The New Israel Lobby could not be worse than the old (ABOVE)

Gavin Bond for The New York Times

OUT OF THE MAINSTREAM At work in J Street’s offices in Washington, from left: Isaac Luria, campaigns director; Rachel Lerner; Daniel Kohl; Jeremy Ben-Ami.


Published: September 9, 2009

In July, President Obama met for 45 minutes with leaders of American Jewish organizations. All presidents meet with Israel’s advocates. Obama, however, had taken his time, and powerhouse figures of the Jewish community were grumbling; Obama’s coolness seemed to be of a piece with his willingness to publicly pressure Israel to freeze the growth of its settlements and with what was deemed his excessive solicitude toward the plight of the Palestinians. During the July meeting, held in the Roosevelt Room, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told Obama that “public disharmony between Israel and the U.S. is beneficial to neither” and that differences “should be dealt with directly by the parties.” The president, according to Hoenlein, leaned back in his chair and said: “I disagree. We had eight years of no daylight” — between George W. Bush and successive Israeli governments — “and no progress.”

TEAM J STREET From left: Daniel Kohl, political director; Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder and executive director; Rachel Lerner, chief of staff.

It is safe to say that at least one participant in the meeting enjoyed this exchange immensely: Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and executive director of J Street, a year-old lobbying group with progressive views on Israel. Some of the mainstream groups vehemently protested the White House decision to invite J Street, which they regard as a marginal organization located well beyond the consensus that they themselves seek to enforce. But J Street shares the Obama administration’s agenda, and the invitation stayed. Ben-Ami didn’t say a word at the meeting — he is aware of J Street’s neophyte status — but afterward he was quoted extensively in the press, which vexed the mainstream groups all over again. J Street does not accept the “public harmony” rule any more than Obama does. In a conversation a month before the White House session, Ben-Ami explained to me: “We’re trying to redefine what it means to be pro-Israel. You don’t have to be noncritical. You don’t have to adopt the party line. It’s not, ‘Israel, right or wrong.’ ”

There appears to be an appetite for J Street’s approach. Over the last year, J Street’s budget has doubled, to $3 million; its lobbying staff is doubling as well, to six. That still makes it tiny compared with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, whose lobbying prowess is a matter of Washington legend. J Street is still as much an Internet presence, launching volleys of e-mail messages from the netroots, as it is a shoe-leather operation. But it has arrived at a propitious moment, for President Obama, unlike his predecessors, decided to push hard for a Mideast peace settlement from the very outset of his tenure. He appointed George Mitchell as his negotiator, and Mitchell has tried to wring painful concessions from Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states. In the case of Israel, this means freezing settlements and accepting a two-state solution. Obama needs the political space at home to make that case; he needs Congress to resist Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s appeals for it to blunt presidential demands. On these issues, which pose a difficult quandary for the mainstream groups, J Street knows exactly where it stands. “Our No. 1 agenda item,” Ben-Ami said to me, “is to do whatever we can in Congress to act as the president’s blocking back.”

The idea that there is an “Israel lobby,” with its undertones of dual loyalty, is a controversial notion. It has been around since the early 1970s at least, but it became a topic of wide discussion only after the publication of a notorious article in The London Review of Books in 2006 by the political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. The article, which was expanded into a book, infuriated many readers by its air of conspiratorial hugger-mugger; by its insistence that Jewish neoconservatives had persuaded President Bush to go to war in Iraq in order to protect Israel; and by the authors’ apparent ignorance of the deep sense of identification many Americans — Jewish and gentile — feel toward Israel. But the authors made one claim that struck many knowledgeable people as very close to the mark: The Israel lobby had succeeded in ruling almost any criticism of Israel out of bounds, especially in Congress.

