Home Page

carol gould

Join our email list for updates.




We hope that you'll feel our website is worthy enough to contribute a few pounds to the bandwidth bills.



March Winds and April Showers Bring Forth May Flowers..
Last uploaded : Monday 6th May 2002 at 00:29
Contributed by : The Editor


The month of March blew an ill wind of death and despair in Israel, with over 120 Israelis killed and hundreds hospitalised in suicide and sniper attacks, culminating in the obscene bombing of 28 mostly elderly Passover Seder celebrants in Netanya. April saw a shower of unprecedented worldwide condemnation of Israel when Operation Defensive Shield was unleashed as a response.

At the end of April and as May dawned, a sudden burst of sunshine appeared with a wave of passionate articles in defence of Israel and of the Jewish people by Christian journalists including the legendary Oriana Fallaci in Corriere della Sera, Christopher Hudson in the London Evening Standard, the American commentator George F Will, Michael Gove in ‘The Times’ of London and Richard Littlejohn in the Sun UK national newspaper. Jewish writers who went to war against the Israel-bashers included Barbara Amiel in The Jewish World Review, Norman Lebrecht and Simon Sebag Montefiore in the London Evening Standard and Melanie Phillips in The Spectator. Bret Stephens of The Jerusalem Post wrote a long and well-researched piece about the rise of worldwide anti-Semitism.

Tucked away, however, in the hinterlands of the shelves of WH Smith newsagents of Great Britain was the April issue of ‘Prospect’ magazine, a UK-based publication that does not circulate outside Europe. On the cover is the requisite picture of a gross-looking Ariel Sharon with a large headline’ The Israel Lobby and American Power.’ He is shown speaking to the ‘America-Israel Friendship League.’

The article by American Michael Lind is a lengthy and extensively-researched essay that seeks to expose a massive conspiracy by high-powered and immensely wealthy American Jews to virtually subvert the United States government.

From the outset I wish to make it clear that mention of a ‘ Jewish lobby’ makes me see red. My father had to change his name to get a job as a naval architect, because within my own lifetime anti-Semitism was so rife in the American military and engineering world that no Jew –let alone any black person --would be seen dead breaking into that bastion of white Christian domain. Even now, country clubs and patriotic organisations do not welcome Jews. The Jews represent a tiny minority: in a nation of some 270 million there are 7 million Jews. They are an electorate of total unimportance. No American politician, even in New York, is going to kill himself pleasing Jews to get elected. To understand the special relationship Americans have with Israel, particularly since the heroic triumph over unspeakable odds of the 1967 War, please read the article ‘Why America Loves Israel’ on this website.

In the Foreword to the article, David Goodhart, the Senior Editor of ‘Prospect,’ suggests that Irish-American support for the IRA is comparable to the influence the ‘Jewish lobby’ has on Israeli-American policy. He also makes the bizarre observation that resentment of whites is the cause of the rise in gun-crime amongst London’s young men of Caribbean origin, but that this is no reason to become violent – be they ‘Israel’s Jews’ as he calls them, asserting that ‘past injustices do not absolve bad behaviour in the present.’ Bad behaviour? What about Saddam gassing his own people? Bad behaviour? From a responsible journalist and editor, Goodhart’s comments match those of old-fashioned anti-Semites (of my own acquaintance ) who love to mutter, ‘the damned Jews misbehave and they deserve to get roundly punished!’ The suggestion that ' some unpleasantness in Europe' (Britspeak for the Shoah) did not justify the establishment of a Jewish presence in Palestine has become the most fashionable retort at London dinner parties when Jewish guests dare to defend Israel's quest for survival.

