee. A 56-page report that CENTCOM had submitted alongside Petraeus’s oral testimony caused a storm by claiming that Israeli intransigence was a problem for the US military and was fomenting conflict in the Middle East.

“The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests,” the CENTCOM report read. “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of US partnerships with governments and peoples in the [Middle East] and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world.”

The above words, which appeared in the report but were not uttered by Petraeus in his oral testimony, were pounced upon by critics of Israel as confirmation of what many of them have said for years – that Israel is the source of instability in the region.

On Wednesday, though, Petraeus poured cold water on the written testimony. In an appearance at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, he told reporters that his testimony had been spun by bloggers.

“There’s a 56-page document that we submitted that has a statement in it that describes various factors that influence the strategic context in which we operate, and among those we listed the Mideast peace process,” he said, according to a transcript of the press conference that appeared on the Web site of The American Spectator monthly. “We noted in there that there was a perception at times that America sides with Israel and so forth. And I mean, that is a perception. It is there. I don’t think that’s disputable. But I think people inferred from what that said and then repeated it a couple of times a

Ehrman says:

Goldman is apparently of the Zbigniew Brzezinski ,George Ball, Brent Scowcroft school of Realpolitik, which adopts the practical approach in making foreign policy but is bereft of ideology or morality. Chamberlain thought that would work in 1938. Today Brzezinski is a behind the scenes counselor to Obama in formulating a containment strategy for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, rather than preventing the emergence of a nuclear terrorist state by whatever means. Goldman in his quest to discredit Jewish conservatives, fails to make their point of Israel’s strategic importance for the U.S., and that the conflict with the Palestinians centers mostly on Israel’s existence and not on territory or a two state solution. As for the neocons eating crow, Goldman is somewhat premature in his conclusion. Iraq just may be the first Arab state to have a government with a semblance of democracy which would justify the whole Iraq venture, in addition to toppling the terrorist supporting Saddam regime. Unfortunately, the Obama worldview of working through superstates rather than championing our own national interests is playing into the hands of those who have the goal of a global Caliphate, a view that the neoconservatives fought against. As to the neutralization of Jewish conservatives for this electoral season, let’s just wait before we accept that judgment, which Goldman ostensibly is yearning for.The results might surprise this LaRouche, Reagan, atheist, religious Jew writer.

richard j. brenner says:

Quoting some clever word play by an anonymous Rabbi (…while Obama says, “Screw the Jews, they’ll vote for us anyway.”) doesn’t do anything to advance Goldman’s thesis that Obama harbors anti-Israel sentiment. Even if one gives the author the benefit of the doubt as to the existence of the Rabbi and to the veracity of the comment, there’s nothing in the article or in the words or actions of President Obama to support such a view.

Obama is attempting to get the players in the Middle East to get to the serious work of negotiating a compromise that could help stabilize the region; ensure Israel’s right to exist; make it easier for the United States to enlist support against Iranian expansionism and its support of terrorist groups; and help to defuse the call for holy war against Israel and the West.

From all the readable signs, it seems clear to me that the Obama administration wants a just peace in the Middle East, and that Abbas, quite possibly, represents a true partner is such an enterprise. The big question, for me, is whether the current Israeli administration or American neocons, Jewish or otherwise, has any interest in even trying to reach that just peace.

Richard J. Brenner

Richard Wicks says:

I had to respond to this that “carlos” wrote:

> You write as if Bush was waiting for the conservative
> US Jews to tell him what to before he invaded Iraq.
> Do you think he cared about that?

Carlos apparently doesn’t know who Douglas Feith is, who Paul Wolfowitz is or what the Office of Special Planning was and who ran it, and what the effect of the Office of Special Planning was.

Louis says:

Gee ASC, my friends and family would be shocked to know I am now a moderate.Of course the two State solution is the way to go. As long as it does not end up like India and Pakistan Not all “leftists” say dump Israel. Not even all of the left inn Israel feel that way

It is amusing to hear that I belong to the Brzezinski school of Realpolitik. I am a Reagan Republican and believe in dealing with America’s enemies with a hard hand. I have been calling for the bombardment of Iran’s nuclear capacity since 2006, as anyone who browses the “Spengler” archive at http://www.atimes.com can verify. My published view for years is that it is utopian madness to believe that the US can nurture democracy in the Muslim Middle East. I supported the Iraq invasion and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, but agreed with Daniel Pipes’ recommendation that we should have installed an amenable strongman and departed. And I am chagrined that the Jewish Right is less effective than I want it to be.