“The bottom line,” Mearsheimer and Walt wrote, “is that Aipac, a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on Congress, with the result that U.S. policy is not debated there, even though that policy has important consequences for the entire world.” Mearsheimer and Walt also wrote that Aipac and other groups succeeded in installing officials who were deemed “pro-Israel” into senior positions. This is, of course, what effective lobbies do. The Cuba lobby, for example, long operated in the same way. But Israel is a much more important American national-security interest than Cuba. No country, whether Israel or Cuba, has identical interests to those of the United States. And yet mainstream American Jewish groups had implicitly agreed to subordinate their own views to those of the government in Jerusalem. The watchword, says J. J. Goldberg, editorial director of The Forward, the Jewish weekly, was, “We stick with Israel regardless of our own judgment.”

American Jewish voters are overwhelmingly liberal and Democratic, but as Jewish groups moved to the right along with Israel in the 1980s, the groups increasingly made common cause with the Republican Party, which from the time of Ronald Reagan was seen as more staunchly pro-Israel than were the Democrats. Jewish groups also began to work with the evangelicals who formed the Republican base and tended to be fervidly pro-Israel. Indeed, when I met with Malcolm Hoenlein in July, he had just come from a huge Washington rally sponsored by Christians United for Israel, whose founder, the Rev. John Hagee, has denounced Catholicism, Islam and homosexuality in such violent terms that John McCain felt compelled eventually to reject his endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign.

George W. Bush shared the views of the mainstream groups on Israel and Palestine, on Iran and on the threat of Islamic extremism. Doug Bloomfield, who served as legislative director for Aipac in the 1980s — and who was pushed out, he says, for being “too pro-peace” — describes Aipac and other groups as “very sycophantic toward the Bush administration.” Aipac and other groups found little to criticize in a president who, unlike Bill Clinton, did not believe in pushing Jerusalem to make serious compromises to achieve peace. President Bush, in this view, was the best president either Israel’s Likud leadership or the mainstream Jewish groups could have wished for.

And it was precisely this success that began to loosen the “stranglehold” described by Mearsheimer and Walt. As Martin Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel and now the director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, puts it, “In the Bush years, when Israel enjoyed a blank check, increasing numbers of people in the Jewish and pro-Israel community began to wonder, If this was the best president Israel ever had, how come Israel’s circumstances seemed to be deteriorating so rapidly?” Why was Israel more diplomatically isolated than ever? Why had Israel fought a savage and apparently unavailing war with Hezbollah in Lebanon? Why were the Islamists of Hamas gaining the upper hand over the more moderate Fatah in Palestine? “There was kind of a cognitive dissonance,” Indyk says, “about whether a blank check for Israel is necessarily the best way to secure the longevity of the Jewish state.”

James Traub, a contributing writer for the magazine, is the author most recently of “The Freedom Agenda.”

In Washington, DC this Sunday, Busboys and Poets will be featuring two poets who were un-invited from the "pro-peace" J Street conference, as a result of public pressure from the right-wing for their critical views of Israel. "We Will Not Be Silent: Poetry on Palestine and Israel," Sunday, October 25th at 4:00 pm at 
Busboys and Poets, 14th and V. 
No more a passive facilitator of fruitless negotiation
Jeremy Ben-Ami - J Street - For too long, our voice, the voice of mainstream progressive Jews on Israel, has been absent from the political playing field. We come here to Washington DC to make clear that most American Jews favor a two-state solution and comprehensive regional peace. Most oppose the expansion of settlements. We do not want the US to be a passive facilitator of fruitless negotiation. No, we have had enough talking about talking. We want action and we want resolution. We want the US and the international community actively at the table – and we want this conflict to end.


Israel Has Nuked Itself

By Leuren Moret (regret air flow charts unobtainable)

I am attaching/linking you to new airflow charts/maps for India showing how the Punjab (Lahore area on map) is getting directly nuked by American DU bombing of NE Afghan, Kabul and Helmand Province areas; an airflow chart of Australia showing how uranium mining and milling dust and DU bombing near Perth, Northern territories, and Shoalwater Bay (Great Barrier Reef on east side) is contaminating the most populated areas of AU (highest diabetes rates are in Tasmania - look at air flow, and sea currents carry it straight east to Tasmania); and Israel/Gaza/ Lebanon is badly contaminated (no surpise). --Leuren

There are vast natural gas offshore deposits that belong to Gaza, but Israel and US are in partnership to develop (steal) them from Gaza. Israeli documents state they will not develop until they 'get rid of' (genocide) Hammas in Gaza. DU bombs used by Israel on Gaza came from Livermore Nuke lab in US - a Department of Energy lab.