In his feature article Michael Lind sets off with ‘the Israel lobby distorts US foreign policy in a number of ways’ and makes assertions like this : ‘...Along with aid, the Israel lobby demands unconditional US diplomatic protection of Israel in the UN and other forums.’ He says that the US is wrong to block efforts in the UN to condemn ‘Israeli oppression and colonisation in the occupied territories.’ Lind confirms the fact that the Jews make up a tiny ethnic minority but that they comprise an ‘ethnic donor machine.’ I find this offensive. If it is acceptable for other ethnic minority business magnates to make huge donations to candidates, why is it a crime for Jews to donate to whom they so choose?

He continues by saying that the US ‘ignores’ Israel’s nuclear programme. Is ‘Prospect’ magazine so naive as to seriously believe that the US is going to shout ‘naughty Jews!’ and ‘bad behaviour!’ when the region is of economic and military importance to the West and the threat of mass destruction by Iraq and other states looms over the world, not just over Israel? Lind adds that he is troubled by the lack of debate amongst those who support Israel and those who wish to condemn Israel’s ‘bad behaviour’ that run counter to America’s ‘moral ideals.’ If Mr Lind thinks Americans harbour a greater affection for regimes that stone women to death and have dinner parties where the entertainment is the torturing to death of petty criminals (CBS News on Iraq some five years ago) then Mr Lind must have forgotten his basic American education. The US may have black marks in its history but its ‘moral ideals’ match those of Israel, not of the regimes that surround the Jewish State.

Quoting the Detroit Jewish News, Lind alleges that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is ‘a veritable training camp for Capitol Hill staffers.’ I have not been able to access the original article (anyone reading this who can help us please e-mail us), but I am willing to bet that this out-of-context quote also relates to the fiercely competitive nature of Jewish youth, whose parents encourage them to worthy careers in public service, not in bomb-building or plane-hijacking.

Lind continues his examination of American Zionist groups by alleging that the ZOA ‘lobbies Congress to slow the peace process.’

The usual complaints are made about the huge amount of aid given to Israel by the United States. As a woman and taxpayer I would not sleep well at night knowing that my tax moneys went to regimes that oppress women, have no democratic processes and whose regimes behead and maim their citizens in the name of their national religion. At this very moment, Saddam Hussein is building a mosque in his own name that will be the largest in the Middle East and second only to Mecca. In ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper of 2 May, David Blair reports that the mosque-building is ‘draining resources that could have been used to buy essential drugs for Iraq’s threadbare hospitals.’

Lind observes that all of America’s ethnic minorities pressure politicians to help countries from which their ancestors originated, but that the Jewish lobby is most vociferous. Did the Irish, German or Italian-Americans suffer a Holocaust? Had there been a substantial Jewish population in Europe it is likely they too would have demanded support for Israel from their Christian leaders and countrymen. Frankly, aid to Israel ought to have been written in stone after World War II, in every European country that stood by as its Jews were carted off to the ovens.

Christian Europe was after all, responsible for perpetrating the Shoah, Italian and Spanish fascism and the Vichy regime – not to mention the two World Wars – and if anything, ought to be the number one source of money and assistance to Israel, not the United States. Europe’s Jews were virtually wiped out and have never had the sort of voice that US and Canadian Jewry have had. The US was no more gracious to the Jews trying to escape Hitler than was Britain but it has shown ample generosity in subsequent decades – a form of absolution in which Europe could do well to indulge over half a century after the Holocaust.

The article goes on to report that in areas with few Jews, American lobbyists set up ‘astroturf’ (phony grassroots) organisations : Tennesseans for Better Government and Walters Construction Management Political Committee of Colorado, for example. Quoted is Stephen Steinlight who has written in a publication of The Centre for Immigration Studies that ‘the Jewish community is thus in a position to divide and conquer ..’

Lind runs through a series of vignettes about long-suffering Republican Presidents who ‘stood up to’ the Israel lobby and reminds us that a former Republican Secretary of State was known to have said, ‘F**k the Jews. They don’t vote for us anyway.’ The odd assertion that the Jewish lobby even influences government appointments makes one wonder why there are so many white Anglo-Saxon faces – descended from ‘good families’ – still dominating the American government. It is difficult to believe that the politically astute veterans Vice President Cheney or Secretary Rumsfeld are staunch supporters of Israel because, in the view of ‘Prospect’ magazine, a few pushy yidlach nobbled them. (Lind makes sure to point out that the Defence Department is driven by Paul Wolfowitz. A Jew in the woodwork again!)

