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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:36 PM

Do the leaders of the American Jewish establishment realize how badly they lost last night?

Choosing Decline In The Mideast

by Peter Beinart Nov 30, 2012 10:15 AM EST

Do the leaders of the American Jewish establishment realize how badly they lost last night? And do they realize how much they brought that loss on themselves?


Think about it. The organized American Jewish community relies for its power on American power. No matter how much influence you wield over U.S. policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that influence ultimately relies on the fact that the U.S. itself wields influence over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Luckily for the American Jewish establishment, since the Cold Warís end, Americaís influence has been enormous. It has been enormous because other potential outside powers, from Turkey to Russia to France, have believed that only the United States could broker a deal between the two sides. Theyíve believed that because theyíve thought that only the United States could convince Israel to accept a viable Palestinian state.

Do you see the problem? American Jewish influence over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict relies largely on American dominance of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. American dominance of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict relies on Americaís influence over Israel. But the American Jewish establishment, especially in the Obama years, has helped prevent America from wielding much influence over Israel, at least as regards the Palestinians. In May 2011, with the Palestinians preparing to seek statehood at the United Nations Security Council, President Obama proposed negotiations based upon the 1967 lines plus land swaps. He did so, in part, because he feared the Palestinian U.N. bid would undermine the near-unilateral external control of the conflict the U.S. has enjoyed for roughly two decades. Yet Obamaís bid to maintain American dominance failed because it relied on his ability to get Benjamin Netanyahu to accept his terms for renewed negotiations. And Netanyahu, with enthusiastic American Jewish communal support, loudly rejected them.

But last year, the Palestinians only went to the U.N. Security Council, where America managed to block the statehood bid. So this year, the Palestinians modified their goal and went to the United Nations General Assembly, where the U.S. wields far less power. And this year, the Obama administration didnít even try to convince the Netanyahu government to derail the Palestinian bid by embracing the 1967 lines plus swaps parameters. In her statement opposing the Palestinian initiative, United States ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice didnít even bother restating them. And the Palestinians, having found a venue beyond American control, won overwhelmingly. Not a single European power joined the United States in voting no.

Itís unclear how much the Palestiniansí victory at the U.N. General Assembly will ultimately matter. It certainly doesnít, by itself, change Americaís status as the most important outside influence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by far. But every year since Obama and Netanyahu came to power, American influence has declined. The Palestinian U.N. bid isnít the only evidence. You can also measure it by the increased willingness of Middle Eastern governments like Egypt, Turkey and Qatar to break the U.S. quarantine on Hamas. Sooner or later, itís likely key European governments will break that quarantine too.

Full article:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/30/choosing-decline-in-the-mideast.html

28 replies, 3056 views

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Do the leaders of the American Jewish establishment realize how badly they lost last night? (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2012 OP
democrattotheend Nov 2012 #1
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #2
Cali_Democrat Dec 2012 #3
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #4
Cali_Democrat Dec 2012 #5
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #7
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #18
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #20
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #23
Danmel Dec 2012 #6
Kurska Dec 2012 #8
BlueMTexpat Dec 2012 #9
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #10
geek tragedy Dec 2012 #11
bemildred Dec 2012 #12
George 2 Dec 2012 #13
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #14
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #15
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #16
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #17
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #19
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #21
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #22
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #24
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #25
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #26
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #27
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #28

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:17 PM

1. I don't like the term "American Jewish Establishment"

Not all American Jews or American Jewish leaders are pro-Likkud, and we are a diverse group that does not speak with one voice.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:40 AM

2. American Jewish establishment? What the fuck is that?!

Goebels must be smiling up from Hell!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:01 AM

3. This article seems a bit anti-semitic

It dabbles in the conspiracy theory that Jews control America.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:04 AM