Richard Wicks says:

I have been calling for the bombardment of Iran’s nuclear capacity since 2006, as anyone who browses the “Spengler” archive at http://www.atimes.com can verify.

There are no Iranian spies in US prison today.

There are TWO Israeli spies in US prison right now.

Iran doesn’t have any nuclear weapons, certainly not yet.

Israel has Dimona, which Mordechai Vanunu exposed in 1986. Israel developed these weapons in secret, without being under the IAEA and they did it by lying to inspectors.

I think you might not realize who the enemy is. Iran hasn’t attacked any country in all of it’s existence, since it was created by the British. Israel has attacked everybody.

What Richard Wicks forgets is that despite his claim that the Israelis have had nuclear weapons, Israel has not used nuclear weapons nor threatened to wipe out any nations.

Iran has threatened to wipe out Israel, has attacked Iraq, has supplied weapons to terrorists to attack the American troops in Iraq, in Saudi Arabia and in Lebanon, and supplied terrorists with weapons for attacks in Argentina, as well as arming Hizballah and Hamas. So, when Iran gets nuclear weapons we can assume this will only add to their arsenal and to the threat to the US and the world.

Richard Wicks says:

“What Richard Wicks forgets is that despite his claim that the Israelis have had nuclear weapons, Israel has not used nuclear weapons nor threatened to wipe out any nations”

The Sampson Option. I guess you don’t know about Golda Meir’s threat to destroy all of their neighbors by dropping bombs on themselves.

“Iran has threatened to wipe out Israel,”

Eli, do you realize that Iran never threatened to destroy Israel? That is ANOTHER “mis”translation from MEMRI, a propaganda machine run by Yigal Carmon, an “ex” IDF intelligence officer who has moved over to propaganda instead ala Joseph Goebbels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad_and_Israel

This quote has been throughly debunked, but that doesn’t prevent the same media that lied us into Iraq over Scott Ritter’s objections, correct objections, from bringing us into Iraq – the same media that repeatedly asked are you missing out on the housing boom?

We don’t have a media in the United States. Stuff like this is as close as we get to it. For everything else, we have things to control people that are too lazy to bother to look anything up despite the fact they have the world’s most powerful communication and research device in front of them, right now, which is the envy of every civilization before it. Golly, it’s just so much easier to believe preconceived notions and trust the state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad_and_Israel#.22Wiped_off_the_map.22_or_.22Vanish_from_the_pages_of_time.22_translation

You want to hear another funny “mis”translation from MEMRI?

http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/1250.htm

Some say that tipped the US election in 2004. But shhhh! If you say that, it means Israel is directly trying to control US politics. That’s anti-Semitic to openly discuss, well, the truth. There is no Israel lobby, the Israeli lobby proved it when they went full out to smear “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, Professor of International Relations at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. I guess it must be false!

“American troops in Iraq, in Saudi Arabia and in Lebanon, and supplied terrorists with weapons for attacks in Argentina, as well as arming Hizballah and Hamas. So, when Iran gets nuclear weapons we can assume this will only add to their arsenal and to the threat to the US and the world.”

There shouldn’t be any US troops in any foreign country. If Chinese troops were in the US, how would we feel? What if Arab troops were in Israel? I am always amazed at this trite specious reasoning. And of course pointing out that the Arabs are acting in a FAR less violent way than either the US or Israel would if the tables were turned, I can’t say that, because Arabs apparently aren’t human, and they are this and that, and they are expected to act differently than you or I.

Iran has never attacked another country and if you’re tempted to bring up the Iran Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, it was Iraq that started that war. That’s a war that probably wouldn’t have happened if the US didn’t overthrow the Iranian Democracy in 1953 with Operation Ajax in order to steal oil – the report IS DECLASSIFIED now, you could read it, if you weren’t so incredibly lazy and willingly ignorant.

And if you think the US is going to establish Democracy in Iraq, you don’t know about Operation Ajax. If they were going to do that, they would hold a binding vote that would simply ask the Iraqi people if they wanted the US troops to stay or if they preferred them to leave, and make it a binding vote. The US isn’t interested in Democracy in the Middle East at all, they are imperialists at this point.