The article gets worse. It enumerates Jewish Democrats who rose to prominence on the DNC and asserts that Martin Indyk, an AIPAC veteran, became US Ambassador to Israel ‘only a few years after’ he received US citizenship. If every American was scrutinised for the jobs they were given after becoming citizens, the nation would collapse under paperwork. Are foreign-born former Cabinet member Zbigniew Brzynski, Senator Tom Lantos, or Dr Henry Kissinger to come under the scrutiny of the British press next? (Recently a British lawyer asked a friend of mine if he thought it would be entirely suitable for him to be represented by the literary agent Jenne Cassarotto. She happens to be the doyenne of agents but the lawyer was only concerned that she ‘had a foreign -sounding name’ hence was not quite cut of the right cloth....)

The activities of Douglas Feith (Deputy Under Secretary of Defence for Policy) are described as supporting the ultra-right in Israel but his views are no different from those of many non-Jewish members of Congress. The article reports that ‘the right-wing Zionist Organisation of America’ gave Feith and his father an award in 1997. So what? What does that have to do with the world post-September 11th 2001? Lind describes Richard Perle, chairman of President Bush’s ‘quasi-official’ (Lind’s words) Defence Policy Board, and Feith as members of the ‘radical Zionist right.' He ties their movement to the Protestant Evangelical Right in America and makes a truly bemusing comparison with the views of Orde Wingate and the early British Christian Zionists. No doubt the pardoning by Bill Clinton of Mark Rich, seen by Lind as a monumental goniff, and the crimes of Jonathan Pollard are events that blemish, but Lind even asserts that Jewish journals in the United States attack the uniformed military and repudiate American soldiers as being unwilling to take out Iraq or Iran. This is an accusation that JewishComment would like to explore, and we invite readers to find us concrete examples of Jewish writers defaming the American military.

Lind insists that the American media distort the news to such an extent as to present only the Israeli viewpoint. (Those of us who watch CNN and CBS from Europe wonder where Israel is in the blanket coverage of Palestinian woes, to the point that we joke about ‘al Jazeera featuring Dan Rather and Christiane Amanpour.’) He says that ‘anything more than the mildest criticism of Israel is taboo in the mainstream media,’ that in American journals ‘propaganda for Israel has free reign’ and he complains that there is no historical or political context. Those of us who read the British ‘Guardian’ or ‘Independent’ or who watch the BBC’s shrill anchormen mercilessly browbeating Israeli guest dignitaries would relish historical context to these slanted and deeply-anti-Jewish reports.

Well, it gets even worse. Lind continues his investigation by asserting that ‘unapologetic tribalism’ has overtaken a portion of world Jewry in relation to ‘the rule of Israel over a conquered helot population’ (who started the 1967 campaign to annihilate Israel, Mr Lind?) , and points out that the most zealous supporters of Israel amongst non-Jews are the deep South ‘descendants of the segregationalist Dixiecrats.’ Unless Michael Lind lives on Mars, he will know that a rabid critic of Israel is the ‘Dixiecrat’ Senate veteran Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Lind makes the observation that Jews are no longer barred from exclusive clubs or subjected to quotas by Ivy League universities, but dinner party chatter can often be more useful than dry research: my own experience is of deep prejudice amongst even the most recent generations of ‘Mayflower-descended’ Americans.

The most disturbing detour taken in this article is Lind’s exploration of intermarriage. Remarking that over half of Jewish-Americans marry outside the community, he says, ‘In the long run, the relative diminution of the Jewish-American population, as a result of intermarriage and immigration-led population growth, will combine to attenuate the lobby’s power.’ This observation gives one discomfort: unless I am reading it incorrectly, he is suggesting that eventually there will be be no more Jews to give to Israeli causes, and perhaps just no more Jews.