4. That's exactly what it does.

It's one thing to say "pro-Israel" or AIPAC, but "American Jewish Establishment?!" As I said in my post, what the fuck is that?! Who are these people? It not only impels we control the US, but implies Israel is our only, or primary, concern, and anyone remotely familiar with polls on this topic will know Israel rarely breaks the top 5 in reasons for voting one way or the other.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:55 AM

5. Agreed

The Daily Beast has some good articles, but this one is absurd.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:13 AM

7. What's even more frightening is it is written by a Jew.

When Jews start spewing classic anti-Semitism, things aren't looking good for our people. I am not all that familiar with the vehicle, but the author seems familiar to me, but I can't put my finger on it.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:15 AM

18. Even back in the days when I thought AIPAC was dominating U.S. Mideast policy......

I would have been offended by the term. Granted, there are some not-so-savory influential Jews out there but to suggest that there is a single, coherent "Establishment" of Jews belies ignorance, or something worse.......

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:20 AM

20. That is my point.

"there are some not-so-savory influential Jews out there but to suggest that there is a single, coherent "Establishment" of Jews belies ignorance, or something worse......."

Trust me, it ain't just the Jews doing it!

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:39 AM

23. That's kinda what I was trying to say myself.

Even then, I knew of far-right Christian Zionists like John Hagee who were just as much as part of the problem as people like Kristol, Wolfowitz, etc.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:10 AM

6. the term American Jewish Establishment is highly offensive

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:27 AM

8. "American Jewish establishment"



Really?

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:37 AM

9. Like others here, I do not like the "AJE" term. At all.

It is totally false. Having worked with many friends and colleagues over the years who are American Jews, but who have always considered organizations such as the Jewish Defense League (JDL) to be radical RW organizations and who believe that AIPAC has been influenced too much by that radical RW in recent years, I see no room for them or their POV in such an all-encompassing and misguided term. They are valuable - and necessary - members of the discourse in every way. In such a characterization, there is also no room for organizations like J Street that work very hard - against extremely difficult odds - to educate the American people in general about truth in the I/P situation.

I've also worked with Israeli friends and colleagues who do not support Likud and its policies at all, so truly hate it when all Israelis are tarred with the same brush - just as we in the US were/are almost universally tarred by the brush - and horrific stench - of Bush/Cheney policies (and Obama policies that continue from that era, btw). These Israelis deplore the increasingly RW US influence and power in Israeli politics because they see those RW policies as directly undermining stability, not only in Israel but in the entire region.

But I also deplore that this very unfortunate (to say the least) title may cause some not to read further. Because the writer is correct that US influence in the I/P struggle - and the region at large - is on the decline. How far it will continue to wane and whether that in itself is a good thing are legitimate parts of this discussion.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:14 AM

10. What offensive language this is 'American Jewish Establishment'? Wow.

" American Jewish community relies for its power on American power." Really? And the American Christian community relies for its power on France? Why would an American minority group NOT rely on American power?

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:39 AM

11. Beinart is a Jew and was editor of The New Republic

when it was owned by Marty Peretz. He's not some Jew-hating nut.

The pro-Israel lobby has pushed for the US to be a rubber stamp and blindly follow whatever Israel decides. Well, the consequences of that is that the US has no credibility on Israel/Palestine. None.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 11:29 AM

12. I've been mentioning this problem for years.

Usually get pooh pooh-ed with some babble about Amerkin exceptionalism or Israeli exceptionalism or both, along with "we can go it alone" and whatnot, like the status quo could just be strung along forever, no real need to do anything different.

Bibi is an ideologue and a plunger, now he's backed into a corner and looks "weak", and the chickens are still coming home to roost. It's going to be a very interesting election.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:31 AM

13. the term is not anti-Semitic

Seems obvious that in the article, the term "American Jewish establishment" means the organized Jewish groups that purport to speak for the American Jewish community, like AIPAC. The term has nothing to do with suggesting an American Jewish establishment controls the country. I'm Jewish and would prefer the term anti-Semitic be applied to the real thing, like the neo-Nazi hate groups.