Arabs aren’t as ignorant as you are. Governments are bought off, dictators are kept in power, and this entire mess exists because of that. Arabs don’t hate the US and Israel really, they hate what the US and Israel do to Arabs – and honestly, I do too. That’s because I’m a human being, not a racist machine that can vomit up propaganda produced by my government and media at the drop of a hat and believe it all to be true.

Richard Wicks says:

Ah,apparently I have provided too my URL’s and references and suddenly my comment awaits a day in “moderation” hell.
.
The true enemy of Israel, simple honesty.
.
When people discover how many lies have been told to them in order to get them to support US foreign policy in the Middle East, guess what ethnic group will be scapegoated? It’s not going to be Muslims. Zionists and their dumb supporters can’t even realize just how they are being setup.

carlos says:

To Richard Wicks–As someone who has been on the receiving end of missiles supplied by Iran and fired by Hizbollah I don’t agree that Iran has never attacked anyone.

Richard Wicks says:

Carlos,
.
You wouldn’t be on the receiving end of missiles if your corrupt, bigoted, country just gave the indigenous people their property back, 60 years ago, instead of stealing it.
.
Jewish fanatical racist nuts think that their tenuous relationship to the land from 2000 years ago is valid, but the relationship of the current people who were displaced by lunatics like you just 60 years ago is invalid.
.
You are insane.
.
Israel has had 2 prime ministers who were murderous terrorists, Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin – and Israel has the audacity to whine about terrorists that wouldn’t even exist without people like that?
.
Everything Israel experiences today is because of their racism, everything. When the land was divided up by the UN in 1948, the majority of people there were not Jewish, and still, only the Jewish people were given the choice. All the Zionists wanted was partition, which is a fancy word for segregation because they didn’t want to live with anybody else, even though they were 90% recent settlers to the area. Yitzhak Shamir was born in Russia as was Menachem Begin. They moved there to kill people, they were never defending their land, they were there to steal it.

carlos says:

To Richard Wicks: I’m an indigenous Syrian Jew Jew driven out of Allepo in 1947 by a screaming Moslem mob who burnt down the houses of all the Jews in the city and murdered 70 of us. We refugees from Arab countries make up more than 60% of the Israeli Jewish population.

Richard Wicks says:

“To Richard Wicks: I’m an indigenous Syrian Jew Jew driven out of Allepo in 1947 by a screaming Moslem mob who burnt down the houses of all the Jews in the city and murdered 70 of us.”
.
I doubt it. That would make you at least 63.

Richard Wicks says:

Also, I believe your figures are wrong.

About 50% of people in Israel are of Ashkenazi origin, not Sephardic, which you claim to be. Has there ever been a schwartze prime minister in Israel? Good luck with that rainbow coalition.

Lynne T says:

Wicks:

What is so inconceivable about a 63 year old Syrian born Jew commenting here or are you an agist in addition to being ignorant of the population mix in Israel. Up until Jews were allowed to leave the Soviet Union on mass, Ashekenazim were not the majority of Israel’s Jewish population. In 2002, 20% of the population were non-Jewish Arab speakers, 40% were Jewish emigres from Arab countries or their descendants, leaving 40% that is largely Ashkenaz, but in that 40% you’d have 120,000 Ethiopians and possibly Persian Jews who speak Farsi, not Arabic.
As for the absence, so far, of a non-Ashkenaz PM, that’s true, but Israel had a Persian-born president for several years. The US was founded well over 200 years ago and only last year finally elected a mixed race person as president. Israel is only 60 years old, yet it’s elected a woman P.M. and appointed a non-Ashkenaz president and the relatively small Ethiopian population is represented by two MKs. How long was the US in existence before an African American was elected to the House of Reps?

