General UK Media

The UK media again show their obsession with the ‘Israel lobby’


Just yesterday, we posted about a cartoon published at the Economist on Jan. 18 (which they later retracted) with imagery suggesting that pro-Israeli (or Jewish) interests control US Congress.  We noted that such narratives, on the injurious influence of organized Jewry (and their money), have become something akin to an enforced orthodoxy within many circles, especially among the “enlightened” British opinion elite.

Additionally, Donald Macintyre (Jerusalem correspondent for the Independent) published a report on Jan 21 titled ‘William Hague swims around the fishy issue of Iran‘, which began thus:

To contrast the attitudes of the US Congress and the British Parliament, start with Iran. Today, the palpable welcome by MPs for Tehran’s suspension of high-level  uranium enrichment was matched only by anxiety about the UN excluding Iran from the Syria talks that start today in Switzerland.

The unease emanated not only in Labour but on the government benches. John Baron, who pressed William Hague for early “normalisation” of UK-Iran diplomatic relations after an “encouraging start” to nuclear negotiations, is his own man. But he was backed by fellow Tory Phillip Lee who deplored the “overnight debacle” of the cancelled invitation and wanted “a Gorbachev-like” approach to “reform-minded Iranian politicians”.

Many MPs, in other words, want to go further, faster in rapprochement, with Iran. Contrast that with Congress, where many members have been pressing for sanctions to be tightened. All of this makes it hard not to conclude that one difference is the much greater power wielded by the Israel lobby in the US legislature than in its British counterpart.

First, the Indy journalist conflates two separate issues: talks taking place in Switzerland today aimed at resolving the Syrian Civil War (known as Geneva II) on one hand, and an interim nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers (the P5+1) on the other.  While the role played by the ‘Israel lobby’ in influencing Congressional support for increased US sanctions against Iran is itself far less than clear, there is no evidence of any such lobbying on either side of the Atlantic to scuttle Iran’s participation in Geneva II.

More importantly, it’s quite remarkable that Macintyre – a journalist known for his exclusive investigations – failed to provide even a hint of evidence to back up his claim that only the contrasting strengths of the US and British ‘Israel lobbies’ could explain the differing government approaches to issues related to Iran. It’s as if, for Macintyre and those similarly subscribing to “the party of Mearsheimer and the clique of Walt“, no other explanation is even conceivable.  

A more astute observer of the American political scene, however, would of course recognize that the “power” of the lobby is primarily merely a reflection of the organic popularity of the issues they’re campaigning for. In fact, polls of American public opinion consistently demonstrate that Israel is extremely popular among all groups, while Iran is consistently disliked.  The following poll of Americans conducted by Gallup in 2013 reveals that Iran is in fact the least popular foreign country, while Israel is the sixth most popular foreign country.

gallup

Such data indicating that Iran is extremely unpopular would of course help contextualize more recent polls indicating that a plurality of Americans disapprove of the agreement between the U.S. and Iran over its nuclear program due, it seems, to their skepticism that Tehran would actually abide by the terms of any such deal.  Gallup reported that “62% of those polled believe that Iranian leaders are not serious about addressing international concerns about their country’s nuclear enrichment program compared with just 29% who think they are serious.”

It should be clear to the Indy journalist that Congressional support for Iran sanctions accurately reflects American public opinion on the issue, and, more broadly, that the conventional wisdom about supposed ‘root causes’ of US policy – which risibly often passes as ‘progressive’ political thought – is facile, often tinged with bigotry and empirically inaccurate. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

69 replies »

  1. In the United States there is a little known document called the Constitution. I say little known because so many people haven’t bothered to actually read it.

    Part of the 1st Amendment has the provision “interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances”.

    The only group that seems not to be allowed that right are Jews. Very telling of their part.

    As for the effectiveness of the ‘Jewish Lobby’ – well the Arabs get more than twice the aid that Israel does – not exactly effective on their part. Organizations like the NRA are far more effective

  2. Gee:
    “The only group that seems not to be allowed that right are Jews.”

    I guess you mean the only group that is being criticised heavily across the globe for fulfilling that right.

    • I mean that only Jews are routinely told that we are not allowed to petition the United States government – whereas the Arabs are never even mentioned for doing the same

  3. “suggesting that pro-Israeli (or Jewish) interests control US Congress”

    The cartoon of course was referring specifically to the relationship between the Congress and the Iranian situation . Now given that there are indeed some leading pro Israel ( or Jewish ) people calling for tighter sanctions a degree of influence is possible is it not ?

    • Wll of course it bloody is. But there is a huge difference between a “degree of influence” and “control”, is there not?

      Where are all the mocking cartoons depicting the US congress/Obama/Kerry under the contol of an arab with oil dripping from his hands? Or do you deny that the OPEC nations and their supporters in the US put any effort into exercising “a degree of influence” over American politicians?

    • We Americans are simply not as sophisticated as you Brits. For example, countries with totalitarian ideologies that take Americans as hostages, call us “the Great Satan,” and call for our destruction are considered enemies, whereas you know it’s all the work of Jews.

    • Webby:

      “The cartoon of course was referring specifically to the relationship between the Congress and the Iranian situation .”

      This is not about the cartoon but about US decision making in Syria talks and the Iran talks.
      2 different elements which you chose to ignore proving this article’s point.
      A random reader can get confused believing that the Israel lobby does influence US foreign policy in various issues.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/donald-macintyres-sketch-william-hague-swims-around-the-fishy-issue-of-iran-9075781.html?origin=internalSearch

      You’re question is invalid in that respect.

  4. “We Americans are simply not as sophisticated as you Brits. .. you know it’s all the work of Jews.”

    You started trying to be ironic and ended up proving the statement to be accurate. To distil the criticism of the anti democratic nature of the Zionist Lobby in the US as ” it’s all the work of Jews.” is not a sophisticated view.

    It is a hackneyed and hateful response caused by , as you admit , a giant gap in comprehension.

    • Webby. What we don’t get, and what you and others who put this filthy canard forward at every opportunity have never managed to explain, is why, as Gee points out above, everyone is entitled to (and does) lobby the US government on whatever issue they wish to, and yet the ONLY lobby that is criticized on a global scale, the ONLY lobby that has hate-filled cartoons published about them, the ONLY lobby that is deemed “anti democratic” (despite the fact that, as it is supported by a large majority of the American electorate, it is in fact massively democratic) is the pro-Israel lobby.

      Why is that, Webby?

      Why?

    • @WEbbsite

      The clown contrarian strikes again! When I was at school (others will have had similar experience there was a buffoon in the class. Applying your logic, North Korea is disliked because of a strong Israel lobby I suppose eh?Back to the buffoon: Anything to get attention, he offered barmy answers to questions and tried to get others, with limited success to join in and disrupt things. Well his exam results clearly reflected his efforts. That’s you WEbbsite in a nutshell. Keep it up.

    • “You started trying to be ironic and ended up proving the statement to be accurate.”

      What I proved is that you’re a anti-Semite. This is confirmed by your answer.

  5. ” what I proved is that you’re a anti-Semite. ”

    As my algebra* teacher used to say SHOW US HOW YOU WORKED IT OUT AT THE SIDE. Quote a single of my posts that anti Semitic

    PS Algebra is a high school subject here.

      • “.Web*** IQ x Israel = 0 Facts ..”

        This is multiplication not algebra. How did you guys ever get to be number one ?

          • Number one ? The Americans of course ! Good grief lighten up …what are you like with your accusations that everyone is getting at the Jews when a guy from Fife would be able to work out what I meant.

            • Are you saying that Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates are lousy in Algebra or math because they’re Americans?

              Oh, I forgot, they’re not real Americans they’re Jewish spies, right?

              Can you please adress my question above as your starting point is not addressing the subject this post is about.

        • This is multiplication not algebra.
          So in Scotland they let people who don’t know what the word “algebra” means working as child care workers. Fantastic…
          How did you guys ever get to be number one
          For starters we know what these complicated words like algebra mean.

    • “Quote a single of my posts that anti Semitic”

      Only one? Your being modest. Your entire body of work speaks for itself.