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Response to George 2 (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:40 AM

14. It is anti-Semitic.

If it is supposed to reflect those who support Israel, like AIPAC, then they need to say just that, the Israel-supporting establishment. AIPAC has never stated it was the "American Jewish establishment." So, it is the REAL thing, you just don't know it.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:48 AM

15. I remember when Peter Beinart was a mildly watered down neoconservative - he seems to have

experienced some sort of epiphany. Frankly I used to hate him and wrote bitterly about him here on DU. His name was synonymous with that horrible bigot and enemy of peace and justice in the Middle East - Marty Peretz. I find it moving that someone who was once so deeply misguided in his political attitudes toward the Middle East could have experienced such a dramatic change of heart.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:51 AM

16. Seems he found his inner anti-Semite.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:56 AM

17. Don't be ridiculous. Peter Beinart is not an anti-Semite

He may not have chosen the best word to express himself. He is a practicing orthodox Jew who cares deeply about the Jewish people. Calling him anti-semite is ludicrous and demeans the term.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:18 AM

19. I didn't say he was, I said he found his inner one.

And don't tell what demeans the term. I actually know what it is and don't pamper those who use it like saying "He may not have chosen the best word to express himself". It was anti-Semitic. The real questions are why did he say it and why are you not calling it what it is?

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:23 AM

21. I think a Jewish person has the right to criticize groups that claim to speak on behalf of Jewish

people - just as a black person, gay person, Arabic person or whatever should be free to criticize those who represent themselves as leaders of their respective communities.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:36 AM

22. Do tell Douglas...who comprises the "American Jewish establishment"?

I find it interesting you claim "a Jewish person has the right to criticize groups that claim to speak on behalf of Jewish people" but you seemingly don't think a Jewish person has the right to claim something is anti-Semitic, when it is clearly a good ole classic.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:34 AM

24. of course you have a right to claim its anti-Semitic and others have a right to disagree

You even have a right to compare Peter Beinart to Goebbels and the Nazis. But personally I think that was a bit over the top. Is it now a bad thing that a well known academic who is also a practicing religious orthodox Jews who once held a strident position on the other end of the spectrum is now speaking out on behalf of Justice for the Palestinians and for a Just and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Arab world? I can't speak for who Peter Beinart had in mind when he spoke of the "American Jewish Establishment." I think he was once very much considered part of it - whatever it is. But is it bad thing if an Arab-American or Jewish-American or any kind of American criticizes those in prominent positions in their community for acting ways harmful to reconciliation? I don't think so.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:46 AM

25. Just like others have a right to disagree with his comments.

I didn't compare him to Goebbels, but you know that, and it was just a shit strawman comment.* I also never said it was bad he "switched sides" now did I? Ooops..another strawman. But is it a bad thing for people to confront those in their own community who rely on bigotry of their own people? No, it isn't.

*Your implication was disgusting. It was a strawman because you said I had "the right" to do something, which I didn't do, then claim it "was over the top" to do so, which, as I will repeat, I didn't do!

On edit: By the by, you never did say who comprised that elusive AJE.

Third edit: Wrong

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:06 AM

26. there is enough real persecutions and bigotry in this world

and not doubt that includes more than enough real anti-Semitism. I just don't see the point in talking oneself into believing more is there than really is. Reality is painful enough. There no reason to add artistic license to it.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:08 AM

27. And all I see is you avoiding calling it what it is.

What he said was anti-Semitic.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:16 AM

28. Poorly-judged term usage, as others have noted

A much more fitting term would have been the "anti-Palestinian establishment" which not only includes whatever specific groups he had in mind, but also some others that aren't Jewish while excluding a great number of Jewish organizations that don't have that particular political feature.

What he means is plain enough, but when he uses phrases like "American Jewish influence over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," it severely undermines cogent points because... well, that's some plain ol' antisemitic shit right there.

Editor shoulda sent this back for a re-write.

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