Lynne T says:

Oh yeah — the link to my source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel#Demographics

Richard Wicks says:

“What is so inconceivable about a 63 year old Syrian born Jew commenting here or are you an agist in addition to being ignorant of the population mix in Israel.”
.
Because he would have been too young to remember a mob to be “screaming”; couple that with where he claims to be from, Allepo. of which there were only 10,000 of so Jewsm, couple that with how many people that are 63 are on the Internet, especially in a backward country like Israel – considering Sephardic Jews weren’t only denied education in Israel, but economic opportunity.
.
I smell crap, and I’ll call it that.
.
He’s wrong about the population mix of Israel too, which makes me doubt he’s even in Israel. His English is quite excellent for a Syrian Jew, right up to grammar and syntax, and I notice he’s not responded. He’s probably some stupid Zionist nut in NYC that moves into Israel when times are good in a Jewish only settlement, and moves right back out when the conflict they produce heats up.

And with regard to:
“Oh yeah — the link to my source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel#Demographics

Thanks for the source:

“As of 2008, Arab citizens of Israel comprise just over 20% of the country’s total population.”

That was even footnoted, perhaps you’d want to read the original source of my quote from your link?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4493525.stm

I get used to people lying to support Israel, it’s about the only thing they can do in order to support an obviously racist nation. You’re just a bunch of bigots, and when you are inevitably marginalized like the KKK was, the world will be a better place.

carlos says:

To Richard wicks–I’m actually 65 but my age is not the issue. Why is it so hard to believe? Do you think that Sephardic Jews don’t know how to use the internet? Do you doubt what happened to the Jews in Arab lands? It get less publicity because instead of being left to rot in refugee camps as political pawns we were given housing and work in Israel.
At least in Israel/Palestine there was civil war going on in 1948. In the Arab countries the Jews were simply thrown out because they were Jewish. Where is your outrage?

Richard Wicks says:

“To Richard wicks–I’m actually 65 but my age is not the issue. Why is it so hard to believe?”
.
If they censors allow it, I’ve already explained it.

Yehudit says:

“couple that with how many people that are 63 are on the Internet, especially in a backward country like Israel – considering Sephardic Jews weren’t only denied education in Israel, but economic opportunity.”

This comment shows you know nothing about Israel, the country with the most vigorous high-tech and bio-med start-up businesses in the world, several microchip fabs, a country where the most books are published per capita.

And often Jews from Arab countries were from the middle-class and highly educated. You must be thinking of the Yemenite Jews, who lived more rural subsistent lives until repatriated to Israel. But their offspring are as educated as any other Israeli.

So let’s see…. you’re ignorant about Israeli culture and scientific achievement, and you’re a racist who thinks a Syrian Jew must be illiterate and not fluent in English. Most born Israelis are fluent in English, and if he came there as a child, he learned it in school if not at home with English-fluent parents. So why should anyone believe anything else you say?

Speaking of false internet identities, I think you’re an Iranian spy who posts disinformation on blogs. Why not? You have said nothing to the contrary. i also think you helped write those wikipedia articles. Why not? Lots of political wikipedia pages contain attempts by extremist editors to create propaganda, and anyone can become an editor.

See how easy to make accusations?

Richard Wicks says:

>> “couple that with how many people that are 63 are on the
>> Internet, especially in a backward country like Israel –
>> considering Sephardic Jews weren’t only denied education
>> in Israel, but economic opportunity.”
>
> This comment shows you know nothing about Israel, the
> country with the most vigorous high-tech and bio-med
> start-up businesses in the world,

I live in work in Silicon Valley. Google is 6 miles from my home. Microsoft’s XBox project, I worked on, that’s near Google. Yahoo was founded here. AMD was founded here. Apple was founded here. Intel was founded here, and they are all within 10 miles of my home. Cisco is here, Oracle is here. Tivo was founded here but they are going to die. Netflix is in Los Gatos, I think they may directly challenge all the television stations in the United States.

Israel is no bulwark of technology – it’s you that doesn’t know what you’re talking about.

Apart from the indisputable fact that there are a lot of sites which also publish similar kinda posts like yours, I still find myself intrigued with your writing skills. You certainly have a way of enthralling any visitors.

I really like the items you put in here. Very relevant information. Consider yourself bookmarked.

Can I simply say what a aid to seek out somebody who really knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You positively know the way to carry a problem to mild and make it important. Extra individuals have to read this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant believe youre not more well-liked because you undoubtedly have the gift.

I’ve said that least 1542126 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

Hi! This article will help me very much. I hope you continue writing this type of info!

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Silent Right

How Jewish conservatives blew it on Iraq and Iran

More on Tablet:

An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth

By Matti Friedman — A former AP correspondent explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters