Guardian

More wild Israel-lobby ‘trutherism’ at ‘Comment is Free’


Last year, ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Stephen Kinzer, much like fellow contributors Glenn Greenwald and Michael Cohen, was angry at the opponents of Chuck Hagel.  Hagel, you may recall, is the former (conservative Republicansenator from Nebraska who, despite being hostile to abortion rights, gay rights and civil rights, became a progressive cause celeb among the Guardian-style left upon being nominated for US Defense Secretary.

Kinzer, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, made the following argument in his Dec. 31, 2012 ‘CiF’ op-ed, adding to the chorus of voices from the Guardian Left who are convinced of the pro-Israel lobby’s sinister grip on politics, accusing the lobby and their supporters of agitating for a US war with Iran.

“What do Nebraska and Iran have in common? Not much – but enough to cause big trouble for former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, whose possible nomination to be secretary of defense is being challenged by the powerful bomb-Iran-yesterday lobby.”

Militarists in Washington, taking their cue from pro-Israel lobbyists, are trying to derail the appointment because Hagel doubts the wisdom of starting another war in the Middle East.

More recently, in a ‘CiF’ op-ed (‘Are Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions clouding her morals?‘, Jan. 29) criticizing former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s apparent failure to take a position on a bill which would increase sanctions against Iran in the event negotiations with the six world powers (P5+1) fail to produce an agreement, Kinzer wrote the following:

Here lies the dilemma. A strong statement by Clinton in favor of reconciliation would be a game-changer in Washington. She would be giving a centrist, establishment endorsement of her former boss’s most important foreign policy initiative. That would provide political cover for moderate Democrats terrified of antagonizing the Netanyahu government and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is leading the anti-reconciliation campaign in Washington.

Such a statement, however, would risk outraging pro-Netanyahu groups and individuals who have been among Clinton’s key supporters since her days as a Senator from New York. Having spent years painstakingly laying the ground for a presidential campaign, she does not want to risk a misstep that would alienate major campaign contributors.

Whilst his fear mongering over the alleged toxic influence of the pro-Israel lobby (and money from “pro-Netanyahu groups and individuals”) is predictable, Kinzer takes his agitprop to the next level in suggesting that U.S. Senators are not only fearful of AIPAC, but in fact are “terrified” of the prime minister of the Jewish state. 

While it’s less than clear what form of retribution the prime minister of Israel can exact on American legislators, Kinzer and his band of Israel lobby truthers never seem interested in exploring a simpler and less conspiratorial explanation for why US politicians are disinclined to support recent US overtures toward Iran: most Americans dislike Iran and don’t believe that they can be trusted to abide by any nuclear agreement.

Finally, an interesting fact about American public opinion routinely ignored by ideologically obtuse critics of Israel and the ‘Israeli lobby’ was revealed in a recent survey on U.S. attitudes toward American Jews commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League. When asked to identify which of five well-known lobby groups wields “the most influence on American government policy,” only 4% chose the pro-Israel lobby. Americans evidently consider the pro-Israel lobby to be far less powerful than the gun, oil and drug lobbies.

Here’s a chart of the data:

Screen-Shot-2013-10-31-at-4.00.50-PMWhat such dark anti-Israel conspiracists fail to acknowledge is that whatever influence the pro-Israel lobby in Washington does have is largely merely a reflection of the popularity of Israel among the American people.

But, as this blog continues to demonstrate, when it comes to Israel related commentary at the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’, facts, logic and empirical evidence take a back seat to ideology almost every time.  

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27 replies »

  1. ” the pro-Israel lobby’s sinister grip on politics,”

    A country with the strongest military forces in the ME which could trounce every enemy country put together gets billions in aid whilst the US cities are crumbling ? No the pro Israel lobby does not have “a sinister grip on politics”in general and such a statement is clearly a huge exaggeration to make the pro Palies seem “wild eyed and bitter “.

    But somehow this can be sold to the US people . Are they just not that bright?

    • If you are so worried why don;t you demand that the US bring back all its forces from around the world . IN Japan S Korea Germany other countires in europe that costs Bilion of dolars every year.

      • I do .I will do it now . All US troops home and rebuild your cities. Rates of childhood illnesses are as bad as some 3rd world countries..the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world …the worst holidays ..the worst rights . They spend as much as the entire world on arms. No wonder they are going under.

        But somehow manage to slap 3 b a year Israel’s way?????

          • Gerald, you must be confusing berchmans with someone else who is interested in facts not only in jokes about murdered Jewish children and in posting anti-semitic slurs.

            • peter surely you are not suggesting that Berchmans who has four University qualifications and has attended a course on Discrimination would base his posts on anything other than facts?

              • Could be. Facts he learned at his local pub, at the party meetings, maybe some of them reading the Hamas Charter or the Protocols. But I’m sure some of his facts are coming from the Guardian…

                • Hey, there’s nothing wrong with facts posted on the pub walls or during quiz nights!
                  It’s the amazing ability to read several posters at once after a few rounds that is the problem…

        • “the worst holidays” Let me guess. Labor Day?
          “the worst rights” Oh, yes, that freedom of speech thing which is a Constitutional guarantee (unlike your country).
          But I can understand why you hate America. After all you’ve benefitted greatly from our largesse. How typical.
          Poor Webshit still thinks the Marshall Plan came from Russia.

        • Webbsite:

          “But somehow manage to slap 3 b a year Israel’s way?????”

          Remind me how we in the UK can afford to borrow yet another loan of 52 million to help Syria?

          These actions only gets our own country closer to a war zone when the economy will collapse.
          And it is very likely to collapse at some stage.
          But I guess this is something you are looking forward to while you’re sailing away, jumping ship into the new “free Scotland” dingy?
          Do you think this will not take you down too?

          http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/427326/David-Cameron-orders-52million-extra-aid-to-Syria-to-send-the-world-very-large-message

          http://www.debtbombshell.com/

          Your amazing amount of one way distortions of facts is disturbing.
          You are far from being a pacifist, you are a very bitter man hide is scandalous hate of human nature with sarcasm and jokes.
          But it’s ok.
          Just get us another pack of dry roasted while you get the next round…

        • OK. So your point is that childhood illness, teen pregnancy, bad holidays, poor rights (whatever that means) are all caused by the Israeli leech sucking funds out of the US economy.

          And you expect to be taken seriously?

    • Barfbag tells us why American cities are crumbling. And, not surprisingly, it’s because of teh Joos. And he wonders how an uncouth American Zionist can continuously treat him like shit.

      • The flow of oil to Europe is guaranteed by the American taxpayer – a very expensive proposition when we could be using that money for our cities rather than keeping Europe afloat.

    • Webbsite:

      “A country with the strongest military forces in the ME which could trounce every enemy country put together….”
      You seriously have no clue do you?
      Adding Iran, Turkey and saudi Arabia into this equation and you are full of hot air.
      You simply have no clue.
      Turkey alone can out much Israel in Tank power and infantry not mentioning Saudi pilots have a very good training and jets.
      You compare Israel to the crumbling Syrian army or the Lebanese army.
      I can only suggest you apologise and retract that OTT comment of yours.

      “..gets billions in aid whilst the US cities are crumbling ?”
      As explained to you many times before 2 out of the 3 billions is being pumped back into US economy.
      So in effect it’s only 1 billion.
      How many billions does it waste on the corrupt Palestinian “aid” needs?
      The second question also goes to the EU while out cities crimble and our debt goes ever higher.
      We in the UK actualy took yet another loan to aid Syria.
      Remind me a single country to do this to the Jews in WW2?
      Not one!

      “…No the pro Israel lobby does not have “a sinister grip on politics” in general”
      Finally I can agree with you. unless of course you were “joking”?

      Let me answer your first quoted statement in your own words: “such a statement is clearly a huge exaggeration”.

  2. peterthehungarian, even you are under under the control of the all powerful Jewish lobby. Next time you slip on a banana peel you must know it was those evil Zionists who planted it in your way.
    It is commonly known that, the only way to shake of the control of the Zionist on your mind is to wear a metal spaghetti strainer. You must try this as a counter measure to the Zionist mind control technics.

    • I know this Ken. Just yesterday I stepped on a dog poo on the sidewalk. I know from reliable sources (from the Guardian) that the dog was trained by the Mossad and when I wanted to say this to someone I felt the paralyzing effect of the rays, even my tinfoil hat couldn’t block them.
      It is commonly known that, the only way to shake of the control of the Zionist on your mind is to wear a metal spaghetti strainer.
      You are way behind the newest technology Ken. Their brand new mind control beams (developed using the US aid money) can get trough on a metal spaghetti strainer, the only way to block them is to read the Hamas Charter and the Guardian latest editorial five times a day, only these sacred texts could protect you from their evil influence.

  3. peterthehungarian, even you are under under the control of the all powerful Jewish lobby. Next time you slip on a banana peel you must know it was those evil Zionists who planted it in your way.
    It is commonly known that the only way to shake of the control of the Zionist on your mind is to wear a metal spaghetti strainer. You must try this as a counter measure to the Zionist mind control technics.

  4. Pretty clear that these “truthers'” irrationality can only be explained by 1 fact: they’re antiSemitic assholes.

    • Alf
      They are if they knowingly ignore the data to spread lies.
      My bet is the many of them are simply sheep repeating distorted information and being too lazy or stupid to check.

  5. Stephen Kinzer is pissed that most Americans support Israel. With every terrorist atrocity committed by Muslims, that support grows a little stronger.

    So he has to invent this mythical all-powerful Jewish lobby. Not very original is it? Anti-semites like Stephen Kinzer have been doing the same thing for years. Why is he still walking the streets and not banged up under anti-racism laws?

    • “So he has to invent this mythical all-powerful Jewish lobby. Not very original is it? ”
      No, Andy, just an old tradition from the old continent.

  6. “Israel-lobby ‘trutherism’” – are you sure about this word? Isn`t it more connected to “the conspiracy of the Elders” than to 9/11 trutherism/truthism? Or is it the need to communcate in already known codes the youth instantly recognizes instead of using old ones which the youth first has to learn?