  6. To the Holocaust denial of the right extremists social workers added their postdemocratic work on denial of Antisemitism hoping for mass appeal. The new wave of populism, not left, not right, but the well-known ‘Third way’.

        • That is less funny..mere repetition of an originally funny idea. What is funnier is that when I was a kid Antisemitism was about casting the Jews as Christ killers or skinflints but I moved to Scotland so the skinflint jokes werent understood.

          Now Antisemitism is politely asking if building flats in the settlements could stop whilst the peace talks are in progress.

          Thats what I call repetition.

          • Now Antisemitism is politely asking if building flats in the settlements could stop whilst the peace talks are in progress.
            Not exactly berchmans. Asking for stopping settlement buildings during the so called peace negotiations is dumb but not anti-semitic.
            But accusing the Israelis with premeditated murder of Arab children, making disgusting jokes about Anne Frank among others are the most disgusting and vile forms of antisemitism. I’m speaking about you naturally.

          • Webby:

            “Now Antisemitism is politely asking if building flats in the settlements could stop whilst the peace talks are in progress.”

            Nonesense.
            But I guess you wouldn’t see denying the Jewish right to a national home as antisemitic.
            What about removing Jews from a certain area of land they legaly bought, let’s say Hebron, should it ever fall in Palestine in a final agreement. Would that be classified as antisemitic?

          • Your knowledge of French is near zero, so your knowledge about the destruction of the European Jewry, well, all competences a social worker for Antisemitism naturally has no need of.

          • Just one question – which I am willing to bet you won’t answer.

            Can you name one single legal claim for the Arabs to the land west of the Jordan River? Any one at all?

            I am said I will bet you will not even try.

  7. In their haste to attack cartoonist Peter Schrank’s attempt to smuggle a couple of tiny, barely noticeable Magen Davids into the Economist (Yes I believe it was a Jews control America conspiracy theory) everybody seem to be ignoring the major messages of his effort.

    Firstly there is the moral equivalence shown between the democratically elected Congress representing the American people and the undemocratic, unrepresentative Mullahs and Revolutionary Guards. Secondly there is the complete naivety in portraying Rouhani as wanting to make friends with America but being held back. He may not be as barking mad as Achmedinijad, his predecessor,but his contempt for the West is just as sincere.

    In more detail at Fresh from the UK on Five Minutes for Israel http://5mfi.com/fresh-from-the-uk/

    • Spot on!
      I’d like Berchman to at least acknowledge this, or does this risk the health of his loved ones that are shopping in “Democratic” Teheran?

  8. “Yes I believe it was a Jews control America conspiracy theory)”

    But you are not prepared to let us see what was written.. Whilst Jews are over represented in politics ,media, medicine, science in general, the economy and banking to say they control America is crazy given they are some few percent of the population.

    Are you sure it wasnt pointing out that there are powerful lobby groups that influence decisions ..or that sound unlike the mad Jew-hating narrative you wish to continue promoting on this site ?

    • Webbsite:

      “But you are not prepared to let us see what was written.. Whilst Jews are over represented in politics ,media, medicine, science in general, the economy and banking to say they control America is crazy given they are some few percent of the population.”

      Please excuse us for not remaining stupid like you obviously want us to.
      While it is true that Jews in general attempt to focus on education and push their children from a young age to succeed in life it is hardly the case that they as a nation or group control the united State.
      As explained to you many times Jewish people are not the Borg or an identical thinking geoup with shared interests.
      The only thing that links us is some love of Judaism and its ethics or past.
      The strength of this bond upsets you, so I can see.

      You truly are an antisemite and if I am mistaken about this I feel sorry for you.
      After all, you are the one that has to live with your demons late at night, not me.

      I think we are done talking.

      • “You truly are an antisemite and if I am mistaken about this I feel sorry for you.”

        Im sorry I was never very good at translating Weasel. I am an Antisemite and if you are wrong you feel sorry for me ? One of us has been at the shoe polish.

        • Let me rephrase this:
          You truly sound like an antisemite in my book.
          However, if I’m mistaken I feel sorry for you for not seeing what it is you say that makes you seem like one.

