The Telegraph’s 14 weaselly words about the power of ‘the lobby’

It’s less than clear how Telegraph Middle East correspondent Richard Spencer views the nuclear deal recently signed in Geneva, but in his latest report he certainly seems to take pleasure in the Israeli prime minister’s profound disappointment over the terms and implications of the agreement between Iran and the P5+1.


Spencer’s story, titled ‘Iran nuclear deal: Israel rages and no one cares‘, Nov. 24, begins thusly:

Everyone expected Israel‘s furious response to the Iranian nuclear deal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had used every weapon in his considerable diplomatic and rhetorical arsenal to oppose one, up to hand-drawn drawings at the United Nations Security Council of circular bombs with cartoon fuses to illustrate his “red lines”.

What fewer can have expected is that no one would listen.

 Then, after citing statements by UK Foreign Minister William Hague and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry he interprets as dismissive of Israeli concerns, he writes the following:

If ones takes Israel’s public position at face value, however, it is hard not to ask how it got itself into a position where its wishes could be ignored by its closest ally, the United States (an ally that according to popular opinion its Washington lobbies have in their pockets).

One answer might be the extraordinary, prickly, combative persona of Mr Netanyahu.

Of course, there is another answer to the question of why the American president didn’t take Israel’s concerns about the deal into consideration that Spencer didn’t explore: the possibility that the narrative suggesting that ‘pro-Israel lobbies have the U.S. government “in their pockets” has no foundation in reality, and represents the kind of crude, simplifying hypotheses fancied by weak minds, conspiracists and bigots who can’t grapple with the complexities of the world.  


Ar-Risala, June 22, 2008
Headline: “The Wagon [that gets you] to the White House.”


Two papers published the same cartoon: Al-Watan, June 10, 2008 and Arabnews, June 11, 2008

Zionist lobby with Obama and Clinton in pocket

Akhbar al-Khalij, June 9, 2008
The bearded man is labeled: “Zionist Lobby” and has then Senator Barack Obama in its pocket, and Obama has Senator Hillary Clinton in his pocket.

Though Spencer doesn’t explicitly endorse this ‘Zionist root cause’ scenario, his failure to dismiss it provides succor to the alarming number of putatively mainstream commentators who, as Leon Wieseltier wrote, continue to “proclaim in all seriousness, without in any way being haunted by the history of such an idea, that Jews control Washington.” 

Editor’s Note: The title was amended at 12:00 EST to more accurately reflect the substance of the post

42 replies »

  1. Spencer is correct to say that no one cares. Why should anybody give a second thought about the existential dangers threatening six million Jews?
    Especially in Europe….

  2. The expression ” Jewish Control ” has been placed in quotation marks.
    The words ” Jewish control ” never appeared, It says ” Washington lobbies ” Yes many Washington lobbyists are Jewish but the use of quotation marks means it is a direct quote . It has no other meaning . For a site which holds others to account this is strange.

    I keep saying this site is the leading site in the fight to ensure Israel has a press that reflects the facts of her existence and her continued presence in the ME. The level of accuracy has to improve if it is to successfully combat British newspapers .

    • First, the words in the title ‘Jewish control’ were not place in “full quotes”, but single quotes – which newspapers routinely use to simply characterize what someone has said, or implied, or even just how others are characterizing something. (Check out newspaper headlines and you’ll see what I mean). Second, in looking at the title I actually agreed that it was a bit OTT (not inaccurate but OTT) so I revised it per above.)

  3. More disingenuous reporting: nowhere does the word “Jewish” appear. Are you conflating Jews with Israel? That’s antisemitism according to the EUMC Working Definition.

    • So you are saying that about six million of the citizens of Israel aren’t Jews? Even from an obvious intellectually challenged pond dweller like you this kind of ignorance seems a gross exageration.

    • The charge – with varying degrees of explicitness – that pro-Israel Jewish groups exercise too much power over US foreign policy is ubiquitous, and Spencer, surely knowing full well the odious history of that narrative, chose NOT to refute it.

      • Indeed. Spencer could easily have said e.g. ‘this move by the White House makes a nonsense of the theory that the “Israel lobby” has Washington in its pockets.’

      • But he didn’t say Jewish lobby. He said lobby and those lobbying for Israel include large numbers of evangelicals.
        It’s you who are conflating Jews and Israel – which as you know could be regarded as antisemitism according to the EUMC working definition.
        At least you had the good sense to change the heading – shame the content is disingenuous.

          • Fritz, the definition of who is Jewish is down to halachah. I kinda thought you knew that.
            But if you want to wilfully misinterpret my post, bevakashah achi. It makes you look like the arse you obviously are.

            • bevakashah achi….
              Your “ach” Chaim is certainly the result of crossbreeding Yasser Arafat with the “malchat ha mavet”. Just ask mommy and daddy…

            • Antisemite, just because your brain is down there, nobody looks alike, but this is obviously a problem of your size.
              Accordingly it makes no sense recommending you to grow up.

        • You know very well, that when people talk of the “Israel lobby” they really mean the “Jewish lobby”. Of course there are supporters of Israel who are not Jewish (thankfully some of the gentile world are not taken in by the smears about “genocide” and “apartheid”), but it remains true – despite what many wish – that Israel is the one and only Jewish Staet in the world, and is the only country whos “lobby” is routinely accused of having a hold over the US government. Only the blind fail to see the connection.