A Sharp Rise in the Incidence of Hodgkin's Lymphoma
in Young Adults in Israel
IMAJ VOL 11 August 2009

Abstract from a new paper on Hodgkin's disease in Israel.
Hodgkin's lymphoman (HL)

Background: Hodgkin's lymphoma is a distinct primary solid tumor of the immune system that shows wide variation in incidence among different geographic regions and among various races. It was previously suggested that susceptible people living in certain parts of Israel had a higher risk of HL[1] because of exposure to unidentified environmental factors in these regions. Compared with other parts of Israel , these regions were characterized by a higher proportion of Israeli-born Jews.

Objectives: To study time trends in the incidence rate of HL in Israeli-born Jews of all age groups during the years 19602005.

Results: A total of 4812 Jewish cases of HL were reported to the Israel Cancer Registry during the study period 19602005. There has been a persistent increase in the age-standardized incidence rate of HL, all subtypes pooled, in Israeli-born Jews in both men and women. The age distribution pattern in both genders was bimodal in all periods. The highest incidence was observed in the 2024 year age group: for women (9.13 per 100,000 per year) during the period 19881996, and for men (6.60 per 100,000 per year) during the period 19972005.

Conclusions: The reported incidence level of HL in Israeli-born young adult Jews in Israel has increased in recent years to high levels compared with other western countries. Our findings suggest a cohort effect to unidentified factors affecting Israeli-born young adult Jews in Israel .

Airflow chart for Israel with photos of DU bombs going off at Gaza/Israel border (click and scroll down to map and bomb photos):
Uranium Weapons - Does anyone care about our planet? Part 3
http://www.palteleg opinions/ editorials/ 1758-uranium-weapons-does- anyone-care- about-our- planet-part- 3

Sperm count down 40% in Israeli young healthy males:

Study: Quality of Israeli sperm down 40% in past decade
http://www.haaretz. com/hasen/ spages/1084574. html

Offbeat Israel: The National Sperm Count in Crisis
http://blogs. bintel-blog/ 105922/

More women diagnosed with cancer in Israel than in Europe
http://www.haaretz. com/hasen/ spages/1113069. html


Airflow maps of India and Australia



"Downwind Airflow Maps Of US DU War On Afghanistan [and India]"
http://www.rense. com/general87/ down.htm
http://www.rense. com/general87/ down.htm

Articles from Punjab about birth defects at end of this article -
"Global Implications of Sellafield: 'Irish Seacoast Effect' and Beyond"
http://www.namastep ublishing. 20Implications% 20of%20Sellafield%20-%20Irish% 20Sea%20Coast% 20Effect. htm



"Downwind Airflow Maps Of US DU War On Afghanistan [and India]"
http://www.rense. com/general87/ down.htm

This article also has a photo of a DU bomb dropped during joint US/AU Exercise Talisman Sabre in eastern Australia in 2005 at Raymond Island, Shoalwater Bay (SWB). This exercise occurs every 2 years.

* Bases known to be using DU munitions in AU are at Lancelin (Perth), Delemere Bombing Range (Northern Territories) , and Shoalwater Bay Training Area (Great Barrier Reef on east coast)
* The AU govt. opened all military bases to US in 2003.
* US planes started flying from Guam to drop DU bombs at Delemere bombing range in Northern Territories in 2006
* US is exporting Hellfire 11 missiles with DU warhead to AU to use in Australian Tiger Helicoptors manufactured in Brisbane
* AU Senate Hansard announced AU bought 34,000 DU weapons from US
* AU veterans from GW I have tested positive for DU on their urine tests analyzed at JW Goethe Univ. in Germany
It looks to me like the 27 million people living in Australia are going to be radically reduced to a much lower number from chronic exposure to low level radiation from uranium. Australia is clearly the biggest US 'lilly pad' base in the world, and is situated exactly strategically where we would want one in order to attack Asian countries from.




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