          Call me what you like, I couldn’t care less.

    • We are also over represented in Noble Prizes as well. Does that mean we control Sweden too? Maybe we are just superior to you in every way and you can’t stand it

    • Berchmans,
      When you “overrepresented” you mean they’re good at these things, right?
      If so, a better expression would be “excel at,” but excelling at something is a positive trait.
      Do you want the U.S. to implement a quota system for limiting the number of Jewish people allowed to work in any given profession? Wouldn’t that be discriminatory? And would that quota system be used for other “groups,” or is it only Jews that you believe are something less than full fledged individual American citizens?
      There is another expression for Jews with American citizenship. They’re called Americans. America has long been known as the “land of opportunity.” Its founders found the old European system of top down, found it wanting, and so created a system of bottom up which you, deep down, seem to deplore.

  9. A couple of odd things in this post.

    First of all, there is a pretty good link between “most unpopular country” and “country that receives most defamation in the doctrinal system”. Iran is defamed constantly, and hence is unpopular.

    Israel receives predominantly favourable coverage, and so it popular. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

    Secondly, the Israel lobby does have significant power in congress, and in US politics in general. This is hardly controversial. If you criticise Israel more than once, your career in politics of pretty much over.

    There is the bizarre situation in the US of politicians who supported sanctions to “bring Iran to the table” are now calling for more sanctions now Iran is at the table.

    We all know who opposes an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

    • “We all know who opposes an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program”

      Do we ‘Avram’.
      Who do you mean?
      And why are they opposing an agreement, in your opinion?

          • Well, US and Israeli intelligence agree that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program, so you’d have to guess that it’s about wanting to attack Iran to keep Israel’s regional hegemony intact.

            • “…so you’d have to guess..”

              You might but that is not a very intelligent, or scientific, approach. So I’ll leave you to your guess work and be grateful that you are not in Government or work for any countries intelligence services.

              By the way, looking at your style here and on Twitter you have a close resemblance to a repugnant individual who used to post here called “dubitante” who was last heard of being deported from the Republic of Ireland.
              You are not the same individual who has crawled out from under his rock are you?

            • US and Israeli intelligence agree that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program
              Really? I would like to know more about this meitner/dubitante. Would you be so kind to supply any evidence/reference regarding this assertion?
              But do me a favor and make an exception today, break with your habit using falsified documents taken from neo-Nazi websites…

          • Talking up a non-existent threat to Israel is also a good way to ensure US military support of Israel continues uninterrupted.

        • Avrumale:

          “(from your link) …”We are not blind, and I don’t think we’re stupid,” Kerry said. “I think we have a pretty strong sense of how to measure whether or not we are acting in the interests of our country and of the globe, and particularly of our allies like Israel and Gulf states and others in the region.”…”

          It is funny how your subtle hint at Israel and Jewish groups in the US failed to mis this bit.
          Especially the latter bit of Kerry’s sentence;
          Allies like Israel and GULF STATES and OTHERS in the region…
          mmmm…
          Isn’t it funny how you ignore those actors like Turkey and the Gulf states sitting and wishing Israel will do their dirty job while the idiots blame the Jews.
          It’s a win win scenario for them, and you.

          • Well, if you take it in conjunction with US politicians (like Eric Cantor) pledging allegiance to Israel – there’s no equivalent with any other country. You wouldn’t go very far stating that you would side with Saudi Arabia over your own president, yet the likes of Cantor have no problem placing Israel’s interests over US interests.

            • “Well, if you take it in conjunction with US politicians (like Eric Cantor) pledging allegiance to Israel ”
              Allegiance? The little Nazi, Avram, supplies CiFWatch with comic relief.

            • Avrumale:

              “…politicians … pledging allegiance …”

              So, you believe politicians now?
              Good for you.
              I hope you locked every possible fire arms and threw away the keys in case you regret this in few years time.

    • If you criticise Israel more than once, your career in politics of pretty much over.
      Could be true… Democracy where and the will of the electorate must be very inconvenient…

  10. So why were you deported from the Republic of Ireland?
    Or are you confirming the press reports as being correct?