In this article Michael Lind makes the outrageous analogy of the rise of what he calls ‘Jewish fundamentalism’ and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. How dare he? In how many synagogues across the globe are rabbis exhorting their flock to blow themselves up and commit Jewish jihad against Muslims? In how many Jewish homes and schools are children being taught to hate and kill Muslims? (I ask the Muslim readers of this column to find me evidence of this.)

To add insult to injury Lind extracts a tale of woe from Stephen Steinlight, who complains with great bitterness about having to sing Hatikvah at summer camp and saluting a ‘foreign flag.’ Jewish camp is described as a breeding ground for young Americans who prefer to ‘sing foreign songs’ and ‘sing a foreign national anthem’ (again, how DARE he refer to our beloved Hatikvah, which the six million would have so loved to have sung, in this execrable manner?) This section of the article suggests that American Jews are not so loyal to the American way of life. The large and enthusiastic Jewish War Veterans organisation will no doubt cringe at Steinlight’s assertion that Jewish camp teaches that ‘Israel is the true homeland. ‘ He concludes, ‘That America has tolerated this dual loyalty – we get a free pass, I suspect, largely over Christian guilt about the Holocaust – makes it no less a reality.’

In what I consider an outrage, the article contends that the power of ethnic lobbies like those of the Jewish community leads such ethnic groups to think that ‘deep attachment to a foreign country is a normal and acceptable part of US citizenship.’ This makes a mockery of the concept of the right of every Jew to the dignity of self-determination post-Shoah; to suggest that Diaspora Jews who support Israel are not loyal to their host nation is a form of anti-Semitism that hovers around London gentlemen’s clubs when the token Jewish member is cornered and asked whom he would support if England played Israel at Lord's...Lind refers to the activities of Zionist groups as ‘corruption of our democratic process.’

Near the end of the article Lind states that in addition to Congressmen living in terror of the Jewish-dominated media, jobs in the US national security apparatus routinely go to people with ties to Israel. (If this is so, and if Israelis run the most sensitive aspects of the US government, why is Pollard in jail?)

Lind concludes that the Israel lobby must be downsized because Israel is no longer threatened with extinction by its neighbours. Once again – does he live on Mars? He suggests that aid to Israel must be conditional on ending the ‘brutal’ occupation. No mention is made in this British magazine that billions of dollars of aid from the Arab world seem to have had nil results for the Palestinian people, nor is there any suggestion that aid to the Palestinians be contingent on ending their own brutal tactics against Israeli civilians.

Michael Lind’s article, written exclusively for British consumption, is a dangerous and manipulative piece of journalism that completely ignores the huge debt Europe owes to its tiny remnant of Jews. Europeans simply do not understand the rich contribution that Jews have made to American culture since the earliest days of the colonial era, nor do they understand the depth of feeling most Americans – fervent churchgoers and Bible-readers – have for the Israel that the Jews have turned into a miracle of cultural, technological, scientific and agricultural achievement. Michael Lind, an American, should know better than to play into the hands of a Europe exploding with a resurgence of anti-Semitism not seen since 1945 by creating a picture of a menacing Jew-gang subverting the poor, helpless, Christian-American people and its cowering government. ‘Prospect’ does nothing to generate understanding of the terrible challenges Israel has faced since 1948, and only inflames an evil wave of Jew-bashing that threatens the safety of Jewish people around the world. ‘Prospect’ owes the American Jewish community an apology for this cowardly attack that 98% of Americans will never have been able to read.

Note: you can go to their website but you have to subscribe for a year if you want to read their articles.


Read more Editorials    go >>



Web Design - Web Designers
© current viewpoint .com

All Rights reserved.
No copying of any text or images allowed in any form digitally or otherwise,
without the prior written consent of the copyright holders.