          • Nonsense, the same claim was levelled against the Irish lobby during the Troubles. And against the British before Pearl Harbor. And against the Cubans before and after the Bay of Pigs. Plenty more too.
            You aint so special

            • Labenal said “is” (the only country …) not “the only country that has ever been”. And I hardly think the Irish and Cubans were ever accused of manipulating/running the global media.

              But re. “Cubans” I assume you mean the anti-Castro crowd?

        • Spencer referred to Israel and “its” Washington lobbies.

          You’re like a stuck record, and not even a decent one at that. The Frog Chorus or some other abomination.

        • “But he didn’t say Jewish lobby. He said lobby and those lobbying for Israel include large numbers of evangelicals.”
          Isn’t that nice of him to include another stereotyped group. Of course Israel enjoys wide-ranging support from Americans of many stripes, even including some Muslims. I do hope that’s not Islamophobic.

      • ” brain damage ”

        How can you say this? Are you aware that millions of people have actual brain damage and you are using this in an insulting and provocative way? You really think you are supporting this site by your cheap jibes and your accusations of hatred but you are not.

        • That`s your missing cognitive ability (or your brain damage.) not being able to handle performativity, but keep posting here in the megalomanic belief being able to.

          • Your sentence made me smile. You throw in a couple of big words hoping to impress but your sentence is poorly constructed and misses the target . I get that English is not your first language so I will spell it out.

            When you include physical insults you have already lost the argument . I have worked with people with brain damage that are genius pianists , are wonderful people and insulting such people shows the distance between your good self and decency.

            I hope this helps. I wish you the best .We are all capable of improvement.

            • The terms you consider as big words are quite common, suffering from a feeling of inferiority could advance some explanation for your megalomanic belief.
              This confirms at least your missing ability. But that you are in need of disadvantaged people for cover of your Antisemitism, that you instrumentalise them to your own ends indicates not only a brain damage, but a heart failure too.

              • Amendment
                Household is not unknown to us, he is the one who promised not to return two or threee months ago, his real name was revealed.

              • ” big words ”

                I meant it was unusual to see such bold language given the fact that you made a dog’s dinner of trying to use them as an attack.

                ” ..disadvantaged instrumentalise them ”

                This is very good . I can see I am dealing with someone who has swallowed a thesaurus …but it was you ,my verbose friend ,who started using disablist language. Israel is an astonishing country and probably leads the world in aspects of gay rights . Hence my bet is they are also good at not using language that abuses disabled people either…the two normally run hand in hand.

                You don’t expect Israelis to be clumsy at expressing themselves.

              • The try of backtracking, Antisemite, is backfiring,
                Israel has nothing to do with your soul.
                Your hate is all yours, with brain damage and heart failure.

            • We are all capable of improvement.
              No Berchmans you are not. You always have been a disgusting racist hater and you will ever remain the same. The only improvement you may achieve is to return to your fellow Jew-hating comrades at the “world’s liberal voice”, but I have a feeling even for them you are a huge embarrassment.

              • No I hate the Guardian as much as you. It was encouraging the war against Syria that did it for me. Hypocritcal tossers

                ” You always have been a disgusting racist hater ”

                This is true …thank you.

                • “No I hate the Guardian as much as you. It was encouraging the war against Syria that did it for me.”

                  Are you sure it isn’t because they booted you off Comment is Free?

                • It was encouraging the war against Syria that did it for me. Hypocritcal tossers
                  I really understand your disappointment seeing that they didn’t support your mass murderer hero Assad. I don’t understand their sudden change of direction on this subject either. Maybe they were confused about which side they have to choose the Shite fascists or their Sunni brothers…

  4. “If ones takes Israel’s public position at face value, however, it is hard not to ask how it got itself into a position where its wishes could be ignored by its closest ally”

    It is? Why the supposition that it “got itself into a position” at all? Has it ever occurred to this man that the U.S. government, like any other on earth, does first and foremost what it at least perceives to be in its own self-interest? Whose “popular opinion” is he talking about, and why is he using it to promote a canard?

    Is he really going to lay the blame for a bad deal negotiated by everyone but Netanyahu, on Netanyahu?

      • Sorry, I didn’t mean Jeff, of course! The “reply” feature seems to be messed up… I’m referring to the fellow who calls himself Life Passover.

      • Blimey, thr sinat chinam in this place is probably like that at the time of the destruction of the Temple.
        I happen to love the late great Arik Einstein’s music, comedy and acting, but he did not speak to all Israel, as the author contended. The view was typical of the willful blindness most Israeli Jews have when it comes to their non-Jewish co-citizens.

        • Chaim is complaining about sinat chinam… You couldn’t make it up…. But Chaim your hate is not “chinam” it is the result of your firing from a well paid job after the discovery that you are a card-carrying Israel hater – your hate has very well established financial roots.

          • I love his logic… it’s like responding, when an obituary says (for example) an author “spoke for a generation” that No he didn’t because there are quite a few members of that generation that didn’t feel particularly connected to the author.

            chaimpesach manages to turn that into a sign of the bigotry of Jewish Israelis. What a surprise… I wonder if he agrees that the low incidence of IDF soldiers raping Arab women is a sign of Israeli racism?